Mass Effect 3 will be receiving a mysterious day-one DLC pack entitled "From Dust." Gamestop have been selling codes in-store, and it will set us back $9.99 (£7.99/800 MSP) according to a receipt procured by Joystiq. It's likely that this is the official name for the DLC that will ship with Mass Effect 3's increasingly-rare Collector's Edition - slated to bolt on an extra mission and squad member - but we'll keep an eye on things.
We're assuming that this doesn't have anything to do with Eric Chahi's downloadable god game, but stranger things have happened...
After a tweet from US retailer Future Shop appeared to leak the existence of a PlayStation Move-supporting racing game based on the LittleBigPlanet franchise, the first grainy images have hit the internet. LittleBigPlanet Karting is a thing. It's happening. And will ship with a steering wheel peripheral for PS Move. Though details are thin on the ground, the name should be enough to work out what this title is about.
We've got the full promo shot below courtesy of TSA.Click here for the big picture (literally) >>
In the wake of sensational rumours purporting that the next-generation Xbox console won't play pre-owned games without an online pass, several developers have come out of the woodwork to give their take on the situation. Volition's Jameson Durall controversially praised the idea as "fantastic," but in sharp comparison, CD Projekt have decried the potential move as "a bad thing." Instead, the developers behind the Witcher 2 believe that fostering "a strong relationship with players" and giving us a reason to keep our games in the first place is more important than punishing those who choose to buy used. Or just want to bring a game round to a mate's house.
Hear hear. More after the break.Click here to read more...
In a move of genius, Valve have demonstrated the power of both the newly launched Skyrim Creation Kit and its user-created content library the Steam Workshop by creating a mod that adds the over-excited “Spaaaaaaaaace!” AI core from Portal 2 into the northern lands of Tamriel.Click here to read more...
EA has revealed two iOS apps that will augment the Mass Effect 3 experience by adding to our Galactic Readiness level as we play (thus strengthening our position for the Reapers' inevitable last attack).
Infiltrator will task players with freeing captives from fortified Cerberus facilities in order to expose the evil organisation to the galaxy at large. You'll be able to use powers and Biotics from the main game, with mission victories translated into Galactic Readiness.
Datapad, in contrast, is a more tactical affair as it displays an overview of the galaxy map (which is apparently based on the status of your Mass Effect 3 game) and challenges us to strategically deploy units to counter Reaper incursions into different systems. Kotaku reports that you can also receive in-game text messages from your squadmates, stay in touch with your universe and possibly even pursue romance options? Sounds interesting.
So, we have to play these apps to save the human race? No pressure then.
The annual Independent Games Festival has now opened voting for the 'Audience Award' category that allows gamers to cast their ballot for their most anticipated indie title of 2012. Finalists include powerhouse-in-the-making Fez, our Strategy GOTY Frozen Synapse, Terry Cavanagh's co-op masterpiece At A Distance and many more - and demos/full versions are freely available for many of them.
Do your bit for Indie gaming by trying them out and making your vote count! Voting ends on February 19th.
The PlayStation Network has been formally rebranded to become the Sony Entertainment Network as of today, thanks to PS3 firmware update v4.10. As well as changing the name (excuse me if it takes me a while to adjust, I'm set in my ways), the new firmware also optimises the web browser to make it display content-rich pages much more accurately. Users have reported that sites like Youtube and Twitter now run much faster. The system clock can now be automatically set via the internet every time you log onto PSN - which can be activated by browsing into your 'Date and Time' settings.
You'll need 180MB of free space on your PS3 hard drive or flash drive, depending on how you prefer to deal with your updates.
The PSP has also been updated to v1.60, which adds a new map app on top of the SEN rebrand.
The PS Vita's lack of a UMD drive means that it won't be backwards-compatible with your physical PSP games collection, but we were delighted to discover that Sony planned to allow existing PSP owners to re-purchase new copies of their library with a discount thanks to the UMD Passport application.
However, despite rolling out the service in Japan, Sony has refused to issue it in the US, instead stating that "consumers who already own digital versions of select PSP titles will be able to seamlessly transfer those games to their PS Vita system." This makes a European launch incredibly unlikely, and we've got more details below.Click here to read more...
Having formed up in 2011, it would seem that white-label online service provider and technical dev supergroup Fireteam are ready to go public, having issued an arrival release to the press this week. Formed by Splash Damage’s Technical Director Arnout van Meer (now Fireteam's CTO), Studio Director Stephen Gaffney (CEO), and IT Manager Benjamin J. Hopkinson (Operations Director), the Brink developer will serve as Fireteam's first customer, with the latter having received significant backing from Splash Damage boss Paul Wedgwood.
“We believe players deserve a great online experience, reliability, performance, more content and connectivity,” said Gaffney. “Together, we’ve gained years of experience integrating online services into some of the worlds’ best-selling multiplayer games. We’re now really happy to be completely dedicated to building this as a service and platform.”Click here to read more...
Hideo Kojima and chums have been re-recording certain parts of the MGS HD Collection to incorporate commands for the Vita's touch controls.Click here to read more...
Sexy, slick action-platformer BloodRayne: Betrayal has received a permanent price cut on XBLA and PSN/SEN. It will now set you back 800 Microsoft Points (discounted from 1200) or £7.99 depending on your platform of choice.
I awarded WayForward's bloodthirsty brawler with 7/10 in our BloodRayne: Betrayal review; enjoying the raw mechanics but taking issue with the controls and outrageously cheap level of challenge.
As part of a plan to streamline their business in the wake of ruinous credit insurance problems, GAME has made 46 staffers redundant from their Basingstoke headquarters. We can expect more cuts and aggressive restructuring to take place over the next few months, but with the retailer choosing to fire from upper management, it seems that they'd rather cull from the top rather than closing stores and laying off hard-working retail employees. Regardless, we wish the best of luck to all those affected.
Gotham City Impostors, Monolith's 6v6 Batman-inspired multiplayer shooter, will be releasing on Xbox 360 tomorrow... and its launch has been prefaced by a staggeringly prolific number of DLC packs. The majority of these 105 packs contain clothing and cosmetic character customisation options that range from between 80 to 320 Microsoft Points each.Click here to read more...
Gobliiins is a sweet slice of rock-hard retro point & click puzzle action, and GamersGate are practically giving away the trilogy for £1.23. The colourful art style helps to protect the graphics from the ravages of age, and as far as value is concerned, this is a no-brainer.
UPDATE: David Jaffe has leapt back on Twitter to clear things up a bit: "I have zero plans to make games like FARMVILLE and ANGRY BIRDS. I never said what I was doing post TM (and I'm still on TM along with ESP for the next months as we launch it and balance it in real time and make sure it's a perfect game and continue to support it). At the same time I will be opening a game studio here in San Diego because I really miss internal game development.
"But if I may clear this up: I was not laid off. I co-own the company. There were a few lay offs and they were very painful to do for all involved. I'm leaving because- again- games are just getting too big to direct from 300 miles away and I miss the day to day of working direct with a team."
David Jaffe, the outspoken (putting it mildly) developer behind the Twisted Metal franchise and original God Of War games, may be quitting triple-A development to pursue casual gaming titles if a report from the Salt Lake City Tribune is to be believed. According to Eat Sleep Play boss Scott Campell, who announced that the company will take a new focus on mobile games, Jaffe is "excited to go into the casual space as well" and has "some projects that he’s excited about," but they'll be following "separate paths."
However, Jaffe was quick to respond by suggesting that he won't necessarily enter the casual arena even if he does leave Eat Sleep Play.
"The rumors of me making casual games post TM - as many of you define them - are highly exaggerated." [Twitter]
'As we define them?' Interesting. We'll keep you posted.
A really very quick one, this, but considering we've heard a fair bit from Tim Schafer over the last week, outlining perceived publisher fear when it comes to taking a punt on new IP and acknowledging that he gets approached a fair bit on Twitter asking after the possibility of Psychonauts 2, this little tid bit could be interesting.
This morning, Minecraft creator Notch responded to the circling news stories by tweeting a little message to Mr. Schafer simply saying "@timoflegend Let's make Psychonauts 2 happen", later stating "Also, I'm serious."
Is it news? No, not yet. But maybe if you flood Twitter with your excitement it could turn into some.
Gaikai's executives have been making a fair few predictions this year in the press, and the latest one comes courtesy of head honcho Dave Perry, who argues that Microsoft will almost certainly have to enter the TV market in the (relatively) near future. Citing examples of digital televisions going beyond their previous remit and delivering the functionality of a media hub, it won't be long before they start delivering games too, and then where will that leave Microsoft?Click here to read more...
If you haven't already pre-ordered Mass Effect 3's N7 Collector's Edition, chances are that you've missed your opportunity to get your hands on the swag. BioWare's Chris Priestly has confirmed that no more physical items can be made in time for the March 9th launch, despite fan pressure to increase production.
“Sorry, there simply cannot be any more physical CEs made before launch. The items included in the physical edition cannot be made in time for launch. Sorry, it will not happen. This is why, back in November, I started warning people that the CE would run out.”
GAME has a few of the PS3 and PC versions remaining at a comparatively reasonable £59.99 price point, but otherwise, it's slim pickings unless you're willing to opt for the digital edition. I daresay that some of you managed to take advantage of Bee.com's (now expired) £14.99 pre-order for the base game.
Tim Schafer has long been outspoken about the nature of new IPs, and the lack of trust and increased pressure and risk that comes from reporting to publishers whose only consideration is their bottom line. It has, to a certain extent, created a culture of fear and Schafer makes the point in a recent interview that publishers are often "scared" by the thought of releasing an unknown entity. All of which makes things a little tricky for Schafer's studio Double Fine, considering that they specialise in new IP.Click here to read more...
You should definitely sign up for the Hawken beta immediately... because the game itself is nearly a year away. Despite some fantastic trailers suggesting that Adhesive Games' multiplayer mech shooter was nearly ready, they've confirmed that it will release as a free to play PC title on December 12th 2012. It will be optimised to run on a variety of computers and internet speeds, with top-end rigs and speedy connections allowing 60 FPS action but throttling things to 30 if necessary. The December release date is set to coincide with the launch of Meteor Games' online platform, for which Hawken will be the debut title. [Venturebeat]
This is going to be a long wait for mech fans, though Mechwarrior Online and Armored Core V should help to make the months fly by.