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From Quad-Wielding Demons To Naughty Dog's One Game Policy - News Roundup 8th February 2011

Jonathan Lester
3DS, Battlefield 3, FPS, Games news, Naughty Dog, NGP, Nintendo, Sony Bend, The Darkness II, Uncharted
Battlefield 3

The Darkness II Confirmed For Autumn


After months of (correct) rumours and speculation, 2K and Digital Extremes have announced that The Darkness II is indeed in development and is dated for an Autumn 2011 release window. The original game was one of the most interesting and sadly underrated shooters of this generation, and we're delighted to see that it's making a long-overdue return.

2K President Christoph Hartmann has the following spiely speil for your cynical delectation:

The Darkness II is a well of dark and imaginative violence, and it’s a stylized and beautiful nightmare.

The game takes a unique stance on fighting in the dark versus light. Combined with the arsenal of weapons at Jackie’s disposal and the gruesome attacks of the supernatural Demon Arms and Darkness powers, we’re proud to announce another title that delivers on our core values of creating games for gamers.

As well as stylish noir ultraviolence, The Darkness II will deliver Quad-Wielding FPS mechanics that allow two weapons to be simultaneously fired along with slashing and throwing objects from Jackie's horrific demon appendages. Consider this one to watch- and we'll bring you the latest as we hear it.

Naughty Dog Is "A One Game Studio;" Won't Make Uncharted NGP


Uncharted is one of the most impressive NGP launch titles on the radar thus far, but award-winning developers Naughty Dog have confirmed that they won't be in charge of the transition to Sony's impressive handheld. Rather, they'll be concentrating on making Uncharted 3 as polished as possible.

We’re a one game studio so [splitting development] would be very challenging for us.

I know a long time ago we had looked at trying to do that as well, but it’s really about what makes sense for the universe and for the franchise as well. - Naughty Dog community boss Arne Meyer to EGTV

Meyer continued to state that Naughty Dog are more than happy to pass the reins over to Sony Bend, who have been tasked with adapting the franchise to the exciting new device. As a veteran PSP outfit, they're more than up to the challenge.

Sony Bend’s a great studio, we have a great relationship with them, so it’s really exciting to see a new platform and see what they can do with it given all of the new control options they’ve got as well.

We've got the best part of a year to wait- so trust us to keep an eye on things. [EGTV]

Nintendo Confirm 3DS UK Launch Titles


We've been keeping you up to date with the latest Japanese news on the hotly-anticipated Nintendo 3DS, and Ninty has finally confirmed the UK launch lineup that we can expect when their handheld hits our green and pleasant land on March 25th. No big surprises here, but for the sake of completeness, here's the full rundown.

  • Pilotwings Resort
  • Nintendogs + Cats: Golden Retriever & New Friends
  • Nintendogs + Cats: French Bulldog & New Friends
  • Nintendogs + Cats: Toy Poodle & New Friends
  • Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition
  • The Sims 3
  • PES 2011 3D – Pro Evolution Soccer
  • LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
  • Ridge Racer 3D
  • Super Monkey Ball 3D
  • Samurai Warriors: Chronicles
  • Asphalt 3D
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell 3D
  • Rayman 3D

Personally, we're mainly excited about SSFIV... but with no big first party franchises on the list, many gamers may well opt to wait for a couple of months.

With the March street date looming ever closer, it's time to ask the big question: will you be buying a 3DS? Or will you be holding out for the NGP or more first party Nintendo titles? Have your say in the comments!

For the record, you can see my answer to the question here.

More BF3 Details Emerge: 24-Player Console Multiplayer

Leaked details from Game Informer's latest cover story has outed a few more choice tidbits about EA's recently-unveiled Battlefield 3. Apparently the shooter will feature an all-new singleplayer campaign that's unrelated to the Bad Company storyline and canon, along with cooperative modes and four multiplayer classes. The big news is that the console versions will 'only' support 24 player multiplayer action as opposed to 64 on the PC, which is said to be the Battlefield 3's "lead platform." More at GAF.

From Killing Call Of Duty To The Xperia Play... Finally - News Roundup 7th February 2011

Jonathan Lester
Ace Combat, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, Battlefield 3, Call Of Duty, Danger Zone, DICE, EA, Games news, PlayStation Phone, Sony Ericsson, Xperia Play
Battlefield 3

Xperia "Playstation Phone" Play Now Official

About time too. Sony Ericsson have finally officially revealed the most-leaked gaming secret of all time: the Xperia Play mobile handset. A new (and frankly pants) trailer made its global premier during the Superbowl last night, outing the device in all of its... obviousness. At least we can get down to gritty details now that the cat's out of the bag.

Sony simultaneously delivered an official Facebook announcement that states that we're in for a full reveal next Sunday. Naturally we'll bring you the latest. Mobot has more on the story.

With Sony's Playstation Suite already set to offer Playstation content to Android customers, the Xperia Play's potential consumer base is getting smaller by the day. Are you excited about the new Sony-branded mobile? Have your say in the comments!

Battlefield 3 Out To "Kill CoD"

battlefield 3

EA and DICE unveiled Battlefield 3 last Friday, revealing 64-player online battles and a slew of real world locations. However, Battlefield 3 Gameplay Designer Alan Kertz has thrown down the gauntlet during a recent twitter Q&A session. In an blatant statement of intent, the DICE designer promised that BF3 will "kill" the Call Of Duty franchise simply by being a "better shooter."

You don’t kill CoD by trying to be CoD. You kill CoD by making a better shooter.

Sounds like a plan, Kertz. We're all as fed up of hearing the phrase "CoD Clone" as we are of actually seeing them on the shelves- and after Battlefiend: Bad Company 2 managed to irreversibly poach many gamers away from Call Of Duty, Battlefield 3 may well be able to finish the job.

Subsequent twitter posts served to confirm a few details that we learned on Friday, including the ability to go prone and the presence of Tehran as an in-game environment. Kertz also suggested that the weapons and field of view systems will be upgraded. [Twitter]

DICE have also released a new video of Frostbite 2.0 in action.

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Trailer Is Your Highway To The Danger Zone

No one makes an arcade flight sim like Namco Bandai. The Ace Combat series continually raises the bar in terms of visual competence and control accessibility- so we've naturally been keeping a close eye on Assault Horizon.

This latest gameplay trailer rendered us into slobbery slack-jawed ecstasy, thanks mainly to improved close combat mechanics and damage models. Consider Assault Horizon upgraded from 'one to watch' into fully fledged 'where's the cheapest preorder?' territory. It's set for a simultaneous release on PS3 and Xbox 360 some time this year.

From Kojima's Devil Project To Battlefield 3 Details - News Roundup 4th February 2011

Jonathan Lester
Battlefield 3, Codemasters, Devil Project, DICE, DiRT 3, EA, FPS games, Frostbite 2.0, Games news, Hideo Kojima, Martyn Brown, Team17
Battlefield 3

Kojima Hints At "Devil Project" And Resurrected Character


Legendary developer Hideo Kojima is up to his old twitter tricks again. According to his account feed, he's currently working on two IPs; one of which he refers to as the "Devil Project."

Have to give priority to another line’s scenario etc., so now I cannot work on ‘the devil project’ and ‘writing’.

Worked on my ‘devil project’ a bit after lunch. An experiment went well. Plot adjustment. Additional project. Phew.. now another line.

Speculation after previous mysterious twitter announcements suggests that Kojima may be hard at work on another (long overdue) Zone Of The Enders title, but it's also possible that the "Devil Project" refers to his NGP project that he's set to announce at E3. For Kojima's sake, we hope that "phew... now another line" doesn't refer to a cocaine habit- but it might explain some of his aberrant behaviour... [TSA]

It's also worth noting that Kojima-san also hinted that he's brought another franchise character back from the dead.

I brought back a character I killed before. Kind of cool.

Here's hoping for Grey Fox or Psycho Mantis rather than another severed arm gambit.

Battlefield 3 Dated For Autumn With "64-Player Multiplayer"

EA has officially announced that Battlefield 3 will hit the shelves this autumn, powered by DICE's shiny new Frostbite 2.0 engine. The FPS will cast players as US Marines battling in "claustrophobic streets, metropolitan downtowns, and open, vehicle-friendly landscapes as you fight your way through the war of tomorrow". Theatres of war are set to include the Middle East, United States and Europe.

According to Game Informer's first look details, up to 64 players will be able to take part in epic multiplayer engagements, along with the ability to call in (or fly) jets and go prone. GAME have also let the cat out of the bag, stating that "Paris, Tehran and New York" will make an appearance in-game. [Thanks, Gamerzines]

Considering the late 2011 release date, it's possible that this is the "exciting" FPS title that EA boss John Riccitiello teased earlier this week, but we'll keep our ears to the ground. According to EA, BF3 is set for a full reveal on March 1st, and we'll keep you posted.

DiRT 3 Dated For May

dirt 3

We've been keeping you up to date with the latest on DiRT 3: the anticipated racer that promises to be one of the most comprehensive rally simulations of all time. Codemasters has now announced that the title will launch on May 24th, along with double the number of tracks featured in the 2009 prequel.

Unlocking the realistic damage models in GT5 should keep you occupied until then.

Martyn Brown Leaves Team17

team17 logo

Finally, we have to end with some sad news from one of our longest-established British studios. Martyn Brown founded and headed up Team17, the developers behind the venerable Worms franchise (and Amiga cult classic Superfrog, who's with me?) for over twenty years, but has now quit to set up shop as an independent consultant.

OK, I can finally announce that I left Team17. I had an amazing 20-year ride and whilst it's the end of a truly enjoyable period of my life, it equally signals the start of a really exciting new one.

My sincere, heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped, in any way, shape or form over those two glorious decades. I leave Team17 in great shape, but now is time for my own adventure. See you at DICE and/or GDC...

See you around, Martyn. Here's hoping that Team17 will thrive with its new download-centric focus. [EG]