Posts Tagged ‘Bioware’

The Old Republic’s “Operation Nightmare”

By Jim Rossignol on June 14th, 2013.


Operation Nightmare is currently available with the latest update of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and this means unpleasant-sounding “Nightmare Mode” in Terror From Beyond. That’s pretty much as it sounds: a tricky level 55 challenge: “The fight to seize control of the Gree Hypergate will leave you gasping for breath as you battle the five main bosses, now amped up to challenge even the most skilled group of players!” There’s also a bunch of guild features and similar things included in this update. Later on Nightmare Mode will also be applied to Legion Of Scum & Villainy, for extra scummy and villainous difficulties.

The trailer for all this is far, far away, and a long time ago, etc.
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Obsidian Hoping To Work With EA/BioWare On Star Wars

By Nathan Grayson on May 8th, 2013.

We now live in a world where The Sims: Star Wars or Need for Speed: Tosche Station could become things. I’m not saying it’s likely (though the former would not shock me in the slightest), but Star Wars is under new management, so who knows? For now, all we can say for sure is that BioWare, DICE, and Visceral are actively adding their own chapters to the space opera, but we won’t see results from those initial efforts until at least mid-2014 – and much later, in all likelihood. You’ll remember, however, that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II developer Obsidian also has a rather ambitious idea floating around, and – last we heard – it was about to lay it before the greatest Sith Lord of them all: Mickey Mouse. So then, what happened there? And where does Obsidian’s new Star Wars RPG end up now that EA’s pulling the strings? I got in touch with Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart to find out.

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Dun-Dun-Dun-Dun-Duh-Duh: EA Gets Star Wars Exclusivity

By Nathan Grayson on May 7th, 2013.

I was actually John Madden all along.

The more disenfranchised portions of the peanut gallery have spent years calling EA an evil empire and claiming that it’s done every horrific act short of blowing up Alderaan with a Death Star, so this feels oddly fitting. It’s probably not the headline you were looking for, but it does not lie: EA has officially snapped up rights for all things Star Wars and videogame-y. DICE, Visceral, and BioWare will be doing development honors on various offshoots, apparently. So then, Battlefield: Star Wars – Old Knights Dying In Space (On Ice!) in 3… 2… 1…

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SWTOR Bolsters Customization With Cat People

By Jim Rossignol on April 29th, 2013.


The next SWTOR update is all about customization, allowing radical visual overhauls for any and all characters. Nice move, space developers, but what won’t get me playing your game is the inclusion of cat-people. As we all know, the inclusion of cat people in any franchise (we’ll omit Thundercats for now) is an admission of creative bankruptcy. Yes, even in Elder Scrolls games. It’s just not okay. If you are looking around for that other race, the crazy alterative to elves or stormtroopers, and the best you can come up with is a man that looks like a cat, well… no. Anyway, that’s what this next update brings. Not player Jawas, or anything like that. Hell, even Star Wars Galaxies had playable Ithorians.

Grumble. Videos below.
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Hutt Hutt! The Old Republic’s Scum & Villainy 2.0

By Jim Rossignol on April 10th, 2013.


What I mean is, the 2.0 update for Star Wars: The Old Republic is live (and trailered with a video entitled “Scum & Villainy”, in reference to something Spock once said in Star Trek). The update adds a hard mode to operations and flashpoints (weird dissonance there) which preps the ground for the Rise Of The Hutt Cartel expansion, which arrives in a couple of days (or right now if you pre-ordered). That’s an actual expansion that you will have to pay $20 for, just like they did when my pappy was a boy.

2.0, meanwhile, also overhauls PvP, changing the way that characters are “bolstered” when they enter a PvP area. Wow, that really does seem like a band-aid sort of mechanic, doesn’t it? Hmm. Anyone with extensive SWTOR PvP experience able to shine a light on that?
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BioWare’s Gaider On Dragon Age II’s Flaws, Dragon Age III

By Nathan Grayson on March 29th, 2013.

I actually don’t think Dragon Age II was all that terrible. Or rather, I fully understand that elements of it were very, very bad (it had more caves than Ron Gilbert’s The Cave, for instance; and not on purpose), but others were incredibly fascinating. Party members lived their own lives, themes like racism and security-vs-freedom got the spotlight, and your choices really, really didn’t matter all that much. Was it a game whose budgetary and time constraints hung about its neck like a noose, leaving only gasping wisps of potential? Absolutely. But those limits also shaped it, so it was interesting to see a less powerful BioWare craft a narrative about, well, powerlessness. After discussing the baffling impracticality of sexism, Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider and I talked about the ups and downs of Dragon Age II and how they’ve ultimately guided Dragon Age III to a very different place.

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Dragon Age III’s Gaider On The Impracticality Of Sexism

By Nathan Grayson on March 28th, 2013.

All this talk of sexism isn’t going away, nor should it. The gaming industry’s sick, and the symptoms are plain as day. Mystifyingly often, however, the immediate reaction to even the faintest hint of that suggestion is “No, nuh-uh! You just want to censor expression! Give me one good reason we actually need to change.”* Well, if you really want to move beyond “Because jeez, it’s basic human decency to treat someone else the way you’d like to be treated,” Dragon Age III lead writer David Gaider’s got a laundry list of practical reasons for you. 14 years at one of the most influential studios out there, after all, will do that to you. Especially when it’s one that’s certainly not innocent of mistakes and missteps of its own. Prior to Gaider’s GDC talk on the very same subject, I caught up with him to discuss why sexism (and any sort of “-ism,” really) is bad for everyone: you, me, the industry, and of course, women or anyone else directly affected.

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So Long, Shepard: Mass Effect 3′s ‘Citadel’ DLC

By Nathan Grayson on February 22nd, 2013.

Sayonara, everyone. At least, until the inevitable Mass-Effect-Not-4 cameos and '20 Years Later' reunion special.

There’s just something about goodbyes. Like, growing up, I had a pet parrot. She filled my youth with eardrum-skewering screams and will probably be able to take most of the credit for my first heart attack, which will come at age 29. Also, she’s going to outlive me. But, if she doesn’t, I’ll be a complete wreck when she finally closes her infernal, saliva-less beak, er, forever. Which is my way of saying the Mass Effect trilogy is kind of like an obnoxious cockatoo. Sure, it didn’t always do me right, but we grew together, and we had some magnificent times over the years. According to BioWare, Citadel is Shepard and co’s swan song. But hey, at least everyone (and apparently, BioWare really does mean everyone) is coming back for one last reunion tour.

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No One Mention The “Mass Effect 4″

By John Walker on February 7th, 2013.

See – because it rhymes with “war”, and that’s a reference to a thing a man said in a TV show 37 years ago. The ever-watchful eye-turrets of Eurogamer spotted that BioWare community manager Chris Priestly took to the studio’s forums to declare calling Mass Effect 4 “Mass Effect 4″ is “doing it a disservice”. It’s a game that “does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side.” Meanwhile, BioWare Montreal’s head Yanick Roy has explained that Mass Effect 4 could take place after Mass Effect 3.

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SWTOR’s First Expansion Raises Level Cap, Hutts

By Nathan Grayson on December 19th, 2012.

As far as I can tell, this is actually a screenshot from the sadly unreleased Hutt DLC for BioShock.

First those ding dang dern Triads and now Hutts? Jeez, what won’t rise these days? I mean, at this rate, everyone and everything’s going to start rising, and then that’ll just be the new normal, non-risen plane of existence. Where’s the fun in that? Oh well, though. Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel: The Subtitling is now officially a thing, and it’s coming soon to a galaxy near (read: far, far away from) you. But what will it entail? Am I finally about to get the Hutt crime empire management sim of my dreams? Cross your slimy slug fingers and head past the break for details.

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BioWare Generates SWTOR’s Ancient Hypergate Update

By Nathan Grayson on December 12th, 2012.

Hypergate: from the people who brought you ULTRADOOR.

Star Wars takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and Star Wars: The Old Republic is set an even longer time ago than that. Thus, this Hypergate – which is positively ancient, even by SWTOR’s musty standards – must be older than time itself. Naturally, then, people (and blue not-people and green not-people and spiky faced not-people) must risk reducing the precious relic to ash by waging brutal, ceaseless wars over it. That’s just how these things work. And now you can join in on the ill-advised carnage for absolutely no money*. No strings attached**. Nope, none ***. Seriously****!

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