In order to celebrate all things Vancouver-related, The Indie Gala have found a big-name frontman in Mass Effect 2, along with the excellent Shank 2, fun Shadowgrounds, Zombie Driver HD and more. You'll need to beat the fluctuating minimum price to get involved, which is unlikely to rise much above £4-£5. Update: Thanks to Vladimir at HUKD, who found this before I did.
Before buying, note that these games have to be redeemed on a bizarre mix of clients, including Steam, Desura, Android and Origin (for Mass Effect 2 only).
Happy VD everybody! Valentine's Day, that is, not the...erm...other thing. As we discovered earlier in the week, this industry has not exactly covered itself in glory at times when it comes to coupling, with forced romantic storylines often proving alienating, immersion-breaking, and sometimes downright disturbing (*cough* Sonic!). But interactive entertainment has also offered us some absolutely fantastic moments of such romantic bliss that it almost brings a tear to the eye just reminiscing.
So we gathered up the team and put together a little list of our favourite romantic moments in video games...
If you heard the recent PWNCAST in which we discussed romance in games, you would have already seen my choice coming a mile off, but for those of you who didn’t listen (BOO-urns to you) I will helpfully clarify my most touching moment for you - Jack finally opening up to Shepard in Mass Effect 2.
Starting out as possibly the angriest person in the galaxy (with good reason) Jack slowly began to confide in my Shepard over the course of the game, leading to me helping her destroy her childhood memories with a nuke (which I think you’ll agree is one hell of a first date.) Slowly getting to know the girl who had faced the worst the galaxy could dish out her entire life, topped off with her frequent use of profanity, provided what I felt was some the best storytelling in the game. However, the scene that took place before the suicide mission, when Jack turns up in Shepard’s cabin, is the one that gets me every time.
With her emotions finally on show, the psychotic biotic had finally found something worth taking a risk on, and I got to see Jack in a moment of peace and happiness. The end result of not giving up on her was a tender scene between two people who had been to hell and back, and because I was projecting my own feelings through my version of Shepard it made the moment resonate even more.
Sure, she would end up punching me in Mass Effect 3 upon our reunion, but it was worth it. Jack was always worth it.Click here to read more...
You couldn't make this up. According to numerous furious reports on Steam and Reddit, many PC gamers who bought a retail copy of Black Ops II are unable to install the second disc because it contains Mass Effect 2 installation files.Click here to read more...
Until the inevitable Game Of The Year edition inexorably shambles out of the EA machine, this is probably the best time to get your hands on Mass Effect 2's downloadable content packs. Gold members will be able to pick up Kasumi's Stolen Memory for 280 Microsoft Points and Lair of the Shadow Broker for 400 (a 50% saving for both), but arguably the most important purchase is Arrival. This piece of DLC bridges the gap between Mass Effect 2 and the events of next year's sequel... and is relentlessly linear and disappointing. BioWare have been cutting a lot of corners recently, and shoehorning you to go down a particular route just to force Shepard back to Earth in the next game seems... well, a bit lazy to be honest.
Still, you'll probably want to get it while it's cheap. And nasty.
As always, click the links to hit up the marketplace and queue up the downloads. Remember to log in, Gold Members!
UPDATE: Microsoft has also slashed the price of several first-party DLC packs for one day only.
Mass Effect 2's one of the rare sequels out there that's a pretty good improvement on the original. Gone are the sections of the game where you'd spend ages exploring planet surfaces in the Mako and the combat is miles better! Old faces make welcome returns and you actually want to make the effort to learn all you can about the new characters. Sadly, there's a rather dull mini-game where you have to mine planet surfaces for resources, but this is a small blemish on an otherwise excellent game. If you've not played it yet, then why not head on over to Choices UK to grab a copy on the 360 for £11.99, which'll save you almost £2 on the next best offer.
The PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 shipped with an interactive comic that allowed players to experience the story of the original Mass Effect and create a save file based on their choices. EA and BioWare have now released Mass Effect: Genesis as an expansion pack for ME2 on Xbox Live... but rather than a free extra, it will set you back 320 Microsoft Points.
Speaking as a fan of the franchise, I would absolutely urge you to not download it. The original Mass Effect, despite its flawed combat, provided one of the most powerful and intricate storylines to have ever featured in a game (far surpassing the sequel), and you owe it to yourselves to snag or rent a copy to experience it first hand. Plus, 320 Microsoft Points will snag you 4 Indie games or a full XBLA title during a Deal Of The Week.
You can also get the original Mass Effect for about £4 on PC, which I'd recommend to anyone - PS3 owners included - who happen to own a half-decent rig and fancy playing Mass Effect 2.
Will you be downloading Mass Effect: Genesis? Or is this a case of one DLC pack too far? Let us know (or thoroughly rebuke me for my impertinence) in the comments!
It's not often you see a develop boasting of its newest racer's sheer amount of dialogue, but Ubisoft Reflection is doing just that, proclaiming the supposed fact that Driver: San Francisco features more lines of dialogue than even Bioware's chatty space-opera, Mass Effect 2. In the latest Driver title, series stalwart, John Tanner, has fallen into an untimely coma. As such, the game itself is his fantasy. John can leap from vehicle to passing vehicle at whim, opening the game up to a dazzling - and potentially confusing - array of chase or escape options.
But why does that mean Ubisoft is recording hundreds of hours worth of dialogue? Well, when Tanner decides to jump into a passing Sedan with a soccer mom on her way to pick up the kids, he'll be privy to the conversation she's having. "There are hundreds of characters in the game, that we've recorded," explains Ubisoft Reflection, "they all have their lives and their stories". It's an interesting feature to champion, seemingly irrelevant to the core driving feature, but it'll no doubt give Driver: San Francisco some much-needed personality and a voice, if you will. [OXM]
Hmm, . . . now would I go so far as to say that Mass Effect 2 is better than it's predecessor? You know what, yes, I think I would! The combat is a vast improvement, the story is thoroughly engrossing and populated with a load of fascinating characters some of which are brand new and others you'll already be familiar with if you've played the original, oh yeah, and the Mako's gone. I'd recommend you grab a copy immediately if you've not played this one already, and you'll save yourself almost £2 on the next best offer by grabbing one from The Game Collection. Thanks to janner66 @ HUKD.
The recently greatly debated RPG sequel has had its PC version price slide dramatically, with Game slicing off almost £9 from the next best offer from CoolShop. However, some may question whether, even at this price, this title is worth the purchase. Let me state it bluntly; chances are you’ll only give it one play through due to the lack of variation in the content, and you’ll probably not be blown away by the storyline, but the action is visually impressive and doing everything will clock up at least 40+ hours, which for less than £15 isn’t too shabby these days. I would suggest checking out my review and Matt’s rant to help you decide. Thanks to Macdory @ HUKD!
It’s also worth pointing out; if you order this before the end of the month, you’ll be given a free PC copy of Mass Effect 2 straight from EA’s download service as well. Thanks to Whirley for the heads-up!
The GAME group are offering the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 at bargain prices currently (with Game setting their price at £1 more here if you prefer shopping with them, or have a spare BAFTA code to get an even better saving.) Otherwise, the next best price is at Zavvi, which is almost £3 more that Gamestation's offer. PS3 owners who have yet to experience Commander Shepard’s shenanigans should jump on board for this one, because there’s a reason it has won multiple Game of the Year awards; it’s a damn fine game. The PS3 version also comes packed with all of the DLC, meaning you’ll be getting a complete experience… until Arrival hits next week, that is. Thanks to goonertillidie @ HUKD!
UPDATE: It appears Amazon aren't letting this deal pass them by and have price matched Gamestation, so if you prefer purchasing from them you can do so at the link provided above. Thanks to chelmsfordman @ HUKD for the update!
Mass Effect 2 was awarded Best Game at the BAFTA Videogame Awards on Wednesday, and rightly so, in my humble opinion. It's a fantastic game of truly epic proportions, and I can't wait for the final chapter later this year. In the meantime, Bioware is bridging the gap between Mass Effect 2 and 3 with a chunk of DLC titled Arrival. Rumored for months, now we finally have a release date and some tantalizing info to sink our teeth into.Read on for more!
Lots of action at the BAFTAs last night, with Mass Effect 2 swooping in and beating off the likes of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Heavy Rain to win 'Best Game'. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood kicked things off by winning the award for 'Best Action' and David Cage's Quantic Dream opus Heavy Rain took the most awards of the evening with three: 'Story', 'Technical Innovation' and 'Original Music'. Black Ops beat out Red Dead Redemption for the public vote, although lost the multiplayer trophy to Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, with iPhone game Cut The Rope beating off games with far bigger budgets to nail the 'Handheld' award.
Hosted by comedian Dara O'Briain, the awards also saw the 'BAFTA Fellowship' bestowed upon the irrepressible Peter Molyneux, presented to the Lionhead man by Sir Ben Kingsley. Molyneux thanked the gaming community and all of his colleagues before joking that he was 'just the idiot that stands up and says, "Why don't you make a game about theme parks? Or dungeons?"'. He also thanked the gaming press, admitting that he perhaps sometimes overhyped games and invented new features to keep journalists on their toes in interviews. Finally, he thanked his family and paid tribute to an 'incredible' industry.Check out the full list of winners after the jump...
The PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 contains all the DLC that Xbox 360 owners had to buy with their hard-earned cash, but the latest patch has also delivered tantalising new info about a future DLC pack. What is Arrival... and more worryingly, what is 'The Ultimate Sacrifice?"Click here to read more...
Calling all PS3 owners, the price of this exceptional game has dropped down once again! Mass Effect 2 is definitely one of the better sequels out there; The Empire Strikes Back of the series if you will. The story is about as immersive as they come and coupled with the new combat mechanics, it's hard not to be taken on a thrilling single player ride. The PS3 edition also comes with an interactive comic that recaps the events of the first game, gives you access to the Cerberus Network, and drops a load of downloadable content into your lap for an added bonus.
It's great Mass Effect 2 - and 3, for that matter - have gone multiplatform. It's better for EA, it's better for Bioware, and it's better for gamers to be able to share such a fantastic experience. However, it does mean PS3 fans have to wait a little while before it comes anywhere near the 360's dirt cheap prices. In the meantime, however, you can make do with cracking deals like this; £26.99 at Grainger Games. And remember, it comes packed to the blu ray brim with content, with all the DLC packs included. Not to mention I bet it's less compressed than the 360 version, resulting in cleaner textures, crisper sound and an overall - but still slight - visual improvement.
Earlier this week David Braben, boss of Frontier and the man behind Kinectimals suggested that reviewers should be subject to a system similar to Metacritic to inform the public if the reviewer’s opinions can be trusted, arguing that most reviewers are looking at certain games with a “core-gamer” perspective.
A problem starts to occur when the audiences’ tastes differ significantly from the reviewer’s – or developer’s – own tastes," he adds. "This is becoming more of an issue as our industry matures to include a great many people outside this group – particularly so if the group targeted is not just this ‘core’."
Braben noted that this kind of thinking on the reviewer's behalf is fine if his audience matches their work, "but for a review on TV, on a website for kids and adults or in the mainstream media, it does not.
He even suggested that some reviewers wait to see what other people say before writing up their views, and that the reviews that go up immediately after a games release are usually spot on. While he did go on to state that reviewers have a hard job with “little glory” and that constantly good reviewers should be rewarded in some way, his words caused something of an outcry. However, unfortunately for Mr Braben, Metacritic co-founder Marc Doyle has rejected such an idea, and (armed with what some may call "common sense") stated that the audience is perfectly capable of deciding for themselves if a reviewer’s opinion resonates for them and deserves to be followed.
A critic's review and his or her score is an opinion - it's not right or wrong. We can judge the credibility of a critic based on the quality of his or her analysis, the depth of his or her experience in gaming, and a host of other criteria. We do exactly that when selecting critics at Metacritic.
He also rejected Braben's statement that the first to publish are usually right in their views, arguing that reviewers that are given more time to go through a game give a more well-reasoned article in the process. [Sprong] [Eurogamer]
Do you have an opinion on the subject? Perhaps you agree with Mr Braben’s idea? Tell us what you think in the comments!
The 14th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, run by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science, took place in Las Vegas last night with the usual pomp & circumstance that follows such ceremonies, and those that watched the event were treated to an opening video featuring Duke Nukem and Borderlands’ own Claptrap up to his usual hijinks. On the awards front, Red Dead Redemption went away with five gongs to its name, although it didn’t manage to win the top honour of Game of the Year which went to Bioware’s Mass Effect 2, which walked away with an additional two awards.
Other winners included Heavy Rain, StarCraft 2, Limbo, and even Angry Birds HD catapulted its way to an award. You can get a full list of the winners and runners up at the official website located here.
What do you think about the winners and losers from last night’s event? Do you agree or disagree with the results? Sound off in the comments!
We are just one month away from the release of Kaos Studios’ FPS Homefront, in which you’ll be fighting to liberate an occupied America from some very angry North Koreans. In preparation Kaos Studios have released another trailer titled “The Resistance” which highlights some of the arenas of battle player will be visiting during the course of the game, as well as showing off some explosive action.
After 13 years of development we only have to wait 13 more weeks until Duke Nukem Forever is finally in our hands, but today news has broken of a “Balls of Steel” Edition of the game which will be available for pre-order. Along with the game there will be an array of extra goodies, including an art book, art cards, some poker chips and dice, a set of cards, a certificate of authenticity to prove you aren’t lying and small statue of the main man himself.
We here at Dealspwn are looking forward to the return of one of gaming’s biggest icons (as you can tell from Matt’s preview here) and although there has not been details of UK-based retailers offering this Edition as of yet we’ll be sure to keep you posted the moment we hear of anything. [VG247]
PC gamers can get the second instalment of the Mass Effect series for less than a tenner, meaning you can get yourself up to speed with the action before Mass Effect 3 hits us later this year. Take control of Commander Sheppard once again as you try to stop the abduction of entire human colonies by recruiting the best of the best to your crew, continuing the epic saga started in the previous instalment and kicking some ass at the same time. It’s less of an RPG than some might like, but it’s a highly energised action game from start to finish and fans of Mass Effect should definitely give it a go, if only to see a Salarian singing a show tune (no, really.) Still unsure? Check out Matt’s review for the full scoop. Thanks to goonertillidie @ HUKD!
As a diehard BioWare fan, I found Mass Effect 2 to be uniquely disappointing. Shafting the main story in favour of largely stereotypical characters who don't have quite enough backstory to be interesting really pissed me off... but I still know a good game when I see one. Solid action, great dialogue and some epic set pieces make Mass Effect 2 extremely addictive- and the added extras on the PS3 make this an absolute bargain.
Note, however, that the comic has nothing playing the original... and Mass Effect 2's story isn't a patch on its predecessor. If you can, play Mass Effect first!
This was a close one. To be honest any of the games below could have taken the award and we would have been pretty happy. As it was it came down to a single vote. We've been blessed in the past twelve months to have seen a marked rise in the calibre of the games released, something that we're yet to fully adjust to as critics. we've delighted in a swathe of technically brilliant games, executed impeccably and delivered with thunderclaps of publicity and huge amounts of polish as you can see below. Perhaps looking forward into 2011 we should take that as a benchmark standard and aspire to higher heights of inventiveness and innovation, the blockbusters of 2010 have certainly made that an exciting possibility.
In the meantime, though, let's look back on some of the brightest stars of 2010.
Get your vote on below...and if there's a game you loved that didn't make it here, LET US KNOW ABOUT IT!
Click here to read more...