EA’s public relations team plays Spincity all weekend long.
SimCity made our list of “most anticipated games of 2013”, and with good reason. This PC reboot was not only long overdue, but the franchise itself is an all-time classic. We were confident Maxis was the studio to deliver a proper sequel, but the studio’s choice of an always online DRM solution has proven to be a complete disaster. Maximum PC online managing editor Jimmy Thang has criticized EA’s handling of the situation, and the company’s PR department has been pulling overtime trying to repair the games reputation.
Some people believe piracy has no negative effect on sales. I am not one of those people. So I sympathize with EA's desire to combat piracy with SimCity. However, I do not believe that requiring users to always be connected to EA's servers to be the best solution to the problem, especially when those servers come crashing down and prevent honest customers from playing legitimate copies of their game.
Before anyone asks, the answer is yes, Origin's new EON17-SLX laptop with support for up to two discrete GPUs has enough horsepower to carry Crysis on its back while lugging around a sack of eye candy. Even without dual graphics cards, the EON17-SLX is, on paper, a pretty potent system with the requisite hardware to properly drive a 17.3-inch display with a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolution.
Electronic Arts' contentious fued with Steam isn't exactly on the same level as the Hatfields and McCoys was long before the digital age, but it's clear there exists plenty of bad blood between these two sides. The latest indication of this comes from an interview Senior VP of Global E-Commerce for EA, David DeMartini, gave to GamesIndustry. DeMartini, who obviously has a vested interest in Origin, had some choice words for Steam.
OUR SHEPARD LOOKS like hell. He’s got shadows under his eyes that’d frighten the seediest of back‑alley dwellers. Even when he smiles—for instance, while warmly embracing an old friend—there’s a palpable weariness to the gesture. This man, this hero we’ve piloted through countless near-apocalyptic trials and tribulations, is at the end of his rope. The Reapers have decided that all organic life is ripe for the picking, and Earth’s looking mighty juicy. Shepard’s got the weight of the entire universe on his shoulders, and little by little, every agonized step forward breaks his back a bit more.
After playing through Mass Effect 3, we look a lot like our Shepard, but for different reasons. We clearly haven’t slept, and basic hygiene has become so foreign a concept that we reply to the word “shower” with, “Yeah, it’s about 4:27 p.m.” Mass Effect 3, you see, is one of those experiences. By no means is it perfect, but it’s a tale so gripping as to have its own gravitational pull. It's Shepard’s darkest hour, and we had no intention of seeing the sun until its credits roll.
Fast and affordable, this rig takes aim at Alienware
ORIGIN PC’S GAME plan with its new Chronos box is pretty clear: It wants a piece of the buzz that Alienware stirred up with its much-lauded X51 mini gaming PC.
Where Origin PC hopes to punch the Alienware X51 in its exoskeleton nose is in performance. The Alienware X51 that we reviewed in the May 2012 issue came with a GeForce GTX 555 and 3GHz Core i5-2320 (the fastest configuration at the time). The Chronos easily out-specs that with its liquid-cooled 3.4GHz Core i5-2550K and EVGA Classified GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 card. To make it even less fair, Origin takes advantage of the liquid cooler to clock the chip up to 4.7GHz on the Zotac Z68ITX-A-E board.
With its 57 percent higher base-clock speed, it’s no surprise that the Chronos outpaced the Alienware X51 by more than 40 percent in our application tests, as well as nearly 110 percent in STALKER: CoP and 78 percent in Far Cry 2.
Valve has been attempting to be very outwardly complimentary of EA over the last several months, perhaps in the misguided hope that the publisher will quit it with the Origin exclusives, and start bringing some of its titles back into compliance with Steams terms of service. You’d be hard pressed to find any bad blood between the two companies, at least on the Valve side, but yet the stalemate remains. On the most recent Seven Day Cooldown podcast, Jack Inacker asked Newell what EA was doing right with Origin. His answer? Uhhh (pause), ummm (pause).
Good news for the griefers, modders, trolls and all-around jerks that have been making life less pleasant for other gamers using EA's Origin gaming service: you can still pull your shenanigans on Steam! Kidding, kidding. But thanks to a change in policy from EA, you'll be able to get your single-player on in the games you purchase through Origin even if you've been banned from the service.
Great news everyone, Kepler is here! Of course, you already knew that because you have MaximumPC.com bookmarked, right? And if you have MPC bookmarked, then you must have starting reading through our "Kepler Unveiled: Nvidia's GTX 680 Benchmarked In-Depth!" article (and if you haven't, be sure to check it out) the moment the NDA lifted this morning. But do you know which system builders are carrying them?
We don't post a ton of deals here on Maximum PC, but when we do, they're pretty sweet. With that in mind, we thought you'd like to know Electronic Arts is giving away free copies of Battlefield 3 for PC when you pre-order Mass Effect 3 from Origin. That's a $60 value folks (or around $45 if you do a bit of shopping around) for a game we're pretty fond of.