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.
Okay, so it's not so much speculation as it is exactly what's described by the trademark itself. Specifically, the trademark refers to "A feature of interactive video game software which allows players to obtain statistical information of internal and external features of a vehicle and to virtually navigate and operate those vehicles."
Be sure to tune into Joystiq on Tuesday, May 21, for more live coverage of Microsoft's event than you can shake a stick shift at.
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?
After Dead Island: Riptide sliced through its competition for three weeks, this time it's dethroned by another follow-up in the form of Metro: Last Light. By debuting in top spot, it does what Metro 2033 failed to do when it placed fifth in 2010.
Chart-Track says Metro 2033 sold stronger than Last Light in its launch week. Back then, Metro 2033 was fighting March megatons like Final Fantasy 13, God of War 3, and Battlefield Bad Company 2. In contrast, May 2013 has been dead quiet - emphasis on dead.
Having said that, this week sees another new release in the top ten via Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. The spinoff charts fourth this week. We expect the next 3DS Poke-game to do slightly better.
In other movers and shakers, Last Light only nudged Riptide into second place, making this week a 1-2 for Deep Silver and Koch Media. Tomb Raider drops out of the top five for the first time in its 11th week, slipping down to sixth. Meanwhile, Injustice: Gods Among Us and The Walking Dead (packaged retail edition) shuffle into eighth and seventh.
Batman and Deathstroke went head-to-head in last week's teaser video, but there was no word on how the striker of mortality would be incorporated into Arkham Origins. This could be a Catwoman in Arkham City situation, where she got an entire spin-off campaign, or it might be something entirely new.
One aspect of Arkham Origins is confirmed today – Kevin Conroy will return as a voice actor.
This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity.World of Warcraft year. In 2007, when 'The Burning Crusade' came out, the game clicked with me and it became almost the only thing I played for months on end, to the point where I started raiding with an up-and-coming guild. I know many other people who've had that year, with WoW or some other massively multiplayer game, before they lost interest, burnt out, or continued out of habit more than joy. In the last year or so, I've tried several massively-multiplayer role-playing games – Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World – and couldn't find that magic again. I could admire the design, but quickly lost interest in playing them. I was starting to think I'd never really like a massively multiplayer game again – and then, on a whim, I decided to check out Defiance.
Defiance is the main game I've been playing for two weeks now, and this may continue. It's not that it's less flawed than the other MMORPGs, but instead that the parts of the game that it focuses on hold much more appeal to me. To put it another way: Most games within this genre are focused on combat, and Defiance's combat is significantly more fun for me than its competitors'.
Update: Kevin Conroy will be in Arkham Origins, but not as Batman, despite his storied career with that character. Arkham Origins stars Roger Craig Smith as Batman and Troy Baker as the Joker, Warner Bros. announced on May 20.
Original story: Kevin Conroy will be in Batman: Arkham Origins, and he's already spent 10 months in the studio recording those gruff-yet-dulcet tones. Conroy confirmed his involvement at Dallas Comic-Con, but didn't specify if he plays The Bat himself – not that he has to. He opened the panel with, "I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman." Because, you know, he is.
NAG magazine reported in April that Warner Bros. had passed on Conroy for Arkham Origins.
Conroy voiced Batman in both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, and he was the man behind Bruce Wayne in Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Beyond and subsequent DC universe cartoon spin-offs. Arkham Origins is scheduled to launch on October 25 for Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii U.
Meanwhile, $35 Steam codes through Groupon for the game appear to still be available until the end of the day. What we're trying to say is, today might be a good day to buy a new game.
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Costumes are unlocked by playing through the game's Campaign and Raid modes, in addition to "other unlocking mechanisms" that Capcom is keeping a secret. We're just hoping Capcom eventually rides this train of thought all the way to its logical extreme: Pretty Soldier Sailor Claire Redfield.
"We're really going to tell one story across two events. So we're going to start on the 21st and really that's about revealing the next Xbox platform, really our vision for the future of games, the future of entertainment. We definitely have a lot of surprises planned." Greenberg then specifically called out Call of Duty: Ghosts, which will have its next-generation engine demoed during the Microsoft event.
"People are going to get a great inside look at really the making of the new platform and the team that's brought it to life," Greenberg added. "I mean, to be honest it's really about the team, the people here. That's why we're inviting people to campus, we're going to bring them behind the scenes a little bit. We've never done this before and so it's really exciting to be able to do that. But I think it's a lot of laying the foundation - probably the best way to describe it - and then just a couple of weeks later we go to E3."
Greenberg concluded that more will be shown at E3 and after, leading into this holiday season. "E3 is all about the games. At E3, I mean, if you're a gamer, it's going to be tons of exclusives, world premieres and obviously even beyond that we have a lot to share between then and this holiday."
The Xbox event takes place on May 21 at Microsoft's Redmond campus, located in Washington state. Be sure to have your browser locked to Joystiq starting at 1pm ET (6pm UK, 10am PT) for all of the scoops, commentary and neatly organized words you've come to expect.
The company additionally seeks a core technology programmer and an animation director. Lionhead notes that the animation director position requires a "background working on new franchises or reimaginings of existing franchises."
Previous Lionhead job listings sought online multiplayer level designers, hinting that the developer was working on "an MMO-like title for next generation consoles." Ex-Cryptic CEO John Needham was recently named Lionhead's Studio Head following the departure of co-founder Peter Molyneux.
Join Joystiq in the streets of Neo-Paris and the intricate pathways of the mind in this Remember Me video preview. Dontnod's memory-focused action game features strategic battle jeans, "remembrane buoys" and even more dubiously named plot devices, if you can believe it.
Remember Me launches for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on June 4.
[Video production: Miguel Concepcion]
Flynn enlisted with the Call of Duty squad this month, which we imagine must be the busiest time to sign on for an Activision paycheck. With Call of Duty: Ghosts launching on November 5 and next week's next-generation engine reveal during the Xbox event on May 21, we just hope Mr. Flynn is finding adequate time for his lunch break every day. A hungry worker is not a happy worker!
Beowolf is the fourth new character to be funded by Lab Zero's wildly successful Indiegogo campaign, which raised over $800,000 for DLC production back in March. Three other characters, Eliza, Squigly and Big Band, are also currently in development. Squigly is expected to be the first released, dropping alongside the PC version of the game sometime this summer.
EA Sports tells us that the subscription is limited to the NFL Sunday Ticket computer, tablet and mobile service. Additionally, those who are able to receive DirecTV service in their area can get $10 off per month for the service, which starts at $225, as well as a free subscription to the higher-tier NFL Sunday Ticket MAX.
The Anniversary Edition of Madden 25 is exclusive to Amazon, and limited to 50,000 copies on each of the game's platforms, Xbox 360 and PS3 (100,000 copies total). It will also include complimentary Madden Ultimate Team card packs every week of the NFL's 17-week regular season. Madden 25's Anniversary Edition is available to pre-order now on Amazon for $99.99.
The gametype is called Breakthrough. It features one team trying to get a flag from A to B, and another trying to stop them. The attacking team has a limited pool of lives, while the defensive team has unlimited resources. Sounds like the attacking team's has their work cut out.
You can peruse layouts of the four maps - that's Checkout, Lost City, Museum, and Ward (for OverRun) - in the gallery just below these words. More details are due in the coming weeks. Finally, in case you missed it, Judgment received a free OverRun map earlier this week.
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