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Here is what has been making news: New Releases, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, PS Vita, Battlefield 4 Lawsuit, Minecraft 360, Dead Rising 3′s DLC, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Laura Croft.
December 22nd – December 28th
Tuesday, December 24th
Halo: Spartan Assault will be available for the Xbox One.
Wednesday, December 25th
Satsujin Mystery: Kirisaki will be available for the 3DS.
Thursday, December 26th
Cubit: Hardcore Platform Robot will be available for the 3DS.
DLC release confirmed
Reaper of Souls, the Diablo III expansion, will release worldwide on PC and Mac on March 25th, 2014. You can pre-order the digital version at Battle.net. The standard version of the expansion, one you purchase in stores, will sell for around $54 and the Digital Deluxe Edition will sell for about $82. You must have a copy of Diablo III to play Reaper of Souls.
A new character is introduced into the game with this expansion, the Crusader. There is also a new act set after the conclusion of Diablo III as well as a new Adventure mode that will let you travel to any waypoint in any act. A redesigned loot system introduces a new “smart drops” which offers better loot at an improved pace.
Mike Morhaime, the CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, states, “With Reaper of Souls, we’re taking Diablo III back to its darker, deadlier roots and also giving players a new way to experience the game. In addition to adding a new character class, a new act, and tons of fully randomized new content, we’re opening up the world so players are free to explore the game as they see fit, whether it’s following along with the story line or charting their own course across Sanctuary.”
If you are waiting for an update on your PS4 version of Diablo 3, you may be a bit disappointed. It is true that the PS4 version will include both Diablo III and Reaper of Souls, however, it still hasn’t gotten a launch date. Blizzard tells its fans to keep an eye on diablo3.com for future updates about the PS4 version launch.
Coming to PC
According to Konami, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance will be launching January 9th, 2014 for the PC. That is nearly a year after the game was released on the Xbox 360 and PS3. The PC version won’t be available at retail outlets, it will only be available through digital download. It will, however, include three pieces of bonus content that was previously released for the console versions, VR Missions, Bladewolf, and Jetstream.
Additionally, the PC version will let you replay all the cutscenes and codec conversations from the main menu. You will also be able to replay boss battles. You can pre-order the game from Steam during the Steam Holiday Sale and receive a bit of a discount. Otherwise the game will cost around $33.
Out for Xbox One
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood was developed by the award-winning Press Play and Microsoft Studios. The cinematic 2.5D platforming adventure was just released for the Xbox One and will cost about $20.
In the game, Max confronts evil everywhere while trying to save his younger brother, Felix. Max is armed with only a Magic Marker. Mikkel Thorsted, the game director, explains, “What we’ve created is an evolution of the old school platformers we grew up playing and loving, we are so proud to release Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. When we started it was our goal to make something that would be fun for everyone, and it’s our sincere hope that players find great joy in adventuring through Max’s world.”
The game’s graphics look amazing, and while I’m not usually one for platformers, I may just pick this one up when it releases for the Xbox 360 a bit later. Personally, I would love to see this game release for the Nintendo 3DS.
As was anticipated the PS4 has helped boost sales of the PS Vita, significantly. Vita sales rose by 68 percent during the week that the PS4 launched and by 65 percent the following week.
Sony believes the success is the direct result of their new console, as it uses the Vita as a second screen device or replaces television all-together. Ben Law, senior product manager, stated, “PS Vita sales wise we are continuing to see strong week-on-week growth since our latest campaign kicked in. The new TV advert went live this week and we’ve already seen amazing feedback from PS4 owners on the Remote Play feature, and the success of Tearaway highlights what [a] great proposition PS Vita is, either as a standalone device or as the perfect companion to PS4.”
The PS Vita has had its struggles since its initial launch, but it seems the launch of the PS4 could be the breakthrough it needed.
EA intends to defend
After what has been considered a rather sloppy release of Battlefield 4, a class action lawsuit was launched against Electronic Arts which claims the publisher released “materially false and misleading statements” regarding the strength of Battlefield 4 in effort to “artificially inflate” its share price.
EA has called the suit “meritless” and John Reseberg, senior director of corporate communications for EA, stated, “We believe these claims are meritless. We intend to aggressively defend ourselves, and we’re confident the court will dismiss the complaint in due course.”
Within the lawsuit, filed by US law firm Robbins Geller, are the claims that EA “failed to disclose and misrepresented adverse facts which were know to [the company]” before the game launched. The suit goes on to state that the game “was riddled with bugs and multiple other problems, including downloadable content that allowed players access to more levels of the game, a myriad of connectivity issues, server limitations, lost data and repeated sudden crashes, among other things.”
The lawsuit also makes accusations against EA’s senior executives selling “their Electronic Arts stock at artificially inflated prices” after positive statements were made about Battlefield 4 earlier this year. The suit says that, “Based on the purported strength of the Battlefield 4 rollout then underway, defendants issued strong fiscal 2014 financial guidance for the Company and actually increased that guidance on October 29, 2013. The price of Electronic Arts’ stock steadily climbed on these statements, reaching a Class Period high of $28.13 per share by August 23, 2013 and allowing certain of Electronic Arts’ senior executives to sell their Electronic Arts stock at artificially inflated prices.”
The lawsuit seeks damages on behalf of all investors who bought shares in the company between July 24th and December 4th, and charges EA “and certain of its officials and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange act of 1934.”
Battlefield 4 was launched last October for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. The next gen system launch was in November for the Xbox One and PS4.
Minecraft: Xbox 360 will soon see the release of 35 character skins form the Marvel Avengers universe as the result of a new partnership between Mojang, Microsoft Studios, and Marvel.
The Marvel’s Avenger Skin Pack will include Agent Coulson, Black Widow, Captain America, Falcon, Hawkeye, Hulk, Iron Man, Loki, Maria Hill, Nick Fury, Thor, Vision, Wasp, and many others.
We don’t have word yet on how much the DLC will cost or if it will be free.
Operation Eagle delayed
Operation Eagle, the DLC for Dead Rising 3, was planned to release on December 24th, however Microsoft recently confirmed that there has been a delay and the DLC is now expected to release on January 21st.
A Microsoft representative reports that “Adding new content to the massive open world of Los Perdidos is a major undertaking, and to ensure we provide the best possible experience for players, we are putting a few additional weeks of polish and testing into the episode before it’s released. Stay tuned for additional updates.”
In Operation Eagle, you take control of Specs Ops Commander Adam Kane whose mission it is to capture the missing President of the United States.
New realistic, open-world RPG
Back in 2011 Warhorse Studios came into existence, starting with a small team of developers. Since then they have been teasing open worlds and realistic settings. Finally, they have announced their first game, an open-world RPG set in the Holy Roman Empire. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an unconventional medieval RPG, having no magic or fantasy. However, it will have a non-linear story and first person combat which includes fighting from horseback, castle sieges, and large battles.
Sadly, Warhorse has had a heck of a time finding a publisher. Who knew that publishers were squeamish about trying something new?! Surprise, surprise. The game is expected to launch on the PC and next-gen consoles in 2015. If you want to follow its progress and view a trailer for the game, check out their official website.
New smoke physics added
A new patch for the PC version of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag pledges to give a “whole new level of realism” with new smoke physics and other features.
The patch adds PhysX Particles and Turbulence to improve the visual effects of smoke bombs, chimney smoke, and pistol and musket smoke. Once applied, smoke will remain longer and be more voluminous as well as interact with game elements, such as wind and rain, and characters.
Statue for sale
A 20-inch, hand painted statue of Laura Croft is being sold by Gaming Heads for a mere $340. The statue does look amazing. There will only be 500 units produced and the base of the statue will be numbered.
Gaming heads also produced an absolutely fantastic Dovahkiin model from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim which should be available next year. The Croft statue is made of polystone resin and comes with the bow and a combat shotgun. Both the Dragonborn and the Croft statues will come with a certificate of authenticity.
If you would like to pre-order the statue, visit the official site, you won’t regret the look, I promise you.
On a side note, Square Enix is currently working on Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for the Xbox One and PS4 which is planned for a January 28th, 2014 launch.