Emotional Indie Adventure Sea of Solitude Shipping Out July 5

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One of the most intriguing indie game announcements from E3 2018 finally has a release date. Electronic Arts and German indie studio Jo-Mei Games have announced a July 5 release date for Sea of Solitude for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (Origin).

Sea of Solitude stars Kay, a young woman-turned-monster suffering from loneliness and isolation. As she makes her way through a flooded city, the water level rises to reflect her state of mind. Along the way she meets other people and monsters and works to help them with their own problems and overcome challenges.

The world features dynamic environments and weather that visualize characters’ emotions. New areas are unlocked by overcoming emotional challenges and bringing light and color into the dreary, dark world. Kay’s ultimate goal is to discover why her loneliness has physically transformed her, and how to change back into a human.

“Sea of Solitude centers on the essence of loneliness and tugs on the heartstrings of its players by mirroring their own reality. It’s by far the most artistic and personal project I’ve ever created, written during a very emotional time in my life,” said Cornelia Geppert, CEO, Jo-Mei Games. “Designing characters based on emotions was a deeply personal achievement for our team and we’re so excited for players to soon experience Kay’s powerful story of self-discovery and healing.”

As an EA Originals title, Sea of Solitude is an indie game with the publisher backing of EA. Other EA Originals include Fe and A Way Out.

Sea of Solitude has been rated T for Teen by the ESRB. It’s launching digitally for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on July 5, for $19.99.

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The Sims 4 is Currently Free on PC until May 28

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Anyone with an Origin account can download The Sims 4 for free (normally $39.99) until May 28. Simply head over to the Origin app or website and add it to your library. It’s available for both Windows and Mac. It’s not simply a trial either; after the promotion ends the full game will remain in your Origin library.

Only the base game is available for free, of course. EA will try to sell you its Origin Access subscription program, but you don’t need it to get The Sims 4. If you have Origin Access Basic, you get access to The Sims 4 Digital Deluxe version, while Origin Access Premiere also grants the Dine Out and Kids Room Stuff expansions. The Digital Deluxe edition includes the Awesome Animal Hats, Life of the Party, and Up all Night DLC packs, as well as the soundtrack.

The Sims 4 originally launched in 2014. Like previous Sims games, it quickly became a best-seller, though fans and critics had mixed reactions, noting that it stripped many of the content and features that were present in The Sims 3. Since launch the game has received numerous free updates and paid DLC packs and expansions. The most recent, Get Famous, released in Fall 2018 and added acting and influencer as new careers.

The Sims 4 is rated T for Teen with Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, and Violence. It’s also available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The free period on Origin ends May 28.

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EA Access Subscription Service Now Available on PlayStation 4

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Electronic Arts will officially bring its EA Access subscription gaming service to PlayStation 4. Starting July, you’ll be able to sign up for a monthly subscription ($4.99/mo) or an annual subscription ($29.99/year) through the PlayStation Store.

“As we continue to invest in digital and subscription services, bringing great games to even more players across more platforms is an exciting opportunity for everyone,” said Matt Bilbey, Executive VP, Electronic Arts. “Our goal is to give players more choice to try and play our games wherever and however they choose, and we’re happy to bring EA Access to PlayStation 4.”

EA Access works like Netflix, granting access to EA’s digital library of games as long as you subscribe. EA games include Anthem, Apex Legends, FIFA 19, and Battlefield 5. Being an EA Access subscriber also grants a 10% discount on EA digital game purchases and DLC, as well as various in-game bonuses and rewards, such as Madden card packs and Apex Coins. Subscribers can also play new games a few days early through exclusive Play First Trials.

EA Access is currently available for PC (Origin) and Xbox One. It will arrive on PlayStation 4 this July.

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Apex Legends Battle Pass Revealed, Season 1 Starts Tomorrow

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Respawn Entertainment has officially unveiled the first Battle Pass for battle royale shooter, Apex Legends. The first competitive season, called Wild Frontier, will start tomorrow, March 19 at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern.

If you’re familiar with Fortnite, Apex Legends’ Battle Pass is largely the same. You can purchase a Battle Pass in game for 950 Apex Coins, which translates to about $10 of real money. The Battle Pass includes 100 cosmetic items that you can then earn through regular play by gaining experience and leveling up.

Note that you’ll work towards unlocking the battle pass goodies whether you purchase the pass or not, but you’ll obviously need to purchase it to gain the rewards. If you purchase the Battle Pass later during the season, your progress will carry over and you’ll earn all the applicable rewards.

Unlockable rewards include weapon skins, character skins, banners, badges, epic and legendary loot boxes, and 1,000 in Apex Coins. The last unlock in the Battle Pass is also the first evolving Legendary weapon skin for the Havoc, which has three stages. The Season 1 Battle Pass is purposefully designed to feature all Legends and provide a variety of unlocks for newcomers.

“In terms of rewards, we’ve tried to create a Battle Pass where first-time spenders can get a strong base of weapon and character cosmetics to fill out their initial collection at a deep discount,” writes Lee Horn, Lead Product Manger, Respawn Entertainment.

If you’ve got the cash and want to skip ahead, Apex Legends is offering a Battle Pass Bundle. The Battle Pass Bundle costs 2,800 Apex Coins and grants the Battle Pass as well as instantly unlocking 25 levels of rewards.

Everyone who plays during Season 1, which will last about three months, can earn one Wild Frontier Legend skin, five Apex Packs, and 18 Wild Frontier Stat Trackers. Purchasing the Battle Pass will grant access to three new Wild Frontier skins for Lifeline, Wraith, and Mirage.

Also arriving in Season 1 is the first post-launch Legend, Octane. Look for Octane’s official reveal soon. Respawn has stated that every season of Apex Legends will add a new Legend.

Battle Pass rewards are exclusive to that season. Once earned you keep them forever, but they can never be earned again.

Apex Legends is available on PC (Origin), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It’s rated T for Teen.

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Save Up to 85% In the EA Publisher Sale on PC and Xbox

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Apex Legends may be free but for most EA games you’ll need to pay up. The EA Publisher Sale is here if you want to load up on other EA games like The Sims 4, Titanfall 2, Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Battlefield 5. The digital game sale is currently available for PC (via Origin) and Xbox One.

There are some really solid discounts on recent releases. The discounts are slightly deeper on PC versus Xbox (around 5%), but either way it’s worth checking out some of the biggest games from the last few years.

Hear are some highlights (prices listed from Xbox’s digital game store):

  • Battlefield 5 – $30 (50% off)
  • Star Wars Battlefront 2 – $6.25 (75% off)
  • The Sims 4 – $8.00 (80% off)
  • Titanfall 2: Ultimate Edition – $7.50 (75% off)
  • Madden NFL 19 – $15.00 (75% off)
  • Need for Speed Payback – $6.60 (67% off)
  • A Way Out – $17.99 (40% off)
  • Fe – $5 (75% off)

On Origin you can also find The Sims 4 expansions on sale, such as The Sims 4: Seasons ($19.99, 50% off) and The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs ($19.99, 50% off).

The EA Publisher Sale runs until March 19 at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern.