Tagged: microsoft

Alan Wake (Xbox 360) Review

American media has made popular small towns with deep, dark secrets. Such small towns are responsible for playing host to some memorable “The X-Files” episodes as well as the now-legendary “Twin Peaks” television show. This fascination with small towns is much more prevalent in books though, with big-time writers such as Stephen King weaving remarkable stories of evil with such backdrops.

Remedy Entertainment, the studio, took inspiration from both television shows and mainstream literature to create an experience that is simply unforgettable. The end result is Alan Wake, an excellent thriller that manages to combine an engaging story with compelling gameplay. It does not revolutionize the genre – it doesn’t even try to – but the experience will stay with you once it’s over.

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More Fable 2 DLC Coming, Fable 3 Hinted at

Lionhead head Peter Molyneux dropped some new details on what’s in store for Fable 2.

Speaking to Kotaku, he revealed that the next DLC “See the Future” should be released in the coming weeks and that it will be more story driven than the first DLC (Knothole Island).

Said Molyneux: "It answers some of the questions, if you’re a real fan of Fable…it starts to tease and hint at what it starting to happen in the world of Albion and what is happening in the future.”

He also hinted at Fable 3, noting that those who play the upcoming DLC will get a taste of what is to come.

Blizzard in Talks With Microsoft Over Xbox 360 Successor

Reporting from GDC, Gamesindustry carries word that Blizzard executive Rob Pardo has revealed that the studio is in active talks with Microsoft regarding the successor to the Xbox 360.

It should be noted that Blizzard’s games sell like hot cakes on PC and that their last console release was of StarCraft way back in 2000 on Nintendo 64. However, with blockbuster titles in the making – Diablo 3, StarCraft 2 and an unannounced MMO – the company might be looking to expand its reach to consoles.

Dream-Build-Play 2009 Begins

The third annual Dream-Build-Play global game development competition by Microsoft has started at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, inviting aspiring and hobbyist developers to create new and innovative games for Xbox 360.

Starting Monday, April 6, developers will have the opportunity to submit their game creations to the competition for a chance to win a cash prize and an opportunity to sign an Xbox Live Arcade publishing contract. Winners will be announced this fall.

More than 7800 members had taken part in the competition last year, submitting over 350 completed games using Microsoft’s free XNA Game Studio tools. Winners took home more than $70,000 in prizes and have since become top sellers on the Xbox Live Community Games Channel.

“The level of innovation and the number of submissions we receive each year to Dream-Build-Play has increased exponentially because the development community is becoming increasingly familiar with the XNA Game Studio,” XNA General Manager Boyd Multerer said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what developers are able to create with the latest LIVE features and updated tools at their disposal.”

Coke Giving Away Points on Xbox Live

Coca-Cola has teamed up with Microsoft this week to give away $37,000 (£25,000) worth of Microsoft points on Xbox Live for free.

The partnership will see three million points given away via a Happiness Factory promotion on the service on a first-come-first-serve basis.

These points can be used on anything, ranging from dowloadable content for Xbox 360 games to songs for your Zune.

Three Games Join Microsoft Classics Line

While most of us have all the big blockbuster games, there are always newcomers to introduce them to, and Microsoft is aiming at them with the expansion of its Classics collection in Europe by including three games – Halo 3, Mass Effect and Project Gotham Racing 4. They will be re-released on March 20 for just £19.99.

No introduction is really necessary for any of the titles. Halo 3 is essentially the most popular first-person shooter ever, amassing a huge following since its Xbox days. Mass Effect is the latest action-RPG from BioWare; exclusive to Xbox 360, the game has players travelling across the universe to save the world from a destructive civilization. Finally, Project Gotham Racing 4 is the latest installment in the street racing series.

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“We are delighted to add three of our finest titles to the Classics range, adding to the exceptional entertainment offering available on the Xbox 360 at outstanding prices,” said David Gosen Vice President of Marketing, Xbox Europe. “As we see more and more families looking to save money by staying in, Xbox 360 continues to offer high-quality home entertainment at fantastic value and consumers are clearly recognising this as we sail past 8 million console sales in Europe.”

Snowblind DLC, Patch Heading for Gears of War 2

Gears of War 2 fans wake up! More multiplayer maps and another patch for the cover-heavy action game is due out by the end of the month.

The “Snowblind Map Pack” is due out on March 31, and will deliver four winter-themed maps: Grind Yard, Under Hill, Courtyard and a remake of Fuel Depot from the first game. While no pricing was given, the last multiplayer map pack sold for 800 Microsoft points ($10).

As for the patch, it will bring a new experience-based ranking system plus a variety of fixes when it is released on March 24. Hit the jump for full details.

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More Fable 2 DLC on the Way

Really, was there any doubt? Lionhead Studios has confirmed that more downloadable content is coming up soon for Fable 2, its open-world action-RPG. Here’s what their blog had to say on the matter:

"Will there be any more DLC for Fable II?"

The answer is quite simple;

"Yes".

So far Lionhead has churned out one piece of DLC that added the Knothole Island, a whole new area to explore. The studio declined to offer any more details on the DLC.

Ensemble Co-founder Forms Robot Entertainment

Microsoft’s closure of Ensemble Studios – home to the Age of Empires franchise – was one of the more surprising developments in the last couple of months. Time doesn’t stand still for anyone – other than the ones who stayed behind at Microsoft to support Halo Wars, studio veterans have formed a new studio.

Ensemble Studios co-founder Tony Goodman has formed Robot Entertainment. This comes from Gamasutra and LinkedIn profiles. It hasn’t been revealed what type of projects the studio will tackle, but many former Ensemble employees have joined the studio, so I’d expect nothing but quality RTS games from them.