EA Play 2019: All the big news, from FIFA 20 to Battlefield V to Star Wars

This year, EA chose not to hold a traditional press conference, and instead held its EA Play event on June 8-9, just ahead of the E3 2019 festivities. In lieu of the press conference, the publisher featured interviews and gameplay demonstrations focused on six of the company’s games. There weren’t any big surprises, but we did get plenty of new information. Here’s all the big news.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Respawn Entertainment showed off 15 minutes of gameplay for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at the beginning of EA Play 2019. Set on the Wookie planet Kashyyyk, the mission we saw had protagonist Cal on a mission to liberate the area from the grips of the Empire. Early in the gameplay demonstration, we saw the traversal tools he will use, which include wall-running and grappling like in Uncharted or Tomb Raider. We were also surprised to see Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera make a return to assist Cal in his mission.

This was the first time we saw gameplay of Fallen Order, including lightsaber combat. Using his lightsaber, Cal is able to cut Stormtroopers down to size and go head-to-head against powerful enemies and wild beasts. He also uses several force abilities, such as a pull and throw, and gains skill points after beating several targets in combat. Against powerful enemies, the game had a combat flow similar to action-role-playing games, with less focus on flair and more on methodical dodges and capitalizing on mistakes.

Jedi Fallen Order is set to launch November 15 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

FIFA 20

FIFA 20 might not have Alex Hunter’s story this year, but it does have Volta street football. The informal soccer matches will allow you to play as all licensed players and teams, but you’ll be able to knock the ball off the walls in cage-style pitches, and you can play with male and female players in the same game.

Improvements have been made in several key areas for this year’s game. One of these is “composed finishing,” which is designed to make one-on-one shots against the keeper less frustrating. You will also have more control over strafe dribbling, tackling, and free and penalty kicks, and the ball physics have been reworked for greater realism. A.I. defensive support has also been reduced in order to make it a more active part of the experience.

Madden NFL 20

Madden NFL 20 wants to put its star players front and center, and that’s being done with the new “X-Factor abilities.” The best players in the league have special traits and abilities that can help them perform better in key scenarios. Last year’s MVP Patrick Mahomes, for instance, gets the “Bazooka” ability to throw farther after completing four passes of more than 30 yards. JuJu Smith-Schuster, meanwhile, has an ability that forces players to double-cover him if they want to avoid getting beaten in match-ups.

Playbooks will evolve based on developments in the real NFL, and run-pass options plays have been added. In fact, there are more than 200 of them. The Scenario Engine will bring dynamic challenges to the game for a chance  to improve players’ ratings in each game, and “Ultimate Missions” have been added to give you a more guided way to earn items in Madden Ultimate Team.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends is wrapping up its Season 1 content, and recently added the “Apex Elite” queue, which will be limited to only the best players for more competitive matches. This includes Legendary Hunt challenges, which will be available until June 18.

On July 2, the Battle Charge Season 2 will begin. The new season brings a new Legend called Wattson, who utilizes an electrified fence ability and powerful pylons to lock down areas and punish overly aggressive players. Players will also be able to use the L-Star plasma machine gun, which was previously in Titanfall 2, and daily and weekly challenges will now stack for those who don’t have time to play on a weekly basis, and leveling should be much quicker. The Mozambique weapon should also be getting a significant boost in the near-future.

Season 2 will also see the debut of a new ranked mode. This mode has six tiers, which you’ll progress through based on your performance, and go from bronze to Apex Predator. Depending on where you end up at the close of the season, you’ll get unique rewards. At the very conclusion of the event, we also got a hint that Titans from the mainline Titanfall series could be coming to the game at a later point, but Respawn isn’t ready to talk about that quite yet.

Battlefield V

EA is still plugging away at its 2018 first-person shooter Battlefield V. Its new content will certainly please WWII buffs, as it includes Pacific battles fought between the United States and Japan, including an Iwo Jima map.

Several new maps are coming for Chapter 4 of the game’s ongoing updates. These include infantry-focused battles in Greece, the North African desert, and an island complete with a beach. Private games are coming in September, with the baseline package free to all players, and an “Operation Underground” map based on “Operation Metro” from Battlefield 3 is coming in October. For those who maxed out at rank 50, you’ll soon be able to go up to 500, as well. The new ranks come with additional dog tags and other flair to show off your achievement to the worlds.

The Sims 4

The Sims 4: Island Living was announced during EA Play 2019. The new expansion will be available to PC and Mac players on June 21 and consoles on July 16.

The expansion adds open-water gameplay and the ability to go from land to water naturally. There are several different water activities to complete, including jet skiing, snorkeling, and playing with dolphins. You’ll have to watch out for the active volcano on the island, however, which can send lava bombs hurling toward your community. Oh, and there are also mermaids.

What we won’t see from EA at E3 2019

It’s not all sunshine and candy; not everything we were hoping for from EA Play came to pass. Here’s a quick look at the titles we were hoping to see — and left empty handed.

New Need for Speed

Need for Speed Payback review sunset
Need for Speed Payback

The February 2019 earnings report also revealed that a new Need for Speed game will launch in 2019. Need for Speed Payback underwhelmed at launch in 2017, and the long-running franchise has frequently been a mixed bag. While EA has confirmed that a new Need for Speed game will launch this year, it will not be shown at E3.

New Plants vs. Zombies

best games to play during super bowl halftime show dtsuperbowlgardenwarfare2
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

A new Plants vs. Zombies game is also in the works at EA. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 launched in 2016 and was a huge improvement on the original.

However, the game isn’t at EA Play 2019. A PopCap producer confirmed that a new shooter in the universe is on the way, but we don’t yet know when we’ll actually get to see gameplay or learn more about improvements from the original.

How to watch the EA Play livestreams

If you want to watch the full EA Play 2019 livestream yourself, you can do so above.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2019, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR and much more.
Mobile

Samsung dismisses rumors of a revitalized Galaxy Fold launching in July

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is real, but for how long? Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.
Gaming

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is endearing and wonderfully weird

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is as magically weird as I remembered. The super cute art style fits Koholint Island so well, and Nintendo improved multiple, critical mechanics.
Cars

Ford recalls 1.3 million Explorer and F-150 vehicles over safety issues

Ford announced multiple safety recalls on Wednesday, June 12, the largest of which affects 1.2 million Explorer SUVs over an issue with the suspension that has the potential to affect steering control.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Gaming

New Nintendo Switch models are reportedly already in production and coming soon

The rumored two new Nintendo Switch models have already reportedly entered production. Some of the components were moved out of China and into Southeast Asia, as Nintendo looks to limit the impact of proposed tariffs.
Gaming

Square Enix has no clue how many episodes Final Fantasy VII Remake will take

The initial release of the Final Fantasy VII Remake on March 3, 2020 will feature the part of the adventure that takes place in Midgar. Square Enix has no idea on how many episodes it will take to tell the full story of the original RPG.
Gaming

Nintendo 3DS nowhere to be seen at E3 2019, but apparently not yet dead

The Nintendo 3DS was missing at E3 2019, but it appears that support for the console will continue. No first-party games are planned for the device, but it offers a collection of titles that may still attract both old and new players.
Gaming

Microsoft reportedly wanted Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PlayStation 4

Microsoft reportedly considered launching Halo: The Master Chief Collection on the PlayStation 4 a few years ago. It remains unclear if the desire for the Halo series to make a platform jump is still there ahead of Halo Infinite.
Computing

Why OLED gaming monitors may be further from reality than we thought

Earlier this year, Dell showed us the promise of an exciting new future for gaming monitors with the reveal of the Alienware 55-inch OLED gaming display. We loved it. But according to new reports, it may never see the light of day.
Deals

Walmart cuts $300 off Dell Inspiron 5680 gaming desktop for gamers on a budget

If you're stashing money but want an upgradeable rig that will go a long way, then this solid deal on the Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680 with Intel Core i5-8400 is for you. It is now available for only $700 at Walmart.
Deals

Walmart drops sweet $20 discount on the Sony PS4 DualShock 4 Controller

Walmart is offering a $20 discount on the Sony PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 Controller. New features include the touchpad, speaker, and light bar. It's also compatible with Windows-based PCs. This controller was originally priced at $60, but…
Deals

Check out Walmart’s steep discounts on Dell and LG gaming monitors

If you're a gamer looking for high-quality computer displays, you definitely need to take advantage of this deals from Dell and LG. These gaming monitors will fit your budget and your GPU.