Living LIVE News Report 05.22.12
Posted by Trace Aber on 05.22.2012
Thoughts and discussion on Lionhead's new MMO, Halo 4's episodic content, Max Payne, and much more!
Welcome everyone to another issue of the Living LIVE News Report, and as always, I'm your host for the evening, Trace Aber. I apologize for the delay in getting this issue out, but on Friday my laptop charger suddenly died out, leaving my laptop uncharged and unusable. I'm writing this issue on my college campus, but should have my laptop up and running by next week so we should be live (pun intended) right on time next week.
Last week the gaming world collectively stopped to play Diablo III, the most recent title offered to fight those who say PC gaming is dead. Max Payne 3 was also released, but based off internet buzz and news sites, I would say Rockstar chose a pretty bad time to release their title. I'll be interested in finding out how each game sold, though it seems pretty obvious that Diablo III won decisively.
Lionhead Working on Hybrid MMO Game for Durango
Thanks to a few job listings posted at LinkedIn, it would appear as though Lionhead studios, formerly headed by Peter Molyneux, is currently working on a game that has both online and offline experience, hoping to merge the two together in one experience.
The listing claims they are looking for people to work on "an RPG-based game…blending online and single player into one complete experience." The experience promises to be open-world with experiences effecting players seamlessly;
...the latest game that will have a complex progression system, multiple routes through the campaign, and an MMO like multiplayer experience that will affect the outcome of the player experience, and many other attributes surrounding their profile (such as the environment and the outcome of certain actions).Due to the ambition in this new project, there are a number of areas where they need to increase their skill/expertise level in the studio to meet their goals
Another listing suggests the game might also feature four player co-op, though again nothing has been confirmed. The co-op does make since though, as the recently released Fable Heroes featured multiplayer, something relatively new for Lionhead.
So where does Durango come in on all of this? Well, Lionhead has always had a great working relationship with Microsoft, and it's highly likely that should this game ever see the light of day that it would follow the popular "Free to Play" model. To further fuel that, Microsoft has been looking into free to play games for a while, and working with Lionhead to create a completely new experience allows them to come to the console market with the hot new game…and it's "free"!
As far as guessing what the title might be, one would logically assume something in the Fable universe. I think Fable III cooled some people off on the franchise due to it simply being too streamlined, but the Fable name itself still has some weight. It might be too much of a risk to NOT do a Fable game, as this would technically be a new genre, so going in with a new IP would make things even harder.
This could end up being nothing, too. And if that's the case, well, hopefully somebody else comes and snatches up the idea, because few games have been able to combine single player and multiplayer experiences smoothly, much less turn that into an MMO-hybrid. As always, I'll keep you posted on any updates.
Halo 4 to Feature Weekly Episodes
While many fans enjoy the storyline of Halo's campaigns, the biggest appeal comes from the multiplayer mode that helped set the standard for future online games, for better or worst. Microsoft seems to be pretty aware of this dichotomy, and as such are making sure that the upcoming Halo 4 has plenty of multiplayer to go around.
The biggest comes in the form of weekly episodic content for the Spartan Ops mode. Spartan Ops tells the story of the UNSC Infinity spaceship and its crew, complete with weekly cinematics and missions. These are both single player and co-op affairs, so everybody wins here.
War Games is another new mode that is more in line with the standard Halo fare. Not much information has been released on this mode, though Microsoft promises it will be a "visceral and immersive experience," which is…uhm…well, it's certainly a statement.
Halo 4 releases November 6, 2012.
Borderlands 2 "Loot Chest" Edition Announced
Though officially announced last month at PAX East, Gearbox has finally announced the content of their special edition version of the upcoming Borderlands 2. It'll set you back $149.99, but comes with a pretty badass chest based off the ones found in the game.
The "Ultimate Loot Chest Limited Edition" includes the game itself, a numbered certificate of authenticity, an authentic Marcus bobblehead, "Inside the Vault" hardbound book, a cloth map, stickers, a comic book, postcards, an ID chart, and the cool treasure chest itself.
If you're looking to save $50, you can pick up the "Deluxe Vault Hunter's Collector's Edition" for $99.99. That comes with the book, stickers, map, comic and bobblehead. If you pre-order any version of the game you can also get the Mechromancer character DLC absolutely free.
My initial thought was that, while all of this sounds cool, that the loot chest that holds all of the bonus goodies would be disappointingly small. But according to this adorable comparison, it seems like the loot chest could actually double as, well, a loot chest!
I really enjoyed the first Borderlands but I'm not entirely sold on purchasing the sequel. I'm clearly not in the market for a $150 version of the game, but as far as presentation go Gearbox certainly impress here. Anybody picking this up, or is the price tag just a little too high?
Random News and Notes
-For whatever reason, there was a problem with those downloading Max Payne 2 on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace last week. The game would download up until it hit 99%, where it would freeze indefinitely. Whatever caused the problem has now been solved and you can download the game without problem.
-Carrier Command will be released on September 27, 2012. For those that missed out, it's a remake of the 1988 PC classic that has been in development for a few years now.
-Another LinkedIn profile has outed Saints Row 4 and as of now it's slated for release on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC. It was initially thought that any fourth Saints Row game would be on the Durango, but this would suggest otherwise.
-Those looking to get into the Far Cry 3 beta can do so by either liking their Facebook page or buying Ghost Recon: Future Solider next week at Gamestop as a PowerUp Rewards program. Seems like a lot of work to test a game.
The Digital Downloads Arcade Games
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2 (1200MP)
Jame Live Music Arcade (800MP)
Dragon's Lair (800MP)
Games on Demand
Need for Speed: The Run ($39.99)
Wipeout 2 ($49.99)
Let's Cheer! ($29.99)
That does it for me this week. Be sure to check back next week as we discuss all of the latest Xbox 360 news, including releases, rumors and reviews! Also, don't forget to bookmark 411Mania! And a note to all of the Indie Game developers out there – if you have an upcoming title that's going to be released soon drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I'll write a full review of your game to be posted on 411Mania.com, which is a great way to get your game promoted!