games / Columns

Living LIVE News Report 05.07.12

May 7, 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. I’ve spent the better part of the week in Chicago for a psychology conference, and thus haven’t had much time to play any games this week. All that means is this upcoming week will see me playing a lot more game than normal to catch up. With that said, let’s talk about what’s going on in the world of Xbox!

First Major Skyrim DLC Announced
Bethesda has officially announced the first downloadable content for the award-winning Skyrim, and it’ll be called Dawnguard.

Very little is known about the DLC, but the name has been trademarked since earlier this year. Dawnguard is the name of a museum located in Dawnstar, which specializes in the Order of the Mythic Dawn. Another clue was found in a patch that hinted at frost elves and crossbows, so it’s likely to live up to the claim that DLC will feel like expansion packs.

Outside of the above image, Bethesda has been pretty quiet on releasing major details. In fact, the only thing they’ve said is that more information will be revealed at E3, and that it is a timed exclusive for the Xbox 360, which seems to be the norm for a lot of games nowadays. As always, we’ll keep you updated with the latest information.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Announced
In what should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody, there’s going to be another Call of Duty released this year, though this time it’ll be a Black Ops sequel. The game’s official UK website confirmed it, and released the following trailer:

The website promises that the team is “Pushing the boundaries of what fans have come to expect from the record-setting entertainment franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 propels players into a near future, 21st Century Cold War, where technology and weapons have converged to create a new generation of warfare. Pre-order today.”

The game is a direct sequel to the original, and jumps between the late 80s and 2025 timelines. Unfortunately, we will not be switching between timelines in multiplayer, as all action will take place in 2025. It’s narrated by Frank Woods from the originals Blops, and you’ll be playing as Alex Mason in the 80s and his son, David, in 2025. Also, in one mission there’s going to be horses.


In addition to branching storylines, the game also introduces ‘Strike Force” mode, which are special missions that complement the core campaign. You’ll be able to control aerial and land drones, as well as squads of troops at your will.

The game will, of course, feature zombies, though little details have been given. It will, however, feature new modes, meaning zombie mode might end up even more addicting than before.

You can expect to hear more about Black Ops 2 throughout the year until it finally releases November 13, 2012.

Microsoft Releasing Rent-to-Own 360 Bundle?
In one of the weirder stories of the week, The Verge recently released a report that states Microsoft might be offering a $99 Xbox 360 package with a two-year $15 monthly subscription plan. No word is given on when it will be shipped, but it could be as soon as this week.

The bundle, a first of its kind for Microsoft, includes a 4GB Xbox, Kinect, a Gold subscriptions, and the aforementioned $15 monthly fee for two years. Combined, that’s $459, but you’ll end up paying even more if you break the contract. Or, even worse, if you want to buy a decent sized hard drive for your new console.

The bundle is not planned to be widespread, but instead localized to Microsoft Stores only. I suppose this is to appeal to those still holding out, and the rent-to-own model, while horribly structured, does indeed work, this seems like such an obviously horrible deal. Microsoft has yet to make an official statement on the issue.

Max Payne Season Pass Announced; Will Cost $30
Continuing the trend of DLC “season passes,” Rockstar recently revealed their DLC plans for the highly anticipated Max Payne 3. All of the DLC is multiplayer only, and spending $30 at once will save you a total of 35%. The content will begin rolling out in June and last until Fall of 2012. You can check out the full list of DLC below;

June 2012:
Local Justice Map Pack: Includes three maps, avatar items, multiplayer challenges, and more

Summer 2012:
Disorganized Crime Map Pack
Deathmatch Made in Heaven Mode Pack
Hostage Negotiation Map Pack
New York Minute Co-Op Pack

Fall 2012:
Painful Memories Map Pack
Trickle Down Economics Map Pack

While everything I’ve read about the multiplayer has been positive, I’m quite surprised that Rockstar didn’t announce at least one single player DLC. I understand they’re pushing multiplayer, but Rockstar has always been known for their great single player experiences, and it seems they’ve lost that focus with Max Payne 3. We’ll know more when the game releases on May 15, 2012.

Random News and Notes
-Larry Hyrb, better known as Major Nelson, has announced the end of inside Xbox, the short show that gave news and previews to Xbox 360 owners over LIVE. Shame to see it go, as it was a neat little synopsis of what they had coming up.

-The highly anticipated Skyrim Kinect patch has been released.

-What was once an April Fool’s jokes has now become full-fledged DLC: Saint’s Row the Third: Enter the Dominatrix has been officially announced, and will have the Saints trapped in a VR simulation of Steelport. Oh, and there’s superpowers.

-According to an early post on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, it looks like the upcoming South Park RPG is going to be titled The Stick of Truth.

The Digital Downloads
Arcade Games
Fable Heroes (800MP)
Awesomenauts (800MP)

Games on Demand
PES 2012 ($29.99)
Puss in Boots ($39.99)
Cabela’s Survival: Shadows of Katmai ($29.99)

Kinect Star Wars
DiRT Showdown

The Theater

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Trailer

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Hitman: Absolution Introducing Agent 47 Trailer

MUD Game Modes Trailer

Fable Heroes Gameplay Trailer

411 on Twitter!

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, which is a great way to get your game promoted!


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Trace Aber
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