World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...

2010/01/16

New Aliens vs. Predator Screenshots

Here are ten new screenshots, released for Aliens vs. Predator, the title being developed by Rebellion, and coming out next month (fingers crossed that is doesn’t get delayed).
There are a lot of people thinking that because Rogue Warrior apparently sucked, that this game will too. But the group that made that game is a different one to this one. Rebellion Derby, previously Core Design (they messed up the Tomb Raider series as well), made Rogue Warrior, and their continued existence as part of Rebellion is still in question, as there’s talk of the team being let go.
This game here though, looks like it’s going to rock.
 aliens-vs-predator1 aliens-vs-predator2 aliens-vs-predator3 aliens-vs-predator4 aliens-vs-predator5 aliens-vs-predator6 aliens-vs-predator7 aliens-vs-predator8 aliens-vs-predator9 aliens-vs-predator10
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New Mass Effect 2 Novel Coming This Year

retribution It won’t arrive at the same time as the soundtrack and the game, Mass Effect 2, nicely one week after the other, on January 19th and January 26th, respectively, but there will be another Mass Effect novel coming this year… in July, on the 27th. Six months away.

This one is called Mass Effect: Retribution also by Drew Karpyshyn, and it’s set to be a prequel to Mass Effect 2, detailing events concerning the Illusive Man (voiced in ME 2 by Martin Sheen).

“Retribution is set in the universe fans know well from the video game and novel series—one in which humanity has explored the very farthest reaches of the universe, only to discover the ruthless Reapers, a race bent on extinguishing all organic life. One man is bent on discovering the Reapers' secrets, the mysterious Illusive Man, the leader of a pro-human, black ops group, Cerberus. And he's devised the perfect plan: implant a human subject with Reaper technology in order to study the enemy.

He also has the perfect test subject—Paul Grayson, an ex-Cerberus operative. Grayson betrayed Cerberus in order to save his daughter. So when Grayson is kidnapped and made the subject of Cerberus' evil experiments, the Illusive Man will finally have his revenge...” 

                                        – Blurb from BioWare website

This isn’t the only novel based on Mass Effect. There are two others, Mass Effect: Ascension, and Mass Effect: Revelation, as well as Mass Effect Redemption, a Dark Horse comic series.


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2010/01/15

Video Game Delays: Splinter Cell: Conviction, Ruse, Singularity, Star Wars: The Old Republic

Another year starts, and just as expected, the delays are coming in. It’s been said that Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell: Conviction has been delayed again, as has Ruse. For Conviction, instead of February 2010, it’ll now be April – for the time being.

And Singularity, a title by Raven and published by Activision, has also been pushed back later into 2010, while Star Wars: The Old Republic has been sent to 2011 without any supper.

Oh, and by the way, another title by the name of Elemental: War of Magic is going to come out later on in 2010 now. That’s also a delay right there.

I must say that Singularity in particular looks quite good, and more original than most Raven titles. And that’s saying a lot.

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Ubisoft

Ubisoft Delays Splinter Cell Conviction, RUSE

Star Wars: The Old Republic Delayed Until 2011?

Singularity delayed again?

Elemental: War of Magic now due in third quarter 2010


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Mass Effect 2 Soundtrack Arriving Just Before the Game

Mass Effect 2 is scheduled for a January 26th release this year, but a week before, on January 19th (Tuesday next week), the soundtrack for the game is arriving. You can all ready grab it at Amazon for pre-order.

The soundtrack is composed by Jack Wall, who also made the soundtrack for the first game.

 

Here’s the track list:

CD 1   

1. The Illusive Man   
2. Humans Are Disappearing   
3. The Attack   
4. The Lazarus Project   
5. A Rude Awakening   
6. The Normandy Reborn   
7. Miranda   
8. Jacob   
9. Freedom's Progress   
10. Thane   
11. Garrus   
12. An Unknown Enemy   
13. Samara   

CD 2   

1. Grunt   
2. Horizon   
3. Tali   
4. Mordin   
5. The Normandy Attacked   
6. Jack   
7. Legion   
8. Jump Drive   
9. Crash Landing   
10. The Collector Base   
11. The End Run   
12. Suicide Mission   
13. New Worlds   
14. Reflections

You can check out the page for the soundtrack below, along with all the individual mp3s where you can listen to samples and buy them when the date arrives.

Mass Effect 2 Soundtrack
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2010/01/14

Video Game Deals on Amazon - Fallout 3: Amazon.com Exclusive Survival Edition, Fable 2 Limited Edition

A couple of great deals on Amazon at the moment. Fallout 3: Amazon.com Exclusive Survival Edition for the PC is at half-price, so that’s $60 off! And then there’s Fable 2 Limited Edition for the Xbox 360, which has a sizeable chunk bitten out with a $23 saving. And that’s the brand new price. You can get it cheaper if you check the Best Price.

PC

Fallout 3: Amazon.com Exclusive Survival Edition - $59.99 - Save $60.00

Xbox 360

Fable 2 Limited Edition - $30.65 - Save $23.39


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From Russia With Love: New Metro 2033 Screenshots

I couldn’t resist that headline. Yes, these are new shots of the game to rival STALKER, Metro 2033. It just looks so awesome to me. The character detail is very good. In fact I thought I saw Captain Price from Modern Warfare 2 in there somewhere. It does kind of remind me of that game somehow, not to mention a little STALKER, too.

Anyhow, I like doing the photo album thing just for show, but I’ve put the separate thumbnails here too, for those with no appreciation for art. Your welcome.

M2033a M2033b M2033c m2033d M2033e M2033f M2033g


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Assassin’s Creed 3 Confirmed, Online Play Featured

I’ve only ever played Assassin’s Creed 1, and I’m still waiting on AC 2 which should see a release on PC in March 2010. But in that time, the third game in the main series has been confirmed.

There were rumours going around at one stage that suggested that the game’s setting would take place in WW II and feature a female assassin this time around.

All I know is, if that’s true, there’s going to be a lot of “fail, fail, fail”, and “epic fail” shouted and left in blog comments by the masses when it comes out. Don’t they know that we don’t want WW II games anymore?

Anyway, there’s official talk that says it will feature multiplayer, which could work, and that it will be a properly full game, and not end up with the whole DLC scandal of AC 2. Assassin’s Creed II’s main story consisted of an addition two chapters which were taken out and then offered as DLC packs later on. That’s low, considering some people still thought that the game was too short. Now they know the reason.

The game could see a release sometime possibly in 2010 or 2011, the latter sounding more realistic. They should take more time on it and not go the WW II route. Seriously. No word on what platforms it will appear on either, but I think since the PC and consoles were featured last time and the time before that, it’s a safe bet we’ll all get a chance with it.

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Gamasutra

1up.com


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2010/01/13

Video Game Deals on Amazon: Prototype, Splinter Cell: Conviction

Deals that may appeal to people on Amazon as far as video games go, include Prototype, one of 2009’s sleeper hits, Splinter Cell: Conviction on PC and Xbox 360 where you can save a few dollars, and some other stuff on Wii and DS, some of which have $10 or even $20 off.

PC

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction - $42.99 - Save $6.83
Prototype - $24.96 - Save $5.01

PS2

God of War - $8.96 - Save $4.96

PS3

Rock Revolution - $10.22 - Save $8.77
Guitar Hero World Tour - $21.55 - Save $18.00
Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection - $19.99 - Save $9.00
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 - $19.99 - Save $5.50

Xbox 360

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction - $51.99 - Save $4.00
Madagascar Kartz - $19.96 - Save $8.00

PSP

Gran Turismo PSP - $29.99 - Save $7.00
Monster Jam: Urban Assault - $22.98 - Save $6.20
Shepherd's Crossing - $19.99 - Save $10.00

Nintendo DS

The Backyardigans - $19.96 - Save $8.00
Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans - $19.99 - Save $10.00
Commander: Europe at War - $19.99 - Save $10.00
Shepherd's Crossing 2 - $19.99 - Save $10.00

Nintendo Wii

Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom - $29.96 - Save $7.00
Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Super Game Day - $29.99 - Save $6.00
Real Heroes: Firefighter - $19.99 - Save $9.00

Aliens in the Attic - $19.99 - Save $20.00
Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans - $29.99 - Save $10.00

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www.nowinstock.net


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2K Boston Acts Irrationally: Changes Their Name Back, Starts up Website, Talks to People

I had to put that in the title. It’s been some news going around lately, that the studio formerly known as 2K Boston, formerly known as Irrational Games, has changed their name to Irrational Games…if that makes sense.

You see, Irrational Games was mainly known back in the late nineties for co-developing the epic System Shock 2 along with the now defunct Looking Glass Studios, as well as some other titles like SWAT 4 in the mid-noughties (hate that word), and then another big hit – BioShock. This was the studio’s swansong under that name, because after that, they became 2K Boston.

ig

Now, years later, 2K Boston has changed their name back to Irrational Games. They’ve launched their new website which all ready has a podcast up called “Irrational Behavior” and talks about game ideas that didn’t quite sell, like Division 9 (no, not District 9, although there is talk of that game, but that’s a whole other title, and not by Irrational), kind of like a tactical shooter title like SWAT 4 mixed with a zombie shooter, I suppose like Left 4 Dead 2.

Chris Kline, the Technical Director at Irrational Games, also posted in the ttlg forums (which has forums dedicated to the Thief series, System Shock 1& 2, Deus Ex, and BioShock) lately, writing the following:

“On the site we'll have regular podcast episodes and articles that reveal games and ideas that "didn't make it", and generally give the community more insight into our studio and the development process.

So if this sounds interesting to you, please stop by and check out the forums, podcast, and articles.”

Ken Levine also posted something up on the official site:

“The Irrational Games website is about secrets.

Secrets. We’ve all got ‘em. When we ship a box to GameStop or Best Buy, it’s only part of the story. There are so many secret elements that go into our games. There are the levels that got cut. There are the monsters that died in childbirth. There are the million interactions a development team has in the long, frustrating, terrifying and often thrilling process of making a video game.

Some of you first heard about us when we released BioShock. Some of you have known us since our first game back in 1999, System Shock 2. Many members of the Irrational team have been with us since either the beginning or damned close to it. Some of them have come on board more recently. They all have a part to play in the development of this website. You’ll hear their voices – quite literally in the case of our “Irrational Behavior” podcast .You’ll get to see some ideas that never made it in our “From the Vault” section that launches next week.   You’ll get to hang out with the team in our forums-and there you’ll get to tell us what you think as well. And we’ll be listening.

And yes, we will tell you about the game we’re working on right now. Just not today.”

I like the website design so far, and it looks as though this studio is opening up more and going the more social route. And let’s face it, nowadays it’s probably a good idea.

So, I wonder if BioShock 2, which should be released next month, will have Irrational Games in the opening logos as well as the credits, or if it’ll still be 2K Boston? The money’s on Irrational, probably.

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http://irrationalgames.com/

New Irrational Games Website

2K Boston going back to Irrational Games brand

Irrational Games officially returns; relaunches web site

Irrational reveals canceled zombie game Division 9


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Mass Effect 2: Vanguard Trailer

On The Verge recently, the same day that I saw the Metro 2033 trailer actually, they showed off the Mass Effect 2 Vanguard Trailer. I try to watch the trailers before posting about them, even though it was released several days ago.

Mass Effect 2 Vanguard Trailer

“Vanguard” means the leading force in an army. And my, this Vanguard class looks awesome. In the game, the Vanguard uses Biotic powers, basically like magic in other games or something.

To think, you can practically teleport by travelling lightning fast to a destination, sort of like The Flash, or Superman. It's kind of like cheating, but it’s not. I guess there will have to be some sort of rule here to prevent technical invulnerability, like some sort of rechargeable power. I’m sure I remember this sort of thing from Mass Effect. Sorry, it’s been about a year and a half since I last played it, you know.

Mass Effect 2 will be released later on this month, on the 26th of January, for the PC and Xbox 360.


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2010/01/12

Watched the Metro 2033 Trailer #2 Yesterday

On The Verge Yesterday, they showed the second trailer for Metro 2033. I must say that it’s looking pretty good – possibly better than STALKER.

Metro 2033 Trailer #2

Both games supposedly use versions of the same engine, X-Ray (Metro 2033 is reported to use the 4A Engine- modified X-Ray, according to some. Other say it’s a new engine.), but if you look at the technology use and animation, as well as graphics in Metro 2033, you could be forgiven for thinking that even though it has a slightly different play style (more linear, less open-ended than STALKER), it could well beat the rival series, the latest of which is Call of Pripyat, in some respects. I guess I’ll know for sure when I play both sometime this year.

Metro 2033 is coming in March 2010, hopefully, to the PC and Xbox 360.


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Young Man with IT Dreams Passes Matric, Murdered Days Later

Jermaine1The first thing you notice as a gamer when it comes to this photo would be the black cap with the title “Doom” printed on it.

That’s exactly what happened to this young man just this week. It was front page news in the Cape Times.

This is Jermaine Vermeulen. Days ago, he, like others, learnt that he had passed matric, when the results were released on the 7th of January in most provinces in South Africa (except Mpumalanga).

Days after fetching his results with his mom, Felicity, he was asked by his dad, Roland, to go and fetch some milk from one of his aunts that lived in the area, Athlone, an infamous place known for its gangs and crime.

A few minutes after leaving the house, he rushed back home. He had been stabbed, supposedly with a knife. His dad rushed him to Groote Schuur hospital, but by the time he got there it was too late. Jermaine had died.

Jermaine was described as a homebody, who went to school, and came home afterwards. He wasn’t involved in gangs, crime, or drugs according to his parents. Police say that it doesn’t look as though it was gang related, and his parents think that it was an attempted mugging that went wrong.

Jermaine had aspirations to study something within the information technology spectrum at CTI College. Perhaps Jermaine might have even played the odd video game or two, whether it was at home or school, if he was going to embark on that career path.

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Cape Times


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Tramell Isaac’s Wild Ride: Part V – Final Days

If it’s one person who also read Wired's DNF article, “Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem”, recently and had some criticisms to make, it was Tramell Issac – the former Art Director on Duke Nukem Forever.

Tramell Isaac posted the fifth instalment in his Wild Ride series recently on his blog. Wild Ride is all about his tenure at 3D Realms, working on the title.

Here are some good bits from the post:

“I remember one of the programmers, in his spare time, got the code running on a (non-PC) platform. This team was seriously operating on another level.”

I remember reading that DNF may have been released on the Xbox 360 as well as PC.

“We all gathered for the announcement that internal development would cease on DNF. That's pretty much it. As crappy as it was 3Dr were still class acts about it. They let guys work on their portfolios after they had officially shut down. They help tons of people find jobs. They invited big name companies to come in and 'head hunt' from the 3dr employees. 3dr did everything they could to minimize the impact the loss of a job would bring. I've never seen that kind of thoughfulness (sic)in my dealings in the industry. Steve, George, and Scott are class acts, genuinely gracious individuals. I don't think any of that was told in the "wired" article. That's why it had to be told here. segway.. (sic)

“Okay, so I read the "Wired" article "Learn to Let Go..." I have to admit it was very well written and the guy did some serious research considering he didn't get much help for any 3dr people. I have to applaud Clive for that. AND for the fact he can recognize great talent when he 'sees it'.”

"Many of those he hired were high-powered creatives, like Tramell Isaac, a 12-year veteran of the industry" (never knew I was "high-powered until then, good lookin' out...oh yeah, that's 15 year vet ;) but anyway who's counting.”

“Clive, I'm sure you meant nothing by it but I do have to take offense to this line in the article..."

”Why do I take offense to it?... because NO ONE gave up. Not a single person on that team wanted it to end, let alone end the way it did.”

What do you think of that Clive*? Huh? Seems like more research needed to be done, according to Mr. Tramell “T-Ray” Isaac. I’m not saying, I’m just saying…

* Clive Thompson was the person who wrote the article on Wired last month.

The Wild Ride Series:

The Wild Ride- part 1

The Wild Ride Part II

Wild Ride Part III
Wild Ride Part FOE
Wild Ride--- The Final Days

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Wild Ride--- The Final Days


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2010/01/11

Aliens vs. Predator Demo Confirmed, Preview at MLG Pro Circuit Championship

Aliens 

Every AvP title I remember had a demo. Aliens vs. Predator 2 even had multiple demos, at least one for each species represented in the game – the marines, the Predator, and the aliens.

So, one of Q1 2010’s biggest titles, Aliens vs. Predator, which is actually the third game in the series despite the lack of a number, is keeping with this trend, and is getting a demo. It hasn’t been revealed when that demo will be out, but the game itself, the full version, is coming out next month. But just like with other titles (Wolfenstein comes to mind), the demo could come out post-release. So I'd play it safe and say that it will also be somewhere in Q1, obviously.

Aliens vs. Predator is being developed by Rebellion, the studio that made the first game (the second was made by Monolith), and published by Sega – the first in at least two known Alien games (so far), the other being Aliens: Colonial Marines. The third, the Alien RPG was cancelled, but word has it that there will be others to take its place.

It will also be one of the first games to use DirectX 11 technology. It also looks bloody amazing.

There’s no word that it’s supposed to be a sequel to the first game, unlike AvP 2, which although it was developed by another studio, is called a sequel to that game. It could just be a reboot – something that’s becoming increasingly popular nowadays.

Hopefully it won’t be like the films.

By the way, in related news, AvP was previewed at MLG Pro Circuit Championship in Orlando, Florida, the other day, over the weekend.

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Aliens vs Predator demo confirmed, no date yet

AvP Being Previewed at MLG Pro Circuit Championship


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Max Payne 3: Man on Fire – Similarities Seen?

Man_on_fire Maxpayne3

No, that’s not the subtitle of the game, rest assured, but I was just noticing some similarities between these said titles: the game Max Payne 3, yet to be released, and the movie Man on Fire released years ago.

Man on Fire starred Denzel Washington as John W. Creasy, a depressed, suicidal man, who after service in the CIA went into the private security sector for a wealthy family, and had to look after that little girl, played by Dakota Fanning, in Mexico City, Mexico.

MP

This screenshot from Max Payne 3 reminds me of some of the scenes from the film, Man on Fire.

When you look at Max Payne 3, Max used to be a cop in the NYPD but after the first two games, also goes into the private security sector for a local wealthy family, in a completely different setting – this time in São Paulo, Brazil, South America. And not to mention he’s also depressed, as well as being bald and scruffy looking. He lost his wife and child years ago, in the first Max Payne.

Just looking at the two titles, I couldn’t help but notice some similarities. Coincidence? Maybe. But Creasy didn’t have bullet time…

I guess we’ll see more when we play the game.


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2010/01/10

NAG Forum Dwellers Pushing to get The Dark Mod on the March DVD

There are two threads over at the NAG forums, and the topic being discussed is The Dark Mod. Every update on the main site has become a teaser- reminding us just how badly we’ve all wanted this mod for nearly the past three months since the beta release.

They’re saying that the more people who vote for it, the more chance it’ll get to be put on the NAG March issue cover DVD. So if you’re a member on the forum and you buy NAG, now’s your chance to get over there. You need to suck up to a guy called GeometriX.

By the way, it’s old news anyway, but there are some new maps and stuff available for the mod, some of which were done for the Christmas Contest held a while back, last month. These maps include “The Parcel", "Too Late", "Trapped!", “Return to the City”
”The Sons of Baltona 1”, and “Living Expenses”. You can find a list of all the maps available for the mod here.

They’re also putting more zombies in the game, like the original Thief games.

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http://forums.tidemedia.co.za/nag/showthread.php?t=13038

http://forums.tidemedia.co.za/nag/showthread.php?t=13037


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Video Games Coming out This Week - 01/10 – 01/16, 2010: Army of Two: The 40th Day

Nothing really major is coming this week. And why would you think there is? There’s always a little drought after Christmas, even just before Christmas. But there should be a flurry of games coming later on this month and especially in the rest of Q1 - February and March.

Things that might catch you fancy include Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter for Xbox 360, Army of Two: The 40th Day, and Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition for the Mac.

But these aren’t really the games we’ve been looking forward to for this year, are they?

Links go to game detail pages at Amazon, Steam, etc.

PC

Mary Kay Andrews: The Fixer Upper
Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis
The Sims 2 Fun With Pets Collection
VVVVVV
Zero Gear

Mac

Mary Kay Andrews: The Fixer Upper
Star Wars The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition

Xbox 360

Army of Two: The 40th Day
Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter
Vancouver 2010

PlayStation 3

Army of Two: The 40th Day
Vancouver 2010

PSP

Army of Two: The 40th Day

Nintendo DS

Crazy Chicken Tales
Daniel X: The Ultimate Power
Sands of Destruction
Touch Solitaire
Windy X Windam

Nintendo Wii

Chronos Twins DX
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Sleepover Party
ShadowPlay
The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces
Walk It Out!

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The Video Game Release List of 1/10 - 1/16

http://www.gamespot.com/

http://www.examiner.com/


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AAA is now on Facebook

I joined the madness that is Twitter a few months ago, and I’ve been tweeting steadily for a while now. Today I joined Facebook! I’m just getting things sorted out there, but you can view my profile here, or click on the widget in the sidebar to the left.


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What does AAA stand for?

It's not an abbreviation of anything. It just means the best of the best... 

"Well, now you know the truth: Apocalypso's Atomic Arcade!"

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