It's now only a week until Christmas, and the festive parties are in full swing, not least in the Dealspwn camp. Gaming is a serious business though, and we've taken time out of our hectic social lives (stop laughing at the back) to bring you this weeks hottest news, along with reviews of the latest releases. Here's a quick roundup of the biggest for you.
- STALKER 2 Studio To "Do Their Best" To Continue: Last week we brought you the news that GSC, the developer behind Stalker and its in-development sequel, had closed its doors. Fans of their venerable franchise may just be getting a light at the end of the tunnel, with GSC promising to "do their best" to continue production. Nothing concrete I'm afraid, but we'll take that over nothing at all.
- PlayStation Access Roadmap Brings Vita Previews To The Public Before Launch: The PS Vita is causing quite the stir, and commencing January 13th, you'll be able to get your hands on the device itself and see what all the fuss is about for yourself when PS Access take Sony's new handheld on the road.
- Kojima Teases Zone Of The Enders 3 Possibility On Fox Engine: Kojima expressed excitement at the idea of creating another Zone of the Enders title at this year's VGA Awards, but stated that due to a lack of staff available to develop it on the FOX engine, it will remain a pipe dream for now. Hey Konami, I think that might have been a hint. Take it already.
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD Developed By Robomodo, Will Cost 'About $15': I'm excited about this cynical ploy to win back favour from the die-hard fans that were forced to suffer through the latest Tony Hawk games, I really am. No seriously, it'll be awesome. Anyway, the HD remake of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater will be developed by Robomodo, and will cost the equivalent of around $15. No I really think it'll be great! Gah!
- Kojima: MGS Fans wanting 'Authentic Stealth' Should 'Patiently Wait For The Sequel': While I absolutely agree with DrTrouserPlank's view on the Metal Gear franchise, my more objective self would like to tell me to shut up and communicate both Kojima's tease at a new Metal Gear Solid title and his warning that Metal Gear Rising will not be the sneakfest fans may have expected to you.
- Valve Primes E3 2012 Announcement: Valve broke my heart at the VGAs, when their much-speculated Half Life 3 announcement ended up being nothing but speculation. Now, they're gearing up to break it all over again, priming an E3 2012 announcement for 'something with a 3' in it. Don't do this to me Gabe, my ticker can't take much more...
- Lionhead Looking For MMO Programmers: Put aside your dreams of programming superstardom for a minute and read between the lines of this appeal. Lionhead, it seems, are seemingly looking at the MMO market as something they can mine for all it's worth. Might they finally be moving away from Albion, or are we instead going to be getting much, much more Albion?
- Jungle Kartz Review: If the best thing about your game is the cheap, undersized inflatable kart this is packed along with it, you're probably not onto a winner. You'll probably also feel the full wrath of one of Jon's 2-out-of-10 review scores.
- Gears Of War 3: RAAM's Shadow Review: Epix have bravely shunned the 'map-pack' DLC model in favour of a story-driven mini campaign. Felix seems glad of their decision to do so, awarding it an excellent 8.
- Rayman Origins Review: Rayman: Origins is absolutely excellent. Jon awards it a perfect 10, and after taking up his recommendation, would defend to the (metaphorical) death his decision to do so. Buy it.
- Trine 2 Review: Not just a pretty face, Trine 2 ends up being pretty darn good too. And they say December is a quiet month for games...
- Joe Danger: Special Edition Review: Hello Games are being paraded as indie heroes at the moment, and with Joe Danger: Special Edition landing on the Xbox this week, it's easy to see why. Absolutely stunning in almost every detail, Joe Danger is a must have.
- Xbox LIVE Metro Update Impressions | Better Search Options, More Indie Woes: Felix gives us his take on the revised Xbox 360 dashboard, pointing out some successes and abominable failures in the process.
- Starfire Studios Interview | Leaving Rare, Supporting The Space Sim & The Final Indie Frontier: Ex-Rare employee and now director of Starfire Studios Phil Dunne has a sit-down with Jon and explains his reasons for leaving behind one of gaming's most beloved companies. He also discusses what the future has in store for their indie outfit, and is a bloody nice guy throughout.
- Dealspwn Game of the Year Staff Highlights 2011: The Dealspwn staff discuss their personal gaming highlights and lowlights of 2011 before the final decision is made.
- Why We Love . . . The Three Leaf Clover Mission In GTA IV: Tom revisits the blinding bank job level from GTA IV, and explains what makes it such an excellent homage to heist movies like Heat.