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Posts Tagged ‘EA

Ultima Returns – EA Bioware Announce ‘Ultima Forever’ As Cross-Platform Free-To-Play Title For PC and iPad Later This Year

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My hopes aren’t terribly high for this, but any new Ultima is good Ultima… right? No? Ok then.

The original Western RPG Ultima, has returned to our screens – EA Bioware has today announced ‘Ultima Forever’ as a cross-platform, pay-to-win free-to-play title from the same label which houses their other free-to-play offerings such as Battlefield Play4Free and Need For Speed: World.

The official website for the new title can be found here where the splurge on the site triumphantly proclaims – ” The first great Western RPG has been lovingly restored in Ultima Forever,”.


If by “lovingly restored’ they mean turned into a cartoony, micro-transaction driven heap of code – then yes, this is VERY lovingly restored.

The site itself has little information on the game, but the information it does care to impart details two classes; The Fighter (“Fighters are one-man armies, trained to engage multiple opponents with a wide variety of attacks”) and The Mage (“With a staff in hand and a spell on their lips, Mages are ready to engage in battle from afar. Use your magical know how to vanquish enemies and assist your allies.”).

Aside from that, the only other bits and pieces of note that are shown is art of the series’ infamous Gypsy character (presumably meaning that you’ll have to do the eight questions of morality shtick when you first generate your character to ascertain what a complete bastard you are) and a map of the world of Britannia which bears more than a passing resemblance to the map used in the antiquated (yet thoroughly fucking awesome when it originally launched) Ultima MMORPG, Ultima Online.

The Ultima series has long been credited as being one of the finest examples of the Western RPG.  First beginning with Ultima I, which was released on the humble Apple II home computer back in June of 1981, the series went on to span many instalments and was lauded for it’s alignment and moral systems that were introduced in later instalments such as Ultima IV and V.  The Ultima series has also served as an inspiration of sorts for a number of high-profile RPG’s and JRPG’s.  Indeed, Ultima III would inspire the developers behind premier JRPG Dragon Quest and the developer of that hugely popular franchise credit the Ultima series with opening their eyes to the creation of large, epic and open-world adventures with complex stories and interesting characters.

The brainchild of eccentric, yet brilliant software designer Richard Garriott, the Ultima IP was left with EA when he broke ties with them after the launch of Ultima Online.    Needless to say, ol’ Dicky Garriott won’t be a part of this project.   Instead, he’s stuck his nose to the grindstone at his new company named Portalarium who are in the midst of developing something very special indeed – their own spiritual successor to 1997’s Ultima Online, codenamed Ultimate RPG / New Britannia.

Portalarium also recently secured $7 million in funding for the project, which really can’t hurt their chances now can it?

The site is also taking beta-sign ups which will be validated through EA’s Origin service here.

I’m going to need a lot more info on this (especially pertaining to just how the cross-platform play side of things will function across PC and iPad) before I make a decision to embrace it cautiously or bombard it with vitriol, but on the face of it, the cartoony designs and free to play business model don’t exactly inspire confidence in me.  At this point i’m far more interest in what Portalarium come up with their ‘Ultimate RPG’ than this.

Written by bitsnark

July 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

EA/DICE Confirms Double XP Weekend For Battlefield 3 This Weekend – Get A Better Return On Your Fragging

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EA has today announced that another ‘Double XP’ weekend is in the works for Battlefield 3 with the next lot of double XP grabbing festivities kicking off June 16 at 8.01am BST. For the uninitated or the painfully slow, this basically means that you’ll receive double the usual amount of XP across all matches on all maps when playing only on ranked servers. The double XP goodness ends June 18th at 7.49am BST and the promotion applies to the game on all formats; 360, PC and PS3.

Just what I need to get to rank 45 then – getting piss sick of seeing everybody else killing me and passively taunting me with their shiny, numbered emblems. The twats.

As an additional note, PC and 360 owners who decided to plonk some of the Queen’s down for Battlefield Premium will find that the Close Quarters expansion is available for download today; PS3 folk got knee deep in that shizz last week.

Written by bitsnark

June 13, 2012 at 9:55 am

E3 2012 – EA Releases Launch Trailer For Battlefield 3 Multiplayer Expansions No.2 – Close Quarters

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Following on from their Battlefield Premium announcement that was leaked here, comes the release of the launch trailer for the first Battlefield 3 DLC expansion pack that has launched since the game did back in September last year (Back to Karkand was available at launch).

Each of the Battlefield 3 expansion packs have been designed with a particular focus in mind.  Therefore, it shouldn’t be too difficult to guess what playstyle ‘Close Quarters’ will be gunning for.  The next pack after this one, Armored Kill, is due to be released in September and will focus almost exclusively on vehicle based combat; giving you huge maps with which to ply your thunderous exchanges of vehicle against vehicle in.

Take a look at the trailer below and see if the focus on infantry combat in ‘Close Quarters’ floats your boat:

Battlefield 3: Close Quarters is available now for free on the PS3 if you’re a Battlefield Premium member.  A week later for 360 and PC owners who are Battlefield Premium members.  A week staggered after that for PS3 and then PC and 360 formats for £9.99/1,200 Microsoft Points respectively.  

The official release schedule  for the expansion can be seen here:


Written by bitsnark

June 5, 2012 at 12:49 am

E3 2012 – EA Press Conference: Need for Speed Most Wanted On-Stage Demonstration & Trailer

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Easily one of the highlights of the EA press conference was the unveiling of the Criterion developed Need for Speed: Most Wanted (not a Most Wanted 2 then? EA must have a low opinion of the original it seems) title, a game which came across a lot more strongly as a spiritual successor to Burnout: Paradise than a bonfide succeeding entry in the Need for Speed franchise that we all know and sometimes love.

Take a peek at the crisp visuals, hellishly fast racing action and open-world shenanigans yourself at the embed below:

Need for Speed: Most Wanted is due to arrive this October on 360, PS3 & PC platforms.

Written by bitsnark

June 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm

E3 2012 – EA Press Conference: Medal of Honor Warfighter On-stage Demonstration And MP Trailer

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A predictable key component of EA’s press conference was always going to be Medal of Honor: Warfighter and EA did not disappoint.

Showing us an on-screen demonstration of an extended single-player sequence, as well as a multiplayer trailer, fans of the franchise and well, shooty things in general, ended up being pretty well serviced.

Take a look at the on-stage demonstration and the multiplayer trailer in the embeds below.  Oh and if you don’t like Linkin Park, you might want to turn the volume down a jot on the multiplayer trailer; it gets ear-violating loud at points:

Medal of Honor: Warfighter is due to arrive on 360, PS3 and PC platforms on October 26th, 2012.  

Written by bitsnark

June 4, 2012 at 9:13 pm

E3 2012 – EA Press Conference: Sim City 5 Trailered

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A nice little gem tucked away amongst the sweaty footballers, screaming guns and gory sphincters of EA’s E3 2012 conference, was the first gameplay trailer for Sim City 5 by developer Maxis.

It looks great.  Though, I can’t say i’d be any good at it – i’d build this huge, fucking sprawling metropolis and then marvel at my creation; forgetting of course, to plumb any of the waterworks – starving my newfound city in the process.

Have a look at the trailer and see if you would fair any better than me (of course you will):

Sim City 5 is due on PC in February 2013.  

Written by bitsnark

June 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm

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E3 2012 – EA Press Conference: Star Wars The Old Republic Forthcoming Content Preview Trailer

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To remind us all that they’re hugely expensive MMO wasn’t dead, EA popped out a trailer showcasing the future of Star Wars The Old Republic, showing off a new race, new operations and other assorted stuff to come in the near future.

The trailer is embedded below:

Star Wars: The Old Republic is available to buy now on PC.  

Written by bitsnark

June 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm

E3 2012 – EA Press Conference: Dead Space 3 On-Stage Demonstration

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What a way to kick off your conference; EA showed off a co-op on-stage demonstration of Dead Space 3.

To say it looked incredible, would be some sort of disgusting understatement.  Those lighting effects are going to cause my 360 to have a stroke I reckon.

Take a look for yourself:

Dead Space 3 is due to arrive on 360, PS3 and PC platforms in February, 2013. 

Written by bitsnark

June 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Pre-E3 2012: EA reveals then pulls, Battlefield Premium trailer. Good thing we have it here then eh?

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In a little boo-boo that’s quite likely to send somebody to the back of the unemployment queue, feasting on a spectacular diet of Transform-A-Snacks and White Lightning, someone at E3 accidentally published the Battlefield Premium trailer a few hours ago.  Obviously, somebody who actually liked their job at EA has since taken it off the internet, preventing the mass-prying eyes from looking at it prematurely.

Well good job we have it here then eh?

The trailer shows off the primary perks of the Battlefield Premium package which include:

  • Access to all five Battlefield 3 expansion packs
  • Two-week early access to every pack from this month’s ‘Close Quarters’ pack onward
  • Access to twenty new guns
  • Access to ten brand new vehicles
  • Additional dog tags and customisables

Best of all, the server says that Battlefield: Premium is out now; though obviously that is complete bollocks – unless of course somebody else at EA has a OCD for signing unemployment cheques.

The trailer can be seen below:

Battlefield: Premium is expected to launch late tonight for around 4000 MSP/£39.99.

Written by bitsnark

June 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

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