This week's PlayStation Store update brings the release of Techland's first-person shooter Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, along with an upgraded, HD version of Insomniac Games' PlayStation 2 platformer Ratchet: Deadlocked.
PS Vita owners can opt for the budget-priced janitor sim Men's Room Mayhem or the Cross-Buy enabled tower defense game Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault, which includes a free copy of the PlayStation 3 version with purchase. Reminder: Ratchet: Deadlocked is available as a free download for players who purchased the retail PlayStation 3 version of Full Frontal Assault.
Pinball Arcade and Germinator headline this week's PlayStation Plus update, and subscribers also have access to discounts for ten DLC-bundled Ultimate Edition titles.
The full list of this week's store additions is available on the PlayStation Blog.
Microsoft today announced the next generation of Xbox technology, called the Xbox One. Sony previously announced the PlayStation 4 back on February 20, so we now have a full look at just what both next-generation HD boxes will contain.
After the break, we've assembled a chart comparing the two consoles and their various components. The two machines are surprisingly similar, with both using an eight core CPU, the same amount of RAM, and both containing a combo Blu-Ray and DVD drive. But there are some major differences, too: Microsoft has created its own chip for the Xbox One, and the PlayStation 4 controller contains that share button and the clickable touchpad. Prices for both units haven't been announced yet, but both will be available later on this year.
The next-generation engine debuted in Call of Duty: Ghosts will not only power the franchise's signature 60 frames-per-second gameplay, but a more coherent experience overall. According to Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin, Ghosts will stick with the same protagonist and squad of soldiers throughout the game.
"If you look at Call of Duty in general, you're on the high-tech, super-powered forces. You're America, you're strong, you're Britain, Germany," Rubin told Joystiq at a recent press event in Los Angeles. "It just felt like, what if we could reverse those roles a bit, what if we had America as the underdog and not the superpower? What if we had some other countries as the big superpower and we're fighting against this more technologically superior force. And so that is really where we got: now we've got this technologically superior super force, they devastate the western world, the US, with a weapon of mass destruction of some kind - I'm not going to go into that, it will come later, and what we did is we had that event start the game, but the story picks up ten to fifteen years later and you as a soldier grew up in this new changed world."
That soldier will be a focal point for the game, Rubin said, and won't contribute to the fractured, multi-perspective narratives for which the series has drawn ire in the past. "It's not like before where you have these multiple sides and trot around. You're pretty much the same person throughout."
You'll also be accompanied by a Navy SEAL dog (not to be confused with a Moreau-style seal-dog), which can sniff out dangers and aid the team in several ways as a companion AI of sorts. As you might expect from a production of Ghosts' caliber, Infinity Ward did full motion capture on a retired SEAL dog.
The latest Call of Duty, dubbed Ghosts, has drafted Syriana and Traffic writer Stephen Gaghan to provide its fiction.
Games don't get more Hollywood than Call of Duty, and Activision has shown little hesitance in acquiring composers and writers from the silver screen to aid in its ever bigger and brasher efforts. Gaghan's work on Traffic, a dour crime drama, and political thriller Syriana made him a standout candidate for Ghosts. The game follows the remainder of the US military in a world scarred by a weapon of mass destruction.
According to developer Infinity Ward, Gaghan didn't swoop in and drop off a script - he requested an office, and worked from one amidst the game's single-player team all throughout the game's production. That's a sterling gesture, but I asked Call of Duty: Ghosts executive producer Mark Rubin to explain why Gaghan was deemed suitable to write for players, not viewers.
"Basically, we looked at his work - he's a great writer, no doubt about it and that's fine, there are probably lots of great writers out there," Rubin said. "So what we did is we actually got the chance to talk to him a long time before we decided to go forward with it. And we realized he was getting it. We've had writers before, and they know how to write, but they don't understand the game aspect of it.
"And I feel like with Gaghan, he really understood what we were trying to do. He asked more questions than try to sell himself, and that was, I think, a really big selling point. He was asking how things work and how we do things, and was really interested in how we craft the story, not from a writing standpoint but from the visuals and gameplay. He was really asking more questions. Although he was a gamer - he knew it from that side - he didn't know it from the dev side. He really was asking a lot of questions about the dev side, he really wanted to know more. I think that interest in what we were doing is really what drove us to him."
The Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl is now available as a playable fighter in Injustice: Gods Among Us, provided you're willing to pony up the $4.99/400 MS Points required to download her; however, Season pass holder have already paid their dues. As we've seen previously, Batgirl's fighting style is a mixture of zoning capabilities and rushdown, rather than a carbon copy of Batman or Nightwing.
Two new costume packs are also available: The Red Son pack, which we've discussed at length, and the Killing Joke pack, which features new costumes from ol' Joker's finest hour. Both are available for $2.99/240 MS Points.
Starting tomorrow, PlayStation Plus members in North America can download FarSight's Cross-Buy pinball sim Pinball Arcade and Creat Studios' PS Vita puzzler Germinator free of charge.
Pinball Arcade, regularly priced at $10, features the classic tables Tales of the Arabian Nights, Ripley's Believe It or Not, Theatre of Magic, and Black Hole. PlayStation Plus members will have access to both the PlayStation 3 and Vita versions of the core four-table download, and 24 additional machines are available as paid DLC.
Vita owners also receive free access to Germinator, which originally premiered in March at $10. Similar in premise to Taito's bubble-bursting puzzler Puzzle Bobble, Germinator challenges players to match like-colored germs, causing them to grow and eventually explode in a gooey mess.
Member-exclusive discounted items for this week include Metro: Last Light's season pass, the newly released Vita janitor sim Men's Room Mayhem, and Capcom's Darkstalkers Resurrection and Super Puzzle Fighter 2, along with a collection of DLC-bundled Ultimate Editions.
A leaked pre-order image tipped us off yesterday and the press release past the break confirms it: Deathstroke is a playable character in Batman Arkham Origins. He'll be unlocked in the game's challenge mode, and all who plunk down cash early will enjoy some exclusive maps and character skins associated with him.
Deathstroke is seemingly a leading man in the video game world now, with Batman: Arkham Origins his second role of the year after Injustice: Gods Among Us in April. His real name is Slade Wilson, a mercenary and assassin created by teenage cartoonist Gary Wilson in 1980.
The 3DS is no graphical slouch. Aside from the glasses-free 3D feature, the system can kick out some impressive scenery, and it did so with last year's Resident Evil Revelations, a well-made little horror shooter in a series that's been looking for a lifeboat lately. After launching Resident Evil 6 fewer than six months ago, Capcom seems to think HD platforms need even more Resident Evil love, and so this week Revelations hits Xbox 360, PS3, Windows PCs, and the Wii U.
Playing it in enhanced form on an HD console, however, feels just a little goofy. The textures do look excellent, but the game's models are clearly made for a more lightweight graphics engine, which means you get characters with hair frozen in place and enemies with just a few animations to use over and over again. Revelations was made for a handheld machine, and its designers cut corners that the other platforms would have let them curve around more gracefully.
But Revelations' saving grace is that it's a Resident Evil game, and it's a good Resident Evil game at that. For that reason, fans of the series who missed out the first time around will probably appreciate the chance to see it for themselves.
EA Sports won't just show off next-gen FIFA tomorrow at Microsoft's Xbox reveal, but is also planning on punching out some details about its UFC game, which is not scheduled for release this year (as far as we know).
It may not be the timeliest response, but Denis Dyack is speaking out against allegations that the very poorly received X-Men: Destiny was the result of catastrophic mismanagement on the part of developer Silicon Knights. Dyack recently left his role as the head of Silicon Knights to join Precursor games, developer of the coming Eternal Darkness spiritual successor, Shadow of the Eternals. As Precursor is seeking crowdfunding for the project, and Dyack is serving as its chief creative officer, it seems the company believes he has some 'splaining to do.
The allegations sprung from a Kotaku article penned by freelance writer Andrew McMillen last October. In a 30-minute YouTube response, Dyack categorically denies statements made in the article, saying that "there isn't any hard evidence whatsoever besides non-credible anonymous sources." Dyack added that Silicon Knights refused to submit any comments for the article in question, as it would have appeared to lend credence to what he sees as untrue allegations.
Dyack then reads a letter he alleges was written by McMillen to an anonymous source. The letter states that McMillen's article was initially refused by Wired games editor Chris Kohler, who cited a lack of facts and documentation, apart from the comments from anonymous ex-employees. Dyack goes on to say that "not only did Silicon Knights not divert funds from X-Men: Destiny to our other projects, which I can't talk about, we actually put more money into X-Men: Destiny than what we were paid." Dyack says he and Silicon Knights worked with Activision and Marvel to make Destiny as good as it could be and, while he's sorry for how it turned out, he says, "We put nothing but our best efforts" into the game.
Dyack also admitted to saying some things he "shouldn't have said in the press" regarding X-Men Destiny, adding, "I've learned my lesson." The same mistakes won't be made again, he says. The video goes on to address other concerns, such as Silicon Knights' relationship with Nintendo, and Dyack has also posted a litany of related references on Precursor's forums.
North American retailers GameStop and Amazon are offering up their own pre-order incentives for Watch Dogs, Ubisoft announced today.
Those who commit early through GameStop will receive an additional single-player mission, with a perk that unlocks "exclusive investigation opportunities inside of the network" and bonus cash when hacking into bank accounts, plus an exclusive poster designed by Alex Ross. Amazon pre-orders also get an exclusive mission that, upon completion, unlocks a special biometric assault rifle and an outfit.
Watch Dogs launches on the Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii U on November 19. A port is also planned for next-generation consoles.
EA Sports lifted the curtains today on one of its core additions to Madden 25 this year, Connected Franchise owners mode. In it, players take on the role of team owner, setting prices for tickets and concessions as well as having the option to relocate teams to both domestic and international cities. Owners also handle the hiring of team personnel, such as scouts, trainers and coaches, and they answer questions from the media. Players will manage stadium upgrades and market their superstar athletes so fans will buy their jerseys, increasing their teams' yearly profit.
The options to import draft classes from EA's NCAA Football series and take control of all 32 teams in the Connected Careers mode were woefully absent from last year's game, but will return to Madden 25. Additionally, the game's primary career mode will receive a face-lift thanks to an improved user interface that includes a transaction log to follow the movement of players from team to team. The mode's UI includes a new Trade Center, allowing users to see what other teams are offering for players and draft picks so they can top their opponents' bids.
Lastly, Madden 25 will feature more media personalities for the career mode's in-game Twitter feed, such as ESPN fantasy analyst Matthew Berry and Fox Sports NFL writer Peter Schrager. It will also receive new legendary players and coaches, including Mike Ditka and William "The Refrigerator" Perry.
The latest round of PS3 Ultimate Edition bundles sure is decadent, offering 10 games and all of their DLCs discounted up to 65 percent for standard PSN members, and 75 percent for PS Plus members. The Ultimate Editions hit the PS Store tomorrow, May 21, and the sale lasts until May 27.
The new Ultimate Editions are Assassin's Creed 3, Batman: Arkham City, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, DMC: Devil May Cry, Far Cry 3, Max Payne 3, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Persona 4 Arena, Starhawk and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.
Once the launch sale ends, each Ultimate Edition will still be available on for up to 40 percent off the standard game-and-DLC price, under the Ultimate Edition tab on the PS Store.
Resident Evil: Revelations launches this week and Capcom has promised some DLC. It starts on June 4 with the Resistance and Enhancement sets for 160 MS Points ($2), each including six different weapon upgrades. Then, on June 11, Capcom will issue two additional characters for use in Raid mode: Rachel Ooze and Lady Hunk. Each character costs 240 MS Points ($3).
Resident Evil: Revelations is a remake of the 3DS game bearing the same name launched by Capcom in early 2012. Bridging the story between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, Revelations follows series regulars Jill and Chris, and takes place aboard a derelict cruise liner called the SS Queen Zenobia. A free demo has been available to all on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U and Steam since last week.
Ubisoft has released a new trailer for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist, showcasing gameplay from its co-op narrative campaign and some gruff banter between Sam Fisher and his partner-in-stealth Isaac Briggs.
Splinter Cell is beefing up its multiplayer offerings for the latest series entry, as Blacklist will feature both a two-player co-op campaign and the returning Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer mode. We had a chat with Blacklist's lead co-op designer Richard Carrillo earlier this month, in which he confirmed that teammates will need to adapt to multiple playstyles in order to survive.
Blacklist's co-op element spans four mission types and 14 maps, and is playable online and in local split-screen. Splinter Cell: Blacklist is set to launch for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC platforms on August 20.
Warner Bros. revealed Batman: Arkham Origins is fronted by two of gaming's most prominent voice actors. Roger Craig Smith is confirmed as the caped crusader, and Troy Baker is his nemesis, the Joker.
If you don't recognize the names, you'll definitely recognize their previous work. Craig Smith's immense portfolio includes Ezio Auditore from Assassin's Creed, Chris Redfield from Resident Evil, and he's the current voice of Sonic. While he's never starred in anything Batman related, he does have superhero experience. It is for the other side, however; he's played Captain America in both games and animations.
Baker is similarly prolific. While he recently graced our screens as Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite, his past work includes Sgt. Matt Baker in Gearbox's Brothers in Arms, Snow from the Final Fantasy 13 line, Kai Leng from Mass Effect 3, and Vincent from Catherine. When we profiled Baker around this time last year, he shared his love for all things Batman on the back of starring in Arkham City.
"Being a part of Arkham City was just incredible - because I'm a huge Batman fan," Baker told us, "And to play Two-Face and Robin after growing up watching The Animated Series was a banner moment for me."
The news follows apparent confirmation long-time Batman vocalist Kevin Conroy does starin Origins, but how he features remains to be seen. We know Origins deals with Batman's "initiation into that insane world" of the other Arkham games, so perhaps Conroy's role is something retrospective. Even if Conroy doesn't play the dark knight in any sense in Origins, to fans he's still the goddamn Batman.
Bat-click here to check out our preview and the new trailer.
Batman: Arkham Origins follows the world's most enduring vigilante after just two years on the job. The developers at Warner Bros. Montreal, taking over from Rocksteady Studios and their critically acclaimed construction of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, want to convey a "rawer, scarier Batman." He's all growl and grimace in the cutscenes, dangling squirming henchmen from clock towers until they turn verbose, but in play his rookie temper is more difficult to detect.
The prequel is a tricky proposition, especially when it concerns history that's been dissected again and again across comics, movies and games. It's harder to conjure narrative tension while it's colored by the inevitable outcome, and that draws greater scrutiny on mechanical expansion and refinement. Why does this younger Batman make for a better Batman game?
The Last of Us puts the fun in fungicidal funerals through the use of its weapon and supply crafting systems. This developer diary covers how the items that create offensive molotov cocktails can also be used to make med kits. There's also highfalutin words like "negative space."
It's another familiar week of UK cha-... oh wait, it isn't.
After Dead Island: Riptide sliced through its competition for three weeks, this time it's dethroned by another follow-up in the form of Metro: Last Light. By debuting in top spot, it does what Metro 2033 failed to do when it placed fifth in 2010.
Chart-Track says Metro 2033 sold stronger than Last Light in its launch week. Back then, Metro 2033 was fighting March megatons like Final Fantasy 13, God of War 3, and Battlefield Bad Company 2. In contrast, May 2013 has been dead quiet - emphasis on dead.
Having said that, this week sees another new release in the top ten via Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. The spinoff charts fourth this week. We expect the next 3DS Poke-game to do slightly better.
In other movers and shakers, Last Light only nudged Riptide into second place, making this week a 1-2 for Deep Silver and Koch Media. Tomb Raider drops out of the top five for the first time in its 11th week, slipping down to sixth. Meanwhile, Injustice: Gods Among Us and The Walking Dead (packaged retail edition) shuffle into eighth and seventh.
A Batman: Arkham Origins pre-order image on Amazon offers Deathstroke as a playable character via DLC. Check it out in a rolling image header here.
Batman and Deathstroke went head-to-head in last week's teaser video, but there was no word on how the striker of mortality would be incorporated into Arkham Origins. This could be a Catwoman in Arkham City situation, where she got an entire spin-off campaign, or it might be something entirely new.
This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity.
I had my World of Warcraft year. In 2007, when 'The Burning Crusade' came out, the game clicked with me and it became almost the only thing I played for months on end, to the point where I started raiding with an up-and-coming guild. I know many other people who've had that year, with WoW or some other massively multiplayer game, before they lost interest, burnt out, or continued out of habit more than joy. In the last year or so, I've tried several massively-multiplayer role-playing games - Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, The Secret World - and couldn't find that magic again. I could admire the design, but quickly lost interest in playing them. I was starting to think I'd never really like a massively multiplayer game again - and then, on a whim, I decided to check out Defiance.
Defiance is the main game I've been playing for two weeks now, and this may continue. It's not that it's less flawed than the other MMORPGs, but instead that the parts of the game that it focuses on hold much more appeal to me. To put it another way: Most games within this genre are focused on combat, and Defiance's combat is significantly more fun for me than its competitors'.
Update: Kevin Conroy will be in Arkham Origins, but not as Batman, despite his storied career with that character. Arkham Origins stars Roger Craig Smith as Batman and Troy Baker as the Joker, Warner Bros. announced on May 20.
Original story: Kevin Conroy will be in Batman: Arkham Origins, and he's already spent 10 months in the studio recording those gruff-yet-dulcet tones. Conroy confirmed his involvement at Dallas Comic-Con, but didn't specify if he plays The Bat himself - not that he has to. He opened the panel with, "I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman." Because, you know, he is.
NAG magazine reported in April that Warner Bros. had passed on Conroy for Arkham Origins.
Conroy voiced Batman in both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, and he was the man behind Bruce Wayne in Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Beyond and subsequent DC universe cartoon spin-offs. Arkham Origins is scheduled to launch on October 25 for Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii U.
Today's Gold Box deal of the day on Amazon is BioShock Infinite. Downloadable PC versions of the game are $25 off ($35), whereas boxed copies of the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are $20 off ($40) for today only.
Meanwhile, $35 Steam codes through Groupon for the game appear to still be available until the end of the day. What we're trying to say is, today might be a good day to buy a new game.
This video for Madden 25 shows a sizzle reel of defensive features while San Francisco 49ers linebacker Navorro Bowman discusses tactics for tackling players in the NFL. The game will see some under-the-hood changes, including Infinity Engine improvements and the addition of heat-seeker tackling.
The upcoming console/PC iteration of Resident Evil: Revelations will include a trio of confusing new costumes for Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield and Keith Lumley, Capcom has announced. As can be seen in the gallery, Jill and Chris both sport equally leggy nautical-themed outfits, while Keith channels his inner One Piece character as a shirtless sword-guy in hammer pants.
Costumes are unlocked by playing through the game's Campaign and Raid modes, in addition to "other unlocking mechanisms" that Capcom is keeping a secret. We're just hoping Capcom eventually rides this train of thought all the way to its logical extreme: Pretty Soldier Sailor Claire Redfield.
Full Frontal Assault was originally released as a retail and downloadable PlayStation 3 title back in November, boasting cross-play features with a Vita edition that was subsequently hit with a series of delays. Buyers of the retail version of Full Frontal Assault - and its renamed European counterpart Ratchet & Clank: QForce - will be able to download the Vita edition for free starting May 21 in North America and May 22 in Europe by accessing the game's "Disc Benefits" option.
Those who purchased Full Frontal Assault's retail edition will also receive an additional bonus after redeeming the PS Vita version when it launches next week. Ratchet Deadlocked HD, an Idol Minds-developed PlayStation 3 port of the fourth PS2 entry in the Ratchet & Clank series, will be available as a free download for Full Frontal Assault buyers when it launches in the PlayStation Store.
A release date for Deadlocked HD (also known as Ratchet: Gladiator in Europe) has not been announced.
Join Joystiq in the streets of Neo-Paris and the intricate pathways of the mind in this Remember Me video preview. Dontnod's memory-focused action game features strategic battle jeans, "remembrane buoys" and even more dubiously named plot devices, if you can believe it.
Remember Me launches for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on June 4.
Kevin Flynn, who's worked for the last two years as a senior product manager for EA's UK arm, has left to join Activision's UK side as a senior brand manager on Call of Duty. Flynn's previous efforts for EA include launching Battlefield 3 and its subsequent Premium DLC campaigns in the region.
Flynn enlisted with the Call of Dutysquad this month, which we imagine must be the busiest time to sign on for an Activision paycheck. With Call of Duty: Ghosts launching on November 5 and next week's next-generation engine reveal during the Xbox event on May 21, we just hope Mr. Flynn is finding adequate time for his lunch break every day. A hungry worker is not a happy worker!
Originally scheduled for June, Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection will arrive via cardboard boxes to North and South America on July 9, publisher Konami announced this afternoon. The PlayStation 3 exclusive bundle includes Metal Gear Solids (or Metal Gears Solid?) 1-4, Peace Walker and VR Missions. The package is priced at $49.99.
The bundle also includes two Ashley Wood "digital graphic novels" and the 100-page art book featuring the series' marketing art over the past 25 years. The Legacy Collection was previously dated July 11 for Japan, and it appears to include the same items now announced for the Americas.
The results are in, and fans have voted to make Beowolf the fourth new character in Lab Zero Games' little fighter that could, Skullgirls. An ex pro wrestler, Beowolf and his trusty folding chair (named The Hurting, naturally) have come out of retirement in order to test the true limits of his strength. Being a wrestler and everything, Beowolf's playstyle has been influence by Street Fighter's Rainbow Mika and El Fuerte, as well as Tekken's King.
Beowolf is the fourth new character to be funded by Lab Zero's wildly successful Indiegogo campaign, which raised over $800,000 for DLC production back in March. Three other characters, Eliza, Squigly and Big Band, are also currently in development. Squigly is expected to be the first released, dropping alongside the PC version of the game sometime this summer.
The Last of Us launches on June 14, simultaneously on Blu-ray and as a download through PSN. Those who choose the latter route on PS3 will find the game playable once the download has reached 50 percent, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann has told Game Informer.
It's our first taste of PS4-esque functionality, just on the PS3 - as you'll recall, one of the major features touted by Sony is the ability to play games as they're downloaded. This is accomplished on the PS4 through the use of hardware dedicated to background downloading and processing.
Update: This is in regards to the PS3. We've added more clear language to that effect.
Since Madden NFL 25skipped 12 years is named to commemorate the series' 25th anniversary, it shouldn't be surprising that EA Sports recently unveiled a special Anniversary Edition. What is a little surprising are the contents of the special edition, which includes a free one-year subscription for DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket service, allowing fans to watch every out-of-market NFL game throughout the season.
EA Sports tells us that the subscription is limited to the NFL Sunday Ticket computer, tablet and mobile service. Additionally, those who are able to receive DirecTV service in their area can get $10 off per month for the service, which starts at $225, as well as a free subscription to the higher-tier NFL Sunday Ticket MAX.
The Anniversary Edition of Madden 25 is exclusive to Amazon, and limited to 50,000 copies on each of the game's platforms, Xbox 360 and PS3 (100,000 copies total). It will also include complimentary Madden Ultimate Team card packs every week of the NFL's 17-week regular season. Madden 25's Anniversary Edition is available to pre-order now on Amazon for $99.99.
The former Sony Liverpool devs at Sawfly Studios are bringing Men's Room Mayhem to Vita next week, via PSN. It should arrive on May 21 in North America, although as always with news revealed by the PlayStation Blogcast, dates can be subject to change.
If you're curious about the curiously named game, Phil Gaskell from publisher Ripstone describes it as "Flight Control meets Carry on at Your Convenience." - No, it's not the flight paths of... that stuff, but about getting patrons to where they need to go.
"In Men's Room Mayhem you're hired as the janitor of your very own chaotic men's room," said Gaskell on the PlayStation Blog. "You're responsible for directing patrons, keeping everywhere sparkling clean and steering patrons away from trouble! You need to get your customers safely to the urinals and cubicles in time - otherwise there'll be a few nasty accidents for you to clean up!"
The Blogcast also outed a wee (ahem) bit of other content in next week's PS Store update. A "smattering of DLC" is coming to Aliens: Colonial Marines, although the podcast wasn't any more specific than that. A digital PS3 version of Mugen Souls is also due.
In what appears to be a modern take on late-80s arcade game Narc, Deep Silver's Narco Terror is a twin-stick blast-everything shooter of one man (or two in local or online co-op) versus the cartels. The game is listed for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
When "survival" is trotted out as a game genre, it usually comes with implicit caveats. Developers often seem scared of the player, fearful of the controller-crushing outrage that surely results when a game constricts resources, punishes careless actions and dares to craft a deliberately unpleasant experience.
The Last of Us is a crafty, tense experience in which my attempts to attack bandits and disfigured creatures head-on usually resulted in a gruesome death. Upon starting a two-level demonstration of the game, I only had two bullets in my pistol - missing a headshot felt like a catastrophe. Surprise and caution enable success, just as cynical protagonist Joel constantly tells Ellie, a young girl who hasn't yet been turned dour by the terrible state of the world.
To grasp what's most important in The Last of Us, and what it might deem valuable in comparison to other games that blend stealth, scavenging and shooting, I asked Naughty Dog designer Ricky Cambier for some general survival strategies.
John Hight, who serves as Production Director on Diablo 3, says the most exciting thing about the PS4, in Blizzard's eyes, is the controller. "This is not a mouse, this is something different for us," Blizzard Senior System Designer Jason Bender says of the DualShock 4. "Working on a console version of Diablo 3, for us that means the controller is king," Lead Console Designer Josh Mosqueira adds.
The use of both analog sticks comes from a perceived player expectation on Blizzard's part - players will just expect to be able to do that with a console controller, Mosqueira says. The console versions of Diablo 3 on PS3 and PS4 will feature an evasion roll technique not available on PC.
The trackpad is demonstrated in the video above, sorting through a player's inventory in the new radial-style interface. "We really built our inventory screens and the UI system from the ground up," says Mosqueira. Another new ability is quick equip - at any time, players can press up on the dpad to cycle through the last few acquired items and equip any of them.
Foosball 2012 and One Epic Game developer Grip Games announced the upcoming PlayStation Network release of Atomic Ninjas, a multiplayer action game for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita.
Atomic Ninjas is a competitive 2.5D platformer in which up to four players compete in trap-filled arenas to be the last ninja standing. The twist is that players aren't able to harm each other directly; instead, you'll need to make clever use of environmental hazards, hiding spots, and item pick-ups in order to lead competing players to their doom. The game offers seven arenas and multiple gameplay modes, including a selection of team-based competitions.
Creator Grip Games describes Atomic Ninjas as the theoretical love child of Fat Princess and Crash Commando -- a worrisome mental image, for sure, but potentially a worthwhile gameplay mix. Atomic Ninjas is set to launch this summer.