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Warhammer 40K: Space Marine Xbox 360 Review
Relic takes a break from RTS to bring us Space Marine, and shows us what it means to be one of the God-Emperor's Finest.

Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo S (CE) Review
In the realm of racing games there are few challengers to the top seat of racing wheels; the Fanatec 911 Turbo S is the latest, packing 900 degree turning a 6+1 shifter and a full pedal set.

Mirror's Edge Review
An exclusive in-depth look at DICE's much anticipated first-person parkour action game.

Sony Consoles News

Off-screen footage of Mercury, rumored Yingpei Games shooter, teases Gears of War influence

0 comments Rory Young - 11:58am (PST) Like Share

China's Gears of War? Tell me more

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Off-screen footage has been discovered online from the ongoing ChinaJoy expo of a game that's said to be named Mercury. According to sources at ChinaJoyMercury is said to have been developed by Yingpei Games, previously known as Epic Games China, which may explain the game's similarities to Gears of War. Let's note right off the bat that all of these details are unofficial and that the footage could be pulled off of Youtube at any time. It's best if we consider this all a rumor as this point.

It's hard to argue with what Mercury is, having seen the footage for myself. The character selected is a heavy weaponry-wielding samurai soldier of some sorts, with a katana at her side, automatic pistols on her hips and some very large gun never shown in-action on her back. The camera is over-the-shoulder third-person, very much like Gears of War, and it even does the same zoom-in that I recognize from Epic's franchise as well.

There are other similarities from Epic's Gears of War franchise too. The weapon-swap grid could literally have been taken straight out of Gears, as could some of the gun designs. Of course, that could just be due to the Unreal Engine's use, but I think we're definitely seeing some shared used of assets that Yingpei might have grabbed as part of Epic before splitting off. 

As for what sets Mercury apart? The world itself in the game seems rather unique, with orbiting moons seen in the distance and a mixture of Borderlands-type scrags and large robots jumping out of the environment. Finally, the boss at the end of the level is definitely something unfamiliar. It seems more-like Monster Hunter, or perhaps Double Fine's derivative Brazen is a more apt comparison. Either way, there's a lot to be excited about, judging from the footage.

Here's some speculation for everyone. Yingpei Games has notably been working on "Atlas Technology" in the past few years. That is, persistent world server technology for MMOs. While the Mercury footage shown was single-player, the open spaces for shooting could certainly have housed a handful of players. That's not even mentioning the very MMO-like hub where the player could talk with NPCs. Could Mercury perhaps be a Destiny-like shooter, or considering the Chinese market even free-to--play?

Hopefully we'll hear more on Mercury and Yingpei Games soon. Until then, check out the footage below and please poke me if it gets pulled down.

 
 

Dangonrona 2: Goodbye Despair screenshots feature the latest Class Trial mini-games

4 comments Rory Young - 11:08am (PST) Like (2) Share

Dear lord, somebody spell "Objection" before we all die!

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Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is just a month away from release and oh, how the wait burns us. The first Danganronpa, Spike Chunsoft's answer to the question, "What if we turned the 'Japan' knob on Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney all the way  up to 11, is my surprise favorite title on the PS Vita. All I really wanted from Danganronpa 2 was more of the same, but its apparent in the latest screenshots provided by NIS America that the game has been changed.

Today's half of a dozen screenshots focus in on the Class Trial feature of the game, the portion where the player must find the murderer amongst his friends lest the entire group be killed instead. Where Ace Attorney focuses entirely on evidence and discourse, Danganronpa goes wild with real-time arguments and mini-games mixed throughout.

Some of the new mini-games added in Danganronpa 2 are as follows, as described by NIS America:

  • Logic Dive - You'll skateboard through a glowing path, interrupted by questions. Answering correctly will lead you down the right path, but the wrong answer will throw you off course and reset the Logic Dive!
  • Hangman's Gambit - Letters are flying across the screen, and you have to pick out the ones you need to spell out your key evidence! Correct spelling lands you points, and you can fuse like letters together to form larger yet stationary letters that are worth even more points! But these big letters will detonate if you're too slow to use them, and if mismatched letters collide with each other, your health bar will take a big hit!
  • Rebuttal Showdown - Characters won't just sit back and let you talk this time around. Your arguments can be interrupted, and you'll have to use evidence to cut down their arguments in this frenetic, one-on-one debate! The tropical sun's bringing some serious heat to the Class Trial!

Comparing the descriptions to their respective screenshots will do little to set your mind at ease. The Logic Dive looks like some maniacal mix of Tempest and the bonus stages from Sonic, while the Hangman's Gambit looks like Spelling Blaster on LSD. Hell, if Danganronpa literally turned into WarioWare for five minutes during a case, I'd still be hugely supportive. I can't wait to play this game.

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is planned for release on September 2 in North America and September 5 in Europe, exclusively on the PS Vita.



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Escape Dead Island Hands-On Preview @ San Diego Comic-Con: Not your typical zombie killer

2 comments Lydia Sung - 10:49pm (PST) Like Share

A different story, a different approach to Dead Island

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This autumn, Escape Dead Island will mark another chapter in the ongoing Dead Island series, but don't mistake it for a rehash. Set in the same universe as all the Dead Islands games that came before, Escape Dead Island continues the overarching narrative while deviating from the systems we've grown familiar with. Sure, it still fits into the whole zombie survival theme Deep Silver so lovingly cultivated, but Swedish developer Fatshark really went out of their way to make this their own.

Earlier this month at San Diego Comic-Con, I had the opportunity to play the demo and chat with creative director Robin Flodin. Everything about Escape Dead Island seems designed to set it apart from Techland's previous works. It's single-player only, stars an entirely new character and takes place on a smaller island instead of Banoi. The story isn't quite what I expected, either, and I mean that in a positive way.

To start, I learn that Cliff Calo, whom Flodin describes as being a bit of a spoiled brat, is the name of our protagonist. After a falling out with his father, Cliff decides to prove himself (classic "I'll show you!" mentality at work) by taking a boat out with some friends with the intention of shooting a documentary about the zombie outbreak. Things don't go quite as planned, however, and everyone gets marooned on a small island where the infected are running rampant.

Cliff is just waking up when I drop into the game. He's alone and confused, so I go in search of his friends while following the quest prompts, until I stumple upon a zombie. Unfortunately for the appropriately terrified Cliff, he isn't immune to the virus, meaning he can't just run in face first, getting bitten and generally swarmed by the shambling hordes. Well, he can, but that would also kill the guy almost instantly.

An average fellow like Cliff doesn't rely on outrageous weapons or a natural immunity to the deadly affliction -- namely because he can't. Instead, players need to consider actual tactics, and stealth is made an integral element of gameplay. At first, Cliff is unarmed, so I was forced to sneak my way around zombies in order to retrieve some rope, utilizing loud noises as distractions and debris as cover. Even upon acquiring my first weapon, the mighty screwdriver, I couldn't directly confront the undead. Instead, Robin explained that the screwdriver was best used for stealth kills, and that's what I ended up doing: Sam Fishering my way through the abandoned buildings, striking lone zombies from behind.

Visually, Escape Dead Island takes on a very unique graphic look, one that appears directly inspired by comic books. Striking zombies or any part of the environment produces a different audio effect accompanied by some corresponding text; words like "BANG!" and what not visualizing every sound. Enemies even have these conspicuous exclamation points above their heads acting as detection meters.

It all fits very well with the tone of the game by adding to the somewhat surreal atmosphere, and let me tell you, things get weird pretty quickly. I realize early on that something is amiss when audio recordings of Cliff's friends screaming suggest he might have something to do with their disappearance. The young man has no actual recollection of what happened, however, so it's a giant mystery that just keeps growing. Nevermind all the security cameras following Cliff whenever he's exploring a seemingly abandoned building.

Toward the end of the demo, empty shipping containers start raining from the sky, crushing Cliff in the process. Seconds later, he wakes up again, this time bandaged and in the company of his friends, who are in fact alive and well.

When I asked about the use of what seemed to be a dream sequence, Robin eagerly points to Momento and the Lost series as inspirations for a Dead Island psychological thriller. I was almost more intrigued by this fact alone, but the game that I was able to experience stood out on its own. On one hand, Escape Dead Island didn't really feel like a Dead Island, but by now, I'm pretty used to seeing "branchises" stemming from successful IPs, sharing so little with their predecessors outside of the fictional universe and a title.

Escape Dead Island will be released sometime this fall for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.



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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's 'Wraith' gameplay trailer, Celebrimbor becomes Talion's sword

1 comments Rory Young - 1:41pm (PST) Like Share

Nothing like the warm embrace of an undead elf spirit

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Only in Middle-earth can an Elven wraith come back from the dead to inhabit the body of a Ranger in order to give him the strength and powers to gain revenge on the orcish armies that took everything he loved away from him. Erm, actually that sounds pretty similar to a lot of video games plots. Anyway, now that the identity of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's Celebrimbor has been revealed, Warner Bros. and Monolith want to share just how the Wraith's powers can be used in-game.

Actually, haven't they gone over this stuff before? I think most people who are familiar with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor know that the protagonist uses wraith powers to take control of orcish enemies by now. Maybe the specifics of using these slaves to gain information on an enemy's strengths and weaknesses has yet to be detailed. That's absolutely a very exciting part of the game, forcing the player to plan and play in a way they may not be well-practiced in.

Really, I think the trailer is used mostly to show the variety of ways the player interacts with an orc through the Nemesis system. That seems to be the major feature that marketing is attaching itself to for Shadow of Mordor, that you can meet an orc, fight him multiple times and even die to him, destroy his subordinates, learn his weaknesses and then finally kill him. Or maybe it's just a sneaky way to put in all of those E3 accolades that publishers love to post these days. Guess what guys, IGN and GameSpot give E3 awards to almost every game at E3! You're not special!

Okay, they're special because the game they're making is pretty awesome, and not because of those stupid accolades. LET ME KILL SOME ORCS ALREADY, I'M GETTING FLUSTERED.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be released on September 30 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A PC version of the game will then be released on October 2.

 
 

F1 2014 to launch October 21 only on PS3/360, Formula 1 comes to PS4/XONE in 2015

4 comments Rory Young - 12:32pm (PST) Like Share

Interesting to see whether the F1 rules changes affect game sales

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I'm not a racing game fan, so I can't describe the year-to-year differences in the F1 franchise. However, I can recognize the significance of Codemasters announcement that F1 2014 will remain on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC while the franchise's first step onto the next generation of consoles will hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2015. The simple takeaway is that F1 2014 probably isn't getting the same level of attention as 2015's game.

Nevertheless, the show must go on and Codemasters certainly wouldn't like to look through their F1 library to see a gap where "2014" should be. Don't think they'll just release the same game as 2013 either. F1 has had the largest rules and regulations shift in 60 years, or so I'm told, and F1 2014 will incorporate those changes into gameplay -- from aerodynamic regulations to turbo-charged power units. On top of that, the rosters in F1 have had dramatic changes, which will be reflected in-game as well.

What's meant to be taken away from the news though, is that Codemasters really has their eyes set on 2015. While the next game hasn't officially been titled F1 2015, the series' next title is certainly meant to be a bigger evolution on the franchise than previous titles over the past few years. Codemasters wants their game to launch early in the Formula 1 season so players can compete in and against the action they see week-to-week. Part of this goal includes offering digital updates to keep the action in-game in parity with the action in real life.

Codemaster Creative Director Stephen Hood says basically the exact same thing that I said above:

"Our title for the new generation formats will mark a huge step forward for the F1 series. We want to be out there earlier in the season and deliver new season content updates digitally as the 2015 season progresses; it’s very exciting for the series and our players."

Pick up F1 2014 starting October 17 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, with additional information on the franchise jumping to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the months to follow. In the meantime, here are screenshots and a trailer for the 2014 iteration of the franchise.



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Sony back in black with PlayStation as PS4 outperforms competition at retail

4 comments Leo Chan - 11:28am (PST) Like Share

Losing money on hardware was so last-gen

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It's a fine return to form for the PlayStation brand as Sony confirms its video game business achieved profitability during the first quarter of its current financial year. Indeed, the strong performance of games and movies allowed the electronics and console giant as a whole to surprise analysts and naysayers alike with net income of 26.8 billion yen ($261 million USD) for the three month period ended June 30th, a 757 percent year-over-year increase in profit.

Sony's Games & Network Services segment (in charge of all things PlayStation) managed to swing back to profit of 4.3 billion yen ($41.8 million) compared to the 16.4 billion yen ($159.5 million) loss it suffered during the first quarter of last fiscal year. Quarterly revenue also rose nearly 96 percent to 257.5 billion yen ($2.5 billion USD).

The ongoing success of the PS4 at retail no doubt its played its part this reversal of fortunes for Sony's gaming business. The company managed to sell an estimated 3.5 million PS4 and PS3 consoles combined this past quarter, in addition to a combined total of 750,000 PS Vitas, PSPs and PS Vita TVs. Software sales meanwhile reached 85 million units across all PlayStation platforms.

Sony's PlayStation business is doing the company so proud that it's one of the few divisions that it believes will exceed expectations by the end of its current financial year. The company has revised both its sales and profit forecasts for the Games & Network Services segment upward to 1.24 trillion yen ($12 billion) and 25 billion yen ($243 million), respectively. This will likely be a bright spot Sony needs come March 31st 2015, as it is still bracing for a companywide annual loss of 50 billion yen ($486.5 million).



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Digimon All-Star Rumble bringing 12 Digivolving fan favorites from Adventure through Fusion to PS3/360

6 comments Rory Young - 11:27am (PST) Like Share

For those who've always wanted to beat the crud out of Agumon

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Oh, those glorious, youthful days when Digimon ran during the afternoons once school was over. That wonderful cartoon was both fun, hilarious, and seated a need to watch Digimon beat the crud out of each other in my heart. Games like Digimon Rumble Arena and its sequel helped bring that feeling into reality, but its been ten years since then. Luckily Bandai Namco has something new for Digimon battlers, as they've announced Digimon All-Star Rumble for release on PS3 and Xbox 360 November 11.

Considering Digimon Fusion is bringing Digimon back into the spotlight over on Nickelodeon and assorted other channels, now's the perfect time to bring the games back. Digimon All-Star Rumble is a party-style fighting game, which means it's more akin to Super Smash Bros. than Street Fighter. Four players at a time can pick their favorite character from a roster of 12 friendly faces, characters plucked from both the classic Digimon Adventure and the new Digimon Fusion

It wouldn't be a Digimon game without the ability to Digivolve, naturally. Oh man, what a weird feeling to be excited about Digivolving again. I never saw that coming. Anyway, all of the 12 Digimon on the roster will of course have their Digi-lutions also included in the game, for a total of 32 different forms. Can you name them all? Then you're ridiculous. Players will power up mid-battle to then Digivolve, but will have to balance out evolution with strong attacks which may use the same resource.

Does the gameplay even matter so much? We're talking about Digimon beating the junk out of each others' trunk. Everyone wants to slap that toothy smirk off of Agumon's face, right? Enough with the details already!

Digimon All-Star Rumble is planned for release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, becoming available starting November 11 later this year. If you want future Digimon games localized for North America, then support for this game is required. Check the gallery for profile shots of the currently confirmed roster, six of the twelve (though there may be some teasers in the other screenshots).



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Wander gets new Gamescom trailer, check out the Oren in the upcoming non-combat MMO

0 comments Max Navarro - 9:03pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Yes, Jimmy, trees are people too

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Wander, an upcoming non-combat indie MMO, has recently received a new trailer for gamescom 2014. Showcasing some of the new updated models, the video essentially answers some questions while leaving viewers with so many more.

Announced last September, Wander is being marketed with the singular phrase of "non-combat MMO." Not something you hear every day, right? The gamescom trailer introduces a story arc, but leaves us wondering how exactly it will play out. The video begins by showing off a beautifully lush forest with a female narrator. Almost immediately, viewers are greeted by a lone character in the middle of the foliage, sitting atop a waterfall; however, the camera quickly skips past her and moves on. Then, we are shown the new model, a griffin, as it flies away, guiding the camera to a small beach.

Upon this beach is the narrator, an Oren, a tree-human hybrid creature with no memory of why she is the way she is. It appears as if this is how the world has been for quite some time, though. Could this be the doing of the lady on the waterfall, or a complex puzzle with an answer hidden deep within the game? Nevertheless, Wander is a journey, one that will uncover the deep-rooted question of the Oren's origin, and hopefully find more beings like her.

Unfortunately, we probably won't get our hands on Wander anytime soon, but the indie game will be at gamescom 2014, taking place August 14 through August 17, and we can hope for a bit more insight on the griffin, the Oren, and the mysterious woman.

Categories: PC Games Sony Consoles
 
 

Destiny beta attracted over 4.6 million players, making it the biggest console beta for a new IP

4 comments Lydia Sung - 1:07pm (PST) Like Share

Everyone wants a little more Destiny in their lives

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The Destiny beta concluded just this past weekend, and today Bungie and publisher Activision are proudly declaring it a huge success, with over 4.6 million unique players having joined the fight. Now that's a lot of Guardians running around.

Across roughly two weeks, with a brief break in between for maintenance, the Destiny beta launched first for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 back on July 17. The week after, Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners with access codes were able to join in. Toward the final weekend, however, Bungie opened the beta to anyone with an aforementioned console.

4,638,937 unique players were documented as having participated in the beta by its end on July 27. Impressive for sure, and just imagine what that could mean for the actual game when it's out.

Destiny will be released September 9 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Several versions are currently available for pre-order, including a rather awesome collector's edition.

 
 

Koch Media acquires Homefront IP and Homefront: The Revolution's dev team from Crytek

1 comments Rory Young - 12:59pm (PST) Like Share

Deep Silver saves Homefront: The Revolution and its studio

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Another chapter in the ongoing Crytek drama has closed, as the fate of Homefront: The Revolution's development has now been decided. Koch Media and vis a vis Deep Silver announced today that they've acquired the Homefront brand from Crytek, as well as all "coherent" assets related to Homefront: The Revolution. Essentially, all things Homefront related are now Deep Silver's instead of Crytek's.

Since Crytek will not longer be associated with the development of Homefront: The Revolution, Deep Silver was tasked with creating a new studio to create the game. The second part of their announcement is that they've arranged to do just this. Going forward Deep Silver Dambuster Studios, formed from Crytek's Nottingham team responsible for the development of Homefront: the Revolution, will take over the game.

Koch Media CEO Dr. Klemens Kundratitz offered the following prepared statement regarding today's announcements:

"We are thrilled to see another great IP joining the Deep Silver universe. We strongly believe in the potential of Homefront: The Revolution and trust in the new team to continue the path they have been walking in the last years."

Considering that the rumors prior to this announcement revolved around Crytek closing the studio workin on Homefront: The Revolution, the announcement today comes as quite the breath of fresh air. Obviously the details of the purchase are unclear and it's impossible to tell how many of the previous employees have been retained, but one would hope that Deep Silver acted in part to rescue the studio and its employees on top of the project itself.

Homefront and Homefront: The Revolution will both live on. They are Deep Silver's in their entirety hopefully they've all got great things ahead of them.

 
 
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