The latest expansion for The Sims 4, Island Living, was shown at the EA Play 2019 press conference. Island Living adds a new beach location, new careers, and mermaids. Island…
The most anticipated game from EA this year is Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Developed by Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall), Fallen Order is a single player action-adventure starring a new Jedi…
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.
Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment (Apex Legends) announced a new Star Wars game during the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago last weekend. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a third-person…
EA and Respawn Entertainment’s new battle royale game continues its rapid success. This week Apex Legends is celebrating 50 million players with a fun stat-filled trailer (above). While we await…
In the 2014 sci-fi action film Edge of Tomorrow (also known as Live Die Repeat), Tom Cruise is drafted into defending Europe from the violent alien invaders. He’s quickly killed in combat, but at the same time becomes infected with the aliens’ time loop powers. Like an action movie version of Groundhog Day, Cruise repeats the same day over and over as he goes through a montage of getting quickly, and often hilariously, killed. He eventually learns how to fight back, teams up with an awesome Emily Blunt, and saves the world.
When playing a battle royale game, I often feel like Tom Cruise in those early moments of Edge of Tomorrow. I drop down. I run around frantically. I die, mercilessly. Repeat.
But Apex Legends feels different. Not only does it have the most well-refined systems I’ve seen in the genre, but it makes me want to double down and improve my gameplay rather than throw my hands up in frustration. For the reasons I’ve listed below give Apex Legends a try, even if you’ve been entirely turned off by the explosively popular genre so far.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Most battle royale games feature a team mode where groups can join, survive, and win together. Apex Legends is built from the group up for three person squads. Teamwork in Apex Legends is easier and more enjoyable, even when playing with random strangers.
From the very start players draft their characters together, then drop into the world together. Squads should stick together – though not too close, and many of the character abilities foster teamwork and coordination, such as Lifeline’s ability to call in a supply drop, and Pathfinder’s ability to create a zipline for quick travel.
Most importantly, squads can revive and even respawn their fellow teammates. Players enter a downed state when their health depletes and can be revived. Even if they’re killed, a teammate can grab their beacon and high tail it to the nearest respawn beacon, summoning them back to the fight. Some of my most memorable and thrilling survival stories have occurred after only one of us has been left alive to bring us back from the brink.
Should’ve Put a Ping On It
The intuitive ping system is incredibly clever. It’s the primary reason why playing with random squadmates ever has a chance of succeeding. With the press of a button, a squad mate can call out and highlight weapons, ammo, enemies, loot chests, and areas of interests. I can ping sections of my inventory to tell my squad I need ammo, body armor, or a certain weapon mod, declare an area to defend, and quickly yell out where and when I saw an enemy.
All of this is done without the need for voice chat at all. That’s particularly a huge plus for younger teens and concerned parents.
Less Players, More Action
Every match features 20 squads for 60 total players. That’s a significant departure from the 100-person matches of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite. Yet even with almost half the players, the action rarely feels big and empty. Sometimes we drop in the corner of the Swamps and never run into a person until 20 minutes later. But usually there’s always another firefight around the corner.
The diverse Canyon map is filled with military bases, shanty towns, industrial walkways, steep valleys, and open desert. The map feels like the perfect size, and strikes a great balance between moments of quiet looting, tense exploration, and explosive firefights.
Choose Your Fighter
Apex Legends takes a page from online hero shooter Overwatch in providing several unique character classes to choose from. Like Overwatch you can’t have more than one character on your team, forcing teams to balance their preferred play style. All eight current characters bring something unique and interesting, like Bangalore’s smoke bombs, Gibraltar’s dome shield (hello, Winston!), and Bloodhound’s Predator vision. Apex Legends does a fantastic job incorporating these characters and their abilities, without deviating from the core gameplay of grabbing weapons and shooting each other.
Apex Legends has been a pleasantly addictive experience. When matches go horribly wrong, as they often do, it’s over in minutes. And it takes less time than that to cue up the next match. Wait times are non-existent, and we’ve never experienced a second of lag or server issues. Releasing a complete (and free to play!) game that works right out of the gate shouldn’t be cause for celebration, but here we are.
I’ve adored my time with Apex Legends, despite having yet to win a match. I’m still Tom Cruise in the middle of figuring everything out. I die, a lot. But repeating has never been so fun.