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Massive Battlefield 3 update incoming

Battlefield 3 on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC Image / Screenshot

Battlefield 3 Image

DICE has announced that aBattlefield 3 patch will be coming to consoles this week, followed by a PC update next week. The update addresses several PS3-specific issues while fine tuning a lot of weapons based on player feedback.

Console players should see the update go live tomorrow, November 27, while PC players can expect it no later than December 4.Battlefield 3 will be unavailable on consoles between 9-10 UTC tomorrow, November 27 (see the corresponding time zones) while the patch is rolled out.

Below are the full patch notes:

1) Addressed “input lag” on PS3

  • If you have been experiencing “input lag” playing Battlefield 3 on PlayStation 3, we now believe we have significantly improved this situation for all players.

2) Improved audio stability on PS3

  • The audio dropouts reported by some PlayStation 3 gamers playing Battlefield 3 should now be fixed for the majority of players .

3) Weapons balancing

  • Based on detailed community feedback and data analysis we have made some minor weapon tweaks to recoil and accuracy. The goal of these tweaks, and the overall goal in Battlefield 3, is to give each weapon a unique feel and competitive performance to other weapons of a similar type.
  • M416: First shot and horizontal recoil slightly increased.This should make the choice between M16 and M416 more interesting again.
  • L85A2: Slightly reduced horizontal recoil.
  • AUG: first shot recoil slightly to increase weapon controllability.
  • FAMAS: Slightly reduced horizontal recoil.
  • G53: Vertical recoil reduced to make this weapon more controllable.
  • QBZ-95B: Slightly reduced horizontal recoil.
  • LSAT: Hip accuracy has been increased to highlight the weapon’s role as a highly mobile LMG.
  • Type88 LMG: Recoil has been decreased to make it a viable option when compared to the M249.
  • M5K: Increased horizontal recoil and decreased vertical recoil to focus this weapon as a high damage, low control PDW.
  • UMP45: Decreased fully automatic fire to differentiate this weapon from the PP2000.
  • MP412: Increased its accuracy to better distinguish it from the .44 Magnum.
  • M26: Increased aimed accuracy to be in line with the other shotguns.

4) Weapons bug fixes

  • Fixed the MTAR’s range not being correctly reduced when equipped with the sound suppressor.
  • Fixed a bug where suppressive fire had reduced effect on the M16 and M5K when compared with other weapons.
  • Fixed a bug where the M5K’s Flash Suppressor had no effect on accuracy.
  • Fixed the L86A2 Heavy Barrel’s hip accuracy penalty being far larger than other weapons.
  • Fixed an issue with the Mk3 shotgun’s ACOG being low resolution.

5) M-COM disarm fix

  • Fixed an issue where M-COM stations couldn’t be disarmed from the left side while standing up.

6) Alborz Mountains rock fix

  • Rocks and stones collision tweaked on Armored Kill maps. Players should no longer be able to exploit a collision issue that allowed them to hide inside rock formations.

7) Operation Shield/Alborz Mountains Tank Superiority area fix

  • Tank Superiority visual combat areas fixed on Operation Shield and Alborz Mountains. There was earlier a 10×10 meter patch on the mountain that became out of combat for US. This was technically already fixed server side, however this will update the actual visuals to be correct.

8) Death Valley collision fix

  • Collision tweaked on the railroad tunnel roof. This fix prevents players from being able to hide inside the railroad tunnel roof.

9) Sharqi Squad Rush spawn fix

  • Players would sometimes spawn out of combat if spawning shortly after the first M-COM explodes on Squad Rush on Sharqi Peninsula. With this fix, spawn points have been moved back to prevent this from happening.

10) Alborz Mountains Squad Rush fix

  • Cameras were incorrect in the spawn menu, pointing to old locations and not where you would actually spawn in. This has now been fixed.

11) Gunship balancing changes

  • We have now removed the gunship FLIR view (the position is still available, just not the black/white view) and decreased the damage radius of cannon explosions. This was done because of balancing reasons. Previously it was too easy for the gunner to get visual contact on enemy soldiers on the maps, and the splash damage is reduced to make it harder to kill infantry from the cannon seat.

12) Mobile Artillery spawn bug fixed

  • Two players can no longer spawn into the Mobile Artillery. This was a spawn-in-menu bug on the Operation Shield map which has now been fixed.

13) Tweaked hard to get medals

  • Looking at the persistence system, we could see that a number of the hard to get medals were actually too hard to achieve (in our opinion based on our intended design). While we never meant for all medals to have an equal distribution, the hardest ones were still intended to be more achievable than they have proven to be so far. Therefore, we have slightly decreased the prerequisites to achieve a number of the hardest to get medals in the game. One positive side effect (if you like playing Recon) is that we will likely see aslightbump in the Recon kit’s average Score Per Minute overall.

Tags: Battlefield 3

By Matt Liebl

Fan-created cover art for BioShock Infinite is the best yet

Bioshock Infinite on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC Image / Screenshot

Bioshock Infinite Image

If you recall, last month Irrational Games allowed players to vote for what the reversible cover art for BioShock Infinite should be. Fans weren’t keen on the original generic art decided so Irrational listened and offered reversible art which was voted on for their AAA game. As someone who was disappointed with the original art, I felt the company made the right move in offering the alternative box art. I get their marketing reason and support them on this.

Now that this this is all over, said, and done… it figures that wicked awesome fan art would start coming out. Take this example “theLazyLion” on deviantART. This piece is absolutely stunning. I can honestly say that if this was one of the six vote-able choices Irrational offered, I would have picked it in a heartbeat. Some time has passed now since I’ve been staring at it and I can’t find one thing I don’t like about it. I want a giant mural of this to hang in my living room.

Check the image below, fall in love with it, go to theLazyLion’s deviantART and or tumblr and spread the love. Mad props.

BioShock Infinite

[deviantART]

Tags: Bioshock Infinite, Bioshock, art, cover, fan

By Andrew Clouther

Comparing Black Friday: Wii U vs Xbox 360 vs PS3

Xbox 360 on Xbox 360 Image / Screenshot

Xbox 360 Image

Finally, we can answer the ultimate question: Who won Black Friday? With Sony revealing their Black Friday weekend sales reports, we can now do a decent comparison between all three major platformers — Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft — based on what they told us. Rather than go back and look back individually at each report, we've compiled them all into this one article for easy comparison.

Let's start with Nintendo who was the only one of the three platformers to introduce a new console this Holiday season. The Wii U is the official start of the next-gen console race, but how did people react to it? According to Nintendo, 400,000 Wii U units were sold in the United States during launch week — about 75,000 less than the Wii when it first launched. Supposedly supply shortages at retailers held the Wii U in check.

Where the Wii U lacked, however, Nintendo's other consoles picked up. Nintendo also sold 250,000 3DS units and 275,000 DS units. Combined with original Wii system sales, Nintendo sold a total of 1.2 million units.

Let's compare that to Microsoft which sold 750,000 Xbox 360 consoles in the U.S. during Black Friday. While in direct comparison, the Xbox 360 — which is over 6 years old — trumped the Wii U, Nintendo's handhelds and original Wii more than made up for the difference. Xbox 360 sales were also reportedly down from last year's Black Friday.

Finally, we have Sony, who was the last to report their Black Friday sales stats. While Sony saw an increase in PS3 sales compared to the same period last year, and even a boost in PS Vita sales (FINALLY), it failed to outsell both Microsoft and Nintendo.525,000 PlayStation 3 units and 160,000 Vita unitswere sold in the United States between November 18 and November 24. Combined, both numbers fail to eclipse that of Microsoft and Nintendo; however, it's important to note that Sony also has the PSP and PS3 which weren't included in the Black Friday report. The sales of those two older system could be the difference.

Overall, without any dollar signs or actual earnings reports, it's hard to pick a clear winner for this Black Friday. I think all three platform holders can be comfortable with their success this Black Friday, but if I was forced to pick a winner I'd say it was Nintendo.

Aside from its 1.2 million combined units sold (the most of the three major platform holders), Nintendo seems pretty pleased with the initial reception to the Wii U. While the debate about the system's potential and power still rages on, consumers do at least seem interested in what the innovative system has to offer. As many analysts would argue, it's still too early to judge the Wii U's long-term potential, but short-term it appears to be doing quite well.

Let's wait until a few months down the road before we proclaim the Wii U a success or a flop.This Black Friday, though, we can say it was a success.

Tags: Sony, PS3, Microsoft, Xbox 360, Nintendo, Wii U

By Matt Liebl

Retro City Rampage begins its life of crime on XBLA on Jan. 2

Retro City Rampage on  Image / Screenshot

Retro City Rampage Image

If you've been eagerly anticipating the launch of Retro City Rampage on Xbox Live Arcade, the wait is almost over. Developer Brian Provinciano has confirmed that the old school-inspired crime adventure will hit the Xbox 360 download platform on January 2.

To sweeten the deal, following the game's Twitter account, retweeting the news of the Xbox Live Arcade launch, or following the Facebook account will enter you to win one of five free download codes. Yay for free stuff!

Retro City Rampage will be priced at 1200 Microsoft Points. Still no word on when exactly the game will hit WiiWare, though it's expected to launch on that platform soon.

If you've yet to play Retro City Rampage and you love video games, be sure to check it out. Personally, it was some of the most fun I've had with a video game all year.

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

Tags: Retro City Rampage, Indie games, XBLA

By David Sanchez

THQ’s assets officially auctioned off: Saint’s Row, Homefront, Metro, and South Park find new homes

Article_post_width_thq-feature

The inevitable THQ auction was held today, with the company's assets being divided among a few different companies. Companies like SEGA, Koch Media, and Crytek now own some of your most beloved THQ games — though the sales are expected to officially close later this week.

Here's how the company's assets have been divided (pricing according to DD Investing):

SEGA has agreed to purchase Relic, developer ofCompany of HeroesandWarhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, for $26 million.

Koch Media — owner of Dead Islandpublisher Deep Silver –has agreed to purchase Saint's Row developerVolition ($22.3 million) and publishing rights totheMetro property ($5.8 million).

Crytek, who is currently developing Homefront 2, hasagreed to purchase theHomefrontfranchise for $500K.

Take-Two — parent company of 2K Games and Rockstar) agreed to purchase the unannounced game, codenamedEvolve, for $11 million.

Ubisoft will reportedly purchased the rights to publish South Park: The Stick of Truth($3.2 million)as well as THQ Montreal ($2.5 million). THQ is ​led byAssassin's Creedcreator Patric Desilits who left Ubisoft Montreal to head up the new studio working on the secretive game 1666 which was originally outed by the THQ bankruptcy.

THQ President Jason Rubin noted, "Some assets, including our publishing businesses and Vigil, along with some other intellectual properties are not included in the sale agreements. They will remain part of the Chapter 11 case. We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible."

As for THQ's employees, Rubin expects "most" of them to be included in the sale and offered employment by the new owners. However, early claims on Twitter are showing the casualties of the bankruptcy.

The full letter from THQCEO Brian Farrell and president Jason Rubin, which was sent to all THQ employees, has been acquired by Kotaku. The full text is as follow:

To All THQ Employees:

We now have the answers we've been seeking through our financial restructuring andChapter 11 case. While much will be written, here are the facts of the bids and auctionthat occurred t:

Yesterday morning, we received a competing bid for the operating business,along with Clearlake's offer, and numerous offers for separate assets.During an auction process that lasted over 22 hours, the final conclusion wasthat the separate-asset bids would net more than a single buyer for the majorityof the company.

Shortly, we will, present the results to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which mustconcur with our assessment.

The proposed sales of multiple assets is as follows :

  • Sega agreed to purchase Relic
  • Koch Media agreed to purchase Volition and Metro
  • Crytek agreed to purchase Homefront
  • Take 2 agreed purchase Evolve and
  • Ubisoft agreed to purchase Montreal and South Park

We expect these sales to close this week.

Some assets, including our publishing businesses and Vigil, along with some otherintellectual properties are not included in the sale agreements. They will remain part ofthe Chapter 11 case. We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible.

What this means for employees

We expect that most employees of the entities included in the sale will be offeredemployment by the new owners. However, we cannot say what these owners mayintend, and there will likely be some positions that will not be needed under thenew ownership. You should receive notice this week or early next week if the newowners intend to extend employment to you. Please note that the terms of your newemployment, including pay and benefits, may be different from the current terms ofyour employment with THQ.

If you are an employee of an entity that is not included in the sale, we regret thatyour position will end. A small number of our headquarters staff will continue to beemployed by THQ beyond January 25 to assist with the transition. THQ has sufficientresources to pay these employees for work going forward, and we will be contactingthese employees immediately to ensure their continued employment during thistransition period. We are requesting the ability to offer certain severance pay tominimize disruption for employees of non-included entities as they determine the nextsteps in their careers.

We know you will have many questions about this news. We'll be meeting tomorrowwhen we return to talk through this announcement and to answer any questions youhave. You will receive a benefits fact sheet and FAQs with answers to some questionsthat may be on your mind. Please review these materials closely.

A personal note

The work that you all have done as part of the THQ family is imaginative, creative,artistic and highly valued by our loyal gamers. We are proud of what we haveaccomplished despite today's outcome.

It has been our privilege to work alongside the entire THQ team. While the companywill cease to exist, we are heartened that the majority of our studios and games willcontinue under new ownership. We were hoping that the entire company would remainintact, but we expect to hear good news from each of the separate entities that will beoperating as part of new organizations.

For those THQ employees who are part of entities that are not included in the sale, weare confident that the talent you have displayed as part of THQ will be recognized as youtake the next steps in your career.

Thank you all for your dedication and for sharing your talent with the THQ team. Wewish you the best of luck and hope you will keep in touch.

Sincerely,

Brian FarrellChief Executive Officer

Jason RubinPresident

Tags: THQ

By Matt Liebl

Happy N7 Day!

Mass Effect 3 on PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and Wii U Image / Screenshot

Mass Effect 3 Image

Now that the American elections are over, it’s time to celebrate the great holiday known as N7 Day! For those who don’t know, N7 Day is when you celebrate everything and anything Mass Effect. N7 Day comes every year on November 7th (N – November, 7 – date).

This N7 Day we’re celebrating the 5th year of Mass Effect since the original title. From Sarento the collectors, to the Illusive Man, to the Reapers – Mass Effect has delivered on epic space journey storytelling and action. Your version of Commander Shepard has bleed, killed, loved, and lost though the series and today you can remember all your fond memories of the series.

While Shepard’s story is over, Mass Effect will continue on through both video games, novels, and even anime. What’s next for the Mass Effect series? What will you do for N7 Day?

Male Shepard

Female Shepard

[BioWare]

Historian, teacher, writer, gamer, cheat master, and tech guru: follow on Twitter @AndrewC_GZ

Tags: Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect, ME, N7, N7 Day

By Andrew Clouther

Horror director overseeing Deus Ex film

Deus Ex: Human Revolution on PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and Mac Image / Screenshot

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Scott Derrickson, who most notably directed Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, is doing the same for the Deus Ex film.

CBS Films said that Deus Ex: Human Revolution will serve as the groundwork for the movie.

"Deus Ex is a phenomenal cyberpunk game with soul and intelligence,” Derrickson said in a statement. “By combining amazing action and tension with big, philosophical ideas, Deus Ex is smart, ballsy, and will make one hell of a movie."

So … is Derrickson a good choice, do you think? I'm not exactly impressed.

Follow @wita on Twitter.

[Game Informer]

Tags: Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Scott Derrickson

By Stephanie Carmichael

Alan Wake sequel to see release on Xbox 720?

Alan Wake's American Nightmare on Xbox 360 Image / Screenshot

Alan Wake's American Nightmare Image

This may be premature, but a subtle hint from Remedy Entertainment leads me to believe we'll be getting a sequel toAlan Wake. Furthermore, I expect it to be released on Microsoft's next-gen console, presumably the Xbox 720.

Just yesterday Remedy announced a 75%-off deal on Steam for the Alan Wake franchise while promising "even greater Remedy news to come in 2013." So what leads me to believe their new announcement will be a sequel forAlan Wake?

Well, for one, Remedy no longer works on the Max Payne franchise meaning they have plenty of reason to invest in the profitableAlan Wake series.As of March 2012, Alan Wake sold two million copies and proved successful enough to earn a standalone Xbox Live Arcade title,Alan Wake's American Nightmare. At the time, the studio promised they weren't quite done with the franchise.

"Alan Wakeis definitely very close to our hearts. It's our IP – we own it. It's not something that we're going to forget very easily," Remedy's Oskari Häkkinensaid in March.

Given Remedy's track record with the Xbox, it's quite possible we'll seeAlan Wake as one of the premiere titles for the Xbox 720. Rumors continue to swirl that Microsoft has plans to reveal a new Xbox console this year. If true,Alan Wake could provide an enticing exclusive for the system.

Last spring Remedy even began hiring for "an unannounced project targeted at future generation consoles." A 2013 reveal could prime the game for a 2014 release on the new console. And with no specific console mentioned, it's quite possible we'll see the nextAlan Wake on the PS4, which is also expected to release around the same time as the next-Xbox (hopefully 2014).

Keep in mind, this is all speculation, but the indications are there.Alan Wake 2 on Xbox 720 in either 2013 or 2014. Mark my words.

Tags: Xbox 720, Xbox, Alan Wake

By Matt Liebl

DmC Devil May Cry demo coming next week

DmC Devil May Cry on  Image / Screenshot

DmC Devil May Cry Image

Anxious to get your hands on the new Dante? Well, Capcom has confirmed that the demo forDmC Devil May Cry will be available as early as next week.

In America, you'll be able to download it for Xbox 360 or PS3 on November 20. Those in Europe will have access on November 21.

The demo will consist of two "action-packed" missions, one of which is a big boss battle. It will offer a few of the game's difficulty modes, including the remixed "Son of Sparda" mode, which unlocks after one completion. A variety of the game's weapon upgrades will also be included, and Capcom has hinted at a "couple of secrets" along the way.

Earlier this week, Capcom announcedVergil's Downfall, a new chapter of the DmC Devil May Cry adventure that allows players to experience the "untold story of Dante's twin brother Vergil." The add-on will be available post-launch and will be free to anyone who pre-orders the game from GameStop or EBGames.

Tags: DmC Devil May Cry

By Matt Liebl