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Earlier today at the Gamescom event taking place in Germany, Microsoft announced that it will launch Project Spark in beta form for Windows 8 in October. For those of you who have never heard of Project Spark, it amounts to an inception-like video game development tool within a game that allows players to build custom worlds, developed characters, and render custom animations all from an Xbox One or Windows 8-based PC.
The development suite will let player-developers utilize a Kinect sensor to include voice and motion capture as well as allow players to capture facial animations and body motion to bring the characters they design to life. Users can also record their own face and superimpose it on an in-game character or record custom body motions, which they can then assign as a player's attack moves within a game.
Gamers also have the ability to fully customize the in-game world to build out that entire fantasy round they have always dreamed. The video above highlights some of the high level worlds and animations that are possible using Project Spark. Microsoft says that the closed beta will begin for Windows 8 devices in early October, and the Xbox One will receive Spark access sometime in January 2014.
Plants vs Zombies 2 released worldwide just five days ago and has already surpassed more than 16 million downloads, landing it at the top spot of EA's most successful mobile game launch in history. The sequel to the popular zombie killing game also found itself amongst some of the top grossing games on opening day the Apple App Store has ever seen.
"We are grateful and delighted with the incredible reception Plants vs. Zombies 2 has received from consumers around the globe," said Tony Leamer, Franchise Business Director for Plants vs. Zombies. "We certainly had high hopes for the game, but to see fans playing the game so quickly and in such huge numbers is truly amazing."
EA says that in the five days since launch, Plants vs Zombies 2 rocketed into the number one position in the App Store in over 137 countries worldwide on either the iPad or iPhone charts. It currently has an average rating of 4.5 to 5 stars throughout those countries and has received rave reviews from critics and consumers worldwide. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, it pits garden-variety plants against a horde of period correct zombies throughout different historical time periods. EA has released the game under its free-to-play model and we found it in the Apple App Store in seven different languages.
Today, EA and Maxis clued us in on the first details of what is expected to be one of the hottest games of 2014. The companies released the first gameplay trailer of the highly anticipated life simulator, The Sims 4. EA says that the game is built on an entirely new technological platform and that players will now be able to create and control an entirely new generation of Sims like never before.
This new technology allows game developers to build upon a foundation that allows the Sims to become more intelligent, emotionally rich, and relatable. Each of them evolves into something that is affected by the interactions and emotional states of other Sims. Now for the first time ever, each Sim is capable of having its own emotional state which is affected by the environment and other Sims around. As you saw in the video above, this makes for very dynamic gameplay. EA has officially opened pre-orders for The Sims 4 Digital Deluxe Edition on Origin, and you can grab your copy at Source #2 below.
Electronic Arts and DICE announced today the long anticipated Battlefield 4 Premium pack. EA says that this new pack provides an exclusive membership for Battlefield fans and will provide access to all of the scheduled expansion packs to keep the battle raging all year long. This includes the China Rising, Second Assault, Naval Strike, Dragons Teeth, and Final Stand expansion packs.
"Fan reaction to Battlefield 3 Premium has been nothing short of amazing. We are humbled to see more than 4 million people join in," said Patrick Bach, Executive Producer, Battlefield 4. "With Battlefield 4 Premium we continue to roll out the red carpet, treating our fans like VIPs with a massive amount of new gameplay, exclusive new content and even more benefits at an incredible value."
EA said that these new "Battlepacks" will add an all-new layer of persistence as well as a new element of chance to the multiplayer progression system . As players rank up, they will receive packs containing random combinations of new camo, dogtags, knives, XP boost, and gun attachments on top of all of the unlocks players will earn in-game through normal play . There are to be 12 bonus Battlepacks for Battlefield 4 Premium owners.
Battlefield 4 multiplayer will open a beta starting in early October and would be exclusive for Battlefield 3 Premium owners, Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe Owners, and Medal of Honor Warfighter Digital Deluxe owners. Battlefield 4 will officially launch on October 29 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Battlefield 4 Premium Edition can be purchased for $49.99 at Source #2 below.
It looks like the Austin, Texas-based branch of Arkane Studios, the developer being Dishonored, have just started work on a reboot of Prey 2. The news is coming from a report by Kotatu, going off of a leaked internal e-mails from Arkane Studios' creative director, Raphael Colantonio.
One of the e-mails reads: "Austin has officially been green lit for its own project. Doing a new IP was not a possibility because it's adding risk to the challenge of growth, so after going back and forth with Todd, Harvey, Ricardo, we decided that Prey 2 presented an interesting opportunity if we could reboot it. Zenimax accepted our pitch which was 'the spiritual successor to System Shock 3."
This should come as a surprise, because Bethesda's VP of PR and marketing, Pete Hines, has said that Human Head's work on Prey 2 was "not up to our quality standards."
Today, Rockstar Games released an all-new trailer of online gameplay footage from his upcoming title Grand Theft Auto V. With the official launch of the game growing closer, the company is doing all it can to generate as much hype as possible. Earlier this week, we saw Rockstar release a website parody of a municipality tourist site, and today the company released a three minute long trailer of gameplay footage.
I have never been more excited for a game to launch than I have for Grand Theft Auto V; the online feature appears to be everything we have hoped and dreamed it would be. The trailer alludes to a completely open world filled with hundreds of online players who can do everything from fly planes, drive cars, and even team up to form a band of thieves to rob a bank. Users can earn money by completing online missions and then use that money to buy weapons, vehicle upgrades, and even houses at which your friends can visit when they come online.
I have been hoping for months now that Rockstar would officially announce that Grand Theft Auto V would be released on PC, and after getting my hopes up earlier in the week, I have pretty much accepted the fact that I will be buying an Xbox 360 so I can play the game on launch day. Rockstar, if you're out there listening, please make the decision to put this game on the PC!
If you're going to pick up Call of Duty: Ghosts when it drops, you might want to look at getting the Call of Duty: Ghosts Prestige Edition, which drops on November 5.
Included with the Prestige Edition is a 1080p, water-resistant "tactical camera", with a 4GB memory card. The Prestige Edition is priced at $199, and while that might sound like a lot, a 1080p, water-resistant tactical camera is a nice accessory for that price. You also get the game itself, a carrying case, a Season Pass for downloads and a paracord strap.
If this came with a real-life puppy, our own Trace Hagan would've purchased every copy in the United States by now.
If there's one thing AMD is doing right, it would have to be the Never Settle program. The chipmaker has just launched its Never Settle Forever program, which changes things up considerably.
With the older Never Settle bundles, depending on the GPU the consumer purchased, they were given specific games. When things kicked into second gear with Never Settle Reloaded, consumers were given the choice of a few titles when they purchased a GPU. The more they spent on their GPU - or the higher the series of Radeon - the more games they received.
Now, the Never Settle Forever program is here, and each tier offers a larger range of games, and more of them. As you can see from the image above, the Radeon Bronze Reward includes one free game, from a choice of six titles. The Radeon Silver Reward includes two games from a selection of eight games. The final, and highest reward is the Radeon Gold Reward, which offers three free games from a total of nine choices.
Here's a weird news post for your evening enjoyment, where a League of Legends gamer has posted a petition on Change.org, asking Riot Games to "unfilter the word Satan" from the MOBA.
Beau Guthery explains that League of Legends doesn't censor the word "Jesus" or any other gods, and that Riot Games is therefore "blocking Satanists' right to freedom of religion by preventing them from using the name Satan." Guthery adds that posts to the League of Legends support team on the open forums are blocked if you use the word "Satan."
The petition has 287 supporters, requiring just 213 more, after I just signed the petition. The petition addresses Riot Games' CEO, Brandon Beck: "Please unfilter the word "Satan" from the game "League Of Legends." Let Satanists and others who would like to freely use that name be given that ability. We who sign this petition just want to be treated equally. Your own forum mods and employees say that you listen to the community of game players. Here we are, asking for you to make a small change in the game that would respond to our wishes and give us equality with players who already can select the god of their choice."
Earlier, I clued you in on a statement made during an earnings call in which an NVIDIA executive confirmed that Grand Theft Auto V would be coming to PC later this fall. Continuing on with GTA V news, Rockstar Games today released a new website for the highly anticipated title.
The new website appears to be a parity of the typical tourist friendly public relations site many municipalities use around the country to inform would-be visitors of what their city has to offer. The page is titled "Visit Los Santos & Blain County" and has a slogan that reads "Where cultural apocalypse meets environmental disaster." If that's not true Grand Theft Auto style, nothing is.
The page then displays 20 different clickable tiles that attempt to showcase all the various features one might be interested in when visiting Los Santos. At the moment, only 10 of the tiles are active, and we suspect the other 10 to become available in the coming weeks. Clicking around the tiles shows never before seen screenshots and clues us in on some interesting features of the game.