Battlefield 4 leaked survey hints at DLC and Dinosaurs, EA issues response

Earlier yesterday, an alleged survey for Battlefield 4 apparently made the rounds and its details was posted by a user on NeoGAF.

While we could have ran the story as is, we thought it best if we asked EA about it first since the survey contents seemed a bit suspect. In it, forum member Jibbajabbawockky mentions that he took an online survey for BF4 and asked the following:

Highlighted what players liked or disliked with BF3
Mentioned Battlelog 2,0 and being able to schedule matches with friends
Increased dynamic environments (one example was being blowing out the foundations of a dam to flood the battlefield)
Naval combat (jet ski and gun boats)
Asked how “unique” the box art was
How interested the user would be in purchasing BF4 if he could transfer his progress and unlocks from BF3.
Not only that, but there were mentions of upcoming DLC within the survey, too, and it mentions map remakes and a rumor that just won’t die, “Dino-mode!”

First question regarding DLC described as taking BF3 maps Operation Metro and Caspian Border and remaking them using Frostbite 3, with new weapons and classes. It then had survey-takers rank possible names for the DLC pack and some of them were: Battlefield 4 Recommisioned, BF4 Reenlisted, BF4 War Torn, and BF4 Reconstructed.

Second one was an expansion that would focus on naval warfare that concentrated on naval vehicles and coastal batteries. It wasn’t too specific, other than saying it would focus on naval combat. Some of the possible names the survey asked were: BF4 Naval Warfare (which the user wasn’t sure if it was Naval Combat), BF4 Steel Titans and a few more the poster has already forgotten.

Now, here’s the final and most interesting bit, it mentions what DICE has been teasing since BF3 first came out and that’s dinosaurs! From what the poster can recall, it was described as a co-op mode where players would fight against dinosaurs with “primitive weapons,” specifically mentioning a bow and arrow. Some of the alleged possible names were: BF4: BC, BF4: Primal Combat (or Primal Warfare), BF4: 21942 BC and a few ones he can’t recall.

While the actual survey didn’t have any screens, the poster mentions it looks like any other EA survey he’s seen in the past in terms of format and states its just like the Dragon Age 3 survey that got leaked last year.

When asked about the survey, an EA rep sent this to us in response:

We value the feedback from our fans and are constantly looking for ways to improve our games. We conduct annual surveys that include topics that range from random ideas to specific themes to see what resonates. These are just some of the ideas included in our survey and not indicative of anything we have in the works.

Mind you, it doesn’t actually debunk the survey’s claims, but at the same time, it drives the point home that not everything in it is to be expected in Battlefield 4.

So, there you have it, Battlefield fans. Out of all the info mentioned above, which ones are you hoping are the ones DICE is really working on?

Oh, and one more thing, EA has released one new screenshot for BF4 and that’s the image you see as this post’s headline shot. So grab it while it’s hot if you wish.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Mirror of Fate HD review: Mirrors always make you look bette

I might not be the most hardcore fan of Castlevania out there but I’ve played — and enjoyed — the majority of them. This time was no different. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate HD proves to be a mighty addition to the series, blending up-to-date graphics with classic gameplay that fans will be accustomed to.

If you’re not exactly well acquainted with Castlevania and the Lords of Shadow story, then you’ll suprisingly find this game actually caters to you well, but if you’ve followed Castlevania then you’ll find the story ties up neatly with some very surprising moments and twists.

The game’s segmented into four people, three of which are major playable characters that want to kill Dracula. We have Simon, Alucard and Trevor. There’s a fourth playable character, which is Lords of Shadow protagonist Gabriel but he’s only in it for the tutorial sections. These characters all have very unique gameplay styles which I’ve broken down in simple terms below.

Simon’s segments are heavily based on Castlevania 4‘s gameplay, Alucard’s segments focus on puzzles, and Trevor’s focuses on the original Lord of Shadows gameplay.

I found this unique approach pretty refreshing, since just as I got tired of one segment of gameplay I was thrust into a new one. It really made the game feel fresh. However, under that, there isn’t really a great much of mechanics. For example, the leveling system is really, really shallow. You unlock new combos as you level up, but they’re just so dull that it feels as though using anything except the default combo is a chore. The map allows you to add notes on it which is pretty cool, but aside from that there’s just nothing new, it’s pretty shallow. There’s a magic ability that makes you auto defend, this makes the game — even on hard — very easy. It does deplete the magic bar for each successful block, but the game is littered with mana and health wells, so you’re never without.

Moving onto graphics, this game is a port of the 3DS version and the graphics are okay, but there are some hugely notable problems. You see, there is green water, which is an insta-death if you land in it, on the 3DS version you can see this very, very clearly. But on the ported HD version you can’t really see it, unless you have your TV’s brightness so high up it gives you a tan.

The graphics are interesting, a mix of flat colour against shaded more detailed coloured areas give the game some intense depth which I really wasn’t expecting. Although at first I thought it was ugly as all sin, it grew on me.

The enemies are all pretty fun to fight and even though some of them feel a little recycled in parts, but on the whole I feel like I’m fighting new enemies that have interesting attack patterns. And all the bosses are pretty spectacular.

Sadly, the game is pretty short but replayability is increased with added collectibles like Bestiary pages and scrolls. Even if I can change my character on the second play-through, I didn’t get the urge to play the game again and that’s the gist of it. Mirror of Fate is a solid action game but it might not be enough for those not a fan of Castlevania’s lore.

Pros

  • Nostalgia fix for Castlevania fans
  • Changing Gameplay
  • Fucking awesome bosses

Cons

  • Worse voice acting than the original Nosferatu
  • Combat can be a little stale
  • Too short

Final Verdict: 7/10 (This game is an excellent addition to the Castlevania series and most fans will probably love it, but people looking for a heavy hack ‘n’ slash game won’t be too impressed.)

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A review code for the Xbox 360 was given to us for review, and I hacked and slashed my way across more undead than a zombie flick.

Adventure Time review: Don’t explore this dungeon, it’s terrible

Ever since I first discovered Adventure Time I was hooked. So, when I heard about a full retail game coming to consoles, I knew I had to play it, but I warn you now, don’t buy it. Don’t go near it. If your kids ask for it for Christmas, give them something else instead of this.

It will literally ruin their Christmas, like it ruined my day. I enjoyed the game for maybe two minutes, pushing three. For the opening segment I thought, “Oh cool, they’re using a retro style for the cutscene.” This was followed by, “Oh, they’re using retro graphics for the game…and gameplay”.

What you have to note is, that I actually love retro; but there’s an issue here. I don’t expect to pay £30 for a retro-styled game. And this game, even if it was released when I was a wee laddie (Admittedly I’m still young) would be terrible.

It plays like a knockoff version of Gauntlet, a simple dungeon crawler. You can unlock sub weapons, either by finding them in the dungeon or by buying them. But really, they’re not that helpful at all. It can be anything from swords to cat launchers. I rarely used the sub weapons, perhaps for the occasional “variety” but they brought in very little to the game, although if they didn’t even have at least sub-weapons, I’d be pressing literally one button.

Perhaps the biggest issue with the gameplay is that you simply don’t need to fight anything up until the boss fights which occur every 10 levels, you can simply wander pasted all the enemies and head down the stairs to the next level. Which destroys the need to even bother grabbing a sub-weapon.

Each character has a special ability: Marceline absorbs red projectiles to gain power to use it, meaning half of the enemies are rendered useless. Marceline can also hover over gaps in the floor, as can other floating characters. The gaps kill other characters. Making Marceline really, really overpowered.

There’s 100 levels, each level is split up by a quote from the TV program, and this, too, quickly felt recycled. You’re only able to return to the outside, the “hub” which has shops and places selling upgrades every 5 levels. So for example, if you die on level 90 you have to back to 85. as I mentioned there’s a boss battle at every 10 that’s mostly a walk in the park but with the occasional really annoying one.

In particular level 20 frustrated me, simply because it crashed so many damn times. Level 30 was also annoying, because it took me around 10 attempts just to work out when I was causing damage, there was no reaction from the enemies to suggest I was.

But worst of all, is that if you fail you can retry by giving up half of your money, but sometimes that, too, didn’t work, and it would boot me back five levels anyway. The simple fact I had to go back 5 levels if I died was annoying enough — let alone without the annoyance of my choices being ignored…though that did only happen twice.

There’s a lot of characters to choose from, and you unlock more as you play. It also supports 4-player local co-op.

The graphics are — simply put — lazy. Even if you say, “Hey, they’re going retro.” It’s lazy, smudged visually. Re-skinned (or rather, re-colored) enemies and constant clipping makes it feel really cheap and really shows how little the developers care about quality.

We begin to see the dungeon change terrains, so at least it’s not just the same colour scheme over and over, but it doesn’t dramatically change anything. It just looks slightly different.

So, all in all. This game is essentially a pretty poor digital game that they’re charging £30 for, You don’t need to be a math genius to figure out how this plays out.

Pros

  • I smiled once
  • The original voice actors are used

Cons

  • Graphics are lazy
  • Gameplay is dull and repetitive
  • There’s 100 levels, none of which are fun
  • The quotes between levels become recycled quickly
  • The voice actors say the same thing over, and over

Final Verdict: 2/10 (This game would maybe get slightly higher if they didn’t try to crap it out as a retail £30 game.)

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A review copy of Adventure Time: Explore This Dungeon Because I Don’t Know was sent to me from Namco Bandai on the PlayStation 3, it took me around 8 hours to finish and it had no difficulty setting, because that’s the kind of game we’re dealing with.

Battlefield 4 single-player campaign review: Theater of war

Can war be beautiful?

Battlefield 4, developer DICE’s latest game about violent conflict on a massive scale, orchestrates carnage and fire like a stage play. The explosions are spectacular, red, and almost palpable with the heaps of dust that sweep across your view. The gunfire is striking as it echoes off the walls of a concrete pipe, nips the ground at your feet. And the dirt that flies up and meets your face isn’t placed at random, it’s exact, so as not to completely cover your view of an assailant, struck by a stray bullet, gracefully falling backward in instant death. Or for a nagging helicopter to burst into flames and leave a trail of smoke as it spins out of sight. In Battlefield 4, war is not the horrific product of a disagreement taken to the extreme, it’s the product of an artist.

bf4 2013-10-29 11-25-44-445 (Custom)

At the heart of the piece is a simple structure. Battlefield 4’s campaign is series of battles, most of them set in expansive modern locales, like a war ship or the neon streets of China. Each firefight is separated by unexplainable boxes of ammo and weapons, tools to paint the upcoming scene. From the confetti spray of a shotgun, to the echoing bark of a sniper rifle, they have it all. When bullets aren’t enough, when the resistance comes from both land and air, a separate cache offers claymores, C4, RPGs, and the like. This is part one of the routine, the backbone of Battlefield 4.

Part two is the blip before the bang. As Sergeant Recker, the leader of Tombstone squad, you direct your team on who to shoot with a tactical visor that marks enemy soldiers and vehicles for slaughter. When you’re not reloading, sprinting, or worse, dead, you’re tracing the landscape in black and white, looking for targets. Like attack dogs, you sic your teammates on enemies while you creep into a flanking position, or in tougher fights, cower in cover. The view of your opponents through any structure replaces the fear of a surprise attack with the strategy of carefully cleaning them out of each scene. In Battlefield 4, your gun is a broom, just as much as it is a weapon.

Your job would be much more difficult if the evil Russian and Chinese soldiers has learned a modicum of tactical awareness. But maybe the ease of which you pick them off and sneak by them is on purpose. They swarm as if they were pins at the end of a bowling ball lane, next to combustive barrels, no less. You create a wall of bullets and they keep walking into it, as if they were simply the catalysts for your explosive creations.

bf4 2013-10-29 10-31-51-686 (Custom)

It’s a shame, because the sprawling canvasses of Battlefield 4 are crafted to support dynamic back-and-forths. Each battleground has pockets of debris, stacks of crates, rising structures, or even abandoned houses to hide and attack from, and almost all of them allow you to climb upward and gain the advantage of high ground before you grow bored of your lame prey or the building crumbles beneath your boots.

Thankfully, when the pressure to travel to and from cover is light, the game pummels you with a specific visual palette to gaze at. The bright reds, cold blues, and smooth greens are simplistic, but give Battlefield 4, a game as binary as shooting and killing, a boldness that other shooters lack. It’s distinct without being overwrought.

The same couldn’t be said for Battlefield 4’s stale attempt at giving the action a narrative excuse. If the predictability of it wasn’t enough–there’s a stealth mission where you follow a Russian man–, the broad execution of it leaves the story weightless. The characters yell at you to plant the C4 in the same breath as they give you bland descriptions of their backgrounds. What’s worse is you can’t talk back, doomed to be nothing but a pawn.

bf4 2013-10-29 14-19-03-021 (Custom)

In Battlefield 4, you go where you’re told to go, kill who you’re told to kill, save who you’re told to save. To make the most of it, you soak the journey in, thrive in the exotic vacation of sun and snow, rain and dust without thinking about the real consequences of your actions. You take part in the killing of hundreds of virtual humans, a debatably worrying act, but it’s far more difficult to argue with the affecting splendor of the scenery and the destruction. Battlefield 4 leaves behind the the scores of tragedy war brings about, and basks in a barrage of color and visual flair. Nothing is real in this artist’s dream. So, can’t war be beautiful?

Stay tuned to our Battlefield 4 multiplayer review coming within the week!

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Pros: Distinct color palette, spectacular visuals and graphical fidelity

Cons: Misused level design, predictable enemy AI, rote story

Final Verdict: 7/10 (Battlefield 4 looks great, just don’t come to it expecting a good story or a well-designed campaign.)

People Can Fly renamed to Epic Games Poland, working on Fortnite

People Can Fly renamed to Epic Games Poland, working on Fortnite

Authored by Tyler Colp

fornite

People Can Fly, the Epic Games subsidiary developer behind Gears of War: Judgment and Bulletstorm has been renamed to Epic Games Poland, a company representative confirmed to Pixel Enemy today.

Here’s the statement they gave me:

“We’ve changed the studio’s name from People Can Fly to Epic Games Poland. We’re a global company with talented people working toward one goal across the world. We think this helps better reflect that.”

The Warsaw, Poland-based studio is one of the many studios, including the main studio in North Carolina, working on sandbox survival game Fortnite, the company also confirmed to us.

“Multiple Epic studios, including Epic Games Poland, are working on Fortnite.”

The studio is looking for a concept artist and a associate producer to work on the game, according to job listings on the Epic Games career page.

The People Can Fly website is still up, and the company’s answering machine still refers to its old name (thanks to @Ellimem.)

Epic Games acquired People Can Fly in August 2012, after having a majority share in the company since 2007. The acquisition triggered the departures of studio founder Adrian Chmielarz, Andrzej Poznanski, and Michal Kosieradzki.

Fez price announced on Steam, Phil Fish says to be grateful

Fez price announced on Steam, Phil Fish says to be grateful

Authored by Rob Newberry

2268085-fez3Say what you want about Phil Fish, but you have to agree he’s a master of getting people’s attention. Polytron recently announced the pre-order date for Fez would be April 22 on Steam and GOG.com and added the pre-order sales would be discounted by 10%. After the post received a few negative comments about the pricing, Fish expressed his feelings (as he does) on Twitter with the following comment:

Not one to leave well enough alone, Fish continued the diatribe (as he does) with this beauty of a tweet that reached the ‘epic’ level of Internet trolling

You read it correctly. At this point, the public relations train completely derailed with the next few tweets:

As you would expect, the tweets generated their fair share of backlash and cited Fish’s appearance in Indie Game: The Movie as evidence the creator of Fez is little more than a rather unpleasant fellow who doesn’t deserve the sales. A Reddit post urging gamers not to buy Fez made the front page of r/gaming and the comments were both interesting and hilarious as you might expect (example):

I don’t know about you, but I actually like Phil Fish. From everything I’ve read about the guy and seen in IG:TM, he went through a hell of a lot of pressure and trolling during the lengthy development of Fez, and we all know the gaming community can be extraordinarily harsh at times. Fish is a real character who isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and who knows – perhaps we’ll never see anything else from him or Polytron in the future.

Yet, Fez is a great little game that has sold over 200,000 copies already on XBLA and amassed a nice list of awards and accolades – including an 89 on Metacritic.

It seems a little harsh to boycott a good game because the designer is a little eccentric and outspoken. I’ll even go as far as saying Fish is occasionally crass and rude – but he’s also sensitive sometimes and you have to wonder how the collective acrimony fuels a lot of what he says.

Fez pre-orders are available April 22 and the game releases on Steam May 2, 2013…and I’ll be buying one.

Rumour: Dead Space 4 cancelled following poor Dead Space 3 sales

UPDATE: (Kotaku believes this rumour is actually false. Members of the development team took to Twitter and NeoGAF to almost deny the rumours. Note how on Twitter Dino Ignacio said “The reports of our death were greatly exaggerated.” So what does that mean!?)

One small step for EA, one giant leap for gamers; this could be the start of something beautiful…

An anonymous source told Videogamer.com that Dead Space 4 has been scrapped due to poor sales from Dead Space 3. Just how trustworthy is Videogamer? Well, very. However, until either EA or Visceral confirms this it could still be a rumour.

Visceral Games was basically bullied into doing everything we hate, like the universal ammo, this was apparently a way of sticking in the micro-transactions EA are also responsible making the game more action orientated to appeal to a bigger audience.

Micro-transactions are in the spot light right now, cries from gamers are being met with companies essentially telling you to be obedient. A micro-transaction is a way of letting you buy something in game with real money.

In this case it was materials, the materials could be used to make ammo, armour and weapon upgrades.

Apparently Dead Space 3 was almost cut several times during development.

In an interview with CVG, Frank Gibeau EA’s label president said:

In general we’re thinking about how we make this a more broadly appealing franchise. Because ultimately you need to get to audience sizes of around five million to really continue to invest in an IP like Dead Space.

According to VGChartz the game sold under one million copies.

But why is this significant for anyone that isn’t a Dead Space fan? Well, this could mean that gamers have finally said no to the constant pummelling from the publishers.

EA are really hitting us hard lately. This could be the final straw, no one likes micro-transitions, they’re okay for a freemium game but not a full priced game.

But does this cancellation really have that much importance? Well it could simply be no one wanted it because it didn’t look very good.

The only way to know how much of a turning point this is, would be to wait and keep an eye on sales of anything with micro-transactions in.

Shahid Kamal: “Two words you’re going to hear a lot of on PS4- 1080p/60fps”

Shahid Kamal is senior business development manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and he’s feeling pretty confident in the PlayStation 4. Taking to Twitter earlier today, he expressed resolve in saying we’ll hear a lot of “1080p and 60fps” when it comes to the PlayStation 4.

There are indeed plenty of 1080p/60fps games on the PS4 at present, but there are an equal number of 30fps games as well. Hopefully this bodes well for the future and Sony can keep up the momentum of a high resolution and solid framerate as standard for the coming generation.

Six fan-created shield designs chosen to appear in Dark Souls 2

The winners of a fan-created shield design contest, who were chosen by From Software and the Dark Souls 2 community, were revealed on the game’s Facebook page today.

The six From Software-chosen designs will make their way into the final game with the creators’ names in the credits, and the six community-chosen designs will be rewarded with a “special edition” of Dark Souls 2.

The designs were ranked by the amount of community votes.

Here’s the list of winners (seen above):

Selected Winners by From Software:

Round shield template:

  • Sunlight Warrior Dark
  • Shield of Ash

Great shield template:

  • Guardian Shield
  • Great shield of the Raven Goddess

Crest shield template:

  • Disunion
  • Rose shield

Selected winners from community votes:

Great shield template:

  • Marcus Shield (EpicNameBro Tribute) (4271 votes)
  • Tally shield (3403 votes)

Round shield template:

  • Blue Eye Shield (997 votes)
  • Mask of the enemy (748 votes)

Crest shield template:

  • Ire Shield (1994 votes)
  • Calamity Shield (859 votes)

Dark Souls 2, the sequel to From Software’s 2011, third-person, fantasy RPG is in development for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC. It is scheduled to release in March 2014.

PC version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD arriving “at some point”

Ever since Konami announced that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD would make its way to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, many have wondered whether there would be a PC version day-and-date. A user asked producer Dave Cox that very question, and we got a confirmation of some kind, I suppose.

“No. We are looking into bringing the game to PC at some point, though,” said Cox. I suppose you can just take that and run with it!

Mirror of Fate HD acts as the bridge between Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and its sequel, Lords of Shadow 2. Mirror of Fate HD will be released on October 25 on XBLA, while the PSN version will be released on October 29. Weird.