This Week's Top Stories: April 2 - 7, 2012
- Posted April 7th, 2012 at 13:48 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.
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Skyrim, Rage DLC news coming this month?
Bethesda’s been keeping details on Skyrim’s DLC close to its chest since the game’s launch last November, though the studio has indicated that we can expect something with a lot of meat on the bone, so to speak. I’m sure many people have their own ideas as to what we’ll be plonking down the cash for whenever DLC makes it out the door, but from the sound of things, we’ll find out soon enough. Bethesda teased this week that it has some interesting news regarding both Skyrim and Rage due this month, and while not explicitly stating it’ll be DLC, it’s still a high probability. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a separate adventure in either Morrowind or Cyrodiil, which ties in nicely with data found on the PC version of Skyrim suggesting Bethesda’s got something lined up for both those regions. After all, the prospect of revisiting iconic locations from previous Elder Scrolls games with spruced up visuals is far too tantalizing to pass up. As for Rage, well, that’s equally being kept in the dark, but we’ll be keeping our ears to the ground for any info, so keep your browsers tuned to PSU.com for more details.
Rumor: PlayStation 4 to release before next Xbox
Another week, another batch of rumors on next-generation consoles. This time around it’s from the credible chaps at VG247, who have been informed from sources that Sony is looking likely to release the PlayStation 4 ahead of Microsoft’s new Xbox console. While this should be filed under rumor at this point, the report certainly carries a lot of cloud when you consider the fact Sony Europe previously said that it would be “undesirable” for Sony to release a successor to the PS3 after Microsoft gets its new hardware out the door. This would make a heap of sense, seeing as how PS3 was beaten to the punch by Xbox 360, although to Sony’s credit its flagship console is only a couple of million behind Microsoft’s platform in terms of global sales. Nonetheless, it would be wise for Sony to get the jump on its competitors, especially when you look at its history; PS2 came to market a year ahead of Xbox and GameCube, and even though Dreamcast had over a year’s head start, it didn’t matter by that point as Sega’s machine was sadly losing public interest. Imagine PS4 with Uncharted 4 at launch a full six months ahead of Xbox 720? Can’t be a bad thing.
Warrior’s Lair (aka Ruin) still in development, by different developers
Fans anticipating the release of Warrior’s Lair, the game formally known as Ruin, were left a little disappointed last week when rumblings started popping up regarding the game’s cancellation. However, Sony’s taken to the PS Blog to debunk the rumors, insisting the game is still very much in development, albeit at one of the company's San Diego-based studios. This may come as a surprise to some, given the fact Idol Minds was previously handling the project. Furthermore, no reason was given for the move to in-house development, but at least we know it’s still in the oven. However, given reports of layoffs at its original creators, the writing sadly may be on the wall.
Just Cause ‘perfect’ for next-generation consoles
Avalanche Studios has declared that its Just Cause franchise would be the perfect match for next-generation consoles, which is somewhat unsurprising as the third game is said to be due out around the same time as the rumored date for Xbox 720 and PS4 (2013/2014). Still, that aside, I doubt you could find anyone who would argue against the case, given that Just Cause’s lush, sprawling environments and satisfying gun play would surely benefit from the added graphical oomph of next-gen machines, not to mention the impact advanced tech would have on things such as AI. As it stands, Just Cause 3 has yet to be formally announced, though Avalanche is working on two projects, one of which is due to be unveiled at E3 in June. Furthermore, it’s all staffing up for current and next-gen projects with views to expand operations in its native Stockholm as well as New York. Is Just Cause 3 one of these games? We’d be willing to be a few pennies on it, yep.
Rumor: Sony’s brawler might be called PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Internet chatter has been rife with reports of a Smash Bros. type brawler featuring PlayStation’s most iconic characters, though Sony has typically kept mum on the subject. However, fresh evidence this week has suggested the game may be more than just a rumor. Specifically, PS Lifestyle has got hold of a survey detailing potential names for the game, which not only all but indicates it’s in development, but gives us an idea of a potential name tag – PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Okay, so it doesn’t have the same impact as Super Smash Bros, but if it means we can see who wins out of a punch-up between Kratos and Nathan Drake, then we’re all for it. This game has the potential to be pretty special, and there’s a host of crazy weapons and features Sony could implement too. How about using one of Ratchet & Clank’s gadgetry to gain the upper hand in a bout? Or perhaps slice up your opponent with the Chains of Olympus? The possibilities are endless, but let’s just hope it’s not a shameless rip-off of Nintendo’s admittedly brilliant scrapper. E3 reveal? Fingers crossed.
Far Cry 3 info blowout
PSU U.K. wordsmith Steven Williamson was lucky enough to go hands-on with Far Cry 3 in London this past week, where Ubisoft divulged a heap of info on the game’s multiplayer component. As such, we’ve got a boatload of juicy gossip on the hotly-anticipated first-person shooter, which you can access via our game page at the above link. Get stuck in.
Report details, confirms rumored PlayStation 4/Orbis processing specs
Chatter on Sony’s next-generation efforts has kicked up a notch in the past week or so, with the latest batch of gossip seemingly confirming the inclusion of the previously-rumored AMD chips. Apparently, PS4 – codenamed Orbis – will run a pair of AMD chips for processing and graphics, which backs up previous claims that Sony is ditching its Cell technology. According to IGN’s sources, the chips are slight modifications of existing hardware, and puts PS4 on equal stomping around with the rumored tech specs of the next Xbox. Sony undeniably had the upper hand in terms of raw processing power this generation, though 360 has proven that it’s more than up to the task of blowing us away visually. As such, it’ll be interesting to have two next-gen juggernauts of equal firepower, with the Wii U undoubtedly some way behind as it finally catches up to the HD-era. We’re not technical wizards, but the PS4 is sounding like a pretty impressive piece of kit if what we’re lead to believe is true, though quite when Sony will finally lift the lid on its new machine is anyone’s guess.
Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut announced
The controversy surrounding Mass Effect 3’s ending sequences and resulting fan backlash has undoubtedly been one of the hottest topics of the year so far. Everyone’s got an opinion on it, and to say it has been a polarizing topic is an understatement; some stand by the belief that an artist shouldn’t alter its art on the back of fan outburst, while others feel justified in their stance that the ending is a mess that outright goes against everything BioWare promised in pre-release hype. Either way, the backlash seems to have paid off, because the firm announced this week that it’ll release a free download, Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut, which will flesh out the ending with additional cinematic and epilogue scenes. Quite how effective this will be at satisfying fans remains to be seen, but personally speaking, I could have done with a little more closure on a few standout elements. That said, i'd be lying if I said I was thoroughly disappointed with the conclusion, as this simply wasn't the case (though I understand i'm in the minority). Let’s hope that the DLC won’t compromise on artistic integrity while wrapping up some of the more glaring holes – that way, everyone wins.
From Software teases sequel to Dark Souls
Dark fantasy duo Demon’s and Dark Souls are among the most compelling and brutal slices of entertainment to grace the current crop of home consoles, and after the success of last year’s Dark Souls in particular, many are eager to see a perpetuation of the brand. Fortunately it seems developer From Software isn’t ready to hang up its armor and shield just yet, with the firm’s Masanori Takeuchi telling Gametrailers.com that the studio is confident we haven’t seen the last of the franchise yet. For those of you who don’t know, the Souls series is essentially a spiritual successor to old school series King’s Field, and it’s this template that From Software is keen to build on. Of course, a third Souls game hasn’t been confirmed outright, but it sounds like the hard-as-nails action-RPG series isn’t going anywhere.
The Best of the Rest...----