Category Archives: EA

Titanfall: Respawn Introduces the Black Market

The Black Market  (Insert from Titanfall.com)

The Frontier may be rich in resources, but it’s also rich with conflict. As a Pilot, you want to be prepared for anything, and sometimes, standard issue just isn’t enough to get the job done. Sometimes, you need to look elsewhere for an edge. Welcome to the seedy underbelly of the Frontier, Pilot – The Black Market.

The Black Market collects and sells the Frontier’s most sordid items like packs of random Burn Cards and Titan Insignias. Don’t ask where we got them. You don’t want to know.

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Respawn announced today that players will be able to purchase burn cards and titan insignias with in-game currency (credits) at the Black Market, a new store that will be added via an update sometime soon. Credits can be earned from match victories, match completions, a player’s first victory of the day, completing daily challenges, and by selling burn cards. Additionally, once a player reaches level 50, part of their experienced earned will be converted to credits, a great feature for 10th Gen players!

Game Designer, David Shaver, went on to assure players that the Black Market is not in any way an attempt to announce microtransactions. The Black Market is actually a very unique way to not only add more reward to Titanfall, but it also engages a spark of story to the booming FPS. The Black Market was previously mentioned in the description of the map, Smuggler’s Cove, so it’s great to see Respawn build on that. For more on Titanfall and Xbox One, we’ve got you covered at DS90’s!

– Caleb Stiles

Battlefront Inspires Nostalgia, Hope, and Just a Bit of Fear

When the name Star Wars: Battlefront is mentioned, a wave of childhood dreams slowly follow. From being able to fly an X-Wing around Cloud City, to piloting an AT-AT in the Battle of Hoth, from playing as the wise Jedi Yoda, to crushing the Rebellion with Darth Vader; you were able to become one with the Star Wars universe and turn the tides of the battles that we all grew up watching on the big screen.

Both Battlefront games have left a legacy that have placed them as two of the greatest Star Wars games of all time, but could that legacy be lived up to in Battlefront 3? Not much is known about the third installment of the Battlefront series, not even a release date. The DICE design team have been hard at work taking visits to the Skywalker Ranch and to many of the filming locations that were seen in the movies. The only content that we have seen is a teaser trailer from DICE that illudes to that battle of Hoth. The dev team did make a trip to the filming location for the Battle of Endor for their research of the game. Other than these two bits of information we are unsure of what other content will be in the game.

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It is unsure when the game is planned to be released, or if it will have new content from the new movie. Both games that were released had content from nearly all of the movies in the Star Wars saga. If content from the new movie will be in the game then it is more than likely that the release will be in 2016.

Whatever the date of the release will be, it is certain that the diehard Star Wars fans, young and old, will want to purchase the game. For those fans that have played the two previous games it will be one more installment of a great trilogy of games as memorable as the original trilogy that started it all.

-Tanner Hall

E3 2014 Press Conference Review: EA – Missed Potential

EA has some incredible games coming just around the corner, and even better titles still early in concept.  As EA took the stage for their E3 2014 Press Conference, we didn’t know what to expect, but our fingers were crossed for more info on titles like Star Wars: Battlefront, Mass Effect, and Mirror’s Edge. EA took an interesting approach this year, and focused almost half of their conference on games that were early in concept or prototype, a direction they don’t typically pursue. Here’s our review!

Star Wars Battlefront Early Concept
Star Wars Battlefront Early Concept

EA started off  strong with Star Wars Battlefront, and even went as far as to show off early in-engine footage of the game (pictured above). Battlefront is primarily being developed by EA’s DICE Stockholm, a group of enthusiastic developers that all grew up with a burning passion for the Star Wars Universe.  the DICE Stockholm team traveled to the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to show their enthusiasm and commitment of “staying as true to the films as possible”. While Battlefront is still very early in development, it was very nice to see some follow up detail from last year’s teaser, and welcoming evidence that they are taking this hyped title forward with the necessary steps. EA’s press conference then continued to one of the game industry’s best storytellers, BioWare. The BioWare team kicked things off with a great musical introduction of Dragon Age: Inquisition, then moved on to a very short concept preview of Mass Effect and a completely new IP.

Mass Effect at E3 2014 (EA)
Mass Effect at E3 2014 (EA)

EA then had a very slow middle portion of their conference running through games like Sims 4, UFC, and NHL 15. UFC was introduced with the iconic Bruce Lee “Be Like Water” speech to much applause, but Sims 4 and NHL 15 failed to gain as much excitement from the fans in the conference. Continuing their long line of concept/prototype announcements, EA’s Criterion Games then introduced a brand new extreme vehicle racer IP, featuring vehicles and extreme sports ranging from ATVs to squirrel suits and helicopters!

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Criterion Games’ Extreme Vehicle Racer IP

After Criterion’s IP announcement, EA then flew through PGA Tour, Madden 15, and their new two-lane MOBA, Dawngate.  With only three titles left to show, EA finally attempted to pick up the pace with the much hyped Mirror’s Edge sequel, but failed to deliver by only showing off some more prototype “early-engine” gameplay. EA then touched on FIFA 15, promising a much more intelligent AI presence, promoting a “living  and breathing pitch”. The stadiums are also getting a major overhaul, ushering in FIFA 15’s tagline, “Feel the Game”.

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FIFA 15 – Feel the Game

EA and Visceral Games pulled their final trick out of their hats, Battlefield Hardline. I thought I would never be pulled back into Battlefield after all of the BF4 server issues during the console launch of last year, but Visceral has blown me away with Hardline, along with everybody else. Starting off with the blood-pumping “Into the Jungle” trailer, executive producer Steve Papoutsis then introduced us to a gameplay demo, introducing Hardline’s “cops and robbers” 32 player Heist mode. Hardline successfully does everything that Battlefield traditionally does wrong. Expanded spaces and 64 player matches put their toll on the servers in BF4, but Hardline meets a happy medium with smaller maps and 32 player focused matches. 64 player matches may still be in Hardline, but the primary Heist Mode focuses the multiplayer on smaller more controlled matches, a welcoming change to the Battlefield series. Visceral games promises to completely change the impact the campaign has on Battlefield as well, with a much more immersive  and convincing campaign, that feels much more like a “crime-scene drama” than a traditional shooter campaign. Check out the official trailer below!

EA had the absolute potential to blow gamers away this year with game-changing titles like Battlefront, Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mirror’s Edge and Battlefield Hardline, but unfortunately missed their chance. The excitement for these titles just wasn’t present on or off the stage, with the exception of Star Wars: Battlefront and Battlefield Hardline. A great introduction and conclusion fueled EA’s conference with the right potential, but a weak and rushed “filler” between these highlight lost the excitement of the press conference, and those on stage even seemed to represent the lack of thrill. With tons of great games in concept or prototype stages, EA has exactly what they need to blow fans away year after year, as long as they learn to capitalize on that content in the future.

Check out the entire conference below for yourself, and leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below. Stay tuned for our other E3 2014 Press Conference Reviews!

Score: 6/10

– Caleb Stiles