Electronic Arts always has a lot to say in their summer reveals, and this year was no different, despite taking place online due to the persisting global pandemic. The showcase live-streamed on June 19, featuring an array of exclusive previews, news, and updates.
We’ll dive into everything you need to know about the event, but if you’d prefer to see for yourself, you can watch the full broadcast of EA Play Live 2020 here.
One of the most significant announcements for PC players is that EA is bringing 25+ games to Steam. For almost a decade now, EA’s biggest titles have been exclusive to Origin, their PC gaming portal. This announcement is a breath of fresh air for PC players, meaning many of EA’s games, including Sims 4 and Apex Legends, will be coming to the most popular distribution platform for PC.
Speaking of Apex Legends, not only will it be coming to Steam this fall, but this version will include full cross-play with the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game. It raises enormous questions about balance, as PC gamers will always have an edge in shooters, but we will have to wait and see how this turns out.
EA also announced Apex Legends would be released on the Nintendo Switch, along with six other titles. We know that one of these is the remaster of the beloved Burnout: Paradise, but the remaining five titles remain a mystery.
Two of EA’s most successful franchises are Fifa and Madden, both of which received a teaser for their ’21 editions set to release in October and August, respectively. Along with some tidbits of information regarding increased performance and mechanics, we were privy to an incredible theatrical trailer pulling both franchises into a heart-thumping, adrenaline-filled 2 minutes. It’s certainly worth the watch whether you’re a fan of the franchises or not.
Since we routinely get the updates for their sporting sagas every year, these announcements came as no surprise. What was surprising, though, was the first look at Star Wars Squadrons gameplay.
Doubling down on the space combat we can find in EA’s endeavors into Star Wars Squadrons is lining up to be the greatest Star Wars pilot game of all time. But given that they’ve had almost two decades since the last release of its kind, this is something we should certainly expect. Featuring both single-player and multiplayer modes occurring after Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, you can look forward to intense 5v5 dogfights.
But what caught my eye was the more extensive Fleet Battles. These feature multiple phases requiring strategic planning, dogfights, and intense battles to destroy capital ships and flagships. Squadrons will be released on October 2 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC—this time without micro-transactions. Oh, and did I mention that these include full cross-play and VR support for the PS4 and PC? Now that’s something to look forward to.
Play Live also saw the announcement of three exciting new originals by EA: Rocket Arena, It Takes Two, and Lost in Random.
Rocket Arena is exactly what it sounds like, a playful cartoonish hero shooter, where teams of three duke it out with various explosives. Featuring an array of unique characters, each with unique abilities, and colorful maps, this is one to look out for, for some casual and explosively entertaining fun.
It Takes Two is the upcoming game from Josef Fares, the film director-cum-game director, who made headlines screaming “**** the Oscars” live at The Game Awards in 2017. It Takes Two follows the precedent set by his previous two titles, A Way Out and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, as a co-op action-adventure game, this time as a platformer.
In the game, players control a girl’s two dolls representing her parents, exploring colorful miniature worlds while her parents go through a divorce in the real world. As with his previous titles, it shapes up to be a game with heart that mingles the story and gameplay into one neat coherent experience.
The final original reveal is Lost in Random, which received the least attention but caught my eye. It is an exciting adventure game in a “dark kingdom where every citizen’s future is determined by a roll of a dice.” But what’s most memorable is its dark melancholic, gothic playhouse aesthetic reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and Tim Burton.
Just before closing the broadcast, EA left us with a handful of nods to upcoming titles, which will utilize the performance of next-gen consoles and high-end PCs. Although not announced, per se, here was work in progress moments taken from new Dragon Age, Battlefield and Need for Speed titles and a new, yet unnamed, EA Motive project early in development.
And if that wasn’t enough, Skate creative director Cuz Parry and game director Deran Chung announced the franchise’s return. But, of course, they prefaced the announcement that they are “really early” in the development process, so no footage or gameplay was shown. Nevertheless, ten years after the previous Skate and with Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 and 2 receiving a remake this year, it’s time for a new entry to the series.
As one of the largest and most profitable behemoths in the gaming industry, it’s always interesting to see what EA has to offer. This year, they certainly give us all a lot to look forward to, regardless of whether you play on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, or Switch.