Batman: Arkham City Announced for Q3 2011
After teasing and trailering the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum at last year's VGAs, WB dropped us a line to inform us that Arkham City is on course for an autumn 2011 release date. Featuring an sprawling hostile Gotham City district, an entirely new storyline and some classic villains (including Two Face, Mr. Freeze and Talia al Ghul), we couldn't be more excited. Here's the press release for your delectation:
Developed by Rocksteady Studios, Batman: Arkham City builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of Batman: Arkham Asylum, sending players soaring into Arkham City, the new maximum security “home” for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight.
I'm so ready for this. Check out the official site and our news updates for the latest!
Fable III Will Not Support Kinect at Launch
Good old Peter Molyneux's been acting as unofficial spokesman for Kinect, defending the peripheral from all comers while describing Fable III's motion control functionality as "wonderfully additive." Unfortunately, he's now revealed that Fable III won't support Kinect at launch during an interview on the Engadget Show. No touchy-feely stuff, I'm afraid.
Some sort of aftermarket patch might well add Kinect functionality at a later date... but this will require Fable III to be finished with room to activate/add the code later on since Microsoft has previously stated that retroactively adding Kinect support to older titles is impossible. [The Engadget Show]
Female Lead Characters Cut From Activision Games?
Wonder why there aren't more female lead characters in videogames these days? According to leaked comments from former Activision employees, it's because they simply don't sell. Apparently, Activision execs may have called for culling of female leads from upcoming projects (including a nifty spy thriller starring a Lucy Liu-wannabe that's transmogrified into True Crime: Hong Kong) just because they didn't test well in focus groups. In fact, they were "given specific direction to lose the chick."
Ouch. These comments form part of a larger Gamasutra report that's lengthy but well worth a read. Activision almost certainly isn't the only company guilty of sidelining female protagonists... but it's certainly another piece of bad publicity that makes them resemble a Saturday morning cartoon supervillain even more than they do already. [Gamasutra via 1UP]
Update: Activision has refuted these allegations, stating that "[they respect] the creative vision of its development teams. The company does not have a policy of telling its studios what game content they can develop, nor has the company told any of its studios that they cannot develop games with female lead characters." Make your minds up, folks.
We'd love to get your thoughts on this one. Are you insulted by the current lack of female game protagonists... or do you feel that this is a storm in a teacup? Want to get stuck into yet another rant about Activision? Have your say in the comments!
Bioshock 2 To Receive Story-Expanding DLC
For a story-driven experience, Bioshock 2 has received some truly shocking DLC. The first multiplayer content pack added an incremental upgrade that was actually included on the disc in the first place, and the recently-released Protector Trials pack adds an inexplicable challenge mode to the proceedings.
Luckily, 2K President Christoph Hartmann has announced a new DLC offering that will expand upon Bioshock's epic story and setting. Entitled Minerva's Den, it'll feature a new player character, new environments and some backstory centred around Tenenbaum's struggle for survival.
"Minerva's Den is a substantial addition that will give players more of what they're looking for: more story, more narrative, more gameplay and more of Rapture.Minerva's Den will be a fitting conclusion to the BioShock 2 saga."
About time too.
And the "When Good Developers Go Wild" Award Goes To...
Nippon Ichi. The developers behind the wonderfully deep and anarchic Disgaea series seem to have gone of the rails in the aftermath of woeful 2009 profits. Their current project, known simply as Criminal Girls, is described as "the role-playing game where you punish young girls."
Yep, that's exactly how it sounds. Using a combination of healing massage and sadistic spanking, you'll need to erotically convince seven sinful buxom wenches to...
... I can't do this anymore. Criminal Girls will probably never reach British shores, though if you make enough noise you might just get your wish (you sick puppy). Whilst I can see this PSP title selling well in Japan (with no sweeping generalisation intended), I genuinely despair for Nippon Ichi- and hope that another Disgaea game may also be in the works. [Kotaku]