Saturday, July 14, 2007

E3: Fracture

Fracture is a third-person console shooter set in the mid-22nd century in the wake of a worldwide ecological and seismological disaster. Developed by Day 1 Studios, the team behind F.E.A.R. and published by LucasArts, the game is coming to the Xbox 360 and PS3 sometime in 2008. What sets this game apart is the emphasis on terrain deformation and destruction. More after the jump.

Watch in HD

Global warming and the search for ways to combat its effects have split the United States, and the world, in two. On one side is the Atlantic Alliance, a staunch supporter of and leading innovator in the field of cybernetic solutions to the worlds problems. Their adversary is the Nation of Pacifica and its Pacific Rim allies. They have embraced adapting the human genome to cope with the changing world. Both factions are armed with a new type of tectonic technology that allows armies to raise and lower defenses out of the Earth at any location of their choosing. (source)

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E3: Army of Two

Army of Two is a co-op third-person shooter game being developed by EA Montreal and set for release on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 in late 2007. The emphasis is on teamwork with your partner, and plays a crucial point in determining your success in the game.

More info and trailers after the jump.

Army of Two (AO2) is a new game with a focus on cooperative and coordinated strategies. The game is labeled a co-op third-person shooter. Players will join up with either the game's built-in "Partner Artificial Intelligence" (PAI) or other players "to fight through war, political turmoil and a conspiracy so vast it threatens the entire world." Story details are vague at the moment, but the game involves conflict in Army of Two, from the environments and their loads of physics-based obstacles to its small army of enemies (up to 50 on screen at once) has been designed to necessitate teamwork.

According to Gamespot, the game will allow a great deal of weapon customization, with a gun range to test these customizations out on: "We got a quick look at the kinds of weapons you can buy which include all manner of pistols, shotguns, and assault rifles. What's crazy is the level of customization you can apply to the guns. Swap out and swap in different stocks, red-dot sights, scopes, tactical flashlights, underslung grenade launchers, silencers, grip handles, extra-large magazines, new barrels—anything you can imagine seems to be available for you to use in this game. You can even chrome your gun with gold trim if you like, or customize a strategic silenced weapon. A handy firing range feature lets you immediately test out your new toy."

Though there have not been many clues onto the gameplay of this game, EA as recently announced the addition of an "Aggrometer". This will be a meter showing which of the two players has more "Aggro". Aggro attracts the attention of the enemy so one player may go unnoticed, the character with the most aggro will glow a bright red while the other player will be transparent resembling a ghost. weapons affect how your aggro builds flashy gold and chrome weapon attract an enemy much faster than the same gun without a paint job. While silencers slow down the aggro build up. EXAMPLE: one player glowing red with aggro was attacking an enemy with so much armor he was invulnerable in the front, the other player without aggro snuck behind him and shot him in the neck at his exposed area.


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Friday, July 13, 2007

E3: Devil May Cry 4

Devil May Cry 4 is the second sequel (euh?) to the martial-arts fighting game Devil May Cry, developed by Capcom. When Capcom announced they were porting it to the Xbox 360, many decried the loss as a sign of failure for Sony and the PS3. From the producers of Resident Evil 4 and the original Devil May Cry, expect this to swamp the PS3 vs. 360 forums when it gets released sometime in September, 2007.

In the game, the player controls Nero, a new character, in addition to an appearance by series lead Dante, fighting demonic enemies in close combat using firearms, swords and a variety of weaponry in a gothic setting. Also joining the cast is a new female character, Kyrie.

Nero resembles both Dante and his twin brother, Vergil, and is part of the Order of the Sword, a group of warriors who worship Sparda.

Nero's attire consists of blue jeans, a long blue coat, and a red vest. He wields a revolver named Blue Rose which has a distinctive under-and-over double barrel and a decorated single-edged sword called the Red Queen. In the trailer, Nero views Dante as a villain after witnessing Dante murdering members of the Order

Nero's right arm seems to resemble a demon's and glows supernaturally, and is the source of his "Devil Bringer" power. He apparently was not born with his arm in this state.

Dante, the primary character in the rest of the series, will also be playable and will have updated versions of the core animations used in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, as well as all four of his now trademark styles: Trickster, Royal Guard, Gunslinger, and Sword Master which can be switched at will. Game Informer revealed that he will not just be an unlockable, but will be playable as part of the storyline. In addition, other characters from previous titles will return, but Kobayashi was not at liberty to reveal who.


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E3: Bioshock

Readers have been asking for more Xbox 360 games to post, so I finally came across the E3 gameplay trailer for Bioshock, posted back on the 11th. In case you missed it first time round, Bioshock is an upcoming exclusive for the Xbox 360 and PC, developed by Irrational Games, and set for release on August 21st, 2007 in the US, and August 24th in the EU and Australia. The game is the spiritual successor to the highly popular, but often overlooked System Shock 2. This game alone could very well persuade me to buy a 360. Or a new video card.

More after the jump.

BioShock is said to include a great deal of interactive environments and player-driven choices, called emergent gameplay, with developer Ken Levine stating its interactivity would be "unprecedented". While the term has been used for a variety of games, such as the popular Grand Theft Auto series, it is believed that this gameplay will borrow highly from System Shock and System Shock 2. Another point of focus is the "AI ecology", which will dynamically search for opportunities to fulfill their purpose. The player can even exploit the ecology to his/her advantage, making enemies and NPCs turn against each other or otherwise manipulate them into helping the player.

Irrational Games announced in a Q & A session on January 19, 2007 that there would be no multiplayer element. They also stated that a demo would not be released, but that "things could change".

The game starts in the year 1960, with the player underwater following a plane crash in the ocean, surrounded by debris. No introductory cut scene is displayed explaining how this happened, leaving the player to decide for themselves why they were on the plane. Nearby, a lighthouse is sticking out of the water, in the middle of the ocean. Upon getting inside and traversing the internal stairwell, the player finds a bathysphere submersible with a corpse inside. Upon removing the corpse and descending in the bathysphere (having nowhere else to go), the player eventually reaches an underwater city on the ocean floor....(source).

If that doesn't make you go all gooey inside, I don't know what will. I am literally salivating as I write this. When this hits, make sure you've got your copy reserved, because this has the potential to be one of the biggest sellers yet for the Xbox 360.

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E3: Lair

Lair is an upcoming game developed by Factor 5 exclusively for the PS3 and set to arrive on August 14th, 2007. Lair requires you to take on the role of Rohn, a knight who belongs to the Asylians elite-dragon riding force. Dragons, eh? Judging from the screenshots and trailers, this game will either play absolutely amazingly or tank completely at the charts.

More after the jump, or watch in HD.

Lair takes place in a world that is being threatened by numerous emerging volcanoes, which are causing the whole land to be destroyed and the air to be polluted. Recently, people have divided into two kingdoms: the Mokai, whose lands are arid and depleted of resources, and the seemingly noble Asylians, who live in one of the last remaining bountiful, green areas.

The two nations are naturally at odds with one another, and the recently empowered, aggressive Asylian religious leaders are already leading the country down the path of inevitable war when the Mokai accelerate the hostilities with a surprise attack.

The player assumes the role of a dragon-riding knight named Rohn. Rohn is given the tasks of defending a certain area, destroying certain objects, eliminating enemies or creatures, and so on. There is some debate as to whether the game is stage-based or open-world, the latter stance mostly an optimistic guess. After each stage, Factor 5 has confirmed that the player can earn either gold, silver, or bronze medals. Earning medals will help to unlock combos and behind-the-scenes videos. Most of the game's battles will be air-combat, but some may be fought on the ground. While Rohn will not be able to dismount and fight on foot, he can land and fight back on the back of his dragon. In some locations, the game will feature a morale system tied to the enemy; the lower their morale, the less they fight. The game will rely heavily on PlayStation 3's (PS3's) SIXAXIS motion controls. For example, the player will fly their dragon by tilting the controller.


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E3: Star Wars: Force Unleashed

Check the awesome new trailer for Star Wars: Force Unleashed. Coming from LucasArts, and expected to debut on April 8th, 2008, anticipation is running high after a series of teaser trailers were released over the last year showing what pretty much every Star Wars gamer has wanted to do; using the Force to smash, grab, and hurl anything in sight...including a Star Destroyer.

The game, comic, novel and other materials are currently scheduled for release in Spring 2008. Releases are expected for PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo DS as well as PS2. There are no plans to release a PC version of the title (!) although Amazon still continued to list The Force Unleashed as a PC release as late as the 19th June.

While a game that involves using the Force to throw around a Star Destroyer might sound like it could sell itself, The Force Unleashed will also explain your access to these powers with a storyline that will fit in with the six movies of the series. The game is set in the time period betweens Episodes III and IV, during which the Empire scoured countless star systems to exterminate the last remaining Jedi and finalize its hold over the galaxy. You'll play as an as-yet-unnamed Force-adept character toiling secretly under the auspices of none other than Darth Vader to seek out and destroy the Jedi stragglers who could threaten the Empire's power. giving players the chance to mess around with some exquisite over-the-top Force powers never seen before. (source)

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E3: Strangehold

Otherwise known as John Woo Presents Strangehold, and being developed by Midway Games for the PC, PS3 & Xbox 360, this game reprises Chow Yun-Fat's seminal role of Inspector "Tequila" Yuen in John Woo's 1992 classic action movie Hard Boiled. Stranglehold is slated for release on August 6th in the US and September 27th in Europe. More after the jump.

The game revolves around Inspector Tequila's battles with Triad lords in Hong Kong, as well as a Russian Mafia boss in Chicago who captured Tequila's ex-wife. Strangehold features something called "Tequila Time" -similar to Bullet Time in the Max Payne series.

Screenshots posted on IGN revealed that Tequila will wield, among other weapons, the game's ubiquitous Beretta 92 pistols, a shotgun, and a M4 Carbine. The environment will be almost completely destructible, stone blocks, walls, and objects shown shattering under fire in gameplay videos. Stranglehold will make heavy usage of the "ballet of death" concept. The character will shoot at adversaries while diving, rolling, and swinging from level objects, and Tequila will also slide across a table or other surfaces if run into them, instead of stopping.

Stranglehold is slated for release in Summer 2007. Midway have recently announced that there will be a Collector's Edition of the game exclusive to the PlayStation 3, containing the aforementioned Hard Boiled on the game's Blu-ray disc, however this will be exclusive to the United States release.

On June 20, 2007, Midway officially announced there will be a Collector's Edition of the Xbox 360 version of Stranglehold. Midway revealed the contents of the Xbox 360 Collector's Edition, it will include a bonus disc with four behind-the-scenes featurettes and a series of extended cinematic scenes not found in the final game. The videos will take a look at the inner workings of the game, including the visual and audio design, and will include an MTV visit to the development studio in Chicago.

Stranglehold was playable at last year's E3 (2006) and won in the Best PC Action Game category in Gamespot's Best of E3 2006 awards.


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E3: Burnout Paradise

Burnout Paradise comes from developer Criterion Games, and promises to bring a whole new meaning to the series where racing beautiful straight lines isn't the focus but rather, racing to smash your opponents into oblivion. According to developer Alex Ward, this will be "complete reinvention" of the Burnout series.

Alex Ward has also announced that the PlayStation Eye and the Xbox Live Vision camera will be used in Burnout Paradise for taking photos of your opponents face when they crash and taking photos of you in a victory pose. These photos can then be saved to your hard drive.

A new feature of Burnout Paradise is the ability to scope out a possible crash mode target and execute the crash. This seems to point to the idea of the 'open world'. Also, races are no longer specific lengths and types. Races are simply started by pulling up next to someone willing to race at the traffic lights. Obviously settings of the race would then be decided like where to, and various other settings.

The game is expected to be released worldwide on PS3 and Xbox 360 in Fall 2007.


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Thursday, July 12, 2007

E3: Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

Yet another long-running video game franchise continues with Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Developed by Insomniac Games, makers of Resistance: Fall of Man, the game is the 6th in the series and is expected to hit shelves sometime around September, 2007.

The Ratchet & Clank Future story opens with the shocking discovery that a villain from Ratchet's distant past has tracked him down and wants him dead. This revelation brings up many questions as to Ratchet's origins and launches Ratchet and Clank into a mysterious adventure where they begin to learn about his past, the villain's current evil plans, and a glimpse of the future. The story takes place after the past R&C games. Captain Qwark will also be featuring in this game, working undercover to give Ratchet and Clank clues that help guide them on their journey. Insomniac have also coordinated with High Impact Games (the developers of Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters) to ensure that there were no story conflicts with the PSP game.

Some other details revealed in the article are that the game will go back to its platformer roots after the near complete departure from platforming that Deadlocked took. Also revealed was that the game will answer many questions about Ratchet's origins and the history of the lombaxes that will span over several games. Some new weapons revealed were the Groovitron, a disco ball-like grenade that makes enemies dance to the tune of Staying Alive by the Bee Gees and the Tornado Launcher, which will use the SIXAXIS to allow the player to maneuver a twister that sucks up enemies. Insomniac is going back to their more comedic writing for the series.


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E3: Medal of Honor: Airborne

Proving that there's still life to be had in WWII shooters, EA has continued with the Medal of Honor franchise and is set to release the latest version -Medal of Honor: Airborne, on August 28th in the US and August 30th in Europe for the Xbox 360 and PC. The PS3 version has been delayed until November reportedly because of extra content.

Watch in HD
. Screenshots and more info after hitting the jump below.

Medal of Honor: Airborne is the 11th (!) installment in the long-running Medal of Honor WWII FPS series. Currently being developed by Electronic Arts' Los Angeles studio, the game will differ from its previous iterations in that the player will be able to loosely control where they land and what kind of landing method they use, thus altering the potential course of the mission.

Sniper Gameplay Video here:

Watch in HD

The game takes place in several locations during the WWII European theater, and players take on the role of Private First Class Boyd Travers, a paratrooper in the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division. Campaigns include Sicily, Salerno, Normandy and Holland.

Frantic Firefight Gameplay Video here:

And in HD here

Beginning with the Allies leading a costly invasion of Sicily (1943), followed by a rescue operation in Salerno, Italy (1943), paratroopers are dropped inland during the night of June 6 1944, before the invasion of Normandy, as they fight backward to clear the infantry's path into France. The failed attempt to secure Germany's roads and bridges leads to the game's finale, in which 30,000 paratroopers are dropped into Holland.

The game uses a heavily modified Unreal Engine 3.0, so expect the visuals to be jaw dropping. Perhaps there is still life left in the WWII genre?

Images courtesy of IGN

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E3: Heavenly Sword

Developed by Ninja Theory exclusively for the PS3, Heavenly Sword charts the story of Nariko, a girl with only a few days left to live, who embarks on one final act of redemption against a King and his invading army. Heavenly Sword has been coined "Goddess of War" by more than one commentator, and that can be no bad thing, can it?

Nariko is a fierce, red-haired warrior whose clan are the holders of the "Heavenly Sword", a sacred blade of immense power that slowly drains the user's life-force. King Botan, obsessed with the Sword, embarks on a campaign of destruction against Nariko's people in a ruthless quest for it. In a final act of desperation and retribution, Nariko takes up the Sword to exact vengeance upon King Botan and his army before the Sword kills her.

Below is the trailer from E3 2007

This game was originally in development to be released on the Xbox 360 before Microsoft passed on the title. Sony later picked it up and after its showing at E3 2006, was given the nickname "Goddess of War".

The E3 2007 Tameem Antoniades Spot trailer, and in HD.

Gameplay resembles a martial arts game focusing on melee combat with a wide range of weaponry. Similarities have been drawn between not just God of War, but also Ninja Gaiden, both fast-paced fighting games that have gone down extremely well with the gaming public.

Actor Andy Serkis, who is best known for his motion capture and voice work for the character Gollum in the The Lord of the Rings movies, is doing the voice and motion capture for King Bothan, one of the major characters in Heavenly Sword.

Journalist Rhianna Pratchett, daughter of the writer of international fame Terry Pratchett, is one of the writers of the script -meaning hopefully we'll be seeing either
dark satire shadowing all the action or references to cats nefariously plotting something evil. Wait, thats pretty much the same thing, isn't it?

Mmmmm *slap.

Images courtesy of IGN

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E3: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a continuation of the Metroid Prime series from Retro Studios and published exclusively by Nintendo. It is currently set for release on August 27th, 2007 in the US, and a 26th October release in Europe. No official word has been heard of late, with Nintendo simply stating "it will be ready when ready, and not before". That sounds like a case of the delays to me.

After the events of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, the Galactic Federation contacts Samus Aran to investigate a malfunctioning network computer known as the Aurora Unit. The Federation believes the Space Pirates, their long-time enemies, have infected the Aurora Unit with a virus. Subsequently, the Space Pirates attack one of the Federation's bases, and begin to overrun the Federation's defenses. Samus, along with other bounty hunters, must work together to fend off the siege, repair the Aurora Unit, and also defeat enemies from the past game.

The game’s director, Mark Pacini, has stated that Phazon, a fictional mutagenic element will also play an important part in the game’s plot. Pacini elaborated that, "Samus herself gets corrupted by Phazon and actually begins to develop abilities based on that Phazon. So that's kind of why the game is titled "Corruption". You yourself are becoming corrupted". Dark Samus, a sinister doppelgänger, will also return as one of Samus' antagonists. The game will also feature several new and returning bounty hunters. (source)

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption will be the first game in the series to feature full voice acting. At the media summit held by Nintendo in May, 2007, Reggie Fils-Aime compared Corruption to the rest of the series by saying "it has never been played this way before". He also noted that Nintendo employees who had seen the game in action claimed it "will reinvent the control scheme for a first-person shooter", and that the game is the closest a console title can get to PC control.

More screenshots here

Utilizing the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, the player can point the arm cannon with the Wii Remote pointer and use the grappling beam by moving the Nunchuk. Players can choose whether to use the A button or B trigger for firing. The remaining button is used to jump. (source)

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E3: Haze

Get ready for this one. Coming from Free Radical Design, makers of Timesplitters, and published by Ubisoft, Haze is expected to arrive worldwide on November 23rd this year for PS3 and November 30th for PC, before coming to the Xbox 360 sometime in mid 2008.

The game is set in a fictional future, over a three day period in the year 2048. In this future, no UN or NATO forces exist as they were superseded by a private military company named Mantel Global Industries. The player will assume the mantle of Sergeant Shane Carpenter; a new recruit in the Mantel Global Industries army. Carpenter fights rebels in South America in the war between the rebels and the Mantel Global Industries army, which began in the year 2032.

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E3: Pain (PSN)

Pain is an upcoming game for the PS3 set for release from the download-only Playstation Store in Q3, 2007. Expect reckless teenage angst revolving around controllable chaos as gamers attempt to wreck as much damage by firing themselves from a rubber-band catapult. I can see Youtube being swamped in videos of real-life "pain" tributes come this game's release.

And here is the rest of it

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E3: Assassin's Creed Village Chase Gameplay

Another video from Assassin's Creed. Can it make up for the lacklustre showing so far?

And here is the rest of it

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E3: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is an action-adventure game for the PS3 originally announced at E3 2006. In reference to the title, Nathan Drake is a descendant of the famous explorer Sir Francis Drake. Developed by Naughty Dog, the studio who created Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter, the game is set for release in the US sometime in November, 2007.

The story begins with Nathan Drake as a modern-day fortune hunter on an exploration for the fabled treasure of El Dorado. The game is based on a long-forgotten island somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The search turns deadly when Nathan Drake becomes stranded on the island as mercenaries hunt him down. Outnumbered and outgunned, Drake and his companions must fight to survive as the island's mysterious secrets begin to unravel.

The game features lush jungle backgrounds and 400yr-old ruins and has been nicknamed "Dude Raider" & "Man Croft" early in the development process -a direct reference to the game's similarities to Tomb Raider.

Fast-paced, and full of gunplay and fighting, the game encourages you to use a wide array of hand-to-hand fighting moves to put your enemy off balance. Gamers will also be able to clamber over obstacles and climb walls as they seek to complete missions.

Looks good, but can it really take the jungle-shooter-action-adventure crown away from a certain other game called Crysis?

Images courtesy of IGN

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E3: Contra 4 (DS)

What? This isn't coming out for the 360 or PS3? Its a DS game only? Fuck it! Who cares?! Its a Contra game! (and it still looks as bad as it did 15 years ago)

And here is the rest of it

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E3: LittleBigPlanet

Customization is the name of this game, as you seek to create levels and worlds for your characters, both offline and online. This is one of Sony's big guns for the PS3 -expect it to be a helluva lot of fun when it comes early in 2008. Little Big Planet is a PS3-only release and developed by the hitherto unheard-of Media Molecule. The demo should be hitting the Playstation Network in the third quarter of 2007.

In the game, players control characters, using their various abilities to shape and develop the highly manipulable environment to build custom spaces, individually, collaboratively, and/or competitively. The game provides opportunities for players to acquire new skills and tools. LittleBigPlanet features global community features through the PlayStation Network for players to interact and share their "patches".

According to the on-stage demonstration at GDC 2007, each character can jump, move, and grab objects. Grabbing allows a character to pull an object (or another character) in whatever direction they are currently moving. This allows, for example, a chain of players to hang off of a rope when only one character is actually grabbing the rope. Also, it allows a jetpack-equipped player to carry the other players through the sky.

As of yet, the game hasn't displayed any enemies, preferring to derive challenge from the stage itself, which the player must navigate by jumping, pushing, grabbing, running and flying through it to overcome numerous puzzles provided by the game's robust physics engine.

In his BBC News blog, technology editor Darren Waters writes, "LittleBigPlanet is perhaps one of the most dazzling demos I've seen in the last 10 years."

IGN described the game as "beautiful" and reports that "Even in the presence of Home, Sony's impressive new community software, LittleBigPlanet stole the show at Phil Harrison's 'Game 3.0' practice conference, and was the thing that everyone was talking about."

1UP writes that "There are plenty of questions remaining about LittleBigPlanet … but it's clear from the reaction to the game so far that it has already won over many fans," and that "this could be something very special."


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E3: Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation

Take to the skies! One of the most talked about 360->PS3 conversions, and definitely one Sony should have held onto (other than for being pretty much the only decent console flight sim) for pride reasons, comes Ace Combat 6 for the Xbox 360. Due to be released worldwide on October 23rd, 2007, the demo is already up on Xbox Live.

Xbox Live is heavily supported in the game with 16-player Battle Royale and Team Battle modes (though Namco has stated aims to raise it to 32 players), cooperative play, leaderboards, and downloadable content. The single player campaign features a dynamic mission system that changes the tide of the war based on your performance and that of your teammates.

Ace Combat 6 takes place in 2015 in the Anean Continent, north of Yuktobania, a country featured in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. It also features the effects of the Ulysses Asteroid, as seen in Ace Combat 04.

The game will have new countries: the Republic of Emmeria (whom at least one of the player's characters is loyal to), Kingdom of Nordennavic and Federal Republic of Estovakia (which has been shown to be an enemy at least in one mission.) The player's squadron is the 28th Fighter Squadron, 8th Air Wing "Garuda", with the player's call sign being "Talisman".

If the player helps other military forces (such as naval and ground forces) complete their objectives, then the player can call in their support if necessary.

A joystick will be available when this game ships. Called the Ace Edge, it consists of separate joystick and throttle components which connect to the Xbox 360 via USB. As of June 11, 2007, EBGames and Gamestop stores in the U.S. will be taking pre-orders for an Ace Combat 6 flight stick bundle. The minimum reserve down payment is US$25, and the full price on release date, in total, is US$149.99. It is unknown when pre-ordering will end.

There will be only 15 licensed aircraft in Ace Combat 6, with a large special weapons payload for each. Aircraft color customization is available for gamers to tweak their own aircraft.

A demo was released as a free download on the Xbox Live Marketplace on July 11, 2007 (in which the player is tasked with defending the Emmerian capital city of Gracemeria against attack by the Estovakian air force and airborne forces, and sees the first encounter with the Estovakian superweapon Nimbus and the Elite enemy squadron Strigon, leading to the eventual evacuation of the city by Emmerian forces.)

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E3: Metal Gear Solid 4

During its E3 2007 press conference in Culver City, Sony Computer Entertainment America confirmed that Kojima Productions' anticipated sequel Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is indeed a PlayStation 3 exclusive, and will be released worldwide in early 2008.

Today's news lays rest to ongoing rumors that the game will be brought to Xbox 360; most recently, Konami's CEO strongly hinted at a potential multiplatform strategy for the game.

Metal Gear Solid is a long-running stealth-based game from Kojima Productions that first made its appearance on the Playstation in 1998. The motto of the game is "No Place To Hide" and as such has made its name for being a tactical 3rd person shooter with an emphasis on skulking and all things covert.

The Metal Gear creator, Hideo Kojima, came on stage to show a new real-time trailer running on a PS3 before speaking about the game. "The story for Snake will end, and also, for me as a game creator, this will be my last involvement in the series," said Kojima. He noted that all of the series' plotlines and mysteries will be resolved. Gameplay remains stealth-based, but is set within battlefields this time around. Kojima promised to pour his 20 years of experience with the series into MGS4.


More images here at Tweaktown

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E3: Super Mario Galaxy

At long last do we see some sign of a Nintendo offering at E3 2007, and with it, is the trailer for Super Mario Galaxy -one of the most hyped games for the Wii this year. Enjoy.

Super Mario Galaxy is perhaps the mostly highly anticipated (what is this, the most highly anticipated week?) game coming out -in terms of just how many people around the world are waiting for it. Forget Halo 3, forget Killzone 2 and Heavenly Sword -Super Mario Galaxy has probably every single gamer on this planet itching to play it. Bar none. Except those too dumb to bask in some good ol' Mario fun.

Most of the game takes place in outer space along a vast stretch of miniature planets and planetoids. Mario can jump from planet to planet defeating enemies and picking up various items along the way. Each planet's gravitational force will keep Mario from flying off into space, but each planet has a different gravity, and such, has different effects on Mario's movement.

The point of the game is to collect stars and Mario will face massive bosses along the way, ranging from towering mechanical bosses, an octopus in a pit of lava, to flower headed monsters with dinosaur-like bodies. The game is completely in 3D and you can expect to use the full range of traditional Mario moves like the spin attack. Mario is also expected to be able to fly -using a "Bee-Suit". Expect much from this. Nintendo has to silence the critics that the Wii is anything but a one-hit wonder.

Below is a test market video from E3, where a bunch of gamers got their lucky mitts on the demo.

And here is the latest developer walkthrough video from Super Mario Galaxy

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E3: Killzone 2 Extended Trailer

New extended trailer for Killzone 2. Check it.

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E3: Killzone 2 Comparison - E3 2005 vs. E3 2007

After all the furore that surrounded Sony's Killzone 2 showing at E3 2005, and with their latest in-game demonstration yesterday at E3 2007 pretty much blowing away everyone except the most die-hard of MS fans, IGN has carefully put together a collection of screenshots that compares images from E3 2005 and this year's Killzone showing.

Screenshot comparison is below. Click on the images to see the full size view.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

E3: Assassin's Creed (Disappoints)

Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, and to be released worldwide on November 9th, 2007, Assassin's Creed has been on the lips of every RPG gamer since Sony lost it as an exclusive. More after the jump.

Coming off the back of winning several awards at E3 2006 including,

The game takes place during the Third Crusade, in the year 1191. Players take on the role of Altair, a member of the Hashshashin sect, whose objective is to slay the nine historical figures who propagated the Crusades. The game is based in three locations; Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus.

Producers of the game have stated the environment will be completely interactive;

"If it sticks out more than 2 inches, it's interactive"

(Interview with Jade Raymond)

Though quite what that means, is anyone's guess. As my girlfriend said, it sounds like Jade Raymond is talking about that dildo she keeps in her sock drawer.
viewed the trailer at E3, and had this to say about it:

First to tick us off are the hordes of cloned water-jug-on-head women idly milling around at the start. Seriously, in some shots you can see six or seven of exactly the same person.

Then there's the much-lauded crowd-pushy-system. The collisions look anything but smoothly animated, more like robots bumping into one another than people. Or, by contrast, sometimes there's too much reaction, with the otherwise graceful Altair windmilling his arms like a seven-year-old on an icy playground.

Later, a man pushed from a roof hangs in mid-air - while erstwhile producer and narrator Jade Raymond makes a sort of squeaky, strangled 'Ooops!' noise. While we're on that, what is it with guards facing the wrong way in these games?

Okay, that's the bile done with. On second viewing, if you ignore the irksome bug and oddly clunky collisions, there's actually good reasons to be positive here. Altair's acrobatics look satisfyingly fluid and easy to perform. And the climbing, well, we love the go-anywhere climbing stuff.

We're also pleased to see a gigantic draw distance, and probably the best visuals of any game so far seen at this year's E3. There's also some one-hit-kill combat to enjoy. It reminds us of the counter-attacks in Pirates of the Caribbean, only done properly and with far more variety in killing moves.

It is a bit worrying that the guards seem to take turns to attack - even when they have you surrounded - though quirks like this can be ironed out in the later stages of development. But Assassin's Creed needs plenty of other tweaking too if it's to avoid becoming a great big let down. Fingers crossed.

Images courtesy of IGN

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E3: F.E.A.R: Perseus Mandate Expansion

Vivendi Universal has just announced plans for two stand-alone expansion packs for the original F.E.A.R game. Somewhat ominously, while it was confirmed to appear on PC and 360, there was no mention of a version for the PS3.

More after the jump below.

Both PC and Xbox 360 are getting a new dose of F.E.A.R., Sierra announcing new stand-alone expansion packs for the two platforms this afternoon.

F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate on PC, explains the publisher, features a brand new combat team in an "all-new experience" that presents a different perspective of the events that occur at Armacham. Similar to Gearbox's Half-Life expansions, Perseus Mandate's storyline runs parallel to that of the original FPS with players filling the combat boots of a new F.E.A.R. soldier and battling new enemies.

Xbox 360, meanwhile, is getting F.E.A.R. Files, which contains Perseus Mandate and the Extraction Point expansion that released for PC.

Both expansions are due to release in the autumn.


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E3: Resident Evil 5 / Biohazard 5

New trailer from the boys at Capcom of the upcoming addition to the massively popular (and freaky) Resident Evil / Biohazard series.

Resident Evil (or Biohazard as it's known in Asia) is a long-running survival-horror game from Capcom which first debuted on the Playstation in 1996. Whether or not it was the first actual game in the survival-horror genre is debatable, but Capcom were quick to coin the phrase as their own.

The game is tentatively penciled in for a early 2008 release, and details regarding the plot and storyline are sparse. The setting is purported to have a feel similar to that of the movie Black Hawk Down, and will be directed by Jun Takeuchi, director of Onimusha and producer of Lost Planet: Extreme Condition. He has stated that Resident Evil 5 will be a sequel to Resident Evil 4, confirming earlier information from the game's former producer,
Hiroyuki Kobayashi.

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E3: MGS4 Still a PS3 Exclusive

Pre-E3 whispers had many saying Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots would be a timed exclusive. However, with Microsoft noticeable in its absence of mentioning MGS4 in their press release, rumors are now circulating that maybe Microsoft have failed in their efforts to claim MGS4 as yet another victory against Sony in the battle for exclusives. More after the link below.

It was only yesterday that rumors of Metal Gear Solid 4 being released for Xbox 360 hit a new high. Konami's head of US and European operations, Kazumi Kitaue, said that even though Metal Gear Solid was born for PlayStation, and the firm would like to keep it that way, steps may have to be taken.

We can only presume that he means steps taken to make the game multiplatform to cover the cost of the game's lengthy development cycle.

A source has told CVG that , "Kitaue is constantly trying to force Kojima to drop the game's PS3 exclusivity, which Hideo refuses point blank to do. Trust me MGS4 will be a PS3 exclusive for for months at least."

Microsoft's press conference focused on games that will be released this year (apart from Resi 5). There was no mention of MGS4 and 360 which makes us believe that Sony is still holding tight to the franchise. If it was coming to 360, Peter Moore would have made a massive song and dance about it. He didn't, probably because the deal's not been signed yet.


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Xbox 360: Microsoft Plans to Cut 360 Price to Compete with Wii

Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft is planning on cutting the price of the 360 in order to compete with the Nintendo Wii.

Going from a $399 console to competing at the $249 level the Wii is at, is going to be a tough call to make for MS. Consider that the games unit at Microsoft lost US$1.26 billion on sales of US$4.26 billion, and seeing as they now face repair costs of at least US$1 billion for the 360, the move is a risky one, albeit one that could put Sony dead in the water with the PS3.

More after the jump below

July 11 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, plans to cut the price of its Xbox 360 game console to compete with Nintendo Co.'s top-selling Wii.

The Redmond, Washington-based company needs to lower Xbox's $299 to $479 price to increase sales and lure customers who aren't interested in traditional combat and racing video games, Shane Kim, vice president of Microsoft Game Studios, said in an interview. He declined to say when a price cut may be announced. It won't happen at this week's E3 games conference, he said.

``We need to compete effectively for that customer and part of that is getting to the mass market price point for the console,'' said Kim. ``We definitely are working on that area.''

The Xbox 360 has trailed the $249 Wii in sales since Kyoto- based Nintendo introduced the player in November. This week, Sony Corp. lowered the price of the PlayStation 3 console, which has lagged behind both Xbox and Wii, by 17 percent to $499 from $599 in the U.S. Microsoft has vowed to make its video-game business profitable by next year.

``A price cut would give the Xbox 360 an advantage over its rivals, particularly in North America where you have a choice of consoles to play the same game,'' said Etsuko Tamura, an analyst at Mizuho Investors Securities Co. in Tokyo. ``There's a lack of Xbox titles in Japan so a price cut here would have no effect.''

In fiscal 2006, the games unit lost $1.26 billion on sales of $4.26 billion. David Hufford, a director of Xbox product management, said last month a price cut was needed to convince parents to buy the machine for their children.

Films Online

Kim made the comments yesterday as Microsoft prepared for the opening of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Santa Monica, California, where console makers and game publishers announce new products for the coming year.

Microsoft shares lost 54 cents to $29.33 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading yesterday and have fallen 1.8 percent this year.

In a briefing last night, the company said Walt Disney Co. will offer films for rent through Microsoft's Xbox Live online service. Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. and Viacom Inc.'s Paramount studio already sell and rent movies on Xbox Live.

The Disney films to be available include ``The Queen,'' ``Bridge to Terabithia'' and ``Déjà vu,'' Microsoft said.

Xbox Live has more than 7 million members, surpassing the company's goal of 6 million members by the start of this year's E3 gathering, Kim said. The company anticipates having 10 million members by this time next year, he said.

Microsoft also announced that Osaka, Japan-based Capcom Co. is developing a version of its ``Resident Evil'' action game for the Xbox 360, a move that may help bolster console sales in Japan.

Versions of the Xbox 360 sell for $299, $399 and $479 in the U.S. Wii has the lowest price among the latest generation of consoles.

Sony Price Cut

In announcing Tokyo-based Sony's price cut, Jack Tretton, president of the company's U.S. video-game business, said he expected the move to double console sales. U.S. consumers have purchased 1.38 million PlayStation 3s since its introduction in November. That compares with 2.84 million Wii players, which went on sale the same month.

Microsoft has sold 5.5 million Xbox 360s in the U.S. since the console reached stores in November 2005, according to Port Washington, New York-based NPD Group Inc., which tracks sales.

The company put worldwide sales at 11.6 million units during the briefing last night and said it will introduce the top-end Xbox Elite in Europe in August, as well as a special edition ``Halo 3'' console in September.

For the present, the company will rely on new games to boost console sales. They include ``Rock Band,'' which allows players in different locations to connect online and play guitars and drums along with recordings of rock 'n' roll hits. The game is being developed by Electronic Arts Inc. and Viacom Inc.'s Harmonix studio in time for the holidays.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at


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