Viva New Vegas!

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From Bethesda Softworks arrives an official press release for Fallout: New Vegas, a completely standalone adventure under development by the crew at Obsidian Entertainment. If you didn’t have enough post-apocalyptic fun with Fallout 3, get ready to head back into the wastes with a completely new adventure this Fall for the Xbox 360, PS3, and Games for Windows for PCs.

Does that mean this is Fallout 4? Nope, but it takes place in the same world pioneered with the first Fallout (and continued with Fallout 3) when members of Obsidian had worked on it as a part of the development team at Interplay before striking out on their own.

Read that again: members of the original Fallout crew (i.e. the ones that came up with the whole Fallout idea) are working on this. It might not mean much to those whose first exposure to the series was with Fallout 3, but for old-as-dirt Vault Dwellers like myself, it’s a big deal when Fallouts 1 and 2 were undeniably classic material. Where do you think Fallout 3 got the idea to be able to plant live grenades in people’s pockets first? I’m also hoping they include the nuclear car from the second game. So much fun.

And in checking out the trailer, it looks like Obsidian is making more than a few nods in that direction. In Wasteland, considered the granddaddy of Fallout,urban legend held that the reason Vegas dodged a nuke was because the house had bet against one hitting the city…and no one wins against the house. The New California Republic flag waving at the end was a very cool touch. Haven’t seen them since…Fallout 2.

Seems that the last century’s been really good to them. Really good.

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You can read the official release after the jump.

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What kind of Mickey Mouse game is this? Oh, wait …

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This morning, Disney announced that they were creating Disney Epic Mickey, an action platformer for the Wii that’s looking to give the vaunted mouse some new life. Mickey travels to a place called the Cartoon Wasteland — a place for Disney creations that have either retired or faded into obscurity. The caretaker of the wasteland is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who was Walt Disney’s first star … until Mickey came along. Naturally, this leads to issues when Mickey stumbles into the wasteland and ruins the land’s sense of balance. Now, it’s up to Mickey to provide damage control.

Here’s a snippet about gameplay from Disney:

Players use the Wii Remote to wield magical paint and thinner to re-shape the world around them. Paint’s creativity and thinner’s damaging effect give the player robust tools and empowers them to make choices about how they move through the world. Each player’s decisions to use paint, thinner or both dynamically changes the world with consequences that affect the environment, interactions with other characters, and even Mickey’s appearance and abilities.

The painting concept immediately brings me right to Okami, an outstanding game from Capcom where you had the ability to “paint” items into the scenery and watch them spring to life — for instance, if you painted a sun at night, you would immediately make it daytime.

Disney sent over some screens and art for the game, so you can see it after the jump. The game’s slated to drop in the fall of 2010.
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Review: Raven Squad

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Simply advancing to the next generation of hardware doesn’t necessarily mean that everything else will improve alongside it. Terrible movies made with megabucks still get out to theaters, anyone without two notes to rub together can still market themselves on MySpace in the hopes of landing a contract, and awful games occasionally land on shelves before the eyes of an unsuspecting audience.

Raven Squad’s ideas sound good on the back of its box in blending both FPS and RTS elements together to create what could be a solid take on mercenary-led firepower in a hot zone. After all, that’s one of the things that made Rainbow Six such fun on the PC for many would-be commanders. Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter would also get into the act with its Cross Com tactical overview and squad command system which made anyone feel like an operator sitting somewhere deep within Langley before switching into the head of one of their own in the field.

With that kind of history already out there, Raven Squad seemed like it would be built atop the shoulders of giants. The bad news is that Raven Squad would manage to break that formula on every level.
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Manipulator? Purveyor? Warrior?

Funcom has updated its site promoting their new PC MMO-in-the-works, “The Secret World”, with a test to see which of the three secret societies you might be best suited for. It also gives you a chance to be a part of the upcoming beta which should be more than enough of an incentive for fans familiar with writer Ragnar Tornquist’s work with “The Longest Journey” and its sequel, “Dreamfall”.

If you don’t know what it is about, “The Secret World” takes place in real world locations such as New York and London as it pits players in a secret war against the forces of darkness. Those myths that go bump in the night? The Boogey Man? Atlantis? Cthulhu? They could be real. The question is, will you fight to keep these secrets buried? Use them towards your own ends? Or sell them to the highest bidder as part of a secret agenda? That’s about what this sounds like. It sounds pretty intriguing, especially when they say that the gameplay is classless without leveling.

Think about that one: no leveling, no classes. My RPG sensibilities had to chew on that for awhile. It sounds almost as welcome as when 4ed D&D rid itself of Vancian magic memorization, but I need to see how it could work first before I get too excited.

Anyways, I took the test which was a mix of unique visuals and odd questions making it feel as if I were being grilled in the backroom of a fortune teller’s shop in Chinatown…the kind that Eddie Murphy in the Golden Child might have visited.

As for the faction it picked out for me, well, I’ll be keeping that as my own secret, but it’s not fixed. At the end of the test, would-be beta testers can opt to pick from the three societies offered: the Templar, the Illuminati, or the Dragon. Once you do, you’ll get an e-mail and a kit that you can download to show off your affiliation. The layers are finally peeling away from Funcom’s latest game, adding a bit more detail to what was teased in the trailer below.

Update 9.4.09: The second trailer has been added below. It looks like the trailers are covering each of the societies in turn. The first looks like it’s showing off the Dragon. The second one, I’m guessing, is for the Templars.

Review: Godfather 2

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I shouldn’t have been surprised at the treatment of the film after the first Godfather game from EA, but in playing through Godfather 2, I found myself impressed yet again with how they have continued to pillage the venerable film for ideas. If you’re a fan of the films, I’d advise you to stay away, but if you’re remotely curious about the game and are willing to stomach what it does to the franchise, then read on. This isn’t going to be pretty.
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Get your a** to Mars

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Volition has released a demo for their mega-demolition FPS, Red Faction: Guerilla, for the console crowd and being the curious sort, I downloaded the Xbox 360 version which proceeded to blow my expectations out of orbit with a mass driver. PC players have, so far, been left out of the goodness even though the game is coming out for that platform, too.

But the promises? They’re true. They really are. The whole destructibility thing is absolutely, without question, awesomely fun.
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Shadow of the Colossus to Become Movie

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Yes, Shadow of the Colossus is to be given the Hollywood treatment. The team ICO game that took the critical world by storm back in 2005, wowing gamers with it’s minimalist landscapes, subtle plot and enormous antagonists, is being adapted for the big screen.

Producer, Kevin Misher (The Scorpion King, Public Enemies, The Interpreter) Is in charge of the project, with Young script writer Justin marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-LI) having the unenviable job of creating a script. No director has yet been mentioned.
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