Alan Wake was first teased as a PC-exclusive, running on Intel's first quad-core processors, but eventually found its way onto Microsoft's Xbox 360 console as an Xbox 360-exclusive. Now the time has come for the critically acclaimed, BAFTA-nominated, TIME Magazine Game of the Year, Alan Wake, to find its way through the dark, dimly lit forest, and onto the PC.
The game ships with both DLC packs, The Signal, and The Writer. It's not the usual run of the mill third-person action adventure game, Remedy have crafted this game into a grand, Hollywood-style story, with tonnes of atmosphere, and have crafted a game where the world feels real, you are Alan Wake.
The PC version does ship with some exclusive features:
Includes Alan Wake Special Episodes "The Signal" and "The Writer"
Experience Alan Wake's Pacific Northwest in higher resolutions and higher fidelity than the Xbox360 version.
Fully configurable mouse and keyboard support, or if you prefer to play with the Microsoft gamepad connected to your PC, you can do that too!
Lots of customizable graphics settings and support for 4:3, 16:9 and 16:10 aspect ratios!
The Far Cry 3 trailer is below for your viewing pleasure, and the game is shaping up to look good. The trailer below is pre-rendered CG, so there's no in-game graphics or gameplay shown, but what is shown definitely looks cool.
The storyline, from the trailer at least, does not look too bad at all. It looks as though you and two friends are on an island together, enjoying yourselves, having fun, drinking, what not. You get captured, one of your mates gets killed, and you escape, barely. There's a bit of running-through-the-jungle Lost style, as well as gratuitous amounts of swearing, which seem really forced.
The game is due in September, so the wait is not long now. It will hit multiple platforms, but at the moment it's unknown of the PC will get anything extra. If previous games and ports are anything to go by, I doubt the once PC-exclusive Far Cry will receive a better-than-usual PC port. Wake me up when the graphics get as good as the pre-rendered stuff in that trailer. Oh yeah.
Mass Effect 3 is set to be one of this years biggest titles, and with EA's new Origin digital distribution service to kick-start it, it should be a big change for the game itself. Little did I know, that a PC demo had arrived for Mass Effect 3.
So now that the excitement is building for the demo you've just found out about, how about I throw you another surprise? On the 17th of this month, the multi-player gets unlocked and lets you try it out however you want. Wait, there's more! If you have a Battlefield 3 online pass activated you can play it, well, right now!
I'm not able to test it right now, but if you're keen to try it out, comment below and let us know your thoughts on the game! Graphics! Sound! Acting, gameplay, mechanics, all of it. Remember that Mass Effect 3 launches with four-player co-operative play. Something that old-school PC gamers will enjoy.
Grab the demo, here.
Our Mobile App of the Day is TapSplosion for Windows Phone 7.
TapSplosion is the game that the Windows Phone 7 platform has been waiting for, and now it's even better, with Achievements! With fast, frantic and addictive gameplay you just have to try it for yourself.
In TapSplosion, you tilt your phone to control the player and tap the screen to place explosions in that position. You have to battle an oncoming enemy hoard which is constantly increasing in size and complexity and always tracking you down. If one of these enemies touches you, you will explode and it's game over for you! You get points based on combo kills, time alive and number of enemies on the screen and you can submit your score to global leaderboards and compete with other players from around the world!
Grab it from the Windows Marketplace directly on your Windows Phone 7 device, or here.
[UPDATE] And we're good! We're good people! Amendments will be made to the Classification Act 1995 and Broadcasting Services Act 1992 and will roll through in January 2013. I cannot believe this actually happened, and this shows the power of the people, and the Internet. When they work together, they can really push through new things!
News from last month told us that the new Federal Minister for Home Affairs, Jason Clare, had announced his intentions to stick to former Federal Minster for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor's previous plans in regards to the introduction of an R18+ adult classification for video games in Australia.
Clare stated that he would follow O'Connor's decision to introduce the R18+ bill in the February 2012 session of parliament. Well, it's February 2012, and here we are. Clare has stayed true to his word, with news arriving today that the R18+ legislation has been cleared by the Federal Parliamentary Caucus of the Australian Labor Party in its meeting in Canberra, and is now ready to be introduced in parliament.
Celebrations? Well, not quite. Federal parliament resumed just over a week ago on February 7, and in order for the R18+ bill to be passed through the Lower House (House of Representatives), Clare's office says it requires the support of at least two crossbench MP's.
Next-gen consoles and next-gen graphics engines are something that I have quite close to my heart. It's something I think needs to really evolve. I see the AAA gaming market as something that is stuck inside of a bubble.
The cause of that bubble? Consoles. I've covered this a fair bit in a few of my editorials, where I've talked about smartphones and tablets getting close to, and will eventually pass the power in current-gen consoles. Once this happens, consoles will have a hard time selling, unless we see next-gen consoles.
The previous generation of consoles teased "Full HD gaming", but delivered sub-HD gaming. Most AAA titles run at a resolution lower than 1280x720 and at frame rates less than 30fps. Of course, there are some games that run at either slightly higher resolutions, or slightly higher frame rates, but never both. We don't see games like Halo, Gears of War, Uncharted or Metal Gear Solid running at 1080p with 30fps.
Enter Unreal Engine 4.
This is something that's been needed to happen for years now, but it seems as though Microsoft's Windows Store will obviously include downloadable apps, where the Xbox and Windows brands will finally merge into one ultimate champion of awesomeness.
There was a list of recent Xbox Live games that The Verge reported on, that would be made available to purchase within the Windows 8 Consumer Preview version. Sources have now confirmed with The Daily that these games will be set within Windows' first Xbox-branded portal, instead of the older "Games for Windows" platform. This will now completely integrate Xbox functionality, including achievements and friends lists, and will look like the recent Xbox Live app for iPad in terms of design.
The preview version of Windows 8 will sell older games, but sources are saying that some games currently in development for Xbox Live will be deliberately delayed to launch with Windows 8 in September. Names of these games have not yet been revealed, but sources are saying that they're a mix of "casual and hardcore" games, some of which have already been announced as future Xbox Live-based titles.
Valve's Steam has had quite the press lately, last year they announced Steam Guard, which featured increased security for gamers, but in November of last year, we reported that Steam confirmed they had been hacked. This was after the Steam Forums went down for "maintenance".
This year, Valve released Steam for Mobile, which was a step in a different direction, and then just a few days ago confirmed that last year's hack was actually worse than previously thought. So as you can see, they're having a hard time.
Our Mobile App of the Day is Live Holdem Poker Pro for Android.
Join the #1 Poker on Android and play live with millions of real players.
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New! support six languages: español, Deutsch, français, 日本語, 中國, русский
* Live Chat
* Fast Tables
* Personal Avatars
* Shootout tournament mode
* Sit-n-Go tournamet Mode
* Ring Games
* Free daily Gold
* Lottery Draw
* 200+ Virtual goods you can send ppl on tables
* Facebook connect for fast registration (optional)
* Save to SD card
Tim Sweeney, Epic CEO and Technical Director spoke at the 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit, where he predicted that the number of platforms for games will shrink to three or four over time. He also added that consumer have many choices when it comes to gaming platforms with tablets, PCs, smartphones, Macs, consoles and new handhelds. He adds:
This is too many platforms. We're seeing now iPad sales have surpassed the sales of PCs. This is a real revelation, this is a product that wasn't invented until a few years ago and its basically supplanting personal computers. Over time these platforms will be whittled down to a competing set of platforms to maybe three winners worldwide across everything - computers, game platforms, smartphones...We should expect a lot of consolidation here and winners and losers according to who picks the right directions and executes successfully.
Sweeney also predicted that there would be new devices on the market, as well as new technologies for developers to tap into:
I see a bright future for technology and its implications on games. The ability of game developers to exploit another thousand-fold increase in computing power on future generations of platforms. Some of it will be consoles, some of it PC and some of it tablets. The form factor we can't predict, but the opportunity is there. Our industry's brightest days are yet to come.
Well, to celebrate the release of Skyrim's new freshly-baked Creation Kit on Valve's Steam, Bethesda and the creators of Portal have joined forces and released an official mod for Skyrim. THis brings Portal 2's Space Core to Skyrim, how exciting!
To celebrate the opening of the Steam Workshop for Skyrim, Valve and Bethesda have teamed up to bring you the Portal 2 Space Core mod, which will let the aggressively space-centric little robot tag along on your adventures in Tamriel.
Also, since Skyrim was the only major release of 2011 without Nolan North in it, you should consider this mod a patch to fix that problem. You can now feel free to include Skyrim in the "Nolan North" section of your video game library, which is to say, your video game library.
This is how you keep your fans happy on both sides of the fence, Valve and Bethesda, FTW.
Hawken. If you haven't heard of it, take a look at some official gameplay videos of it below, where you can get a taste for the robot-stomping FPS title. Hawken is currently in development by indie developer Adhesive Games, a Los Angeles-based developer.
Beta signups are now open, and a release date is now known: 12-12-12. On top of this, Hawken will launch as a free-to-play model, which is even better news. If you want to strap into the beta, head on over to PlayHawken.com, and if you can get three people to themselves sign up through your referral link, you'll get access to reserve your callsign in advance.
Adhesive CEO, co-founder and creative director, Khang Le, said in an announcement:
Hawken is a passion project for myself and the whole Adhesive team; giving it away for free is icing on the cake.
We literally just reported that Diablo III is coming in Q2, but in the same financial report from Activision, Bobby Kotick also announced a new Call of Duty title. I was going to wrap it into a single news post, but seriously, these game franchises are big enough to deserve their own special spot of news.
Kotick has said that the company wants to expand the new 'Call of Duty: Elite' service throughout 2012, by introducing "Elite 2.0". Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision has said that new "features (are) to be included in the next Call of Duty release."
Are you excited for another Call of Duty title? I think they should just call them "Call of Duty 2012, Call of Duty 2013", it's easier than thinking of something to follow it. If the next Call of Duty comes out and looks the same (which it will, I doubt they'll opt for a new graphics engine since it still sells better than ice cream on a hot day, it will look worse than the 2011-released Battlefield 3.
Sad. But, exciting. Will Activision pull a rabbit from their Call of Duty hat? Only a few months until we find out I guess!
Activision have just given their quarterly financial report, with Bobby Kotick taking the time to announce that a new Call of Duty title is in the works (SURPRISE!) and also, a new launch window for the ever-so-delicious Diablo III.
Kotick has said that Diablo III will in fact launch this year, and with a slideshow shown (pictured above) it could launch in Q2. The slideshow says "targeting Q2 launch", which means we could see some delays, but it's nice to see that they're expecting a launch, very soon.
Blizzard Entertainment plans to have multiple highly-anticipated titles to release, including Diablo 3, and Activision Publishing expects to release a new Call of Duty game. In addition, Activision Publishing expects to continue to grow Call of Duty Elite and launch Skylanders Giants.
PlayStation 3 system software hits v4.10, includes improved browser, PSN account is now called "Sony Entertainment Network Account"
Sony have just announced through their PlayStation Blog that they've released a new system software update which brings the PlayStation 3 to v4.10. Included in v4.10 are some minor changes, but one surprising one, too.
The new system software update requires you to accept a change in Sony's Terms of Service (ToS), and in an "effort for more unity" between PlayStation Network (PSN) and other Sony Entertainment Network services, all "PSN Accounts" will now be named "Sony Entertainment Network Account".
This change is by name only, and does not change the PSN in any form. Games can still be played online, and access to the latest downloadable games and add-ons are still available. System software update v4.10 includes an improved PS3 Internet Browser, with improved display speed. More details on the firmware can be found, here.
We've talked about the Kinect Star Wars bundle before, when it was teased at last years Comic-Con, but now, we're closer than ever to having the Kinect Star Wars Bundle in our hands. Included in the bundle is "Kinect Star Wars", where the game teasing "With no controller in the way you can live out the ultimate "Star Wars" fantasy".
There are five dynamic modes available, Jedi Destiny: Dark Side Rising, Podracing, Rancor Rampage, Galactic Dance Off and Duels of Fate. Also included, and only announced today by Xbox 360 and LucasArts, are new additions to the game, including:
New experiences within Jedi Destiny Mode, including:
o Space battles: As you travel the Galaxy to face an evil that threatens to undermine the fabric of the Republic, you'll engage with forces of the Empire in intense space battles
o Speeder Bikes and Landspeeders: Pilot iconic Speeder Bikes and Landspeeders on your epic journey
Our Download of the Day is the Skyrim Creation Kit.
When we created Skyrim, we set out to make the largest, most engrossing role-playing game we had ever attempted. Now it's about to get a whole lot bigger, thanks to our amazing modding community.
Mod-makers have a long history with Bethesda Game Studios, bringing to life new quests, locations and characters, as well as making changes to game from subtle tweaks to full-blown overhauls. With the Creation Kit, the same tool we used to create Skyrim, there's almost no limit to what can be accomplished - and we're putting that power in your hands.
Best of all, access to the Skyrim Workshop and Creation Kit is free for anybody with a Steam account and a copy of Skyrim.
With the Skyrim Workshop, finding and installing your favorite mods is easier than ever before. Mod-makers will also enjoy a streamlined process for uploading mods directly to Steam.
Finding and Installing Mods
Ready to begin a whole new adventure? Finding mods for Skyrim is as simple as visiting the Skyrim Workshop in the Steam Community. Here you're able to browse the most popular, newest or highest-rated mods of all time, as well as searching for specific content via tags such as "Armor", "Quests", "Dungeons", and more.
Ever wanted to create a mod for Skyrim? Come on, we know you have. Today you can. Bethesda have released their Creation Kit, which really lets Skyrim loose, and sets the boundaries to virtually infinity, and beyond.
The Skyrim Workshop and Creation Kit are free for anyone with a copy of Skyrim and a Steam account. Finding mods for Skyrim is as simple as visiting the Skyrim Workshop in the Steam Community. From there, you can browse the most popular, newest or highest-rated mods of all time. On top of this, you can specifically search for content via tags such as "Armor", "Quests", "Dungeons", and so on.
Creating your mod is a litter harder, of course, you'll need to install the Creation Kit, from the Tools section of your Steam Library. If you run into any problems, the wiki over at http://www.CreationKit.com is an amazing resource for modders of all skill levels. When you've polished your mod and want to unleash it to the world, just choose "Upload plugin and archive to Steam", from within the File menu of the Creation Kit.
You'll be asked to name your mod, add a description, content tags and a thumbnail. Once your upload is complete, the Creation Kit will notify you.
Go forth, Skyrim fans! Mod, mod, mod!
Our Mobile App of the Day is Mine Gold 2 (Gold Miner 2) for Android.
Mine Gold 2
Use the claw and reel to mine gold and other treasures out of earth.
Collect as much money as possible before time run out in each level.
Between levels you can buy some items that can help you in next level.
*Tap the screen to release the claw when it swings back and forth.
*Tap the screen to throw bomb(amount>0) when reel up target.
* Bonus mechanism
* Up to 10 props
* More funny targets
Microsoft's Major Nelson has announced through Twitter, a release date for Microsoft Flight. Microsoft Flight is a free-to-play title, that will launch on this leap years day on February 29th. Microsoft Flight was developed by Microsoft Studios, and is being made available on the Games for Windows LIVE service, and is being marketed toward experienced enthusiasts, as well as novices.
This is a step in a different direction, as previous Flight Simulator games were serious simulations, but Microsoft promises fan of the original will "feel right at home." Microsoft Flight introduces region-specific weather patterns, foliage, terrain and landmarks. Games for Windows LIVE intros access to achievements, additional free content such as missions, an online pilot profile, and an extra plane: the Bowing Stearman.
Additional purchases are possible, like new aircraft and regions, which is made possible through your LIVE account. Interestingly, Microsoft Flight is not a replacement for the discontinued Flight Simulator franchise, but a new take on the game.
Team Fortress 2 went free-to-play last year, and with the game to never really stop gaining momentum, the TF2 team have kind of announced their working on something "brand new" for 2012. They can't say what it is, but it's said to be "really cool."
We should also expect the last "Meet the Team" short, where this year, Valve finally unleash the Pyro story. What to expect from that? We don't know, but in Valve fashion, it should be pretty epic. Finally, there's also The Second Annual Saxxy Awards, with this years awards being bigger and better, due to the imminent unveiling of another secret.
What do you expect from Team Fortress 2? Maybe an announcement of a new game mode? The announcement has to be contained within TF2, in my opinion. I wouldn't mind seeing a next-generation Source engine with Half-Life 3, as well as sequels/huge upgrades to their famous games such as TF2, Left 4 Dead, etc.