Downtrodden horror author Alan Wake stars in the latest Humble Weekly Sale, which offers up downloadable Windows versions of Remedy's third-person shooter Alan Wake and its follow-up American Nightmare for a buyer-chosen price (minimum $1).
Bundle buyers will receive DRM-free downloads of Alan Wake: Collector's Edition and Alan Wake's American Nightmare, along with Steam keys for both games. The package features a bevy of bonus material, including digital comic books, a playthrough video, and standalone episodes of the Remedy-produced "Night Springs" fictional television series – new episodes of which Joystiq debuted last year.
Xbox Live hosts its own Alan Wake series sale this week. Through May 29, the Xbox 360 Games on Demand version of Alan Wake is priced at 400 Microsoft points ($5), while the Xbox Live Arcade follow-up American Nightmare is a dollar cheaper at 320 points. Alan Wake DLC and avatar items are also on sale through next week.
In the announcement video above, Remedy's Sam Lake (who you might recognize as Max Payne's face model) reveals that the Alan Wake series has sold over three million units to date, and addresses fan reaction to the company's decision to develop the upcoming Xbox One-exclusive title Quantum Break, rather than an Alan Wake sequel.
"We definitely want to keep on working on Alan Wake," Lake assures. "I definitely want to create something new for Alan Wake, when the time is right."
The Faction and Chronicle packs are the first listed, each aimed at continuing the single-player story of Metro: Last Light. Faction is due first, in June. The Tower pack will be aimed at Metro veterans, offering "a unique solo challenge." Finally, the Developer pack aims to offer some additional tools aiding in exploration. All season pass purchases will also unlock an exclusive semi-automatic shotgun rifle, while each piece of DLC will be available for individual purchase.
Metro: Last Light launched on May 14, with our review placing it in the company of another story-driven shooter, Half-Life. The game was originally set to be published by THQ, but after the studio's fall Deep Silver came in and acquired the game.
After clearing its $70,000 goal more than a week in advance, the A.N.N.E. Kickstarter has concluded at $100,272. The total is enough to unlock three of ANNE's stretch goals, namely Mac & Linux versions, gender swap mode and achievements, and New Game+. While stretch goals for Ouya, PSN/Vita and Wii U versions were not met, creator Moise "Mo" Breton promised in a previous update that these versions will still be made, though it will take longer.
Mo, whom we interviewed back in April, also posted an inspirational thank you video on YouTube, which retells the whole experience and, more importantly, heavily features his adorable children. "From now on, it's all about making the game," said Mo, thanking supporters for allowing him to develop full-time. He is planning to make monthly updates throughout development. ANNE is planned to launch in early to mid 2014.
Stompy Bot Productions and Mektek Studios have launched their Kickstarter project for Heavy Gear Assault, the return of the mech combat game originally introduced by Dream Pod 9, with later games published by Activision.
The multiplayer e-sports-focused, Unreal Engine 4-powered game is in development for PC and will be free-to-play with premium subscriptions options available for players. The development team is seeking $800,000 by June 29, with a dozen stretch goals already planned for the funding project.
As per the version released for consoles last year, Komplete Edition features all the game's DLC, with the expanded roster including a certain Freddy Kreuger (the regular creepy kind), Kenshi, Scarlet, and Rain. Conduit and Kinect Star Wars developer High Voltage Games, who've just released the "addictive" puzzler Zoombies for iOS, is handling the PC port.
The new Kinect features a 1080P HD RGB camera, 30 FPS color, Time of Flight technology, and microphone arrays. It has a greater sense of depth and field of view compared to the original Kinect, and thanks to infrared tech it can see in the dark. Microsoft showed us how the sensor can track two player profiles, each tied to a controller, and also demonstrated how it can estimate players' heart rates.
Each Xbox One ships with the device. The console launches later this year.
The Firaxis bundle headlines Amazon's Digital Mayhem promotion, with other discounts spanning Telltale's The Walking Dead, Battlefield 3, BioShock, Mark of the Ninja and many more. The sale ends on May 31, so feel free to take your time perusing the hundreds of eligible discounts.
"If you look at Call of Duty in general, you're on the high-tech, super-powered forces. You're America, you're strong, you're Britain, Germany," Rubin told Joystiq at a recent press event in Los Angeles. "It just felt like, what if we could reverse those roles a bit, what if we had America as the underdog and not the superpower? What if we had some other countries as the big superpower and we're fighting against this more technologically superior force. And so that is really where we got: now we've got this technologically superior super force, they devastate the western world, the US, with a weapon of mass destruction of some kind - I'm not going to go into that, it will come later, and what we did is we had that event start the game, but the story picks up ten to fifteen years later and you as a soldier grew up in this new changed world."
That soldier will be a focal point for the game, Rubin said, and won't contribute to the fractured, multi-perspective narratives for which the series has drawn ire in the past. "It's not like before where you have these multiple sides and trot around. You're pretty much the same person throughout."
You'll also be accompanied by a Navy SEAL dog (not to be confused with a Moreau-style seal-dog), which can sniff out dangers and aid the team in several ways as a companion AI of sorts. As you might expect from a production of Ghosts' caliber, Infinity Ward did full motion capture on a retired SEAL dog.
The latest Call of Duty, dubbed Ghosts, has drafted Syriana and Traffic writer Stephen Gaghan to provide its fiction.
Games don't get more Hollywood than Call of Duty, and Activision has shown little hesitance in acquiring composers and writers from the silver screen to aid in its ever bigger and brasher efforts. Gaghan's work on Traffic, a dour crime drama, and political thriller Syriana made him a standout candidate for Ghosts. The game follows the remainder of the US military in a world scarred by a weapon of mass destruction.
According to developer Infinity Ward, Gaghan didn't swoop in and drop off a script – he requested an office, and worked from one amidst the game's single-player team all throughout the game's production. That's a sterling gesture, but I asked Call of Duty: Ghosts executive producer Mark Rubin to explain why Gaghan was deemed suitable to write for players, not viewers.
"Basically, we looked at his work – he's a great writer, no doubt about it and that's fine, there are probably lots of great writers out there," Rubin said. "So what we did is we actually got the chance to talk to him a long time before we decided to go forward with it. And we realized he was getting it. We've had writers before, and they know how to write, but they don't understand the game aspect of it.
"And I feel like with Gaghan, he really understood what we were trying to do. He asked more questions than try to sell himself, and that was, I think, a really big selling point. He was asking how things work and how we do things, and was really interested in how we craft the story, not from a writing standpoint but from the visuals and gameplay. He was really asking more questions. Although he was a gamer – he knew it from that side – he didn't know it from the dev side. He really was asking a lot of questions about the dev side, he really wanted to know more. I think that interest in what we were doing is really what drove us to him."
Brave New World, the second expansion to Civilization 5, is due in July and will add nine new civilizations, several new wonders and modified mechanics from the base game. The first expansion, Gods and Kings, arrived last summer, adding new espionage and religious mechanics.
Other games on sale for up to 75 percent off this week are Jagged Alliance: Back in Action, Wasteland Angel, Lords of Football, Spectraball: Extended Edition and Steel Storm: Burning Retribution. In software (and Greenlight) titles, game design tool articy: draft SE is $67 during this week's sale.
The weekly Steam sale ends on May 27 at 10 a.m. PT.
Meanwhile, a hearing in the state's lawsuit against the architects of the 38 Studios loan is scheduled for this Wednesday, after studio founder and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling was unable to get the suit dismissed in March.
The sale of the studio's physical assets net the state approximately $830,000. Following the sale of the IP, Rhode Island tax payers will have to pay off the rest of the debt.
Deathstroke is seemingly a leading man in the video game world now, with Batman: Arkham Origins his second role of the year after Injustice: Gods Among Us in April. His real name is Slade Wilson, a mercenary and assassin created by teenage cartoonist Gary Wilson in 1980.
Shoot up the old west this week with Call of Juarez: Gunslinger...
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Playing it in enhanced form on an HD console, however, feels just a little goofy. The textures do look excellent, but the game's models are clearly made for a more lightweight graphics engine, which means you get characters with hair frozen in place and enemies with just a few animations to use over and over again. Revelations was made for a handheld machine, and its designers cut corners that the other platforms would have let them curve around more gracefully.
But Revelations' saving grace is that it's a Resident Evil game, and it's a good Resident Evil game at that. For that reason, fans of the series who missed out the first time around will probably appreciate the chance to see it for themselves.
To mark the occasion, Zeboyd and Penny Arcade are giving away free Steam codes for Rain-Slick 3. Zeboyd assures that the giveaway has no strings attached, but fans have a limited window of opportunity to hop on this deal, as the offer ends tomorrow.
Zeboyd Games resumed the Rain-Slick series after the departure of previous developer Hothead Games, producing a pair of JRPG-inspired sequels. Rain-Slick 3 was supported with a wealth of free DLC, and the upcoming sequel will likely follow suit.
Those who commit early through GameStop will receive an additional single-player mission, with a perk that unlocks "exclusive investigation opportunities inside of the network" and bonus cash when hacking into bank accounts, plus an exclusive poster designed by Alex Ross. Amazon pre-orders also get an exclusive mission that, upon completion, unlocks a special biometric assault rifle and an outfit.
Watch Dogs launches on the Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii U on November 19. A port is also planned for next-generation consoles.
Resident Evil: Revelations launches this week and Capcom has promised some DLC. It starts on June 4 with the Resistance and Enhancement sets for 160 MS Points ($2), each including six different weapon upgrades. Then, on June 11, Capcom will issue two additional characters for use in Raid mode: Rachel Ooze and Lady Hunk. Each character costs 240 MS Points ($3).
Resident Evil: Revelations is a remake of the 3DS game bearing the same name launched by Capcom in early 2012. Bridging the story between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, Revelations follows series regulars Jill and Chris, and takes place aboard a derelict cruise liner called the SS Queen Zenobia. A free demo has been available to all on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U and Steam since last week.
The ninja assassin protagonist, Lo Wang, intended as a spoof on East Asian action heroes, was a walking racial stereotype. Lo Wang shouted "you want-a some wang?" with a mocking Asian accent, used chopsticks to catch flies, picked up fortune cookies in secret areas and fought sumo wrestlers. For many, Shadow Warrior was offensive and the game was criticized heavily for it.
Sixteen years later, Devolver Digital and developer Flying Wild Hog have announced a collaboration to reinvent Shadow Warrior; the spoils of the partnership due this fall on PC and in 2014 for unspecified next-gen consoles. While a modern Shadow Warrior will bare an updated skin, the "reinvention" isn't expected to be a departure from the original game's roots.
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