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New Red Faction: Armageddon Trailer Confounds Me Further

I have to be honest, I have no idea what to expect from Red Faction: Armageddon. When I saw it at E3, it looked somewhat like Guerrilla, just underground and with some new physics based weapons that allowed you to rebuild the environment as well as link two environmental objects together for more destructive fun. Now this new trailer comes along and there’s weird alien looking guys, mechs and spaceships? Call me officially confused. Seeing how the game drops at the end of next month, I guess I don’t have long to find out just what in the hell is going on.

Dungeon Siege III Delayed

Square Enix today announced the delay of Dungeon Siege III. The game has been pushed back to June 21 in North America.

PR ahead:

Square Enix announced today that the North American launch date for Dungeon Siege III is now June 21, 2011. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment™, Inc. and shipping for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC, Dungeon Siege III blends a robust (an) RPG system, a endless variety of loot and a compelling storyline with intuitive action-based gameplay.

“Square Enix is committed to delivering the ultimate Dungeon Siege experience,” said Mike Fischer, president and CEO of Square Enix, Inc. “Although the final polish phase has demanded a bit more time than originally planned, we want to assure fans and followers that the additional effort will allow us to deliver an action-RPG worthy of its “rich”* heritage.”

(*air quotes mine)

New Space Marine Footage

I was on the Three Moves Ahead podcast again last night to talk Warhammer 40K Dawn of War II Retribution with host Rob Zacny and PC Gamer’s Dan Stapleton (a very nice fellow). That has nothing to do, really, with this video. I just wanted to share that.

Actually there is a connection as this is Relic’s big leap into action games after doing their Dawn of War stint and I’m not sure if this is going to be a huge hit or fail in a fiery cataclysm of death but I am certainly going to find out first hand. This four minute clip discusses the 40K world in which Space Marine is set.

Ohhh so the Orks want to get their hands on a Titan? Well hell that’s not good at all.

At all.

L.A. Noire Trailer #3

Not much for me to add here really. It’s the third trailer and it’s more L.A. Confidential type stuff without the hookers dressed like movie stars.

I’m terribly anxious to play this. Even if I have no clue how it’s going to actually…play. Looks like a cool movie, though.

Amy Coming to PSN in June

I’ve never heard of this game but anytime a developer tries its hand at survival horror, it’s worth a mention. I do love a good scare.

PR ahead…

Lexis Numérique, a game design studio in Europe, today revealed new details about the storyline of AMY, along with brand-new assets from the upcoming survival horror/adventure title launching on the PlayStation Network in June.

AMY takes place in December 2034 in the small town of Silver City (Midwest, USA) after a comet strikes, wreaking havoc on humanity and unleashing a deadly virus that has infected almost everyone. Players take on the role of Lana, who regains consciousness in the midst of all the mayhem. The world she once identified with seems to have been torn to Hell, and most of the people she knew have now become part of a wild horde.

Lana feels the virus beginning to infect her and knows she must run as far as possible to escape the nightmare*. The presence of the titular Amy, a seemingly defenseless eight-year-old autistic girl who has curious powers, forces her to make choices that will affect both their lives. Together, they must fight or run from the infected humans, demons and the military, in the hope of not only saving each other, but also the future of humanity….

The cooperative gameplay featured in AMY is a deep and unique system that requires players to strategize in order to protect Amy and keep both characters alive. Amy is neither a super warrior, nor a docile character that follows along. Players must use Amy’s size and special abilities to their advantage by keeping her close in order to ward off the virus, and having her complete tasks that Lana can’t. For both to survive, Lana must stop at nothing to keep Amy safe.

In addition to the unique co-op gameplay, AMY features original stealth-action elements and an emphasis on fierce melee combat. Because Lana and Amy are often weaker than their enemies, players must choose to fight, or escape by running, pushing enemies away or hiding until the creatures depart. Players must balance Lana’s level of infection in order to navigate monster-ridden areas. When Lana allows herself to succumb to the virus by separating herself from Amy, she is no longer attacked by the bloodthirsty creatures. But if she’s exposed too long without protection, she will not make it through alive.

AMY’s cinematic atmosphere, unique visual and audio design, and rich character and environment backgrounds will give players a fully immersive and visceral gaming experience. like never before. Created using detailed modeling and motion capture animation, AMY will feature some of the highest quality graphics and animation available from a downloadable game. (hopefully look really good.)

AMY is currently in development by VectorCell studios under the direction of Paul Cuisset, French creator of games such as ‘Flashback’ and the ‘Moto Racer’ series. The game will be available for download on the PlayStation®Network in June 2011. To get all the news straight from the studio, please visit the official facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/AMY.thegame

*Because nothing helps cure what ails ya like a brisk run.

Bizarre Creations Talks Activision

Back on March 28th, Bungie told the media that the company was tickled pink with the support provided by Activision and that the publisher has a very hands off approach and is letting Bungie do its thing.

“Not only were we excited about the contract that we were able to get with Activision but they seem really committed to being hands-off,” Bungie’s Marty O’Donnell told Industry Gamers.

However, Bizarre Creations told Edge that its relationship with Activision was anything but hands-off up until the company closed its doors in February.

“I don’t think the atmosphere differed too much during the years before Activision,” said Martyn Chudley. “We were always proudly independent. However, when Activision took over, we really felt that they would leave our culture alone, and for a while it was fine, but slowly the feeling did start to change. We weren’t an independent studio making ‘our’ games anymore – we were making games to fill slots. Although we did all believe in them, they were more the products of committees and analysts. The culture we’d worked on for so long gradually eroded just enough so that it wasn’t ‘ours’ anymore.”

The two situations are likely quite different but I am genuinely curious to see what becomes of Bungie in a few years into its 10-year deal with the publisher. The most surprising thing about the Edge story, to me anyway, is that Bizarre was given the chance to effectively buy itself back — and passed.

Get $50 in Amazon Cash for Buying 4GB Xbox 360

Thanks to No High Scores reader Jake M. who sent this in this morning. Jake saw this at Joystiq but Jake it’s cool man we appreciate the heads up all the same.

If you are on the lookout for a 4GB Xbox 360 you can get $50 back in Amazon store credit by slapping down your $200 at the online retailer for said console.

Word to the wise — if you do this and decide to use that $50 in part to buy the sequel to the vampire novel The Strain: don’t do it.

What steaming pile of crap that book turned out to be.

Studies Reveal Health Benefits of Playing WoW

After the earlier post about how a study at Simmons College made kids out to be uncaring jerks, I thought it important to accentuate the positive by linking this post at Game Politics, which discusses two studies by Jeffrey Snodgrass, associate professor of anthropology at Colorado State which suggest that playing World of WarCraft can actually be beneficial to one’s mental health.


“The idea is that if you lose yourself, you escape,” Snodgrass said. “So it’s deeply relaxing, what some gamers describe as akin to meditation, or at other times positively challenging and stimulating, like a great chess match where you’re actually one of the pieces, and we show that there are strong associations between these various states of consciousness and the game’s health benefits. But it is important to note that the escape must be controlled and temporary to be positive, so that it leads to rejuvenation rather than simple problem avoidance, which in the end only increases the experience of stress.”

The article is worth a read and says the studies are online but you can find them here: http://www.springerlink.com/content/67631n4524805j43/

More on the Impulse Sale to GameStop

First off, a reminder that Stardock’s Brad Wardell will be our guest on this week’s Jumping the Shark podcast and we’ll be talking not just about this whole Impulse thing but about the future of his company.

A few more articles worth noting about the Impulse sale which has a lot of developers, and more importantly gamers, confused and/or up in arms.

GamersGate’s CEO Theo Bergquist starts us off with an op-ed piece at Industry Gamers discussing the acquisition of Impulse and what it means for GameStop, basically saying that by doing this they are trying to avoid becoming the next Blockbuster, which is code for old, dying superstore. He also takes some shots at Impulse specifically calling it, “Steam’s lesser talented stepchild” and one with “a negligible following”.

Feisty Theo.

Gamasutra continues with some analysis that’s also worth reading and if you thought the used game market was just for kicks…

“The company plans a strategy that loosely follows Netflix’s hybrid physical-digital business model, according to a Monday research note form Lazard analyst Colin Sebastian. That strategy will lead GameStop to $1.5 billion in digital revenues by 2014, management said. GameStop revenues for the most recent fiscal year were around $9.5 billion, with used games making up nearly half of $408 million in profits.”

What may be overlooked in all of this Impulse stuff is the acquisition of streaming technology firm Spawn Labs. What does GameStop have planned?

“Following various beta tests in 2011, we expect GameStop’s streaming service to go live in early- to mid-2012 with ‘try before you buy’ options and possibly purchases or subscriptions, in cooperation with game publishers,” he added. “We view the current lack of multiplayer options as a potential roadblock for widespread consumer adoption.”

Some more interesting quotes about game streaming — so make sure to give it a read at Gamasutra .

Finally, Gamasutra again has the goods on this Q&A with GameStop president Tony Bartel in which he talks about the importance of gaming tablets, game streaming, Steam, and how much he loves indie PC games. (Ok I made that last one up.)

Dungeon Siege III Co-op As Democratic As You Want It to Be

No High Scores

The European Playstation Blog has a feature up about Obsidian’s upcoming Dungeon Siege III and buried at the end of the article is an interesting nugget about how decisions are handled in co-op. While playing either the two player local co-op or four player online co-op, everyone playing will get a vote on story decisions such as whether to kill or spare an enemy or whether or not to take a quest. Obsidian did some interesting things with player choice in Alpha Protocol, so chances are these decisions are going to be more than the usual, “spare this beastie for one reward, kill him for another” situation. The ability to vote is a nice touch even if the host has the ultimate authority. For the record, I rule co-op with an iron fist, so either get on the Blood Train, or go cool your heels in some tavern.

Seen at the PlayStation Blog.