Gamefront: Weekly Network Update 53 (week 01, 2012) - News - FileFront News Posted by: Danny on 01-08-2012 @ 15:40
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Here it is the 53rd version of the Weekly Gamefront Network News Update, the news part of the update covers the news side of the Network and the Gamefront Main site over the past week. There has been a fair bit of news from the Main site including a lot of trailers, reviews, previews and a lot more, with a lot of interesting articles this week on new consoles, piracy and even a real wipeout model!. However you can find more news from the main Gamefront site - Here
We would love to hear any suggestions that you have; if you see something that you would like to be added to the Weekly Network Update, or you have any suggestions that you think may improve the Network Update then simply drop me an email at Danny[at]filefront[dot]com (please put "Network Update" as the subject though ).
Also If you like the Network Update please feel free write a comment as I would love to hear any critism, or support (constructive though please as this is the only way that I know how good or bad the insider is and it would help me to improve this further). Also I should mention that the comments section is not for complaining about the bugs of the network sites, most of these we do know about and are with the Break.com Tech Team , also again this is not the place for comments about the bugs, I myself do not have the ability or the knowledge to fix them, although you can use our forums to post your comments here - http://forums.filefront.com/filefront-com-help-center-1272/
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2010′s NBA 2K11 was a massive achievement in sports video games. A towering tribute to Michael Jordan through and through, it featured His Airness on the cover, let players relive his greatest accomplishments and gave them the chance to mold Jordan from rookie to elder statesman. The ability for players to simply plot their own NBA career alongside some of the greatest players ever to hit the court seemed an added bonus to an already incredible game and the total package, evidenced by our own 95/100 score, was nearly perfect.
Those are some big basketball sneaks to fill, and I’m happy to report that NBA 2K12 does so handily, in every way that counts. In fact, I liked it so much I’m reduced to using every cliche in the book. It’s a slam dunk. It proves the series can be called a dynasty. And if you count 2009′s NBA 2K10, it’s a threepeat for 2K Sports. Whether you’re a Bball obsessive or a casual fan, it’s a thrilling experience that makes you feel, and I apologize for the cliche, like you’re part of the game.
Science is The Coolest. In the video above, researchers in Japan have used quantum levitation and video game inspiration to recreate a WipeOut race with models.
The researchers, working at the Japan Institute of Science and Technology, created a model WipeOut track with models that actually float above the track using physics. All it takes is some liquid nitrogen and a Ph.D., and you, too, could be recreating your favorite video game moments in the real world. Personally, I’m ready for my personal Jet Moto bike (or Imperial landspeeder!).
Konami and Vatra have doled out Silent Hill: Downpour piecemeal for a while, giving journalists a chance to play specific sections at a succession of different trade shows. On December 5th, they started their San Francisco preview event by demoing the game's much-touted open world features. Producer Tomm Hulett (see our interview with him) ambled around the as-yet-unexplored southeastern section of Silent Hill, entering buildings, collecting sidequests and lore, and dodging unspeakable monsters. When he was done, I got a chance to play the first 1-2 hours of the game from the beginning. SPOILERS ABOUND!!! from here on out.
Players in Silent Hill: Downpour will take control of a man with a prosaic name: Murphy Pendleton. Murphy sports tousled brown hair and the kind of facial scar that makes chicks dig you more, not less. Potential girlfriends might have to reconsider, however -- as the game begins, Murphy is in jail. This is where the game's unique tutorial and extended, cinematic credit sequence take place, but that's all I can say for the moment. After a spectacular and supernaturally induced prison-bus crash, the game's intro ends with Murphy struggling to his feet, dazed but free.
Of all the places you could escape into, Silent Hill has to be one of the least appealing. No longer incarcerated, Murphy is quickly put to the test -- the game wastes no time introducing environmental hazards and difficult moral choices.
Once he reaches the outskirts of the town, the put-upon con is soon provided with the tools of his video game hero trade: a flashlight and some improvised melee weapons. There are roughly 50 different weapons in the game, and all will deteriorate when used. You'll also occasionally have to drop favored weapons to progress.
(This is another edition of , a weekly opinion piece column on GameFront. Check back every week for more. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not reflect those of GameFront.)
If there’s one thing I’m excited for more than anything else in the early goings of 2012, it’s the imminent launch of the PlayStation Vita. I am a slave to handheld gaming devices, as portable games have been a passion of mine ever since the mere idea of a Game Boy blew my the mind as a young, lower class child who was far too poor to actually afford a Game Boy. Be it from Nintendo, Sony or Apple, a handheld device that can play games is a thing I need, and the PlayStation Vita is absolutely no different. However, this is a new handheld from a company that has, in the past, demonstrated that it still isn’t quite sure what a handheld gaming system should be, and while I am excited for the prospects, I am nonetheless nervous about the potential for failure.
When I say failure, I am not talking commercially. The Vita has every chance of succeeding, despite the slow early sales in Japan, and it’s highly probable that the Sony’s new contraption will come into its own and eventually secure a comfortable position as the PSP had done. In fact, I’m fairly confident that the PS Vita is going to resemble the PSP remarkably in terms of market impact. Like the PSP, I think it will be unable to definitively beat Nintendo’s offerings, while still succeeding on its own terms as a popular secondary choice among customers. However, I fear the Vita is also capable of replicating the PSP’s failures, because while the PlayStation Portable remains a financial success, I will take to the grave my belief that it is a creative failure.
So there’s this guy named Harrison Krix who builds things. Like portal guns. But we’re not here today to talk about portal guns. We’re here today to talk about this real gravity gun he built to be auctioned off for the Child’s Play charity (which, you might have heard, had a good year in 2011). It’s pictured above, and below I have a video that shows off all sides of this beast.
So Al Gore, former vice president of the U.S. and beard aficionado, is taking an anti-SOPA position. You’ve heard of SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, right? Because we’ve been discussing it pretty extensively, talking about the Congressional debates over it and why it’s overbroad. We’ve even discussed the fact that while SOPA isn’t the solution, piracy is still a real problem.
Anyway, Gore said during a speech at a CareerBuilder event that he’s against anything that would threaten “the vibrancy of the Internet.” There was a YouTube video, but it has since been removed. Tech Dirt was kind enough to write out a transcript before the video disappeared, however. Read it below.
… are now able to be shared digitally. There is a growing concern on the part of the companies and individuals who create that content, that they’re not getting compensated in a fair way, and so they want to impose a new set of requirements on those companies who provide access to the Internet, like the browsers, the search engines, etc. And some of these new requirements, according to the experts on the Internet, would very probably have the effect of really shutting down the vibrancy of the Internet. As in all things, some compromise must be possible. The content creators and owners have a point and a legitimate complaint… But, in our country, in our world today, there is hardly anything more important — whether you want to solve global warming, as I do, whether you want to reinvigorate democracy as many of us do, whatever problem you want to fix — there is hardly anything more important to getting the right things done than to save and protect the vibrancy and freedom of the Internet. The Internet is bringing life back to democracy. We saw it in Egypt. We’re seeing it in Russia now. We’ve seen it in so many places…. If you look at the reform movements around the world, and in the US, more than likely they’re based on internet forms of organization. And anything that would threaten the vibrancy and freedom of the Internet, I’m against!
Following last year’s threat by the eActivist group known as Anonymous, Sony’s PlayStation Network was brought down, angering legions of players. With Anonymous leveling a new threat against Sony for its support of SOPA, concerns have risen of a recurrence of the PSN downtime.
However, this time around — and perhaps in response to the negative publicity the PSN fiasco caused them — Anonymous suggests it will not touch the PSN, nor will it target “normal customers.” Anonymous does plan to retrieve and publicly post personal information about Sony executives, including credit card numbers, as well as deface Sony websites with anti-SOPA memes and place links to copyrighted material, possibly making Sony’s own films and music available to download for free on these websites.
Those of you interested in 2012′s huge slate of big name games – seriously, we get Mass Effect 3 in less than 3 months – have probably heard of an obscure game from upstart Indie Developers Rockstar Games called Grand Theft Auto V. Sure, I concede this game will probably garner some limited critical praise, but it’s probably going to end up a cult favorite on par with Beyond Good and Evil. If they’re lucky, Rockstar will be able to find new funding for their next game, with future GTA titles being XBLA downloads only.
But seriously, we all know this is going to be one of the year’s biggest games. But how big? Electronic Entertainment Design and Research’s Jesse Divnich has made the completely uncontroversial pronouncement that it will be the year’s biggest, and he said as much in an interview with IndustryGamers. “It goes without saying,” Divnich says, “that GTA V will be one of the year’s biggest releases, but I will take it one step farther and say GTA V will be 2012′s biggest release. Don’t get me wrong, Call of Duty will undoubtedly be huge, as it is every year and it may even grow, but if I had to call what will be a photo finish race, I will go with GTA V.”
Who said developers don’t listen to their players?
In response to player feedback on Reddit, DICE core gameplay designer Alan Kertz has planned an overhaul of Battlefield 3′s weapon accessory system. He felt the inherent imbalance in utility among accessories limited players’ choices, and wants to make all accessories equally viable.
In a Reddit post that contains a list of proposed changes, Kertz said:
I’m working on a retweak of the accessories in the game currently, as I feel the player is limited in choice due to a few accessories being the clear winners in almost all categories. While this unfortunately means nerfing those that are over used, the goal here is to focus on improving the under performing and under used attachments. Additionally it is the intention for an unmodified weapon to offer the best balance of Recoil, Accuracy, and Stealth.
The proposed changes include buffs to the Bipod, Heavy Barrel, Foregrip, and Flash Suppressor, with full details included in the Reddit post. Do I hear cheers?
Mass Effect 3 is coming soon. Oh, you’ve heard of it? So I don’t need to spend several paragraphs extolling the series’ many virtues and reiterating for the millionth time how incredibly impatient we all are for the game to finally come out? Good. Then I can skip to the good stuff.
In a press release issued this morning, Bioware announced the free DLC for people who preorder Mass Effect 3; it isn’t anything like the Mercenary pack that came with ME2, (though based on a major super spoiler in The Art Of Mass Effect, I believe there will be a launch day DLC story and character pack, probably free), but it’s cool nonetheless.
First up, if you pre-order at participating retailers, you’ll get the M55 Argus Assault Rifle. But that’s just for people worldwide. Those of us in the US and Canada get a little – actually, a lot – something extra:
* N7 Warfare Gear (exclusive to GameStop and EB Games), which comes with N7 Valkyrie Assault Rifle, N7 Defender Armor (featuring improved shields and health, more ammo and more weapons damage.
* AT-12 Raider Shotgun (exclusive to [ugh] Origin: It’s basically a boomstick in space that offers rapid fire and increased reload speed compared to other shotguns.
Remember that little Star Wars: The Old Republic dancing exploit we showed you yesterday? I hope you got the chance to try it out once last night, because Bioware has already snuffed it out in a minor patch released in the wee hours of the morning.
Patch 1.0.2b is now live. It’s a minor download and install, and it basically does only two things. Here’s the list:
Fixed an issue that could cause in-game chat channels to stop functioning for some players.
Social emotes (like /getdown) can no longer interfere with combat.
I hope you got all your MC Hammer Sith pants sold before the patch went through. They’ll be vendor trash now.
The EA studio Bright Light studio isn’t so bright anymore — in fact, it’s gone totally dark — as the parent company has shut it down, reassigning some folks to other EA studios and just axing others outright.
Sorry, I don’t mean to make puns when people’s livelihoods are lost.
You’ll remember Bright Light from a trio of non-Lego Harry Potter titles, including the Kinect Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Those games were not very good, but they tried! They tried. There’s something to be said for trying.
So let’s collectively pour one out for Bright Light. Since we don’t want to play their Harry Potter games, we’ll honor them by playing The Old Republic some more. Yeah. That’ll be fun.
Amazon tells us today that if you pre-order the new PS3-exclusive Twisted Metal, you get the limited edition version of the game, which includes a voucher for a downloadable copy of Twisted Metal Black.
Uh, what? Twisted Metal Black is not available in the PlayStation Store, and that’s because no PS2 games that haven’t been given the HD treatment are on there. And that’s because most PS3s don’t have backward compatibility with PS2 games.
So does this mean an HD version of Twisted Metal Black is coming? We’ve asked Sony for comment, but haven’t heard from them today. We’ll let you know if they say anything.
The Child’s Play charity, which helps to provide children’s hospitals with all sorts of games stuff, did pretty well for itself in 2011, its biggest year ever. Here’s what the charity managed to raise last year:
A lot of that, you would think, probably came from the Humble Bundles, all of which gave the option to contribute a portion of or all of your payment for the games to Child’s Play. And, as we know, the Humble Bundles have done pretty well this year, too.
So good work, everyone who contributed this year. You’ve undoubtedly made some kids’ lives better. Child’s Play Raised $3.5 Million in 2011 Gamefront News: Crystal Dynamics to Bring Out a New IP This Year
Everybody knows Crystal Dynamics as the studio that makes Tomb Raider games, but that’s not all they’re doing this year. In addition to working on that franchise’s reboot, they’ve also got something new in the oven that they’re going to reveal for the first time this year. So says community manager Meagan Marie.
2012 will prove to be a very exciting year for Crystal Dynamics, more so than any in recent memory. Not only will our team be eating, sleeping, and breathing Tomb Raider, but we’ll also be hard at work preparing to reveal exciting new intellectual property to the world.
When they’ll be showing off this new IP is anyone’s guess, but E3 doesn’t seem terribly unlikely. But that’s just a wild guess not based on anything. The point is they have new IP, and that’s always worth being excited about. Yay Crystal Dynamics.
If you’ve been looking forward to playing DUST 514, CCP Games’ Eve Universe-set MMO exclusively for the Playstation 3, the time to register for the closed beta has begun. EVERYONE, GET READY TO… oh, wait. Actually, not everyone. Only people already registered to play Eve Online. Everyone else, you’ll just have to wait until… sometime.
The news was announced via a post to Eve Online’s Dev Blog. Rather than belabor the point, here is that announcement in full:
For months we have observed as fans asked for a Beta date on DUST 514, our PlayStation® 3 exclusive persistent shooter. During that time the DUST 514 team has worked busily on the game, preparing for the moment when the first inhabitants of New Eden descend from the skies to the planets below.
That time is now.
It is with great joy that I can now officially announce that registration for DUST 514: Mordu’s Private Trials, our gated access beta test, has finally begun!
According to third-party sources, E3 2012 will feature the successors to both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Add to that the Wii U, and this marks the first time in E3′s 17-year history that three new, competing consoles will be so directly comparable.
While we’ve heard rumors of the next-gen Xbox’s appearance at E3 2012 for months now, it’s news of the PS4 — or whatever Sony decides to call it — that comes as a surprise. Execs at the PlayStation firm have made it clear to third-parties that “they will not be left behind this time,” referencing the PS3′s later launch relative to its Microsoft competitor.
Which console are you looking forward to the most? Personally, I just want to see the technology evolve so that developers can keep pushing the boundaries of the cutting-edge.
Although Sony, Nintendo and EA removed themselves from the House Judiciary Committee’s list of groups supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act, they technically still support the bill.
That’s because they are still members of the Electronic Software Association, which is very pro-SOPA. Since the ESA represents the interests of its members, you could still sort of say that EA, Nintendo and Sony are cool with SOPA.
I’m just saying maybe you shouldn’t fall all over yourself to pat them on the back for not being on the supporters list anymore. If they had a major beef with the bill, they could always leave the ESA to make that point. But they aren’t going to do that. And you could theoretically say that Sony got off the list because they wanted to avoid the wrath of Anonymous. So whatever.
Despite being a member of the Electronic Software Association, which supports SOPA, Epic Games is coming out and saying that the Stop Online Piracy Act is not a good thing.
“We do not support the current version of SOPA,” said Epic Games senior PR manager Dana Cowley on the Epic forums. “We are members of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a trade organization that is working with legislators to refine the bill.”
Well, that’s optimistic. She continued:
Epic Games supports efforts that would stop overseas websites profiting from pirating our games, but we have to do that in a way that’s compatible with freedom of speech and due process of law.
Well, it’s good to see an ESA member speak out against the bill. They were just the first of a couple, though, as 38 Studios and Trion Worlds have also had some strong words about it. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a trend.
The Fallout series has long been a home for modders. Both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas have robust modding communities made up of users, but now there’s a New Vegas mod that comes from the project director of the development team.
J.E. Sawyer, Obsidian Entertainment’s project director for New Vegas, mentioned some time ago that he was working on a mod for his own personal playthroughs. Over the weekend, he quietly made it available by posting the link on his Formspring page.
According to a post on No Mutants Allowed, Sawyer’s mod requires all the New Vegas DLC to function. It makes a number of changes to the game, with most of them directed at making the game more difficult. Players will have half XP rates, lowered health, fewer NPC water and food drops, increased weight restraints, and less options to heal. Karma and Alignment gains are also adjusted, as are the stats for a number of the game’s armor and weapons.
If you’re looking for a more challenging wasteland experience, Sawyer’s mod could be right up your alley. After all, even Stimpaks have weight once you install it.
With Final Fantasy XIV moving to a subscription model after a year-long unlimited free trial period, players have been notified that that “the free trial period for the following service will soon end. Please note that after the end date, you will be billed service fees for your automatically continuous options.”
While this sounds like players will be charged without consent, this isn’t so, as Square-Enix is suspending all accounts on the 5th in order to allow everyone to decide whether to subscribe or not. On the 6th, the new pay-model comes into effect.
Until the launch of Final Fantasy XIV’s patch 2.0, the game will be available for the discounted rate of $9.99 a month, with additional characters costing $3 apiece). Post 2.0, the subscription cost will increase to $12.99 per month. Profit while you can.
The post-New Year hangover has apparently brought with it a milestone for Steam: five million concurrent players. According to Steam stats, the numbers peaked on January 2nd, with current numbers hovering around 4.5 million.
Back in November, nearly 300,000 players were concurrently playing Skyrim on Steam. Steam’s most-played game of the day remains Skyrim, though the number of concurrent players has significantly reduced, down to 90,000. Counter-Strike and, curiously, Football Manager 2012 are roughly tied for second place, with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3′s multiplayer coming in a distant third.
Coming January 17 is the Gran Turismo 5 XL Edition, which will arrive with the game and all its updates on the disc (which you know is a big deal if you’ve ever sat through major first-party PS3 game updates, which are horrible) along with a voucher good for like $20 worth of DLC stuff. It also comes with a new reversible cover that you can see here.
This new package will cost you $40. Yeah, that’s not a good price cut considering the game came out in 2010, but that’s just what we have to live with. Sorry.
All I do when I play Star Wars: The Old Republic is quest quest quest all day long, but there’s more to the game than that, and it’s called PvP.
That’s where the real war is, and it seems pretty evenly matched thus far, and that’s because the Sith Empire is currently winning, but only by a slim margin, 53% to 47% in the Alderaan Civil War and Voidstar matches. There’s plenty of time (forever, or at least the next several years) for the Republic to recover and pull ahead.
So that’s your PvP heads up for the new year. If you’re Republic, I hope this encourages you to redouble your efforts to kick some ass. Ah, I don’t really care, because I’m a bounty hunter. Screw the Republic. Roll Tide.
Ah, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. We’ve known for some time that it exists. We’ve even long known that, likely, it will have the stupid, 1990s long-haired version of Superman. Despite having that critical information that everyone on earth knows, Warner Bros. Interactive and Lego coyly refused to actually just come out and admit it already.
The long dark winter of coyness has finally ended. Warner Interactive issued a press release today officially confirming the upcoming release of the sequel to the most popular of all Lego-branded video games, which sold a huge 11 million copies. In Lego batman 2, Bats and Robin will team up with DC heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, and they’ll battle against some of the universe’s most popular villains. Kind of cool, even if you still can’t actually be creative with the lego bits. It’s due out this summer (exact release date TBD), it’ll be available for PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, 3DS and Vita.
And yes, unfortunately, it does have the stupid long-haired Superman.
What do you see when you look at that picture? Boobs, right? That’s what I see. Ken Levine, boss on Bioshock Infinite, the game from which that screenshot was taken, says maybe you shouldn’t be so concerned with the boobs, though.
“In terms of her body type, I think certainly people on the Internet have spent way more time thinking about Elizabeth’s chest than I have. It’s something I’ve barely thought about,” he told the Official Xbox Magazine.
“I’m not sure what that says about the Internet but, you know.”
Forget it, Ken, it’s the internet. You should not have any sort of hopes for decent conversation on the internet. It’s a wasteland, Ken. If you put boobs in front of the internet, the internet is going to talk about them nonstop forever. Did you know that 12 million people follow Kim Kardashian on Twitter? I think that says it all.
The Razer Blade gaming laptop seemed like a good idea, I guess, when it was announced last year. It seemed like a pretty powerful little thing, with its GTX 555m and i7 processor and stuff, and its neat interface. But at $2,800 it seemed a bit steep. And today it seems even steeper, because MSI has one-upped the hell out of Razer.
Here’s what the two models of the MSI GT783 have inside:
Intel Core i7 2670QM
GTX 580M with 2GB GDDR3
17.3″ Full HD, anti-reflective screen
12gb DDR3 RAM/16gb DDR3 RAM
2 750gb HDDs/1 128gb SSD and 1 750gb HDD
Blu-ray disc burner
GTX 580M? That alone makes this worth a hell of a lot more than the Razer Blade. But how much will this set you back? Well, the GT783R, which is the slightly lesser of the two models, will run you $2,299. And the GT783 will run you $2,499. Both of those prices are, of course, lower than the Razer Blade, and I’m not sure if an extra $500 is worth it for the cool interface if you’re getting a machine that won’t last you as long.
The saga of N-Control, the Avenger Controller, and Paul Christoforo still has some life in it, but it seems to be heading for a happy ending for all involved. Except for Christoforo, of course. N-Control took a major beating as a result of his unprofessionalism and clearly delusional behavior – see the Amazon page for their Avenger controller and wince.
With CES looming and the shipments of their controller already delayed, N-Control is, understandably, urgently interested in salvaging both their reputation and their business. They already hired an excellent replacement for Christoforo, one Moisés Chiullan who happens to be as well-organized as he is quick with a snappy dis. Today, it was announced that N-Control has gone further, and made a tidy $10,000 donation to the Child’s Play charity.
That’s a smart move, especially considering what the Avenger controller is designed to do: help disabled gamers play with greater ease. Meanwhile, forgotten in all of this is the customer, ‘Dave’, who started the whole thing when he contacted Penny Arcade to make everything public. N-Control is on that too. N-Control founder David Kotkin said in a statement that “N-Control appreciates our customers’ patience and support through this rough patch we have been through. We have been in regular touch with Customer Dave, who prefers his identity not be revealed, and he’s been very supportive.”
Aeria Games has announced closed beta testing has begun for Repulse, its newest free-to-play sci-fi FPS. Repulse pits class-based soldiers in fast-paced PvP and PvE battles fueled by an arsenal of futuristic weaponry and enhanced movement abilities.
Repulse features nine different game modes, each with a unique objective, including Capture the Flag, Death Match, and Invasion. Dozens of forum contests, Facebook giveaways, and in-game events will take place during the closed beta.
If you haven’t seen it, here’s a gameplay trailer from November:
As a big fan of Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 Arena, I love sci-fi FPS games, and Repulse’s movement mechanic me reminds me of the trick jumps that I love so much from UT and Q3A. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this title.
Visit the Repulse official website for more information.
The proposed MMOs set in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Firefly universes sounded like the kind of thing that people would describe as ‘awesome’. If only for the chance to revisit two of the greatest entertainment franchises in television history. Alas, much like the show Firefly, they were apparently too awesome for this world. Multiverse platform, which was to bring these worthy ideas into reality, suffered a critical funding failure and went out of business, ironically sharing the tragic fate of Firefly. This was a bad day for all veterans of the Unification War.
But fear not, Browncoats. Though the war is over, the fight goes on. The source code for the very, very early in development Firefly MMO wasn’t trashed, and a new developer called the Multiverse Foundation has snatched it up. That news comes courtesy of Massively. They were contacted by Tristan Bacon, head of communications for Multiverse Foundation, who confirmed that Multiverse Foundation owns the source code for the proposed Firefly game and that they’re “starting work full-time on the actual MMO creation platform”. YES! Now all it’s going to take is the demand of thousands of Browncoats to prove that it would sell, and we’re on.
Except not exactly. They don’t yet have rights to the Firefly property, and the current team is all-volunteers right now. Presumably, they might be able to create a decent mock up that meets with Joss Whedon’s approval. But until we see more, this is just an ambitious – and extremely awesome – fan project. One I fervently hope succeeds.
As you would expect, not everyone has been happy with the new Dante in Ninja Theory’s DMC reboot. Some people are so unhappy, in fact, that they’ve threatened to murder Ninja Theory. Yes, they want to put a gun to the studio’s head and pull the trigger.
OK, so that’s a joke. What’s not a joke is that folks who work for Ninja Theory have received death threats. Here’s what Tameem Antoniades tells OXM about it.
Alex Garland warned me about it because he experienced a similar thing with 28 Days Later where people were upset that it didn’t feature real zombies.
So I was half prepared for it, although I have to say that it has been pretty eye opening to see some of the creative ways in which people have chosen to vent their hatred. We didn’t expect death threats in comic book form or anti-DmC death metal songs!
Steam has revealed that if you pre-purchase The Darkness II, you get upgraded to the Limited Edition! Yay! So what does that get you? Well, it gets you a few things.
Custom artwork illustrated by Marc Silvestri (artwork will be downloaded as a .pdf to your Darkness II folder in the directory: …Steamsteamappscommon)
Free digital download of The Darkness Origins Volume 1 and 2 comics (redeemable through comiXology.com)
Exclusive In-Game Items
Alternate darkling outfit – “Crazy Abdul”
Two character ability upgrades:
Gourmet Hearts: provides bonus for eating hearts
Relic Hunter: locates collectible items in the world
I mean, that’s not like amazing or anything, but it’s not like you’re paying extra for those things. You just pay regular price and voila, you have that stuff. Pretty cool.
North American fans who pre-order Prototype 2 at GameStop between January 1, 2012 and April 23, 2012 will unlock this alternate version of one of Prototype 2′s unique, viral-powered abilities, the Bio-Bomb. Watch the video, and you’ll understand why this ability is named the “Buttkicker.”
Bruce Willis may have shot a helicopter with a car in Live Free of Die Hard, but shooting a helicopter with a dude by giving him a swift kick in the rear is so much more satisfying. I wonder how long it’ll take for that trick to get old. My best approximate is: never.
Starting yesterday, Rockstar Games has created a two-part Q&A about Grand Theft Auto III to commemorate the just-passed 10 year anniversary. The second and final installment went live a couple of hours ago, and they finally got around to addressing the fact that GTA III came out less than 2 months after the September 11 attacks. Rumors have long held that significant content was cut from the game at the last minute, offering fans the tantalizing possibility that at some future point, an restored edition could be released that would greatly expand the already epic game (and give us a little insight into what was deemed so controversial in the wake of the attacks.)
Alas, the reality isn’t as fantastic as people had hoped. It’s true that changes were made to the game due to concerns about sensitivity in the wake of 9/11, but they were relatively minor, involving one mission and a change in packaging:
A duo of Russian TV editors with a passion for Half-Life have come together to produce a fan series for the game that has been in development for almost a year. Slated for release in 2012 — the video above is just the trailer, in case your Russian is spotty — Freeman’s Days takes place in the Half-Life universe and follows its storyline, for the most part.
Divided into days, the series begins with Freeman arriving in City 17, escaping from combine soldiers and meeting Alyx. The producers have quality in mind over quantity, so for the time being, they are entirely focused on polishing the first episode.
Now we have something else to look forward to other than Half-Life 3.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently being debated in Congress is quite clearly a massive overreach. It gives the government the potential authority to effectively shut down major, largely legitimate web sites for hosting a minuscule amount of pirated content. It could threaten the very existence of sites that host a wide range of used-submitted content, and could easily be used by the government to stifle Americans’ free speech rights. The bill’s potential effects on the very structure of the Internet make it much too broad a cudgel for a problem like online piracy.
Yet online piracy is still a problem. And despite the myriad flaws with the legislation, I have to say I can kind of see where the Entertainment Software Association industry trade group is coming from when they say they support the law.
Game publishers are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to battling piracy. If they do nothing, they are essentially ceding a good portion of their sales to pirates who have no intention of ever paying them a dime. If they institute a simple DRM scheme to try and protect their games, some gamers will get annoyed and others will get to work breaking the protection within days or even hours, making it worthless. If they institute a strong DRM scheme, such as Ubisoft’s recent efforts to require a persistent Internet connection to constantly confirm the validity of a played game, it ends up negatively impacting a good many legitimate customers and also cause the esteemed, self-appointed “Internet Representatives of Gaming” to go into a collective hissy fit so large that it ends up costing more sales than it saves.
The South Korean ratings board continues to delay a final approval decision on Diablo 3, and the game’s real money auction house feature is to blame.
A spokesman for the ratings board said:
Committee members are conflicted about what to do with Diablo 3 because of Blizzard’s information on the game’s “auction house” feature.
Blizzard publicly committed to a simultaneous global, region-free launch for the first time in company history. In light of the Korean board’s hesitation, a spokeswoman for Blizzard affirmed that the company is still committed to a global release for Diablo 3.
With the first quarter of 2012 still the target launch period for the title, Blizzard has as rapidly closing three month window to meet their shareholders’ expectations.
Could the Korean ratings board be partially responsible for the delay in an announced launch date for Diablo 3?
Star Trek Online is going full-on free to play on January 17th. This isn’t new news; in fact, we predicted it back in January, 2011. But it’s how they’re going F2P that matters. In an attempt to woo back players who drifted away due to cost or other reasons (that drift was probably a big factor in the decision to make the switch), they’re giving those players preferential treatment. Starting today, anyone with a lapsed account can login to Star Trek Online and enjoy free access as a Silver member.
Silver members, by the by, are the normal, run of the mill users who haven’t subscribed. You know, the ones who get to enjoy the wonderful world of microtransactions. Players who want to avoid that hassle can upgrade to Gold member status. Well, not all players. For now, just the lapsed members who reopen their accounts. So, GameFronters, are any of you former or current Star Trek Online players? How do you feel about the switch to F2P?
OK, so I’m about to do a data dump on your asses in regards to what Steam managed to do this past year. Here we go.
Year-over-year unit sales increased by more than 100%
During the 2011 Holiday Sale Steam’s simultaneous user number eclipsed the 5 million player mark
Delivered 780 Petabytes of data to gamers around the world, double that of 2010
14.5 mil copies of Steamworks games were registered during the year, a 67% increase over 2010
The Steam infrastructure more than doubled its service capacity
780 petabytes? What the f–k is a petabyte? I’ve never heard of such a thing, and I refuse to google it. I bet it’s a lot.
So hooray for Steam. I admit I did use it a lot this year, although my usage has dropped off in the new year as I’ve been spending all my free time playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. Someday I’ll come back to you, Steam, I promise!
Another clear sign of the upcoming apocalypse at this year’s end, the Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer MMOs have sunk with the ship that was to bear them: the Multiverse platform.
First released in 2006, the Multiverse platform was intended to allow game development teams to build and launch their projects more quickly and for less money than conventional means allowed — a concept that allegedly sparked a great deal of interest, but could not muster the funds necessary to turn a profit.
In an official statement on their website, Multiverse reps stated:
Although thousands of developers showed interest in the Multiverse Platform, Multiverse wasn’t able to achieve a profitable business model. As a result, Multiverse ceased operations in December 2011 due to lack of funding.
While I can’t say I was excited about a Buffy MMO, a Firefly MMO could have been nice, and seeing innovation die because of the almighty dollar always chagrins me.
If you’ve been playing the GTA III 10 Year Anniversary Edition, it’s been a delightful trip down awesome memory lane. Even as primitive as the graphics look as as one-take-only-ever as the voice acting is, it is every bit the game that changes the gaming world forever when it was released in the fall of 2001. There’s a reason for that – well part of a reason anyway. The mobile version of the game uses the same file structure that the PC version did. So what does this mean for you? It means that it’s theoretically possible to go into the actual game files and tweak or modify them, and even install new files. In other words, to make and/or install mods. Awesome!
There’s just one catch: You can already get cracking right now on your Android devices, but iPhone and iPad aren’t so cooperative. Apple loves to make it impossible to do anything to their accessory devices, sof you want to put mods on your iOS copy of GTA III, you’ll have to jailbreak your iOS device. That’s completely legal of course, but it also voids the warranty. Best you wait until after your warranty expires to do it. Assuming you don’t care then it’s all good.
In the meantime, a thread over on XDA has helpfully compiled instructions and various mods for the Android version of GTA III.
So have any of you out there jailbreaked your iOS device and installed or made GTA mods? Let us know! And meanwhile, we’ll look forward to the iOS version of San Andreas, so that everyone can freak out about ZOMG HOT COFFEEEEEEEE.
The recently announced Bond film Skyfall will probably be getting a video game tie-in, and anybody with a brain would expect that to be the case. But it’s about more than our mere expectations right now, as Empire Magazine says the following in regards to the “celebrations” that will take place this year given that Skyfall will be released in the 50th anniversary of the original Bond film, Dr. No.
The celebrations include a documentary on the Bond franchise, a Bond-car exhibition at Beaulieu, a new video game and the re-release of Dr. No itself.
So is that video game a Skyfall game or a Dr. No game? Probably a Skyfall game. You know.
Skyfall is coming this year, and it’s been a bit since the last Bond movie, but that hasn’t stopped Activision from pumping out new games like Blood Stone and Goldeneye Reloaded. Perhaps the new game will actually be good. Ha!
PC Powerplay has an in depth look at Tribes: Ascend that includes a lengthy Q&A with Hi-Rez Studios CEO Todd Harris that contains some pretty startling news for Tribes fans. If you’re still looking forward to playing Tribes Universe (the Tribes-based MMOS first announced back in October, 2010), keep looking. Tribes Universe isn’t happening any time soon.
Q: Did Tribes Universe evolve into Ascend, or is that a project you want to revisit in the future?
Our studio is a huge fan of the previous Tribes games. So after we acquired the rights to Tribes our first goal was to get the movement and physics and combat feeling right. When we made enough progress toward that goal we decided to release a pure match-based shooter ahead of any MMO and that shooter became Ascend. We do still intend to further explore the Tribes and Starsiege IP with future projects, but right now our Tribes dev team is working only on Ascend.
If I were a betting man, I’d wager that Tribes Universe doesn’t happen. Announced in October, 2010, it had been in development for months when it was unceremoniously put on hold when Tribes: Ascend was announced last March. And it’s already been 7 years since the last Tribes universe-set game. My guess is that they crunched the numbers and didn’t see an audience for a Tribes MMO, so they’re letting the thing quietly die while they focus elsewhere.
What’s this? A four-player co-op game that isn’t about zombies? Preposterous!
This trailer gives us a glimpse of Syndicate’s four-player co-op mode, and I must say, I am intrigued. Fast-paced sci-fi action is what I look for in an FPS, and I can’t wait to get my hands on this bad boy. I’ll just be sure to keep my distance from Emma Thalos. That nut-shut was just wrong.
Harmonix, creators of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, has been in legal disputes with its former parent company, Viacom, over who owes who how many millions of dollars. After Viacom claimed Harmonix owed them a $131 million dollar refund due to a miscalculation, both companies agreed that a jointly-appointed accounting firm would settle the matter. The result? Viacom owes Harmonix over $383 million.
Viacom acquired Harmonix in 2006 and sold it in 2010 for $50. Tallying the initial $175 million purchase price, the $150 million earn-out payment already received, and the additional $383 million Viacom allegedly owes, Harmonix cost Viacom $708 million dollars. Less $50, of course. Apparently, Viacom takes the “buy low, sell high” adage in a different direction: “buy high, give away.” Viacom Owes Harmonix over $383 Million Gamefront News: Xbox 720 To Be A DVR Too (RUMOUR)
According to a Microsoft patent filed in 2007 and approved a couple weeks ago, the next Xbox console may also double up as a digital video recorder.
The patent includes the following description:
A digital video recorder (DVR) application running alongside a television client component allows users to record media content on the gaming console. The DVR application also integrates itself with the console menu.
Once integrated, users can record media content while playing games. Alternatively, users can record content when the gaming console is turned off. The recorded content can include television programming, gaming experience (whether local or online), music, DVDs, and so on. When in the recording state, users can also switch between various other media modes, whether gaming, television, and so on.
Yesterday, we asked if Bethesda and Interplay had nearly settled their legal dispute over the rights to make a Fallout MMO. It turns out no, they had not. Because apparently they actually have already reached a settlement several weeks back. That news comes courtesy of Duck and Cover, who claim that they’ve confirmed the settlement, which will be officially announced sometime this month:
Today, DAC has confirmation that a settlement has, in fact, taken place. It actually took place the day of the trial – and had I been able to get online and sort through the documents I would have reported as much. We do not yet have the details of the settlement – they will be announced this month (January 2012) – but we can report that on the day of trial, the atmosphere in the court room was tense until the judge recessed. This recess was extended, and then they recessed for lunch. After the lunch recess, the court room was locked to everyone except attorneys and clients. When our source asked why this was the case, our source was told it was because they were working out a settlement. The following day, another source called the court reporter to ask what the next hearing schedule for the case was – this source was told there was no schedule as a settlement had been reached.
OK, so no links are provided and sources are nil. Also, no docs have been made public. So… we really don’t know if this is on the level or not. But assuming it is, then we may actually see a Fallout MMO within our lifetime. Whether or not we’d want to play it is another thing entirely. TOR, people. It owns you.
Jedi Knight III: The November - December JKFiles Weapon Modelling Contest has now ended!
Wow, how time flies!
To let you all know, our November - December JKFiles Weapon Modelling Contest has now finished. Please be sure to get all of your entries into JKFiles before Friday 6th of January!
As a reminder, here is a brief overview of the rules:
-The weapon must work!
-The Weapon must be created by the entrant. You may only submit your own work!
-You must follow the JKFiles submission guidelines as normal.
-Please do not use model(s) or texture(s) ported from other games to make your Weapon.
-You MUST include [CONTEST] before your Weapon's name in the name section when submitting your entry,
to avoid confusion and possible accidental disqualification, since we may upload your Hilt thinking it is a normal submission.
-Three finalists will be chosen by the staff and the community will be able to vote in a site poll for who they think should win the contest!
For a full list of the rules, please see this post
Please be sure to get your entries in as soon as possible!
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