Notes from EA’s E3-Adjacent Press Conference 2016

Battlefield at EA
EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson steps out only about 7 minutes late and is excited about “content creators.”

He’s welcoming Peter Moore who is hosting in London via remote stream, so they’re co-hosting?

But then back to Andrew Wilson quickly in LA.

Respawn’s Vince Zampella is onstage to discuss Titanfall 2, and has a video of multiplayer gameplay which will be on Playstation 4 for the first time. Looks fun, I hope that it gets more players on Windows this time, Titanfall 1 was fun.

As was leaked, and Zampella joked about, he’s announcing that Titanfall 2 will have a single-player campaign. A single-player trailer ensues. Release-date October 28th 2016.

On to football with Madden 17 footage. It looks like Football, and Peter Moore is in London telling people who don’t care about American Football about American Football video games.

Peter Moore is now talking about eSports. EA will have three new kinds of events.

EA’s live streaming video interface is so awful I switched to the YouTube player where at least when you click “hide chat” it stays hidden and doesn’t pop out again. The gaming community is out in full force to demonstrate how awful they can be.

A video plays to tell us about how amazing the Madden 16 competition they’re going to have is. Nobody cares. Back on the LA stage an announcer talks to the competitors and makes jokes that nobody thinks are funny.

Back to Peter Moore and he’s talking about how much money they’re putting up ($1 million) for competitions.

Aaron Flynn is on stage from Bioware to talk about Mass Effect: Andromeda. He’s leading by talking about how different the Andromeda galaxy (the game) will be from the previous games. He promises more detail this fall and walks off stage so that a trailer can start. “To Andromeda, to build a new home for humanity” The trailer cuts between in-game footage and shots of animators and artists animating and artisting character models and environments. Protagonist appears to be a woman, get your pitchforks ready gators.

Here’s that trailer:

Back to LA stage, crowd shot where everyone looks bored and they show guy looking at his cell phone. The trailer wasn’t that boring.

Andrew Wilson is talking about how much they love their community. You still can’t gift games on EA’s Origin storefront. They really care about their community. Their community is currently tossing epithets around in their chat. Amazing community.

Now discussing charities. They’re going to add some baloney to various games and donate a million dollars to charity. Well, charity is equally important as eSports to EA in terms of dollars.

Back to Peter Moore in London and discussing FIFA 17, finally he’s talking about the correct football for his audience. A trailer shows how the game has changed over time. It’s now using the Frostbite engine as a logo with a bass drop confirms. Back on stage Alex Hunter (no idea who that is) is here in his Dr. Tracksuit cosplay talking about his dreams of playing football.

Apparently there was a real Alex Hunter who played for the Tottenham Hotspurs, according to Wikipedia. I assumed that team was a joke made up by A trailer demonstrates his career path in FIFA 17’s “The Journey” which is a single player campaign.

Peter Moore is back to tell us that for the first time Premier League managers are appearing in-game. A bunch of bizarre uncanny valley screenshots of faces that look like they’re made out of clay appear on the screen behind him. Moore introduces Manchester United’s manager onstage.

Peter Moore assures us that the manager’s model in-game looks great, it looks terrible.

They chat a bit. It is not entertaining.

Peter Moore introduces FIFA producer Aaron McHardy. He has another trailer to show us. The trailer has gameplay improvements to ball handling and lots of discussion of balls without any hint of irony. FIFA is serious business.

Patrick Soderlund is here to tell us about how they surprised us last year with Unravel. It was pretty surprising. He reintroduces EA Originals which I’m pretty sure was originally the name of something they had back when Mirror’s Edge came out. Well, it’s back, in pog form, to fund third party developers.

Klaus is here from a third party studio in Sweden under EA Originals to tell us about a game called Fe. Fe is apparently about our relationship with nature. It looks like a 3D platformer and very much reminds me of Ori and the Blind Forest. Klaus tells us that the game is going to be open-ended and won’t have much direction in-game telling you what to do. The trailer looks good and very stylized.

Jade Raymond is now on-stage to tell us about the Star Wars games EA is working on. Opened the chat for a second and saw a “Sieg Heil”. Closed the chat again.

Jade tells us about a new game coming from Visceral in 2018 with Amy Hennig but no footage so far. Respawn’s Star Wars game is mentioned.

A trailer plays to tell us about what braaaaand experiences EA is working on. DICE talks about updates coming to Battlefront. Respawn shows an embarassing mocap session with actors. Capital Games talks about their terrible free-to-play garbage game for mobile devices. Visceral is talking about grounding the familiar in the unfamiliar. We finally see some in-game footage from her game but it’s very short shot of a desert planet scene. I could really go for a dessert planet right now, haven’t had lunch yet.

Patrick Soderlund is back to tell us about Battlefield 1 and it’s unique take on World War 1. We get some footage of the game with a bird trying to escape a tank. Odd. Biplanes attacking an airship.

Patrick Bach from DICE is on stage now. He has a gameplay trailer. Here it is:

From the side of the stage we see Zac Efron and Jamie Foxx who will apparently be playing the game after the show.

Patrick is Bach to tell us about how the game has changed. Destruction is supposed to be much improved as well as weather effects. Vehicles get an upgrade with behemoths, airships, armored trains. The game comes out October 21st. I am psyched. Open beta this summer. Maybe the game won’t be so broken at launch? Unlikely.

We now see more of the same trailer we saw earlier. Bird flapping about tank, etc. See it embedded above. A burning zeppeline falls to the ground on a town, looking quite impressive. It’s not clear if this is multiplayer or single player. Horses with riders armed with swords stampede to attack an armored train.

Peter Moore is back to close things out. He quickly gets back to Andrew Wilson and that’s the show.

A bunch of obnoxious YouTube personalities are now broadcasting some Battlefield 1 gameplay. I’ve got to mute it because they’re really loud and really terrible. Gaming culture in 2016 is the worst.

Battlefield 1’s Announcement Trailer

It’s difficult to write about today’s Battlefield 1 announcement. What DICE showed today was a completely computer-generated trailer. It does promise new biplanes, airships, sea ships, horses, multi-position bombers, flamethrowers, swords, and slap flights with shovels. But without any gameplay footage, it’s hard to say what we can actually expect from the finished product when it arrives this October 21st for Playstation 4, Windows, and Xbox One.

That said, I enjoyed watching this trailer more than the new Call of Duty trailer.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

I loved DICE’s Mirror’s Edge and rated it highly. It was different from so many other first-person games in that the focus was on running and movement instead of combat.

The only real failures in the first game were when the game forced you into combat and a not-so-great story. The sequel to Mirror’s Edge was first announced in 2013 and DICE’s Sara Jansson finally gave it a name today:

Mirror’s Edge has always had a special place in the hearts of all of us at DICE. The first game had a lot of promise. It was unlike anything else in terms of the gameplay and style – it had a unique soul. But as much as we loved that game, we knew it could be more. So that’s what we have set out to do as we introduce Mirror’s Edge to a new generation.

The team has spent a lot of time re-evaluating every aspect of the game and making it a new experience. This is not a sequel, this is not Mirror’s Edge 2. We have landed on a vision that honors the first game – pushing the boundaries of first person movement and diving deeper into the story behind our heroine Faith – but also brings a lot of great new, interesting gameplay and features to the experience for our players.

So on behalf on the entire team here at DICE, we can’t wait to show you what we have been pouring our heart and soul into. We can’t wait to introduce you to Mirror’s Edgeâ„¢ Catalyst.

BF2 Patch 1.50 Released

Battlefield 2 1.50
Stay Sharp, Stay Logical, Stay Supreme
The patch is available from numerous sites but they’ve allocated so little bandwidth to this 2GB file that I was reduced to tears, until I remembered these guys. For some of you, this will be the first time you’ve used a file-sharing program for a completely legal purpose, so savor the moment. You’ll need to install a torrent client of course.

Game Updates

Battlefield 2 1.50 Report

Battlefield 2 1.50

The OLNEY clan went out for a spin with the Battlefield 2 1.50 beta patch tonight. By far the best new feature is that the disc is no longer required to be in the drive while playing. This game is 4 years old now; why keep up that ridiculous charade?

Also new to the patch is the map you can see above, Operation Blue Pearl. This is a Chinese versus the United States map, and it is really well done in my opinion. Armor and infantry battle it out at various points along the map. Some of the bridges are raised high with slopes on which you can hide anti-tank mines. There is even a path for water vehicles and a unique sniper perch similar to the one in Gulf of Oman.

The ability for native wide screen support is also a very welcome addition.

The beta 1.50 patch’s real issues are that some people are having trouble getting their joysticks working, most everyone is having issues even joining servers, and that hardly anybody is using 1.50. I’d guess they’re staying away due to the bugs.

It is really incredible that DICE has managed to add so much to Battlefield 2 over these years and left so many flaws in. The game still takes longer to load a level than Crysis or Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. Unfortunately, this patch retains the bug where you have to go into task manager (CTRL+ALT+ESC) and set your processor affinity to just one CPU instead of two, otherwise the game is unstable online. Why?

Oh well, it is still Battlefield and I’m happy to be able to keep my disc out of the drive. Hopefully DICE will put enough resources behind BF2 1.50 and actually fix the issues in short order. 1.50 has taken a long time and the community remains strong in the face of games with arguably better infantry feel mainly due to the larger maps and more interesting vehicles.

Battlefield 1943’s Release Date, Price & Wake Island Vid

We’ve got word from Battlefield HQ that 1943 will see release on Playstation 3 and Xbox Live Arcade this June for $15 and later on PC this September. Hopefully it can match even a small amount of the impact 1942 had. This will be the first Battlefield PC release to use the Frostbite engine from Battlefield: Bad Company, which was a console-only release.

Though it has the engine going for it, the price is low due to the inclusion of only three maps and a reduced set of classes.
Check out the first video of Wake Island as rendered in 1943 after the break.
Continue reading “Battlefield 1943’s Release Date, Price & Wake Island Vid”

Battlefield 2 1.50 Beta Patch

The Olney group playing Battlefield 2

Finally, DICE and EA have released the 1.50 Beta Patch for Battlefield 2. It adds one new map (Blue Pearl) and includes the previously optional download of Highway Tampa. Here is the complete list of changes:

  • Additional support for Windows Vista.
  • Added Highway Tampa as a required map.
  • Added a new map called Operation Blue Pearl.
  • Added support for Widescreen resolutions
  • Added support for the Novint Falcon controller – www.novint.com
  • Changes made to both the J10 and F35B to make them more balanced. Please note that the J10 is a superior dogfighter to the F35B and as such these two aircraft will never be equally matched.
  • AA targeting tweaked to make it more effective.
  • Added checks to prevent “runway grieving”.
  • Various changes made to prevent cheating.
  • Tweaked the hit detection, hits will be more accurate to the model.
  • Increased the time to go prone after jumping from 0.3 seconds to 0.7 seconds
  • Fixed G36E HUD during sprinting to match other weapons.

The update comes in pretty huge at 1.26GB and requires the game to be updated to version 1.41 already.

Get it from AtomicGamer or FileShack.