EA Play Press Conference 2016 recap

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LA and London

Electronic Arts did things a little differently this year, forgoing E3 to host its own EA Play event. But it just wouldn't feel like E3 season without a press conference, so EA coordinated a show between LA and London to show off a host of new games. The amount of reveals and fresh info in the 60-minute presentation was a little light, but EA's upcoming games are looking exciting nonetheless. If you don't want to sit through an hour of on-stage banter, we've got the full recap of everything shown during the presser right here. Just click through the gallery for all of the details.

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Titanfall 2 has more titans, better single-player, and a release date

EA's opening reveal actually let slip a few hours before the conference, but hey - leaks happen. In the Titanfall 2 single-player gameplay trailer, we got a good look at some new titan designs, strange aliens, those giant mecha-swords, and a sentient titan nicknamed 'BT' who will no doubt play a huge part in the bulked-up story campaign. A multiplayer gameplay trailer also confirmed the addition of grappling hooks to your mobility options, and tons of fresh animations for leaping into your personal mech pal. You should start preparing for titanfall now, because Titanfall 2 is set for a multiplatform release on October 28, 2016 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. 

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Madden NFL 17 kicks off EA's esports push

Not since Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 has Yogi and Skrillex's "Burial" been featured in a video game. A debut trailer for Madden NFL 17 showed off pretty much what you'd expect from the football franchise, including plenty of celebration animations and highly detailed player models. Peter Moore also reminded the world of EA's new dedication to esports with a tease of new competitive modes and weekly contests. He also discussed EA's plan for official tournaments, with three tiers: Challenger is aimed at community-run tournaments, premier events are large-scale tourneys, and EA Majors will be the grand finales with the most money on the line. EA will be pumping $1 million in prize money into the Madden 17 championship series in the coming year, which is a pretty great incentive to get your head in the game. 

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Mass Effect Andromeda is all about the exploration

Commander Shepard's story is over, but Mass Effect Andromeda looks like it could echo the enthralling sensation of exploration found in Star Trek: The Next Generation or No Man's Sky. BioWare's Aaryn Flynn took the stage to show off the game's new vision of space, saying "this is the galaxy where you are the alien." Andromeda will feature a whole new cast and galaxy, all built on the Frostbyte engine. Your mission is to "build a new home for humanity", provided you can survive a variety of biospheres, populated by wildlife like giant ape-like alien and flying whales. It's not all unfamiliar: the Asari are back, as are those iconic, purple Biotic powers. The trailer ended with a cryptic shot of an unknown woman awaking in an empty ship, before breathlessly saying "We made it". 

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FIFA 17 is all about the journey

We already got an early look at the new story campaign in FIFA 17 and its Frostbyte-powered visuals, courtesy of a trailer showing off The Journey, a single-player campaign starring newcomer Alex Hunter in a rags-to-riches story full of sports-related drama. A group of real-life, premier-league managers are also being added to the game, which must be exciting if you're into footie (and if not, the introduction of these men likely means nothing to you). Other improvements include new AI tweaks and the kind of refinements you'd expect in an annual sports title. FIFA 17 will be released in September 2016. 

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EA Originals debuts with Fe, a Journey-like forest adventure

As with 2015's reveal of Unravel, EA wanted to give some stage time to new projects outside the AAA space - and it looks like that's going to happen a lot more often in the coming years. Patrick Soderlund introduced EA Originals, a new program dedicated to producing new experiences from smaller developers. According to Soderlund, EA will partner with these fledgling studios at every step of the way, from "developing to marketing to publishing", and wants to ensure that the profits go back to the developers themselves. To show off the kinds of projects EA Originals will support, a new game called Fe was revealed: a wordless, stylized game starring woodland creatures. You play as a cub in an incredibly purple forest glade, where every animal and plant communicates through song. Learning these musical methods of conversation will help you traverse your mystical surroundings, and there will be no tutorial or guidance. You'll have to figure out the forest's ecosystem - and dangers - for yourself. 

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A slew of new Star Wars games are on the way

While we didn't actually get to see a whole lot of the work in progress, it's always nice to know more Star Wars games are on the way. Jade Raymond, leader of the newly formed Motive Studios, took the stage to tease the multiple projects EA's working on in a galaxy far, far away. In 2017, a new installment of Star Wars Battlefront is incoming, co-developed by DICE and Motive. It looks like Lando will be introduced as a new hero, and a quick shot confirms that a PlayStation VR project is also in the works. Later, in 2018, Visceral's adventure (still unnamed) will debut - teased with some early footage showing a trenchcoat-clad stranger walking through a desert city - followed by Respawn Entertainment's Star Wars project. 

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Battlefield 1 gets dynamic weather (and an October release date)

DICE's Patrick Bach teased the post-presser 64-player match of Battlefield 1, led by Jamie Foxx and Zac Efron for... some reason, then talked about additions to the actual game. Along with the familiar element of level destruction, there will also be a dynamic weather system that changes the conditions of each fight. Whether the weather is clear, foggy, or rainy has a huge impact, as the climate will affect your vision and the ability to perceive sounds nearby. We also got footage of some ear-piercing cutscenes showing off of the hellish life inside the claustrophobic confines of a tank, along with gorgeous gameplay footage featuring machine gunners on motorcycles, aerial dogfights as a plane shot down a zeppelin, and brutal melee attacks like an axe to the chest. It all ended with an intense shot of horseback-riding troops laying siege on an armored train. Battlefield 1 will be available on October 21st, with an open beta slated for sometime this summer. 


Lucas likes his games like he likes his music: eclectic. With all the weird and wonderful stuff he's played over the years, the two of you are bound to feel the same way about something!


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