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EA Access: Is it all that?

The Sanctum would like to thank Gm4e.com for providing the month-long EA Access code. Gm4e.com is a CdKeys website specialising mainly in PC games but also cater to the Xbox and ps4 market. As always when purchasing anything online please use the safest methods of purchasing to avoid disappointment.

By Drowsy Knight & Phantom Knight

Drowsy Knight

I was totally ready to hate EA access. Considering the company's gross business practices and their microtransaction infested games, I had my trepidation, to say the least. But, much to my surprise EA Access is a decent service that offers a pretty generous offering of games, old and new, with an extremely low entry price to boot. At $4.99 a month, you get nearly 90 games, free trials for brand new titles, and an excellent selection of games from the previous generation.

EA's most current catalogue of games is a bit hit and miss, but their inclusion in the subscription definitely makes there most current catalogue's "fee to play" nature more palpable. At launch, a $60 EA game often lacks a substantial amount of content and the lack of content is subsidized by a slew of egregious microtransactions and season passes but with EA Access, it allows you to at least try the game before committing to anything. The microtransactions are still there but having the game as close to free as possible leaves little room for complaint. Yeah, you might have to wait a few months for the full versions of the newer games to be available in The Vault but that's not too bad.

What really sells the whole package is the availability of EA's excellent back catalogue.

More often than not I found myself skipping current AAA titles on offer for the older games available with the service. Not only is the Mass Effect Trilogy and Dead Space trilogy available but even more obscure titles like Alice Madness Returns and Black are present and are as excellent as ever. There are even those old mobile games like Zuma, Feeding Frenzy and Peggle.

For Xbox gamers, this offering is a little less exciting due to them being backwards compatible regardless of a subscription but for PS4 owners this is the only way to play these games on current hardware. 

Honestly, as an entry for new players into the EA gaming stratosphere, EA access is a lot less offensive than expected. It has a nice selection of full games in The Vault, there are free trials for the most current EA games, and the price tag is almost comically low. If you are a fan of live service games and if you're willing to be a little behind on the trends there really is no reason to not subscribe. For me though, it was the older games that drew me in. It's weird, EA Access was more of a reminder of the glory days of gaming, before everything was a "live service" and when microtransactions were exclusive to mobile games. The current catalogue of games didn't excite me at all but booting up the OG Dead Space was worth the entry price alone.

Drowsy Knight

Second Opinion

Phantom Knight

Let it be known that I am not a fan of EA in the slightest so I thought I would be perfectly placed to decide whether this subscription service was placed in the gaming landscape to rip off the general public or if indeed it actually has some worth.

Below, at the time of writing, is a list of games available within EA Access. I sampled around ten games and played on an Xbox 1 console.

EA Access Game List

Alice: Madness Returns, Anthem, Army of Two, Battlefield 1, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield 5, Battlefield 1943, Battlefield: Bad Company, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Battlefield Hardline, Bejeweled 2 Deluxe, Bejeweled 3, Black, Burnout Paradise Remastered, Dante's Inferno, Dead Space, Dead Space 2, Dead Space 3, Dead Space Ignition, Dragon Age 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Dragon Age: Origins, Fe, Feeding Frenzy, Feeding Frenzy 2, FIFA 15, FIFA 16, FIFA 17, FIFA 18, FIFA 19, Fight Night Champion, Heavy Weapon

Madden NFL 15, Madden NFL 16, Madden NFL 17, Madden NFL 18, Madden NFL 19

Madden NFL 25, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Medal of Honor: Airborne, Mirror's Edge, Mirror's Edge Catalyst, NBA Live 15, NBA Live 16, NBA Live 18, NBA Live 19, Need for Speed, Need for Speed Payback, Need for Speed Rivals, NHL 16, NHL 17, NHL 18, NHL 19, Peggle, Peggle 2, Plants vs. Zombies, Plants vs.Zombies: Garden Warfare, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, Rory McIlroy PGA Tour, The Sims 4, Skate 3, SSX, Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars Battlefront 2, Titanfall, Titanfall 2, UFC, UFC 2, UFC 3, Unravel, Unravel Two, Zuma Deluxe, Zuma's Revenge!

A sizable list to be sure but is all that content worth the price tag? Let's find out, shall we?

The first thing you notice about EA Access is the extremely cumbersome menu system that is within the EA access app. A much better use of the system is the Xbox internal menu system that can access the games within EA Access and is a much better way to go when accessing games.

I sampled a number of games both new and old. A positive aspect surrounding EA access is that it has a number of older games that I have very fond memories of and as such, I instantly warmed to it. Games like Black, Dead Space Trilogy, Dragon Age and Mass Effect games are a favourite of mine from way back when and I thoroughly enjoyed jumping back into those albeit for a fleeting moment. Black, in particular, holds up particularly well although a little cumbersome by today's standards. If you haven't played it I seriously urge you to give it a try.

After spending some time with the classics I ramped things up and opted for a more up to date effort. UFC 3 was my choice and for all of the MTX mayhem that EA generally courts I found the game itself to be surprisingly addictive. Sure the MTX elements are still there and will never sit well with me but they as a company do manage to get devs on board who can "bring it" from a gameplay perspective.

My next pick was the recent entry in the FIFA series. I last purchased and played a FIFA game when I picked up my ps4 many years ago. The difference is there to be seen from 14 up to 19 but I would be a liar if I said I was blown away with the advancements considering 5 years have passed.

Overall, EA Access is a worthwhile experience and justifies the cost but only for a certain group of people. Anyone who loves sports franchises would be well catered for here and coupled with some of the discounts they offer it may be a worthwhile subscription service. In addition to sports, it does have enough content to keep a casual gamer interested.

If you are a seasoned gamer and enjoy sports but it is not your main preference when gaming then I would suggest that this is not worth your time.

Of course, this is merely two opinions, if you find yourself in the situation like myself and Drowsy with a month-long trial, go for it! if nothing else Dead Space and Black are just waiting to be played.

Sanctum Verdict: Buy / Sub but only if you are a die-hard sports fan who would struggle to pick up the sports titles released yearly.