Today is the day you get Battlefield 3! Why, you ask? Because today is the day you can pick it up at absolutely zero cost—that is to say, free—as the second game in Origin's "On the House" program.
It's strictly a rumor at this point, but it's looking increasingly likely that something called Battlefield: Hardline will be the next big thing to come out of EA's hit multiplayer shooter franchise. As noted by the Better Battlelog, various "almost facts" suggest that it will be a cops-and-robbers game rather than opposing militaries, with Thieves and SWAT facing off in multi-mode, multi-class online action.
Quick recap: GameSpy, the online matchmaking client that supported a huge number of multiplayer games, is shutting down on May 31. If developers don’t find a different solution by then, their games will lose online functionality. While EA previously gave us signs that it was working on finding such solutions for the old Battlefield games, earlier this week we found out that Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142, and Battlefield 1942 would go offline on at the end of June. But don’t lose hope! The player community is making its own solutions.
It took me almost 100 hours, but I finally managed to burn myself out on Titanfall. Honestly, I’d probably still be playing it if I didn’t completely stall out on of the Gooser Challenge, even after Respawn nerfed the requirements. At this point I need some new walls to run on to entice me to get back into it, and I’m about to get them.
Every week Andy celebrates a great map, level, or location from a classic PC game in On The Level. This week it’s the unnamed dystopian city from DICE’s Mirror’s Edge.
Faith might be the protagonist of Mirror’s Edge, but the city is the star. While most dystopian science fiction uses the Blade Runner model—grime, neon, perpetual rain—the artists at DICE went in the opposite direction. Their futuristic city is every bit as sinister as Ridley Scott’s Los Angeles, but also serenely beautiful. Glance at a screenshot for a fraction of a second and you’ll know it’s Mirror’s Edge, which is a testament to its stylish, vivid art design. The gleaming skyscrapers, contrails streaking across the sky, and use of bold primary colours are instantly recognisable.
New Titanfall maps are a good thing. We've read a lot about the design decisions behind each of the three maps in Expedition, the game's first DLC pack, but we haven't had a glimpse of the levels until action. Titanfall's newest trailer finally gives us that, as well as a reminder of why the mechtastic competitive shooter was so fun in the first place.
The game isn’t called “Want for Speed,” or “Speed: Take It or Leave It.” It’s Need for Speed, which is why we usually see a new game in the racing series once a year. This year, our need will go unsatisfied. I’m a fan of the series, so I’m a little bummed, but a letter from Executive Producer and GM at developer Ghost Games Marcus Nilsson makes it sound like a smart decision.
A few weeks ago Respawn Entertainment revealed details about War Games, one of the three maps coming in Titanfall’s first DLC pack, Expedition. Today, designer Geoff Smith walks us through another map, Runoff, a smaller map that was originally made for but cut from the full game.
So far we’ve only been able to watch Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare from afar. PopCap’s biggest, shootiest game yet was released on Xbox One and Xbox 360 earlier this year, and people who’ve played it on those platform seem to enjoy it quite a bit. Today, we finally got a PC release date to look forward to.
"High-performance servers" are the latest weapon DICE are throwing at Battlefield 4 to knock it into shape. They hope that it'll reduce instances of rubber banding—when players appear to be running in
one direction, but are teleported back a few steps thanks to a high-latency server hiccup. It's a very frustrating phenomenon in a reflex shooter when every player hop can ruin a perfectly good shot.
"Because of Dragon Age 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition is having to be a lot more ambitious," says executive producer Mark Darrah in our huge Dragon Age: Inquisition interview. Dragon Age 2's narrower scale and 10-year narrative arc proved controversial. Darrah says Bioware are keen "to address those concerns" with "tactical combat and a higher level of deliberate difficulty" as well as a more focused central narrative that's "much more in the vein of Dragon Age: Origins style storytelling."
I’ve already put 81 hours into Titanfall. It’s been hard to play anything else, but I promised myself I’ll take it easy until the first DLC, Expedition, is released. It will add three new maps: Swamplands, in which you’ll wallrun on trees (barkrun?), Runoff, which sounds sewer-themed, and War Games, which takes place in Titanfall’s training simulator. So far we’ve only got the smallest peek at Swampland, but today Respawn gave us a thorough breakdown of War Games.
Dragon Age: Inquisition interview - on fan feedback, romance, returning characters and the open world
The Dragon Age series has evolved in a tumultuous fashion since Origins. The switch from the world-threatening crisis of the first game to the personal stories of Dragon Age 2 proved too great a shift for some fans. Inquisition will again take the series to a grander stage. An open world with dynamic keep battles will bolster the central story, which sees inquisition—led by you—recruiting aid aid to postpone an imminent apocalypse.
How else will Inquisition differ from its predecessors? What have Bioware learned from fans of the series? How will they correct the awkward savegame bugs that could bring characters back to life, and how have they chosen your companions for the new adventure? Chris spoke to executive producer, Mark Darrah, to find out.
In his Titanfall review, Chris questioned how much staying power the mech-tastic shooter would have. It's a legitimate concern—online shooters can be heavily populated the first week, but if your fellow players move on, there won't be anyone left to shoot but bots. Luckily, we're not the only ones worried about the game's lasting appeal. Respawn Game Director Steve Fukuda today published a roadmap of further changes and content to keep Titanfall stomping through the coming months.
How do you beat a game about life, romance and ambition in three-and-a-half minutes? If you're thinking "well just create a charming character, pick the gold digger lifetime wish, marry a rich sim, then lock her in a tiny box and burn it down to secure her inheritance" then firstly, what is wrong with you, and secondly, yes, absolutely that.
The GameSpy shutdown just got a lot less depressing. When the online matchmaking client goes down on May 31, all the games that used it will stop working. We’re talking about a lot of games, and so far only a few publishers have made official statements about how they’re handling the transition. Today, EA said that we’ll still be able to play the old Battlefield games. Thank goodness.
Even if you’re exclusively a PC gamer, you've likely heard about Naughty Dog’s Uncharted games. They’re fantastic, for many reasons, but one thing that was always outstanding about them was the writing, which Amy Henning is largely responsible for. Last month, Henning left Naughty Dog, and there was a lot of speculation about where she’ll go to next. Today we learned that she landed at Electronic Art’s Visceral Games, where she’ll act as Creative Director on the team’s Star Wars project.
Respawn Entertainment thinks that cheaters deserve each other. The developer recently announced that it’s been collecting data since Titanfall launched, but that as of March 21, it has started enforcing bans using FairFight, which Battlefield and other Electronic Arts games use as well. Interestingly, rather than just locking cheaters out of the game, Respawn is forcing them to play with other banned cheaters.
With Titanfall now out (and good), the Respawn team are working on the next updates for their pilot-'n-robot buddy war game. Some of those updates will form DLC, but not all of the planned future content will be hiding behind a paid mini-pack. Last night, Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella confirmed that future multiplayer modes will be released for free, and not tied up as part of expansions.