Happy Easter everyone! For those of you who don’t celebrate the holiday, Happy Sunday! May you all have a wonderful Sunday, April 8, 2012!
Big, big news in the gaming world this week! Tons of Mass Effect DLC is headed your way. First, the long-awaited patch that will fix the troublesome face importing issue will be ready this week, along with some free multiplayer DLC. More DLC is on the way this summer to hopefully placate the legions of angry fans who are irate over the game’s ending. Uncharted 3 gets some DLC, next-gen console rumors are running rampant across the information superhighway, and people are suing each other left and right.
Oh yeah, Halo 4 details emerged.
General Gaming News
‘Bout damn time: the patch for Mass Effect 3 fixing the face import problems will be made available this week. The patch will be available for PC users on April 9 while console users get it a day later on April 10. A number of other fixes are included in the patch, so check out the article to read the complete list.
The Mass Effect 3 patch doesn’t fix the game’s biggest issue– its much-maligned ending– but have no fear, BioWare announced that extra ending content will be released this summer in the form of free DLC called the Mass Effect Extended Cut DLC. The Extended Cut will feature new cinematics and epilogue scenes that will expand upon the game’s ending.
In the meantime, the Resurgence Pack will be available this Tuesday. The free multiplayer DLC offers two new maps– Firebase Condor and Firebase Hydra– as well as new weapons, consumables, and characters.
Update 1.5 for Skyrim arrived last week for console players. The update, which had previously been released for the PC, adds cinematic kill cameras, new kill moves, and a host of other, smaller features and fixes.
This should be of particular interest: female players of the online strategy game Prime World are being offered perks and incentives to play.
Hit the jump to continue reading…
A Federal Court in California ruled in favor of Sony in a class action lawsuit filed after the company changed its terms of service for the PlayStation Network last year. The changes included a clause stating that anyone wanting to sue Sony would have to go through mandatory arbitration and that users could not form class action lawsuits. The court ruled that since the PSN is a choice for its users, Sony has the right to change the terms of service as it sees fit.
In more legal news, Worlds Inc. has sued Activision, claiming the publishing giant has violated a patent relating to large-scale virtual worlds. The company claims World of Warcraft and Call of Duty violated one of its patents pertaining to “a system and method for enabling users to interact in a virtual space.” Worlds Inc. filed a similar lawsuit with NCSoft back in 2008, and that suit was dismissed in 2012 after both parties agreed to a settlement.
Speaking of Activision, the company will soon face some competition for its Call of Duty Elite service from rival publisher Ubisoft, whose upcoming Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will feature a free companion service called Ghost Recon Network.
EA has fired back against those protesting same-sex relationships offered in a couple of EA games. Several family advocacy groups started a letter writing campaign claiming the company bowed to “extremists” who forced EA to include same-sex content. EA denies the claim, saying it is political harassment, and that the company has not been pressured by any group to include LGBT content in its games.
The Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the US Navy, has launched an initiative to research ways to gain access to information stored on consoles. DHS claims that it does not intend on using the technology to target US-based consoles but rather on overseas consoles. Privacy laws would prevent the agency from hacking domestic consoles, but privacy groups are up in arms over the development.
The New York Attorney General’s office dropped the Banhammer on registered sex offenders last week with Operation: Game Over. Thanks to an agreement with many large game companies like Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard, and EA, registered offenders will no longer be able to interact with children in select online games.
Sonic 4: Episode 2 will arrive on both Xbox Live and PSN next month on May 15 (PSN) and May 15 (Xbox Live).
Check out this hands-on preview of TERA from PAX East.
Here’s another preview from PAX East: Neverwinter.
Check out this neat article about the differences between user testing and marketing focus testing.
Here’s a nice little spat between Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick and rival THQ. Zelnick predicted THQ would be out-of-business in six months. THQ, naturally, did not take those comments kindly.
Ever wondered how much game developers make? Well now you can know, thanks to a report from Game Developer Magazine. Here’s a hint: if you want to start rollin’ in the dough, avoid QA.
Microsoft — Xbox 360
Halo! Major Halo 4 details emerged from the shadows this past week. The alleged information comes from the latest issue of Game Informer magazine and reveals story details for the first time as well as a significant change to multiplayer in the form of Spartan Ops.
HBO Go will finally arrive on the Xbox this week, although a specific day has not been announced.
The 2013 SRT Viper will be included in the Viper DLC pack for Forza 4, although pricing and release date have yet to be announced.
Man, it’s been a rough week for Kinect games as both Kinect: Star Wars and the odd Diabolical Pitch received terrible reviews from IGN. Both games scored a measly 5.5-out-of-ten, good for “Mediocre” rankings. You can read the full Kinect: Star Wars review here while the Diabolical Pitch review can be found here.
Sony — PS3 & Vita
After last week’s disastrous update 1.65 for the Vita, Sony has released version 1.66 to address the issues caused by 1.65.
A new map pack for Uncharted 3 is set to hit the streets this Tuesday. The Deception map pack will contain four new maps: Graveyard, Old Quarter, London Streets, and Oasis.
Skullgirls has finally been given a release date and will hit the PSN this Tuesda
y, April 10. The game will cost $14.99.
Persona 3 FES will be released this Tuesday on the PSN as a PS2 Classic.
Escape Plan is getting new DLC this Tuesday. Entitled “Bakuki’s Lair”, the free DLC pack includes 19 new prequel puzzle rooms.
The Pinball Arcade is coming to the PS3 and Vita this Tuesday. If you buy the game for one system, you can get it for the other one for free. This applies to DLC as well, although the game does not support cross-system play.
Sources have supposedly leaked the PlayStation 4’s processing specs and chipset. According to these sources, the new console will utilize custom chips from AMD, and in a really interesting note, the console will reportedly use the same graphics card rumored to be in the next-generation Xbox.
A report coming out of the UK claims that the PlayStation 4 will debut before the next-gen Xbox.
The first multiplayer details for Resistance: Burning Skies have emerged, thanks to the official Burning Skies page on PlayStation.com.
Nintendo — Wii & 3DS
Mario is set to take the tennis court on the 3DS sometime in the near future with Mario Tennis Open, and the first impressions have been excellent.
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy are coming to the 3DS this July. The former hits store shelves on July 31 while the latter will be released July 3.
The Japanese strategy RPG crossover Pokemon + Nobunaga’s Ambition will make its way to the US as Pokemon Conquest, and the first American trailers and screenshots have been released. Check them out here.
3DS artists will be thrilled with the newly-arrived Colors! 3D. The game received a 9.0 and “Amazing” rating from IGN. Read the full review here.
Reports have surfaced that a couple of developers believe the Wii U is lacking in the power department and isn’t as powerful as the PS3 or Xbox 360. This is contrary to the glowing praise heaped upon the new console by Gearbox co-founder Randy Pitchford as well as Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada and Team Ninja developers Yosuke Hayashi and Fumihiko Yasuda. Nintendo has responded, saying that the “experience of play” is what’s important, rather than the technology specifications.
A photo has surfaced that indicates the Wii U will be released on November 18. The photo is of an email purportedly sent by a regional manager at GameStop.
Good news for Sins of a Solar Empire fans: some big new details have been released regarding Rebellion, the upcoming expansion to Sins of a Solar Empire. The expansion is now available for pre-order, and the reward for pre-ordering the game is an invite to the second beta that is taking place as we speak. Most importantly, the game will be released on June 12.
Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings users will receive a free backup copy of the game, courtesy of developer CD Projekt.
Epic Games, creator of the Gears of War franchise, has a PC-exclusive game in the works.
The Secret World made an appearance at PAX East with a playable demo, and you can read some first impressions here. What you read may surprise you.
Star Wars: The Old Republic will soon be getting the version 1.2 update, and for a preview of what will be included, go here.
Game Releases for April 8-14
- 4 in 1 Action Pack (PS3)
- Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir (3DS)
- Top Trumps NBA All Stars (3DS, DS)