PS Vita owners can opt for the budget-priced janitor sim Men's Room Mayhem or the Cross-Buy enabled tower defense game Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault, which includes a free copy of the PlayStation 3 version with purchase. Reminder: Ratchet: Deadlocked is available as a free download for players who purchased the retail PlayStation 3 version of Full Frontal Assault.
Pinball Arcade and Germinator headline this week's PlayStation Plus update, and subscribers also have access to discounts for ten DLC-bundled Ultimate Edition titles.
The full list of this week's store additions is available on the PlayStation Blog.
After the break, we've assembled a chart comparing the two consoles and their various components. The two machines are surprisingly similar, with both using an eight core CPU, the same amount of RAM, and both containing a combo Blu-Ray and DVD drive. But there are some major differences, too: Microsoft has created its own chip for the Xbox One, and the PlayStation 4 controller contains that share button and the clickable touchpad. Prices for both units haven't been announced yet, but both will be available later on this year.
"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."
The Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl is now available as a playable fighter in Injustice: Gods Among Us, provided you're willing to pony up the $4.99/400 MS Points required to download her; however, Season pass holder have already paid their dues. As we've seen previously, Batgirl's fighting style is a mixture of zoning capabilities and rushdown, rather than a carbon copy of Batman or Nightwing.
Two new costume packs are also available: The Red Son pack, which we've discussed at length, and the Killing Joke pack, which features new costumes from ol' Joker's finest hour. Both are available for $2.99/240 MS Points.
Pinball Arcade, regularly priced at $10, features the classic tables Tales of the Arabian Nights, Ripley's Believe It or Not, Theatre of Magic, and Black Hole. PlayStation Plus members will have access to both the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions of the core four-table download, and 24 additional machines are available as paid DLC.
Vita owners also receive free access to Germinator, which originally premiered in March at $10. Similar in premise to Taito's bubble-bursting puzzler Puzzle Bobble, Germinator challenges players to match like-colored germs, causing them to grow and eventually explode in a gooey mess.
Member-exclusive discounted items for this week include Metro: Last Light's season pass, the newly released Vita janitor sim Men's Room Mayhem, and Capcom's Darkstalkers Resurrection and Super Puzzle Fighter 2, along with a collection of DLC-bundled Ultimate Editions.
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.
EA obtained the rights to UFC games thanks to THQ's financial pains at the time, eventually passing to the great octagon beyond. The Xbox event is scheduled for tomorrow, May 21, at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT, 6 p.m. UK). Prepare yourself for some next-gen sweat tech.
It may not be the timeliest response, but Denis Dyack is speaking out against allegations that the very poorly received X-Men: Destiny was the result of catastrophic mismanagement on the part of developer Silicon Knights. Dyack recently left his role as the head of Silicon Knights to join Precursor games, developer of the coming Eternal Darkness spiritual successor, Shadow of the Eternals. As Precursor is seeking crowdfunding for the project, and Dyack is serving as its chief creative officer, it seems the company believes he has some 'splaining to do.
The allegations sprung from a Kotaku article penned by freelance writer Andrew McMillen last October. In a 30-minute YouTube response, Dyack categorically denies statements made in the article, saying that "there isn't any hard evidence whatsoever besides non-credible anonymous sources." Dyack added that Silicon Knights refused to submit any comments for the article in question, as it would have appeared to lend credence to what he sees as untrue allegations.
Dyack then reads a letter he alleges was written by McMillen to an anonymous source. The letter states that McMillen's article was initially refused by Wired games editor Chris Kohler, who cited a lack of facts and documentation, apart from the comments from anonymous ex-employees. Dyack goes on to say that "not only did Silicon Knights not divert funds from X-Men: Destiny to our other projects, which I can't talk about, we actually put more money into X-Men: Destiny than what we were paid." Dyack says he and Silicon Knights worked with Activision and Marvel to make Destiny as good as it could be and, while he's sorry for how it turned out, he says, "We put nothing but our best efforts" into the game.
Dyack also admitted to saying some things he "shouldn't have said in the press" regarding X-Men Destiny, adding, "I've learned my lesson." The same mistakes won't be made again, he says. The video goes on to address other concerns, such as Silicon Knights' relationship with Nintendo, and Dyack has also posted a litany of related references on Precursor's forums.
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.
EA Sports lifted the curtains today on one of its core additions to Madden 25 this year, Connected Franchise owners mode. In it, players take on the role of team owner, setting prices for tickets and concessions as well as having the option to relocate teams to both domestic and international cities. Owners also handle the hiring of team personnel, such as scouts, trainers and coaches, and they answer questions from the media. Players will manage stadium upgrades and market their superstar athletes so fans will buy their jerseys, increasing their teams' yearly profit.
The options to import draft classes from EA's NCAA Football series and take control of all 32 teams in the Connected Careers mode were woefully absent from last year's game, but will return to Madden 25. Additionally, the game's primary career mode will receive a face-lift thanks to an improved user interface that includes a transaction log to follow the movement of players from team to team. The mode's UI includes a new Trade Center, allowing users to see what other teams are offering for players and draft picks so they can top their opponents' bids.
Lastly, Madden 25 will feature more media personalities for the career mode's in-game Twitter feed, such as ESPN fantasy analyst Matthew Berry and Fox Sports NFL writer Peter Schrager. It will also receive new legendary players and coaches, including Mike Ditka and William "The Refrigerator" Perry.
The new Ultimate Editions are Assassin's Creed 3, Batman: Arkham City, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, DMC: Devil May Cry, Far Cry 3, Max Payne 3, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Persona 4 Arena, Starhawk and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.
Once the launch sale ends, each Ultimate Edition will still be available on for up to 40 percent off the standard game-and-DLC price, under the Ultimate Edition tab on the PS Store.
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.
Ubisoft has released a new trailer for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist, showcasing gameplay from its co-op narrative campaign and some gruff banter between Sam Fisher and his partner-in-stealth Isaac Briggs.
Splinter Cell is beefing up its multiplayer offerings for the latest series entry, as Blacklist will feature both a two-player co-op campaign and the returning Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer mode. We had a chat with Blacklist's lead co-op designer Richard Carrillo earlier this month, in which he confirmed that teammates will need to adapt to multiple playstyles in order to survive.
Blacklist's co-op element spans four mission types and 14 maps, and is playable online and in local split-screen. Splinter Cell: Blacklist is set to launch for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC platforms on August 20.
If you don't recognize the names, you'll definitely recognize their previous work. Craig Smith's immense portfolio includes Ezio Auditore from Assassin's Creed, Chris Redfield from Resident Evil, and he's the current voice of Sonic. While he's never starred in anything Batman related, he does have superhero experience. It is for the other side, however; he's played Captain America in both games and animations.
Baker is similarly prolific. While he recently graced our screens as Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite, his past work includes Sgt. Matt Baker in Gearbox's Brothers in Arms, Snow from the Final Fantasy 13 line, Kai Leng from Mass Effect 3, and Vincent from Catherine. When we profiled Baker around this time last year, he shared his love for all things Batman on the back of starring in Arkham City.
"Being a part of Arkham City was just incredible - because I'm a huge Batman fan," Baker told us, "And to play Two-Face and Robin after growing up watching The Animated Series was a banner moment for me."
The news follows apparent confirmation long-time Batman vocalist Kevin Conroy does star in Origins, but how he features remains to be seen. We know Origins deals with Batman's "initiation into that insane world" of the other Arkham games, so perhaps Conroy's role is something retrospective. Even if Conroy doesn't play the dark knight in any sense in Origins, to fans he's still the goddamn Batman.
Bat-click here to check out our preview and the new trailer.
Batman: Arkham Origins follows the world's most enduring vigilante after just two years on the job. The developers at Warner Bros. Montreal, taking over from Rocksteady Studios and their critically acclaimed construction of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, want to convey a "rawer, scarier Batman." He's all growl and grimace in the cutscenes, dangling squirming henchmen from clock towers until they turn verbose, but in play his rookie temper is more difficult to detect.
The prequel is a tricky proposition, especially when it concerns history that's been dissected again and again across comics, movies and games. It's harder to conjure narrative tension while it's colored by the inevitable outcome, and that draws greater scrutiny on mechanical expansion and refinement. Why does this younger Batman make for a better Batman game?
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