Last night was the first Press Conference of E3 2017, featuring game reveals and news from Electronic Arts. If you missed the IGN Pre- and Post- Conference talks as well as the press conference, you can watch the saved streams on Pulse Entertainment here.

Here are some highlights from the show, listed from my most favourite to least.


STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II


So one of the biggest hits last night was of course Star Wars Battlefront II. A lot of news was released for this, based on feedback and complaints from the first game. Key to the changes coming is that there will be a story mode finally. SWBI lacked any form of story mode, but this one will feature content from all three eras of Star Wars, with every possible hero and villain from the movies, including Darth Maul!!

We were given some footage from the character selection modes, which already shows a visual upgrade. And then we were presented with some multiplayer gameplay live at the conference. We saw some new tech, the new heroes and villains, new vehicles and equipment. Key to this trailer was that there were land assaults with flight battles happening in the air above them by other players during Phase 1 of the battle. You can also choose droids to play with, which is a new feature.

It is also worth noting that all DLCs and extra content will be free. But enough from me on this. Have a look at the multiplayer gameplay below.



NEED FOR SPEED PAYBACK


This was a close battle with my favourite highlight of the conference, but the multiplayer of SWBII just won me over completely.

NEED FOR SPEED PAYBACK takes us back to story driven racing and mayhem. You will be taking down cartel and mafia, called Houses in the game. While you race the streets and open roadways, they will attempt to take you out. While you're dealing with the Houses, the police are also hot on your tail.

This gameplay trailer reminds me so much of a mix between Fast and Furious (Dom and Letty stealing from trucks), Need for Speed movie (Mustang, Koenigsegg, Open Mountain Road, Enemies taking you out with cars) and Need for Speed: The Run (Gas stations, visual gameplay, car takedown slow mo's, action sequences). What is brand new, though, is the character exchanges. Apparently there will be 3 characters to play in this story. Unlike GTA V, though, these changes seem story driven and not selectable at will.


BATTLEFIELD 1: IN THE NAME OF THE TSAR DLC


BATTLEFIELD 1 will be treated to a DLC this coming September called In the name of the Tsar. It will feature new maps, vehicles, weapons, and so much more. Perhaps the most exciting feature of this new add-on is the ability to play as a female character for the first time in the Women's Battalion of Death.


A WAY OUT


From those who brought you BROTHERS: A TALE OF TWO SONS comes a new game that I wasn't expecting. It is a two-player co-op game that apparently cannot be played alone. You can either join up with someone locally on your couch, or play with someone online.

The video above not only gives you the announcement trailer, but also the gameplay footage we were treated to last night. You and a buddy need to not only escape the prison, but also the man-hunt that follows thereafter.

Sounds a bit like Prison Break tv series, don't ya think?


ANTHEM


Bioware has been teasing us with a new IP coming from them, but we didn't know until last night what it was. The new IP is called Anthem, and not much details have been released. EA have informed us that more information will be released at tonight's Microsoft Press Conference at 22:00 BST.


FIFA 18


Unless it's Formula 1, sports will usually end my list in terms of favourites. I will at least play any soccer game with ease, but any of the others I get really frustrated with.

And top of the list of sports announcements is FIFA 18. The trailer makes quite a big deal about using motion sensor data taken from Ronaldo to make the experience more realistic. There is also more talk about Hunter as the main story character I believe, which is a sequel to Hunter's story from FIFA 17.


NBA LIVE 2018


I am not usually into NBA games, although I rather enjoy playing some basketball in the streets at home. This was my first look at a NBA game, and there is one feature that has me itching to actually get this. There will be different arenas you can play in, from the actual NBA Stadiums to the streets. And I for one would love to build my rep up in the streets in NBA LIVE 18.

The only concern I have as a NBA newbie is the talk of using the right analog stick for special dribble moves and such. Even when playing FIFA games, using the right stick for special foot tricks has always been an issue to me. Sure, lemme use it in shooters for aiming and such, that I can do that in a blink. But these sports controls mess me up completely.

Still, the streets option in NBA may tempt me to learn this skill very quickly.


MADDEN NFL 18


I've put this one as last for a reason. I don't care how bad this pun sounds, but playing any MADDEN NFL is maddening to me. I once played one with a friend some years back. I couldn't get the hang of the controls, I didn't understand how American football works, and my players never did what I wanted them to.

Having said that, he had been playing the game for months, so I guess he just had way more time to get used to it than me. MADDEN NFL 18 promises a campaign mode called Longshot, but I don't have enough knowledge of the franchise to know if this is exciting or not. I just hope it brings joy to all those NFL fans out there. I will be steering clear of this one.


And that's it for the main highlights of the EA PLAY E3 2017 Press Conference. Tonight the MICROSOFT E3 2017 Press Conference will be going live at 22:00 BST, with both IGN and GAMESPOT having pre- and post- show discussions. We will be sure to stream the Press Conference live here on PULSE ENTERTAINMENT.



Shaun M Jooste

Author of Celenic Earth Chronicles and Silent Hill: Betrayal

Chief Publisher at Celenic Earth Publications