Battlefield: Hardline Articles RSS Feed | Battlefield: Hardline RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 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.

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

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.  

Amazon locks certain games as exclusively available for Prime members Fri, 22 Apr 2016 03:49:48 -0400 Scott Simpson

It seems Amazon has quietly introduced several games to their list of Amazon Prime-Exclusive items, with GTA V, FIFA 16, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Minecraft and Far Cry Primal all currently marked as "exclusively for Prime members", among others.

It's unknown how many more titles are affected by the change; however, the games are still available to purchase through third-party sellers on the site.

It's something of a bizarre move for the company, who are clearly trying to incentivize customers to fork out cash for their paid service. Membership requires an annual subscription fee of $99, or £79 per year for UK customers, and gives members access to free next day delivery and their Amazon Instant Video service, amongst other features.

One can't help but wonder, though, if the change might have the opposite effect, with customers simply going to other retailers or buying from third-party sellers instead. It also begs the far will Amazon go with its "exclusive" merchandise?

Other games currently affected by the decision include: Dishonored: Definitive Edition, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Elder Scrolls Online, Battlefield Hardline, Rainbow Six Siege and, somewhat bizarrely, Farming Simulator 15. Strangely, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes also seems to be included, but not Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

What are your thoughts on the move? Would you consider paying for Amazon Prime in light of this? Or do you think Amazon have just shot themselves in the foot? For those who are already Prime members, how do you feel about the change? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

4 highly anticipated games that EA could f**k up in 2016 Mon, 15 Feb 2016 10:59:11 -0500 BlackTideTV


Battlefield 5


Now don't go getting all excited, there hasn't been an official statement regarding Battlefield 5 yet, apart from various hints on a release date ranging from late 2016 to mid-2017. 


That being said, rumors on Battlefield 5's development are so widespread we couldn't leave it out of this list. Following last year's train wreck that was Battlefield: Hardline, hardcore fans are hoping to get back to the original theme of the series: military engagements.


If EA drops another Hardline on us, the Battlefield series might as well call it quits. Despite tons of sales and some surprisingly high reviews, all Hardline was, was a half-assed expansion of Battlefield 4 with no major gameplay changes, not even half as many weapons, items, maps, and game modes, and a ton of game-breaking glitches.


Players are hoping that EA drops Visceral Games as their new "Battlefield devs" and brings DICE back on as the sole creator of the series. If this happens, we can all rest easy. If not, well... I hope you Battlefield guys like Call of Duty.


Did we miss any?


Let us know in the comments section which Electronic Arts games you think could end up getting f**ked in 2016! 


Mass Effect: Andromeda


Not exactly Mass Effect 4, this game still has a huge fanbase anxiously awaiting its arrival. The "sequel" to the original trilogy takes place quite sometime after the events of the third installment, and doesn't feature the original cast, nor the original galaxy. Slated for release this holiday season, this reboot could change the entire nature of the Mass Effect series - and that, my friends, is the problem it's going to have to face.


There are some hardcore fanboys of the Mass Effect series out there; people who have dedicated significant portions of their lives to the games. If Andromeda wants to have a chance it will have to pay so much homage to the original series, they might as well have announced a legitimate Mass Effect 4.


Unless EA and BioWare can make this game as close to perfect as possible, fans will completely dismiss it and chances for further sequels will be trashed. 


Starting up a new series in the same universe as far as Mass Effect goes is a gamble. The reward could be outstanding, but is it worth the risk? I guess we'll find out this Christmas. 


Mirror's Edge Catalyst


Next on our list is one of my most anticipated games of 2016, so I'll be a little hurt if what I'm about to describe actually happens.


The original Mirror's Edge was a game changer (ha-ha). Paving the way for modern "advanced movement" shooters, Mirror's Edge was a totally unique title offering an extremely plain-with-saturated-splashes color palette, mostly peaceful gameplay, and simple, straightforward storyline. 


It was a fairly overlooked game during its time so I'll describe the basis of the game: parkour. The protagonist, Faith, would travel through a sparsely populated city, mantling objects, often running from mean guys with guns. That's about it - simple. 


As mentioned in the last slide on Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare 2, prequels and sequels tend to pile on too much to the simplicity of the original. It's not always best to pile on features, but developer/publishers seem to think it is.


Of the three options the devs could've taken on a Mirror's Edge 2 (prequel, sequel, different game - same universe), EA went with the hardest option: prequel (just look at how those Star Wars movies turned out). A general rule-of-thumb for a prequel is character expansion. The fans want to know how and why a character became the way they did, what's going on in their lives then versus now, and so on.


How the hell is EA going to keep their new Mirror's Edge game as simple as the original if they need to pile all of that storytelling on top? They probably won't. Let's pray that the writers for Mirror's Edge Catalyst have their heads on straight...


Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2


Releasing later this February, the newest addition to the Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare series has had a short but sweet rise to fame. The original game was praised by critics for being a suitable alternative to hardcore online shooters like Call of Duty. It gained a large "cult" following by turning what most people know about Pop Cap's PvZ mobile series on its head. 


How could the sequel be screwed up? Despite a widely successful beta, the Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare series is getting thick. By which I mean that the sequel is building directly onto the first game, making it more and more in-depth. There are more characters, weapons and abilities, maps, gamemodes, etc. There are cases where problems have arisen from games getting TOO full, something that might happen to this game. 


When a game - especially one directed towards a younger audience - gets so menu-complicated, it can be a turnoff and reduce from the silly PvZ fun that fans have come to expect from the series.


This one is a longshot, but given the proper - or improper - circumstances, it could end up screwy in the long run.


Electronic Arts is one of the most easily recognized game developer/publishers with hundreds of titles under its belt. With subsidiaries EA Sports popping out nearly every sports game you've ever heard of, BioWare creating sprawling 100+ hour RPGs, and DICE delivering well-known shooters such as Battlefield and Star Wars: Battlefront, it's hard to be a gamer and manage to avoid titles from EA.


Unfortunately for EA, like so many other companies, franchises have gone wrong. It's just something that happens in the world of gaming. One little mistake such as a small change to a character, the setting, DLC, microtransaction, or a game function can be the death of an entire game or series of games. Most of the time these errors occur with prequels, sequels, or other expansions on an existing fan-favorite series.  


We here at GameSkinny are gamers just like you. We don't WANT these things to happen, they're just a possibility. Join us in knocking on wood before heading to the next slide to see the first of four games that EA could f**k up in 2016.

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.

DICE director announces Battlefield 5 now in production Sun, 13 Dec 2015 03:27:44 -0500 Michael Falero

A developer at Electronic Arts' DICE studio has revealed that production for Battlefield 5 has begun in earnest, following the launch of Star Wars: Battlefront last month.

Dan Vaderlind, the development director for DICE, made the announcement on his personal Twitter account on Friday. 

Vaderlind also changed his Twitter bio to state that he is "currently working on the next Battlefield".

We've known for a while that Battlefield 5 would be coming out some time in late 2016, but Vaderlind's statement that he's shifted to production on the game indicates that the DICE team has largely moved on from Star Wars: Battlefront at this point. We should soon be seeing a lot more of the next installment of one of EA's biggest franchises.

We have few details about the new game at the moment, but last year an EA executive stated in an interview with GameSpot that Battlefield 5 "will be a military-style game". After the crime-focused Battlefield: Hardline and the vastly different feel of Star Wars: Battlefront, fans will surely welcome a return to the series' roots.

The state of first-person shooters in 2015 Wed, 02 Dec 2015 19:55:24 -0500 Addison Blu

Looking back at the big first-person shooter (FPS) video game titles of 2015, there are a couple of major takeaways:

First, FPS games are focusing more on minor improvements and small amounts of new content rather than vastly changing the game genre. The biggest changes aren't new ideas; they're better integrations of old ideas.

That brings us to our second takeaway: first-person shooters that add elements of flight simulators, third-person shooters, multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs), and role-playing games (RPGs) are becoming more popular as genre lines blur.

We're taking a look at the biggest titles of 2015 to see how they exceeded expectations and where they fell short. And for the ones that have single-player campaigns, don't worry: no spoilers.

Best titles

Halo 5: Guardians

No matter how you feel about it, Halo 5: Guardians is doing pretty well. 

Video game ratings aggregators Metacritic and GameRankings gave Halo 5 an average of about 84%. None of the other major first-person shooters from 2015 averaged higher than this score, so consider Halo's 84% as the gold standard for this year's titles.

The game's campaign has been highly criticized for both confusing presentation and lack of content. Considering that those are two pretty big problems, it means one of two things. Either campaigns are considered a luxury in 2015 and therefore cannot bring the score down, or the popular multiplayer mode is single-handedly holding up the game's ratings.

That's right: even though very few critics had positive things to say about Halo 5's campaign, it still rated in first place for first-person shooters based on its multiplayer scale, balance, and the new Warzone multiplayer mode.

Warzone combines team fights, with AI bad guys serving as a third faction that both teams fight. Each team also spawns its own helpful AI. The concept works much more like a MOBA game, where there are neutral monsters both teams can fight, as well as minions that belong to a single team.

Basically, Halo 5 is healthy because it does both of the things we expect from FPS games in 2015: it improved on the Halo concept and adopted new ideas from other genres.

But not everything about Halo was improved. Tell your friend in the room to put down that second controller, because Halo 5 has no split screen mode.

Black Ops 3

Black Ops 3 still rated well enough to be considered a "great game," averaging about an 80% score from GameRankings and Metacritic across all three platforms.

Many fans have come to expect Call of Duty and the spinoff Black Ops games to be only marginally different with each release. Black Ops 3 expanded to a 4-player cooperative campaign and added new customization for multiplayer loadouts. Black Ops 3 did exactly what people predicted it would, which is not such a bad thing.

In summary, Black Ops 3 focused more on perfecting the FPS genre and really getting more mileage out of next-generation consoles. It truly steered clear of going hybrid with any other video game genres, except that the customization and loadouts are still more like an RPG than a shooter.

The baby steps are probably a good choice, considering that most games are already struggling to be more like the Call of Duty series to begin with.

Star Wars Battlefront

When it came to reviews, Star Wars Battlefront got an average of 72%. Apparently the hype got this best of this title, and it backfired when players got a lot less content diversity than they expected.

The game plays much like Battlefield games, but with fantastic renditions of Star Wars sounds, styles, locations, weapons, and combat. That being said, there's no single-player campaign and very little multiplayer customization. Battlefront is visually beautiful, polished, and smooth, but the actual experience feels incomplete. It's as if the creators wanted to make a work of art first, then figure out how to let us play it.

Our Star Wars FPS still has its merits, though, especially if you love just goofing off in simple, large-scale multiplayer games. Remember the opening scene of A New Hope where the Stormtroopers and Rebels face off in a hallway, crouching and packed in, dying in droves and firing aimlessly? There are plenty of times when Battlefront actually looks and feels just like that, and it's not a bad thing at all.

Casual gamers and die-hard Star Wars fans alike can enjoy Battlefront, if they're willing to give up time with the other awesome FPS titles of 2015. That being said, Battlefront also includes third-person shooter and flight simulator elements that might just tip the scale in the game's favor for skeptics.

Battlefield Hardline

The atypical Battlefield Hardline averages about 73% with major critics. That rating isn't so bad, considering that Hardline feels less like a Battlefield game than Star Wars Battlefront does.

The game tried to incorporate a lot of new concepts for Battlefield that aren't really new concepts for the FPS genre. We can't fault Visceral Games too much, as the military game market feels oversaturated, and the incorporation of stealth helped Hardline work more like a law-enforcement game.

Hardline generally tried new combinations of old ideas, attempted to give them purpose, and came out with mixed results on implementation. Battlefield basically did the opposite of what Black Ops ended up doing.


One of the biggest titles in terms of innovation, Evolve ranked an average of 75% from the major review aggregators.

Evolve focuses on playing both in single-player and multiplayer as either a hunter or as a monster; however, there are 4 hunters and only 1 monster. The teams are uneven and the objectives for each side are different, so the game doesn't feel like a typical force-on-force or free-for-all fight.

The campaign's story is light on plot, but Evolve isn't a sequel from a major franchise and managed to hold its own simply based on fresh ideas and solid execution. This game is really the best implementation of new FPS ideas that didn't draw entirely from other game genres. Evolve is no work of art and it's not a crossover -- unless you count playing third-person as the game's "monster" character.

It's just a very original FPS, and for that, it gets a very honorable mention.

Single-player campaigns

With players spending so many more hours in online multiplayer, most of us thought that story-driven campaign modes would be gone by now. Even 2014's Titanfall basically turned the campaign into a narrative skin placed over slightly-modified online multiplayer matches.

I also take for granted that many players don't ever even use the single-player mode in their games. I know from experience that I often don't play or finish the single-player or co-op material for various reasons.

Star Wars Battlefront doesn't even have a campaign, and while it has already sold well, it rated lukewarm among critics. The lack of story may have contributed to the generally mild reception, although not all critics mentioned the missing campaign as a flaw.

Halo 5 and Black Ops 3 both still had prominent campaigns, with Halo 5 focusing more strongly on the story in the marketing for the game. Perhaps there's still a warm and fuzzy sense that gamers get from knowing that the story came first and got a lot of attention, even if that story's execution is poor.

Multiplayer modes

Most online multiplayers modes have moved towards larger scales with more diverse game types, as well as a collection-driven RPG sense of progress.

Multiplayer has moved away from reliable, competitive gaming that seeks to rank players who perform better, like back in the Halo 2 and Halo 3 days. The cornerstone has become how much a player plays, with individual and team game performance slightly boosting the RPG "points" element.

A number of games are on the fence when it comes to competitive balance being played against character building. Battlefront makes players choose and purchase their own loadouts with very few combat options coming from the battlefield itself. On the other hand, Black Ops 3 allows for much more customization than Battlefront, tilting the game even more in favor of the devoted gamer over the skilled one.

Halo 5 backtracked more to the classic map-spawning weapons that make for the most even gameplay. If everyone starts with the same avatar, equipment, and stats, then only the best teamwork and skill will triumph. This was a deviation from Halo 4, which was definitely a Halo-themed knockoff of Call of Duty.

All in all, multiplayer games are in decent condition as far as diversity and scale, but unfortunately the competitive ranking system has almost completely disappeared.

What to expect going forward

Video game companies are still making a ton of money by simply tweaking small parts of first-person shooters with each new release. With major sequels still breaking sales records so close to their predecessors, we cannot expect production to slow down.

The bad news: the forecast for 2016 is mostly just sequels and reboots.

The good news: we can expect each new release to improve on the detail and execution, because they certainly aren't reinventing the wheel at this point.

For 2016, Battleborn offers the most new opportunities, as it will be a first-person shooter and MOBA game. It also won't be a sequel, repurposing, or reboot of an existing game. Battleborn is likely to set a new standard for the FPS-MOBA genre if it overcomes the risks inherent in starting from scratch.

Of course, with an open market share for role-based arena shooters like Battleborn, there are other titles jumping into the mix. Another major 2016 FPS arena title with brand new intellectual property will be Overwatch. The primary ambition of Overwatch is to make the game simple enough for a short learning curve. Overwatch’s closed beta roster of characters is currently pretty small, which the developers hope will lead to more skillful mastery, quicker onboarding for new players, and a better balance of gameplay than other arena FPS games.

We can also keep our eyes open for the Doom reboot, which should give us some of the absurdity we used to love about the originals. On the other hand, we have yet to see why they're even doing a reboot, since the intellectual property will probably struggle to appeal to the younger audience that has little familiarity with the Doom franchise. 2016's version may just be an exercise in nostalgia. We hope not.

As far as sequels go, you can expect Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the sequel to Human Revolution. You'll also see Homefront: The Revolution as a sequel to 2011's Homefront. For those of you who wanted another Deus Ex or Homefront game, you'll finally get your wish in 2016. 

From where I stand, there's no reason to save your video game budget right now. There are a ton of great FPS games to spend your money on depending on what you like, and they won't be trumped by anything new for at least another year.

PlayStation Plus League: Sony's new eSports platform Tue, 27 Oct 2015 06:58:01 -0400 Daniel Williams_2179

A new website has been discovered, only hours before the PlayStation conference at Paris Games week, revealing that Sony is going to be bringing eSports to the PlayStation 4 with PlayStation Plus League. 

This new eSports platform for Sony will be starting on October 28th, during Paris Games week, and finish on November 1st. A €20,000 cash prize is up for grabs during this tournament. From the website, a number of games will have tournaments for the PlayStation Plus League including, Ultra Street Fighter 4, Battlefield Hardline, Fifa 16, Project Cars and Mortal Kombat X

Championships will be held throughout the year with different divisions set up so players can go against opponents that match their skill level.

A post has also been found on the Project Cars sSports website, giving more detail on the PlayStation Plus League. From the website, there will be different divisions for Project Cars. Division 1 will be for the top 32 players in the game, and Division 2 will be for the rest. At the end of every season, the bottom 11 players from Division 1 will be relegated, and the top 11 players from Division 2 will be promoted. Cash prices will be offered every month to both divisions with a €150 cash pool for Division 1 and a €50 cash pool for Division 2.

It cannot be certain if this structure will also apply to other games associated with the PlayStation Plus League.

New Battlefield Hardline Free Expansion "Blackout" Announced Sun, 25 Oct 2015 08:30:01 -0400 cdiponzia

Electronic Arts has been busily working within the shadows. They have been plotting things the players had no clue of. Finally, they have revealed their plans to release of a new expansion for Battlefield Hardline. The expansion is named "Blackout" and will be available for free. It will add a variety of new content to the battle between cops and robbers.

EA revealed the expansion in a blog post; saying, "What happens when the lights go out, and criminal and police factions are forced to face off under the slimmest sliver of light? Find out yourself." 

The Blackout is centered around the theme of, as EA describes, the cloak of darkness. In more blunt terms, it is a night themed expansion. 

EA also released a list of features that the expansion will include:

  • Two maps: Night Job and Night Woods (night versions of Bank Job and Backwoods)
  • 1 new gadget: Night Vision Goggles
  • 2 new weapons for all classes and factions: a new version of the RO933 and a new Battle Rifle
  • New music, camos, assignments, patches, and more

There will also be a variety of game play improvements, including improvements to the Spectator mode of Battlefield Hardline. No specific details were released.

Battlefield Hardline will have additional adds-ons, Getaway and Betrayal, released sometime during 2016.

New Battlefield confirmed for holiday season 2016 Mon, 03 Aug 2015 11:23:48 -0400 Stan Rezaee

Electronic Arts has officially confirmed that a new Battlefield game is in the works and is set to be released sometime during the 2016 holiday season.

The announcementwas made by Blake Jorgensen, CFO of EA, during an investor call while discussing the future of their flagship titles. In response to a question by an investor, he stated,

"What we've said is that our intention over the next couple of years is to have a first-person shooter as one of the core titles. This year, obviously, it's Star Wars Battlefront. Next year, it's another Battlefield title."

Adding to Jorgensen's response was Andrew P. Wilson, CEO of EA, who also stated,

"We have a new Battlefield experience coming in Q3 FY 2017 and another new Star Wars project being led by the dynamic creative team of Jade Raymond and Amy Hennig. These are just a few of the new experiences in development across our studios today."

Not much is known about the new Battlefield game but it has been speculated that the new game will return to its military setting.

News of a new Battlefield was first reported back in October by Wilson during a conference call. It was discussed the possibility of releasing a new Battlefield game sometime between 2016 and 2017.

Battlefield is a military-themed shooter series that is developed by DICE and published by EA. The series is well known for its multiplayer that features open world maps and has players focus on working in teams to complete an objective.

The last game in the series, Battlefield: Hardline, was released on March 17 and it was praised by critics along with fans.

Are you excited for a new Battlefield game? Let us know how you feel in the comment section. A transcrpit of the confrence call can be found here.

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.

Battlefield: Hardline's new DLC dds new Game Mode, Bounty Hunter Mon, 01 Jun 2015 20:44:46 -0400 Victor Ren

A little over a year later, Battlefield: Hardline releases its first piece of DLC and it will include a new type of way to play the game. In Criminal Activity, Visceral Games opens up "bounty season" and pits teams against each other in a race to collect the other's bounty coins. 

The game sort of plays like Call of Duty's kill confirmed, where you kill an opposing player then pick up their coin. Collecting enemy coins will count toward your end-game goal, while picking up friendly coins will deny the enemy scoring. The first team to hit the limit will win the game. 

Along with Bounty Hunter, a few new maps will be released with the game mode. Black Friday, Code Blue, The Beat, and Backwoods are all maps that come with the DLC that offer different strategic values in the new game mode. For example, Black Friday will take place in a Miami mall that offers a plethora of chokepoints to be taken advantage of, while Backwoods tests your long range accuracy.

Criminal Activity will released right before their next piece of DLC named Robbery, which is planned for the summer of 2015. And even though Premium members are set to play the maps 2 weeks earlier, Visceral Games is planning a bonus for everyone on launch day, as long as it is approved within their policies.

Visceral Games Listens to Gamers, Announces New Patch that Addresses Player Concerns Wed, 15 Apr 2015 22:31:34 -0400 Victor Ren

Battlefield: Hardline has been out for about a month now, and will soon have a major update that addresses the "top 5 priority issues" voted in by the fans. Along with some smaller miscellaneous fixes, Visceral Games has put the focus on complaints from players of Battlefield Hardline, and the first patch release will be coming to all platforms in the future. A date has not yet been listed.

Some of the fixes include the TDM spawns, extending conquest times, the balance of weapons, and fixes to Punkbuster. Further information can be found on the Battlefield website along with a more detailed version on the new changes.

The new update also comes with a new Rent-A-Server program for all consoles. Players will be allowed to customize their own servers, and invite friends to play with them. No price or demand has been announced for an individual server though.

Visceral Games wants everyone to know that they will continue to take in comments from the community, so if you want anything to be fixed then go ahead and make it known on

The 5 Guns to Buy First in Battlefield: Hardline Tue, 07 Apr 2015 18:15:32 -0400 thatzacdavis


And there you have it, the five guns that you should buy in Battlefield: Hardline first to get the most bang for your buck.


Think we missed one? Let us know in the comments!


5. UMP-45


As much as SMGs in Hardline tend to depend on pure fire-rate, the UMP-45 does not. It mixes in some higher damage and accuracy with half the fire-rate of the previous weapon, providing a solid multi-use gun for just $10,200 on the Criminal side.


With the UMP, you'll be winning a lot of the in-between range gunfights, as you'll be beating out the pure SMGs with accuracy and the assault rifles with fire-rate.


4. K10


Coming in at just $33,000, this Cop gun for the Mechanic class is a relative steal for the amount of easy kills that you can get quickly.


This SMG, like many other SMGs in Battlefield: Hardline, favors the run-and-gun play style, and places less emphasis on aiming down sights (ADS) and more on hip-firing.


If you stick to small buildings and leverage the 1200 RPM fire-rate, you'll have no regrets on this purchase.


3. R700 LTR


Are you a fan of one-shot kills? They don't happen a lot in Battlefield: Hardline, but when they do, they are usually a result of a bullet flying from the barrel of a R700 LTR.


This Cop weapon has 100 damage and 100 accuracy, all at a whopping 90 range. Of course, the rate of fire suffers due to the bolt-action nature of the weapon, but that won't matter if you can place your shots and switch to a pistol quickly when there's an enemy up close.




For those longer range gunfights in Battlefield: Hardline that don't happen too often, the SCAR-H is your best friend.


This battle rifle not only has the range to hit enemies from far away, but the damage to actually do something to them when you do hit them.


While this gun does not have a high rate of fire, it will do just fine in longer range fights. Up close, though, you'll want to be sure to switch to a pistol quickly, or you'll get over run by most other weapons in the game.


1. M416


The M416 can be used only on the Criminal team when you originally buy it for $43,800, but with an 850 RPM fire-rate, this assault rifle is worth it.


Great range and accuracy make this an all-around solid gun, and easily the best for the Operator class.


The M416 is also one of the easiest guns to unlock for use on the opposite team in Battlefield: Hardline. Thanks to its great stats, you'll be able to get the 1,250 kills needed to use it on the Cops easily.


Battlefield: Hardline, the latest installment in the Battlefield franchise from publisher Electronic Arts has departed from many of the traditional game modes while still keeping the tight gun-play of its predecessors.


Unlike Battlefield 4, where players gradually unlocked guns, players earn cash in Hardline that they must use to purchase new weapons and upgrades to those weapons.


It might be easy to get enough cash to buy all the weapons if you play all-day everyday, but who has time for that?


Here are the five best weapons that you should buy first in Battlefield: Hardline if you want to get the most bang for your buck.

Battlefield Hardline Review Mon, 23 Mar 2015 19:04:49 -0400 Matt_Paprocki

It is easy to envision Battlefield Hardline as a vague, harmless mosaic of television police cliches. It's split into episodes and comes with a splashy network-like opening credits package. Cities whip by in glossy establshing shots as bassy music slams the subwoofer. By its climax, rookie VICE member Nicholas Mendoza enters a tank - hurriedly written into the script – to shoot down the helicopters of a radical sect of doomsday preppers. It's weird.

But Hardline's campaign narrative is strangely restrained. Mostly, anyway. Mendoza traipses through Miami ghettos not to shoot, but observe. A teenager learns chess. A woman, frustrated, curses a garbage can lid which will not fit. Another speaks of restraining orders during an overheard phone conversation. Shirtless men defiantly drink in public even as approached. Other just lock their doors.

This is what amounts to policing in Hardline, not the glamorized shoot outs, not the perilous chases. Rather, the people. It is interesting to see such an expensive video game, produced in such technical luxury, slip away from conventions. A shooter without shooting. How novel.

Don't shoot! No really, don't shoot.

You are not supposed to shoot as Mendoza (although you can). His gun is a permanent screen fixture, but this is not a weapon with a needed trigger. This is a device of intimidation. Pointing the barrel makes mafia members drop their assault rifles. Corrupt cops lose their position of power. Low rung drug dealers raise their hands in panic. Hardline is doing what it can to mask the veil of current police state politics. Obey and all is okay, it says.

... no overt symbolism lest they appear to stand for something, even though EA has released a video game about American police with the title Battlefield.

These characters do not fire unless provoked. There is no correlation of color or race. Rough arrests are for animated show. It's actually bland, safe in the way high dollar corporately produced entertainment often is – no overt symbolism lest they appear to stand for something, even though EA has released a video game about American police with the title Battlefield. They have given police the same weapons as their military series and swerve from the obvious societal irony. Subversiveness is lost for the sake of the awkwardly commercial.

As such, the gamification intrudes instead of naturally melding with these surroundings. Everything, every interaction, is conducted by conscientiously prepared rules. Move Mendoza's line of sight after a surrender and suspects will reach for their weapon after a set time. A meter says how long. Only three gumen may be held at once; four is considered too many. A mere one may be distracted by a sound at a time. An “evidence scanner” device buzzes when near an item of interest. How does it know? Technological convenience.

Imagine an episode of the reality show Cops this predictable. No one would gawk at the struggling heroin addict who follows a prescribed edict of behavior. This is Hardline's central gameplay scenario – an interactive take on TV no one would watch.

A Hardline seperation

Strange is how different the final acts are. After Hardline parades through the litany of corrupt cop cliches, Mendoza is framed. Escaping prison, he continues to follow procedure. He still acts on those who have warrants and rewards are given for their live capture. Why?

It appears executives panicked partway through development. As such, Hardline closes on the utterly ridiculous. Battlefield “the product” is back. Phew. Korean mafia members are gun targets who sell cocaine in cars. A geeky, fast talking computer hacker is a snarky hero. The caricature of far right, second amendment devotees, armed with rocket launchers and living in their isolated desert trailer park, suddenly replace the the city's slums. Mendoza can shoot the people living here - with a tank. And the decommissioned, grounded plane which happens to be loaded on a runway they control. They're lunatics so their grandiose and highly explosive execution is acceptable to Hardline.

Then Hardline flows into a trashy depiction of Miami, rappelling through a spectacle of fireworks before the final, predicable one-on-one monologue with the villain. Logic turns utterly synthetic. “Police” is no longer a function of the story.

Now you can shoot

Oddly, it is multiplayer which institutes the core conceptual problem. Hardline has acceptable (dare to say fun) modes. Its wild bank robbery presentation is all theatrics, wilder and goofier than the comparably seedier Payday. Cops versus robbers – kids playing by pointing fingers at one another and shouting, “You're dead,” just with production values.

Deathmatch carries a different connotation. Jackets emblazoned with all-caps POLICE battle a blending of ill-defined “bad guys.” Sometimes they're gang members – coded by their colors – or those masked bank robbers. Personalities are suddenly stripped. This is a war of people shouting loudly, angry, vile, vulgar things in fact, with no context and to no heroic solution.

To ask why this is different than Battlefield's war scenario, it is more intimate, more suburban. Wide scale video game conflict is told a distance, eerily perfect at eliminating the visible population with settings in bombed out buildings and inserting prompt villains (faceless Russians, Koreans sworn to a propaganda oath, desert people in headdress). Hardline thusly fails.

Hardline is shallow, as sincere about its premise as five-year old children who believe they're fireman, dinosaurs, or astronauts.

The spectacle, with cranes smashing through high rises, costs lives. We know it does, and without a sensible end. There is no winner, no ambiguous right to achieve, nor a sensibility as to why these bullet-based slug fests are happening. Streets are uncomfortably empty. Citizens are hiding from tanks and questioning why police have them at all.

This Battlefield is socially irresponsible, the Facebook news feed of video games where each side only sees representation of their own limiting subjective right. Never is it complex. Never does it challenge. Never is it compelling. Hardline is shallow, as sincere about its premise as five-year old children who believe they're fireman, dinosaurs, or astronauts. It may only be pretending to be a game about police, but this Battlefield is guiltless in profiting from the surrounding social fallout.

Battlefield: Hardline Takes the War to the Streets Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:35:59 -0400 Stan Rezaee

Following the disastrous launch of Battlefield 4 (known as Brokenfield among disgruntled fans) many gamers may be hesitant to give Hardline a play through.

It may not appeal to traditional fans at first, but those who want a different shooter experience will be attracted to its new concept. Despite the change in setting, it is still a Battlefield at its core that will impress fans.

Battlefield: Hardline is not just a unique title because of the new theme but a diverse gameplay setup that appeals to more than just shooter fans.


The story is set in Miami in the midst of a drug war not seen since the '80s and the police are fighting to shut down the cartels before the conflict escalates. Players take on the role of Det. Nick Mendoza as he works with his partner, Det. Khai Minh Dao, as they try to shut down cartel operations. However, during their investigation they uncover rampant corruption within the department.

Battlefield: Hardline single-player is not so much a campaign but an episodic adventure made to feel like a crime show. The story has been crafted to feel like a modernized version of Miami Vice that also incorporates elements of other hit crime shows.

The gameplay setup is very diverse for a shooter as it combines elements of crime solving, stealth action and RPG to give players a fresh experience. The crime solving mechanism makes the game feel like L.A. Noire with a CSI: Miami tone. Unlike previous games in the series, being stealthy and arresting suspects is highly recommended. However, shooter fans will have their moments to go guns blazing.


While the single-player episodes are designed for a diverse gaming audience, the multiplayer game was developed for both Battlefield and shooter fans. To achieve this it has taken the gameplay features of Payday and Counter-Strike then combined them into the Battlefield setup.

The multiplayer has eight different types of games that pits cops against criminals in a verity of environments. The gameplay includes heist missions along with hostage rescue while traditional fans could still battle for outposts. There is also the traditional team death-match for those who just want to kill another player. 

The heist has criminals stealing the loot then transporting it to a designated location while battling the cops. Hostage is a 4 vs. 4 match were the cops try to rescue hostages or take out all the criminals. Hotwire may be the most unique gameplay mode as the cops must stop the criminals from stealing several designated vehicles (there are a lot of car chases here).  

Players could purchase new weapons with the money they earn and unlock new gear after meeting certain criteria. Charters and classes can be customized based on what the player needs.  


However, this is still not a flawless gaming experiences due to a few minor issues that could not be overlooked. For starters, the driving in the single-player story is really pointless and does nothing for the overall gaming experience. The story has too many clichés from crime shows while having the quality of mediocre network shows (which is an issue for those who binge watch The Wire on HBO).

The multiplayer game could have also incorporated more Co-Op and planning into its setup. While borrowing inspiration from Payday adds to the games cops & robbers theme, but the lack of real Co-Op makes every multiplayer game feel like over complicated death-match. Instead there will be a few players working towards the the games objective while everyone else is out gunning for other players. 

Gamers may also experience a few minor glitches but most of them will be resolved with future patches. 

It should be noted that Battlefield: Hardline may not appeal to many players as the series has been a balance between a gameplay setup that appeals to the casuals who play Call of Duty and the hardcore buffs who prefer Armed Assault (ArmA). The Battlefield series has always tried to include the user friendly setup of CoD into a more massive and challenging experience that ArmA fans could also enjoy. While the simplicity of CoD or the difficulty of ArmA is lost, a balance is found that has incorporate the highlights of both titles. Yet there will always be those CoD gamers who will find the game too difficult while some ArmA fans will feel the game is too juvenile for them. 

In a genre that has become saturated with Call of Duty-knockoffs, putting players on to the thin blue line is an excellent change. Battlefield: Hardline shift from the war zones to the streets helps bring a sense of originality to the series.

The Ten: March 2015 - 10 Releases to Look For This Month Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:07:48 -0500 Nick Boisson


Honorable Mentions

  • White Night from OSome Studio: March 3 for PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
  • \n
  • StandPoint from Unruly Attractions: March 5 for Windows, Mac, Linux
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  • Shelter 2 from Might & Delight: March 9 for PC and Mac
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  • Parallax from Toasty Games: March 10 for PC, Mac, Linux
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  • Dyscourse from Owlchemy Labs: March 25 for PC, Mac, Linux
  • \n

That's all from the March 2015 edition of The Ten. While March had a number of great releases, April is looking to be a big one, as well. I mean, there will be games like------&%(*@#_&%


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Axiom Verge (March 31 on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita)

Developer: Tom Happ

What better way to close out a month than with a Metroidvania game? ...Yeah, didn't think you had one.


Axiom Verge is a 16-bit sci-fi swan song to the MetroidBionic Commando, and Contra era developed by a team of one: Tom Happ. As a huge fan of the classic Metroid games, I'm just upset that I have to wait until this month ends to get this one. And, if you don't have a PlayStation 4 or Vita, it will be released later to PC whenever Tom Happ finishes that build. And so, the wait continues...


Pillars of Eternity (March 26 for PC, Mac, Linux)

Developers: Obsidian Entertainment | Publisher: Paradox Interactive

Funded from a very successful Kickstarter campaign, Obsidian Entertainment went the way of Double Fine and built a game in a genre that has not really seen the light of day in about a decade: an isometric, party-based computer RPG in the vein of games like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale.


Chris Avellone wants Pillars of Eternity to bring back the RPG mechanics that have been lost in their transition to consoles. Fans of old cRPGs are going to eat this one up!


Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Samus Light Suit 1:4 Scale Statue

From First 4 Figures

First 4 Figures puts out a lot of great statues and figures but the Metroid Prime fan in me lost it for this Samus Light Suit statue from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.


With Nintendo's recent re-release of the Metroid Prime trilogy on the Wii U eShop, this figure is bound to turn some heads for those with the means to pick one up. And at $364.99, you really do need an awful lot of means to pick one up...


Bloodborne (March 24 for PlayStation 4)

Developer: From Software | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Start buying those MadCatz controllers because From Software is coming out with a new game and you do not want to smash that DualShock 4 into a million pieces during your game rage.


Described as "Dark Souls with shotguns," Bloodborne is similar to From Software's Souls series except plays a bit quicker and has the player play more on the offensive rather than defense. While your left hand holds a shield in the Souls series, you wield a shotgun in Bloodborne and your health regenerates as you strike your attacker. Maybe this will be the From Software game that doesn't frighten the gamers unable to deal with Dark Souls' difficulty. Or maybe it will be just as difficult in a whole new fashion. Either way, it looks pretty spooky and fun.


Battlefield Hardline (March 17 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)

Developer: Visceral Games | Publisher: Electronic Arts

A new Battlefield game from the makers of the Dead Space franchise? We're not going to be clipping limbs off of Middle-Easterners, are we?'s a police-procedural set in Los Angeles, you say? But...haven't the cops gotten a lot of bad PR in the past year? Isn't taking Battlefield domestic is an odd choice?


With all of the police brutality stories that have been pouring out of the news in the past year, one can't help but feel as if EA could have shelved this one until (hopefully) things calm down. But Visceral stands by their first foray into the world of Battlefield saying that it is a game of "cops and robbers" and "not cops and protesters".


I honestly stopped playing the Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, and Battlefield franchises a while ago after feeling simply exhausted with the "modern warfare" gimmick. Battlefield Hardline does offer something different and if I treat it like playing through a very special episode of Law & Order, it very well could offer new breath to a franchise that is always playing second fiddle to Call of Duty. Though, I feel that having a trailer which says things like, "In the next generation of Battlefield, take the fight to the streets," may not be the best way to market it. But hey, it had 6 million players in its open beta. I don't think their marketing is failing them so far.


Code Name S.T.E.A.M. (March 13 for Nintendo 3DS)

Developer: Intelligent Systems | Publisher: Nintendo

Remember when you were a kid and read about the 16th President of the United States and his steampunk hero team that included Henry Fleming from The Red Badge of Courage, the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz, Tiger Lily from Peter Pan, and Tom Sawyer battling aliens in 19th century London? Man, I loved history class!


From the team that brought us Fire Emblem and Advanced WarsCode Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a turn-based strategy, steampunk-fantasy game where you control a team of characters from 19th century fiction -- as well as the Great Emancipator and known vampire hunter, Abraham Lincoln -- to battle an oncoming alien horde with steam-powered weapons.


I always judge 3DS games by two factors: if it looks like it would be good to play while traveling (like on a bus or train) and if it looks like a game that would not be better suited to another platform. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. seems to have both those points covered and it also just seems like a silly, fun experience. It is games like these that make Nintendo worthwhile.


Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (March 10: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PS Vita)

Developer: Dennaton Games | Publisher: Devolver Digital

"Jacket" is back and he's brought along some friends!


2012 saw the release of a uniquely strange and violent indie game. It had a nameless, unreliable anti-hero as a protagonist, odd phone calls, animal masks with special powers, and more spilled blood in any level than any season of Game of Thrones. Yes, Hotline Miami was a game with a punishingly steep learning curve that you couldn't help but play more of.


Now, "Jacket" returns this month with twelve more playable characters, a different set of special abilities with each character, a level editor, an all-new Extreme mode, and more masks than you'll know what to do with.


So put on your letterman jacket, grab your go-to weapon, and don your favorite animal mask because we have to paint 1980s Miami a whole different shade of neon!


Cities: Skylines (March 10 for PC, Mac, Linux)

Developer: Colossal Order | Publisher: Paradox Interactive

From the developers that brought us the Cities In Motion series comes the answer to all the issues found in SimCity with Cities: Skylines. While the Motion games focused on citywide transportation, Skylines takes on all aspects of building and managing a city. Unlike Maxis' SimCity, which gives you a maximum city size of 2 square kilometers, Skylines starts you with a city square of 2x2 km, or 4 sq. km. Then, as you progress in the game, you can get up to a total of nine city squares. This means you can have a maximum city size of 36 sq. km. Not to mention that your city does not need to be a square. As you get more city squares, you can place them however you'd like, just as long as they are all connected.


Cities: Skylines is also allowing the modding community access to the game. This way, the world of Skylines will always be changing thanks to an active modding.


As a fan of the old SimCity games, Cities: Skylines greatly appeals to me. One of my biggest issues with SimCity was that you were never able to really build a city. With 1x1 km space, you're really building more of a town. With Skylines, you'll be able to build one hell of a metropolis. And for those of you with power issues, you can then watch it burn to the ground, you diabolical madman, you.


Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (March 5 for Nintendo Wii U and 3DS)

Developer/Publisher: Nintendo

The Mario vs. Donkey Kong series has always been a great series for the DS systems. But during E3 last year, Nintendo announced a new game based on their new Nintendo Web Framework for Wii U. Then, January's Nintendo Direct, they announced not only a 3DS version but that if you buy Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars on either platform, you will receive it again on the other. This cross-buy and cross-save play great for those with both a Wii U and 3DS/2DS system. With the mistakes that Nintendo has made, giving their fans more bang for their buck is always a good move.


But forget that for a second and just look at the game. Nintendo's Web Framework engine looks great and is giving the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series a new look along with a slew of new puzzles and a whole new way to build them. The great thing about the series has always been its ability to keep the game going with user-generated content and giving the users a way to help the best level-builders will ensure this game goes strong for quite some time following its release.


Helldivers (March 3 for PS4, PS3, PS Vita)

Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America

From the team that brought you MagickaGauntlet, and The Showdown EffectHelldivers is a top-down four-player co-op shooter set in a satirical dystopian future. Along with three others, you play a soldier hell-bent on ensuring that Super Earth is protected by all the extraterrestrial trash out there in the galaxy.


Like Magicka before it, Helldivers has friendly fire, so be sure to watch out for your fellow brothers in arms. It is also features cross-buy, cross-play, and cross-save. So no matter which PlayStation you're playing on, the content carries over to your other systems.


I'm hoping Helldivers is this year's Broforce: just a fun, over-the-top shooter that you drop hours into before realizing you were supposed to pick that friend up at the airport an hour ago... hypothetically.


Welcome to The Ten.


On the first of each month, Nick Boisson shares ten games or pieces of game-related entertainment worth looking out for that month.


The premise of The Ten is to filter out the choice pieces of entertainment and media that gamers will want to check out in each upcoming month. Not just video games, but tabletop games, toys, movies, comics, and all manner of gaming goodness.


And while Grand Theft Auto V for PC was delayed (again!) until April, March 2015 has some great stuff for everyone to check out!


So, here we go...


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The Big Three- Who Will Win 2015? Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:42:47 -0500 RealFry

Each year all the publishers make an effort to push some of the best games they have to offer, while most are usually announced far in advance others are sometimes a closely guarded secret until E3. I picked several known games and some unknowns that will most likely release this year from the largest publisher/developer conglomerates in the industry, and dissect just what they have to offer for the year. Let's jump in and take into context their past and presentation of their present strategies.


Potential Standouts:
  • The Division
  • Assassins Creed Victory
  • Rainbow Six Siege

The Division has got to be the biggest title currently under development by the French Developer/Publisher Ubisoft, even bigger then titles like the next Assassin's Creed. With so much riding on this new title and its possible continuation as a series especially with the relative failure of last years The Crew and Assassins Creed Unity, one would have to wonder if Ubisoft has indeed learned from its past games.

The Division has a pretty interesting premise as it's an apocalyptic scenario in the future based on a real world training scenario for biological attacks, called "Operation Dark Winter" which according to Wikipedia "was designed to carry out a mock version of a covert and widespread smallpox attack on the United States". The scenario in the game is similar with sleeper cell agents who had launched a widespread biological virus that had killed most of the population in the U.S, the agency named after the game, is tasked with preserving what remains of the U.S and restoring order.

The games main draw of course though is in its multiplayer RPG and open world, this on top of a third person perspective and it's teamwork/squad based gameplay make this title pretty unique in this age of first person and limited player count multiplayer games. Though it's not exactly sure how expansive the multiplayer of the game will be yet. There is a possibility of a public alpha/beta coming and with the full release supposedly stated to be coming in October, and a potential showing at GDC 2015 it won't be long before players can try out the world for themselves. This is definitely Ubisoft's strongest competitor for the year.

V for Victory?

 Assassins Creed Victory comes following the unsuccessful launch of Unity, in which numerous bugs made the game unplayable for many gamers or just downright amusing and not in a positive way. While Ubisoft tried to make amends, offering gamers free games to compensate and I'm sure is trying to convenience everyone it won't happen again, as they have handed development over to a new studio Ubisoft Quebec, but with the flaws seen time and again in the quality control of annualized releases, the analytical gamer would have a hard time taking them seriously

Rainbow Six Siege

Also formerly known as Rainbow Six PatriotsRainbow Six Siege is a reboot to the Rainbow Six series that has been dormant since Rainbow Six Vegas 2 in 2008. Rainbow Six Siege is similar to the new Battlefield Hardline in theme, with cops and stereotypical "Bad guys" fighting each other, but with a heavy focus on hostage rescue. The gameplay looks clean and polished. 

Retrospective: Those who fail to look at History are doomed to repeat it…

If you look at the games released by Ubisoft last year it’s clear Ubisoft was a little too ambitious in its attempts to make too many games too quickly. Watch Dogs for example was a much anticipated title and was the first major title to hit in 2014, But a failure to communicate to its fans that their games were simply too large and complex to attain the same level of visual flare, led some to believe the game was downgraded (something that was repeated with the “parity-gate” controversy in ACU), generic storyline, repetitive side quests and generally felt uninteresting characters especially in its main protagonist, it just didn’t feel like the game lived up to its promises or had much life in it to make it compelling enough for a lot of gamers. It still sold enough to warrant making a sequel most likely attributed to the amount of hype surrounding its release.

The Crew and Unity also highly anticipated and ambitious titles also suffered, but from more fundamental problems making them at times unplayable, though through recent patches these have largely been fixed. Yet, some issues still remain. It remains to be seen if Ubisoft understands how to fix these same repeating issues in their future games, given how they are still launching just as many ambitious titles this year. 

However, it appears they are moving in the right direction with titles like The Division with a recently discovered Public Alpha found disabled within the official sites HTML code:


Potential Standouts:
  • New Call of duty
  • Tony Hawk reboot
  • Guitar Hero reboot
  • Overwatch

Activision/Blizzard seems to be in an interesting position this year, With Blizzard's first new franchise in 17 Years, Overwatch coupled with Activision's Destiny signal a notable change that could soon mean replacing COD as Activision's main revenue drivers. Though the new Call of Duty release will probably still make up its main share of revenue this year. Supposedly set in World War 2, this new release has some old time fans excited for its return to its authentic roots especially with the last Call of Duty's shift into a more story driven narrative in its campaign, old timers are desperate to relive the WWII days that made the franchise famous with a solid story and multiplayer, but for players like myself it just leaves me wondering how long will this franchise last before it is eventually replaced? Someone seriously needs to put this franchise out of its misery.

New Blood

Blizzard has been in an odd lull since it hasn't really made any new IP in over 17 years, but that's all about to change with their new FPS, Overwatch. A first in the traditionally MMO focused developers line up, Overwatch's arrival as an FPS shows just how massively influential the genre has become as even the largest MMO maker is now trying new waters by releasing this new IP. 


Though this game started as something much more ambitious, under it's previous title Titan, the game was supposed to be the first MMO-type shooter from Blizzard. A much more familiar territory for Blizzard the change proved to be too much, as the title was scrapped with no information given. But, a Kotaku article has through several unknown insider sources pieced together some of what the game was initially aiming to be "a science-fiction depiction of the world where mankind has successfully fought off an alien invasion. Players would join one of three factions waging a cold war over control of the planet. According to a source, Blizzard's plan was to make the game world huge, and to keep adding areas with expansions in the years after launch.” This sounds suspiciously like Destiny, and the fact that even a renown MMO developer like Blizzard couldn't pull off an MMO-like atmosphere shows just how difficult of a concept it still is to reinvent the FPS genre. And perhaps why Destiny launched as a somewhat smaller scale version of what many gamers anticipated it to be.

Rebooting Classics

Besides the typical Call of Duty release, two rebooted franchises may prove to make 2015 a somewhat interesting year for Activision. 2015 brings the official announcement of a new next-gen (and mobile) Tony Hawk game and the rumors of a Guitar Hero game surfacing, bringing back memories of a trend I may have not participated in, but surely remembered for its many iterations and expensive, but still wildly popular (for the time) peripherals.

"I don't see the Guitar Hero/Rock Band music genre coming back strong," independent analyst Billy Pidgeon said. 

But, at a gut level I feel these reboot games may not be entirely what Activision needs to compete head to head with the other major publishers, a sentiment shared by some analysts as Gamespot writes: "I don't see the Guitar Hero/Rock Band music genre coming back strong," independent analyst Billy Pidgeon said. "Success is possible, but expectations should be low, as while these games will sell again, the sales volume will be much smaller."  This sentiment has apparently not traveled to Guitar Heroe's Rival, Rockband who is also planning to remake their version of the guitar hero world. Still, I’d be interested to see what else Activision plans to announce at this year’s E3.

  Also on the horizon, fans of Destiny will have plenty of new content to look forward to as the last leak during in investor meeting about Activision’s plans for the franchise show players can expect a pretty lengthy year of updated content and hopefully more meaningful story put into the game.



Potential Standouts:
  • Star Wars Battlefront 3
  • Battlefield Hardline
  • Mirrors Edge 2

I may a bit biased by saying this, since I’m a big fan of the Star Wars series, but I don’t think it would be too much of an overstatement to say that Battlefront may be one of the biggest hits out of all three of the big publishers. This game has such a following it’s only surpassed by Half Life 3 fans in hype. While no gameplay has yet been released, it’s a safe bet well see more from this title at this year’s E3 soon enough. But, because of the Battlefront series previous success, I think EA has the strongest portfolio so far for the year out of the big three.



Then there’s Battlefield Hardline. Its initial reception was met with less than flattering criticism, from looking like an expansion pack to Battlefield 4, to the fact that it was launching too soon, even before the final expansion packs to BF4 were done! This inevitably created trust issues that still linger as most Battlefield 4 players still remembered how the launch for BF4 went down. Some gamers and Youtuber’s are now seeing enough changes to the game that they have done complete 180’s from their initial impressions of the last beta and are now thinking of buying hardline day one. Though there are still a significant amount of gamers that will probably steer clear of this title all together. 


Mirrors Edge 2

The real life and parkour simulator is back, its orignial title was praised for its photo-realistic graphics, adventure and parkour that allowed you to go almost anywhere, the game had no real objective but traversal. Its sequel is listed on EA's coming soon page for this year, though not much information is available.


Although, EA, Ubisoft and Activision all have a pretty bad history of releasing broken or half-done games, this year seems to have enough gems to keep these three behemoths of the gaming industry afloat, just a while longer.

What’s your opinion? Any other publishers you think should be on list? Let me know down below.

Battlefield Hardline Heist Gameplay Footage Mon, 09 Feb 2015 08:52:00 -0500 Ciara Guibault

With the release of the Battlefield Hardline beta on February 3, three game modes are available for owners on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

The first mode is Heist, the second mode is Conquest, and the third mode is Hotwire. I have been most fond of heist so far, the one highlighted in the above video; it is a game mode where players assume the role of either cops or robbers in an attempt to respectively protect a vault in a bank or steal the two bags of money it contains. 

How to Heist

As the robbers, players will have to blow up the vault, steal both of the bags of money, and then take each bag to the pick-up zones which are on opposite ends of the map. As the cops, players will be trying to prevent either of the bags from being stolen. The only map available for playing heist on is quite small, allowing a quick and fast-paced game that is perfect for those who enjoy rushing rather than taking it slow. 

In the video, you will see a glimpse at what Battlefield Hardline has to offer. The game was very short, compared to modes like conquest which can last a while. I am using the mechanic load out with the UMP-45 submachine gun.