gamesread | Crafty farming life sim RPG My Time At Portia enters early access

gamesread | Crafty farming life sim RPG My Time At Portia enters early access

Post-apocalyptic life usually seems stressful but it actually looks quite cheery in My Time At Portia, a new Stardew Valley-ish craft-o-explore-a-life sim RPG which hit early access today. Sure, the skyline is dotted with overgrown skyscrapers and the dungeons beneath the town house biomechanical monsters, but aside from that it looks pleasant enough as we farm, craft, make friends, and all that. The full version is due later this year–and I’d rather wait for that myself, as I tend to with singleplayer games–but if you want to visit Portia now you can. It does also have an old-ish demo to try first.

The end of the world as we know it came and went, and everyone feels fine. My Time At Portia has us visiting our father’s old workshop to take over and build it back up, like some other farming game you might now. We’ll craft, farm, mine, fish, befriend, fall in love, fight, attend festivals, and engage in other Stardew/Harvest Moon-y activities.

According to developers Pathea Games, My Time At Portia is expected to launch properly in about nine months. They estimate it present has “up to 25 hours of content, with lots to craft, a huge amount of story, commissions to fulfil, and areas to explore.” Over the course of early access, they plan to add new areas, commissions, side-quests, storybits, and minigames, as well as the ability to raise and ride animals. Frankly, I’m not interested until I can ride a cow.

If you want in now, My Time At Portia is £16/€20/$20 on Steam Early Access. It’s published by Team17, the Worms folks. An old alpha version is still available to try on Steam and Itch.

gamesread – Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC beta is much better at cloud gaming than you think

gamesread - Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC beta is much better at cloud gaming than you think

Cloud gaming has become a bit of a dirty word these days. There have been plenty of people who have tried their hand at it over the years, promising high-end, lag-free gaming without the need for all that bulky, costly hardware, but most (*cough*Gaikai*cough*OnLive*cough*) have ended up on that age-old trash heap of crushed dreams and broken promises, their meagre uptake prompting them to disappear back into the ether almost as quickly as they appeared.

This time, though, Nvidia might have finally cracked it, as the beta for their GeForce Now streaming service has finally arrived on PC in Europe and North America. It’s free, uses your very own game library and their respective cloud saves, and, whisper it, it’s actually pretty good. So rejoice all you laptop and creaking PC people whose rigs would probably faint at even the slightest suggestion of running something like Doom or Shadow of War at Ultra quality settings and 60fps. Your time in the gaming big leagues has arrived.

So how does this GeForce Now malarkey actually work? One important point to make before we dive into the nitty-gritty is that this isn’t the same thing as GeForce Now on Nvidia’s own Shield tablet or their Shield TV streaming gizmo (helpful, I know). Those have a different library of games and completely separate pricing structure to the PC version, so cast whatever you currently know about GeForce Now to the wind. It’s no good here.

Instead, GeForce Now for PC is all about turning low-end systems such as laptops, netbooks and ancient PCs into high-powered gaming rigs, letting you play games you already own at the shiniest, most extreme graphics settings possible without said laptop or PC collapsing into a wheezing, undignified mess.

gamesread - Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC beta is much better at cloud gaming than you think

Doom running at 1080p, 60fps and Ultra-Nightmare settings on my four-year-old laptop? You’re having a laugh, mate. Oh…

It’s not every game you own, mind. Right now, there are around 150 games that support GeForce Now (you’ll find a full list on the next page), but Nvidia says they’ll continue to add more at regular intervals.

You’re also currently limited to games from Steam, UPlay and However, provided Nvidia’s previously announced partnerships with GOG and Origin haven’t fallen through since they were first unveiled in January 2016, then games from these platforms should also hopefully be making their way over either very soon or when GeForce Now launches properly once the beta’s over.

There is, admittedly, a small loophole that lets you play Steam games that aren’t on Nvidia’s supported list, but to be honest, it’s a bit of a faff. You not only need to install the game each time you want to play it through GeForce Now (which Nvidia says can take up to 30 minutes as opposed to a one-time ten second install like the rest of GeForce Now’s library), but you won’t be able to take advantage of things like cloud saves either – unless, that is, it already supports Steam’s Cloud Sync and you’ve got that enabled.

Still, there’s a pretty good selection on offer in the main GeForce Now library, including favourites like Plunkbat, Fortnite and CS: GO, as well as newer, fancier things you might not have found time to play yet, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2, Destiny 2, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, SpellForce 3, Prey and Dishonored: Death of the Outsider. You can also buy supported games you don’t currently own within the GeForce Now app, as clicking on each game will take you straight to its relevant store page.

gamesread - Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC beta is much better at cloud gaming than you think

Just some of the games available on GeForce Now right now

It’s certainly a tempting prospect, both if you’ve never owned a proper gaming PC or have ever contemplated whether it’s worth going all in on and spending thousands of pounds on a full-blown gaming laptop – particularly when graphics card prices are still fluctuating faster than Steam’s best-seller list. If you bought the 4K-capable Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 over Black Friday, for instance, you could have bagged one for around £480. Now, you’re looking at paying something closer to £650. No thank you. The GTX 1070 is even worse. This cost £350 in November. Now you’ll need to add another £200 to your budget.

There are, of course, cheaper graphics cards available like the £140 GTX 1050Ti (our current 1080p gaming champion), but that still doesn’t help much if you’re often tied to a laptop or all-in-one PC, or simply don’t have the confidence or know-how to start tinkering about inside your current PC case.

GeForce Now also takes a lot of the hassle out of owning and maintaining a gaming PC, as annoying things like updates and game drivers are all handled automatically at Nvidia’s end, meaning you’ll never have to wait for a new patch to install ever again. You also don’t have to worry about clogging up your hard drive or SSD with loads of game files either, as that’s all taken care of in the cloud. Each game installs in about ten seconds, taking up next to no space at all instead of tens of GBs, and there’s no limit on the number of games you can have installed either. GeForce Now games all support cloud saves, too, so your files won’t be locked inside Nvidia’s servers forever should you decide to leave or stop your subscription.

gamesread - Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC beta is much better at cloud gaming than you think

That said, the big question that still hasn’t been answered is how much does all this actually cost? Well, the short answer is we don’t know yet. The PC beta is currently free for everyone who signs up (there’s currently a waiting list, so it may take a while before you get onto it), and will remain so until GeForce Now launches properly. Nvidia couldn’t give me any kind of timescale on when that might happen when I probed them about it, but they did say that the beta would continue for at least the next three months, so it might be a while before you find out for sure.

GeForce Now PC beta performance

Is it really as good as it all sounds, though? Well, much like any cloud gaming service, the quality of the service depends very much on your current web connection, as you’ll only be able to see all those Ultra-fied face pores and wafting hair locks if you’ve got big enough internet pipes. Anything less and those pristine textures will descend into a giant, smeary blob of pixelated Vaseline, a bit like when you’re trying to stream something on the telly and it hasn’t quite buffered yet.

According to Nvidia, you need an internet connection with at least a 25Mbps download speed, but ideally you should have 50Mbps or more to get the best out of it. Nvidia also recommends you’re hardwired into your router via an Ethernet cable, or have a 5GHz one you can connect to wirelessly.

gamesread - Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC beta is much better at cloud gaming than you think

You’ll also need to make sure the laptop or PC you’re using has at least Windows 7 or higher for your OS, a 3.1GHz Intel Core i3 processor or faster, 4GB of RAM and a GPU that supports DirectX 9 – i.e.: an Nvidia GeForce 600 or AMD Radeon HD 3000 series card or newer, or Intel HD Graphics 2000 or newer if you’re using a laptop.

To put GeForce Now through its paces, I installed it on my 2013 Dell XPS 13 laptop, which has never enjoyed anything more than Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 4400 chip, and gave it a thorough going over at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz on my BT Smart Hub router.

When connecting over 2.4GHz, I was warned about having poor signal and that I might experience stutter or latency issues, but on the whole, it wasn’t really the latency that was the problem. Instead, it was the bitrate – or rather that aforementioned Vaseline issue. Despite measuring a bitrate/download speed between 45-49Mbps, the overall sharpness of each game I tried tended to vary quite wildly – like everything had a dynamic resolution feature that would produce pixel-perfect textures one minute and descend into a blurred mess the next.

Now this wasn’t the case all the time. Running GeForce Now on a Monday morning, for instance, was much more stable than using it on Friday evening (when a pop-up message warned me that the sheer number of people trying to use the service at that time might mean connection times were a bit slower than normal), and I also found the bitrate tended to be a bit hit and miss when my partner was playing something else downstairs in the living room. When it did drop, however, even if it was just for the briefest handful of seconds, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed – even though under ordinary circumstances my laptop would struggle to spit out a single frame at similar settings.

gamesread - Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC beta is much better at cloud gaming than you think

Doom, in all its demonic, perfectly streamed glory. (Click for full size)

This wasn’t much of a problem in games like Doom, Tacoma or Dishonored 2, as their broader colour palettes and stylised art direction aren’t so dependent on reproducing the absolute finest detail. In something like SpellForce 3, however, even a small drop in bitrate can quite literally spell disaster, as there were times when its reams of text became almost illegible. That’s a problem when you’re managing lots of units and need the game’s detailed UI to help send them into battle or manage your town’s building resources, and in cases like these, a 2.4GHz connection just isn’t really enough to produce the seamless experience you’d want from a cloud gaming service.

I also experienced the occasional latency issue in Doom. Again, most of the time it was absolutely fine. The frame rate never dropped below 60fps on Ultra/Nightmare settings at 1920×1080, but there were still a couple of times when it ground to a choppy, stuttery halt in big fight scenes, turning what should be fast, fluid shoot-outs into a disastrous slideshow.

gamesread - Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC beta is much better at cloud gaming than you think

This screenshot doesn’t quite capture the full extent of how blurry text can look in real life, but you really need a 5GHz wireless connection if you like playing strategy games. (Click for full size)

The latency and bitrate problems got a little better when I turned on the Ultra Streaming Mode option in the GeForce Now’s menu options, which is meant to adjust in-game settings to help minimise latency issues, but this was nothing compared to switching over to my router’s 5GHz network.

At 5GHz, those bitrate issues completely disappeared, restoring my faith that I didn’t, in fact, just need to go to the opticians and get some new glasses. SpellForce 3 ran like a beaut, rendering all its glorious text in picture-perfect detail, and it even ironed out most of Doom’s latency issues as well. I still encountered one instance of some quite nasty lag during a particularly busy demon brawl, but it recovered in a couple of seconds and never happened again in a single mission. To all intents and purposes, it really did feel like I was playing on a proper gaming PC – not an ultraportable laptop that’s never seen the inside of a dedicated graphics card its entire life.

That’s a pretty great feeling if I’m honest, and even those few seconds of lag over 5GHz weren’t enough to dim my overall view of GeForce Now. Even my own Nvidia GeForce GTX 970-equipped PC can’t run Doom without the odd frame rate plunge every now and again, and having the opportunity to play games like Dishonored 2, Okami HD, Destiny 2, Prey and Metal Gear Solid V on a laptop in any room in my house is about the closest I’m going to get to a PC version of the Nintendo Switch any time soon – which, let’s face it, is all anyone really wants in life. Steam Link comes close, admittedly, but that still requires you to sit down in front of a TV or monitor. GeForce Now, on the other hand, lets me fire up a game when I’m tucked up in bed.

gamesread - Nvidia’s GeForce Now PC beta is much better at cloud gaming than you think

The rough locations of GeForce Now’s data centres

Of course, this may change once Nvidia tell us how much this is all going to cost – the nice thing about the Switch, of course, is that you don’t have a running monthly fee for the privilege of portable play. But provided GeForce Now doesn’t start costing silly money, I think this really could be a force for good in PC gaming spheres and give older devices a new lease of life. It would certainly make me think twice about the need to upgrade my four-year old laptop and, given current graphics card prices, it might even work out to be just as cost-effective in the long run.

Look at it this way. A £650 graphics card would effectively cost £54-per-month over the course of the year, or £18-per-month over the course of three. Even if you don’t upgrade that graphics card for another five years (which works out at roughly £11-per-month), that might end up being roughly the same kind of money you’d spend on GeForce Now over the same time period – all without the hassle of game storage woes, install times, driver updates and constantly fiddling around with the graphics settings.

Only time will tell, of course, but right now, I’m feeling optimistic. A lot will depend on the kind and number of games Nvidia adds to GeForce Now in the future, but as long as it keeps up with new releases and provides enough variety across all the major genres, it might finally be the thing to restore cloud gaming’s good name. It’s certainly worth checking out if you’ve got the right internet connection and can bag a spot on the beta, and here’s hoping it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg when it finally launches.

For a full list of games currently supported by GeForce Now, head over to the next page.

Staxel brings more farm-o-craft antics to early access –

Staxel brings more farm-o-craft antics to early access -

It’s typical, eh: you wait ages for a Stardew-o-Harvest-a-Crossing crafty farming daily life sim, then two come along to early access at once. My Time At Portia today delivers a cheery vision of the post-apocalypse, while Staxel here has more of a fairytale vibe and Minecraft-y style, not to mention online multiplayer. Yes, it is weird that neither crafty farmy miner has flinched in this game of chicken. But hey, they’re here now. Let’s peek at Staxel.

Staxel is going for a first-person Minecraft-ish voxely vibe as we- lawks, look at that, it’s is also about arriving in a village to restore a run-down farm to its former etc. Hey, I have seen entire genres built upon far worse stories. As is the way, we’ll get to grow crops, raise animals, expand the farm, befriend villagers, and so on. And as you might guess from the Minecraft-y look, it also lets players reshape the world block-by-block.

A little touch I like the look of: crafting tables include actual tools such as a saw that drags wood through while planking it.

Early access is planned to continue “well into late 2018”, or perhaps longer depending on what players want. The official word is that the makers “plan to increase the number and scale of quests, add more interaction with NPCs, and give more focus to animals and husbandry.” Is that animal husbandry or- ah, maybe I don’t want to know.

Staxel costs £15/€20/$20 on Steam and the Humble Store (who give a Steam key anyway). It’s made by Plukit and published by Humble Bundle on their own label.

gamesread | Lost Sphear out now from I Am Setsuna studio

gamesread | Lost Sphear out now from I Am Setsuna studio

If you fancy JRPG action in a retro way, here’s Lost Sphear out today. It’s the second RPG from Square Enix’s Tokyo RPG Factory, the studio behind I Am Setsuna, and it too riffs on ye olde JRPGs. I won’t pretend to be well-acquainted with the genre but: yes, JRPG stuff. We do have a review coming from someone who actually knows a gad dang but we only just got our hands on Lost Sphear so, for now, here’s word that the game is out. It does have a demo so you can try a bit yourself.

The story certainly sounds like an RPG to me:

“A young man, who suffered a phenomenon that he had never seen, faces an ominous power that threatens the fabric of reality. Awaken the power of Memory to restore what was lost! Muster different Memory and craft the world around you in a journey to save the world.”

Though Squeenix do say its turn-based combat does have “a slight twist” on the classic format, “you’re able to move your characters around in between executing their moves! If you’re able to predict what the enemies will try next then you’ll be able to prepare for it well in advance by tactically shuffling your characters around.” When they say shuffling, I hope they really mean shuffling. Doddering. Pottering. Forgetting where they left their cup of tea. Being distracted by a headline in the paper. Stopping to water the plants.

Lost Sphear is out now for £35/€50/$50 on Steam. The free demo is that-a-way too. As I said, we do have a review coming; I am told that will happen.

Premature Evaluation: Stationeers on gamesread

Premature Evaluation: Stationeers on gamesread

Premature Evaluation is the weekly column in which we explore the wilds of early access. This week, Fraser’s pottering around in RocketwWerkz’ space station sim, Stationeers, and learning that, just perhaps, it’s better to stay on Earth.

Why is a giant egg on top of my microwave? I’m trying to play through Stationeers’ dire tutorial, but I actually feel like I’m participating in one of Gordon Ramsay’s literal kitchen nightmares. In the egg carton, it was very much a normal-sized, innocuous egg, but somewhere between picking it up and mistakenly putting it on and not in the microwave, it grew at least 20 times larger. And I’m not sure I really should be putting eggs in microwaves. Certainly not to make muffins.

I somehow muddle through, making a muffin that I don’t need and fixing a cable that does nothing. Well done me – I’ve completed the tutorial. Lamentably, I’ve retained very little of the excessively complicated instructions required to perform the simplest of tasks. With unearned confidence, I dive into the game-proper, my head full of dreams of lunar bases and SCIENCE. It is dark, I’m alone and I have no idea what I need to do.

Premature Evaluation: Stationeers on gamesread

Since the tutorial barely even covers the most basic parts of constructing a functioning base right now, I have absolutely no idea where to begin. I guess my base will need a floor, so I root around in the crates and pick up some metal sheets. I can’t do anything with them. Next to them are some metal frames, and this time I’m actually able to place them. Progress! But what’s a floor without some cool stuff to put on it? Unfortunately, I’m getting ahead of myself and the floor, it turns out, still isn’t finished.

A 30 minute break and a browse of the wiki fills in the gaps. To finish the floor I need to use the sheets I discarded before, applying them to the frame while I’m holding the welding tool in my free hand. After multiple trips between the site of my base-to-be and the containers, and a bit of inventory faffing, I finally have the start of my first building. It feels more of an achievement doing it in the dark, guided only by my useless headlamp. Annoyingly, while I’ve been wandering around blindly my power has been dwindling and I can’t charge my battery on an empty floor. I’ve got to set up a charging station, which means I need a power controller and a solar panel too. At least the sun is starting to come up now.

Premature Evaluation: Stationeers on gamesread

By the time I finish, it’s dark again and my solar panel is useless. I can’t do anything until the next day. I stare at the stars until that gets boring, then I bring up my inventory. Alarms go off and my computer warns me that everything is bad and I’m going to die. It’s almost like I’ve opened up my suit. Because I have. To see my inventory, I automatically hit ‘I’, which doesn’t open the inventory but rather dangerously opens my helmet. By the time I realise my fatal mistake, I’m about to walk into the light. Thankfully, that light is the sun, and with my helmet sorted I can go back to my previous task of getting some power. Soon I’ll be running on fumes, so I’m in a bit of a hurry.

This isn’t something you could tell by the pace of my work, which could only be described as sloth-like. Stationeers wants you to know that it’s a very hardcore game. Unfortunately, hardcore is so often conflated with lack of user-friendliness and intuitive systems and that’s the case here. It’s not just that every task has twice has as many steps as a reasonable person would come up with, though that does grate, it’s that actually performing tasks is typically dull. Indeed, most of them involve standing around while you wait for the right time of day or watch a furnace working away.

Premature Evaluation: Stationeers on gamesread

RocketWerkz seem to be perfectly capable of ditching realism when it gets in the way, but at other times it’s like Stationeers is built on a love of drudgery. With my solar panel standing, I now have power, opening up a whole world of possibilities. Unfortunately, my minor goals require a bit more work. See, the panels need to be directly facing the sun, and as you’re probably well aware: the sun moves a lot. Like, all the time. There are undoubtedly many solutions to this problem, but Stationeers settles on the one that makes players use a wrench to manually raise or lower the panel, to catch the light. When night fell again, this time I was actually pleased, as it meant that solar panel duty was over.

It’s peculiar, playing a game from one of the progenitors of the modern sandbox and realising that it’s already incredibly dated. DayZ is, in video game terms at least, a household name associated with all kinds of thrilling, hilarious and horrific stories (and a whole lot of waiting and walking in between those moment, it must be said). Its successor has somehow managed to make the creation of a simple muffin a pain in the arse.

As a friend watched me follow the instructions of the wiki, amazed at how much dreary busy work was involved in creating the simplest of manufacturing chains, I struggled to justify the the time and effort involved in slapping together a space station. Fundamentally, Stationeers has yet to construct a slice of space, let alone a galaxy, that actually makes it feel like you’re having an impact on the universe.

Premature Evaluation: Stationeers on gamesread

There’s nothing holding it together at the moment. It’s more like Space Engineers than DayZ, but unlike the long-running early access creative sandbox, it keeps its best bits at arm’s length. I vividly recall my first experience with Space Engineers. Within an hour I’d constructed a war-ready spacecraft that I pitted against an equally intimidating war machine of a pal’s design. We flung our babies at each other, and watched as they both bounced off each other and rapidly drifted off into deep space, much faster than we could travel. It was a hilarious comedy of errors that made Robot Wars look well-produced. In an hour of Stationeers, I figured out how not to suffocate.

The comparison isn’t unfair. Both are early access games with similar goals. But Stationeers expects you to put dozens of hours and countless wiki breaks into it before it becomes remotely cohesive. It’s hard, boring work. By the time I’d constructed a 3D printer and a proper furnace, the things needed to create the more advanced items, I’d lost all motivation to construct ships and bases. I saunter off into the darkness, thinking that maybe spending some time mindlessly mining would make me happy to get back to my construction projects. A few minutes later and I’d fallen down a hole and broken my suit, the two most exciting things to happen to me all day. My jetpack could get me out… but do I even want to escape?

Premature Evaluation: Stationeers on gamesread

Stationeers is, at the moment, a series of loosely connected systems, but without the creative, anything-goes philosophy or many of its sandboxy peers. I never thought anything could stop me from building a spaceship or an intergalactic Little Chef, but a browse of the steps and work involved has made me realise I’d be willing to do anything else. Even spending the rest of my life in this big ol’ moon hole.

Stationeers is out now on Steam for £18.99/$24.99/€22.99.

Warmane Guide: The Black Temple Timewalking

The Black Temple wasn’t always black, exactly the same way Outlands wasn’t usually Outlands. Ahead of the arrival of demons, humans, and Illidan’s forces, Outland was Draenor, dwelling on the Draenei, as well as the Black Temple was their holiest place of worship: The Temple of Karabor. Led by the Prophet Velen and house to Elder Sage Akama, the Temple of Karabor was positioned at the epicenter of all the Draenei’s magical energy, making it a perfect target for the Orcish Horde in their war of conquest against their peaceful neighbors.
Amidst the slaughter, Gul’dan and his Shadow Council attempted to turn the tide of battle in their favor by calling upon the energy with the Dark Star – a void god that was really the corrupted Naaru K’ara. That power proved as well terrific and as well destructive, plus the resulting magical backlash immediately killed quite a few of its defenders, tainted other folks, and sent the rest into hiding or exile on Azeroth. Akama became among the Broken and Velen became one of many exiles.Forever tainted by the power of your Dark Star, the Temple of Karabor became the Black Temple, the new citadel for Gul’dan’s horde along with the staging point for a number of invasions of Azeroth. Just after the events of the Second War and Ner’zhul blasting Draenor apart to make Outlands, the abandoned Black Temple came under the handle with the Burning Legion, led by the pit lord Magtheridon.

From his seat within the Black Temple, the demonic lord consolidated power more than the remaining orcs and brought in extra on the demonic Legion in hopes of beginning a new invasion of Azeroth. But before he could, Illidan Stormrage came, as well as the Black Temple changed hands violently but again.

Now Illidanguidelines the Black Temple, a refuge exactly where he licks his wounds right after his defeat by The Lich King and hides his failure from his former lord Kil’jaeden.

The Black Temple is often a horrid amalgam of all its lots of inhabitants. It truly is corrupted by the dark magic on the Naaru that as soon as destroyed it, haunted by the souls of your Draenei who died protecting it, and ruled by Illidan who makes use of it as a staging point to wage his war against Outlands.

But among Illidan’s army of the desperate and destructive, there’s 1 who knew the Black Temple as it when was. Akama, the leader of the Ashtongue Deathsworn, wishes to return the temple to its former glory as a location of Light and very good. Together with Maiev Shadowsong as well as your assistance, Akama will betray the Betrayer and see the Black Temple cleansed for fantastic.

Time walking Raidsfunction differently than other raid issues. They may be only readily available during their respective Timewalking weeks but, unlike Timewalking dungeon, you should assemble your premade group in an effort to enter the raid.

Throughout the Burning Crusade Timewalking week, you can head to Black Temple having a 10-30 player group to take on the bosses that drop item level 900 loot. The difficulty has been set just a little bit under Standard difficulty along with the raid will require a premade group.

Demon Hunters can get Arsenal: The Warglaives of Azzinothin the I will Hold These For you personally Till You Get Out achievement. This calls for you to finish Warglaives of Azzinoth on any character.

At last,If you will get 5% coupon code free of charge in the reps when you Invest in Warmen gold order from this short article.

gamesread – Meet the Cast of FIFA 18's The Journey: Hunter Returns

Posted October 11th at 5:00pm.

A number of familiar faces are back in FIFA 18’s The Journey: Hunter Returns, along with a whole new set of characters that Alex encounters on his way to global stardom. The latest chapter in Alex’s adventure takes him from a holiday in Brazil, glamorous preseason tour in Los Angeles, . Here are the actors and professional athletes you’ll be meeting as you live out the story with Alex in FIFA 18:

Tomiwa  Edun (as Alex Hunter)
The star of FIFA 17’s The Journey,  Tomiwa is an accomplished British film and television actor from Lagos,  Nigeria. His previous credits include Doctor Who, Bates Motel, Elementary, and Merlin. Edun studied classics at Cambridge and acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, after which he starred in a number of Shakespearean plays around the UK before breaking into film and television. Follow Tomiwa on Twitter and Instagram. 


Chris  Walters (as Danny Williams)
Chris, who also played the role  of Alex’s best friend Danny in FIFA 17, is a Vancouver-based actor from London. Trained in acting at The Poor School in London, Chris had a prolific theatre career before breaking into screen acting. He has appeared in independent films like Shooting the Musical and FSM, as well as television shows and short films, in the UK and  Canada. Follow Chris on Twitter. 


Lisa  Solberg (as Kim Hunter)
FIFA 18’s newest star, Lisa Solberg is a Vancouver-based actress originally from  Sydney, Australia. Prior to her role as Kim in The Journey: Hunter  Returns, Lisa’s first major screen debut was opposite Canadian country music artist Brett Kissel in the video for his song “Airwaves.” She has also appeared in short films such as The Big Cut and Erebus. Follow Lisa on Instagram.


Lewis Reeves (as Gareth Walker)
Reprising his role as Gareth from FIFA 17’s The Journey, Lewis is an accomplished film and television actor from Doncaster. He earned his BA in acting from the Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama, and later kicked off his West End theater career in 2012 with a role in Our Boys, which led to a starring role in My Night With Reg at the Donmar Warehouse. Lewis’ theater success earned him numerous television roles in the UK and beyond, including appearances in Misfits, Law & Order: UK, Unforgotten, and Crazyhead. Follow Reeves on Twitter. 


Sharon Duncan-Brewster (as Catherine Hunter)
Sharon also returns as Alex’s mother Catherine in FIFA 18, again bringing her vast acting experience to the series. A London native, Sharon snagged her first big role as Crystal Gordon in UK television prison drama Bad Girls in 1999. She has since picked up many TV and film credits, including Waking the Dead, EastEnders, Doctor Who, and Star Wars: Rogue One. Follow Sharon on Twitter.


Cristiano Ronaldo
Not much needs to be said about FIFA 18’s  cover star, as Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers in the history  of the sport. The Portuguese winger has won nearly every individual and  team achievement out there, including four Ballon d’Or trophies, four UEFA  Champions League medals, and a UEFA European Championship medal. He holds  numerous records for both club and country, and he’s likely to break even more before his career is finished.


Antoine Griezmann
A breakout star in recent seasons for  Atlético Madrid and the French national team, Griezmann is an extremely  talented and technically-gifted forward. From flying down the wing to send  in crosses to teammates to blasting shots into the top corner from outside  the box, Griezmann never fails to entertain on the pitch.


Dele Alli
A two-time PFA Young Player of the  Year awardee, Alli has been sensational for Tottenham Hotspur and the  England national team in recent years. Known for his technically  impressive goals and abundance of confidence on the pitch, Alli is the  perfect representative for the next generation of English football.


Thomas Müller
A World Cup winner with Germany and  longtime staple with his club Bayern Munich, Müller has reached the upper  echelons of the sport—and he’s not even 30. Müller is a brilliant  playmaker, known for his intelligence, versatility, and composure under pressure.


James Harden
The famously-bearded Houston  Rockets shooting guard is a five-time consecutive NBA All-Star and Olympic  gold medalist. A first-round pick by the Oklahoma Thunder in 2009 after a  successful college career at Arizona State, Harden led the Thunder to the  2012 NBA Finals before being traded to the Rockets.


Rio Ferdinand
An accomplished former centre-back for  Manchester United and England, Ferdinand is now a well-respected, if occasionally combative, football  pundit and commentator. Known as a strong leader and defensive stalwart during his  career, Ferdinand led Manchester United to a staggering 14 trophies during  his tenure at the club, including six Premier League titles and one UEFA  Champions League title. 


Gyasi Zardes
An accomplished Homegrown Player for the LA Galaxy,  Zardes has gone from a breakout young MLS star to an accomplished US  national team veteran in just a few years. Zardes is known for his  incredible pace, which he often uses to beat defenders and latch onto  through balls or burst down the wing to send a cross in for his teammates  or cut inside and take a shot on goal. 


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gamesread | EA SPORTS™ Premier League Player of the Month – September – Harry Kane

Posted October 13th at 11:00am.

After an impressive September, that saw the England international score six goals as Tottenham went unbeaten, EA SPORTS spoke to striker Harry Kane as he was named EA SPORTS Player of the Month. He gave us his thoughts on his aims for the season ahead, how he feels to have emulated Steven Gerrard and who his doubles partner is at EA SPORTS FIFA 18. 


EA SPORTS™: Harry, congratulations. How does it feel to be holding that award again?

Harry Kane: It feels good. It’s a great honour every time to win this award. It’s great, hopefully I can continue it and get a few more for the rest of the season.


EA SPORTS™: Harry you are in great company in terms of the number of players who have won it five times or more. How does it feel to be in the presence of people like Steven Gerrard and Robin van Persie.

HK: It makes me feel proud. It’s not something I think about too much but whenever I do win this award, it’s a great honour and I can only thank my teammates, the manager and the staff that help me achieve it. I’m just putting the balls in the back of the net, but they are the ones that are helping me do it.


EA SPORTS™: Would you say this has been the best month of your career?

HK: I would say so when you look at the goals I’ve scored and the amount of games. I feel really confident, I feel good. I feel in good shape so I just can’t wait for the next games to come. That’s what I’m trying to do, just stay fit and healthy, and hopefully I’ll continue to score.


EA SPORTS™: Is there any reason in particular why it has been so successful?

HK: I’m not sure, I think we’ve been playing great as a team first and foremost. We’ve been creating a lot of chances and I’ve been the one on the end of them putting them in the net. The team has been playing great, so as long as we keep doing that, hopefully we’ll keep winning games going forward.


EA SPORTS™: What have been your PL highlights over September?

HK: I think the whole month itself. I wouldn’t be able to pick out any in particular. Obviously I scored my 100th Spurs goal at the start of the month and just continued from there. Hopefully I can just continue the form and help the team out as much as possible!


EA SPORTS™: You have been particularly lethal on the road, is there any reason for that?

HK: I don’t think so, I just think it’s one of those things as a striker. Sometimes you go through spells where you score a lot at home, or you score a lot away, and at the minute I’m scoring more away but hopefully I can get some home goals. It doesn’t matter where I play, I feel confident that I’ll score and the most important thing is that we try and win the games.


EA SPORTS™: The golden boot is another trophy that has been on your no-doubt very heavy mantelpiece; there is a lot of competition in that department this season isn’t there?

HK: Yeah it’s great we’ve got some great strikers up there battling it out for the golden boot. There is still obviously an awful long way to go and a lot can happen but that’s the Premier League. The Premier League has always had great strikers and to win that golden boot you have got to play well. It’s looking tight at the moment, and probably will do for the reason of the season. It’s not something I really think about until way towards the end of the season, but of course it would be great to win it again.


EA SPORTS™: Spurs fans will hope that this year can be the difference. You have been so close over the last couple of seasons, and your goals have been a huge part of that. Where do you think your goals and this team can go this season?

HK: Hopefully we can go all the way. We finished second last year and we always want to improve and progress and so to do that we have to finish first. Like I said, there is a long way to go and a lot of games to play but we feel confident, we’re in good form at the minute. Hopefully we can start winning our games at Wembley and then kick on and win from there.


EA SPORTS™: Who is the best EA SPORTS FIFA 18 player at Tottenham?

HK: I’d probably have to say Sonny (Son). He likes to play FIFA! We have a little rec room here where some of the lads play it and he always seems to be the one that’s winning so I’d have to say him.


EA SPORTS™: Who is your FIFA doubles partner?

HK: I’d probably say Dele Alli. I don’t get to play it a lot but we have quite a good partnership on the pitch, so I’m sure we’d have one on FIFA as well!


EA SPORTS™: Do you get to play FIFA 18 a lot when you are travelling to away games?

HK: I don’t play it too much but sometimes a few of the lads will bring their PlayStation and play it. With my baby daughter now I don’t get to play it as much as I would like, but whenever I do I enjoy it.




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Getting Started with FIFA 18 Ultimate Team on gamesread

Posted November 20th at 6:00pm.

FIFA Ultimate Team™ is the most popular mode in the game, in which you build your dream squad from scratch using collectible player items. With thousands of players available in Ultimate Team, there are a seemingly endless number of ways in which you can craft your squad to your liking. Not only can you customize the team you put on the field, you also choose the kits, badges, stadiums, coaches, and more to make your FUT squad unique to you. This is how to take the beginning steps of your FUT career, from getting your first players to choosing your squad’s kit and badge.

The very first time you play Ultimate Team, you’ll be given a starter pack containing a majority of players from your chosen country.

Next, you get to pick one out of a selection of five top players as a loan item. Even though you only get this player on loan, which means you can only select it for a specific number of matches, having such a high quality player will be a huge boost to your first FUT squad.

All player items are separated into three main categories: bronze, silver, and gold. Every item has a handful of features that are relevant to how they fit in your squad and play on the pitch. Many of these numbers and symbols have to do with squad chemistry, which we’ll elaborate on in a separate post.

One side of each player item also lists that player’s attribute categories: Pace, Shooting, Passing, Dribbling, Defense, Physical. For goalkeepers, the attribute categories are a bit different: Diving, Handling, Kicking, Reflexes, Speed, Positioning. You can go to the player’s bio to see each category broken down to the specific attributes from which they are comprised.

Next, you’ll get to choose your squad’s home kit, away kit, and crest based on a random selection of each. Don’t worry, you can buy new kits and crests later, or get them from packs.This is just to get your team started.

After you’ve been given all of these items, your very first FUT squad should look something like this:

Before you head straight into playing matches, there are also a handful of “Starter Objectives” that will help you learn some FUT basics — and reward you for finishing them. Objectives can range from simple tasks like naming your FUT club or changing formations, to more involved activities like buying players from the transfer market or playing in matches. The rewards for these objectives will either be Coins or packs with FUT items that you can sell or use to upgrade your squad. It’s important to complete these challenges first, because the rewards you get will improve your squad much faster than you could otherwise.

Once you have a starting XI that you’re pleased with, it’s time to take to the pitch. There are a number of online and single player modes available in FUT, including the all-new Squad Battles* mode that helps you get valuable FUT experience while earning significant rewards to  upgrade your squad.

* These features are only available on PlayStation®4, Xbox One, and PC.

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gamesread – FIFA 18 Goals of the Month November 2017 – EA SPORTS – Official Site

Posted December 8th at 12:00am.

FIFA players around the world submit their best goals hoping to be selected for the EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Goals of the Week compilation. Even though there are thousands of excellent submissions every week, only ten of the very best make the cut. 

Now we’re kicking off a new series, Goals of the Month, that highlights the most impressive selections from the previous month’s goals. Instead of a ranked top ten list, we will award the best videos in a variety of categories, like best assist, best header, most creative, etc.

This month’s goals featured some brilliant efforts, including a handful of stunning uses of El Tornado that made picking the top ones rather difficult. But here they are, the best goals of November 2017, with the name of the players who made them, the professionals they used, and where to find each in the video above. 


El Tornado Master: Rico-Boy-1997, Cristiano Ronaldo

Like I said above, there were many excellent uses of El Tornado this month, but the best of the best has to be this performance from FIFA 18 cover star Cristiano Ronaldo. After dominating multiple defenders to burst into the penalty box, Ronaldo uses FIFA’s newest skill move to bamboozle the final defender before scissor-kicking the ball into the upper corner of the goal. 

Skiller Award: Adnan McMahon, Raheem Sterling

Comparing technique-heavy highlights can be a tough ask. What should have more weight: the quantity of tricks and moves performed or their quality? Sometimes the simplest tricks produce brilliant combos, but it’s hard to discount when a player pulls off one of the more complex and difficult FIFA skill moves. In this month’s pick, Sterling uses his endless bag of tricks to beat four defenders before spinning into a cheeky backwards flick to finish past the hapless goalkeeper.

Cheekiest Finish Award: Winkeydonker, Steven N’Zonzi

FIFA 18 reflects the beautiful game’s endless creativity by giving players so many ways to score goals. Between the different tricks, flicks, and shot types, the possibilities for interesting and cheeky finishes are many. For this month’s most creatively cheeky goal, N’Zonzi fools just about everybody on a corner kick with his flying backheel finish that zipped across the goal and into the top of the net. 

Teamwork Award: Kyle Weber, Marco Asensio

The best team goal this month had an assist nearly as good as the goal itself. Deulofeu takes the ball towards the six-yard box after latching onto a through ball on the left, and rather than take the shot himself or make a simple cross into the middle, he executes a flawless rabona cross towards the penalty spot. Asensio, not to be one-upped, whips the ball into the corner with an audacious scorpion kick. 

Using Your Head Award: Bizarreretribution, Paulo Dybala

Another excellent team goal, the most impressive thing about this one is the mind-boggling finish. An imitation of Robin van Persie’s stunning header against Spain at the 2014 World Cup, this goal is more incredible with every re-watch. Some buildup play set up a lobbed through ball for Dybala, who could have done a variety of things with the ball when it got to him. But instead of settling it with his feet and dribbling or heading it down for a teammate, Dybala does the virtually unthinkable by leaping towards the ball from outside the box with an acrobatic diving header. His finish looped perfectly into the upper right corner as the frozen goalkeeper looked on in awe. 


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