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 vita.SCEdev.net. SCEdev.net 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: www.newsanctuary.net. 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.