January 19th, 2010
Price: $19.00 (
(as of 2012-12-05 00:39:38 PST)
You save $0.99 (5%)
(as of 2012-12-05 00:39:38 PST)
Mass Effect 2 Platinum Hits by Electronic Arts
DescriptionThe second chapter in the Mass Effect trilogy takes you to the darkest reaches of space, where you must uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of humans across many worlds. Prepare yourself for a suicide mission to save mankind. Travel the galaxy to assemble a team of soldiers and combat specialists, and launch an all-out assault on the heart of enemy territory.
The patch will add five new weapons, and while DICE didn't share their exact names and look, it gave us a general idea for what to expect:
Gun Master, which gained its popularity in the Battlefield 3: Close Quarters DLC, is like Team Deathmatch, but you only get new weapons every time you get two consecutive kills, and the first player to get a kill with the final weapon wins.
The patch will also "significantly improve client stability on all platforms," fix a number of issues that cause crashes, and rebalance all weapons, which you can read about in greater detail here.
DICE said that it will release the full patch notes closer to release.
Looking ahead, DICE is already working on a summer patch, which will introduce a new "audio obstruction system." You can get an idea for how this new feature will work in the video below.
The record was previously held by Frontier Development's Elite: Dangerous, which raised £1,578,316 when the Kickstarter campaign closed. At the time of writing, Yooka-Laylee has raised £1,611,343 (almost $2.5 million), and it still has 31 days to go until the fundraising campaign ends.
Today, Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic announced that it has sold out of the limited edition "64-bit" package, which will give players the game on an Nintendo-64-style cartridge, box, and manual.
Yooka-Laylee is a "buddy-duo" game in the vein of Banjo-Kazooie, but instead of a bear and a bird, it stars a chameleon and a bat. The game is being worked on by a number of Rare veterans who developed Banjo-Kazooie, and is due to launch in 2016 for PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U.
You can secure a copy of Yooka-Laylee by pledging at least $15. Backing at that level gets you a copy of the PC version, while you'll need to pay around $22 to get a console copy.
Operation Supply Drop, an organization that provides games to U.S. troops serving abroad, has kicked off its 8-Bit Salute mega game marathon this weekend.
"Since we started, Operation Supply Drop has used gaming as a catalyst to provide support for over 7,000 individual US and NATO troops through four major programs," the organization said. "Going into our 5th year, we are determined to set a new high score with $1,337,000 for this event, and with your help, we can absolutely do it!"
You can participate by either streaming your own gaming marathon or donating here.
If you raise or donate the following amounts, you'll also get rewards:
At the time of writing, Operation Supply Drop has raised $146,928.
Last year, Operation Supply Drop came under a denial of service (DDoS) attack during the 8-Bit Salute marathon, taking its site offline for several hours. Thankfully, this year everything is going smoothly so far.
“It did surprise us,” Sony UK managing director Fergal Gara told MCV. “We had expectations to do well. We looked at the Souls series as a frame of reference, and we thought we could do better than that. We did—and then some. Relative to some of our sister territories, we were being quite ambitious, but even that proved to be conservative."
Gara said that this was in part thanks to good timing, as the game was released at a relatively slow time, and that while Sony was a bit behind in meeting demand, it was able to catch up take advantage of the opportunity.
Gara didn't share any new sales numbers, but last month Sony said Bloodborne sold through more than one million copies worldwide. Xbox executive Phil Spencer, the top gaming boss inside of Microsoft, has has even congratulated Sony on hitting that sales number with a new IP.
While Bloodborne is a new IP, it was made by Dark Souls developer From Software, and was marketed as being a very similar game.
The Oculus Rift is traditionally supported by a PC, although Oculus VR vice president Nate Mitchell has not ruled out the possibility of bringing the hardware to the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Oculus has confirmed that a rather "beefy" PC rig will be required to support the Rift, and will release a list of required PC technical specifications in the lead-up to E3.
Oculus VR was purchased by Facebook in March last year, which expressed plans to extend the hardware's use beyond gaming to "communications, media and entertainment, education, and other areas."
Here's a list that includes games that currently have full support for the Oculus Rift:
First half of 2016
Sony's Project Morpheus will be supported by the PlayStation 4 and, allegedly, the PlayStation Vita. Games that have confirmed Morpheus support include Project Cars, Surgeon Simulator, and Among the Sleep.
At past events, Sony has showcased Project Morpheus running demos that included a special re-worked version of Thief, EVE Valkyrie, a game from Sony's London studio called The Deep, and a game titled The Castle. Early builds incorporated usage of PlayStation Move controllers.
Sony has confirmed that Project Morpheus will be able to support online multiplayer and local couch multiplayer. Some of Sony's first partners for Project Morpheus include Epic Games, Unity, Crytek, and Autodesk. God of War studio Sony Santa Monica has created a prototype that allowed the user to become Kratos. Sony has also partnered with NASA to create a demo that places the player on the surface of Mars.
At GDC this year Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida said many of Sony's studios were working on games for the Morpheus and said, "starting probably at E3, we will start to show the actual games."
Valve's Vive headset will be powered by SteamVR software, with games to be available "soon" through digital distribution platform Steam.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X developer Dovertail Games, The Room developer Fireproof Games, and Cloudhead games have already signed up to make content for the device. Google, Lionsgate, and HBO have also been confirmed as content partners. At GDC this year developer Owlchemy Labs debuted one of the first games designed specifically for Valve's SteamVR, titled Job Simulator.
The Vive makes use of Lighthouse, a motion tracking technology which uses lasers to read the position of a VR helmet and reproduce a person’s real-world movements with accuracy. The headset will support use of Valve's Steam Controller. Those waiting on a Half-Life game for the Vive may be waiting a while though, as Valve is reportedly not currently working on a new Half-Life game for VR.
After nearly four years of development, CD Pojekt RED's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is finally coming out next week on May 19. So here's a round-up of all the information you need to know in order to jump right into its world!
"Where The Witcher 2 sputtered to a halt, The Witcher 3 is always in a crescendo, crafting battle scenarios that constantly one-up the last, until you reach the explosive finale and recover in the glow of the game's quiet denouement. But while the grand clashes are captivating, it is the moments between conflicts, when you drink with the local clans and bask in a trobairitz's song, that are truly inspiring." -- Read the full review here.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will launch for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on May 19. So are you excited about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt? Let us know in the comments below!
Of course, there have been female assassins in Assassin's Creed before, but Evie's position is unique. Assassin's Creed III: Liberation was a spin-off of ACIII's world, with players following Creole heroine Aveline de Grandpre. But it was released on PlayStation Vita at a time when the handheld was still struggling to find its footing, which in turn limited its audience. The recently released downloadable-only title Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China also features a female protagonist, Shao Jun.
We've also seen playable assassins in competitive multiplayer modes, first introduced in 2010’s Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and kept through Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Multiplayer was abandoned entirely for Assassin's Creed Rogue and Assassin's Creed Unity's co-op multiplayer had no female character options.
What sets Evie apart is she is fully playable in the main story. Ubisoft says players will control her along with her twin brother, Jacob Frye, and that for most story missions you'll be able to choose which sibling to play as. They'll both have their own unique missions as well, giving them character development apart from one another but still connected to the story. Some may gripe that Ubisoft could have simply made one playable assassin and not split the story between two. But I'd argue that the dynamic between siblings--often a mix of playful rivalry and unwavering support--is a much more interesting lens through which to tell a story than through one person alone. There's something charming about two siblings discovering and conquering the world together, working within the context of blood ties rather than romantic ones.
The presence of women in Assassin's Creed seems to be increasing significantly for Syndicate, which features not only a female hero but female villains running the seedy underbelly of London's boroughs and female grunts carrying out their work. In the brief bits of Syndicate footage Ubisoft has shared, we've seen Jacob take out every gang member in his path. I don't ever recall playing an Assassin's Creed game where a good number of the NPCs engaging the player character in combat are women; these ladies, clad in some seriously spiffy suits and bowler hats, come at Jacob with knives, revolvers, and fists, carrying out their criminal duties. And Jacob, in turn, stabs them, punches them in the face, drops crates on them, and knocks them out in the same way he would any other combative NPC. It's violence against women in a video game, and it's violence within context.The crime lord Bloody Nora.
To understand what that really means, we need to look at AC Syndicate's setting, 1868 London. London in the midst of the Victorian era, at the height of the Industrial Revolution. England was the hub of technological evolution, with the city of London at its core. Thousands of people moved from the countryside into the city looking for work, starting as early as four-years-old and often working until an untimely death around 30. Only one fifth of adult males could vote and women couldn't vote at all, and most of the population couldn't afford modern medicine, or even be bothered to name their children.
It was economically necessary for many women, both single and married, to work in order to survive. These women often became domestic employees, such as nannies or maids, or found positions in textile factories and coal mines. Everyone in these lower tiers of London's society faced hardship.
Women who left home unsupervised or went out on their own were often fretted over, and societal conventions frowned on the idea of a woman alone without a companion to guide her. People who couldn't find a place within proper society turned to organized crime as a means to survive, and it is here that many women found their footholds--and something meaningful to belong to.
Between the pressures of finding stable work and wages, a place to live, and unfettered autonomy, it's not surprising that women fell in with London's criminal underground and called it home. In current gameplay previews of AC Syndicate, we see Bloody Nora, a Templar and the gang leader of one of London's boroughs. Given the oppressive restraints and demands put on London's women at the top of society, seeing one turn to a prominent position at the bottom as a crime lord is believable. And having one of her biggest opponents be a scrappy young woman from the country who was born and raised as an assassin shouldn't be hard to swallow either.
"...A setting that created violent, powerful women in the real world."
Assassin's Creed Syndicate, with the setting it chose, has the potential to break a lot of ground with its representation of women. For the series, it could be a game changer. We often rail against violent interactions with women in video games, but in real-world Victorian London, this was how people behaved. These women live in a world of broken dreams and abandoned hopes, driven to crime and bloodshed by humankind's desperate desire to survive. Syndicate's developers have spoken at length about wanting to bring Assassin's Creed into the modern era, and I can't think of a better way to do it than kicking the move off with a setting that created violent, powerful women in the real world.Evie Frye.
Back to Evie. When I look at her, I can't help but think of another fictional figure born from London's poverty: Nancy, from Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist. Nancy, unlike Evie, is an abandoned woman in 1800s London who becomes a prostitute and eventually a caretaker of the orphan Oliver. With no options available to her, she takes the only job she feels gives her any agency over her fate. I imagine this is the same way with Evie, who is born into the world of an assassin and grows up within its cause. I recognize Ubisoft isn't sharing much information on Evie at this time, but from the brief scenes we've seen--her formulating plans with her brother and a fellow assassin, and shooting a gun out of Bloody Nora's hand--she already seems like a woman of agency. She's not a follower. And when Jacob stands up and announces to the defeated gang, "We are Jacob and Evie Frye," his inclusion of her, that "we," makes me believe they are equal in narrative importance.
We've been angry with Ubisoft in the past for the way it treats women in Assassin's Creed. Last year's storm regarding comments about animating women was loud and harmful, and while Unity did have a prominent female figure, Elise, she was not our hero. She was a lover, and this time around developers are keen to avoid the romantic plot because it "sucks everything out" of other important narrative elements. This modern setting, this 1868 London, is the perfect storm of setting and time for packing genuinely strong women into every level of importance in the series. Maybe the French Revolution just wasn't the time, or the Renaissance didn't offer the best options for believably running up against violent female NPCs. For a franchise that prides itself on its representation and accuracy, Assassin's Creed Syndicate is looking very promising as both an entertaining video game and a window into history.
It may not have been Evie's time up until now. But Ubisoft has done its research, and I think we are ready for, and should be excited, about Evie Frye.
This week's question is as follows:
With The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt releasing next week, there are likely to be a whole bunch of gamers who are going to be playing this popular series for the first time. Whether it be because of lack of time or even adamant avoidance, are their any popular game series that you have never played before? Below is what our editors had to say.Final Fantasy X
I can understand why people love Final Fantasy, but for me, it just doesn't lure me in. I've never been a fan of the turn-based fighting mechanics, and I'd love to be wrong, but I look at some of the trailers and art and have little confidence that there's an interesting story to explore.
Nintendogs has sold 24 million copies and I've never played a single one. I'm more of a cat person. That doesn't mean I'm not open to teh concept of a pet simulator though. So I must ask: Where is Nintencats, Nintendo? Or would it be called Cattendo?
Despite their undeniable popularity and incredibly fervent fanbase, I've never played a MOBA. It's not that they don't look fun; I might struggle to understand what's going on when I'm listening to shoutcasters commentate a heated Dota 2 match, but it's easy to get caught up in the excitement! But the high barrier to entry and the stories I always hear of and incredibly toxic player base have ensured that I kept my distance.Diablo III
I adored Blizzard's genre-defining PC MMO World of Warcraft, so much so that with every new expansion I'm tempted to surrender my life back to it, but I've never played the developer's other major game--Diablo. Despite rave reviews from friends--and even family--I've never even given it a try. My defense had always been that I'm not a very big PC gamer. But with Diablo 3 now on consoles, I really have no excuse. Ahh!
Any major sports series I have not played and probably never will. I've never been into sports, playing or watching, so I have no idea how I would even begin to play the games. I'm way more interested in smacking trolls around with Firaga or whatever, but sportsball is just not for me.Mega Man 10
i've never played Mega Man. Mostly because I didn't grow up playing Nintendo. Growing up in Ireland some of my friends certainly had them, but my household was a Commodore Amiga household. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I bought my first Nintendo console. Not many people can say they fell in love with Nintendo via the Gamecube, but I loved that little machine. I probably would have picked up the Mega Man Anniversary Collection but sadly it was a North American exclusive.
The Legend of Zelda series. I did not own any Nintendo consoles as a child. For years, I thought the boy in green was named Zelda. I've tried to finish one of the games in recent years but never ended up venturing past the starter towns and could not find the drive to continue.Total War: Rome II
While I've experienced no shortage of virtual war, I have yet to engage in Total War. Perhaps I am intimidated by its totality? The idea of commanding legions is a bit daunting, but a game series doesn't get to be that popular by being totally obtuse. Indeed, the stories I've heard from friends of rousing, exciting conquests have piqued my interest now and then, but alas, I still haven't taken up the commander's call.
Oh, a number of them! I don't really play fighting games, and though I have dabbled in Marvel vs. Capcom, Mortal Kombat, and others, I've never played a Street Fighter game. Shocking, I know! You can also throw most sports franchises onto this list; I haven't played a Madden game since 1997, and have never touched an NHL or NBA game.World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft. I played a lot of Warcraft, Warcraft II, and Warcraft III, but World of Warcraft never appealed to me. I've watched so many friends fall in love with the game, only to crash months later. Yet, despite realizing that they might not be enjoying the game for the right reasons, the same friends dove back in. It's an addictive game, and despite what '90s video game critics will tell you, that's not necessarily a good thing.
I've played a fair share of RPGs in the past, but for some reason I've never gotten around to playing BioWare's Mass Effect series. I don't what it is that keeps me from that series because I really do appreciate its focus on its characters and lore. But I guess what's difficult for me is just the heavy weight of its decision-making and how that constantly effects what occurs throughout the series. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so whenever it comes to making choices in games, I always want the most ideal situation to occur. With a long series like Mass Effect, I find myself freaking out about my decisions at every turn. It's truly a terrible habit of mine that I hope to overcome someday so I can finally play these games.