I'm going to tell you something that most people don't know about me, only my immediate family. When I was young, we had a magazine in Australia called "HYPER", I was obsessed about games then, and more particularly, PC gaming and it's coming of age. We just got the CD-ROM and here in Australia, they were something like $1000 at the time.
Under a Killing Moon had just come out, and was one of the first full-motion video games that was truly kick ass. I used to get the HYPER magazines, and cut out the stories and pictures I loved, and put them into another book - collating everything I loved best. It's funny how things come full circle, and now I do this as a job that I absolutely LOVE for TweakTown, and you, our readers. Today we have some news that is exciting for all of those old-school PC gamers out there, Big Finish Games are talking about bringing a FMV-based adventure game featuring Tex Murphy, with a new Kickstarter.
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AMC's 'The Walking Dead' has been a smash hit thus far, and I personally enjoy it. The series was inspired by Robert Kirkman's award-winning comic series, and now Telltale Games have released their trailer for the upcoming game based on the same original series.
The Walking Dead's lead designer Sean Vanaman says that the game is more along the lines of the comic book than the television series. Where within the game universe of The Walking Dead, a new set of characters is introduced, led by Lee Everett, but the same zombie apocalypse timeline remains roughly the same. What makes this game stand out is that players will be given the the decision to make difficult moral decisions that will affect gameplay across the entier series.
Graphics-wise, we should expect a blend of 2D and 3D models, which are said to be presented in a way that it pays homage to the original comic book artwork. Kirkman has said:
Telltale has done a phenomenal job in making a game that meets the expectations of fans. Running around with a gun isn't what The Walking Dead is about; it's about how people caught in an apocalypse deal with facing their own death every day, and the horrible choices they have to make to survive. Telltale's game series has captured the spirit of the comic books perfectly.
Hard Reset's parents, Flying Wild Hog, have confirmed that the upcoming expansion content will be free to those who have already purchased the game. Retail shelves saw the release "Hard Reset: Extended Edition", which sports extra content. This version will replace the current Steam version, and will replace it in late-April or early-May, where the price should increase from $19.99 to $29.99.
The game launched at $29.99, but with all of the extra content, that's still not bad considering most AAA+ titles are nearly $100 here in Australia. But, where things are different for this game is that whoever owns an original copy, will be upgraded to the new Extended Edition for free.
The game launched to a mixed reaction, where some loved the feel of the game and compared it to old school first-person shooters, where others hated it citing it was too short and too few enemies. The new Extended Edition hopes to shake things up introducing new weapons, enemies (including a boss), five more campaign levels, and two new survival mode levels.
The latest trailer for BioShock Infinite has hit the Internet, showing off some of the new enemies, the "Boys of Silence". These characters just look downright terrible, in a good way. Their faces are hidden behind a huge helmet-like object on their head that resembles a bell.
Their ears are super-powerful, which makes up for them being blind. So they cannot see you, but their super-powerful ears will pick up noises to track you. Within the game, you can make two decisions when you come across them: firstly, tip-toe around them and try to dodge them without them hearing you, or secondly, full on confrontation, where they'll call out for backup and you better be ready to fight!
These new enemies definitely look cool and will give BioShock Infinite the edge to the run-of-the-mill first-person shooters that we've been experiencing for the past few years. I wasn't too excited about this game at first, but the more I see, the more I love. These new enemies are unique - which is great in a bland FPS world.
We've reported on this a few times now, but we are edging closer and closer to 2013 with every day passing and the latest information available to us is that Microsoft are preparing to launch the successor to the Xbox 360, next year. The news comes from KitGuru, where they've talked to an 'insider in Taipei' over the weekend.
They spoke to one unnamed source close to Microsoft who felt it would launch in Q3 2013, with the plan to show the console off at next year's E3 in June. We've reported before that it would launch this year, but with the Xbox 360 still selling insane amounts of units, it would be a bit stupid to launch the successor to their still-popular console. Kinect has also helped boost console adoption and extending life to the dragging (hardware-wise) unit.
One path Microsoft could take is to release a high-end console, and have games shipped on it, with the current Xbox 360 staying as the mass user option. This could allow Microsoft to release insanely-detailed games, in true full HD 1080p @ 60fps, and then scale said games down to the sub-720p on the current-gen 360. This would give Microsoft two unique markets: one for their new consoles, new games and a new push for higher-fidelity graphics and features, as well as a thriving Xbox 360 market which won't just stop overnight.
Left 4 Dead 2 is a franchise that doesn't really require a defibrillator, with the development of the Cold Stream DLC close to completion. Valve still, in their usual fashion, haven't announced a release date, and according to an update posted on the official Left 4 Dead Blog, work on the DLC pack is now focused on making small tweaks and squashing bugs.
The blog states:
Now that we have a solid version of the maps (some minor changes still coming), we are focused on the DLC and getting some pesky bugs out of the shipping version. As soon as we have a release date we will let you know.
Cold Stream contains a new community-made campaign in addition to the classic maps Death Toll, Dead Air, Blood Harvest and Crash Course. It also sports a new melee weapon, interesting news for L4D2 fans! Will this be enough to bring some back (myself included), time will tell.
An enterprising gamer has done what gamers do best: thought outside the box. What he's done is grabbed a bunch of components, built a virtual reality, motion-controlled, Skyrim experience. The equipment used was: Skyrim, a Sony HMZ-T1, a Kinect, a TrackIR 5, a TrackClip Pro, Shoot [software], and FAAST 0.9 [also software]. The results? This:
The artist goes by the name of 'Awesome Man', and from the video's comments we have:
I've setup the Sony HMZ-T1 head mounted display to use Stereoscopic 3D as well as attached the TrackClip Pro on it for head tracking. I had to place the TrackIR 5 on a wire hanging from the ceiling as it needed to be around head level to track my head movements properly.
The Kinect was setup on the PC using PrimeSense's OpenNI drivers. I used FAAST 0.9 with a custom script to map certain gestures with the keyboard, such as walking on the spot to move in the game, leaning left, leaning right, jumping and moving my right arm forward to use the sword.
Bit of old news now, but I didn't even notice this until it was liked by a friend of mine on Facebook. According to MCV, we should expect a title called 'Battlefield: Evolved' later this year, what it'll be, right now, is unknown.
My guess is we'll see the DLC packs released, and then bundled all in one super Battlefield pack, which will be 'Evolved'. Another thing that has been uncovered, are the reported covers of each Battlefield 3 DLC, Close Quarters, Armored Kill and End Game, which you can see above. What do you think?
In regards to End Game specifically, there are no details of it other than what DICE General Manager Karl Magnus Troedsson has said:
Only a few people in Stockholm actually know what this is.
Rumors flying wild around the internet have been saying that Microsoft would possibly be releasing the Xbox 720/Next at E3 2012. However, Microsoft spokesperson David Dennis has publicly stated that Microsoft won't discuss new Xbox hardware at this year's show. This led 2 people with knowledge of the subject to speculate an E3 2013 launch. Besides, why would Microsoft want to launch their next-gen console this year when they can continue to sell the 360?
As everyone knows, a console isn't profitable for the first few years. As it stands now, a best-guess estimate puts Microsoft banking around $115 from each and every $300 Xbox sold. Giving up profit such as that would not be in the software giant's best interest. The only pressure Microsoft is feeling for a release is from gamers. No other manufacturer is ready to release a new console. Additionally, the new Kinect motion sensor is breading a whole new line of games, and profit, for them.
Microsoft's entertainment division, which includes the Xbox, posted a 45 percent sales gain to $8.91 billion in the fiscal year that ended in June. The Xbox 360 outsold Nintendo Co.'s Wii and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 in 2011, and also sold better than any other TV-connected devices, including DVD players and home-theater systems, Dennis said.
Blizzard has announced that Diablo III will be released on May 15th. This is the 3rd chapter in Blizzard's critically acclaimed game. Starting May 15th, Diablo III will be at retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. It will also be available as a digital download in the above mentioned regions, as well as Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil via Blizzard's Battle.net website.
Available for Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7 and Macintosh, Diablo III will come with a suggested price of $59.99 USD for both the retail DVD-ROM version and the digital version. A special alabaster-white Collector's Edition, sold exclusively in retail stores at a suggested retail price of $99.99 USD, will include the full game on DVD-ROM, a behind-the-scenes Blu-ray/DVD two-disc set, the Diablo III soundtrack CD, a 208-page Art of Diablo III book, and a 4 GB USB soulstone (including full versions of Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction) and corresponding Diablo skull base, as well as exclusive in-game content for Diablo III, World of Warcraft, and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
VentureBeat has asked EA's game chief, Patrick Soderlund, whether they would consider switching to a subscription-based delivery system for future titles, with Soderlund replying:
I think it's fair to say that we're looking at that. Like all other companies, we're looking at how we can maximise our investment in this and get the most out of our investment and get more people playing this product. That may take us to different places, but we're not really talking about where that is yet.
Soderlund didn't give an indication as to what form a subscription-based model would take on, but considering Call of Duty introduced their Elite service that offers paid subscribers regular DLC drops months ahead of normal users, its not that far out of the question. Soderlund also added that EA sees Battlefield 3 as a full-time on-going service for its customers. He's quoted:
We look at it as a 24/7 service. We have people in Stockholm and North America and other parts of the world that are on this every single hour of every single day. 365 days a year. We have an operations team at DICE to look at telemetry data. How are people playing the game, how can we improve the experience? Are they having problems? Are servers down? Are they up? All that stuff.
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Footage was shown to attendees of GDC 2012 for MechWarrior Online, and it looks as beautiful as ever. Most things that made the original PC-exclusive game so good, like heat management, system/limb damage, and the way that different types of weapons behave, are all intact.
The game is looking incredible (well, as a fan of MechWarrior, of course I think that), but it just does. The game will be pretty hectic in multiplayer, and should prove for some insane matches online. Being a PC-exclusive, free-to-play game is going to help it, a lot.
If you don't already know, MechWarrior Online features the graphics powerhouse engine that is CryENGINE 3 and hits in Summer 2012. Until then, you better get your trigger fingers ready, because I'll be on the battlefield waiting for you and your Mech. Bring. It. On.
Final Fantasy fan? Android device owner? RPG fan? Well, even if you are all of those things, you'll still need to live in Japan to get the Japan-only app store for Android, where Square Enix have released Final Fantasy III. Japanese exclusivity means you cannot get this game anywhere else.
The game is selling for 1,400 "points" through Square Enix's pricing system, which works out to around $17.87. There's no word on whether the developer will release the game to other regions, but in the mean time, you can play the game right now if you're in Japan.
Based somewhere else and want to play it? Only your tears will keep you warm at night. Weird for Square Enix to release it in Japan only, when we live in an open market these days with Android Markets and App Stores all over the world. Sigh.
We reported about the upcoming themed downloadable expansions for Battlefield 3 just last week, and now we're seeing some footage from the first one to be released, 'Close Quarters'. The video below shows some absolutely frantic in-your-face action, which should please fans of indoor combat, more along the lines of Call of Duty.
It's a far cry from the original Battlefield titles where it was mainly outdoor combat, but would please the fans of Call of Duty. Close Quarters seems to have some pretty amazing destructibility built into its environments, which should make for some amazing combat. But I'm two minds about it, personally. On one hand, I love what Battlefield 3 has done for the series, pushing it in a new direction, but at the same time, it feels like its not the same Battlefield I experienced when Battlefield 1942 first came out.
Close Quarters is released in June, with the above video showing off Ziba Tower. One thing I think should be banned from this map is the use of rocket launchers, I can see the rocket spam now... it will be insane.
RumorTT: Polyphony Digital team spotted taking shots of Mount Panorama for the new Gran Turismo game
The two guys pictured below weer spotted doing leg and truck-powered laps of Bathurst's Mount Panorama, where they've taken photos of one of Australia's most recognised race tracks. That's not all, because audio from intrepid's souls phone camera definitely points toward the raceway being featured in the next instalment of the Gran Turismo series.
The clip is below, and you can hear the guys talking about it, with a subtitled version available, too. There's also a thread on the GTPlanet forums, where people are convinced that one of the Polyphony Digital guys says "GT6". Of course, this isn't 100-percent irrefutable evidence, but it does have more credit than just a shot of two guys posing for a photo.
Unless this is a DLC pack for Gran Turismo 5, that is. The other question is, if this is for GT6, would it arrive on the PS3 or the PS4? Polyphony Digital do take their time releasing games, so I would be willing to put some money on this game hitting the PlayStation 4.
The team behind Crysis, Crytek, have just released a new video showing off some next-generation CryENGINE 3 graphics. If that's not enough "cry's" in one sentence, then sit back and relax with the nearly 4 minutes of the updated graphics engine below.
Impressed? I am. It looks gorgeous. But, we'll never see those graphics. Right now, I'm putting my foot down and declaring we will never see those graphics, in all that detail, smoothly, in any game from Crytek (or anyone who licenses that engine) for a very long time. Why? First up, we never see tech demo graphics make it to the final game, it's just too much. Secondly, how much detail can be inserted into a pillar, or water... look at that water for example. It looks absolutely beautiful.
That's the problem, there is so much wasted computational power used for something that will never see the light of day. Even if it did, all that water is, is scenery. It's not an actual useful item within the game, it's background graphics. Unless it plays some pivotal role within the next CryENGINE 3-based game, it means nothing to me.
Heavy Rain, to me, was great. It had its problems (frame rate, and the whole "Jaaasssooonnnn" bit) but it was a completely different game to the usual genres out there. The mastermind behind the game, David Cage, and his company, Quantic Dream are back again, and want your socks blown off, again.
Enter Kara. Kara was shown off during GDC, where it was again a PlayStation 3-exclusive, and just a technology demo that was showcasing the company's new game engine. Cage says:
Kara was made a year ago, so the technology has evolved a lot since then," the Quantic Dream head told CVG at GDC. We've worked a lot on the cinematography, we've worked a lot on lens flares, on diffraction and how the light plays on the optic... We're playing with all these things, so I think that the next games - whatever they are - are going to look much better than Kara.
In the latest conference call reported by CVG, EA's CEO, John Riccitiello has revealed that their super-MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic has almost 1.7 million subscribers. This suggests that SW:TOR has overpowered that usual one-month slump that can happen when the subscription charge slaps players for the first time.
What goes toward helping this is that BioWare have been quite vocal on the upcoming updates to the MMO. The Legacy Patch is said to arrive in April, which should bring a new flashpoint, warzone and operation, expanding the legacy system, as well as improving character textures, adding armour color customization and more.
SW:TOR player? Enjoying the game? What do you think of 1.7 million gamers playing with you? I haven't gotten into it, I just don't have the patience!
Arguably the biggest game to launch this year, EA are boasting they sold nearly 900,000 copies of Mass Effect 3 in the first 24 hours of being on sale. If we want to get into some exact numbers, its 890,000 copies, said EA boss John Riccitiello.
The boasting was revealed at the Wedbush Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference. He has been quoted saying "we anticipated it doing well, so we're happy". US giant GameStop saw a huge 40-percent of day one customers also buy a download code for the day one DLC "From Ashes". With Riccitiello saying "the tie ratio at the register is the highest in their history".
This is a huge scoop for Mass Effect 3 and should [hopefully] close off the trilogy quite well for BioWare and EA. Did you grab Mass Effect 3? What are your thoughts so far? Or are you too busy to see this news because you're engrossed in the game itself?