March’s Games With Gold, Star Wars Battlefront, New Games, and Far Cry Impossible- IDL NEWS

Far Cry Patch

fc5-ubicom-Buy_Edition-Thumbnail_Mobile_221119

Spoiler alert – Far Cry Primal came out today. Alongside the launch came a Day One patch (gotta love those) coming at just 560MB. The patch, which includes some stability improvements, companion behavior and some other tweaks, also includes an Expert Mode. This mode halves your health compared to the Hard difficulty. It speeds up the A.I attack speed, while lengthening their forgetfulness cool-down, and enemies are not shown on the mini-map unless tagged. It reduces the aim assist, and reduces your damage.

For those who are into that sort of thing. More on Far Cry Primal later on.

Xbox Games With Gold: MARCH

Xbox One
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments – March 1-31
Lords of the Fallen – March 15-April 15

Xbox 360
Supreme Commander 2 – March 1-15
Borderlands – March 16-31

I am excited for both of the Xbox One games. Sherlock looks like a pretty adventure story game not unlike Telltale’s ilk, and Lords of the Fallen looks like a poor man’s Dark Souls crossed with Darksiders. I’ll take it. On the 360 front, I’ll try out Supreme Commander 2 as I’ve always liked RTS games on the PC, like Command and Conquer or Age of Empires. Borderlands I’ll pass on. The game is eons old and I’ve already played it many times. Get outa here.

Star Wars Battlefront

star-wars-battlefront-offers-first-look-at-fighter-squadron-mode-488398-2Star Wars Battlefront’s large February update has started rolling out. Jakku’s DLC content is being patched into the , so it’s not longer a separate item in the store, and you can delete any existing downloads from your HDD.

A new map called Twilight on Hoth has been added, and it can be played in the Walker Assault, Supremacy, Turning Point, Blast, Fighter Squadron, Drop Zone, and Heroes vs. Villains game types.

A new survival mission has been added: Survival in the Ice Caves, and the Turning Point gameplay mode has been added to the Jundland Wastes, Forest of Endor, Outpost Beta, and SoroSuub Centroplex maps.

Thumbs up.

DOOM Up In Here

Pre-ordering DOOM on the Xbox One will net you the original DOOM and DOOM II for free, as they are both part of the backwards compatibility list. Pre-ordering nets you some other multiplayer exclusives as well: armour sets, weapon skins, etc.

///

New Releases – Feb 23

hitman_go_2

 

Hitman GO: Definitive Edition (PS4)
From the makers of Lara Croft GO, their first title was Hitman GO. I bought this on Android and never go the chance to play it before I shattered my screen, and then bought an iPhone. Guess I’ll have to re-buy it, as I loved Lara Croft GO.

 

maxresdefault (7)Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
(Xbox One, PS4, PC)
The sequel to the original, a 3rd person shooter / tower defense game, in the Plants Vs Zombie world. The formula has been changed up, as now the plants are on the offensive as the zombies have completely taken over.


far_cry_primal_beastfaceFar Cry Primal 
(PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Same Far Cry world and mechanics, but now in the Stone Age era, with Woolly Mammoths and Sabretooth Tigers. Humanity is now on the low end of the food chain. Gone are the guns and vehicles, replaced with clubs, and spears. This might be the first Far Cry that I’ll actually pass on, at least for now.

Far Cry as a series, to me, has always been a shooter within a believable world and crazy villains. While this one appears to have a very detailed, gorgeous and believable world, I can’t see myself getting as immersed into the world, with its close range combat and 100% subtitled story, as I have with its predecessors.

We’ll see though.

///

With that said, back to the gaming grind. Thursday has a review for Pneuma: Breath of Life while I continue to plug away at what I’m playing. Might jump back into Star Wars Battlefront to try out the new modes and map.

I’m hoping to get some opinions up for The Division beta ahead of its release, and spend more time in Assassin’s Creed Unity, Oddworld, and Mad Max.

-iRogan

Gamescom 2015: Cologne, Germany – EA Press Conference

ELECTRONIC ARTS Gamescom 2015 Media Briefing:

Wednesday, Aug 5th – 1am.


-EA’s press conference starts with a quick sizzle reel showcasing The Sims 4, Need For Speed, FIFA 16, Star Wars Battlefront, and Mirrors Edge Catalyst, along with their tag line “Live to Play”.

-ANDREW WILSON – EA CEO, takes the stage. Thanks German for hosting one of the largest game conventions, and points out that the games discussed today will feature on the game room floor. Introduced Need for Speed first.


Need For Speed

maxresdefault
-MARCUS NEILSSON – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, takes the stage and shows a quick trailer highlighting the 5 pivotal styles found in Need For Speed: Speed Icon, Style Icon, Build Icon, Crew Icon, Outlaw Icon.

-This years’ Need for Speed is 20 years of history to make the definitive NFS experience. 5 ways to play, and each way is based of a real world icon.

Need For Speed this year will showcase real-time compositing into the Frostbite engine, merging real world actors with in-game footage. NEILSSON leaves the stage with the new trailer showing.


Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

Mirror_s_Edge_Catalyst_72365

-SARA JANSSON – SENIOR PRODUCER, takes the stage to discuss Mirror’s Edge and her love of the character, Faith. Mirror’s Edge has the freedom to explore combined with an immersive experience. With a hero at the center of everything: Faith.

-JANSSON states that Faith doesn’t need guns. Faith is the star of the game and its an origin story. Faith is a carefree runner, but a little bit reckless. The story will see Faith grow into the person we know.

-The world of Mirror’s Edge includes free-roaming, collectibles, and the companies that spark’s Faith’s journey.

-Trailer: Pre-alpha footage shows free-running and traversal similar to the first game. Wall running, and sliding, big jumps and rolling. Levels look less linear and more open, although less colour, and colourful flares highlight the objectives. More destructive elements: glass walls, lighting fixtures. Fast melee combat.


Star Wars The Old Republic

Star_Wars-_The_Old_Republic_cover-JAMES OHLEN takes the stage, and discusses the new expansion to The Old Republic called Knights of the Fallen Empire. “Become The Outlander” is the tagline. The ability to recruit companions and change destinies is mentioned. Choose the Light Side or the Dark Side is an option. The expansion includes the first 9 chapters and then the rest of the story will be released episodical.

-Game will carry over your existing character, or you can choose to create a brand new one. Release date is Oct 27, and is free for all current subscribers. OHLEN states that this expansion is a return to Bioware’s storytelling roots. A quick trailer wraps the segment.


Sims 4

-“You Create. You Control. You Rule” Live action trailer is shown to start the Sims 4 segment.

-RACHEL FRANKLIN takes the stage to discuss the new expansion.”Everything is up to you, you rule.” Sims 4 gets bigger and better every month. New expansion this November: Get Together. New world. Quick in-game trailer is shown.


Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

maxresdefault (7)

-JEREMY VANHOOZER – SR. CREATIVE, takes the stage and states the in Garden Warfare 2, the script has been flipped and the Zombies have taken over, and plants are now on the attack.

-Recalls the previously noted 3 Zombies introduced at E3: Captain Deadbeard, Superbrains, and the Imp. Now introducing the 3 new plants: Rose, a sorceress, Kernal Korn and his dual machine guns, and Bouncing Orange, a citrus tank.

-Game now has solo-play and couch co-op across all modes. and introducing the new Playground Battleground. An open-world in-game hub. You can introduce friends into your game and then go to a warp game to start a new game.

-Pre-order’s get a Grass Effects spoofed Z7 mech custom armour for the Imp. Game is available Spring 2016. Gameplay trailer is shown, showcasing the space map on the moon.


Unraveled

2015-06-1513-24-16jpg-bfd520_765w

-PATRICK SODERLUND – EA EXECUTIVE VP, comes to the stage and is thankful for video games as they allow creativity, innovation, and passion. Making the next truly awesome game also involves risk. Screenshots are shown of some of the early concepts in development that could lead to the next awesome game.

-To show an example of creativity, innovation,passion and risk, Unraveled is up next.

-MARTIN SAHLIN comes to the stage and says he is just overwhelmed and stunned by the response to his game and Yarny. Slide show of the art, drawings, and Yarny dolls is shown. He encourages people to keep sending in their submissions.

-SAHLIN discusses games and how they can do proper good, and that they’re not just escapism. He says he is glad to be a part of this trend, and he wants to show us more Unraveled footage, promising this is still very early pre-alpha gameplay.

-Level: Sea. All the levels take place in Norther Sweden. The purpose is to make it to the end of each level without running out of yarn, but you can find more yarn throughout the level, The gameplay is all physics-based.

-The game looks gorgeous so far, and is all about overcoming obstacles and is really all about the wonder of discovery and beauty. Will be available on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.


Star Wars Battlefront

star-wars-battlefront-offers-first-look-at-fighter-squadron-mode-488398-2-SIGURLINA INGVARSDOTTIR – DICE, takes the stage to discuss Star Wars.The weapons and vehicles, the characters. Star Wars Battlefront is all about the thrill of living out our Star Wars fantasies. The game is all about fun, and the thrill of fighting for survival.

-Introducing new game mode: Fighter Squadron.

-Fighter Squadron is a 20 player dog fight mode. Game mode includes Tie Fighters, X-Wings, A-Wings, and Millenium Falcon. The game mode also supports an additional 20 AI fighter so that the action is always intense. This game mode has the most intense dog fights in video game history.

-Promises that Dice and EA still have a lot left to show before the November release. Trailer is shown for the full game including Walker Attack and Jedi fights.


FIFA 16

2882732-fifa16_xboxone_ps4_e3_henderson_hr_wm

-DAVID RUTTER – EA, takes the stage to discuss FUT Draft 16, the Fantasy Ultimate Team Draft. A quick trailer is shown with two legends picking a team and arguing and then playing the game. “What is the best choice: Best Players or Best Chemistry.” And you can bring your fantasy team online.

-New introductions to the game include: Pre-season tournament in career mode, and Player Training in career mode including up to 30 drills.

-Also new to ’16 includes 12 of the National Women’s teams, and promises more innovations across the entire pitch. ’16 promises to be the most balanced and most beautiful FIFA football game.

-9 iconic stadiums, new weather conditions including rain and fog. And 900 new crowd chants. A quick trailer is shown.


And that’s all for Gamescom 2015 press conferences. I’ll be attending PAX Prime 2015 so I’ll have lots of news and insights when I return. Aug 28-31.

-iRogan

E3 2015 – EA Press Conference – LIVE

EA E3 2015 Press Conference:

*Live blog. Please refresh*


Just a few minutes away. Quick hopefuls: Mass Effect 4, Star Wars Battlefront and Mirror’s Edge 2. I’m also expecting all the sports line-up 2016. More info about NHL 16. Hopefully more info about the Need for Speed reboot too.


Mass Effect Andromeda

-1:00pm: Time for EA. Starts with Mass Effect 4 concept art trailer, and zooms out to our new Shepherd with the Omnitool. Show’s space.

“Discover a new Galaxy”

-Shows the planet vehicle and new combat. Mass Effect: Andromeda. Holiday 2016.

mass-effect-4


– Sizzle reel to showcase 3 new original IP. New sports titles, and Mirror’s Edge later in the show, and finally Star Wars. Games for console, PC, and mobile, with the finale of the show is Battlefront.


Need for Speed

-Up next is the return of Need for Speed. Live action story trailer. Definitely Need for Speed underground feel. Night driving in an open city. Inspired by the history of the series. Customization of NFS Underground, and open world of Carbon. Multiplayer and connectivity of Rivals. 2x the size of the Rivals map. Realistic world and iconic cars. Richest customization ever in a NFS game.

maxresdefault

-Fully open world. The 5 pillars of a Need for Speed game combined into one game: Speed / Style / Build / Crew and Outlaw, all combined into one game. November 3rd, 2015.

-In-game cutscenes are live action, transitions into the customization window for the car. Dozen of points of customization for the vehicle. Transition into the open streets and racing. Game looks gorgeous. Cinematic chase camera. Cops get involved almost immediately. Minimal HUD. Very much on the DICE Frostbite engine with particles and HUD artifacts. Race ends and the play needs to escape the cops.


Star Wars The Old Republic

Star Wars The Old Republic – New expansion: Knights of the Fallen Empire. Bioware style story. Free expansion for all subscribers. Quick pre-rendered story trailer.


Unravel

-EA plans on having more trials and Betas to get more fan feedback earlier. New IP up next.

2015-06-1513-24-16jpg-bfd520_765w

-First one up: an emotional and creative experience centered on a character with a huge heart. This is Unravel.

-Yarn game, sort of like Sackboy, Little Big Planet. Yarn unravels as we move. Yarny is the main character. Exploration game to find the proper path. Physics based gameplay to overcome obstacles. Quick trailer to show the story and gameplay. Very heartwarming game. player uses the yarn to swing or pull objects, and is always leaving a trail of yarn.


Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2

Plant’s Vs Zombie mascot hits the stage to music. Gets quickly escorted off the stage.

“You can’t take zombies anywhere.”

Plants vs Zombie Garden Warfare 2. Plants on the attack for the first time in game’s history. New strategic layer of depth to the levels. Game game play demo. Shown the ZomBoss factory, a new level. Zombies have taken over and created Zomburbia. Now plants are on the attack to get their world back.

-New class – Imp. Playing as zombies, defending the factory from the invading plants. Live gameplay being shown. Smallest and fastest class. Next up. SuperBrainz, new melee class. CaptainDeadbeard is shown next, the zombies new sniper class. New power ups and weapons are shown. Imp calls down a Titan, and now its time to evacuate after the level has been completed. Sensing  a Titanfall vibe here :).

-GW2 now supports a solo play against AI or local split-screen. Transfer characters from GW1 over to 2 on launch. GW2 will launch Spring 2016. Game will support free content updates after launch. Game promises to be fun, and hilarious. Quick trailer sends us off showing a slew on new maps.


EA Sports

NHL 16 up next. Voiceover of a coach behind the scenes hyping up the players in the dressing room. Team is at the heart of NHL 16. EA Sports Hockey League is back.

Rory McIlroy PGA Golf now uses the Frostbite Engine. Real course and fantasy courses.

NHL and Madden incorporate training modes to help you become a better player

NBA Live 16 up next. Gameface HD scanning tech. You can use a mobile phone to capture the face, incorporates into the game. 5 secs to generate a preview. Pretty impressive. Sept 29th release for NBA Live 16. new free-flowing movement engine, 1000’s of new animations. Completely rebuilt passing and dribbling animations. New shot system to release the ball when you want. New game mode to be revealed later this summer. Quick trailer – captured in-game.


-Mobile games time. Need for Speed No Limits. Fifa 15 Ultimate Team 2nd screen on the Apple Watch.

Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes CCG card playing game. Across the whole Star War Universe.

Minions Paradise. A builder game. Quick trailer about the main character, Phil, who ruins everything. Seems like a mobile micromanagement game. Available later this year.


FIFA 16

FIFA 16 is up next. Quick historical trailer is shown. Pele comes to the stage – “the greatest football player of all time”. Story time about the history of the sport and the introduction to the sport in the USA. Football – the beautiful game.

-More innovation this year. Compete at a higher level, and new ways to play. better defense mechanics. Interception intelligence. No-touch dribbling. New trainer also incorporated into FIFA.

-For the first time ever, women’s teams are now in the game. More news throughout the summer.

-Quick trailer wraps up the FIFA portion- Play Beautiful.


Mirror’s Edge

-Experience the rise of faith. Mirror’s Edge is an origin story for faith. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. More colour. Shows a new city. Trailer shows the backstory to Faith. New traversal and parkour.

Mirror_s_Edge_Catalyst_72365

-To be released February 23rd, 2016. In-game footage trailer.


Madden NFL 16

-Draft champions discusses Fantasy Football. Similar to Madden mobile and Ultimate Team, but incorporated into the console version of Madden 16. Taking fantasy to another level. Can bring your drafted team solo or online.

-Passing mechanic has been overhauled.  Focused on 3 new positions. Quarterbacks has new body relative passes. Receivers has new catch types: possession catch, run-after-catch, and aggressive catch. Defenders. We can now play the receiver, and can interrupt passes as defenders. Game launches August 25th. E3 Trailer player – captured in-game.


Star Wars Battlefront

-An array of multiplayer modes. Ability to fly X-Wings. Play as one of the legends. Solo and Split-screen missions also available.

header-star-wars-battlefront-preview-trailer-e3-2013

-Gameplay: Walker Assault one of the largest modes. Empire must escort the AT-AT walkers. As the rebels, you must stop them. Captured from PS4 from both perspectives. Battle of Hoth. Shows the rebels running around the Hoth base defending incoming enemies. TIE fighters overhead and AT-AT incoming. Game is a first-person shooter or 3rd person shooter. Can call in orbital strikes. Can fly as the bombers. Looks amazing and sounds authentic. Bombers have the tow cable to trip the walkers. Can fly as the TIE fighters. Pilot the AT-AT. Explosions seem authentic. Lots of sparks. First person and 3rd person flying. Legends are on the battlefield too. Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker are shown.

-Coming November 17th, 2015.


EA’s press conference is over. Ubisoft is up right quick at 3PM.

-iRogan

EA Access and the News!

I have EA Access. I’ve had it since it’s inception. Personally, I think its a good deal. $30/ year gets you access to the EA games vault, which currently has 9 games, 10% off games and DLC, and some new releases you’ll get early access, or free game trials.

The vault currently includes: Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, MADDEN NFL 25, Peggle 2, NFS Rivals, Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare, EA UFC, and the 2 recent additions being NBA Live 15 and Madden NFL 15, which surprisingly added, only a few weeks apart. Typically a new game is added every 1-2 months. Sometimes they release little gifts too, like free DLC packs.

I guess it’s suitable for those who like sports games, or the First-Person Shooters by Dice. For me, its provided the ability to play games I wouldn’t typically pick up, unless they were cheap. Games like UFC, or Basketball or Football. I play Shooters, and NFS games generally already, and I pick up NHL annually.

I’ve pre-ordered Battlefield Hardline, which will grant me 1 week early access, so keep an eye out for first impressions of that, starting March 12th, 2015.

The Game Developer Conference is currently underway in San Fransisco, March 2-6, so on that note, lets move on to some news:

GDC

Phil Spencer and Halo Master Chief Collection:

Game Informer had the chance to speak to Xbox Head Phil Spencer at the GDC conference about the Halo Master Chief Collection launch, and continuing troubles, and what the teams have learned going forward with the Halo 5 release.

Spencer discussed, at length, the steps they’re taking to ensure that the Collection package is becoming more and more stable, and ensured that the teams are still hard at work to ensure that it happens as quickly as possible.

He also discussed how the Halo 5 team is handling the launch, with earlier, dedicated beta testing, not for promotion, but for stress and bugs.

I’m not a big online gamer, as I typically play games for the single player and co-op aspects. But in the case of Halo, even the co-op functionality was affected. Game crashes, controller latency on the client side. And it continued to plague the game for months.

I have yet to complete Halo 1 or 2 with my friend, and haven’t even started on 3 or 4. Now that the recent “big content patch” is out I will try again and give it a shot.

343 have apologized and gifted 1 month free Xbox Live Gold, and the Halo Reach campaign to those who suffered at launch. It’s a nice thought, and appreciated. I’m just hoping that Halo 5 works, as this collection’s launch was not a stumble, but more like accidentally walking off the cliff backwards.

Phil Harrison Leaving Microsoft?

At GDC, rumours have started to circulate that Corporate VP Phil Harrison is expected to leave Microsoft after only a few years. Microsoft and Xbox Head Phil Spencer have declined to comment at this time.

SimCity Developer, Maxis Emeryville, Closed By EA

Maxis’ headquarters in Emeryville, CA are closing up, as announced by a former employee on Twitter, and since confirmed by EA. Current development is being consolidated to the other Maxis offices.

Maxis was the creator and developer of the SimCity titles and The Sims. The original SimCity being 26 years old now, and 2013’s reboot of the series was poorly received and also suffered from a lot of launch issues.

Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the simulation type games, and had no qualms with the SimCity 2013 reboot. I would agree that some parts of the design were poorly conceived, as it required an online connection to play, for the “online market and resource module” to function. Also the area of creation and lack of land modification tools made it less fun.

I did appreciate the level of detail for the traffic and simulation aspects, but there were a lot of complaints that it wasn’t actually as deep or accurate as we were lead to believe.

Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year

This year at the Game Developer Conference Choice Awards, Monolith’s action title Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor picked up the Game of the Year award. Earlier in the year, at the DICE awards, Shadow of Mordor picked up eight awards, but not the coveted GOTY. Unfortunately this game is still on my shelf, waiting to be played :'(.

The full winners list is as follows:

Best Debut – Stoic Studio (The Banner Saga)
Innovation Award – Monument Valley (ustwo)
Best Technology – Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
Best Audio – Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega)
Ambassador Award – Brenda Romero
Best Visual Art – Monument Valley (ustwo)
Best Narrative – Kentucky Route Zero: Act III (Cardboard Computer)
Pioneer Award – David Braben
Best Design – Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard)
Best Handheld/Mobile Game – Monument Valley (ustwo)
Audience Award – Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments)
Lifetime Achievement Award – Hironobu Sakaguchi
Game of the Year – Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Wireless Adapter for Xbox One Controller on the PC

Exciting news for me, as this is really the only way I can play PC titles that require any sort of moving and looking at the same time.

I was trained on the d-pad with the Nintendo and S-NES, and then single thumb-stick on the N64. Since then, the dual thumb-stick has been permanently engrained. I can’t WASD and mouse with the same accuracy I can with the controller.

I currently use the Xbox One Controller on the PC within Steam, but wired, so this announcement, and guaranteed future purchase, will allow me to play PC games in bed. Good, or Bad? … Who knows?


That’ll be the news of today/ last night.
-iRogan