Sony Planning for More God of War

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Popular Games

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God of War III caps off the trilogy that began in 2005, pitting Kratos against the gods of Mount Olympus in a whirling rampage of revenge. But with God of War continuing to be one of Sony’s strongest franchises, the end of the trilogy definitely won’t be the end of the series.
Sony Santa Monica director of product development John Hight told Gamervision as much in a recent interview, “This is not the end of God of War.”

“This is definitely the end of the trilogy, but we?re going to continue to do God of War games. We’re going to be very careful about what we do; we’re the keepers of the franchise and we don’t want to see it ruined or polluted.”

New screens hit the Internet yesterday, showing Kratos scaling the titan Gaia. The game itself will be out in March, with a more specific release date coming soon.

Free Bioshock with Bioshock 2 Preorders

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: PS3, Upcoming Games, Xbox

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Steam currently has a number of spiffy deals on Bioshock 2. Those who preorder the upcoming sequel from Valve’s digital distribution service will not only get 10 percent off the standard retail price (down to $44.99), they’ll also receive a copy of the original Bioshock for free.

Should you already own the first Bioshock, these digital copies can be gifted to anyone on your Steam friends list — though you may run into a little trouble finding somebody who doesn’t already have the game after all the recent holiday sales.

Also on offer is a four-pack of Bioshock 2, which, like the Borderlands and Left 4 Dead 2 bundles, can be split between four friends. These bundles include the same 10 percent price reduction for preordering ($134.97 instead of $149.97), as well as four free copies of Bioshock to divvy up.

Bioshock 2 is scheduled to release on February 9, 2010 for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

Metal Gear Solid for PSP Peace Walker

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: PSP, Popular Games

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Konami released the first details today behind the two special PSP packs they’ll be shipping in Japan alongside Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, which is due out March 18 over there.

The “Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker Premium Package” combines a copy of the game with a PSP (3000 model) done up in skull-pattern camouflage, inspired by the logo of Snake’s Militaires Sans Frontieres guerrilla group. You also get a carrying pouch and handy cleaning cloth in the deal, all for the price of 26,980 yen.

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If that’s not hoitie-toitie enough for you, there’s a limited-edition version of the same set available for 36,980 yen exclusively on konamistyle.jp, Konami’s shopping site in Japan. That box, only 1,974 of which are being offered for sale, also includes a strap, an original PSP stand, dog tags, and other unspecified goodies.

MGS: Peace Walker is hitting stores May 25 in the US.

Halo 3’s Second Mythic Map Next Month

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Popular Games

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Stalwart Halo 3 fans who, for whatever reason, skipped out on Halo 3 ODST will soon have a shot at the pseudo-sequel’s exclusive multiplayer maps. Microsoft has announced a February 2 release date for the three-pack of ODST multiplayer stages.

Included in the upcoming add-on are “Heretic,” a remake of Halo 2’s “Midship” level; “Citadel,” a map set in a symmetrical, confining Forerunner structure; and a deserted harbor called “Longshore.” The full “Mythic Map Pack 2″ bundle will set players back 800 Microsoft points, or about $10.

Next Tony Hawk Project Apparently Underway

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Upcoming Games

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Tony Hawk: Ride wasn’t particularly well-received, but it appears that Activision is gamely moving ahead with a sequel. In a recent tweet, Tony Hawk suggested that his next project was already underway.
“Just met with [Robomodo] about our next project and it’s already much better than I expected. Details soon. Chicago is not warm,” Hawk wrote.

At the recent Spike VGAs, Hawk expressed confidence that Ride could be “a flagship for other games.” Asked whether additional games might utilize the PS3 Motion Controller or Project Natal, he said, “Why not?”

Whatever form it ends up taking, we’re definitely in for more Tony Hawk games. Keep that skateboard peripheral ready.

First Assassin’s Creed II DLC Out This Week

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Popular Games

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It won’t be long before you’re able to venture back into Renaissance Italy. Ubisoft has announced the release date for the first batch of Assassin’s Creed II DLC.
According to a recent tweet, the Battle of Forli will be out next week. It will star Ezio alongside Machiavelli and Caterina Sforza as they battle the Orsi brothers, and will contain six new memories, including one with Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machine.

The Battle of Forli is one of two packs of downloadable content. The other will be out in February, and will open up the area of Florence that was roped off in the main game. Both pieces of content were originally planned for inclusion in the main game, but ended up being cut for time.

The Battle of Forli will be out January 28 for PS3 ($4.00) and Xbox 360 (320 Microsoft Points).

Mass Effect 2 Will Have Free and Paid DLC

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Popular Games

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The announcement of Mass Effect 2’s new Cerberus Network was left pretty vague, and left us with a lot of questions. EA, at the time, was tight-lipped about them when asked, but we’re starting to get more details that paint a complete picture of how Cerberus will be used in the game. Joystiq reports that DLC through Cerberus will be free, but other for-pay downloadable content will also be made available that doesn’t require Cerberus access.
“We’ll definitely have for-pay DLC down the road too,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk. “It’s not going to be all free DLC for Mass Effect 2 — far from that. There’ll be paid DLC packs, and there’ll be stuff available through Cerberus as well.” So essentially, it seems the Cerberus Network will act as lifetime access to any free goodies BioWare puts out — likely smaller items like armor or weapons. But if you didn’t buy it new and don’t care for using Cerberus, you can still access any of the planned paid DLC, which will probably consist of larger content like mission packs.

FF XIII Collector’s Edition Announced

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: PS3, Popular Games, Xbox

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We live in an age in which all the biggest game releases get their own Collector’s Editions or Limited Editions or Limited Collector’s Editions. So it should come as no surprise that Final Fantasy XIII will be receiving one. The “Limited Collector’s Edition” was announced today for European territories, and a look at its features may give us an idea of what will be coming to the U.S. Bonuses include an exclusive soundtrack CD, a hardback art book featuring character and environment art, three art prints of summoned characters, and a “Brand of the I’Cie” decal.

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Keep in mind this is the list of bonuses for Europe, and Square Enix hasn’t announced a similar package for the U.S. yet. We expect they will in the near future, and wouldn’t be surprised if the list of bonuses were similar, or even exactly the same. The press release doesn’t mention a price, but this kind of set would traditionally go for $69.99 in the States. Whenever Square gives word of a U.S. Collector’s Edition, if the features remain the same, that’s where we’d expect the price to land.

Uncharted 2 First DLC on Thursday

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Popular Games

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Still waiting to give Uncharted 2 a try before taking the plunge and buying it? Naughty Dog will finally get around to appeasing those with a try-before-you-buy mentality next Thursday, January 28, when they release a single-player demo of Uncharted 2. No word on exactly what portion of the game you’ll be able to play in the demo, but who cares? It’s all good.
Coming along with the demo next week is the release of the first premium downloadable content for Uncharted 2. Unfortunately, it’s not new maps or game modes or any sort of content that would provide a substantial change to the game itself. What Naughty Dog has in store is the “PlayStation Heroes Skin Pack,” a collection of seven new multiplayer skins featuring — as you may have guessed from the picture above — characters from other first party Sony games. The lineup consists of Nathan Hale and a Chimera from Resistance 2, Sev and a Helghast soldier from Killzone 2, and Cole (both good and evil) and Zeke from inFamous.

The pack will be available worldwide, and in the United States it’ll carry a price tag of $4.99. As for future DLC — which Naughty Dog promises they have “long-term plans” for — don’t expect to hear any details until things are locked down and we’re closer to their respective releases on the PlayStation Store.

Left 4 Dead 2 New Update

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Popular Games

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Valve has announced that Left 4 Dead 2’s next update won’t be out for another few weeks, but at least they let us know what to expect: Infected bots and auto-spawning tweaks in the game’s popular Versus mode.
Detailing the two major aspects of the update in a post on their official blog, the L4D2 team explained how both the bots and auto-spawning tweaks are intended to smooth out issues with the Versus mode. The bots will “help out the Infected when they are down a man or two,” the post explains, and “will also make 1v1 Versus a bit more fun.”

As for tweaking the auto-spawning in the finale events of Versus mode, Valve says one thing they’ve been experimenting with is disabling them altogether — and crunched some numbers to show why. “Across all finales in Left 4 Dead 2 currently, a single survivor has a 34.56% chance of escaping,” the post reads. “That includes the Concert Finale in ‘Dark Carnival,’ which boasts close to a 50% escape rate (and yes, a fix for everyone’s favorite cheese spot is coming). Remove the Concert Finale, and we see the average drop to 29.61%.”

Clearly, that’s pretty low. And with those figures, “we can measure the difference and see how much the change impacted the balance,” they explained.

We’ll still have to wait a few weeks to see what Valve ultimately comes up with, in addition to whatever other features, tweaks, and fixes the update brings as well. This is “not a complete list by any means,” the post assures.