Square Announce Final Fantasy XIII-2 & Versus Exclusivity
Big news out of Japan today. Square Enix has officially confirmed Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PS3 and Xbox 360, suggesting that it's slated for a Winter 2011 Japanese launch and will subsequently be localised for the West. The sequel will feature a full new story that expands on the events of the original, with tweaked battle mechanics that have "evolved further since XIII." Apparently it will "exceed" its predecessor in "every aspect."
The trailer looks promising enough, but we hope that the core gameplay will have also evolved beyond the original remit. Final Fantasy XIII disappointed even staunch series veterans with its grind-heavy first half, and with any luck, Square will learn from their mistakes.
Square also confirmed that the long-awaited Final Fantasy Versus XIII will remain a full PS3 exclusive. Still no European release date as yet, but expect this to be a fair way off yet. We'll keep you posted. [Andriasang]
Crytek: Kingdoms Will Push The 360 "To Its Limits"
Crytek's Xbox 360 exclusive was one of the biggest yet most overlooked announcements of last year's E3- and ever since, we've been wondering exactly what Kingdoms is set to deliver. So far, all that Crytek's told us is that Kingdoms will be "nothing like God Of War" despite reportedly being a third-person action game with mythological overtones- but CEO Cervat Yerli has spoken out to state that it will push the 360 hardware "to its limits" as well as offering an entirely new game experience.
As a company we can't just make shooters, we need to breed genuinely new forms of entertainment and interactive experiences, and I think Kingdoms is a new interactive entertainment experience.
Working with Microsoft allows us to do something really new and awesome from our perspective, and from gamers' perspective I think they'll have a very different experience with Kingdoms.
Yerli went on to discuss Crytek's future plans, suggesting that they're looking at reinventing existing genres or even creating entirely new ones. Well, it'll make a change from eyepopping shooters, I suppose.
Kingdoms is set for a big reveal at this year's E3. We'll keep you posted. [CVG]
Black Ops: First Strike DLC Gets First Video
In case you missed it, Activision and Treyarch have released the first official trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops' first DLC map pack. We brought you the details a few weeks ago, but this latest communication gives us a closer look and some developer feedback about what First Strike promises to bring to the party.
A lot of people are getting excited about the phrase "New Perks/Killstreaks" appearing at the very start of the trailer, though I wouldn't hold your breath. This likely refers to the new features that Black Ops implemented since Modern Warfare 2.
First Strike launches on February 1st for the Xbox 360, and will reach the PS3 and PC a month later due to their exclusivity deal with Microsoft.
Cannon Fodder 3 Announced...
Well it's about damn time. Codemasters has announced that a PC/Xbox 360 sequel to the venerable Cannon Fodder series is in production, featuring the classic cartoony ultraviolence and a wide variety of battlegrounds. Including outer space! This would normally be cause for widespread, uncontrollable jubilation... but unfortunately there's some nasty small print.
So far, Codemasters has only confirmed Cannon Fodder 3 for Russia and CIS territories, though according to Eurogamer, release outside these countries has "yet to be announced." Here's hoping. [Eurogamer]