EA had its pre-E3 event EA Play on June 12 and as expected, it was full of mainstays like FIFA, Mass Effect, Battlefield and Star Wars. However, there was one announcement early on that definitely didn't fit that mold: Fe.
Fe is the product of a collaboration between EA and Zoink Games, in the former's new program called EA Originals, where it pledges to seek out small developers and fund their projects like it did with Coldwood Interactive and Unravel.
Fe will be the first project from EA Originals and it looks like it might be one of the most ambitious EA-published titles in years. Sure, there's the likes of Battlefield 1 that aims to be one of the few historically-accurate shooters, but Battlefield isn't a risky venture for EA by any stretch of the imagination. The franchise has been in existence since 2002, so this latest title is really just EA building off an established formula and making the appropriate adjustments to make it work.
However, Fe doesn't have that history to fall back on, and it might be all the better for it as it gives EA a fresh face to add to its lineup.
— EA UK (@electronicarts) June 12, 2016
First off, the title is amusingly deceptive - Fe is the symbol for iron on the periodic table, so after first hearing it, the mind is immediately bombarded with images with metal or something more modern. However, Fe quickly put such thoughts to rest as the first images of the game clearly show an animal in a dark, creepy forest.
In fact, nature is at the forefront the game, with Patrick Söderlund, executive vice president of EA Studios describing it as a "personal narrative about our relationship with nature, the land and its beings."
Furthermore, what's really striking about the game, based on what's been shown so far, is there are no words whatsoever. The game doesn't hold the player's hand nor does it tell them where to go. Instead, the player is left to their own devices as they figure out where they need to go next to progress in the game.
For example, gameplay shows the creature wandering around the forest as it interacts with other animals. The player communicates by roaring or making whatever sounds an animal makes and the other animals respond in kind, with actions ranging from momentary subservience to hostility.
Unfortunately, while it does give a solid first impression, there isn't much known about the game beyond the premise. For example, the story is supposed to remind players that "everything in this world is connected, living in a delicate balance that is constantly under threat." It will be interesting to see how this illustrates that, especially when most people are given constant reminders about this fact nearly every day.
As a new IP, there is a lot that can go wrong, but it's also poised to make a memorable experience — something that can't always be done with a game that's part of an established series. This will definitely be a title to look out for in the future.
Check out the gameplay video for Fe below.