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May 05 2011

Making the Call of the Dead: Treyarch on Black Ops' celebrity zombie-fest

Most of the content in the new Call of Duty: Black Ops DLC is pretty standard for the military shooter genre -- a few new maps for $15. But the "Escalation" has one obvious standout in "Call of the Dead", a new map for the game's Zombies mode.

Out of the blue, Treyarch hired B-movie legends like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund, Michael Rooker and Danny Trejo -- all posing as themselves -- and pitted them against the unrelenting waves of the undead, and even brought zombie master George Romero into the mix as a boss. The Zombie mode itself has always been presented as tongue-in-cheek fan service (the original mode from World at War had players fighting Nazi Zombies, and maps since then have included zombie monkeys and mad scientists), but "Call of the Dead" takes the goofiness even further.

So, how exactly did this happen? Joystiq cornered Zombies creative lead Jimmy Zielinski at a press event for the map pack earlier this week, and asked him how the developer decided to use some of the most familiar names in horror and monster film history for just one map in an add-on pack.

Continue reading Making the Call of the Dead: Treyarch on Black Ops' celebrity zombie-fest

JoystiqMaking the Call of the Dead: Treyarch on Black Ops' celebrity zombie-fest originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 05 May 2011 13:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Orcs Had To Die For These Trap Videos (Couldn't Be Helped)

Robot Entertainment made it clear when titling its upcoming project, Orcs Must Die, that they felt it was imperative to murder these staple fantasy creatures. And so here are videos of the developer slaughtering dozens of orcs and blowing them up to bits.

The first clip from the tower defense/third-person action hybrid is a variation of the age-old shoot-a-barrel-to-blow-up-nearby-enemies tactic, except here you're rewarded with limbs and chunks of orc meat flying everywhere. It's gross stuff, but alas, mandatory.

In the second trap clip, we're introduced to the Arrow Wall, a wall that shoots arrows. It appears very effective at killing orcs, which is good, because the Robot Entertainment folks assure us that they must die, and we're just taking them at their word on that.

You will be able to participate in the single-player genocide of orcs this summer on PC, PSN, and XBLA. Orcs on other platforms get a pass for now.

Rohrer's Diamond Trust Still A DS Owner's Best Friend

I was probably the only dude in the world losing sleep over this, but I've been wondering for some time now what the deal was with Diamond Trust of London, the intriguing DSi project from art game phenomenon Jason Rohrer (Passage, Sleep Is Death).

Majesco was supposed to publish this two-player strategy game about "the cutthroat nature of the diamond trade", but the company cut its promotions last year around the same time it dropped another DSi title, A Different Game's Ghostwire, from its slate.

"I ended up breaking off my deal with Majesco because we had a disagreement about how the game was going to be released," Rohrer explained in an interview with Charge Shot. "And when the game was 75 percent done I just said, 'Okay, I’m not going to finish it'."

He says that Zoo Games has since picked up the rights to release Diamond Trust of London in cartridge form. I hope the publisher has convinced/helped him implement online support, which seems (IMO) essential for a multiplayer strategy game in 2011.

Live show: Mash Tactics plays Outland

Live show: Mash Tactics plays Outland screenshot

Today on Mash Tactics we will be jumping into a beautiful new 2D platformer on Xbox Live, Outland. Join Carnag and I for your daily dose of silly antics as we swing through trees and conquer giant glow men.

[Join us for Mash Tactics every weekday at 4PM PST on Justin.Tv/Destructoid to watch live streams of new game releases and crazy antics with industry guests. Come join us on the chat and see what all the fuss is about!]

Watch live video from Destructoid on Justin.tv

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Who Has The Best Set-Up For Triple Monitor Gaming: Nvidia or Radeon? [W-I-D-E Screen]

Click here to read Who Has The Best Set-Up For Triple Monitor Gaming: Nvidia or Radeon? With the release of the dual-GPU AMD Radeon HD 6990, closely followed by the competing Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 we saw graphics card performance reach new heights. With bandwidth throughput in excess of 300GB/s, these cards can consume more power than entire computer systems. Moreover, the two GPUs on board of either product are so complex that combined make up for 11,000 million transistors. More »

Assassin's Creed Revelations Concludes Ezio's Story

Assassin's Creed Revelations

Following a tease on Facebook last week, Assassin's Creed: Revelations has officially been announced as the next game in the series.

Game Informer will have a proper unveiling in its June issue but today's cover reveal provides us with the first concrete details about the game. It had been rumored that Altair, the first game's protagonist, would make a return in Revelations. He will be a playable character, along with Desmond, but wrapping up the story of Ezio will apparently be the main attraction, as the game is described as his "final chapter." Ezio has been the star of the last two major releases in the series.

Tags: NEWS

L.A. Noire to ship on three Xbox 360 discs

L.A. Noire to ship on three Xbox 360 discs screenshot

Rockstar has confirmed that L.A. Noire will require three DVDs to contain all of its facial expressions and digital pubic hair, compared to the single Blu-ray that the PS3 version will need. 

"To tell the story and make the game we wanted to make, we knew that it was going to take an entire single layer Blu-ray disc and three Xbox discs," stated Rockstar's Jeronimo Barrera. "Since the game is built around the concept of progressing through individual cases from desk to desk, players on Xbox will find disc-swapping is hassle-free.

"In fact, players will only need to swap discs twice at natural breaks between cases without interrupting the flow of the game."

I can't say disc-swapping has ever been a major issue to myself. It's not like you have to crawl naked through a desert of thorns to get to your disc tray. Nonetheless, it's always been a problem to some people, so this news is for them. Should disc-swapping be like battery acid to your soul, get the PS3 version!

When Pokémon Meets Dr. Seuss [When Worlds Collide]

Click here to read When <em>Pokémon</em> Meets Dr. Seuss What do you get when you mix Pokémon with the wonderfully twisted work of Theodor Seuss Geisel? Geek art mash up site Draw2D2 gives us several colorful answers. More »

Guardian Heroes HD Remake Coming to Xbox Live Arcade

Sega just announced that it's giving one of the cult favorite Saturn games the HD treatment: Guardian Heroes is coming to Xbox Live Arcade! Originally released on the Saturn in 1996, Guardian Heroes is a side-scrolling brawler from Treasure, also known for such titles as Radiant Silvergun and Gunstar Heroes. The beauty of Guardian Heroes, however, was that it also included lots of RPG and adventure elements, making it so much more than your standard brawler. It also featured an incredibly cool art/visual style and soundtrack.

If you've never seen the game before, trust me, it's stellar. And it's one that we, along with lots of others, had been asking to see given the HD treatment for quite some time.

Tags: NEWS

The Smithsonian American Art Museum announces games to be featured in The Art of Video Games exhibit

Today, The Smithsonian American Art Museum revealed the games that have been selected to be showcased at The Art of Video Games exhibit. Following the results of online voting from February 14, 2011...

[[ Get the complete story at GamingBits.com ]]

Blizzard donates $800,000 to Make-A-Wish

Blizzard donates $800,000 to Make-A-Wish screenshot

When Blizzard Entertainment's not counting its World of Warcraft money and making great turn-based strategy games, it's apparently feeling philanthropic.

Make-A-Wish has announced today that the House of Warcraft has donated $800,000 to the organization, which helps make dreams a reality for kids diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions. Blizzard also celebrated World Wish Day, April 29, by letting two boys visit the Irvine, California studio to get a look at how its games are created. No word on whether they walked away with any "Titan" secrets.

And what did you do with $800,000 today?

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MIT Just Built a Better Nintendo 3DS Screen [Video]

Click here to read MIT Just Built a Better Nintendo <em>3DS</em> Screen A group of researchers from MIT have developed a new version of the parallax barrier technology used by Nintendo to give the 3DS its signature 3D visuals. The new version of the screen, called HR3D ("High Rank 3D"), can produce the same glasses-free 3D images as the 3DS, but does so while generating a brighter image and using less battery power. HR3D uses two layered screens to produce 3D, just like the 3DS. More »

LA Noire mysteriously marked down to $45 on Buy.com

Alright, gumshoes, bust out your novelty-sized magnifying glasses and fingerprint dusters -- we've got a heck of a mystery for you today. We've gone ahead and titled this case "The Mystery of How Buy.com Can Afford To Pre-Sell LA Noire For $44.99." Have at it, inspectors!

Continue reading LA Noire mysteriously marked down to $45 on Buy.com

JoystiqLA Noire mysteriously marked down to $45 on Buy.com originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 05 May 2011 12:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Assassin's Creed: Revelations concludes Ezio's story this November

Tired of back-to-back installments of Assassin's Creed? Alright, how about a new game that places temporally separated protagonists Ezio and Altair back to back on the June issue of Game Informer? The mag's scoop for the month is Assassin's Creed: Revelations, which Ubisoft says will mark the end of Ezio's story when it launches this November.

Revelations promises answers (right there in the title, guys) within the game's cryptic, multi-generational plot -- spread out between three playable characters: A distinguished Ezio, who ventures to Constantinople amid the rise of the Ottoman Empire; 12th-century assassin Altair; and the descendant who ties them all together, Desmond.

The game is being led by Ubisoft Montreal, "with the support and expertise of Ubisoft studios Annecy, Massive Entertainment, Quebec, Singapore and Bucharest." The massive production ensures the return of multiplayer (now with more everything), as well as the introduction of a new climbing hook.

After the break: A screenshot of Ezio as dangling participant in the Ottoman Empire's affairs.

Continue reading Assassin's Creed: Revelations concludes Ezio's story this November

JoystiqAssassin's Creed: Revelations concludes Ezio's story this November originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 05 May 2011 12:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hudson's 'Nightmare Dinosaur' found on ratings database

The total absorption of Hudson into Konami hasn't stopped the company from embarking on new projects with awesome titles. A new rating has popped up on the Australian classification database for something called Nightmare Dinosaur, developed by Hudson Soft in Japan and published by Konami.

Hudson hasn't released anything under this name in Japan -- or, as far as we can tell, anything for which this name could be used. And since the classification board doesn't list a platform, basically all we know about this game at this point is that it's called Nightmare Dinosaur. Which is kind of enough.

JoystiqHudson's 'Nightmare Dinosaur' found on ratings database originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 05 May 2011 12:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Age of Empires Online beta currently free for all

Age of Empires Online beta currently free for all screenshot

Over on the Games for Windows Marketplace, you can grab the Age of Empires Online beta as a free download. This is probably a thing you should consider doing, since the site pushes this as our last chance to get in.

Come to think of it, I haven't heard much about this game. I have heard plenty of people saying "Age of Empires III rocks," which is all well and good, but doesn't help the situation. So, we should all try this out then, it sounds like.

Let's Learn About Surviving Brink's Battlefields [Video]

Click here to read Let's Learn About Surviving <em>Brink</em>'s Battlefields The final entry in Bethesda's Get SMART series of Brink training videos explains how to navigate the battlefield, dealing with turrets and mines, and how operatives can disguise themselves as enemy players. Sneaky! More »

Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens duo to pen Tomb Raider film

Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens duo to pen Tomb Raider film screenshot

The new Tomb Raider movie -- the reboot we've been hearing about since the last Tomb Raider movie in 2003! -- now apparently has its writers.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, said writers are Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, the writing team behind Iron Man and the upcoming Cowboys & Aliens. The film is said to be an origin story that will place her alongside the likes of "Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor in the pantheon of great female action heroes."

The production schedule currently has the film on track for a 2013 release. But with Hollywood, anything goes, so let's not get ahead of ourselves. In the meantime, Lara's getting her own makeover on the videogames front as Crystal Dyanmics readies Tomb Raider. Things have been quite on that front for awhile, but I'm excited to hear and see more at this year's E3.

'Tomb Raider' Reboot Taps 'Iron Man' Writing Duo [The Hollywood Reporter]

Assassin's Creed Revelations Brings the Ezio Trilogy to a Close in November [Ubisoft]

Click here to read <em>Assassin's Creed Revelations</em> Brings the Ezio Trilogy to a Close in November After a week or so of vigorous teasing, Ubisoft finally lifts the curtain on Assassin's Creed Revelations, the third and final chapter in the Ezio trilogy, coming to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC this November. More »

Titanic Translated: Bootleg NES Platformer Now In English

Finally, Famicom/NES game based on the biggest movie of 1997, James Cameron's Titanic, is available in English! For those who don't recall a tie-in game for this ever releasing, it's one of many strange 8-bit bootlegs that have come out of China.

You really don't need this graphical hack to make your way through the platfformer -- and if you've seen the movie, which I'm sure you have several times over, the story should be pretty clear -- but maybe the IPS patch will explain the game's haunted rug situation.

Pacnsacdave, who went through the trouble of translating this, explains, "I made this hack out of respect to all the old school gamers who appreciate the video games of the past, and are looking to play new NES games that can now be understood thanks to translation."

Now someone needs to focus on translating the Titanic 1912 RPG! And hack a chiptune version of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" into both Titanic video games (yes, I wrote about the hack just so I could embed this).

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