There's only one more week until gamers can explore the fictional city of Los Santos in what may arguably be the most-anticipated game of the year. While the leaked map of the biggest GTA game yet made all the buzz today, there are plenty of news bits you may have missed over the last week. On the news front this week, we’re going to look at Mirror's Edge and Minecraft crossovers; Diablo and its clones; the future of the Dead Space, Need for Speed and Homeworld franchises; and the success of EVE Online and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.
Read on for the details and more stories.
Real-Life Mirror's Edge
One of the most exciting announcements from Electronic Arts this year is that DICE finally settled on a direction for Mirror's Edge 2. As big fans of the original game and to celebrate the upcoming next-gen reimagining, the team at Ampisound crafted a real-life parkour version of the game.
Behold The Blood Dragon
Far Cry 3 was one of the most fun games of 2012 and Ubisoft somehow find a way to do something radically different but equally as fun with the game engine by releasing a separate, standalone retro-arcade version of the open-world RPG shooter in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and the industry ate it up. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot tells Game Informer that the downloadable Blood Dragon sold over one million copies. Expect crazy spinoffs of upcoming hits, whether it be Splinter Cell related or something built off of Watch Dogs or Assassin's Creed.
Diablo 3 Always Online
Sorry PC gamers, you're not getting an offline LAN or single-player mode for Diablo 3. According to game director Joshua Mosqueira, the game was built from the ground up with co-op in mind for trading and to prevent cheating, even though the console versions are offline-friendly. Really, it's to protect the money-making and ever-controversial auction house. And it's not going to change.
No Next-Gen Torchlight 2
Gamers upset with Diablo 3 for its extremely long development cycle, launch woes and always-online requirements may have found their salvation in the much more affordable Torchlight 2 a game that also received critical acclaim and great sales success. While the original Torchlight made its way to the Xbox 360, the sequel is not in development for a console port according to Runic Games.
Star Trek: Minecraft Voyager
YouTube user tcunero made something incredible in Minecraft - a full-scale recreation of the USS Voyager starship from Star Trek: Voyager. The video up top shows the work that went into building it block by block based on blueprints of the ship.
To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of EVE Online and look forward to continued growth, CCP Games put together the EVE: The Second Decade Collector’s Edition and are slowly revealing its bonus content for purchasers. Time-limited pre-order bonuses are available now and grant in-game bonuses. The Collector's Edition releases in October. The promo back can be orders here and the full CE can be ordered here.
Dead Space Not Dead
Despite a less-than-stellar third installment in the Dead Space franchise, a disappointment we all saw coming a mile away thanks to an emphasis on combat and co-op play over story and survival-horror elements - something that made it unique and special originally - EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau told CVG a few weeks ago that the series isn't dead.
"No it's not out of rotation. I mean, I'm not announcing anything right now, but I will say we had a great trilogy of games and we still have faith in that franchise... Dead Space is something that we're very proud of. We are not making any public announcements on what we're doing with the next Dead space, but we definitely have a great set of IPs to pull out of the vault."
Expect a Frostbite 3 powered Dead Space on next-gen consoles in two-three years.
Ghost Takes Need For Speed From Criterion
Marcus Nilsson, boss of Ghost Games - developer of Need for Speed: Rivals tells Videogamer that his studio has taken over the annualized NFS franchise from Criterion Games, vaguely explaining that Criterion is instead working on "something else" for EA, perhaps one of their six "new IPs" in development for next-gen consoloes. They will not be alternating year-to-year in order to build consistency between the differing NFS series.
Marvel Heroes 1.2
Marvel Heroes released earlier this year as a free-to-play Diablo clone and has been flying under the radar since. To help broaden the appeal and spice things up for existing players, the game has received a major update with the 1.2 patch adding new unique & relic items, more difficulty levels, a new starting area along with other gameplay tweaks.
When THQ collapsed, Gearbox Software picked up the rights to the long-dead Homeworld franchise. Meanwhile, some of the developers of the original games (and co-founders of Reliec Entertainment) were building their own spiritual successor of sorts titled Hardware: Shipbreakers. In what can only be described as awesome, Gearbox has partnered with Blackbird Interactive to make Shipwreckers an official Homeworld game. CEO Randy Pitchford told Polygon at PAX:
"These guys have been funded by private equity, but it's clear it was going to take many millions of dollars more. We're giving them the brand and the resources to make this happen. Now, these guys are cooking and with the money they have now, they can grow the team."
In the meantime, Gearbox will be releasing HD versions of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 later this year.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.