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  1. It's official: Respawn Entertainment -- known for the Titanfall series -- has been bought by Electronic Arts for over $400 million. The move was precipitated by an offer that was made by Nexon -- which published a mobile Titanfall game -- to acquire the studio. Apparently, EA had a clause with Respawn where it had first right of refusal, giving them the opportunity to buy Respawn before Nexon did. Also worth noting: EA shut down Visceral Games just a few weeks ago, and while there are reports as to why it happened, this may be another wrinkle to the whole situation. Kotaku's Jason Schreier laid out the timeline of events on Twitter, and it's not hard to conclude that EA being pressed into buying Respawn might have been one of the biggest factors that went into Visceral's closure. So why was it necessary for EA to buy Respawn, aside from the studio being a talented developer? Schreier pointed out that it was likely in large part because Respawn owns the Titanfall IP, which is fairly valuable to EA considering that they published the series' first two entries. In other news, it was also announced that Respawn is now working on a new Titanfall game and a VR title. These are in addition to a Star Wars game that's in development, so the studio has its hands quite full these days. Considering Titanfall 2 came out last year, it's likely we won't see any of these games for another year or two at least. Source: Fortune What are your thoughts on EA buying Respawn Entertainment?
  2. There's been a LOT in the games industry to digest over the last week as news about Visceral's closing broke. Honestly, the whole thing was as equally a shock/surprise to me as it wasn't. I don't think anyone would dispute Visceral's credibility as a developer. The Dead Space games are widely loved, even if the first is the one that gets any real acclaim from people. And even though Battlefield Hardline didn't set the world on fire, they seemed liked they were a competent team to handle a new Star Wars title; one that purportedly would have been somewhat like Uncharted. The reason part of this doesn't surprise me is because we've heard about this game for years now and seeing absolutely nothing about it. Pretty much the only thing we ever saw was that development diary about it a few E3s back when EA literally had nothing to show in the way of new games. So the fact that we had gone so long without even as much as a title, let alone any early screenshots or ANYTHING lent some credence to rumors that the project was in trouble (deadlines not being met, etc.). At any rate, the whole thing is a shame, and now there's word that EA is looking to focus solely on developing games with large open worlds and microtransactions, like what they're doing with Anthem, for example. Personally, I think this will end up coming back to bite them. Maybe not this year or even next year, but somewhere down the line this trend will start to implode. What do you guys think? Are you concerned about EA's new direction? And what did you think of Visceral's closing?
  3. Good news for Mass Effect fans -- the long-gestating Mass Effect: Andromeda now officially has a solid release date: March 21. Andromeda is set 600 years after the first Mass Effect trilogy in the Andromeda Galaxy, with the goal of exploring and discovering new planets for the human race to colonize. Despite being the first new Mass Effect entry in nearly five years, EA has said that it will be a standalone entry instead of being the first of a new trilogy. However, this doesn't mean there won't be future games that take advantage of the same setting. General Manager of Bioware Aaron Flynn remarked on the announcement, saying: "Mass Effect: Andromeda is our most ambitious Mass Effect game to date. We“re telling completely new stories, creating new characters, new planets, new species, and introducing new gameplay systems. And for the first time, we“re bringing Mass Effect to the FrostbiteTM game engine, an incredible engine that“s delivering a tremendous graphical jump from the trilogy to Mass Effect: Andromeda. To deliver on this, we“re taking all the time we can to make sure you“re getting the best possible experience." Mass Effect: Andromeda is slated for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Source: Bioware | Mass Effect Are you looking forward to Mass Effect: Andromeda's release in March?
  4. Mirror's Edge Catalyst was originally supposed to release on May 24, but a new update on the game's website has revealed that the game will experience a two week delay, with the new release date now being June 7 in North America and June 9 in Europe. The reason for the delay? DICE wants enough time to implement player feedback from the recently launched Mirror's Edge Catalyst beta regarding its online components so the game is running the best it can be when it launches. In any case, expect to play the game in June now, and hopefully the delay give players faith that DICE can make any needed corrections to make the game run as well as it can. Get it? Faith? I'll show myself out now... Source: Mirrorsedge.com
  5. Jonathan Higgins

    Review: Unravel

    Developer: Coldwood Interactive Publisher: Electronic Arts Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Release Date: February 9th, 2016 ESRB: E for Everyone This review is based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game Somewhere between a lofty description of an older lady dusting off a photo album... and the “Memories” that Facebook and other Social Media websites actively push on you... are the almost-tangible feelings that nostalgia brings forth from within. Some memories are happy; some are quite the opposite. Just a tiny slice of scenery could be enough to awaken older times. Awakenings often lead to epiphanies -- perhaps looking at a memory with a different set of eyes yields a message about how much you“ve grown. I think that“s what Unravel -- courtesy Coldwood Interactive and EA -- is trying to communicate. I“ve a lot to say about the six hours or so I spent journeying through about a dozen old photos brought to life. I“ll get to mechanics, physics, and the tough stuff a little later on. First and foremost, I want to mention how Coldwood has presented this game. You see the protagonist Yarny in every major-market 'Thing' EA has published since E3 last year. They“re very much attempting to make Yarny a “mascot” of sorts... to push this experience on families, small children, significant others, what have you. Unlike A Boy and His Blob, however, Unravel“s bells and whistles will only appeal to a specific type of person. Most of the people it“s trying to reach will find the whole journey fun to watch, but often too cumbersome to play. It“s not as accommodating as it could be, when you get right down to it. Holy Toledo, is it a pleasure to look at and listen to, though! The story of Unravel is communicated in many ways, but it“s predominantly through visual cues. The game“s hub world is an actual house that Yarny can explore. The portals to levels -- literal photos left on tables or hung on walls, like the “world in a painting” mechanic first presented in Super Mario 64 -- offer just a title and a snapshot of what Yarny“s trials will be... and perhaps what memories you“ll see. As Yarny moves across the world inside the photo to grab little yarn trinkets at the end to put on a grandmother“s journal, you“ll often see brief scenes formed in the clouds or the background, meant to tell a story. I think the emotion the game is trying to carry will be much better understood if the player actually takes the time to read the words revealed in the journal after you complete each level, but... there are certainly enough visual cues and bits without dialogue to carry meaning all on their own. That“s just it: Yarny is being marketed as this cute mascot platforming character -- but I think the significance of the journey will only appeal to folks who eat up nostalgia. If you“re the kind of person who enjoys putting sepia filters on your Instragram photos and the like, I think you“ll enjoy the package Unravel is offering more than most. Ultimately, though: absolutely nothing about this game fails on an audio or visual level. Every bit of polish this game has is in its presentation -- almost to its detriment, when it occasionally takes a direction into the obtuse like... showing Yarny violently torn to shreds if it gets mangled in a blade, or sparks pulsing throughout if its electrocuted. The soundtrack isn“t particularly varied, but... it“s certainly consistent. If you like strings and soft melodies, I think your ears will be pleased. Truly, Coldwood“s efforts -- when it comes to putting nostalgia in a box and marketing a cute character on an incredible journey -- are what will be remembered most. It“s just too bad so much about what makes that journey work overstays its welcome. Yarny isn“t just made from a thread, it's bound by it. As you go through a level, you can hold a button and press another to pull yourself, via your yarn trail, back where you started. You“ll unravel as you push forward to reach the next needle to give yourself more yarn -- and you can“t progress forward if there“s not enough of you. So, if you“ve spent several minutes meticulously solving a yarn-based platforming puzzle by tying one too many knots to grapple from and throw yourself around... only to be so close to the checkpoint you can spit on it, but not quite far enough to reach it -- you“ll need to backtrack and try again in a different way. My goodness: explaining how the puzzles can be solved almost sounds just as cumbersome as actually playing a level. Unravel is chiefly concerned with realistic objects and physics. Tie yourself around a rock to pull it towards a wall, so you can jump on the rock to the next part of the level. Grab the rock on your way, because you“ll be needing it again to sit on a teeter-tottering pipe that can pull you upwards. Wrap yourself around the pipe a few times so you can get just high enough to reach a point to grapple yourself from. The latter levels of the game do not suffer the fatigue that the first few do. But Unravel is definitely up there with a game like LA-MULANA in its cruelty. You“ll need to be obsessive and precise to gather the hidden collectibles in each level. Some of them take easily thirty minutes, just to get from Point A to Point B. Just watching footage of the game will leave folks not used to puzzle-platformers feeling like they need to be a PhD candidate just to jump in and play. The puzzles themselves are often simple once you“ve spent some time learning how to execute them properly, but getting to that point felt like more trouble than it was worth. Still, the game“s tight physics don“t feel broken. Unravel is a remarkably polished experience on the outside, that“s certainly put together enough on the inside, too. It“s how the game has been put together that will turn away many. Levels feel just a little bit too long. Some individual parts of levels were just a little too frustrating… not because something felt broken, but because the difficulty involved with simply…facing a tin can a certain way so you could duck underneath it and not be eaten by crows... felt way too involved and meticulous to be fun, to me. The presentation, while remarkable on its own merit, will feel alien to folks who“d rather be told what“s going on versus just shown. Yarny absolutely appeals to everyone. But the world of Unravel, and the metaphorical threads that hold it together, will only appeal to folks looking for the specific aspects it caters to in the genre. It“s not the type of puzzle-platformer that“s “universally fun.” It“s the type that will appeal to folks who want something that feels meticulous and highly involved. Pros: + The beauty is in the details. Unravel's visuals will captivate almost anyone. Yarny is animated and lifelike, and so is the home he was made in. + With an added story in the journal and collectibles to be found: if you enjoy Unravel's puzzles, there are plenty of reasons to go back Cons: - Most levels overstay their welcome, often feeling inflated or unnecessarily cumbersome. - This tedious type of puzzle-platforming that is extremely reliant on perfect physics execution will appeal to only a few, not many. Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10) Good Unravel is a brilliantly marketed and presented game. But its message and mechanics will only speak to a handful of people versus everyone. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using a downloadable code purchased by the author.
  6. Among all the announcements in Sony's Paris Games Week press conference was a new trailer for EA and DICE's upcoming Star Wars Battlefront. The new footage highlights several different planets, including Tatooine, Sullust, Endor, and of course, more of Hoth (which was first shown in the E3 2015 trailer). Also introduced for the first time are Leia, Boba Fett, Han Solo, and last but not least, Emperor Palpatine himself. Admiral Ackbar is also heard rallying the troops for battle; perhaps we'll get to hear him say, "It's a trap!"? Regardless, the game looks solid as ever; let's hope everything plays just as good as it looks in the trailer. Star Wars Battlefront is set to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 17. Does the newest trailer make you more excited for Star Wars Battlefront?
  7. Hey, you remembered that EA previously announced Mirror's Edge 2, right? Well, surprise! The game is losing the numeral from its title, and unfortunately, is no longer a sequel either. Today, EA updated the website for Mirror's Edge 2 to reflect the name change and explanation behind it. Now dubbed Mirror's Edge: Catalyst, it's intended to serve as a sort of reboot/reimagining that will reintroduce the game to a whole new generation. The game's senior producer Sara Jansson wrote the following about the update on the Mirror's Edge website: "Mirror“s Edge has always had a special place in the hearts of all of us at DICE. The first game had a lot of promise. It was unlike anything else in terms of the gameplay and style — it had a unique soul. But as much as we loved that game, we knew it could be more. So that“s what we have set out to do as we introduce Mirror“s Edge to a new generation. The team has spent a lot of time re-evaluating every aspect of the game and making it a new experience. This is not a sequel, this is not Mirror's Edge 2. We have landed on a vision that honors the first game — pushing the boundaries of first person movement and diving deeper into the story behind our heroine Faith — but also brings a lot of great new, interesting gameplay and features to the experience for our players." So there you have it. New name, not a sequel but a reimagining of sorts. While this may be disappointing to some fans, it's good to see that EA is at least willing to continue to support the Mirror's Edge universe for now. Expect to hear more about Mirror's Edge: Catalyst at E3 2015 next week. Source: Mirror's Edge (via Kotaku) What are your thoughts on this new development with Mirror's Edge?
  8. Jason Clement

    Need for Speed Reboot Coming This Fall

    Need for Speed has largely been a series that has seen annual releases since 2002, but it was mysteriously absent from EA's lineup last year, and now we know why. Under the direction of Ghost Games, Need for Speed is receiving a full reboot and will focus on authentic urban car culture, deep customization, an open world set at night, and a new plot to tie everything together. This new entry, apparently just titled Need for Speed, will be releasing this Fall on Origin (PC), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A full reveal trailer will be shown on June 15 at EA's E3 press conference, but a teaser for the game has been released below. Source: EA Press Release Does a Need for Speed reboot interest you?
  9. EA recently released their quarterly financial presentation reveals to the press, and perhaps the most interesting bit of information to come from it are the planned release dates and windows for several games. The biggest and most intriguing of this is that Mirror's Edge 2 would be releasing in the early 2016 (sometime before the end of March, the end of the fiscal year). No specifics were announced regarding the game or the exact platforms it would release for, but the presentation does list it for consoles and PC. Also interesting to note is that a new Need for Speed is set for release later this year, and a new Plants vs Zombies will be coming early next year as well. Source: EA (via Engadget) Are you looking forward to Mirror's Edge 2?
  10. When The Sims 4 came out a month ago, it boasted new features and better-looking Sims. Many fans seemed pleased by what was included but it was the lack of things that made The Sims more enjoyable that had people upset. There was no pools, ghosts, or even toddlers to be found in The Sims 4. With this newest content update, The Sims 4 owners will get one of the three main things missing from the game. Along with finally getting ghosts (and the possibility to bring them back to life), the new update brings new Star Wars costumes as well as community requests like new eye colors. Previews of what to expect in content updates for November and December have been teased. Pools will be making their much-awaited return in November while December will see new career options. These new updates are free to owners of The Sims 4 so all you'll need to do is log into your Origin and download the patches when released. (Source: thesims.com)
  11. Mass Effect producer, Michael Gamble, took to Twitter today to get fans input for the upcoming Mass Effect title. His tweet reads, "Help us make the next Mass Effect game the best one yet. Id appreciate it if you folks did this short survey..." The survey, which can be found here, asks fans a number of questions about their gaming habits, their favorite aspects of the Mass Effect franchise, and even whether or not they cosplay. Clearly, Bioware is interested in getting an idea of what gameplay elements are most important to RPG fans and to what degree they are dedicated to the franchise. Exploration was also mentioned throughout the survey suggesting that this could play an expanded role in the upcoming game. Michael Gamble and other Bioware staff will be hosting a panel at San Diego Comic Con this year titled, "Charting a Course: Developing the Next Mass Effect." The panel will talk about how the next entry in the franchise has evolved but also how it maintains it's roots to the previous trilogy. If you answered yes to the cosplay questions in the survey and will be at Comic Con, show up and show your support Saturday, July 26 at 2 pm. For the rest of you, stay tuned to Game Podunk for more on this and other gaming news. Source: Michael Gamble Twitter What is the aspect of Mass Effect (if any) that makes the franchise special to you?
  12. The team at Swedish developer DICE revealed the first footage of Star Wars: Battlefront during EA's E3 presentation today. The trailer presented detailed the developer's journey in creating a Star Wars game that fans will love. They visited the Lucas Archives as well as the original filming locations to capture every minute detail from the original movies. Not only that but they wanted to understand the "emotions they evoked." Unfortunately, the trailer ends teasing more in spring 2015. While that is a long way off, what they have thus far is impressive. Here is the teaser trailer fresh from E3: The other Star Wars projects EA has in development were not shown during the presentation which is somewhat disappointing. It's possible that they are waiting until closer to the release of Episode VII in 2015 to show more. For now, stay tuned to Game Podunk for all your Star Wars news. Excited to finally get a glimpse of next gen Star Wars?
  13. [uPDATE] Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare is coming to Playstation 4 and Playstation 3. Popcap Games announced today that their popular title would debut on PS4 and PS3 August 19 in the US and August 21 in Europe. It will be packaged with the DLC packs, Garden Variety and Zomboss Down. [Original Story] Electronic Arts tweeted a number of images today mashing Plants vs. Zombies with various Playstation franchises including Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper and Fat Princess. Many believe the images are teasing an announcement of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare for Playstation 3, 4 and possibly Vita. All the pictures feature the same quote, "Shooters just got weird." A version of Plants vs. Zombies with a Playstation twist could be an interesting idea as well. Only time will tell however as to what the official announcement is actually for. Below are the three images EA tweeted today along with their taglines: It's time for an announcement... Chomper in disguise A Zomboss alternate universe Source: EA Twitter If this isn't a simple port of Garden Warfare, what could it be?
  14. The next chapter in the Battlefield franchise has been officially announced and it isn't what you might expect. Officially titled Battlefield: Hardline it focuses on, "the war on crime and the battle between cops and criminals." Steve Papoutsis, Vice President and General Manager at Visceral Games, revealed on EA's blog that the game will be releasing this fall and brings "new twists and turns to the foundation of Battlefield multiplayer." He went on to invite fans to see the game in action at its premiere June 9 at Noon PDT when it will be shown at E3. A trailer for Hardline leaked earlier today but was quickly taken down. Keep it with Game Podunk for more updates on Battlefield: Hardline as E3 approaches. Source: EA Blog Excited for Battlefield's new direction?
  15. "The decisions to retire older EA games are never easy." Despite that sentiment, EA has decided they will be shutting down online servers for 50 games on June 30, 2014. This is due in large part to the shutdown of Gamespy multiplayer servers where EA games were hosted. All is not yet lost, however. EA gave hope saying, "We know some of these games are still fan favorites, including Battlefield 2, Battlefield 1942, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Command & Conquer games. We are still investigating community-supported options to preserve online functionality for these titles, such as multiplayer. Significant technical hurdles remain, and at this time we don“t have anything to announce." Hopefully these games can be saved for the sake of the gamers who still play them! Below is a full list of the titles affected: Battlefield 1942 for PC and Mac (including The Road to Rome and Secret Weapons of WW2 expansions) Battlefield 2 for PC (including Special Forces expansion) Battlefield 2: Modern Combat for PlayStation 2 Battlefield 2142 for PC and Mac (including Northern Strike expansion) Battlefield Vietnam for PC Bejeweled ® 2 for the Wii Bulletstorm for PlayStation 3 Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars for PC and Mac (including Kane's Wrath expansion) Command & Conquer: Generals for PC and Mac (including Zero Hour expansion) Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 for PC and Mac Crysis 2 for PC Crysis for PC Crysis Wars for PC Dracula - Undead Awakening for the Wii Dragon Sakura for Nintendo DS EA Sports 06 for PC F1 2002 for PC FIFA Soccer 08 (KOR) for the Wii FIFA Soccer 08 for Nintendo DS FIFA Soccer 09 for Nintendo DS FIFA Soccer 10 for Nintendo DS FIFA Street 3 for Nintendo DS Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers for PlayStation 2 Global Operations for PC GREEN DAY: ROCK BAND for the Wii James Bond: Nightfire for PC Madden NFL 08 for Nintendo DS Madden NFL 09 for Nintendo DS Master of Orion III for PC Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for PC and Mac (including Breakthrough and Spearhead expansions) MySims Party for Wii MySims Racing for Nintendo DS MySims SkyHeroes for the Wii and DS NASCAR Sim Racing for PC NASCAR Thunder 2003 for PC NASCAR Thunder 2004 for PC Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 for PC Need for Speed: ProStreet for Nintendo DS Need for Speed: Undercover for Nintendo DS Neverwinter Nights 2 for PC and Mac Neverwinter Nights for PC, Mac and Linux (including Hordes of the Underdark and Shadows of Undrentide expansions) SimCity Creator for Wii Skate It for Nintendo DS Sneezies for the Wii Spore Creatures for Nintendo DS Spore Hero Arena for Nintendo DS Star Wars: Battlefront for PC and PlayStation 2 Star Wars: Battlefront II for PC and PlayStation 2 THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND for the Wii Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 for Nintendo DS Source: EA Blog
  16. Harrison Lee

    Review: Titanfall

    Developer: Respawn Publisher: EA Platforms: PC, Xbox One Release Date: 3/11/2014 Rating: M (for Mature) Microsoft is banking everything on Respawn Entertainment's premier shooter, Titanfall—they've pulled out all the stops to make sure everyone and their mother knows what the game is all about, whether it's through live-action TV spots or a seemingly endless tide of preview articles. This is the game that's meant to sell the Xbox One, from the former esteemed creative leads of the Modern Warfare series. While I don't think Titanfall will be the game to prove the Xbox One is the best next-gen system, it's still one heck of an entertaining ride. The first thing you'll notice about Titanfall is that it's a multiplayer-only experience. Teams of up to 6 players will duke it in 5 game modes familiar to almost every FPS aficionado; Attrition (TDM), CTF, Hardpoint (mini-Conquest), Pilot Hunter (Pilot kills award more points) and Last Titan Standing (Titans-only). There is a solid handful of maps to experience the war between the Militia and IMC, but the limited amount of game types means you might start feeling a sense of deja vu. The 12-player matches and limited modes might have been dealbreakers if it weren't for the 65-foot tall Titans. Titans are massive humanoid mechs capable of dishing out insane amounts of punishment. They control similarly to Pilots, if slower and less maneuverable. Every Titan comes equipped with a primary weapon, some sort of missile, tactical abilities, perks and a charging offensive/defensive buff. It sounds complicated but it's essentially the same set-up as the infantry. They can change the tide of battle but every player has the opportunity to call down his or her own after a 2-minute timer clocks out. However, the timer can be shortened by damaging other Titans, killing Pilots or killing the various AI Grunts that roam the chaotic battlefields. Skilled players will be calling Titans to the field like clockwork, though any novice can quickly adapt to the learning curve and call down their own death machines in short order. Titanfall has been balanced to perfection, featuring a limited number of weapon unlocks and attachments. Perks are more like abilities, including cloaking and combat stims. Starting weapons and abilities can be just as effective as the higher-level ones, so long as you persistently unlock new gear and learn each weapon's capabilities and trade-offs. No particular unlock feels overpowered or better than another weapon. Complementing loadouts are single-use Burn Cards, which offer XP boosts for killing certain enemy types or spawn you with a buffed weapon. The best Burn Cards are Titan drops, though their frequency of attainment is extremely low. Use them wisely at the beginning of matches to help tip the battle in your team's favor. Weapon handling is about what you'd expect from the former developers of Call of Duty. Gunfire is tight and focused, featuring limited recoil and enhanced accuracy. It's not as frustrating as Call of Duty's easy marks but the weapon modeling isn't far off either. Controls are incredibly responsive and the parkour system in place for Pilots allows players to traverse entire maps without ever touching the ground. Wall-running to rodeo and expose Titans to extreme damage is always a blast, especially when the Titan operators don't realize someone's on top of their rig. Pilots can level up to 50 before they need to regenerate and start over. Gear unlocks will be reset and players can re-earn every piece of equipment up to 10 times. While I haven't gotten very far in the 2nd generation, I've seen numerous players already hitting the 7th and 8th generations. Leveling is fairly quick and each regeneration adds an XP multiplier to get you leveled even faster. I wish new equipment and weapons were added as you progressed but it would likely upset the delicate balance Respawn has achieved. I played Titanfall on PC and saw the game at its best looking. While the animations and effects can be impressive, the overall art direction and texture work is not. This is a Source engine game with all of the limitations that that entails. It's certainly far better than Half-Life 2 in the visuals department, but it won't unseat Crysis 3 or Battlefield 4. Then again, it also runs at a solid 60 FPS. For the amount of on-screen action happening, I can't complain all that much. The audio is snappy and effective, with sound effects that pop and a decent backing soundtrack. It's not as visceral as DICE's sound work but it's fine for what Titanfall sets out to do; be a great, accessible competitive shooter. As I mentioned earlier, the variety of Titanfall's experience is somewhat limited. With a game that stretches the limited amount of modes, weapons and Titans across a handful of maps, some fresh content is in dire need of being added. Don't get me wrong, though—Titanfall can be downright thrilling when you're tricking off of Titans and scoring chain-kills on Grunts and Pilots. It just needs more to do, which a free content update and some season pass DLC seek to rectify. There is a campaign mode but it's still multiplayer-only. It's also an incredibly dull affair but is necessary to complete for both the Militia and IMC in order to unlock the the other two Titan types. I haven't completed either and find the Atlas Titan perfectly suitable for almost all weapon and ability combos. It would be nice if the other Titans weren't locked behind the boring, noncompetitive campaign but I don't feel like I'm missing out on a whole lot either. In it's current state, Titanfall is a blast. Bar the limited content and lackluster campaign, it's an adrenaline shot of pure action and violence. The Titans are a blast to control and every bit of kit is balanced to near perfection. The learning curve is quick to get into and you won't need to be the best FPS player to pull off insane moves and great kills. Titanfall isn't the savior of the Xbox One but it is the perfect introductory experience for anyone buying the console. Pros: + Consistently thrilling combat + Balanced equipment and leveling system + Titans are fantastic to control + Easy to pick up and play Cons: - Lack of content (soon to be fixed) - Lackluster campaign locks away two Titans Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great If you're tired of Call of Duty and Battlefield, Titanfall is begging for your attention. The game is a genuine joy to play despite a lack of content. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using a retail copy purchased by the writer
  17. Dragon Age: Inquisition will launch on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One October 7 in the US and October 10 in Europe! Inquisition will be the third in the series and the first on next gen consoles. According to the game's official website, those who pre-order the game will also get the Flames of the Inquisition DLC pack. EA and Bioware were nice enough to provide this trailer to whet your appetite. Excited to get your hands on Dragon Age: Inquisition this October? Source: Dragon Age Inquisition Official Website
  18. EA hasn't been the most well-liked company in recent years as evidenced by their Golden Poo award wins for worst company in America two years in a row. A third win just wasn't in the cards for them this year, but it can be argued that the only reason they lost was because of the poll's new voting system. In light of recent events however, I think they should be on the list of most improved companies this year for their work in identifying health problems in gamers across the nation. It might sound crazy, but EA has teamed up with a company known as Living Essentials to advertise their new Xbox One game Titanfall while also opening the eyes of gamers who might not be aware they have a serious health problem that makes them in need of some sort of medical intervention. The plan they've put into action is simple while genius at the same time. They're going to sell energy drinks to gamers. Now I've never taken one of these 5-hour Energy drinks or any sort of product that boasts it's ability to boost your energy throughout the day, but I know plenty of people who have. They say it works for them and they will routinely take a shot of the product before an abnormally rough day at their job. A job is a daily event where you do work that can be stressful or taxing on your body for upwards of eight hours or more at a time. This is where the 5-hour Energy product does it's supposed magic as intended. Leaving CD's out of their cases? Disgusting. The act of playing a game is widely regarded as a leisure activity that people do to unwind and escape the troubles of their life and job so they can just relax. This is where EA's newest partnership comes into play. Their newly endorsed product asks the tough question that everyone else is too afraid to ask - "Have you ever felt tired and worn out by the act of playing a video game?" The hope with this new ad campaign is that when a gamer sees the product they'll think one of two things, such as, "Playing games doesn't tire me out; I don't need this," and the much less hoped for but entirely expected, "My God, why is this in my shopping cart?" Am I really so out of shape that I need to drink special formulas to play games so I don't pass out from the physical stress? I need help." Much like the poison dart frog, the package's design just screams danger. In the very rare event that a person actually goes out and buys a Titanfall Five Hour Energy for the express purpose of playing games longer, EA and Living Essentials included a fail-safe in the product's packaging. Doing away with the energy drink's usual bright and flashy design is a new eye catching color scheme with the words "TITANFALL" in large bold letters across the front. While the packaging does have the TITANFALL name emblazoned on the front of the drink, there is little else to imply that it has anything to do with video games. This has been done purposely in an effort to get people to ask their ailing loved one as to what it all means. Someone who is beyond the point of understanding that they're horrifically out of shape will gladly explain what they're using it for and their loved ones will then be able to seek help for them. The only downsides I can find in all of this is that the ad campaign will only be active for a limited time and is currently found exclusively in Walmarts around the country. And maybe all of that other stuff about marketing energy drinks to people who clearly don't need it so they can complete tasks that don't require energy. *To all of the EA and Living Essentials executives undoubtedly reading this right now, I'd just like to point out that I'm not claiming the Five Hour energy shots are doing damage to people as I have no proof of that nor do I care to investigate it. The joke is that advertising energy shots to people that don't need it is evidence that the people buying it are so out of shape that they can't even stay awake to play games and are terribly unhealthy human beings. Sorry for losing the Golden Poo, but there's always next year! And thanks for reading.
  19. So I began playing The Simpsons: Tapped Out after getting my new phone back in December, since it was actually able to handle it. Anyway, I have very few neighbors, so I thought I'd make this thread. Basically, I will compile the usernames of everyone here who plays the game so that we can all be neighbors. Sounds fun, right? Neighbors: Jordan Haygood: kaptainj512 DarkCobra86: Dark_Cobra_86
  20. If you don't have an Xbox One and aren't a PC gamer but have been waiting with bated breath for Titanfall on Xbox 360, it looks like you'll be waiting just a little longer to play it. Originally scheduled to launch next week on the 25th, the Xbox 360 port will now be coming on April 8 in North America and April 11 in Europe. The reason for the delay? EA wants to give Bluepoint Games (which is handling the port) a bit more time to make it a better experience for Xbox 360 players according to EA executive Patrick Soderlund. In the meantime, the 360 port of Titanfall is confirmed to feature the same 6v6 gameplay, maps, modes, weapons, and burn cards as the Xbox One and PC versions. Will you be buying the Xbox 360 version of Titanfall?
  21. Remember a while back when it was first announced that EA had snatched up an exclusive, multi-year partnership with Disney and LucasArts to create new Star Wars games? The length of that agreement was recently brought to light at the UBS Technology Conference according to Polygon, where EA CFO Blake Jorgensen announced that the deal will run the course of 10 years. He also made mention that the games won't necessarily be "movie games" or adaptations of the upcoming or existing movies. Of course, one project that has already been announced is a new Battlefront game which Battlefield series developer DICE will be working on and is slated for release in Summer 2015. Jorgensen also confirmed that DICE is actually building some early stages of various games using the Frostbite 2 Engine, and that we'll hear more in the years to come. Another developer that has been confirmed to be working on a Star Wars title is Visceral Games, creator of the Dead Space series of games. It's possible we may hear more about that title sometime in 2014, or perhaps even at Spike TV's ever popular Video Game Awards, which was recently renamed to VGX this year. In any case, you'll be playing EA-labeled Star Wars games for the next decade, so get used to the fact now while you can. What are your thoughts on EA producing Star Wars games?
  22. Harrison Lee

    Review: Battlefield 4

    Developer: EA DICE Publisher: Electronic Arts Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Release Date: October 29, 2013 ESRB: M for Mature Another year, another big-budget modern military shooter vying for your wallet. This time it's EA's Call of Duty competitor, Battlefield, with the fourth numbered installment in the mega-hit franchise. Battlefield 4 boasts an overhauled destruction engine, improved visuals, a reworked single-player campaign and the massive scale of previous entries, but is any of it enough to justify your hard earned cash? Much like Battlefield 3, BF4 is all about the chaotic online multiplayer. Despite a new writer at the helm and a renewed focus on the characters, the single-player campaign feels a bit like an afterthought. The good news is that the narrative, while military fiction nonsense, is at least more focused and directed than the haphazard tech demo that was BF3's campaign. Players will assume the role of protagonist Recker as he and the rest of Tombstone squad attempt to thwart an impending war between the US and China. Missions range from close-quarters combat aboard a dying aircraft carrier to a beach-head assault on a major Chinese airfield. As you might guess, most of the campaign is a string of intense set-pieces populated with lots and lots of shooting and explosions. The improvements over BF3 are readily apparent in the dialogue, character chemistry, technical enhancements and a better sense of pacing. All that said, BF4's campaign is essentially the same solo shooting gallery you've come to expect. While the addition of basic squad commands is a welcome change, it does little to alter the overall experience. The campaign is short, clocking in at 3.5-4 hours on Normal difficulty; it doesn't overstay it's welcome and can provide a few entertaining moments if you're in the right mindset. Just don't expect anything on the level of Modern Warfare or Black Ops II. The entire focus of BF4 - multiplayer - is the sole reason you should have any interest in purchasing the game. The scale is breathtakingly massive, with tanks and aircraft thundering about wide, expansive maps. New combat watercraft have been added, providing a brand new battlefield in the sea. Waves are lovingly rendered in 3D and allow for boats to hide and use cover behind wave swells. Watching infantry, boats, jets, helicopters and various land vehicles all duke it out is incredibly impressive in DICE's proprietary Frostbite 3.0 game engine. The most-heralded feature of BF4 is the terribly-named "levolution", which is touted as the future of dynamic maps. While bringing down a skyscraper or blowing open a dam is awesome the first time around, levolution doesn't always have the biggest impact on gameplay. It's only on maps where water can flood the ground level that BF4's map design significantly alters. When it does, however, combat becomes more frantic and intense because the pace and flow of the battle evolves, creating an experience unlike anything else on the market. The "only in Battlefield" advert campaign is surprisingly indicative of the in-game presentation. Game modes include the ever-popular Conquest, Domination, Team Deathmatch and new Obliteration. The former trio are exactly the same as BF3, with the new mode tasking players with bringing bombs to several objects to score points. Obliteration was my least favorite of game types on offer; I typically stuck to Domination or Rush unless I was feeling really adventurous. Regardless of whichever mode you choose, BF4 will likely have something just right for you. Make sure you at least experience a full-scale, 64-player Conquest match at least once before you die. It's absolutely exhilarating. Map design is absolutely on-point this time around. My favorite is the easy-to-love Paracel Storm. It features violent waves, islands to seize control of, a beached battleship that provides additional anti-air support and fantastic naval combat. The weather effects are absolutely gorgeous here and really showcase BF4's attention to detail. Other maps like Golmud Railway and Dawnbreaker offer unique experiences, whether it's a roving capture point on a train or street-by-street inner city grudge matches. Combat feels faster and is more evenly balanced this time around. Sniper rifles are as powerful as ever, matched by a great selection of assault weapons and light machine guns. Most of the classes can mix and match unlock weapons, though the signature guns are still class-centric. The one major change in the class system is the addition of C4 to the Recon's armory. As a result, Recon has become my go-to for almost every long-range engagement due to its versatility. Engineer is also a great choice because of its anti-armor capabilities, crucial in vehicle-heavy Conquest maps. The multiplayer is so refined and entertaining that it's a shame the campaign wasn't shown the same level of love and attention. The single-player is by no means bad, but when compared against the online component, one has to wonder why DICE even bothers. Battlefield is best when it doesn't try to ape Call of Duty because it offers a unique experience that Call of Duty could only dream of offering. At least the campaign is supplemented by fantastic visuals and audio. The newest incarnation of the Frostbite engine offers beautiful particle effects and enhanced textures and lighting. The audio has also been improved, providing the guns a punchier, clearer sound. In addition, the voice-acting is well done and the ambient battle chatter is pitch perfect. Few shooters are as atmospheric as BF4, and DICE is to be congratulated on a spectacularly beautiful game. Sadly, BF4 is still quite buggy in spots. While this launch has been considerably smoother and more stable than BF3, I've still encountered no less than 3-4 crashes every time I start playing. It seems to be sporadic and server-involved, which means the most important part of the multiplayer desperately needs attention. If the servers are foggy and bugged, BF4 stands to infringe upon the reputation of its best component. All that said, it's still better than any other recent EA launch (especially when compared against SimCity). The bigger issue I have with BF4 has nothing to do with the technical composition. Rather, it's the fact that the game doesn't do much to innovate or change the formula. While the new maps, combat tweaks and visual enhancements are great, the lack of good new game modes and a less-than-stellar campaign have left me wanting. This should have been what BF3 was, yet I have to purchase a brand new game to get the same fundamental experience. The good news is Battlefield isn't an annualized franchise so I don't feel the same franchise fatigue as I might about other popular shooter series. Is BF4 absolutely worth your money? If you enjoy a multiplayer experience unlike anything else on the market and want to show off some snazzy visuals, the answer is an overwhelming yes. Even if you only have a passing interest in shooters, BF4 is the biggest, best thing on the market that isn't ArmA III; few games are as gorgeous, well-thought out or explosive as it. While it might have some technical issues and doesn't do much to rock the boat, it's still a great package in the end. Pros: + Exciting, large-scale combat + Improved single-player campaign + Snazzy production values + It's classic Battlefield Cons: - Campaign is still meh - Technical issues - It's classic Battlefield Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great Battlefield 4 is an exciting, intense shooter that does what virtually no other game can. It's unique, explosive and beautiful.
  23. According to a recent Nintendo press release from NOE, EA's upcoming FIFA 14 for 3DS will be nothing more than a roster update with no added gameplay improvements or additions of any kind from the previous version. "FIFA 14 Legacy Edition delivers unmatched authenticity that reflects the current football season with updated kits and rosters but no updates to gameplay or game modes," states the press release. The game will be available only on the eShop but will be sold at full price ($40). Naturally, this doesn't set well with many, especially given that EA doesn't make it abundantly clear to the consumer that the only thing new in the game is a roster update, even with the "Legacy Edition" moniker. This isn't the first time this has happened with an EA Sports game either, and it probably won't be the last. What is your opinion on EA selling the exact same version of a game at full price with only a roster update?