Metro: Last Light Officially Official


Rock, Paper, Shotgun has the scoop on today’s “official reveal” of the Metro 2033 sequel, Metro: Last Light. Bill or Mike will, I’m sure, be tracking this closely for you, but in the meantime, here’s the teaser trailer, which barely qualifies as a tease. The most interesting part of the announcement, really, is Danny Bilson (Executive Vice President Core Games), saying the following:

“We believe that Metro 2033 was a flawed masterpiece. It was a beautiful, original game that didn’t get the marketing support it needed. We won’t make that mistake with Metro: Last Light. This game improves on the original in every way – it will have more polish, deeper and more sophisticated gameplay, and satisfyingly visceral combat, without losing what our fans loved about the original. Metro: Last Light is another artful piece of game development from an Eastern European studio that will thrill and terrify anyone looking for a more cerebral experience than your typical first person shooter.”

Take away the shot across the bow of THQ marketing and there’s a lot of promising rhetoric there… if they follow-through. Now that my PC is a beast of unparalleled power, I really need to dig into Metro 2033.

UPDATE: Shack News has a preview posted that’s based on some early demo code.

Bioshock 2: Minerva's Den Released on PC


One of the best pieces of DLC you will ever play is now available to PC gamers. Woo hoo yeah us!

Minerva’s Den is required playing if you are a Bioshock 2 fan — and seriously, if you aren’t a Bioshock 2 fan we can no longer be friends. You can grab this at the GFW Marketplace here.

It’s $10 and here’s the details:

Minerva’s Den offers a brand-new, self-contained BioShock story, presenting a side of Rapture you’ve never seen before. Seek out the tools you’ll need to unlock new goals and spaces in the order you choose. Face Rapture’s full range of opposition as you increase in power—a new challenge is always right around the corner. There are no refunds for this item. For more information, see www.xbox.com/live/accounts.

(Hat tip to NHS user Rig21)

Mortal Kombat: Legacy Episode Eight – Two Ninjas Enter, One Ninja Leaves

Here it is, the explosive battle between Scorpion and Sub-Zero. Explosive is probably a bit of an exaggeration. Ok, it’s a tremendous exaggeration. There are only a few of these episodes left, so I think it’s clear by now that this is all set up. Hopefully we’ll get to see another series that features the tournament itself.

Full Playstation Network Service to Return This Week


No High Scores

The US Playstation blog posted a press release announcing that full Playstation Network service will be restored by week’s end in the US, Europe and Asia (excluding Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea). Items making their (hopefully) triumphant return include the Playstation Store, in-game commerce, and voucher/code redemptions.

On a related note, over the weekend I received my official invite into Debix’s AllClear ID Plus identity theft protection program. Registration was a simple matter of submitting my email address and receiving an email back with a code I could then use to register for a free AllClear ID Plus account. Those of you who are PS3 owners have hopefully received your invitations as well. This is well worth taking the time to do and of far more value to you than a couple of free games.

Embargo Lifts on Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm Press Event


Evidently there was a recent Heart of the Swarm-related press event at the Blizzard HQ, an event to which I mysteriously was not invited. How rude. Sure, I couldn’t have gone even if I had been among The Chosen, but a fella just wants to be asked, ya know? Blizzard, I will accept your apologies for the oversight in the form of candy and flowers.

Ahem.

Anyway, if you’re interested in what this Starcraft II expansion has to offer, the embargo is up and previews abound for this Zerg-centric entry into the franchise. Expect to see a bunch of screenshots of Zerg-human hybrid Kerrigan and a lot of talk about the nature of the Zerg hive mind. As Hicks would say, “It’s a bug hunt.” If you want to read more, pick among this slate of previews or search for some more as I’m sure they’re out there:

- Joystiq
- Eurogamer
- Giant Bomb

Heroes of Ruin Bringing Social Monster Slaying to the 3DS

No High Scores

A mysterious piece of art for an unknown 3DS game titled Heroes of Ruin was accidentally revealed last week, but today we have the official details about the upcoming 3DS RPG from Square. The game is a four player co-op dungeon crawler with a heavy focus on social gaming. Right now only StreetPass and SpotPass functionality has been mentioned with both used to give you loot and challenges but hopefully internet play will also be available. I mean, local co-op is great and all, but as I’m the only person in my circle of gaming buddies with a 3DS, I’m not about to start trolling McDonalds Wi-Fi hotspots for co-op partners. Square is planning on building a community around the game complete with community web site that will give out challenges and quests so one would think that internet play would be a given. The game will be at E3 so I’ll be sure to find time for it when I do my usual tour of Nintendo. Square’s previous DS outing, The World Ends With You was one of my favorite DS games so I’m pretty damn excited for this one.

Sengoku Developer Diary #2


Paradox has released another quick video developer diary for its upcoming strategy game, Sengoku. This video discusses the game’s factions as well as tidbits about vassals.

Dungeon Siege III Xbox Demo Available

No High Scores

The Dungeon Siege III demo is now available for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Seeing how Daggerdale has turned into a horrible, broken disappointment, I’m hoping Dungeon Siege III will fill my co-op dungeon romping needs. Then again, this is Obsidian, so hoping for it to not be broken is probably hoping for too much.

Call of Duty Elite Revealed


Hey it’s a new way for Activision to make money off of Call of Duty players. Well, sort of…it’s partly a free new online service.

Lengthy PR ahead:

The world’s most passionate (vocal?) online gaming community can now connect, compete and improve their Call of Duty multiplayer experience through Activision’s innovative new online service, Call of Duty Elite.

Developed from the ground up by Activision’s new Beachhead studio, Call of Duty Elite offers cutting-edge features that significantly enhance the franchises’ multiplayer experience and deliver a new level of social engagement that will unite more than 30 million players worldwide. Additionally, the service will offer exclusive, high-production value, original entertainment programming designed exclusively for the Call of Duty community.

“The average Call of Duty player spends 58 minutes per day playing multiplayer. That is more than the average Facebook user spends per day on Facebook. And yet, right now, there are very few tools to unite and super charge that social community,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “Whether it’s allowing you to connect with your friends, or people of a similar skill level, people who live in your city, people who share your favorite passions, join competitive clans or social groups, or upload, view and comment on the incredible mass of player-generated content, or watch and comment on exclusive created content, Call of Duty Elite will give people more ways to connect with fellow players than ever before. Elite will also allow players of every level to improve their game with an intuitive suite of tools, and compete in tournaments for both real and virtual prizes.”

Call of Duty Elite will include several industry-first innovations, and is designed to reset the bar for what players can expect from a multiplayer experience for this year’s most anticipated game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Elite will offer two-way communication between the service and the game, so that the choices and decisions that players make in Elite through the mobile and web interfaces will affect their in-game experience. The service will be fully integrated into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and will launch alongside the game on November 8, 2011.

Call of Duty Elite’s features and services engage the community in three key ways:

Connect: Call of Duty Elite gives players unprecedented control over their multiplayer experience, transforming it into a true social network. Players can compete against friends, players of similar skill levels and players with similar interests, join groups, join clans, and play in organized tournaments. They can also track the performance, progress and activity of their entire network, both in the game itself, as well as through mobile and web interfaces. Elite will be an “always on” way for players to connect with the Call of Duty community.

Compete: Call of Duty Elite establishes the most exciting, competitive environment in a multiplayer game. Players will have available a constant stream of events and competitions, tiered to group them with those with similar abilities. Both in-game and real-world prizes will be rewarded to all skill levels.

Improve: Call of Duty Elite is like having a personal online coach. It provides players with a dynamic strategy guide that tracks their statistics and performances down to the most minute details. It can show gamers how they stack up against their friends or others in the community. Tools and information are provided so players can learn and up their game.

Carrying forward to future Call of Duty games, Elite will chronicle a player’s gameplay history in a cohesive career record, keeping track of every kill, every game and progress.

“Call of Duty Elite has been tailored for Call of Duty’s diverse base of players – hardcore gamers, casual weekend warriors and even beginners — and additional features will be revealed when we premiere Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer later this summer,” added Hirshberg. “Over 7 million gamers play Call of Duty online each day logging hundreds of hours of multiplayer per player per year. Of course, the out of the box Call of Duty multiplayer experience that gamers have come to love and expect will continue as is. However, for those players looking for more, Call of Duty Elite will supercharge their experience.”

Many key features of Call of Duty Elite will be available to Call of Duty players free of charge. Additionally, for players who want to up their game, Call of Duty Elite will offer a premium membership with a wide range of state-of-the-art services, exclusive entertainment programming and all-inclusive game content for less than the cost of any comparable online entertainment service currently in the market.

The service will be accessible on a number of platforms — via web browsers, mobile devices, through game consoles and within the game interface itself — so that players can connect with Call of Duty Elite whenever and wherever they want.

Call of Duty Elite will launch this fall with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. However, to test the scale of the service, Activision will hold a public beta this summer for Elite with Call of Duty: Black Ops. For more information, go to www.callofduty.com.

Freestyle Games Still on the Ones and Twos

No High Scores

When Activision swung their mighty axe, rending studios such as Bizarre asunder, one of the studios that appeared doomed was the UK’s Freestyle Games, makers of the awesome DJ Hero and super-mega-awesome DJ Hero 2. Eurogamer has word that the studio has not been dissolved, although it did not escape layoffs completely, and that they are now working on a new project.

If it’s not obvious already, I enjoyed both DJ Hero games quite a bit, with DJ Hero 2 being the rare sequel that improved on the original in almost every way. Unfortunately the game didn’t catch on as well as I would have liked, with the sequel’s hardware bundles dropping in price quite dramatically very soon after release. I’m disappointed that the new game won’t be another DJ Hero game, but I understand and am happy to see Freestyle still around and making games.

Seen at Eurogamer.