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From Ninja Claptraps to Activision Triple Threat - News Roundup 6th August 2010

Jonathan Lester
Activision, Blizzard, Borderlands, Bring the rain!, Bungie, Call of Duty: Black Ops, CL4P-TP Interplanetary Ninja Assassin, DLC, Games news, Gearbox, Sega, Subscriptions, Vanquish
Call of Duty: Black Ops

Activision Roundup: Black Ops, Blizzard MMO & New Bungie IP

From Ninja Claptraps to Activision Triple Threat - News Roundup 6th August 2010

Activision have been dominating the headlines recently- and today has marked a flurry of new announcements from the emergent monopoly. Here's a quick rundown of the three stories that caught my eye today.

  • Black Ops has greater launch investment than MW2. Bobby Kotick may have attracted a miserly reputation, but Activision certainly aren't scrimping on Black Ops (Trearch's upcoming Call of Duty iteration). According to Kotick himself, Black Ops has garnered "the biggest investment that we’ve ever made in a launch of a title.” Which is probably a good thing, since critical reception is likely to be razor-sharp after the Infinity Ward debacle. Hopefully this monumental sum will make for an excellent game- and considering the improvements Treyarch demonstrated in World at War, Black Ops should logically be a very solid shooter indeed. [1UP]
  • Blizzard's next project is a brand new IP. Blizzard don't like to sit back and rest on their laurels... oh wait, sorry, that's practically all they do these days. However, the recent Q1 Investors Call has revealed that they're currently working on a new MMO based in an entirely fresh universe. Details are thin on the ground, but we'll keep you posted.
  • Bungie Project aligns "well against the growth in online gaming”. Okay, saying that a Bungie title will feature strong multiplayer is fairly redundant, but it's both a relief and a nagging worry that Activision are . We can expect to see Bungie's trademark balanced deathmatches and team games in their new IP... but what about subscription fees? This is an excerpt from the Q1 investor's call after all... and Bungie's legendary aftermarket community support doesn't come cheap... [VG247]

Borderlands DLC Details Leaked (Sort of)

From Ninja Claptraps to Activision Triple Threat - News Roundup 6th August 2010

We recently informed you that gearbox would soon be announcing a new DLC pack for Borderlands, but it seems that an eagle-eyed forum dweller has discovered some juicy details by trawling through the recent patch files. Here's what he found... spoiler alert?

“Basically the ninja claptrap was created by Hyperion to stop the vault hunters from taking all the guns and treasure etc, but was too clever, he saw other claptraps being ‘enslaved’ and ‘killed’ – he wanted it to stop so he started a claptrap revolution. Now Hyperion have asked the vault hunters to help them stop the claptrap uprising and return things back to normal but the claptraps have gone about re-animating dead people and adding claptrap robot parts to them to fight in their army. Some of the people re-animated include Dr Ned. Commandant Steele and General Knoxx.”

In a surprising twist, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has actually confirmed these leaked details in broad terms... though he stated that it represents a first draft of the script rather than a finished article. Pitchford also finally came out of his worrying shell of silence by proudly declaring that there'd be plenty of hidden Easter eggs in the DLC that would take us over a "day to find."

We find you worthy, Randy. We accept your challenge.

New Vanquish Trailer Brings the Rain

From Ninja Claptraps to Activision Triple Threat - News Roundup 6th August 2010

The weekend's only a few hours away... and what could be better than a healthy dose of  power-armoured badasses, hammy voice acting and massive 'splosions to ring in your Friday night. There's a fair bit of gameplay wedged awkwardly between the CGI cutscenes, but Vanquish is shaping up to be an eyepopping and truly exhilarating cinematic experience.

My one worry is that the control scheme will turn out to be clunky, nuanced and counter-intuitive. Japanese developers have a tendency of introducing cumbersome and finnicky controls into their shooters (with a couple of notable exceptions, I know)- and I'd hate for crappy inputs to spoil something that's looking very special indeed. With any luck, my doubts will evaporate upon release.

SEGA has detailed a lot of interesting facts about the armour, canned characters and even robot dogs on the Vanquish blog. Why not check it out?

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