EA Play at E3: Star Wars Battlefront II, Bioware's Anthem, Battlefield 1's big expansion, and more

Catch up on all the new games from EA's Play event at E3 here.

IDG

IDG

Welcome to E3 2017—sort of. This year the spectacle got started earlier than ever, kicking off Saturday afternoon with EA’s second-ever EA Play fan event. It’s not technically part of E3, but as far as spectacle and game announcements go, it might as well be a legitimate E3 event.

Star Wars Battlefront II obviously took center stage this year, but Battlefield 1 showed off an exciting expansion and other post-launch goodies, the Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons developers showed off a co-op jailbreak game called A Way Out, and BioWare showed up with a tease of its new game Anthem.

Here’s all the EA Play news from E3 that PC gamers need to know, in the order it was revealed.

Battlefield 1

PCWorld’s 2016 Game of the Year Battlefield 1 obviously had quite a presence at EA Play again, though not quite to the same extent as last year. This year it’s all about the expansions—namely, “In The Name of the Tsar,” the game’s upcoming second expansion, which is due to arrive in the fall. Check out the teaser trailer above. 

There’s not much new to talk about beyond the broad strokes, though. You’ll find six new maps, new Operations, a new women’s battalion, and a focus on the Eastern Front of World War I. 

battlefield 1 prise de tahure EA
battlefield 1 nivelle nights EA

Two new maps are also arriving this summer: Nivelle Nights and Prise De Tahure, as you can see in the screenshots above. EA also teased a new “competitive” mode focused around smaller maps and squad-based teamplay. Look for more info about that at Gamescom in August.

Need for Speed: Payback

“No longer is it just about being the first across the finish line, we’re putting you behind the wheel of an action driving fantasy.”

That’s the line EA gave us about Need for Speed: Payback during its press conference, touting police chases, an open world, and heists. That all sounds like a pretty standard Need for Speed game so I’m not quite sure what’s revolutionary about this one, but it looks like a fun enough arcade racer—a bit more Fast and the Furious than previous entries maybe, with today’s demo focusing on hijacking an eighteen wheeler.

Also this one apparently has “Abandoned Relic Cars” you can discover in the open world—lifting a mechanic directly from Forza Horizon. That’s a-okay with me. Far as I’m concerned, every arcade racer should be lifting from Forza’s example at this point.

A Way Out

EA’s indie-centric “Originals” program continues this year with a co-op title from the developer of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Titled A Way Out, it looks like some sort of blend of Uncharted and The Shawshank Redemption and Sean Penn’s angry face. Hazelight’s Josef Fares promised a blend of driving, action, exploration—all done with a partner.

We took a look at a prison sequence, showing off how one character could talk to a guard while the other sneaks past, or how the other could break equipment to cause the same distraction.

The catch? The game is only playable in split-screen co-op, so I’m not sure whether this one will come to PC. It’s not that split-screen isn’t possible on the PC, obviously, but it’s not exactly the first platform people think of for couch co-op. Hell, “couch” is in the name. Developers have even been known to skip split-screen capabilities on PC even when they exist in the console version of the same game, so A Way Out may be console-bound only. Hopefully I’ll be able to ask someone the particulars later.

Anthem

When Kotaku published its lengthy Mass Effect: Andromeda expose last week, it mentioned again that Casey Hudson was working on a new title for BioWare—a.k.a. Not another Dragon Age or Mass Effect game.

Today we got our first glimpse at Anthem, Bioware’s new game. The briefest of glimpses—just a 30-second teaser showing off what looks like a lush jungle world with a sci-fi/space marine vibe. EA’s promised a much larger reveal tomorrow during Microsoft’s press conference, so tune in at 2 p.m. Pacific for that.

Star Wars Battlefront II

EA concluded with a loooooooong Star Wars Battlefront II presentation. “30 minutes” was the figure EA CEO Andrew Wilson kept touting, and while I didn’t bother breaking out the stopwatch it certainly felt like quite a lengthy demo. We got our first look at multiplayer by way of an explosion-filled cinematic trailer featuring Darth Maul (shown above) and later, a 40-person match taking place in the prequel era—clone troopers versus battle droids on Naboo, complete with an appearance from Rey.

The biggest news: Free DLC. EA will be releasing Battlefront II DLC at no additional charge, giving us the same “Don’t want to split the community” line as we’ve heard from other companies the past few years. Will Battlefield eventually fall in line? Here’s hoping.

The first season of post-launch updates will add Finn and Captain Phasma—from the new Star Wars movies—as playable characters. And if you’re not interested in shooting blasters online, Star Wars Battlefront II will also include an expansive single player mode, unlike its predecessor.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags E3 2017

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Hayden Dingman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?