E3: EA Play 2019

Posted on 08 Jun 2019 by
Jay Shaw

E3 2019 is upon us! We’ve embedded the livestream above for your viewing pleasure but you can check back periodically for updates in textual form as we know more. A brief timetable of when we can expect to see certain games follows:

5:30 PM BST: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
6:00 PM BST: Apex Legends
6:30 PM BST: Battlefield
7:00 PM BST: FIFA 20
7:30 PM BST: Madden NFL 20
8:00 PM BST: The Sims 4

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

After a plenty cringey, shout-y introduction by Greg Miller – Vince Zampella and Stig Asmussen (both of Respawn Entertainment) took to the stage to present 15 minutes of gameplay from around 3 hours into the game set on Kashyyk where the empire has enslaved the Wookiees to steal their planet’s resources. Of course it features Respawn’s trademark wall-running, and a robot backpack called BD-1 that looks like Johnny 5’s inbred offspring but in a cute way. We joke, but seriously, it’s pretty cool.

We’ve also got a look at some of hero Cal’s force powers including force push/pull, slowing time, and listening to force echoes from a dead stormtrooper. We’re also shown Cal freezing a black armoured purge-trooper in place, leaving him looking hazy and indistinct. Cal also has some stylish lightsaber combat which features lots of flourishes, kicks, deflects, and throwing the saber. Some of the game’s RPG mechanics make an appearance with skill points being earned seemingly at a kind of level up.

After the trailer’s done, Stig reveals another force ability called ‘force flip’ that will act as a double jump. The KX droid (made hilarious by Alan Turdyk in Rogue One) will make an appearance as a boss encounter, but sadly doesn’t share his more affable movie counterpart’s voice and disposition. The developers remain tight-lipped on what the story will entail but have confirmed that Saw Gerrera is Cal’s mentor and it will be considered canon under the newly compacted canon.

Apex Legends

Free to play battle royale game Apex Legends now has a new event called Legendary Hunt running until 18 June – the top five players of every match will be able to queue for an Elite mode where they can earn more rewards like battle pass levels. All players who own a battle pass will receive a gun skin, and reaching level 15 will get you a Wraith skin. Between June 7-9 will also be a double XP weekend.

Season 2 has also been announced; Drew McCoy, executive producer of Apex Legends has revealed that it will be called Battle Charge. There’ll be a new weapon (the L-Star full-auto rifle from Titanfall 2) which will only appear in care packages. Two improvements to old weapons are also teased, with McCoy alluding to the Mozambique revolver becoming usable.

The season 2 battle pass will move away from time based progression. Moving to challenges that will stack up each time one unlocks (e.g. daily, weekly) so you can leave the game and let them build up if you want to work through them all at once. Three new content types (to be revealed later), and enough crafting materials to craft your choice of legendary will be included in the battle pass (assuming you reach level 100). Four new skins (2 for weapons and 2 for characters) will also be included.

Aside from the Elite queue; a ranked mode is also being introduced to the game. Players will progress through six tiers each with their own matchmaking to separate different skill levels. Rewards will be distributed at the end of a season based on your ranking.

Additionally, there will be a tenth Legend being added: Wattson, who has previously been teased over the last week. Brief gameplay footage shows her placing down up to 12 poles that form an electrical fence around a small area, turning off the beams as squad members go near them. Her ultimate ability is called Interception Pylon that will shoot down incoming bombardments and similar munitions as well as charging friendly shields. When near the pylon her fences will regenerate faster. Her passive ability is called Ultimate Accelerant which gives you 100% ultimate charge and appears to function similarly to Lifeline’s ability of the same name.

A teaser for new content featuring a huge eye was also shown with McCoy confirming that something new would be coming in the next few months.

Battlefield V

A new infantry focused map set in Greece, titled Marita, will feature a steep rural mountain and town with allies in control of the latter and axis forces advancing from the surroundings. Marita will be arriving in July as part of Chapter 4 – more on that in a moment. Check out the trailer below for a look at some gameplay on the new map.

A second new map being introduced is Al Sundan which is adapted from the War Stories mission Under No Flag, one of the largest and most open missions. This map will be a combined arms map with infantry, tanks, and planes present. Conquest mode will feature six flags. Al Sundan will be releasing on 27 June, day one of Chapter 4.

Coming more towards the end of Chapter 4 (August) are two more small mode maps. Max rank will be increased from 50 to 500 and will grant company coins from rank 51 onwards, every 50 ranks will also include new emblems. Private games will also be coming to Battlefield V, a feature the community has really wanted for a long time. Private servers will be releasing in September, and sounds like it will be a classic style server hosting software package, though details are still light.

A new map called Operation Underground, has been revealed. As expected from the designer of Metro (the Battlefield 3 map, not the game) it’s another map that features a subway along with a park and a bank area. Operation Underground is releasing in October.

Lastly, a teaser for Chapter 5’s content shows Japanese and American soldiers in a Pacific arena. One confirmed map is a remake of Iwo Jima. New weapons (M1 Garand confirmed) and amphibious vehicles are also mentioned in the teaser. Chapter 5 is due to release in Fall 2019 and will have three maps initially.

FIFA 20 – Volta Football

Given away by the trailer released earlier today (embedded above), Volta Football will be a new mode in FIFA 20. A street football style mode that takes place in fenced-in pitches. Volta mode will allow you to play with and against real world footballers. Three of the revealed cage-pitches are London, a Tokyo rooftop, and under an Amsterdam underpass. Female players will also be available for the first time, and inter-gender matches will also be possible.

As usual, other updates will be coming to the yearly instalment: Football Intelligence is this year’s buzzword. Enhanced attacking and defending while on the ball and the ball itself has a new physics system. The never-ending chase for more authenticity will also see more of a focus on 1v1 scenarios while dribbling and more player controlled defending. AI teammates will spread out around the pitch in a more authentic fashion with the aim of making the game more readable too.

Decisive moments is the buzzword surrounding four new features; composed finishing, strafe dribbling, controlled tackling, and new penalty/free kicks. Composed Finishing involves more consistent shooting, bringing changes to that aspect of the game. Strafe dribbling will give players more precise control of the ball while dribbling to take advantage of agility to lure and outmanoeuvre opponents. Controlled tackling is a new system building on active touch (from last year) to improve tackling to ensure more successful changes of ball possession. Improvements will also be coming to penalty/free kicks including new aiming mechanics and adding spin to the ball by moving the right analogue stick. The ball physics system is all new to provide more realistic behaviour from the ball thanks to increased fidelity from player contact, bounces, spin, etc.

FIFA 20 is releasing on 27 September 2019, with EA Access users getting access on 19 September 2019.

Madden NFL 20

Madden 20′s presence at the show featured actual gameplay (embedded above).

One new feature: Face Of The Franchise will include an NFL draft experience, a feature requested by players. The Scenario Engine will bring new dynamic quests and tasks for players to beat and improve their ratings and players. Playbooks will be introducing three RPO (Run Pass Options) styles with 220 RPOs in total and unique team specific formations and plays with the playbooks being updated across the season.

Ultimate Missions are a new improvement to Ultimate Team mode; Missions will feature something incomprehensible to people who don’t play that mode. We’re not ashamed to say we don’t have a clue what the purpose of it is because the presentation was seriously brief and confusing.

X-factor Abilities are new abilities with trigger conditions for star players that gives them improvements to things like catching, running, and having more routes available. The idea is to make superstar players feel more unique on the field.

Clint Oldenburg (Senior gameplay designer) took to the stage to talk more about other incoming improvements for this year’s instalment: Superstars will have signature animations, 6 will have unique animations at release with more being added throughout the season. Two new mechanics for the quarterback include pulling down the pass icons to make a run as the quarterback and pump-faking to confuse opponents before making a throw or enable more advanced plays.

The Sims 4

As expected due to leaked renders from earlier in the week; a new expansion pack will be coming to The Sims 4 titled Island Living. The expansion will include new outfits themed around island styles, new hairstyles, and accessories. Sims will be able to go into the water with swimming, floating, snorkeling, and aqua-zips. New activities will also include making friends with dolphins, building sandcastles, and sunbathing.

A new job path, the conservationist, will also feature things like cleaning up the island and maintaining the environment – a vital profession because the island will actually deteriorate or become more lush depending on how well it’s looked after. New odd-jobs include fishing, life-guarding, and being a diving instructor.

There’ll be new traits, island spirits, new behaviours, helpful neighbours, foods, furniture and decor, and naturally, houses to own across the island. Mermaids will be a playable thing too, with their own special powers. Oh, and there’s a volcano, because volcanoes are rad.

Over the next few months, Pride themed brightly coloured items will be released as part of a partnership with It Gets Better. Also announced is a new Moschino “stuff pack” that will include a new career as a part time fashion photographer. Realm Of Magic, a new game pack releasing in Fall for The Sims 4 was also teased, with more information coming later this year.

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