Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ensemble Were Working On A Halo MMO

Big news coming out of the Ensemble closure today, as Gamasutra are reporting that the Age of Empires developers were, at one stage, working on the long-rumoured Halo MMO. Seems the game was in development from 2006 to 2007, before being quietly cancelled without, obviously, ever being announced by Microsoft. Some concept art for the game’s also surfaced, with a mock-up screen above, and some small character art shots after the jump. Wonder why it was canned? And if that had anything to do with the decision to close Ensemble? And if the project was cancelled, is it now being worked on by someone else? Oh, the questions, the questions.


British 360 Sales Up, PS3 Sales Down

So. Europe’s had a 360 price cut. Has it had any effect? Has in the UK, with chart monitors ChartTrack saying that since the cuts took place, the Xbox 360 has seen a 32% increase in sales. Don’t know how many that actually equates to, since ChartTrack don’t disclose those numbers, so just come up with a number yourself then increase it by 32%, you’ll be on the right track. Conversely, they say PS3 sales have dropped by 8% over the same period, but again, without hard numbers for all we know it could have still outsold the 360.

Xbox 360 sales up 32 per cent following UK price cut [GI.biz]


Yes, There Is A New Punisher Game Coming

Marvel weren’t screwin’ around when they were teasing a new Punisher game the other day. Only a week after dropping the hints, Sony have today announced Punisher: No Mercy, a PSN game in development at little-known Hungarian devs Zen Studios. Little was revealed about the game aside from the fact it’s an “arena-based multiplayer” title and that it’s going to be powered by the Unreal Engine 3, but Punisher/Marvel fans, don’t let that stop you from crafting some unrealistic expectations for yourselves.

The Punisher: No Mercy Coming Exclusively to PSN [PlayStaton.Blog]


A Good, Long Look At The God Of War Copyright Claims

To recap: a couple of people are suing both David Jaffe and SCEA over God of War, claiming the game’s storyline is, in several places, a little too close to their movie script for comfort. How close? Boing Boing Gadget’s Rob Bechizza takes a good look at the individual claims, which range from similarities between God of War’s map and that drawn up for the Olympiad screenplay to the difference between a Bottomless Chasm and a Bottomless Valley. Basically, some of the points look valid, some complete garbage, you can make up your own mind by checking out the full breakdown at the link below.

Is God of War a swipe of 2002 screenplay? Let’s look at the complaint in depth [Boing Boing Gadgets]


British Sales Charts

It’s largely accepted that Force Unleashed is a bit of a disappointment. OK story, and a nice filler between the rubbish movies and the good ones, but as a game, it’s got problems. But hey, since when did the fact a game was a disappointment stop it selling a ton! The Force Unleashed dominates the charts this week, with the 360 and PS3 versions coming in at #1 and #2 respectively, while even the Wii version makes it in at #6.


Okay, NOW Fable II Has Gone Gold

Back in August, Lionhead told us Fable II was “days, if not hours” from being finished. Uh…more like weeks. Only now is it done, studio boss Peter Molyneux confirming the game was officially wound up at 7pm on Sunday night. Good news, that, since most of us are fans of the original. Game’s still on track for an October 21 release.

Molyneux: ‘Fable II has gone gold!’ [VideoGamer]


Yes, Tenchu 4 Is To Be Released In The West

Good news, cat ninja lovers: Tenchu 4 is getting a Western release. Previously confirmed only for a Japanese release, developers Acquire have signed a deal with Ubisoft that’ll see the game distributed throughout North America and Europe. No word on a release date, but the game will be playable at TGS, so we’ll check it out then, see if the cat handling’s up to scratch.

Tenchu 4 Coming to America [IGN]


Crysis Warhead Has Stupid Graphics Settings

Did a memo go out saying that the accepted terminology for graphics settings in a PC game were no longer going to be used? We must have missed it. It must have been signed “EA marketing team”, too, because no developer in their right mind (and we hope Crytek are in their right mind) would go changing “low”, “medium” and “high” to “minimum”, “mainstream” and “gamer”. As for “enthusiast”, Lord only knows where that’s meant to go. An enthusiast of what? UFO conspiracies? North Korean military insignia? Cross-stitching?

How Not To Make A Video Settings Menu [Rock, Paper, Shotgun]


Buy Rock Band 2, Get Free (Microsoft) Money

Here’s a deal for you, bargain shoppers. If you’re in the market for Rock Band 2 on Xbox 360, you could do worse than buy the game from Amazon, because the online retailer is giving away MS points with every purchase of the game. 1600 MS points, to be precise, which you’ll get if you order the game before October 4, a none too shabby amount that should have you bickering with friends and loved ones over which DLC to buy in no time.

Buy Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360 and get a 1600 Live Points Card [Amazon]

AU: US only, of course. :-( -SB


More Bungie Teaser Shenanigans

Hey, look, more digital prick-teasing, courtesy of Bungie. Can’t say I’m the biggest fan of this type of shameless hype-mongering, but then, there are no doubt clues/leads as to what this all means scattered throughout this latest update, so I can post it and call it a…public service announcement. If anyone’s in the mood to speculate madly, I’m just going to throw my hat in and remind you that while Americans may think “maintenance” when you hear Superintendant, it can also be a rank in the police/prison service. Just some food for thought.