Posts Tagged ‘EA’

Star Wars Battlefront 2 gets its first major patch

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Star Wars Battlefront 2 has no end of health problems, though at least it’s now had some of its rougher edges patched up. The first official update, Patch 0.2, fixes save issues and spawn problems, as well as vehicle damage being calculated incorrectly and more. The devs also boast that they’ve made “major improvements” to the games stability and performance, so it might be worth checking to see how the game runs now if your computer was having problems before.

One of the fixes concerns players receiving high level Star Cards when they shouldn’t have, which means that one of my gripes with the progression system was the result of a bug. Don’t get too excited though – I’ve got plenty of other gripes.

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Have You Played… The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth?

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

In an alternate universe, Total War: Middle-Earth II just emerged from Creative Assembly, and Monolith have just released Warhammer: Shadow of Warhammer into the world. In this universe, my most recent memory of a Tolkien strategy game is 2004’s elegantly titled The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth.

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EA respond to Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot crate concerns

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The recent Star Wars Battlefront 2 [official site] open beta showed the game itself has come on leaps and bounds since the first one, but the way progression was tied to a loot crate system left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.

EA have responded to that criticism, and released a statement that clarifies some things about how the system will work when the actual game comes out. Players that pay will still have an advantage over those that don’t – at least in the short term – but the most powerful items will be unlocked independently of loot crates.

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Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show on pets in games

Doggo Meato

It’s an animal extravaganza on our podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show. This week we’re talking about pets in games, y’see. Good boys, bad boys, mediocre boys – we love them all. Alice joins us to praise a terrible raccoon Pokémon who’s rubbish at fighting but great at surfing. And while Pip adores the ghostly holo-cat of Tacoma, I prefer the cute xenomorph of Alien Isolation, who can perform all sorts of neat tricks. That’s right, who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy? OK now put me down. Stop that. You’re drooling. I said stop it. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Titanfall 2?

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

Titanfall 2 [official site] changes little of the parkour-and-mechs formula from the first game, but it employs that formula within a singleplayer mode for the first time. It’s a brilliant level design showcase. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Titanfall?

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

Titanfall [official site] found ways to marry the hitscan weapons and low time-to-kill combat of military shooters with the kinetic, frenetic fighting of Quake and Unreal Tournament. Those ways were called “parkour” and “mechs”. Read the rest of this entry »

‘We don’t attempt to be too serious’ – Need For Speed Payback has some comically overblown car chases

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I couldn’t tell you exactly why the truck in front of us has started dropping explosive red barrels out of its container doors, but I am now keenly aware of the fragility of my own speedy car, which is giving chase behind. The oil drums explode and leave firey trails all across the motorway. Innocent drivers swerve and crash to avoid the flames. Then the goons show up. They have taken the form of large black muscle cars. In Need For Speed Payback [official site] everything is a little crazy.

“We’ve always made our fans driving heroes and racing heroes,” says William Ho, creative director, “now we want to make our fans action movie heroes.”
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Have You Played… Command & Conquer III?

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

It probably wasn’t the sequel we all wanted from the mainline Command & Conquer series, left fallow for some time in favour of Red Alert II and Generals. I liked C&C3 anyway, and I want another game like it. Read the rest of this entry »

We went house hunting in Battlefield 1’s Frontlines

Forty-one minutes after the first shots were fired, an explosive charge put an end to one of the longest games of Battlefield 1 [official site] I’ve ever played. This is the new Frontlines mode, which came with the shooter’s first batch of DLC. Thanks to the rules of this mode, the feverish WWI battles have become long back-and-forth fights over long tracts of land. Many players are reporting obscenely lengthy matches with some even lasting almost three hours. So I decided to jump in. Not to scramble with the other soldiers to the frontlines. No, no, no. But to stay far back and see if I could find a nice cottage in the French countryside. Here’s a blow by blow account (plus video) of what happened.
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Mass Effect multiplayer underlines Andromeda’s by-the-numbers design

I don’t believe that Mass Effect: Andromeda [official site] is a train wreck. I do believe that it feels like a game made to spec, and is oddly soulless as a result. In singleplayer, this is to some extent disguised behind crusading dialogue and regular planet-hopping, but in multiplayer it is laid bare.

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Mass Effect Andromeda’s romances are more elaborate and more forgettable

In Mass Effect’s twin galaxies of the Milky Way and Andromeda, there’s a lot of smooching to be done, along with awkward flirting, saucy trysts and deep romantic connections with pretty alien boys and girls. BioWare’s been tinkering with its sexiest system for years, even before Mass Effect let us play out our embarrassing Kirk fantasies. And with Andromeda, they’ve promised even more junk-to-junk shenanigans, as well as deeper relationships.

Have they delivered? And, more importantly, can anything beat hooking up with Dragon Age: Inquisition’s Iron Bull and his infinite pecs? I’ve become a space Lothario to find out. Read the rest of this entry »

Bioware “working around the clock to improve and build on” Mass Effect: Andromeda

Newbie Mass Effect game Andromeda [official site] has proved to be the most controversial since, well, the last Mass Effect game. The fuss this time is not to do with convenient space magic endings and dangling plot threads, but instead a tri-gripe of its feeling somewhat routine, a shower of bugs and a feeling that its facial animations are a little bit Christmas panto.

Devs Bioware have been relatively quiet during the storm, but are now offering the first details on how they plan to get their new era for Mass Effect back on track. Read the rest of this entry »

Battlefield 1 to let your grubby mates play new maps

First-person mustard-gasser Battlefield 1 [official site] is set to allow friends of season pass holders to play on all current and future DLC maps, the shootmen at Dice have announced. This system of keeping buddies together no matter where they want to die is called ‘Premium Friends’, which sounds like a weird mail-order service for lonely people but is actually quite a savvy move by the gun scoundrels at EA.
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Wot I Think: Mass Effect Andromeda

Strap in. Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] is out on Tuesday in the US, and then because EA still lives in 1987, in Europe on Thursday. I’ve played it for over 70 hours, seen the main ending, and am entirely ready to tell you wot I think. It’s well worth reading my previous piece on the first few hours, as there’s much there that’s relevant that I’ve not repeated below. Read the rest of this entry »

Mass Effect Andromeda: 14 mixed observations of the opening hours

I’ve experienced quite a few of the same issues John has with Mass Effect Andromeda [official site], but there’s stuff I’ve been less bothered by, there’s stuff I’ve appreciated, and there’s also stuff Big J didn’t mention yet that has made the nitpick zones of my brain light up like Mardi Gras.

I’ve played four or five hours of the Origin Access paid demo so, like John, I stress that all this may yet change later on. I’m going to break this into points, but my take-home feeling is that, though I certainly wouldn’t call MEA awful, it is failing to grab me as much as I’d hoped it would and it thus far feels oddly generic in a way this fresh start for the series really shouldn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

The first few hours of Mass Effect: Andromeda are… well they aren’t good

I had, by purpose or distraction, not found out anything about Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] before playing its review build, beyond that it was set in a whole new galaxy. Ooh goody, I thought! A sci-fi RPG series I completely loved, but with a fresh start, baggage shed, and the extraordinary potential of a setting in a galaxy entirely unlike our own.

Yeah, about that. The first few hours of Andromeda are a gruesome trudge through the most trite bilge of the previous three games, smeared out in a setting that’s horribly familiar, burdened with some outstandingly awful writing, buried beneath a UI that appears to have been designed to infuriate in every possible way.

I had gone in assuming this would be more BioWare pleasure. So far – and let’s be clear, there’s lots of room and time for it to pick up and turn things around – the first few hours have been just awful. Read the rest of this entry »

Meet the superfans still playing Populous: The Beginning

In 1998, Bullfrog released Populous: The Beginning, a quirky RTS sequel to the legendary Populous series of god games, to middling reviews. It ‘[wa]sn’t really Populous’ (Ron Dulin, GameSpot). It was ‘incredibly entertaining for about two weeks’ (Trent Ward, IGN). EA absorbed Bullfrog in 2001, and shut down the game’s multiplayer server in 2004. And that was that.

So how come there’s still an active group of Populous players keeping the flame alive nearly twenty years later? I got in touch with some of the community’s longest-standing members to find out. Read the rest of this entry »

Five hours with Mass Effect Andromeda

It’s been five years since BioWare released the final part to their Mass Effect trilogy. Five years of very little information dispersed between huge fan anticipation and speculation. The ending to the trilogy meant a sequel was unlikely, and a prequel was rumoured for a while, but instead Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] has shaken off the shackles of the trilogy’s narrative by setting itself 634 years in the future and in the new galaxy of Andromeda.

After five hours of playing both the first mission and the fourth mission (which takes place roughly 3 hours into the game) of a preview build of Andromeda I’m able to share my experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Mass Effect Andromeda gets a release date (it’s March)

Lovers of intergalactic dating sim Mass Effect will be happy to learn that the newest game in the franchise, Mass Effect Andromeda [official site], will be coming out this spring. The United Statespeople will see it first on March 21, with Europeanfolk getting their alien booty call on March 23, according to an official statement from BioWare’s Aaryn Flynn. Isn’t life splendid?
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