Posts Tagged ‘EA DICE’

Battlefield V interview: dodging the lootbox question, and why battle royale “would really fit the universe”

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I came away from my Battlefield V first look surprisingly ready for another tour of the Western front – prosthetic-armed Cockneys and all – but with a number of nagging questions. Firstly, how exactly is EA DICE approaching monetisation right now, in the wake of the uproar over Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s rubbish launch-day microtransactions? I was treated to an hour-long presentation on the game’s service elements, but the in-game purchases this service will facilitate were conspicuously absent from discussion – it felt a bit like the part in the bombing run before the sky lights up with flak. And secondly, does the developer have any plans for a battle royale mode, given Call of Duty’s recent jump upon that bandwagon? Because if any existing shooter is built for Fortnitey/Plunkbatty shenanigans, it is surely Battlefield, with its giant maps and headcounts.

Burdened by such thoughts, I sought out senior producer Lars Gustavsson and tried to get a clear answer out of him. The results, which include a discussion of what I suspect will prove a controversial squad focus, are below. Read the rest of this entry »

Battlefield V is about making friends, building forts and daily chores

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World War 2 has broken out once again as EA DICE heads back to the 1940s with Battlefield V, a theoretically safe sequel with some curious, and possibly divisive, ideas at its core.

After the thematic reset that was Battlefield 1 I wasn’t expecting much from this year’s instalment of the long-running shooter series – class tweaks, new period accessories and still-higher fidelity explosions, all of it fed through the same mix of giant, vehicle-strewn maps and objective modes. There’s certainly a lot here that’s familiar, but EA DICE has made some dramatic changes to Battlefield’s squad system that shunt an already team-oriented game even further away from lone wolf play. That’s in addition to the ability to rebuild trashed structures, fortifying maps that hitherto existed only to be ripped apart, and, less attractively, a tsunami of live service and earning mechanisms gathered under the banner of the “Tides of War”. As I discovered during a two-hour presentation today in London, it’s a riskier, more stimulating prospect than the “return to roots” messaging suggests. Read the rest of this entry »

Battlefield 1’s They Shall Not Pass DLC is free today

Battlefield 1: They Shall Not Pass

The sun is officially setting on Battlefield 1 this month. After the surprise addition of the Shock Operations playmode, DICE announced that updates for their pseudo-historical multiplayer manshoot would be ending this June. That doesn’t mean that the game is dying, by any means. In fact, owners of the basic edition (sans DLC) are getting a pleasant little boost today as the first expansion – They Shall Not Pass – is free via Origin for the next two weeks.

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Battlefield 1 rallies the troops for one final offensive

Battlefield 1

While EA undoubtedly have their problems, they’ve gotten a lot better at supporting their big-name multiplayer games. It seemed safe to assume that when Battlefield 1‘s final DLC module – Apocalypse – was released, that the game would find itself put on a back-burner. Instead, Dice recently announced that a new playmode called Shock Operations was in development for the game, plus they’re making moves to open up more of the premium DLC maps to those with only the basic edition of the game.

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EA’s self-taught Battlefield bots are a glimpse at the future of AI

Advanced(?) Battlefield AI

So much of AI in games is smoke and mirrors, designed to create the impression of intelligence. Characters moving around navigation node-maps hand placed by developers, seeking cover behind whatever objects the level designers have marked as the most dramatic looking place to hide.

SEED (Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division) are a research group with EA that – among other things – are experimenting with a different, much more organically grown form of AI. After six days of Battlefield One training, their neutral net-spawned little soldier men do seem to have developed something of a life of their own.

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Battlefield 1’s final expansion, Apocalypse, is out now

Battlefield 1: Apocalypse

Some people just want to see the world burn, but there’s enough smoke and hellfire in Battlefield 1‘s final chunk of DLC to make even the hardiest of soldiers want to pack up and go home. Fittingly wrapping up the pesudo-historical shooter’s tour of World War 1 with its grimmest battles, Apocalypse is live for anyone with the Premium pass, or the complete ‘Revolution’ edition of the game.

Within, the bombastic yet fittingly dark launch trailer for the DLC.

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Have You Played… Star Wars Battlefront?

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

The new one‘s out right about now, but I feel little pull towards it. Two years ago, I couldn’t stop staring at Battlefront screenshots, almost disbelieving about how Star Warsy it looked. What changed? Read the rest of this entry »

Old Battlefield games re-killed after EA’s legal warning

Battlefield Heroes

All good things must end, and all that we love will turn to ash some day. The fan-run Revive Network, a community project to support and restore online play to several defunct EA games (including Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142, and most recently Battlefield Heroes) is closing its doors after receiving a warning letter from the monolithic publisher.

They had a good run of 3 years in total, with nearly a million total sign-ups to their alternative master server service, but nothing can last forever. You can see Revive’s final message to their fans, as well as the text of the shutdown request on their Heroes revival site here.

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Have You Played… Battlefield 2142?

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

Long before Titanfall 2, Battlefield 2142 [official site] put mechs in the middle of large, multiplayer first-person battles. It also did those mechs about a tenth as well as Titanfall, but it had something else going for it…

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Is Star Wars: Battlefront Better After All The DLC?

On release, Star Wars: Battlefront was big on spectacle but short on substance. With only a handful of maps, blasters that felt identical, and a distinctly lightweight feel to the combat, there was a sense that DICE’s Star Wars shooter had jetted off to meet its destiny before its training was complete.

Since then, DICE have launched both free and paid-for DLC that takes players from the wreckage strewn surface of The Force Awakens’ Jakku, to the gunmetal corridors of the Death Star itself. But do the free updates make any fundamental improvements to Battlefront, and is it worth essentially paying for Battlefront all over again to access the Season Pass?

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Have You Played… Battlefield 1942?

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

We take it for granted now, but in 2002 I was still impressed that Battlefield 1942 was a multiplayer game that let you fly planes and drive tanks and jeeps. I was even more impressed that, unlike the previous year’s Tribes 2, it was possible to have fun in BF1942 without weeks of practice and planning.

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Have You Played… Battlefield 2?

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

I liked Battlefield 1942, but I loved Battlefield 2. Trading World War 2 for a modern day setting, BF2 maintained the formula of large maps mixing open terrain and tight urban spaces with vehicles aplenty.

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Explore Mirror’s Edge Catalyst’s City Via Interactive Map

I like that Mirror’s Edge Catalyst seems to be a second take at the same ideas that drove the original, rather than a significant departure. Example number one: the pristine white city model that featured in the original game’s menu backgrounds is now an explorable map of the game’s open city. It’s also now an interactive website you can explore ahead of the game’s release.

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Codename Eagle: Reflections On The Real Battlefield 1

Charlie Brooker and an atrocious Bust-a-Move port was all that stood between Codename: Eagle and dubious distinction in the bumper Christmas 1999 edition of PC Zone. If it hadn’t been for Puzzle Bobble 2 and Mr Brooker’s merciless demolition of it (“Pay money for this abysmal conversion and you may as well phone up the publishers and ask them to come round and piss in your eyes.”) the game that inadvertently spawned the Battlefield franchise would have received the issue’s lowest rating – 45%. Spooked by that score, it’s taken me sixteen years to get around to trying Refraction’s conveyance-crammed FPS. After a weekend of biplane trashing, airship hijacking, and wolf stabbing I now understand why Zone described CE as “a game of missed opportunities”. I also understand why the blood-spattered Battlefield 1 trailer isn’t aquiline enough for some.

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Why Battlefield 1 Could Be The Best WWI Game

One of the most difficult jobs I have as a history professor is reminding students that the First World War was a world war. I know. It seems obvious from the title. Nevertheless, here we are. The hardest students to convince of this fact are literature majors. You see, they’ve read Brittain, Graves, Hemingway, Owen, Remarque, Sassoon, and the Regeneration Trilogy. They “know” the war. Please, whatever you do, don’t try to tell them that most contemporaries viewed the war as a heroic struggle. World War One was a war about lost innocence and “lions led by donkeys.” And most of all, it was a war about the trenches of the Western Front.

I look forward to correcting student perceptions of this war, but I am also always on the lookout for anything that I can use to make that job easier: a book, a film, or a YouTube video. I never look to video games for help with this problem, but that may change with the recent announcement of Battlefield 1.

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Battleface: New Battlefield Game Teaser-Trailed

At 9PM BTS/4PM ET, we’ll find out whether the new Battlefield game is Battlefield 5, Battlefield: More Uncomfortable Police Brutality Allusions, or something else entirely. I’m wondering if it could be something a little science-fictional, in order to go toe-to-toe with what COD is up to. Also, wild speculation funtimes: the seconds-long teaser trailer below suggests that its Big Face Man is looking up at something enormous and maybe a little scary. Maybe a mech? We’re overdue a return to 2142. Although the rest of the internet seems to think we’re going back to 1942 at long last.

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Greedo, Jabba’s Palace & A New Mode For Battlefront

I haven’t been back to Star Wars Battlefront [official site] since release, which is partly because it left me a little cold after I’d grown accustomed to the lovely, dad-pleasing graphics and partly because the nostalgia bubble I’d spent a couple of months in burst after finally seeing The Force Awakens. (It was Quite Good But). If they ever introduce a playable Jawa mode, I will be back faster than Han Solo telling porkies about the Kessel Run. Utini, babies. This seems sadly unlikely; for now, EA/DICE seem focused on more maps and, though beloved, C-list characters that no-one in their right mind would call Heroes.
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Star Wars Battlefront Has Free Maps On The Horizon

My favourite Star Wars film is the one with Liam Neeson. Star Wars Battlefront [official site] is set much later, and next film The Force Awakens even later still. Battlefront’s first free content update will bridge that gap a little with The Battle of Jakku – and EA say there will be more “new maps and Star Cards, for free in the coming months.”

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Wot I Think – Star Wars: Battlefront

16 years after cosmic expectations were brought crashing down to Earth when the Phantom Menace started droning on about the taxation of trade routes, poor old Star Wars still seems helpless to prevent the profoundly exciting from becoming slightly tedious.

I’ve opened cruelly, but it’s not a complete summary of my feelings about Star Wars Battlefront [official site].

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