Right, Bioshock fans, when you've quite stopped salivating over the extended Bioshock Infinite playthrough for the fourteenth time this morning, you might be pleased to hear a Bioshock book is being printed, pressed and shipped off to your local book store ahead of next Tuesday's July 19th release date. Penned by John Shirley - whose also helmed literature adaptions of Constantine, Predators and Batman, to name a few - and published by Titan Books, it tells the tale of Rapture and its early days long before Jack set foot inside.Click here for more on Bioshock Rapture
2K have announced an MMO aimed at Asian markets from a "top-selling franchise" is in development at an as-yet-unknown developer. No further details were provided, but speculation is rife that this is the oft-rumoured Bioshock MMO. 2K has already admitted the series has plenty of MMO potential, which is often tantamount to an unofficial announcement.
Myself, I doubt it's Bioshock. 2K claim the mysterious MMO is aimed at Asian markets, where Bioshock didn't gain much traction. It sold impressively in North America and Europe, which would appear to be the series' prime market. 2K have several other properties more suited to a global market, although I do admit the promise of wandering a persistent Rapture crawling with player-controlled Splicers and Big Daddies is interesting. [That VideoGame Blog]
There are plenty of things that make Bioshock a game that's won so many of our hearts; the creepy underwater city of Rapture that takes your breath away when it's first revealed; the engrossing story line and fascinating characters; having to hack everything in sight . . . haha only joking! However, there's something special that rips the gameplay out of your typical first person shooter formula; plasmids!
The wonderful little genetic mutations attract players like a moth to a flame, as they sit waiting to be released from their glowing red containers or a Gatherers Garden, and once you add them to your DNA you'll start to build up super powers faster than a Marvel Comic's character who's stumbled into an unfortunate accident involving radiation.
I think the best place to start's with my favourite plasmid, electro bolt. It's by far the most useful plasmid in the game, allowing you to; zap enemies before bashing their heads in with your sturdy red wrench or drill, which in my opinion is the best tactic in the series and it's such a shame you couldn't wield the wrench again in Bioshock 2; open doors by blasting broken keypads; eliminating whole groups of splicers who are carelessly hanging around in pools of water; and momentarily stopping Big Daddies in their tracks when you're desperately trying to get out of their kill zone!
Need a splicer to run away screaming in agony cursing your name? Well, that's exactly what you'll get if you unleash the power of incinerate on them! Setting the twisted freaks on fire has the added bonus of making them head for the nearest source of water, and you know what that means . . . electro bolt time! Unbelievably, pools of water aren't the only liquids that splicers'll hang around in, they'll also stare into space whilst their feet are firmly planted in oil, allowing you to get rid of them with a quick, satisfying snap of your fingers. Another obstacle that'll stand in your way is ice, but you'll make quick work of the solid H2O by raising the temperature a few hundred degrees or so.Click here for more plasmid action!
During a speech at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, EA boss John Riccitiello admitted that the mega-publisher have lost their way after a ropey transitional period. Their core IPs dropped to a meagre 3 during the launch of the PS3, but the exec states that EA is now back on course thanks to a killer portfolio.
If you go back seven years, we were the leader. And we dropped the ball. Our IP deteriorated, our costs went up, and we didn’t really have an answer for the rise of digital.
We [now] have the strongest intellectual property portfolio by far in the games industry today.
Riccitiello also stated that the digital marketplace is the "fastest growing part" of their business. EA are already consumer enemy number one when it comes to DLC deluges, microtransactions and 'project ten dollar' (with new Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 content spawning every few seconds)... and it looks like this phenomenon is only going to increase over this next year.
People seem to like paying for games. Play first pay later – that’s a very compelling model for today’s gamer.
Sigh. We'd better get plenty of Microsoft Points ready for Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 then. [VG247]
In other Electronic Arts news, EA's Patrick Soderlund has announced that Mirror's Edge 2 will never see the light of day. DICE have been working on a sequel to the brave yet flawed parkour platformer since last year, but EA have canned the pr0ject after looking at the prototype in action (and probably vomiting copiously due to motion sickness). [bit-tech]
Most gamers won't mourn its loss, but in our opinion, Mirror's Edge deserved another run at the title. We'd love to get your take on the situation in the comments!
UPDATE: EA has reportedly been hit by three high-profile departures, including BioWare Austin vice president Gordon Walton and two senior Playfish employees. We'll keep an eye on the situation. [EDGE]
Reknowned director Gore Verbinski has confirmed that due to concerns over tone. Apparently financial backers are unwilling to throw significant capital behind an R-rated movie that couldn't be consumed by the profitable teen audience- but Verbinski was unwilling to water down the experience.
I wasn't really interested in pursuing a PG-13 version. Because the R rating is inherent. Little Sisters and injections and the whole thing. I just wanted to really, really make it a movie where, four days later, you're still shivering and going, 'Jesus Christ!'
It's a movie that has to be really, really scary, but you also have to create a whole underwater world, so the price tag is high. We just didn't have any takers on an R-rated movie with that price tag. - Gore Verbinski to ComingSoon
We'd like to congratulate Mr Verbinski for not sacrificing his artistic integrity- as well as that of the Bioshock franchise- by cashing in on the teen audience. Outstanding. [ComingSoon]
We couldn't make this up. During a Munich press event and photo shoot ahead of Killzone 3's European launch, armed police swooped in to subdue and arrest an actor dressed as a Helghast trooper! Luckily the model was released without charge after the 'authentic' replica weapon turned out to be a plastic toy- but we reckon the ISA are hiring the wrong guys to take care of the Helghast menace. [Gamezone.de]
In other Killzone 3 news, SCEA has unveiled a game and PS3 hardware bundle for Guerilla's upcoming shooter. It's only been announced for the States thus far, but it ties in nicely with a rogue European Amazon listing. We'll have a full review of Killzone 3 very soon, but for now, why not check out Felix's Beta Impressions?
Quotability is very important these days if you want to be cool, and games are stuffed full of catchphrases and sayings that hope to become a staple of playground banter and water cooler debate. We figured we'd round up ten of the best video game catchphrases this week for you. There are some that are funny, other inadvertently so; some that are pesky and irritating, some that you just can't seem to get out out of your head; some that will blow your mind.
As usual, let us know what you think, if you've got any particular favourites of your own, in the comments box below.
The Worms series has given me a great deal of satisfaction over since the mid-Nineties, from my fledgling entry into the world of gaming as a youngling to seven hour long invertebrate-killing marathons with beer and pizza in my wastrel years. Aside from the outlandish weaponry, it was all about the goofy smack talk with some hilariously rendered accents and dialects. But for simplicity's sake it has to be the little high-pitched assertion of incoming bazooka fire. 'I'll get you!' the worm shrieked lightly, perfectly summing up the game in one line.
There are a fair few websites that will tell of Navi's persistent annoyance and attention-seeking attitude hardly endears her to anyone. But, lest we forget, the first time she says it whenever something new and challenging pops up, she does dispense some fairly good advice. It's the endless repetition, however, the spasmodic bouncing around in front of your eyes, and the fact that sometimes she'll try to tell you something in the middle of a battle that'll really piss you off.
I was going to put the 'SEEEEEEEEGAAAAAAAAAAA!' little soundbite in here, but alas it doesn't exist any more (there'll be a petition to bring it back later on). EA Sports' long-running, rather nonsensical aural tagline, is still going strong, though. It's strong, emphatic and unmistakable; and, whilst we're still not entirely sure of what exactly the 'it' that's 'in the game' is supposed to be, we're pretty sure that whatever 'it' is has held up pretty well.Click here for John Romero, evasive manoeuvres and deliciously moist pudding...
Just this last Sunday, we cast our nostalgic gaze back to Goldeneye's 'Facility', a level we loved considerably. However, it's not like Bond's urinal-shattering Soviet op is the only FPS level we deem fit for a feature article. In fact, we have ten in mind, from crashing on a lost alien structure, sniping in the irradiated ruins of Chernobyl, to dropping our first companion-cube down a rift in space/time. So, and drum-roll please, Dealspwn presents the Top 10 FPS Levels!
Call of Duty has its fair share of spectacular levels, and I almost plumped for Black Ops' jaw-dropping prison break, 'Vortuka'. But, in the end, I settled for Modern Warfare's flashback to 1970s Pripyat, where a young Lieutenant Price joins the late Captain MacMilan for a special op as they track a nuclear arms deal in the hope of assassinating one Imran Zakhaev. It's a cracking level, as you sneak or crawl past enemy patrols, dropping guards with a suppressed round from your sniper rifle. Notice how hard MW2 strives, but fails, to replicate this experience?
Timesplitters 2 is simply overflowing with wacky but wonderful levels. I'm particularly partial to the wild west detour. However, I just can't overlook your trip back to 17th century France, and a cathedral overrun with zombies. It's classic Timesplitters, tongue firmly in cheek, brimming with great humour and even better design. It's tough deciding what crazy era-related adventure to decide from in TS, and in the end it was the plight of a poor hunchbacked gentleman you can rescue that swayed my hand.
Despite it's title, serious is not a word we'd use to describe the adventures of Sam Stone. It's a mad, wild ride, replete with miles long vistas, thousands of enemies, hundred foot or more tall bosses, and some of the best guns in the genre. For SS2, we settled on the 'Great Pyramid' level, where Mental's HQ, fashioned as a giant Egyptian pyramid, reveals itself to be a heavily armed, weaponised structure. It's a level chock-full of classic Serious Sam stuff, like vast environments crawling with hundreds upon hundreds of enemies hurling themselves into your sea of bullets, as the Great Pyramid itself lurks on the horizon.
Time to revisit our favourite, and not so favourite, videogame endings once again. In this second volume of climactic conclusions and failed finales, we'll remember titles which wrenched on our heart-strings, spiked our adrenal glands and itched our annoyance receptors. But beware, spoilers ahoy!
Ignoring the awful Reaper fetus showdown, the climactic level of Mass Effect 2 is a surprisingly emotional experience. The knowledge that members of your team who die remain dead, is shocking, especially when you consider the effort you invested to recruit their service and loyalty. Once you blast that Terminator wannabe into the abyss, and cast your eyes over the shattered remnants of your squad, you're reminded of the sacrifices of war.
The final scene, of an army of Reapers descending upon your galaxy, just makes the wait for revenge that much harder!
What's disappointing about Bioshock, is that a perfectly fitting finale is included in the latter portions of the game. Your showdown with Andrew Ryan, the discovery that you're his genetic heir and an unwitting pawn in his feud with Fontaine, would have been a bold, unconventional way to end what was already an original experience.
So maybe you should just stop playing Bioshock after that point? It's not like the game ends with a cheesy boss-fight against a steroid-infused Gears of War reject, is it? Oh.
As far as subtitles go, Metal Gear Solid 3's a winner. It's also, in my humble, entirely unbiased, well-judged and astute opinion, the best iteration in the Metal Gear Solid series, both in terms of gameplay, story and emotional investment. No scene demonstrates this better than the final shot of Snake placing a bouquet of flowers and a pistol on The Boss' unmarked grave. Even badass soldiers with eye-patches can shed a cyclopic tear.
But it's not over. With the credits rolled, and your hand extended towards the PS2, finger poised over the power-button, Ocelot can be heard on the phone to the CIA director, revealing his wonderfully twisted, triple-crossed plans have come to fruition. Epic.
So not only do you endure a painfully simple final boss-fight with an Imulsion-pumped Brumak, which is a shame considering the epic tunnel crawl atop the hulking beast, mowing down the fleeing Locust horde and wrestling Corpsers. But then, as Jacinto's foundation collapses and the city plunges into the ocean, it all ends. Is any explanation given for the paradoxically human Locust Queen? Or just what those tentacle-writhing beasts were in the AI-controlled laboratory?
Nope. But we do get to see Marcus and Anya exchange simmering looks from across a helicopter. Yeah. That's exactly what I play Gears of War for. Sexual tension between a Duke Nukem wannabe and a Cortana ripoff.See what other endings delighted and irked Felix by clicking here...
Former Infinity Ward creatives Jason West and Vince Zampella have signed on with the LA-based Creative Artists Agency (CAA). This high-profile company manages George Clooney, Will Smith, Brad Pitt amongst other famous stars; and the acquisition of the pair will likely bring them increased publicity considering the high drama surrounding their current unemployment.
Unpaid royalties and creative control of the Modern Warfare franchise are currently in dispute as the two devs have brought a $36 million lawsuit against Kotick's publishing giant. The sensational and dramatic firing of the two devs occurred after an increasingly strained relationship between IW and Activision, with Zampella and West claiming that Activision were limiting the studio's creative freedom.
Activision has publically laughed off the lawsuit as 'meritless', but it's a huge embarassment for the company. Naturally, we'll keep you updated on the situation as it continues to develop. [gamesindustry.biz]
Halo made Bungie into Gods, but Marathon put the studio on the Map. Or on the Mac, more specifically. This trilogy of sprite-based FPS games blended their growing knack for storytelling (demonstrated to devastating effect in the cult classic Pathways into Darkness) with some impressive tech , and now Bungie have filed new trademark for their classic franchise.
So, what does this mean? Maybe nothing, but Bungie released Durandal, the second of the Marathon trilogy, on XBLA- so maybe we can expect to see the entire trilogy or a reskinned original make a downloadable return. Or maybe Bungie plan to remake Marathon for their next project?
Why not try the reskinned Aleph One freeware trilogy thanks to the folks at Aleph One to get a taste for the series? It's not for everyone, but the story and presentation is as impressive as it gets. [via D'toid]
Goddamn, we hate needless DLC here at Dealspwn... but this one takes the biscuit. The Sinclair Solutions Multiplayer pack (as discussed in our recent XBLA roundup) provides a level cap increase and a few extra goodies- but it's already on the disc. Essentially, 2K are giving players the opportunity to spend their hard-earned cash on content they already have, and should have been included with the original game. After all, this DLC wasn't developed after the game's release: there is simply no reason to charge for the content apart from barefaced chiselling.
Here's the official line:
"The way our engine and game structure works is that people need to have the exact same content for people to play together. One of the challenges with post launch content for MP is that it can split the player base, and we want to avoid that whenever possible. For this content, creating the DLC package the way we did allowed for us to not split the player base – so whether you purchase the new content or not, you can still play with your friends." - 2K Press Release
I'd be interested to hear your views on this type of DLC. Drop us a line in the comments! [bit-tech]
Another week, another new releases post. This week there might just be a few titles to sway you into spending. Top of the list is probably Bioshock 2 which is shaping up to be a corker, the PS3 finally gets hold of Star Ocean 5 and, fingers crossed, the next week should see the release of the highly anticipated Star Trek Online. Exciting stuff!
How to use: Click on the title of the video game if you would like to see the cross platform possibilities. Click on the game cover of the platform of your choice to see the price comparison for that particular game, showing you the cheapest prices from UK online retailers.
Stay tuned, folks, as we'll be updating you with all of the new releases for next week along with their cheapest prices in just a few days' time.
8th to 14th February 2010:
9th February 2010
|Big Catch Bass Fishing 2
12th February 2010
|Bleach: The 3rd Phantom
12th February 2010
|Half Minute Hero
12th February 2010
12th February 2010
12th February 2010
|Phantasy Star Zero
12th February 2010
|Star Ocean: The Last Hope
12th February 2010
|Star Trek Online
12th February 2010
|Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll Release Dates
12th February 2010
Today’s news roundup sees 2K Marin trying to quell the furor over plans to impose DRM restrictions on PC versions of Bioshock 2. Hollywood is making noises about a possible remake of Mortal Kombat – god help us. And finally, Assassin’s Creed II on the PC gets a North American release date although no word yet on when it's going to be hitting the shelves here in the UK.
With so many people condemning their proposals to include the notorious SecROM DRM feature with PC versions of Bioshock 2, 2K Marin has just announced it will be ‘scaling back’ plans in bid to reassure livid consumers. Quite predictably, a large number of PC gamers were in uproar after 2K community manager Elizabeth Tobey spoke of proposed DRM restrictions on both digital and retail versions of Bioshock 2.
However, according to Cult of Rapture, Tobey issued a statement saying ‘There will be no SecuROM install limits for either the retail or digital editions of BioShock 2, and SecuROM will be used only to verify the game's executable and check the date. Beyond that, we are only using standard Games for Windows Live non-SSA guidelines, which, per Microsoft, comes with 15 activations’. However, for some customers this is still not good enough, and many insist they will not be purchasing Bioshock2 with DRM no matter how relaxed the restrictions.
Others have also pointed out that 2K’s proposals have actually not changed since last week’s announcement. Elizabeth Tobey then went onto say that this ‘scaling back’ only applies to the digital version. ‘I did not explain anything about Steam because we went back and scaled back what we were doing based on your feedback, and came out today with what was the most we could do. We most definitely changed our SecuROM to be more of what you asked for.’ [Eurogamer]
Although Hollywood might have proven time and time again that game-to-film adaptations don’t work (the recent Legend of Chun-Li movies actually won awards for being so terrible), you have to admire their persistance. According to BloodyDisgusting, Warner Brothers are now looking into a remake of one of the worst game-to-film adaptations of all time: Mortal Kombat. Apparently things have got off to a good start however with Warner Bros. having potentially bagged Oren Uziel as script writer. Uziel was responsible for 2009’s Shimmer Lake which made Hollywood’s black list for Best Unproduced Screenplays. [Firstshowing]
Ubisoft have given a 13th March release date for Assassin’s Creed II on the PC. No word yet on a European release date though - although it shouldn’t be that long after. Ubisoft are calling the PC version a Director’s Cut and have stated that it will come complete with both bits of DLC: Bonfire of the Vanities and The Battle for Forli. To make sure your machine is up to it, follow this link check out the PC requirements (let’s just hope Ubisoft managed to make a decent port). [Gamerrss]