Press Row Podcast: E3 impressions and NHL 18 news

Posted June 24th, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Having extensively discussed all the big news that came out of EA Play and E3 in the last two podcast episodes, Kat Bailey is now welcomed to the show to go over some hands-on impressions from the show floor for Madden NFL 18, FIFA 18, and Pro Evolution Soccer 18 before turning to a breakdown of all the news on NHL 18 which includes several confirmed features (NHL Threes arcade mode and Expansion) and an upcoming online beta.

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  • Keith.

    You jokers crack me up. NBA 2K has been delivering an A+ career/story mode as part of its 60 GB+ package for the past however many years now, and ya basically ignore it. In NBA’s mode, you build up your own character — which even bears your own face if you use the app or the camera — through games, the practice gym, etc., while interacting with NBA players, coaches, agents, etc., off the court, and on the court you’re treated to 12 different announcers, a pre-game and post-game show with Shaq and crew that reference you and where things are in your career, etc.

    And not only do you ignore it, but you allow Mike Young to talk his nonsense about no other game shows scenes outside the locker room. Maybe if you only played the first story mode NBA ever had, you don’t know any better.

    And now, the clowns who’ve done next to nothing to advance the football genre at Tiburon these last 14 years come along, 4 years later, and say they’re introducing some cockamamey idea of a story mode where you don’t play as your self nor do you even play in any actual NFL games, but instead you’re running through QTE events as some guy named Dick Head (or whatever), and you guys all seem excited by the idea?


    Then again, with Kat Bailey saying Madden’s “been great for a few years now,” and that PES is basically average, it’s like living in a world where the sky is green and the oceans are pink.

    • SockfulOfNickels

      I just about threw up when I heard Kat say that PES is average for gameplay and Madden is better. I don’t know if she misunderstood what was being said or what but c’mon Kat, that’s ridiculous.

    • Jeff

      The story spike lee did with 2k was amazing but this years absolutely sucks the only reason i bought was based off 2k16 & the preludes story & im very disappointed with it its a huge step back most of the story is reading dumbass text messages & i can guarantee rarely anyone cares about the pre & post game show or the different sideline reporters & based off the trailer for madden story its looking good i could care less if you actually play a game in it thats why they have play now mode

      • Keith.

        It’s 12 different telecast announcers in NBA 2K, not 12 different sideline reporters. You really must have played a lot.

      • BravesFan24

        Actually, I always viewed it as the other way around. I hated what Spike Lee did to the 2K16 story, it was insanely cheesy. But I liked 2K17’s story, it was at least more believable. And a lot of people care about the pre and post game shows, that was one of the things people most loved about NFL 2K5.

    • Keith.

      And from this first hands-on preview I’ve seen, it sounds just as half-baked as I would’ve guessed, coming from the hacks in Orlando:

      “EA walked us through the very start of the game. The campaign, titled “The Longshot,” is going for a complete cinematic experience. In fact, the first several minutes (perhaps even as long as 10 minutes) of the game hardly has you playing much of anything. Developer EA Tiburon takes their time to set the stage. You play as Devin Wade, who is reminiscing about various key moments in his life, played through flashbacks.
      The very first interaction you have when controlling Devin is as a young kid, playing a mock game of football in the yard. The only gameplay prompt involves a few quick-time events, which allow you to throw a perfect spiral at your friend, and control the ball mid-flight using the left stick. We were told that some of these game mechanics are only used once throughout the campaign.

      Next, we are tasked with playing through a monumental high school game of Devin’s, where he is substituted in on a game that his team was well behind on. Here, he is not expected to win, but overcomes amazing odds and does so, setting off a chain reaction that inevitably leads to Devin being drafted into the NFL. This outcome is not a given, though — the story branches, and based on your decisions, you may not even make the cut, but more on that in a bit! Since you are playing as a high-school student starting out, there is no playbook to call from; your coach handles all playmaking decisions. It is up to you to execute the plays.

      The high school game is played drive by drive. If you don’t score a touchdown in each drive, you fail. However, the game merely sets you back to the beginning of the current drive, giving you another shot and not causing you to lose much progress if you do fail. The Longshot mode has accessibility and entertainment in mind, more so than presenting a large challenge – there’s all of Madden’s other modes, with high difficulty settings, for that. Lead Gameplay Designer Josh Looman did indicate that this game mode is designed to help those who are unfamiliar with football in general, and as the campaign progresses, more complex gameplay mechanics are introduced slowly.

      One cool area that this was evident was in the commentary of the high school game. Using a completely different feeling for the high school setting, the commentators were more laid back, and reacted to each play in ways that were also helpful for someone who might not know a lot of the more nuanced elements of football. For instance, I threw an incomplete pass into double coverage, and one of the commentators scolded me for that, but also offered advice on looking elsewhere if I see a lot of the other team’s color near my teammate. This is still a Madden experience, but without any of the spectacle of the NFL – though there is plenty of drama.
      At certain points in the story, Devin will be presented with choices to make. A scouting report tracks your progress, and you are rated on not only your football performance, but also on your decision-making abilities. For instance, choosing to prank someone with a phone may result in a negative mark on your scouting report, indicating that your decision=making process needs work, that you may have anger issues, etc. It almost makes The Longshot a choose-your-own adventure story.”