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‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ makes noise, but surprise ‘A Way Out’ steals day 1

Electronic Arts had its chance to start the show off with teasers from long-loved titles such as “Madden” and “Battlefield

E3+2016
E3 2016

E3 2016

Courtesy of ESA

Courtesy of ESA

E3 2016

Mac Walby, Managing Editor

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Electronic Arts kicked off the Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, a day early for this year’s convention, from a closed showroom of reporters at the Hollywood Palladium.

EA started with a time-tested franchise, showing off the yearly attempt to revitalize its “Madden” franchise. This year’s take will be “Madden 18: Longshot,” and will introduce a long asked for story mode to the predominantly simulation heavy series.

A short clip showed a player coming up from high school, thriving at college, and going all the way to draft day, with animated cut scenes acted out by big-name stars like Mahershala Ali of recent “Moonlight” fame playing the would-be protagonist’s father. The story will revolve around Devin Wade, a quarterback, and pick up in his college career with Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino as his mentor.

“Star Wars: Battlefront II” got a stagnant crowd going, with an impressive cinematic showing off new characters and modes for the sequel to last year’s franchise reboot. One of the main gripes with the first game was immediately addressed, promising players a full dedicated single-player campaign, as well as more of what they loved from the first game.

The big surprise of the day was “A Way Out,” a strictly two-player affair where each controls a convict, Vincent or Leo, in a permanently split-screen game.

It’s a game “Where you and a friend can embark on an emotional journey together,” said Josef Fares, a writer and director at Hazelight Studios, the company behind “A Way Out.”

Screenshot from "A Way Out."

Courtesy of Hazelight Studios
Screenshot from “A Way Out.”

“The story of A Way Out begins in prison with two separate inmates, Leo and Vincent, who don’t know each other,” the press release for the game states. “While their individual stories progress, players will have to build a relationship based on trust as they break both men out of prison into the world beyond.”

EA on Sunday, June 11, will have two more press conferences at the Palladium. Microsoft will start at 2 p.m. with another from Bethesda at 9 p.m. Check back for more E3 coverage this week.

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