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EA Play kicked off E3 2017 with a familiar mix of sports, speed and Star Wars.

You’ll see that this post is tagged E3 2017, but I don’t know if we should really be so kind. There’s something about Electronic Arts wanting to have their own show – yet ride on the coat tails of E3 proper – that still sits slightly uneasily with me. But, it is what it is, and EA Play now acts as a curtain raiser to the main event.

The EA Play press conference was an hour of sizzle reels and chat – including some awkward YouTuber guest appearances – that contained a few surprises, but didn’t say too much of substance. That said, every game demoed well, and the promised refinements to existing franchises are to be welcomed.

To my mind, the refreshingly different A Way Out stole the show, and looks to be the most original game to come through Electronic Arts in many years.

We can expect to see a closer look at some of these titles – particularly Anthem – at the Xbox and PlayStation E3 conferences, and we’ll be posting from hands-on thoughts over the next few days. Here’s the full list of what was announced.

EA Play 2017 conference announcements

Madden NFL 18

  • Madden NFL 18 gets Long Shot, its own version of FIFA’s RPG-lite career mode, The Journey.

Battlefield 1

  • Nivelle Nights and Prise De Tahure night maps announced for release this summer.
  • In the Name of the Tsar DLC to feature the Eastern Front. Features six new maps, the Russian Army, plus and new vehicles, weapons.
  • Released in September.


  • Alex Hunter and The Journey return for EA FIFA 18.

Need for Speed Payback

  • The previously announced the game includes fast and furious heist missions, hot pursuits, and car battles.
  • Narrative story that includes three characters, each with apparently unique play-styles.
  • Wide-ranging vehicle customisation features let you upgrade a car from the scrap heap to super car status.

A Way Out

  • A new co-op adventure from Hazelight Studios and Josef Fares, creator of the wonderful Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
  • A split screen, co-op only, story driven adventure based on a two inmates escaping incarceration
  • Due for release in early 2018.

SEED research division

  • EA’s Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division (SEED) division announced.
  • A small stealthy team at EA aimed at combining creative ideas combined with new technologies
  • Looking at opportunities using neural networks, artificial intelligence, and deep learning to find ways of blurring reality with the digital world.

BioWare’s Anthem

  • BioWare’s new project, Anthem, revealed.
  • Full gameplay to be revealed at Sunday’s Xbox press conference.

NBA Live 18

  • New ‘The One’ career mode revealed encompassing street and league games with a points-based character progression system.
  • Free demo coming in August featuring solo, co-op and multiplayer modes.
  • Saves can be transferred to the full game on release.

Star Wars Battlefront II

  • Three times as much content of the first Star Wars Battlefront.
  • Revised weapon mechanics.
  • Couch co-op and skirmish modes return.
  • Multiplayer includes more planets, heroes, vehicles and deeper character and skills customisation.
  • The introduction of four different soldier classes.
  • In-game Battlepoints can be spent on items, vehicles and becoming a Hero.
  • Features maps from all eras for Star Wars.
  • The “clean UI look is gonna stay” – LOL.
  • First season of DLC content – based on Star Wars: The Last Jedi – will be free, and includes Finn and Captain Phasma Hero characters.
  • Other themed seasons of DLC content to follow, will also be free.
  • Players who pre-order will receive early access to the multiplayer beta, and Yoda’s Lightsaber Mastery Star Card.

In a separate press release, EA also revealed more about EA Sports FIFA 18 for Nintendo Switch. The game will not include The Journey career mode, but it will feature FIFA Ultimate Team, multiple control schemes, local seasons played across two Switch consoles, and online multiplayer.

Follow Thumbsticks at E3 2017.

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