This week’s Hot Topics feature even more Mass Effect 3 news (surprise, surprise), the arrival of Vita, plenty of game reviews, and a couple of big name sequels for the fall. Hint: one’s not shocking at all while the other is a pleasant surprise. Let’s get to it!
General Gaming News
In case you’ve missed it, Mass Effect 3 will be released in a little over two weeks. Electronic Arts is pulling out all the stops in the game’s marketing campaign, including sending early copies of the game into space. Yes, you read that right: space. No word on whether damage suffered due to free-falling from 50,000 feet is covered by the warranty.
Speaking of Mass Effect, the demo is now available for download on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.
IGN recently sat down and interviewed the creators of Mass Effect.
More Mass Effect news: in a game that’s all about choice, players can now choose how they want to experience and play the game. Mass Effect 3 allows players to tailor the game to what they want. Interested mainly in the story? You can choose a setting that dials down the combat so that you can quickly get from story point to story point. Care mainly about blowing bad guys up? Then you can tweak the settings so that you’ll spend more time shooting and less time conversing. Don’t like choice? You can turn the morality features off.
If you’ve never played Mass Effect and are unfamiliar with the story, or have played it but don’t remember what happened, IGN has prepared a “Mass Effect in 5 Minutes” video that recaps events to date.
If you want to stay up to date on the latest Mass Effect memes, check this out.
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Asura’s Wrath comes out this Tuesday, and apparently it’s like nothing else you’ve played before. IGN scored the game a 7.5 and gave it a “Good” rating. The presentation, graphics, and sound were all top-notch, but the game got dinged in the gameplay and lasting appeal departments.
A demo for SSX will be available on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 this Tuesday.
If you’re an Assassin’s Creed fan, then this next item will undoubtedly make you pleased: Assassin’s Creed III is coming in October! Assassin’s Creed III will hit store shelves October 30 and will complete the story of Desmond. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said the game has been in development for three years and “what we have seen is just fabulous.”
October’s a long way away, but luckily Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is around to tide us over for the next eight months. The latest DLC is titled Lost Archive and will be released February 28 for $15, according to GameStop.
In other upcoming game news, Amazon may have revealed the existence of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Amazon France posted a product page for Black Ops 2 that was quickly taken down. Further confirmationcomes in the form of an entry on the LinkedIn page for a contract art studio employee. A sequel to Black Ops, the best-selling game in history prior to Modern Warfare 3, should come as no surprise since Activision pumps out a new version of its most popular titles every year.
Saints Row: The Third fans are getting some good news: the next DLC pack, Gangstas in Space, comes out on Tuesday.
If you’ve seen the trailers for the upcoming Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, then you’ve certainly noticed the invisible soldiers. A new developer diary provides further information about the game and the Ghosts.
If you thought SOPA and PIPA were dead, think again. They’ve been beaten, but not for long. Like Bowser, they’ll be back… this time with a more aggressive PR campaign from Hollywood.
Microsoft — Xbox 360
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, the sequel to Alan Wake, has drawn significant interest created some concerns amongst fans due to a number of factors, most notably that the game would be released on Xbox Live Arcade rather than in retail stores. Fret no more, Wake fans, as it appears that those concerns are needless. IGN gave the game a score of 8.0 and a “Great” rating. Read the full review here.
Warp arrived on the Xbox Live Arcade, and the fine folks over at Joystiq reviewd the game for us all. Warp shows promise but ultimately doesn’t reach its full potentional. Read the full review here.
Sony — PS3 & Vita
Twisted Metal was released last Tuesday, and if you’re on the fence about playing it, then check out IGN’s review. The game received a score of 9.0 and an “Amazing” rating.
IGN finally got around to reviewing House of the Dead III over a week after its release, which should be an indication that this isn’t exactly a premiere title. The scores reflect that: a 6.5 with an “Okay” rating. Read the full review here.
Nathan Drake makes his Vita debut in Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Uncharted is one of the premiere franchises in all of gaming, so Golden Abyss has some pressure riding on its shoulders. Luckily, the game manages to deliver. IGN scored it an 8.5 with a “Great” rating. The full review can be found here.
IGN has organized all of its Vita game reviews into one handy page, which can be found here.
Here’s a bit of a bummer for PS3 aficionados: PlayStation 4 won’t be revealed any time in the near future. Those rumors about an appearance this summer? Yeah, that’s not happening, at least according to commentsfrom Sony Computer Entertainment America’s CEO and President Jack Tretton.
Sorry PS3 peeps, but the depressing news keeps coming: many PS3 users have epxerienced problems with Skyrim, and Bethesda knew about the problem before the game was released. The company claims it thought “only a small percentage” of players would be affected. That turned out to be an erroneous thought. IGN has more detail here.
Maybe this will help cheer you up: Call of Duty will debut on Vita this fall.
Alan Wake finally has made it to the PC, having been canceled two years ago only to be revived. IGN reviewed the PC version and gave it a score of 9.0, garneing an “Amazing” rating.
Here’s an article detailing the changes made to the Inferno map in Counter-Strike.
Civilization V: Gods & Kings is set to get a new expansion pack this year, and religion returns in a big way to the series. Read more about how religion will impact your civilization, along with the other features that will be included in the expansion, here.
Curt Schilling, retired pitcher and founder of 38 Studios, went on Conan and had some fun with Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
Game Releases for February 19-25
-Asura’s Wrath (PS3, Xbox 360)
-Naraba’s World: Labyrinth of Light (NDS)
-Naraba’s World: The Mysterious Palace (NDS)
-Syndicate (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
-Hospital Giant (NDS)
-Sledge Hammer (Xbox 360)
-Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen (Vita)
-Ridge Racer (Vita)
-Touch My Katamari (Vita)
-Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 (3DS)
-Dynasty Warriors NEXT (Vita) — February 22
-Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (Xbox 360) — February 22
-Super Stardust Delta (Vita) — February 22
-Army Corps of Hell (Vita) — February 22
-Ninja Gaiden Sigma PLUS (Vita) — February 22
-Dungeon Hunter Alliance (Vita) — February 22