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Grand Theft Auto 5's release at the end of the current console cycle is perfect timing, so says Rockstar vice president Dan Houser, who is also the writer behind the Grand Theft Auto series.
He stressed that the acclaimed developer is a content company, not a hardware firm. "We use the technology we have to create content, and we try not to let ourselves get beholden to the hardware," he stated.
"The fact that hardware's so mature right now is exactly why we're able to go on to the next level. GTA 4 was our first attempt at a new platform and HD visuals, so the first part of development was seriously difficult. Now we know what the hardware's capable of, so it's become a lot easier to move things along and a lot more fun, too."
Houser added that GTA: San Andreas came out at the peak of the PlayStation 2's cycle, which he believes allowed Rockstar to launch a "really good game". He continued on to state that all of the best games for a given console launches at the end of its lifecycle. "So now's the best timing of all."
Grand Theft Auto 4, which released back in 2008, has sold over 20 million units to date. Releasing such a hotly-anticipated title like GTA 5 at the end of the current console generation life cycle won't do it any harm and, due to that, it certainly has a good chance to exceed its predecessor's commercial performance; analysts tip the game to eventually sell over 25 million units.
GTA 5, which was showcased in its long-awaited second trailer yesterday, is due for a worldwide release during Spring, 2013.
Legendary Entertainment is moving forward with the video game to movie adaptation for BioWare's Mass Effect franchise, with the studio hiring Morgan Davis Foehl to write the upcoming film's script.
While Foehl isn't a big name in the movie industry yet, he has written "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" and "Crosshair," which is an adaptation of the Top Cow comicbook. In addition, he was also the assistant editor on FX show Rescue Me.
Foehl is apparently a Mass Effect fan and has written scripts that have featured similar plots stemming from the Mass Effect franchise.
The first writer to try his luck with the game to movie adaptation was the more well-known Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, Thor), but details regarding whether Foehl will build from his work or start from scratch remains unclear.
Elsewhere, Mass Effect 3, which made over $200 million in revenue for EA after it shipped 3.5 million units, will receive its Omega DLC pack next month.
Optional install not offered on the PS3 version
The Xbox 360 version of Medal of Honor: Warfighter includes a HD texture install that weighs in at 1.7GB. The installation, which is optional for players, offers "optimal visual quality" for the shooter.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter already runs on DICE's Battlefield 3 engine, Frostbite 2, so it's puzzling why such installations are offered, especially when it's not present on the PlayStation 3. Sony's platform doesn't have the optional HD installation for the title, but it does require a mandatory installation.
The sequel to the five million-copy-selling 2010 installment ships on two disks for the Xbox 360 version.
Danger Close's shooter is now available in North America, while it'll launch in Europe tomorrow.
Was supposed to launch alongside shooter's release a year ago
An evidently frustrated John Carmack has said that modding tools for RAGE is still forthcoming. They were due to become available alongside the post-apocalyptic first-person shooter upon its launch during October 2011, but it ultimately failed to come into fruition.
According to Carmack, id had to put RAGE mod tools aside in order to work on Doom 3: BFG Edition. However, with the latter now released, the long awaited mod tools for the shooter will arrive "real soon now".
The id Software co-founder expressed his frustration pertaining to the delay, and also admitting to committing mistakes on the situation.
"BFG work pushed the Rage tools, but Real Soon Now. I hope. Sigh. I think we have made poor decisions on this all year."
Publisher Bethesda had previously expressed its commitment to RAGE, with the firm hoping it becomes an established franchise.
The official Call of Duty website has revealed that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will receive an online season pass. The premature announcement, which has since been pulled, confirmed a price of £34.99 ($56) and the inclusion of four map packs.
The four downloadable map packs will apparently include "Multiplayer and Zombies playable content", which is expected to be released in 2013.
Activision's website confirmed the following details before the post was pulled:
- 4 EPIC DLC MAP PACKS - 1 GREAT PRICE AT $10 OFF*
- Get 4 Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 downloadable content Map Packs, delivering a variety of new content, including Multiplayer and Zombies playable content.
- Save $10, at discounted suggested retail price of £34.99*
- Content expected to be available in 2013 - following the game's launch on 11/13/12. Check for availability at your local Game Stop or Best Buy.
- *Based on Season Pass suggested retail price of £34.99 and four DLC Map Packs at a suggested retail price of $14.99 each.
- **Season Pass and DLC Map Packs may not be available on all platforms or in all territories. Pricing and release dates may vary by platform. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 game required; sold separately
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is due for a worldwide launch on November 13.
Bethesda may think otherwise due to title's positive commercial performance
Despite the game proving it's a commercial triumph for publisher Bethesda by becoming the biggest new IP launch in the United Kingdom, Dishonored designer Harvey Smith has stated he'd be content if a sequel did or didn't come into fruition.
He explained that a part of him "would love to see future games leverage this world," while another part "would love it if the vault door was just closed and that's it. This is your one view into the Empire of the Isles and into the city of Dunwall."
Upon being asked for a more specific choice, Smith responded by laughing and saying, "I can't say!"
While it's refreshing to hear Smith suggesting something that isn't familiar in the industry, Bethesda, ultimately, is a company and will undoubtedly approve a sequel in a financial standpoint.
Sleepings Dogs' forthcoming Nightmare in North Point downloadable content pack will introduce zombies, as well as an all-new side-story to the open-world action title.
The DLC offers "the developers' take on zombie fiction via Chinese mythology", which apparently tells the story of a gang member who returns to life to haunt Hong Kong after being tortured and killed by the 18K.
Protagonist Wei Shen is tasked with dealing with the gang member and his accompanying undead army, in addition to facing Chinese vampires named the Jiang Shi.
Nightmare in North Point is said to deliver "a few hours" of content, with a launch scheduled on all the consoles and PC on October 30.
Re-launch goes live for US PS3 owners on October 23
In order to prepare one's PlayStation 3 for the imminent re-launch of the PlayStation Store, a lengthy maintenance period will go live in the next hour.
PlayStation Network maintenance begins today at 1 PM UK time and will run until 2 AM tomorrow, October 16.
During the maintenance, PSN users won't be able to access account management, account registration, transactions and the Sony Entertainment website. Online play shouldn't be affected, but, either way, if you sign in before the maintenance begins you'll definitely stay connected and be able to play online.
The PlayStation Store re-design will launch on October 17 for European PlayStation 3 owners, while the North America Store receives the re-launch on October 23.
343 Industries shooter leaked onto torrent sites over the weekend
Those who made the smart decision to play Halo 4 whilst signed into Xbox LIVE after downloading the shooter through torrents have been/will face a permanent ban from the service.
Microsoft's Live enforcement team is sending emails to players notifying them that they've been permanently suspended from Xbox Live due to "prerelease title play".
In order to play pirated titles on the Xbox 360, the console must be modded. However, playing online or being signed into Xbox LIVE whilst playing a game weeks before its release will inevitably lead to a lifetime ban. "Your Xbox Live privileges will not be reinstated," reads the email.
Over the weekend, Halo 4 leaked onto torrent sites, with Microsoft investigating the situation, as well as removing gameplay videos and general spoiler footage (the game's ending, etc.) from YouTube.
Halo 4 officially launches nationwide on November 6, 2012.
Arkane Studios' title does, however, become biggest new IP launch of 2012
Despite the positive critical reception it received before launch, Dishonored hasn't managed to replace FIFA 13 at the top spot in the UK software sales chart.
Capcom's Resident Evil 6 tried to knock off the football title last week but also came in second. Dishonored is, however, officially the biggest new IP launch of the year thus far.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown, meanwhile, debuted at 7th, while Resident Evil 6 settled for fourth.
The top 20 selling games in the UK last week are:
- FIFA 13
- Pokemon Black 2
- Resident Evil 6
- Pokemon White 2
- Just Dance 4
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown
- Borderlands 2
- F1 2012
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Sleeping Dogs
- PES 2013
- Forza Motorsport 4
- New Super Mario Bros 2
- Gran Turismo 5 Academy Edition
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- NBA 2K13
- LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
- Dead Island GOTY
Countless videos of gameplay footage surface
Although there's still a good few weeks left until the launch of Halo 4, the 343 Industries-developed Xbox 360 exclusive has been leaked onto torrent sites.
Torrent sites are hosting single ISOs of each disc (one for the campaign and one for the multiplayer component), which weighs in at 8,334MB. Other torrents contain a combined two-disc download.
Thousands of seeds are currently available, which, unfortunately for Microsoft, won't stop spreading anytime soon. The firm, meanwhile, has been busy over the weekend removing gameplay footage of the shooter from YouTube, as well as videos pertaining to the opening cinematic and, of course, the title's ending segment.
Since the leak, a series of Xbox Live profiles have been proved that they have Halo 4 running on their console. Microsoft responded to the leak with the following statement:
We have seen the reports of 'Halo 4' content being propped on the Web and are working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation.
Halo 4 is due for a worldwide launch on November 6.
Retailer listings has confirmed the Rockstar Games Collection Edition 1, a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 bundle that includes the likes of Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto IV's expansion packs.
While Rockstar made the baffling decision to not include GTA 4 itself, the package will include Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, which includes The Lost & Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, L.A. Noire, Midnight Club: Los Angeles Complete Edition and Red Dead Redemption.
The Rockstar Games Collection Edition 1 will be released on November 1, with a price tag of $59.99.
Regular maintenance planned for tomorrow
A title update for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of FIFA 13 will be released sometime during this weekend. EA says it'll fix the game's Career Mode crash bug, as well as connection issues pertaining to the game's Online Seasons.
As well as fixing issues "that have had the biggest impact on our fans", EA Sports confirmed the title update will also update the stability of Game Face and the Ultimate Team Online Tournament Hub, in addition to the following:
- Connection stability in Online Seasons when finding an opponent in the Arena, and at kick-off
- Career Mode freeze while starting a new career with free agents
- Career Mode hangs when using Game Face
- Stability in Career Mode when players retire or are being bought back from loan
- Users will no longer be able to lower difficulty settings in a FUT Seasons match
- Freeze in FUT Online Tournament HUB on PS3
- Napoli of Serie A will now have fully authentic kits and crests in FIFA and FIFA Ultimate Team
- Legacy defending and passing assistance options removed in Pro Clubs
- Freeze in Pro Clubs Results screen
- Matchmaking settings in Pro Clubs (with "ANY" and "Match Keeper") will provide the desired results
- Changes made in National Squad not properly reflected in Manager Mode screen
- (PC Only) Freeze while retrieving Hospitality Settings
The title update is already available to download for the PC version, while further updates for FIFA 13 are also planned to be released later this month, as well as "regular maintenance" that commences tomorrow.
Although the game released to a poor critical reception, Resident Evil 6 has still proved to be a commercial triumph for Capcom. In fact, that game sold over 670,000 units during launch in Japan.
An accumulative of 634,933 copies were sold on the PlayStation 3, while the Xbox 360 was responsible for 41,652 units, which equals a total of 676,585 copies sold. Comparatively, Resident Evil 5's launch week sales equaled 644,381 copies.
Resident Evil 6 easily beat its competition in the region, with Konami's Winning Eleven 2013 (PES 2013) managing to sell 223,884 copies. Codemasters' F1 2012, meanwhile, entered the charts at No.9 with just 14,454 copies sold.
DLC introduces, for the first time, a high-speed Harbour Run boat race
Sleeping Dogs will receive the Street Racer DLC Pack next week, Square Enix has confirmed, which will introduce the inclusion of three new races.
One of the races is Kamikaze, which sees players race up and down the tracks of the city's Victoria Peak. Cross Island Enduro, meanwhile, contains a motorcycle race, while, for the first time in the title, a high-speed Harbour Run boat race is included.
The downloadable content pack will also add a new Sting superbike to your garage, as well as a new Dragon outfit in the safehouse's wardrobe, which is accompanied by a racing jacket and helmet for reduced damage from bullets and accidents.
The Street Racer Pack will be available to download on October 1 for 320 Microsoft Points
Since its release during the opening stages of 2007, Sony has revealed that the PlayStation 3's sales have surpassed five million. The announcement coincides with the launch of the re-designed, smaller and lighter super-slim version of the platform.
Fergal Gara, the VP and Managing Director of Sony's UK and Ireland divisions said the UK sales landmark is "another historic moment for the PlayStation brand, and something I’m incredibly proud of." He thanked all of Sony's consumers, retailers and 3rd party partners for "helping us achieve this figure, and look forward to continued success.”
Sony then pointed towards a bright future for the PS3 this holiday season with the likes of Wonderbook: Book of Spells, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Assassin's Creed 3 and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
As of March 31, 2012, the PlayStation 3 has sold over 66 million units worldwide.
Hardest available mode will be released upon launch
Hitman Absolution, IO Interactive's upcoming stealth title, has had its five difficulty levels detailed. Each level impacts checkpoints, Instinct and enemy AI.
The details for each difficulty level can be seen below. The Purist mode, in particular, will be available upon launch instead of having players unlock it.
Enhanced: Easy - Supreme training and a physique enhanced beyond ordinary human capacity mean that your enemies are no match for you. By cunning or by brute force, you are unstoppable.
- Players can activate additional checkpoints
- Instinct regenerates
- Instinct will provide hints
- Enemies react more slowly than normal
Enhanced: Medium - You can rely on Agent 47's superior training and instinct. Remaining completely unnoticed can be a challenge, but you can always rely on your guns to get you out of trouble.
- Players can activate additional checkpoints
- Instinct does not regenerate
- Instinct will provide hints
- Normal enemy presence with normal reaction times
Professional: Hard - You like a challenge and your enemies will provide you with just that. They will be more numerous and with faster reactions. Evading your enemies will be difficult and you must strike with flawless timing.
- Players can activate additional checkpoints
- Instinct depletes when used and does not regenerate
- No instinct hints
- Additional enemies with improved reaction time
Professional: Expert - You fight for every inch of progress, often without firing a single bullet. You don't rely on any help and accept trying many times before reaching your target...and perfection.
- No player-activated checkpoints
- Instinct depletes when used and does not regenerate
- No instinct hints
- Maximum number of enemies with fastest reaction
Professional: Purist - This is a challenge for a true perfectionist. You know every rule, every detail, and all environments by heart. Even then you will die trying.
- No Help
- No guides
- No Interface
- Only a crosshair
Hitman Absolution is due for a release on November 20, 2012.
First image of Nuketown 2025 map showcased
Activision has announced that consumers who pre-order Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and download the accompanying Nuketown 2025 map will be able to partake in a double XP weekend during launch.
The double XP weekend will take place from November 16 to November 18. Activision also released the first image of the Nuketown 2025 multiplayer map, as seen above.
For UK consumers, GAME has updated details on their Perks Programme:
- GAME Exclusive Xbox 360 Avatar item or PS3 theme
- GAME Exclusive multiplayer playercard
- GAME Exclusive Digital multiplayer Brady mini guide
- Up to 25% off the turtle beach headset range
- Double reward points
- Entry to exclusive sweepstakes
- Plus, more to be revealed soon
- And, of course, you'll also get that Nuketown 2025 map unlock and benefit from the Double XP weekend at launch
Call of Duty Black Ops 2 is due for worldwide release on November 13, 2012 on consoles and PC.
Playable taster of racer goes live for non-Gold members next week
The Forza Horizon demo is now available on the Xbox Marketplace for Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers. Non-Gold subscribers, meanwhile, receive the taster next week.
The demo, which weighs in at 1.57 GB, contains several events such as street races and the Horizon Festival. Certain events will automatically become Rivals Mode events upon its completion, meaning players will be able to compete against friends for the fastest time.
In addition, the demo also lets you drive and explore a particular section of the entire game map.
Those who do play the demo will unlock a custom designed 2013 SRT Viper GTS; it's only available for those who play the demo and buy the game.
Forza Horizon is due for a release on October 23, 2012.
Was originally due to launch on October 16
Borderlands 2' fifth character class, the Mechromancer, was originally scheduled to launch on October 16. However, developer Gearbox Software has released the downloadable content pack a week early.
The class will release on the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 today, with European owners of the latter due to receive it tomorrow.
Mechromancer's special ability triggers Deathtrap, a robot pet that can deliver considerable damage, as well as featuring tanking abilities.
The Mechromancer class is free for those who pre-ordered the game. For those who didn't, it's priced at £7.99/800 Microsoft Points.