Posts Tagged ‘EA’

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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Wot I Think: Fe

Fe is, I’m so pleased to report, utterly wonderful. I’ve no idea how to say it, whether it’s “Fee”, “Fey”, or maybe even “Iron”? It matters not. It is, perhaps, the most beautiful game I’ve ever seen. And playing it, swooping, running and leaping about in its world, has been a complete delight. And continues to be, even after I’ve ostensibly finished it. Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »

Origin’s latest giveaway is the original Dead Space

Dead Space

Ah, Dead Space. A few flaws aside, Visceral’s grand tribute to sci-fi horror tropes was a rock solid little game that, nearly a decade later still holds up very well, especially in terms of visuals. Two parts Resident Evil 4, one part System Shock and with a twist of Event Horizon to taste, it’s a stern blend that still has what it takes to mix it up and leave players feeling a little shaken.

As part of their continuing On The House range, EA are giving away the first in the series completely free, so long as you buy it via their own storefront, Origin. Once you’ve tagged the game, it’s yours to keep forever, and it should be available for the next month or so if you’re not feeling too quick on the draw. Still, best to click that button sooner rather than later.

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Star Wars Battlefront 2 gets its first major patch

star-wars-battlefront-2-darth-vader

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?

lotrbfme

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

star-wars-battlefront-2

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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