EA had a strong presence at Gamescom 2016 this year and while we at Pure Playstation sadly couldn’t attend in person, we captured all the details from EA’s live stream for you lucky people. In a line up featuring some long-standing giants of the EA catalog, we got some great new details about sports offerings FIFA 17, NHL 17 and Madden 17 as well as explosive online action from Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2. Then there was the announcement that’s sure to have PS4 based Star Wars fans salivating… Read on below for a full run down of their show and all the games on display.
The show started with a light-hearted, upbeat tone with the presenters giving a run down of everything set to appear before launching straight into a lengthy preview of their first game:
The demonstration started off with the official gameplay trailer, which you can check out here. We advise any Blur fans reading to mute the video though, as EA have mercilessly butchered Song 2 for their own purposes. The video showed off some features that will be very interesting to any long time FIFA fans. The new FIFA is now running on the Frostbite engine and the level of detail that was on show was impressive; if the real product lives up to what was shown then football fans are about to get the most realistic representation of the game yet.
One thing that immediately jumps out of the video is the detailed representations of the club managers that you will now see on the touchline. This, along with the much more detailed and animated crowds really seems to add to the feeling that EA has been trying to capture with FIFA for a few years. Namely, the feeling of watching a premier league game. They have jazzed up the goal celebrations too with, admittedly, life-like representations of well-known players demonstrating their signature…. funny dances.
We then got a lot more in-depth info from the EA booth. Well known gamers Spencer FC (not a football club) and Castro (not a Cuban revolutionary) showed off some gameplay while getting the low-down on the new features we can expect. There is updated passing and moving, a new shooting mechanic designed to give more options for shots and free kicks, a crosshair based manual crossing system and ‘active AI’ to improve your teammates movement. Most interesting to us though were the expanded career mode featuring more ways to interact with your club and a brand new Pro mode which appears to be story based; taking on the role of a new player rising to stardom.
Then it descended into an hour (we’re not kidding) of waffle about FIFA Ultimate Team mode. the new challenges sounded like they add value but this really killed the momentum of the conference dead. The highlight of the latter part of the FIFA show was Marco Reus (pictured, in virtual form, above) coming out to play a game of FIFA with Castro against Spencer FC and music producer Zedd. It turns out he’s almost as good at FIFA as he is at the real thing as his team won 3-2.
They rounded off with news of the next FIFA interactive world cup and the gigantic prize pool of $1.3 million dollars.
There was more sport to follow next, as EA launched straight into a brand new trailer for…
The new trailer focused on the new for NHL ’17 hockey world cup. you can check it out here
There were scant details on the game compared to the in-depth coverage of FIFA, but the hockey action looks just as true to life. We did hear that there will be a new focus on replicating the physicality of the real game. Apparently the ‘net battles’ have been re-vitalised to give a more realistic feel to players. (We’re reliably informed that net battles are a thing in hockey. We initially envisioned an ape escape style mini game for the ‘be a GM mode’ where you re-capture escaped players with a net gun. Our mistake.)
With the full feature list having been revealed back in June, there were little in the way of new details. Hockey fans can look forward to the expanded General Manager mode and new (read: ripped from Madden) draft mode coming on September 13th.
The NHL section of the talk was short but sweet and segued straight into a preview of EA’s other sports game of the show:
The talk practically started and ended with a gameplay trailer which you can catch here.
As with FIFA, the focus was on bringing the experience of watching the NFL to life. We already know a lot of detail on Madden, given its August 18th release date; Player specific ball carrier moves are being introduced, simplified defensive auto-tactics for those less strategically minded, and new mechanics for special teams are but a few of the updates.
The planned stream was already running an hour behind schedule at this point and EA might have decided to push on to the meat of their presentation as Madden was rushed off the stage to bring the spotlight onto:
We were treated to a gorgeous trailer advertising the upcoming ‘Open tech test’ scheduled for the weekend beginning August 19th and re-opening on the 26th. Check out the trailer here. The purpose of the test, in the words of the developer, is to ‘break the game’ so they can fix it before release. (So, like a beta but with more frustrating login issues?)
We at Pure Playstation are excited to get our hands on this fast paced multiplayer experience regardless, especially after seeing EA Pro Players like TitanfallLegends and SniperWolf demonstrate three rounds of a ‘new’ mode – Amped Hardpoint (check out the full stream here). In a nice little wrinkle on the traditional control point gameplay of the original Titanfall’s Hardpoint, players can now ‘amp’ control points by remaining within a defined area and boost their teams tickets. This led to an interesting pace to the matches as players fought not just to capture points, but hold them, leading to intense close range firefights.
We got to see plenty of variety in pilot and Titan class with varied equipment and strategies on display. The new grappling hook seems sure to be a player favourite; allowing fast traversal as well as the ability to grapple a titan and pluck out its’ vulnerable power cores. It was stated in the demonstration that this will only be one option in a range of pilot equipment too. Our highlight of the demo was definitely the brutal Titan on Titan melee attacks – the day we don’t enjoy seeing a giant robot beating another giant robot to death with its’ own limb, we will hang up our reviewing caps.
For anyone who missed the original game, which may include a fair amount of you given its’ Microsoft exclusivity, Titanfall 2 is all about squishy-but-fast pilots fighting off in teams, using the titular Titans as an earnable ‘vehicle’ (called in to the maps like a supply drop) to your teams tactical advantage. The gameplay is high-octane twitch FPS style (perhaps unsurprising given many of Respawns’ developers’ pedigrees in Call Of Duty) and has been described by some as ‘COD with robots.’
It was recently announced that the game will also feature an extensive single player component, unlike its’ predecessor, and we were shown the short gameplay trailer (see previous link) that arrived on the Titanfall blog last week.
The release date for Titanfall 2 is approaching; we recommend checking the official Titanfall blog for additional details, or to sign up to the tech test. If you’re already sold; you can pre-order the game here among other places.
So, after Titanfall 2, there only remains Battlefield 1 to discuss, right? Wrong. Next up was a little surprise that may be of interest to any Star Wars fans, Star Wars: Battlefront owners or those looking for PS VR content:
Star Wars: Battlefont – Rogue One-Themed VR Mission:
Not only will this upcoming DLC for Star Wars:Battlefront allow players to climb into the cockpit of an X-Wing for the first time in VR, it will be free to all owners of Star Wars: Battlefront on PS4. check out the announcement here.
Developer Criterion stressed that they were trying to recreate the ‘childhood dream of piloting an X-Wing’ and teased that players ‘may even get to dabble with a Star Destroyer.’ It appears the mission will be story driven and will tie-in closely to the story of the upcoming Rogue One Star Wars spin-off movie. No specific release date was given, but we were told this is slated for release in the ‘Holiday 2016’ period. Presumably sometime after the PS VR’s October 13th release date…
The DLC is currently nowhere in any form, but, if you want to prepare for release; you can purchase Star Wars: Battlefront here, among other places. Maybe even pre-order the PS VR while you’re at it… you know you want to.
This lovely little teaser re-invigorated a flagging audience for the finale of the conference. This took the form of a lengthy multiplayer showdown of;
First up was a new trailer for Gamescom, which you can watch in full here. This showcased an extensive range of the vehicles, weapons and equipment we will be using in the final release as well as the dynamic environmental effects that will add a new dimension to the multiplayer. The trailer ended with what appeared to be a teaser for the game’s story mode – showing nothing more than a creepy knife wielding guy in the desert about to go all stab-happy on a tattooed ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (according to the brief dialogue) before he turns the tables.
The stream then went on to broadcast a full four round multiplayer match (watch the full stream here) between the Ottoman Empire (Turkish) and the British. This allowed us to see some of the cooler features from the trailer in action. New addition the ‘Behemoth’ was a highlight – a giant armored train bristling with guns. From context, it appears this will be a limited use vehicle available to trailing teams as a chance to even the odds. It may sound like this is some kind of OP match winner, but the gameplay proved that it must be used effectively to gain any significant advantage.
In fact, everything in the multiplayer gameplay suggested a heavy emphasis on balance. There were plenty of awesome (if historically… questionable) weapons and equipment on display: Horses, Tanks, Bi-planes, Swords Flamethrowers and Gatling Guns to name but a few, and every strategy employed seemed to have an effective counter. Even the aforementioned Behemoth could be blown apart by some good old-fashioned bi-plane carpet bombing.
Another interesting match-changer on the demo map ‘Sinai Desert’ was the occurrence of a sandstorm during matches. Apparently this will happen dynamically in Battlefield 1 and the visibility limitations made a huge difference to the gameplay on display.
After some tight matches, the Ottoman empire came out victorious (sorry Britain); signalling the end of EA’s stream, and it was time for us to go and manually re-hydrate our eyeballs.
And breathe! A very interesting (if way too long-winded) conference. If you want to put yourself through the full stream you can do so here (though for the sake of your sanity we recommend watching the more concise trailers linked above). We’re excited for Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 here at Pure Playstation. Let us know your most anticipated EA game in the comments below!
We’ll be covering all the news from Gamescom 2016 until it comes to an end on the 21st, so stick with Pure Playstation for all things Gamescom.
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Dom is a gaming orphan; after his surrogate father SEGA was killed in the console wars, he was adopted by Sony and raised by various PlayStation consoles. He swears he’s not biased in any way though, so that’s good enough for us.