E3: EA Play 2020

Posted on 19 Jun 2020 by
Jay Shaw

Last night was Electronic Arts’ EA Play event. Predictably, the most exciting thing shown was Star Wars: Squadrons but we also got a teaser for Dragon Age 4 and an update on fan favourite battle royale game Apex Legends. As usual, you can watch the entire show in the embed above or scroll down for the individual games.

Apex Legends

We start off with a look at a new collection event coming to Apex Legends as part of Season 5, titled Lost Treasures. The event will have a new mode called Armed And Dangerous Evolved where players are armed with sniper rifles and shotguns only. A new town take-over and new cosmetics and Mirage’s heirloom item. Lost Treasures is coming on 23 June 2020. Additionally, the game is making its way to Steam and Nintendo Switch and is also getting cross play in Fall.

The Sims 4

Again, not much of an announcement but The Sims 4 got a surprise launch on Steam, effective immediately. So now if you get the urge to make a pretend person and drown them in the pool or burn their house down, you can do that from a different store.

It Takes Two

Josef Fares (the “fuck the oscars” guy, a clip which plays in this segment and also of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons fame) introduces his studio’s new game It Takes Two, a cooperative action adventure platformer. It’s about a girl whose parents are going to divorce so she creates two small dolls that come alive and she can control. It Takes Two is coming in 2021.

Lost in Random

Lost in Random is described as a “gothic fairy tale” by the developers and is about a girl who goes on an adventure in the ironically named kingdom of Random with her loyal dice companion Dicey. There’s some pretty cool concept art on display in the first half of the segment and the art style in the cinematic trailer is impeccable, invoking the best moments of American McGee games.

Rocket Arena

Everyone loves a rocket launcher in a multiplayer shooter and this one only has rockets. Rocket Arena is a 3v3 hero shooter where each character is equipped with some over the top variant of a rocket launcher as well as unique abilities. The 10 heroes will also be customizable, with one hundred levels of progression for each character that include unlocks for cosmetics and ability modifiers. Rocket Arena is launching on 14 July 2020.

Star Wars Squadrons

Finally the bit everyone’s been waiting for. Star Wars Squadrons was already revealed earlier as a space battle filled single player and multiplayer flight sim set after the events on Endor. Naturally, we’ve got a repeat of the trailer we’ve already seen but there’s way more info on offer here: Single player will have the player create a pilot for both the Rebels and Empire and the campaign will jump back and forth between their perspectives. The game will have cross-play across all platforms and be entirely playable in VR too. Star Wars Squadrons is releasing on 2 October 2020. Lastly, we’ve got a good bit of gameplay that shows off a bunch of interesting little details on the cockpit displays which we’re going to give their own paragraph right now:

The radar looks like its forward facing type with enemies behind you off to the edges of the display. The throttle gauge appears to have a turning rate curve on it. Energy can be directed between weapons, engines, and shields with the latter being missing from the TIE Fighter display as those ships have no shields. There’s ammo counts for heavy weapons and what looks like repairs too. Lastly we’ve got the typical hull health readout and a targeting computer

There will be eight ships split into four categories. The X-Wing and TIE Fighter make up the fighter class and will be the most balanced. Interceptors are faster but give up some firepower and toughness and include the A-Wing and TIE Interceptor. Support ships will be the U-Wing and TIE Reaper (introduced in the Rogue One movie) and will have the ability to help their allies and disable enemy ships but lack strength on their own. Lastly we have the bomber class which are slow but carry the most firepower and will include the TIE Bomber and Y-Wing.

Ships and pilots will be customizable. We see different paint jobs for the ships and different suits and heads for the pilots but it’s unclear just how in-depth those systems will be. Additionally you can put ornaments in your cockpit. On the gameplay affecting side components will let you modify how your ships behave and a brief image shows alternate heavy weapons, shields, engines, hulls, and tools like repair and supply droids.

Multiplayer modes will include; Dogfight which is a 5v5 team deathmatch style. Fleet Battles is touted as the signature mode and will be a multi-stage fight where players must complete several objectives across three rounds. The first round is a dogfight, the second has you destroying two of the smaller large ships. The final mission has you take on a Star Destroyer or Mon Calamari. It’s also mentioned that the multiplayer portion will be playable in both PvP and PvE modes with others and solo.

It’s not clear how sim-heavy the flight model will be but judging by what we’ve seen so far it’s safe to assume you can expect an accessible experience with more advanced features like turning off flight assist that will give more adept players the ability to pull off some more impressive manoeuvres. Star Wars Squadrons will be releasing on 2 October 2020.

That wraps up the show but in the ending montage we’re treated to a few shots from games in development at various EA studios including a mention of Bioware and what looks like the first teaser images from Dragon Age 4 – and if they’re not we’ll eat our non-existent hats – as well as what may be very early footage from a Battlefield scene. But, take those with a pinch of salt as neither was officially mentioned or announced and those shots could be just there for fluff.

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