games / Columns

Living LIVE News Report 04.09.12

April 9, 2012 | Posted by Trace Aber

Welcome everyone to another issue of the Living LIVE News Report, and as always, I’m your host for the evening, Trace Aber.

BioWare Announces Multiplayer and Ending DLCs
Since the game’s release, fans have been adamant about their disappoint to the ending of BioWare’s epic trilogy, Mass Effect 3. While many have claimed the company of ignoring the outcry, it would appear as though BioWare has indeed been listening, if their two recent announcements have anything to say.

BioWare announced last week that they would be releasing an “Extended Cut” DLC for free, which promises to bring closure to the series. It does not appear that there will be any playable parts, but instead a detailed epilogue tailored to your decisions. Co-founded Ray Muyzka has the following to say in regards to the DLC:

“We are all incredibly proud of Mass Effect 3 and the work done by Casey Hudson and team. Since launch, we have had time to listen to the feedback from our most passionate fans and we are responding. With the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut we think we have struck a good balance in delivering the answers players are looking for while maintaining the team’s artistic vision for the end of this story arc in the Mass Effect universe.”

Executive producer Casey Hudson went on to clarify what we can expect, “We have reprioritized our post-launch development efforts to provide the fans who want more closure with even more context and clarity to the ending of the game, in a way that will feel more personalized for each player.”

For what it’s worth, BioWare has officially stated that no new ending would be given, due to the team’s firm belief in their “artistic vision.” They probably should have used better wording, as those upset have been mocking those words for weeks now. Instead, they will simply “expand” the existing endings through epilogue scenes and cinematics, which will hopefully fix many of the plot holes.

“Much of the focus of the Extended Cut is to expand on the variety of consequences of player choices and degrees of success,” a spokesperson said, “so, with the new content, the player’s choices should result in a much more varied experience.”

Finally, perhaps as a show of goodwill on their part, BioWare also announced DLC to be released tomorrow, which focuses on multiplayer content. The Resurgence Pack offers new playable characters, two new maps, and weapons as well. And it’s free! Below is the trailer;

I think BioWare is making the best out of this situation, and hopefully the extended cut DLC, which drops this summer, pleases people. For many, this is BioWare’s last shot at proving themselves. Let’s hope it works out, for everybody’s sake.

New York State bans 3,500 Online Sex Offenders
Last week, thousands of gamers found themselves unable to log into their profiles, thanks to an operation between New York State and major video game companies, including Microsoft. In New York, sex offenders are required to surrender all e-mail addresses and internet screen names to the state, which is then sent those website and they delete the accounts. It’s all part of “Operation: Game Over.”

It’s the first time the law has been used to prevent access to online gaming, but according to the press release, Game Over has some very powerful supporters in the industry;

As a result of Operation: Game Over, 3,580 accounts of New York state sex offenders have been purged – or their communication privileges suspended – from the gaming platforms owned by Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros. and Disney Interactive Media Group.

The operation was created as a response to multiple instances where children were led astray by sexual predators thank to online gaming. And it makes sense, though “sexual offender” does not necessarily mean “sexual predator.” All consoles feature parental control settings as well, though those typically go ignored by parents.

Christian Genetski, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of ESA released an official statement discussing the operation, as well as a reminder to parents;

“Our industry welcomes appropriate efforts allowing people of all ages to play games in a safer environment. Online game play with friends is a social experience and we encourage parents to be aware of what games their children are enjoying and with whom they are interacting in the virtual space. Through the use of robust parental controls and awareness of the online world, playing games online can be a fulfilling and rich experience.”

Microsoft also responded with their own comment;

“At Microsoft, we continually evaluate ways to manage safety for our 40 million Xbox LIVE members and particularly for children on our service. Our partnership with the Office of the New York Attorney General helps further this cause. By leveraging the online identity information all registered sex offenders are required to provide, we are able to help reduce potentially harmful situations. We’re supportive of Attorney General Schneiderman’s efforts to make the Internet, including online gaming environments like Xbox LIVE, safer for everyone.”

The E-STOP law, as it is called, is both well-intentioned and guaranteed to cause controversy. We will have to wait and see before the results of Operation: Game Over are truly known, but we can expect plenty of debate about the topic before it’s all said and done.

How do you guys feel about Operation: Game Over? Would you want to see it implemented in your state, or do you feel like it’s going too far?

Random News and Notes
-Capcom has announced the newest piece of Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City DLC, set to hit LIVE for free this week. It’s a new mission featuring US Spec Ops characters are included, which tells the game’s storyline from their point of view. The first mission is free, but the six DLC missions to follow will be charged when they’re eventually released.

-Developer Wayforward recently announced that Double Dragon: Neon will be released on Xbox Live this summer. A trailer can be found below;

-That Skyrim 1.5 Patch has finally be released on LIVE. This update features new kill cams and other bug fixes.

-It is now possible to rent your own Battlefield 3 server. Price starts at 120MP/a day or 2000MP/month. Server owners are allowed to name users as VIPs, as well as the ability to ban and kick obnoxious players.

The Digital Downloads
Arcade Games
Pinball Arcade (800MP)
Diabolical Pitch (800MP)
Anomaly Warzone Earth (800MP)

Games on Demand
FIFA Soccer 12 ($59.99)
Singularity ($29.99)
Game Party In Motion ($19.99)

The Theater
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier – Network Trailer

Far Cry 3 Multiplayer Modes

Borderlands 2 World and Lore Interview

Rock Band Blitz – Debut Trailer

Kinect Star Wars – Princess in a Battle Gameplayer (REALLY!?)

411 on Twitter!
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http://www.twitter.com/411moviestv
http://www.twitter.com/411music
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Signing Out
That does it for me this week. Be sure to check back next week as we discuss all of the latest Xbox 360 news, including releases, rumors and reviews! Also, don’t forget to bookmark 411Mania! And a note to all of the Indie Game developers out there – if you have an upcoming title that’s going to be released soon drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know. I’ll write a full review of your game to be posted on 411Mania.com, which is a great way to get your game promoted!

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Trace Aber

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