Welcome, Battlefield fans! Now that we’ve taken in-depth looks at the single-player and multiplayer sides of Battlefield V, it’s time for our final overview and verdict. For the full picture, make sure to check out each part.
While it’s absolutely a massive and addictive shooter, there’s little question in my mind that Battlefield V launched well before it was ready. Between the brevity and lack of gameplay variety in the single-player campaign, the problems that arise when playing anything other than Conquest on certain maps, and perhaps most troubling of all, the frequent and sometimes game-breaking bugs are all issues that seem like they could be solved with a couple more months of development time.
Enter The Gungeon developers Dodge Roll have announced via Reddit that their plans to release a paid expansion to their popular bullet hell roguelike have been cut short. Instead, they’re going to re-focus on producing one final update to polish up the game as much as they can before they go all-in on their next game. The devs say that just looking at their latest internal work “shows just how shaky our foundations for Gungeon truly are” – it’s just become impractical to add more to the game, short of completely redesigning it from scratch, as The Binding Of Isaac did.
You can’t go a week without an intriguing tactics game popping up – today’s is Element Space, a story-driven tactical RPG from Sixth Vowel, debuting into early access. This one breaks away from XCOM’s familiar combat grid, offering familiar cover systems, but free movement. Set in a vaguely Mechwarrior-ish universe of modern Earth nations stretched into caricatured space empires, there’s real-time exploration, turn-based combat, choices to be made and a branching mission structure that they hope will result in a shorter, more replayable game. A combat trailer lies below.
I took some time this week to catch up with Katie, a Program Manager who works with Xbox Media, whose name you might recognize from recent posts about Dolby Vision. Learn more about Katie, her work bringing Dolby Vision to the Xbox One and much more!
Hi, Katie! Really appreciate you chatting with us; it’s awesome to get the chance to introduce you to our Xbox Insiders. Mind sharing what you do at Xbox?
Certainly! I am a Program Manager on the SiGMA team, working on Xbox Media. Basically, I help deliver top media experiences on Xbox through new features and external partner support. Day to day, my role can include working with external partners (like Netflix and YouTube) to best support their apps on our platform, working with internal devs to fix various bugs or issues, or evaluating new features we would like to enable.
You recently worked with Dolby to bring Dolby Vision to consoles for the very first time! Can you tell us a bit about what that work looks like?
Bringing Dolby Vision support to Xbox was a really exciting and challenging project to work on. When we started looking at this technology, no other game console had implemented Dolby Vision. We worked extensively with Dolby to architect a solution to support their technology on our platform. It also required a significant collaboration with Netflix in order to bring this new feature to their application. This was a huge endeavor, and required very close partnership with all three companies. It was an amazing experience to lead such a large project, and have a successful feature launch.
OK, I’ve gotta know: What kind of TV do you have, and is it compatible with Dolby Vision?
Ha! I’m a little embarrassed to say, I don’t own a real TV. I have a 10 year old computer monitor with a VGA adapter for video, and a hardwired controller plugged into computer speakers for my audio. I’m fairly low tech at home, and instead spend a lot of time outdoors. However, I have been eyeing the new LG OLED TVs, and may upgrade later this year.
We’ve worked alongside the Women in Gaming group to feature the women on our team, and one thing I really enjoyed was how we were asked to offer up advice to women now aspiring to work within the gaming industry. Do you have any advice for the women reading our blog on how to get started in gaming or technology?
Great question, I’m really passionate about helping people (especially women) get into the gaming and technology fields. My biggest piece of advice is to go big – seek out opportunities that scare you. When I was graduating college, I signed up for an interview with Microsoft in the hopes that I would get a free lunch (there was no way I thought I would actually get an offer). And a year ago, a dream job opened up on a different team, but were looking for a Senior or Principal Program Manager and I was still very Junior. However, I went to the hiring manager and told him, “You should hire me for this position. This is an area I love, and a technology I know. By the way, my name is Katie.” A week later I had the job, and have loved it ever since.
I think women especially have a tendency to sell ourselves short. We are constantly bombarded by the imposter syndrome and the fear of not being good enough. So my advice is to go big and be bold in spite of these fears. Search out the areas you are passionate about, and go after opportunities even if you don’t think you may be qualified.
What are you currently playing? Or do you have an all-time favorite game that you don’t think people should miss out on?
I enjoy repeating games and picking up on all of the funny jokes and references I missed the first time through. Right now I’m replaying Borderlands 2, and I really enjoy Tiny Tina’s explosive character. She has a quest to collect crumpets, and now whenever I see a crumpet store in Seattle, I think of the game.
In the same vein, what’s the coolest Achievement you’ve unlocked?
In Borderlands 2, there’s an arena called the Circle of Slaughter. It took my friends and I almost a week to last all 5 rounds and get the achievement for Went Five Rounds. There was lots of shouting involved as we made it all the way through.
Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us, Katie! Are there any spaces online our readers can reach out and follow along with your work?
I’m not really on social media, but if anyone has follow-up questions, feel free to direct them @xboxinsider on Twitter. Thanks for having me!
“If you notice,” says the catfish, “everyone is smiling around me.”
It’s true. This huge fish person has been waddling through crowds of people who grin even as they duck under the beast’s massive barbels. Several people are taking photographs. I peer into the gaping mouth of the fish. Two human hands suddenly lurch out, gripping onto the creature’s lips from the inside.
“I’m a namazu,” says Missy Allan, the 32-year-old woman in the costume. “It’s a giant catfish… and they’re generally really dumb-looking, and I love them… I thought it would bring a lot of happiness.”
When I suggest that it is also slightly terrifying, Missy is unfazed.
There aren’t many games that make me feel as cool as Warframe does when I’m bullet-jumping through the air at breakneck speeds. While this free-to-play co-op shooter has wildly outgrown its original “space ninja” reputation since it first came out in 2013 – adding open-world areas, deep story missions, and even a hoverboard with a Tony Hawk-style scoring system – it’s the way it makes everything you do feel fast, powerful, and just plain awesome that keeps me coming back to its almost-endless well of loot.
Warframe is a dense game – a tangled ball of yarn made up of almost six years of updates, additions, system reworks, and content drops. Its different bits and pieces overlap and twist together in a way that can make it overwhelming to even think about trying to untangle it all, but it also means that there’s an almost inconceivable amount of deep and often extremely entertaining content to discover once you do.
It’s easy to forget that human civilisation has only been around for a tiny fraction of Earth’s history, and that mother nature is a stone cold killer. Our planet and how we affect it is the focus of Gathering Storm, the second major expansion for Sid Meier’s Civilization 6. There are natural disasters capable of levelling entire kingdoms, and the constant, looming threat of man-made destruction if the environment gets too damaged through humanity’s reckless ascent. The new expansion launches on February 14th. Check out the announcement trailer below.