Battlefield 3 is set to receive some themed downloadable expansions, with the first one 'Close Quarters' arriving in June. The new expansions will feature new weapons, and vehicles that can be used across the entire game, as well as new multiplayer maps.
Console players are set to receive something quite new, with a rent-a-server programme, allowing them to run dedicated game servers that can be customized to their own rules and preferences, just like the PC players know and love. This is a first for any console shooter.
Close Quarters is as it sounds, focused on up-close-and-personal indoor infantry combat with verticality to the map designs. It drops on the PS3 one week early, includes 10 new weapons and four new maps. It has been described as "hectic and intense". The map was shown off at EA's GDC event, and featured a "swish-looking" office block called Ziba Tower, according to Eurogamer, with, my favorite: lots of glass to shatter.
The next add-on after Close Quarters will be called Armored Kill. This pack focuses on tank-based combat, and will offer the Battlefield series' biggest map ever and includes one new drivable vehicle for use in the game. No release date has been stated. The final add-on will be called End Game, where nothing is known about it, this is being kept top secret by DICE.
Crytek's first game in the mobile universe is called 'Fibble - Flick 'n' Roll'. Crytek say that the game is a "highly engaging puzzle game" that "combines strategy with physics-based interactions" with vivid and highly detailed visuals.
CEO and President of Crytek, Cevat Yerli says:
Going mobile is an incredibly exciting step for us as a game development company. The way that people play games on mobile devices is a real blessing. This allows us to get back to our roots, experiment and focus our energy on creating great gameplay experiences while still keeping Crytek's high production values.
Whereas, General Manager Games at Crytek, Nick Button-Brown says:
With Fibble - Flick 'n' Roll, Crytek is aiming to surprise people with a whole new style of game as well as to make a big impact in the field of mobile entertainment. It will also give us a great opportunity to make a big splash with a whole new generation of players who've yet to play a Crytek game. We ourselves love to play games on mobile devices and we very much look forward to bringing our production values and skills to them.
EA have removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out from the App Store for a, well, weird reason. First up, an anonymous gamer posted on EA's help forum, asking about the game, and had a very interesting response from an EA representative:
To ensure current players have the best possible experience, we've temporarily removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out from the App Store to limit the game's server capacity to its current players and address connectivity and lag time issues.
So, EA removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out, because it was too popular? I was never the popular kid in school (contrary to popular belief from my flowing locks and eagle-sharp eyes, I look like a young Alec Baldwin), so I don't understand how this happens. EA predicts that players who have already downloaded the game will experience a smoother experience, with EA saying "actually, your experience should only improve as we work on a solution".
What I don't understand is, we're talking about EA here. Surely they have enough server bandwidth, or enough money to throw up some servers - especially as they saw the downloads ticking over from the App Store... obviously not, or there was an underlying issue with the game itself, and this is an easier way to fix it - rip it offline, fix it, throw it back and blame server overload issues?
EA have just released the first trailer to the Frostbite 2.0-powered first-person shooter, Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The trailer does look quite good, and features the glorious explosions and slow-mo one would expect from a first-person shooter franchise.
The trailer states that all pre-orders will be upgraded to the limited edition version, at not extra cost. At least there's no day-one DLC. Personally, I think EA should back away from the "here guys, you get limited edition upgrades for free", its almost like EA are telling you it's all good, you're getting something for free. I don't want anything for free, and I'm personally willing to pay $100 for a game that breaks boundaries, and isn't a formulaic first-person shooter.
The trailer does look cool, as I said, but with (what it seems) no in-game footage, it's always hard to tell. Will this look as good, or better, than its Frostbite 2.0-powered cousin, Battlefield 3? Only time will tell. It should look better than the next Call of Duty, that's for sure. The trailer also gives us a release date: October 23, on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
GDC 2012: EA have just announced that SimCity will be named, well, SimCity. No numbers, no space, just SimCity. It's being made by Maxis, and is a PC-exclusive. Yes, you read those words right: PC-exclusive. EA/Maxis have thrown a trailer into the lions pit, aka, the Internet, and boy is it exciting me.
Maxis' goal is to create a vision o the game that includes more choice, while simultaneously making the game the most playful and most responsive one in the series. The game will be in 3D, and will offer online components, but the emphasis of this full announcement is on how much the spirit of the original games are to them, which is great.
Maxis stressed that everything you see in the game, is there for a reason, with greater emphasis on detail, and a greater impact from your sim-building decisions. You'll be able to interact with the cities of your friends, and for example, if your city pollutes, you could lower the air quality in your neighboring cities. SimCity also sports roads like I like my women: curvy. A city is not built on a grid, and now we have curvy roads, finally.
We've talked about Hawken a few times now, and to keep you up to the latest, Hawken is a free-to-play Mech Combat FPS that will arrive on 12/12/12 and is bought to you by Adhesive Games and Meteor Entertainment.
The latest trailer shows some in-game, beautiful multiplayer mech combat. The game is looking insanely fun, and it's quite unbelievable considering it's free-to-play. Hawken hits the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, the only thing to make it better would be some cross-platform play.
Maybe Hawken 2 will step it up a bit, and go from free-to-play to being on all three platforms, as well as the Steam Box, Wii U and Android/iOS-powered devices, where we can get some seriously slick new features (with the tablets being used as in-mech controls? Adhesive, listen up!).
Diablo III could be released next month, folks. So get your mouse, keyboard, souls and chairs ready, dump your girlfriends (or boyfriends), wifes, and say goodbye to your children. You'll be gone for quite some time, hopefully, by April 17, according to mmorphitalia (Italian).
They've claimed that Activision Italy has informed retailers that the region should expect Diablo III on April 17, which has prompted some retailers to put up pre-order boxes. Amazon.it is one of the retailers that initially ran with the April 17 release date, but have since changed this date to just "2012".
Game director for Blizzard, Jay Wilson, chimed in by answering questions regarding the rumored release date through Twitter. He was asked to confirm or deny the date, where he tweeted that he "cannot debunk or confirm" the proposed April 17 release date. This has of course riled up the entire Internet. Wilson did add one more nugget of info through Twitter, where @ChrisFW asked to comment on how close an announcement is on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not even close, and 10 being imminent.
Wilson replied with a '9'.
Ah, Halo. I have fond memories of the hours upon hours that I pumped into the original game when I grabbed the midnight-launched Xbox in my home town. It's hard to believe how much the Halo franchise has grown since then, and how now left the proud parents Bungie, and gone into the hands of 343 Industries.
343 Industries along with Microsoft Studios are proud to show off Halo 4. The first proper sequel to Halo 3, not taking into consideration ODST and Reach. Halo 4 will be released this fall, and the above video shows off some of the game, the new armor that Master Chief sports, as well as some new built-for-multiplayer maps that will be included.
Master Chief's armor has been redesigned for the new game, which looks nice and slick. The video continues with the Halo 4 team talking about how amazing the new game will be, and shows off that the multiplayer side of things has a story-based reason behind the reasoning of huge amounts of spartan's going at it all over the galaxy. Multiplayer maps will not just be lifted from the single-player campaign, and are designed specifically to allow for balaned gameplay.
Left 4 Dead 2, Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 now have support for full motion play with Razer's Hydra controller
GDC 2012: The first news off the startling line of this years Game Developers Conference (GDC) is news from Razer, which is very interesting indeed. Razer and Sixense Entertainment have just announced that they have full integrated motion gaming support now built for Valve's most popular titles: Half-Life 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Team Fortress 2.
Not only that, but future Valve-made games such as Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will support full motion play with Razer Hydra. The news does continue to get better, though. Sixense and Valve have also integrated Sixense MotionCreator 2.0 software into Valve's Steam gaming platform. This does something quite special indeed: it enables backwards compatibility for motion gaming with the Razer Hydra controller to over 250 of the most popular titles on Steam!
From now on, Steam users will receive automatic motion control updates for current, and future games, as well as a new in-game overlay which lets gamers view control maps for the Hydra controller, as they play. CEO and Co-Founder of Sixense, Amir Rubin, says:
Sixense is excited to bring the Razer Hydra motion gaming experience to the Steam community. By wrapping Sixense MotionCreator inside Steam, the PC and Mac gaming platform of choice for both gamers and developers, we are able to provide plug-and-play functionality for the Razer Hydra to showcase our innovative motion gaming modes across game genres.
Ah, BioWare, you sure know how to stir up the excitement of your fans. They've just released the official Mass Effect 3 launch trailer and holy crap does it look good. The launch trailer offers just a tease into what the sure-to-be-epic game includes.
It seems that all hell breaks loose between the Reapers and the Humans, with Shepard in the middle of it, of course. Mass Effect 3 features co-op, action and story modes, a high-degree of customizability, a tweaked reputation system, completely redesigned enemies, where some enemies are get this, more than one mile tall, and a rich story where the underlying premise seems "survival at any cost".
Mass Effect 3 lands in the US on March 6th (just hours from now) for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Australians have to wait a few days to collect it on March 8th, and European-based Mass Effect fans have to wait 24 hours more until March 9th. BioWare will also released a collector's edition with exclusive items, various DLC and a stand-alone digital sound track.
Well, well. This would not only make sense for Valve, but for the PC community. Rumor has it that the company behind absolutely huge hits like Half-Life, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, and Counter-Strike, are working on their own gaming console.
It has been talked about for a while, with Gabe Newell himself even saying "well, if we have to sell hardware we will". That can be taken many ways, but could this be the reason? An actual Steam Box console? Valve have been rumored to be secretly tinkering with gaming hardware for the living room, and having Steam at the center of that gaming device.
This doesn't sound too hard, considering the phenomenal success Google has enjoyed with Android. Within the same interview that Gabe said they'd have to sell hardware, he's quoted:
We'd rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do [hardware]. We think it's important enough that if that's what we end up having to do, then that's what we end up having to do.
MechWarrior is one of my fondest gaming memories, the cut scenes for the time were just so amazing and the gameplay itself was great. I remember actually feeling like the scale of the game was right: you felt like a massive, man-crushing MechWarrior.
The time has come for the first MechWarrior Online video, in the form of a trailer. It doesn't show off much, but if what we see is part of the game - you get dropped from a huge drop-ship, and plummet toward the Earth below (or is it even Earth?).
Remember that MechWarrior Online is a PC-exclusive, and you know how much I love the words "PC-exclusive". This game should hopefully refuel the needs for upgrading our rigs, both in the game and outside of the game. You know, the one on your desk, silly! We should expect it to look deliciously bloody awesome, as it's powered by CryENGINE 3.
So, CryENGINE 3, the pre vious founder of FASA Corporation which worked on the original MechWarrior series, a PC-exclusive, and its out this year... /passes out.
I do love one of the YouTube comments from "RedGr3mlinz":
I AM THROWING MY MONEY ON THE SCREEN AND NOTHING HAPPENS !!!
Irrational Games has come out and whispered into the ears of gamers everywhere that BioShock Infinite will hit the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in North America on October 16, 2012 with the international release three days later on October 19.
Irrational President and Creative Director, Ken Levine, said that BioShock Infinite has been "our sole focus for the last four years", and will be the culmination of a "vision for a follow up that dwarfed the original in scope and ambition". Boy does he know how to get me excited.
Additionally, Sony is offering a bonus for the PlayStation 3 version: they will include a copy of the original BioShock on the same Blu-ray disc. How's that!
We've talked about AMD powering the PlayStation 4's GPU, but what of it's CPU? The PlayStation 3 had Sony running parade's around the world (ok, well, not really) about it's revolutionary Cell processor, but after the PS3's release, developers said it was harder to code for.
Now that Sony would be at least piecing the puzzle together that will eventually be the PlayStation 4, rumor has it that the Cell processor, which was once the be-all-and-end-all of chips from Sony (and others) will not be making the cut, according to unnamed sources of Kotaku.
Considering AMD will most likely be building the GPU for the PlayStation 4, one would think they've either use a combination CPU/GPU chip, or would at least slap a 6- or 8-core CPU on the new PlayStation 4. I think that would work well, as cross-platform development would be insanely easy compared to today. If the three main consoles all use AMD-based GPUs (which it seems to be the case), then we should expect much better PC ports of the games, in theory.
WHERE WAS MY INVITE, ROCKSTAR?!?! Anyway, the worldwide gaming press have had their first hands-on taste of the slow-mo, gun-toting Max Payne 3 and have some seriously amazing things to say about it.
Rockstar showed them a bit of the game, with the story early on, they find Max and his partner Passos meeting up with the ruthless Comando Sombra gang at a local football stadium in an attempt to exchange cash for the captive Fabiana Branco. However, things quickly turn bad as the deal is crashed by unknown assailants. From there, they're also given a taste of a level where Max tracks Fabiana's kidnappers to the hostile, rain-soaked docks by the Tietê River...
The impressions and quotes? Incredible. Excitement... building... The only thing holding me back is most of these sites give games like Call of Duty: Yet Another Sequel games high scores, but Max Payne is quite close to my heart, please let these quotes be complete 100-percent excitement and truth.
It's easy to be impressed when you're standing on the outside looking in. Once you're actually in control in Max Payne 3, the experience is mind-blowing.
Microsoft's Flight Simulator has for a while now, been a huge boon for Microsoft. It has single-handedly been one of the truest Flight Sim's out there, with a huge following, and has pushed PC hardware to infinity, and beyond.
Microsoft took another direction with Flight, and dropped the "Simulator" from its name, and went free-to-play. The game will make dosh from selling premium add-ons, including new aircraft and "adventure packs". The game is ready for download, if you'd like to get into the pilots seat.
Where would you like to fly to, today?
Rumors of Doom 4 being cancelled have once again been shot down by Bethesda Softworks, after All Games Beta publishing some information stating that the game had been cancelled, simultaneously releasing leaked screenshots that originally surfaced on 4Chan.
Bethesda vice president of public relations and marketing, Pete Hines, said to Joystiq in a statement, that Doom 4 is not cancelled and that when they are ready to discuss the game and show it off, they'll let everyone know. All Games Beta opened the floodgates and have now added more screenshots to their gallery, totalling 170 images.
Considering that id's RAGE was not that great, personally, critically and across the world, it would be hard to have faith in this after RAGE took five-plus years to develop. id need to go back to their roots as a PC-exclusive developer and push the envelope with Doom 4 if they want their time in the lime light once more. A PC-exclusive, PC-crushing, crap-your-pants horror game is what we need right now. Doom 4 could re-spark PC's constantly-dimming light.
Oh me, oh my. I cannot believe I'm about to type this, but SimCity V is coming. Yes, it's being worked on by the original Maxis/EA combo. Right now theres not a lot to talk about apart from some screenshots and a couple of details, but at least we know it's coming.
The information has been spotted over at the NeoGAF forums, and from there, someone posted a translated post from German magazine 'GameStar'. The message gives some details, that it's currently 30-percent through development, 2013 release, Maxis is developing with EA publishing, and then we have:
New graphics engine and road round.
The various cities.
The positioning of the camera …
Oh boy. Color me so, so excited. I now have some questions for Maxis/EA. Is this going to be a PC-exclusive, please, yes. Secondly, is this going to be an Origin-exclusive, please, no.
Ah, Sonic, the memories I have of you are so great. AnandTech have had some hands-on time with the Tegra Zone enhanced version of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, which was only announced yesterday for NVIDIA's quad-core 4-PLUS-1 Tegra 3.
Cross-platform development of games is important these days, with Sega looking to tap the gamers of XBLA, PSN, iOS and Android for Sonic. The Android port more specifically, saw NVIDIA work closely with Sega to crete a Tegra 3-enhanced version of the game, which is said to mimic the quality one would expect from the console-based ports.
AnandTech said the game "does indeed look very impressive", and had the fast-moving hedgehog plugged up to a 50-inch-plus LED TV. Water and fire effects are said to be pretty much what the console versions look like, but NVIDIA did not have a console on-hand for a side-by-side comparison between the various platforms. Performance-wise, AnandTech reports that the framerate did dip below the 30fps mark a few times, but did not hurt the overall experience of the game.
We still don't know what the next-generation Xbox will be called when it launches, but if we're to believe a short and sweet Tweet from a Crytek developer, then we'll have to believe the Xbox 720/Next/whatever they call it, has the codename of "Durango".
Senior technical designer at Crytek, Sean Tracy, wrote on his Twitter feed (which has now been deleted):
Enjoying the Durango developers summit in London. So far, great swag and interesting talks.
So we can enjoy a few things from this nugget of information, firstly, the next Xbox could possibly be rocking the codename "Durango", secondly, Crytek will be back with another game on consoles. We should start hearing more and more about the new Xbox if the rumor is true and Durango is indeed the next Xbox, as there has been this aforementioned summit in London.
Now we need to hope that the next-gen Xbox sports a GCN-based HD 7900-series GPU, because if it has the same 10-year cycle, we're going to need it. Games should be pushed up to 1080p @ 60fps minimum, but PCs have been there for years now. This means consoles will simply catch up and it won't push PCs that far, if at all. We need scalable consoles, upgradeable consoles, firmware-upgradeable consoles, something.
Something different, Microsoft and Sony now have to compete with quad-core-sporting tablets and smartphones that are making huge leaps and bounds in performance every 12 months or so.
Sony have just announced the sales of the PlayStation Vita, and the numbers are quite impressive: Vita sales hit 1.2 million globally, which helped with launches in Americas, Europe, and PAL territories. According to Sony, sales of the hardware have "exceeded expectations".
Software sales for the PlayStation Vita have passed 2 million units. Sony Computer Entertainment president, Andrew House, says:
The market has responded and there is clear demand for a mobile device capable of providing a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context. To sustain momentum, we're working closely with third party developers and publishers to ensure the best games and franchises possible will be available on PS Vita, and our software line up for the remainder of 2012 will have something for everyone across the globe.