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How Battlefield Hardline has got better since beta

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How Battlefield Hardline has got better since beta

We’d originally expected to be holding down left-click to read a perp’s rights to them before Christmas - but early beta feedback was so sharp-tongued that Battlefield Hardline was delayed into 2015.

There’ll be another Battlefield Hardline beta before launch, in which we’ll get to test everything Visceral have changed about the shooter since June. Executive producer Steve Papoutsis says we can expect new approaches to all sorts: especially heavy weapons, faction distinction and recoil.

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Bioware address concerns over the absence of healers in Dragon Age: Inquisition

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Bioware address concerns over the absence of healers in Dragon Age: Inquisition

It looks like the Templars have stolen all the healers from the upcoming third installment, Dragon Age: Inquisition. While there’s no dedicated healer class, there are instead a multitude of ways of preventing and dealing with damage. Potions and certain abilities effects give your characters a health buffer that enemies will have to whittle through before getting to your precious red stuff.

Bioware developer Patrick Weekes has taken to the forums to quell the concerns of the community. “I've completed two playthroughs of Dragon Age: Inquisition on Normal, and I'm now working through a playthrough on Hard." said Weekes. “Here were my concerns, and here is what I've found and how I've handled things."

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DICE: "we lost player trust" because of Battlefield 4 launch

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DICE: "we lost player trust" because of Battlefield 4 launch

It is a matter of public record that Battlefield 4 had a shonky launch, with players, developers and publishers now all in agreement that the DICE shooter touched down with all the grace and elegance of a swan landing on a motorway because it's stupid swan-brain thinks roads look like rivers. Get it together, swans.

But while swans refuse to change their ways or admit to their mistakes, an introspective DICE are admitting that the woeful launch and subsequent issues that have plagued Battlefield 4 have harmed player trust in the series.

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You might find a ghost on your toilet in Sims 4 this month, and in your pools in November

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You might find a ghost on your toilet in Sims 4 this month, and in your pools in November

If you’re suddenly seeing your deceased Sims return to life in a more ethereal form, don’t panic: it’s just a new free update to The Sims 4 to celebrate that spooky time at the end of the month. Your beloved Sims that have passed away now may roam your household causing all sorts of mischief. Their behaviour is influenced by how they bit the dust; I hope no one died in a house fire.

Next month we’ll also see the return of pools, which is nice. You can expect to see the population of ghosts who died by drowning to sharply increase when that happens.

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Before the Fall Patch: long-awaited Battlefield 4 fixes due today on Origin

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Before the Fall Patch: long-awaited Battlefield 4 fixes due today on Origin

DICE will implement a “fairly massive" list of Battlefield 4 fixes today. You can tell the 1.16GB update’s a biggie because it has a name rather than a number: the Fall Patch will address many of the issues that’ve most irked players in recent months, including problems with the HUD, ‘netcode’, player movement and peering through reticules.

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Visceral on Battlefield Hardline: "we take shipping a working game pretty seriously"

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Visceral on Battlefield Hardline: "we take shipping a working game pretty seriously"

We can all remember the bug-ridden launch of Battlefield 4, which thankfully has gotten a lot better these days. DICE sure does, and it also extends to Visceral - the developers of the upcoming Battlefield Hardline. Speaking to GameRevolution at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, creative director Ian Milham wants to reassure us that this time it will be different.

“What you're basically asking is, 'Is your game going to work?' and the answer is yes, it's gonna work."

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Battlefield 4 "Autumn Patch" sheds all the bugs; further improves netcode

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Battlefield 4 "Autumn Patch" sheds all the bugs; further improves netcode

It’s time for some spring autumn cleaning in Battlefield 4, and there’s hefty long patch notes to go with it. Most notable is the further improvement to the infamous netcode, which is now set automatically to high as default to all users. A slew of game modes are also being added to Obliteration Competitive sub-game mode. Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper patch without weapon changes too.

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The Sims 4 review

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The Sims 4 review

The Sims 4 is a game in which you can get angry and do an angry poop into a toilet. It's a game in which, if you read a book about mischief for long enough, you can convince another person to streak through their neighbourhood. It's a game with an option to shower in such a way that your Sim comes out feeling "flirty". And if that's not a euphemism for giving yourself a soapy seeing to in the bathroom, I don't know what is.

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Titanfall map Zone 18 eliminates rooftop advantage to foster a pilots' massacre

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Titanfall map Zone 18 eliminates rooftop advantage to foster a pilots' massacre

Titanfall’s a game that pits squishy mech pilots against solid steel titan-class mechs. Often the best way to survive out of the cockpit is climb as high as you can and then shoot down on the mechs and pilots in the streets below. Zone 18, one of the new maps coming in the IMC Rising update, eliminates that tactic by making all the buildings a single story.

Limited rooftop cover means it’s going to be a massacre for anyone hoping to camp.

Zone 18’s all about keeping on the move.

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The Sims 4: I trapped a man in a box and forced him to learn to play the piano

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The Sims 4: I trapped a man in a box and forced him to learn to play the piano

The Sims 4 allows you to virtually recreate any human being, from their hair colour and whether they walk a bit funny, down to the beautiful nuances of their souls and how their skeleton tastes. The Sims you control can have skills and hobbies that they can practise and improve over time. Besides clicking on a postman over and over again until he has sex with you, improving these skills is one of the few things to do in the game.

But how quickly can you drag a sausage-fingered sim from amateur keyboard smasher to virtuoso pianist? I found out by locking one in a room and not letting him out until he'd learned to play. This is his story.

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Battlefield Hardline is getting another beta before launch

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Battlefield Hardline is getting another beta before launch

We’re used to the beta as pre-order incentive - the forkfull of bolognaise stolen from the pan while it’s still cooking. So it was a surprise to us, and one suspects to Visceral Games, when the Battlefield Hardline beta turned out to be entirely necessary. A bit raw.

Hardline was delayed til 2015, and Visceral set to work incorporating ideas gleaned from their not-entirely-positive feedback. They’ve now penciled in another, hopefully triumphal beta closer to the game’s release.

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Maxis on the future of Sims: "If Sims 4 isn't successful, there won't be a Sims 5"

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Maxis on the future of Sims: "If Sims 4 isn't successful, there won't be a Sims 5"

The Sims 4 has been out for less than a week and Maxis has made it clear they’re entirely focused on the success of The Sims 4, before even thinking about the next game. On The Sims official forums, producer Grant Rodiek quelled suggestions for the next Sims game from fans with some definitive statements.

“We're not working on Sims 5. We're not thinking about Sims 5. If Sims 4 isn't successful, there won't be a Sims 5."

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Some thoughts on The Sims 4

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Some thoughts on The Sims 4

I'm waiting for my husband to die so I can focus on my career again. He's a good man, Deshawn. I was first attracted to his sensuous baritone voice — he has the bassiest voice in the entire game — but because of his hot-headed personality trait he's quick to anger and often kicks over my bins, distracting me from my work.

So I'm waiting for him to perish. There's probably an option to divorce him straight away, but I'd rather run down the clock and save the drama. I'm not sure how The Sim 4 handles divorces, so I'm not prepared to risk that bassy-throated bin-kicker getting his angry hands on half of my earnings.

He's old though. He'll be dead in a matter of days. RIP you stupid angry bastard.

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The man responsible for Starbucks' "fruit juice revolution" now does marketing for EA

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The man responsible for Starbucks' "fruit juice revolution" now does marketing for EA

EA’s first move in their drive to put Players First was capitalisation. Satisfied they’d conveyed the appropriate sense of import and urgency, their next was to hire on Chris Bruzzo as chief marketing officer.

Bruzzo is credited as the man who planted Starbucks' hooks in social media - but when asked to list his greatest achievements, recalls “leading the cold-pressed vegetable and fruit juice revolution". For which he will one day be tried at the Hague, obviously.

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EA are giving Shadow Realm’s team “the ability to fail”

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EA are giving Shadow Realm’s team “the ability to fail”

Shadow Realms is the first new IP we’ve seen from Bioware since they released Dragon Age: Origins back in 2010. It’s easy for a studio to get stuck releasing games in the same franchises, especially when under pressure from a major publisher like EA. While at Gamescom, James Ohlen, Shadow Realm’s creative director, explained to me how he got EA to take a chance on his 4v1 dungeon crawler and how he got the publisher to leave his team alone while they made it.

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