games / Columns

Living LIVE News Report 05.28.12

May 28, 2012 | Posted by Trace Aber

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Welcome everyone to another issue of the Living LIVE News Report, and as always, I’m your host for the evening, Trace Aber. Though I’ve been largely ignoring the hype, I decided to pick up Max Payne 3 on a whim. I went in expecting very little, but I have to admit I am pleasantly surprised. I guess I should have known, with the game being made by Rockstar and all, but I’m loving every second of it. I know some people think the game has clunky controls, though I never thought that. To me, it feels like Max has actual weight to him, which is a nice change of pace. I haven’t touched the multiplayer yet, but I’ll get on that this week after I complete the main story. I’ll probably end up doing that after I complete this, actually.

I was the fourth play in this week’s Four Player Co-Op, where Dan Watson, Todd Vote, Mathew Sforcina and myself all try to appease some demented madman known only as “Quizmaster.” We discuss Diablo III‘s launch problems, the drama between Activision and Infinity Ward, and much more this time around. Definitely worth reading and getting in on the debate.

Minecraft to Receive Adventure Update in Future
4J Studios, the group behind the Xbox 360 edition of Minecraft, recently revealed some of their plans for the title to the Official Xbox Magazine. The next update, 1.7.3, will feature pistons as the big addition. The 1.7.3 refers to the PC version, which apparently is a much easier update than the 1.8.2 version, which is considerably trickier according to Paddy Burns of 4J.

1.8 is much more than a title update, though. Most fans call it the Adventure Update as it adds a ton of new things, making the game seem more like, well, a game. These include a stamina bar, food, enemies, NPCs, and much more. There’s also Creative mode, which allows players to simply create and fly wherever they want.

“This is going to be the most difficult update due to the sheer amount of changes, and also the underlying architecture changes that come with it. We’re looking forward to the challenge!” said Burns in a statement to OXM.

4J is working directly with Mojang about what to put in the Xbox version, but the idea is to put any feature in that “makes sense” in the Xbox version.

Mass Effect 3 Rebellion Pack Hitting This Week
While still hard at work on fixing the ending with new DLC set to be released later this summer, BioWare has been hard at work on the multiplayer portion of the game as well. They’ll be releasing another free(!) pack on Tuesday, May 29, this time called the Rebellion Pack. Like the last pack, this will bring more gear, weapons, maps and characters.

The two new maps are Firebase Jade and Firebase Goddess, which take place in a jungle and on Thessia, respectively. Jade promises interior combat while Goddess promises a difficult location to control, requiring quick movement and fast decisions.

The pack comes with three new weapons, two rifles and a shotgun. The Cerberus Harrier Assault rifle is the choice of elite troopers, while the Krysae Sniper rifle will let you hit a headshot like a true Turian. The Reegar Carbine shotgun improves the arc pistol, keeping the opponent electrified.

Two new features will be added as well – a new mission objective and a new gear slot. The objective tasks you with retrieving a high priority package and delivering it to the extraction zone during waves 3, 6 and 10. There will also be a equipment slot for a persistent gameplay bonus that doesn’t expire at the end of a match. These can range from weapon upgrades to character enhancements.

Finally, as if all of that wasn’t enough, you’ll get to add six new characters to the battle of the galaxy, each with their own unique abilities and loadouts. Full descriptions, straight from BioWare, can be found below;

Vorcha Soldier
Thanks to their unique physiology and their Bloodlust ability, the Vorcha are joining the fight and are perfectly suited for the utilitarian soldier kit.

Vorcha Sentinel
The innate aggressiveness found within the Vorcha make them shockingly durable combatants, and when coupled with their Flamer skill, the Vorcha sentinel is a force to be reckoned with.

Male Quarian Engineer
Quarians have spent centuries at perpetual salvage and ship repair; the survival of their species depends on this technical expertise. When bringing the new Arc Grenade to the fray, the Quarians prove their prowess as effective engineers on the battlefield.

Male Quarian Infiltrator
The Male Quarian Infiltrator must actively rely on stealth while in the heat of battle, and when they make use of their Tactical Scan ability, they quickly prove their mettle while continuously dishing out the pain.

Ex-Cerberus Vanguard
When the Illusive Man turned to indoctrination in order to ensure the loyalty of his troops, many Cerberus operatives defected and joined the Alliance in order to stop the Reapers. Now that we’re on the same team, Ex-Cerberus Vanguards (along with their new Lash attack) are quickly proving their worth.


The new “Lash” in action

Ex-Cerberus Adept
A result of the Illusive Man’s early experiments in enhanced human physiology, Ex-Cerberus subjects are highly skilled combat and biotics specialists. As a result, Ex-Cerberus Adepts can lay waste to the enemy with their Smash and Singularity powers.”

While I eagerly await for single player DLC, the multiplayer is still something I pick up every now and then. I played a few rounds this morning in fact. This and the bi-weekly challenges prove that BioWare wants to make the multiplayer worth playing, and they do more than enough to keep it fresh. Of course, getting the new characters in the Spectre and Premium Spectre packs can be challenging, but what can you do?

What do you think about Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer, and does this free DLC peak your interest?

Random News and Notes
-Capcom’s Devil May Cry will release on January 15, 2013. This is, of course, the reboot of the franchise that was originally planned for a 2012 release.

-As another sign of just how well the game is doing, Minecraft knocked Call of Duty: Black Ops out of the number two spot for top played Xbox Live titles. Minecraft is the first game in seemingly years outside of Halo to take the throne from a Call of Duty title. Who knows – maybe one week it’ll actually hit number one?

-According to EA’s E3 booth schedule, it looks like we can officially expect the rumored Need for Speed: Most Wanted to be shown off this year. No word on if it’s a sequel, a reboot, or just a working title, however. The original Most Wanted came out in 2005.

-Arvind Bhatia, an analyst, recently predicted that Grand Theft Auto V would be released within the first quarter of 2013, and sell around 14 million copies. This would mean that GTAV would have sold more at launch than GTAIV’s entire first year sales.

-Kingdoms of Amalur creators 38 Studios and Big Huge Games has shut down in wake of 38 Studios owing $75 million to the state of Rhode Island. It’s a big mess, but unfortunately as a result everybody was laid off. Shame too, as I really enjoyed the game when I reviewed it a couple months back.

-An International Trade Commission judge named David Shaw recently recommended that the sale of Xbox 360 consoles stop in the United States. Shaw isn’t the decision make, however, and only recommended sales be stopped. This stems back to the court case between Microsoft and Motorola over video codecs.

-Because there isn’t enough things to do in Skyrim already, the game will soon come with an update that allows mounted combat. Pretty awesome feature that I can’t wait to check out!

The Digital Downloads
Arcade Games
Joy Ride Turbo (800MP)
Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World (800MP)
Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co.

Games on Demand
Saints Row: The Third ($59.99)
Rapala for Kinect ($39.99)
Assassin’s Creed Revelations ($39.99)
WWE ’12 ($49.99)

The Theater

The Cave Debut Trailer

Saints Row: The Third – Penthouse Pack Trailer

007: Legends Moonraker Trailer

Harry Potter Kinect Debut Trailer


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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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