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.