Happy Tax Day everyone! What better way to celebrate the end of tax season/take your mind off tax season than with video games?
We’ve got some good stuff for you this week: the public beta for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is only a few days away, Sony’s struggles have forced it to lay off thousands of employees, Kratos may be coming back, pricing for the Wii U may have emerged, and a couple of Nintendo’s most popular franchises may have new titles in the works.
General Gaming News
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is a little over a month away, and IGN has three reasons why you should love its multiplayer.
Speaking of Ghost Recon, the multiplayer beta runs from April 19 through May 3. Xbox 360 owners can access the beta through Splinter Cell: Conviction or by pre-ordering the game from GameStop. PS3 users can get beta keys by being a member of PlayStation Plus.
Gears of War 2 introduced the gaming world to Horde mode, and seemingly every shooter since has copied it– Firefight in Halo and Spec Ops Survival in Modern Warfare 3, for instance. Ghost Recon is no different; however, Ubisoft’s take on the mode, known as Guerilla, has some major differences that make it unique from its predecessors. Read more about them here.
Spec Ops: The Line is attempting to be a different, darker game than your typical shooter. The game features moral choices, and the characters’ personalities change over the course of the game due to the carnage they’ve seen and the decisions they’ve made. It’s an interesting take, and you can read more about it here.
EA accidentally revealed Crysis 3 on its Origin service. The information has since been taken down, but the cat’s already out of the bag.
Hit the jump to continue reading…
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so check out these 7,000 words about Assasin’s Creed III and hunting. Can you say hidden blade on a deer?
Resident Evil 6 is coming out this October, and Capcom has revealed new pre-order exclusives. If you pre-order the game through GameStop, Amazon, or Best Buy, you’ll receive a specific multiplayer map for Mercenaries mode depending on which retailer you pre-ordered from.
Sony has had a rough go of it lately, and as a result, the company is planning on laying off 10,000 workers by the end of this year, or roughly six percent of its overall workforce. It is unknown how these layoffs will affect Sony’s gaming division, although two studios have already been closed this year. Analysts have weighed in on Sony’s prospects moving forward, and that includes speculation that the PlayStation Network may have to have some added fees for more content.
It seems like a battle is shaping up between retailers and console makers over used games. Reports surface seemingly every week about how the next generation of consoles will have some sort of anti-used game technology, which would be a significant blow to retailers like GameStop. Analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities believes that if Sony unilaterally imposed restrictions on used games, then GameStop would simply refuse to carry the next PlayStation, hurting sales. Other analysts agree that going after used games would backfire and cause more harm than good for Sony and Microsoft.
Video game sales were down 25 percent in the month of March, according to figures released by the NPD Group. Mass Effect 3 sold well, but Binary Domain did not.
Digital distribution seems to be the way of the future, but Gamefly co-founder Sean Spector believes there is still a place for traditional retailers.
Mass Effect 3 sold 1.3 million copies during the month of March. That number does not include digital copies purchased through PlayStation Network or EA’s Origin service. Of those 1.3 million copies, 943,000 were for the Xbox 360.
Sales of Modern Warfare 3 have slowed down and are behind where Black Ops was at the same time after its release, even after having a stronger debut.
Could heavily discounted games on Steam be a bad thing? GOG.com’s Guillaume Rambourg and Trevor Longino state their case as to why the practice is bad for gamers and the industry.
Remember SOPA? A group of constituents traveled to Washington DC to converse with lawmakers about policies such as the controversial SOPA act, and Josh Hughes, Lead Game Designer for Kaizen Games, tagged along and blogged about his experience.
Microsoft — Xbox 360
Witcher 2 has already been out on the PC for almost a year, but now it has finally arrived on a console as it will be available this Tuesday on the Xbox 360. RPG fans should be excited for this game, as it received a glowing review from IGN, earning a score of 8.5 and a “Great” rating. Check out the full review here.
Skyrim will be getting Kinect Support in the form of over 200 voice commands. This feature will be enabled in a free update later this month.
Sony — PS3 & Vita
Sony is teasing something big for this Thursday, and rumors are rampant that it’s going to be God of War IV.
Want to see some of the stuff that didn’t make it into Uncharted 3? Then check this article out.
Square Enix’s upcoming title Sleeping Dogs will be released in North America on August 14. The game will have exclusive pre-order bonuses that are dependent upon the retailer from which you reserve the game.
Here are some words of warning: beware Treasures of Montezuma Blitz. The game is technically free-to-play, and while the marketing gives the impression that microtransactions are not needed, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
In more Vita news, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker will not be included in the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection coming this December. On the bright side, touchscreen controls have been added.
Firmware 1.67 is now live for the Vita.
StarDrone Extreme will be made available in North America this Tuesday. The puzzle game boasts crossplay functionality.
MotorStorm RC will get some new DLC this week. The Carnival Expansion Pack includes six new tracks, 24 new events, and four new trophies.
Nintendo — Wii U, Wii, & 3DS
According to a report coming out of Canada, the Wii U will cost at least $300when it is released later this year. That’s more expensive than the Wii’s initial cost but still cheaper than what the Xbox 360 and PS3 originally cost.
It is known that a new 2D Mario is coming to the 3DS, but no further details have been revealed. Within the last few days, Nintendo has registered a domain for supermario4.com, leading to speculation that Super Mario 4 is the mysterious 3DS game. IGN has also come up with four possibilities as to what Super Mario 4 could be if it is indeed a real game.
It’s been nine years since the last F-Zero game was released, but F-Zero could make a return on Wii U.
Here’s some exciting news: Japanese publishing heavyweights Sega, Capcom, and Namco Bandai are joining forces for Project X Zone. A number of the most popular characters from each company will be appearing in the strategy-RPG.
Wii U will be arriving later this year, but if you still want to get some mileage out of your Wii, you might want to check out Pandora’s Tower. The gruesome action-RPG received a 7-out-10 from IGN, good enough for a “Good” rating.
On the other hand, you’ll want to avoid Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir. The 3DS title received a “Mediocre” 5.5 from IGN.
The first details about Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 have been revealed, and you can peruse them here.
Looking for a new shooter to play? Then check out Blacklight: Retribution. This free-to-play multiplayer game doesn’t break any new ground but focuses instead on doing the standard stuff well. The controls are excellent, and there are a multitude of customization options. IGN gave it a score of 8.5 and a “Great” rating, and you can read the full review here.
The free-to-play fps Tribes: Ascend is now open to the public, and you really should take a gander.
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition will be coming to the PC this August.
Game Releases for April 15-21
- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Xbox 360)
- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition (PC, Xbox 360)
- Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat (Xbox 360, PS3)
- Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention (Vita)
- Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers (PC)