NFS 2017 to Feature Offline Single-Player, EA’s Ghost Games Reveals

EA-owned Ghost Games has confirmed that a new Need for Speed game will release later this year, with the return of a feature whose omission had infuriated many: the option to play offline.

“You will be able to play through a single player experience completely offline,” the developers said in an official blog post. “Before you ask, and we know you will, this does mean you will be able to pause the game.”

In two previous entries, Need for Speed had become an always-online experience, in a bid to merge the single-player and multiplayer experience. It seems EA is willing to backtrack on that mission, though there’s every chance that you will lose out on some single-player features while you’re offline. We won’t know for sure until EA Play, the company’s E3 off-shoot, rolls around in June.

On the face of it, it’s still a nice acceptance by the studio, after delivering two NFS titles – 2013’s Rivals, and 2015’s eponymous reboot – that essentially held you hostage.
Alongside, Ghost Games also revealed a few other details of their new racing game. For starters, the new NFS will be playable in daylight, as opposed to the 2015 instalment that took place entirely at night/dawn.NFS 2017 to Feature Offline Single-Player, EA's Ghost Games Reveals

Secondly, car customisation will stick around after making a return. “It’s not going away and it will play as strong a role as ever as we move forward into the next game and beyond,” it added.

In addition to that, it will stick with its open-world policy: “Whether you’re checking out your freshly customised ride or smoking the competition in an event up in the canyons, you’re going to want a world that not only looks beautiful, but offers you the space in which to do the things you want.”

And lastly, dirt racing also looks to be a part of NFS 2017. “We’re dialling up the action and allowing you to tear up the tarmac, and dirt, to your heart’s content,” Ghost Games said.


Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 was ‘just too ambitious’, says CI Games

CI Games’ Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 was delayed on two occasions in the lead up to its eventual April 25 release. Perhaps the writing was on the wall at that stage, given the developer has now admitted its plans were too ambitious—a fact galvanised by a small development team and pressing deadlines.

Since launch, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 has suffered frame rate and load time issues and while CI promises to continue supporting its open world tactical shooter into the future, it suggests trying to keep pace with other big budget games hamstrung the team’s creativity.

“We’ve learned a lot as a team over the course of development for Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, much of which I believe has shaped the talented individuals within CI Games and the entire studio for the better,” says CI’s CEO Marek Tymiñski. “When we began development of SGW3, we decided on such a relatively large scale of the game with its open world that now we realise it was just too ambitious versus what we could have been able to deliver in any reasonable amount of time.”

Tymiñski adds: “We simply made the wrong math considering the size of our team and the originally given timeframe. By positioning the game in a AAA category, it took us away from what we could have done great. Instead we spent too much effort trying to catch up with other AAA titles in terms of their production values and features. That was a big mistake.”

The CI CEO continues to say he and his team have learned “huge” lessons from the process and as such have their eyes fixed on another shooter that will have depth “without the trapping of a large open world setting.”

It’s understood CI Games is also committed to developing a sequel to its 2014 action role-player Lords of the Fallen.


T-Mobile working to resolve 911 ‘ghost call’ issue in Dallas


A “ghost call” glitch in the emergency call system in Dallas may have led to the death of a 6-month-old infant after a babysitter using T-Mobile cell service couldn’t reach 911 dispatchers, city officials said Wednesday.

Another man also may have died because of the technology issue. During a Q&A session at a press conference held Wednesday by city officials and T-Mobile executives, Dallas blogger David Taffet said he’d been put on hold for 20 minutes after calling 911 on March 6. His husband, 52-year old Brian Cross, later died at a local hospital.

Top T-Mobile executives and engineers are in Dallas working with city officials to resolve the problem, which they’re calling ghost calls. Officials say phones on the T-Mobile network are spontaneously placing multiple calls to 911 centers, creating a flood of traffic that’s resulted in people being put on hold for long periods of time. It’s still unclear what’s causing the problem.

The incidents come only days after AT&T customers in Dallas, as well as in other parts of Texas and Indiana and other states in the Midwest, experienced an outage of 911 service. It’s not clear what’s behind the issues experienced by AT&T customers. The Federal Communications Commission is investigating the AT&T outage. A spokesman for the agency said the Dallas Police Department had previously asked the FCC to look into technical issues with 911 in Dallas and that the review is ongoing.Image result for T-Mobile working to resolve 911 'ghost call' issue in Dallas

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax said the city has known about an issue with 911 calls since October. It began discussions with T-Mobile in November to resolve the issues. By January, he said, he thought the problem had been resolved, but after a spike in calls over the weekend, it was clear it hadn’t.

According to Broadnax, more than 400 calls flooded the call center Saturday evening, the night 6-month-old Brandon Alex died after his babysitter couldn’t reach a 911 operator. Dallas officials said the babysitter had called the 911 center multiple times after being placed on hold.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a statement it was “outrageous” T-Mobile hadn’t yet resolved the glitch. During the Wednesday press conference, he said the city was working closely with T-Mobile engineers to resolve the issue. T-Mobile executives David Carey and Neville Ray, along with several T-Mobile engineers, have been in Dallas since Wednesday to help solve the problem. Ray said the issue is unique to the Dallas call centers and that T-Mobile hasn’t seen anything similar in the more than 4,000 911 call centers around the country where the carrier’s service is offered.

Carey said the T-Mobile team is continuing to work with Dallas officials and other vendors who supply technology to the 911 Dallas call centers. In the meantime, he’s advised citizens that if they’re put on hold during a 911 call, they shouldn’t hang up and call again. That would only make things worse, since 911 dispatchers are required to return each hang-up call to verify if there’s an actual emergency.