EA kicked things off yesterday afternoon with the first gameplay demo of the upcoming Battlefield V. We already knew that BFV wold set during World War II and will feature playable female soldiers both in the campaign mode and online. While no gameplay of the rumored Battle Royale mode was shown during the conference, nor were concrete details divulged, developers from DICE did confirm that BFV will ship with a Battle Royale mode when the game arrives this fall.
DICE’s Frostbite Engine once again provides the near photo-realistic graphics and physics for Battlefield V. Improvements made to the engine for this year’s title include the ability to vault your soldier through pane of glass and now larger vehicles like tanks can also destroy entire buildings – which admittedly does look really freaking cool.
The Battlefield franchise has never really been my shooter of choice, I much prefer arcadey and up-close titles like Quake and older Call of Duty titles but for those looking for large scale, 64 player mayhem, BFV should have them covered. It will be released on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. An Origin Access Trial Version is set to be released on October 11th, one week before BFV’s general release on October 19th.
Right now Star Wars Battlefront II holds the dubious honors of having the most downvoted comment in Reddit history and for and kickstarting a conversation throughout gaming communities & tech press alike about the nature of progression and purchasing power within multiplayer-centric titles.
If a listing that briefly appeared on the Australian PlayStation Network is accurate this whole shit show is about to get a little messier with the accidental reveal of a “Starter Pack”. No, it’s not a free to play or price reduced entry into the game’s multiplayer – but rather Electronic Arts selling players power as they begin their epic 40-hour quest to unlock Darth Vader.
For the proposed price of $23.95 AUD (price subject to change, of course, since it was de-listed) you’ll receive a guaranteed 3 rare star cards of an unspecified type and 1500 Crystals for the purchase of RNG loot crates.
Thanks to the thousands of people who came out to read my early Battlefront II review. I knew it was risky, posting a review based on the Origin trial and before whatever embargo EA has set for those who received review copies or attended a “capture event”.
Here’s what I had to say about my experience with Battlefront II’s multiplayer after ten hours:
“Locking iconic Heroes & other playable characters behind a hard in-game paywall that either requires the purchases of dozens of loot boxes or playing hundreds of multiplayer matches immediately sours the experience…. Don’t buy this game new, don’t pay full price for it, Electronic Arts are going to sell millions of copies based on the Star Wars license alone. PerhapsBattlefront II will also see “success” as an example of how a publisher should not monetize a highly anticipated title. Battlefront II has all of the psychological manipulation and shady practices found within free to play and mobile games and they’re asking you to fork over $59.99 USD for the “privilege””
Star Wars Battlefront II is set to be released on November 17th.. Unless you purchased the ‘Elite Trooper Edition’ for a premium, then you get three days early access.
Electronic Arts has released the official minimum and recommended specs for Bioware’s upcoming space epic Mass Effect Andromeda on their support website. It might seem that this information is hidden but it didn’t take the internet long to unearth what kind of rig we will need to experience Andromeda at 30FPS at 1080p.
Here is Andromeda’s minimum requirements:
Predicted performance 30 FPS at 1280×720 on Low Settings
Operating System 64-bit Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10
Processor Intel Core i5 3570 or AMD FX-6350
Memory (RAM) 8 GB
Graphics Card GTX 660 2 GB
and here are the recommended specs:
Predicted performance 30 FPS at 1920×1080 on High Settings
Operating System 64-bit Windows 10
Processor Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD FX-8350
Memory (RAM) 16 GB
Graphics Card GTX 1060 3 GB / RX 480 4 GB
So how are these specs? Well on the surface they do appear a bit on the higher end considering that these are targeting 30 FPS and not the 60 FPS that many dedicated PC gamers feel provide the superior experience. Also worth noting is the fact that these minimum / recommended specs do not mention 4K resolution at all, even though we know that Mass Effect: Andromeda will support the burgeoning resolution.
My personal gaming rig falls just above the recommended specs, so when it comes time to write up my impressions of Mass Effect: Andromeda – please don’t expect 4K Ultra screenshots, as that is probably not going to happen. As PC Gamer points out – both Andromeda and Battlefield 1 share the same Frostbite 3.0 engine and BF1 was fully playabale @ 1080 60FPS on Ultra settings. Perhaps the ‘high quality’ recommended settings are a typo on Electronic Arts part.
Mass Effect Andromeda will release in just 12 days – On March 21st for PC , Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
During Electronic Art’s most recent earnings call executives from the company discussed the company’s view on Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall 2. It turns out that despite large amounts of critical acclaim, especially for its’ single player campaign, and high user satisfaction scores this FPS sequel failed to live up to EA’s expectations.
Even in the face of disappointing sales numbers, EA has recommitted itself to the support not only the already released 2016 sequel but also the franchise as a whole. Titanfall 2 will continue to see new maps, modes and cosmetic DLC released throughout its life, it is not known if the next Titanfall title will be developed internally at Respawn but their deal with EA does provide Respawn with the ownership rights to the franchise.
No particular reason for the less than expected sales figures was provided but could it have something to do with the fact that Titanfall 2 was released one week after EA’s other massively successful shooter Battlefield 1 and a week prior to the launch of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare? With so many shooters releasing in such a short time I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a couple of folks decided to only pick up one of the three excellent FPS titles released back-to-back-to-back last Fall.
Here is a quote from the investor’s call:
“Titanfall 2 delivered the next important step in this new franchise we are building with our partners at Respawn – a highly-rated, action-packed experience that has thrilled players in the year’s biggest category. Player satisfaction scores for Titanfall 2 are among the highest in our portfolio, showing just how much fun players are having with this game. Titanfall 2 will be played for a long time to come, with new maps, modes and content updates continuing to expand the experience and engage our players. We’re excited about our long-term plans for the Titanfall franchise.”
It is all too easy to lose sight of news post E3 and just talk about all of the amazing games you played, things you saw, and stuff you did. However something as important as this shouldn’t be ignored. Titan Fall was a good shooter, its lack of campaign kept it back from being great, and it had a few mechanics that needed tweaking, but it introduced several elements that most modern shooters now emulate. So good was it that even with lack luster sales on PC and a fan base that cried for a single player experience in its rich world it is still getting a sequel. Rae and I both got to play that sequel at EA’s fanfest, and we will bring you a review when its out, you can read the preview here. Now I fully expected EA and Respawn to fuck up the sequel with that oh so EA day one DLC. So you can imagine my surprise when last week it was annoucned that all of the DLC for the game would be free.
During EA play Titanfall 2’s lead programmer Jon Shiring said: all of Titanfall 2’s maps and modes will be free. “One of our lessons is we’re not gonna sell maps anymore,” Shiring says. “All the modes and maps coming to Titanfall 2 after release will all be free.”
Well that awesome I thought at the time, and well still mostly do. Now we are getting a little bit more detail about what really went in to that decision. Vince Zampella head of Respwan entertainment said yesterday: “We still want to provide post launch content because people want it, but it’s not free to do. If we’re going to support the game, that costs money. The specifics aren’t nailed down yet, which is why it’s really hard to talk about it, but the smart money would seem to be on paid DLC that won’t keep people from playing together if they don’t all have it: cosmetic items, boosts, and that sort of thing.”
I have never minded cosmetic DLC, and find that I even end up buying some usually, especially if it has that cool element of gambling or randomness like crates in Overwatch, or cases in CS:GO. I guess we wont know what exactly the DLC model will be until Titanfall 2 comes out on Octobter 28, but we do know it wont involve maps or game mode, so good on you Vince and EA.
So this year EA has decided that they need to have their own E3, right next to E3, but in the days leading up to E3. Well, Rae and myself managed to get media registered and get ourselves in to EA Play (which is what the event is called) where we were able to see and play the best upcoming EA titles. This is a major change from a closed show floor that’s normally seen. Anyone who was in LA could walk up to the desk and register for the chance to go in and play EA’s biggest suite of games for 2016
Ea used the venue to do some pretty awesome stuff, first showing off TitanFall 2 on the roof of the building with a fancy tent set up, then using another level to demo their EA sports offerings, and Battlefield one. It was a cool set up, small and intimate, the whole felt like an exclusive LA only only party (complete with a free sandwich and soda!)
One difference that was apparent was that EA play was open to the general public. Im not sure most of the general public would travel cross country to get the chance to lay hands on a single round of Titan Fall 2 and a single 20 minute Battle Field 1 game play demo. That being said both of the demos felt pretty unpolished (to be fair they are demos) but I think most of the general public was probably really excited to play games before they are released.
This fountain was really, really, cool
Titan Fall 2 was really fun to play, and honestly felt like a great addition to the series, I will look forward to hearing more as time goes on with this game. Madden and the other EA sports titles also made an appearance, and I overheard some pretty intense madden games going on in the arena that was there. Sadly as press we dont really have the time to attend such fun and awesome things as the Madden Championship, but we do get to wing by them occasionally.
Another neat feature was a massive store that was selling all sorts of EA branded stuff, from Mass Effect to Plants vs Zombies. The store had some really great merch in it, the time you usually only find at EA exclusive events being given out to VIPs. I really wanted one of the bags, but at 60USD it was a bit much for my wallet this trip. (EA if your reading this I would love an N7 bag!) most of the rest of what was at the EA play was mobile, or other EA properties that wernt as featured.
So now we get to the end, was it worth it? Well I feel like im probably not the only person who thinks this, but I think it was a bit excessive. I asked our EIC Rae about it and she said “I wouldnt say its excessive, but was is necessary nnnnooooo. Public booths outside would have done just as good of a job, with out all the dressing” I tend to agree with Rae, while I know everyone likes to be treated like a VIP (none more guilty than me) and EA has managed to create the exclusive club sort of feeling with EA play for sure, but I just feel like its excessive. There wasn’t enough content here to justify spending more than an hour or two, and I must say I really felt it would have done better on the show floor at E3. The only real advantage to this, was it really gets the games out to the fans, EA is trying to connect with the fans, more than the journalists. While I do applaud their efforts, I think they could have handled it better.
Mirros Edge 2 figures
EA if your reading this I really want this bag
This amazing titan was outside
This guy is the big brother of the Titan Fall collectors edition statue
Yesterday was May the 4th, which is as close to a real Star Wars holiday as fans will ever get, so EA chose it to announce they will be making another Star Wars IP. Their exact quote was “all-new third-person action adventure game set in the Star Wars universe.” what does that mean? Your guess is as good as mine, but id guess its going to be another shooting game, possibly something in the vein of republic commando but set around the time of this years Star Wars installment (Rouge One) and following a story with single player and action and adventure styling.
Respawn is already hard at work on Titan Fall 2 which is set for a release date later this year. So once they wrap that we can expect to see news for this new IP to start ramping up. Lets just hope this game is not a disaster on the level of Star Wars Battlefront which currently sits basically empty with player counts so low its difficult to even find games. There are so many Star Wars related games on the way that I think I have lost track of them but just in EA’s house alone you have EA-owned studios Capital Games, Visceral Games, DICE, BioWare, and Motive also currently working on Star Wars projects. That is a lot of games, I expected a large number of games to show up after the sucess of The Force Awakens kick started Disneys want for more money, but my most fervent hope is that this doesn’t turn in to a shovel ware situation.
Soderlund also said in his announcement post “Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Vince Zampella and his group, their obsession with making games that feel amazing has helped make Titanfall one of the most successful new game launches of this generation.” We do know that Stig Asmussen former director for the God of War series will be leading this project and having played most of the amazingly fun God of War games I feel confident that he has the experience to bring third person combat to the Star Wars universe.
Mr. Asmussen did publish a lengthy blog post on the Respawn blog about the game, but it doesnt really say anything you need to read. There is however at least one very encouraging line in the blog post “I have been playing Star Wars games my whole life, now I get to make a Star Wars game,” lets hope that love translates over to the game, and we dont get a bit of shovel ware pushed out EA’s door to just try and ride on the back of the Star Wars hype.
Demo animations from the next Mass Effect title may have leaked thanks to an animation reel from “a certain developer” who previously worked on the next installment of Bioware’s futuristic space opera RPG series. According to this very brief animation reel this particular animator worked on fire effects for objects like barrels, rain / fog and other environment weather effects, pollen plumes and a jet pack animation.
According to well known industry insider – shinobi602 – this particular footage is from a 2014 build of the game and the game “doesn’t look like that anymore”. As any long time video game fan knows the style and even mechanics of a game can change during years of development.
Adding to the legitimate of this leak, the in-game HUD matches the one teased by Bioware last year on Twitter:
The original video of the Mass Effect: Andromeda has been taken down but for now a mirror exists here. If you can’t get the video to load here are some GIFs that the community has created:
As soon as more information about Mass Effect Andromeda is available we will be sure to bring it to you.
It seems like I get half of my news from investment calls these days. This tidbit is no different, Electronic Arts Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen, who said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference yesterday that it’s slated for the fourth quarter of EA’s fiscal year.
The exact statment was “We’ve got our Battlefield first-person shooter game coming in the third quarter, and our third-party title that Respawn, our partner, built, called Titanfall, it’s the second title that they brought into that brand. Both of those are first-person shooters and will be targeted around both the fast, action-driven shooter market, as well as the strategy-driven market in the quarter,We have all our sports games. We have our Mirror’s Edge runner game, it’s first quarter. and then we have Mass Effect, which is a sci-fi action game, in our fourth quarter. So big year ahead and we’re pretty excited.”
There is a lot of info in that short statement. Mass effect in fiscal Q4 (so 2017), Titan fall two this year in the third quarter, and Mirrors edge in Q1. EA’s fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 3, which means our window for Mass Effect is now January 1 to March 31 of 2017. This is quite the delay from its original reported date sometime between October and December of 2016. I tend to think game delays are good rather than bad as they make sure they game thats delivered is polished and well finished, but this seems to be motivated by how the games EA offers need to be spaced out rather than any real need to have it finished. Pushing Mass Effect means EA will have a major release after the Christmas season instead of three major titles during it.
Fans of EA/DICE’s multiplayer centric shooter set in A Galaxy Far Far Away will be happy to learn that the pair has revealed the official patch notes for the upcoming February content drop. As previously announced a brand new map will become available when this patch drops – Twilight on Hoth which supports a whole bunch of modes including – Walker Assault, Supremacy, Turning Point, Blaster, Fighter Squadron, Drop Zone and Heroes & Villains. A new survival map also set on Hoth – “Ice Caverns” – will also be made available for the single player wave survival mode.
In terms of other smaller but impactful changes: Primary weapons will now do 10% more damage against vehicles. The ION torpedo has had its speed increased by 30 meters per second while using the Pulse Rifle players will suffer a 30% movement decrease and finally the pre-lobby countdown timer has been decreased from 30 seconds to 20 seconds.
There’s a whole bunch of other stuff in the official patch notes which you can read after the jump. Here’s hoping that Twilight on Hoth lives up on the original Walker Assault map that shipped with the game. Read More
It’s been awhile since we last heard from the Catalyst team. The game was playable at GamesCom and PAX last Fall, but was then abruptly delayed from it’s original February launch to a new date of May 24th, 2016. Whatever is coming, it can’t come soon enough!
Gamers were upset earlier this year when EA announced it would not be bringing any content from The Force Awakens into Star Wars BattleFront. An announcement this week of the road map of DLC content did not include any thing from newest Star Wars film. Now EA is providing their reason& this puts and end to all of the speculation (some of which we did here).
On on earnings call with EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said:
“On Star Wars, the one thing that we are adhering to, and I think this is part of our arrangement with Lucas and Disney, is you can’t make a game in Star Wars that violates the canon of Star Wars. Meaning you can’t take something from the future and bring it back into the past unless it’s a reference. Not knowing yet exactly what the storyline in [Star Wars:] Rogue One is going to be, I can’t comment on how that could come in. But to the extent that it’s in the future… Our current Battlefront game is all based on the historical Star Wars canon, which is 30 years before the most recent movie, that will limit our ability to bring some new content into that.”
“But more to come there obviously,” he continued. “We’re trying to stay tightly connected to the Star Wars beat for future movies and we’ll obviously in future Star Wars games be able to tap the new characters and vehicles and so forth. But in our current game and for that manner the DLC associated with that current game obviously we’ll have to be careful that we don’t violate the cannon.”
So there it is you have your answer. Its not complicated, its not a conspiracy, its just the fact that EA was specifically instructed that they were not to damage star wars cannon directly with their game. If they allowed you to run around battling during the few major battle scenes in the movie, Lucas Film thinks it would confuse players into thinking they could get back in to the universe and change it.
Jorgensen went on to suggest that EA would be making a second Battlefront game (so surprised, I am) and hinted that it might have content from the new movies including the upcoming Rogue One.
Newegg is offering, a great deal on EA access right now. What is EA access you ask? Well its basically a subscription service that gives you early access to many of EA’s games. As well as free acess to some older titles.
This is really quite a good deal if you play any of the EA games listed currently on the vault, or plan to get any of their upcoming games. head on over to newegg and use discount code EMCKNNX57
[UPDATE 11:13 AM EST] Servers have returned to normal operation, though wait times for support services may be slower than usual, EA reports on Twitter.
EA has had a rough time of it recently. Gamers have lost faith in the DLC models, they have been voted worst company in america. EA tweeted at 10AM that their servers were experiencing issues and shortly after several news sources reported that they were unable to log in to various EA games, such as Star Wars Battlefront. About an hour later services were restored.
It was only a matter of time. One of the the largest AAA publishers on the planet has decided to lumber in to E-sports. Led by Peter Moore (former COO of EA) it seems that EA will open up “a new Competitive Gaming Division” Moore said:
“As the latest step in our journey to put our players first, [the Competitive Gaming Division] will enable global eSports competitions in our biggest franchises including FIFA, Madden NFL, Battlefield and more,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said, in a statement provided to GamesIndustry.biz. “EA’s CGD will seek to build a best-in-class program to centralize our efforts with new events, as well as the infrastructure to bring you the world’s preeminent EA competitive experiences.”
I’m about as surprised as I was when Battle Front had no campaign. Look EA makes some of the biggest games that exist, Battlefield, Battle Front, Madden, Fifa, all EA properties. Activision-Blizzard already has their own E-sports division, and its an obvious space that EA can fill in with their massive bulk of money. I would expect tournaments to happen often, some kind of world championship, and lots of money. I cant say I dislike the idea, I mean more money usually means more plays, more leagues, and better structure, but honestly i don’t trust EA as far as I can throw them.