Though Google's Stadia conference was on Thursday, EA officially kicked off E3 this morning with a two-hour livestream from their EA Play conference in Los Angeles. As far as E3 press conferences go, it was a pretty mundane one: Respawn Games finally showed off some footage of Jedi: Fallen Order, but the emphasis was largely on already-released games like Apex Legends and Battlefield 5. But even if it didn't blow our minds with unexpected reveals, there were still a lot of things that piqued our interest. Here's the biggest things you might have missed.
Jedi: Fallen Order looks pretty good
EA started off strong by debuting 13 minutes of Jedi: Fallen Order live gameplay. We're still not fans of how generic the main character looks, but it was fun to see what Respawn has been working on for the past year. The demo showed a little bit of story but largely focused on combat, which feels similar to FromSoftware's Sekiro minus the white-knuckle difficulty. There's a lot of the Force nonsense you'd expect, like pushing and pulling enemies around, deflecting laser blasts with your lightsaber, and cute robots. The highlight of the demo, though, is when the player froze a stormtrooper's laser blast and then impaled that stormtrooper on his own shot. Are we sure we're the good guy in this?
Jedi: Fallen Order is coming November 15.
Apex Legends gets a new Legend, ranked mode, and more
Apex Legends' second season starts on July 2 and, boy, it sure has a lot of cool stuff in it. The biggest is a new Legend named Wattson who can lay down up to 12 defensive laser barriers and has an ultimate ability that builds a robot that shoots down grenades and mortars. She's a defensive powerhouse that Respawn hopes will shift the meta away from being so aggressive and force players to think twice before blindly rushing in.
In addition to Wattson, there's a new gun called the L-Star that looks very overpowered and can shoot open doors. A ranked mode will reward you for consistently dominating on the battlefield, and even the Mozambique is getting a new hop-up that'll supposedly make it good? Is that even possible? You can read more about season 2 here.
Battlefield 5 is getting a lot of new maps
Battlefield 5 had a pretty quiet showcase at EA's press conference. There was very little new to show, but DICE did show off one of the new maps coming in the free Chapter 4 update. Called Marita, it's a gorgeous Greek village with tight streets that emphasis infantry combat. It's one of several new maps coming in Chapter 4, which DICE has been teasing for a few weeks.
DICE also teased Chapter 5, which takes players to the Pacific theater of war to do battle against Japan—and the M1 Garand is coming back. That's still a ways away, though. Chapter 4 releases June 27. In September, Battlefield 5 will be getting private servers, which we already knew about. So, like we said, not too much to get excited about.
FIFA 20 is getting a street mode
FIFA 20 is getting a street mode where you can form squads of your favorite players and compete in 3v3, 4v4, and 5v5 matches. Called Volta Football, this street mode will also have a new story mode, an online league, Kick Off games featuring pro players, and a feature called Volta World where you'll build your ultimate squad.
FIFA 20 is coming out September 27.
Madden is becoming an RPG, I guess?
In addition to finally getting a full career mode, where you can create a character and take them from college to the Super Bowl, Madden NFL 20 is getting a mode called Superstar X-Factor—no it doesn't involve singing in front of a panel of judges. It's a weird feature that gives your players special abilities when they achieve certain objectives, and it feels an awful lot like an RPG perk system. One of the abilities, for example, is perfect passing accuracy while on the run—which definitely doesn't sound overpowered at all. The idea, though, is that your team will have a superstar who stands tall among their team.
I'm just happy Madden is back on PC, though. Can't wait for next year's addition of Middle-Earth: Shadow of War's Nemesis system.
The Sims 4 is getting a mermaid expansion
Capping off the show, the Sims 4 is getting an Island Living expansion on June 21. It looks pretty cute, actually, and your sims can now freely swim around the ocean and explore coral reefs full of dolphins and tropical fish. There's also a big volcano that will occasionally explode and send chunks of molten rock flying at you. But the island isn't just yours to do whatever with—a big theme of the expansion is conservation and island spirits will become unhappy with you if you don't work to preserve and protect the island's ecology. And, yeah, you can become a mermaid and get special powers. If you want to know more, check out our detailed breakdown of the new features coming in Island Living.
Overall, it was a pretty boring E3 press conference, though. While it was cool seeing Jedi: Fallen Order in action, there wasn't any of those big reveals that we typically expect. Stay tuned, though, as we'll have in-depth coverage of every other press conference this week as E3 kicks off.
In the meantime, what did you think?