Titanfall playable for free this weekend, as Origin launches Game Time promotion

Phil Savage at

Origin are currently giving away Peggle. It's a happy game about rainbows and Beethoven, and is therefore at odds with the majority of EA's catalogue. To redress the balance, they're also planning a free trial for a game about big robots and loud noises that go "SHHHHHLUNK". Titanfall will be free to download and play this weekend, and—while it'll take the majority of that time to download and install the thing—that should still leave a few solid hours of robo-falling, parkour-jumping action.

The Sims 4 E3 trailer reveals September launch date

Andy Chalk at

We've known about the existence of The Sims 4 since last summer and we have some idea of what to expect from the game too, thanks to a nice October preview that promised to imbue your tiny little digital people with "the full weight of emotion." And now, thanks to the wonders of E3, we finally know when it's coming.

Battlefield 3 and Plants vs. Zombies are "On the House" at Origin

Andy Chalk at

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.

Dragon Age: Inquisition digital deluxe edition detailed, bonuses include mounts and skull thrones

Phil Savage at

Later this year, Bioware will release Dragon Age: Inquisition. That's pretty exciting. So exciting, that six months before release, EA are confident in people's willingness to pre-order the game. And if people will pre-order the regular edition of the game, maybe they'd instead prefer the "Digital Deluxe Edition"; the contents of which are now listed on Origin. If it sounds unlikely, maybe you're underestimating people's love for thrones made out of dragon skull.

Dead Space is free on Origin until May

Omri Petitte at

EA doesn't want your money anymore. Well, it does, but mostly for its newer and shinier selections. Starting today, the publisher will choose one older game from its library and offer it On the House, a new Origin category for games available free of charge. First up: Visceral's disturb-tastic Dead Space.

Battlefield 4's platoons now available for all players

Phil Savage at

Last month, DICE launched Battlefield 4's platoon feature, but restricted the creation of new platoons to Premium members of at least level 10. This is at least somewhat true to the real military, who have realised that letting anybody create their own command structure would be a very inefficient way to organise troops. Luckily, Battlefield 4 is not the real military, and so their variant of the clan model is now available for all.

Battlefield 4 update rebalances weapons, tweaks vehicles, and improves stability (again)

Phil Savage at

At this point, "several crash fixes and stability improvements" must be seared into the brains of every DICE employee. I imagine them wandering their offices, chanting it like some cultish mantra. It's cropped up again as a single line on Battlefield 4's latest giant update notes. This time, though, we're also getting some extensive balance tweaks to weapons and vehicles.

There's plenty here, both the significant and the specific. For the handful of people annoyed about the Active Protection and MP-APS's inability to properly stop 12G FRAG rounds, this could be the patch of a lifetime.

Titanfall video explains the conception and development of its murderous mechs

Phil Savage at

EA's "FTW" development diary series can, at times, descend into the blandest of marketing buzzword static. Their latest, for Titanfall, is slightly different - and not just because it concerns the bulky mass of nimble superweapons. In focusing on the arcade FPS's Titans, the game's developers explain their conception, development, and the differences between the three models that will appear in the full release.

Titanfall beta signups are now live

Cory Banks at

EA and Respawn have opened up registration for Titanfall's beta. The robotic multiplayer shooter, out on March 11, is the first game from Respawn Entertainment, and its beta will be your first chance to try one of our most anticipated games of the year.

GOG announces new Worldwide Money Back Guarantee

Emanuel Maiberg at

GOG announced today that it will give you your money back for games you purchase and are unable to run. Players are encouraged to first use the support page to find a solution to the problem, submitting a ticket describing the issue if they need further help. But in the case that even GOG's "top men" can't find a solution, the site will offer a refund within 30 days after purchase.

Battlefield 4, Mass Effect 3 and SimCity among Origin's Black Friday deals

Phil Savage at

I'm starting to realise it would be easier to list the distributors not currently holding a Black Friday sale. Even so, we'll give Origin the spotlight for a second. After all, their sale does have some good discounts on a selection of EA games, and, let's be honest, people are hardly going to check Origin's store page unprompted. Now you've had that prompt, head over for up to 66% off certain games, including 40% off Battlefield 4.

Battlefield 4 reward system shows changes for veteran players, objective game types

Patrick Carlson at

DICE has dropped some intel about Battlefield 4's online ranking and rewards system, giving us a look at what we'll be up to for 100-plus hours in the game's multiplayer. The usual ribbons and medals return in BF4, but DICE is also hinting at perks that can only be achieved by the hardiest of veteran players.

Battlefield 4 system requirements released

Phil Savage at

DICE have tweeted an image of Battlefield 4's system specs, giving us a chance to see the consequence of all that Levoluting. More importantly, it's an opportunity to judge how our brave PCs will deal with a game that's also parachuting into the DMZ that separates the old and new consoles. Will you be able to handle the coming year of AAA gaming without reinforcing with new components? What they've provided is by no means a definitive answer, but it's a useful early indicator of where we stand.

Humble Origin Bundle earns nearly $10.5 million for charity before ending

Cory Banks at

The Humble Origin Bundle is over. The Electronic Arts-sponsored sale concluded yesterday with a grand total of $10.5 million in sales according to the Humble Bundle Twitter account.

Origin now offers refunds on EA games within 24 hours of first playing them

Tyler Wilde at

Earlier today EA introduced the "Origin Great Game Guarantee," which means that if you buy an EA game on Origin and decide you don't like it within 24 hours of first launching it (or seven days after purchase, whichever comes first), EA will offer a full refund. The new policy is effective immediately.

Leaked SimCity survey hints at some potential futures, including offline mode

T.J. Hafer at

Get a grain of salt ready. This leaked SimCity survey has some pretty exciting items on it—from offline mode to the ability to build mega skyscrapers that contain multiple zoning types—but it's hard to verify that it's actually from EA. And even if it is, these are all simply pitched features that the devs and publishers are trying to gauge our interest in. There's no guarantee that any of this will ever make it into the game... but it's interesting to look over in any case.

EA intends to "re-establish Origin as a service to gamers"

Katie Williams at

EA Sports Executive Vice President Andrew Wilson's tasks now include management of the publisher's digital distribution service, Origin, and he's taken it upon himself to give it a makeover, aiming for its initial vision as a "service to gamers."

SimCity releases new Airship DLC with blimps, hot air balloons, and air commuting

Ian Birnbaum at

SimCity has just released the new Airship DLC, sponsored by... oh, really? I’m being told it’s not sponsored by anyone. Are we sure? I would have thought that a publicity blimp company... Oh. OK.

E3 2014: Predicions and wild, feral speculation

PC Gamer at

We used the only viable fuel source with the world's only time machine to visit E3 2014, and bring back the gaming news of the future for you, our loyal readers. The haters will say we could have done something more beneficial for humanity with this singular opportunity, but we usually just ban people like that. What new boxes will you be able to plug into your TV? Will everyone own a Rift? Do your emotional scars from Game of Thrones Season 3 ever heal? We have the 100 percent accurate, non-speculative answers to all this and more.

E3 2013: What the next gen consoles mean for the PC

PC Gamer at

Xbox One. PS4. What effect will the poster children of E3 2013 have on the future of PC Gaming? Will new hardware architecture mean more high-profile PC ports or—dare we say it—PC-led titles that are ported for consoles afterwards? Are Microsoft's touted 15 exclusive launch titles going to be anything we'd even want in the first place? Will the pull of the indie scene be enough to turn gamers away from hardware manufacturers that shun them? We chew on this, and feed you our analysis like a mother bird to her chicks.