Teaser Trailer: Command & Conquer Generals 2

Electronic Arts and Bioware revealed Saturday that Command & Conquer Generals 2 will be released for the PC in 2013.

Strategy game fans may remember the first Generals game, which was released in 2003. The game let players control the military forces of the United States and China as well as the “Global Liberation Army.” Given that the GLA was obviously an analog for al Qaida, I remember being kind of surprised that there was not more controversy surrounding that release.

Here’s a bit from from EA’s announcement of the new game:

In Command & Conquer Generals 2,
world leaders are mere seconds away from signing a peace treaty and
bringing an end to a global war when a devastating terrorist attack rips
through the conference, killing everyone in attendance, leaving only
the world’s military superpowers in control. It’s up to you to assume
their roles, take command of their forces and conquer global terrorism
once and for all. Players will take control of three unique factions in a
thrilling single-player campaign, and with friends online in
cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes.

And here’s the short trailer:

The fun side of nuclear war: Bethesda reveals Fallout: New Vegas DLC

The first “Fallout: New Vegas’” next three DLC packs will be released May 17, Bethesda Softworks reported today.

The new episodes follow December’s release of “Dead Money” for XBox Live players and remind this writer that he has not even finished all of Fallout 3′s DLC. (I’ll get into that spaceship someday.)

Fallout fans may remember (perhaps bitterly, if they play on PC or PlayStation 3) that “Dead Money” was a timed exclusive for Xbox and did not arrive on other platforms until late February. There’s no such arrangement this time, so all players who want to give Bethesda their money for more Fallout action can give Bethesda their money at the same time.

Here are descriptions of each episode from Bethesda’s press release:

Available
on May 17, “Honest Hearts” takes you on an expedition to the
unspoiled wilderness of Utah’s Zion National Park. Things go horribly wrong
when your caravan is ambushed by a tribal raiding band. As you try to find a
way back to the Mojave, you become embroiled in a war between tribes and a
conflict between a New Canaanite missionary and the mysterious Burned Man. The
decisions you make will determine the fate of Zion.

 

In
Old World Blues
, releasing in June, you will discover how
some of the Mojave’s mutated monsters came to be when you unwittingly
become a lab rat in a science experiment gone awry. You’ll need to scour
the Pre-War research centers of the Big Empty in search of technology to turn
the tables on your kidnappers or join forces with them against an even greater
threat.

 

Lonesome
Road
,
available in July, brings the courier’s story full circle when you are
contacted by the original Courier Six, a man by the name of Ulysses who refused
to deliver the Platinum Chip at the start of New Vegas. In his transmission,
Ulysses promises the answer as to why, but only if you take one last job
-a job that leads you into the depths of the hurricane-swept canyons of
the Divide, a landscape torn apart by earthquakes and violent storms. The road
to the Divide is a long and treacherous one, and of the few to ever walk the
road, none have ever returned.

Each DLC episode will be sold for $9.99 American or 800 Microsoft Points, for those doing business in the Republic of XBox Live.

Obsidian Entertainment developed the New Vegas games for Bethesda.

The Secret World reveals…more secrets

Funcom has released a new trailer that delves into the shadowy stories and conspiracies making up its backdrop.

Everything from the Tower of Babel to the Ark of the Covenant are being used as potential jumping off points for this new MMORPG. In it, players will take part in a secret war for the fate of the world as three factions will vie for supremacy using magic, technology, and mythology. Sounds like it could be a winning combination.

“Dead Money” gets release date for PC, PS3

“Dead Money,” the first DLC release for “Fallout: New Vegas” is scheduled to be released PC and PlayStation 3 on Feb. 22, Bethesda Softworks announced.

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XBox 360 players got first crack at Dead Money way back on Dec. 22. Bethesda reports that they will release three additional New Vegas expansions within the next few months with simultaneous release dates for all three platforms.

DC Universe Online designers try to build new MMO audience

The success of DC Universe Online may depend on whether the title finds an audience among gamers who have yet to enmesh themselves in the addictive MMO genre.

Besides using the DC Comics universe as a setting, the new title is designed to attract new players by offering a slam-bang combat system and gameplay that’s relatively quicker than existing MMO titles.

“What felt superheroic was picking up cars and throwing them at people,” game director Chris Cao said. “I wanted to make MMOs more fun for more people.”

DC Universe Online is scheduled to be released Tuesday, Jan. 11. Sony Online Entertainment is releasing the game for PS3 and PC.

The game allows players to design their own superheroes or supervillains and play under the tutelage of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman or those characters’ nemeses, Lex Luthor, Joker and Circe. The storyline casts Superman foe Braniac as lead antagonists, and other DC Universe characters are billed as featured players.


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Sony’s game is not the only effort to set a well-known fictional universe as the scene of a new MMO. Bioware’s “Star Wars: The Old Republic” is set for a springtime release, and Cao laughed a little when asked if he was excited to see his team’s game on the market first.

Millions of gamers enjoy massively-multiplayer online games, but any quick scan of the Internet can reveal commentary from many other game fans who stay away from the genre. Titles like Blizzard’s “World of Warcraft” or NCsoft’s “Aion” can attract players with sprawling virtual worlds, but can repel others simply by the prospect of grinding through long hours of gameplay.

Thus in Cao’s words, DC Universe Online comes across as a game designed for the MMO newcomer, if not the MMO skeptic. The game has the character creation and raiding features that are common to MMOs, but also player-versus-player challenges that pit skill against skill. In other words, the idea is for playersto be able to to compete against each other even if they haven’t spent every waking hour grinding through level after level.

The game’s combat system is designed to be more similar to titles like “Bayonetta” or the “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance” series than other RPG’s, CAO said.

Grinding is also reduced compared to other MMOs, he said. Players can reach the game’s highest level in 40-50 hours.

“If you want to play another game or another couple games, you will be able to,” he said.

DC Universe Online is set to retail for $59.99 on PS3 or $49.99 on PC. Monthly subscriptions are set to cost $14.99 after 30 days. PS3 and PC players will play in separate “universes.”

The game is rated T for Teen.

Review: Alpha Protocol

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Fiction tells us the world of espionage is supposed to embody everything cool. All the guys are buff, all the women are hot, all the guns and gadgets are awesome and all the tasks have something to do with saving the world. Naturally, we want to be a part of it.

Sega’s Alpha Protocol manages to capture some of this energy. But sadly, whatever slickness it has doesn’t extend to a lot of the actual gameplay, so we’re left with yet another title that falls short of its potential.

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Review: Bioshock 2

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Bioshock 2 is the sequel to the “thinking man’s” shooter which had shaken expectations within the slowly drowning underwater utopia of Rapture. The first game took place in 1960 and escaping it was the player’s only goal after a mid-ocean airplane crash leaves him the only survivor. But in doing so, they also unraveled the city’s fiction of shattered lives and lost, art-deco glory to individualism run amok.
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Diner Dash 5: Boom! coming

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By Kristina Hernandez
Staff Writer

Have you caught the Flo yet?

PlayFirst, the creator of the popular Dash! PC game series, will launch its fifth installment, Diner Dash 5: Boom! this week.

This time around, its up to the player to rebuild a customized diner using 1,000 possible combinations using tips received after completing each level. (Tips can then be used towards the purchase of fixtures, decor and more, to create your dream diner.)

PlayFirst will release a special Collector’s Edition on Thursday, which includes five advance levels of exclusive Diner Dash 5: Boom! game play, a strategy guide walk through to reach expert level, a behind-the-scenes digital art book (with sketch art and production concepts), an animated screensaver and wallpapers and a “Flo Over Time” Historical Retrospective.

The game also marks the franchise’s first-ever Facebook Connect where players will be able to “gift” special in-game sneakers to their friends on the popular social networking site, as well as post high scores and trophies and take screen grabs of their decorated diners to post on their walls.

The collector’s edition will be available for PC and Mac download for $19.99, followed by a standard edition of the game, which will be available for download on both formats March 4 for $6.99. The game can be downloaded off PlayFirst’s website at www.playfirst.com, as well as other fun titles including a personal favorite of mine, “Cake Mania.”

Review: Left 4 Dead 2

Hold on to your undergarments, Left 4 Dead 2 has you going for an adventurous romp through a variety of zombie wastelands. Four different survivors and five new campaigns, with one purpose – stay together stay alive.

Stranded in the swamps and townships the south, you control the fate of four survivors, Nick, Rochelle, Coach and Ellis. Like the original, Left 4 Dead 2 has you battling your way through hordes of common zombies and special infected and only staying alive with the help of a surplus of weapons, ammunition and much needed health packs. Once again goal is the same – survive long enough to make it to the next safe house, or helicopter and move forward in the game.

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