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Hello Battlefield fans, I'm sure you're excited for the recently announced Battlefield 4 title, but more so for when it will be released, supposedly later this year in Fall.

According to a leaked preorder art piece which was promoting preorder dog-tags, Battlefield 4 will come out later this year during Fall, which, given how shooters are usually announced in the year they're released in, isn't all that unlikely. But of course, this is just a rumor for the time being and the artwork could be fake.

In other related news, a song supposedly from Battlefield 4 can be found and is called "Hanna's Theme," suggesting that female soldiers will be in Battlefield 4. A leaked image of Origin Russia also suggests Battlefield 4 will have a beta available to all Battlefield 3 Premium subscribers. Be sure to hop inside for a larger image of the supposedly leaked artwork!

Do you remember the days when we only used one term to describe a console’s power? Twenty years ago, what people saw as “bits” were all that mattered and we could tell when one console was better than another simply by looking at the games. One needn’t any more insight than his own eyes to see that Donkey Kong Country was more advanced than the arcade’s Donkey Kong or that Sonic the Hedgehog could do more than Alex Kidd in Miracle World.

Fast forward to today and how do we compare consoles? Jargon. Twenty years ago, people didn’t debate the relative merits of a “Customized 6502 CPU” and a “Television Interface Adaptor Model 1A” because a system’s power could be easily described by marketers as “bits,” and every generation self-evidently doubled the power of the last. But those days, as you certainly know, are gone.

These ever-improving graphics were always one good reason to buy a console, but alongside visual improvements, each generation’s new technology brought us bigger and better ways to play our games. The new Mode 7 technology of the Super Nintendo, for example, allowed racing games like F-Zero and Super Mario Kart to take off, while the jump to 32 and 64-bit consoles allowed for full 3D gaming, which was a monumental advancement in its own right. During this time, advancements in technology went hand-in-hand with advancements in gameplay, but when the core fundamentals of a video game have reached their limits, companies look for other, less essential ways to improve the experience.

Head past the jump to keep reading!

Last month at Sony's PlayStation Meeting, Blizzard announced that the latest entry in the widely popular Diablo series would be making its way to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 at some point in the future.

This partnership between Blizzard and Sony was implied to be exclusive, but now it appears it may not be as great for Sony as we thought.

"We don't have any announcements to make at this time, but we're not necessarily a Sony exclusive."

Another bright point to note is that one of the biggest issues that plagued Diablo III on PCs was the lack of an offline play and dozens of server crashes, which, in conjunction with one another, left the game unplayable for a while. On the console version of Diablo III, however, you will be able to play the full game offline with up to three friends, which "feels very collaborative," at least on the PlayStation 3.

It looks like Diablo III is shaping up to be a great console gaming experience from a franchise that's been so strongly rooted on the PC. Will you be picking Diablo III up on a home gaming consoles?

Any Elder Scrolls fan knows that the series is primarily played through a first-person perspective, so many were upset, even outraged, after hearing that The Elder Scrolls Online would be a third-person title with limited first-person function. Well, time to stop being so upset, because those restrictions are gone.

Chris Carter over at Destructoid managed to play the game's first-person mode and was surprised to see ESO can be fully playable in first-person like the mainstream titles such as Skyrim. I myself prefer to alternate between the two, so it's nice to see the First-Person aspects will be fully retained.

Zenimax has stated that the current build is in testing and playable, and it will be available with the game at launch along with availability on the Mac OSX on day one.

Rachel appeared in a very early trailer for Resident Evil: Revelations, and those that played the original game of the 3DS got to know her as the character that died just to later become a mutated boss. That, and as the women who somehow managed to see through a fringe that covered her eyes, but was unable to dress to cover her own cleavage.

Capcom has now announced that Rachel will be a playable character in the game's Raid Mode, along with Hunk, who was announced last month. The re-release will also feature two new enemies: one being called the "Wall Blister" and the other remains a surprise.

Further details have been revealed in regards to the Wii U version of the game. Players have the choice between the GamePad and Classic Controller when playing on the television, but can also play the title solely on the GamePad. The Wii U version also contains some extra features through Miiverse. More inside.

Earlier in the year, Polytron Corporation announced they would be porting the indie hit Fez to other hardware, beyond the Xbox 360. Many were curious of how the game could work on the 3DS with the system's three-dimensional capabilities.

Phil Fish, the creator of the title, partook in an AMA (or an "ask-me-anything" for you less avid internet users) on Reddit today. It's actually a fascinating and hilarious read. Anyways, back on topic, one user inquired on the possibilities of a 3DS port and this followed.

Is FEZ coming to 3DS?

Phil Fish: we don;t have any plans for that, no. people keep assuming fez would be a no-brainer on 3DS, but in truth it would be kind of pointless. the game is practically always shown in isometric 3D, there’s never any perspective there. i don’t think it would work.

Well, that's a tad disappointing to me. His reasoning is a little flawed, as a 3DS game doesn't have to necessarily use 3D (see Fluidity: Spin Cycle), but Phil Fish is a busy man, and one I have respect for. I'll be sure to pick up Fez when it hits Steam on May 1st. A Mac version will follow, and there is talk of PlayStation 3 and Vita ports for you Sony fans out there.

Beginning today, Electronic Arts (EA) and Maxis are offering players who have suffered through SimCity's launch server issues with a free game download. This was announced by Maxis Genreal Manager Lucy Bradshaw on her blog, and the emails were sent out to gamers today, detailing how to get their free game.

"On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game. I know that’s a little contrived -- kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy. But we feel bad about what happened. We’re hoping you won’t stay mad and that we’ll be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent." — Lucy Bradshaw

Be it little more than a nice little public relations ploy, it is still a nice treat, just like the Nintendo 3DS' Ambassador Program provided gamers who purchased the console before the price drop with something for their dedication. Likewise, dedicated SimCity fans get a little something. Which games can be chosen are after the jump.

I don't think anyone truly thought EA was being honest with consumers when they stated that only a complete overhaul of SimCity would allow the game to not be online (aka, have offline single player). Mounting evidence, and now finally access to a completely offline debug mode where the entire game is playable, suggest EA is just talking out their ass.

First, Rock Paper Shotgun had an anonymous inside source explain this:

"The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing," claims RPS' source. "They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless."

Of course, anonymous inside sources don't mean a whole lot... that is until a fan proves these sources to be 100% correct. More inside.

I definitely have had some fun with Call of Duty: Black Ops II on my Wii U. It has a fairly active online community and all of the modes are very pick up and play. It's nice when I don't want to take things too seriously or when I don't have a lot of time to game. In many ways, that makes it sort of a casual experience, since anyone can really play and feel like they are accomplishing something. It reminds me a lot actually of Goldeneye back in the N64 days.

John Gibson, President of Tripwire Interactive (Folks behind Killing Floor and Red Orchestra 2), talked extensively to PC Gamer about how Call of Duty is ruining the FPS generation of players these days. The main reason? It's taken what was previously a hardcore only experience and turned it into a mainstream casual style genre. Don't believe that? Think Call of Duty is a hardcore gamer's game? Hop inside to see why that's not the case.

It's no secret that the modern gaming market is a lot less stable than it was a few years ago. I was hoping to write a lengthy editorial on this very subject, but the brilliant minds at CleverNoobs have just done so in video form! This feature takes an in-depth look at the gaming crash of 1983 and the parallels between it and today. Discussing the effects of DLC, online gaming, and retooling old games, CleverNoobs explains why the current market is in a state of upset and what we can all do to try to avoid it—and even why a crash may ultimately be a good thing. CleverNoobs has done a wonderful job at explaining the state of the industry, and as educated gamers, this is an essential video to watch.

SimCity's launch has been extremely shaky, to put it mildly. Some claim its the worst video game launch of all time; but either way, things sure have been troublesome. The critical consensus on SimCity thus far is that it's a good game, if it works. Getting it to work being the key factor.

SimCity has been struggling with back-end server issues, to such an extent that EA even halted advertising on the game. The good news is that huge strides are being made in improving the underlying issues. The number of players in the game has now doubled; server response is 40 times faster; and server down times have been reduced.

For the full progress report, straight from the blog of Maxis' Lucy Bradshaw, read on.

Coming right after a week where Ubisoft leaked everything from a game's name to its announcement trailer before its official reveal, you'd expect they would get the situation under control, but Ubisoft has managed to leak yet another Assassin's Creed-related image. As you can see above, the image displays the logo for "Assassin's Creed: Phoenix Rising." It's hard to imagine Ubisoft would flood the market this much with new big-budget Assassin's Creed titles, so perhaps this is another Vita game à la last year's Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. Or perhaps this is has something to do with the Assassin's Creed film? Time will tell what Phoenix Rising really means—so long as this isn't a masterfully crafted prank.

Due to ongoing server issues since its release last week, Electronic Arts yesterday halted its online advertising campaigns for SimCity. EA also sent out an e-mail to its affiliates, as per their Origin's LinkShare program, asking that they "please stop actively promoting the game until further notice."

With the game's servers failing to meet player demand, developer Maxis has acted to improve gameplay by deactivating some features, and is working on improving "server stability."

The e-mail sent out yesterday states that EA Origin has "deactivated all SimCity text links and creative and we ask you to please remove any copy promoting SimCity from your website for the time-being." Hit the jump for more of the e-mail and a response from Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw.

Anita Sarkeesian is attempting to tackle a rather prolific topic: Woman in video games. The above video is part 1 of massive series of videos she will be putting on on the topic to reach her ultimate conclusion. The video project was funded via Kickstarter and so far, so good in my book. The above video touches upon a common trope used not just in games but in all areas of the media. Sure, it hurts at times seeing Miyamoto thrown out there as one of the godfather's of this movement in games, but it's not far from the truth.

I think it's nice too where she says she too grew up on these same games and she enjoys playing them, so it's not like this topic is necessarily about the games design. This topic is strictly about how woman are depicted in gaming. We gladly look forward to the next part in the series. It's a very touchy topic, but I think she has done a good job touching base on it so far. Oh, and for those that want to mention how in Double Dragon she helps beat the boss in the end - so does Zelda, it doesn't mean she's not a damsel in distress.

Everyone by now is at least remotely familiar with the indie phenomenon Minecraft. Though Minecraft is available on PCs and mobile devices, the only home console the game has been available on has been Xbox 360 for quite some time. This is due to an exclusivity deal developer Mojang has with Microsoft, but as revealed in a recent interview, that all could change sometime soon. Jens Bergensten, lead designer of Minecraft: Pocket Edition, had this to say:

Microsoft has an exclusivity deal for consoles. When it runs out we’ll consider Minecraft for PlayStation, but Wii U is very unlikely.

Though the language here doesn't imply that this contract will end any time soon, the fact that they're discussing the contract's end is certainly telling. This quote, however, got me wondering exactly which console Bergensten was referring to as "PlayStation" and why the Wii U is such an unlikely candidate, and it turns out that the situation may not be so simple with the Wii U. Head past the jump to read more.