The stories for this week:
- Batman: Arkham Asylum Demo Released
- Brutal Legend Lawsuit Settled
- StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Delayed to 2010
- Dragon Age Delayed to Early November, PS3 Version out Later in November
- Madden Holiday This Week
Batman: Arkham Asylum Demo Released
All I can say is, “Wow!” Although the demo is relatively short, I certainly enjoyed my time with it and it has pushed the game into must buy territory. My only minor complaint is that Batman takes up a big part of the screen when walking. Maybe the camera should be pulled back a bit? Outside of that the gameplay, voiceovers and overall feel are top notch.
Gameplay is simple and it doesn’t look like you’ll be going into massive combo mode when fighting enemies. In fact, stealth takedowns seem to be the major name of the game here. I also enjoy the Detective Vision that can be employed to see people behind walls so you can maneuver around them without being seen. This game drops later this month on August 25 for 360 and PS3, the PC version was recently delayed to September 15.
Brutal Legend Lawsuit Settled
Hallelujah! Brutal Legend will indeed be coming out on Rocktober 13 as originally planned. Activision and Double Fine came to some sort of agreement, although word came yesterday from an “insider” that Activision made little if any money that they were asking for. The “insider” says that Activision basically knew they would lose the money case and they settled the suit. Would be cool to see official word on what the settlement was, but I’d say chances are we will never know and can argue about who was wrong until we’re blue in the face.
Source: NY Times (Case done), LA Times (Insider tip)
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Delayed to 2010
Probably the biggest news this week was Blizzard announcing that StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (the human side of the three part game) would not be seeing release until 2010. Now, I don’t know many people out there who thought the game would come out this year, but ever since I signed up for the press beta I haven’t heard anything until getting sent the e-mail about the delay. From all reports, the beta should last 6 months and given that it is August the numbers don’t add up.
Now it will be interesting to see if this delays Diablo III at all or if Blizzard will do the unthinkable and release two major games in the same year. That would truly be shocking!
Dragon Age Delayed to Early November, PS3 Version out Later in November
Rumors started late in the week that since Gamefly pushed Dragon Age Origins to November in their release date that the game was indeed going to be delayed for an unknown amount of weeks. BioWare of course denied it saying they would send out a press release if such a thing happened. Then late Friday a note was sent that the game had indeed been delayed for two weeks with a caveat. The PC and 360 versions would come out on November 3 in North America and November 6 in Europe. The PS3 version was not given a release date in either area except for a nebulous “later in November”. Doesn’t sound good for the PS3 and then of course that little game called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 comes out a week after this releases. Good times!
Madden Holiday This Week
I’ve never taken a holiday to play a Madden game that I can remember, but my owning of the game continues to go on unimpeded this week. EA was nice enough to send me an advance copy of the game in hopes I can get a review up by the time the embargo disappears on Monday. Although I can’t give a full review, I can give impressions. They’re pretty simple: this is better than last year and possibly the best Madden has been since it came to next generation systems. It was smart for EA to put the game in the hands of the people behind Head Coach because such things as player progression and a harder look at stat outlays for each player have been gone over with a fine toothed comb. Accelerated clock is back, there are a myriad of choices in the options section of the game - effectively giving you full control over how you want to play.
Online co-op is available, although there haven’t been any people on to play it with. We’re hopeful that bapenguin (Nick) gets his mitts on the game and we can play some co-op online. The one thing I will note is that you can’t play ranked matches co-op, only unranked ones. Also, the availability of online franchise mode with up to 31 other people where you can do drafts and other GM duties not only on the console, but also on your computer or even your mobile device! The game plays good too and plays at a more methodical pace than the recent past.
This is the only major game this week coming out, so if you don’t like sports I’m not sure what you’re going to do with yourself.