Revelations and Operation Raccoon City Each Offer Their Own Takes on Resident Evil

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, Games and Music, Games and Players, Nintendo, PS3, Upcoming Games, Xbox

In an industry where accessibility is king, Resident Evil’s standing couldn’t be shakier. While part 5 certainly didn’t flop, a franchise ultimately rooted in inaccessibility doesn’t really stand a chance against the Uncharteds and Batmans (men?) of the world. At Capcom’s Gamer’s Day this past Thursday, the Japanese developer decided to answer the common question of, “What’s going on with Resident Evil?” by previewing two upcoming games in the series: Resident Evil: Revelations, and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City — the former seeks to redefine “survival horror” for a new generation, while the latter distances itself from this forgotten genre with its immediate, run-and-gun gameplay. Through 15 years of history, Resident Evil has suffered through a few slumps, but this new direction feels like a proactive effort on Capcom’s behalf to placate Resident Evil vets and amateurs alike.

During the preview session of Revelations, assistant producer Tsukasa Tanaka introduced his game as a return to survival horror — but not the survival horror you remember from the PlayStation era. In his words, this new 3DS Resident Evil is a legitimate attempt to make the series scary again, though the brief bits of game play shown to us defied this statement. The first segment of the demo featured co-op action in a snowy outdoor environment, and tasked the player with using the game’s bio scanner to detect invisible hunters (the Resident Evil variety) on the tundra. Once scanned, the bantery-duo — the characters, not the Capcom reps — quickly dispatched the monsters with firepower not far removed from the latter RE games.

Call of Duty Devs Called “Lazy” by Competitor

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

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The competition between DICE and fellow first-person shooter developers — presumably Call of Duty devs Infinity Ward and Treyarch in particular — is heating up. Karl-Magnus Troedsson, the general manager of DICE, which is working on Battlefield 3, has claimed that the way other FPS developers are operating is “lazy” and issued a warning.

“Our competitors are getting lazy,” he told Official PlayStation Magazine UK. “They’re using the same engine, the same recipe for building a game. At some point you need to take that leap. I haven’t seen them take that leap since a long time ago.”

No names were named, but the Call of Duty games have been running on the same base game engine for years now — Modern Warfare and its sequel, World at War, and Black Ops all use the IW Engine first seen in Call of Duty 2. As for the next CoD game, thought to be Modern Warfare 3, there’s been no indication that Infinity Ward will make a departure from the norm.

Following up on what he said before, Troedsson referred to the ‘leap’ DICE is taking by using the brand new Frostbite 2.0 engine for Battlefield 3 when he said, “We are doing that now. They had better watch out. We are coming for them.”

He later claimed, “Our competitors keep building very, very high tempo games. We want to tell a story with more drama curves. It’s not about pumping round after round for six hours.”

This isn’t the first time that DICE has directed shots at the developers of Call of Duty — it reassured PC fans back in 2009 that Battlefield would not go the way of CoD, and it has also bashed Activision’s handling of DLC.

If it continues to follow the same pattern Activision has been going with for years, the next Call of Duty will be out this November. A release date has yet to be set for Battlefield 3, but it’s expected to be out at some point this fall, setting up a showdown between the two FPS heavyweights.

What Happened Between Portal and Portal 2?

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

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There’s still a lot of confusion over the details of Portal 2’s plot and how Aperture Science ended up in the condition it’s now in. Valve will be revealing some information soon that explains what happened between the first Portal and its sequel, which is set “further down the line” in the Half-Life universe.

“We’re actually going to release something that we’re not talking about yet that will give a little bit of the story of the interim time,” Valve writer Erik Wolpaw told Kotaku. “We’re doing that before release.” It’s currently unclear how much time has passed since the first game, which took place between the first two Half-Life games.

In Portal 2 players will again play as Chell, who was put in stasis following the events of the first game. (Valve changed the original’s ending post-release so she would be dragged away by something with a robotic voice.) A new character is being revealed at PAX East: The founder of Aperture Science, Cave Johnson. He’s voiced by J.K. Simmons, joining The Office and Extras co-creator and co-writer Stephen Merchant, who will voice the character of Wheatley.

Portal’s connection with the Half-Life games isn’t just the ramblings of message board posters — Valve admits it’s true — but don’t expect it to be especially pronounced. Wolpaw made a comparison with how The X-Files had mythology episodes throughout the series that dealt with an interconnected storyline in addition to standalone episodes that were completely unrelated to the rest.

“We tried to keep as light a touch about it as we did in Portal 1,” Wolpaw said. “Fans of Half-Life will notice some things, but if you haven’t played Half-Life they’ll just kind of pass right by you. You’re not going to see Gordon tromping through the facility.”

Portal 2 hits PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on April 18.

In Earthquake’s Wake, Japanese Games Delayed

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, Upcoming Games, others

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The tsunami and preceding earthquake that struck Japan late last week — said to be the fifth worst in the last 110 years — have resulted in an absolute tragedy. It certainly pales in comparison to the other effects it’s had on people’s lives, but the disaster has also impacted the videogame industry in a number of ways.

Disaster Report 4 (pictured above) has been canceled by Irem for very understandable reasons. Like its predecessors, it takes place in a city that has just been struck by a severe earthquake which players are tasked with escaping. No explanation was given, though it’s very obvious why a game like this would be deemed inappropriate for release. It had been planned for release sometime this spring after a delay pushed it past March 10, which would have been incredibly atrocious timing.

Yakuza of the End, which was set for release this week, has been delayed indefinitely for “various circumstances.” Unlike previous Yakuza games, this one featured an outbreak of zombies in a ruined version of the series’ fictitious Japanese city of Kamurocho.

Other delays include Motorstorm Apocalypse (in Japan), Marvel vs. Capcom 3 downloadable content, and shipments of certain Xbox 360 products to Japan (including Dragon Age II and Xbox Live Gold subscription cards).

Meanwhile, both Square-Enix and Konami have taken steps to conserve electricity. The Tokyo Electric Power Company has asked that customers do what they can to avoid unnnecessary power usage. “Because TEPCO’s facilities have been seriously damaged, power shortage may occur,” a statement read in part. “TEPCO appreciates customers’ cooperation in reducing electricity usage by avoiding using unnecessary lighting and electrical equipment. We are taking all measures to restore power, however, we expect extremely challenging situation in power supply for a while. We kindly ask our customers to cooperate with us in reducing usage of power.”

Konami has temporarily taken the servers for Metal Gear Online offline as of March 12, with no date yet announced for when they’ll be coming back. Likewise, the servers for both Final Fantasy XI and XIV have been turned off for at least a week from yesterday, March 13.

A number of videogame developers and publishers have pledged donations to relief efforts. Game Informer’s Meagan Marie is even auctioning off her DS personally signed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Koji Kondo to raise donation money. You, too, can help by donating to any of the many organizations that will be providing aid to the region. Alternatively, you could purchase something from Shawnimals, which is donating 100% of net proceeds to the Red Cross this week.

Atari Announces Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale

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

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A new Dungeons & Dragons game will be coming to downloadable formats early next year, Atari and Bedlam Games announced today.
Titled Dungeons & Dragons Daggerdale, it pits players against the forces of evil as they attempt to conquer the Dalelands. It looks to be an action multiplayer title, though it’s not clear how much in the way of RPG elements it will include.

This is the second D&D game to be announced this year, the other being the revival of Neverwinter. The latter is also a multiplayer title being developed in conjunction with Cryptic.

Daggerdale is currently being developed for XBLA, PSN and PC. Look for it in spring 2011.

Two New DLC Chapters Coming to Castlevania HD

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Microsoft, Popular Games, Upcoming Games

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Konami has announced two new DLC chapters for the Xbox Live Arcade title Castlevania Harmony of Despair to be released in January according to the official Japanese site. Both stages are priced at 320 Microsoft points ($4 USD).

One of the stages (seen above, left) will be called “Do as many, become one” and will be based on the Catacombs area of Castlevania Symphony of the Night. As the name suggests, the boss will be the popular recurring foe Legion (a.k.a. Granfaloon, seen above, right), a massive sphere of corpses.

The other DLC stage has no image available, but the title is “King of the Flies.” This could refer to Beelzebub, another boss character from Symphony of the Night who was surrounded by giant, poisonous flies. More information on that stage is, according to Konami, “comming soon” [sic].

New Resistance 3 Details Hit the Web

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Upcoming Games

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Despite an announcement trailer at GamesCom and a number of leaked screens (one shown above), Sony and Insomniac have been pretty tight-lipped about Resistance 3. But now the latest issue of Game Informer has a new preview, and would you believe it, some of the details are already spreading across the Internet in bullet-pointed form.

The details come by way of NeoGAF, and include quite a few interesting tidbits. For one, Resistance fans will be happy to learn the Weapon Wheel will return in Resistance 3. More generally, the third game takes place in a world where the Chimera “have basically won,” with new protagonist Joseph Capelli having started a family with Susan, Hale’s stepsister. The few details paint a bleak picture of a world overrun by Chimera, with Chimeran plant life growing across the world (which explodes when shot), and human survivors becoming so desperate for food that some resort to cannibalism.

As for gameplay features, returning weapons include the Bullseye, Magnum, Shotgun, Auger, and Carbine, with all weapons now being upgradable the more players use them. One new weapon is the Mutator, which shoots “biological mist” that causes boils on enemies that pop and damage other nearby enemies. The secondary fire causes enemies to go insane and attack each other.

Two-player co-op was also confirmed, but it won’t have the alternate story co-op as in Resistance 2. Insomniac is also promising better enemy AI, with enemies now more aggressively climbing over walls and through windows. As for multiplayer, apparently not much was revealed, although Insomniac says they want to make it more “organized” compared to the 60-player modes in Resistance 2, and that one map will be an African prison.

As confirmed at GamesCom, Resistance 3 won’t be released until some time next year (probably late next year, if we’re guessing). So we’ll probably hear a lot more about Insomniacs third entry in the series between now and then.

Catherine: The Love Triangle from Hell

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

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32-year-old Vincent thinks he’s got it made — a decent job, an equally decent number of friends, and Katherine, a pretty, talented girlfriend. But, of course, that wasn’t good enough for him, was it? He just had to go and have that affair with Catherine, a 22-year-old blonde with an odd hairstyle and an even more mysterious background.

Atlus revealed some more story details behind Catherine (the new action/adventure from the makers of Persona) this week, and they’re pretty…well, alluring. In addition to talking to (and/or fending off) both ladies in real life, Vincent will be asked to trade text messages with Katherine and Catherine throughout the game, even snapping cell-phone pictures and sending them to and fro — a gameplay aspect that Brett Favre ought to go nuts for (allegedly).

This isn’t all just idle flirting, though. In Vincent’s local neighborhood, there’s been a rash of sudden deaths, all apparently related to the nightmares they’ve been having. Vincent, along with his bar buddies, is starting to have those same recurring nightmares — climbing an endless tower, chased by hideous-looking demons, death awaiting him if he falls. The worst part of it all: Catherine, your freaky mistress, is involved somehow. As if trying to wriggle your way out of a long-term relationship wasn’t hard enough!

Catherine, the game, is due out this winter for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in Japan. No US release plans have been announced yet.

Rock Band 3 Offering Free Launch DLC from The Doors

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Music, Upcoming Games

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Harmonix has a nice little bonus in store for early adopters of Rock Band 3. The developer of the upcoming rhythm game just announced a free three-pack of DLC by none other than The Doors.

Between October 26 and November 1, Rock Band 3 owners will be able to download The Doors’ “Light My Fire,” “Riders on the Storm,” and “Touch Me” completely free of charge. In addition, the Pro Guitar and Pro Bass add-ons for the three-pack will also be free for the duration of the promotion.

If that’s still not enough Jim Morrison for you, Harmonix also plans to release nine more tracks from The Doors that same week. The press release didn’t go into much detail on pricing, but this bundle will likely fall in line with similarly-sized track packs already available for Rock Band (roughly $14.99). The company did reveal, however, that once the free three-pack goes for-pay on November 2, these songs will only be available either individually or in a 12-pack with the previously free DLC.

You can check out the full list of Rock Band 3 launch DLC below:

•”Light My Fire” (Free from Oct. 26 through Nov. 1 in game, features Pro Guitar and Pro Bass)
•”Riders on the Storm” (Free from Oct. 26 through Nov. 1 in game, features Pro Guitar and Pro Bass)
•”Touch Me” (Free from Oct. 26 through Nov. 1 in game, features Pro Guitar and Pro Bass)
•”Hello, I Love You”
•”L.A. Woman”
•”Love Her Madly”
•”Love Me Two Times”
•”Peace Frog”
•”People Are Strange”
•”Roadhouse Blues”
•”Soul Kitchen”
•”The Crystal Ship”

Duke Nukem Forever Demo Code Available

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

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It looks like those who purchased the original release of Borderlands via Steam aren’t out of luck when it comes to getting a demo key for the upcoming Duke Nukem Forever (via The Big Download).

As was reported last week, the Borderlands Game of the Year Edition was released with a “Duke Nukem Forever First Access Club” certificate. That’s in addition to all of the DLC released to date, and other bonuses.

However, 1UP is able to confirm that those who purchased Borderlands via Steam also have access to the demo key. So if you’re not interested in dropping the cash for a GOTY edition, you can pick up an original copy sans DLC instead.

The demo will be released sometime next year.