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Beyond Co-Op, February 14th to February 20th
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Beyond Co-Op, February 14th to February 20th

Welcome to Beyond Co-Op, a weekly piece that talks about industry stories that may or may not be related to co-op gaming.

The stories for this week:

- Civilization 5 Announced, Coming in Fall
- StarCraft II Closed Beta Starts
- Final Fantasy XIII: PS3 vs. 360? You Decide
- Alan Wake Gets T Rating
- Heavy Rain Key Game This Week

Civilization 5 Announced, Coming in Fall

This is big news for a lot of us. Firaxis had announced a Facebook Civilization application coming soon, but we have been waiting on pins and needles for what their announced next “big game” would be and this week we got the fantastic news. Civilization 5, coming this fall (probably in October since that is when the last two iterations have been released) is moving into the hexagonal strategy section that many hardcore PC strategy games have resided in. If this game is anything like Civilization IV our lives are about to be lost. Add in the next news item and we are possibly talking about a PC apocalypse coming.

Source: Colony of Gamers

StarCraft II Closed Beta Starts

The other big PC news was that the StarCraft II closed beta has begun. I am in it and I have installed the game, but haven’t had the time to play it as of yet. I was a big StarCraft player when it came out, but it has been years since I last touched it. Last Blizzard strategy game I played was probably WarCraft III and its expansion. Pretty good week if you’re a PC game player and hopefully many of you are in on the beta.

Source: Colony of Gamers

Final Fantasy XIII: PS3 vs. 360? You Decide

Finally we have some comparison pictures between the PS3 and 360 versions of Final Fantasy XIII and I think I can say with certainty which version I’ll be picking up. Those that don’t have multiple consoles won’t have to make such a choice, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves (PS3 then 360 of basically the same screenshot, thanks to Joystiq for the pics):

My opinion: the PS3 version looks must cleaner especially in the comparison pictures above. This shouldn’t be a surprise since the PS3 version was the lead one with the 360 version and its multiple discs being a port of the PS3 original.

Source: Joystiq

Alan Wake Gets T Rating

I don’t think I’ve hidden my interest in Alan Wake. It is one of my most anticipated upcoming games. I loved Max Payne and Max Payne 2 and think Remedy is going to create a good game. I am a bit shocked that the game has been rated T by the ESRB though, but then I saw a 5 minute video from Gameblog.fr and saw one of the bad guys ax one of Alan’s friends and no blood or actual visual body cut tells me this is certainly T rated. There could be a reason for this in that T rated games sell better than M rated games (except for those well-known properties), but I thought for sure this would be M like the Max Payne games were, but I guess not.

Source: Joystiq

Heavy Rain Key Game This Week

It’s gotten awfully good early reviews and I am somewhat interested in Heavy Rain. The only thing holding me back is that the game is supposedly short and I wasn’t overly enthused by the demo and its heavy Quicktime Element (QTE) lean. Next week starts an interesting stretch of releases though, but Heavy Rain gets its day in the sun this week.

Source: me