Well, it’s official. EA have mastered the art of filling three-and-a-quarter hours with absolutely nothing.
Okay, there were some gameplay reveals and a handful of announcements but those had already come in the form of the schedule – six half-hour segments (and a 15-minute into) with supposed ‘deep dives’ on each title. So let’s talk about them.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order looks… serviceable. An action game they claimed was inspired by Bloodborne (just… don’t EA. Just don’t.), it looked more like classic Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in how it played. And don’t get me wrong – that’s not a bad thing, I’d totally buy the Sands of Time Trilogy on the Switch. Again. For the… hmm… fourth time? Yeah, I’m a sucker and I’d totally do that. And I’m sure for Star Wars fans, the change from big multiplayer shooter fare will be a fully welcomed one. It just didn’t grab me by the scruff of my neck and scream in my face, which is all I want a game to do.
Which explains why me and Dark Souls have had such a long-term relationship.
Apex Legends got a new hero in the form of Wattson. Look, this genre really isn’t my thing and if I even attempt to talk about the mechanics of this title I’m going to expose myself for the total Battle Royale Noob that I am (save Tetris 99, still love it) so if you want that analysis, there’s plenty of that on YouTube. Personally? I… just don’t get it. Whatever your opinion of pandering to minorities or the LGBTQ+ Crowd, can we all… please… gather around and say in one voice if there is anyone, any one thing in the world, we don’t want using this stuff to market their games… it’s EA? The cringe is so hard it made me want to curl up into a ball. But again, that’s Dark Souls instincts for you.
There was also Battlefield V stuff. I went for a shower during this, I’ll freely admit. Keep digging that hole, EA. Later there was more Sims 4 stuff (again with the whole “Diversity/Pride” thing, seriously, ANYONE but EA) and Madden which isn’t really much of a thing here in the UK.
FIFA 20 was what kicked the crap off though.
Mostly because to save money, EA decided the Switch would get this year a “Legacy Edition” of FIFA 20. That ostensibly means it’s exactly the same as last years FIFA game, but with updated rosters and kits. So, a big glorified patch that Switch owners will be paying… hmm… wait, FIFTY QUID FOR?!
Look, Switch owners are used to being dicked over by developers desperate to just “be” on the system. Sometimes that means games are rushed out of the door just to be seen, sometimes that’s older games that were cheaper on older platforms that have been mysteriously doubled (and in one case, trebled) in price in the digital transition for magical digital pixie reasons.
But the Switch is not the Wii U. The Switch doesn’t have a software drought – quite the opposite, it’s a content monsoon with the associated problems that brings. You can find plenty of solid content on the Switch.
But even for a market with a very low expectation for EA, this is something else entirely. A fifty-quid patch. I’d laugh but EA is very serious about this low-effort, high-cost nonsense and the sooner Nintendo drops Mario Strikers, the sooner the Nintendo market can just shrug and leave EA in the dust.
So, after mostly three hours… what we learned was EA is still EA. Cringe comes as standard, no trend is beneath them or sacred enough to defile, they still hate Nintendo and can’t be arsed to cater towards an increasingly large market – their funeral – and when it comes to charging through the nose for the minimum possible effort, they can and will bend over backwards to do that. Even though bending over backwards requires some effort.
We never expect much of anything from EA these days. They’ve already largely abandoned Anthem (which was mentioned in passing only – sorry BioWare, your doom is coming), and we sit with buttocks clenched some years hoping EA won’t stoop to defiling classics like Dead Space. Every year EA just focuses on the limited pool it has is a year most of us breathe a sigh of relief.
But that’s a terrible position to be in. For what is shaping up to be a hype-as-all-heck E3 Show this year, someone at E3 needs to step in and tell EA to either move their crap away from the good stuff, or do it a week before E3 begins. That this is another year that EA just can’t seem to get to grips with the whole E3 thing serves to remind us maybe EA would be better served by simply not showing up. Like, at all.
It’s not like EA ever has much new to show off, is it?