This Week's Top Stories: December 13 - 19, 2010
- Posted December 19th, 2010 at 20:49 EDT by Michael Harradence
Welcome to another instalment in our weekly news digest where the team at PSU Towers picks our favourite slices of gaming gossip from the past seven days, before proceeding to offer our two cents on each story for good measure.
See below for the past week’s top stories.
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The Elder Scrolls V will utilize new game engine
Phew, that’s a relief. Don’t get us wrong; Oblivion was a positively stonking experience, but the engine was noticeably flawed in areas, bogged down by a multitude of pesky bugs that marred an otherwise compelling fantasy extravaganza. Fans have been crying out for a fresh engine to overhaul the next instalment, and fortunately developer Bethesda has confirmed it’s doing just that. Apparently the game looks “fantastic,” though we’ve yet to actually catch a glimpse at any in-game footage at present. Nonetheless, we have every faith in the Bethesda boys to deliver a sumptuous visual experience, and we can’t wait to clap eyes on the game for the first time – hopefully, sooner rather than later.
EA confirms Mass Effect PS3 demo
Electronic Arts seems to have something of an affinity for that sprawling, black blanket in the sky lately, as this is the second demo its unveiled that pertains to an impending space-bound epic. In this case, it’s Mass Effect 2, which follows hotly on the heels of confirmation of last week’s Dead Space 2 demo. And with the recent unveiling of Mass Effect 3 (also confirmed for PS3, we might add) over the weekend, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate opportunity to wet our appetites with a teaser of Shepherd’s celebrated sci-fi sequel. Make sure you snap this one up when it’s ready – even if just to see what all the fuss is about.
Dreamcast Collection a reality
We were hoping GameStop was on to something when a listing for a Dreamcast Collection popped up on the retail giant’s website a few weeks back. Fortunately, they were – SEGA’s confirmed the retro-filled bundle of joy is indeed on the way, and will be with us “soon.” Obviously the first thing that springs to mind is what titles will be bundled in the box, though sadly we haven’t been privy to any details on its contents at the time of writing. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean we can’t drum up a wish list in the mean time. Presuming this isn’t a compilation of games we’ve already seen on PSN/XBL (Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi and the upcoming Space Channel Five and SEGA Bass Fishing, to be precise), then there’s every chance we’ll receive a roaring retro revival. Soul Calibre, Shenmue, Shenmue II, Metropolis Street Racer, Skies of Arcadia, Powerstone are just some of the Dreamcast delights we’re hoping make the transition to PS3 via this promising package, and that’s only off the top of our heads. Sega’s white box of tricks is home to an assortment of gaming greats, not to mention some of the wacky Japanese offerings that didn’t see the light of day in western markets. Here’s hoping SEGA dig deep in to their back catalogue, as there are some right corkers available. Don’t muck it up, boys.
Drake braves a burning building in Uncharted 3 gameplay demo
Never let it be said that Naughty Dog doesn’t know how to spoil a fellow. Not content with unwrapping the feast that is an Uncharted 3 announcement, accompanying art work and gorgeous trailer, the celebrated developer has now thrown in a real-time gameplay demo for us to tuck in to for afters. Jimmy Fallon’s shouty antics aside, the 2-3 minute spectacle had us hooked from beginning to end, and it’s abundantly clear from what we’ve seen that Uncharted 3 will up the ante in just about every conceivable aspect over its predecessor. Animation was fluid and realistic, with Drake scrambling about the place as if he were a real flesh and blood, ordinary cheeky chappie thrust in to extraordinary circumstances, while the visuals were positively jaw-dropping, featuring some tip-top fire effects and shadows. In addition, we were also treated to a brief look at the game’s meaty melee attacks, with Drake’s repertoire packing even more clout than previous entries – proximity encounters are looking a hell of a lot more engaging this time around, that’s for sure. Oh, and we should mention that Sully was also there to lend a helping hand, though we’re still none the wiser if Drake’s bit of skirt Elena will be in on the action this time around. Still, we’re absolutely stoked, and can’t wait to see more. Another live demo at E3 perhaps, ala Uncharted 2? Fingers crossed.
Killzone 3 split-screen co-op confirmed
A franchise like Killzone lends itself perfectly to the concept of cooperative play, and as such it wasn’t a surprise that punters were a bit miffed to find that developer Guerrilla Games opted to leave the feature out of an otherwise stellar sequel in Killzone 2. This time around though, it’s obvious the studio has been listening to its fans, with Guerrilla head honcho Herman Hulst (perhaps unwittingly) letting the cat out of the bag this week that Killzone 3 is set to include split-screen co-op for the game’s main campaign. Online gaming’s popularity may have skyrocketed in recent years, but some of us still favour that age-old ritual of inviting a good mate around, slurping our way through a six-pack of beers and indulging in a spot of multiplayer action from the comfort of our couch. And what better way to celebrate those ideals than teaming up in a game of campaign co-op on Killzone 3? Hard to beat, we’ll think your find. February can’t come soon enough.
Mass Effect 2 PS3 uses Mass Effect 3's engine
From what we’ve seen so far, BioWare seems to be doing a stellar job of converting sci-fi spectacle Mass Effect 2 to Sony’s black behemoth, throwing in not only a digital comic to bring gamers up to speed with the original game’s story, not to mention virtually all previously-released DLC to boot. But it seems that’s not all PS3 owners have to look forward to, as we learned this week that the developers are running the sequel off of Mass Effect 3’s game-engine. Yep, PS3 owners are being treated to a brand-spanking new engine for their slice of the Mass Effect 2 pie, which BioWare singled out as one of the main components that renders the PS3 version of the space epic that much more of an attractive package. Sounds like a winner to us. Still, while the game won’t be out until late January, we’ll at least be able to indulge in a little teaser of what BioWare’s been happily chiselling away at all this time in the form of next week’s playable demo. Don’t miss it.
MotorStorm: Apocalypse info burst
After a prolonged silence dating back months, Evolution finally unleashed a landslide of juicy details on its latest off-road racing romp, MotorStorm: Apocalypse this week, among which pinned down a tentative spring 2011 launch for the sequel. So, still a long ways off, but the good news is we’ll be treated to a demo at some point, though all we got regarding a release date for the playable tease is an ambiguously irritating ‘2011’. Still, as long as they offer it up on a PSN-shaped plate prior to the full game’s release, we’re happy as Larry. Elsewhere, the game sounds like it’s shaping up to be quite the spectacle, with a heap of other features announced such as fresh taunts, a meatier photo mode, stereoscopic 3D support and – much to our delight – ample post-launch DLC. Indeed, if 2011 will be remembered for anything, it’ll be the deluge of threequels on offer – Apocalypse, the third entry in the franchise, joins the likes of Killzone 3, Resistance 3 and Uncharted 3 to form the nucleus of what is shaping up to be one of the best year’s in gaming we’ve seen to date. Bring it on.
Red Dead Redemption ships 8 million copies
As one of the year’s undisputed triumphs, it’s hardly a surprise to hear that Rockstar’s rapturously received Red Dead Redemption has shipped a whopping eight million copies around the globe. As a testament to its sheer pulling power, the Wild West outing bagged publisher Take-Two its first profitable year without so much as a GTA-induced car jacking in sight. Not too shabby. Furthermore, the game’s post-launch support has been nothing short of impressive, with Red Dead’s open-world antics augmented by a heap of DLC including the brilliant zombie-infested offering, Undead Nightmare. Indeed, with a cracking multiplayer component to boot, we could extol the virtues of John Marston’s compelling tale till the cows come home, but we won’t – all we’ll say is if you haven’t got it yet, do yourself a favour and put down the $40 asking price. You won’t regret it.