Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Tomb Raider Reboot Skipping Wii U

Posted: January 26, 2012 by Matt Nawrocki in Gaming, News
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Lara Croft in the 2012 Tomb Raider reboot

According to Crystal Dynamics global brand director Karl Stewart, Tomb Raider fans looking to play this fall’s heavily hyped reboot of the series will have to do it on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or PC.  He stated there are currently no plans to port the game for the Wii U launch or any other Nintendo platform.

The reason given for no port was that if they did make one, Crystal Dynamics would want to approach it differently and build it to take advantage of the unique functionality of the Wii U.  Whether that’s polite PR-speak to keep from burning bridges or a sign that the generational tradition of third party developers abandoning Nintendo consoles has already started before the Wii U could even launch, we’ll have to wait and see.  At any rate, it’s tough news for Nintendo fans that like Tomb Raider.

No word yet on an exact release date for the new Tomb Raider aside from the general “holiday season” but we should learn more about that as well as the games that will be on Wii U as we approach this year’s E3.

Resident Evil 6 logo

We knew Resident Evil 6 was coming but now we have a trailer and release date.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Capcom unveiled a new trailer for Resident Evil 6 and announced a release date of November 20th of this year.  The release coming so soon was a bit of a surprise considering we’re already getting Resident Evil:  Operation Raccoon City on March 20th.  While RE:ORC is a mutiplayer tactical shooter made by former SOCOM developer Slant Six featuring a non-canon “what if” style story set between Resident Evil 2 and 3, RE6 is a full fledged sequel working from and building upon 15 years of story from the last five games.

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Max Payne 3 screenshot

Max Payne seeks revenge on video game forum posters making "This game is being developed in bullet time" jokes.

Just two months from its intended release, Take Two Interactive announced today the planned March launch of Max Payne 3 has been pushed back to May.  No specific release date is announced yet, just the month.  The cause for the delay is to “ensure quality,” which is presumably PR spin for “Holy crap, this game has way more bugs than we expected.”  Kind of scary in an industry where even Skyrim’s troubling glitches didn’t hurt sales and PR too much but at this point, delays seem like standard operating procedure for Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games.

In fairness, a two month delay is pretty much nothing seeing as Max Payne 3 was previously expected to release at the end of 2009.  Considering the long development time and bold changes, it’ll be interesting to see how this game stands up to the original two classics in the series.  While the bullet time mechanic returns, the game leaves the dark and gritty noir atmosphere of New York City in favor of São Paulo, Brazil.  Rockstar is hyping innovative technology developments for the game and specifically mentions their new Natural Motion physics and Rockstar Advanced Game Engine.  If nothing else, it should be fun to see how these work.

However, in the “glass half empty” department, the timing of this delay hints at significant problems.  A May release pushes Max Payne 3 out of the current fiscal year, which ends April 1.  Take-Two Interactive’s revenue expectations drop from $1 billion to $770-790 million, which would actually give the company a net loss in 2011.  This could spook investors and lower the company’s stock price.  They wouldn’t take this kind of risk unless the game’s delay was absolutely necessary.  Whether there’s major cause for concern or Rockstar releases another classic in the acclaimed Max Payne series, hopefully we find out in May without even more additional delays.

New hamburgers based on Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

With Star Wars Episode I:  The Phantom Menace returning to theaters in 3D next month, they needed a merchandising tie-in awful enough to overshadow that terrible idea and it looks like they found it.  On January 31st, French fast food restaurant chain Quick will introduce new hamburgers based on the movie.

While the Jedi Burger seems mostly normal, the “Dark Vador” burger looks bad enough to make up for it.  With a bun as black as the dark void in Star Wars fans’ memories where they repressed the experience of originally seeing The Phantom Menace, this could be the grossest thing fast food restaurants have ever served.

The black bun and Dark Vador name are based on Darth Vader (that’s what they call him in France).  At least we were lucky enough to avoid a green Yoda burger.

Considering Spaceballs’ Pizza the Hutt looks more appetizing than this Star Wars hamburger that’s actually intended to be eaten, this just might be the worst idea ever.

Gotham City Impostors logo

Looks like the downloadable Batman-themed FPS Gotham City Impostors won’t make it’s January 10th release date.  Developer Monolith announced today that the heavily anticipated shooter is delayed until February.  No specific new release date was given.  It’s unusual to see a delay announced this close to the release but at least it’s only one month.

There’s no exact reason stated for the delay.  Monolith and publisher WB Interactive launched beta testing for the game early last month.  While the gameplay itself in the beta is pretty smooth, the online matchmaking experiences some problems and might have contributed to the delay.  In the pre-match lobby, the game sometimes has trouble separating players into teams.  Occasionally, the game takes extra time while flipping players back and forth between teams and every now and then, bigger issues pop up.  Sometimes when the number of players is uneven, for example five players on one team and three on the other, the next player that joins the match gets placed on the team with more players rather than the one that’s already short-handed.

Whatever the reason for the delay, hopefully it leads to the game being polished upon release.  As a budget-priced XBLA, PSN, and PC game, Gotham City Impostors is perfect for players that want some Batman and Joker theming on a simple Call of Duty replica shooter.

Preview of the Modern Warfare 3 DLC map "Park"

This is our first peek at the upcoming DLC map "Park."

Call of Duty Elite subscribers eagerly waiting for Modern Warfare 3 DLC finally learned when they’ll get their first content update.  It’s coming January 24th on Xbox 360.  It’s important to notice that they were specific about that date just being on Xbox Live.  They’ve promised more details as we get into January but haven’t mentioned Playstation 3 or PC dates yet.  With DLC for previous Call of Duty games, the content came to PS3 around a month after Xbox, then PC even later.  If PS3 and PC Modern Warfare 3 players have to wait until February to finally get new stuff from their paid subscriptions, we’re probably going to see a lot of angry people.

So far, all we actually know is that the DLC will contain the map “Park,” pictured above.  They’ve mentioned the DLC will feature multiplayer content, Spec Ops missions and more.  While not confirmed, it’s pretty likely Park will function as a multiplayer map and co-op Spec Ops survival mode mission at the very least.

In addition to the new content, January will finally give us the Call of Duty Elite Android and iOS smartphone apps.  These apps will let players check their game stats, maps and more on the go.

It’s unfortunate we’ve had to wait so long for more functionality from the paid Elite subscriptions but at least players will finally get the new features.  We’ll learn more about what’s coming when Infinity Ward and Activision release details in January.

Late last night my phone let me know I had an update to one of my favorite iOS games, Where’s My Water?. The update adds 20 more levels and adds a new gameplay element, balloons.

Balloons can be filled with any of the fluid types and allows water to travel over small gaps and past moss. I really love that they are frequently adding content to a game that only costs 99 cents. The game was released around September and they’ve added 20 more levels three times. Talk about bang for your buck.

Where’s My Water is available for both iOS and Android and could easily be worth more then $.99.