Splinter Cell Conviction Delayed on PC

March 19, 2010 by Andy Giff  
Filed under News, PC, Xbox

Conviction was originally set for a simultaneous release on Xbox 360 and PC

Ubisoft’s most recent release schedule has revealed a two week delay for the PC version of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction.

It was supposed to be released on April 16th, the same day as the 360 version, but PC gamers will now have to wait until the 30th to get their hands on the game which 360 users have already had a demo of for a few days now.

Ubisoft really haven’t been doing their PC market any favours recently…

New Lord of the Rings Game Announced

March 18, 2010 by Andy Giff  
Filed under News, PC, Playstation, Xbox

War In the North will probably be quite focused on co-operative play

Developers Snowblind Studios, along with Warner Bros. today announced the latest addition to the growing list of Lord of the Rings games.

The new game, titled “War in the North” is being developed by the same folk as Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and will be an action-RPG featuring co-op support. It will feature locations and narratives familiar to fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels and their big screen-counterparts, as well as original storylines.

Martin Tremblay, president of Warner Bros. Interactive had this to say:

“With The Lord of the Rings: War in the North we are taking a mature approach to the widely celebrated property with authentic portrayals of battles and all new storylines.

Utilising the award-winning and passionate development team at Snowblind Studios, we are looking to evolve the RPG experience and deliver The Lord of the Rings game fans have been waiting for.”

The game is slated for a release in 2011 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Check the official website for more information.

Crunch culture killed Ensemble Studios

March 15, 2010 by Ivan Cronyn  
Filed under PC, Playstation, Xbox

Ensemble Studios, creators of the Age of Empires PC strategy games and Halo Wars on the Xbox 360, was closed due to problems with the corporate culture. Speaking at GDC, Paul Bettner, a 12-year veteran at Ensemble, refused to blame Microsoft for the closure of the developer.

“Microsoft is a public company, they answer to their shareholders, and we were simply too expensive.”

In his impassioned talk during the “rants” session, Bettner, now working at iPhone developer NewToy, blamed himself for the cost, inefficiency and poor quality of life caused by Ensemble’s dependence on long, “crunch” working hours.

Ensemble had a company culture where “everyone was a workaholic”, developers worked late and slept at the office, and were addicted to the rush of success of the Age of Empires series.

“I watched this happen and I did almost nothing to stop it. As an employee, and later as a manager, I didn’t take a stand. I just kept hoping for that next high,” Bettner said.

Bioware ‘Reveals’ Dragonage Sequel Release Date?

March 11, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, PC, Playstation, Xbox

There’s a nice little surprise watching in the package for the retail version of upcoming Dragonage: Origins expansion, Awakening. It contains a leaflet with a date of 02.01.2011 printed on it, which seems to hint at the release date for Dragonage 2. Well when we say ’seems’ we really mean ‘what the hell else can it be?’.

EA has already announced that they’re going to be releasing a new Dragonage next year, so when you put the two things together it’s pretty obvious. Given the early next year release date it’s also looking likely that we’ll find out more about the sequel at E3.

Awakening is available as a download and retail release for PC and 360. The PS3 release is download only, so no little leaflet for owners of that version. You can get it from March 16.

(picture from 1UP)

Mass Effect 2 Gets Free Arc Projector DLC

March 9, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, PC, Xbox

Bioware released some more free DLC for Mass Effect 2 today, this time in the form of a new weapon for the game.

The Arc Projector ionizes targets with a non-visible laser to ready them for a high-voltage electrical attack. As the lightning-like bolt hits its first target, a sophisticated auto-targeting system paints succeeding targets with the ionization laser, allowing the electricity to take the path of least resistance and arc between them. An entire enemy strike team can be shocked to death with a few pulls of the trigger. Careful aiming will also allow the user to arc shots to nearby explosives as well.

You can get the new DLC through the Cerberus Network, which is located on the games main menu.

If one weapon isn’t enough for you then you’ll be able to download the ‘Firewalker Pack’ later this month, which includes five new missions and a tank.

R.U.S.E Public Beta Now Available For Pre-Load

March 8, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, PC, Playstation, Xbox

If you’re looking for some hardcore RTS fun on that PC of your’s then you might be interested to know that Steam has now made available the R.U.S.E public beta for pre-load.

All you have to do to join in on the fun (well, in 19 hours anyway) is go to this link and download the public beta. You will then be ready to play the beta straight away from tomorrow, meaning you don’t have to sit and wait for the download to complete.

R.U.S.E is a World War II based RTS coming to the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 sometime next year.

New Fallout: New Vegas Screenshots Released

March 8, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under News, PC, Playstation, Xbox

Some new Fallout: New Vegas screenshots were released by Bethesda today, and we’ve got the full gallery below.

The game uses the same engine as Fallout 3, hence the similar look, although apparently the game will have more varied plant life.

Portal 2 Officially Announced

March 7, 2010 by Andy Giff  
Filed under News, PC

Portal was one of the biggest surprise hits of 2007

After updating Portal on the PC a few times this month, with little things such as this alternative ending sequence to tease a potential sequel, Valve have officially announced Portal 2.

The only info so far is that the game is set for a Holiday 2010 release – which means November/December time in American-speak. The game was rumoured a while ago to be a prequel, but these rumours were circulating about two years ago, so who knows?

I am definitely looking forward to doing some new crazy tests with the ‘help’ of good ‘friend’ GLaDOS…

Trouble at Infinity Ward?

March 2, 2010 by Ivan Cronyn  
Filed under PC, Playstation, Xbox

Infinity Ward president Jason West and studio head Vince Zampella appear to have been sacked by the studio’s owner Activision amid dramatic scenes and claims of breach of contract and insubordination.

G4 reported late yesterday that “bouncer-type” security had showed up at the offices of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare developer following a meeting between the two studio heads and Activision, and that West and Zampella hadn’t been seen by staff since.

G4 then turned up a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Activision earlier in the day indicating that the publisher was investigating senior staff at Infinity Ward, and expecting to sack and sue them.

“The Company is concluding an internal human resources inquiry into breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at Infinity Ward,” the filing read. “This matter is expected to involve the departure of key personnel and litigation.”

Meanwhile, Kotaku turned up a Facebook status update from West that read, “Jason West is drinking. Also, no longer employed.” His profile on the professional networking site LinkedIn also appeared to have been updated, showing his role as “President/Game Director/CCO/CTO at Infinity Ward” as a “Past” employment.

Zampella’s status at the moment is unclear. Neither Activision or Infinity Ward has offered an official comment as yet. Infinity Ward’s vocal spokesman Robert Bowling simply said “I have no info” on his Twitter.

Zampella and West were among the founding members of Infinity Ward who had previously worked on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for EA. At their new studio, they created the immensely successful Call of Duty series of first-person shooters for Activision and continued to develop key entries in the series, culminating in the recent smash hits Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2.

West is credited as the director of Modern Warfare 2, which was 2009’s best-selling game worldwide and which racked up a billion dollars of sales in two months.

Game creator Tim Schafer, whose Brutal Legend was dropped by Activision before being picked up by EA, commented on his Twitter: “Getting mad at Activision for this kind of thing is like getting mad at an ape for throwing feces. It’s just how the beast communicates.”

This Week’s New Releases (21 – 28 February)

February 22, 2010 by Thomas Mulrooney  
Filed under Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Xbox

I and the monkey finally made up this week, and as I write this he’s currently enjoying a cigar and listening to Mozart. He’s a cultured monkey at heart, it’s just that his natural tendencies took over whenever I’d absent-mindedly left a Word file open on my computer. We now enjoy each other’s company while watching Frasier repeats on Comedy Central.

So, enough about the monkey, what’s out this week? There are two big games of interest; Heavy Rain and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. The former makes me long for a PS3, and just might make me buy one, while the latter might actually make me turn on my Wii again; although I’m not too sure if I’ll be able to find my Wii under the mountains of dust.

Here are all of this week’s releases:

  • Heavy Rain (PS3)
  • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (PS2, PSP, Wii)
  • Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess (PSP)
  • Superstars V8 Next Challenge (PC, PS3, X360)
  • Bit.Trip Void (Wii)
  • Theatre of War: Afrika 1943 (PC)
  • Water Sports (Wii) – The…temptation…to…make…a…pun…too….strong!
  • The Farm (PC)
  • Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (DS, PC, PS3, Wii)
  • Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing with Banjo-Kazooie (X360) – Like that’s going to tempt me to buy it!
  • Sail Simulator 2010 (PC) – Game of the year!
  • Adventures to Go! (PSP)
  • Lips: Party Classics (X360)
  • Puzzle Chronicles (DS, PSP)
  • Gamehits (DS)
  • Echoshift (PSP)
  • Safar’Wii (Wii) – So apparently this didn’t come out the other week after all.
  • Pop’n Music (Wii)
  • Undead Knights (PSP)
  • Casual Mania (DS)
  • Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes (DS) – When I was at school I knew someone who loved this series. He looked like an Orc. True story!
  • Napoleon: Total War (PC)
  • White Knight Chronicles (International Edition) (PS3)
  • Way of the Samurai 3 (PS3, X360)
  • Crash Time III (X360)
  • Dawn of Discovery: Venice (PC)
  • Driving Simulator (PC) – Game of the year runner-up!
  • The Stronghold Collection (PC)
  • The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces (Wii)
  • Dante’s Inferno (PSP)
  • Blue Toad Murder Files: The Mysteries of Little Riddle – Episode Three (PS3)

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