Holy Arkham Asylum 2, Batman!
The IMDB listing for Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 suggests that the Boy Wonder will be making an appearance. Vincent Martella has been slated to provide the voice acting (fresh from his work in Final Fantasy XIII). Whether or not he'll be a playable character is not yet known, though it would open up the opportunity for cooperative play.
Mark Hamill will reprise his excellent role as the Joker, and will be joined by fellow silver screen star Bruce Greenwood as Two-Face. These two veteran actors should provide some serious clout to Rocksteady Studio's next project. [via Gossipgamers]
Steam and Valve Back the Mac
Usually, the words "Mac" and "Steam" are only said in the same sentence when you're getting your jacket dry-cleaned. However, Valve have announced that their digital distribution network is headed to Apple's personal computer platform along with their full range of gaming titles. It's about time that a games company showed some genuine love to the Mac crowd- after all, it'll give them something to do between pretending to write poetry in Starbucks and picking out new berets. Only joking, folks.
According to the press release, this new Apple functionality comes with a whole range of nifty new features. Both Mac and PC users will share the same multiplayer lobbies (allowing for cross-platform play); and purchased games can be downloaded on both PC and Mac with no extra charge. The most interesting new enhancement Steamplay, that takes advantage of Steam's cloud processing capability to remotely save checkpoint progress and quicksaves- meaning that you can start playing on your Macbook and finish the level on your PC desktop.
Portal 2 will be the first simultaneous PC and Mac launch for a Valve title. [Valve]
Ubisoft Explain Server Shutdown
Ubisoft's DRM servers suffered a major blackout over the weekend that left thousands of Assassin's Creed 2 and Silent Hunter V players unable to connect (and thus play their legally-purchased games). A spokesman was therefore quick to leap to the defence of their draconian digital rights management protocol, offering what could honestly be the least sincere apology I've ever seen.
"Ubisoft would like to apologize to anyone who could not play Assassin's Creed 2 or Silent Hunter 5 yesterday. Servers were attacked and while the servers did not go down, service was limited. 95% of players were not affected, but a small group of players attempting to open a game session did receive denial of service errors. All players with an open session during the attack were not affected."
Whilst Ubisoft admitted that their servers were vulnerable, they were also quick to deny the existence of any playable hacked version that bypasses the DRM.
"We also confirm that, at this time, no valid cracked version of either Silent Hunter 5 or Assassin's Creed II are available"
Turns out that submarines aren't vulnerable to pirates just yet! However, don't lose sight of the fact that the hackers only attacked the servers... Ubisoft's own DRM protocol stopped gamers from simply playing offline. This situation is fast becoming a publicity nightmare for the company, and they'll soon have to decide between radically improving the system or scrapping it altogether. Or to stop developing for the PC, which may prove to be the most viable (and profitable) option considering the prevalence of piracy. [via The Guardian]