Posts Tagged ‘Electronic Arts’

Battlefield Hardline: On Meaning And Theme In Multiplayer

By Graham Smith on June 18th, 2014.

This is not a police car.

Battlefield Hardline takes the series’ now familiar formula and gives it a new theme. It’s still about large teams of players killing, capturing and controlling vehicles in various objective-based multiplayer modes. But instead of visiting exotic locations and fighting as a military force, the game takes place in the streets of Los Angeles and players play the roles of cops and robbers.

I’ve been playing the closed beta since last Friday, and in between rounds of criminal mayhem I’ve been thinking a lot about meaning and structure in multiplayer game design. Now that the beta has opened up to all, let me exorcise those thought-demons here.

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Despite Hardline, EA Says Battlefield Not Being Annualized

By Nathan Grayson on June 18th, 2014.

Upon hearing EA claim that Battlefield will not succumb to annual sequelitis like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and their ilk, I was immediately reminded of that time it snapped up the domains for Battlefields 13-20. I’m not saying it’s indicative of anything, just that I can’t help but think of it, given the context. But yes, despite the fact that we’re now on our second consecutive battleyear thanks to Battlefield Hardline, the series is apparently not an annual guarantee.

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Testy: DICE Considering Early Access For Battlefield

By Adam Smith on June 16th, 2014.

In an interview with Game Informer, DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson stated that the beta process for future Battlefield titles may resemble an Early Access release. “We have nothing to announce, but we are having discussions when it comes to [early access]…It comes not from a business perspective, but more from a perspective of if it would help us have a stable launch of the game.” The joke writes itself, of course, given the many complaints about Battlefield 4′s various issues at launch. Is this just a branding exercise that aims to legitamise the unstable first months of a game’s existence or would it be a useful learning experience for the developers. Probably a bit of both.

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Matters Of The Heart: The Sims 4

By Adam Smith on June 12th, 2014.

The on-stage presentation for The Sims 4 at E3 was a sinister piece of work. Forget your survival horror games and your gore-tastic third-person monster-choppers, this is the most disturbing video shown at the entire event. It begins with simple marketing buzz-speak – “In previous games you controlled the mind and body of your Sims. In the Sims 4, for the first time, you control their hearts.” This is demonstrated by showing what look like canned animations linked to personality traits. So far, so Sims 3. Then, toward the end of the video, the presenter really takes control of a poor jock’s heart.

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FIFA 15 Gets E3 2014 Trailer, Is Balls

By Graham Smith on June 10th, 2014.

FIFA 15 is a game that I will definitely play. The latest entry in EA’s endless foot-to-ball series will bring the PC version in-line with the next-gen console releases, finally giving us the new physics and graphics engine that console players received last year. It’ll also bring one of E3′s most hyperbolic trailers, which is embedded below alongside a thousand whiny complaints from me.

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A Little More Faith: Mirror’s Edge 2 E3 Trailer

By Graham Smith on June 9th, 2014.

Mirror’s Edge 2 was revealed at last year’s E3 with little more than a brief animation and a few bars of the game’s lovely soundtrack. As part of EA’s conference at E3 2014, they showed off more of the game. It was set amidst some buzzword-y waffle from the game’s developers, and is still only concept footage for the game they hope to make, but there are hints of good things in the three minute video embedded below.

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Live Now: Watch EA’s E3 Conferencemercial

By Nathan Grayson on June 9th, 2014.

It’s E3 Day Zero, which means lots of men standing on stages and saying things like, “action,” “entertainment,” and (weirdly) “innovation.” You’ve already seen Microsoft’s endless trailer/tapdance extravaganza, and now it’s time for EA. Expect Star Wars Battlefront, Dragon Age, (maybe) Mass Effect, and SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS SPORTS. Go below for the stream and a safe alcove in which to snark to your heart’s content.

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Soulier Than Thou: Dragon Age – Inquisition

By Adam Smith on June 9th, 2014.

Dragon Age: Inquisition’s new trailer makes me think that Bioware’s blood and (b)romance fantasy series has noticed the brooding character standing at the other side of the RPG battlefield. The veteran of a thousand deaths stares back, scars criss-crossing every inch of its face, nostrils included, and then rolls backwards out of the door. Dragon Age looks on enviously. It wants to have cool scars a well – it’s the scars, right? Chicks love the scars – and it wants people to notice when it rolls into a room. That, presumably, is why the E3 video caused me to react with a raised eyebrow and a murmur of “Soul-y shit”.

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EA Runs Out Of Plugs, Leaks BF Hardline E3 Trailer Itself

By Nathan Grayson on June 6th, 2014.

You think you know lines? You think you know their relative structural integrity? Newflash: YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT ABOUT LINES. Battlefield Hardline? That’s where it’s at. Hardest lines in the biz. The business of lines, to be clear. Also it’s about police and robbers, and now – finally, after roughly 167 leaks – EA’s seen fit to release an official trailer. It’s got a release date too: October.

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The Darkest Age Of Camelot: EA Shuts Down Mythic

By Nathan Grayson on May 30th, 2014.

I don't really feel like I need to explain the metaphor here.

Awww, this is rather sad. Once upon a time, Mythic created classic MMO Dark Age of Camelot, one of the few real alternatives to EverQuest back in its heyday, and classic MUD Dragon’s Gate before that. Later it also warred out the warrisomely war-packed Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, which recently went bye-bye itself. Since then, Mythic’s been in a strange spot, unable to find a new niche with middling arena brawler Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes and eventually, the utterly wretched mobile version of Dungeon Keeper. Now, however, it’s in no spot, as it no longer exists. EA has shut down the studio once and for all.

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Battlefield 3 And Plants Vs Zombies Free On Origin

By Nathan Grayson on May 29th, 2014.

Battlefield: Hardline is mere weeks away from being shown off for the first time, and Battlefield 4 just got microtransactions. What’s an already overwhelmed Battlefield neophyte to do? Why, dive into a different Battlefield altogether, of course. I mean, I guess that’s rationale behind EA’s decision to make BF3 100 percent free as part of Origin’s On The House program, and – while things haven’t exactly been sunshine and butterflies on the battle-est of fields lately – I won’t look a gift tank in the turret. I feel like that would be a very, very poor idea under any circumstance, virtual or not.

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The House Always Wins: The Sims 4

By Adam Smith on May 28th, 2014.

I like The Sims. Quite what that says about me I don’t know but there it is. Actually, I can be more specific – I like the idea of The Sims far more than I like what the series has become. The third game seemed to be going in the right direction, simulating the lives of neighbours, workmates and friends, but without extensive modding those lives were empty. As is no doubt increasingly obvious to anyone who reads my wittering in a regular basis, I’m fascinated by the things that a game simulates while I’m not looking. I want those trees to make a sound even if I’m not there to hear it. I sense that The Sims 4 will be a step back from its prequel in that regard but the new ‘Build’ trailer is handsome.

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Blood Money: Battlefield 4 Adds Microtransactions

By Nathan Grayson on May 28th, 2014.

Argh, my... wallet...

Somewhere beneath all of Battlefield 4‘s glitches, server woes, and ceaseless controversy lies a very good game. Even back when it first launched, I jumped into a few matches that went off without a hitch, and I thought to myself, “Wow, there is a preposterous amount going on here and also I just murdered a man with a defibrillator.” But it’s like a “levolutionary” building with sickly hunks of concrete hanging from twisting threads of rebar – one small push, and everything comes crumbling down (unless there is a physics glitch). And now the latest not-so-great-looking mark on a very not-sterling record: EA and DICE have added microtransactions to Battlefield 4, a premium game that still hasn’t seen a single price drop. But hey, at least they’re optional.

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