Electronic Arts teases new Battlefield details ahead of E3

Electronic Arts has revealed new trailers and tantalizing details for Battlefield One, the first world war-era setting of its headline shooter title, as well as demonstrating the game’s new option to live-stream a 64-player multiplayer version.

Ahead of the huge games industry E3 event in Los Angeles, EA was keen to show off its Frostbite engine, which is being used in games as diverse as Battlefield One, Titanfall II, and the new Madden Football and Fifa 17 titles.

Earlier on Sunday, EA leaked a new Titanfall II trailer – also Frostbite – which featured the newly added single-player story campaign. But in the press conference Vince Campella, the chief executive of Spawn Entertainment, focused more on the multiplayer, with in-game footage showing more manoeuvrable, dynamic titans, and new gadgets such as grappling hooks. The result looked to be a more fast-paced melee environment.

It will also be coming to the Playstation Four for the first time.

Speaking to two live-linked press conferences, one in Los Angeles and one in London’s Hammersmith Apollo, EA’s chief competition officer Peter Moore announced details of the company’s two headline sports titles, Fifa 17 and Madden Football 17, and a trailer showed that Fifa would have a more narrative-driven story mode called The Journey.

Moore, who was joined on stage by Jose Mourinho at one point, also announced a new structure for the company’s eSports competitions including Fifa and Madden. These are Challenge Events, for local competitions, Premier Events, hosted by EA, and their headline events the EA Majors.

Prize money in the Majors will run to $1m, Moore said; EA is also partnering up with five charities to give away $1m, which will be linked to in-game achievements; a novel approach to philanthropy.

Less information was available about Mass Effect: Andromeda, which promises a vast, brand-new galaxy to explore in a fully pre-rendered trailer.

The trailer said little about the gameplay, except that it, too, is powered by the Frostbite engine; but the least in-game information of all was given by EA’s Star Wars team, which showed barely a second of in-game footage during a multi-game series of announcements.

In EA Star Wars team’s defence, this was not the time for big in-game reveals for their two announced games as we are still one and two years away from their release.

The big Star Wars news was that there are more studios working on tie-ins than previously thought. San Francisco-based studio Visceral is working on a new third-person game to be out in 2018, which looks cinematic and ambitious, and promises a narrative adventure with a new set of characters. It was also revealed that Titanfall developer Respawn is working on a Star Wars game, taking place on a different timeline.

There will also be a new instalment of Star Wars: Battlefront next year. Jade Raymond, the general manager of Motive Studios, said that characters and locations from the new film will be included in the new Battlefront, which is being developed by Dice.

But Battlefield One was definitely the headline event. In-game footage showed pilotable biplanes and even zeppelins – zeppelins! – tanks, armoured trains, and up to 64-player multiplayer support all combine to make it the upcoming release which has people the most excited.

Patrick Bach, the general manager of Dice, said they “set out to deliver an epic and unforgettable exp for our players, and the result is a dynamic exp where no battlefield is ever the same”. This revolves around dynamic weather conditions, where rain or fog or bright sunshine changes the tactics needed on the battlefield.

At one point in the trailer, a zeppelin is brought down by aircraft fire, bursting spectacularly into flames as it plunges to earth in the middle of a battle raging in a town. “An all out war has never felt so epic,” Bach said.

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