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PS3 bundled with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for $269 at Walmart

A new PlayStation 3 bundle with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is listed on Walmart's website for $269. The 500 GB system also includes the 2012 movie The Amazing Spider-Man, which is available to watch through Vudu's streaming service. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set for an April 29 release in the U.S. on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Windows PC. A previously planned Xbox One version has been delayed indefinitely. For more on the game, be sure to read our interview with its developers at Beenox from earlier this month.
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The Titanfall for Vita that wasn't and the decision that changed its name

In early 2012, when Respawn Entertainment was developing a game it called R1 internally, the developers contacted Sony about bringing the game to its unannounced next-generation console. The problem was that Sony wasn't ready to divulge details on the PlayStation 4. It was, however, willing to help Respawn create a version of the game for Sony's handheld, the PlayStation Vita. That didn't work for Respawn,  so programmer Jon Shiring met with a Sony contact for dinner. "I can't emphasize enough," Shiring said. "Decisions are being made here about our game, and we really need to know about the next PlayStation." It didn't take. Sony wasn't ready to talk about the PS4 yet. On the other side of the console spectrum, Microsoft was willing to talk specs about the next-gen Durango platform...
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Three indies discuss the future of free-to-play games

The phrase itself conjures up emotions.The free-to-play model as it's been used in the last few years is divisive. Some see it as a way to lower the barrier to entry, to invite players into games without an upfront financial burden. Others see it used as a crass business model designed to get players to pay to win. It's not only players who wrestle with the revenue model. Developers we we've spoken to are aware of its less than stellar reputation, even as they see its potential benefits. And some of them, particularly independent developers, are looking for ways to invoke the free-to-play model without the baggage associated with it. The free-to-play model is evolving, and the developers at Carbon Games, FrogDice and RobotLovesKitty showed us how. CARBON GAMES: AIRMECH ARENA O...
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Risen 3 teaser trailer is all teeth and swords

A new teaser trailer for Risen 3: Titan Lords offers a brief glimpse at one of the enemies sea-faring players will have to face once they step into the game's war-torn world. Risen 3: Titan Lords is the third game in developer Piranha Bytes' pirate-focused role-playing game franchise. Like in previous installments — players will be able to explore the world at their leisure and engage in combat with various foes. The story will focus on a young warrior whose soul is stolen; he then sets out on a revenge quest to reclaim it. The world, "abandoned by all gods" according to the Risen 3 website, is filled with different guilds that the player must align himself with in order to achieve his goals. "Like a carpenter with a hand-crafted piece of furniture, we put together the story, the...
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Call of Duty: Ghosts adding R. Lee Ermey as a screaming drill instructor April 22

R. Lee Ermey, the actor best known for playing the drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket, will join the Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer voice cast April 22 on Xbox platforms, according to a video released today on the series' official YouTube channel. Press play above to hear Ermey's voice work in the upcoming Drill Instructor Voice Pack, which will arrive on other platforms after the Xbox Live release. True to his best-known work, Ermey informs players of their major malfunctions with phrases like, "A day without blood is like a day without sunshine!" and "When they drop weapons, take them you idiot!" Call of Duty: Ghosts won't be Ermey's first foray into video games. The actor has lent his distinctive voice to games in the Toy Story series, where he plays the army man toy...
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Fantasia: Music Evolved won't support Twitch streaming, but will offer other sharing options

Fantasia: Music Evolved, the motion-controlled music game inspired by the 1940 Disney film, won't support broadcasting via Twitch because of music licensing restrictions, developer Harmonix confirmed to Polygon today. "We know that sharing with friends and streaming online is an exciting new feature of current-gen consoles, but there are some restrictions when dealing with licensed music," said a Harmonix representative in an email to Polygon. "We will be disabling Twitch streaming for the game, which is not uncommon for applications that might have restrictions on sharing licensed content like music, television or movies." Fantasia: Music Evolved includes classical music like Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik as well as licensed modern hits such as Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Peter...
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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Xbox One version 'TBD,' says Activision

The existence of the Xbox One version of upcoming action game The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been called into question, with Activision telling MCV its fate is up in the air. The game, slated to launch on April 29, is being published for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Windows PC and Xbox 360. All mentions of the Xbox One version have been removed from the game's official website, with Activision stating that version is "TBD." "We want to inform you that we are revising our release plans for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on Xbox One," Activision said in a statement to MCV. "When and whether The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is released on Xbox One is TBD." When contacted for comment, a representative for Activision told Polygon that the company is "working with Microsoft in an...
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Why Square Enix uses DRM

Square Enix uses digital rights management to earn profits and protect its intellectual property, Square Enix America's senior manager of business and legal affairs Adam Sullivan told TorrentFreak. Square Enix has "a well-known reputation for being very protective of our IPs," Sullivan said, and it employs DRM to further that goal. "The primary benefit to us is the same as with any business: profit," he said. Though he acknowledged that some players have problems and there is "no perfect solution yet," DRM also has other benefits that help developers. "When F2P began trending, lots of people thought it would be the death of DRM. I remember talking with one F2P developer who couldn't imagine why hackers would want to attack his game, since it was free and all. Two months later they...
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Alien: Isolation video explores its 'low-fi sci-fi' design, straight out of 1979

Alien: Isolation is designed to look like the "low-fi sci-fi" universe in Ridley Scott's Alien film, and a video released today on the game's official YouTube channel shows how the developers are recreating that aesthetic. Press play above to see how The Creative Assembly is recreating the world of the 1979 movie for the upcoming first-person survival horror game, in which period-limited technology will affect gameplay. "This is a a game set in the future but based on the past," creative lead Al Hope said. "It's a place which we can really relate to. It's also a world where technology won't save you." Alien: Isolation is headed to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows PC on Oct. 7. For more on the game and its developers, be sure to read our interview with...
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Toys for Bob and the story behind Skylanders

Beasts are peeking out of every nook and cranny in the office, a crazy infestation of plastic chaos.The figurines sit on shelves, hang on walls, tumble on desks in states of unpainted nakedness, dismantled and incoherent. They gurn, snarl and claw in an infinity of static poses. This is the place where the little plastic creatures of Activision's breakout monster hit Skylanders are conceived and birthed, the headquarters of Toys for Bob, a tiki-pirate-ship-themed ex-aircraft hanger in Marin County, California. Since its introduction back in 2011, the Skylanders video game and toy series has generated upwards of $2 billion in lifetime sales. It is one of the top 20 game franchises of all time, with 175 million toy sales. The Skylanders monsters have captured the imaginations of...
Review
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6.5

Trials Fusion review: back to the future

The first words you hear in Trials Fusion are "Welcome to the future! Man! Machine! The future!" You hear these words in the game's main menu, within a theme song on constantly loop. They're "sung" over a sci-fi, synthy backing track as a way to introduce you to this new, futuristic setting. It's hammy and over the top, but it also feels equally lazy, like it's the easiest way to convey this setting in the fewest amount of words. This is fitting, since in so many words, this is Trials Fusion. It cruises on the legacy of its impressive predecessor, offering up mostly the same motorcycle platforming gameplay in a dull package. Fusion cruises on the legacy of its impressive predecessor Despite appearances, Trials Fusion is a platforming game. If you've never played a Trials game...
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Bungie fires Halo composer Martin O'Donnell  (update)

Halo series and Destiny composer Marty O'Donnell was fired by Bungie's board of directors last week, the composer revealed via his personal Twitter account tonight. I'm saddened to say that Bungie's board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014. — Marty O'Donnell (@MartyTheElder) April 16, 2014 O'Donnell composed music for Oni, as well as the Myth and Halo series. He joined Bungie in 2000 as audio director after working on Myth 2, Oni and Halo: Combat Evolved's scores on a contract basis with his company TotalAudio. During his time at Bungie, O'Donnell directed voice talent and sound design for the Halo trilogy, Halo: Reach and Halo 3: ODST. He often collaborated with TotalAudio partner and now in-house audio design lead at Bungie, Mike Salvatori. ...
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Titanfall getting namable loadouts, filterable challenges and more

Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment categorizes free game updates into three categories, and game director Steve Fukuda took to the game's official website to tell players what features to expect in each — including loadouts you can name and filters to search through Challenges. The first-person shooter's first type of update is designed to "tend the garden and keep the weeds out," Fukuda wrote, and they take the form of "minor tweaks and fixes" like weapon balance and matchmaking changes. He refers to the second group as "convenience features," like the recent Party Colors feature that lets players identify others in the game and its lobby. "The next update will bring more convenience features such as: the ability to rename your custom loadouts and to make custom...
Culture
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Snoop Dogg voice pack coming to Call of Duty: Ghosts April 22

A Call of Duty: Ghosts Snoop Dogg Voice Pack will be available on Xbox Live on April 22, according to a video developer Infinity Ward released. The video shows snippets of voice-over work the rapper provided, including lines like "Rack up points by reaching the enemy portal, you dig," "Squad member active — my brother from another mother," and "Homies out the joint, it's party time." "What interested me most about the project is my voice can be connected with a game that's so hip and so hood," Snoop Dogg said. "It says a lot. It's associated with greatness." The voice pack will be released for other platforms at a later date.
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Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare gets free 'Zomboss Down' expansion today

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare's latest expansion, Zomboss Down, is now available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, developer PopCap Games announced today. Zomboss Down is the second free expansion for Garden Warfare, following March's Garden Variety add-on. The western-themed DLC includes eight new characters, such as the Law Pea and Sun Pharaoh, as well as a new multiplayer map for the Gardens and Graveyards mode called Cactus Canyon. The expansion also bumps up the level cap from 20 to 30. You can check out a trailer for Zomboss Down above, and read our full review of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare for more on the multiplayer shooter.
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World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition 1.1 update adds crews and more

The latest addition to World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition, the 1.1 update, gives players access to new vehicles, maps and the game's crew options. Crews must be assigned every time players purchase a new tank. Each crew has different skills; players can choose whichever crew they desire, though the game's "best option" will be highlighted for easy selection. When a crew is reassigned to a tank or class, it must be retrained through schooling or battlefield experience. Crews can only be assigned to tanks from their own country. For more on crews, check out the tutorial video above. "Crews are essential to success in World of Tanks," the video's narrator said. "Every tank needs a crew to operate it, or it will not be able to roll out to battle." Update 1.1 also adds five new U.K.-themed...
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