It’s been a major week in video games with embargoes lifting on reviews of Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Saints Row 4 and Activision hosting an event to unveil Call of Duty: Ghosts‘ multiplayer features. On the news front this week, we’re going to look at the new Payday 2 trailer; Watch Dogs‘ no-fly zone; the (re)return of Baldur’s Gate; a new LEGO game; another MOBA heading to PC; Cliffy B’s mysterious game; a key Killer Instinct character; the success of Video Games Live and Skylanders; and the latest on ARMA 3.

Read on for the details and more stories.

Payday 2 Launch

The sequel to Payday: The Heist developed by Overkill Software and published by 505 Games released earlier this week and while we’ll have a ‘Let’s Play’ introductory video on it this weekend, check out the sweet slow-mo launch trailer for Payday 2 above. Four-player co-op heists? Yes, please!

No Flying Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs senior producer Dominic Guay (who we interviewed earlier this year for the title) told the Examiner that flying is not part of the game. That’s one feature it’s missing over its open-world competitors in the GTA, Saints Row and Just Cause franchises.

“Players will not fly aircrafts in WATCH_DOGS. We did not feel it was core to the experience we wanted to create.”

I guess Chicago aircraft are not hackable? Players can leave the city however, but not details on how or why quite yet.

Baldur’s Gate is Back!

Phillip Daigle of Beamdog and Overhaul Games happily tweeted that Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is again available in the App Store after being taken down for a legal dispute.

New LEGO Game!

Not only is the (awesome looking) LEGO Movie on its way, but FunCom is set to unveil its online LEGO game at the end of the month at Gamescom in Germany – the European equivalent of E3. Little is know about the title but FunCom will have LEGO minifigures popping up on their official site all throughout the countdown (which ends August 29th). Please let it play like actual LEGO and not like the failed LEGO MMO!


Guardians of Middle-earth Legolas Art Wallpaper

Guardians of Middle-earth, a game that impressed us last year at E3, is finally coming to the platform it’s always belonged on: PC. After releasing as a digital download only on PS3 and Xbox 360, the title is making its way to Steam and other digital retailers on August 29th – the same day as the LEGO game unveiling! MOBAs are all the craze these days with League of Legends still being one of the most played online games and Dota 2 breaking records for online viewership and having the single largest eSports prize ever. Guardians of Middle-earth is developed by Monolith Studios and brought to PC by Zombie Studios.

The base game costs $19.99 and the Mithril Edition – which comes with all 36 characters (and alternate skins) – costs $79.99.

Cliffy B’s New Hotness

Cliff Bleszinski left Epic Games – along with many other high-ups over the last year – and he recently unveiled a first look at this in-development game with an intriguing bit of concept art. He’s since posted a second image which seems entirely unrelated. A closer look will reveal what appears to be augmented athletes, larger than normal people and wearing prosthetic or cybernetic legs – perhaps an example of the future world the game may take place in? Consider our interest piqued.

The New Chief Thunder – Killer Instinct

First introduced in 1994, Chief Thunder returns (redesigned) for the new Xbox One exclusive Killer Instinct.

Video Games Live

Video game music composer and once host of Electric Playground and Reviews on the Run Tommy Tallarico has seen much success bringing video game music to the ears of gamers around the world (we’ve seen them live multiple times and it’s great!). His successful world tour Video Games Live of symphonic/rock has lasted a decade and has now taken two Kickstarter to look for support in launch their third album. The goal is $250,000 and as of the time of this writing, they’ve hit over $80,000 in less than three days. Support it here.

Skylanders Success

Skylanders Success Infographic

In an effort to flex their muscles just before Disney Infinity hits the market, Activision proudly shared this infographic to highlight the amazing success that their Skylanders franchise has earned, becoming the top selling North American action figure of the year. Will the brand-powered Disney competition cripple the future of Skylanders? [Click for Full-Size]

ARMA 3 Launch

Our last News Wrap Up shared the odd news that Arma 3 – currently in pre-release beta on Steam – is going to launch in full without its campaign. Instead, the campaign will release as three separate free DLC packs. For a better look at what players will get at launch on September 12, the above one-hour showcases what’s new from the developers themselves.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.