We have a load of news this week to go along with a great slate of new releases due out next week including the new Mortal Kombat game, SOCOM 4 U.S. Navy Seals, and Portal 2. Check out the reviews section with our looks at Crysis 2 and WWE All Stars!
The limited edition bundle of SOCOM 4 (known as the Full Deployment Edition) will feature a beta offering of Resistance 3. The exact date for when the beta will kick off has not been announced. A voucher that comes with SOCOM will apparently list the date, so you should know by the time it streets on April 19.
The release date of the new Twisted Metal game for PlayStation 3 has been announced and it will be out on October 4. An extended launch trailer for the game is coming in the near future showing a bit of Calypso, as well as some of the storylines for Sweet Tooth, Dollface, and Mr. Grimm.
BioWare has announced it is collaborating with FUNimation Entertainment on a Mass Effect-based anime feature film. Mass Effect executive producer Casey Hudson will serve in the same capacity on the film, which is being co-produced by T.O Entertainment, Inc. Said Hudson in a press release, "Partnering with FUNimation ensures that we will bring this rich universe to life with the utmost quality and the same attention to detail that the Mass Effect games are known for."
Ubisoft announced the development of PowerUp Heroes, a full-body combat game exclusively on Kinect for Xbox 360. Developed by Longtail Studios, PowerUp Heroes lets players transform their avatar into a custom superhero to face off in a fight against the forces of evil. PowerUp Heroes will be available worldwide June 2011. Leveraging the Kinect technology, PowerUpHeroes is the ultimate super power-infused full-body fighting game. Players control each move in combat by using their entire body to launch projectiles, dodge strikes and counter deadly attacks. Players can unleash super assaults on their opponents in a two-player cosmic showdown online. Additional modes include local two-player versus and four-player tournament.
Players use their unique Xbox 360 avatars to create custom playable superheroes in the game and prepare their avatar for battle by infusing their super suit with deadly powers and special abilities. After the player’s character destroys an enemy in battle, they will strip them of the super suit and wield their power for their next battle. There are 20 super suits to collect including the mighty Necromancer suit which allows the player to control a horde of skeletons, and the Mentalist suit that gives the player the ability to break into their enemy’s mind.
NeverDead takes place in the not-too-distant future when the world is threatened by a demonic plague set to blanket the globe. An immortal hero, created by the demons themselves, is forced to use his regenerative powers that allow him to reassemble his own body to evade death and save the world. Gamers will have an arsenal of guns at their disposal, as well as a butterfly design-inspired sword ready to decimate waves of ungodly enemies. NeverDead will feature third-person action gameplay set in a fantasy and horror-influenced universe where supernatural battles between humans and extraordinary creatures dominate a vast city landscape. NeverDead will be available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in fall 2011.
Bethesda Softworks announced that its acclaimed first-person shooter, Brink, will be available one week EARLIER than originally scheduled. Brink will now first be available for purchase in North America on May 10th instead of May 17th, and in Europe on May 13th instead of May 20th.
"Production wrapped on Brink earlier than we planned and we didn't see any reason to keep gamers from getting their hands on this highly anticipated game as soon as it was ready," said Pete Hines, VP of PR and Marketing for Bethesda Softworks. "It's apparent from the tremendous reaction so far that people are eager to jump online and play, and if we can make that happen earlier - we're going to."
Brink, an immersive first-person shooter under development at Splash Damage, a studio celebrated for its multi-player expertise, was named as the ‘Game of Show’ at Eurogamer Expo 2010. Blending single-player, co-op, and multiplayer action into one seamless experience, Brink features dynamic battlefields, extensive customization options, and an innovative control system. Brink will be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC
Capcom confirmed recently that Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition will be released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. However it won't be strictly limited to a retail release. While a fully playable, standalone boxed copy will be sold in stores, owners of the console versions of Super Street Fighter IV can simply purchase the update as downloadable content and fully interact with owners of the boxed copies. The Arcade Edition DLC and disc adds four new characters to the mix -- brothers Yun and Yang from Street Fighter III, as well as Evil Ryu and Oni -- and brings further balancing tweaks, as well as fresh costumes for the fighters. Animated intro and ending sequences will also be added for the new fighters.
Engineer, inventor and video game pioneer Jerry Lawson passed away Saturday of unknown causes. Lawson was among the earliest video game engineers. His first arcade title, Chicago Coins' Demolition Derby, was developed in his garage in the early 1970s. Lawson is remembered as the inventor of Fairchild Semiconductor's home video game console, the Channel F. Released in 1976, the Channel F is the first console with programmable game cartridges; before it, home video game systems only played the games that were built into them.
Ubisoft and Capybara Games announced the availability of Might and Magic Clash of Heroes, an HD remake of the 2009 award-winning handheld title. Might and Magic Clash of Heroes is now available for download on Xbox LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation Network. The newest version of Might and Magic Clash of Heroes holds true to its original gameplay and adds a new set of features including:
• Epic campaign – Play through five story-driven campaigns as players immerse themselves in the Might and Magic® franchise.
• Updated graphics and sound – Experience Might and Magic Clash of Heroes through stunning HD visuals and audio.
• Online/Offline multiplayer – Play local or online 1v1 and 2v2 matches to test your skills against other players and AI.
Might and Magic Clash of Heroes is currently available on Xbox LIVE Arcade for 1200 Microsoft Points and the PlayStation Network for $14.99.
Apparently news of a stumbling economy has not reached the organizers of BlizzCon who have increased the ticket prices by $25 for a third straight year to $175 for the two-day event. The show takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center on October 21 and 22. If that price is to steep…and you’re especially geeky about Blizzard, you can view the show either over the internet or Direct TV for a mere $39.99
Prepare yourself to reenter the tournament in the triumphant return of Mortal Kombat. A complete reboot of the franchise, this latest iteration combines all-new mature oriented fighter gameplay with a deep story mode, improved graphics and game technology and new game modes to create a Mortal Kombat play experience like none before it. Feature details include: a storyline that takes players back to the original tournament, 4 player tag-team kombat, 3D TV compatibility, fatalities presented in graphic detail never imagined in earlier releases, enhanced online functionality and more.
Having literally defined the mature game category, Mortal Kombat makes a triumphant return to its violent roots in the fastest and most brutal installment to date. Fighting game players will receive the Mortal Kombat they've been asking for, with Fatalities presented in more detail than ever before. After centuries of Mortal Kombat, Emperor Shao Kahn has finally defeated Raiden and his allies. Faced with extinction, Raiden has one last chance to save Earthrealm. To undo the Emperor's victory, he must strike Shao Kahn where he is vulnerable… the Past.
SOCOM 4: US Navy Seals is a multiplayer third-person tactical shooter developed exclusively for play on PlayStation 3. The second release in the SOCOM series on the PS3 platform, SOCOM 4: US Navy Seals features an all-new Ops Commander character tasked to lead a five-member NATO special forces squad in a desperate operation in Southeast Asia . Game features include: dynamic command of squad members, an air support option, 1-32 player support online, support for both PlayStation Move and the DualShock controller, PlayStation Bluetooth Headset support and more.
You have six days. Six days to rescue an entire country plunged into chaos by a brutal revolution. Race against time to control a dire situation that threatens to escalate into global war. You are the legendary and fearless Operations Commander as you take command of the battlefield with your crack NATO squad. The destination is Southeast Asia . The time is now for you to take control. Are you up to the challenge? SOCOM 4: US Navy Seals is a third-person oriented, squad-based tactical shooter. The game's single player campaign revolves around mission play and has players stepping into the boots of Ops Commander Cullen Gray as he commands four additional squad members, each with their own strengths and personality. The player can use this control over other characters to engage in everything from stealth actions involving classic, clean and quiet flanking maneuvers, to over-the-top firefights that rage with raw power. The choice resides with the player. Players also will utilize intelligence attained along the way, as well as special command functionality available in Command Mode to make decisions in the field. Online play involves additional play options and objectives and supports up to 32 players.
A somber fate has befallen the inhabitants of the once beautiful and wonderful kingdom: the forces of nature were unleashed and the 4 Elements, Earth, Wind, Fire and Water are now in turmoil! At a stroke, a land that was full of life turned into a barren desert, the sky became dark with... heavy clouds, a bitter cold froze all the rivers and the trees perished. Only you can save this once wonderful world! Learn about the power of the Elements from the four Books of Magic, and bring hope to the people who lost them. A long and arduous path lies ahead of you, but honor and glory will be assured if you can restore the balance of the Elements and save the people from calamity.
Now re-mastered in High Definition are three classic Prince Of Persia titles, exclusively for the PS3. Digitally enhanced HD and 3D graphics heighten the experience of adventure and improve overall gameplay. Included are Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within and Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones all in HD.
The Alaskan wilderness is home to some of the most ferocious animals on Earth. Here is your chance to pay them a visit! Remington Super Slam Hunting: Alaska sends you into the cold, sometimes snowy wilds of the Alaskan frontier. Choose from 35 authentic weapons - including rifles, handguns, and bows - plus scopes and other accessories from Remington, one of the leading makers of outdoor gear. Hunt 30 of the biggest animals that call Alaska home in 35 different environments. Bring friends along on four-player co-op and competitive hunts, and save some space in that trophy room for the 150-plus trophies and achievements you can rack up as you play. In Remington Super Slam, Alaska you'll find yourself face to face with more than 30 of the biggest, baddest and most aggressive animals in Alaska. The good news is that you'll have a huge selection of real weapons including bows, rifles and pistols near at hand. The bad news is the animals want to take you down as much as you want them.
Conduit 2 is first-person shooter (FPS) for Wii that challenges players to uncover and battle against an alien conspiracy that has coopted the highest levels of the US government and that now threatens the entire world. Follow-up game to the well received Wii FPS, The Conduit, Conduit 2 continues the groundbreaking action seen in the first game, bringing cutting-edge FPS gameplay and functionality rarely if ever seen on the Wii platform. Features include: 4 player local co-op with split-screen support, 12-player support online, online chat via the Headbanger headset (sold separately), character customization options and upgrades, a 20-weapon strong arsenal and much, much more. Waking up on an offshore oil rig Michael Ford recalls the escape that he was able to pull off at the conclusion of the original game, The Conduit. At that point it was made clear that things were not as he had been led to believe. The shadow government that he was once an agent of had in fact been coopted by an alien agenda unleashed by a man he once trusted, while the alien Drudge forces although still a deadly force, came to be seen as not quite the single-minded terror that they once seemed. But that was DC and this was another place entirely. Ford's mastery of alien conduit technology provided for his escape, as well as a second chance not only to save the human race, but also to exact revenge for the double cross that made him a pawn in a game whose players are only now becoming visible.
Portal 2 is a unique first-person Action-Puzzle-Platforming game that tests player's ability to think and act creatively as they use the game's ingenious wormhole creating portal gun to produce their own paths through otherwise sealed surfaces and across the open spaces of the game. Sequel to the original Portal game -- the surprise add-on hit included in Valve Corporation's 2007 release The Orange Box -- Portal 2 continues the storyline from the first game, featuring both new and returning characters, and poses a range of new challenges making for a much deeper game. Additional features include a new two player co-op mode and an original soundtrack.
In Portal 2 players awake in the Aperture Science Labs as Chell, the heroine of the original game. A great expanse of time has passed since the conclusion of the first game and the gameworld has fallen into visible disrepair, but placed in suspended animation, Chell has survived intact and is revived. With the help of a robotic entity the concluding events of the past game are revealed and you escape your initial confinement, but in doing so GLaDOS, the the AI computer antagonist from the previous game is also reawakened. Just as fickle as ever, GLaDOS' motives are unknown. Insisting on testing you, it may assist you but may also be planning something more sinister.
Crysis 2 is the sequel to 2007 first person shooter. This time the action takes place in the urban jungle of Manhattan, three years after the original game, with a new protagonist named Alcatraz. Alcatraz is the only surviving member of Marine unit sent in to N.Y. to rescue an important scientist named Nathan Gould. Alcatraz is rescued by a man named Prophet who is the current possessor of the Nanosuit 2.0 battlesuit. Realizing that Alcatraz may be their only hope, Prephet takes his own life so that the suit can bond with Alcatraz. The city has been infected by an alien virus and is under martial law provided by a private security firm known as CELL. Because CELL believes that the suit is infected with the alien virus, Alcatraz finds himself hunted by their troops at every turn as well as trying to continue his mission of finding Gould as well as getting information on the alien race known as the Ceph.
Lets start off by giving credit to the developer, Crytek, for making a sequel that really doesn’t require any knowledge of the previous game (and I did not play the original). You got a new setting, new hero, and all-new controls so while it may be a sequel in name, it’s really a whole new game. Your nanosuit in one hell of a weapon…it provides abilities such as an armor power-up to temporarily make your armor stronger, a stealth mode that makes you turn invisible, a power charge for strong melee attacks, and more. New options include Nanovision which is kind of like a thermal imaging tool to allow you to see an enemy’s heat signature which comes in handy when they are hiding behind cover and tactical visor that lets you target enemy units or ammo supplies so you can highlight them for easy tracking. The controls are quite smooth and easier to implement than in the first game but they still do take some getting used to. I found myself pushing wrong buttons several times early on as I tried to get used to the controls. Using the armor power-up and stealth modes drain the suit’s energy, especially when moving and while the suit quickly re-powers, you should use them wisely to quickly infiltrate and take out the enemy.
The setting of Crysis 2 is a stark contrast from the first game’s lush jungle setting. Manhattan is an eerie place when its devoid of nearly all life. Things get even more unsettling when you journey down into the subway to find humans in various stages of infection from the alien virus. You’ll even find yourself crawling on all fours through a sewer in order to investigate an alien crash site. The landscapes are gorgeously rendered and while a city might not be as nice to look at as a tropical jungle, the locked-down Manhattan has a beauty all its own. But don’t get too dazzled by the scenery as it’s a dangerous place and you need to be on your guard constantly.
The A.I. of the enemies, particularly the CELL soldiers isn’t exactly genius level. They’ll often just run out in the open and make easy targets of themselves. But they can hit you in waves and from a lot of different directions. In fact it’s sometimes hard to pickup where exactly enemy fire is coming from so you don’t want to leave yourself too wide open. Nanovision comes in handy here in order to detect the enemy. Fortunately the destroyed areas provide loads of cover and you can often go upstairs in buildings for a better vantage point. You’ve got a variety of weapons as your disposal including pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, grenades, shoulder mounted surface to air missiles, and more. You can pilot vehicles or even remove mounted heavy machine guns that have a finite ammo supply.
The game has a very good length for a FPS, about 10 – 14 hours depending on your skill and pace. While some of the early levels move a bit slow since all you do is face CELL soldiers in one massive firefight after another, things pickup after your first run-in with the aliens after investigating the crashed alien ship. And as you progress you can really begin to get the full use out of the Nanosuit with customizable upgrades. The intangibles help set Crysis 2 over-the-top with a dramatic musical score, and great sound effects and voice acting.
The multiplayer side compares favorably to Call of Duty with customizable and upgradeable player progression that let you change out your loadouts and suit’s abilities in six modes similar to the typical Deathmatch, capture the flag, king of the hill style modes of other games. Except for a few slow levels and a handful of graphic/A.I. glitches, Crysis 2 is a near-perfect game.
THQ’s WWE All-Stars is a departure from their popular Raw Vs. Smackdown series of wrestling simulations. WWE All-Stars is pure, button-mashing arcade style action. It is to wrestling games what the old NBA Jam game was to basketball games. Everything is exaggerated from the moves of the wrestlers to their physiques which make them all look like they eat a nice big bowl of steroids for breakfast.
The game pits superstars of yesteryear (re: 80’s and 90s) versus stars of the present. Now you can pit legends like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, the Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, The Rock, Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper, and Stone Cold Steve Austin against today’s stars like John Cena, The Miz, C.M. Punk, Sheamus, The Undertaker (although its weird to consider him a star of the present rather than a legend), Kane, and Rey Mysterio. There are a ton of characters that can be unlocked through achievements in the game such as Jack Swagger, Mr. Perfect, Sgt. Slaughter, Drew McIntyre and a host more that will be available through download content like The Big Bossman, Mark Henry, Michael Hayes, Chris Jericho, and Ted DiBiase.
Gameplay is fairly simple and straightforward and combines traditional wrestling holds and moves with the combo systems of fighting games. You have a full arsenal of punches, kicks, grappling moves and throws, running moves, reversals, off the rope moves, and corner moves at your disposal and each wrestler has their signature moves like Steve Austin’s Stone Cold Stunner and Jimmy Snuka’s splash off the top turnbuckle. Like arcade fighting games, WWE All-Stars dazzle gravity-defying moves that can propel you and your opponent in the air so high that you expect to hit your head on the ceiling of the arena, and then down hard enough you expect the ring to break.
Pressing the square and X buttons together or triangle and circle buttons together will pull off one of a wrestler’s signature moves. You have as many as four signature moves, some based on ring and opponent positioning. Besides your health meter you have a finishing meter. Fill the finishing meter with high impact moves and set-up your opponent for your big finishing maneuver.
WWE All Stars comes with a variety of different modes such as standard, Steel Cage, Extreme Rules, and Elimination…within those modes you can choose to fight 1-on-1 matches, triple threats, Fatal 4 Way, tornado tag team, and handicap matches. Path of champions lets you pick your favorite star to play in a series of matches to see if you can fight your way to the main event at Wrestlemania. In Fantasy Warfare, you pick from a preset list of fantasy matches such as Andre the Giant and The Big Show facing off in the Greatest Big Man match, Eddie Guerrero Vs. Rey Mysterio in the Greatest High Flier match, and Randy Savage Vs. John Morrison in a Most Charismatic Match. You can also create your own superstar, choosing their move set, entrance music, size, face and body look, and ring outfit and gear. You can play online with either a WWE star or your created wrestler.
The game’s action flows very smoothly even in some of the four way matches. There’s some minor glitchy parts with the graphics but nothing overly distracting. While each superstar as their own entrance they are very short, lasting only about ten seconds or so. As mentioned each wrestler has their own signature moves although some pull off some moves that are totally out of their move set like Hulk Hogan doing a fisherman’s suplex or Jake the Snake Roberts pulling off a powerbomb. There’s a distinct lack of a female touch as there isn’t one female superstar on the whole roster although I suppose some could be coming down the road via DLC. The lack of a training mode is also disappointing so you will have to learn on the fly.
The action in WWE All Stars is quite intense and an even mix of the real and often surreal. Clearly the game owes a lot to games like Street Fighter and Marvel Vs. Capcom with its artistic take on fighting. It’s not a game for those interested in more realistic professional wrestling simulation. WWE All Stars is more a loud, brash, party of a fighting game to be played with a group of friends with thunderous music jamming in the background. While its style of play won’t appeal to everyone, WWE All Stars is a chaotic, brash, and thunderous game that does take you back to the days of pure arcade action.