Thursday, February 28, 2013

Xbox Live Ultimate Game Sale: Day #3

The Ultimate Game Sale brings us the Resident Evil franchise for day 3. These games are on sale only for today, so make sure to snatch them up before the day is over.

Ultimate Game Sale Offers for today Standard Price Discount Price Savings % Off
Resident Evil Code Veronica $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City $39.99 $19.99 $20.00 50%
Resident Evil 4 $19.99 $9.99 $10.00 50%
Resident Evil 5 $19.99 $9.99 $10.00 50%
Resident Evil 6 $39.99 $19.99 $20.00 50%

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag confirmed

When Ubisoft stated they were making a new Assassin's Creed game for a 2014 release, many wondered how it would play out after the seemingly closed ending of Assassin's Creed III. The company attempted to allay these concerns with the announcement that it would star a new protagonist. Now Ubisoft has confirmed that the newest addition to the franchise will be Black Flag.

Along with this confirmation comes some new information about a partnership with Sony to provide an extra 60 minutes of exclusive gameplay. The content of this gameplay has not yet been revealed.

Rumored to be the star of this new title is Grandfather of AC: III's main protagonist Conner, Edward Kenway. A swashbuckling pirate assassin, who commands the rough seas of the Caribbean, touring Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahama.

Not much else has been said regarding AC: IV but expect news to be dropped regularly through the year. AC: IV will launch on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC platforms, and is rumored to also be put on the next-gen consoles.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gears Judgment Execution Mode; Pressure or Planned?

Yesterday, Epic Games and Maxim Magazine announced a sponsored free DLC pack which includes 2 new maps, Haven and Citadel, and the return of a fan favorite gametype, Execution. With this news came a lot of celebration for fans who had feared the beloved gametype was lost for good. But was this is a bow to significant pressure through the last several months, or was this a long thought out strategy to gain last minute enthusiasm?

Late last year, Gears fans were dismayed to hear that the core game mechanic, Down But Not Out, had been removed from traditional Gears. The conclusion was that Gears was becoming too casual, where instead of being able to be revived, players would just keel over. Instead of curb stomping enemies, they would be restricted to just chainsaws or retros for executions. The outcry was deafening, with vocal fans threatening to boycott the game if they didn't get the mechanic back. These ultimatums seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Then came another shocking reveal. There would be no elimination game modes. Team Deathmatch became first to reach the score limit, rather than whittling down the enemy team. Execution and Warzone were removed. Guardian was not going to make a return appearance. All gametypes had been turned into respawn types. While TDM was the fan favorite mode for Gears of War 3, the fact that you could hold out against a team with more respawns and work towards attrition to help you win, led to much of the appeal over the standard TDM formula found in other games.

When pressured about the realization that gamers would no longer have one of these modes, Epic released a statement saying that "no elimination gametypes will be available at launch." This was followed up by:
These are all the competitive MP game modes shipping with Judgment:
  • Free For All
  • Team Deathmath
  • Domination
  • Overrun
-Jim Brown, Lead Level Designer at Epic Games
With these confirmations of there being very limited gametypes to play, the furor only mounted among the social communities. Some shouted that the content wasn't enough for the money. Others said that Epic was making the Gears series too casual. Many compared the changes to conforming to the "COD Formula" which caters to the "everyman" multiplayer groups. The downpour of negative responses to these pieces of information led to dozens, even hundreds of petition threads on the Official Epic Forums demanding the return of these modes.

With the announcement of the Maxim sponsored "Execution" gametype, fans seemed mollified, some even ecstatic about the return. There were cries of joy that Epic had listened to the fans once again. There were others who appeared disappointed Epic "caved" to the pressure. But was this the case? Did Epic "listen" to the fans as they did when the modified Capture the Leader in Gears 3 to give us a Guardian mode? Did they cave to the pressure of fans potentially rejecting the game? Or was it a planned idea to introduce the gametype as a DLC mode the whole time?

The statements given to use by Jim Brown would certainly be viewed now with some suspicion, since he only said an elimination game mode wouldn't be available at launch or the fact that it would only ship with 4 modes. This could be seen as a veiled statement hiding what is technically not a fib. They did promise us that it wouldn't launch or ship with the game, and it may have been planned to be released with their newly announced Season Pass down the road, which also includes two more unannounced modes.

If this was something Epic was going to implement, did they feel that players having to pay to get Execution back would cause a greater problem than the original controversy about not having it back at all? Many people on the forums had the idea that Epic would charge us in order to play our favorite modes again. This seems closer to the truth than we would like to admit. Did Epic approach Maxim to sponsor the maps and the gametype as a way to offer it for free, reducing the potential backlash? Did they approach multiple companies, offering advertising in exchange for the sponsorship and Maxim was the one who accepted? Did Maxim have some fans in their organization that approached Epic with this idea? There are many questions raised by these recent developments.

In the end it all comes down to the fact that Execution will now be a gametype for Judgment. Whether it was planned or whether it was spontaneous, merely exists as a curiosity. Gears of War: Judgment launches March 19th, exclusively on Xbox 360.

Xbox Live Ultimate Game Sale: Day #2

Sale item of the day is the Assassin's Creed series. Pick up these titles for a significant price reduction of 50%. Remember to check back here for sale day #3

Ultimate Game Sale 1-Day Offers Standard Price Discount Price Savings % Off
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood $19.99 $9.99 $10.00 50%
Assassin’s Creed Revelations $29.99 $14.99 $15.00 50%
Assassin’s Creed $19.99 $9.99 $10.00 50%
Assassin’s Creed II $19.99 $9.99 $10.00 50%

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Gears of War: Judgment Season Pass

Season Passes have been gaining more and more popularity recently. Discounted price for all DLC if bought all at once. Epic has announced the next Season Pass they are implementing for Judgment.

The war for Sera ignites on March 19 with the highly anticipated release of “Gears of War: Judgment.”

The VIP Season Pass for “Judgment” will be available at launch for 1600 Microsoft points, providing players with a more than 20 percent discount across a broad range of content, including six multiplayer maps, two new modes and nine exclusive unlocks.

The VIP Season Pass is the only way you can score a permanent double XP boost as well as a cache of exclusive armor and weapon skins, and it is your only chance to get a jump on the competition with exclusive, early access to all Game Add-on multiplayer maps. With the VIP Season Pass you will get:

  • Two upcoming Game Add-on Packs that include six multiplayer maps, two new modes, and new weapon and armor skins
  • Early access to Game Add-on multiplayer maps so you can be the first to play
  • A permanent double XP boost to accelerate your ascent through the ranks
  • Five exclusive weapon skins and four exclusive armor skins

Hopefully we will get more information on these DLC packs as we get closer to launch. Gears of War: judgment launches March 19th.

Gears of War: Judgment gets Execution playlist

Epic has teamed up with Maxim to bring an Execution playlist, complete with Down But Not Out feature, and also two new free maps, Haven and Capital.

Down But Not Out means that unless you are hit with a weapon that bypasses DBNO (usually one hit weapons such as boomshot, grenades, direct shotgun impact), you will go into a crawling position which must be finished off with an execution (close quarters kill) and will allow you to be revived by a teammate or by yourself if left alone for a full bleed out time.

Described as an ancient monastery in a frozen wasteland, Haven is an asymmetrical map that provides very little cover, as all roads lead to the middle area. A virtual bloodbath awaits all who enter here, and for those who don't, they have a special surprise for them.
“Nowhere is really safe,” says Lead Level Designer Jim Brown. “It makes for especially hectic Domination games because the rings are easy to access and difficult to defend.”
Execution and the two free maps will be available for download of April 2nd.

Xbox Live Ultimate Sale: Week long sale games

Most games during the Xbox Live Ultimate Sale will be daily deals, however there are several that will be on sale for the full week. Major Nelson explain how you can use MSP to buy these games as well.
On the console: When you are at the purchase screen, before you select “Confirm Purchase” press X and you’ll be able to choose points to purchase the game. Press X again to change back to your local currency.
On Click buy game, then when the “Confirm Purchase” screen pops up, click “Use Microsoft Points”

Persistent Offers Feb 26 – Mar 4 Standard Price Discount Price Savings % Off
Dirt 2 $29.99 $4.99 $25.00 83%
GRID $29.99 $4.99 $25.00 83%
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements $19.99 $2.99 $17.00 85%
Rayman Raving Rabbids $19.99 $2.99 $17.00 85%
TCs. HAWX $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Rainbow Six Vegas $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Kane & Lynch Dead Men $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Call of Juarez $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Tomb Raider Legend $29.99 $4.99 $25.00 83%
Tom Clancy Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Tom Clancy Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Virtua Fighter 5 $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Bioshock  $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
El Shaddai Ascension of the Metatron $19.99 $2.99 $17.00 85%
The Darkness $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75% 

Ultimate Xbox Live Game Sale starts today: Halo deals

With today kicking off the Ultimate Game sale, first up on the list is the critically acclaimed Halo series. These four Games on Demand titles range from 33% off to 67% off.

Get em while they're hot!

Ultimate Game Sale 1-Day Offers Standard Price Discount Price Savings % Off
Halo 3 $29.99 $9.99 $20.00 67%
Halo 4  $59.99 $39.99 $20.00 33%
Halo: Reach $29.99 $9.99 $20.00 67%
Halo Wars $29.99 $9.99 $20.00 67%

Xbox Live Ultimate Game Sale

Between February 26th and March 4th, Xbox will be putting games up for sale at a significantly discounted price. Over 60 Xbox 360 titles will be put up with discounts up to 75%, sometimes 85% off. Each day, multiple titles will be put up for sale. Some titles include:

Assassins Creed
Assassins Creed 2
Batman Arkham Asylum
Batman Arkham city
Borderlands 2
Brotherhood (Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood)
Call of Juarez
Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty 3
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Code Veronica
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic: Elements
Dead Island
Dirt 2
El Shaddai Ascension of the Metatron
Fable III
Fallout 3
Fallout 3 New Vegas
Halo 3
Halo 4
Halo Reach
Halo Wars
Kane & Lynch Dead Men
Left for Dead 2
Max Payne 3
Metal Gear Solid HD
Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker
Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat vs. DCU
Orange Box
Portal 2
Raccoon City
Rainbow Six Vegas
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 6
Red Dead Redemption
Revelations (Assassin’s Creed Revelations)
Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution
Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter X Tekken
Super Streetfighter IV Arcade Edition
TC’s H.A.W.X.
Tekken 6
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
The Darkness
The King of Fighters XIII
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2
Tomb Raider Legend
Virtua Fighter 5
World at War (Call of Duty: World at War)

For updates, you can follow @MajorNelson or check back here to find out the daily deals.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review

There are some games that just scream fun. Whether it's a racing game to blister your friends on the track, tear through opponents in some gory fighting games, or popping domes in online shooters, these games are pure enjoyment. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance can add itself among them.

Set 4 years after the events in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, the world is still reeling after the fall of the War Economy, a program created to solidify the global market using conflict around the world. Cyborg soldiers were used by privatized companies to keep the Economy functioning. After the fall of the program, many of those cyborgs, who found themselves suddenly out of a job and without purpose, chose to align themselves with one of two branches. One side formed privatized security companies, dedicated to training and securing developing nations, keeping the peace and helping to establish new government leaderships to promote an end to all conflict. The other side discovered they liked war a little too much. Cyborgs were created to fight the war, and ending it didn't suit their purposes. These soldiers refused to follow the idea that it was time for peace, and set out to create global catastrophes to bring about new wars.

The game begins with Raiden working for Maverick Security Consulting, Inc. When an assassin kills the Prime Minister of a country they have a contract with, Raiden goes into action, turning every enemy he comes across into small bits with a sword that can literally cut through anything. Humans, cyborgs, large metal monsters, even fences aren't strong enough to withstand his attacks. After chasing the assassins through the city, he eventually reaches a train they have boarded. Confronting them, Raiden goes blade to blade against a fellow cyborg ninja (cyborg ninjas. How cool is that?). Bested by a more skilled opponent, Raiden loses his eye and is slowly bleeding to death before the assassin is chased off by a couple of gunships.

Weeks later, Raiden is back in action as a fully customized cyborg. He looks incredibly formidable and his skills have been taken to the next level. Going through mission after mission seeking the assassins who have all but destroyed the man he used to be, Raiden begins to uncover a sinister plot that seeks to destabilize the world and plunge it back into chaos once more. Disturbing experimentation programs have been restarted that Raiden is quite familiar with. At one point, the game reaches a level of sheer horror.

While this game has Metal Gear in the title, this isn't a continuation of the Metal Gears Solid franchise. This is a brand new character with a brand new environment. Occasionally the writers bring up some familiar aspects of the older titles. A secondary character makes a short appearance, and a few others are mentioned. A couple of events also surface, but these are more rare. Luckily, this game really needs no exploration into the past. Gamers new to the series will have no problem understanding the story as it unfolds. You do get a few hilarious moments that give a shout-out to the past titles, including using a box as a portable sneak cover.

A lot of the current generation of social issues rears their ugly heads in this story. Unmanned drone attacks, corrupt government officials, backdoor deals, multiple conflicts around the globe. All of these make an appearance. Whether these are subtle insinuations at the actual state of the world can't be ascertained, since all of these have been subjects used in media portrayals of the future for decades. It is possible that gamers could be reading more into these than what actually exists, but that actually makes the game even more intriguing.

The game is not without its flaws but these are rarely even noticeable. A couple of cutscene glitches don't even appear unless you are specifically looking for them, and while the camera system can be downright annoying sometimes, the lock-on system quickly rectifies that. Boss fights can seem particularly scaled, and not always properly. Some of the earlier boss fights seem difficult to figure out, but once you find a way to combat their attacks, they are quite easy. These early bosses will also make a regular appearance during the rest of the story, so recalling how to defeat them becomes routine. Others like the end bosses, can be frustrating. Blocking is a large part of survival, however some bosses have attacks that cannot be blocked and sometimes cannot be dodged or stopped. You will need to keep a close eye on your health bar, since you will inevitably take some hits. The final boss battle is incredibly annoying, since both dodging and blocking will end up getting you obliterated.

The cinematics are beautifully done, and the voice acting is high quality. One of the best features actually comes from the interaction between cutscenes and the gameplay. As soon as the cinematic is finished, you are immediately thrust into the fight with a very short loading time. When it's installed on a console, the wait time is barely ever an issue.

Where the game really shines is the combat. Fluid and extremely precise, it takes the experience to a whole new level. Enemy AIs are usually pretty smart and know how and when to dodge Raiden's attacks. Quick timed events make an appearance, but they do so very inconspicuously and do not really get old for one reason: Blade mode. Depressing the trigger allows for incredibly accurate swings that make it very simple to remove a head or sever a limb. When your fuel gauge is fully maxed out, activating blade mode slows down time, allowing for multiple slashes of your sword at a rapid speed. Utilizing these methods when an opponent shows a damaged part, such as an arm or armor plating, will quickly make short work to remove those areas. These also show up during mini-boss fights as well as the bigger bosses as well, indicated by a suddenly blue tinted screen, and marked by a Japanese character (symbol). It also is one of the central components of Revengeance and you will be using it thoroughly.

When you read the "Revengeance" part of the games title, you most likely read it as "Revenge Vengeance". Early in the game you realize that it is more redemption than revenge. Using his sword as a "tool of justice" Raiden is determined to make up for past mistakes. Try to wipe the blood clean off of his soul. Later on, when faced with a realization that he isn't necessarily killing unfeeling bad guys, Raiden comes to a conclusion that he no longer embodies justice, instead it really is revenge. Revenge for the wrongly used. Revenge for the poorly treated. Revenge for the innocents slaughtered. Vengeance for all of those who have been hurt. Raiden becomes his nickname, "Jack the Ripper". And then things get interesting.

While the game is relatively short, (about 6-7 hours not counting any VR missions) it gets in a lot of action in that time frame. In fact, playing the game in small increments is recommended, since your adrenaline can get pumping during all of the combat. Since the game is 99% combat with about 30 seconds of stealth necessity, you're going to run out of adrenaline within a matter of hours. Ultimately this game will forever earn a place on the gaming shelf for the same reason Goldeneye did. It's fun, fast paced, and loading up a favorite mission to just waste some time or burn off steam makes you forget the outside world for a bit.

  • Fun and fast paced action
  • Enjoyable combat system
  • Intensely gritty and dark story
  • Voice acting is very well done
  • Outstanding gameplay
  • Sharp and fluid controls
  • Boss fights are very challenging
  • Rare visual glitches
  • Final boss is scaled significantly higher than your character
  • Slight camera angle issues during combat or sneak missions
  • Political atmosphere seems pushed
Overall Score: 9.5/10

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sony doesn't know what the PS4 looks like

Sony held a press conference recently on the 20th. The PS4 was announced along with a large amount of technical specifications and multiple games and features. We got a first hand look at the controller design, which has a touch screen in the center and a "share" function that allows players to upload video content to their friends.

What we didn't get, was a console. It seems rather strange that a console reveal wasn't present at a console reveal. According to an interview Sony did with 4Gamer (be warned, it's entirely in Japanese), even Hiroshi Kawano, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, doesn't know what the PS4's design is.
"If I'm being honest, I also haven't seen its final design. Even the controller we showed today, I saw the final design around yesterday or so."
This leaves Sony plenty of time to develop the design, but if we are truly looking at a November launch, they better start moving. Mass producing consoles in the millions is gonna take some time.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Borderlands 2 Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt Review

I always wanted to know about Sir Hammerlock. He seemed quite eccentric, even from the start of Borderlands 2. With the addition of the Big Game Hunt DLC, you get plenty of opportunity to learn more about him. Unfortunately he becomes rather dull very fast. Where he was interesting in the full game, his dialogue in the DLC lacks the enjoyable aspect you get from the usual missions. His posh gentleman act gets on your nerves since it really serves no point except to antagonize the main villain.

When you first enter Aegrus (Sir Hammerlocks hunting getaway), you are immediately overwhelmed with the enormity of the area. The place is ridiculously huge. You spawn in the middle of a mountain and exit into a dark and dank swampland inhabited by monstrous creatures. Gigantic daddy long leg spiders and flying spores abound, and while they don't look especially difficult (the spiders are creepy though), they pack a huge wallop. They don't have any real critical hit points and they have a very large amount of health, so either you need a full team concentrating fire, or you need to run.

These enemies aren't nearly as bad as the tribal ones. Normal tribal warriors aren't much of a threat, and they will charge you in droves allowing for easy enemy attrition. However, their leader is a ridiculous concept; Witch Doctors. These guys are a pain in the tookus. They have a massive amount of hit points and their voodoo masks block all criticals. Not only do they wield magic such as lightning, fire, and twisters that all can kill in one shots without high health and shields, but they also have the ability to upgrade all of their compatriots. Regular warriors become Badass versions, Badass becomes Super Badass, then Ultimate Badass, etc. And don't even get me started on their ability to heal every single enemy in 5 square miles.

What is surprising though is how simplistic the large scale hunts are. You track an enemy who is supposed to be a a brutal beast capable of slaughtering an entire region, and yet they die within 5-10 shots. With a team of four, they last less than a minute, if that. These leave the Big Game Hunt" out of Big Game Hunt.

The main mission is also a bit of a drag. It's very short and ultimately fails to deliver a satisfying experience. There are a few really funny lines from the villain, Professor Nakayama, whose obsession with handsome Jack is amusing, although a tad bit creepy. His henchman (more tribal enemies) block your approach pretty much everywhere, but if you really want to bypass them, it's quite easy to run straight through.

The end is pretty boring, but kind of humorous. And it finishes the same way as the Captain Scarlett  DLC did. Get to the loot and the credits roll. One serious disappointment with the DLC is that while the enemies are hard hitting and very tough to damage, the loot is rather abysmal. The gear is scaled to your level, as is the norm, but the damage is laughable. You can get better white guns from the slots.

Hat is BEAST!

Final verdict is a mixed bag. The loot system and core gameplay are still present, so it is enjoyable in that regard. The environment does its job of making the area seem depressing and the ominous feeling of a creature around every corner. If you can overlook the ridiculous enemies and a lackluster story, it's definitely a buy. I know I had fun with it, but so far it is the least impressive of the Borderlands 2 DLC.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pre-order bonuses - The ugly side of exclusives

Everyone likes bonuses, especially when they are cheap or free. How many times have people bought something just because it said Buy One, Get One free? People are drawn towards the incentive that purchasing something will get them something else. Video games and retailers are no different in this aspect. But while doing this in a Payless shoe store means you get a free extra pair of shoes, gaming purchases usually ends up with a digital skin or weapon.

Retailers are in the business of making money. Getting enough pre-orders for game releases means higher volume of units, leading to a larger profit margin on sales. Stores will use every bit of marketing they can to entice people to pre-order from their company. Whether it means hosting a midnight launch party or providing certain content available only through them. Here's where the problem comes in. Digital freebies.

Game publishers have the privilege in providing Public Relations material. Advertising is one of those responsibilities which can mean the product can be a huge success or a dismal failure. Bonuses, such as character skins for use in a multiplayer game, or a downloadable weapon that will help you through some gritty campaign areas, are in high demand these days. People want new stuff, exclusive stuff, all the time, and everytime. This can put a huge strain on both the publisher and the companies involved and these bonuses are an attempt to create a loyalty between customer and retailer.

But what is the problem with pre-order bonuses? The simple fact of the matter is that they are everywhere and ultimately consist of nothing. Making sure to shell out $60 for a few changes to a players armor? How about adding a stripe to a weapon and calling it an "exclusive" skin? These so-called "bonuses" are merely gimmicks to entice people to spend $60 on a game they know little about. Previews paint a pretty picture, but that's what they are designed to do. Rarely do previews match the game, just like cinematics don't reflect actual gameplay. A broken game with a pink rifle is still a broken game. And getting a refund because you were disappointed only exists in the movies and the dreams of gamers everywhere.

While places like Gamestop are easier than most to cancel pre-orders and get your money back, others, like Steam, are not. With direct downloads, Steam makes it virtually impossible to read a game review before purchasing. Unfortunately that's the truth with just about every gamer. Many blindly grab a copy of whatever is newest regardless of consumer impressions or watching actual in-game footage. Pre-order bonuses enhance this drive to buy the game in full and quickly.

Another large issue is dealing with the split of pre-order bonuses. Different stores bid for different items/characters. One store might have bought a character and a weapon skin. Another could have grabbed two characters instead. For example, the upcoming Gears of War: Judgment has retailers offering choices between 4 character skins. You have to choose who you want, unless you are willing to buy 4 copies of the game. The "timed exclusive" bonuses are a gimmick, plain and simple. People want free stuff so companies will make sure they get free stuff if they buy it from them. What people don't take into consideration is that these store "exclusives" never stay exclusive. 99% of the time, digital content becomes available to the rest of the online population through DLC purchases. Is having polka dots on your shotgun on day one really worth a blind jump into a game?

Delving into the mix, we also encounter physical incentives. This is where things get tricky. Gamers will snap up digital content like hotcakes, but physical items really make it hard to consider not buying it. Posters, cloth maps, statues of characters, even keychains, all try to drive the point of slapping $5 down being a good idea. Another focus is on deleted or locked content. Certain games might add an advance piece of DLC, such as a combat map that was done with Batman: Arkham Asylum or a 3-day advance pass to multiplayer before the game ships, as Gears Judgment is doing. Microsoft has been offering 1600 MSP (a $20 value) for any pre-order content through their online store. These make purchasing games without hesitation a very real reality.

Developers and retailers used to offer significant things in exchange for doing business with them, but overtime they learned that people will do just about anything to get one little item for free, whether it's a gun that is exclusive for a month or an eye patch for a character customization. The unfortunate truth is that as long as gamers continue to go along with these gimmicks, they will never end.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bioshock Infinite goes gold

With Bioshock Infinite launching in just over a month, it has now gone gold. Ken Levine, co-founder of Irrational Games, gave us his thoughts in his blog post.
When we first announced BioShock Infinite, we made a promise to deliver a game that was very much a BioShock experience, and at the same time something completely different. And our commitment to making good on that promise, no matter what, has been our driving force for the last three years or so.
You, the fans, have been incredibly patient with us. You shared your hopes and wishes for the game with us, and you kept the faith.
Today, I’m happy to announce that the game has gone gold. What that means is that it has been approved by both Sony and Microsoft (and the PC Gods, natch) to be sent to the manufacturing guys to load up fleets of trucks with BioShock Infinite and be driven to a store near you on March 26th.
The total cost of the game was five years, 941 billion Klingon darseks (plus tip), 47 camels, a cranberry flan, and the blood, sweat, and tears of the Irrational Team.
Nobody has ever built a game quite like this. It’s a shooter, but a shooter that brings you to very uncomfortable and dangerous places. I can’t demand that you play the game; I can promise you, however, that once you have, it will be an experience you won’t soon forget.
Who is Booker, and what is the debt that drives him to Columbia? What are Elizabeth’s powers and why has she been locked up since she was a child? Why does Booker have the letters “AD” branded into his right hand? And what, in God’s name, is the Songbird.
Columbia is a city teeming with mystery. I’m glad to say that one mystery is over: On March 26th, you will be able to play BioShock Infinite.
If there is anything better than fans being impassioned by the game, it's the developers. I'm a big Bioshock fan, so March 26th? You better get here soon.