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By 23 March 2012 | Categories: news

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Angry Birds Space arrives

Big news on the casual gaming front is that the highly anticipated Angry Birds Space has been released. The game, familiar to the many millions of devotees of the Angry Birds franchise (which includes the original Angry Birds, Angry Birds Rio and Angry Birds Seasons) sees the birds pursue a giant claw through a portal after it abducts their precious eggs.

While they have to contend with space pigs in an almost familiar smashing dynamic, players delightfully have to contend with the not so familiar effects of gravity. This adds a different dimension to gameplay as you have to take advantage of the gravitational forces of neighbouring moons to clear each level. Four separate areas are included in the game, humorously named Pig Bang, Cold Cuts, Danger Zone and Eggsteroids.

The game is now available on Apple’s App store for iPad and iPhone and Apple Mac, and is similarly available on Google’s Play store for Android as well as PC. In our initial play-through of it, we found the music and graphics to be unsurprisingly top notch, while a NASA satellite on the levels screen reminds about the esteemed space agency’s involvement. Angry Birds Space is already showing signs of being our favourite Angry Birds iteration to date.  

Bioware to offer Mass Effect 3 ‘closure’ DLC

After the ire and outrage that some Mass Effect 3 fans blasted Bioware with about the game’s ending, the company has confirmed that it will be directly addressing the concerns raised through downloadable content.

The co-founder of Bioware, Dr. Ray Muzyka, wrote a very lengthy and detailed open letter answering the criticism on the company’s blog, stating that while it was “incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game’s endings were not up to their expectations,” the company had nonetheless “accepted the criticism and feedback with humility.”

He also confirmed that the company was working on a “number of game content initiatives” that will help answer players’ questions, while “providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey.” Further details on this will apparently be announced in April.

Muzyka also address the main issues raised by the Mass Effect 3 dissatisfaction: should artists change their work because some fans don’t like it? “We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve received,” he elaborated.

More good news on the Mass Effect side that can be gleaned from the letter is that the universe will be kept alive, as Muzyka alluded to the company’s existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games. “Rest assured that your journey in the Mass Effect universe can, and will, continue,” he promised.

The letter itself, the full version of which is well worth a read, shows how companies in general can respect and treat their fans and customers. Well done, Bioware.
 
 
 
Costume collaboration brings Mass Effect 3 look to Final Fantasy XIII-2

Speaking of Mass Effect 3, Square Enix has partnered with BioWare in order to bring the Mass Effect look to Final Fanstasy XIII-2. Commander Shepard’s N7 armor design will be available as an optional costume within Final Fantasy XIII–2, for the game’s main characters, Serah Farron and Noel Kreiss.

Players will be able to don this armour when this DLC becomes available on 27 March via Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 240 Microsoft Points each and via Sony’s PlayStation Network at $2.99 (R23) each.
 
Image: Joystiq

All roads lead to zombie-filled hell within Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City

Capcom is spreading the US zombie outbreak within Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City to Europe, by making this title available within this region as of today (23 March) for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. If all goes well, South African gamers should be able to get their hands on the game by this time next week. Windows PC gamers will have to wait until 18 May to blow away hordes of the undead.

Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City is a third person team-based shooter (single player campaign mode also available), and its storyline is a reinterpretation of the events that occurred within Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.

Capcom will also support the release of Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City with a DLC offering via the PlayStation Network (PSN) and Xbox LIVE. At launch gamers will be able to download brand new costumes for each member of the Umbrella squad at a cost of 240 Microsoft Points and €2.99 (around R30) on PSN. On 11 April Capcom will also make the US Spec Ops Mission available as a free download. Watch your apocalyptic zombie nightmares become reality in the trailer posted below.
 
 
Details on GTA V multiplayer

Dan Houser, co-founder of Rockstar Games and co-writer of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), sat down with IGN to discuss Max Payne 3’s multiplayer mode, but in the process happened to share some details about GTA V. Houser revealed that gamers who have formed crews within Max Payne 3, will be able to continue operating with that same crew within GTA V.

“Multiplayer is an ever-more important part of all our games moving forward. And by creating crews through Social Club, the crews that you create in Max Payne 3 will be ready and available for you to play in Grand Theft Auto V from day one,” he explained.
“It’s all part of our larger approach to make multiplayer deeper and richer than what’s currently available, much more easily accessible to the newcomer and rewarding for the hardcore [gamer]. We made a promise not to talk too much about forthcoming games until a little further down the track but, yes, crews will feature in Grand Theft Auto V multiplayer.”

There is still no official word on when Rockstar Games will be releasing GTA V.

Binary Domain beaming onto PC in April

Sega has declassified the release info surrounding the PC version of its third-person squad shooter Binary Domain, that is already available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Sega will be bringing the title to PC in April 2012 in both boxed and digital formats.

Binary Domain is set in a futuristic (2080) Tokyo and sees players going up against robotic city defences, during a chaotic era of social and environmental meltdown. After Al Gore’s warnings were ignored, climate change forced many to live in extreme poverty in the slums.

Besides its engrossing storyline, Binary Domain will offer AAA shooter mechanics and a unique voice recognition system that will be employed within combat situations, enabling gamers to plug in their microphone and give orders using their voices. Check out the trailer posted below.
 

With contributions by Ryan Noik.

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