Battlefield 4 Articles RSS Feed | Battlefield 4 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should: DICE And Frostbite Sun, 04 Mar 2018 13:54:18 -0500 Alberto C.

To claim that graphics form an integral part of gaming would be an understatement. We can all agree that graphics are one of the most important aspects any video game can have. They are one of the easiest selling points of a game, and only those that are truly exceptional in other areas can afford to, to an extent, ignore or neglect the visuals that every player will experience when playing their game.

I can’t tell you exactly why graphics seem to play an important part, but I can speculate and guess. Perhaps it is because essentially every person who sees graphics seem to share the scale that judges what are good graphics and what are not. There are few out there that can objectively challenge the idea that back in 2007 when Crysis was released, the level of detail and visual richness the game had was simply amazing and until then unparalleled. Since we all live in reality, it makes sense that our assessment of how virtual machines represent it seems to be standardized and shared by the vast majority. Even people who aren’t gamers can easily make similar assessments and, will more likely than not, agree over what games look better than others.

It might not look like that much today, but Crysis is already a 10-year-old title.

But alas, graphics are not everything, and while games like Crysis definitely left a mark in the gaming industry, it certainly did not go beyond the eye-candy it provided. I’d even say that every other aspect of the game was average for the most part. DICE is now guilty of following this trend evermore since it started using its famous Frostbite engine.

Perhaps to even a greater extent than the CryEngine did, Frostbite seems to be easily one of the most recognizable engines out there and for a good reason: the level of details and effects is simply gorgeous. Much like Crysis, no matter how uninterested you might be in the Battlefield or Battlefront franchises themselves, there’s no denying they look pretty damn impressive. Perhaps too impressive.

Battlefield 1 is one of the latest titles to make use of Frostbite.

As stunning as the explosions, physics, shadows, and particle effects may be, the merit of the hard work put into some of these areas by creating a constant show-off of them on screen seems to undermine that work. If you’ve played any of the recent Battlefield or Battlefront titles, stating that “quite a few things are going on at the same time” would be selling it short. Maybe I’m just getting older, or maybe the Tranformers movie franchise took a heavier psychological toll than I initially thought, but the amount of incessant explosions, rocks, smoke, lasers and whatnot occurring at the same time with the Frostbite engine seems like a misuse. There are two reasons for which this seems like an abuse of the engine.


Battlefront 2 and Frostbite in action.

First, by constantly displaying what Frostbite is capable of, DICE reduces the “Wow” and shock factor each time. Much like real world appreciation, the more easily something becomes available, the less value it tends have. If diamonds or gold were as accessible as iron, chances are we wouldn’t have either on engagement rings that cost thousands of dollars.

DICE tends to cluster as much as possible what players see with nonstop effects. It reduces the impact and appreciation it has on the player. The first time we saw that sky scraper collapse in Battlefield 4, it was amazing. The 50th time was far less amusing. However, because such type of animations are so limited, they retain their awe longer. The same logic should be applied for some of animations that are used much more often.


When everything that can explode, will explode.

The second reason is it serves as a smokescreen for game design flaws that are only made evident once you’ve played the game enough time. These are aspects that are harder to notice tend to be perceived mostly by players who either put enough hours into the game and/or can easily compare them to other titles they’ve played.

Captivated by all that eye-candy, it distracts the player from noticing other flaws, and only after they have become more accustomed to all those visuals do they start to pick up on others aspects that are equally important to the overall experience. Level design, game modes, classes, balances, vehicles and whatnot each play their part in the player’s experience.

The flaws (or strengths) are only made obvious after the game has been sold, unlike the graphics area where it can be appreciated without ever touching the game. This hinders an effective patching process and whatever future titles the studio works on. Unless the game design flaws are so defective or outrageous that the prospective playerbase reacts to them. Usually by some combination of anonymous individuals who analyse the flaw, effectively explain it, and is picked up by the online community and gets enough traction. The clear example of this would be EA’s gambling scheme set up in Battlefront II (2017).

While making progress in the graphics department, game design improvement has been more neglected.

This piece is not advocating for a downgrade in graphics justified by more awareness put into the non-visual departments. Progress in visual development will be welcomed to the point we can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what isn’t. What it is advocating for is a more mindful approach to how graphics are used.

When every single building becomes destructible resulting in a cloud of dust, every shot impact results in an explosion of sparkles cluttering the screen or when lens flare is present at all times, it just ends up feeling like a Michael Bay movie. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a market or genre where such things can and should be over the top, but it doesn’t seem quite to fit the more serious tone that games like Battlefield or Battlefront seemingly attempt to achieve. Some effects and visual features can be more effective when used surgically than at every possible opportunity.

Michael Bay Paper Bags Inc.

Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment below.

Will Battlefield Ever Have a Smooth Launch? Sat, 05 Nov 2016 14:38:52 -0400 NorthwestGamer

Let me just start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Battlefield 1. I finished the campaign in the first couple days and have actively been playing online since then. There is no denying that the launch of this game has been night and day compared to the horrible launch experience we went through with Battlefield 4 in 2013 (we won't even talk about Battlefield: Hardline).

Having said that, there is still tons of room for improvement. Even playing through the campaign, which should be a lot simpler than the online, there were some pretty major bugs. On a regular basis, most notably in Through Mud and Blood, I was experiencing enemies that could not be shot (they could still be killed by explosives) and other enemies that had issues like a missing torso.

Is It Really a Big Deal?

Those types of issues may sound small, but they can become extremely frustrating when that enemy you can't shoot is the last one you need to kill to advance the mission. These were just a couple examples that became the most game-breaking throughout the story for me.

And let's not forget, that's just the campaign; the multiplayer has it's own set of issues, such as the fact that EA released Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 in back-to-back weeks and the entire Origin servers went down twice.

There are also some random bugs that are more fun than anything, such as this awesome fiery zeppelin twister:

Credit to EA

All in all, the truth is that the state of Battlefield 1 is not that bad. There have been lots of games that have had way less bugs at launch, such as the new Gears of War 4, but those games don't have the scale and complexity that the Battlefield games do.

One thing that I have to give credit to EA for doing, which a lot of people are writing off as a cash grab, is the Early Enlister edition. While this may have seemed like a way to get even more money from the fans, it brought the player base into the game more gradually. By doing this, EA was able to better prepare their servers to handle the load when the game launched to everybody 3 days later.

While the servers did go down twice, they have been relatively stable when they are working. So, even though it may not have been the smooth launch we are waiting for, it was certainly a large improvement from the past.

Battlefield 4 Expansion Packs Are Now Free Thu, 15 Sep 2016 16:04:38 -0400 Michael Keener

Players may now access all of the Battlefield 4 expansion packs for free.

Through Monday the expansion packs China Rising, Second Assault, Naval Strike, Dragon's Teeth, and Final Stand will be free to download.

Battlefield 4 is an online multiplayer-warfare game, with an optional campaign, boasting gorgeous graphics and realistic combat. Developed by EA DICE, and published by Electronic Arts, the game made its debut October 29, 2013, and still holds a strong community today. 

The expansion packs are available on platforms PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, or PC; as long as players have already purchased the base game, they are able to participate. In addition to the free downloads, each expansion pack comes with a community-themed mission available for a limited time.

For a few more details on how long the missions will be available, look on the Battlefield page. Check out the trailers for each of the 5 expansion packs below.

Final Stand Official Gameplay Trailer

Dragon's Teeth Official Trailer

Naval Strike Official Trailer

China Rising Official Trailer

Second Assault Official Trailer

Battlefield 4 Gets UI Redesign on PS4 and Xbox One Tue, 30 Aug 2016 00:48:09 -0400 Jeremy Brown

DICE's latest installment in the Battlefield franchise, Battlefield 4, is getting an update to its user interface in preparation for the next title in the series, Battlefield 1. This update is meant to get people more acclimated to the new game's design before its release.

It's a completely redone "visual overhaul", with some changes to "how you actually play with friends". Certain updates to Squads strive to make "spawning on your buddies smoother." There's a new "recommendation engine" that can suggest maps and modes for players.

This new UI will also roll out with Battlefield 1 later this year, and DICE says the intention is to make the transition between the former to the latter titles in the series much simpler and faster than before -- thus the reason for a more unified UI design.

For a better understanding of what it looks like, the PC image below of Battlefield 1 might help.

Battlefield 1 launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 21.

Why doesn’t EA combine their subscription services? Sun, 19 Jun 2016 17:29:59 -0400 HavenHeart36

EA offers two great subscription services; EA access for Xbox One, and Origin access for PC. Both services are $4.99 a month and offer great deals for players. I think that they should combine those services into one service, and one subscription.

EA access for Xbox One offers over 20 games in their vault that you can play instantly with their subscription. Some of the games included are Dragon Age Inquisition, FIFA 15, Battlefield 4, and Madden 15. The subscription also includes Play First, which allows you to play games before they are released. Subscribers also get 10% off all EA digital purchases.

Origin access has about the same deals, but for PC. You get access to the vault, which has over 25 games. Some of the games included are; FIFA 16, Battlefield 4, Dragon Age II, and The Sims 3 Starter Pack. You also can play games before they are released, and get 10% discount on all Origin purchases.

Both EA access and Origin access are $4.99 a month. I think the subscriptions are a good deal. But, if you are a gamer like me and play on both on your PC and Xbox One, you might not want to pay for both subscriptions to have access to all games.

This makes players like me have to make a choice. I don’t want to pay $10 a month for both subscriptions and have two separate memberships. I think that EA would benefit if they combined their services and had one membership for both EA access and Origin access.

The price of the two subscriptions is about $10 total. I am not suggesting that they combine both subscriptions and only charge for the price of one, or $4.99. But, if they were to combine services and then reduced the price by a dollar or more, so that it was less than $10 for one subscription, I think more people would want to buy it.

With one price and one subscription, players might be more inclined to subscribe because they would have access to all games across both platforms. EA needs to make it simpler; they could even give a discount for players that have both subscriptions now when they switch.

EA has a good start; they just need to build on it. I like the direction they are taking with subscriptions.

EA donates $1 million to charity and gives back to players Tue, 14 Jun 2016 12:23:22 -0400 HavenHeart36

EA is donating $1 million to charity to celebrate the global gaming community. They are giving to 5 organizations that give back to the player community. Each of these organizations help support and foster future game-makers. They include:

  • Code2040
  • HeForShe
  • National Center for Women & Information Technology
  • SpecialEffect

But, that is not all. You can celebrate as well by participating in some in-game challenges starting June 12, through EA Play to Give program, that will get you some great stuff.

Games that are included in the challenges are: Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardline, Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, FIFA 16, and Madden NFL 16.

In Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardline, you can earn a Gold Battlepack from June 12-17, by participating in community challenges.

In Star Wars Battlefront, players can participate in the 3X Score Event, by completing any multiplayer match from June 12-14.

In Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, you can earn 50,000 credits, and more for completing quest of deploying a squad of powerful female characters against the droids.

In FIFA 16, winning tournament in the Play to Give Cup in FIFA Ultimate Team during EA PLAY, will get you an untradeable Rare Mega Pack. You can get Premium Coins Packs for completing tournaments thereafter.

In Madden NFL 16, you can earn 2,040 coins and Pro Pack by playing Madden Ultimate Team from June 12-19.

The EA Play to Give challenges have already started. You can find out more information about these challenges on the EA Play website.  

'Hack-usations' Fly When This Cheater Is Caught Red Handed Tue, 17 May 2016 12:19:06 -0400 Rick Ormsby

If you've played a multiplayer FPS in the last decade, you've seen or heard the 'hack-usations' when one player's K/D ratio starts to seem a little unbalanced. Most of the time these are just the mutterings of an angry player moments before rage quitting, but every now and then there's some truth to the complaints. A Battlefield 4 player was about to log off when he noticed something odd in spectator mode. After following another player who pulled off 7 kills in less than a minute, the narrator starts to smell something fishy. Watch as the suspected hacker fires wildly into the sky above the heads of his opponents before landing head-shot after head-shot. After viewing the footage, do you think he was the victim of a L337 H4x0r?

Best Gaming Graphic Cards under $200 Tue, 26 Apr 2016 05:38:09 -0400 Sergey_3847

With the constant growth of hardware requirements and display resolutions, today’s PC gaming scene has turned into a mad chase for every extra frame possible. While indie games don’t require you to have a PC with high-end graphics card, nobody really wants to stay behind the trend and not try at least a few AAA video games.

Getting the latest and greatest graphics cards can easily break the bank. But it doesn't have to. There are lots of powerful graphics cards available for under $200. In the list below, you will find several of the best graphics solutions that can make all the latest video games run smoothly on your PC without forcing you to spend too much money.

Radeon R7 360

Radeon R7 360

GPU Clock: 1050 MHz
Memory Clock: 1500 MHz/6000 MHz effective
Memory Size: 2048 MB
Memory Type: GDDR5
Memory Bus: 128 bit
Starting Price: $119

Buy on Amazon

The Radeon R7 360 doesn’t represent any form of new technology, but it is just a very well manufactured upgrade of the R7 260 model. It has the same Bonaire GPU, but offers better results due to a GDDR5 memory type.

Testing on a system with Intel Core i5-3470 and 16 GB RAM showed that Radeon R7 360 works best at 1680x1050 resolution. If you switch to 1920x1080, frame rate issues in certain games will be unavoidable.

For example, the medium graphics settings in GTA V showed 45 FPS, The Witcher 3 showed 30 FPS, and CS:GO showed 230 FPS. If you switch to ultra settings, The Witcher 3 falls down to 23 FPS and GTA V to 15 FPS, which is not how you want to play games. However, if you can handle the recommended settings, then it’s more than a fine choice.

Radeon R7 370

Radeon R7 360

GPU Clock: 975 MHz
Memory Clock: 1400 MHz/5600 MHz effective
Memory Size: 4096 MB
Memory Type: GDDR5
Memory Bus: 256 bit
Starting Price: $159

Buy on Amazon

The Radeon R7 370 is the elder brother of the R7 360, with a bigger memory size and slightly noisier cooling system. However, the performance index is much better than the previous model.

The R7 370 showed some excellent results at ultra settings with 1920x1080 resolution in Battlefield 4 swinging between 30 and 40 FPS, The Witcher 3 at 30-35 FPS, and Far Cry 4 at 35-40 FPS. These are all great results for the price given.

So, if you’re looking at the two low-budget solutions from Radeon, the best choice here would obviously be the R7 370 with 4 GB GDDR5, but if you can’t spend an extra $50, then take the R7 360 and just scale the settings down a notch.

GeForce GTX 750 Ti

GeForce GTX 750 Ti

GPU Clock: 1085 MHz
Memory Clock: 1350 MHz/5400 MHz effective
Memory Size: 2048 MB
Memory Type: GDDR5
Memory Bus: 128 bit
Starting Price: $105

Buy on Amazon

The GTX 750 Ti is based on Maxwell architecture and powered up by a GM107 processor. The 750 model is twice as fast as its 650 predecessor, due to power efficiency technology and a GDDR5 memory type.

Additionally, the 750 Ti supports displays with G-Sync technology, making both the framerate produced by the graphics card and the one processed by the display to be perfectly synchronized.

Tests showed that the GTX 750 Ti works much better at medium settings with 1680x1050 resolution. The framerate index in some popular games looks satisfactory: Battlefield 4 at 30-40 FPS, Dying Light at 30-35, GTA V at 30-40 FPS. Overall, the results are OK if you don’t chase the dream of full HD gaming.

GeForce GTX 950

GeForce GTX 950

GPU Clock: 1188 MHz
Memory Clock: 1653 MHz/6612 MHz effective
Memory Size: 2048 MB
Memory Type: GDDR5
Memory Bus: 128 bit
Starting Price: $150

Buy on Amazon

This model is a more advanced version of the 750 Ti, but twice as cheap as its next iteration, the 960. However, both the 950 and 960 use the same GM206 processor.

The GeForce GTX 950 is based on the second generation of Maxwell architecture, therefore, it has the most complete support for DirectX 12. This alone makes the 950 the best graphics card under $200 on the market today.

The GTX 950 fully supports 1920x1080 resolution and can handle any modern AAA game at ultra settings. Here are the framerate test results: Battlefield 4 at 40-50 FPS, Far Cry 4 at 40-45 FPS, GTA V at 35-45 FPS, The Witcher 3 at 30-40 FPS.


So, if you need a cheap graphics card that can handle your favorite games, then add a few extra bucks and the get GTX 950. If you find yourself in the situation where extra $50 is too much, then take R7 360. Both models are the best choices in the current segment of graphics cards under $200.

Which of these graphics cards you liked the best? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

Emerging game video sharing platform reached 10 million active users Fri, 08 Apr 2016 07:44:36 -0400 StratGamer48

With the rising of popularity of gaming videos, the streaming industry is growing too. Besides Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and FACEIT, there's another game video sharing platform that's thriving on this trend. is a platform where gamers to share their "best hit" moments with others.

On April 6, the site finally hit its 10 million monthly active user milestone, with 4 million content creators. According to a report from CNET, the number of active users on the site is the equal to the number of active users on Instagram by the time the app celebrated its first birthday.

"We're the only platform in the world that can actually read what you do in the game. And is starting to offer tools to help more game makers feed that data into player's videos."

-- Dennis Fong, co-founder of allows users to interact and notify their friends and opponents in game by recording with the Client. After recording and posting on, the player also can share their videos on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms. Besides this, users also can follow their favorite players and games. 

Popular games being played in and their short videos recorded by players

At the moment, has covered popular games like League of Legends, DOTA2, Battlefield 4, Hearthstones... Ultimately, Fong's goal is to make into "Gamers' Facebook" -- a large platform where majority of gamers gather and share their best moments.  

Nasty FPS montage Sun, 03 Apr 2016 04:45:40 -0400 moldol7

This is a montage of Battlefield 4 and Star Wars Battlefront clips on the Xbox One by Fresh Neeks.  I made this because I love playing first person shooters and am hoping to entertain people with what I can do.  I also am streaming on Twitch and would love for people to come hang out and join my community if they enjoy what they see.  People will get to watch me kill it at these games, have fun socializing with me and my other viewers and I often also am open to play with my viewers if they are interested.  Hope to see you guys at my Twitch stream, my username is freshneeks.

EA Publisher Sale Underway for Xbox Thu, 04 Feb 2016 18:49:26 -0500 Eric Adams

Attention Xbox and EA fans! The EA Publisher Sale has officially hit the Xbox marketplace, and it includes deals on a select number of EA gaming titles. The sale includes discounts up to 60% off certain games, including Battlefield and Need for Speed. The sale is currently underway and will continue to run through February 8th.

The one-week sale includes deals for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. There are lots of new new titles, bestsellers, and even seven backwards compatible games. Xbox Live Gold members will also save up to an additional 10% along with the original game discounts. So now would be a wise time to snag a Gold membership.

You can visit the EA Publisher Sale on the official Xbox website, as well as starting today. As mentioned above, the sale runs from February 2nd to February 8th

What games will you be picking up during the Publisher Sale? Let me know down in the comments!

Xbox Live Gold members get to try EA Access for a week, with more than 10 free games Thu, 14 Jan 2016 14:50:42 -0500 Anson Chan

From January 19 to January 24, Xbox One owners who have an active Xbox Live Gold subscription have the opportunity to play more than 10 games for free. This is part of a promotion for EA's new Origin Access program.

The week-long promotion includes games like Titanfall, Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield 4, Madden 25, FIFA 15, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare (which will also let you transfer your unlocked characters over to Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2), and more. All you have to do is download the EA Access Hub App on your Xbox One dashboard, then wait until the 19th. 

After the trial period is over, it is strongly implied that you will no longer be able to play the games you downloaded during the promotional period -- at least until you chose to buy them.

It should be noted that since these are the full games and not demos, it is entirely possible that you will have to download what may be hundreds of GB in games if you intend to take full advantage of the trial week, so it is highly recommended that you finish any games that you intend to delete before the 19th to avoid any storage issues.

Curiously enough, it is unspecified whether or not you can download each game's associated DLC for free as well, which probably means that this offer only extends to the games themselves.

However, you may have also noticed that a fair number of the games that are offered have a heavy multiplayer emphasis. For example, while the Battlefield games have a single player component, but most people tend to play the multiplayer. This means that you will most likely be at a significant disadvantage if you are jumping into these games for the first time during that week. On top of that, all of these games are relatively old, so don't expect to find a huge multiplayer population -- much less matches that you will be comfortable with. 

What do you think of this trial? Will you be trying it out for yourself? Let me know down in the comments!

EA to offer subscription-based all-access PC service Wed, 13 Jan 2016 15:26:20 -0500 Rob ChYph3r

EA has an upcoming "all you can play" PC subscription service called Origin Access. (Sorry Mac and Linux users, it's not available for you at this time.) The service is set to start on February 4th, 2016, at a cost of $4.99 USD per month.

This subscription gives you access to a "Vault" containing some of EA's top titles, which will eventually include non-EA titles. The Vault is currently offering Dragon Age: Inquisition, Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield 4, FIFA 16, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, and more. So as of today it has 15 games, but EA says that number is going to grow as time goes on.

Members will also will get the ability to play upcoming EA games before they are released and get an automatic 10% discount on Origin purchases, which includes pre-orders, full games, DLCs and FIFA points. The games in Access will vary by each country's local laws.

To order the service on Feb. 4th, you will need a credit card or a PayPal account. Anything you order via this service only applies to the digital downloads that are provided via Origin -- in other words, you don't get the discount at a retailer.

Do you think this new service will fly or die? Let us know down in the comments section.

Upcoming Battlefield 4 DLC remagines Battlefield 2's Dragon Valley map Sun, 15 Nov 2015 05:19:36 -0500 Michael Falero

The final DLC for Battlefield 4 will feature one of the series' most beloved maps from Battlefield 2, Dragon Valley.

In an update to its Battlelog, game developer DICE outlined how Battlefield 4: Legacy Operations would improve on the original Dragon Valley map by taking advantage of current-generation hardware capabilities. It also included a gameplay video of the new map (see above).

The draw distance of the map will be far greater than that of Battlefield 2, allowing for a more realistic Chinese river valley environment. The increased draw distance also allows for a "dynamic cloud layer" that players on the ground will be unable to see through. Aerial dogfights will be "more intense" as aircraft can fly in and out of the layer.

The increased draw distance also allows for a "dynamic cloud layer" that players on the ground will be unable to see through. Aerial dogfights will be more intense as aircraft can fly in and out of the layer.

DICE's update also mentions that Dragon Valley will have destructible and repairable bridges and that the map will have Rush game mode, unlike its Battlefield predecessor.

At the end of its blog post, DICE states that Legacy Operations will only be available for PC and current-generation consoles, as they wanted to "focus on the more powerful platforms" in order to make levels on "a larger scale". However DICE will continue to provide critical updates for Battlefield 4 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

DICE has not announced a release date for Battlefield 4: Legacy Operations yet, but says that the DLC will accompany the game's Holiday Update later this year.


The 15 highest-rated PS4 games Fri, 07 Aug 2015 10:58:47 -0400 Curtis Dillon


So that's the lot! Of course there are many more awesome PS4 games - we never even fell beneath 84%! And that's not counting the PS3 ports and remasters, which help make the PS4's library more and more impressive.


The best thing about these 15 games is the impressive diversity on display. Last generation bore witness to the rise of digital games and the indie developer, and it's great to see that tradition is continuing and growing with the PS4. So we get games like Batman: Arkham Knight and The Witcher 3 on the same list as Shovel Knight and Rocket League. There's truly something for everyone on the PlayStation 4!


What games were you surprised to see, or not to see? Personally I thought Infamous: Second Son would have had a place in the top 15, and maybe Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. And what games do you think will make the list in future? Uncharted 4 seems a no-brainer, but what else? Let us know in the comments!

1. The Witcher 3 - 92%

This should come as no surprise, because The Witcher 3 is the most breath-taking and immersive RPG ever created. Fun, interesting, beautiful, absolutely huge, and with things to do at every single point of the map, The Witcher 3 is exactly what we'd always wanted from a fantasy RPG.


You play as Geralt of Rivia on his last adventure, that of finding his loved ones and finally taking down the Wild Hunt. The premise is simple, but the characters make the main quest a delight to play through, and the plethora of side quests, all with an amazing diversity of characters and monsters, make this game hundreds of hours long, but interesting all the way.


Simply put, The Witcher 3 is the biggest and best game on PS4.


Its shockingly cohesive world is as beautiful as it is demanding, and it's packed full of mature content that throws you from one emotional response to the next. Its storytelling is superb, its combat is grippingly refined, and its often unforgiving nature only lends itself to a brilliantly rewarding experience.


                                  - Push Square

2. Bloodborne - 92%

Rarely has a game felt like such a descent into madness. That itself is the story of Bloodborne. You play as the silent Hunter, who travels around the town of Yharnam battling the residents-turned-monsters. The premise is simple, but the game gets more bizarre as the story unfolds, and you may find yourself going mad along with it.


Continuing the challenging template set forth by Demon Souls, From Software created a masterpiece with Bloodborne. Melding together everything that made the Souls games great, Bloodborne makes the action a little faster, adds a gun to parry with, and makes the monsters more than lumbering brutes.

Bloodborne takes the best of Dark Souls and builds the unrelenting gaming challenge on a prefect foundation - it will test your abilities to the max. The first true must-have exclusive for PS4 is here. 
      - LEVEL
3. Shovel Knight - 91%

The ultimate love letter to old-school 2D platformers. Shovel Knight is the true evolution of classic games like Mega Man, CastleVania, or Ninja Gaiden. But it isn't a clone or a rip-off, it's its own entity - and a fantastic one at that.


Not only does Shovel Knight play like the perfect amalgamation of the games mentioned but it looks amazing, has an instant-classic soundtrack, and the PS4 version even features the God of War, Kratos. Shovel Knight begs to be played by gamers, young and old.


Whether you were weaned on an NES like I was, or don't yet know what you missed in a time before you were born, Shovel Knight is an absolute must-play.



4. Dragon Age: Inquisition - 89%

BioWare breathed new life into the Dragon Age series with Inquisition. As a series that had been waning and never quite reached the heights of rival RPGs, Dragon Age finally reached its potential with the 2014 installment.


Dragon Age: Inquisiton is an incredibly dense fantasy RPG that took the open world genre to new heights with it's size, lore, characters, and world. Inquisition is easily one of the best RPGs on the PS4.


With a huge, breathtaking world, an epic story, and choices that leaves a significant mark on the world around you, Dragon Age: Inquisition embodies everything that makes the series so popular.


                                                                                      - Shack News

5. Batman: Arkham Knight - 87%

Batman: Arkham Knight has been met with a lot of criticism since its release, and some of it well deserved. However, the criticism is resounding because expectations were so very high, and because we've already had 3 installments, the core gameplay that makes the series so fantastic is overlooked for Arkham Knight's flaws.


My point is, at its core, Arkham Knight is an amazing game. No one can argue that is a bad game. They may not like it or think it was disappointing, but the game itself is very good. The characters, world, graphics, and gameplay are all phenomenal. The Batmobile controls well and the tank mode similarly is very tight, though it can definitely be argued that it's overused and unbefitting of a Batman game.


Regardless, Arkham Knight is a great game and one of the best on the PS4. It may not have hit the game of the year highs that the previous two did, but it's still a testament to superhero games and world-building.


...any frustrations I have with Arkham Knight don’t take away from the fact that I was unable to stop playing for four days straight, frequently in awe.


       - Hyper Magazine

6. Fifa 14 - 87%

EA's classic football series debuted on the PS4 with the best entry to date. Fifa 14 brought the near-perfect gameplay that EA has mastered, tightened it even further, and enhanced the graphics. Compared to the series' debut on PS3, this was a real belter.


We all know what Fifa is and who it's for, so it doesn't take much extrapolation to explain why the series gets better with each entry. However, it's '14 that stands as the best football game on PS4 to date.


FIFA 14 exudes polish from every pore. It’s a great all-rounder, able to entertain players of all abilities.


                                                 - DarkStation

7. OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood - 86%

OlliOlli 2 is a skateboarding platformer that is equally frustrating and rewarding. Like its predecessor, OlliOlli 2 doesn't play like any other skateboarding game you've played. It's very tricky, no pun intended.


The second entry in the series takes the skateboarding from the mean streets to the "Olliwood" hills. You play a variety of cool locations, including some that look like they're right out of Guacamelee. The game is as difficult, if not more, than the original, and well worth picking up if you want something different or skateboard-related.


OlliOlli 2 may be incredibly difficult at times but it is also non stop fun. It takes everything that made the first game great and made it even better.


                                                                                     - Gaming Nexus

8. Rocket League - 85%

Do you like fun? Then Rocket League is for you.


That's all I really need to say, but I will break it down a bit for anyone who doesn't know about the game or is on the fence. Rocket League is essentially football/soccer with cars. You drive, jump, boost, block, powerslide, and even climb walls in order to score the next all-important goal.


While the gameplay is where Rocket League excels, especially in online play, the customization of cars is also a ton of fun. You can choose from an array of chasses, patterns, colors, tires, jet streams, hats and flags. So the diversity of cars you see online makes it feel consistently fresh and exciting.


But to be honest, talking about the game can do it no justice. It's truly something you need to play for yourself to really get. And right now it's free on PS Plus, so join the 4 million others already playing Rocket League.


Rocket League is a pure videogame defined by an excellent mixture of its mechanics. It's extremely fun, addictive, one of the best competitive experiences of this year on PS4.


                                                   - Atomix

9. Far Cry 4 - 85%

Far Cry 4 continued the insanity of the previous installment but took it to the Himalayan mountains. The story may not have been as good as that of Far Cry 3 but the same open-world traversal, combat, and quirkiness remained true to the series.


Paragliding over the hills of Kyrat, taking down outposts, finding masks and letters that shed light on the world, and shooting honey badgers with fire arrows is incredibly fun. And to be honest, if you don't like the sound of that then you wouldn't like Far Cry 4. Ubisoft created another great entry in the series and it's one of the best open-world games on PS4.


Far Cry 4 pounds out an open-world FPS maelstrom of ridiculousness. It’s always in your face and it’s never afraid to throw numerous and diverse dangers in your path, just to see if you can adapt and survive.


                                                                                 - PSX Extreme

10. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions - 85%

The latest installment in the Geometry Wars series, Dimensions is the best on PS4 and arguably the best of the series. The gameplay is tighter than ever, the color palette and soundtrack assault the senses, and online leaderboards make it addictive.


Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is a multi-directional shooter that is as fun and chaotic as it is hypnotic and challenging. Though this kind of game might not be for everyone, if you are a fan you will love what Dimensions has to offer.


It offers plenty of things for all players, as the Adventure mode draws in new fans, the Classic mode appeals to veterans, and the leaderboards manage to fuel their competitive natures.


                                                                - Softpedia

11. Super Mega Baseball - 85%

Here's a game you've probably never even heard of. I will say I'm still shocked that Super Mega Baseball is higher rated than any version of MLB The Show, although The Show '14 did rate at 83. That shows just how good this game is beneath it's cartoonish exterior.


Not so much about the realism of baseball as it is the sheer fun, Super Mega Baseball offers a jump-in mentality for those who aren't lovers or familiar with baseball, and surprisingly deep complexity for those who do.


Super Mega Baseball is one of the best baseball games out at the moment. Sure it may not be a licensed game like The Show, but the gameplay is as good as the official MLB game.


                                                                      - The Sixth Axis

12. Battlefield 4 - 85%

As a launch game, Battlefield 4 really showed what the PS4 and Xbox One were capable of. With the series' trademark online play that incorporates a fairly huge landscape, trucks, jeeps, jets, and "levolutions", Battlefield 4 set the bar for insane war games.


I'm sure you've seen them by now, but the levolutions are pretty amazing, from falling buildings to dams bursting. They dynamically change the gameplay and give you something to show your friends! The campaign leaves you wanting and the plethora of bugs/online issues were unacceptable, but for a first next-gen outing, this was impressive.


As the first game to demonstrate the prowess of the Frostbite 3 engine, its explosive debut indicates a promising future for its technology. Gear up and strap in, Battlefield 4 sets the new standard for next-generation multiplayer.


                   - Game Trailers

13. NBA 2K14 - 85%

As good as the core gameplay of the NBA 2K series is, the visual fidelity of the first PS4 version was what made it a must play - for everyone. Even if you aren't a fan of basketball, you should check the game out for the graphics alone.


Another really cool feature of the game, more frequently seen in the WWE series, is MyCareer Mode, which sees you create a player and play a story mode. The mode came equipped with cutscenes and even post-match interviews with real-life personalities. Needless to say, fans had never felt closer to being a real pro-baller.


...beyond impressive graphics NBA 2K14 keeps touching perfection in terms of gameplay, still as precise as ever, with a game experience still more satisfying due to the very well done AI. You still don't know what game to buy for your PS4 or your Xbox One? Think again.


                                                                                - Jeux Actu

14. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor - 84%

The game that surprised everyone in 2014, Shadow of Mordor deserves a place on any great next-gen games list. With a feature that truly screams "next-gen", Shadow of Mordor made a fairly bland story and world, extremely fun to play.


You play as Talion, a Ranger of Gondor, who is murdered alongside his family by Sauron and his minions. The basic plot sees you kill every Orc ten times over in your road to revenge. It's really as simple as that, but the gameplay, skill-tree, and much-touted Nemesis System, are the reasons you keep playing Shadow of Mordor for a long time.


It turns out that Shadow of Mordor is that rarest of things in video game culture - an unexpected knockout punch.


                                                                      - The Guardian

15. Axiom Verge - 84%

Starting off the list is Axiom Verge, the latest in a long line of MetroidVania games, but Axiom Verge is arguably one of the most faithful to its inspirations.


You guide a confused scientist around an alien world in order to figure out where you are and what the heck happened. Axiom Verge is very reminiscent of Super Metroid, and shows that there is plenty of life left in the genre yet.


The exploration loop is incredibly satisfying, and combat feels both tight and adaptable, like a complex dance where the partners both accentuate each others strengths, allowing any weak points to fade into the background.


                         - DarkStation


We're coming up on the 2 year release of the PS4 (it seems longer than that, doesn't it?). And we thought it high time we celebrate the console and its games. The PlayStation 4 has a ton of games already, many of which are excellent - some even masterpieces, and we wanted to list the very best of the best. These highest rated PS4 games to date, as per Metacritic.


HD remasters and ports will not be counted. That means The Last of Us Remastered, God of War III, Guacameleee: Super Turbo Championship Edition, Fez, etc. will not make the list.


The reason behind this is simple, new games are more exciting. If we were to include those games, this list almost be entirely comprised of previously released games. That doesn't reflect the great games only on the PS4. 


Additionally, when two or more games have the same critical score, which several of them do, we will rank them depending on the higher user score.


So without further ado, let's just dive in and bear witness to the 15 best games on the PlayStation 4 thus far!

Is Dragon Age: Inquisition's trial edition a fantastic new take on demos? Wed, 15 Jul 2015 19:36:07 -0400 Elijah Beahm

Dragon Age: Inquisition blew a lot of gamers and critics away back when it released in 2014. It took everything everyone liked about the past two, highly divisive Dragon Age games, and blended them to perfection. Not only was the game a massive open-world experience, it had real choices that mattered. It also introduced a very well received multiplayer component to the Dragon Age universe, mimicing Mass Effect 3's multiplayer success.

So you can imagine the surprise a lot of us had when EA revealed that they would not only be offering a trial version of the experience on the Xbox One's EA Access service, but also on PC via Origin. Even better, the PC Trial version, while only available a limited time, is allowing players unlimited access to the game's multiplayer and all the free multiplayer expansoins, permanently.

If you get the trial version, you can slay Dark Spawn with your friends so long as the game's servers remain active, without paying a dollar. The trial version will also let you play with those who already own Inquisition, so instead of dividing the multiplayer community, this will help it thrive even more.

You also get to play the single-player for six hours. For a game this size, that will only get you a little while into the first act, but it is enough time to figure out if you like Inquisition's new take on the Dragon Age combat and moral choice systems. It also will only count those hours as you play, so if you have to stop, the timer won't count down in your absence.

Clearly EA is learning from their previous experiments with its Game Time initiative.

For those who don't know, Game Time is an attempt by EA to offer full games for limited timeslots. So, to start, they offered Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning for 48 hours. You could play it as much as you wanted, but after 48 hours from when you first booted up the game, it would become locked again and require a purchase to play further. You got to keep all of your progress as well, so you could pick up right where you left off once you bought the game in question. They've subsequently done this for several games, including Garden Warfare, Titanfall, and Battlefield 4.

While old school demos still work for some games, they are generally viewed as antiquated, and more trouble than they are worth for developers.

Game Time was a great idea in concept, but in practice, there are a lot of gamers who could just charge through a single-player campaign or unlock a ton of gear in multiplayer. Since there was also only a time limit on acquiring the Game Time games, you could snag them and then use them whenever. This let players set themselves up to chug through the games quickly enough to not need to pay a dime.

This is unfortunate, because Game Time is a far better way to try a game than with a conventional standalone demo. While old school demos still work for some games, they are generally viewed as antiquated, and more trouble than they are worth for developers. A game's sales are actually more likely to be hurt by releasing a demo, as ironic as that may be.

There's an area highlighted by this problem that EA has been experimenting with for over half a decade. Way before Game Time, EA was already exploring options to make demos available. Gaikai, before it was bought by Sony for the PS Now service, worked with EA to offer multiple playable demos on PC that you could play just through streaming.

These demos were either the same demos said games got on consoles, or were forty or so minute playthroughs from the start of the game. It was almost entirely limited to EA games though, back when Origin was getting tons of hate, so there was limited positive interest. The idea wasn't terrible but the Sony acquisition, combined with the downfall of OnLive and similar game streaming services, made the entire concept fall apart.

Their most recent attempt at solving this problem was with EA Access, a new PS Plus-style subscription service for the Xbox One. While the free games included are availble in full so long as you are subscribed, they also tied in special trials for the rest of their games.

So, instead of just getting free access to Titanfall, Garden Warfare, and all the yearly spots titles, you also could try games like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Battlefield: Hardline for a few hours. There would also be early access to games up to five days in advance before launch. The main hook being that you could try each game before everyone else. This mutated out of the EA Sports Access, which offered the five day trial for all of their sports games.

Now, after having EA Access out in the wild, it seems EA is taking note of what has and hasn't worked in their previous attempts to redefine game demos. Speaking frankly, I have to say that this new Trial system works the best. There's no need for a subscription to try Dragon Age: Inquisition, you just need to redeem the download before it runs out.

What's particularly great about this is that it supports the multiplayer without undercutting the single-player. Fans who want to play through the story but are short on cash can get a quick test run and then play with their friends online, getting a firm handle on the combat mechanics while also unlocking tons of loot. The player base for the multiplayer gets boosted significantly and permanently, unlike how Game Time's boosts to Titanfall and Garden Warfare only gave temporary activity spikes.

It effectively looks the Steam Free Weekend in the eye, and says that it can do better. In fact, what the trial has most in common with is Starcraft II's free to play demo, which allows you to play part of its campaign, fully experience the unranked multiplayer lobbies, and even try out any of the game's numerous mods. If all you want is the free content, then you're satisfied, but most will be lefting wanting more because there's just the right ratio of tease-to-content that so many demos fail at.

I know it's popular to hate on EA, but this could be a great alternative to demos.

Considering that less than 60% of the games released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are even offering a demo at this point, we need some solution to actually try our games before we buy them. It seems EA might actually have the answer. I guess we'll see how well it works out after the trial closes on the 21st.

If you want to give it a whirl, just head right here.

5 Reasons Why Camping Is a Legitimate FPS Tactic Sat, 17 Jan 2015 14:17:33 -0500 Stan Rezaee

In the multiplayer FPS gaming world, the camper is among the most despised players (fourth only to cheaters, noobs and racist trolls). Camping is a tactic that is looked down upon because it relies on luck, cowardice, and having an auto-shotgun.

After all, everyone knows that running and gunning is the only real tactic to use in a game. 

However, there is more to being a camper than finding a good hiding place. It requires mastery of a series of skills. Here are five reasons  why camping is a legitimate tactic. 

5. You have to know yourself and the enemy. 

As the great Sun Tzu said:

"Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster."

This ancient quote holds merit even today, and it applies to how one plays online.

Being a camper is not all about finding a hiding spot then waiting for someone to pass (unless you're a noob). Good campers need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of themselves (and their teams) as well as the tactics of the enemy.

4. You have to know the environment

Level designs have changed as programmers work to ensure that no map has a spot where players feel safe turning their backs. Hence, good campers need to be able to familiarize themselves with the level to find the ideal location to hide.

How difficult this is depends on the game. It's relatively easy in Modern Warfare 3, while Battlefield 3 requires some time master the environment. To camp successfully, a player needs to quickly identify tactical advantages and disadvantages of an area. The player must also be aware of where other players will likely engage most often, as well as what secret unlocks may be hidden in the level. It takes practice and a certain level of skill to process an area quickly and use it to one's advantage. 

3. Adaptability 

Knowing the enemy and the environment allows players to adapt quickly to a dynamic environment. Adaptability is a key skill for any good camper. The player must be able to quickly identify and equip the most effective camouflage or the ideal weapon for a given situation. 

Camouflage makes all the difference in how quickly the enemy notices a players who is camping. To successfully blend into the environment, the ideal camouflage closely matches the details of the level. It also helps to add a camouflage design to the weapon to avoid sticking out. 

2. Campers are masters of stealth

It isn't enough to know a setting and to be able to adapt to it. Campers must also be able to navigate their evnironments quickly and quietly, so as not to attract excess attention. This requires a mastery of stealth.

Stealthy play demands both skill and patience. Players will need to be patient and calm when moving in on kills, as rushing in will expose their position. This becomes even more difficult when you're trying to stab the enemy rather than shoot them. 

1. Camping requires accuracy and killer reflexes

This is necessary for pretty much any FPS player, but it's especially important for campers. When it's time to make the kill, a camper has only a few seconds before giving away their position. To truly take advantage of this short window of time, it's important for the camper to be quick and accurate.

Every second will matter, and being hesitant is not a real luxury for a camper. (There is a fine line between the patience that stealth requires and complete hesitation.) Being slow and not knowing how to aim properly are the best ways to fail. When it comes down to a camping encounter, the players' levels of skill and the quickness of their reflexes will determine who comes out on top. 

As you can see, there is more to being a camper then being some noob hiding in a corner. It is a tactic that requires mastering one's own skills and the environment, while being quick and quiet enough to successfully take out the target.  

Top 5 Xbox One Games Sat, 03 Jan 2015 20:11:22 -0500 Jreesecup99

The Xbox One is a fantastic console, one packed with all the media functionality we could ever need, and plenty of games to boot. After all, that's why the console graces our entertainment stands--to play awesome games. Whether your still deciding between buying a PS4 or Xbox One, the question stands: what games should you play if you have an Xbox One?

There are many enticing upcoming Xbox One games we can't wait to get our hands on. But if you're looking for something to play right now, I have ranked the top 5 games out of the many I have played. Starting with... 

5. Battlefield 4

The first-person shooter genre is defined by its seminal moments. There's Doom's corridors. There's Quake's multiplayer modes. There's Tribes' breadth and scale. There's Modern Warfare's online progression. And now, there's Battlefield 4's "levolution." Sure, the name is awful and its creator should be shot. But the idea--taking an online multiplayer level, and through player action, fundamentally altering that level--will be the new industry standard for the biggest and most lucrative genre in gaming. That fact alone puts Battlefield 4 near the top of this list of the best Xbox One games.

And even setting aside levolution, Battlefield 4 offers one of the finest--if not the finest--large-scale multiplayer components available on any console. With 64-player maps, Xbox One owners are getting the same experience PC gamers have held over them for years, one that's defined by an expertly crafted mix of infantry interacting with ground, air, and sea vehicles. Add in a wholly competent (if not inspired) single-player campaign, and what you've got is one of the best interactive experiences currently available.

4. Sunset Overdrive

It’s felt like ages since Insomniac Games has put out something that dazzled us--we were starting to worry that we’d never see the creative spark that was the heart of, say, Ratchet and Clank. Thankfully, Sunset Overdrive put those fears to bed in an colorful explosion of tongue-in-cheek insanity.

Grinding around Sunset City to reach our next destination Jet Set Radio-style never got old, while our arsenal of wacky guns and cheeky one-liners kept us grinning throughout. The vibrant world is downright gorgeous--a comforting reminder that game palettes aren’t limited to mud--and our player-created, aging punk rocker fit it like a glove. If you think creativity in AAA gaming is dead, Sunset Overdrive is one of the better ways to change your mind.

3. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Prepare yourself, we’re about to make a bold prediction: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is going to be just as influential to games as Max Payne or Gears of War. Why, you ask? Just like bullet time or third-person cover shooters, we expect Mordor’s Nemesis feature to become the new flavor to dominate games over the next few years.

Enemies affected by your actions? A dynamic social structure within the game world? Gameplay that responds to the actions of the player? Honestly, it’s the kind of stuff we thought all open-world games would have years ago, but to see it in action is just so, so satisfying. Then again, we could be wrong--if so, we’ll just have to wait anxiously for a sequel.

2. Destiny

Forget the haters--Destiny is a game that’s all about innovation. Bungie tied the class system, loot grabbing, and multiplayer raids you’d find in an MMO to their trademark FPS gunplay in a way that had us dying to jump in time and time again.

Actually, that’s something of an understatement. We’ve played Destiny a lot. Our Xboxes stayed on throughout launch week and our game discs kept spinning until the sun came up. We maxed out a character, then immediately fired up the next one. We’ve even managed to delude ourselves into believing that Peter Dinklage isn’t just a Guilty Spark knockoff with a new accent. Despite any hiccups along the way to an FPS/MMORPG hybrid too beautiful for our mortal minds to handle, Destiny remains an addictive experience that’s hard to match.

1. Alien Isolation

So often are we the aggressor that we almost never experience the other side of the coin. The most popular games always cast us as the badass, the champion, and every other form of unstoppable hero--why is it only horror games that are willing to knock us down a peg?

Case in point: Alien: Isolation made us fear for our lives, squealing like little girls when the titular extraterrestrial made mincemeat of our fragile human form. It’s the Alien (note the lack of “s”) game we’ve always wanted, an atmospheric survival simulator starring a beast that’s just as intelligent as it is unpredictable. If you don’t believe us, just hop on board and see how long you last. We’ll be here hot chocolate and hugs when you need us.

Those are the top 5 Xbox One games that I have chosen. Hope you enjoyed, and I hope I have enhanced your gameplay!

We Are Not Go For Launch: Broken & Problematic Launches Are One of 2014's Worst Gaming Trends Sat, 29 Nov 2014 14:07:22 -0500 Connor Van Ligten

My excitement upon receiving Halo: The Master Chief Collection was unfathomable. I could not wait to jump in and frag some noobs across 4 games and hundreds of maps. (Realistically, I would be the one getting fragged.) However, this fantasy was crushed after it took more than 20 minutes for me to find a lobby.

I was placed in a match, a 4v3. (Luckily I was on the larger team.) I played one game. I performed decently and was ready to play another round. Once my lobby emptied and the waiting continued, I was so frustrated that I didn't feel like trying any longer. One of my most anticipated games of 2014 had launched in a poor, broken state. We've seen this far too often this year, and it has raised questions about how thoroughly multiplayer servers are tested before launch, and whether or not a game is truly complete when it's released.

Poor launches were also an issue last year, and perhaps those were an omen of the issues we're experiencing now. The first problems came from EA. When 2013's Simcity launched, many players were angered by the game's mandatory internet connection for a multiplayer feature most wouldn't even be using. This was worsened when the mass number of players connecting to Origin caused network outages, rendering the game completely unplayable.

This wasn't the end of EA's troubles. Battlefield 4's launch was plagued with horrible ping and a variety of game-breaking bugs that angered those who were excited to play it. The launch was so bad that DICE put all their future projects on hold in order to fix the game. One more time in 2013 launch problems reared their head towards a major release.

When the highly-anticipated multiplayer component of the acclaimed Grand Theft Auto V, GTA Online, launched, the number of players attempting to connect was so large that the majority of players could not take part in the first race, which was required to start their experience. Understandably, Rockstar was not prepared for the massive playerbase, and quickly fixed this problem, but other issues such as small lobbies for jobs and the loss of characters, vehicles, and property continued to persist for much longer. These launch problems surprised many, but what happened in 2014 was far worse.

2014 was a year in which many massively hyped games release. One of these was Watch Dogs, Ubisoft's own twist on the open-world crime genre, with an interesting hacking mechanic to boot. Unfortunately, many PC gamers who had built or upgraded a rig just for this title experienced poor optimization and framerates, especially those with AMD cards. Not only did the game have technical issues, but many were also shocked to see a severe graphical downgrade from builds of the game seen at tradeshows. Watch Dogs did look reasonably presentable at release, but was a far cry from what blew everyone away at E3 2012. Imagining what the game would have been if it had released during the console launch in 2013 gives me chills.

Assassin's Creed Unity, another major Ubisoft title, had its fair share of issues, from the creepy yet hilarious "no face glitch" to random dips in framerates, and a poor port on the PC side.

Driveclub, a major racing title exclusive to PS4, had a number of annoying glitches and connection issues that resulted in the free edition for PS+ owners being delayed.

Far Cry 4 had issues with connecting to multiplayer matches, continuing Ubisoft's lackluster launch record.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare angered players with bad spawning and basing matchmaking off of skill and not ping, resulting in matches with poor connection and lots of lag.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection, as mentioned before, was released with ridiculously long matchmaking times, and connection issues, as well as ranking, UI, and hitbox problems that resulted in the removal of 2 playlists and detracted from what should have been a celebration of one of gaming's greatest franchises.

LittleBigPlanet 3 shipped with game breaking bugs, GTA Online didn't work any better on next-gen consoles, and Nintendo's struggle to implement a successful online system into their games was obvious with both versions of the new Smash Brothers.

Why are so many games launching with broken online features?

That question is hard to answer. In some situations, the game isn't prepared for the size of its playerbase (like GTA Online), and that's a more acceptable (albeit equally frustrating) reason for a broken launch. Sometimes, it can be because of a lack of sufficient play-testing or server testing. Sometimes it's because of players connecting from far areas, creating inconsistent ping and lag.

As much as we want to blame it on something, launch issues can be inexplicable and random. Unfortunately, many of these problems result in the developers rushing the game to "completion" in order to get it out by a specific date - perhaps before the release of another rival game or before the holiday season. The developers often view the problem as unfixable before release date, and would rather release the game sooner (and fix issues through patches and DLC) than delay it and risk suffering marginally smaller profits.

I hope this doesn't occur often, but thanks to the massive hype and pre-order numbers we see piling up for major AAA releases, it could be true. I hope developers learn from this year and decide that "we're not going to fix it in time, let's release it now, we're going to make a lot of money, and we'll fix it later" is not an acceptable option. I have hope, though, becomes some companies are taking their time with their games. EA delayed Battlefield: Hardline into 2015. Turtle Rock took Evolve out of the holiday lineup and pushed it into February. In addition, Rocksteady pushed back Arkham Knight and Bloodbourne was delayed by From Software.

With the power and potential that the new generation of consoles hold, I hope to see a complete game release without a large number of bugs and server issues. It's not a very unreasonable thing to expect, at least in most cases.

EA's Netflix for Gaming Arrives As Xbox Beta Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:06:55 -0400 Chris_Lemus

What is being described as the “Netflix for gaming” by various news websites has arrived to a beta group of Xbox One gamers.

EA has announced a partnership with Microsoft to offer EA Access, a membership based service providing various perks and unlimited access to full EA games in “The Vault." Xbox One gamers selected to access The Vault during beta found the option to download four EA titles: FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4.

In addition to downloading and playing full games from the developer company, EA Access offers the opportunity to play previews to upcoming titles and purchase extra content for existing EA titles at a 10 percent discount. 

The EA Access membership plans include a $4.99 monthly fee or $29.99 payment for the entire year, which gamers can pay though Xbox LIVE or at retailers such as GameStop and Amazon.

There is no date for when EA Access will be open to all Xbox One users, but the developer company wrote the service will be coming soon