The day has come. The Treyarch-produced Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 trailer is here, and I'm kind of speechless. Before I get into what I think of the trailer, check it out below for yourself, then we'll talk about it:
There you have it, the trailer to a game that most likely has a budget of over $100 million, yet looks like it could've been produced 6 years ago or more. Jaggies everywhere, low-res textures, facial animation from the NES ages. That's what it feels like, anyway. If Crysis and Battlefield, and countless other better looking games had not come before it, then I wouldn't care. But the bar has been raised, significantly.
COD: Black Ops 2 gets below this bar, throws up on the floor and has a fit in its own mess. It tries to get back up, slips over and repeats this pattern every 12 months or so, around November.
But, it will sell, big time. Of course, this is only my opinion, but the gaming industry is better than this. Much better than this. Looks like some dumb fun for a while, though. I won't be touching it.
After weeks of teasing us about the upcoming DLC for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda has finally released more details about the coming DLC. First off, the name of the DLC is going to be 'Dawnguard.' I've never actually played Skyrim, so I can't say if that is some sort of reference to something in the game.
The marketing teaser image shows the usual hero. However, he has an unusual yellow glow in his eyes which could signal that the hero could be gaining some sort of new powers in the DLC. As we reported previously, gamers have dug around in a patch and found references to things that most likely will be showing up in the DLC.
Bethesda says that Dawnguard will debut on Xbox360 sometime this summer. In case you hadn't heard, the first two DLCs for Skyrim will be timed exclusives for Xbox 360. PS3 and PC gamers will have to wait at least an additional 30 days beyond the release. Technically, summer starts at the end of May, but it's doubtful that it will be that early. Bethesda says they are waiting for E3 in early June to release more details. I'll be attending E3, so I'll make sure to get the low down!
Bethesda is set to release the first details of the first downloadable content (DLC) for its popular game Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Details of the DLC are not known to me at the time of writing, but some rumors and information has leaked out. Bethesda's Pete Hines, VP of Marketing and PR, confirmed in a tweet that the information would come sometime today.
Fans with keen eyes have already uncovered some information about the DLC pack. A recent update to the game included a folder titled "DLC01." Inside the folder, gamers found game files for Snow Elf characters, a Snow Elf Princess, crossbows and new vampires animations, according to CVG. Expect more details as they become available.
Bethesda also trademarked the name Dawnguard in March. This suggests that the new DLC could go by that name, especially due to the fact of the vampire game files that gamers found. The game also received Kinect support today. This is limited to the English language, but does contain over 200 voice commands.
A new game trailer has hit the internet. This trailer is for a game that I had heard nothing about until this trailer showed up. Indie Finnish studio Theory Interactive is the creator of this new game Reset. They claim that the entire trailer is based upon footage from the in-game engine. This means no up-ressed textures, geometry or effects.
"Everything you see in the trailer is straight from the in-game engine," says Theory on the Reset blog. "No up-ressed textures, geometry or effects." Ok, so the trailer looks pretty darn good, but what is this game all about? The Theory Interactive team is a two-man team of former FutureMark developers: Alpo Oksaharju and Mikko Kallinen.
The description they provide for Reset is that it is a "single-player co-op first-person puzzle game." Players are supposedly able to jump back in time to compliment their own actions. They add that "atmosphere and mood are a big part of what we want people to experience." It's also set to be a PC exclusive.
AMD cares about the customer. Today's announcement of GameFly and AMD teaming up is just another example of all the things they do for you, the customer. This time AMD would like to get you gaming for cheap, at least for a little while. AMD announced that GameFly and AMD had an agreement to bring easier access to GameFly's online PC game rental and PC download services for a limited time.
Gamers who purchase select AMD A-Series APUs, AMD Athlon II CPUs, AMD Phenom™ II CPUs or AMD FX Series CPUs in areas where GameFly is accessible will receive a free 30-day GameFly membership and a 20% discount on a new PC game purchase when bought via the GameFly PC store. I don't have a listing of which CPUs qualify, so if I find one, I will add it here.
"AMD draws inspiration from gamers, game developers and the PC gaming industry," said John Taylor, director of Global Product and Technology Marketing at AMD. "Hand-in-hand with the AMD Gaming Evolved program, we continue to listen to gamers and fulfill our 'Gamers Come First!' pledge. AMD‟s close affiliation with GameFly shows our gratitude to gamers and to GameFly for recognizing how AMD represents best-in-class PC gaming experiences."
We all know it's coming, the next Call of Duty title is Black Ops 2, but when is it coming is the question. Every year around the holidays, Call of Duty: Something comes out, and now we have a Black Ops 2 release date to share with you: 11/13/12.
Where did this release date come from? Well, and image of the PS3 and Xbox 360 pre-order cards for US chain Target were posted on IGN. We all know that Call of Duty comes at this time of the year, but now we have some pretty much undeniable proof.
We should expect some Black Ops 2 trailers and details over the coming months.
Ah, Portal 2, soon to be the game that keeps on giving. Last week we talked about the Portal 2 DLC, Perpetual Testing Initiative, but today we have a trailer of the upcoming map creator DLC.
Yes. It features an optupus. Octopus' seem to be the new zombies, it is 2012 after all. The last few seconds of the trailer itself show off the in-game editor, and I can really see some truly amazing, mind-bending maps being made from this.
I'm sure Valve will also snap up said map creators, and put them into an Aperture lab to make Portal 3.
NVIDIA had quite the day yesterday, with CEO Jen-Hsun Huang proudly announcing the kick-arse GEFORCE GTX 690, based on two Kepler GK104 GPUs. But, that wasn't the only big news, another thing Team Green announced was the 'GeForce Experience'.
What is that? It does sound like a trip in a fighter plane, or some really cheesy porno, but it's actually a cloud-based service with the promise of simplifying the configuration of games based on your hardware. This means that depending on your particular hardware configuration, including the CPU, RAM, storage speed and of course, the GPU, the NVIDIA tool will set the optimal in-game settings and resolution.
This is a huge step for NVIDIA, but they're confident that they have the personnel and testing systems in place to push this forward. How it'll work is pretty simple: when a user opens a game for the first time, they'll be prompted with a screen that shows the default of current game settings side-by-side with the settings recommended by NVIDIA's GeForce Experience.
If you don't want to have to sit through Family Guy tonight to catch the latest Diablo III TV spot 'Evil is Back', then you might want to watch the 30-second advertisement below.
Well, that looks just a little awesome, doesn't it? The TV spot doesn't really show anything about the game itself, but right now Diablo III anything is good. Diablo III arrives for PC and Mac on May 15. If you didn't play the beta, or participate in the open beta weekend, then you've missed out.
I'm an old school Diablo fan and the latest game is great. It does have its problems, but what game doesn't? For me, a beta that works perfectly, no glitches, no crashes, no BSODs, no CTODs, and 3-screen support out-of-the-box, you've sold me, Blizzard. The full game should be even better, and I hope to play with you when it hits! Add me!
In a move which should help bring Nintendo back to profitability, they are looking to start selling some WiiU and 3DS games as digital downloads. Their implementation of this differs from other console manufactures in that they are going to distribute the digital download codes via retailers so that they still get their share.
This will give shoppers the choice when at retailers to choose whether they want a digital copy or a physical copy. This move also helps Nintendo combat the used game market, which could result in an increase of games sold. This is one of the company's first steps into the digital distribution. Previously, they had sold only smaller games for download through WiiWare, DISiWare and the 3DS eShop.
The first title offered for digital download will be New Super Mario Brothers 2 for the 3DS. This should be released sometime in August. The brain-training game Onitore, part of the Brain Age series, is also set to be available digitally. The WiiU will use a similar, if not the same, system when the console launches later this year.
Valve are set to release a free Portal 2 DLC pack dubbed "Perpetual Testing Initiative" for PC and Mac which is due to hit on May 8. Valve have said you'll be able to "easily create, share, and play Portal 2 puzzles" with the new DLC.
The new level creator will let you publish maps directly to Steam. Yes! Other players from there, will be able to browse, vote, and download user-created maps to play in their own versions of the game.
There's not much more on this until May 8, but you can sure it will be featured as our Download of the Day.
Battlefield 3 DLC is nearly upon us in the form of 'Close Quarters', which moves the combat from outside, to inside, to give us more Call of Duty-style gameplay. Destruction plays a key part in it, and the destruction does look just as delicious, if not more so, when it's done inside.
EA and DICE recently held a European and US media event, where they teased four maps including Close Quarters, dubbed Donya Fortress. The new gameplay trailer (above) shows off a bunch of HD Destruction, as well as the new game mode Conquest Domination.
Conquest Domination is a mash-up of the tactical Conquest mode and the instant action gameplay in Close Quarters, which delivers it in droves with its tight level design and frantic close quarters combat.
Diablo III, sequel to Diablo II, has been in development for a long time now. Often when players are made to wait, their expectations grow larger and larger as time passes by. Often times it is hard to please the users who have waited in anticipation for the game to release. 300,000 simultaneous users logged into the game over the weekend to give it a test run.
While we don't know if everyone liked the game, from what I've heard from people who played it is that they loved it. Blizzard hasn't said how many total users logged in over the weekend beta, however, Blizzard community manager Bashiok said on Twitter that Blizzard's servers saw 300,000 simultaneous players.
The number could have been higher if Blizzard hadn't run into some problems over the weekend. But, then again, wasn't that the point of hosting this? Many beta players reported issues logging in. This could be due to the fact that Diablo III requires a constant internet connection to play the game. This is a sticking point between Blizzard and its audience. Hopefully Blizzard can work these problems out before the May 15 launch.
Crysis 3 will differ from Crysis 2 in that it won't be a console-port running on the PC. Rather it will be a PC-port running on consoles, including some of the graphical features that are available in DX11. The programmers at Crytek don't want the experience to differ between the PC version and the console versions of the game.
"We want to make sure as much as is humanly possible can translate from a DX11 variant into a DX9 variant, that will work almost as good on an Xbox console to whatever extent we can, because we don't want the experience to be different between the platforms," Rasmus Højengaard, director of creative development at Crytek, told Eurogamer.
"It is very, very difficult, but it is possible. It just requires a lot of effort. Some of the stuff these guys are making work on consoles now is absolutely amazing. It's render features that shouldn't theoretically work on consoles, but they've managed to construct code that can emulate a similar thing from a...hack and slash sounds wrong, but they don't have the same streamlined pipeline you would have with a DX11 structure, but they can get to a similar result just by experimenting and using tips and tricks."
Valve are successful because they don't run their company in a traditional sense, in more ways than one. Valve attract the best talent from across the world, and this talent produces some of the best product in the form of Steam, games and more.
A PDF of Valve's Handbook for New Employees has made its way onto the Internet, and you can take a read at just how awesome it is to work at the company. A traditional job would have you go in, take a job title, a desk and start your job. You work a normal 9-5, Mon-Fri, at your desk, with someone higher than you telling you what to do, and not do.
This can work well, if everyone is treated equally, but we all know this doesn't generally work. Valve's way is that they give you a desk, on wheels, so that if you're not liking the department, or area where you start, and you feel you'd be more efficient in another area, you can move freely. You're not stuck into a single "X" position. You're just 'working at Valve'.
EA has graced us with another Crysis trailer. This one is much longer than the teaser that was released last week and has actual gameplay included in it. We also learn some more of the backstory with this trailer and get to see that the graphics are as incredible as one would expect from the Crysis series.
As previously reported, the game will take place in New York City just like Crysis 2 did. However, this time the city has been covered by a Nanodome created by the now-corrupt Cell Corporation. Because of this Nanodome, the city will feature 7 unique districts which are called the Seven Wonders. Each will provide a different, treacherous environment.
Watch the video above and start to get excited like I am. I love the first Crysis game, so I'm excited to see it, at least somewhat, return to the jungle. Prophet will have an updated Nanosuit, composite bow, and alien tech to help him in his quest. The game will be released sometime in 2013 and be available on PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.
Batman: Arkham City has not only been popular with shipping numbers, but it now has confirmed DLC. Warner Bros. have confirmed that the Harley Quinn's Revenge DLC will add more than two hours of completely new gameplay to the campaign.
Also included on the disc are all five previously released DLC packs. Warner also added that anyone who already owns the game can download the Harley Quinn's Revenge Pack which will be available to all international markets starting on April 30 from the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace.
Warner Bros. also confirmed a Game of the Year Edition of Batman: Arkham City, which will sport:
- The DLC included on disc includes the Catwoman Pack, Nightwing Bundle Pack, Robin Bundle Pack, Challenge Map Pack and Arkham City Skins Pack.
- Maps: Wayne Manor, Main Hall, Freight Train, Black Mask, The Joker's Carnival, Iceberg Long, and Batcave.
- Playable Characters: Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing.
- Skins: 1970s Batsuit, Year One Batman, The Dark Knight Returns, Earth One Batman, Batman Beyond Batman, Animated Batman, Sinestro Corps Batman, Long Hallowe'en Catwoman, Animated Catwoman, Animated Robin, Red Robin and Animated Nightwing.
The GOTY Edition hits on the 7th of September for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in the UK, over three months after the US has it made available to them.
Player Affinity is reporting that a group of users from 4chan have sent an e-mail to Valve boss himself, Gabe Newell, which was very NSFW, but Good Guy Gabe still responded, with quite the tease:
I don't suppose it would ease your wrath if I told you we're announcing all your favorite things at E3 2012?
Some people over at Reddit then sent Gabe an e-mail asking him to elaborate, where he responded:
I can see how the wording caused some confusion there. Yes, we are announcing something with a three in it.
So, if this is all real, and not a troll, we can expect many games with a '3' in it from Valve. Left 4 Dead 3, Team Fortress 3, Portal 3, Half-Life 3, Half-Life 2: Episode 3, just to name a few. Now, let's break it down. Portal 2 only came out this time last year, Team Fortress 2 is now free-to-play and doesn't really require a sequel right now (but it could), Left 4 Dead 2 is still receiving DLC lovin', and Half-Life is really the only game I can see being announced.
Anything else is a tease.
We all know Max Payne 3 is nearly here, but what are the PC specifications for it? How high does it scale? Rockstar have unleashed some more information on the painkiller-addicted, slow-mo-flyin' Max Payne 3. Max Payne 3's PC System Specifications:
Windows 7 32/64 Service Pack 1, Windows Vista 32/64 Service Pack 2, Windows XP 32/64 Service Pack 3
Intel Dual Core 2.4 GHZ - i7 3930K 6 Core x 3.06 GHZ / AMD Dual Core 2.6 GHZ - FX8150 8 Core x 3.6 GHZ
2GB - 16GB
NVIDIA® 8600 GT 512MB VRAM - NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 680 2GB VRAM / Radeon HD 3400 512MB VRAM - Radeon HD 7970 3GB VRAM
Not long until we're all bullet dodging and going into slow mo in the upcoming Max Payne 3, and after various design and technology videos, teasers, screenshots and more, we have the official TV commercial to show you, below.
The TV commercial had its world premiere during the Lakers/Spurs game on ESPN two nights ago, and it will begin airing internationally over the next week or so. One thing I did have a chuckle at was that they threw in "from the makers of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption", like Max Payne 1 & 2 never happened.
I guess because they were never featured during the current-generation console life cycle, they didn't really happen. Not long until we can play this game! I'm actually quite excited and I haven't played games this entire year apart from 5 minutes of the Diablo III Beta two nights ago.
Valve are continuing their efforts on the free-to-play gaming front, with a new plan to release their sure fire hit, DOTA 2, as a free-to-play title. Good Guy Gabe has come out and said that Valve are not applying a wholly conventional freemium model for DOTA 2.
Usually, freemium games are made available to everyone and then later the company monetises it by selling optional in-game items, Team Fortress 2 has done this for example. In an interview with Seven Day Cooldown, Newell said that DOTA 2 would be "free-to-play [but] it'll have some twists". He continues:
The issue that we're struggling with quite a bit is something I've kind of talked about before, which is how do you properly value people's contributions to a community?