Mirror’s Edge Catalyst System Requirements Revealed

Mirror’s Edge is one of the most inventive games in recent memory due to the enthralling first person perspective and intense parkour mechanics. Furthermore, you feel a sense of being vulnerable and have to rely on your evasion skills instead of traditional weaponry. Personally, I absolutely adore the Mirror’s Edge formula and cannot wait for its sequel, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst which is currently scheduled for release on May 24th in the US. EA has just released the minimum PC requirements prior to the game’s release:

MINIMUM:

  • OS: Windows® 7 64-Bit (use the latest Service Pack)
  • CPU: Intel i3-3250 / AMD FX-6350. (Note: Mirror’s Edge Catalyst requires at least 4 logical cores to run.)
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • HARD DRIVE: At least 25 GB of free space
  • VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 650 Ti 2GB or better / AMD Radeon R9 270x or better
  • INPUT: Keyboard and mouse, dual analogue controller

RECOMMENDED:

  • OS: Windows® 10 64-Bit (use the latest Service Pack)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 at 3.4 GHz / AMD FX-8350 at 4.0 GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • HARD DRIVE: At least 25 GB of free space
  • VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970 4GB or better / AMD Radeon R9 280x 3GB or better
  • INPUT: Keyboard and mouse, dual analogue controller

Most PC gamers with a relatively modern system should be able to play the game without any complications. However, quoted specifications rarely give an insight into a game’s optimization and there’s no information regarding the resolution used. On the other hand, 16GB of RAM is a large amount considering a large number of people are still using 8GB. As always, we will have a performance analysis report which outlines the frame-rate across various graphics cards.

Are you looking forward to Mirror’s Edge Catalyst?

AMD Announces DX12 Game Engine Partnerships

One of the biggest changes DX12 brings to the table is the increased reliance on developers to properly optimize their code for GPUs. Unlike DX11, there will have fewer levers to tweak in the GPU driver, with more work being needed in the game engine and the game itself. To address this, AMD has announced a partnership with multiple game engine and game developers to implement DX12.

To kick start the effort, AMD is headlining 5 games and engines they are partnering with to ensure DX12 works smoothly with Radeon GPUs with the software. These are Ashes of the Singularity by Stardock and Oxide Games, Total War: WARHAMMER by Creative Assembly, Battlezone VR by Rebellion, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided by Eidos-Montréal and the Nitrous Engine by Oxide Games. These titles span a wide range from RTS to RPG and FPS which gives a sense that AMD is trying to cast as wide a net as possible.

In addition to this, AMD will also be working with EA and Dice to get the Frostbite 3 engine to enable DX12. This engine is of particular importance due to the many AAA EA and other titles using it. AMD is also hoping to push Asynchronous Compute and to make sure games will squeeze the most out of GCN using DX12.

Bethesda Working on Three Games “Different than Anything We’ve Done Before”

Bethesda, the studio responsible for recent action RPG Fallout 4, has teased that it is working on three “longer term projects” that are “different than things [they’ve] done before.” Speaking at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas yesterday (18th February), Todd Howard, Executive Producer and Game Director at Bethesda Softworks, revealed that the company is busier than it’s ever been, working on both fallout 4 DLC and the three new mystery projects.

“We are busier now than we have ever been. We have all the DLC going for Fallout, we are overhauling the Survival Mode, and that’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had when playing the game. It really changes it,” Howard said (courtesy of VG24/7). “It’s harder, but it is more than that, it just makes it different.

“We actually have three kind of longer term projects we’re doing that are all – we’ll talk about them at a future date – but they’re different than anything we’ve done before, while also being a Bethesda-style game,” he added. “Big and crazy, but in many ways different than things we’ve done before. It’s an exciting time.”

Howard said that, despite his hints, Bethesda prefers to play its cards close to its chest – “holding back and not talking about” – a strategy he says “played out really well by not talking,” with both Fallout 4 and Skyrim, so expect the company to remain tight-lipped on its new projects for the foreseeable future.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Story Trailer Released

Mirror’s Edge is one of the most inventive games in recent memory and adopts an intense first-person perspective. Instead of relying on traditional shooting mechanics, the game evokes such a tense feeling due to the lack of weaponry. In Mirror’s Edge, you have to use your flexible parkour skills to evade enemies, and ascend various buildings. This results in an unbelievably unique experience and I’d love to revisit Mirror’s Edge with some kind of VR support. Although, I doubt this is for everyone and could easily cause some motion sickness. After a considerable amount of time, the game is finally receiving a sequel entitled, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. To mark the sequel’s upcoming release on May 24th, EA has released a trailer showing the story and character interactions. The YouTube description reads:

“Faith Connors is a self-assured thrill-seeker and one of the best Runners in the city of Glass. But Faith’s carefree days are numbered. As she crosses paths with the evil Gabriel Kruger and the city’s oppressive Conglomerate, Faith finds herself running for something far more important.”

Also, the in-engine footage looks absolutely astonishing and I hope the final version isn’t downscaled in any way! Additionally, Faith is such a fantastic leading protagonist features superb voice acting. It’s great to see EA stick to the classic Mirror’s Edge formula which works so well, and hopefully the sequel lives up to people’s very high expectations. Honestly, I’m not overly keen on some of the other character voices, but this shouldn’t impact on the overall experience too much. Questions still remain though if the in-engine footage will represent the final gameplay especially on the current consoles. PC users should expect a good version given DICE’s reputation, although recent releases like Battlefield 4 were completely broken.  There’s very few EA franchises which make me excited, but Mirror’s Edge is certainly one of them!

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.”

Guillermo del Toro to Honour Hideo Kojima at DICE Hall of Fame Awards

Metal Gear Solid auteur and recent Konami escapee Hideo Kojima has been named the twenty-first member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame, and will be presented with the 2015 Hall of Fame award by writer/director Guillermo del Toro at the DICE Summit next month.

This is one awards ceremony that Kojima will have no problem attending: back in December, while Kojima was still under contract with Konami, his former employer blocked him from attending The Game Awards due to an on-going feud between the two parties, one that Kojima is contractually prohibited from discussing. Kojima officially left Konami two weeks later, launching his new, independent Kojima Productions game studio.

While still with Konami, Kojima was collaborating with del Toro on Silent Hills, the much-anticipated Silent Hill sequel, starring The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, that was canned following the release of the game’s stealth demo, P.T..

“Hideo Kojima’s career-defining works have shaped much of how the video game industry approaches cinematic storytelling and player engagement,” Martin Rae, President of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, said. “As one of the most well-loved and well-respected designers of our time, it is a great honor for the Academy to induct him into our Hall of Fame. Hideo is a game creator whose eyes have always looked towards the future, and we look forward to his thoughts on the D.I.C.E. Summit stage.”

Image courtesy of International Business Times.

 

DICE Confirms ‘Next Battlefield’ is Now in Development

One of EA’s most successful products is the Battlefield series which offers large maps, tactical gameplay and astounding sound effects. It’s often perceived as a more authentic military reproduction compared to Call of Duty and continues to attract a large following. Sadly, Battlefield 4 suffered from horrendous launch bugs on PC, and EA’s Battlefield Premium service incurs a hefty cost if you want to access the game’s full map package. Nevertheless, Battlefield 4 is still a visually stunning title with great gunplay.

The franchise was temporarily put on hold to give DICE to time to create Star Wars: Battlefront. Now that the game has been released, DICE can move onto their next project which according to Development Director, Dan Vaderlind is the next Battlefield:

It’s unclear if this refers to Battlefield 5, or a new Bad Company game. Whatever the case, it’s not surprising to see another Battlefield game being made and I hope it’s not as shallow as Star Wars: Battlefront. Honestly, Star Wars: Battlefront feels rushed and isn’t up to the usual standard I expect from DICE. Hopefully, the next Battlefield game can help restore their reputation and showcase their mastery in the first-person-shooter genre.

Do you think the Battlefield series has been spoilt by EA’s premium service?

LED Powered Metal Dice Might Be the Coolest Dice So Far

Dice games will never go out of fashion because there are unlimited choices and something for every kind of person with every kind of taste, but ordinary dice are a little bit boring. A new Kickstart campaign has launched to spice the area up with LED powered metal dice called Luma Dice. The Kickstarter campaign is already far beyond its funding goal and also reached the first two stretch goals, and there are still 43 more days left on the campaign.

The Luma  dice come in a standard 19mm size with chamfer corners for more momentum and 21 RGB LEDs each. The dice are built with an accelerometer that helps to conserve energy by only powering the LEDs when it is rolled and a 20 second period after. The batteries are replaceable and the standard over-the-counter SR54 batteries are easy to come by.

The Luma dice are built with a flexible circuit board with the components equally distributed for an even and perfect roll. All the LEDS are placed directly on the circuit board and there are a total of 21, and each side has its own colour.

The dice are made from highest quality aluminium and carved from a solid block for strong reliability. The early-bird deals are long gone, but you can still secure yourself some of these nerdilicious dice starting from $29 for a pair of Luma Dice.

At the time of writing, the campaign has reached $55.803, over three times the goal of $15,000. There are two more stretch goals available and I’m pretty sure the 80K goal will be reached before the campaign is over. That stretch goal hasn’t been revealed yet, but there is the last one that is set for 120K. The 120k goal will unlock D20 Luma Dice and that is where it gets really interesting. Be the coolest roller among your friends with Luma.

Star Wars Battlefront Receives Balance Patch

Star Wars Battlefront is possibly one of the most shallow games I’ve ever experienced and suffers from a severe lack of content. While the game’s visuals are awe-inspiring, it’s difficult to look past the unbalanced multiplayer, poor map selection and terrible character customization. This results in one of the most disappointing titles this year and raises questions about EA’s ability to properly honor the Star Wars saga. On the other hand, EA has just released a patch including balance tweaks, enhanced optimization and improved physics. Hopefully, this helps to create a more enjoyable multiplayer experience but I’m not hopeful.

Here is the complete patch notes in full:

  • General bug fixes for vehicles and physics improvements

  • Game modes balancing tweaks

  • HUD UI adjustments

  • Audio optimizations

  • General crash and stability fixes

  • Online traffic performance improvements

  • Various text fixes for all languages

  • General bug fixes for both Missions and Multiplayer

  • Legacy Controls should now work as intended

There’s no need to manually apply the update as it will automatically install via EA’s Origin client. I’d love to hear feedback on this particular update and if it makes the game more playable. I personally find it a repetitive mess which doesn’t reward good players. Furthermore, EA’s pricing with the digital deluxe edition and season pass leaves a lot to be desired.

Star Wars Battlefront Bundles with R9 Fury

Prepare your wallets, the Force is coming! If you haven’t already heard, Winter 2015 is probably going to be re-branded as Star Wars Season. Not only are we getting Star Wars Episode VII (no more Jar Jar Binks), we are eagerly anticipating Star Wars Battlefront. If you don’t know what Battlefront is, just imagine all of the best Star Wars battles rolled into one game in a huge 40 player laser gun fight and the original score as your motivational music.

The beta was a huge success with hundreds of thousands of players getting in on the action. AMD wants a piece of that and has announced the brand new bundle of Battlefront with every purchase of an R9 Fury graphics cards.

The offer is available From November 17th 2015 to January 31st 2016 and the code can be redeemed up until February 29th 2016, yes I had to double-check that next year was in fact a leap year too.

If you’re not quite sure on an upgrade, why not check out our review of the Sapphire Tri-x R9 Fury, which can be purchased for £429.95 from OcUK or $499.99 from Newegg US. Those of you who have recently purchased an R9 Fury with this code can redeem it here!

Have you already tried Battlefront or own an R9 Fury graphics card? Why not tell us about your experiences down in the comments.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Delayed to May 2016

Mirror’s Edge revolves around intense parkour gameplay which provides a tense, enthralling experience. Instead of relying on weaponry, you have to evade enemies and quickly scale buildings. The game rightfully received critical acclaim for being completely unique and it holds up remarkably well. After an agonizing wait, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst was finally announced. Although there were some concerns about the parkour element being diluted to allow for more combat.

Today, an official statement has been released by Senior Producer, Sara Jansson about the game’s release date which reads:

“Years ago, we set out an ambitious vision for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. Achieving that vision and delivering the best possible experience is equally inspiring and challenging. And it takes time. We set out to create a vast city to explore, full of stunning vistas, majestic skyscrapers, and mysterious tunnels. We’re building the most immersive action-adventure game with fluid movement and combat in first person. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst will be an all-new playground with a deeper and more engaging story – and we want to accomplish all these goals to the highest quality possible.

So we’ve made the decision to bring Mirror’s Edge to the world starting May 24, 2016. We will use these few extra months to make sure that when you step into the massive City of Glass and experience the rise of Faith, it’s as entertaining, impressive, and memorable as it can be.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst has received an incredible response from fans around the world over the past months. You’ve been eager to see the return of Faith and the unique style and gameplay that only Mirror’s Edge can create. Witnessing your positive reactions has been amazing motivation for me and the rest of our passionate team at DICE.

Thank you again for your patience and support. Keep the Faith.”

While the news is a little bit disappointing, i’d prefer the final product to be optimized, visually stunning and a wonderful single-player experience. If this means waiting until May 2016, then I’m sure the delay will be a worthwhile sacrifice.

More Unseen PC Footage From Cancelled Star Wars Battlefront III Revealed

LucasArts help create a number of magnificent Star Wars games including Knights of the Old Republic, Dark Forces and Jedi Knight II. Sadly, their last few games were extremely disappointing and it seemed like the studio had lost its creative spark. In a rather surprising move, George Lucas sold the Star Wars rights to Disney and LucasArts was officially disbanded. Tragically, they had commissioned Free Radical to make Battlefront III, which from the leaked footage, looks phenomenal.

EA and DICE eventually acquired the Star Wars license and created their own version of Battlefront. However, there have been some concerns regarding the game’s DLC model, lack of space battles and core gameplay. Today, a video containing unseen footage from Battlefront III’s cancelled PC edition has just been released. While graphically showing its age, the chaotic space battles cater to every Star Wars fan’s wildest dreams.

It’s unknown if the remaining assets will be released via videos or publicly available to download and play. I would love to see if there’s any more footage showing Battlefront III and it’s possible some modders could try to produce an unofficial version. Despite this, EA’s Battlefront is the official product and only time will tell if it matches the expectations of Star Wars fans.

DirectX 12 Won’t Help the Xbox One According to DICE

DirectX 12, a low-overhead API which has the potential to revolutionize PC gaming and properly utilize consumer’s graphical hardware. On the PC, DirectX 11 often resulted in inconsistent and sub-par frame-rates which required fairly high-end equipment to run on maximum settings. In theory, DirectX 12 could make this a thing of the past and offer significant boosts compared to DirectX 11. As a result, some people have suggested this could help close the gap between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Technically, the Xbox One is inferior and struggled to reach 1080p in a number of leading games from Watch Dogs to The Witcher 3. Only recently, the Battlefront Beta supported a maximum resolution of 720p compared to 900p on the PlayStation 4. Alan Kertz from DICE has suggested this won’t be changing anytime soon and said:

While DirectX 12 could bring some gains, they will be relatively small and Microsoft cannot hide from the fact that they opted for weaker hardware. The PlayStation 4 is far from a graphical powerhouse, but it already showing its technical dominance. This doesn’t mean it’s a better console, but third-party games should run better. Phil Spencer is trying to restore customer confidence in the Xbox One but DirectX 12 isn’t the miracle some people are hoping for.

This Incredible Forest Map Was Made in UE 4 by a DICE Artist

Unreal Engine 4 is getting a lot of well-deserved attention lately with several artists creating incredible demos or eye-catching maps using its powerful tools. One of the latest projects created using Unreal Engine 4 is an incredible forest map that was put together by a vegetation artist from DICE. The artist has been working on this for quite some time now, and even though the project is still not completed just yet, it looks quite incredible. Fortunately for all of us, the artist has decided to release a series of screenshots, which show an outstanding amount of attention to detail.

From what I can see, the he decided to go with a realistic approach, and I have to say that he’s done an incredible job with the textures and leaf contours. Visuals such as this are usually featured in triple-A games such as Crysis, and I do hope that we’ll be able to see similar vegetation representations in future titles. Unreal Engine 4 is available for free to everyone as of March 2, 2015, which means that many other artists are currently working on their own projects, big and small. Have a look at the following images and let us know what you think about this Unreal Engine 4-made forest.

Thank you DSOgaming for providing us with this information.

Star Wars Battlefront PC and PS4 Versions Compared

Today marks the public Beta of Star Wars Battlefront and there has already been a great deal of discussion regarding the technical differences on various platforms. Often, game publishers showcase the PC edition at events to demonstrate the best possible visual quality and this can make the final console versions look rather disappointing. In an open Beta, consumers can experience first-hand how Battlefront performs and it’s quite easy to make graphical comparisons.

There has already been a video released containing side-by-side footage of the PlayStation 4 and PC Betas. As always, it’s best to judge with your own eyes, but the PC version features an enhanced depth-of-field and increased sharpness. Rather oddly, the PS4 edition relies heavily on motion blur and can cause nausea. Obviously, it’s unfair to directly compare a top-tier PC with the PlayStation 4 but it’s certainly an interesting talking point.

Please note, that YouTube compression horribly impacts on the captured footage and makes the final product look fairly mediocre. Unsurprisingly, the PC utilizes a wide range of complex graphical effects and aesthetically pleasing Anti-Aliasing. Furthermore, many high-end PC gamers will be opting for 2560×1440, 3440×1440, or 4K monitor setups which vastly improves the sharpness and overall clarity.

Do you think the PC version is visually superior by a significant margin?

Star Wars: Battlefront PC Requirements Revealed

Star Wars Battlefront’s release is tantalizing close and EA has scheduled a Beta phase to mark this momentous occasion. As you might expect from DICE, the PC release is visually stunning due to the Frostbite 3 engine. Throughout DICE’s history, they have attempted to bring a certain visual flair to each PC release and thoroughly test the best configurations on the market. To prepare users for the upcoming Beta, EA has announced the minimum and recommend specification:

Minimum PC System Requirements:

OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or later
Processor (Intel): Intel i3 6300T or equivalent
Memory: 8GB RAM
Hard Drive: At least 40 GB of free space
Graphics card (NVIDIA): nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB
Graphics card (ATI): ATI Radeon HD 7850 2GB
DirectX: 11.0 Compatible video card or equivalent
Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection

Recommended PC System Requirements:

OS: 64-bit Windows 10 or later
Processor (Intel): Intel i5 6600 or equivalent
Memory: 16GB RAM
Hard Drive: At least 40 GB of free space
Graphics card (NVIDIA): nVidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB
Graphics card (AMD): AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB
DirectX: 11.1 Compatible video card or equivalent
Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection

The minimum specification isn’t overly taxing and should be suitable for any system from the past few years. However, 16GB RAM seems absurdly high on the recommend section considering most games don’t even come close to utilizing 8GB. Apart from this anomaly, every other aspect appears to indicate a scalable PC version.

At the time of writing, some early access copies have already been issued to press outlets and streamers with a large audience. Patience is key though, as a large roll-out should happen extremely soon and there’s no need to spend ages retweeting or sharing social media posts for a code.

Are you looking forward to Star Wars Battlefront?

DICE Almost Turned Down Star Wars Battlefront Due to Hectic Schedule

Star Wars fanatics have faced an antagonizing wait spanned across many years for a sequel to the highly-popular multiplayer shooter, Battlefront II. Thankfully, this long, arduous wait is almost over and Star Wars: Battlefront appears to be shaping up quite nicely. Although, there are some concerns about it being a re-skinned Battlefield 4 and lack of space battles. Interestingly, it seems DICE almost refused the job due to other commitments and being “fully booked”.

In the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine, Patrick Bach, the general manager of DICE said:

“Disney came to EA looking for a partner to make games and suggested, ‘Maybe DICE should make a Battlefront game’,”

“On our side, we had this opportunity but were fully booked with other work and thought, ‘Argh, we can’t do that!’ But then the heart kicks in, says ‘we will figure it out,’ and we figured it out. Because you can’t say no to a project like that.” 

Despite the time constraints, DICE couldn’t turn down a project of this magnitude and used their organizational skills to work on the game. Ideally, Battlefront should take priority over a Battlefield sequel but once a project is mapped out, it’s virtually impossible to suspend it. I’m intrigued by this revelation and wonder if any other publisher barring Ubisoft and Activision would have the budget to create an authentic sequel to Battlefront II.

Are you looking forward to Star Wars: Battlefront?

Thank you GamesRadar for providing us with this information.

Star Wars: Battlefront Beta Available Offline and to Everyone

EA has confirmed that next month’s beta release of its forthcoming Star Wars: Battlefront, developed by DICE, will be available to everyone who wants to play it, in both online and offline modes. Matthew Everett, the Community Manager for Star Wars: Battlefront, made the announcement on the game’s EA blog.

“[T]he beta will consist of both our offline and online modes including co-op and split-screen co-op, and it will take place on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and via Origin for PC, so we have you covered regardless of your next generation platform of choice,” Everett wrote.

The beta build of the game will include the 40-player Walker Assault on Hoth that we brought you leaked footage of recently, plus a second mission, Drop Zone on Sullust, and a Survival Mission mode set on Tatooine, which can be played solo, co-op, or online co-op.

Everett promises, “Keep your eyes peeled for myself and many other developers during the live beta as we have some cool stuff planned.” He later revealed, in a Community Questions feature, that AI bots will be available in multiplayer (10 on each side) and that players will get a primary blaster with a hand of Star Cards for customisation.

Thank you Star Wars: Battlefront Blog for providing us with this information.

Star Wars: Battlefront Leaked Alpha Footage Shows Hoth Assault

Footage from the closed alpha build of Star Wars: Battlefront has leaked, showing 10 glorious minutes of the Empire’s assault on the Rebel’s secret base on the ice planet of Hoth. The alpha testing, which began back in July and had thousands of applicants, was opened up to a few lucky EA Origin users in preparation for the game’s full release on 17th November.

https://youtu.be/BGRuSVpdWo8

The footage shows the 20 vs 20 Walker Assault on Hoth; Imperial Snowtroopers, flanked by hulking AT-ATs and Imperial probe droids, with TIE fighters swooping overhead, storm across snowfields towards the rebel base. We get a thorough look at the detailed map – full of snowy mountains, turrets, and trenches – and the soldier’s equipment during the fast-paced battle, including blasters and jetpacks.

Both Rebel and Imperial perspectives are showcased, and we even follow Snowtroopers as they enter the base through its large hanger bay. Sadly absent is the sight of a Snowspeeder taking down an Imperial walker with its grappling line, but we do get a glimpse of the level’s objectives, which includes taking out the Rebel communications uplink.

EA and DICE are planning to launch the beta version of Star Wars: Battlefront for testing through Origin in early October.

Thank you PCGamesN for providing us with this information.

Gigabyte Z97X-SOC (LGA 1150) Sub-Zero Overclocking Review

Introduction


The Z97X- SOC motherboard is Gigabyte’s affordable overclocking-centric Z97 motherboard that is not quite as tricked out as its big brother Z97X-SOC Force. That bigger brother is  geared toward quad-SLI setups with its PLX chip and it also has twice as many phases for the CPU. But with half as many phases just how strong can the Z97X-SOC be? As  I found out in testing this board is no slouch and will hold its own as well as any other under sub-zero even while having the lower phase count. It definitely proved it is more than capable of pushing the limits of the 4790K ES that I had paired it with and was only held back by not being able to go colder than -60C.

The board is designed and built from the ground up for overclocking and features a plethora of overclocking features both physically on the board and features via software and in the BIOS. The board itself features a socket that is 15μ gold plated which is five times the thickness of normal plating. The PCB that the motherboard is built out of is made of high quality 2oz copper PCB that helps it handle high power loads. The Z97X-SOC is one of the results of the evolution of the X58A-OC that started using the hardware controls for increasing the BCLK and Multi ratios. What we get here with the Z97X-SOC is a few generations of refinement and learning by the Gigabyte OC R&D team. It looks like it should be quite capable of overclocking today and I will be taking a look at this with some sub-zero tests and seeing just how useful these features are.

Here you can see the ATX form factor Gigabyte Z97X-SOC in all its glory ( with VRM heatsink removed). The color scheme is something that has been retained from the original X58A-OC board and has been made to stand out from the competition, as well as giving the Gigabyte Overclocking series their own color scheme. As far as overclocking competitions go, you’ll definitely notice when one of these boards is on the bench which adds to the branding for Gigabyte.

A close up of the VRM with the heatsink removed for your viewing pleasure. The overall layout is clean and simple which is ideal for those wanting to take this to the extreme under sub-zero conditions. You’ll also notice the power connectors around the board, with a 4-pin ATX, ATX 12V 2×4 for extra CPU power delivery and a further 6-pin connector below the CPU socket to provide extra auxiliary power to the PCI-Express lanes.

A close up of the OC Touch, OC Ignition, and other hardware-based overclocking features. There are also voltage read points as well as power and reset buttons. These buttons allow you to overclock “on-the-fly” which means that you can fine-tune your overclock while benchmarking without the need for restarting the system and entering the BIOS to tweak your overclock. The voltage points are a vital aspect for anyone overclocking, especially those looking to enter the sub-zero realm of cooling. Other switches and buttons include the ability to disable certain features, such as relevant PCI-Express lanes that are unneeded.

Two front facing USB ports are a bencher’s friend when you don’t have to reach all the way to the back to save those screenshots and scores for uploading for validation.

A view of the dual BIOS chips on the motherboard which allow you to fall back on the other if a problem arises with the BIOS you’ve have been using. It is a nice feature that means you are less likely to need to RMA your board or have a dead board. This can be vitally important if you’re participating in a competition where time is of the essence.

EA Tease Star Wars Fans with X-Wing from Battlefront Game

EA and Dice have been teasing a lot of bits from the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront game and with the release date being set for November 20th (November 17th in North America), we don’t have to wait that much longer to find out the details for ourselves.

For now we know that the game will have a lot off different game modes from 10 vs 10 deathmatch games and also what appears to be close-quarter combat modes. One thing that everyone wants to have in the upcoming game is space battles, but sadly that mode has so far been denied to be in the making.

This newest teaser, seen below, was posted on Facebook by EA itself and clearly pictures a beautiful rendered X-Wing, but not much more information. The image was posted over the weekend and right away people got excited and started to question whether there would be space battles or not. Official representatives were quick to shoot the new rumour down with replied that still indicate the same, space battles aren’t planned for Star Wars Battlefront, sadly.

So it doesn’t appear as EA and Dice have made a U-turn on this decision, but also didn’t clarify what the X-wing will be used for. It might just be general (and well-known) graphics from the game or it could maybe be a vehicle only mode. We don’t know, but we would surely like to hear what you think EA could tease with this latest image.

Thank You VG24/7 for providing us with this information

New Gameplay Trailers Show Star Wars Battlefront Could Live Up to the Hype

Thanks to two gameplay trailers debuted at E3 yesterday, it seems as though Star Wars Battlefront – the third game in the series, despite the lack of numeration in the title, developed by EA-owned DICE – may well live up to the excellence of its predecessors, nay, dare I say it, exceed them.

The first video shows us the defence of the Rebel base on the ice planet Hoth from attacking Imperial troops, taken straight out of The Empire Strikes Back. The POV character is seen storming down brilliant white corridors and into a hanger, replete with X-Wings and Snowspeeders, finally taking up a defensive position next to what looks like Nien Nunb, Lando Calrissian’s  co-pilot in the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. The ensuing battle takes us outside, where TIE Fighters growl overhead and AT-ATs stomp menacingly forward.

The trailer also shows the battle from the Empire’s perspective, putting you in the body of a Snowtrooper, mowing down Rebel Alliance fighters with your E11 blaster, and even gives the player the opportunity to power a beastly AT-AT themselves. What’s that? You’d rather take down one of those four-legged assault vehicles in a Snowspeeder? Well, you can do that, too:

The second trailer takes us to a rocky desert-like planet, which may or may not be Tatooine – though, it could just as easily be Jakku, a setting which will feature heavily in the forthcoming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens – where Rebel squadrons traverse a rocky sandscape, guided by a holographic Admiral Ackbar. Star Destroyers loom overhead, scaping the planet’s atmosphere, while jet-packed soldiers pick off waves of enemy troops. The video ends with the glorious sight of a Return of the Jedi-era Luke Skywalker, donned in black, come lightsaber-to-lightsaber with Darth Vader himself.

Star Wars Battlefront is due for release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on 17th November.

Megalodon Dwells in Battlefield 4

Presence of Easter Eggs spices up the experience and when done in a Multiplayer oriented game like Battlefield 4, it takes it to another level because it usually requires multiple people to be in the server and create the specific conditions . Yesterday, easter egg hunters figured out how to trigger the event. The event being ‘Calling the Megalodon’ ( prehistoric shark ) in the vanilla (non premium) map ‘Paracel Strom’. Popular YouTuber JackFrags has posted the footage of it. It was speculated to exist in the game since the launch. It appeared for the first time on Premium Multiplayer map called ‘Nansha Strike’ over a year ago.

With the latest Patch to the CTE ( Community Test Environment ) DICE included two easter eggs, one of which is discovered. This can not be found on the retail version of the game. However premium members can sign up to get access to CTE version which is constantly being updated. The event can be triggered under specific conditions mentioned below.

  • Any Phantom camo/paint should be unlocked and deployed on the weapon
  • Land on the Windmill and get struck by lightning
  • Find parrots on the palmtree, as the storm arrives and shoot the little light on the ship

Battlefield-ers have done it again! Just like they did in cracking Phantom assignments and others mentioned in UFO in GTA V . As I’ve played it for over a thousand hour, I’ve witnessed the effort required to solve the mysteries of it. Let us know your opinions in the comment section.

See you in The Battlefield, Soldier!

Image courtesy of Shadow6ix.

Star Wars Battlefront Available First for Xbox One

The third instalment in the Star Wars Battlefront series will be playable first by Xbox One users, a Microsoft executive has revealed on Twitter. The news is unsurprising, since EA tends to release game five days early on Xbox One for members of the EA Access Program, but this marks the first confirmation that Xbox gamers are set to enjoy the game before anyone else.

Xbox Product Manager Aaron Greenberg said on Twitter, in response to an Xbox fan:

EA Access, which is only available on Xbox One, costs £3.99 per month and offers members access to a plethora of existing EA games for free, plus discounts on games and early access to new releases.

The latest Star Wars Battlefront game, unlike the previous entries in the series, is being developed by DICE, the studio responsible for the Battlefield franchise and Mirror’s Edge, which became a subsidiary of EA back in 2004. The first two critically-acclaimed Star Wars Battlefront were produced by Rebellion, but the studio lost the series when in 2013 EA obtained exclusive rights to develop Star Wars games.

https://youtu.be/Fewc0ddX0wE

The new Star Wars Battlefront will also be available for PlayStation 4 and PC and is due for release around Christmas 2015. The game will debut at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California which runs from 16th to 19th April.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information.

DICE Confirms New Screenshot of Star Wars: Battlefront

The Star Wars: Battlefront title will have its debut at the Star Wars Celebration on April 17th. Until then, DICE appears to be eager to share some in-game footage with its fans, having Lead Level Designer, Dennis Brannvall, confirming that what we view below is really in-game footage.

The game is said to use DICE’s Frostbite engine, therefore players should expect the highest quality on the market in terms of graphics. A new trailer is said to come during the Star Wars Celebration, but until then, here is the E3 2014 trailer to keep your hype up.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information

Star Wars: Battlefront Teaser Takes us Back to Hoth

Ahead of next month’s unveiling at Star Wars Celebration, EA has revealed a 30-second teaser trailer for DICE’s first/third-person tactical shooter Star Wars: Battlefront, due out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC this Christmas to coincide with the cinema release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

The teaser, which doesn’t show any in-game footage, takes us back to Hoth, the ice planet from The Empire Strikes Back:

The Star Wars Celebration, at which Star Wars: Battlefront will get its official reveal, takes place in Anaheim, California from 16th to 19th April.

Source: EuroGamer

Star Wars: Battlefront Out in Time for Christmas; Unveiling at April’s Star Wars Celebration

The official EA Star Wars Twitter account has revealed that the third instalment in the Star Wars: Battlefront series will be out this Holiday season for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, presumably time to coincide with the 18th December cinema release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

The critically acclaimed first/third-person tactical shooters were formerly developed by Pandemic Studios, but EA-owned DICE are handing the coding duties this time around.

Elsewhere, EA has announced the first official glimpse of the game will be at the Star Wars Celebration, which takes place in Anaheim, California from 16th to 19th April. EA had previously teased that anxious gamers would “See More in Spring 2015”, with some erroneously pegging it as the season of the game’s release date.