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Battlefront photo
Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront won't have a server browser


Because matchmaking always works...
Sep 02
// Joe Parlock
DICE has a history of controversy when it comes to server browsers in its games. Before release, there was a lot of criticism of Battlelog in Battlefield 3, which saw the server list removed from the game and shoved into your...
Star Wars: Battlefront photo
Star Wars: Battlefront

EA provides details for Star Wars Battlefront October beta


Coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One
Sep 01
// Chris Carter
EA  has spilled some details for the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront beta. It'll be available in early October on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One platforms, and is a technical test that will feature 40-person battles on Hoth, p...
Star Wars Battlefront photo
Star Wars Battlefront

EA shares first details for Star Wars Battlefront's new planet


Battle of Jakku
Aug 27
// Chris Carter
The desert planet of Jakku is set to make its film debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens later this year. But it's also making its game debut earlier in December, once Star Wars: Battlefront hits. EA has shared some news rega...

Review: Madden 16

Aug 25 // Steven Hansen
Madden NFL 16 (PlayStation 4 [reviewed], Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: EA TiburonPublisher: EA SportsReleased: August 25, 2015MSRP: $59.99 Madden 16 makes an interesting opening gambit, once again going right into a game, this time a fabricated Super Bowl 50 starring the Cardinals and Steelers. No one wanted to watch that match up seven years ago (except me because of the Kurt Warner), but EA insists on framing this nostalgia-less, fake match up with Any Given Sunday editing, close ups on players, and even tepid, badly-acted football dialogue, the kind of jawing written by someone who has not played sport.  Fuck, is it boring. It introduces new (very simple) catching mechanics in painful slow motion setting up situations (oh, one of the teams is trailing!) we're supposed to have emotions in, like I have any stake in Fake Super Bowl 50, like I'm supposed to feel something when alleged rapist Ben Roethlisberger (who narrates later tutorials) tells his mates, "It's time to be the team we're supposed to be right now. Believe in the man to your left and to your right. It's our time right now" like he's reading commercial cue cards. At least the San Jose 49ers' digital Levi's Stadium field hasn't turned to pudding like the real one. This is what Madden is, though. In past years I have creatively ripped on the series for aggressive advertisements of real-world products, which this one seems to have toned down significantly (unless they're coming dynamically as updates post launch). But! Madden is a yearly advertisement for the NFL. From the start menu it encouraged me to share my information with the NFL, promising digital playing cards as a reward. This is what it means to have exclusivity rights to the only meaningful football league (because no one internationally gives a shit), the commodification of players. It is cool to see the increased likeness of Arizona's head coach whose fascinating neck folds and face-scanned pores have him looking like a corrugated version of Dana Carvey's turtliest member of the turtle club. [embed]307755:60128:0[/embed] In 2006 (that would make it Madden 07) I distinctly remember when I fell into the habit of abusing slot receivers instead of number one and number two wide receivers. This meant a lot of balls to the perfectly serviceable Kevin Curtis instead of two of the greats, Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. The worst thing about those slot receiver posts, or crossing routes over the middle, has always been linebackers undercutting the passes for picks. Here is the scenario: a player looks reasonably open for a pass. It is a pass any NFL quarterback could make. It is a pass I, an idiot with bad knees, could make. You throw it with a nice arc over the front defensive layer and before the safeties. Madden has never wanted to give you that pass and it has taken near 10 years for the series to introduce "touch passing," a double tap that lets you drop balls into open zones. Ten years. Low and high throws are executed by holding L1 (high) or L2 (low) while passing. The passing game has seen the most new features added this year. Aside from the aforementioned quarterback stuff, there are three types of catches, done by holding one of three buttons while the ball is in the air en route to the receiver. The Aggressive catch (triangle) is for leaping catches and bodying cornerbacks. RAC (square) encourages the player to make a catch in motion and continue running up field, provided they're not about to be clocked. Possession catches (x) are for keeping feet in-bounds or making sure the receiver hangs on to a first down. These useful buttons encourage more user interaction during catches and also speak to a refined interplay between defensive backs and receivers. On the other side of the ball, you can have defenders play the ball (hold triangle) to go for an interception or deflection, or more conservatively play the receiver (hold x) to ensure you make a tackle and possibly knock the ball from them. There is much more realistic jockeying for body position and faithful physics so long as you don't stare too closely at the instant replays. Eventually you'll notice some similar, more dramatic catch animations (a particular one-handed one stuck out), but it is a plus on the whole for verisimilitude, for giving weight and feeling to awesome athletes interacting in a confined space. That's about it, though. There are some neat presentation additions (statistic graphics overlaid on players) and the menus are well laid out, though they are also pretty slow. Load times, too, are still a bit of a problem (and intrusive presentation elements are bothersome when running a hurry up offense). The insistence towards microtransaction-laden Ultimate Team and the new fantasy football-cribbed Draft Champions modes is useless. Throwing, catching, and defending throws have seen some welcomed, long-ignored additions that get a couple yards closer to faithful simulation. You can decide if that's enough. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Madden reviewed photo
Mildly deflated
I do feel, some, for Electronic Arts and the people responsible for making Madden every year. This is only my 4th year (out of  27 releases) covering it and I fear I may have peaked with last year's review. But like a fr...


Madden 16 photo
Madden 16

EA goes way over the top to promote Madden


We didn't see this coming
Aug 21
// Brett Makedonski
EA Sports' promotion of Madden has largely been the same for years now. Gameplay trailers, new features, interviews with developers -- we've been there and done that. This is different. This is...weird. And, kind of amazing....
American McGee photo
American McGee

American McGee encourages petition for Alice series' rights


Despite EA's disinterest
Aug 18
// Zack Furniss
American McGee's Alice series holds a special place in many a gamer's (queen of) hearts for its grim take on Lewis Carroll's classic tale. Despite a lackluster sequel, there are still fans holding out hope for a third ga...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Star Wars: Battlefront PS4 bundle announced, comes with remastered classic Star Wars games


Mmmmm, red D-pad
Aug 16
// Zack Furniss
A new Star Wars PlayStation 4 bundle was just announced at the Disney D23 Expo. Darth Vader's visage is emblazoned across the top of the console, and the controller has a sweet red D-Pad. You get cool white analog sticks that...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

EA on Star Wars Battlefront: Most people would've skipped single-player


'That's what the data points to'
Aug 13
// Jordan Devore
Do you play the campaign in games like Call of Duty and Battlefield or head straight to multiplayer? During a wide-ranging interview with GameSpot, Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore commented on the lack of a campaign mode in ...
NHL 16 photo
NHL 16

Patrick Kane taken off NHL 16 cover during sexual assault investigations


No new cover announced
Aug 12
// Brett Makedonski
Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane has legal troubles, as he's the subject of a recent rape allegation. The incident allegedly took place at Kane's lakefront home in Hamburg, New York last week, though he has not yet been c...
Need for Speed photo
The experience is built around Autolog
The new Need for Speed reboot is an always-online experience, which might be a bit of a damper if you live in an area with a less than stellar Internet connection. But them's the breaks, I guess. According to executive produc...

Star Wars Battlefront's Fighter Squadron mode needs some variation

Aug 08 // Brett Makedonski
The build of Fighter Squadron that we saw essentially operates as a team deathmatch. There were X-Wings battling against TIE Fighters -- ten humans to a side with another ten AI-controlled vehicles, which brings the total to 40 players in each game. Aside from attempting to shoot down others, occasional large transport ship would spawn. They needed to be either defended or destroyed. The way your ship functions is the best thing about Fighter Squadron. Everyone has a set of blasters that are prone to overheating, a homing missile that's effective (yet still challenging to use properly), and a set of evasive maneuvers. The difference between sides is that TIE Fighters have a boost mechanic, while the X-Wings get a shield. The trick is that everything needs to be used in moderation because reusing it all is on a short timer. Generally, this sort of fast ability freeze-out wouldn't be too big of a deal, but it is because of the pace that Fighter Squadron moves at. With all the other pilots making quick cuts across the battlefield, you need to perfectly time when you pull your punches. Otherwise, your lasers get lost in the great void. [embed]297271:59829:0[/embed] For a more authentic experience, players can switch to a cockpit view. This first-person seat is where Fighter Squadron looks the greatest but plays the worst. As previously mentioned, this mode is relentlessly fast. Trying to play from the pilot's seat only decreases the already limited time to get off a good shot. Despite everyone controlling a standard vehicle, Fighter Squadron has bigger opportunities. Power-up icons put the player in a hero ship -- The Millenium Falcon and Boba Fett's Slave I are the two we were told about. We didn't see either, but those situations will likely draw the attention of everyone in the skies. These hero ships are an example of the potential that Fighter Squadron holds but doesn't live up to yet. Simple team deathmatch grows old quickly, as it needs more variation. TIE Interceptors, A-Wings, and Y-Wings are all planned and might accomplish that goal if they play differently enough from one another. Better objectives need to be implemented too. Defending and attacking transports felt largely without consequence and tacked-on. Star Wars isn't necessarily all about dogfighting, but it's integral enough to the franchise that it can't be overlooked either. If Star Wars Battlefront is going to be the seminal title in the series for the foreseeable future, it needs to do dogfighting right. Fighter Squadron just misses that mark because it isn't quite interesting enough yet. There's still time for that to change, though.
Battlefront preview photo
For now, it's a nice distraction
Thoughts of dogfighting over the surface of the planet Sullust should raise your heartbeat a little bit. It's an exciting prospect. Really, that goes for piloting any vessel in the Star Wars canon through any franchise l...

Electronic Arts photo
Electronic Arts

EA moves UK release dates to align with mainland Europe


24 hours early!
Aug 07
// Vikki Blake
Electronics Arts will align its UK release dates with the rest of Europe. This means that rather having to wait for the industry-standard of a Friday here on old Blighty, we'll be able to snag our PAL UK copies a whole day ea...
EA Access photo
EA Access

Dragon Age: Inquisition is free with EA Access


Still only on Xbox One
Aug 05
// Jordan Devore
EA Access continues to be a surprisingly good value for Xbox One owners. The service has added Dragon Age: Inquisition to its lineup as promised. If you're a subscriber ($4.99 per month, $29.99 per year), you can download and...
FIFA 2016 photo
FIFA 2016

FIFA 2016's FUT Draft mode gets a trailer


Oh that banter what cheeky legends
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
Want to see two footballers have some incredibly forced “top quality bants”? Want to have your soul ripped out of your eye sockets and fed to a swarming flurry of crows? Well don’t worry, EA has you covered...
The Sims 4 photo
The Sims 4

The Sims 4 go European with the Get Together expansion


Windenburg looks like a fantasy MMO
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
EA has announced a new expansion pack for The Sims 4, the Get Together expansion pack. The new expansion will bring in a European-style city called Windenburg, and is due to be released in November this year. EA has said it ...
Star Wars Battlefront photo
Star Wars Battlefront

Fighter Squadron brings dogfights to Battlefront


FINALLY!!!
Aug 05
// Laura Kate Dale
Today at gamescom we got our first trailer for Fighter Squadron, a twenty person dogfight mode for Star Wars Battlefront. You can pilot a bunch of different ships, including the Millenium Falcon, and there will be twenty AI fighters flying in the skies alongside the twenty human players. Yep, this looks pretty cool. I'm glad we finally have this confirmed for the game.
Garden Warfare 2 photo
Garden Warfare 2

Garden Warfare 2 gets interstellar as Grass Effect


What even is this?
Aug 05
// Laura Kate Dale
Sooooooo, we all know that Garden Warfare 2 is Plants Vs Zombies' attempt to parody big budget Call of Duty shooters, but apparently the game is also going to feature content inspired by the Mass Effect series. If you pre-ord...
Knights of the Fallen Emp photo
Knights of the Fallen Emp

New Star Wars: The Old Republic - Knights of the Fallen Empire trailer shows off gameplay


Back to 'BioWare-style storytelling'?
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
BioWare has shown off some more of its upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, at gamescom. The newest trailer that actually shows gameplay can be seen above. The expansion will feature ...
Mirror's Edge Catalyst photo
Mirror's Edge Catalyst

Sprint over here and watch the first Mirror's Edge Catalyst gameplay trailer


Daaaaamn this looks good
Aug 05
// Laura Kate Dale
Finally, Mirror's Edge Catalyst has gameplay footage available for you all to watch. Thank you gamescom. So, what did we learn from this new footage? Well, we learned that Catalyst looks a lot like the original Mirror's Edge, with combat discouraged in favour of running and being a rebellious badass. So, I'm reassured that this should be the Mirror's Edge game I am hoping for. Fantastic news.
Need for Speed photo
Need for Speed

Need for Speed trailer shows us some surprisingly good FMVs


We're well above Night Trap quality now
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
EA has released a new trailer for the upcoming Need for Speed, showing off some of the FMVs that will be featured in the game and some of the main characters who we’ll meet in it. I’m not a big driving game fan, ...
gamescom photo
gamescom

'Xbox players love their fut' and crappy FIFA deals


Xbox One bundle, week early access
Aug 04
// Steven Hansen
That is FIFA Ultimate Team, the thing EA uses to somehow make more money than just releasing a new FIFA every year (two when it's a World Cup year). "FUT fans this is a deal for you." Xbox One folks get FIFA 16 one week early...
Unravel photo
Unravel

Adorable yarn adventure Unravel releasing in early 2016


I want him to live in my pocket
Jul 31
// Laura Kate Dale
Without a doubt, the star of E3 this year was Yarny, the adorable woolen hero of EA's upcoming faux indie release Unravel. He's just so gosh damn adorable, as is his nervously cute creator who we met at E3. For those of you j...
Battlefront photo
Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront has a team deathmatch mode, too


Blast off! Up to the stars we go
Jul 30
// Brett Makedonski
There's an explanation for nearly all action in the Star Wars universe, but sometimes you don't want to lean on reasoning as an excuse to shoot first. Sometimes you do it because it feels right (and because you want to a...
Titanfall photo
Titanfall

Nexon and EA partner up to bring Titanfall Online to Asia


Titanfall-flavoured free-to-play PC action
Jul 29
// Vikki Blake
Electronic Arts has teamed up with Nexon to bring a free-to-play version of Titanfall to Asia. Details are scant, but we do know it'll be available on PC and called, unsurprisingly, Titanfall Online. Talking to IGN, Nexon pre...
NHL 16 photo
NHL 16

NHL 16 goalie trailer shows none of the best things Patrick Roy ever did


Home of the Roypper
Jul 24
// Brett Makedonski
Goaltenders have exactly one job: tend to the goal. Don't let the puck hit the twine. Accomplish that through whatever means necessary. Force them to the glove side where you make web gems like Willie Mays. Flash the five-ho...
Madden tricks photo
Madden tricks

Madden 16 screenshots lie about Marshawn Lynch dick-grabbing mechanic


I'm just here so I don't get fined
Jul 23
// Steven Hansen
Madden 16 used the above photo for Marshawn Lynch in its running backs player rating reveal. He is, naturally, number one at 96 overall. He cannot, however, grab his dick in defiance, as he is wont to do in real life. Seriously, watch this.
Battlefront photo
Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront will be a part of Xbox One's EA Access program


Play it before launch
Jul 21
// Chris Carter
When Star Wars Battlefront is released later this year, EA Access will provide Xbox One owners a way to play it early, Phil Spencer confirms. This is likely similar to their previous early access offerings, which typically pr...
Alongside Messi photo
Alongside Messi

Women's national team players grace FIFA 16 cover


Alongside Messi
Jul 20
// Steven Hansen
FIFA 16 marks a first for the series with its inclusion of women footballers in the form of 12 playable women's international teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Swede...
Xbox One bundle photo
Xbox One bundle

This Xbox One bundle has Madden NFL 16 and a year of EA Access


Good head start
Jul 20
// Jordan Devore
Microsoft is rolling out another Xbox One bundle on August 18, 2015 and if you're into sports games, it's worth a look. For $399, it comes with a 1TB hard drive, Madden NFL 16, and a year subscription to EA Access. The latter...
NHL 16 photo
NHL 16

NHL 16 video shows off the literal small steps the game's taking


On Frozen Pond
Jul 15
// Brett Makedonski
Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon isn't always going to zoom up ice, spin around Blackhawk blue-liners, and leave Corey Crawford looking for his jock in the rafters. I mean, that'll happen a good chunk of the time, but not ...

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