Yearly Archives: 2009
Tue, Dec 22, 2009 | 08:48 GMT
Before I descend into writing stories about some mad woman that called the police because her son was playing GTA in the middle of the night, I’m going to stop for Christmas.
As you’ve no doubt noticed, our post-rate’s dropped off steadily over December: Steph’s taking a well-earned rest; Nathan’s doing whatever it is Texan students do over the Holidays; Johnny’s getting ready to start full-time in January, and I’ve got a houseful of screaming people. This year’s dead to us.
If anything earth-shattering happens over the next couple of weeks I’ll stick it up. If not, I’ll hibernate. I want to say a giant thank you to all our readers. You’ve given us amazing support this year, and it’s not really possible to tell you how grateful I am. We’re here to stay, and it’s all thanks to you.
We’ll be back at full power on January 4, 2010. Please have a brilliant holiday. See you next year!
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 23:18 GMT
All text by Simon Parkin.
There’s a lot at stake for Jordan Thomas, Creative Director of BioShock 2. As a man best known, not for designing famous games, but for designing famous levels (specifically, BioShock’s brilliant Fort Frolic and Thief: Deadly Shadows’ similarly standout Shalebridge Cradle) the keys to Rapture must have felt particularly heavy when 2K handed them over. Not only that, but the publisher tasked Thomas with creating his very own studio, 2K Marin, to make the sequel. So not only is this a game through which he must prove himself able to deliver a cohesive vision over a full game experience, but also his ability to handpick a talented team to deliver it is on test.
Add to this the pressure of maintaining the integrity of Ken Levine’s vision as laid out in the original game, not to mention that of answering its many critics, it’s no wonder the man looks a little tired as we sit down for a chat on a December Friday afternoon. But with just a few months left till release, there’s perhaps no better time to reflect on the development so far, and look ahead to its conclusion. As ever, Thomas rises gracefully to the challenge.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 23:03 GMT
We were recently lucky enough to get play-time with the latest build of BioShock 2 in London. We sent Simon Parkin along to see whether or not 2K Marin’s monster effort is worthy of Levine’s original dream.
In the ten years that separate the end of Bioshock from the beginning of its sequel, the underwater city of Rapture has deteriorated. It’s not that the place has necessarily decayed, though the art deco signage and once plush 1930’s fixtures and fittings exhibit perhaps a little more wear, tear and gunshot wounds than before. Rather, it’s those inhabitants that roam its deep-sea corridors who have worsened with the passing of time, their hellish mutations accelerated yet further by another decade’s worth of substance abuse.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 22:24 GMT
EGM will relaunch in the US in March, as you can see from this PR.
The mag’s new version includes “a special code included in each newsstand copy that upgrades each reader’s access to the new weekly interactive version of the magazine. This enhanced version of the digital publication, called EGM[i]: The Digital Magazine contains exclusive article extensions and original content throughout each issue.”
Good luck, kids. Full thing through there.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 22:14 GMT
The Atlanta Business Chronicle is reporting that EA’s scouting sites in Atlanta for a new studio.
Up to 300 could be employed at the developer.
Savannah, GA, is also being considered for a site. EA comms boss Jeff Brown’s confirmed the story as true, and has said Louisiana and Florida are also in the running.
Why the move? California’s pretty expensive, non?
More through there.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 21:55 GMT
BioWare’s released another amazing Mass Effect 2 class video, this one outing the Infiltrator.
Infiltrators are assassins specialising in long-range combat and come with a tactical cloak.
Watch it right now. The game’s out for PC and 360 on January 29.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 21:47 GMT
EA’s put up an Army of Two site that lets you design your own Salem or Rios mask.
Once you’ve put your work of art together, you can check it out in 3D. Amazing.
As soon as Army of Two: The 40th Day ships on January 15, all you have to do is buy it et voila: your mask will be usable in-game.
Give it a waz. Check out our capture of demo play here.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 17:16 GMT
MAG’s gone gold, Zipper just confirmed on the US PS Blog, and Americans will be able to openly play the beta as of tomorrow.
“Beta 5″ will go global on January 4.
The online shooter launches on January 26 in North America and Asia, January 28 in Japan, and January 29 in Korea.
Hit the link for tons more.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 17:09 GMT
Army of Two’s Salem and Rios are on their way to London to promote The 40th Day. Look.
Apparently the pair are to “speak to the press, sign copies of their game, ride the Army of Two battle bus and still find time to mix with some very special British celebrities.”
The game’s out on January 15. Expect more hilarity in the meantime. Watch us playing through the demo here.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 16:42 GMT
A Divinity II – Ego Draconis demo is now out for 360 and PC.
The RPG sequel is yet again set in the world of Rivellon. The full game release on comes out January 5.
PR after the break.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 16:38 GMT
Not only is Heavy Rain not a videogame, but it also has a shot at branding an entirely new type of entertainment experience, Quantic’s David Cage has told Destructoid.
“Heavy Rain is not a videogame anymore in my mind,” he said, “because it breaks with most of the traditional paradigms, but it’s fully interactive.”
“If the format becomes successful,” he added, “we will probably have to find a different name for this type of experience.”
Whatever it’s going to be called, it hasn’t got “game” in it. It’s all about the plot, see.
“Heavy Rain is about playing with a story almost in a physical sense, changing it, twisting it, discovering it, making it unique, making it yours,” Cage said.
“Using the term ‘interactive movie’ to describe Heavy Rain has been a tricky question from the beginning. It is in many ways what Heavy Rain is – a visually told story that the player can affect by his actions.”
More through there. Check out Heavy Rain’s CE, announced today. There’s no date on it yet, but it’s expected in February.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 16:19 GMT
Codemasters has put out new DLC for Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising today. Titled Overwatch, the content delivers two new multiplayer modes – Blindside and Supremacy – and new Fire Team Engagement missions.
Blindside charges players with completing objectives in the shortest time possible, while Supremacy tasks opposing forces to occupy strategically vital positions featuring force multipliers like gun emplacements and air strikes.
PR through the link. It’s up on Live now for 400 MSP, and will hit PSN for £3.19/$4.99/€3.99 “soon”.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 16:09 GMT
The apparently excellent Darksiders won’t be getting a demo, Vigil GM David Adams has told VG247.
“We aren’t doing a demo,” said the exec, speaking to Steph Nunneley in an interview published today.
“We didn’t have the time our resources to prepare one – finishing the game came right down to the wire.”
Adams went on to say that there are currently no DLC plans for the demonic actioner, “but it’s always a possibility.”
He added: “We’re just glad to have the base game done.”
Darksiders has the best demons in games. Watch us play the first 20 minutes here.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 15:59 GMT
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 15:36 GMT
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 15:29 GMT
It’s Heavy Rain day! The EU PS Blog just posted up a picture of the game’s European Special Edition, as you can see here. Very cool.
It’s boxed in a special ‘rain-effect’ slipcase – thanks to “special embossing” and other “manufacturing tricks” it apparently gives the impression of being streaked with 3D rain-drops. Fancy.
Buyers also get voucher to download the following additional content from PSN:
- Heavy Rain: Chronicle 1 – The Taxidermist. This was confirmed as a pre-order goodie for the Americans last week.
- The Heavy Rain Official Soundtrack – Recorded at the Abbey Road studios.
- Dynamic XMB theme
More through there. Still no date. It’s expected in February.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 14:44 GMT
Kotaku’s running images of a survey which apparently outlines postential PSN subscription charges.
The IPSOS Online Research survey begins, “Sony is considering offering a premium PlayStation Network subscription in the future. The subscription offering would provide new premium features you could choose to pay for and are in addition to the features currently available for free such as access to online multiplayer gaming (current features would remain free).”
One of the charts over there details four potential plans, with three costing $69.99 a year or $9.99 a month, and one costing $4.99 a month and $29.99 a year.
Online music services, cloud storage and cross-game chat are all listed as features.
Pretty much essential reading. Hit the link.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 14:29 GMT
Very slow on this. Sorry. SCEA’s confirmed a pre-order program for Heavy Rain in NA, giving those that book early a free piece of DLC in a first episode of something called Heavy Rain Chronicles.
“When you pre-order your copy of Heavy Rain at participating retailers, you will receive the first episode of The Heavy Rain Chronicles (valued at $4.99 each episode) titled, ‘Heavy Rain: Chronicle One – The Taxidermist,’ which will be available (only to those who pre-order) when Heavy Rain hits store shelves.”
Pre-orders are open in the US and Canada now.
This content is the scene showed for the game’s reveal at Games Convention in 2008, and there’s more to come. Worth noting that this is all stand-alone stuff (thanks, onlineatron). We’re assuming you need the full game to play each episode, but we’ll check now.
“Each Chronicle will offer unique, stand-alone, playable short stories featuring one of Heavy Rain’s main characters, and a storyline taking place either before or after Heavy Rain’s original narrative,” said SCEA marketing bod Jefferson Dong, speaking on the US PS Blog.
“Similar to Heavy Rain, each episode will offer a unique journey and different outcomes based on the players’ decisions and actions.”
There’s no date on Heavy Rain as yet, but it’s expected in February.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 13:48 GMT
Update: It’s fake. See the blue post. Thanks, Quak0r.
Luis ‘Paperkat’ Di Centa, WoW champion at BlizzCon 2008, has apparently told SK-Gaming that he’s received a StarCraft II beta invite.
Di Centa claims the beta’s an 8.3Gb download. The email he’s been sent says:
“We’re excited to have reached the beta-testing stage for the second Starcraft game, and we’d be grateful to have your assistance in finalizing the content. There are a lot of new things to test, the single-player campaign and a brand new multiplayer experience, and we look forward to receiving any feedback you can offer.”
Here’s the salt. Blizzard’s already said there’ll be no StarCraft II beta this year. Checking now.
Mon, Dec 21, 2009 | 11:51 GMT
Famitsu’s confirmed a Japanese week one sales figure of 1,516,532 units for Final Fantasy XIII.
This is for the week ending December 20. The game launched on December 17.
According to this report, the RPG has resulted in almost 250,000 PS3 hardware sales.
The Media Create hardware figures should be awesome. Watch for those next week.