Enough with the negativity. Yes, Electronic Arts has figuratively crapped the bed in recent months, but did attempt to rectify its actions. The company, unintentionally, managed to bring the issue with loot boxes and microtransactions to a national audience. And maybe hearing that Apple purposesly slows down its products after one year has helped you move on from EA’s debacles. If sales for November were any indication, however, Star Wars Battlefront II, sales dropped nearly 61% versus the first game. Still considering that’s still millions of copies sold, chances are if you wanted to play this game, you bought it. Before all of this downfall, EA had actually done some good things in 2017. Here are the five things they did right in 2017.
5. The Evolution of Titanfall 2
EA dug itself a hole when it released Titanfall 2 in 2016. Coming out at the same time Battlefield 1, the game took a backseat ever since it was playable at E3 2016. Everyone wanted Battlefield. The thing is, no matter how great Battlefield 1 was, Titanfall 2 was that much better. To boost its sales, EA began offering all the DLC for free at the first of the year. While they have gone back to charging for the DLC, the Ultimate Edition, which includes everything, is currently on sale at the PlayStation Store for $19.99. For a hybrid first-person shooter and mech combat game, this game is a steal and its progression has been handled quite properly by EA.
4. Revitalization of NBA Live
EA took a year off so NBA Live would have something for players to try something new while offering an admirable experience. NBA Live 18 offers a street mode and a true NBA mode to choose from. The visuals are far better than 2K18 and the game of basketball is fun, especially for a casual audience that isn’t so worried about proper post-ups and NBA terminology. EA has actually taken a queue from 2K’s handbook from 2005 by offering the game for cheap. Currently, the game is $10 on PSN. It’s worth a play for $10. Plus, it has ESPN presentation. You know that license that EA acquired years ago and put in to like two games?
3. Storyline Implementations
Rather than trying to evolve a sports game into something it’s not, EA thought outside the box on how to make some of its franchises feel different. It implemented a plotline into FIFA 17 and carried it over to this year’s title. The most surprising, however, was Madden NFL 18’s “Longshot” mode. It offered a decent plot and acting in a specific game mode that surpassed many’s expectations. The same went into Need for Speed Payback, although this was a bit cheesier. EA is still trying to do new things rather than resting on its laurels of its sports franchises as just yearly roster updates.
2. New Franchise Announcements
E3 2017 might have been one of the more forgettable conferences of all time, but there were some good things to come out of it. Most notably was EA’s conference. While they might have had the random YouTube presenter completely blank out on camera, two new franchises were announced and they actually look extremely good. Anthem looks to be a third-person Destiny killer as it showed stunning visuals and combat, while A Way Out is a greenlit game by developer Hazelight that will focus on a story-driven, cooperative experience. Both of these titles garnered a lot of attention and left more of mark on viewers than anything Microsoft did at the conference. People want new games and new experience and EA delivered on those wishes.
1. Madden NFL 18
The Madden series gets a lot of flack for being the same game every year, but it’s made yearly strides for the last four years in making each iteration feel different. With Madden NFL 18, EA finally got it right on all fronts. The gameplay is as tight as its ever been and the visuals from the Frostbite Engine are the best the series have ever seen. Players are able to pick up a franchise at any point in the season and the Ultimate Team mode offers the best experience that the series has had yet. It’s done so well that even EA is questioning if they should switch to a sports game subscription model rather than releasing a game every year. Adding in Longshot helps to complete this opinion as well. EA continues to provide statistical and commentary updates to keep the game fresh all while patching and improving the gameplay experience.