Jan 182012

Today, Bioware announced that the Mass Effect 3 demo will be released on February 14th on the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.  The demo promises 1-2 hours of single player content as well as access to two co-op levels.  The online  co-op portion will not open up until February 17th, unless you’re a BF3 customer, which then it will unlock immediately on the 14th.  Now you have the perfect excuse to completely ignore the sham of a holiday, Valentine’s day!

Don’t forget that EA is doing some cross-promotion of their two upcoming action RPGs through their demos.  Play the Kingdoms of Amalur:Reckoning  demo to unlock exclusive armor and a weapon in ME3 and play the ME3 demo to unlock “Omniblade daggers” in KoA:R.  The Kingdoms of Amalur demo is out now on Steam, Origin, XBL and PSN and is worth checking out if you’re looking for a game with an Elder Scrolls influence that focuses on action and combat.  That demo also offers a sizable chunk of gameplay, again in the 1-2 hour range.  2 pre-release demos that offer a significant length of gameplay that are both available on the PC?  That definitely bucks the trend over the past couple years.

Jan 162012

If you’ve been paying attention to the EA / Steam battle, you could have guessed that Mass Effect 3 wasn’t going to be on Steam, regardless of the fact that Mass Effect 1 and 2 are currently available.  If you were really in tune to the situation, you would have also guessed that Mass Effect 3 would require Origin to play on the PC.  Bioware has confirmed both facts over the weekend, explicitly stating that Origin will be required even if you buy a boxed copy and that it wouldn’t be available on Steam “at this time.”

While both of those things are true of BF3, and did cause some outrage, it didn’t seem to hurt the game’s sales or popularity online, and I suspect a similar outcome for Mass Effect 3.  Both games are high profile with a large following, and even though the Origin requirement will cause complaints, the number of players boycotting the game due to this alone will be low.

Origin still feels clunky even months after its wide scale debut with BF3, still calls itself a beta in its window title bar, and still shows me games that have permanently expired like the BF3 alpha and beta tests.  At this point, it’s added no value for me and only serves as EA’s latest attempt at always-on DRM that just so happens to come bundled with a game store and a friends list.  What’s your opinion of Origin after you’ve been using it (or not) for the past few months?

Bioware source.

Jan 032012
Disappointing Games of 2011

I’ve  already established that 2011 had lots of great games, more so than any recent year.  But being a gamer, there’s always something to complain about, and there was enough this year to keep my bitter and jaded attitude alive and well. I wasn’t planning to just rattle off names of games that came out this year that were just terrible; that’d take too long.  Instead I want to go through games that I had at least some sort of expectation for that just fell well short of those goals. Early in the year the indie/downloadable game, Breach, hit Steam […]

Dec 282011
Favorite Games of 2011

2011 was a year where we saw a ridiculous amount of good and great games released.  After several years with a dearth of great titles, this year was overrun with quality games vying for our attention, which magnified the problem eventually encountered by all gamers: Too many games, too little time.  Here’s where I take a look at some of the more memorable ones that I’ve played. Best “New” Game Of course every year we’re usually drowning in sequels, but this year, we had a decent amount of new games that weren’t the 8th or 9th iteration of the same […]

Oct 132011

I would assume that most people out there realized that iOS 5 was released yesterday (Wednesday, October 13).  There are plenty of guides out there outlining the new hotness that comes with the update.  We have a couple referenced over in our forum. What is your most favorite features so far?  I have really taken a liking to the new notification features.  It is pretty slick.  Now, I can see all of them that I missed or accidentally skipped as I unlocked my phone out of habit before reading the notification. Find My Friends looks interesting, but I have not […]

Sep 292011
Battlefield 3 beta now open to all

Now that the “early” access for pre-orderers is over, the Battlefield 3 “don’t call this a demo” beta is open to all, on the platform of your choice. All the juicy details are here, and if you’re playing on the PC, be sure to update your drivers, as described here. I had a chance to check out the beta, and can say the gameplay is mostly what you’d expect from the next BF game, with some pretty great visuals.  The Battlelog stuff, as I previously speculated about here is a mixed bag, but has a lot of potential assuming DICE […]

Sep 262011
BF3 beta starts on 9/27 - get your optimized drivers now

With the BF3 beta starting on September 27th for pre-order customers before opening to a wider release on the 29th, you’ll want to make sure your rig is ready to go to enjoy all the action.  Nvidia and AMD have you covered, with BF3 optimized drivers. Nvidia’s drivers, version 285.38 ,are out, promising a 38% increase in performance and improve stability and image quality.  Grab your Nvidia flavored drivers here. UPDATE:  AMD now has  their BF3 tweaked drivers available too. You can download them here.

Sep 102011
Dead Island PC First Impressions

I’m a fan of zombies.  I’ve pretty much watched all of the zombie movies and played a good chunk of the more notable zombie games throughout the years.  I’ve sunk insane hours in to the Left4Dead games and am always willing to give a zombie experience a fair shot before casting it off as a painful exercise, such as the Dead Rising games.  So when Dead Island had that really great trailer earlier this year , it made my list of zombie things I need to try.This week I have had a chance to actually try out Dead Island, and I’ve […]

Sep 012011
2011 PC Multiplayer Shooter Quick Guide

Now that September is here, the holiday game rush is upon us.  It’s also back to school season, back to serious work season and before you know it, the actual holidays themselves will be here, all resulting in limited gaming time.  Lots of games plus limited time equals important decisions to be made.   Let’s take a look at three of the more notable multiplayer shooters that will hit the PC over the next month or two and examine what will be worth your time and money.  Each one is a sequel and each has an appeal to a specific market […]

Aug 312011
Red Orchestra 2 Beta now live UPDATE: Digital Deluxe pre-orders only

Update: To clarify a point that wasn’t clear initially, the RO2 beta is only available to those who have pre-ordered the “Digital Deluxe” edition.  Basically, you need to shell out an additional $10 if you want to play the beta.  While I am a card-carrying member of the Tripwire fanboy club, I am most certainly not a fan of these pre-order shenanigans.   Turns out I will not be checking out the beta over the weekend. The Red Orchestra 2 multiplayer beta is now live on Steam for those who have pre-ordered the [digital deluxe edition of the] game.  I haven’t […]