Posts Tagged ‘Electronic Arts’

Star Wars: Battlefront Awakens Next Month

By Alec Meer on March 19th, 2015.

Not too many of us can be said to have an iconic foot, eh?

Oh lordy-lord, there’s going to be so much Star Wars this year, isn’t there? You won’t be able to move for stars here and wars there. It’ll be like late 1998/1999 all over again, and we know how that turned out, don’t we? Just added to what’s a rapidly-bloating list of Forceful things to happen in the long run-up to the film itself is an official reveal for EA’s long-in-the-works reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront. So far as we know, this is still in the hands of Battlefield-marshals DICE, which is a relatively decent pedigree for a shooty-blast multiplayer game. EA’s just announced that we’ll get to take a look at this new version of the beloved (by some) Rebels vs Empire shooter next month, at the official Star Wars Celebration.
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Battlefield: Hardline Wot I Think-In-Progress, Part 1

By Alec Meer on March 17th, 2015.

Me, in the event anyone ever asked me to give this game a score

Battlefield: Hardline [official site] went on sale in the US today, and unlocks for the UK on Friday. We didn’t have access until today, so I’ll run this review in chunks to give you some sense of what we make of it without having to wait too long. In this first part, I’m looking at the first half or so of the campaign, which details a Miami police officer becoming embroiled in an escalating drug war with a side-helping of corruption in the force.
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Robargain Bucket: Titanfall’s Season Pass Is Free

By Alec Meer on March 12th, 2015.

Titanfall was a pretty good multiplayer shooty-bang game, most especially because it made playing as a squishy little human as exciting as playing as massive stompy roboguy. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t all that much of it, and what there was got a little obfuscated by too many menus and too much waiting. As such, Titanfall doesn’t appear to be thriving. Maybe it’s too late in the day to change that, but giving out the season pass and attendant DLC for free is a worthwhile roll of the dice. Hell, I’m extremely tempted to head back in now (it’s only really a shortage of hard drive space which stops me), and I very much doubt I’m alone in that.
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Battlefield: Hardline Trailer Launches Rockets, Cars, Game

By Ben Barrett on March 11th, 2015.

Getaway care held aloft by power of friendship.

Whatever to do about a game like Battlefield: Hardline [official site]? I had a lot of hope for it to begin with, slowly chipped away by a disappointing beta and unenthusiastic previews. It was a great opportunity for either some introspection on the nature of law enforcement (unlikely) or a 70s buddy cop style tale about half a city getting blown up to stop some robbers. Trailers have taken themselves too seriously and the multiplayer didn’t seem to want to scale down to its new setting, instead feeling like an urban map pack for an older game. But hope(line) springs eternal: the launch trailer, embedded below, ahead of release on March 20th is bombastic, fun and almost too sweary even for me.

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Soren Johnson On Maxis: “One Of The Great PC Devs”

By Graham Smith on March 5th, 2015.

Until their functional closure yesterday, Maxis were “one of the great PC developers”. From the seminal SimCity and adventurous SimAnt, to the breakthrough The Sims and absurdly ambitious Spore, the studio made two decades of strange, thoughtful, risky games.

One of the people who helped was Soren Johnson, who joined the studio in 2007 to work on finishing Spore. I was talking to Johnson about his new game Offworld Trading Company [official site] just a few hours after news of the closure broke and took the opportunity to ask him about his former employer, the studio’s closure, and the difficulties of working with big studios that have “a laundry list of requirements” for a game.

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It’s A Sim: EA Closes Sims/SimCity Developer Maxis

By Alec Meer on March 4th, 2015.

In memoriam

Oh man, this is a sad day. Former staff today reported – later confirmed by EA – that the heart of Maxis, the studio behind The Sims & Sim City, is to be ripped out. While satellite studios in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake City, Helsinki and Melbourne remain, the Emeryville headquarters was Maxis as we knew it. It’s had a chequered recent history, particularly with regard to the most recent SimCity, but without a doubt this was a legendary developer.

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EA Offers Up Battlefield Hardline Premium Details

By Philippa Warr on March 3rd, 2015.

I don't think Roy Walker hosts Catchphrase anymore

Is a trailer really a trailer when it’s actually just different bits of a still image of a man with some particle effects? I’d say that was closer to those bonus Catchphrase rounds where they gradually reveal the image for contestants to guess until one of them says “Uh, is is Battlefield Hardline Premium?” and Roy Walker shouts “RIIIIIIGHT!” even though it’s not a catchphrase.

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BioWare Austin’s Shadow Realms Cancelled

By Alice O'Connor on February 10th, 2015.

What happens if I touch this? WAIT NO WAIT NO!

Electronic Arts only announced asymmetric multiplayer action-RPG Shadow Realms [official site] in August, but have now confirmed that they’ve cancelled it. Being made by BioWare Austin (the studio behind the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG, not the Mass Effect gang), it was to be a modern fantasy game with nasty monsters rattling around our world. One player would control a ‘Shadowlord’ on the side of the monsters, while four human players would murder the nasties, and they’d all level up and get loot and all that. But no, not any more.

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Get To Work! First The Sims 4 Expansion Announced

By Alice O'Connor on February 5th, 2015.

Wuh-oh! Looks like someone filled you with guts! My machine can fix that.

The Sims 4 [official site] was always going to feel a bit empty at launch in comparison to earlier games as they had oodles of expansions by then, and it didn’t help that a few long-standing features were absent. Since then they’ve added back in things like pools and ghosts, released a ‘Game Pack’ mini-expansion, and now EA have announced the first proper expansion, Get to Work. It adds stuff to do with employment, obvs.

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Plans And Elevations: The Sims 4 Concept Art

By Philippa Warr on February 4th, 2015.

Don't you love it when...

EA have plopped a bunch of Build Mode concept art from The Sims 4 [official site] on their blog as part of an interview with designer Aaron Houts.

The interview itself has hints of excitement – there’s a misbehaving wall tool and automated door placement which sounds like it left you with a door-infested house with portals lurking in odd places. Alas, EA does not fancy sharing these monstrous houses and the interview itself is rather flat. BUT we have studies and swatches to look at which make me happy in a peaceful, diagrammatic way I remember from when I used to look at architectural floor plans as a child.

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Hands On: Battlefield Hardline

By Brendan Caldwell on February 2nd, 2015.

After a mixed reaction to the beta, including from our own Graham, Battlefield Hardline [official site] is looking to prove that it isn’t simply a reskin of Battlefield 4 with policemen instead of soldiermen. In many ways, it looks like it is going to have trouble shaking that assumption. But in one particular way (a single game mode called Hotwire), it is going to come out fighting. I visited EA to take a look.

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Battlefield Hardline Multiplayer Open Beta Next Week

By Alice O'Connor on January 29th, 2015.

This seems outside police procedure.

Several years ago, I had a meeting with EA and pitched Battlefield: The Thin Blue Line, an FPS adaptation of the ’90s Rowan Atkinson sitcom. [Did you now? -ed.] Players would engage in gossip, give young shoplifters stern talking-tos, and even bop a yob with their truncheon. The final mission would be to sneak a big frilly bra into DI Grim’s office during a surprise inspection from the Superintendent. Unfortunately, EA instead picked up Battlefield Hardline [official site], a quick-drawing, dirty-talking, civil rights-ignoring celebration of police militarisation. Shame. I bet it doesn’t have even one single cascade of misunderstandings with hilarious consequences.

The point is, EA are launching a short multiplayer open beta test for Hardline next week.

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Sim City 2000 Is 20 Years Old And Free

By John Walker on December 10th, 2014.

Last year’s SimCity was, in the end, pretty average. Its launch and the outright bullshit that EA span around it was a disaster, but the game was simply a quite disappointing entry in a formerly brilliant series. And I’d argue it was never any more brilliant than in Sim City 2000. Which makes it splendid news that just now, Sim City 2000 is free!

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