Electronic Arts kicked off the year's biggest gaming convention, E3 2018, with its own event EA Play on Saturday, as it has been doing for the past couple of years. While much of it – Battlefield V, Anthem, and annual updates to sports franchises – was expected, the studio did have a few surprises up its sleeve, including a couple of games that are playable today. Here's the biggest stuff from EA's press conference.
1) E3 isn't just about announcements, EA shows with Unravel Two
The biggest surprise of EA Play wasn't that Unravel Two would have a co-op mode – that had been leaked earlier in the day by rating board ESRB – but that the game's development was already complete. Unravel Two is available today on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, which is fantastic. E3 has a reputation for companies announcing titles that are a long way off – EA did that too, with Star Wars – and so it's great to get something playable during E3, and not just trailers after trailers.
2) With Champions League, FIFA 19 extends (licensing) superiority
Getting a new FIFA game every year from EA Sports is tradition at this point, but thanks to Konami deciding not to renew the UEFA license it had for a few years, the big announcement for FIFA 19 turned out to be a fully-licensed Champions League (in addition to Europa League and Super Cup). That means the three UEFA tournaments will be available in all their splendour across game modes, be it Career Mode, Ultimate Team, and even The Journey. Alex Hunter is going to the Champions League, isn't he?
3) A new Star Wars game that lets you be a Jedi
Hours before the start of EA Play, Titanfall developer Respawn hinted it would talk about something big in the works. That turned out to be a new Star Wars game as everyone imagined: it's called Jedi Fallen Order, and yes that means you'll get to wield a lightsaber. It'll be set between the 30-year gap between Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV – A New Hope ("Star Wars" for the purists), the same time gap that has been explored by standalone films Rogue One and Solo. Unfortunately, there was no glimpse as it's too early in development stages, and only a vague release period: Holiday 2019.
4) EA's answer to Xbox Game Pass, for PC gamers only
Following in the footsteps of Microsoft with Xbox Game Pass, EA announced a new tier of its subscription service for PC gamers: Origin Access Premier. If you're wondering what's different from the standard Origin Access – it's called Origin Access Basic now, by the way – Premier gives you unlimited and early access to EA's biggest titles, including FIFA 19, Battlefield V, and Anthem. Yep, no more 10-hour limit. It'll be available later this summer, for Rs. 999 per month ($15) or Rs. 6,499 per year ($100).
5) Battlefield V cashes in on the popularity of battle royale
With the battle royale genre being the rage these days, thanks to Fortnite and PUBG, EA decided it was time to get in on the action with its first-person shooter franchise, what with Activision having done the same with Call of Duty. Battlefield V will get a "Royale mode", EA revealed on stage, with no mention of "battle" as it's simply redundant (look at the title of the game). It won't be available at launch on October 19 sadly, but sometime after that. EA will talk about it in detail in the coming months.
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