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GI Show 212: The Last Of Us Remastered, Oddworld, EA Access

This week, two classics from gaming's recent and not-so-recent past return in improved form, and we discuss a bold new Electronic Arts gaming service.

In our first segment, host Matt Helgeson is joined by Tim Turi, who recently reviewed The Last of Us: Remastered. Naughty Dog's masterpiece is better than ever on PS4, and this is the definitive way to play the game. We discuss what's been done to improve its visuals, the DLC that it comes packed with, and the lasting impact of the experience.

Next up, Joe Juba and Ben Hanson stop by to discuss Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, a meticulous next-gen recreation of the PS1-era classic. Oddworld Inhabitant's strange platform/puzzle game remains beguiling, and has been completely rebuilt from the ground up by Just Add Water.

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God game Maia pulls in $1 million while in Early Access

Maia, a sci-fi colony management sim from developer Simon Roth, has pulled in more than $ 1 million, and it’s not even fully out yet. This figure includes the £140,481 ($ 225,219) Maia secured on Kickstarter in 2012, plus $ 11,000 on Indiegogo,…
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EA Announces Access Xbox One Subscription Program For Catalog Games, Discounts, Early Play Time

EA has announced a new subscription program rolling out in beta today that will give users access to games and discounts for a monthly fee. The initiative, entitled EA Access, will be available exclusively on Xbox One.

For $ 4.99 each month, members will have access to a number of EA titles and also receive a 10 percent discount on digital content, which includes both full titles and add-on material. This includes season passes like Battlefield Premium and Ultimate Team points for purchasing packs of cards.

At first, Battlefield 4, Peggle 2, FIFA 14, and Madden NFL 25 will be available. These games, which EA is grouping under “The Vault” heading, are downloaded rather than streamed. As long as you are a member, you'll retain access (similar to PlayStation Plus and Xbox One's Games with Gold).

The program also gives members the opportunity to play games up to five days early as a trial, with progress carrying over to the retail title if purchased. The first eligible titles are Madden NFL 15, FIFA 15, NHL 15, NBA Live 15, and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Full year memberships will be available for $ 29.99, approximately half off the monthly rate. EA Access memberships will also be available at retail in the future.

Update: An EA representative tells us that the company has no plans on removing games from The Vault, which means the library of titles available will grow over time. Additionally, if your membership lapses, your progress will be saved should you decide to re-up later.

[Source: EA]


Our Take
This experiment has the potential to pay off in a big way for EA. The fee is reasonable (especially with the yearly discount), and using the EA Sports Season Ticket approach to early play time for all of EA’s titles is smart. I can imagine that Dragon Age fans will be eager to get started with Inquisition five days early.

I’m eager to see how The Vault grows over time. This could end up being a better value over time, especially if the price stays relatively stable. This is a smart business move, and one I’ll be interested to watch develop through the beta. – The Feed

EA unveils Xbox One subscription service, EA Access

Following the success of Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, EA has unveiled its own Xbox One-exclusive subscription service dubbed EA Access.

Those who spend $ 5 per month (or $ 30 per year) on an EA Access subscription will be granted free,…
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Crypt of the NecroDancer boogies on Early Access July 30

Break out the shovels, swords and dance pads; roguelike/rhythm hybrid Crypt of the NecroDancer is zombie-shuffle-dancing its way to Steam Early Access on July 30. It will be available for PC, Mac and Linux.

Not everyone will have to wait until the…
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Adventurzator: When Pigs Fly coming to Steam Early Access

Brazilian developer Pigasus Games will be releasing its premier title: Adventurzator: When Pigs Fly on Steam Early Access on July 23rd. Adventurzator is an adventure-game-developing game that seeks to cut out the middleman of complicated technical knowledge for users by offering robust tools for emergent design. Characters, levels and campaigns can all be created and shared between players/creators, along with cutscenes to tie together their original narratives. One of the big selling points is the ease of interaction between objects in the world- in the words of the developers, “Objects dynamically interact with each other – no need to manually make a cup and a water fountain find what they can accomplish together.”

The When Pigs Fly portion of the title refers to the pre-made example campaign, only six levels (out of twelve) of which will be released during early access “to avoid spoiling too much.” To summarize, on July 23rd you will be able to buy part of a game in which you make games, only part of whose toolset will be released, which features- within it- a game that is intentionally incomplete. And you won’t get the whole campaign until that murky early access “end date” is reached, regardless of whether or not you paid the full price. To be fair, Pigasus seems to be trying to manage consumer expectations as fairly as possible; they recommend waiting out the early access unless you’ve got a “mid-range video card or better (GF450+/HD5750+).”

I don’t want to call a game bad before it releases, and there doesn’t seem to be any info to suggest that Adventurzator, when it’s officially released as a full game, shouldn’t at least be decent. However, for gamers who don’t want to throw $ 15 (early access buyers get a 25% discount from the promised $ 20 at release) around on a hopefully-decent product that has had content intentionally withheld* I urge you to stay your wallets. Adventurzator could provide a lovely platform for user-friendly, shareable game-creation. When such a product is released, be sure to check back.

* Currently only levels 1-3 are finished, but assuming that the rest are developed during the course of early access then 6-12 will be withheld until full release.

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ID@Xbox devs would like early access too, please

Xbox developers are requesting the ability to participate in a Steam-style early access initiative, according to Chris Charla, director of the ID@Xbox program. In a recent interview with Develop, Charla said the issue was one he and his team think…
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Adam Boyes would like to give Early Access to the PS4

Sony Computer Entertainment of America VP of Developer and Publisher Relations Adam Boyes (man that business card must be long) is interested in making an Early Access-style program for PS4 developers, according to a recent interview with…
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Heroes and Generals beta now available through Steam Early Access

It has been announced that the beta version of Heroes and Generals, the free-to-play WWII from Reto-Moto, is now available to download through Steam Early Access.

Heroes and Generals blends FPS with RTS, and lets players take on the role of an Infantryman, Tank Gunner, Fighter Pilot, Recon, Paratrooper, or General in a persistent war being fought on the European front between Axis and Allied forces.

The release date for the completed version of Heroes and Generals is yet to be determined, but more information on the title can be found at the official Steam page.

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Habitat finds life on Steam Early Access

Habitat, the Kickstarted space-physics strategy game from 4gency, is now on Steam Early Access for $ 15 on PC, Mac and Linux, published by Versus Evil. This is the game that lets you fight with the Eiffel Tower in space. Now we all remember.

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