Week in Review: Rockstar New England, Gunmetal Grey PS3, Gears of War 2 Details, and more!

Week in Review: Rockstar New England, Gunmetal Grey PS3, Gears of War 2 Details, and more!


The week in gaming news was kicked off by Rockstar’s acquisition of Mad Doc Software and the subsequent formation of Rockstar New England in Andover, Massachusetts. Mad Doc is known for its work on A.I. for various games and most recently worked on Rockstar’s Xbox 360 version of Bully: Scholarship Edition. They impressed Rockstar so much that the company just had to acquire their expertise.

Eidos Interactive confirmed that Gauntlet will be released on Nintendo DS later this year. Gauntlet on the DS will be a reworking of the classic fantasy hack-and-slash arcade game from Midway by developer Backbone Entertainment. The game will feature 40 maps across three realms, and will use fast-paced, RPG gameplay along with in-depth multiplayer features including both cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes. Furthermore, Gauntlet will offer VoIP communication between gamers via the DS microphone.

There were also quite a few bombs dropped by Sony on their official PlayStation blog. First, the PSP will get Firmware (v3.95) very soon. Upgrades include customization of controller button mapping and you will be able to quit Remote Play without automatically turning off your PS3. Second, the PS3 will also be getting an update soon with Firmware Update (v.2.30). This update will add DTS-HD Master Audio and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio support allowing Sony PS3 owners to play Blu-ray movies with “studio-quality, high-definition audio.” In addition to the new audio support, the update will give owners access to the new and improved PlayStation Store. Finally, Sony and Konami announced details surrounding the forthcoming release of Metal Gear Solid 4 PS3 bundles. We already knew that a new 80 GB PS3 bundle was coming out that would include MGS4. What we didn’t know is that Sony will release a “Very, Very limited” amount of MGS4 “gunmetal grey” PS3s in North America.

In related news, Konami announced that there will be a Limited Edition version of MGS4: Guns of the Patriots that will include exclusive artwork from Yoji Shinkawa and an additional Blu-ray disc with two “making of” documentaries. The Limited Edition will launch in North America on June 12 will be available exclusively at GameStop. Konami has listed the Limited Edition version price at $84.99.

EA has got five more cross-platform titles in the works that will be developed on Epic’s Unreal Engine 3. EA and Epic have resigned a new license agreement that allows EA to develop the titles with the industry-leading framework.

Microsoft has also been in the news this week by showing off details for Gears of War 2. In the most recent issue of Game Informer magazine we found out that basic gameplay, weaponry, and the cherished cover mechanic will all return but will shine with subtle adjustments that should improve the overall experience. Look for rumored chainsaw duels to be part of multiplayer, and also the return of co-op campaign play but this time players will be able to hop in and out at anytime. All of your favorite weapons will be back in the sequel with a couple additions including new grenades and pistols. Furthermore, the use of cover will be improved to make it harder to hit or be hit. Finally, there will be at least four new characters introduced including Chairman Prescott (Hoffman’s boss), Maria Santiago (Dom’s wife), Dizzy, and Tai Kaliso.

Major League Gaming (MLG) kicks off its 2008 Pro Circuit Season with a major extravaganza at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ. According to the MLG press release, this will be “the largest, most spectator-friendly event ever.” It will feature exhibitions from Bungie and Microsoft Game Studios as well as Ubisoft. There will be an absolute ton of activities and prize giveaways from all of the MLG sponsors. Entry is free to the public and should be very fun. If you don’t live close to the action you can see live broadcasts of the best matches on MLGpro.com. The competition will run from April 11-13.

If you are an owner of Call of Duty 4 for the Xbox 360 you will be happy to know that the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Live Fire Weekend 2008 Offensive on Xbox Live is set to explode your television. The event will allow consumers to battle online against a smattering of developers from Infinity Ward as well as Mixed Martial Arts star Jens “Lil Evil” Pulver. Additionally, Microsoft, Activision, and Infinity Ward will provide prizes for the weekend competition. Click HERE for more detailed info on entry, prizes, gamer tags, etc.

Nintendo also made a couple of nice announcements this week. In addition to the release of Yoshi’s Cookie and Bases Loaded for the Virtual Console, Mario Super Sluggers is now being developed for the Wii. The game will be reminiscent of other sports-themed Mario games such as Mario Strikers Charged and Mario Kart Wii. There is no official release date yet, but the game will take full advantage of the Wii’s motion controls.

Even more exciting though is the news that developer Treasure, of Ikaruga fame, is working on two new 3D titles for the Nintendo Wii. According to Treasure President Masato Maegawa the use of the Wii Remote is the perfect implement for Treasure to bring us these two new titles.

Finally, it is official; Guinness World Records has confirmed that the Frag Dolls have achieved the ‘Longest continuous play of a single FPS’ by playing for over 24 hours at the i-33 on March 22. Ubisoft’s Frag Dolls includes Kitt, Sarin, and Jam accomplished the feat while playing Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2.

See you all next week!

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