EA

SimCity mod extends maximum city size, but not without performance problems

Phil Savage at

Previously, Maxis confirmed that they've no plan to extend SimCity's maximum city size. And so it falls to modders to help those feeling hemmed in by the game's virtual borders. Can it be done? Yes, sort of. Project Orion is such a boundary extending mod, and will let the game's mayors build free of the vanilla base limit. Don't plan a ribbon cutting ceremony for your city's east wing just yet, though, as its use will mean dealing with some pretty significant performance issues and glitches.


Knock knock! The Old Republic's Galactic Strongholds expansion opens to subscribers next week

Ben Griffin at

After being teased for months, player housing is finally coming to Star Wars MMO The Old Republic next week. The recent Gamescom trailer showed off abodes across four planets, including the spellcheck-incurring Dromund Kaas, Tatooine, and Coruscant.


Titanfall: IMC Rising announced as the game's third (and final) DLC pack

Phil Savage at

Respawn had a brief appearance on the EA Gamescom stage, where they revealed the third and final DLC pack for Titanfall. Called IMC Rising, the pack will contain an additional three maps—successfully surprising no-one.


The Sims 4 Create-A-Sim demo now available for download

Phil Savage at

If you didn't see EA's Sims 4 live demo at their Gamescom press conference, you missed out on long minutes of incredibly awkward banter. Actually, no, you didn't; you can see it all via the magic of Twitch VODs. Other than a sense of deep embarrassment, the session also provided news of a general release for the Create-A-Sim demo. You can now prepare for the game's imminent release by pre-creating your subjects of vicarious virtual living.


Shadow Realms announced, is Bioware's 4 vs 1 online RPG

Phil Savage at

In 'weirdest thing to happen EA's Gamescom press conference' news, Peter Moore was revealed to know what twerking was. The second weirdest thing was undoubtedly the reveal of Bioware Austin's Shadow Realms. It's a 4v1 asymmetrical online RPG, with a modern setting and an episodic release plan. And, as a Bioware RPG, it'll have a heavy focus on story.


Dragon Age: Inquisition trailer reveals the enemies of Thedas

Phil Savage at

EA's Gamescom stream was... er, well let's just say it was having "netcode" issues. As such, many—myself included—missed the majority of Bioware's on-stage Dragon Age: Inquisition demo. Not to worry, instead we get something a little more dramatic: a look at some of the monsters you'll be facing throughout the game. No, endless buffering is not one of them.


See the EA Gamescom 2014 conference here, at 9am BST

Phil Savage at

Conference: round two! After yesterday's console-focused pressers, today EA get to offer a more balanced gaming diet. Expect them to even say "PC" on stage—almost like it was an extremely healthy and desirable platform to court. The whole thing will kick off in mere minutes, at 9am BST, 8am CET, 4am EST, 1am PST.


Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare update adds new map and mode

Shaun Prescott at

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare may no longer be the most whimsical shooter of 2014 (see Lovely Planet) but one thing is for sure: it still exists. To support its ongoing existence developer PopCap has announced it will roll out a new free update later this week (Tuesday in the Northern Hemisphere, Wednesday in Australia). Titled Suburbination, the updateadds a new map in the form of 'Crash Course', a new 'Suburbination' game mode, a new character and a new customisation kit.


Battlefield 4 to get major free update in September based on CTE feedback

Shaun Prescott at

DICE continues its efforts to salvage Battlefield 4 with a new series of fixes, due to go live in September. The substantial update is borne of feedback received from the game's Community Test Environment, which launched in May exclusively for Battlefield Premium members. Its focus was meant to be the game's netcode, but a lot more has been addressed according to the notes.


The Sims 4 gameplay video and hands-on impressions

PC Gamer at

I've been eager to get my hands on the Sims 4 since seeing the trailer revealed at E3 this year. Last week, I got a chance to play for a little more than five hours. I didn't find the new emotion system to be as exciting as Maxis is selling it to be, but there are a number of smaller, meaningful improvements to playability that I was really happy with. Watch the video for my full thoughts on the latest Sims installment.


The Sims 4 is all about feelings. Feelings and rampant gesticulation

Tom Sykes at

As we know, The Sims 4's Big Thing is the emotions of its virtual people. Emotions such as 'happiness', 'disappointment', 'regret', 'the nagging feeling that some godlike figure is manipulating everything I do', and who could forget 'insouciance'. This latest trailer focuses on a bunch of less exciting feelings such as boredom and confidence, and the sims' constant over-gesticulation makes me think their latest game might be set on some terrifying Planet of the Mimes. Sure, that hyperactivity has always been a thing, but it seems extra mimey now that everyone's expressing emotions all the time.


Dragon Age Keep delayed as well, closed beta extended as a result

Tom Sykes at

If you'd missed the news that BioWare had delayed Dragon Age: Inquisition—like I had, frownyface—you may be disappointed by the middle of this sentence. Further disappointment lies in the news that Dragon Age Keep—that's the "companion web experience" that will allow you to feed in your choices from the previous games—has been delayed as well. There's no specific new release date given, but in the FAQ BioWare state that "The Keep will be live and open to everyone about a month before the launch of Dragon Age: Inquisition. So likely some time in October".


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

Tom Sykes at

UPDATE: Footage of the panel has appeared online, along with a few more details, including confirmation that you'll be playing as a human character. You'll find it below.

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.