Tuesday, 26 April 2011

How Rockstar built 1947 Los Angeles for L.A. Noire

While much has been said about the animation technology used in L.A. Noire, a recent piece from the Los Angeles Times reveals that Rockstar and Team Bondi have expended considerable effort in recreating Los Angeles as it was in 1947. The development team used 1930s era Works Progress Administration maps and topographical information from the US Geological Society to create a city layout.

Beyond the city itself, the developers also strove to accurately represent the lives within it. For example, aerial film and photography from the period was used to recreate authentic traffic patterns. Many other factors were researched, from clothing to the levels of smog that were present in 1947. Head over to the L.A. Times site for the full story.

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Hydrophobia Prophecy coming to Steam on May 9, then PSN

Though Hydrophobia Prophecy may sound like a new entry in the Hydrophobia series (as part of a planned trilogy), it's actually a PlayStation Network and Steam release of last year's aquatic Xbox Live Arcade title. It was later given a substantial, feedback-driven overhaul in the "Hydrophobia Pure" update following a chilly critical reception. Hydrophobia Prophecy popped up in a recent Australian ratings board listing, and was today confirmed as heading to Steam on May 9 and PlayStation Network at some point after that.

Like the game's Pure iteration before it, Prophecy augments the original game based on player feedback. "This comprehensive reinvention of the title includes upgraded graphics, brand new gameplay mechanics, exclusive new levels, a reworked back story, a dramatic new ending, recast voice acting and much, much more," the game's announcement reads.

The updated version also includes an in-game service called "Darknet," allowing players to "deliver specific opinions at any point during the game, which are automatically augmented with contextual data about the game state at that time." It's an even more direct line of communication than the developer's "Listening Post," which was erected in January to gauge played feedback online. We're hoping that by the time Dark Energy Digital gets around to working on that promised sequel, it'll be able to crowdsource the whole thing.Show full PR textHydrophobia Prophecy incoming on Steam and PlayStation Network
Dark Energy Digital is pleased to announce Hydrophobia Prophecy for Steam and PlayStation Network. This comprehensive reinvention of the title includes upgraded graphics, brand new gameplay mechanics, exclusive new levels, a reworked back story, a dramatic new ending, recast voice acting and much, much more. The long list of new features and enhancements is also augmented by changes Dark Energy have made in response to data gathered from the Hydrophobia Listening Post where players voted and commented on the features of Hydrophobia Pure.

"We could've just ported Hydrophobia Pure over to Steam and PSN after the positive response it received, but we decided to go much further. The community really blew us away with the incredible response to Hydrophobia Pure and the outstanding level of feedback on the listening post, so we wanted to return the favour and ensure we created a bigger and better experience in every possible respect with Hydrophobia Prophecy for Steam and PSN" – Pete Jones

Following the astonishing response to the listening post, Dark Energy has developed a new in-game dev feedback system called Darknet which launches in Hydrophobia Prophecy. Darknet allows players to deliver specific opinions at any point during the game, which are automatically augmented with contextual data about the game state at that time

"In the modern, interconnected world we think there should be better lines of communication between players and developer, which is exactly what Darknet delivers. Gamers have shown us how much they appreciated being involved in the development process and we have responded. We're really excited to be bringing Hydrophobia Prophecy and Darknet to PC using Steamworks because the ability to update the game seamlessly and regularly through Steam is a perfect fit for our commitment to acting upon feedback from the community. It also means we can update the Darknet system itself to ensure we continually adapt to serve players who want to participate more effectively."

Hydrophobia Prophecy will launch on Steam on 9th May and can be pre-purchased for just $10.19 / £7.64 (including 15% pre-purchase discount) with a PSN version to follow. Visit www.hydrophobia-game.com for more information.

About Dark Energy Digital Ltd.
Dark Energy Digital is a technology company based in Manchester England. It is a publisher and developer of innovative games that are produced with its ground breaking games-creation technology, InfiniteWorlds™. and the water simulation HydroEngineTM

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Rumor: EA's persistent profile service is subscription-based, offers early game downloads

Those new "persistent" EA profiles, that are meant to carry a player's profile and achievements across EA Sports games, don't seem very controversial, right? Just a nice bonus for players.

What if that profile was the harbinger of a subscription service, though? Pastapadre posted what is claimed to be a document from EA Sports outlining a new annual subscription-based offering for multiple sports games on PS3 and Xbox 360, offering DLC discounts, exclusive DLC, and in-game items for Madden, FIFA, NHL, Tiger Woods, and NCAA Football games -- as well as the only game named specifically instead of by series, SSX: Deadly Descents (which isn't even called that anymore).

On top of all that stuff, the document claims that the subscription will offer "full downloadable versions of participating titles before they come out in stores," which we could see people gladly paying for. In addition, players would have the ability "to transfer paid content from your current participating titles to future title versions."

EA had no comment about this rumored program when Game Informer asked, and no potential price point was offered. Hopefully, for the sake of gamers' bank accounts everywhere, EA doesn't realize how much it could make by offering Madden to people a bit early.

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Monday, 11 April 2011

Deceit, drugs and detective work come together in new L.A. Noire trailer

Crime and drama are present and accounted for in the latest trailer for Rockstar and Team Bondi's noir crime drama L.A. Noire. So is another well-known addition to the cast: John Noble, who plays Dr. Walter Bishop on Fox's sci-fi series Fringe (and was Denethor in the third Lord of the Rings film).

Noble and the rest of the cast are looking better than ever in this new footage that seems to show the game in its most current form -- one in which the characters' facial animation is still fantastic, but looks much more refined (and thus way less creepy). There's probably, oh, a second or two of actual gameplay, but what do you expect ... it's a Rockstar trailer.

Investigate it for yourself after the break.

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Michael Jackson: The Experience sold 3 million units globally

Michael Jackson: The Experience -- Just Dance's cousin, once removed on the Ubisoft side -- has sold over three million units worldwide. Ubisoft tells MCV that the Wii, DS and PSP versions have sold 319,000 units in the UK, meaning that the island nation is responsible for 11 percent of the global guilt burden.

The news comes just ahead of the game's PS3 and Xbox 360 Kinect release next week. The latest versions will feature upgraded visuals, some bonus tracks and full body tracking on Kinect -- speaking of which, the "Smooth Criminal" lean is still impossible without the special shoes, so don't feel bad.
Michael Jackson: The Experience

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First issue of the Portal 2 comic is now online

Just as you were warned, "tomorrow" has come, heralding the arrival of Portal 2: Lab Rat. The first issue has been posted over on IGN, spanning 14 total pages.

The comic is more than a prequel than anything else. Actually, we don't want to give away too much, but we will leave you with this little nugget: Companion Cube kills Dumbledore. We know, we know -- who woulda thunk a cube could wield a wand, let alone gain admission into Hogwarts?!

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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Yakuza 4 down to $40 on Amazon today

Amazon has enacted a one-day discount on Yakuza 4, allowing you to take the entire Kamurocho neighborhood and its residents home for $39.99. That's a great deal for a game that lasts anywhere from 30 to hundreds of hours.

Think of it this way: If you earn your money in the way the game's heroes do -- by picking it up from hapless, idiotic gang members who dare to challenge you -- you won't have to beat up as many dudes before you can afford the game. That's good news for you, and good news for your city's weaker gangsters.

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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Final Fantasy V on Japanese PSN this week, also coming to Europe

PSN will see a re-release of a re-release of Final Fantasy V in Japan this week. Square Enix's Shinji Hashimoto announced the PSOne Classics release -- compatible with PS3 and PSP -- of the PlayStation port of the Super Famicom RPG a couple of months ago, and revealed the April 6 release date today on Twitter.

Square Enix Members then confirmed that the downloadable RPG will be released in Europe as well, though the release date for Europe's battle against Exdeath is much less definite. "We'll be announcing the release date closer to the time, but we thought you might like to know that the game is currently being arranged for a release."

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Monday, 4 April 2011

Criterion Games could be working on Burnout Crash

If we do if the information that reaches us through the Australian Classification Board, Criterion Games is already working on the new Burnout entitled Crash.

The announcement appeared last Friday in the web page of the ratings agency. As in previous releases, point that the game will be released by Electronic Arts and cross-platform available for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

At the end of last month, the head of Criterion Alex Ward said on Twitter that the study is "preparing the submission of its next game". So keep tuned in LivingPS3 as that in the next few weeks we could know more about this Burnout Crash.

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Ninja Gaiden 3 has complex multiplayer mode, will be more accessible

Ninja Gaiden 3 will feature some form of multiplayer gameplay, according to an interview in the April issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine. Project lead Yosuke Hayashi characterized the mode as "complex," but didn't offer a comparison to Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2's online co-op missions. He noted that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions would launch at the same time, unlike past iterations in the series.

Additionally, NG3 will supposedly be more accessible to new players, while retaining the challenge that fans have come to expect from the franchise. "We know that many fans feel good about the difficulty level, but we are taking a slightly different approach," Hayashi said. "It's not that the game is going to be easier -- nothing like that. It's just that we are trying to make a whole game, a more exciting game that can be enjoyed by anyone, but at the same time, hardcore gamers will be able to feel and appreciate what the series is about."

Hayashi said that the franchise's main character, Ryu Hayabusa, will be the only playable character this time around, and that the game's story "will focus more deeply on Ryu Hayabusa's life and lifestyle and feelings and thoughts." Our first question -- how does Ryu feel about ninja dogs? And, say, giant flaming armadillos? This stuff's important!

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Sunday, 3 April 2011

Exclusive new gameplay of multiplayer for Resistance 3

Through an event held this week by the Insomniac Games community in the United States.UU., has leaked a video of about five minutes in length that contains a Resistance 3 multiplayer gameplay.

The quality of the videos is not very good because it's an off-screen with camera in hand. Even so, the result is quite good and helps us to see how much has changed the multiplayer on the second installment.

You can check that the rate of frames is really high, with very smooth and fast movements similar to those seen in the COD series by what I gather that playability could be similar. Also confirms that the games will be much less numerous with smaller maps. To sum up another great game for this 2011.

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Friday, 1 April 2011

New L.A. Noire case info and screens keep the trail hot

Stepping into April means we're one month closer to L.A. Noire's May release, but it's not enough. We just can't wait to hit the streets of 1940s Los Angeles as a hard-boiled beat cop, and this update from the official Rockstar blog isn't helping. Not only are there new screens to see, but we get details on two early cases in the game. One's a standard "robbery in progress" call tasking you with delivering a bit of shotgun justice to the local grocer, and the other one's a crime scene investigation, where you've got to hunt for a murder weapon in the dark.

Rockstar also says that walking the beat and solving these crimes is "how you pay your dues" as a uniformed officer, so not only are you out to right wrongs, but you're trying to impress the higher-ups and make detective as well. It just sounds like too much fun -- come on April showers, bring us a new Rockstar game already!

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Mortal Kombat tag team match pits Background against Our Attention

Happy April Brutal Violence Day, everyone! Enjoy some footage of a Mortal Kombat tag team match, featuring Kitana, Mileena, Sindel and Jade.

Even though the match has more painful-looking attacks and surprise reversals than the spinoff Mortal Kombackgammon, we found ourselves unable to concentrate on the actual fighting because of the guy in the background performing a resurrection ritual or something. Way to steal the show!

Maybe we should let the guy have his moment. It must be hard work to be the "resurrection guy" in the Mortal Kombat universe.

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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 'Reverie' DLC released 'in error' on PSN

David Cox, producer on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, has been all over Twitter recently, responding to complaints about the DLC delay. When he was asked by one disgruntled European gamer wondering why the Xbox 360 delay was holding up the Reverie DLC on PS3 in his region, Cox revealed that the initial DLC launch on PSN was "put up there in error." In other words, Reverie wasn't meant to be released on PS3 in North America (whoops!).

Cox also said that it's "too late to take it down" meaning that presumably whatever bug is keeping it from a larger release isn't catastrophic enough to require it be pulled from Sony's service. Currently the DLC is still available on the US PlayStation Store for $9.99.

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