This week's Xbox Deals with Gold are now live. If you're currently in need of Xbox credit make sure to check out our Xbox Live account deals guide: cheap Xbox Live Gold & Xbox Live Gift Cards for all the latest deals on Xbox Live Gold subscriptions and gift cards.
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TorrentFreak have compiled a projected list of 2011's most illegally-downloaded titles using BitTorrent's trackers and other sources... and the results might surprise you. While Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 are respectively the second and third most pirated PC games of the year, it appears that Crysis 2 tops the dubious charts with a whopping 3,920,000 estimated downloads. Well, it does have a bit of a head start.
On the Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Mario Sports Mix dominate the BitTorrent downloads. Xenoblade Chronicles clocked in at a close third, which was to be expected since many disgruntled US gamers will have probably downloaded it after NoA refused to simultaneously port the localised version to both European and American regions.
In terms of pirated Xbox 360 games, Gears Of War 3 unsurprisingly took the lead with 890,000 downloads, followed (again unsurprisingly) by Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefeld 3. The PS3 has not been included in the report since its Blu-Ray disc format and constantly-evolving firmware suffers from "considerably less" piracy. Full report through the link.
Crysis 2 has been somewhat overshadowed by 2011's more recent releases, but it's still a great shooter with satisfying stealth elements, decent multiplayer and pleasing tactical depth. Oh, and it looks plenty shiny to boot. If you're willing to use Origin, EA's download service have the cheapest price on the market.
If you're getting bored with the multiplayer maps in Crysis 2, then you might be relieved to discover that the Decimation Pack's out now for PC and Xbox 360. Sorry PS3 users, you'll just have to wait until 29th June to get your hands on the new add-on pack.Click here to find out more!
You got to love Bank Holidays. Bumper weekends are excellent, and it would appear that Crytek think so too as they're encouraging people to avoid the bizarrely unstable weather of late and play Crysis 2 all weekend to earn massive amounts of XP. From now through to Monday, players will be able to earn double XP across all three platforms and all game modes.
There are a few little prizes for those who amass the most, with winners eligible for one of the following:
Well, surprise, surprise! LA Noire's jumped straight in at Number 1 in this week's UK Games Charts and my guess is that it'll stay in the top three for at least the next couple of weeks. Rockstar's Detective saga is jam packed full of content and I had a wicked time investigating away and busting criminals over the weekend! That's not to say it's a perfect game by any means, there are a couple of areas that could do with a bit of polish, but it's wonderful to see the story unfold before your eyes.Click here to see who made the Top Ten this week!
Looks like it's the week for new DLC releases, well that's the case for Fallout: New Vegas and Crysis 2 at least, so if you're looking to get more gameplay hours out of either game then now's your chance.Click here for more details.
£14.99 is a crazy low price for Crysis 2 - and with Amazon and Gamestation currently out of stock, GAME are reigning supreme as the cheapest retailer around.
As well as being a decent tech demo, Crysis 2 also happens to be a fairly good game. However, in my opinion, it pales in comparison to its predecessor. The levels are smaller, your options are more limited and the art design is crushingly boring. Setting a game in New York is a cliched and overused idea at the best of times - and the bipedal grey aliens and dull grey surroundings are a far cry (sorry, cheap shot) from the lush jungles, neon blue space squid and incredible icy vistas of the original game.
Still, I repeat: Crysis 2 is a fairly good game. And £14.99 is a brilliant price.
Once again the Crysis series proves that it's the king of visuals and if you want to see what all the fuss is about, then why not grab a copy from Game or Gamestation, you'll be saving yourself exactly £7 on both the Xbox 360 and the Ps3 versions of the game. For those of you who were worrying about whether or not the game would make a smooth transition onto consoles, I'm happy to tell you that it's done so very well. If you want to know anything more about the game before buying it, then why not check out David's review.
That's it! We've had enough.
Whilst we're convinced that the quality of games has reached an all-time high, there's no denying that design cliches are starting to completely dominate our medium. The same tired old gaming conventions appear over and over again, aggravating us to near insanity every time. In order to get some of the angst out of my system, I've decided to shift my frustrations onto the internet - and you guys - instead.
Here are five of the biggest offenders, and I hope you'll agree that it's time to make a change!
I know you're as bored of reading about how much we hate QTEs as we are of writing about how much we hate them. Bizarrely, though, developers have proved strongly resistant to the idea of scrapping them regardless of how many times we criticise QTEs in reviews, previews, commentary and angry forum posts. They're like a bad rash, and the infestation is only getting worse.
For those who don't know, Quick Time Events were an attempt to make storylines more immersive by providing interactive cutscenes... but in reality, displaying button prompts on the screen forced players to suspend disbelief by constantly reminding us that we're playing a game. The concept could have just been dropped years ago - but no such luck.
QTEs should only be used when they mark a branching point in the narrative or gameplay experience. Heavy Rain is an excellent example of this in action, as failing at one of its numerous events doesn't always result in death and failure. Rather, the story shifts in a new (and usually worse) direction. Unfortunately the recent examples of Bulletstorm and Crysis 2 demonstrate how not to include them, as the actions of crawling across the floor, grabbing a pipe or otherwise moving around could have just been handled by a quick cutscene or, you know, left out in favour of more combat. To add insult to injury, they ultimately create unskippable cutscenes! Which is another deadly game design sin that I'll have to leave for another rant.
We fervently hope that developers start to take the hint. Especially since us gamers, reviewers and pundits have been banging on about them for years.
Downloadable content takes many forms: from the loftiest expansion packs to the rattiest collections of weapons and outfits available at launch. To be honest, we're sick to death with the whole DLC culture that pervades gaming these days, but there's one type of content pack in particular that we'd like to focus on.
When designing DLC, it's very difficult to create meaningful singleplayer content that genuinely expands on the original game. However, it's much easier to shoehorn your mechanics into a pointless selection of recycled arenas that are entirely separate from the canon and the rest of the experience itself. Mass Effect's Pinnacle Station, Borderlands' Underdome, BioShock 2's Protector Trials and Painkiller: Redemption are all reprehensible examples of this cash-grabbing tactic in all its cynical glory - and fail to reward their players with persistent experience, items or even much in the way of fun.Click here to continue reading our angry sack of shameful sins >>
Hold your nano-suit horses for one moment, please, ladies and gentleman, as EA have just announced the first wave of Crysis 2 DLC is inbound! The Retaliation Map Pack - bit hostile - contains four brand new multiplayer maps to enact all manner of carnage and mayhem in, and is due to hit PC, Xbox Live and - ahem - Playstation Network on May 17th.Click here to read more...
While there have been better deals for this one in the past, this is the current best offer around. For PS3 owners looking to get their nano suit on, TheGameCollection’s price beats that of the next best over at CoolShop by almost £3. As for the game itself, it’s a visual wonder when the action gets going, with some well executed set pieces along the way through the devastated New York City. Although the game isn’t quite as open as its predecessor and follows a more obvious linear path, there’s still plenty of ways to take on your foes along the way. Thanks to goonertillidie @ HUKD!
If you're a big Crysis 2 fan and you like online multiplayer, then grabbing a limited edition copy of the game might be for you because you'll get some online bonuses including a hologram decoy, unique platinum dog tags, a digital skin for the scar gun, and a bit of XP. Now the price might not be as low as you'd expect, but you'll save exactly £2 on the next best offers coming in from PC World and Currys. All that's left for me to say is suit up if you dare!
Crytek are in the business of making great engines as well than great games, and Crysis 2 was just the beginning. CEO and President Cervat Yerli has announced that a powerful editor will be hitting in early summer, followed by the full software development kit for fans to get "creative" with. Apparently Crytek will also help modders to sell their work, and we have the full details below.Don't Cry(Engine), click here for the full story >>
We posted a deal for the console versions the other day, but now it’s time for the PC version to get a bit of money-saving loving. EA’s Easter sale ensures that you can get your nanosuit on for £9 less than the next best with stock over at Zavvi, netting you a significant saving. It’s worth pointing out that that if you opt for the digital download you will need to use the EA Downloader to get hold of your purchase. As for the game itself, it’s a visual wonder when the action gets going, with some well executed set pieces along the way through the devastated New York City. Although the game isn’t quite as open as its predecessor, there’s still plenty of ways to take on your foes. Thanks to sandym & nat601 @ HUKD!
Here comes Game’s deal of the day, and considering this one only came out a few weeks ago this offer is pretty good for those of you itching to get your nanosuit on. Game’s price drop puts it around £10 cheaper than the next cheapest retailers for both console versions, netting you a significant saving. As for the game itself, it’s a visual wonder when the action gets going, with some well executed set pieces along the way through the devastated New York City. Although the game isn’t quite as open as its predecessor, there’s still plenty of ways to take on your foes. Thanks to Kodoku @ HUKD!
Once again, our great gaming nation has spoken out to pledge its loyalty to health and exercise. Zumba Fitness has taken the top spot for a second week running. We're all health nuts when it comes right down to it, apparently.
LEGO Star Wars III and Crysis 2 are still bickering over second place, with Traveller's Tales latest family friendly masterpiece managing to edge out Crytek's shiny FPS. There are no new releases to speak of... but gamers will either be delighted or exasperated to see Call Of Duty: Black Ops back in the charts (likely due to the recent publicity surrounding it being crowned the best-selling entertainment product of 2010.
Elsewhere, Homefront is still in the top ten, which should be great news for even the most skittish and panicky THQ shareholders. See? 71% aggregate doesn't mean a bad game, you silly stockholders. Now make sure that Homefront 2 has a decent singleplayer campaign and you'll have an unstoppable hit on your hands.Click here to see the this week's UK Top Ten >>
As an avid gamer and film fan, I desperately want to enjoy 3D, but so far it's been a massive letdown. So where better to try and boost my enthusiasm, than a huge arena packed with the latest TV sets and 3D games? Gadget Show Live, time to wow me.
First of all I head on over to the games area and get stuck into a bit of Killzone 3 on a Sony Bravia. When I played an early demo of the game last August I wasn't impressed with the 3D at all. Six months later though and the game has rocketed past my expectations.
The most impressive scene I witnessed was the early level where you're inside a mech-walker, scouting out a route through the broken Helghan Capital. The depth of the mech's cockpit was incredible, it really added to the feeling of scope and made me realise how big the mech actually was. Bullets fired directly at you seem to be more realistic too thanks to the extra layer of depth they travel through. Errant bullets to your left and right lose the effect a little though.
Considering the PS3 has to create duplicate images to create 3D, I couldn't fault the framerate or the crispness of the graphics. The picture didn't seem to be darker either which is usually a problem with most 3D images thanks to the tinted lenses. In short, brilliant.
When it comes right down to it, us gamers are all about keeping fit and treating our bodies like the temples that they are.
Or at least, that's what the chart tells us. Zumba Fitness, the motion-controlled fitness game, has rocketed to the top of the chart and dethroned Crysis 2 from its lofty perch. Considering my flabby frame, I should probably get on that myself.
Homefront is still sticking around at number six, which is likely to coax the last of THQ's panicky shareholders off of the windowledge.
Otherwise, it's just the same old faces. LEGO Star Wars III, Shift 2: Unleashed, WWE All Stars and Art Academy are still selling like hot cakes - and both Pokemon titles are clinging onto the list for dear life with their tiny claws, paws and murderous scythes.Full chart after the jump >>
As I understand it, many of you were disappointed that Crysis 2 doesn't support DirectX 11... and complained in droves. Crytek were fairly cagey about whether or not they'd decide to add this functionality - but have now officially confirmed that a DX11 patch is on the way on the community forums.
Erm, so there you go then. No date has been given as yet, but we'll let you know when you'll be able to enjoy improved tessellation, multi-threading and various other lengthy and intimidating technical concepts that might make Crysis 2 look even better.