E.A.

Mass Effect Comic-Con panel reveals N7 connection, return of the Mako for next game

Tom Sykes at

It's natural to expect the big game-related news to emerge out of E3 or Gamescom, but BioWare just revealed a load of new details about the next Mass Effect in a panel at Comic-Con, which they reiterate is totally not called Mass Effect 4. The mighty Nerd Appropriate were on hand to take sneaky images, and thanks to their sterling work we now know that the first game's infuriating/awesome spacecar the Mako will be making a return - they even showed footage of the thing in action, although sadly video hasn't leaked of that yet. More details after the break, which may or may not include the letters 'N7'.


Battlefield Hardline's single-player sees you framed for a drug bust gone bad

Tom Sykes at

Can Battlefield Hardline's sudden delay to 2015 engooden a game whose beta wasn't terribly well received? Ignore the fact that I just murdered the English language there with the word 'engooden' and focus on these details about the game's story mode, which until now has been shrouded in mystery. Admittedly a mystery no one really cared too much about, like the premise of The Leftovers or what happened to Walt in Lost, but a mystery all the same. Hardline's single-player tells the story of two framed cops who bust out of prison to clear their names (by shooting lots of people, as is the custom). Actors from The Shield, Sons of Anarchy and, er, Nash Bridges are on-board to do the voices. Cheech Marin isn't one of them, disappointingly.


The Sims 4 system requirements released. It will probably run on your computer

Phil Savage at

Okay, so it won't run on anything too old: you're out of luck if you're rocking, say, a C64, difference engine or anything powered by a potato. Still, the recently released minimum requirements for The Sims 4 are low—as you might expect from a series that targets such a wide audience.


Bioware trailer teases mysterious project, rumoured to be called Shadow Realms

Phil Savage at

Hey, you! You have been chosen to receive information about whatever it is Bioware are up to. So has everybody else, for that matter, but don't let that make you feel any less special.

Also, "information" might be a bit strong. We've got a creepy live-action teaser, the phrase "you've been chosen", and the promise of more to come at Gamescom, this August. "The time is near," states the description. "They are watching. Your power is rising. Cologne, Germany. You’ve Been Chosen." Internet sleuths have gone a step further, though, revealing references to the name Shadow Realm.


Dragon Age: Inquisition delayed until November

PC Gamer at

EA today announced that Dragon Age: Inquisition has a new release date: November 18 in North America, and November 21 in Europe. The game was originally slated for an October 7 release, but developer BioWare says in today's update the six-week delay will make for a better game.


The Sims 4 demo footage reveals Premium membership

Phil Savage at

Damn, The Sims got dark. It's always been a playground for the sadistic, of course—for those who like to torment their digital charges with inescapable rooms of terror. But now, it seems, the game takes place in a Twilight Zone episode where excess emotions are punishable by death. In this 20 minute walkthrough of The Sims 4's E3 build, characters once again chuckle themselves to an early expiration. And to think, they say laughter is the best medicine.


FIFA 15, like The Sims 4, is all about emotions

Tom Sykes at

This might be the first trailer to make me give a football game a curious glance since the days of the Mega Drive, and it's all thanks to EA's current obsession with emotions. Not content with turning The Sims into an emotional melting pot, they're giving each player in the noble game of football their own "emotional intelligence", which will visibly change over time depending on how the match is progressing. While players won't sit cross-legged in a huff after someone misses a goal, their reaction animations will alter in both positive and negative ways to proceedings, according to this latest trailer. See what this entails after the break.


The Sims 2 is being retired, EA to give owners a free Ultimate Collection upgrade

Phil Savage at

The Sims 2 has lived a long and productive life. It was born, it made lots of friends, it worked at H&M for a period, and now it's ready to retire. In an email sent out to Sims 2 owners, EA claim that the game will "lose technical support" next week, on 22 July. As a concession to the game's owners, all copies registered digitally through Origin will be upgraded to the Ultimate Collection—a complete edition containing every expansion pack and "stuff pack" released for almost 10-year-old game.


Battlefield 4: Dragon's Teeth trailer shows explosive action, jet-ski escapes

Phil Savage at

I've been falling down an Arma hole recently, and so my initial reaction to this video was one of alarm. Driving tanks into the path of an oncoming train? Absconding with a flag while riding a jet-ski? Running willy-nilly into the incoming fire of your enemies? Riding a digger?! That's not how you do a war. Of course, that's also not the point. The point: to be a loud and explosive playground filled with destructive possibility. If this trailer's two minutes of action are anything to go by, the Dragon's Teeth DLC could be a success in that regard.


Battlefield 4 Dragon's Teeth trailer is 30 seconds of compressed explosive action

Tom Sykes at

This trailer for Battlefield 4's forthcoming Dragon's Teeth DLC might only be 30 seconds long, but only around 10 of those seconds have been wasted showing logos or release dates—the rest is riddled with gunfire and explosions and a bit where a train carriage is knocked clean off a track. (Yes, there is a small explosion resulting from that.) Also pictured: the ballistic shields that will be added in the content pack, along with liberal use of speedboats and quad bikes.


Dragon Age: Inquisition second E3 video offers a further fourteen minutes of footage

Phil Savage at

The first part of Bioware's E3 demo for Dragon Age: Inquision was released (in video form) two days ago. It featured a dragon fight and, as such, was exciting. The second part of that demo features a castle. Naturally, it's a little bit less exciting. That's not to say castles aren't still somewhat exciting, but dragons are huge and monstrous and fun to hunt. Luckily for anyone wanting to see fourteen more minutes of the game, inside the castle are bad guys, battles and dialogue choices.


Battlefield 4: DICE announce Battlefest in-game event

Phil Savage at

DICE are launching Battlefest, an event they describe as a "festival built for gamers". Picture crowds gathered in massive tents, raising their lighters in appreciation of an on-stage presentation on the merits of mid-range firefights with an AR160. And now forget that image, because this "festival" takes place entirely in-game. It begins this Saturday with a double-XP weekend.


Dragon Age: Inquisition E3 video emerges with 16 minutes of gameplay

Shaun Prescott at

October is several months away, so if you're eager to play Dragon Age: Inquisition then the anticipation may be starting to bother you. Well, here's a bone for you: 16 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay footage has been released. Originally aired behind-closed-doors at E3 last month, it shows exploration, tactical and not-so-tactical combat, and the freezing of bears to death.


Dragon Age: Inquisition will let you hug your companions, customise horns

Tom Sykes at

No matter how tough or Greyspawn-ridden the world gets, most problems can be solved with a good hug. I'm going to stick my neck out and say that 90% of the original Dragon Age's grim fantasy story could have been avoided if the Grey Wardens had just given their age-old foes a lovely embrace, followed by a cosy chat to iron out their differences. That unfortunately wasn't possible in the first of Bioware's series, but you will be able to do some manner of hugging in Inquisition. Not with the Greyspawn - not even with those fluffy, cuddly werewolves - but with some of your companions. That and other titbits have emerged from a recent Q and A on the vowel-phobic Raptr, in which fans asked Bioware questions, and they answered. The juiciest morsels are below.


EA explain why The Sims 4 won't feature pools or toddlers

Tom Sykes at

Sims fans are a bit miffed that The Sims 4 won't feature pools or toddlers, two seemingly small details that have nonetheless caused a fair bit of outrage over the last couple of weeks. I imagine much of the anger is less about which features are missing in 4, and more about why features present in previous entries haven't been included in this latest version—the worry being that EA might be holding them back for one of The Sims' many, many, many expansion packs. That worry probably won't be mollified by EA's latest blog post addressing the matter, but it does explain the reasons behind the decision not to include those two features. Essentially, it was a trade-off with the game's new AI, animation system, build mode, Create a Sim etc.


Here's how Battlefield 4 celebrated Independence Day

Phil Savage at

For the British, July 4th is a time for looking sheepishly at your feet as you're reminded of the, er, impoliteness of your ancestors. Then again, nearly every day is a time for that. For the US, it's an apparently much more festive occasion. And so, in honour of the day, Battlefield 4's CTE broke out the red, blue and white fireworks, and an appropriately raucous version of The Star-Spangled Banner. You can see all the Premium-only test client's celebrations, courtesy of YouTube user 'Jackfrags'.


Command and Conquer series saved from GameSpy shutdown thanks to community effort

Tom Sykes at

Games for Windows Live might kinda sorta still be going for the time being (despite rumours that its death would occur on July 1st), but multiplayer server thingamajig GameSpy is definitely, definitely dead. EA's Command & Conquer games were among the casualties, but after only a short amount of downtime, C&C3 and Kane's Wrath, Red Alert 3, Generals and Generals: Zero Hour are once again playable online. This isn't EA's doing, but rather a community effort over at the aptly named C&C: Online. Details below.


Battlefield 4 Dragon's Teeth releases for Premium July 15th, according to Origin tweet

Tom Sykes at

What are you up to on July 15th? It's a Tuesday, so you're probably going to be either at work or at school for some of it, but EA are rather hoping you'll dedicate part to installing and playing Battlefield 4's new Dragon's Teeth DLC. That's according to a tweet (quickly deleted) by EA's Origin account, which revealed (then quickly unrevealed) that Dragon's Teeth will be out for Premium subscribers on that particular date. If true, then we only need to apply EA and DICE's usual two-week delay for non-Premium members to surmise that Dragon's Teeth will launch for everyone on July 29th. That tweet/untweet is after the break, along with a reminder of what the map pack actually involves.


Dragon Age: Inquisition to include Bioware's first "fully gay" male party member

Phil Savage at

Bioware have spent a lot of time showing off the locales of Dragon Age: Inquisition—likely hoping to reassure us it has more areas than just That Cave from Dragon Age 2. But locations are just one aspect of a Bioware RPG. The other aspect is who you'll be romancing. In a recent profile by Bioware's David Gaider, the studio introduced Dorian, their first "fully gay" male party member and the first gay character the lead writer has written.


Battlefield 4 CTE update reveals 'netcode' improvements, Rush tweaks

Phil Savage at

Last month, DICE launched the Community Test Environment—a beta branch of the game that let Premium players test and give feedback on a variety of (much needed) updates. Soon, it'll be time for those improvements to invade the game proper. DICE recently rounded up some of the changes we can expect, including Rush mode tweaks, balance changes to Dragon's Teeth's Ballistics Shield, and, once again, "improvements to the 'Netcode'".