This Week's Top Stories: April 30 - May 5, 2012
- Posted May 5th, 2012 at 12:46 EDT by Mike Harradence
- 1 Comments
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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Multiplayer confirmed for God of War: Ascension
Following God of War: Ascension’s unveiling nearly two weeks ago, one of the main points of interest playing on gamers’ minds was the question of multiplayer. After all, rumors of an online component stretches back to some of the earliest leaks on the game, with SCE Studio Santa Monica having posted a job ad for an online programmer to join its GoW team. Sure enough, it turns out that was indeed the case, with Sony confirming on Monday that Ascension will pack an offline/online multiplayer feature. Details are thin on the ground right now, but it’ll include numerous modes and customisable avatars, promising to deliver the furious combat associated with the single-player campaign. Elsewhere, the game will also boast a revamped combat and weapons system, which should please gamers who were starting to find the bread-and-butter GoW battles a little formulaic. Quite how impressive the multiplayer is remains to be seen, but let’s hope it’ll provide an interesting dynamic alongside the standard single-player shenanigans.
Call of Duty Black Ops II officially confirmed
Arguably the worst kept secret of the year thus far (come off it, who REALLY expected anything else?), Activision officially lifted the wraps off Call of Duty Black Ops II this week, by way of the official website. We assume this to be a blunder, based on the fact the game was due for a formal reveal via the NBA playoffs on Tuesday evening in the U.S., though either way we know we’ll be playing the next CoD game on November 13. Most interesting is the fact the game will be set in the near future, specifically a 21st century Cold War. Looks like those hoping for a continuation of the 60s/70s plot with Mason will be left out of luck, though hopefully this latest effort will still manage to weave a decent tale, as Black Ops did have a pretty good story by CoD standards. The most interesting thing to come out of the announcement, however, is the confirmation of a slew of fresh and innovative gameplay elements. We're promised branching storylines, a fully-fledged zombie campaign, and brand-new Strike Force missions where players are able to tackle a series of Black Ops locations across the globe. Indeed, being able to make decisions that directly affect the outcome of the story is perhaps the biggest change to the Call of Duty landscape since the fourth game's transition to a modern setting.
Skyrim’s Dawnguard DLC teased, out this summer
After months of waiting, Bethesda finally lifted the curtain on the first chunk of downloadable content for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, confirming the previously-rumored Dawnguard as the full title. Sadly a name was all we got, aside from a moody teaser image to accompany the reveal. Apparently, Dawnguard will drop this summer, and as expected will launch on Xbox 360 under a month’s exclusivity before arriving on PlayStation 3 and PC. Quite what the DLC will feature remains unknown, though it’ll be interesting if previous speculation of revisiting previous Elder Scrolls locations holds any weight. Stay tuned.
The Unfinished Swan officially confirmed for PSN
PSN has seen its fair share of artsy titles, primarily from thatgamecompany with the likes of Journey and Flower provoking much debate to the ever-growing discussion of whether games can ever be considered art. Well, from the look of things we can add another game to that pile of curious offerings, in the shape of Giant Sparrow’s The Unfinished Swan. Due out exclusively on Sony’s flagship online service this year, the game is billed as a ‘first-person painting’ title, where players are tasked with uncovering the landscape by lobbing black paint balls onto a white sheet of paper. Sadly that’s about all we have to go on right now, and despite its simplistic gameplay approach The Unfinished Swan is sounding pretty intriguing, and will win points for originality if nothing else. The developers promise the game will evoke a ‘sense of wonder’ and aims to surprise gamers as they progress through the adventure, so it certainly sounds it’ll provide a compelling experience. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one, and you should too.
Free Radical co-founder on TimeSplitters 4: ‘Nobody was interested in signing us’
A decade or so ago, the TimeSplitters franchise was among the cream of the crop of first-person shooters, or videogames in general for that matter. Back then, you couldn’t get enough of the time-hopping shooting series, and unsurprisingly, it spawned multiple sequels across major formats. Sadly, fast forward to 2012, and we’ve entered a time where a new game can’t even get off the ground. Just goes to show how much has changed, eh? But that’s the sad truth according to former Free Radical boss Steve Ellis, who revealed that the much-rumored TimeSplitters 4 was in the pipeline, though when approached no publisher was willing to sign the game. Why? Because apparently, no one wants to buy FPS games unless they’re Call of Duty. A sad state of affairs if you ask us, because it means ‘quirky’ titles like TimeSplitters – which were commercial and critical darlings, we might add – are left in the dark, while punters are happy to lap up more or less the same old thing on an annual basis. It’s just another nail in the coffin for risk takers and only seeks to perpetuate the belief that the industry is less about innovating and more about making big bucks. Why can’t you have both Surely BioShock: Infinite will have something to say about that come October 2012.
Buying Starhawk? Grab these awesome pre-order bonuses
Lightbox’s Starhawk is the next major PS3 exclusive on the horizon, and to celebrate its launch next week, Sony has unveiled a boatload of juicy pre-order bonuses for early adopters. Those of you who plonk down the cash early will be treated to one of the meatiest pre-order goodies for quite some time. To be more specific, you’ll get $20 worth of free DLC, which includes new co-op missions, maps and multiplayer skins, not to mention a heap of other cool stuff like the Starhawk soundtrack, PS3 theme and a copy of PSOne classic Warhawk. All in all, not too shabby eh? Hit the link for the full line-up.
Saints Row: The Third gets super-powered with Dominaxtri standalone expansion
Barmy actioner Saints Row: The Third will be getting yet more equally crazed content this fall in the shape of the Enter the Dominatrix expansion pack. Kicking off after the events of the main game, this super-powered DLC throws in a heap of new toys to play around with, and stars alien warlord Zinyak, who finds himself duking it out with the Third Street Saints. Yep, only in the world of Saints Row, folks. More info is expected this summer, so keep your eyes peeled for more details here at PSU.com.
Shigeru Miyamoto criticises PlayStation Vita
When Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto criticises your hardware, you sit up and take notice. Here, Miyamoto-san told Edge that he doesn’t see Sony’s PS Vita as a particularly strong product yet, at least not until it gets some triple-A games under its belt. Sure, you could argue that the Mario creator is just in a mood to stir things up, or you could point out that he’s saying what a lot of us are thinking about Sony’s new handheld since launch. There’s no denying the powerful pocket brick is lacking that spark that would see sales sky rocket, such as Monster Hunter or Final Fantasy, and you can draw parallels between PS Vita and 3DS during its early days. Until Mario arrived on the scene, Nintendo’s new toy was struggling to get off store shelves, then the plucky plumber arrive on the scene and things changed completely. You can’t deny that Monster Hunter would have similar results. Still, Miyamoto was keen to point out that he wasn’t in the habit of shamelessly mudslinging, noting he’s not happy the handheld isn’t selling well, nor would he be particularly worried if it was. He’s just making observations based on what he’s seen, which to be fair the majority of us have been doing since December.
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