Thursday, December 1, 2011

2011 VGA Picks

The Spike Video Game Awards will air tomorrow on Spike TV, and while they may not be as prestigious as the Oscars, they do hold a certain weight to the game industry. Last year I wrote up my picks for the awards, and here are my picks for 2011. This year was an amazing year for games, especially in the latter half. I’m excited to see what 2012 holds in addition to the great titles releasing in the early part of next year.

Below is a list of nomination for each category. I will put my pick in bold with a small description of why I think so below it, along with any omissions I think should have been included. These aren’t predictions of who I think will win, but whom I would vote to win.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Steam passwords and credit card information compromised

The hack occurred as a result of an attack on the Steam forums this past Sunday, resulting in unauthorized access of user names, passwords, game purchase history, email and billing addresses, and encrypted credit card information.

In a message sent out this afternoon, Vavle’s co-founder Gabe Newell addressed the status of the attack, and that he believes no encrypted information was successfully accessed.

“Dear Steam Users and Steam Forum Users,

Our Steam forums were defaced on the evening of Sunday, November 6. We began investigating and found that the intrusion goes beyond the Steam forums.

We learned that intruders obtained access to a Steam database in addition to the forums. This database contained information including user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. We do not have evidence that encrypted credit card numbers or personally identifying information were taken by the intruders, or that the protection on credit card numbers or passwords was cracked. We are still investigating.

We don't have evidence of credit card misuse at this time. Nonetheless you should watch your credit card activity and statements closely.

While we only know of a few forum accounts that have been compromised, all forum users will be required to change their passwords the next time they login. If you have used your Steam forum password on other accounts you should change those passwords as well.

We do not know of any compromised Steam accounts, so we are not planning to force a change of Steam account passwords (which are separate from forum passwords). However, it wouldn't be a bad idea to change that as well, especially if it is the same as your Steam forum account password.

We will reopen the forums as soon as we can.

I am truly sorry this happened, and I apologize for the inconvenience.


As with any compromised information, it’s best to be alert and responsive. Changing your Steam password, as well as your Steam forum password, and watching your credit card statements for any usual activity is strongly advised. You can change your Steam password in the Settings option in the Steam menu within the actual client.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Five things players should know about Call of Duty Elite for Modern Warfare 3

As players lined up last night to pick-up the eighth game in the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, another Call of Duty product was launched in tandem. Call of Duty Elite, developed by Beachhead Studios and unveiled in full at Call of Duty XP earlier this year, is launching as a platform for Call of Duty players to find new friends and new ways to play. Here are just some of the ways players can use Call of Duty Elite to improve their game.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rainbow Six Patriots, innovating controls beyond motion?

Game Informer revealed the cover of their December issue today with Rainbow Six Patriots. Along with the reveal, Ubisoft released a video of early conceptual gameplay for Rainbow Six Patriots. The video, which explicitly notes it contains no actual gameplay footage, shows a home invasion by a terrorist group who kidnaps the husband to be used as a suicide bomber on the Brooklyn Bridge.

The video is a new turn for the Rainbow Six series, which traditionally could be categorized as a squad-based tactical shooter. Instead, Patriots looks to introduce more cinematic elements as well as interactive interface. The video shows small button-prompts similar to Heavy Rain, but one in particular grabbed my attention.

In one sequence, the kidnapped husband is strapped with explosives and told to hold the detonator in his hand, or else he’ll explode. In a similar fashion, the game tells the player to hold down the R2 button to convey the same feeling of tension. That prompt got me thinking about some interesting button mechanics that could be done to create artificial difficulty. Imagine having to make your way through and clear a warehouse of terrorists while keeping a button pressed. It’d create a dynamic use of control that isn’t found in most games, and doesn’t include the use of motion control.

Ubisoft didn’t offer a release date for Rainbow Six Patriots beyond just 2013. It’s expected to be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why the Grand Theft Auto V trailer didn't excite me

Earlier today, RockStar Games released the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto V. Though no release came, the trailer did confirm suspicions of a west coast setting as guessed earlier this year from a casting call for project titled Rush.

The lead-up to the release of the trailer was curious, though. Most major gaming sites posted either a countdown timer or a livestream as a pre-event to the trailer coming online. The amount of promotion almost reached levels of Modern Warfare, which made me ask myself, am I missing something?

I played Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City. I started San Andreas but once it tasked me with maintaining my character through eating and exercise, I stopped. Maintenance is not a fun gameplay mechanic, and that’s what games are supposed to be, fun. I never got around to playing Grand Theft Auto IV, even with the many mods available for PC.

With Grand Theft Auto III being ported over to iOS for its 10th anniversary, we’ve come along with open-world games. And maybe that’s part of it. When GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas were released, open-world games were still a novel concept. In no other type of game sans RPGs could you explore a world as deep as you could in the GTA games. But 10 years later, that doesn’t hold the same weight. Looking at this holiday’s release schedule, we have Batman: Arkham City, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and Saints Row: The Third. Last year we had Red Dead Redemption (by RockStar) and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. There are enough open-world games that there’s no reason to hold our breath until the next GTA.

That being said, Grand Theft Auto V looks great and I’m sure it will be fun, but my excitement about it has not skyrocketed based on one minutes and 30 seconds of footage.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Blizzard DOTA according to a DOTA virgin

I’ve never played WarCraft III DOTA. I’ve never played Heroes of Newerth. I’ve never played League of Legends. I’ve had friends tell me how fun and exciting the genre is, but as someone who’s never been enticed by the RTS genre, I didn’t feel compelled to jump in. So when I sat down to play Blizzard DOTA at BlizzCon 2011, it was my first foray into the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre.

Keep in mind I’ve not played League of Legends or other similar games, so if I note something here present in other games, this is why

Monday, October 31, 2011

Threequel is the new sequel

As we dive headfirst into the upcoming release schedule of games, it becomes abundantly clear: there are a lot of games ending with three. Several big franchises of the current generation are hitting the end of the fabled trilogy. Generally after three the story ends, but as evident with the announcement of Halo 4 earlier this year, some franchises are too big to stop there. Is it possible we’ll see the continuation of some of this year’s big releases or will they take on new forms and explore different avenues? Perhaps the end of a franchise marks the beginning of a new one. With fewer heavy-hitters on the calendar, it could leave the door open for the introduction of new IPs next year.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

BlizzCon 2011

As of the posting of this, I will be on my way to Anaheim for BlizzCon 2011. This will be my fourth year attending and I still highly recommend it for anyone who plays a Blizzard game or enjoys the social aspect of their games.

This year’s event will mainly revolve around Diablo III, scheduled to release sometime early 2012. Will we see the announcement of an official release date? Maybe, but this year’s BlizzCon won’t solely be about Diablo III. Blizzard will also release more information about the first expansion for StarCraft II, Heart of the Swarm, as Blizzard has already teased a new unit.

It’s also expected that Blizzard will reveal their next expansion for World of Warcraft. Based on previous announcements, Blizzard tends to announce a new expansion for World of Warcraft every two years, with this year falling in line. Rumors have already begun swirling about Mists of Panderia, a trademark Blizzard filed earlier this year, as the name of the expansion.

The entire BlizzCon schedule is available on and available as an app for your smartphone.

If you’re in the area, let me know and we can meet up and chat. Be sure to follow my Twitter feed for news and impressions straight from the event floor.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The on-again off-again saga of multiplayer in Mass Effect 3

First it was rumored, then speculated to be ruled out, then hinted at, and finally today it’s been confirmed. Casey Hudson, executive producer of the Mass Effect series, confirmed via Twitter that Mass Effect 3 would include a co-op multiplayer mode.

Reaction to this announcement has been shaky at best. Some call it another strike against BioWare’s record since the release of Dragon Age II, while others are taking the logical wait-and-see approach.

The worries of most are that by adding a multiplayer mode, the resources that went into multiplayer could have made a better and more polished singleplayer. To that, I point to both Dead Space 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Both games included a multiplayer mode that was the first for the series, and though neither were engaging gameplay modes that players kept coming back to, I’m not sure that they detracted from the main singleplayer story.

Then again, this is the internet where people will voice their opinion about a game they have not played. More information about co-op multiplayer should be coming in the next few weeks. Mass Effect 3 will hit shelves on March 6, 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Uncharted 3 Multiplayer, Courtesy of Subway

Last week Naughty Dog announced a new promotion with Subway to promote Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. By purchasing drinks or sandwiches at a Subway restaurant, players can win prizes and play the Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception multiplayer a month before the game releases on November 1. It sounded decent, nothing out of the ordinary for a video game promotion; access to early multiplayer and some prizes. Then I saw this video that was originally posted on the PlayStation Blog.

In-game Subway items, game-enhancing boosters, exclusive weapons, and an in-game taunt to top it all off. There’s so much wrong here I almost don’t know where to start. How would you like to see your enemy wearing a McDonald’s t-shirt in the next Call of Duty game? The gaming culture has repeatedly refused in-game advertising, yet game developers and publishers continue to push the issue. Richard Lewis of Heaven Media pointed out, “When gamers see in-game advertising, they know that it is a source of revenue for the people that have already sold them a product and in general it has been received poorly by most players exposed to it.” The most recent incident of in-game advertising was with Eidos Montreal’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution. A post-release patched enabled ads during the game's loading screens.

The inclusion of game-enhancing boosters and exclusive weapons seem like the worst offenders to me. Player who participate in the promotion and acquire these boosters and weapons will have an advantage, if only for one round for the boosters, against evenly equipped and evenly matched players, created and uneven playing environment. For a mode that relies heavily on balanced gameplay, this concept is atrocious. Remember the uproar surrounding the Physical Warfare pack for Battlefield 3? Fans were upset that pre-order exclusive items were powerful enough to be deemed necessary. Based on the reaction, EA announced that the Physical Warfare pack would be free for everyone some time after release. These boosters and weapons aren’t looking to follow the same path. Ultimately, Naughty Dog and the Uncharted brand will suffer because of it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Batman: Arkham City Mega-Preview

It is one of the greatest times to be a Batman fan. The recent DC Comics reboot allows fans to jump into the Batman comics without fear of missing previous essential story arcs. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is finishing shooting and will arrive theaters next year, concluding the trilogy that took a fresh look at Batman. This October, however, fans will get a chance to step into the shoes of the Batman himself with the release of Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham City.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

GameStop pulling OnLive coupons from new boxes of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

As a special surprise for purchasers of the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the game’s publisher Square Enix included a coupon for a free version of the game on OnLive, a cloud-based game platform that doesn’t have any hardware requirements, all you need is an internet connection.

A commenter on Joystiq warned potential customers not to buy the game from GameStop, as they instructed their employees to pull the coupon from new retail copies.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kanye West to headline Call of Duty XP

When Activision announced Call of Duty XP last month, they said they would reveal special guests as it got closer to the event. Today they announced their headliner, Kanye West, will perform on the Saturday of the two-day event taking place September 2-3. It is the rapper’s first appearance since releasing his collaboration album “Watch The Throne,” with fellow rapper Jay-Z.

This isn’t Activision’s first time booking a top-dollar music name. At their E3 party last year, Eminem performed with guest Rihanna. At past BlizzCon shows, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and Ozzy Osbourne performed for the final night’s concert.

Tickets for Call of Duty XP are $150 each, which all goes to the Call of Duty Endowment charity that helps veterans transition back into normal life after their service. Activision expects an attendance of 6,000 for the event that will take place on a 12-acre compound in Los Angeles.

Those who attend will be able to play the co-op mode of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 as well as the multi-player mode, which will be officially unveiled at the event. The convention will also host a $1 million Call of Duty: Black Ops tournament that players can qualify for at the convention, or at regional competitions leading up to the convention. Attendees will also receive a free copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Hardened Edition, which goes on sale November 8 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Jurassic Park coming November 15

Telltale Games announced yesterday that its forthcoming Jurassic Park game finally has a release date. Jurassic Park: The Game will release on November 15 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac, and PC. In case you forgot, that is right amongst the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Need for Speed: The Run, and Saint’s Row: The Third.

In the past, Telltale released games an episode at a time on a scheduled basis, usually month-to-month. For Jurassic Park: The Game, players will be able to experience all five episodes continuously, as Telltale noted that the game’s five episodes will be released simultaneously.

PC players will be able to buy the game digitally from the Telltale Store, Steam, or other online stores, and PlayStation 3 players can purchase the game through the PlayStation Network. Xbox 360 players, however, will need to purchase the game as a retail disc in order to play. This probably has to do with the guidelines of Xbox Live Arcade and the terms of their recent licensing agreement with Microsoft.

Telltale also revealed that a planned iPad version of the game will come sometime after the initial November 15 release, though it will be released episodically, rather than all at the same time. You can read a preview of Jurassic Park: The Game here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The PC returns to the spotlight

It’s fair to say that in the last decade or so, consoles have been the top dog. For consumers, their relative low entry cost, guarantee to play games tailored for the system, and easy-to-use online multi-player functionality gave confidence for those looking for a dedicated gaming machine. But the rise of consoles left the PC behind in the dust. Games that begun as PC exclusives eventually became console exclusive, leaving anticipating PC gamers feeling betrayed and neglected. Even PC games that were developed along their console counter-parts often suffered from what is referred to as consolification, or designing the game in a way to meet the limitations of a console. However, games releasing this year are beginning to lean more towards accepting the PC as a viable platform instead of an after-thought.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Modern Warfare 3 will use dedicated servers for PC

Activision announced today at Gamescom that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will use dedicated servers to handle multi-player on PCs. Infinity Ward's Creative Strategist Robert Bowling comfirmed the news via Twitter earlier today. The announcement comes as a relief to some who worried the latest iteration of Call of Duty would use IWNet, the system used in the previous Modern Warfare game.

The history of servers in Modern Warfare is a storied one. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare introduced dedicated servers for the first time in the series, offering players a chance to play on reliable and privatized servers. But with the ability to customize your own games also came the ability to hack and cheat. To counter this, Infinity Ward introduced IWNet for Modern Warfare 2, allowing players to jump on and find a game with console-style matchmaking. The loss of customization and lag brought on by host migration led to complaints and boycotts for some.

With Modern Warfare 3, Activision is returning to dedicated servers allowing players to set and enforce their own rules. Activision does have concerns that the openness of dedicated servers could conflict with their upcoming social network Call of Duty Elite. Their plans for official contests with big prizes may conflict when dealing with players who create rule-sets with the intent to go around the rules and gain an advantage over other players.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is set to launch on November 8 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Gabe Newell speaks up about EA games on Steam

In June, Electronic Arts pulled Crysis 2 from Steam, followed by Alice: Madnress Returns, citing new regulations regarding DLC as the reason. Alice eventually made it back, but Crysis 2 remains absent. Dragon Age 2 disappeared last month as well, just as its newest DLC, Legacy, arrived. Electronic Arts has been pretty vocal over the ongoing on-then-off-then-on-again presence of their games on Steam, but Valve has been quiet on the issue. In an interview with Develop, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell spoke about the cause and how it can be resolved.

“I don’t think Valve can pick just one thing and think the issue would go away if we fixed that,” he said, “We have to show EA it’s a smart decision to have EA games on Steam, and we’re going to try to show them that.”

Newell noted that companies have to earn the right to install content on their customers' PCs on a regular basis, and Steam isn’t any different. “We have to prove we are creating value on an ongoing basis, whether it’s to EA or Ubisoft or whoever. We really want to show there’s a lot of value having EA titles on Steam. We want EA’s games on Steam and we have to show them that’s a smart thing to do.”

He added that Steam is continuing to improve and that those improvements will show companies like Electronic Arts that Steam is a platform where they can grow revenue, “I think at the end of the day we’re going to prove to Electronic Arts they have happier customers, a higher quality service, and will make more money if they have their titles on Steam. It’s our duty to demonstrate that to them. We don’t have a natural right to publish their games.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gamescom 2011 Trailers

While not technically the first day of Gamescom 2011 in Cologne, Germany, those attending took the opportunity to release new trailers for upcoming games releasing this year and into next. More information is sure to come as the show floor officially opens up tomorrow, but these visuals will hopefully tide you over until then.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive a go for 2012

Nearly seven years after the release of Counter-Strike: Source, Valve is once again returning to one of the most popular online action games in the world. In a press release, Valve announced Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a downloadable game for the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Aracde, and Steam.

Being slated for release in early 2012, the game will contain new maps, characters, and weapons and updated versions of classic Counter-Strike maps like de_dust. New gameplay modes are also being introduced along with matchmaking, leaderboards, and other features found in modern FPS games.

ESEA News has a hand-on write up about Counter-Srike: Global Offensive where they discuss some of the new features. “While old guns are being tweaked and re-evaluated, a few new weapons were added, including a new heavy machine gun rifle, new pistols, and a new shotgun, but I think the biggest addition was with the equipment. They added molotov cocktails, an expensive $850 item, which can be used to slow down opponents and re-route opponents through AOE damage.”

Being coined CS: GO, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be co-developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment, who developed Defense Grid and helped with Counter-Strike: Source. Rather than simply build on the current version of Counter-Strike: Source, the game is being built on an updated version of Valve’s Source Engine.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will be playable at this year’s Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle and at Eurogamer Expo in London.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Puzzle Agent 2 Review

Puzzle Agent 2
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Adventure Puzzle
Platforms: PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, PSN

Puzzle Agent has been described as the American version of the Professor Layton series. Having never played a Professor Layton game, I can’t say how true that is. What I can say is that the game felt like mix between X-Files and the Coen brothers’ Fargo. But just like the main character, Nelson Tethers, players weren’t satisfied with just one visit to puzzle-obsessed town of Scoggins, Minnesota.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Comic-Con 2011: Darksiders 2 Preview

Darksiders was easily my underrated game of 2010. Bayonetta and Mass Effect 2 released the same month, leaving it in their dust. Despite this, Darksiders found its place among gamers with its mixture of God of War inspired combat and Zelda-like puzzles. At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, I had a chance to see what’s being added to the sequel, Darksiders 2, and how it’s becoming ever so close to an RPG.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Comic-Con 2011: The Walking Dead Preview

At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Telltale game designer Jake Rodkin made it clear that The Walking Dead isn’t your normal zombie game. “The last shot of this game is probably not going to be a guy with two axes on top of a mile-high mountain of zombies,” he said.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Diablo III to include player-run auction house, but you shouldn't worry

Gabe Newell once said that games should be more of a service than a product, but it’s Blizzard Entertainment who is taking that mantra to heart. Blizzard released a flurry of details about their upcoming action-RPG game Diablo III. Among them was a required internet connection to play the game, similar to StarCraft II which released last year. The need for an internet connection is integrated into the game for Blizzard’s service, which can share data and friends lists between StarCraft II, World of Warcraft, and other Blizzard games. Another new addition to Diablo III is the restriction of player-made mods. The restriction is a change in stance from Diablo II, which allowed for free reign of customizability when rearranging the UI and other systems.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back to the Future: The Game Wrap-Up Review

With all five of the Back to the Future: The Game episodes now released, we can take a look back to see how well this addition to the Back to the Future franchise fits with the films, as well as some of its high and low points.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back to the Future: OUTATIME Review

Back to the Future: Episode 4 – Double Visions
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Platforms: PC, Mac, iPad, and PlayStation 3

This is it. We finally have the last episode of the five-episode season of Back to the Future: The Game. If you don’t already know by this point, Back to the Future: The Game is developed by Telltale Games as a point-and-click adventure game. You control Marty McFly as he travels back in time to save Doc Brown and fixes any problems along the way that may alter the future.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

E3 2011: Need for Speed: The Run competes with itself for your attention

Need for Speed: The Run is a departure from the recent Need for Speed titles Hot Pursuit and Shift series. Being developed by Black Box, who also worked on Underground, Most Wanted, Carbon, and Undercover. It’s a return to a more story-driven form. "One of the things we knew we wanted to do for this game was to provide more a blockbuster, action/driving kind of experience – more than just a traditional racing experience," said executive producer Jason DeLong. In between those blockbuster driving experiences, you’ll spend time out of the car on your own two feet. For the first time in the Need for Speed franchise, you’ll feel the need for speed without using a steering wheel.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Back to the Future: Double Visions Review

Back to the Future: Episode 4 – Double Visions
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Platforms: PC, Mac, iPad, and PlayStation 3

It was December 2010 when the first episode to Back to the Future: The Game released. Five months later, the fourth episode, Double Visions, is available. At the end of Citizen Brown, Marty was captured by Edna Strickland after finally convincing Doc to fix the time machine and head back to the 1930s. Episode four picks up immediately after, starting with your escape with help from Jennifer Parker. Meanwhile, Edna tries to use Doc’s mind-reading machine from the first film (now a brain-washing machine in this timeline) to reprogram her husband back into Citizen Brown. Marty frees Doc and they travel back to the 1930s for the third since It’s About Time, a few months after young Emmett Brown started dating Edna Strickland. The majority of the episode is spent finding a way to douse Edna and Emmett’s relationship, and reignite Emmett’s love for science.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon Review

Transformers: Dark of the Moon released over a week ago. If you plan on seeing it, chances are you have done so already. If you haven’t, you might be wondering if it’s worth your money and time after the abyssal previous movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In the eyes of the law, Mortal Kombat and the Divine Comedy are equal

Yesterday was a landmark day for the videogames industry. In a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court struck down the 2005 California law that would make selling violent videogames to minors a criminal offense, effectively putting videogames on the same level as pornography.

Monday, June 27, 2011

L.A. Noire Coming to PC with Increased Fidelity and 3D Support

Good news for those of you who wanted to play L.A. Noire on the PC. Rockstar Games announced last Friday that its recently released detective adventure game, previous released only for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, will coming to PC this fall.

In a blog post on their official website, Rockstar stated the PC version of L.A. Noire will be developed by Rockstar Leeds and is built to run on a wide range of PCs. Specific feature additions include keyboard mapping and gamepad support. The game will also receive a graphical improvement (probably through the ability to increase resolution) and 3D support.

Originally developed by Team Bondi, L.A. Noire tells the story of Detective Cole Phelps, a World War II hero rising through the ranks of the LAPD in a simulated 1947 Los Angeles.

Monday, June 20, 2011

E3 2011: What we know about Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Telltale Games had a smaller presence at E3 than I hoped, with their meeting room situated in the Concourse Hall between West and South Hall. But if you watched AMC’s The Walking Dead television series, you know what game they promoted from the image above.

Don’t take that to mean the game will follow the storyline of the Frank Darabout-produced series, though. Telltale’s Senior Director of Marketing Richard Iggo stated simply, “We see Kirkman’s work as canon.” Robert Kirkman is the writer of the "The Walking Dead" comic, which the show is based on.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

E3 2011: Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo

The main attraction at E3 is the show floor, where companies show off their newest games, technology, and peripherals. But before the doors open, the big three take the stage at their press conferences to announce their new products and services, and unveil the future of gaming.

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Trailer for Tomb Raider, Coming 2012

GTTV unveiled a new CGI trailer last night on Spike TV for the Square Enix published and Crystal Dynamics developed Tomb Raider. In this reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, a young Lara Croft is the sole-survivor of a ship wrecked on a lost island, where she must survive the torture of isolation with no means of communication. Tomb Raider is schedule for a fall 2012 release for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

COD Elite to Enhance Current Multi-Player with Clans, Leaderboards, Stat Tracking, and more

A few months back, Activision announced the formation of Beachhead Studios to create, “a new digital platform and services for the Call of Duty franchise.” That new digital platform was officially announced today as Call of Duty Elite.

Launching day-in-day with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Elite will allow you to track stats, form officially supported groups and clans, and compete for prizes across multiple Call of Duty games.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Is Sony Living La-Vita-Loca?

Since it was announced, Sony’s newest portable console has only officially been referred to using its code name Next Generation Portable, or NGP. It’s been commonly called the PSP2 by gamers alike, but it looks like the official name for the hand-held device could be the PS Vita.

Games Pundit discovered images of the portable console from an E3 fact sheet clearly showing a logo saying PS Vita. Vita is this case means new life, as in a new life from the old PSP brand.

More evidence suggesting PS Vita will be the new name of the portable console is the website is a domain registered to Sony’s UK branch and links to other product sites for the PS3, PSP, and NGP.

You can expect the official name and more games will be revealed during Sony’s E3 Press Conference on June 6.

New Sanctuary Relaunch

Today marks the official relaunch of New Sanctuary. You can now access this site through its new address: You’ll also notice more feature articles in the next few weeks in addition to the news articles.

This time of the year is big for gaming. E3 is just around the corner and I’ll be there to cover as much as I can. I’ll be working with the Darth Hater crew so you can expect lots of news and coverage for Star Wars: The Old Republic. You’ll see coverage for other games including Dead Island, BioShock Infinite, Jurassic Park: The Game, Mass Effect 3, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Batman: Arkham City, Battlefield 3, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

You’ll also see news coverage the big press conferences for Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, where we’ll hear more about Sony’s NGP and Nintendo is expected to unveil its new HD-ready console.

There is a lot more content coming through the end of this year so be sure to make New Sanctuary your new home.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Prepare for War with Modern Warfare 3

The reveal trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is set to premiere tonight during game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Finals on ESPN, but the trailer has already crept its way on to YouTube. The trailer shows gameplay taking place in cities across Germany, England, France, and the United States, and closes with WW3 before it morphs into MW3. The subtle hints suggest the game will lead into or take place during a fictional World War III. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is due for release on November 8 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekend Edition - What I'm Playing

The year-long video game release schedule is one that is constantly in flux and confusing to me. Not all of it is so alien. Games released during the months leading up to Christmas are logical. This year’s holiday schedule is so jam-packed that it’s a wonder if we’ll have enough time to play the same game for more than a week. This year we’ll see Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Twisted Metal, Batman: Arkham City, and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, all in this year’s fourth quarter. That's a lot of heavy hitters in a short amount of time. The months after the holiday make sense as well. People that received money as a gift want to go out and spend it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Microsoft to Give Away Free Xbox with PC Purchase

Forget the console wars. Microsoft is giving free Xbox 360 4GB consoles to students who purchase a Windows 7-based PC. Beginning May 22, students who purchase a new Windows 7-based PC starting at $699 from participating retailers will receive a free Xbox 360 console.

“A hot new Windows 7-based PC with a free Xbox 360 is the ultimate productivity, social and entertainment package for students,” says Kathleen Hall, general manager of Windows Marketing at Microsoft. “In one shot, with this great offer, Microsoft is giving students everything they need for a successful new school year.”

The promotion runs all summer long and will conclude on September 3. Students must use an .edu email address when purchasing said PC through one of the participating retails such as Dell, HP, Best Buy, or Microsoft Store. You can also show your Student ID if you choose to buy a new PC from a brick-and-mortar store.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Batman with Guns, Gotham City Imposters Coming Soon

During a Warner Bros. Interactive pre-E3 event as part of judge’s week in Los Angeles, a new downloadable Batman was revealed titled Gotham City Imposters.

Modern Warfare 3 Rumored For This November

It’s not unexpected to see a new Call of Duty title this year as we have every year since 2005. Last week the first evidence leaked to the internet, revealing details about single-player campaign, multi-player, concept art, and co-op.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Back to the Future: Citizen Brown Review

Back to the Future: Episode 3 – Citizen Brown
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Platforms: PC, Mac, and PlayStation 3

When I reviewed Back to the Future: Episode 2 – Get Tannen, one of my main points was how big the role of a new setting played in each of the Back to the Future films. It plays a similarly big role in the games, wherein the first episode, It’s About Time, you visit 1930s Hill Valley during the time of the prohibition. In Get Tannen, you visited the same setting with a few small additions, but overall it felt dull and repetitive. 2K Games’ BioShock 2 was criticized for the same reason. The city of Rapture was such a great place that revisiting it to tell a different story felt uninspired. Episode 3 – Citizen Brown takes place in an entirely different timeline, allowing you to interact with old characters with new personalities.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Diablo III Beta Coming This Year

During today’s Activision Blizzard Q1 financial conference call, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime revealed some details about the upcoming Diablo III Beta.

Morhaime said during the call that the Diablo III beta will begin in Q3 of this year, meaning sometime before September 30. "We began internal, company-wide testing this week," he said, "The game looks great, and we're currently targeting a Q3 launch for external beta testing. The development team is working hard to try and launch Diablo III this year." He concluded by reinforcing Blizzard's mantra of not committing to release dates, "We will not compromise the quality of the game in order to hit a window."

Blizzard confirmed later in a post that Q3 refers to calendar year, not fiscal. "The 3rd quarter reference in the earning’s call today was a calendar quarter, meaning that we’re aiming to launch the Diablo III beta between July 1st and September 30th.

Diablo III is in active development and no release date has been announced yet. Speculation currently places it for a Q4 of 2011 or Q1 of 2012 release."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Where Does Valve Go From Here?

Valve's Portal 2 is already being mentioned as a contender for Game of the Year, but Valve is moving on to its next project, DOTA 2. A High School student from Washington recently had the opportunity to ask Valve co-founder Gabe Newell a few questions about Valve's future and Newell's experience as a game developer. The student contacted Newell by email asking for an interview for his school’s student-run radio station. Newell covers Valve’s business model in regards to microtransactions, the evolution of the Source engine, the recent rumor that Valve is done with single-player games, and the inevitable meeting of Gordan Freeman and Chell. You can listen to the full interview above.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Assassin's Creed: Revelations Revealed

Last year’s release of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood was almost exactly one year from the release of Assassin’s Creed II. At the time, Ubisoft Montreal’s Jean-Francois Boivin told Eurogamer that they intended to give the series a year off and that there wouldn’t be a new Assassin’s Creed title in 2011.

Some where along the way things changed, because today GameInformer unveiled the cover for their June issue, revealing Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. The first screenshot released can be seen above.

The new game will feature the main characters from previous Assassin’s Creed games, Altaïr, Ezio, and Desmond, and how each character ties together the story. Ezio will travel to a new setting in the city of Constantinople during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Revelations will also introduce new weapons and tools, changing the way combat and travel work in the game world. New customizable options for the returning multi-player are also hinted at.

Very little details were given but we know that Assassin’s Creed: Revelations will be coming for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with simultaneous release on the PC sometime this November.

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Assassin's Creed Coming Soon?

Similar to the reveal of last year’s Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, the newest title in the Assassin’s Creed series may have been revealed early.

Last Friday, Enosh on the NeoGAF forums took a screenshot of the Assassin's Creed Facebook page, showing marketing material to promote a new Assassin’s Creed title. The materials were promptly pulled, but not before the image above was found, and speculation began.

Earlier in the month, Ubisoft said a new entry for the franchise would be coming this year, but has yet to official say what the new game will be.

Assassin's Creed production manager Azaïzia Aymar took to Twitter to promote the Facebook page, suggesting that more details will be released as the page gains more “Likes.” Current speculation says the new title will see the return of Altair, though beyond that is unknown.

Today Ubisoft released three obscure videos on the same page, tempting fans to discover their meaning and share them through various social media outlets. More information is sure to come over the next few months as more details are released.

Valve is Giving Away Portal 2 DLC this Summer

When downloadable content first began to become prevalent, it was called paid downloadable content. However, the ratio of paid versus free content was so lopsided that the P in the naming scheme was dropped to just DLC.

Valve, in their pattern to go against the grain, is releasing extra content for Portal 2 for free. The downloadable update will be simply titled, Portal 2 DLC #1. Details so far include new test chambers, leaderboards, a challenge mode for single and multi-player modes and more.

Microsoft has been resistant to allow Valve to distribute free content for the Xbox 360 (such is the case of no console updates for Team Fortress 2 after the release of The Orange Box). Normally Valve releases their downloadable content for free for the PC, but Portal 2 DLC #1 will be free for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC this summer, for science.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jurassic Park Delayed, Telltale Coming to Xbox 360

In case you didn’t notice today is Wednesday. Games, along with other types of media, are usually released on Tuesday. Yesterday was the last Tuesday of April, which means we won’t be seeing the first episode of Telltale’s Jurassic Park: The Game this month like previously announced.

Telltale Games sent an email to all pre-order customers stating the will instead be pushed to a fall release. Telltale CEO Dan Conners notes the extra time will be spent to change the game from the heavily-inspired Heavy Rain gameplay, saying it would be “moving in new directions,” and pushing game mechanics and storytelling “beyond anything you’ve seen from us before.”

Monday, April 18, 2011

Alice: Madness Returns to Include Original Game as DLC

In an interview with CVG, Spicy Horse head American McGee detailed some of the DLC that will be coming for the Alice sequel. “There will be DLC in the form of dresses that the player can download and Alice can wear. Those dresses come with special abilities and enhance how you play through the game.” He also revealed that Alice: Madness Returns will include a code that will allow console players to download and play the original hit PC-exclusive game. “There's also going to be pretty significant release which is the original Alice brought over to the consoles so that a person who's purchased Madness Returns gets a download code and is able to bring Alice 1 onto their console and play through the entire original game alongside playing Madness Returns.” Alice: Madness Returns will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on June 14.

Thanks to IGN for the video.

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Nintendo Console to be Unveiled at E3

GameInformer confirmed yesterday through its sources that Nintendo will be revealing a new console this year. The console will be unveiled at this year’s E3, or possibly sooner, and is expected to utilize full HD-capable graphics. In terms of processing power, it is unclear whether the console will rival the current generation’s frontrunners, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Speculation about a new console gained momentum when a rumor surfaced about a price drop for the Nintendo Wii. According to Joystiq, an inventory list from Kmart listed the console as $149.99 starting May 15th.

According to sources, Nintendo is already showing the console to developers and publisher, hoping to attract their interest for the new console’s software. At a press conference for the Nintendo 3DS, Satoru Iwata, President and CEO of Nintendo, stated, “We need to decrease the concern that only Nintendo software can sell well on Nintendo platforms and third-party software cannot sell in the same volume. We feel a need to have closer ties to our third-party developers from the beginning.” The console is expected to launch in late 2012.

No information about online support was revealed. However, IGN is reporting that the new console will feature backwards compatibility with current Wii titles. CVG is reporting that the console’s controllers won’t simply be an upgraded Wii remote, but may contain a built-in HD screen.

It is still unknown if the console will continue the branding of the Wii, or change the name in favor of something new. More information will become available over the coming months as we head towards E3.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mortal Kombat: From Rebirth to Legacy

What originally started as a favor among friends has now finally come to fruition. Mortal Kombat: Legacy, the web-series from Kevin Tancharoen, was released today exclusively to Machinima on YouTube. Almost a year has passed since the leaked YouTube video was first seen as a peek into Tancharoen’s vision of the Mortal Kombat universe.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Twisted Metal Coming October 4

Information has been scarce since the surprise announcement of Twisted Metal during Sony’s press conference at E3 2010. However, the Eat Sleep Play game was recently featured on last week’s episode of GameTrailers TV with a brand new trailer and revealing a release date of October 4.

This will be the eighth game in the Twisted Metal series, which started back in 1995 on the original PlayStation and quickly become one of the console’s greatest hits. You can watch the full trailer for the game below. Twisted Metal will be available on October 4 for the PlayStation 3.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BioWare Sequel Celebration

Since its release less than two weeks ago, BioWare’s Dragon Age II sold over 2 million copies, and now BioWare wants to reward their fans. Being called the BioWare Sequel Celebration, everyone who purchases a copy of Dragon Age II and activates its online pass by 11:59 PDT on April 30, 2011 will be given code to enter at the BioWare Social Network. The code will enable a free copy of the PC version of Mass Effect 2 through the EA Download Manager.

"Thanks to gamers like you, Dragon Age 2 is off to a great start - breaking the one million mark in less than two weeks and faster than Dragon Age: Origins," BioWare said. "We appreciate your support. As a special thank you for helping with the game's early success, BioWare would like to present you with a download code for 2010's Game of the Year, Mass Effect 2 on PC."

In addition to Mass Effect 2, the code will also grant access to the Cerberus Network, the system Mass Effect 2 uses to distribute its DLC, which includes Zaeed - The Price of Revenge, Cerberus Weapon and Armor, Normandy Crash Site, Cerberus Arc Projector, and Firewalker Pack. Be sure to check the site’s FAQ for full details.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More Black Ops Coming in May

An accidental flyer was posted this morning on Game Australia’s website revealing the next map pack for Activision and Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops. Titled Escalation, the map pack will be released on May 3 according to the flyer. An Xbox Live banner is also shown, hinting that it will be hitting Microsoft’s platform first, similar to the first map pack, First Strike. The flyer has since been pulled from the website, but you can see a picture of it below.

Friday, March 25, 2011

PAX East 2011: The Future of Online Gaming

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games are that one genre where innovation and creativity take center stage. While platformers, shooters, and other genres can continually be released with a different coat of paint and still be successful, MMORPGs that take the same route can easily fall by the way-side. In a market dominated by Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, what changes or additions can be made to the genre that feel natural and progressive, rather than merely change for the sake of change?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Duke Never Comes Early

Duke Nukem Forever, the game that was considered the definition of vaporware, has been delayed again. The release date of May 3 was been pushed back to June 14 for North America, and June 10 internationally. The disparity between dates is apparently due to the retail industry in America. When asked about the release date gaps, 2K Games PR Manager Charlie Shinhaseni said, “We have a commitment to our fans to get the game out as early as possible, and every day counts. New games are available on Tuesday in North America, so we’re getting the game out as early as possible in this territory. The international markets do not adhere to this release timing, and it just happens that they will be able to release the game a few days before North America. We don’t want to hold it back, we want to get it into the hands of consumers as soon as possible.” Gearbox Software President Randy Pitchford released a video to console Duke fans stating, Duke never comes early. Duke Nukem Forever will now be available on June 14 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Monday, March 21, 2011

DLC Dating

Call of Duty: Black Ops: First Strike for the PC

The first DLC map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops, First Strike, was released for Xbox 360 over a month ago. On March 3rd, it was released for the PlayStation 3. On March 25th, it will finally be released for the PC. The announcement was tweeted by Treyarch’s Community Manager Josh Olin this morning. You can pre-order the map pack on Steam now. First Strike will sell for Activision’s standard price of $15, but if you pre-order, you can save 10% and grab the four new multiplayer maps and new zombie mission for $13.49.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Battlefield 3: Episode II - Good Effect On Target

EA and DICE released the next trailer in their Fault Line series for Battlefield 3. In the video, a team crosses a rooftop to take out a sniper in the building across. Rather than deal with the sniper conventionally, the team uses a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher, showing off the extent of destructible environments with the Frostbite 2 engine. Part three of the Fault Line series will be released on March 30. Battlefield 3 will be available this fall for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

PAX East 2011: The "Other" Us: If We're All Gamers, Does Our Gender Matter?

The topic of females and female characters in games has been a hotly debated topic for many years, but the subject was brought to the forefront last year when former G4 Senior Games Content Producer Abbie Heppe, now Community Manager for Respawn Entertainment, wrote her review of Ninja Theory’s Metroid: Other M. The review, which you can read here, points out the characterization flaws of Samus Aran, the main character, and her subservient attitude towards her former commanding officer, Adam Malkovich. Other M was the first game in the Metroid series to include a voice for Samus, and as Abbie put it, it sounds, “like a 12 year old girl scrawling in her Lisa Frank diary,” rather than a Bounty Hunter who saved the galaxy at least four times already.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Batman: Arkham City Trailer Shows off an Eight Hour Game

Rocksteady released a new trailer today for Batman: Arkham City exclusively to IGN. The trailer, set to The Heavy’s “Short Change Hero,” is completely made up of gameplay and features some of the villains in the game including Catwoman, Hugo Strange, Two-Face, Haley Quinn, and Joker. You can check out the full trailer below. Batman: Arkham City marketing manager Dax Ginn also made some comments about the game in an article on Gamerzines about the length of the game. He said that Rocksteady QA testers were able to play through the game from start to finish in about eight hours, playing through story missions only, but that there was a lot more of the game to enjoy. “If you’re exploring and trying new things, obviously that adds a lot to the experience and the game time. I would say for a normal player who knows their action-adventure games, between 20-24 hours,” Ginn said, “We don’t want to make these huge games that take a huge chunk out of your life. We want to tell an amazing story that you can really enjoy and not feel like you’ve got to take six months off work in order to get through it.” Batman: Arkham City will be available on October 18 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Runescape Developer Making Transformers MMO for North America

If you’ve been keeping up with your Transformers game news so far, you’ll know that there are three new games coming out within the next few years. This year we’ll see the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a movie tie-in game being developed by High Moon studios, who also created Transformers: War for Cybertron. A sequel to War for Cybertron is being developed also by High Moon Studios and is scheduled to be released sometimes in 2012. We also know of a Transformers MMO being developed by NetDragon that is set to be launched sometime this year in China, Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

A new Transformers game was just announced today, and it will be another MMO but this one will be coming to North America, Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand sometime in 2012. Developer Jagex, creator of the browser-based fantasy MMO Runescape, hopes the title will be, “dynamic and action-packed,” said Jagex CEO Mark Gerard. No word on which era of Transformers the game will be based on or if it will be based on the recent movies.

This is another Hasbro sanctioned game so Transformers will be rolling-out officially to everyone all over the world over the next coming years.

PAX East 2011: From Background To Center Stage: Building Game Worlds As Main Characters

Irrational Games is one of few developers that hold a distinct grip on creating unique and memorable game worlds. In System Shock 2, the game took place on a faster than light military spacecraft. In BioShock, the underwater city of Rapture captured the imagination and wonder of growth during the 1960s in a dystopian setting of degradation and madness. BioShock Infinite, their upcoming title, is set in the city of Colombia, a city built in the clouds set in 1912. While the game may not take place in the same setting or feature the same characters as BioShock, it features the same themes and ideas about a failed utopia.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Batman: Arkham City Release Date and New Screenshots

Day 1 of PAX East 2011 just wrapped up in Boston and while everything is still being prepped for tomorrow, one of the biggest pieces of news was a release date for Batman: Arkham City. The sequel to the acclaimed Batman: Arkham Aslyum will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 18th, 2011. The game's visuals are looking beautiful and Rocksteady was on hand to answer a few questions about the game. They stated that Arkham City is actually about five times the size of Asylum and most of it is available to the player from the start of the game. They've also shown that while detective mode is still as robust as it was in the first game, Arkham City will require more actual detective work, rather than just turning it on and following the trail. Five new screenshots were also released which you can see below. is already calling Batman: Arkham City the best action game of 2011, but we'll have to wait till October 18th to see.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is Rush code for Grand Theft Auto V?

The Grand Theft Auto series used to be Take-Two’s top selling game. Last year’s BioShock 2 and game of the year contender Red Dead Redemption helped spread the publisher in new directions, but GTA still draws in the big bucks. It’s been almost three years since GTA4 and according to internet sleuth Superannuation, early work already started on Rockstar’s next installment in the series.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Battlefield 3 at GDC

Remember the trailer that EA and DICE released last week, showing off the first bits of gameplay for Battlefield 3? It was apparently only a short teaser to their presence at this year’s Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, Ca. At an event last night held off-site from the main conference, EA showed off some of their games releasing later this year, including Alice: Madness Returns, Shadows of the Damned, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Crysis 2, Gatling Gears, and Battlefield 3. A new trailer was shown titled Fault Line Episode 1: Bad Part of Town, extending the gameplay we saw in the teaser trailer into a much more coherent and cinematic format, allowing the power of the new Frostbite 2 engine to shine through. DICE is setting Battlefield 3 up to be the Crysis of this generation, meaning, it will be first game to really show what is capable in the next generation of computing power. "If you don't have the right tech, you can't build the right experience," DICE executive producer Patrick Bach said. Check out PC Gamer’s first impressions of the game’s demo at GDC and Joystiq’s article on “Balancing Realism in Frostbite 2.” The follow-up trailer Fault Line will be released on March 16. Battlefield 3 will be available this fall for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Catherine is Coming to US

Just a week after Altus announced no plans for a North American release of its upcoming game, Catherine, a press release revealed today that the game is in fact headed to US shores. Altus, the creators of the Persona series, describe the game as, “an unprecedented exploration of the pleasures and horrors of love.” The game follows Vincent, whose girlfriend Katherine is asking him for a committed relationship. After a night of drinking, Vincent wakes up in bed next to a beautiful blonde named Catherine. Unaware of what happened the night before, Vincent’s fears about commitment and fidelity take shape in his dreams as “horribly disfigured monsters,” and sheep men. Vincent must maneuver his way through block puzzles as he makes heavy moral decisions that could affect his future. The game will feature four different game modes, The Horrors of Love (time trials), Between a Rock and a Soft Place (story), The Nightmare of Your Dreams (theater), and Escape With or From a Friend (co-op). Atlus says Catherine will be coming to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this summer, but Amazon has it listed for release on July 26.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Back to the Future: Get Tannen Review

Back to the Future: Episode 2 – Get Tannen
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Platforms: PC, Mac, and PlayStation 3

One of the things that made the Back to the Future series so memorable was the setting. The first film took us back to the 1955, when hamburgers were a nickel and soda shops were the hang out spot. In the second film, we were transported to the future, a world where 3D holograms came alive and cars (and skateboards) flew. In the final film, we took a trip to the old west, where Indians and cowboys were a common sight, and duels at high noon were someone’s final stand. In each of these backdrops we saw different versions of the same characters, jokes, and charm. Marty would get called a chicken, a fight would break out, and Biff would get a face-full of manure.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Battlefield 3 Declares War

Developer DICE and publisher EA are making their mark on the first-person shooter genre with Battlefield 3. Their first step in this goal was today’s release of the first gameplay trailer for the game. The trailer, as seen above, might be confused for a cinematic but DICE and EA said that the action seen in the trailer is gameplay footage. If you blinked and missed something, check out the screenshots from the trailer.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Walking Dead Island of Nublar

Dead Island

If you’ve never heard of Dead Island before, you’re not alone. The game was first announced in 2007 by developer Techland, who also created the Call of Juarez series with Ubisoft. Now with publisher Deep Silver, a new trailer was released last week as an IGN exclusive that’s blown away audiences. The trailer is accompanied by soft piano music as a family is overrun by a zombie invasion on an island vacation. Variations of the trailer have already appeared featuring music from the televisions series LOST and the somber rendition of "Mad World" by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Portal Guns Make Excellent Valentine's Day Gifts

Portal 2 is now available for pre-order and Valve created a video to let everyone celebrating Valentine's Day know know. While chocolates, flowers, and diamonds may be tranditional gifts, portal guns are the top choice this year. Watch the video below and be sure to give someone special the gift of portals. Portal 2 is now available for pre-order and will hit shelves on April 18 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

X-Men: First Class Trailer

The first official trailer for X-Men: First Class was released today. Initially, I thought the idea of going back to the roots of X-Men for a film sounded exciting, as the setting in which they formed was surrounded by a lot of American history, and portraying fictional characters reacting to that history was a new way of presenting the X-Men. However, the more I heard about what characters would be appearing in the film, the more I started to question design ideas and direction. After the recent official photos were released, I sincerely doubted how well the film might be received (the photo of Magneto with helmet on looks absolutely ridiculous). Now that the trailer is released, my faith is restored a little bit, but I still have doubts about choice of characters and their design. Check out the full trailer below. X-Men: First Class will be released in theaters on June 3rd, 2011.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Today in Gaming

The Worst Game in the World

Fox News posted an article yesterday asking, “Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?” They quoted several psychologists talking about the game’s violence and its effect on younger audiences, even though clinical studies have been inconclusive. One psychologist was even quoted as saying, “The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games.” However, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the per-capita victimization rate of rape has declined from about 2.4 per 1000 people in 1980 to about 0.4 per 1000 people, a decline of about 85%. Beyond the fact that their statements are false, Rock, Paper, Shotgun reached out to the three psychologists for follow-up statements, but only heard back from one. Billy Pidgeon, a video game analyst with M2 Research, was quoted as saying, “Games without sufficient quality of gameplay -- games that include highly objectionable violent or sexual content -- often pump up the level of this kind of content to gain media attention. This tactic typically fails, as can be seen in the poor sales performance of titles such as BMX XXX and Postal,” but that’s only about a quarter of what was actually said, check out the rest here. Bulletstorm follows all of the ESRB’s guidelines for both gameplay and marketing and to be labeled as worst game in the world by Fox will only help in its promotion. Keep up the good work Electronic Arts, Epic Games, and People Can Fly. Bulletstorm will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on February 22.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Battlefield 3 Officially Announced

In case you missed it, Battlefield 3 was officially revealed last Friday as Game Informer’s March cover. Battlefield 3 is the third proper release in the Battlefield series that started in 2002 with Battlefield 1942, and its sequel Battlefield 2, released in 2005.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Duty Calls: The Calm Before The Storm

Electronic Arts marketing did it again. Last month EA unveiled their ad campaign for Dead Space 2 called Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2. To promote their new title, Bulletstorm, the people at People Can Fly and Epic Games released a free downloadable game titled, Duty Calls. The game is a parody of modern military shooters, particularly the Activision series Call of Duty, and pokes fun the various first-person-shooter tropes which in the past were received by fans as taking themselves too serious.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Fan Made Arkham City Trailer and New Site Launch for L.A. Noire

Fan Made Arkham City Trailer Shows Batman and Joker Team-Up

A new trailer for Batman: Arkham City, released last week via YouTube, started the internet rumor mill with what could potentially be a new team-up for the caped crusader. The trailer, which is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Warner Bros. Entertainment., depicts Batman and Joker meeting in a dark alley for what appears to be a fight, but they are quickly ambushed my thugs. They go on to defeat the thugs, working together and even performing some air-defying crushing blows.