BF3 MP Trailer from Gamescom

Gamescom, Europe’s version of E3 over in Germany, is having its pre-convention presser avalanche before Wednesday’s official opening. EA had theirs and one of the things that came out from it was this trailer showing off “64-player vehicle warfare” including jets. The “64-player” thing is only for PCs, though console players should still have a relatively solid 24-player count to play with.

Might need to upgrade my PC for this one when it comes out October 25th this year.


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Leaked: Crysis 2

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Developer Crytek joins a sad list that includes Electronic Arts and Valve to have a game of theirs leaked ahead of release. In this case, according to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it’s a development build of Crysis 2 for the PC. The actual posting that had initially reported the leak is here on Facepunch. No, it doesn’t lead to where you can get it. It’s only a post from a reader that found it elsewhere and wanted to report it to others.

The actual game is scheduled to come out on March 22nd, but depending on how far along this particular build is, it could very well be close to what will be considered the “gold” copy that will go out for production. In other words, this is incredibly bad. To make things worse, sites including those above report that the build apparently has the game editor (for PCs), multiplayer, and the master key files for online authentication.

A post on the official Crysis forums by Crytek expresses their disappointment at the news and urges players to support the game when it comes out in March. With more than a few publishers and developers appearing to be looking for excuses to leave PC gaming in the dust, this leak can’t be helping.

Jets, prone, and Battlefield? Oh yes.

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According to Battlefield’s official blog, those bits are officially in for EA’s Battlefield 3. Yeah, I know MAG can support 256 players in their game, but there’s always something special about a Battlefield title that makes having 64 players on the field even more exciting.

Unfortunately, that’s only if you have a PC. Still, I remember when Battlefield 1942 on the PC had modded servers allowing for up to 64 players. The default was 32, but with a few tweaks – and enough horsepower – modders found ways around that limitation.

Even without 64 players on consoles, players on each platform (Xbox 360, PS3, and PCs) will still get jets and the ability to actually go prone which was something of a criticism with the previous Bad Company games when it was taken out. Sneaky players will finally get something new to crow about when they shoot the ankles out from beneath their enemies.

There’s no firm date yet aside from this Fall setting it up to be another painful pounding on everyone’s wallets all over again.

Review: Shank

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Shank is a game you play with beer, chips and a dumb grin on your face, the kind of grin you get when the hero’s sole responsibility is leaving a trail of kicked asses in his wake.

Such is the simple, barbaric pleasure in Klei Entertainment’s short offering to the beat-em-up genre.

It’s an artistic, bloody and whimsical exploration of the art of thug killing, carrying hints of films like “Desperado” or “Kill Bill” and merging them with the essence of side-scrolling attack-a-thons like the 8-bit Ninja Gaiden. It’s simple, brutal and joyfully un-epic fun.
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E3: A look back on Day Three

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Day Three was a relaxed day for us. Only a handful of appointments and the crowds were a little thinner as quite a few people decided to head home once they’ve gotten their fill of news. I don’t blame them. My feet at this point were turning to mush from all of the standing and walking, but the end was in sight. Almost. Today was a catch up day for anything interesting that I wanted to see for myself so we weren’t under any pressure to run from one booth to the other.

Then again, the Lakers were defending their title at the Staples Center that evening making getting out early something of a priority. When Angelinos tell you to go home instead of hanging around to see burning taxis win or lose, it’s probably good advice.
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E3: A look back on Day Two

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Day Two started off earlier, mainly due to the first day starting at noon. A few appointments were penciled in including another one with Activision who had given us a chance to check out the new True Crime. My brother was ready to hit most of those leaving me to wander the floor to take a look at what else was being shown. The first day was a brief tour in the West Hall. Now it was time to hit the South Hall where the third parties, and Microsoft, was lurking.
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Review: Brutal Legend

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If there’s a way to appease the metal gods, Tim Schafer, the mind behind Brutal Legend, may have done it.

Brutal Legend is the game director’s vision of rock and metal, using an unsung hero (a roadie) as the vehicle to explore a fully realized, almost Nordic world built around the mythos of the music.

But while this game showcases Schafer’s and Double Fine’s considerable gifts for producing comedic, edgy wonder (remember Psychonauts), it’s also an example of what can happen when there are one too many gameplay styles. The result is an experience that falls just a bit short of legendary status.

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E3: Thought bubbles from Electronic Arts

Started off the day getting an eyeful of Mass Effect 2 and Dante’s Inferno in a couple of short demos. I’ve got no pics to dress this up, so you’ll have to settle for words for now. I think you’ll be fine. Here are some small bits on each game:

Mass Effect 2: This is being seen as the “dark second act” of the Mass Effect trilogy, much like “Return of the Jedi” was for the Star Wars movies. Commander Shepard reprises his (or her, depending on how you built Shepard in the first game) role as the central character, but this time must hop around the galaxy and try to recruit only the nastiest, deadliest people for his/her group. You can import your character straight from your original Mass Effect save file (if you have it), abilities, choices and all, and essentially pick up where you left off in the last game.

With every sequel, there’s always the promise of more finely tuned gameplay elements, but it was the conversations that caught my eye. While the last game featured two people standing still and face-to-face for verbal interaction, ME2 now features real-time cinematic conversations. For example, the first conversation of the demo took place in a moving car, with stuff whipping by the windows at high speeds and the characters looking far more refined. It was essentially a talk in the car. There’s also an “interrupt” feature via the left trigger, which lets the player take action in the middle of a conversation if the situation calls for it. An example of this was Shepard pushing someone through the window of a high-rise building because he wasn’t being very helpful. The left trigger icon flashed on the lower left side of the screen, and out went the talker.

Of course, story has been the cornerstone of the ME universe, and the sequel looks like it’s going to stress survival. Shepard is not expected to make it through this latest adventure, and we’re told there out of the multiple endings featured in the game, some of them are actually going to involve Shepard’s death. Not in the game over, load saved game sense … as in, you see Shepard perish (or at least it appears that way). The moral of the story is, build a good team, make sure they like you, and try not to get killed.

Dante’s Inferno: I don’t know what this says about me, but my high school assignment that dealt with reading the Divine Comedy and Dante Aligheri’s verbal road map of Hell has remained one of my strongest and favorite high school memories. It required us to create our own version of Dante’s hell, complete with circles, sinners and punishments. By the way, I was a Catholic high school student. Anyway, I remember thinking to myself that someone should make a game about it … and now it’s here.

This epic third-person action mashup features Dante, an ass-kicking knight who is loosely based on the poet who wrote the Divine Comedy. Beatrice, the love of his life, gets dragged into Hell and it’s up to Dante to go in and get her back. He comes in rocking a holy cross and a giant scythe he stole from Death as his main weapons. The most stunning aspects of the game are its sense of scale and visuals, which feature intriguing interpretations of all of the characters in Dante’s Hell. You actually have to hop on the boat on a living boat to Limbo, eventually having to tear the head off the boatman (whose actually IS the boat instead of the guy driving it). There’s also King Minos, the judge of the Damned; Virgil, the poet Dante encounters who spouts line from the Divine Comedy; the unbaptized children, who are a little ticked about being in Hell; and eventually Lucifer himself.

The circles of Hell based on the seven deadly sins are all individual stages of the game, so each stage has it’s own twisted personality while remaining loyal to the poem. You want to see Anger as a putrid swamp? It’s there. You remember how the city of Dis is described in the poem? You’ll see it on a massive scale. Of course, combat is paramount and as gory as humanly possible … as evidenced by Dante completely disemboweling a fat, gluttonous maiden from the inside. The game comes out in 2010.

All right, time for me to run off to see God of War 3 and even more third-person gore. It’s third-person action day, apparently. Maybe I’ll get to play something for once.

Mah gawd! EA’s sent out the brass knucks!

Not long ago, game journalist Dean Takahashi got a huge duffel bag full of goodies from Microsoft when they were promoting Halo 3. However, if I remember correctly, I don’t think they sent him any actual weapons. That would be strange, right?

Well, EA broke on through to the other side when they sent out brass knuckles to game writers to promote Godfather 2.

And now … they want them back. Mostly because sending something like that to people is BAD. As in, illegal. Check out the story here.

For the record, we at Tech-Out were never cool enough to receive the weapons.

Will Wright is leaving Electronic Arts

I was peeking around the wires and saw this, a couple hours late to the party.

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By Barbara Ortutay
AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Will Wright, the video game designer behind such hits as “The Sims” and “Spore,” is leaving game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. after 12 years.

Redwood City, Calif.-based Electronic Arts said Wednesday that Wright is departing to run Stupid Fun Club, a company Wright started in 2001 to develop new forms of entertainment like video games, movies and even toys.

“The entertainment industry is moving rapidly into an era of revolutionary change,” Wright said in a statement. “Stupid Fun Club will explore new possibilities that are emerging from this sublime chaos and create new forms of entertainment on a variety of platforms.”

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