Stormtroopers, hip-hop and video games: EA Play at E3 2017 – CNET

EA Play at E3 2017

For the first time ever, the 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo is open to the public. First stop for fans? Electronic Arts’ EA Play, which was less press conference, more celebration of gaming.

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EA Play at E3 2017

EA did have a press conference, though, and it started off with a boom — a drumline marched in to beat a warm welcome for Madden 18, and its new story mode co-starring Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, House of Cards.)

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EA Play at E3 2017

Speaking of marches: Stormtroopers!

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EA Play at E3 2017

This particular Star Wars Imperial Platoon is here to celebrate Star Wars Battlefront II, and it’s led by Janina Gavankar, an actress who’ll be playing the lead role. She’s an Imperial agent who wields blaster rifles and flies Tie Fighters with equal aplomb.

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EA Play at E3 2017

If she looks familiar, perhaps you’ve seen her in True Blood or The League, or heard her voice in Halo 5: Guardians.

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EA Play at E3 2017

In one of the game’s early missions, she takes down Corellian Corvettes and even a Mon Calamari battle cruiser, in a skirmish at an Imperial shipyard.

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EA Play at E3 2017

The last 30 minutes of the press conference were all about Star Wars Battlefront II. These pods were filled with players demonstrating the game’s giant multiplayer battles live.

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EA Play at E3 2017

Outside the venue, however, lines of fans are beginning to form.

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EA Play at E3 2017

Security is tight: metal detectors, bomb-sniffing dogs…

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EA Play at E3 2017

Stormtroopers, of course…

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EA Play at E3 2017

…and a giant Titan, the intelligent robot suits from Titanfall 2, overseeing the festivities.

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EA Play at E3 2017

It’s a life-size Titan, all right.

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EA Play at E3 2017

EA’s DJ spins some hip-hop, trance, and — yes — a little bit of Taylor Swift.

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EA Play at E3 2017

The lines are long.

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EA Play at E3 2017

Really long. Particularly if you want to play Battlefront 2.

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EA Play at E3 2017

Thankfully, there’s some entertainment from the Madden drumline…

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EA Play at E3 2017

…and Janina is happy to sign your Star Wars Battlefront II poster. 

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EA Play at E3 2017

Some attendees take photos with the EA Play sign inside.

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EA Play at E3 2017

For some, it’s a family affair.

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EA Play at E3 2017

EA brought some fancy autos to celebrate Need for Speed: Payback.

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EA Play at E3 2017

Food trucks help keep fans refreshed — at $12 per burger or a crazy $4 per can of soda. Monster energy drinks are free, though.

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EA Play at E3 2017

Less of a line if you want to play EA Sports titles.

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EA Play at E3 2017

What’s this guy doing? Not sure, but he seems to fit.

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EA Play at E3 2017

   One last pic from EA Play. We’ll be back next year!

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