Posts Tagged ‘BioWare’

BioWare boss: not releasing Andromeda DLC was ‘a defining moment’ driving studio to refocus on story

The general manager of BioWare has said that not releasing story DLC for Mass Effect: Andromeda and leaving much-wanted tales untold was “a defining moment in refocusing BioWare’s mission”, which will inform Anthem. Casey Hudson talked up the importance of story and characters in a ‘studio update’ blog post yesterday. Given that I’ve forgotten almost everything I’ve heard of the action-RPG’s story (it’s on a spaceplanet and there are mechs and monsters?), I’ll take some convincing yet. Read the rest of this entry »

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition has re-launched

This Beholder looks a bit underwhelmed.

Bioware’s Neverwinter Nights was a fascinating anomaly of a game, years ahead of its time. An online-oriented community sandbox disguised as a traditional Dungeons & Dragons adventure. While quite plain looking, taken at face value, it hid great depths and multitudes of opportunities for those willing to dig just below the surface.

Today, courtesy of Baldur’s Gate‘s new stewards, Beamdog, it returns. Polished up a little for modern PCs and their audience, Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is out now.

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Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition out this month

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, the revamped re-release of BioWare’s 2002 wizard ’em up, is due to launch on March 27th. That’s the news from revampers Beamdog, whose prior retromancy includes revamping Planescape: Torment and overhauling Baldur’s Gate then making a new expansion for it. Like those, Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition has fancier pictures, though NWN being 3D means the overhaul is a little more involved. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic?

kotorheader

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

When people ask me about the first game I ever played, I tell them it was Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. That’s not accurate, but it was the first one I played that made me realise the unique power games had to transport me to other worlds, and into the shoes of another person. Read the rest of this entry »

EA delay BioWare’s Anthem to 2019, say it’s not a delay

As rumours predicted, Electronic Arts have delayed BioWare’s sci-fi online shooter doodad Anthem into 2019. It was previously slated for autumn of this year. Anthem is BioWare’s shiny new persistent-world multiplayer shooter which… given how little they’ve shown and said about it, let’s say it resembles Destiny but with Iron Man armour and more spacejungle. Despite the delay, EA say Anthem is not delayed. It’s just that they’re holding it back to space it apart from the yet-unannounced new Battlefield game they’ll release this year, okay? Read the rest of this entry »

Rumour: BioWare’s Anthem delayed into 2019

While BioWare’s new sci-fi persistent open-world multiplayer shooter doodad Anthem is officially due to launch this autumn, several secret sources tell Kotaku that the game is now likely delayed into early 2019. Speaking anonymously (the industry is not remotely fond of leakers, after all), they say that BioWare are shifting almost everyone to focus on Anthem, and… there are more whispers about the game’s progress, but they get vaguer. Let’s simply say: it seems quite possible we won’t get to rocket around an alien planet in BioWare’s Iron Man armour this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Dragon goes on: BioWare confirm they’re working on a new Dragon Age

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Hurrah! Mark Darrah has gone so far as to confirm that BioWare is working on a new Dragon Age game. He’s the executive producer for both Anthem and Dragon Age, and he’s tweeted to say that while Anthem is next in line, “there are people hard at work on both franchises”. We’ve heard roundabout confirmation before but this is solid and direct.

And yet, as the Coen brothers would say, would that it were so simple. According to Kotaku’s sources, BioWare only have a small team working on Dragon Age – with the bulk of their staff focused on Anthem. That’s not too surprising considering the new Dragon Age game hasn’t even been announced, but it does mean it’ll be a loooong time before we see Dragon Age 4. As far off as it may be, I’m still gonna stop me using this as an opportunity to tell you about what I want to see from BioWare’s next fantasy RPG.

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Fictional Dragon Age dwarf publishes actual real novel

Varric

Varric Tethras, co-star of both Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition, was never your usual swords & sorcery dwarf. Clean-shaven, bare-chested, playfully roguish and broadly disinterested in the usual Dwarven concerns of mining and industry.

Beyond his core defining ‘sexy dwarf’ trait, he also had one other notable quirk: He was an author, and throughout Dragon Age: Inquisition, you could find excerpts from his noir thriller, Hard in Hightown. Originally a running joke, the book is now set to be published for real, ‘co-written’ by BioWare wordsmith Mary Kirby.

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The best thing about Neverwinter Nights was its persistent worlds

NWN

At 19, I was a mess. I was missing all of my classes at university, arguing with my girlfriend all the time and I’d managed to get thousands of pounds in debt. All I wanted to do was check out. Neverwinter Nights got me through it. It wasn’t the lacklustre single-player campaign, or even the long list of phenomenal mods — it was the persistent worlds.

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Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition: improved graphics but backwards-compatible with old saves and mods

nwn-enhanced

My three main memories of the original Neverwinter Nights:

a) exasperating various Bioware devs by doggedly creating an all-Dire Badgers module in the editor during a studio visit
b) my boxed copy INCLUDING ACTUAL CLOTH MAP being stolen by a jealous middle manager at a former workplace
c) playing co-op with Jim and Kieron, formerly of this parish, and sometime contributor Dan Griliopoulos, who rather complicated proceedings by attempting to murder every NPC we encountered.

What I am saying is that 2002’s Neverwinter Nights was one of those games that embeds itself into your life in various ways, for years. And now it’s getting the spit’n’polish treatment for a semi-remastered release. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrate Mass Effect turning 10 with some animation facts

punch

To celebrate Mass Effect’s 10th anniversary (crikey!), animator Jonathan Cooper, currently at Naughty Dog, has shared 10 animation-related facts about the game on Twitter. There are a lot of interesting titbits, like the mo-cap being filmed on the same sound stage as Gone With The Wind, or Cooper being inspired by Ricky Gervais’ Extras when it came to picking the close-up camera style for conversations, but nothing beats the story behind Anderson punching Udina in the face. Udina was a worm, so it’s a popular scene, but probably not with the actor playing Udina. He actually got clocked on the jaw. It happens to the best of us.

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is the next BioWare remaster

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We won’t have full details until a bit later today (noon PST/8PM UK), but here’s the headline: BioWare’s 2002 RPG Neverwinter Nights is next to receive Beamdog‘s Enhanced Edition treatment. What do we want to see from a tweaked and modernised take on BioWare’s first foray into 3D RPGs, and whose revered modding tools launched a legion of player-made adventure modules?
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Mass Effect: Annihilation is a tie-in novel that will reveal the fate of the Quarians and Elcor

elcor

Mass Effect Andromeda was so tremendously dull — just read John’s Andromeda review — that it appears to have killed off a whole franchise (or at least put it in a coma). While I absolutely don’t think it earned a sequel, it is a shame that there are so many story threads left hanging. Like what the hell happened to all the other aliens from the Milky Way? Well, we may not be finding out in a game, but Mass Effect: Annihilation, a spin-off novel, will fill in some gaps when it appears in June next year.

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Dragon Age lead designer Mike Laidlaw leaves BioWare

BioWare veteran Mike Laidlaw has parted ways with that RPG rabble after 14 years. He was co-lead writer on Jade Empire, a lead designer on the first two Dragon Ages and the creative director of Inquisition, and did a little design on Mass Effect. Laidlaw announced his departure last night with a tweeted statement. He doesn’t explain why he’s away but I suppose it’s not our business. What’s next? Well, for starters, a lot of Twitch and Twitter. Read the rest of this entry »

Mass Effect: Andromeda getting no singleplayer DLC

The singleplayer side of Mass Effect: Andromeda [official site] is now officially as done as it’ll ever be, as BioWare have confirmed they have no plans for more singleplayer patches or any singleplayer DLC. Multiplayer additions and events will continue but Andromeda’s singleplayer is complete. Given that it was a disapointing new start for the sci-fi RPG series, that doomsaying rumours have circulated for months, and that the studio which made Andromeda has since subsumed into another studio, this isn’t much of a surprise. But as BioWare RPGs tend to receive a fair few story expansions, giving up on this isn’t a good omen for the prospect of another Mass Effect game. Read the rest of this entry »

Mass Effect Andromeda studio merging into EA’s Motive

Electronic Arts are merging BioWare Montreal, the spin-off studio who made Mass Effect: Andromeda, into Motive Studios. EA say that “more than ever, we’re driving collaboration between studios on key projects”. It seems that, after Andromeda, the folks of BioWare Montreal are being drafted to work on others’ projects again. Motive, who are also in Montreal, are currently chipping in on Star Wars Battlefront 2 and we know they’re working on something new — supposedly an Assassin’s Creed-ish open-world action game — too. Read the rest of this entry »

Mass Effect lead Casey Hudson returns to BioWare as general manager

Former Mass Effect project director Casey Hudson is returning to BioWare to become the studio’s general manager, coming back from three years in wandering the desert of Microsoft. He’ll replace Aaryn Flynn, who is leaving the studio entirely after seventeen years. Hudson left BioWare in August 2014, after helping lay the foundations of the game that became the Destiny-lookin’ action-RPG Anthem. After several games that haven’t quite clicked, can Hudson get the studio back on track? Read the rest of this entry »

Mass Effect Andromeda ten-hour trial available now

perhaps you can gaze into these eyes for ten hours and discover the mysteries and desires that rest within

If you’ve been holding off on Mass Effect Andromeda [official site], which is entirely understandable whether you’re a fan of the series or not, perhaps a ten hour free trial is just what you need to decide whether the trip is worth your time and money. Previously available to EA Access subscribers, the trial is now open to everyone. It gives you ten hours of play-time, which you can spend in singleplayer (up to the first planet) or multiplayer, and saves will carry over to the full game if you choose to buy it. You’ll need Origin, EA’s digital storefront, and post-trial, the game is currently £24.99.

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Mass Effect Andromeda’s co-op adding batarians

A new higher difficulty setting and, seemingly, batarian troops are coming to the cooperative multiplayer of Mass Effect: Andromeda in a future update. Unhelpfully, Electronic Arts don’t have much to say about either at this point.

They don’t have much to say about anything connected to Andromeda these days. Rumours are floating around that no follow-up is coming and that nor are any singleplayer expansions. That’s all just rumour for now, mind. Anyway, check out ol’ four-eyes here: Read the rest of this entry »

Anthem is closer to Star Wars than Mass Effect

It probably won’t have lightsabers or giant slug mobsters, but BioWare’s upcoming action-RPG, Anthem [official site], is going to be more like Star Wars than Mass Effect. “Science fantasy” is how BioWare Edmonton general manager Aaryn Flynn describes it in a recent radio interview.

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