Ultimate Team: EA's E3 2015 Press Conference

E32015 EA Star Wars Battlefront

6am AEST brought us the gaming bounty that EA had to offer, with a lot of familiar titles coming back for another iteration, and even some new IPs. Here’s the lowdown.

The show started with a teaser for the next Mass Effect game, subtitled Andromeda. That’s all. The first real announcement however was Need For Speed (no subtitle). Running in the Frostbite engine, it’s twice the size of the map from Rivals and combines a lot of elements from the more successful games in the series. The game is due for release on November 3rd this year.

EA also unveiled Unravel, a physics platformer starring a small red character made of yarn, another entrant in the emerging “yarn protagonist” genre. You traverse various settings and obstacles while utilising your particular yarn inspired powers to help. Definitely not the most obvious title one would expect from EA, but it remains to be seen if the gameplay matches the intriguing aesthetic.

Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 was discussed in more detail after its appearance in the Microsoft presser, with the new Graveyard Ops mode demonstrated on stage. This time, you play as the zombies holding off the plants, and we saw some new classes taking down the onslaught of vegetation. Single player and splitscreen were confirmed, as well as the ability to transfer the unlocks from our save file in the first game. If it maintains the reasonable booster system of the original Garden Warfare, it’s shaping up to be an exciting sequel to a criminally underrated game. It’s due out early next year.

Let’s do the sports stuff in one shot though, shall we? Tiger is gone, and Rory McIlroy is the new face of EA’s PGA Pro Tour, the first one made on Frostbite. NBA Live 16 showed off its face scanning app and live-motion physics, and Fifa 16 gave us PELE PELE PELE. Oh, and improvements to pathing and decision making, training options and the introduction of women’s football teams. Finally, Madden 16 talked up its changes to playmaking, in particular passing, receiving and defence, as well as their fantasy football league system, Draft Champions.

Along came Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst to spice things up. A prequel to the fantastic original game, we learn about the origin of protagonist Faith, as well as the fall of the city into corporate rule. The movement options and momentum seem intact, so here’s hoping the high execution remains as well. Game is due for release on February 23rd next year.

Finally Star Wars. There’s three games to cover, so here goes.

Star Wars: The Old Republic was first, with their upcoming expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire. We’re told that player choices will affect the story, which will be interesting to see work in an MMO, and will remain free to play throughout.

We then briefly saw a new Star Wars CCG, titled Galaxy of Heroes. Only a name, not much else.

And then there was Star Wars Battlefront. Borrowing a lot of cues from the previous games in the series, EA showcased the Hoth based map, where AT-AT’s are enroute to destroy the Rebel base, and both sides fight to achieve their particular objective. We see TIE fighters, Snow Speeder and AT-ST’s populate the landscape, as well as both first and third person gameplay. We see Rodians playable as a race, alongside Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker as unlockable ‘perks.’ We even had splitscreen and single player modes confirmed. We’ll find out if it lives up to its insane amount of hype on November 17.