E3 2017: EA highlights include balls, cars, prison breaks, mystery, and Battlefront II

E3 is a wonderful thing. It’s where developers show off what they’ve been pouring their bodily fluids into for the last few years, where companies show off the stuff they hope you’ll want to see, and where intensely nervous people try not to do or say anything that’ll land them in the E3 hall of shame. Ah, good times.

Similar to last year, E3 2017 officially got underway with the EA Play press conference. The presser included stuff you’d expect from EA, like far too many sports games, as well as other things you probably didn’t.

If you’ve got about an hour to kill, you can watch the full (objectively boring) conference over here. For everyone else, here’s a breakdown of all the important bits.

Balls of various shapes and sizes

I’m not a major fan of conventional sports, and I’m only marginally more interested in their video game adaptations. But a lot of you are super into that stuff, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Probably. Anyway, EA’s conference had sports fans covered, with new footage and information for Madden NFL 18, NBA Live 18, and FIFA 18.

First up, Madden NFL 18 will be getting its “first-ever cinematic and playable story mode where your decisions lead forgotten prospect, Devin Wade on the pursuit to hear his name called on NFL Draft day”. It looks like this.

Release date: 25 August

Platforms: PS4, XBO

Do you like basketball? Do you like video games? Do you like basketball video games? If you answered yes to any of those, then the newly revealed NBA LIVE 18 is just the thing for you. The game will feature an “all-new and dynamic career journey,” and will let you “create your individual player identity and become a legend in The League and The Streets”.

Release date: 2017

Platforms: PS4, XBO

Lastly, FIFA 18 stole the spotlight for a bit showing off its “Real Player Motion Technology” and “Immersive Atmospheres,” and I must say, it sure looks like a football game. Oh, and FIFA 18 will continue Alex Hunter’s story in The Journey: Hunter Returns.

“After a breakthrough first season in the Premier League, the whole world is talking about Alex Hunter. Now he’s back for a second season, and rumour has it, he’s on the move.”

Release date: 29 September

Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC

More Battlefield 1 stuff

Battlefield 1 is a terrific game, and it gets better with each shot of new content. Or at least it would if I had the money to buy any of it. But I digress. We already know the game’s next expansion will be In The Name of the Tsar, but now we also know that it’ll add “six new maps, the Russian army including the mighty Hussar cavalry, new vehicles and weapons to expand your arsenal, and the iconic Women’s Battalion of Death”. Here’s the first footage of the DLC Pack in action.

The game’s two upcoming “night maps” Nivelle Nights, and Prise de Tahure also received a quick mention.

Need for Speed Payback‘s gameplay trailer is car-crash porn

There are good, bad, and many fairly forgettable entries in the Need for Speed franchise. The great ones, I’d argue, are the ones that don’t take themselves too seriously, and focus more on fun instead of trying to be a full-on racing simulator. Well, judging from Need for Speed Payback‘s new gameplay trailer, this one looks set to be one of the greats.

Release date: November 2017

Platforms: XBO, PS4, PC

A Way Out is a new co-op prison break simulator, and it looks pretty cool

Remember that fantastic little adventure game, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons? Well, the “core team” behind the game banded together to form a new studio called Hazelight, and the studio’s first game is an EA Originals title called A Way Out. According to the game’s writer/director Josef Fares, A Way Out will be a heavily story-driven experience, and will “cover a lot of gameplay ground, from action to exploration, from driving to puzzle-solving, and much more”.

“Players will experience the game’s story as it seamlessly shifts from a full-screen experience into cinematic split-screen formats. Basically, one player can be in a cutscene while the other player has full control.”

Release date: Early 2018

Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC

Bioware’s new IP is called Anthem, and it’s mysterious

I love Bioware games like Dragon Age, Dragon Age 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition… Actually, I just love the Dragon Age series. Unfortunately (for me), the developer’s next game isn’t another Dragon Age. Instead, an excruciatingly short teaser video introduces us to Anthem.

Details about the game are being kept to a minimum for now, but according to the video’s description, it’ll let players “explore a landscape of primeval beauty, confront the dangers you find, and grow in power with every step. MYSTERIOUS!

Release date: 2018

Platforms: Unannounced

Battlefront II gets a release date, multiplayer trailer, DLC will be free

Remember how Titanfall 2 made all their maps and modes post-launch free for everyone? Yeah, that was pretty rad. So rad, in fact, that Star Wars Battlefront II will be moving in on the action too. All of the game’s DLC (excluding cosmetic items, presumably) will be free to download for all.

EA’s conference closed out with a lengthy multiplayer demo for the game, but if you prefer your videos like I prefer my walks – short, here’s an official multiplayer trailer.

Release date: 17 November

Platforms: PS4, XBO, PC

Wonder Woman 1984
This Wonder Woman 1984 trailer is going to beat the retrostalgia right into you