Electronic Arts' digital-only EA Play Live 2020 just wrapped up, and it was a pretty mild showcase, all things considered. There wasn't too much in the way of giant new announcements, but we did get a glimpse at the future of EA, from its funded EA Originals to its sports sim suite. And there wasn't a loot box in sight. We think.
The whole presentation moved at a swift pace for its under an hour length. The biggest game there was easily Star Wars: Squadrons, which was already teased and unveiled earlier this week. The new details sure were exciting though. EA put the focus, otherwise, on its expected areas: on upcoming EA Originals, on what's next sports sim-wise, and finally, on what sort of technology it's tinkering with for next-gen.
Apex Legends Goes Crossplay, And Is Coming to Steam and Switch
Apex Legends has announced its next collections event for Season 5, Lost Treasures. The new skins include a mustached Crypto and a Crypto-appropriate town takeover, a new limited time mode called Armed and Dangerous Evolved, and it's out next week on June 23.
That's not all either: Apex Legends is officially coming to both Steam and Nintendo Switch, with more news to come on the latter in the months ahead. It's also getting cross-play this fall, with multiplayer now working across platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Here's to hoping Respawn doesn't face its own increased hacker epidemic, like Infinity Ward weathered with Warzone's own cross-play.
Josef Fares and Hazelight Studios Reveal Their New Game: It Takes Two
The creative mind behind the co-op adventure A Way Out, and the arguable modern classic Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons—perhaps more famous for dropping the F-bomb at The Game Awards than his games at this point—has a new game. Hazelight Studios, by proxy of Josef Fares, detailed its upcoming co-op adventure platformer It Takes Two. While it was slim on actual footage, with just a few short glimpses as Fares talked about its themes of a child wrestling with the divorce of their parents, it did get a release window: 2021.
Star Wars: Squadrons Looks Great, Wow!
Many of us on Team USgamer are not just big fans of dogfighting games, but big fans of the X-Wing series in particular. After seeing its new trailer, we're pretty excited about the potential of Star Wars: Squadrons, a dual-single-player adventure just as much as it's a multiplayer space-combat game. It even has cross-play across all platforms.
The new trailer and gameplay details outline what we can expect when Star Wars: Squadrons launches this October. It tells the story of two pilots-one on the Rebellion side, one on the New Republic side. There are four different ship classes: Fighter, Interceptor, Support, and Bomber. The Bomber, for example, can wreak significant damage with heavy explosives, while Support can aid fellow ships from a distance. EA even teased how the cockpit can be customized to the player's liking. Star Wars: Squadrons was an unexpected surprise when it was leaked and then formally teased, and after seeing today's trailer, we're all ready to jump to lightspeed for it.
Quick Glances at Madden 21 and FIFA 21
Today, EA officially unveiled Madden 21. Originally, it was set to be shown at the start of the month, but its reveal was delayed in solidarity with the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality and racial justice following the killing of George Floyd. We learned earlier this week that Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens is this year's cover athlete. Today's new trailer revealed more about what's coming to the football sim, including its improved ball-carrying. Madden 21 set to release on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4 on August 28, with next-gen versions on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X to follow in the future.
FIFA 21, meanwhile, we only got a quick glimpse of. That's okay thoug—a big blowout of news on what's next for Ultimate Team, Volta, and more is planned in August. So sit tight, soccer fans. Soon another soccer sim will drain your bank account, as it has ours.
EA teased what it's doing with new technology that's only possible via PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and advanced PCs. Showing footage of a very early prototype of a new Battlefield, next-gen footage of slick cars for Criterion's next Need For Speed, an example of very fast next-gen loading compared to modern consoles, footage via BioWare (Dragon Age 4, perhaps?), and more, EA talked big about next-gen capabilities for what's assumed to be an updated Frostbite engine (or something new). There was even footage of a mysterious open-world-looking game from Motive Montreal, with a character jumping and flipping around an in-progress locale. It was all very early footage, but it was proof that yes, no duh, of course EA is developing next-gen games. We just have to wait a little longer to see them really in action.
Wow, did EA read my retrospective of Skate 3 in May and decide, "Damn, maybe we should do a new Skate?" No? That's too short of a window you say? Okay, fine. But I'd like to believe I am personally responsible for willing this into existence, not the legions of Skate fans who have flooded poor EA's social media feeds with #Skate4 for a decade now.
Even as countless indie games have tried to carry Skate's torch, from Session to Skater XL, the true footwork master has come to reclaim its throne. We didn't get a trailer, nor even a name, we do know it's happening and it's early in development. Creative director Chris "Cuz" Parry—yes, he's back—even said, "We cannot believe you commented this into existence." We missed you Skate.
New EA Originals, EA's Nintendo Switch Migration, and Everything Else
There were a number of smaller announcements during today's EA Play Live presentation. Here they are listed in succinct fashion below.
- The Sims 4 just saw the Eco Lifestyle expansion, so it was doubtful heading into today's stream that we'd see any other announcements for it. Still, today it launched on Steam shortly before the presentation. During EA Play Live today, EA showed a trailer for the new platform release.
- EA announced today that seven of its games are coming to Nintendo Switch in the next 12 months, including Burnout Remastered (out this week) and the newly announced Apex Legends port.
- In addition to Hazelight Studios's new game, a few more EA Originals were revealed during today's EA Play Live. Zoink, the developers of Fe, revealed its upcoming action-adventure game Lost in Random. Lost In Random takes you on a journey with a cute dice companion, and it has an intriguing wood sculpture-aesthetic to it and a darker tone. At first blush, it evoked an almost American McGee's Alice vibe.
- Final Strike Games showed off the new Rocket Arena, a rocket-only 3v3 arena shooter. It looks like it has more in common with Overwatch than Quake though. You can read our own hands-on impressions here. Rocket Arena launches on July 14.