“Geared” up for Multi-player

The team behind Gears of War 3 recently released the full list of Launch day maps. Seven news maps plus the three beta maps will be available for your curb stomping, Grub killing, Beast and hoard mode pleasure. Long time fans will be please to see an all time favourite map, from both Gears 1 and 2, will be returning with a slight twist – Gridlock at night… oh and a special surprise awaits at the bottom of the list.

Here is the full list of maps along with a description for “Gears of War 3” Multi-player:

Checkout – Checkout’s combat takes place in the carcass of an abandoned superstore. The shop owners tried to move their inventory with a closeout sale in the weeks leading up to the HOD evacuations, but ultimately had to walk away and leave everything to time and history. The intense close-quarters combat of the store aisles makes every decision important. Weapon selection is key, cover is essential to survival and every move has an impact. When facing your enemy, remember what the sign says: “Everything must go.”

Drydock – Much has been written about the beauty of Seran culture, but people often forget the backbone of industry upon which it all relies. This shipyard stands full of undelivered goods and the necessary tools of a society’s infrastructure. Its most prominent landmark is the rotting husk of a cargo ship that will forever stand in Drydock.

Gridlock – This ashen street was once a bustling tourist destination known for its quaint inns and waterfront cafés. Even the water is gone now, replaced by the burnt shell of a crater that stands as a testament to the loss of Seran humanity.

Hotel – Small island resorts such as this one catered to the opulent tastes of vacationing Serans. But as the Lambent infection spreads across the globe, tides are shifting to flood once popular beaches, and fierce winds batter and push at the walls of humanity’s creations.

Mercy – This area was once a bustling town square filled with people, but it never recovered from the UIR mortar shellings of the Pendulum Wars. Emergence soon followed, and the already heartbroken residents were shown no mercy by Locust forces, leading to an almost immediate evacuation. This large and open central square is surrounded on all sides by sheltered passageways and buildings. A raised dais yields powerful weaponry and a view of virtually everything within range, but the power located there must be hard-earned and well-protected to provide any lasting advantage.

Old Town* – Several remote areas of Sera managed to stave off the impact of Emergence for quite some time. Island towns such as this one were able to sustain themselves with small farms and a steady bounty from the ocean. But all good things must come to an end, and eventually they could hide no more. This is an excellent map for team-based play, with multiple areas that are well-suited to both attack and defense scenarios. A well-executed plan will often reap great rewards, and an enemy caught unaware can be flushed into a trap like a chicken free of its coop.

Overpass – As the Lambent infection spreads across Sera, the planet is quite literally falling apart. And as the substrata beneath this forgotten overpass begin to disintegrate, the entire city block is collapsing along with it, sliding into a vast underground cavern. Head for the high ground or you just might slide along with it. Battles in this highly dynamic map often focus around the elevated Overpass, where teams can hole up and take advantage of the protected position and emplaced weaponry located there. But gaining the high ground can also be a trap, as the team left below will most assuredly use mortars and orbital lasers to regain their lost footing.

Sandbar – This observation post once had a commanding view of the distant horizon. Never threatened, it was thought to be impenetrable due to its unpredictable coastline and the constant shifting of sandbars along the shallow water of the coastline. And it never did fall; it was simply abandoned when humanity fled from a threat that nobody could ever see coming.

Thrashball* – This stadium was once home to a different sort of national hero, one who fought for honour and glory, instead of scrambling for survival. The invigorating roar of the crowd has been replaced by the melancholy moaning of wind in the empty stadium seats. Stadium matches are no longer restricted to the playing field, and the team that controls the concession stands earns a great advantage. The scoreboard still keeps track of every point earned, but its frayed support cables also make it a precarious trap for anyone foolish enough to run underneath it.

Trenches* – The Locust have begun to carve mines and tunnels into the rocks of the Seran Deadlands, eking out any existence that resembles the underground passages of the Hollow they once called home. But this harsh environment is as relentless and unforgiving as any enemy they’ve ever had to face. The Locust Trenches are small and tight, with clean lines of sight across virtually the entire battlefield. The central hill leads to a fortified bunker with a strategically important vantage point. Once taken, it is rarely surrendered, unless opposing forces can manage to sneak up under the cover of a passing sandstorm that leaves everyone blind for a short while.

* Maps from Multi-player Beta

Multi-player Map Art:

Driver San Francisco – Dev Diaries

Having some hands on time with this game at a couple of recent events I was pleasantly surprised at how intuitive the new features and the game play for Driver San Francisco are. Having never played any of the previous Driver games, I’m actually not a fan of driving games, I was shocked at how well the Cars handled and how easy some of the new game play features made this a game I’m actually looking forward to getting my hands on.

The detail that the Ubisoft team put into this game is incredible. Using similar techniques to the city mapping, like in Assassins Creed, you’ll drive around a fully scaled digital representation of San Francisco, and if your at all familiar with the city you’ll be able to visits all your favourite landmarks. I’d tell you more but there are a couple (more qualified) people in the videos below that can share the secrets of Driver with you all… Enjoy!

Dev Diary 1:

Dev Diary 2:

Dev Diary 3:

Driver San Francisco available September 2nd everywhere.

Just Dance 3 set list

Ubisoft is burning up the dance floor with the Just Dance franchise lining up some great new songs and a number of classics dance tunes. Don’t take our word for it – go look at the set list yourself it includes 80’s classics from A-ha and Bananarama, some 90’s dance beats from the Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk and instant classics like Cee Lo Green’s (the clean version) “Forget you”.

Just Dance 3 will include updated game play and a number of new game features. For example: songs that feature 4-part choreographies, Dance mashup mode, create their own unique choreographies with the JUST CREATE, Just Dance choreographies. But wait that’s not all – all tracks will provide on-screen lyrics to karaoke with the hits while dancing. Don’t you worry Dance fans Just Dance 3 still has everyone’s favourite dance modes like Classic Mode, Duet Mode, Medley, Simon Says, an updated Just Sweat mode with more workout plans, and more!

Tracks available in Just Dance 3 include:

    1. 2 Unlimited – “No Limit”
    2. a-ha – “Take On Me”
    3. Anja – “Dance All Nite”
    4. Bananarama – “Venus”
    5. Black Eyed Peas – “Pump It”
    6. Bollywood Rainbow – “Kurio ko uddah le jana”
    7. Cee Lo Green – “Forget You”
    8. Countdown Mix Masters – “Beautiful Liar”
    9. Daft Punk – “Da Funk”
    10. Danny Elfman – “This is Halloween”
    11. Donna Summer – “I Feel Love”
    12. Dr. Creole – “Baby Zouk”
    13. Duck Sauce – “Barbra Streisand”
    14. Girls Aloud – “Jump (For My Love)”
    15. Groove Century – “Boogie Wonderland”
    16. Gwen Stefani – “What You Waiting For”
    17. Inspector Marceau – “The Master Blaster”
    18. Janelle Monae – “Tightrope (Solo Version)”
    19. Jessie J featuring B.o.B – “Price Tag”
    20. Brahms by Just Dance Classical Orchestra – “Hungarian Dance No. 5”
    21. Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg – “California Gurls”
    22. Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”
    23. Konshens – “Jamaican Dance”
    24. African Ladies – “Pata Pata”
    25. Latino Sunset – “Mamasita”
    26. Laura Bell Bundy – “Giddy On Up (Giddy On Out)”
    27. Lena Meyer-Landrut – “Satellite”
    28. LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock – “Party Rock Anthem”
    29. Madness – “Night Boat To Cairo”
    30. MIKA – “Lollipop”
    31. Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland – “Promiscuous”
    32. Pointer Sisters – “I’m So Excited”
    33. Queen – “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”
    34. Reggaeton Explosion – “Boom”
    35. Rita Mitsouko – “Marcia Baila”
    36. Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman – “Somethin’ Stupid”
    37. Scissor Sisters – “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’”
    38. Sweat Invaders – “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)”
    39. Taio Cruz – “Dynamite”
    40. The Buggles – “Video Killed The Radio Star”
    41. The Chemical Brothers – “Hey Boy Hey Girl”
    42. The Girly Team – “Baby One More Time”
    43. The London Theatre Orchestra & Cast – “Think”
    44. The Sugarhill Gang – “Apache (Jump On It)”
    45. Tommy Sparks – “She’s Got Me Dancing”
    46. Wilson Pickett – “Land of 1000 Dances”

Just Dance 3 will be released worldwide on October 11.

More Pre-order Announcements

Future Shop recently sent over a new list of upcoming pre-order bonus items for some of the hottest games coming to shelves this fall season. Honestly the best of the all seems to be the exclusive Batman case… Skip to the bottom and check out the Steelbook casing that comes along with your pre-order.

      1. FIFA 2012: Pre-order customers of FIFA 2012 receive one month subscription service to MLS Match Day Live. A $10 value. Releases September 27.
      2. Dark Souls: Free upgrades to the Collector’s Edition for all pre-order customers. The Collector’s Edition includes a limited edition metal case, mini strategy guide, art book and bonus digital download features. Releases October 4.
      3. Batman Arkham City (exclusive to Future Shop): pre-order at Future Shop and receive a Steelbook only available through Future Shop and in-game Dark Knight costume as originally drawn by comic book icon Frank Miller. Available in limited quantities. Arkham City releases October 18.
      4. WWE 12: Receive The Rock as a playable in-game character free when you pre-order WWE 12. Launching November 22.
      5. SSX: Launching New Year’s Eve, pre-order customers of this title receive Zoe Payne’s Elite snowboard and bonus boost.

Review: Carnivores

This game is a PSP Mini just out; I can’t put my PSP down since downloading it and now my kids wanna play!
The game Carnivores is a graphically rich environment full of the sounds and little creatures you would expect to see and hear while on Safari hunting dinosaurs. You must start small and prove yourself a master hunter of all the different parks to travel through, but once you have earned enough trophies you will be ready for the ultimate challenge of hunting the greatest dinosaur of them all: T – Rex, King of all Dinosaurs.

The games controls are a little to get used to but once you catch the hang of it you will really soar to new heights’ while combining all of your hunter instincts to survive. The 3D world is breath taking and the game plays just like the other Big Game hunt types, a good game overall for just having some fun.

I would rate this game a two thumbs up due to the nature of the game, I myself love hunting stuff! And for all the animal activist out there you can even hunt in a more humane fashion by using non-lethal means, but you earn less points.

Carnivores is action-packed game and full of excitement with breath-taking scenes that will keep you jumping out of your seat, even if you are a “seasoned hunter”.

Keep an eye out for Carnivores: Ice Age ($3.99) coming to a PSP near you on August 31, 2011.

THE DARK MEADOW

Coming soon to the Apple App Store The Dark Meadow, a new action-adventure monster-slaying game from Phosphor Games, appears to take place in a run down asylum, or hospital. Join the sole resident and take on the monsters that live within. Use ranged and melee weapons with the familiar iOS movements of “pull back and fire” and slash combat to take on your enemies, as you work to piece together how you got into this hellish prison.

Catch the Trailer here:

The Dark Meadow is hitting the App Store this month and will be available in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and Italian. An exact date and price will be announced shortly.

The official site, http://www.thedarkmeadowgame.com/

Sony Computer Entertainment Acquires Sucker Punch Productions

Earlier this week SCEA announced the acquisition of Game Developer Sucker Punch Productions, makers of some of our Favourite games; Sly Cooper, Infamous and Infamous 2.

SCEA and Sucker Punch have had a long history together with 5 exclusive titles over the last twelve years. This seems like a match made in Gaming heaven.

Congrats to the Team at Sucker Punch!

Future Shop’s Entertainment and Gaming Preview

Recently I attended the Future Shop fall entertainment preview for Future Shop’s electronics staff, and a few special media members, down at the Toronto Westin Harbour Castle. Game developers Ubisoft, Disney Interactive and Activision/Blizzard were in the house along with the Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Crews showing off the latest titles coming your way.

My first stop took us to the Ubisoft booth, where game demos for the latest Raymond, Driver San Francisco, Just Dance 3 and PowerUp Heroes. Remembering their roots Ubisoft is bringing back the franchise that started it all – Raymond, a fun and traditional platformer made for two. If you loved the old Raymond titles, your not going to want to miss this one. Driver surprised me, by taking a traditional experience and changing it up… mission based driving ,where the missions change based on your current car (high speed chases in the police car, and cab fare missions in taxis) bus or truck. Just between cars in free play mode to experience an extremely detailed San Francisco in a whole new way. Just Dance 3 brings the sexy back (did I really just say that?) with the all night party game. Hot new tracks, and multi-player support will have this in your party rotating right next to Rock Band, Guitar Hero and Sing Star.

Driver: San Francisco –

Disney Interactive brought along their latest title ‘Disney Universe’, a platformer that walks you through the numerous Disney franchises like Alice in Wonderland, and Monsters Inc. This four player co-op offers team based challenges and puzzles that will vary in difficulty based on the number of players in the game. Fun for the whole family.

Disney Universe:

Activision/Blizzard treated us to Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012. With our rifles blasting – the bears, geese, and deer never stood a chance. Also on tap was the newest in the Spyro the Dragon series, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. Combining 32 miniature figures, a cage match fighting arena and the traditional gem collecting game we have all loved for the last 13 years. The highly detailed action figures will be worth it for those that collect miniatures.

Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012:

Last up was the Intech booth, where gaming accessories galore were piled high. From steering wheels, to HDMI cables – colour coded for for easy adaptability and console integration identification (green for xbox, red for PlayStation and white/blue for the Wii). I was were also introduced to the iCade, a classic looking micro-arcade for your iPad. A $99 accessory for your iPad that gives you a the retro gaming experience of over 100 Atari classics; from Asteroids to Centipede. One Game Download included from the App store. I found this to be a little big (no room for this in my office) but I was assured a slimmed down and smaller version would be announced soon – offering the space savings I will require to add this to my collection.

Grears of War 3 Kicks Up The ‘Body Count’

It’s been known for some time that Ice-T love for the ‘Gears of War” franchse, and when Body Count reunited at E3 – it was ON! When asked to contribute to the Final Chapter Ice-T had this to say “I’ve always been a big fan of the game and got to play a lot of the new one during development. I play the character Griffin so when I was invited to also record a new track, the lyrics came pretty quick.”

Body Count’s “The Gears of War” and the game’s official soundtrack will be available in conjunction with the launch of “Gears of War 3” later this fall.

Be advised: Content may be objectionable to some.

Wanna be like Ice-T and Play Griffin… Then Like Gears of War 3 on Facebook and get your free DLC code – Get Griffin.