Monthly Archives: May 2012 - Page 2

A Look Back at E3 2011’s Biggest Disappearing Acts

We cast our gaze on a few notable games that have gone radio silent over the past 12 months.

 

Get the full article at GameSpot


A Look Back at E3 2011’s Biggest Disappearing Acts” was posted by Shaun McInnis on Tue, 29 May 2012 12:33:53 -0700

No Bungie announcements at E3

Some staffers will be at next week’s LA tradeshow, but former Halo dev not planning to divulge any new information on upcoming Activision projects.

Bungie’s new game universe to be published by Activision will not be shown off at next week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. The Bellevue, Washington-based developer wrote on its website this weekend that while some Bungie staffers will be at the show, the company will have no official presence at the event, and gamers should not expect any announcements.


Bungie's Destiny will not be revealed at E3.

Bungie’s Destiny will not be revealed at E3.

As for what Bungie is currently creating, last week, new details about the company’s first post-Halo game came to light. Codenamed Destiny, the game is contractually obligated to be a massively multiplayer online-style shooter, which will launch exclusively on the Xbox and its successor during fall 2013, with subsequent installments to launch every second year thereafter for Sony’s consoles and PCs. Bungie has not detailed release plans or platforms for its first series for Activision, and these plans were only current as of April 2010.

Bungie will not be the only high-profile developer to forgo making announcements at the annual geek gathering. Valve will be at the show, but is not planning to unveil anything new, while Respawn Entertainment is skipping it altogether.

[ Watch Video ]

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


No Bungie announcements at E3” was posted by Eddie Makuch on Tue, 29 May 2012 09:39:57 -0700

Metro: Last Light: "More Complete" Than 2033

Last Light resurfaces with the makings of a surer-footed post-apocalyptic shooter than Metro 2033.

 

In its publisher’s own words, Metro: Last Light has been “keeping its head down”. We haven’t seen much of the Metro 2033 sequel since the middle of last year. But the developers at 4A have been plugging quietly away, focused on making something they call “much more complete and polished” than its rough diamond predecessor, whose atmospheric post-apocalyptic gunshooting was marred by occasional jankiness.

To recap, Metro: Last Light is a direct sequel to 2033, but not one based on Metro 2034, the novel that follows the novel from which the post-apocalyptic shooter was adapted. The book sequel, yet to be translated into English, turns its attention to a new set of characters, while this game continues to follow Artyom, the hero of the last game.

[ Watch Video ]

The remains of the population, clumped into warring factions, still shelter from radiation and mutant beasties in Moscow’s hardy metro network. Above them, meanwhile, spring is thawing the ice that covered the ruins of the city.

Up on the surface, the sunlight looks grimly pretty on Moscow’s heaped concrete ruins and deadly radiation pits. Dashes of greenery break up the landscape of irradiated rubble, through which Artyom treks with an associate, forced into a surface foray by a tunnel collapse. Fancy lighting and a broader colour palette have been the focus for Last Light, say the developers, a claim held up by Last Light’s good looks.

Another focus, they say, has been finding a balance of scripted scenes and emergent, serendipitous moments that make the most of Metro’s open world, though there’s more of the former in this most recent demo, in which Artyom and his buddy explore the shell of a crashed airliner.

In it, the skeletons of its passengers are still in their seats and, as Artyom creeps down the aisle, he’s treated to psychic flashes of their screaming final moments. Those build to a full flashback in the cockpit, where Artyom relives the crash itself, with pilots panicking while the plane plummets into the nuclear firestorm that decades ago levelled Moscow: harrowing stuff.

The gritty survival horror feel of the first game persists with a scarcity of crucial supplies. The air above ground is still toxic, and gas mask filters must be scavenged for precious minutes of breathing time. Those minutes are tracked on Artyom’s wristwatch, which is ever visible in his first-person perspective. 4A hasn’t settled on the game’s final HUD, but in this demo there is none at all, leaving only in-world items such as Artyom’s watch timer to keep the player informed.

Also, by way of planting the player in Artyom as a physical avatar–instead of a head-height camera with a mounted gun–this game adds a new mechanic in which the gas mask’s faceplate must sometimes be wiped to keep it clear. His flashlight, too, must still be maintained, requiring occasional pumping on a hand-charger. In this way Last Light concerns itself with the mundane but vital minutiae of survival, and that realism (check watch, wipe mask, charge lamp) is solid grounding for its horror.

Where our last demo stuck with human enemies, this one turns to the mutated nasties: oversized, fleshy spiders nesting inside a corpse; a giant, winged creature that gets its claws in Artyom and hoists him off the ground; and watchers–man-sized, wolfish rats (or rat-like wolves).

These can be dispatched easily enough when encountered individually, but are terminally bad news in packs. At one point, Artyom is jumped by a lone watcher in a dark room and shears off its ratty face with a shotgun blast. At another point, Artyom and his partner cower out of sight while hordes of the creatures stream across the surface while a dramatic electrical storm sets in.


4A isn't Russian to finish Last Light. [You're fired - Ed.]

4A isn’t Russian to finish Last Light. [You’re fired – Ed.]

The demo ends with Artyom lobbing fire grenades at pursuing watchers on the steps of a Metro station, defending the Metro entrance that will take him back to civilisation, or what passes for it in 2034’s Moscow.

It’s an impressive showing from a game we’d seen so little of for so long, but 4A and publisher THQ are determined, they imply, Last Light will not be rushed and will smooth all the rough edges off the game that came before it. On the first count, time is on their side; Last Light is now pencilled in for release early next year. On the second count, time will tell for sure, since “polish” so much depends on the feel of extended, hands-on play. For now, though, Metro: Last Light is shaping up nicely, with bleak, post-apocalypse atmosphere that can’t be beat.

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Metro: Last Light: “More Complete” Than 2033” was posted by Jane Douglas on Tue, 29 May 2012 08:09:49 -0700

Activision ‘crazy’ to drop True Crime – Square Enix exec

Publisher’s US president Mike Fischer says he can’t understand why Call of Duty firm let go of the game, claims project will be a sleeper hit like Dead Island.

 

Activision was “crazy” to drop True Crime: Hong Kong, according to Square Enix United States president and CEO Mike Fischer. Speaking to Venture Beat, the executive said he could not speak to why Activision canceled game, but said picking it up was like finding a diamond in the rough.


Square Enix says Sleeping Dogs will tell a story as rich as Mass Effect.

Square Enix says Sleeping Dogs will tell a story as rich as Mass Effect.

Fischer went on to note that the game–revived as Sleeping Dogs–has drawn inspiration from the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs and its United States remake The Departed. He also claimed Sleeping Dogs has an open-world feel akin to Arkham City, combat strong enough to rival a proper fighting game, driving sequences compelling enough to match Need for Speed, and a story “every bit as rich” as Mass Effect.

Fischer believes Sleeping Dogs will be a sleeper hit along the lines of last year’s Dead Island, noting it will catch gamers by surprise.

“The thrill that I love in bringing out a game like Sleeping Dogs is when nobody sees it coming. And then, boom, it’s the surprise of the holiday,” he said.

Sleeping Dogs is an open-world action game set in Hong Kong. The game puts players in the boots of Wai Shen, an undercover police officer fighting through the seedy criminal underworld of the sprawling city. Sleeping Dogs will give players a variety of combat options, including gunplay and a hand-to-hand combat system that lets players use martial arts to bring down their enemies.

Sleeping Dogs is currently in development at United Front Games, and is due out for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on August 14. For more on Sleeping Dogs, check out GameSpot’s latest preview.

[ Watch Video ]

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Activision ‘crazy’ to drop True Crime – Square Enix exec” was posted by Eddie Makuch on Tue, 29 May 2012 07:18:46 -0700

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2 was in pre-production – Report

[UPDATE] Sources say sequel to role-playing game was just beginning when 38 Studios went under; mystery publisher pulled out of $35 million deal to finance follow-up after Rhode Island expressed concern with company.

 

The Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning sequel that 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling confirmed was in the works in February was in pre-production, and was aimed at “improving everything,” Joystiq reports. Unnamed sources told the site the team at Big Huge Games wanted to make a sequel with better graphics, no loading screens between zones, expanded combat animations, fewer branching quests, and the ability for players to affect the game world at a deeper level.


Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2 had bold ambitions, sources say.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2 had bold ambitions, sources say.

38 Studios went belly up last week, with all employees across it and its subsidiary Big Huge Games laid off. The site reports that even if Big Huge Games were to continue to exist under a different banner, the team would likely not be able to work on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2. Though 38 Studios presently owns the Amalur intellectual property (believed to be valued at around $20 million), the company is likely to be forced to hand it over to the state of Rhode Island as part of a collateral arrangement originally agreed upon as part of the 2010 $75 million loan that brought 38 Studios to the Ocean State.

The site also reports that Electronic Arts–which published Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning–passed on working on the sequel due to “executive politics.” 38 Studios then sought other publishing partners for the game, though no companies were named.

[UPDATE] Rhode Island newspaper The Providence Journal reports today that an unnamed publisher pulled out of a $35 million publishing deal for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2 after word came that 38 Studios may be in trouble.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning shipped in February to a warm critical reception and sales of 1.2 million units over 90 days. Despite this, Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee said the game was a “failure,” and needed to sell 3 million copies to break even.

Troubles at 38 Studios first came to light earlier this month, when reports from the Rhode Island government indicated that the company had failed to make a $1.125 million loan payment to the state’s Economic Development Corporation. The studio eventually made the payment, but it also enacted a round of unspecified layoffs, before shutting down completely.

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning 2 was in pre-production – Report” was posted by Eddie Makuch on Tue, 29 May 2012 06:14:46 -0700

Another Bughunt: Marines vs Xenomorphs in Aliens: Colonial Marines Multiplayer

They mostly come at night…mostly. And, it turns out, at MCM Expo, where we went hands-on with Aliens: Colonial Marines multiplayer.

 

In an enclosed booth at MCM that was hot enough to have been underneath some primary heat exchangers, we got to play the multiplayer mode of Aliens: Colonial Marines. The setup was simple–it was marines against Xenomorphs, and the public against representatives from developer Gearbox and publisher Sega. For the first half of the demo, we watched other people play. It was immediately apparent that different tactics must be used depending on which team you pick, with Gearbox offering an experience that’s not unlike Dead Space 2’s multiplayer mode.

[ Watch Video ]

Check out GameSpot Australia’s video preview of the game.

While xenomorphs may initially seem like the weaker choice, their assortment of alien abilities more than make up for their lack of firepower. They’ve got different vision modes that allow you to see through walls, locate members of the opposing team and silently pick them off one by one. Couple this with being able to walk on the ceiling, sneak through air vents and be almost completely silent, and xenomorphs can be a very dangerous enemy for the marines. The demo we saw featured Soldiers and Lurkers–Soldiers are able to deal and take more damage, but lack the speed and increased stealthy prowess of the Lurkers. Thankfully, respawning allows you to choose your class of alien each time.

We also got to see the Crusher power up in action, which in the right hands can completely turn the tide in team deathmatch. Despite their stealthy skills, xenomorphs have no chance against a well-armed group of marines. But with the Crusher power up, you can increase your damage output with a one-hit-kill charge-attack. Used properly, you can take out a group of marines just as easily as a bowling ball takes down a set of pins. You have to choose well when to use it though, because while you’re armoured at the front, the Crusher’s weak point is its back. As we saw multiple times in the demo, charging into a corner usually spells disaster if even one marine targets your spine.

Playing as a marine has its own advantages, though. In the hands-on time we had, it was amazing to see just how quickly a group of strangers learned that the only way to survive was to hunt as a pack. Along with two weapons, the marines come equipped with a motion sensor to locate the aliens, but it’s a tad impractical. If a xenomorph surprises you (as they often do), the delay in readying your gun could be the delay that kills you. In the dark close-quarters map we played, a shotgun was your best bet. Weapons packed a punch, and while the agility of the xenomorphs presents a challenge, you can quickly learn to anticipate their movements. In Aliens: Colonial Marines, you never know what’s lurking around the corner.

[ Watch Video ]

We dissect the latest trailer for the game.

While we got to play team deathmatch, a number of other modes have been confirmed for Colonial Marines. Sadly the developers weren’t at liberty to say what they might be, but added that they fit in well with the game that they’d created. While the build we played handled really nicely, fine tuning of the multiplayer mode is now underway. Weapon unlocks, a currency system, challenges and customisability have already been confirmed, and we should be seeing more later this year.

We’re looking forward to seeing more of Aliens: Colonial Marines in the coming months. It is set for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Wii U in early 2013.

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


Another Bughunt: Marines vs Xenomorphs in Aliens: Colonial Marines Multiplayer” was posted by Lucy James on Tue, 29 May 2012 03:21:19 -0700

Sony announces Ultimate Editions for PSN

Games bundled with DLC are to become available at a reduced cost; further discounts for PS Plus members; titles include Red Dead Redemption, BioShock 2, and L.A. Noire.

 

Sony has announced that the PlayStation Store will introduce a selection of Ultimate Editions on May 29. The editions will consist of games bundled with all available DLC at a reduced price, with further discounts available to PlayStation Plus members.


Ultimate Editions will include Red Dead Redemption.

Ultimate Editions will include Red Dead Redemption.

Some of the titles to become available include Red Dead Redemption, with Legends and Killers, Liars and Cheats, and Undead Nightmare; BioShock 2, with Exclusive Character Pack, Minerva’s Den, The Protector Trials, Rapture Metro, and Sinclair Solutions; and L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition.

Rockstar’s open-world Western with DLC will offer nine new multiplayer maps, over 25 new multiplayer characters, additional new multiplayer weapons, and new trophies. The Red Dead Redemption Ultimate Edition will cost $27.99, or $19.59 for PlayStation Plus members.

The BioShock 2 edition will give players increased multiplayer rank (up to 50), four new multiplayer characters, six new multiplayer maps, six new trials maps, new weapons, and trophies. The BioShock 2 Ultimate Edition will cost $27.99, or $19.59 for PlayStation Plus members.

The L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition includes the open-world crime adventure from Rockstar Games, with additional cases. The L.A. Noire Ultimate Edition will cost $27.99, or $19.59 for PlayStation Plus members.

For a full list of game titles that will be available visit the official PlayStation Blog.

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Sony announces Ultimate Editions for PSN ” was posted by Zorine Te on Tue, 29 May 2012 00:26:48 -0700

Square Enix team up with Just Cause developer for new project – Report

Avalanche Studios reportedly working on multiple current and next-generation console projects.

 

Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios has reportedly teamed up with Square Enix to develop a new action game.


What could Avalanche be working on next?

What could Avalanche be working on next?

In email correspondence with Eurogamer, Avalanche reportedly confirmed it is working with Just Cause publisher Square Enix on a project it described as “ground breaking.”

The developer also reportedly revealed that it has multiple current- and next-generation console projects due out in the next two years.

In February, Avalanche teased three new projects, to be completed by 2014, the first of which the developer said would be announced before July. The surge in activity has been attributed to the opening of a new development house in 2011.

It remains to be confirmed whether the new Square Enix project will be for the current generation of consoles.

Avalanche is best known for its well-regarded open-world action franchise Just Cause; its most recent instalment was launched in March 2010. In September, the company released Renegade Ops, a vehicular dual-stick shooter, which received a favourable critical reception.

More information on Avalanche’s goings-on can be found through its newly launched website.

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


Square Enix team up with Just Cause developer for new project – Report” was posted by Zorine Te on Tue, 29 May 2012 00:17:59 -0700

Sleeping Dogs dev says publishers should lower cost of next-gen consoles – Report

United Front senior producer Jeff O’Connell says next-gen hardware should be accessible to “average” consumers.

 

United Front senior producer Jeff O’Connell has expressed a desire to see next-generation game consoles priced in such a way as to be accessible to both core gamers and the wider mass market.


Sleeping Dogs begin to bite this August.

Sleeping Dogs begin to bite this August.

Speaking to Xbox World, O’Connell, who is currently working on the studio’s upcoming action game Sleeping Dogs, said one of his primary concerns about next-generation consoles is the price point.

“For me, it’s lowering the cost and making things more accessible for the average consumers,” he told the publication.

O’Connell also expressed an interest in watching how Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles make AAA titles more immersive for consumers by utilizing more RAM and graphical horsepower, as well as what the future holds for next-generation motion-tracking technology.

Sleeping Dogs–a revival of the cancelled True Crime: Hong Kong–is an open-world action game set in Hong Kong. The game puts players in the boots of Wei Shen, an undercover police officer fighting through the seedy criminal underworld of the sprawling city.

According to Square Enix, Sleeping Dogs will give players a variety of combat options. These include gunplay–which takes place in streets, harbours, and skyscrapers–as well as a hand-to-hand combat system that lets players use martial arts to bring down their enemies.

As for the next generation of systems, Nintendo’s Wii U is the only future-generation console to be announced. The system is due for a worldwide release this holiday season.

For more on the next Xbox and the future-generation PlayStation, check out GameSpot’s rumour round-up feature and GameSpot’s Next-Gen Console War features: Next Xbox and PS4.

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Sleeping Dogs dev says publishers should lower cost of next-gen consoles – Report” was posted by Laura Parker on Mon, 28 May 2012 22:45:09 -0700

Aliens: Colonial Marines Video Preview

Dan Chiappini and Randolph Ramsay chat about their experiences with the lore, weapons and gore of Gearbox’s Aliens: Colonial Marines!

 

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Aliens: Colonial Marines Video Preview” was posted by edmondt on Mon, 28 May 2012 21:12:55 -0700