In addition to looking at the lighter and weirder side of the game industry, System Update provides the latest information on weekly console updates, DLC, game-specific updates, and other game-industry flotsam and jetsam.
Xbox maker does away with all used game restrictions and 24-hour online check-ins; region-locks also no longer in place.
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First out of the gate for the PlayStation 3 is Hard Corps: Uprising ($15). Developed by Arc System Works, the 2D side-scrolling shooter sees players assuming the role of the soldier Bahamut as part of a prequel story to Contra: Hard Corps.
Sony added two other full-game PS3 titles to its download hub, the first of which is Slam Bolt Scrappers ($15). The game has players creating weapons and using them to bring down their opponents in Slam Bolt City. In addition to a four-player co-op campaign mode, Slam Bolt Scrappers features a head-to-head mode.
The other new addition to the PS3's online storefront is Ubisoft's Prince of Persia ($20). Released in 2008, the title puts players in control of a nameless prince adventurer, who has witnessed the death of the Tree of Life. To restore light to the world, the prince partners with Elika, a deadly ally.
Gamers looking to try before they buy this week can grab a handful of new demos. These samplers include a multiplayer experience for Crytek's upcoming shooter Crysis 2, trials for Plants vs. Zombies, PlayStation Move Heroes, and Slam Bolt Scrappers.
Also out now is a sampler for Warner Bros.' bloody fighter reboot Mortal Kombat, which is due for full release on April 19. The demo lets gamers get a first look and feel for the game by offering up Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Mileena, and Johnny Cage as playable characters.
Those looking to the past for their fun can grab one new PSOne Classic from the download space this week, Parasite Eve ($6). The game has players controlling NYPD officer Aya Brea, a rookie who hunts down a biological presence known as Eve, before it can destroy humanity.
Switching to the PSP download hub, Sony added four new games to the space today, the first of which is Major League Baseball 2K11 ($20). 2K Sports' annual baseball simulator for Sony's portable sports Franchise and Season modes, as well as Home Run Derby, the Farm, and Manager Showdown avenues.
Also out now for PSP is Gods Eater Burst ($40). The game is the second installment in Namco Bandai's multiplayer action series for Sony's portable, and it debuted in October in Japan to sales of 263,150. The original God Eater was never released in North America.
The last two PSP titles out this week are the dungeon traversing Jikandia: The Timeless Land ($25) and the racing game Vertigo ($10).
Music game fans looking to add to their virtual song libraries can grab new tunes for Rock Band 3 and DJ Hero 2. Harmonix's music game adds four new songs from The Police, OK Go, and War. Activision's disc jockey game welcomes the Indie Hip Hop Mix Pack, which includes remixed tunes from Atmosphere, RJD2, Jaylib, and others.
A full list of the week's deals and new PlayStation Store content, including themes, wallpapers, demos, discounts, and add-on content, is available on the PlayStation Blog.
Lima Sky's $0.99 platforming game Doodle Jump is one of the most popular paid games in Apple's App store and the Android Marketplace. Released in March 2009, the game has now sold more than 10 million units, and its developer has greater ambitions for it.
Lima Sky has announced that a Doodle Jump port for the Xbox Live Arcade is on the way. The game will be compatible with Microsoft's 10-million-selling Kinect motion-control device. Unfortunately, Lima Sky did not offer further details on the project, like when the game will be released, what it will sell for, or how the game will be played.
The mobile version of Doodle Jump is controlled by subtle tilts of a mobile device. Tilting the device alters the trajectory of main character Doodle the Doodler. With the Kinect able to fully track a person's body movements, it would seem likely that a similar control mechanic would be employed in the Kinect version.
Also included in Lima Sky’s announcement was word that a free multiplayer update is on the way for the iPhone version of Doodle Jump. Additionally, the iPad version remains in development, and a line of toys and a Doodle Jump comic book series are on the way.
Some are coming and some are going this week on Xbox Live. Halo-heads get the latest map pack for Halo: Reach, and Microsoft's five-game House Party draws to a close today.
Leading the week is the Defiant Map Pack (800 MS points, or $10) for Halo: Reach. The latest Halo add-on updates the Firefight and online multiplayer areas of Reach with three new battlegrounds: Condemned, Highlands, and Unearthed. Condemned is a space-station level supporting six to 12 players, while Highlands takes the fight outside for eight- to 16-player battles in the wilderness of Reach. Finally, Unearthed is set in one of the planet's mining operations and supports up to four players in the Firefight mode.
Gamers looking to play the Defiant Map Pack but in need of a copy of Halo: Reach can download the game from the Games on Demand tab today for $50. Released in stores last year, Reach is set before the 2001 Xbox launch title Halo: Combat Evolved, the first game in the series, and tells the story of the defense of Reach by a Spartan squad.
Today marks the end of Microsoft's House Party promotion, which the company sends off with Full House Poker (800 MS points, or $10). Specializing in Texas hold 'em-style poker, the downloadable title deals hands for two, or players can join 30-player online tournaments. Full House Poker also features a Windows Phone 7 companion title.
Gamers looking to try before they buy can grab two new demos today, the first of which is for Harmonix's well-received boogie game Dance Central. The sampler lets players get a first look at and feel for the dancing game from the makers of Rock Band. The other new demo added to the service is for THQ's trivia quiz game You Don't Know Jack.
Leading the pack this week is PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies (800 DSi points, or $8) on DSiWare. Gamers are tasked with defending their house from a swarm of undead using a range of plants with distinct abilities. Additionally, the game sports five game modes, four minigames, and a Zombatar creator tool.
Also out now on DSiWare is Rabi Lady (500 DSi points, or $5). From Agetec, the game has players controlling Alice, a young woman who travels to a fantasy world inside a tree to locate her lost bunny, Rabi. Gamers can swap between Alice and Rabi in order to help navigate out of the labyrinth.
The last DSiWare game out now is 5-in-1 Mahjong (200 DSi points, or $2). The game puts the classic Chinese board game into players' pockets. It also sports more than 300 distinct tile layouts, as well as different game variations, like "remember," "match," "shuffle," and "countdown."
Switching to WiiWare, Nintendo added one new game and a fresh demo to the download space today. The new title out now is Studio Walljump's Liight (500 Wii points, or $5). The puzzle game has players using hued lights and their shadows to solve the game’s tasks and make music. The game also boasts Create and Share modes, where players can craft their own board and pass along created boards to others, respectively.
The new demo out now is for Digital Leisure's Mix Superstar. The game was released in November and lets players create musical compositions of their liking. The full title contains more than 1,000 dance, hip-hop, and techno loops recorded with instruments like guitar, drum, bass, and synthesizer. Players satisfied with their creations can upload them to their computers or send them to their Wii friends. Also, players wishing to lay down their own vocals can do so via USB microphones or the Wii Speak peripheral.
Despite Rock Band developer Harmonix being hit with layoffs and publisher MTV Games being shuttered, the Boston-area developer isn't ceasing to support its games--namely Rock Band 3--with new songs each week. That trend will continue next week when Harmonix offers up four new songs from three artists.
Available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii next Tuesday, March 15, will be singles from The Police, OK Go, and War. The tracks are all master recordings and will be available in European regions on March 16. Each song sells for $2 on the PlayStation Network, 160 MS points via Xbox Live, and 200 Wii points from the Wii virtual marketplace.
The four new songs are listed below. Those denoted with an X have Pro Guitar and Pro Bass expansions available for an additional $1.
OK Go - "Shooting the Moon"
The Police - "So Lonely"
The Police - "Every Breath You Take" X
War - "Spill the Wine"
For more on Harmonix's plastic instrument music game, check out GameSpot's review of Rock Band 3.
For the original Portal, Valve tapped obscure nerd-rock icon Jonathan Coulton to deliver the science-experiment-gone-nightmare puzzler's iconic end-credit tune, "Still Alive," to huge success. For Portal 2, Valve has again enlisted indie rock help, announcing today that it has secured the talent of The National to write an original song for the game.
Valve offered no indication of what gamers can expect from The National, saying only that the band's recording label approached them about doing a song for the game.
"The National's raw and emotive music evokes the same visceral reactions from its listeners that Portal does from its players," Bug Music manager Julia Betley said. Like the first game, Portal 2 sees players attempting to escape from an aseptic house-of-horrors science facility, where they must solve puzzles to avoid being exterminated.
For more on Portal 2, which is due out for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on April 18, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
Sony Online Entertainment's Free Realms has already garnered massive interest on the PC, amassing nearly 17 million players thanks to its free-to-play nature. Whether or not that success can be duplicated on the PlayStation 3 will soon be revealed, as SOE announced today that Free Realms will arrive for the console in North America on March 29.
Aimed at the family-friendly set, Free Realms is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game where combat is optional. The game features an assortment of quests, minigames, themed events, and social-networking features, including the ability to upload in-game videos to YouTube.
Free Realms will offer much the same experience as its PC counterpart, but it will feature a user interface catered toward console play. At is most basic (read: free) level, Free Realms offers players more than 800 quests, and players can level each of the game's 15 classes through level four.
Membership packages are available that open up an additional 400 quests and the ability to rise to level 40. The game also features a wealth of items that can be purchased with real-world cash individually as microtransactions.
For more on Free Realms, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
On September 13, id Software's Rage will drop players into a postapocalyptic wasteland where the last vestiges of humanity struggle to survive in a harsh world. However, before the game makes its long-awaited arrival on the PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, the developer is going to give gamers a chance to find out how civilization came to crumble in a prequel comic book series.
Today, id Software parent Bethesda Softworks announced a deal with Dark Horse Comics that will see the print publisher release a three-issue miniseries based on Rage. Written by Arvid Nelsion (Rex Mundi) with art by Andrea Mutti (DMZ), the series will detail the downfall of civilization after an asteroid strike, with a surviving scientist discovering a cover-up regarding the events that created the ruined world around her. The first issue of the miniseries should hit stores in North America and the UK June 22.
As for the game, it will combine first-person shooter gameplay with open-world vehicle combat as players fight off mutants and roving gangs of bandits. It won't all be shooting and driving, as players will need to visit neutral zones to take bounties, customize their cars, and chat up the locals. The developer has described the game as "open but directed," not necessarily requiring players to complete every mission immediately, and giving them some freedom to wander.
For more on Rage, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
Toy Soldiers has proven to be the breakout success from Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade promotion Block Party from March 2010. Thus far, the well-regarded action strategy title has been downloaded more than 500,000 times through Xbox Live in less than a year, and developer Signal Studios has continued to support the game with the Kaiser's Battle and Invasion add-on packs.
Now, Signal Studios will be following up that success with Toy Soldiers: Cold War on Xbox Live. The Seattle-based game company has yet to offer a release date for the title, saying only that it would be playable at PAX East, the open-to-the-public gaming expo taking place this weekend in Boston.
Like the original Toy Soldiers, Cold War is an action strategy title where players earn money for successfully destroying their enemies in an effort to build up their own combat prowess. The game's title is a bit of a misnomer, though, as it presents US and USSR relations during the '80s under the supposition that the Cold War turned hot.
Therefore, players will be afforded an arsenal of plastic weaponry with which to do battle, including modern combat vehicles, fighter jets, attack helicopters, and commandos for use on land, in the air, and at sea. Cold War also introduces a new co-op mode, where players can work in tandem in Campaign or Survival modes.
In addition to delivering the first word on Cold War, Signal Studios announced that it would be bringing the original Toy Soldiers to the PC this year during either late spring or early summer.
It’s been about a year and a half since a trio of Bungie alumni formed Moonshot Games, a studio with the stated intention of bringing AAA design values to the downloadable market. Now, gamers have been given their first glimpse as to how well Moonshot is coming along with that goal, as the studio announced its first project this week, Fallen Frontier.
Fallen Frontier will fall into the 2D side-scrolling shooter genre and presents the story of a hard-bitten “lawman” who is at the center of a far-future film noir-style mystery on a frontier world in the Alpha Centauri system.
As seen in the game’s first trailer (below), Fallen Frontier features an artistically rendered sci-fi universe chock-full of guns and grenades. Beyond its single-player storyline, the game also supports cooperative action.
Moonshot plans to give the game’s first public showing at PAX East, which will set up shop in Boston from March 11-13.
[UPDATE] Responding to a request for comment, Moonshot said that it hopes to release Fallen Frontier during the first half of 2012. As for platforms, the studio is targeting Steam, Xbox Live, and the PlayStation Network, though a definitive decision has yet to be made. Moonshot also said that it is still searching for a publisher.
It's a busy week on Xbox Live, as a range of new digital wares are now live, including the console release of the PC action role-playing game Torchlight, day one add-on content for Dragon Age II, and another mission in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.
Leading the pack this week is Runic Games' hack-and-slash loot-grabbing role-playing game Torchlight for 1,200 Microsoft points ($15). The Diablo-esque dungeon crawler gained accolades on the PC in 2009, selling more than 800,000 units to date. Torchlight is the fourth title in Microsoft's House Party promotion, which ends next week with Full House Poker.
Out now are two new add-on packs for BioWare's Dragon Age II, which was released today. The first pack is the Exiled Prince DLC for 560 Microsoft points ($7), which was bundled with copies of the game preordered before January 11.
The Exiled Prince downloadable content introduces players to "noble archer" Sebastian Vael through three missions. After living as a priest, Vael is thrust back into the throes of "princely politics" when his family is murdered, leaving him the lone surviving heir. When players encounter Vael, they have the option to either avenge the untimely death of his family or "direct his holy vengeance on their enemies in Kirkwall." Additionally, players will be able to recruit the ranged-weapon master to their party.
The other add-on content available now for Dragon Age II is the Black Emporium for 800 MS points ($10). Bundled with all new copies of the game, the Black Emporium is a location inside Kirkwall where players will be able to score access to three items and venues: a fighting Mabari war hound, the mirror of transformation, and exclusive entry to magic and crafting shops.
Those looking for more from Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood can now download The Da Vinci Disappearance DLC for 800 Microsoft points ($10). The content includes both single-player and multiplayer content to extend the experience of Brotherhood. The solo mission sees players attempting to track down Leonardo Da Vinci, who was kidnapped by the Hermeticists after the fall of Borgias in Rome. As Ezio, players will track Da Vinci through clues found in art, uncovering two new locations and a pair of gameplay features.
According to Ubisoft, The Da Vinci Disappearance represents the most substantive multiplayer expansion yet for Brotherhood. It will include a single map, Alhambra, which is set in Spain's Albaicin of Granada and features multistory gameplay in both indoor and outdoor areas. Four new characters will also be included: Dama Rossa, the Knight, the Marquis, and the Pariah.
The multiplayer add-on also includes two new gameplay modes: Escort and Assassinate. In Escort, two teams of four players guard their own VIP while attempting to assassinate the opposing side's very important target. Assassinate mode sees six to eight players attempting to off each other a la classic deathmatch.
Gamers who prefer to try before they buy can download a demo for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters today. The sampler thrusts players onto the tee box of the par-4 18th hole at Augusta National. Virtual golfers will play as Tiger Woods in the demo, and the voice of longtime Masters announcer Jim Nantz (and the colorful David Feherty) will provide commentary as Woods goes for his fifth Green Jacket.
Three new Games on Demand titles are out this week, the first of which is Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days ($40). The other two full-game downloads are Ubisoft's Surf's Up ($20) and Crash: Mind Over Mutant ($40).
Hot on the heels of news of a fifth Resident Evil film comes word of another game-inspired film project. Showbiz trade magazine Variety today reports that this week will see the commencement of filming of Silent Hill: Revelation 3D in Toronto, Canada. The film is the follow-up to 2006's Silent Hill, which was based on the 1999 original PlayStation game of the same name from Japanese publisher Konami.
While the original film was directed by Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf), the sequel will be helmed and written by Michael J. Bassett (Solomon Kane). It will also get new stars in the form of Adelaide Clemens (X-Men Origins : Wolverine and the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road) and Kit Harington, who starts in HBO's forthcoming fantasy series Game of Thrones. The project is being produced by Samuel Hadida and Don Carmody, who also produced the Resident Evil films, and is set for release later this year.
Considered one of the leading survival horror franchises, the Silent Hill series of games takes place in the titular town, which is the site of various supernatural disturbances. (The next game in the series, Downpour, is set for release later this year.) While the first film followed a woman searching for her daughter, the second will follow a teenage girl who is on the run with her father. According to the Internet Movie Database, the girl's 18th birthday leads to a variety of complications, including her father's disappearance and an entryway into a demonic world that may trap her permanently.
Capcom’s Resident Evil films may aspire to middling reviews, but there’s no denying their money-making prowess. The self-proclaimed top-earning Japanese game-based film series, Resident Evil’s first three films grossed more than $100 million a piece, while 2010’s Resident Evil: Afterlife has already earned more than $230 million internationally.
It should come as no surprise, then, that a fifth installment in the film series has entered production. Box Office Mojo reports that Capcom and Sony Pictures have scheduled a fifth Resident Evil for release on September 14, 2012. As with Afterlife, Resident Evil 5, as it is currently known, will be filmed in stereoscopic 3D.
Resident Evil 5 has yet to receive a subtitle, and no additional details on filming or casting have been revealed. The first four films have been loosely set in the same universe as the games and have starred Milla Jovovich as Alice, a heroine battling for survival in the midst of a zombie apocalypse unleashed by the Umbrella Corporation.
Capcom has yet to announce a formal follow-up to 2010’s well-regarded Resident Evil 5, though former design head Keiji Inafune said in September that the publisher is attempting to get Resident Evil 6 out as soon as possible. Capcom is also at work on two installments in the series for the 3DS, Resident Evil: Revelations and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries.
It's a bustling week on Xbox Live, as an updated version of Ubisoft's 2003 adventure game hits the Xbox Live Arcade this week alongside new downloadable content for Fable III and Dead Space 2, a slew of Games on Demand entries, and demos for two new sports games.
Leading the pack this week is Ubisoft's Beyond Good & Evil HD (800 MS points, or $10). The third game of Microsoft's five-title House Party promotion, Beyond Good & Evil HD features 1080p graphics, including enhanced character models and upgraded textures, and Ubisoft has also remastered the game's musical score. The game is due out on Wednesday.
Gamers looking to add content to the latest Fable game can grab the Traitor's Keep DLC (560 MS points, or $7) for Fable III today from Xbox Live. Traitor's Keep features three new levels--Ravenscar Keep, Clockwork Island, and the Godwin Estate--each of which offers new quests to undertake.
Another batch of add-on content now available is the Severed DLC (560 MS points, or $7) for Dead Space 2. A downloadable add-on featuring characters from Dead Space: Extraction, Severed includes two stand-alone single-player chapters. The expansion drops players into the role of Gabe Weller, a security guard in the necromorph-infested Sprawl, as he escorts Lexine Murdock to safety. Weller is equipped with an upgraded pulse rifle and security suit, both of which will come in handy when faced with the returning Twitcher, which fans may remember from the original Dead Space.
Out now on the Games on Demand hub are four new titles, the first of which is Metro 2033 ($50). The game depicts a near-future Earth where human civilization was obliterated by an apocalyptic tragedy in 2013. With the planet's surface now an inhospitable wasteland, humanity's few survivors have taken shelter in Moscow's labyrinthine underground subway system.
Also out on the full-game download space is Far Cry Instincts Predator ($20). The title contains two games: the original Far Cry Instincts, as well as Predator content. The game puts players into the boots of Jack Carver, who is stranded on an island inhabited with mercenaries, pirates, and other angry inhabitants.
Gamers looking for something less violent via Games on Demand can pick up Open Season ($20). The game sees players taking on the role of both Boog and Elliot, as they follow the film's storyline. The characters use the land and its inhabitants to their advantage, with skunk bombs, acorn-chucking squirrels, and wascally wabbits. Friends will also be able to compete against each other with minigames that support up to four players.
The last game out in the Games on Demand virtual marketplace this week is The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon ($20). In the game, the titular purple dragon faces off against the nefarious Dark Master in a final showdown, allying with former adversary Cynder in the process. The series adds two new play mechanics: Spyro can now take to the sky at will, and players can now take advantage of two-player co-op as either Spyro or Cynder in the game's single-player mode.
Gamers looking to try before they buy can download two new sports game demos today, the first of which is for 2K Czech's Top Spin 4. The tennis game--due out in full March 15--is a licensed title and feature the likenesses of 25 tennis stars, including Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal, Ana Ivanovic, Pete Sampras, James Black, Jelena Jankovic, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Caroline Wozniacki.
The other sports game demo out now is for the Roy Halladay-fronted MLB 2K11. 2K's latest baseball sim, MLB 2K11 is in development at 2K Sports' Visual Concepts studio, which also handles the publisher's NBA sim franchise. Gamers can use the demo as practice because when the game is released on March 8, the first gamer to record and submit an authentic perfect game will win $1,000,000.
Double Fine's Stacking--a matryoshka-themed puzzle game--launched on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network last month behind a warm reception. Now, fans eager for more matryoshka mayhem will be able to grab new content in the future.
According to a tweet from the game's publisher, THQ, Stacking is set to get its first batch of downloadable content sometime in the future.
"We had confirmation today that DLC for Stacking is in development," reads the message. "Look out for more details on this soon."
Unfortunately, the announcement did not give a name, release date, or price to the forthcoming post-release add-on content.
As for the main game, Stacking follows the story of Charlie Blackmore, the smallest of a family of Russian stacking dolls, as he aims to reunite his family after they become separated in the wake of tough economic times. The game's puzzle element involves stacking the dolls and making use of each one's different abilities to overcome challenges that often have multiple solutions. Players will unlock more dolls as the game progresses and Charlie's story unfolds.
For more on the title, check out GameSpot's review of Stacking.
Leading the pack this week is Gaijin Games' Bit. Trip Flux (800 Wii points, or $8). The final entry in the Bit. Trip franchise, Flux has players reprising their role as protagonist Commandervideo in his final adventure. Gamers can play either solo or with a friend and enjoy new power-ups like the full-screen paddle, new beat types, and a new Meta mode.
Also out now on WiiWare are two new demos, the first of which is for Zallag's deity game Gods vs. Humans. The other demo also now available is for Pong Toss Pro: Frat Party Games.
Switching to DSiWare, Nintendo added three new games to the virtual marketplace today, the first of which is My Little Restaurant (500 DSi points, or $5). The game casts players as a restaurant manager who must seat guests, take orders, deliver food, and make money. The game sports five distinct restaurant types: American Diner, Japanese Bar, Ancient Palace, Picnic Fun, and Space Lunchroom, as well as a duo of minigames: Burgers for the Chef and Sushi Master Challenge.
Also out now on DSiWare is Subdued Software's Magnetic Joe (500 DSi points, or $5). The title has players controlling Joe, a petite magnetic sphere. As Joe, players will travel through 100 levels all set about with enemies and obstacles. Each maze is full of magnets that pull Joe in every which way, so players must wisely use Joe's magnetic power to get to safety.
The last DSiWare title out now is Monster Buster Club (800 DSi points, or $8). From Nordcurrent, the game has players adventuring alongside Cathy, Danny, Sam and Chris through the title based on the animated television show Monster Buster Club. Players will battle aliens, race cars, solve puzzles, and travel to outer space in Monster Buster Club.
On March 1, Trion Worlds will launch the first of its three announced online efforts, Rift, and thus far, the game seems to have generated significant interest. This week, the online gaming company announced that more than 1 million people have created accounts through its website. Among other perks, registration served as an opt-in to participate in Rift's beta-testing phase.
The milestone comes with Rift's launch date quickly approaching. The fantasy-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game will be available for the PC on March 1 in North America, while the European and UK release dates will follow on March 3 and March 4, respectively. Those who preordered the title were able to enter one of the game's 33 Head Start servers starting yesterday.
As its title might suggest, the game's premise is that "rifts" in space-time are playing havoc with the land of Telara and threatening to tear the fabric of the universe. Trion noted that the world will be highly malleable, as these rifts can be triggered by players or the development team, and they can also occur spontaneously. Their arrival will alter the landscape, as well as open up new areas for exploration.
Rift is available in three different configurations: Standard ($50), Digital Collector's Edition ($60), and Retail Collector's Edition ($80). The game also carries a $15 monthly subscription charge, with the first month being included in the game's purchase price. Trion is offering promotional $10-a-month pricing for those who make a six-month commitment as part of the "Founder's Pricing" plan, which will be available through March 15.
For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Rift.
The PlayStation 3's Greatest Hits lineup of catalog titles has expanded yet again. Sony today added five of 2010's biggest releases to its budget-priced promotion, bringing the total number of inductions into the program to 52.
Leading the latest charge of Greatest Hits games is God of War III, Kratos' current-generation console debut, which originally saw release last March. Other Sony games joining the Ghost of Sparta in the program are the serial killer whodunit Heavy Rain, the customization-friendly ModNation Racers, and the Game of the Year Edition of Uncharted 2. A single third-party title, THQ's UFC Undisputed 2010, also made the cut.
Sony did not say when the Greatest Hits versions of the games should arrive in stores. However, they will be easily identifiable by the line's distinctive red-tinted Blu-ray cases. All of the new editions will carry a suggested price point of $30.
Halo: Reach's second deployment of downloadable content is almost here. As part of a Microsoft Games Showcase event in San Francisco today, the publisher announced the Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack will be available through Xbox Live on March 15 for 800 Microsoft points ($10).
Bungie's latest Halo add-on updates the Firefight and online multiplayer areas of Reach with three new battlegrounds: Condemned, Highlands, and Unearthed. Condemned is a space station level supporting six to 12 players, while Highlands takes the fight outside for eight- to 16-player battles in the wilderness of Reach. Finally, Unearthed is set in one of the planet's mining operations and supports up to four players in the Firefight mode.
The Defiant Map Pack was created with the help of Certain Affinity, an Austin, Texas-based studio founded by Halo 2 multiplayer team lead Max Hoberman. The studio has also contributed to shooters like Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty: Black Ops, as well as creating its own game in Age of Booty.
Test Drive Unlimited 2's launch earlier this month was a rocky one. The game's forums were lit up with gamers vocalizing issues they encountered with the racer, with developer Eden Games later patching in fixes. Now, the French studio is giving away downloadable content to say "thank you" for sticking it out.
According to an Atari employee post on the game's forums, Atari will give away digital copies of the Exploration Pack. The add-on content includes new vehicles, the Lancia Stratos version Rallye and 1969 Dodge Charger, as well as a laundry list of fixes (listed below).
The content is already live for the PC and is sitting in certification from Microsoft and Sony, with it set to premiere "shortly."
--Logging into the game has been improved
--Once into the game, the online network experience is now much more stable in all areas
--Save games no longer corrupt
--Existing corrupted save games will be repaired in many cases
--Friends lists are now populated
--Invites now work correctly
--Clubs have been brought back online
--Exploits to gain money have been fixed
--Casino access has been improved
--Players will no longer lose money because of the Casino bug
For more on the racing title, check out GameSpot's review of Test Drive Unlimited 2.