If you like Battlefield 3, or war movies, or just explosions then you should definitely take a look at the five minute "Moments" machinima for Battlefield 3. It creator Robert Stoneman one week to make with help from 15 in-game stuntmen. See quadbikes speeding backwards over the dunes of Bandar Desert, see jets duelling over the Alborz and see what happens when a tank lands on top of a low-flying chopper. I don't know about you, but this is one of the slickest Machinima vids I've seen in a while.
On a post at the Mordor HQ forums, spotted by PCGamesN, DICE staffer Mikael Kalms has reversed a previous statement that DICE would allow players to turn off the colour-grading which gives Battlefield its muted, cold aesthetic.
So, here we go again. The saga began when devs suggested that modders trying to alter the colour palette of the game might inadvertently fall foul of anti-cheat measures and find themselves banned from the game. The ensuing outcry led DICE to suggest it would implement such an option with the next patch of the game. But now it seems the company has thought better of that, with Kalms reproducing an official statement saying, "we are proud of the visual identity of Battlefield 3 and do not wish to change it."
Day one patches are sometimes used to circumvent disk deadlines, giving developers the opportunity to keep fixing things right up to launch day. If a game has to be shipped but isn't entirely polished yet, a day one fix can do the trick. Medal of Honor's birthday update is particularly essential. It adds "new features" like to the ability to "add friends and join parties while in-game." It also fixes weapon bugs like a classic "very exploitable" no-scope bug and changes the VOIP team channel so that it "no longer includes players from the other team." Hmmm.
DICE retreat from BF3's war on colours by adding 'disable colour grading' option [Update: nope, changed their minds]
Colour-tweaking mods have become fairly popular over the last few years, as visual filters degrade what could be beautiful environments for the sake of authenticity or style. In a game like Fallout, rectifying the game's very green visuals is as simple as installing the Fellout mod; try that in Battlefield 3 and you risk having your account banned, over fears that it gives an unfair advantage. Well, DICE have finally seen sense, revealing that the game's next update will add "a console command for disabling the color grading entirely in the game", meaning that such mods should now be unnecessary.
Bioware have been talking about Dragon Age 3: Inquisition at the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo over the weekend, as spotted by Kotaku and live tweeted by Dragon Age 3 producer Cameron Lee. The panellists revealed that we will definitely play as a human in Inquisition. "Backgrounds will be in DA3 even though you will be human," Lee tweets, "it's not playable but it does significant impact on the story."
Creative director Mike Laidlaw also suggested that we'll get our own castle, shown in the concept art above. Two other pieces of concept art were put up, showing an open plain and some overgrown ruins. Cinematic designer Jon Perry said that "one level in Dragon Age 3 is as big as all of the levels in Dragon Age 2." Check out the concept art below for an idea of how those environments are shaping up.
The problem with reviewing a game like FIFA 13 is that you end up writing notes like ‘the physicality is less predictable’ which, when you take a step away from the context of an iterative virtual sports title, make a kind of negative sense that could potentially be weaponised and deployed as part of a disruptive first strike invasion scenario.
Each chunk of Battlefield 3 DLC has had its own flavour, so far. Back to Karkand was a dusty payload of retro maps reforged in a cutting edge engine, Close Quarters focused on tight maps that delivered fast, accessible scraps. Armoured Kill was expansive and full of tanks. What will Aftermath be?
After the debut trailer, it's hard to say. It's set in ruined, post-quake Iran, but the prospect of more maps set in crumbling yellow streets doesn't especially sell it. There are scoped crossbows, though, which could deliver a quieter, deadlier alternative to a silenced pistol at medium range. The interesting moment comes just before the logo break, which suggests that we might have to contend with mid-match earthquakes. Now that sounds interesting.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is going free to play "later this fall." As you might expect, there will be considerable restrictions placed on players enjoying the free version. Good news: all story missions for all classes will be free. Less good news: if you want to run more than three PvP warzone sessions a week, gain rewards for more than three flashpoints per week, have more than one crew skill or revive more than five times in the field, you'll have to buy Cartel Coins. These can be spent on weekly passes to remove flashpoint and Operation restrictions, or you can blow them on new gear customisation options.
The city shown above demonstrates the grid-induced OCD that a detailed city building sim can inspire in even the messiest soul. If I put down a cup of coffee I'm much more likely to hit some crumpled piece of desk detritus than a empty, tidy, bit of space. And yet, exposed to an empty patch of grass and a means to plant buildings down and a certain ruthlessness emerges. A fence I find accidentally askew triggers a strange anger. That is NOT RIGHT. Time to BURN IT DOWN and do it again.
Fortunately, we'll have natural disasters to do that for us when the new SimCity arrives next February. The new trailer shows a few different disasters doing there thing, including a meteor shower and an old fashioned earthquake. But which is your favourite?
Gamers who participated in an Electronic Arts survey at the weekend were rewarded with a $20 Origin discount code. Or so EA presumably thought. Poor EA. In fact, the code worked for everyone, not just those who took part in the survey, and could be used to chug down an unlimited number of $20 games, all for free - a fact which was quickly publicised on Reddit and Overclockers.
Deadline are reporting that Fox are going to develop an "action comedy" TV series based on Battlefield: Bad Company. Writing duties will fall to John Eisendrath, one of the pens behind Alias and, among other things, Beverly Hills 90210. Also in the mix are Sony TV and Adam Sandler's production company, Happy Madison.
The Mass Effect 3 Retaliation pack is set to be the biggest update to the multiplayer mode yet. The chitinous villains of Mass Effect 2, The Collectors, will return. Praetorian, Scion, Abomination, Trooper, and Captain variants will form a new 11 wave assault. Kill them, get cash, buy boxes and open them to dramatic inception "BWAAAARM" noises. If you're lucky, you might unlock a new class like the Turian Havoc Soldier, or the Turian Ghost Infiltrator, or a new collector-themed weapon.
600 million minutes of Fifa 13 have been played online since launch last week. Imagine what we could've achieved if we'd piled the collective effort of those 600 million minutes into one project. We could have amassed enough money to quash every superinjunction in the land, delivering a payload of footbally gossip to snigger at/moralise over for months, perhaps years. We could have surreptitiously replaced Spurs players with identical android versions one by one, renamed the club Robottenham Botspur and ruled the league as kings. We could have built a giant golden statue of Balotelli, mid-hulkout, squatting over the London Gherkin as though he's laid an enormous glass egg.
But NO. We decided to stay indoors and play a quality game instead.
The outpouring of online negativity surrounding Mass Effect 3 and The Old Republic may have proved "just too much" for Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, who left Bioware and the games industry behind a couple of weeks ago.
That's the view of former Bioware man Trent Oster, speaking to Now Gamer about the doctors' exit. “The last time I met up with [Greg], I felt his exhaustion,” Oster said. "Punch out, eject, get the hell out", was my suggestions to him and it hit closer to the mark than I had realised. I also think the Mass Effect 3 fan reaction and the Old Republic fans negativity was just too much.”
Expect to see lots more of Battlelog in the coming years. EA have bought ESN the company who built Battlefield 3's browser based stat tracking/social network/game launcher site. Gamasutra highlight a statement from the company suggesting that they'll be hunkering down with DICE for a while to "focus all of its energy on DICE, Battlelog and the Battlefield series."
The word on the touchlines is that PES 2013 marks a return to form after a few years on the bench. Are EA scared? Are they sweating like a striker in the sights of Joey Barton's studs? Apparently not. EA's chief operating officer, Peter Moore, has responded to the positive buzz for Konami's competing football sim by saying: "We always welcome competition from our good friends at Konami," adding that it "keeps us all on our toes".
"Pro Evo has been a favourite game for a number of years but I think people recognise Fifa has been a powerful force and we've raised the quality of what soccer games are in the entertainment business."
DICE have announced their shortlist of the ten finest entries for this year's Battlefield 3 community video contest, featuring some spectacular kills, skill shots, plane stunts and war montages from the front lines. Some of the entries are on par with DICE's trailer efforts on the run up to Battlefield 3's launch last year, but now there are lots more maps to play with, which means more bridges to fly under and more indoor areas in which to pilot your helicopter, scaring everyone inside to death.
Battlefield 3 players think about tanks once every six seconds, but how often do they think about the flowers? NEVER, I bet. How many daisies have you crushed while driving your M1A2 Abrams into a squad of engineers? Some, probably.
The Armoured Kill launch trailer is the tale of one flower that survives a huge tank battle on one of the expansion's four new maps. The map pack is out on Xbox today. Premium players will get to jump in and dodge the daisies next Tuesday. All other paying customers can get in on September 25. Wonderfully stupid scenes of all-out-tank-battle-war and miraculous flower survival follow.
EA studio president Frank Gibeau has been talking about the publisher's efforts to push every new release online at the Cloud Gaming USA conference covered by Supperannuation. Mandatory multiplayer modes, online profiles and cross-platform projects have been an important part of that push.
"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers. I have not green lit one game to be developed as a singleplayer experience, said Gibeau. "Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365."
Battlefield 3 balance and bug fixing updates don't come along very often thanks to the certification process required by console manufacturers, but when they do arrive, they change a lot. Today's chunky 2.2GB patch arrives a week ahead of the release of the Armoured Kill expansion pack for Premium owners, and seems particularly concerned with weapon balance. Reload times, recoil and damage/distance values have been tweaked "based on joint community feedback and statistical analysis." Bipods have been buffed again and a number of vehicle bugs, and a couple of Donya Fortress exploits have been fixed. Check out the full list of fixes, as they appear over on Battlelog.