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This Week In Gaming: Free BF1942, The Next Origin Update, And More

Our biggest news this week was celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Battlefield franchise (and how Battlefield Premium has amassed over two million members) by making Battlefield 1942 free. You now get the whole game, exactly as it was back in 2002--completely free of charge. Even though BF1942 was created ten years ago with the available tools and technology at the time, playing it today reveals how ahead of its day the game truly was. Grab your free copy and experience where the Battlefield franchise began.

This week, we also announced what’s forthcoming in the next update to the Origin client itself. We are adding the ability to broadcast your gameplay to Twitch, the world’s largest gaming video community with over 20 million viewers a month.You‘ll also be able to add games purchased outside of Origin to your My Games library, and appreciate numerous other performance fixes and tweaks that improve speed. We will be rolling out a beta update in the days to come, so be sure to opt-in to the beta to check it out early, before it’s released to all Origin users.

Besides BF1942 going free, the other major software release this week was Halo 4. It debuted to strong reviews, and showed that new developer 343 Industries can create a Halo title just as strong as Bungie (the previous developers of the Halo franchise, from Halo: Combat Evolved up until Halo: Reach). When you’re done playing as a Tier 1 Operative in Medal of Honor Warfighter, Halo 4 looks like a great sci-fi take on the shooter experience.

Also this week was the cover image of the December issue of Game Informer, which houses an 18-page cover story about Grand Theft Auto V. This image confirms that GTAV will feature three protagonists, but details as to how that actually works and more will be in Game Informer’s 18-page cover story.

It’s been mentioned before, but some concrete details about Star Wars: The Old Republic going Free-to-Play have recently dropped. Besides the excellent summary provided in this post on the official SWTOR page, some of the immediate details are: players can reach level 50 without paying any money; current subscribers won’t experience any degradation to their gameplay experience; and even details about how players who once had a monthly subscription (that has since lapsed) will be given “Preferred Status” automatically. Sounds like once the Free-to-Play option goes live, there will be lots of options for those who want to jump into the Star Wars galaxy at various price points.

Thanks to some casting news, we have some details about what the Need for Speed movie will actually be about. In an exclusive writeup by Variety, the article details how besides starring Aaron Paul (best known as Jesse in Breaking Bad), the NFS movie will also feature Dominic Cooper (who played Howard Stark in Captain America: The First Avenger) as an “ex-NASCAR driver who uses his connections to the wealthy to create a business rebuilding and modifying supercars.” The overall plot has been described as being in the spirit of the franchise while not being based on any individual game; Aaron Paul’s character apparently gets framed and sent to prison, and goes on a revenge racing spree when he emerges. That’s our take on the story so far, but there’s plenty of time between now and the Feb 7, 2014 release for more details to surface.

Finally, some impressions of Dead Space 3’s co-op gameplay have dropped, and we’re genuinely intrigued. In most games, co-op gameplay tends to mean “more guns and people helping out,” or that the individual players might occasionally run into and solve different puzzles. The fine folks at Visceral have taken co-op gameplay further by making one of the characters insane. Meaning when you play as Isaac, everything appears normal as-is. When you play as Carver, you experience bouts of dementia that make you see enemies, listen to audiologs, and experience gameplay that’s different than Isaac. So while the player who controls Carver might see mysterious toy soldiers and start shooting at them, the player controlling Isaac sees the world as-is, including Carver just running around shooting at the walls. The idea of co-op gameplay with one player experiencing requisite mental instability sounds fascinating and brilliant.