All the news from EA’s pre-E3 conference

Matt Sayer 9 June 2017 NEWS

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Catch up on all the news from EA Play right here.

EA kicked off E3 early with its EA Play event today, showing off its latest games while most Aussies were still curled up in bed. Don't worry, though, because we've given up our Sunday sleep-in to bring you all the big gaming news that hit during this morning's conference.

Star Wars Battlefront II

EA Play kicked off with a new gameplay trailer from Star Wars Battlefront II. The trailer shows off a few snippets of multiplayer gameplay from the Episode One-themed Assault on Theed map. Clone troopers, Battle Droids, and AATs duke it out on the picturesque streets of Naboo, with Darth Maul making a dramatic entrance right as the Clone Army is about to clinch victory .We also get a brief look at Rey and Kylo Ren squaring off in a heated lightsaber battle, as well as a glimpse of Yoda showing off his skills in a duel with Darth Maul.

Outside of the trailer, EA confirmed that Finn will be making his debut in the game, too. EA is also promising plenty of post-release support, with free seasonal content planned to keep the game from getting stale. The first Season will begin in December and will focus on the upcoming movie The Last Jedi, adding in Finn, Captain Phasma, new maps on the planet Crait, and more unannounced content.

Star Wars Battlefront II releases November 17th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

A Way Out

EA revealed the latest initiative from its indie-focused EA Originals program in the form of A Way Out, a co-op only third-person action game from the makers of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. The game is designed from the ground-up for split-screen play with a buddy on the couch, but you'll be able to team up online, too.

The trailer begins with protagonists Leo and Vincent meeting in prison and having to work together to find a way to escape. Creative director Josef Fares emphasised that the game will be a narrative-focused experience, with the intention of delivering an emotional story for two players to enjoy together. He promised that A Way Out won't be your typical drop-in, drop-out co-op game.

Similarities to Brothers crop up throughout the trailer, with many scenes showing how players will have to work together to progress. For example, we see one player distract a guard by picking a fight with another inmate while the other player uses the distraction to steal valuable tools. We then catch a few glimpses of what lies in store for the duo once they've escaped prison, with the pair sneaking through police roadblocks, fleeing a military jeep on a dirt bike, and exploring a beautiful wilderness environment.

A Way Out is slated for an early 2018 release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Anthem

EA revealed BioWare's new project Anthem, previously codenamed Dylan, with a brief teaser trailer ahead of a full gameplay reveal at Microsoft's press conference. The trailer hints at an unspecified threat humanity has kept at bay by building an enormous wall and developing what looks to be some form of super-powered exo suit. Presumably these suits will be crucial to fighting off whatever lies beyond the wall, but EA is remaining tight-lipped on any more details until tomorrow's full reveal.

No release date yet for Anthem, but we'll likely find out a lot more tomorrow at Microsoft's conference.

Need for Speed: Payback

Need for Speed made an explosive appearance with a playthrough of a chase mission set on a desert highway. Main character Tyler burn rubbers as he pursues a truck loaded with a multi-million-dollar Koenigsegg sports car. Fans of Most Wanted and Hot Pursuit will be pleased to see the return of takedowns, with plenty of high-speed crashes on display as Tyler rams into the Enforcers trying to stop him from reaching the truck.

Things get decidedly Fast and Furious when Tyler pulls up alongside the truck and his partner Jess throws herself onto the roof of it. Oncoming traffic forces the truck into an out-of-control skid, and just as it's about to overturn, the rear doors fly open and the Koenigsegg launches out in appropriately ridiculous slow-mo. From there, gameplay transitions seamlessly to Jess in the Koenigsegg, and the trailer closes out with a wall of police cars putting the kibosh on her escape attempt.

Alongside the revenge story, EA also revealed that Payback will take place in the open world of Fortune Valley, with city, desert, mountain, and canyon environments to race through. While exploring Fortune Valley, you'll come across abandoned cars dubbed 'relics', which are essentially the barnyard finds from the Forza Horizon games. Hunt them down and you'll be able to kit them out back in your garage with new parts and paint jobs.

Car customisation looks to be as detailed as ever, with the ability to change everything from fenders and rims to the colour of individual headlights. New to the series this time around are super builds, which can transform even the humblest Volkswagen Beetle into a mean street-racing machine.

Need for Speed: Payback is due to release on November 10 for PS4, Xbox One, PC.

Madden NFL 18

Following the success of FIFA 17's The Journey mode, Madden NFL 18 is bringing its own story-focused campaign to an NFL game for the first time with Longshot. Playing as former high-school star quarterback Devin Wade, you'll guide his actions both on and off the field as he chases his dream of making the NFL draft.

Other than Longshot, Madden NFL 18 will be bringing back its popular Ultimate Team online mode when it releases on August 25th for PS4 and Xbox One.

NBA LIVE 18

Like the rest of the EA Sports games, NBA LIVE 18 is putting story in the spotlight with its new campaign mode. Called The One, it'll let you create your own baller and lead them through their career both in the NBA and on real street courts from around the world. You'll divide your time between THE STREETS and THE LEAGUE, rising through the ranks by playing both single-player matches and new real-time multiplayer events which will take place throughout the year.

NBA LIVE 18 will launch in August for PS4 and Xbox One.

FIFA 18

Much to our delight, Alex Hunter will be making his return in FIFA 18 with the second season of The Journey story mode. Hunter will interact with famous soccer stars like Cristiano Ronaldo as he travels from England to Brazil, Los Angeles, and other locations around the world in search of the right club to take his career to the next level.

In addition to the return of The Journey, FIFA 18 will make use of a new animation system that promises to capture the unique characteristics of all-star players like Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann with more fidelity than ever before.

FIFA 18 will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch on September 29th. Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch version will not feature The Journey campaign mode.

SEED: Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division

This new initiative within EA aims to push the boundaries of interactive entertainment. With the lofty goal of turning imagination into reality, it's at least heartening to see EA acknowledging the importance of trying new things, even if they don't necessarily lead to immediate profit.

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