The Weekly Byte for 6/7/2010

New Releases

Prince Of Persia : The Forgotten Sands – 6/8, retailing at $49.99

News Bytes

  • Mass Effect Deathmatch? Apparently that’s the newest rumor.  Job listings for Bioware Montreal were looking for ‘programmers  capable of adding multiplayer components to an already rich single player base using the unreal engine’.  Of course, these postings were ripped down, the minute they made headlines, but it would seem the damage is done.  The only Bioware property to use the Unreal engine is Mass Effect, and further rumors have a captured screen of one of the ads, shown here, getting into gross detail about the requirements.  Let us know how you feel about multiplayer in the Mass Effect universe.  I, for one, think it’s completely unnecessary and will divert resources that should be focusing on the awesome single player experience that the previous games brought-but, then again, I never would have predicted some of the things Bioware has pulled off before, so I guess we will see.
  • Move over Torchlight, dungeon crawlers are crawling out of everywhere! Those of us who can’t wait for Diablo III, now have Dungeon Siege 3 to look forward to!  And it will simultaneously release on consoles?  Press releases have confirmed the sequel, designed by Obsedian with some Chris Taylor input, and a sprinkling from Square Enix.  Co-op has also been confirmed, but all other details seem to have Town Portaled back to E3 for a more spectacular reveal, so stay tuned!
  • You shall pass, without fees! It would seem that Lord of the Rings Online will follow in the footsteps of Dungeons and Dragons online, and become free to play, later this year.  Hold onto Sting and your Lembas bread, players will still have to pay to unlock the content from the expansions, and some other features.  There will be ‘VIP’ access, but those details have not been outlined yet.   If your lucky, maybe you will be able to storm Mordor in the closed Beta, venturing forth on the 16th of this month.
  • In other RPG news, Elemental : War of Magic, from Stardock, will be unleashed this September. Stardock’s Brad Wardell posted a lengthy video demoing the game’s opening dozen turns, in the beta engine.  For those unfamiliar with Elemental, think a fantasy-style Total War game with some Magic : The Gathering and Heroes Of Might and Magic elements thrown in.  The game is Stardock’s newest entry into the 4x strategy genre, and has not seen much in the way of details. The trailer is a whopping 12 and a half minutes long, but lacked the grand scale teasers that have come before, opting, instead, to show off the game’s basic mechanics and strategies. UPDATE : Release date confirmed for 8/24 2010!
  • Survival horror on Mars? That’s the feeling we have gotten from the newest Red Faction trailer, announcing the new game, Red Faction : Armaggeddon, slated for March 2011 release.  So, the game takes place about 50 years after Red Faction : Guerrilla, and you take the role of the grandson of that game’s character.  Oddly enough, aliens have now been thrown into the mix, begging the question, where were they for the last few games?  Taking a page from Aliens and Dead Space, it will be interesting to see how this new mechanic plays out, as I’m sure we can all admit some new mechanics were needed, for the franchise.  I’m sure our own, Eric Bouchard, will be able to unearth more details at this month’s E3, and let us know if he got any hands-on squashing bugs with the game’s fabled hammer!
  • Ready for some more Star Wars MMO action? No, I’m not talking about The Old Rebuplic and please don’t mention Galaxies!  The new, younger audience attracting online game is titled Clone Wars Adventures.  This fall, the free to play online game from Sony will be unleashing it’s clones on us, but don’t think typical MMO!  The game is more a collection of puzzle games, with some overarcing elements-reminding me of Puzzle Pirates, by description.  Early hands-on reports have force pushed nay-sayers aside, and reported that the minigames have tapped into the best addictive flash games and innovated them with a little Lucas magic.  Needless to say, I am intrigued, and my little clones at home will play anything emblazoned with the Star Wars logo, so you can be sure to find plenty of details here, as soon as I can get them!
  • OK, I know I’m known as the MMO hater, but I’m all about the FREE! Another, free to play online game, this time sanctioned by Bigpoint and Universal, will take place in The Mummy film universe.  Supposedly, the game will be a browser based, action RPG featuring many of the characters and environments from the film series, in your quest for ancient treasure.  Unfortunately, the only details we have are speculation, but it will be interesting to see if this trend continues as well as to see how well this particular title will turn out.
  • Last, but not least, some bittersweet Aperture Labs news. Yes, I know, this story already opened up on our own, ‘Daily Bits’ segment, but it bears repeating for PC fans.  In an oddly worded press release, from Aperture Labs, Valve canceled it’s ‘Portal 2’ event at E3, but said that there would be a surprise-the time and details of which would not be released until it was time for the surprise.  Also, to clear up any accusations, the memo also stated that the cancellation was NOT the surprise in question.  I think we will see that Eric Bouchard’s prediction of Portal 2 releasing with an Orange Box type bundle successor are coming to fruition, but I, admittedly, am not sure what to expect in it!  I think, if a Half-Life game is in the works, Valve will skip Episode 3 and just launch right into the next full game-especially if we are to believe the changes teased in the way of bringing back proper scary games.  I would have to think that a worthy Team Fortress 2 replacement would be in one such collection, but who knows if it’s Counter-Strike related, or a new property.  I can’t imagine Team Fortress 2 needs any work or new iterations right now, it is standing well enough on it’s own feet. Stick around for the emerging details from E3!

Geared Up

Geared Up is taking a hiatus this week, it was a full news week, and we are awaiting some of the E3 goodness heading our way.  In the meantime, if you have any entries, send them to me over at chris@everydaygamers.com!

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