The summer lull is coming to an end and August is seeing several high profile titles release - look for our Splinter Cell Blacklist and Saints Row 4 reviews this week! In the meantime, let's play catch-up on a few key news items before heading into the end of summer. This week's wrap up covers the weekend's record-breaking Dota 2 Championships, Elizabeth's new DLC costume for BioShock Infinite; console and Arma 3 launch issues; new games in Betrayer and Bad Dinos; the return of Command & Conquer and Wind Waker; and how Mario Kart saves lives.
Read on for the details and more stories.
The International Dota 2 Championships took place in Seattle over the weekend and the community was rightfully buzzing, especially during the finals which saw the two top teams (Sweden's Alliance & Ukraine's Na'Vi) battle to the final round in a best-of-five match. Alliance took home the grand price of $1.43 million, the biggest single prize ever awarded for an eSports event. Na'Vi scored $632,370 for coming second and even the eighth place got $43,116.
Elizabeth's New Duds
Elizabeth has a new Rapture outfit for the BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea DLC and developer Irrational Games can't want to see the cosplay that comes from this one at DragonCon at the end of the month.
Insomniac Games recently trademarked something called "Bad Dinos" and that title alone has us excited. If it's anything like Dino-Riders, we're sold. Speaking of which, when is DICE and Electronic Arts going to add dinosaurs to Battlefield 4?
Arma 3 Rushed
Arma 3 is currently available in beta on Steam and better yet, the super popular DayZ mod has recently been ported to it. Developer Bohemia Interactive is preparing to release the game in full... except it won't be full at all. In fact, Arma 3 will launch without its campaign. Instead, the game's main campaign will release via three free DLC downloads. Welcome to the next-gen.
Source: Bohemia Interactive
Don't Buy Consoles At Launch
This smart and funny animated music video from YouTube's brentalfloss says it all - don't forget its totally accurate points come time for the PS4 and Xbox One this fall.
Mario Kart Saves Lives
Time to get real. A ten year-old boy and his younger brother were driving with their 72 year-old grandmother when she reportedly passed out. They were travelling 60 mph and the ten year-old took reached over, grabbed the wheel to stop the high-speeding vehicle from driving into oncoming traffic and directed it into a ditch where everyone made it out unharmed. The kid thanked Mario Kart for teaching him the skills.
Command & Conquer
The developers behind the free-to-play, always-online spiritual successor to Command & Conquer: Generals chat about designing the units of the upcoming Command & Conquer franchise relaunch. The focus of this video is on a new GLA bomb truck unit. Part one can be watched here. Sign up for the C&C beta here.
Wind Waker HD Cover
Last week Nintendo unveiled the pretty cover for the HD release of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Looks good. But it's a re-release and the Wii U seriously needs some new Nintendo games and a lot of them.
This one flew mostly under the radar but last week a small team of developers (Blackpowder Games) who worked on F.E.A.R. and No One Live Forever released a little info and a trailer for Betrayer, a project they've been working on for just under a year. It releases via Steam early access on August 14, 2013, and while it appears to be an open-world FPS but its unique style and mystery-horror roots make it stand out.
For more on Betrayer check out PC Gamer's great preview.
Whoops! An official video put up on the Disney Infinity YouTube channel actually featured a shot where Skylanders toys can be seen on a desk as the designers work away on the game. The video was quickly removed, but there's really no point. We all know that the successful and highly profitable idea is being entirely ripped from Activision's other cash cow franchise.
PlanetSide 2 Cross-Platform Play
Among free-to-play games like Warframe and DC Universe Online coming to the PlayStation 4, Sony's own PlanetSide 2 is as well. While players might be able to transfer progress between the original PC version and the console port, players on the consoles will not be able to play with PC gamers. Why? It's this simple according to creative director Matt Higby:
"Because of the update cadence, and the additional steps you have to go through to be able to release an update on the PlayStation network, we're not going to be able to keep our servers in sync, so you won't be able to just play with the same people."
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.