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Deep Silver acquires rights to Homefront: The Revolution from Crytek

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Crytek’s money problems just will not go away. Last month, rumors began to swirl that the high-profile developer wasn’t paying their employees and had canceled several major projects. Today, Deep Silver announced that they have acquired all rights to Homefront: The Revolution. The deal also includes 2011′s Homefront, which Crytek obtained at the THQ bankruptcy auction.

The story behind Homefront: The Revolution is one of the more complicated tales in the entire industry. THQ originally announced the shooter sequel a few months after the successful launch of the original Homefront. Crytek was on board as the developer from the beginning and they assigned the game to their Crytek UK team. Then came THQ’s bankruptcy woes and everyone stayed quiet on the Homefront until this year’s E3 Expo, when Homefront: The Revolution was officially unveiled.

Due to Crytek’s inexperience in the self-publishing arena, they recruited Deep Silver to distribute the game and stand in as something like a co-publisher. So this acquisition likely won’t disrupt development too much. However, the game is moving from Crytek UK to Deep Silver Dambuster Studios. Both studios are located in Nottingham, so I’m curious to know how many former Crytek UK employees have jumped ship to Deep Silver’s new endeavor.

Hopefully, Homefront: The Revolution is still on track for a 2015 release.

UPDATE: Crytek has confirmed that all members of the Homefront team will transfer to Deep Silver Dambuster.

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CoD Advanced Warfare special editions keep it simple with DLC bonuses

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After including underwater cameras and remote control drones in previous special, Activision is keeping the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare special editions simple. Instead of some big toy that you’ll play with once, the publisher is packing both packages with a ton of downloadable goodies.

First up is the Atlas Pro Edition, which is priced at $79.99. In addition to the game, it’ll include the following digital items:

  • “Atlas Gorge” Bonus Multiplayer Map – “Atlas Gorge” re-envisions the fan-favorite Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare map, “Pipeline,” re-imagined for the new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare exoskeleton abilities. The Atlas Corporation has commandeered the world’s largest power source, the Three Gorges Dam in central China, creating a gripping setting for a multiplayer battle. Combatants will navigate the shadows and control a map-based turret scorestreak that overlooks the dam and helps to keep enemies at bay, all while leveraging new abilities and tactics enabled by exoskeleton technology, such as vertical combat, new sightlines, and strategic vantage points.
  • Atlas Digital Content Pack: Weapons – The Bal-27 AE Assault Rifle and the Atlas 45 AE Pistol. Trick out your loadout with these two sleek weapons fitted with an Atlas Corporation theme to match your other custom content.
  • Atlas Digital Content Pack: Atlas Exoskeleton - Strike fear into competition with your PMC-issued, white, red & black custom Atlas exoskeleton, and ensure opponents remember who took them out.
  • Atlas Digital Content Pack: Atlas Helmet - A state-of-the-art custom Atlas helmet.
  • Atlas Digital Content Pack: Atlas Player Card - Leave your mark on any killcam with an Atlas player card, featuring both a custom Atlas calling card and custom Atlas emblem.
  • Atlas Digital Content Pack: Bonus Supply Drops - Supply Drops are part of the revolutionary changes in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare that Sledgehammer Games is bringing to Call of Duty multiplayer. You’ll be well-prepared for battle as soon as you boot up with five bonus supply drops, which unlock a variety of game-changing, in-game content from player customization gear to weapons.
  • Single Player Exoskeleton Upgrade Token - Over the course of Campaign mode, players unlock exoskeleton perks and abilities that help tackle various obstacles and challenges. This token provides an extra upgrade for your exoskeleton, so you’re already at an advantage when jumping into the Campaign.
  • Official Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Soundtrack - Digital copy of the in-game score, featuring main title & themes by legendary composer, Harry Gregson-Williams as well as original music by Audiomachine.

The Atlas Pro Edition will also include a Welcome to Atlas: Advanced Soldier Manual which features “original concept artwork” from the game as well as “historical and tactical information that will bolster every soldier’s potential for success in the field.” Finally, it all comes packed in a collectible SteelBook case. If you upgrade to the Atlas Limited Edition (which is priced at $119.99), you’ll receive all that plus the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Season Pass.

The Atlas Pro Edition, the Atlas Limited Edition, and the standard edition of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will all launch on November 4 for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare “Story” trailer needs more Spacey

This “Campaign Story” trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare lays out all the little details the fuel the game’s narrative… There’s a terrible terrorist attack. A private military contractor named Atlas leads the rebuilding effort and wins government contracts all over the world. And then Kevin Spacey goes mad with power. But I was promised a madder Spacey. A Spacey that chews the digital scenery with reckless abandon. Maybe even Keyser Soze in space!

But we don’t get any of that. There’s very little Spacey in this trailer. I have to admit, I feel a little like Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park. Tapping the screen and hoping a Spaceysaurus jumps out and has a nice lunch with his lawyer.

Still, the trailer is pretty impressive. There’s jet packs and mech-suited soldiers and walking tanks and a surveillance bug that is literally a tiny flying bug with a camera mounted to its face. And the trailer ends with a promise that the “Multiplayer Reveal” will be available on August 11. That’s nice to know.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will launch (with more Spacey) on November 4 for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

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PAX Prime 2014 PAX 10 selections announced

paxprime-logoPAX Prime 2014 is exactly a month away, so now’s the perfect time to announce the PAX 10, a hand-picked group of indie games that the Penny Arcade (and over 50 judges) choose to highlight at the big show.

Duet, a great iOS game where players have to navigate two dots through an obstacle course, and Framed, an interactive comic where players rearrange the panels to rearrange the story, are both holdovers from this Spring’s PAX East Indie Showcase. Other PAX 10 selections include:

  • Duet (Developed by Kumobius)
  • Flickers (Developed by DigiPen’s Neat Snake)
  • Framed (Developed by LoveShack Entertainment)
  • Life Goes On (Developed by Infinite Monkeys Entertainment)
  • Mushroom 11 (Developed by Untame)
  • Nova-111 (Developed by Funktronic Labs)
  • Poof vs The Cursed Kitty (Developed by Arkedo Studio/Neko Entertainment)
  • Skullduggery! (Developed by ClutchPlay Games)
  • Stikbold! (Developed by Reign Bros)
  • The Counting Kingdom (Developed by Little Worlds Interactive)

Head over to the official PAX Site for a more detailed description of each title. And be sure to check out every PAX 10 selection on the show floor at this year’s PAX Prime convention.

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Shovel Knight Review: An Ace (of Spades) Retro-Styled Platformer

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Even though we’re in the middle of a second golden age of side-scrolling platformers, very few of them attempt to recreate what was so great about the graphical look of games in the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. Most of them (Mega Man 9 and 10, Contra ReBirth, Gradius ReBirth) just serve as distant sequels to some NES favorites. So it’s amazing that something like Shovel Knight, a wholly original game from Yacht Club Games, was able to perfectly capture the mood of late 80s game design. It feels more like a lost cartridge rediscovered in the modern day as opposed to a modern game created with modern gamers in mind. Yacht Club’s Sean Velasco told us last year that the company’s goal is to create “really awesome retro/modern fusion games.” I’m glad they got the chance and I’m not sure I’d want it any other way. (more…)

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New Releases: Last of Us Remastered, Lego Ninjago: Nindroids, Sacred 3 PC

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Take heed fellow video game fans, the month of July is almost over! It’s been a rough few weeks for the retail release report, but 2014′s seventh month looks to go out with a bit of a bang. That’s because Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Remastered, a PS4 re-release of the 2013 blockbuster, will be available in stores this week. If you haven’t experienced the story of Joel, Ellie, and their fight to survive a post-apocalyptic America yet, now’s the time.

Also available this is the PC version of Sacred 3, the latest entry in the action RPG series that began in 2008. Sacred 3 will also be available on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in early August.

Finally this week, WB Games and TT Games will bring Lego Ninjago: Nindroids to the 3DS and Vita. The game sequel, which is based on the animated series Lego Ninja Rebooted, will add a sci-fi twist to the popular Lego line.

August will be better, I promise.

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Press that recall button… the entire cast of Firefly will join Firefly Online

“When your miracle gets here, you just pound this button once, it’ll call back both shuttles.”

No power in the verse can stop them. Spark Plug Games and QMx, the developers behind Firefly Online, have confirmed that the entire cast will provide voicework for the game. Nathan Fillion (Captain Malcolm Reynolds), Alan Tudyk (Wash), Adam Baldwin (Jayne), Sean Maher (Simon Tam), and Ron Glass (Shepherd Book) have already recorded their parts. Morena Baccarin (Inara), Jewel Staite (Kayley), and Summer Glau (River Tam) have also signed up and will record their parts soon.

In addition to the crew of Serneity, Michael Fairman (Niska) will be on hand to add a devilish presence to the game. Finally, Kelly Hu (Lady Deathstrike from X2) and Michael Dorn (Worf!) will voice new characters created exclusively for the game.

All this extra voicework (and the character animation to go along with it) means that Firefly Online will miss its originally planned Summer 2014 launch. Instead, the game will now be available for the PC and mobile devices in Spring 2015.

[Source: Firefly Online Facebook Page]

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Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes will launch on September 23

Disney Interactive has confirmed that your wallet will need avenging after Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes launches on September 23. Priced at $74.99, the Starter Pack, which includes three figures (Iron Man, Thor, and Black Widow), the base, two Toy Box discs, and an Avengers playset piece, will be available for the PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Everyone who pre-orders Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes from “top retailers” will also receive a bonus figure for free.

If you’re looking for a more complete Marvel Super Heroes experience, Disney also plans to release a Collector’s Edition of the game exclusively for Sony platforms. It’s unknown how much the PS3 or PS4 package will cost, but it will include everything from the Starter Pack, three additional figures (Hulk, Captain America, and Hawkeye), and a light-up Frost Giant display stand for all of your Avengers figures.

HULK IMPRESSED!

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