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Dust 514

When you’re doing something as revolutionary as CCP is with Dust 514, it can be easy to focus on the bigger aspects and forget about the basic gameplay mechanics that make modern shooters as popular as they are, but, thankfully, through the help of a year-long closed Beta, Dust 514 is continually getting closer to the standards set out by other heavy hitters in the genre while also creating new milestones along the way.

Dust 514 isn’t meant to be just another shooter, but rather, it takes a stance against stagnant innovation by turning the console shooter market on its head with a free-to-play, massively-multiplayer, first-person shooter available to anyone who has a PlayStation 3. That’s huge.

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Flashback Due For An HD Remake In Flashback Origins?

Brace yourselves, cyberpunk fans. Flashback, the badass adventure game platformer from 1992, may be getting the HD remake treatment in something called Flashback Origins. The news comes from French site Gamalive (via Eurogamer), which claims that creator Paul Cuisset and his studio, VectorCell, is developing, with Ubisoft publishing.

Ubisoft has yet to confirm anything, but the teaser image above should certainly look familiar to fans of the original. The fact that Cuisset and VectorCell are handling development is a little bit alarming give the disaster that was 2012's Amy, but lessons can be learned. Besides, who knows Flashback better than its creator?

Assuming the report is accurate, it's looking like the plan is to release Flashback Origins sometime in 2013 for download on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Steam.




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Injustice: Gods Among Us "The Line" Story Trailer »


The latest trailer for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Netherrealm Studios' DC Comics fighter, Injustice: Gods Among Us, is all about the story (via All Games Beta). Or, perhaps, stories. It looks like there's quite a bit going on in this two-minute clip, titled "The Line."

There's some cool stuff happening here even if you're not versed in your DC lore. The trailer is light on gameplay and heavy on cinematics, but you can get from it a sense of the conflict that drives these various heroes and villains to trade punches in various environments.

Fans of DC lore will no doubt see things here that my untrained eyes aren't catching; let us know what stands out to you in the comments!

TGS 09: Grasshopper Manufactre Studio Tour Photo Gallery

Here's a bit of games biz news out of Japan: Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio founded and overseen by No More Heroes creator Goichi "Suda51" Suda, is now the property of GungHo Online Entertainment. Grasshopper's currently in-development projects, including the recently discussed Killer Is Dead, are unaffected by the deal, and the studio will continue to operate under the same name as before.

GungHo is probably best known for its Ragnarok Online MMO (and the Ragnarok series), though you may have seen the company mentioned more recently, following the 2012 release of the PS Vita puzzler, Dokuro. The good news for Grasshopper is that the new owner brings more financial support and an outside set of eyes that will hopefully help keep projects on track with minimal undue interference.

Congrats to Suda51 and the entire Grasshopper family.

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Black Ops 2

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 launched with built-in YouTube streaming support, and now Twitch.tv is getting in on the fun as well. A morning announcement reveals the new partnership between Activision and Twitch, with streaming support for multiplayer games, player webcams, and audio commentary coming to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC versions of the game (no Wii U, sadly).

It's not clear in the press release exactly when the new feature goes live, but the wording certainly makes it sound like the switch will be flipped soon. Those who wish to stream will need an active Twitch account of course; having a presence on Facebook and Twitter helps as well, as the feature will automatically update your feeds whenever you're streaming, provided of course that you allow it to.

 

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Ubisoft's 'Osiris' Trailer (rough cut-demo) by All-Games-Beta

Ubisoft Montreal is working on something called Osiris that appears to be set in ancient Egypt. A leaked behind-the-scenes trailer (via All Games Beta) shows off some mo-cap work and flashes of concept art for the game, including looks at a pharaoh with arms outstretched and a plague of locusts.

Osiris is the ancient Egyptian god of the dead, though not so much in a Grim Reaper sort of way. It was believed that he presided over the afterlife, judging and granting entry to the dead and giving new life to things that grow in the ground.

This could well be the game that was originally pegged as the next Prince of Persia after a screenshot leaked in 2012. In somewhat related news, Ubi Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat recently said that "Prince of Persia is being paused" in an interview with IGN. The publisher has a lot of big franchises to juggle at the moment, and Mallat throws out a vague hint when he says "we'll find something to entertain them in the future." Could Osiris be what (or one of the things) he's referring to?




The multiplayer beta for Crysis 3 launches today on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, and Crytek has a tutorial video that explains how it all works. It's an open beta, so all are welcome; the event will run from January 29 through February 12, 2013, ending a week before the game's February 19 release.

The Crysis 3 beta gives players the opportunity to sample two of the game's eight online modes, Crash Site and Hunter. Crash Site is a 6v6 point capture mode in which every carries the same equipment but defending teams get to grab a shield. Hunter is a variant on infected/zombie modes, with a pair of Nanosuit-equipped Hunters chipping away at a larger team of C.E.L.L. Operatives while each downed C.E.L.L. respawns as a Hunter.

For more on these two modes, check out our Crysis 3 multiplayer hands-on.





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Mass Effect 3 DLC Teased In Screens

BioWare seems to be hinting that fans have more Mass Effect 3 DLC to look forward to. Executive producer Casey Hudson and producer Michael Gamble took to Twitter yesterday (via Joystiq) to post a pair of new images clearly marked with the game's logo and some appropriately cryptic comments that reveal nothing but suggest much (second image posted after the jump).

The last Mass Effect 3 DLC, Omega, was released in late-November 2012. Not long after the story DLC's release, a BioWare forum post from designer Jos Hendriks (via Eurogamer) confirmed that "it's all hands on deck" for the Omega follow-up, with the full writing team of eight collaborating on something. Presumably a larger something than previous Mass Effect 3 DLC releases have offered.

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What is Game Day 2013? That's what Sony wants you to ponder as you watch the above 16 seconds of... something. The clip was posted on the official PlayStation YouTube account yesterday with no supporting info. All we have to go on is a date at the end of the clip, February 1, 2013. Otherwise known as "this Friday."

The safe bet seems to be that this is a God of War-related announcement, based largely on the woman in the clip's Greek-ish dress and the ash that starts to swirl around her toward the end. Why the secrecy though? It's not like you don't know that God of War: Ascension is coming in March. And what does "Game Day 2013" mean? All will be revealed soon enough.

Nintendo Explains Two Weeks Of No Virtual Console, Points To Other Services

Virtual Console game saves on your Wii won't be able to transfer over to Wii U Virtual Console ports of the same game, Nintendo confirms (via Kotaku). Company boss Satoru Iwata revealed the first details of the Wii U's Virtual Console plans during the latest Nintendo Direct video stream, and he made a point of mentioning even that the Wii U releases have been developed separately, due to the unique capabilities of the new console.

Games purchased and downloaded onto your Wii can still be played on Wii U by transferring that data over to the new console. Such content can only be accessed from the Wii U's Wii Menu, which is basically a separate OS for the older console built accessible right from the Wii U's main menu.

Once the Virtual Console launches on Wii U in spring 2013, you'll also have the option of re-buying previously purchased NES and SNES games at a reduced price ($1 and $1.50, respectively).Old saves won't carry over, but Wii U VC titles will be accessible from the console's main menu and also offer new features like restore points and second screen play.

Tags: Videogames, Wii, Wii U

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Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here are our five favorite games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK
RAVENSWORD: SHADOWLANDS
iOS ($6.99)

Ravensword: Shadowlands is the highly anticipated sequel to Ravensword: Aralon, and even though we thought that one couldn’t get any better, Ravensword 2 has met all our lofty expectations and then some, offering an expansive world filled with magic, adventure, and lore. Tyreas is under siege after a war against the dark elves goes wrong, and it’s your destiny to seek the three Ravenstones that will provide passage to the Shadowlands, where you’ll confront the demon trying to rip the world asunder.

If you’ve been looking for the equivalent of Skyrim on your iOS device, Shadowlands is the closest you’re gonna get, with jaw-dropping environments, open-world exploration options, and loads of quests and combat to slake your RPG lust. There’s even the requisite character customization at the game’s outset and the ability to purchase and furnish houses. Both options are pretty impressive, especially for a mobile title.

The controls, combat, and leveling mechanics smoothly propel the game forward, and the storyline is engaging (albeit a bit recycled from standard fantasy tropes). The talent system is well balanced, and we love that it lets us mold characters to our desires instead of forcing us into one particular skillset. Ravensword: Shadowlands is a stellar iOS game and sets the bar for mobile RPGs delightfully high. 

--Read More-

UNDERGROUND KINGDOM
iPad ($2.99)

As kids, we were obsessed with Choose Your Own Adventure books, so we're thrilled that after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Underground Kingdom has gone live on the App Store. It’s an interactive storybook that brings the CYA series into the digital age, with the original author of the series, Edward Packard, on board and providing his favorite stories to Visual Baker Studios for translation into interactive Gamebooks.

Underground Kingdom revolves around a deep crevasse in Greenland, where it's rumored that a black hole at the center of the earth is potentially a portal into a vast, strange world inside our planet. It’s up to you to navigate the book and choose wisely during your travels. This interactive book is a brilliant re-imagining of the original series, and we're hoping to see more Gamebook releases as time goes on.

Full disclosure: The writer of this article was totally a Kickstarter backer of Underground Kingdom, because CYA books wrote much of her youth.

WIDE SKY
iPhone ($0.99)

Wow, Wide Sky is a weird game. Created by one man, Marcus Eckert, Wide Sky delves into the strange world of laboratory testing, ropes, and hedgehogs. According to the game, hedgehogs “have wicked souls and need guidance,” and you’ll help occupy them with rope training and swinging from the clouds. Like we said, weird. But also oddly awesome in its own way.

Obviously, you can’t just swing around for no reason, so Wide Sky adds in a collecting element via orbs in the sky. Breaking them and grabbing the shards is the name of the game, and you’ll have a set time in which to do it for each level. There are a variety of ropes (some with special powers to activate in-game) that provide unique challenges while you play, and though it all sounds bizarre, Wide Sky comes together in a very charming way, making it a worthy title for your iPhone or iPod.

WAVE TRIP
iOS ($1.99)

Wave Trip is a musical game unlike most we’ve ever played on iOS. And it’s hard. We’ll explain that in a bit, but before that, you should probably know what Wave Trip is all about. This is a little side-scrolling game where you’ll control a ship, collect stuff, and avoid hazards. Normally, this would seem pretty status quo, but when you mix in a song that unfolds as you collect coins and other objects, it takes the game into a cool, abstract place we’re really into.

It’s a pretty fun concept, and the artwork is just the right amount of abstract to match the game content. However, there is a crazy learning curve in Wave Trip, one that may frustrate newer iOS gamers and even turn off veteran players. It takes a good while to “get” the looser control scheme, but overall, it’s a solid effort that’s worth checking out, especially if you love a challenge.

SUPERSIGHT
iOS (FREE)

SuperSight Trailer from Preloaded on Vimeo.

This is a whole week of beautiful and strange games, and SuperSight continues that trend with a quirky little title that began as a flash game. You play as a warrior learning how to achieve “Clear Sight” through a series of challenges atop Mount Wrong. As you play, you’ll learn new abilities to aid in your quest for “Clear Sight” and replenish your ability pool with coins collected from beating up bad guys.

SuperSight combines a highly stylized look with a zen-inducing soundtrack, offering an interesting experience that’s neither totally relaxing nor overly adrenaline pumping. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is different. Since it’s free, we’re happy to recommend giving SuperSight a whirl. Don’t be surprised though if you don’t understand it. We’re still not sure if we do.

Ashley Esqueda is a host, cylon, and all-around mobile nerd who also works for Mobile Nations and runs an obscenity-laden tech podcast called Techfoolery. If you're playing a game you think should be in Knuckle Up, follow her on Twitter or circle her on Google+ and send it over!

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EA Sports' annual pre-Super Bowl sim is finished, and Madden NFL 13 favors the Baltimore Ravens to take down the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday in a 27-24 victory. If the Ravens win in real life, it will mark the fist time San Francisco loses in the championship game, having won in its previous five visits to the Super Bowl.

The Madden NFL series has had good success with picking winners in recent years. EA Sports' annual Super Bowl sims have been right for seven of the past nine years, with the only incorrect calls coming in 2008, when the Giants shut down the Patriots, and in 2011, when the Packers bested the Steelers. The simulations always use the most recent roster updates and depth charts for each team, with AI controlling both so player skill isn't a factor.

You can get a sense of how the simmed game went down in EA Sports' highlight reel above.


The Evolution of Gears of War From Gears of War: Judgment Comic-Con 2012 Panel

Those who pre-order Gears of War: Judgment from GameStop can look forward to some special bonuses, most notably early access to the game's new OverRun multiplayer mode. OverRun is an objective-oriented, team-based showdown between COG and Locust forces, and it best summed up for Gears-knowledgeable folk as Horde Mode-meets-Beast Mode.

The early access begins on March 15, 2013 and runs through to March 19, though you'll have to be a Power-Up Rewards member to take advantage. All GameStop customers who pre-order Judgment will also receive a Young Marcus character skin and Lambent weapon skin, in addition to the Classic Hammerburst that comes with all pre-orders, regardless of who sells it to you.

Gears of War: Judgment arrives in stores on March 19, 2013. That same day, the early access for OverRun opens up to the general public as a proper demo for the game.




BioShock Infinite "Columbia, A Modern Day Icarus?" Trailer »


Irrational Games has some more to reveal today about the floating city of Columbia, compliments of the latest trailer for BioShock Infinite. Entitled "Columbia: A Modern Day Icarus?," the two-minute clip runs through the origin of Zachary Comstock's floating city and offers an impression of how it is perceived by those who live on the ground.

There's not much in the way of gameplay to see here, as the trailer is more focused on setting up a basic level of knowledge about Columbia. Fans will have an additional opportunity to learn more about the city in the sky when the prequel novella -- BioShock Infinite: Mind in Revolt -- arrives on February 12, 2013. The game follows slightly more than a month later, on March 26.

Star Wars VII Has Its Director: J.J. Abrams!

The 2013 D.I.C.E. (Design Innovate Communicate Entertain) Summit kicks off on February 6 with Valve's Gabe Newell and recently confirmed Star Wars director J.J. Abrams handling the opening keynote duties, a press release confirms. The pair will speak on the subject of "Storytelling Across Platforms: Who Benefits Most, the Audience or the Player?"

The two guys have almost certainly worked together or at least been in contact before, with the PC version of Portal 2 having featured an interactive trailer for Abrams' then-upcoming film, Super 8. The trailer was built using the Source Engine, offering players an opportunity to explore the interior of the movie's crashing train.

Newell will take the stage at D.I.C.E. once again the following day, delivering Thursday's conference keynote covering "A View On Next Steps."

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