The Week in Review & Rumor Round-up: Blizzard Heating up, Games-a-Plenty, X10 Headlines, and More!

The Week in Review & Rumor Round-up: Blizzard Heating up, Games-a-Plenty, X10 Headlines, and More!


The Week in Review news piece summarizes and highlights the most important gaming related news and rumors over the past week. This weekly article will keep you plugged in and in-tune.

Beyond a doubt, the biggest news maker this week was Microsoft. Their X10 showcase in San Francisco gave us a lot of news to peruse. But before we get into that, other announcements should be highlighted to make sure they aren’t lost in the barrage.

Kicking things off, a rumor went around the Internet that seemed to point to a 2010 release for inFAMOUS, Batman: Arkham Asylum 2, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2. While we know two of these games are slated for release ASAP, we very much doubt inFAMOUS will be ready for launch considering the game hasn’t even been officially revealed by Sony. Also, if Arkham Asylum 2 is going to be set outside of the nuthouse and introduce greater Gotham, there is a lot of world building to be done. Nevertheless, we’re clad the rumors are out there, maybe fires will be lit under the coders.

It looks like EA’s Battlefield: Bad Company 2 demo is a hit. Nearly 2.5 million gamers have downloaded it, which seems like proof to EA that they are likely to have another hit on their hands.

Speaking of demo gameplay, StarCraft II will be getting open beta access this month according to Blizzard. This news came after the in-depth look into the all-new Battle.net was revealed by the company. Click HERE for all the details.

Then there was Microsoft. The X10 event proved to be pretty revealing after all, giving us insight into the upcoming software, dashboard, and hardware offerings coming out of gaming giant in 2010.

For starters, starting on May 3, the Halo: Reach public multiplayer beta will launch. Access to the beta will be available, at least at the present, exclusively through the Halo 3: ODST game disc.

Next, Alan Wake will be launching on May 18 in North America and May 21 in Europe. Those that pre-order will be given access to the Bright Falls Bonus Pack, “which includes exclusive content such as avatar gear, an Xbox LIVE theme, and a “making of” video.” Also, the limited collector’s edition was also revealed. It will cost you $79.99 (USD) and is “packed with bonus discs of behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive in-game commentary and hints from Remedy, a game soundtrack, “The Alan Wake Files” book, and more, all bound together in a hardcover bookshelf-worthy package.”

Crackdown 2 was also teased, but it wasn’t given a firm date. All Microsoft would say is that it is set to drop “later this year.” Pre-order goodies were also announced for Crackdown 2. If you slap down some cash at a number of local retailers, you’ll get “a code to download four exclusive suits of Agency-Issue armor: Gold, Brushed, Red and Blue Metal.”

The other Capcom zombie franchise, Dead Rising 2, is launching in late August. The Xbox 360 will get exclusive access to Dead Rising 2: Case Zero days before the main game launches which will serve as a prequel to the main game.

Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will receive its first content pack this year and “be available first” on Xbox 360.

Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction has (once again, hopefully for the last time) received a final release date of April 13, 2010 in North America, April 16 in the United Kingdom, and April 28 in Japan.

Switching gears to hardware, Microsoft announced a Fianl Fantasy XIII Special Edition Bundle which will include a 250GB HDD, two wireless controllers, downloadable avatar swag, and a standard-edition copy of the game. What’s more, “a very limited number” of FFXIII faceplates from designer Tetsuya Nomura will be made available.

Though we were expecting some revelations that would anger us mightily, nothing too major came out of Lionhead’s Peter Molyneux concerning Fable III. Perhaps the most enlightening bit of info is that the game should no longer be considered an RPG. Instead, it should be thought more of as an action-adventure title. Fable III is on schedule to release Holiday 2010.

Lost Planet 2 is set for a North American and European release on May 18, 2010, and players will get to play as Resident Evil’s Albert Wesker, in addition to Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago. Expect more playable skins spanning the entire Capcom library to make their way to E.D.N. III.

Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2: The Passing, the first DLC for the sequel brings the original Left 4 Dead survivors “down south for a meeting with the Left 4 Dead 2 cast.” Coming out this March, ‘The Passing’ will bring a new co-operative campaign, a new foe (the Fallen Survivor), and “new arenas for Survival, Versus and Scavenge modes.” It will also “introduce a new co-operative challenge mode,” called Hot. Also, it was reported by CVG that a similar DLC offering will be made available for the original Left 4 Dead.

Finally, March will also see the launch of the Xbox LIVE Block Party. Starting on March 3, 2010, Toy Soldiers will get the promotion started on XBLA.

Soon thereafter, the arcade Game Room will launch, letting gamers “relive the glory days of classic arcade and console games in their original forms.” Games purchased will be able to be played both on the Xbox 360 and Windows-based PCs.

Also, Rare’s classic N64 shooter, Perfect Dark, has been tweaked and will relaunched with LIVE-enabled multiplayer support.

Last, and probably least, Scrap Metal from Slick Entertainment will round-up the Block Party campaign. Scrap Metal is a “fast-paced, top-down racer” where gamers “fight their way through explosive, action-packed missions, defeat cunning bosses,” and fight for leaderboard supremacy.

Thanks so much everyone and we will see you next week!

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