Far Cry 2 Location: Africa

September 10, 2008

Sure, all gamers want realism in their games, but what do the developers have to go through to acheive said realism? The folks at Ubisoft Montreal traveled to Africa first-hand to make sure every last detail is true to the real environment. Complete with a group of colorful characters, numerous shots, and more lethal animals than Nintendogs: Chihuahua & Friends this is a series Far Cry 2 fans will not want to miss. Take an inside look at how the developers collected audio, gained artistic references, and more.

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Design Your Own SackBoy Contest

September 8, 2008

LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule is giving LittleBigAficionados in Europe, the United States, and Japan the chance to have their own SackBoy design featured in-game. Previous challenges have been posted on the LittleBigPlanet News Site, such as logo and box-art designs, but unlike the other challenges, this one has a reward. More in-depth details and guidelines can be found directly from the website. All winning designs will become available on the PlayStation Store for free once the game in released on October 21.

Call Of Duty 4: The Lost Mission

September 7, 2008

Japanese PC modder and Call of Duty fan Qrysalis made an amazing discovery, in regards to the Call of Duty 4 tutorial level. By “re-construct[ing] the files from [Infinity Ward’s] original training mission,” Qrysalis found that the F.N.G. preparation course was supposed to be longer than the one in the current version of the game. What exactly are we missing out on? A demolitions area, a less-than-stellar obstacle course, and two colorful characters named Sgt. Newcastle and Mac. This is a neat find; I wonder what else Infinity Ward left out of the game!

IAMfourzerotwo Via OXM

Far Cry 2 Map Editor In-Depth Demo

September 6, 2008

At the Leipzig Games Convention, Ubisoft showed detailed demonstration of Far Cry 2’s map editor. Afterwards, they posted a full-length video of the demo, stretching for over twenty minutes. The video displays everything from creating environments to the placement of vehicles (the limit is six per multiplayer map). Perhaps the most interesting aspect is the ability to share maps with the Far Cry community. Not only can players upload their own maps, but they can download maps created by other users. Once downloaded, a map can be edited to fix any errors, then re-uploaded giving credit to the original designer and the editor. The sharing feature will be accompanied by a rating system, allowing players to avoid lower-quality maps. Previous Far Cry games have had amazing map editors, but this seems to be a huge improvement. The only downside is the lack of cross-platform compatibility. Start sketching out designs, because this title will be hitting stores on October 21.


Brothers In Arms Pursuing Hellish Realism

September 6, 2008

About ten out of ten gamers is tired of the World Vs. Nazi theme, but 2008 has two more that are sure to wake everyone up. Just when you thought World War II video games had lost their appeal, Gearbox was there to draw you back in.

Developers will never be able to change the feel of the setting if they are striving for realism, but technology will improve constantly. Since 1984 gamers have been shooting Nazis in some form or fashion; that has not changed, but the tools used to create it have. Back in the ’80s, developers expected gamers to know that the gray pixel blocks were the bad guys and the floating, yellow, 1×1 pixel was a bullet. Nowadays, war games in particular, present a sense of virtual reality, in which the player is deeply immersed. This realism is what distinguishes Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway from past WWII creations.

When you think “war game” you generally imagine rushing through fields and buildings, spraying lead in every direction. This is not the case with the Brother in Arms series, however. Gearbox Software wants the player to make tactical decisions through the control of a squad. Do not think of your squad mates as static characters; they are tools, ready to use at your disposal. Match your tactics to your style, whether that is stealth, evasive maneuvers, or guns blazing.

Mastering the tactics aspect of the game will partially rely on the player’s knowledge and implementation of destructable cover. Depending on a wooden fence to provide sufficient cover is like bringing safety-scissors to a knife fight. Once a player has hunkered down, it will soon be time to move. Make sure to be aware of the surroundings, because fragments of the thought-to-be protective sandbags are now raining upon the battlefield. Use the destructable cover as an advantage; if the enemy is not exposed, you will be soon. It would be a shame for the main character to exemplify Gearbox’s realistic gore engine.

If you were wondering why Brother’s in Arms: Hell’s Highway received an ‘M’ rating, you could read a vague analysis from the ESRB, or you could watch the video below. The theme of this post is “Hellish Realism,” and when it comes to war, nothing is more real. No more will enemies explode, only fall to the ground like five ton slabs of lead. If a soldier barely dives away from a grenade explosion, they might lose a leg. If a more unfortunate soldier meets a tank face to face, do not expect him to die in one piece. One might suggest that this is stretching the boundaries too far, but the main focus is realism.

So there you have it, Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway is pushing the envelope when it comes to realistic gameplay. Yes, you will be venturing back to the 1940s, but with good reason. Hell’s Highway will be shipping out on September 23, so start studying Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

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360 Price Cuts Official, HDD Too

September 5, 2008

As if we didn’t know already, Microsoft has officially announced price cuts for all Xbox 360 SKUs. Multiple retailer fliers were photographed and posted on the web before they were supposed to be shown. All rumors were true, and the Xbox 360 is now the cheapest gaming console available. The Arcade unit is now $199.99, the Pro (60 GB) is $299.99, and the Elite is $399.99. Another important piece of information, the stand-alone 360 Hard Drive will also have a slashed price. You can buy a 120 GB Hard Drive for $149.99, a $30 decrease. If you want, buy an Arcade and a 120 GB HDD for approximately $50 less than the cost of the Elite.

Via Major Nelson Blog / Kotaku

Export Rock Band Songs For $5.00

September 5, 2008

Harmonix told us a long time ago that all of the original songs from Rock Band could be exported to Rock Band 2, but for a small fee. The export system has already been updated into the game and it’s only going to cost $5.00 (400 MS). For the price of about 2-3 DLC songs, you can remove the aspect of disc-swapping. It’s up to you to decide if $5.00 is worth saving the occasional twenty seconds it would take you to open the disc drive, take out Rock Band 2, put in Rock Band, and load the game.

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Update 4: LittleBigPlanet Pre-Order Goodies

September 4, 2008

Kratos or Nariko? Which SackBoy/Girl would you choose? You already know that Kratos is available by pre-order from GameStop, but what about our Heavenly Sword heroine? If you want Nariko in SackForm, you’ll have to look for the bright yellow tag, because she’s available exclusively from Best Buy. As a final tease, Media Molecule wants all Canadians to prepare for a pre-order announcement. Is it the maple leaf SackPlant? Let’s wait and see.

PSP-3000’s Battery Life Equal To PSP-2000

September 4, 2008

In an interview with GameSpot, Sony’s Director of Hardware Marketing, John Koller, said that due to the PSP-3000’s higher quality screen, the system would have a battery decrease of “about 20 minutes.” This, apparently, was false, and Koller has posted on the Official PlayStation Blog that this was a mistake and “that the new PSP will have equivalent battery life to the current PSP.” According to Koller, the screen does use up more power, but Sony’s engineers managed to reduce power consumption of the system’s other functions. We can have our cake and eat it too!

PS3 Bluetooth Headset In Detail

September 4, 2008

Not too long ago, the PlayStation 3’s Bluetooth Headset was revealed alongside SOCOM: Confrontation. We know that it comes with a charger cradle, it can be used with other Bluetooth enabled devices, and it has a mute button, but Sony wanted to share some of the Headset’s more captivating features that will be available through a firmware update this fall.

  • The headset will feature “High-Quality (HQ) mode” with PS3. In this mode, the headset will take advantage of advanced voice technologies and noise cancellation techniques to provide clear and wideband voice input to the PS3. The HQ mode will ensure a much better voice chat quality on the PS3.
  • HQ mode will also enable accurate speech recognition required to support or enhance ‘Voice Command’ and ‘Voice Animation’ features. Voice Command was originally used in SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs for PS2 to administer the AI-controlled teammates using the WHO, WHAT, and WHERE format (example: Bravo, Attack, Nav Point Zulu). Voice Animation refers to the in-game character mimicking you during voice chat. With HQ mode, these features can be enabled on a much larger vocabulary in select PS3 games.
  • PS3 will display an in-game status indicator exclusively for this headset that will show the headset’s connection status, battery charge level, speaker volume level and microphone mute status.
  • Tired of wearing the headset during a long multiplayer gaming session or is your headset battery running out of charge? Just dock the headset in the supplied charging cradle, and the headset will work as a desktop microphone while charging.
  • Last but not least, the headset will automatically pair with the PS3 by connecting with a USB cable.
  • You can pick up your headset this fall bundled with SOCOM: Confrontation for $59.99, or as by itself for $49.99.

    Via Official PlayStation Blog