Mass Effect: Andromeda Tech Demo Leaks

The Mass Effect: Andromeda hype machine is ramping up: following the most recent leak of an EA marketing survey (a repeat of an incident from last year), which teased details of the forthcoming BioWare RPG, a video of a tech demo from the game has emerged online, giving us a glimpse of the VFX engine, gameplay and HUD, and even jetpacks!

https://vid.me/p41b

The tech demo, which seems to date from 2014, shows off the game’s pollen plumes, ambient flame bursts and fog elements, rain impacts and engine VFX, meteorite impacts, and FumeFX diffusion. A quick look at the gameplay shows a character wearing – and using – a jetpack.

But is the video genuine? The look of the characters – which include a couple of Krogan and two N7 officers – seem legitimate, if dated, but that’s to be expected from a two-year-old tech demo. The HUD seen in the video seems to match the one previewed in a Tweet by the game’s former director Chris Wynn:

But the biggest indication that the video is genuine comes courtesy of EA (owners of BioWare) itself: the video first leaked on YouTube, but has now been taken down by due to a copyright claim. By who? By EA.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is expected for release during the first-quarter of 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The game is expected to feature heavily at this year’s E3.

More Mass Effect: Andromeda Details Leaked?

New details regarding BioWare’s hotly-anticipated action RPG sequel Mass Effect: Andromeda may have leaked online. Screenshots of an EA marketing survey were posted to NeoGAF this week, which – while unverified – reveal that the forthcoming game deals with issues of colonialism, and casts humanity as the aliens in an unfamiliar and hostile galaxy.

The survey screenshots read:

“Below is a description for a possible future version of Mass Effect. Please read this and answer some questions on the following pages about this game.

There is a major battle brewing, and it awaits you. In is unfolding across a galaxy of planets, with creatures and species entirely unknown. Draw your weapon, because the fight is bigger than you thought. It’s not just for your own life, it’s for all of humanity – the ultimate battle for a place we can all call home.

Mass Effect: Andromeda takes players to the Andromeda galaxy, far beyond the Milky Way, where players will lead the fight for a new home in hostile territory – where WE are the aliens – opposed by a deadly indigenous race bent on stopping us.

Experience the freedom to traverse and explore a planet-dense but seamless open-world galaxy, rich with discovery. Play as the leader of a squad of military-trained explorers in an intense third-person shooter, with deep progression and customization systems.

This is the story of humanity’s next chapter, and player choices throughout the game will ultimately determine our survival in the Andromeda Galaxy.”

We’ve been here before, of course: at the turn of 2015, a similar survey leak occurred, which revealed that the game’s protagonist would be known as The Pathfinder, and would lead humanity into a previously unexplored area of space. With momentum building behind the game, can we expect BioWare to formally unveil Mass Effect: Andromeda at E3 this Summer?

Storywriter Cameron Harris is Leaving BioWare

BioWare is known for their stories, from the magical world of Dragon Age: Inquisition to the space-faring scenes the of Star Wars and Mass Effect. One of the people responsible for these tales of adventure is senior editor, Cameron Harris. That is until April when she will leave BioWare.

In a series of tweets, Harris announced that she would be leaving the video game industry for “new opportunities”. Entering the video game in 2007, Harris has worked for everyone from Microsoft to Nintendo and ArenaNet but is clearly looking for something a little different.

In her tweets, Harris thanked everyone at BioWare for everything they’ve taught her, followed by everyone in the games industry as a whole and then thanking everyone who was a fan while she did her “games thang”.

https://twitter.com/camharr/status/705875693951791104

https://twitter.com/camharr/status/705875814106050560

This isn’t the first time someone’s left BioWare, and the third time this year alone. Previously Dragon Age’s lead writer, David Gaider, left in January followed by the lead writer for Mass Effect’s latest game, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Chris Schlerf in February.

Yet another great writer leaves the industry. I personally love the games where every minute you play drags you into their world more and more, with you eventually hating the bad guy and wishing you could have saved everyone from their fates. We wish Harris all the best in her future pursuits and hope she understands how much her tales have helped shape our smiles and lives.

Fans Remaking KOTOR in Unreal Engine 4

A website for a new fan remake of BioWare’s 2003 RPG classic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) launched over the weekend, with the team involved hoping to “breathe life back into a wonderful game.” The game, under the name Apeiron – presumably named after the part of the Force that affects the physical world – is being developed by indie gaming group Poem Studios.

Poem Games describes Apeiron as “a remake and remastering of the [KOTOR] with added content, new worlds, missions, HUD, inventory, items, and compainions [sic],” built in Unreal Engine 4.

Now, on the matter of the legality of the project, Poem Games says:

“Can you make a Star Wars game? Remakes of games have been around since the 80’s and some have become very sucessful [sic]. Games like Black Mesa did it with Half Life and Renegade X rebuilt Command and Conquer in the Unreal Engine 3.

Since the game is still under intellecal [sic] property by Disney we are allowed to make the game, but we are not allowed to sell it. So the entire game will be 100% FREE!”

The studio, though, seems to be under the misconception that, just because the copyright holders Half-Life and Command and Conquer didn’t object to the fan remakes cited above (with Valve later giving its blessing for Black Mesa to become a commercial product), the two projects were entitled to exist. Had Valve or EA (which now owns the rights to Command and Conquer, following its purchase of Westwood Studios) wanted to, they could have shut either fan remake down with a cease and desist letter. Since Disney is rather trigger-happy with cease and desists over anything it thinks violates its intellectual property (just ask Deadmau5), Poem Games should expect to hear from the Mouse House very soon.

Anyway, it looks quite nice.

EA Confirms Battlefield 5 Release Window

Battlefield fans will be happy to know that EA has plans for the installment of the franchise. According to a statement given out by EA, the next Battlefield title from DICE will launch in time to be sold during the holiday season later this year. Following up Battlefield 5 will be Titanfall 2 from Respawn and Mass Effect: Andromeda from BioWare either in late 2016 or early 2017. In the interim, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and a number of EA Sports titles will fill in the year.

Unfortunately for those looking for a new Battlefield title set during either World War 2 or the Cold War, Battlefield 5 will once again be a modern shooter. This is the latest in a long line of titles since Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in 2010 which have focused on modern warfare. Honestly, the modern warfare setting has gotten a bit stale and repetitive so hopefully, the next installment will show a return to their roots.

The full EA statement follows:

“In Q1, we’ll begin with the creative and innovative Mirror’s Edge Catalyst from DICE launching in May. A great line-up of EA Sports titles are in development for next year, and we look forward to sharing more about these new experiences in the months ahead. An all-new Battlefield game from DICE will arrive in time for the holidays, we’re excited to have a new Titanfall experience coming from our friends at Respawn – and of course, Mass Effect Andromeda from the team at BioWare will launch later in the fiscal year.”

Mass Effect: Andromeda Details Leaked?

Two mods from the Mass Effect subreddit (‘Salsadips‘ and ‘KYCygni’) have been contacted by an anonymous source claiming to have played an early version of BioWare’s Mass Effect: Andromeda and supplied them with details of the in-development game. While none of the information, nor the integrity of the source itself, can be verified, the two mods say that they have been provided proof of the leaker’s integrity.

The pair compiled the information gleaned from their source into the following YouTube video:

Mass Effect subreddit user DealWithTheC-12 handily broke down the key points contained in the video for those unable to watch:

  • 2 squad mates as before, a human blonde and a Krogan mentioned;
  • All squad mates have jetpacks which come into play in exploration;
  • Omnitool has more functionality, for example a combat shield;
  • Greater detail in character facial features and models;
  • Destructible covers (Yay Frostbite!);
  • Completely different ship (I take it as a step away from the frigate sized ship that we saw in Normandy and towards a larger ship, perhaps the one seen here);
  • Hints at Mako customization;
  • ‘Pathfinder quarters’ section in the ship
  • Main character is referred to as ‘the pathfinder’;
  • Story revolves around finding a new home for humanity and other races;
  • New ship travel system (Instead of the old galaxy map) where you manually fly the ship;
  • Enemies (the main opposing force I assume) are bipedal cross between Vorcha and Collectors;
  • The (non-human) enemies drop into combat from Cerberus ships (I would assume a placeholder, but if it’s not then it gets interesting)
  • One of the antagonists is a human soldier with armor similar to yours but without N7 insignia.

New Mass Effect: Andromeda Trailer has a Familiar Voiceover

Despite recently denying that “any major announcements” were to be made, BioWare has released a brand new trailer for its forthcoming sci-fi RPG Mass Effect: Andromeda to celebrate N7 Day (7th November), and the video’s voiceover might sound familiar…

Jennifer Hale, reprising her role as Commander Shepard (colloquially known as FemShep), narrates a retrospective of Earth’s voyages into space, and beyond, ending with a glimpse of our and Mass Effect’s future, ending with a glimpse of one of the game’s new ships.

The return of Commander Shepard, even just in audio form, is a curious choice by BioWare, considering the developer’s previous insistence that Shepard’s story is over and that Andromeda will “[take] place far away from and long after the events of the original trilogy.” A supposed leak of Andromeda’s synopsis via an online survey seems to back this up, saying that, “The next Mass Effect game takes place in the Helius Cluster (a cluster of 100s of solar systems in the Andromeda Galaxy), far removed by time and space from Commander Shepard’s heroic acts and the final events of the Mass Effect trilogy. You are a pathfinder, a combat trained but un-tested explorer leading an expedition into the Helius cluster to establish a new home for humanity.”

Mass Effect: Andromeda is expected to hit Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC towards the end of 2016.

Knights of The Old Republic II Now Supports Achievements on Steam

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II is a masterpiece and one of the greatest role-playing games ever created. On launch, the game felt quite rushed and lacked a certain level of polish. Additionally, the abrupt ending left fans wanting more. Thankfully, the passionate fanbase helped restore some of the lost content and consistently improved KOTOR II to reach its full potential. While the first game is arguably better, I still have a soft spot for its sequel and anxiously wait for another entry in the series. Although, this doesn’t look likely.

Despite this, the developer Aspyr has released a mammoth update to KOTOR II which includes Steam achievements and technical fixes. It’s a testament to the PC gaming industry that fairly old games are periodically updated. Here’s a complete rundown of the patch notes:

Universal Changes:

– Added 20 user-generated achievements (see pinned thread for details)
– Fixed an issue with Pet Rock achievement not unlocking in TSLRCM
– Fixed a crash when adding more than five mods
– Fixed two issues tied to Mouse Look
– Fixed an issue with the controller menu appearing on top of dialog screens
– Fixed an issue with Kreia not disappearing properly on Korriban
– Fixed a shader issue causing NPC droid eyes to not be illuminated
– Fixed an issue with alternate dialog not appearing after multiple play-throughs
– Changed the behavior of the Light/Dark Side point achievements

Mac-specific Changes:
– Fixed a crash connected to the M4-78 mod

Windows-specific Changes:
– Fixed multiple issues with a spinning camera when certain third-party devices are connected
– Fixed multiple issues connected to DPI Scaling
– Fixed an issue with the screen being offset on high refresh-rate monitors
– Fixed an issue with sounds continuously repeating after moving away from the sound source

Linux-specific Changes:
– Change to cloud-saves, automatically lower-casing files so they can be read on Linux

If you continue to experience any of the above fixes (or any issues for that matter) and you are on a supported hardware set, please contact us at support.aspyr.com so we can dig in.

If you’ve never played Knights of the Old Republic II before, now might be the perfect time to give it a go!

California’s Great America Will Soon Receive a New Mass Effect Attraction

Mass Effect is surely one of BioWare’s most popular franchises, and even though we know that the story of the legendary Commander Shepard came to an end in Mass Effect 3, many of us are waiting with bated breath to see what Mass Effect 4 has in store for us. While you’re waiting for fresh news on the new game, you might as well head over to some amusement parks and enjoy some quality time on various Mass Effect rides. Some of them are truly spectacular.

Speaking of amusement parks, you might be interested to know that the Great America amusement park in Santa Clara, California is set to receive a brand new Mass Effect theme park attraction courtesy of BioWare and Cedar Fair. The dynamic 3D adventure will be curated by a live performer, and it will “transport” guests to a distant planet where they’ll have to fight off huge foes in order to save the day. The ride will use a combination of advanced 3D technology and 4D effects, and it will surely provide unforgettable fun moments for Mass Effect Fans. The attraction is expected to open its doors in 2016.

“I’m Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite amusement park on the Citadel.”

Thank you BioWare for providing us with this information.

BioWare Debuts Mass Effect: Andromeda at E3

The new Mass Effect game has been given its first trailer, and a name, at E3 yesterday. Mass Effect: Andromeda takes us far from the Earth and the Citadel, and Commander Shepard, and flings us into another galaxy. BioWare announced the title of the game at an EA press conference during E3, followed shortly by a blog post by Aaryn Flynn and Yanick Roy, Studio General Manager and Studio Director, respectively, of BioWare Canada/Montreal:

When we wrapped up the original Mass Effect trilogy with Mass Effect 3: Citadel in early 2013, planning and design on Mass Effect: Andromeda was already well underway. We knew we wanted to start with a foundation composed of the best parts of any Mass Effect game: exciting new worlds to discover, great characters, and intense action. At the same time, we clearly wanted to expand the definition of what you should expect from a Mass Effect game.

While we aren’t ready to go into too many details just yet, as you saw in the trailer and can tell by the name, this game is very much a new adventure, taking place far away from and long after the events of the original trilogy. You will play a human, male or female, though that’s actually not the character you saw in the trailer (more on that later). You’ll be exploring an all-new galaxy, Andromeda, and piloting the new and improved Mako you saw. And through it all, you will have a new team of adventurers to work with, learn from, fight alongside of, and fall in love with.

We built this trailer in Frostbite, our game engine, and it represents our visual target for the final game. We are thrilled by what we’ve already been able to achieve in bringing Mass Effect to Frostbite and by putting our entire focus on PC and current gen consoles. With the time remaining in development, we’re excited about the possibility to push things even more.

Thank you again for all of the support you keep showing us, and we’re looking forward to sharing more details with you near the end of the year. Until then, the teams in our Montreal, Edmonton, and Austin studios will be hard at work creating an entirely new adventure for you to lose yourselves in.

The trailer reveals little, but we do get a glimpse of the infamous Mako, some brief battle scenes, and an intriguing shot of buildings emerging from the ground and assembling themselves. The structures bare a resemblance to the towers seen on Eden Prime in the first Mass Effect game. Are the Alliance terraforming alien planets, perhaps?

Mass Effect: Andromeda is due for release during the Holiday season of 2016.

Mass Effect Creator Joins Microsoft HoloLens Team

Microsoft is forging ahead with development of its augmented reality headset, the HoloLens, adding BioWare’s Casey Hudson, Project Director on Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic and the Mass Effect trilogy, as Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, tasked with refining the company’s AR technology. Microsoft announced the news on the Xbox Wire site.

“As Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, my primary focus will be the creative direction of HoloLens Experiences. I am extremely passionate about the potential of this kind of technology, as anyone who’s talked with me over the last couple of years can attest,” Hudson said. “I feel that the work being done at Microsoft on mixed reality and holographic computing will have a tremendous impact on how all of us interact with technology in the coming years.”

“I was fortunate to try an early prototype of HoloLens before it was announced, and I was blown away by the technology and what it was already capable of,” Hudson continued. “Walking on Mars while sipping coffee in an office setting, Skyping with a friend who can draw on the walls of my environment, sculpting an object in 3D modeling software while a hologram of it sits on a table next to me […] These first experiences cemented my belief that holographic computing was where I needed to be.”

Hudson says that, in addition to the HoloLens, he will be working on “innovative new Xbox titles” as part of his role as Creative Director, while “driving a creative focus for Xbox and Windows gaming,” suggesting that Microsoft is seriously considering HoloLens integration with the Xbox One.

Thank you Xbox Wire for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Windows Central.

New Mass Effect Details Leak Through Online Survey

Details of the next Mass Effect game may have leaked due to an online survey that revealed plot and gameplay details, courtesy of a post by a now-deleted reddit user. The new Mass Effect, currently in development by BioWare, is reported to be halfway complete with the developer targeting a 2016 release.

The reddit user responsible for the post claims that they “take surveys online for a little extra money,” and that one such survey described the forthcoming Mass Effect game in great detail, and then asked if the description sounded appealing.

Beware of potential spoilers!

The synopsis posted on reddit  reads:

“The next Mass Effect game takes place in the Helius Cluster (a cluster of 100s of solar systems in the Andromeda Galaxy), far removed by time and space from Commander Shepard’s heroic acts and the final events of the Mass Effect trilogy. You are a pathfinder, a combat trained but un-tested explorer leading an expedition into the Helius cluster to establish a new home for humanity.

As you explore this sprawling series of solar systems (over 4x the size of Mass Effect 3), collecting resources and building colonies, you will encounter the savagery of untamed lands in the form of cut-throat outlaws and warring alien races. To survive and colonize the wild reaches of space, you will need to grow your arsenal, your ship, your crew and make strategic (and often uneasy) alliances to fight against increasingly menacing foes.

Along the way, you will encounter the remains of a once powerful and mysterious alien race, the Remnant, whose forgotten technology holds the key to gaining power in this region of the galaxy. As you uncover who the Remnant were, and the mysteries their ruins contain, you are drawn into a violent race to find the source of their forgotten technology that will determine the fate of humanity.”

The survey also mentions “seven distinct crew members” who can be recruited for missions, while gameplay is said to include a strategic element, with you as commander tasked with deploying “AI controlled Strike Team[s]” to defend territories, since “you can’t be everywhere at once”.

As far as first-person missions are concerned, BioWare plans to integrate all travel and combat modes, saying, “Transitions between activities, like flying your Tempest (space ship) across a solar system to land on a mineral rich planet, then jumping into your Mako (land vehicle) to explore the surface of planet, all happen smoothly without loading screens”.

The game will also include online multiplayer hoarde mode, much like Mass Effect 3, and loyalty missions for your seven recruitable team members. Further details, regarding upgrades, vaults, and colonisation, can be found in the reddit post.

The above is unverified so, of course, should be taken with a huge pinch of salt. If true, though, it sounds like the next game in the series has the potential to wash away the bad taste the ending to Mass Effect 3 left in my mouth. If not, I’ve always got that salt.

Thank you reddit for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Unigamesity.

New Mass Effect “Looking Great” on PC, Says BioWare Creative Director

BioWare’s Creative Director Mac Walters has confirmed that the next Mass Effect game is set for PC release, and that it is “Looking great!”. Walters, who was lead writer on both Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, responded to a Twitter user asking him to dispel rumours that the new Mass Effect game would not be on PC, which he did:

BioWare has been at great pains to stress that the latest entry in the Mass Effect franchise should not be referred to as “Mass Effect 4”, since the game does not continue the story of Commander Shepard. The developer has also confirmed that, although it will run on the Frostbite engine, the game will not use the same ‘template’ as its fantasy RPG, Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Source: Game Watcher

Production Image of the Upcoming Mass Effect Title Revealed

Ken Thain, Bioware’s Cinematic Director, has tweeted a production image of the upcoming Mass Effect title. The tweet states that the team is getting their “motions on at TheCaptureLab in Vancouver. A very cool scene for the next #MassEffect.”

The image shows two actors in motion capture suits getting the animations ready for the game. An image of the game can be seen, though faintly, on the left side of the image. Though the image is not so great and does not reveal a whole lot about the title, it does seem to be a start for Bioware revealing some more content and information about the next Mass Effect.

Bioware’s latest Mass Effect title should be revealed at E3 in June, where the developer is expected to reveal some gameplay footage. Until then, producer Michael Gamble states in his tweet that the title is reaching another milestone soon.

“The ‘Mass Effect’ team is finishing another milestone soon? It’s almost like we are building a real game or something.”

While Gamble seems pleased with the end of the milestone, it still does not reveal what the milestone is exactly. Also, the producer has requested that a race selection should be added for the next iteration in the Mass Effect saga, since its universe was created to be so vast and features a variety of races.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7mX2_163cg

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information

SimCity Developers Maxis Closed Down by EA

Game developer Maxis, creator of “successful” franchises The Sims and SimCity, is being consolidated by its parent company, Electronic Arts. Though the Maxis label will still be used on its existing series as a brand name, the studio itself has been dissolved.

The news was announced during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015 in San Francisco, which is odd timing, to say the least. The story broke after former Maxis developer Guillaume Pierre tweeted the sad news:

EA followed that with an official statement on Wednesday evening:

Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to our studios in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake City, Helsinki and Melbourne locations as we close our Emeryville location. Maxis continues to support and develop new experiences for current Sims and SimCity players, while expanding our franchises to new platforms and developing new cross-platform IP.

These changes do not impact our plans for The Sims. Players will continue to see rich new experiences in The Sims 4, with our first expansion pack coming soon along with a full slate of additional updates and content in the pipeline.

All employees impacted by the changes today will be given opportunities to explore other positions within the Maxis studios and throughout EA. For those that are leaving the company, we are working to ensure the best possible transition with separation packages and career assistance.

Maxis was founded in 1987 by Will Wright and the company made its name with a series of simulation games, of “digital dollhouses,” as Wright described them.

EA has developed quite the reputation for ruining respected game development studios, with gamers turning against the likes of Maxis, BioWare, Pandemic, and Westwood Studios after their EA buyouts.

Source: Kotaku

BioWare Working on Online Multiplayer for New Mass Effect Game

BioWare’s new Mass Effect game will feature online play, according to a tweet from Senior Development Director Chris Wynn. Wynn tweeted a link for a job listing for an online content producer on the game.

The job posting for Online Producer at BioWare Montreal wants someone to “Create and champion the vision of the multi-player, connected experiences and online features of the game which respects the project leadership goals and be accountable for the quality targets and the results achieved.”

The next entry in the Mass Effect series, set to break away from the Commander Shepard trilogy, is being written by Halo 4 scribe Chris Schlerf. The game is said to concentrate on exploration, and will see the return of the Mako, the infamous ATV from the first game.

Is BioWare’s push for online content in the next Mass Effect game the reason why the company cancelled production on Shadow Realms?

Source: Polygon

BioWare Cancels Shadow Realms

Six months after being announced at San Diego Comic-Con, BioWare Austin has announced that its “online action-RPG” Shadow Realms has been cancelled. Jeff Hickman, General Manager of BioWare’s Austin team, says that the company is instead prioritising work on Star Wars: The Old Republic, DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, and the next Mass Effect game.

BioWare has said that anyone who signed up for Shadow Realms’ closed alpha will be rewarded, but has not yet disclosed what form that reward might take.

Rumour has it that BioWare is working on another, as-yet-undisclosed game, possibly the project that was teased by the company at last year’s E3.

Source: Engadget

BioWare’s Star Wars RPG Masterpiece Arrives on Android

BioWare’s Xbox classic, Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic, has been released for Android platforms, following a successful port to Apple’s iPad last year. It is available from the Google Play store and is controller-compatible.

Although available for all current Android platforms, as a dense and graphically complex game for a mobile platform, the bigger the screen the better, so the game is best served by a tablet. Early Google Play reviews, for a wide variety of Android platforms, are positive.

Aspyr Media, responsible for the port, is offering the game at half-price – £3.20, or $5 in the US – to celebrate its release.

Source: Engadget

The New Mass Effect Title Will be “Epic in Scale”, Feature Explorable Planets & More

There’s a new Mass Effect game being worked on over in the BioWare studios, but we are being told that the next Mass Effect game will be “epic in scale” and that it will focus much more on the exploration of planets, and exploration in general, versus its predecessors.

The latest rumors are that the next-gen Mass Effect would use DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine, which powers Battlefield 4 and the new Dragon Age: Inquisition. A post on NeoGAF from “Shinobi602” says that the new game will be epic in scope with a much larger scale, which is thanks to the “impressive” number of explorable planets and unique lands. The user said that the new ME game would not be a prequel, which means we’re looking at a character to be introduced that replaces Shephard from the previous games.

Source: WCCFTech.

Dragon Age: Inquisition Specs Revealed, Promises 4K, Mantle and More.

BioWare have been working hard on the latest entry in the massively popular Dragon Age series and with the November 18th release date rapidly approaching, PC gamers have been eager to find out the answer to the age-old question “can I run it?”

BioWare have a good history with PC gamers, so we’re expecting them to put in the extra effort with their game engine to take full advantage of high-end PC gaming hardware, and the developer have promised that they’re fine tuning the game for keyboard and mouse gameplay, as well as all the new things that excite PC gamers these days; such as 4K resolution support and AMD Mantle.

The system requirements look pretty respectable without being too crazy, the now quite old HD 4870 and GeForce 8800 GT should be enough to get you going, although I wouldn’t expect the game to look very good on this level of hardware.

Minimum:

  • OS: Windows 7 or 8.1 64-bit
  • CPU: AMD quad-core CPU @ 2.5 GHz, Intel quad-core CPU @ 2.0 GHz
  • System RAM: 4 GB
  • Graphics CARD: AMD Radeon HD 4870, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
  • Graphics Memory: 512 MB
  • Hard Drive: 26 GB
  • DirectX 10

The recommended specifications are a little more high-end, requiring a 2GB R9 270 or GeForce GTX 660 and while I suspect this will be enough to run the game on high settings, 4K resolutions and beyond with maxed out graphics will certainly demand something with a little more grunt and more VRAM.

Recommended:

  • OS: Windows 7 or 8.1 64-bit
  • CPU: AMD six core CPU @ 3.2 GHz, Intel quad-core CPU @ 3.0 GHz
  • System RAM: 8 GB
  • Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 7870 or R9 270, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
  • Graphics Memory: 2 GB
  • Hard Drive: 26 GB
  • DirectX 11

Thank you Origin for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Origin.

Bioware’s New Game, Shadow Realms, Could be Free-to-Play

Although specifics haven’t been decided yet, it looks as though Bioware will be looking at the non-traditional payment method for their latest game – Shadow Realms. This could be free-to-play or something closer to an episodic model.

 

Bioware Austin’s GM Jeff Hickman said:

“We are not ready to talk about specifics, but I’ll talk about some things.”“When we look at games like this the very first thing that we do is think about the passion that we have for building whatever the game is. We don’t go, what could make us money at EA? We want players to feel like it’s a fun game that they love to play, and they are glad to pay for it, in whatever way. Then we’ll worry about what the monetisation is.”

Hickman also mentioned that he wanted players to basically pay how they wanted to pay but stresses that they haven’t made a decision yet and that they will be looking at players input to make it the game they want it to be.

To view the live action trailer for Shadow Realms here is the very nice trailer that’s been made.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDXPE6LCQtE[/youtube]

They have described the game as ” A 4v1 story-driven online Action RPG with dynamic co-op missions in a constantly-evolving BioWare world where modern meets fantasy”.

Thanks to Kotaku for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of PC Gamer

First Details, Images & Video of Mass Effect 4 Leaked

Eager to find out more about the upcoming Mass Effect game? For now we’re just referring to it as Mass Effect 4, but in reality we already know that it’s a fresh start for this gaming universe, Sheppard is no longer the lead, heck we don’t even know if he’s going to be in there at all, especially after the events of previous games in the series. This latest batch of information even implies that it could be set in a totally different galaxy!

Users on Neogaf have been compiling what few facts we have about the game, mostly taken from Tweets about the recent panel which discussed the game, a small leaked video and some renders and while that may not sound like much, it’s more than enough to give us a good taste of what is to come.

Character models are typical Mass Effect universe stuff, but we’ve also seen that the Mako is back and it’s said to be “quite fast now”, and that they’re “building a game about exploring places, so you need a vehicle for that”, which hopefully implies mission locations are a little less linear and much larger. Other tweets added “sounds like the timeline of #MassEffect will be during Shepard’s lifetime but won’t involve Shepard…hard to tell @GambleMike being cagey!” “Team reiterates that it is not Shepard’s story and that this story one is brand new.”

The character models shown are pretty generic, but we expect plenty of familiar faces and races to make an appearance in the new game. “You will see a bit of old with the new (old characters MAY appear)”.

The game is also said to feature better co-0p elements, which will no doubt focus on online co-operation and competition. “Competition is critical but cooperation is bigger for us” @GambleMike speaking on multiplayer in #MassEffect / “cooperative MP is bigger for us (than competitive).”

So there we have it, new hero, new location, new modes of transport, a bigger focus on exploration of planets, co-op elements, and it’ll all be running in the awesome Frostbite 3 gaming engine (same used by Battlefield). Excited yet?

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/MzueBbcXqRk[/youtube]

Thank you Neogaf for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Neogaf.

Dragon Age: Inquisiton Recruting Fans and Players For A Playtest

BioWare and EA’s Dragon Age: Inquisition is another title which fans are awaiting anxiously for its release. It was firs revealed back at E3 last year, releasing screenshots frequently to tease fans (and build up a pre pre-order list in the meantime).

It is said that the title will feature key elements from previous Dragon Age titles, such as Dragon Age II and Dragon Age: Origins, however all will be made available using improved next-gen graphics and textures having larger and dynamic environments.

Aaryn Flynn, BioWare General Manager in Canada, recently tweeted a new screenshot from the pre-alpha version of Dragon Age: Inquisition, thanking fans and the support as well as devotion given to the franchise. While the title is still in development, BioWare wants to test the game with the public and shape its course from their feedback as soon as the development hits the Alpha stage. What we understand from this is that BioWare is thinking of starting an Alpha test and is looking to hook in some players willing to perform playtest and help in resolving bugs and glitches in an open environment.

The playtest is said to be opened to everyone who wants to help out, from devoted Dragon Age fans to people who haven’t got a chance to get to know any Dragon Age title up until now. However, as it is a playtest, you will have to be living in the Vancouver area (or be willing to go there if selected) to be able to join in the playtest, as you are required to play the game at their studio. Those interested can fill in the questionnaire here and hope to be selected.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of WCCF