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Star Wars: Battlefront Flaunts Equality– Falls Short

Posted on January 13, 2016 by Renee Gittins


EA DICE released Star Wars: Battlefront on November 17, 2015. While the game has been criticized for not having the same range of weapons, vehicles and campaign play as its previous iteration, the new Star Wars: Battlefront has made some awesome advances, including absolutely gorgeous graphics and stunning sound effects and music.

One notable different between the new Star Wars: Battlefront and its previous versions, is its inclusion of female and minority Stormtroopers. In fact, the game has gone to great lengths to provide a diverse range of skins to choose from, male, female, young, old, black, white. Each are listed innocuously as “Human” followed by a number, with a brief descriptor for each version of the skin of their hairstyles. This is a wonderful way to allow people to put themselves into these skins without labels telling them. I looked at one of the skins for a long time, trying to determine if it the character was supposed to be of Greek or Middle Eastern origin, before realizing it doesn’t matter. In the Star Wars galaxy, those labels have absolutely no meaning. Anyone could play with that character skin and relate to it as they wish.

The "Human 1" skin in Star Wars: Battlefront.

The “Human 1” skin in Star Wars: Battlefront.

When Polygon asked Patrick Barch, general manager at DICE, about the existence of women Stormtroopers, he responded:

“Why wouldn’t there be? When you talk to Lucasfilm, they’re like, ‘Yeah, of course there are. We just haven’t shown you [in the films].’ For us, it’s about filling in the details in the universe. We help out by asking the question, ‘Can we do this, can we do that? Should we do this or do that?’ And then we work it out [with Lucasfilm].”

Thus, female Stormtroopers during the reign of the Galactic Empire are canon and Star Wars: Battlefront has been sure to include them. This is a great step forward for the community, especially for people like me, who have been desiring to step into some Stormtrooper armor both online and in real life.

Star Wars: Battlefront does a great job of having slight distinguishing physical features for females from males without making them seem sexualized or out of place. The Stroomtrooper armor looks basically the same between the two sexes. The only noticeable differences between the female and males versions of the Stormtrooper is that the female has a slight taper on the lower half of her chest piece, a smaller waist, slightly less bulge on her codpiece and a higher belt.  Overall, it really does look like standard issue Stormtrooper armor on a female body– No ridiculously curvaceous proportions, no missing armor protection and no “boob plates”.

The base Stormtrooper skins in Star Wars: Battlefront (male on the left, female on the right).

The base Stormtrooper skins in Star Wars: Battlefront (male on the left, female on the right).

EA DICE deserves applause for this, they have done a great job making the Star Wars universe more open and inclusive for all. However, they’ve fallen short of being a truly welcoming game.

It is easy to get lost in overwhelming joy of the sheer amount of diversity of skin selections in the game and overlook where they are lacking. First of all, on a pure numbers side, there are still simply more male choices, with 70 male skins (42 male Rebel skins, 28 male Empire skins) and only 55 female skins (31 female Rebel skins, 24 female Empire skins). Some of this can be attributed to male skins having combinations of hair and beard combinations. Where it is inexcusable, though, is for the high level skins.

In Star Wars: Battlefront, you unlock skin variations as you progress in level. For the most part, these skins are hair customization. However, at level 40, you begin to unlock more noticeable skins that clearly show your peers and the enemy team that you are of a high level. For the Empire, this first skin is a Scout Trooper skin and for the Rebel Alliance it is three alien skins (Sullustan, Duros and Rodian). The problem? All of these skins are male, with male voices.

In fact, of all of the high level skins (of which there are 9), only two are female skins and both of those are aliens on the Rebel side (Zabrak and Twi’lek). The complete lack of special female Empire skins means that, if you prefer to play a female character, you will never get to fully flaunt your accomplishments while on the Empire side.

The two high level Empire skins in Star Wars: Battlefront both only have male variants.

The two high level Empire skins in Star Wars: Battlefront both only have male variants.

With the base Stormtrooper skins, EA DICE showed how little modification is required to provide both a male and a female version. Why would they leave out female Scout Troopers and Shadowtroopers? Using Barch’s own words, “why wouldn’t there be” female Shadowtroopers?

It seems quite a pity that EA DICE worked so hard to be inclusive in their character options only to leave out women at the highest reward tiers. At level 50, I am reminded of this every time I end up on the Empire side and have to choose between having a character that speaks in a voice like mine and one that shows my accomplishments.

Progress has been made, but we don’t have equality yet.


Rail Gun aims to bring “most immersive ever” controller to market

Posted on December 27, 2015 by Fionna Schweit

It seems like most of the time, gun shaped controllers for FPS games are pretty much flops right out of the gate. Peripherals have to work with multiple games, multiple types of hardware, and across regions. Yet for the new wave of VR to truly feel immersive, you need to have a variety of controllers that can adapt to almost any situation, and first person shooters are first in line. Rail gun is aiming to do just that.

Consisting of five different components, Rail gun attaches to the rails that come standard on all airsoft guns. Since it attaches to an Airsoft gun the user can feel the real recoil and gunfire noises while playing their favorite FPS game. Rail gun is compatible with almost FPS games for PC, Xbox, Playstation and even Virtual reality devices. This is truly the new frontier of VR peripherals. To really feel like you are in a war, you have to not only have the sounds, the lights, and the images, but also the feel of a gun in your hand.

Read More


Dice Confirms Battlefield 5 is a go

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Fionna Schweit

In a move that probably surprises all of two people, there will be a Battlefield 5. Developer DICE’s Dan Vanderlind tweeted this weekend “Now that we’ve shipped Battlefront and a part of the team continues to work on it, I am moving on to another project, the next Battlefield..” Dices gritty realisitic modern military shooter seems to have become a fully annualized property at this point, joining the likes of Call of Duty and Madden on a release schedule that while it is a nightmare for developers, keeps studios quite happy.


Those who disliked the last Battlefield title, Hardline, will be happy to note that EA’s CFO already confirmed that Battlefield 5 is returning to the series roots with a classic modern setting. He also mentioned in the same interview that they had a large release planned for each year, hinting at another large FPS for 2017. Titanfall 2 maybe?


Consortium: The Tower — Crowdfunding January 18th, 2016

Posted on December 14, 2015 by Fionna Schweit

Consortium: the tower is launching a new crowdfunding effort on January the 18th. It is a sci-fi FPS built in unreal engine 4. The main premise is that you can control someone else in a parallel world. The shooter features fast paced action, a deep sci-fi story, line and exciting FPS elemnents. I expect we will see much more from this game as it enters Kick Starter on January 18th.

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OverWatch Beta Live Stream Locked In For October 15th

Posted on October 12, 2015 by Rae Michelle Richards

Blizzard will be announcing the first details for the beta version of their highly anticipated Team Based Shooter Overwatch live on Twitch.TV on Thursday October 15th they announced via Battle.Net. Viewers of this stream won’t only get to hear the new details first but will also enjoy over 90 minutes of gameplay footage from two different perspectives.

Here are the official details from Battle.net:

Join a duo of aspiring heroes, Haylinic and Ellohime, as they team up with our developers to fight for the future LIVE from Blizzard HQ. During these inaugural streams, you’ll have a chance to see over 90 minutes of unedited real-time gameplay from not one, but two perspectives—plus, you’ll get a first look at what you can expect from the upcoming Overwatch beta. (Wicked!)

Livestream Details:

Overwatch Beta Preview Livestream

Thursday, October 15 @ 10:00 a.m. PT



Overwatch was originally announced back in November 2014 and features a number of different colorful characters. Blizzards monetary model for the game is currently not known. Overwatch may be a free-to-play little with purchasable heroes like Heroes of The Storm or it could be a full retail product like Blizzard’s 2012 RPG Diablo III.

We’ll bring you a full recap of the livestream on Thursday!


Join Your Friends Or Be The Monster In Evolve

Posted on February 10, 2015 by Les Major

Evolve, released today, is a five person multiplayer experience. It pits four Hunter human players against another player who is playing as a hulking monster. You’re not alone however and both sides can power up from killing the wildlife in the games various areas. From Turtle Rock Studios who developed the Left 4 Dead series, this title is also a first person experience.

Eager to see some of the classes involved? Read on for the launch trailer.Read More


Is DOOM Returning To It’s Roots?

Posted on June 10, 2014 by Les Major

Sure, it’s just a teaser trailer, but a lot of people are more excited than ever for the upcoming new DOOM game. First off, is that the cyber demon from the original DOOM game in the image above? We sure hope so! Game reboots are great and all, but for us classic gamers, it’s great to see nods to the content we grew up with. It brings our fond memories into glorious new graphics for a whole new generation! Read on to take a look at the video that’s got us excited!Read More


ShootMania Storm Competition Finale E3 Highlights

Posted on August 14, 2012 by Les Major

Twitch TV hosted a ShootMania competition finale at this years E3. If you missed it check out the highlights below from Ubisoft’s youtube channel. ShootMania Storm comes to us from Nadeo, the developer of TrackMania. If you’re a fan of competitive multiplayer FPS games this one should definitely be worth checking out. Much like TrackMania it seems like ShootMania will feature lots of creative options for it’s fans.

ShootMania will include mapping and scripting tools as well as Machinima sharing and editing tools. For more information on ShootMania Storm, you can check out the official site: http://www.shootmania.com/

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Hard Reset Extended Review

Posted on July 29, 2012 by Broken Joysticks

Well, let’s start by saying that if you enjoy PC FPS games you have already heard of Hard Reset, as the game came out last year and had a few good weeks of buzz around it then, we are reviewing the just released extended version.
Not to be overly reductive but, the game feels and looks like the Die Hard sequel to Blade Runner. Jump around in a futuristic super city, fighting what appear to be A.I. driven robots, that are trying to control our database of human minds… Wait a second…Read More


Nuclear Dawn: A War Worth Fighting

Posted on April 1, 2012 by Eric Bastelak

When you work 40 hours a week to pay the bills you have very little money to invest in entertainment. With the rising cost of video games every penny saved from a poor purchase can go towards a memorable or unique experience that you will truly enjoy. Nuclear Dawn is both, it uniquely blends real time strategy game play with tactical class based first person shooting.

Many readers may not know this but Broken Joysticks is a labor of love. The other writers and I want to highlight the games we think are worth your money. We work to pay our bills and Broken Joysticks is what we do, because it’s something we believe in, writing about a medium we love that is like no other. When a friend of mine gave me a 3 day pass to Nuclear Dawn I figured what the heck I’ll give it a shot. After making use of the pass Nuclear Dawn quickly became worth my money. Every gamer knows sometimes you have to pick and choose your titles we all have to live within our means. I’m writing this to tell you that if you’re on the fence about Nuclear Dawn, hell if you’ve never ever heard of it. This game is worth your money.Read More


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