Thursday, 31 May 2007

Hour of Victory Demo on Xbox LIVE!

The highly anticipated World War II FPS from Midway finally lands on Xbox LIVE as a single player teaser demo to wet your appetite till June, when this baby hits the stores. You'll have access to the North Africa level where you can use any of three characters .
Many thought this would be a hot title but so far, word on the net seems to be that its utter crap... but hey, we just report the news.

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Monday, 14 May 2007

New Cars for TDU on the 360

Hardcore Test Drive Unlimited fans on the 360 should prepare to part with 350 points as Atari has made Test Drive Collection Volume 4 available on Xbox Live. In this little package you'll find six new cars: the Dino 246 GT, Ferrari Challenge Stradale, Cadillac® Cien™, RUF RK Spyder, Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster, and the TVR T440R.

If you would like to feed your kids but still enjoy some new content, the Saturn™ Curve™ is available for free, although of course this is probably to make you consider letting the nippers starve in favor of driving the other cars.
Once obtained, the new motors can be bought as normal in the in-game dealerships.

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Friday, 4 May 2007

Spider-Man 3 game swinging to a shop near you


Today the wait is finally over and wall crawler fans across the world will no doubt be donning their virtual spandex and taking up the role of Spider-Man once more, as the Spider-Man 3 game comes out on almost all the major platforms today....

building on the great elements of the game tie-in for the Spider-Man 2 movie, Spider-Man 3 features the same free-roam game play style but this time with a much larger city to explore. Not only do you get the chance to websling through the city heights, but also the sewers and subways as 3 new rival gangs and a host of Spidey super-villians all want a piece of New York City.

The famous black suit finally makes it's way into the story, and players will get a chance to harness it's greater strength, agility, and durability. Of course you don't just get to have all this power at no cost to the tax payer! As time goes on the suit becomes harder and herder to control, but I'm sure nobody's thinking that far ahead right now.

Also seeing a big change is the fight system, which has been re-built from the ground up, allowing you to do a flurry of newer and more advanced attacks, which you'll need to take down the smarter enemies with their revamped AI.

But enough of all this talk! My virtual slacks are on, and I now leave to play my own role as Spider-Man on the Xbox 360!
The game is available on all major platforms, though the PS3 version has been delayd for release later this month.

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Thursday, 3 May 2007

New Gears of War maps



Some extra cogs have been added to the war machine today in the form of some new multiplayer maps for Microsoft's Gears of War.
The map pack, called "Hidden Fronts" offers four new maps to add to the online action....

'Bullet Marsh' places you in a Kryll infested swamp with a vulnerable generator powering the lights that keep them at bay.
"Garden" is a conservatory area that requires you to vent the air in the greenhouse to prevent it's life threatening pesticide system from becoming a hazard to your health.
"Process" Pits teams against each other for control of an old imulsion processing plant, and
"Subway" is a regular old subway... but crawling with locusts.

The maps are available via Xbox Live for the price of 800 Microsoft points, that is until the 3rd of September, after which time they'll be available for free.

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Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta Announced




REDMOND, Wash. — April 10, 2007 — Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie Studios today confirmed the multiplayer beta of “Halo® 3” will debut to audiences worldwide via Xbox LIVE® on May 16 at 1pm GMT and run through June 7 at 7:59 a.m. GMT. Coming exclusively to the Xbox 360™ console this fall, “Halo 3” is the highly anticipated third chapter in the groundbreaking “Halo” trilogy from legendary developers Bungie. “Halo 3” lets gamers experience Master Chief’s greatest battle as he launches an epic mission to stop the Covenant, destroy the impending Flood threat and ultimately save mankind.

Made possible through Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox LIVE gaming and entertainment network, which provides a robust online service for more than 6 million gamers worldwide, the multiplayer beta for “Halo 3” will give anxious Xbox 360 gamers their first opportunity to get their hands on the new levels, weapons, vehicles and game types, as well as a chance to provide valuable data that Bungie will use in continued development. Starting May 16, gamers who secured their admission to the multiplayer beta either through the “Rule of Three” promotion or by purchasing a specially marked copy of “Crackdown™” for Xbox 360 will be able to don their Spartan armor, download the beta on Xbox LIVE, and jump online using their Xbox LIVE Gold account* to battle other gamers from around the world.

When gamers gather online to play the multiplayer beta via Xbox LIVE in May, they will be treated to three richly detailed, action-oriented maps: Snowbound, High Ground and Valhalla, which represent a mixture of large- and medium-scale combat environments and are brand-new to “Halo 3.” Each map will test gamers’ mettle as they are placed behind the controls of new “Halo 3” vehicles such as the agile Mongoose all-terrain vehicle, and armed with deadly weapons such as the new and improved Assault Rifle, the ferocious Brute Spiker, the devastating Spartan Laser and the treacherous new Spike Grenades. This is just a taste of what gamers will experience later this fall when “Halo 3” goes on sale.

“‘Halo: Combat Evolved’ and ‘Halo 2’ changed the face of console gaming forever,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. “Gamers from around the world have logged more than 800 million hours on Xbox LIVE playing ‘Halo 2,’ and years after its launch it remains the No. 1 title on our Xbox LIVE network. Bringing an early look at the multiplayer elements of ‘Halo 3’ to our passionate fan base is tremendously exciting for us.”

Gamers worldwide who did not participate in the “Rule of Three” promotion but are interested in joining the multiplayer beta of “Halo 3” can still participate through the purchase of the critically acclaimed Xbox 360 title “Crackdown,” which was launched in February. “Crackdown” sets players loose in a free-form, persistent city for action-packed crime fighting that requires a bigger, faster and stronger hero that evolves as a more efficient weapon through continued gameplay. Each copy of “Crackdown” has been specially marked with a “Halo 3” beta sticker prior to the beta period, and starting May 16 the game will act as a key for gamers to download and participate in the “Halo 3” multiplayer beta.

In addition, gamers who can’t wait for the multiplayer beta this May can get an even earlier look at “Halo 3” with a new, behind-the-scenes video feature available at http://www.bungie.net and in high definition over Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Starting today, viewers can go behind the scenes at Bungie Studios to learn about the people, technology and process that are making “Halo 3” an unforgettable multiplayer experience, and to get a taste of what to expect from the upcoming “Halo 3” multiplayer beta. The latest multiplayer video documentary, titled “Is Quisnam Protero Damno!,” will offer a glimpse at how “Halo 3” multiplayer maps are being designed, built and architected, and how these amazing spaces are converted into fun places in which to play. Gamers can also catch the first-ever glimpse of brand-new “Halo 3” multiplayer levels in their early stages of evolution and construction.

About Bungie Studios

Bungie Studios was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve its real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it has produced games such as the “Marathon Trilogy” and the first two “Myth” games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. Bungie’s “Halo” franchise is an international award-winning action title that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, selling more than 14.7 million units worldwide, logging over 800 million hours of multiplayer action on Xbox LIVE and spawning action figures, books, a graphic novel, apparel and more. Bungie is currently at work on “Halo 3,” which represents the third chapter in this “Halo” trilogy and is slated for release in 2007. More information on Bungie can be found at http://www.bungie.net.

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox® and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows® operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to

creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as “Age of Empires®,” “Flight Simulator” and “Zoo Tycoon®”; Xbox and Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com), including such games as “Gears of War” and franchises such as “Halo,” “Fable®,” “Project Gotham Racing®” and “Forza Motorsport®”; and MSN® Games (http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as “Bejeweled” and “Hexic®.”

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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* The “Halo 3” multiplayer beta will require gamers to have access to an Xbox 360 console equipped with a hard drive as well as an Xbox LIVE Gold Membership.


Microsoft, Halo, Xbox LIVE, Xbox 360, Crackdown, Xbox, Windows, Age of Empires, Zoo Tycoon, Fable, Project Gotham Racing, Forza Motorsport, MSN and Hexic are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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New Characters for Ultimate Alliance



Character Bios

THE HULK:

Real Name:
Robert "Bruce" Banner

Aliases:
Annihilator, Captain Universe, Joe Fixit, Mr. Fixit, Mechano, Professor, War, Bruce Bancroft, David Banner, David Bixby, Bob Danner, Bruce Jones, Bruce Roberts, David Blaine, the Green Scar, Green Goliath, Jade Giant

Identity:
Publicly known

Occupation:
Unemployed, former nuclear physicist

Citizenship:
USA

Place of Birth:
Dayton, Ohio

Powers:
The Hulk possesses an incredible level of superhuman physical ability. His capacity for physical strength is potentially limitless due to the fact that the Hulk's strength increases proportionally with his level of great emotional stress, anger in particular. The Hulk uses his superhumanly strong leg muscles to leap great distances. The Hulk has been known to cover hundreds of miles in a single bound and once leaped almost into orbit around the Earth. The Hulk has shown a high resistance to physical damage nearly regardless of the cause, and has also shown resistance to extreme temperatures, poisons, and diseases in addition to regeneration of damaged or destroyed areas of tissue at an amazing rate.

The Hulk's body also has a gland that makes an "oxygenated per fluorocarbon emulsion", which creates pressure in the Hulk's lungs and effectively lets him breathe underwater and move quickly between varying depths without concerns about decompression or nitrogen narcosis

Abilities:
Dr. Bruce Banner is a genius in nuclear physics, possessing a mind so brilliant that it cannot be measured on any known intelligence test. When Banner is the Hulk, Banner's consciousness is buried within the Hulk's, and can influence the Hulk's behavior only to a very limited extent.

Weapons:
None

HAWKEYE:

Real Name:
Clinton Francis "Clint" Barton

Aliases:
Father Time, Goliath, the Golden Archer, Hawkeye the Marksman, Longbow, and he impersonated Dreadknight

Identity:
Secret

Occupation:
Adventurer; (Formerly) carnival performer, security chief, and criminal

Citizenship:
USA

Place of Birth:
Waverly, Iowa

Powers:
None. As Goliath, Barton used gasses designed by Hank Pym to grow to great heights, with appropriate increases in strength and toughness. (He could also use them to shrink to miniscule size.)

Abilities:
Hawkeye is a world-class archer and marksman. His above average reflexes and hand-eye-coordination make him the most proficient archer ever known.

Weapons:
bow and arrow

CYCLOPS:

Real Name:
Scott Summers

Aliases:
"Slim," formerly Slym Dayspring, Mutate #007, Erik the Red

Identity:
Known

Occupation:
Co-headmaster of Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, adventurer, former student, former radio announcer

Citizenship:
USA

Place of Birth:
Anchorage, Alaska

Powers:
Cyclops possesses the mutant ability to project a beam of heatless ruby-colored concussive force from his eyes, which act as inter-dimensional apertures between this universe and another. Cyclops' body constantly absorbs ambient energy, such as sunlight, from his environment into his body's cells that allows him to open the apertures. Cyclops' mind generates a psionic field that is attuned to the forces that maintain the apertures. Because this field envelops his body, it automatically shunts the other-dimensional particles back into their point of origin when they collide with his body. Thus, his body is protected from the effects of the particles, and even the thin membranes of his eyelids are sufficient to block the emission of energy. The synthetic ruby quartz crystal used to fashion the lenses of Cyclops' eyewear is resonant to his minds' psionic field and is similarly protected.

The width of Cyclops' optic blast is focused by his mind's psionic field with the same autonomic function that regulated his original eyes' ability to focus. As Cyclops focuses, the size of the apertures change and thus act as a valve to control the flow of particles and the beam's relative power. The height of Cyclops's eye-blast is controlled by his visor's adjustable slit. The beam's effective range is approximately 2,000 feet.
Due to a head injury, Cyclops is unable to shut off his optic blasts at will and must therefore wear ruby quartz lenses to block the beams.

Abilities:
Unknown

Weapons:
None

NIGHTCRAWLER:

Real Name:
Kurt Wagner

Aliases:
"Fuzzy Elf", formerly Gainsborough

Identity:
Secret (known by British authorities)

Occupation:
Adventurer; former priest, circus performer

Citizenship:
Germany

Place of Birth:
Bavaria, Germany

Powers:
Nightcrawler is a mutant who can teleport by opening a portal into another dimension, travelling through it via an unconscious direction-finding sense, and returning to his own dimension. When teleporting, Nightcrawler leaves behind a small portion of the atmosphere of the other dimension that escapes with a muffled “bamf” sound and smells of brimstone. On returning, his power automatically displaces any extraneous liquids and gases.

Nightcrawler can easily teleport north south along Earth's magnetic lines of force. However, teleporting east west against them or teleporting vertically is more difficult. Under optimal conditions, Nightcrawler can teleport 2 miles east west, 3 miles north south, and 2 miles vertically if he exerts himself. Nightcrawler's momentum is retained when teleporting, so he arrives with the same inertia he left with. He can reduce this by teleporting short distances in the opposite direction.
Nightcrawler has a limited unconscious extrasensory ability that prevents him from teleporting into any area that he cannot see or has not seen in the past, as doing so runs the risk of injury or death by materializing partially or entirely within a solid object.
Through practice, Nightcrawler has increased the mass he can teleport with him, though the limit to the amount of weight he can carry when teleporting and the distance over which he can teleport with such additional loads are unknown. Teleporting with Nightcrawler often leaves a passenger feeling weak and nauseous.

Nightcrawler is also able to cling to solid surfaces via his hands and feet. He can also render himself nigh-invisible in shadows by manipulating the ever-present portal to the dimension he teleports through so as to bend light around himself.

Abilities:
Nightcrawler is an Olympic-class acrobat thanks to his flexible spine that allows him to perform contortionist-like feats and to go long periods in a semi-crouching position without injury. He is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and a master at fencing, which he can even perform with his tail, which is strong enough to support his entire body weight.

Weapons:
Nightcrawler formerly wielded a pair of swords.

DR. DOOM:

Real Name:
Victor Von Doom

Aliases:
The Master, Invincible Man, Vincent Vaughn, Hans; has also inhabited the bodies of Daredevil, Norman McArthur and the Fantastic Four

Identity:
Known

Occupation:
Monarch of Latveria, would-be conqueror

Citizenship:
Latveria

Place of Birth:
A camp outside Haasenstadt (now Doomstadt), Latveria

Powers:
Doom can exchange minds with others. He possesses some mystical abilities, such as casting bolts of eldritch energy and invoking mystical entities (principalities) for additional support. While empowered by the Haazareth, his mystical powers were on a par with those of Dr. Strange.

Abilities:
Doom is a genius in physics, robotics, cybernetics, genetics, weapons technology, bio-chemistry, and time travel. He is also self-taught in the mystic arts. Doom is a natural leader, a brilliant strategist, and a sly deceiver.

Weapons:
Primarily his suit’s armaments.

MAGNETO:

Real Name:
Unknown

Aliases:
Erik Magnus Lehnsherr, Erik the Red, Grey King, White King, Michael Xavier, "the Creator," White Pilgrim, Prisoner #214782, others

Identity:
Secret

Occupation:
Conqueror, former ruler, teacher, headmaster, secret agent, orderly

Citizenship:
Unrevealed

Place of Birth:
Unrevealed

Powers:
Magneto possesses the power to control all forms of magnetism. He can shape and manipulate magnetic fields that exist naturally or artificially. It is unclear, however, whether he must draw magnetic force from outside himself (if so, then he can do so over vast distances), or whether he can also generate magnetic force from within himself. Nor is it clear whether Magneto's power is psionic or purely physiological in nature. Magneto's power is, for all practical purposes, limitless. Moreover, he can use his magnetic powers in more than one way simultaneously. He can completely assemble a complicated machine within seconds through his powers. He can erect magnetic force fields with a high degree of impenetrability around himself for protection.

Although Magneto’s primary power is control over magnetism, he can also project or manipulate any form of energy that is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, including visible light, radio waves, ultraviolet light, gamma rays, and x-rays. He can manipulate gravitons to create an anti-gravity field, and does so whenever he levitates a non-magnetic object. Hence, Magneto may be living proof of the long-sought Unified Field Theory that all forms of energy are related. However, Magneto almost always uses only magnetism, since it’s more difficult for him to manipulate other forms of energy. Magneto has also exhibited powers of astral projection and telepathy, and has claimed to be able to control the minds of others, though his abilities along these lines appear to be minimal.

Magneto’s ability to wield his superhuman powers effectively is dependent upon his physical condition. When severely injured, his body is unable to withstand the strain of manipulating great amounts of magnetic forces.

Abilities:
Magneto has mastered many technological fields, and is an expert on genetic manipulation and engineering, with knowledge far beyond that of contemporary science. He is considered to be a genius in these fields. He can mutate humans in order to give them superhuman powers, or create adult clones of human beings and then manipulate the genetic structures of these clones during their development. He has also learned how to create artificial living beings. Magneto is also an excellent strategist, both in actual battles and games of chess.

Weapons/Paraphanelia:
Magneto's helmet is designed to prevent telepathic intrusion or psionic attacks. Magneto has designed such creations as magnetically-powered craft, complex robots and computers, and magnetically-powered generators.

VENOM:

Real Name:
MacDonald "Mac" Gargan

Aliases:
Formerly Scorpion

Identity:
Known by legal authorities

Occupation:
Government operative; former professional criminal, private eye

Citizenship:
USA with criminal record

Place of Birth:
Yonkers, NYC

Powers:
As Scorpion: enhanced strength, enabling him to lift (press) about 15 tons, speed, endurance and agility (greater than Spider-Man's). As Venom: the symbiote further enhances Gargan's superhuman attributes including his agility and strength (enabling him to lift 45 tons optimally), and granting him the ability to cling to almost any surface, block Spider-Man's spider-sense, and enable him to blend in with the background. The symbiote can also produce organic webs which he can use for web-slinging from building to building or capturing opponents.

Abilities:
Mac Gargan has the intellectual skills of an average detective, though he is mentally unstable.

Weapons:
As Scorpion: The tail on his Scorpion costume could be used as a weapon. It has had axe-like additions on it, and originally it could simply be used to crush solid objects. As Venom, he has been able to mimic the shape of his old costume's tail.

SABRETOOTH:

Real Name:
Victor Creed

Aliases:
Der Schlächter ("The Butcher" in German), Slasher, El Tigre, others

Identity:
Known to various government officials

Occupation:
Mercenary, former government agent, possibly others

Citizenship:
Unrevealed

Place of Birth:
Unrevealed

Powers:
Sabretooth is a mutant possessing various superhuman attributes that are the result of genetic mutation and artificial enhancement. Sabretooth's primary mutant power is an accelerated healing factor that enables him to regenerate damaged or destroyed tissue with far greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. Sabretooth can fully heal from injuries that result in massive tissue and blood loss such as multiple gunshots, slashes, puncture wounds, and severe burns within only a few minutes. This mutant healing factor also renders Sabretooth highly resistant, possibly even totally immune, to disease. Sabretooth's healing powers, also, render him immune to most drugs and toxins, except within massive doses. Due to the unique regenerative properties of his mutant healing factor, Sabretooth ages much slower than an ordinary human. Despite having a much greater chronological age, Sabretooth possesses the appearance and vitality of a man in the physical prime of his life. All of Sabretooth's natural mutant abilities stem from, at least partially, his accelerated healing factor.

Sabretooth possesses superhumanly acute senses of sight, hearing, smell, and taste - although perhaps not of touch - comparable to those of certain animals, allowing him to track prey similar to the way dogs and wolves do. His night vision is preternaturally sensitive, containing twice the average human being’s area of light-gathering retina, and extends into the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. His hearing is extraordinarily acute, able to detect light breathing in a cave at 200 feet. His sense of taste can detect 1 part of foreign matter in 10,000. His highly developed olfactory sense and memory allow him to detect and track a scent over eight hours old, possibly a concentration of 20 parts per million, that he had not been exposed to for up to several months previously. Dilute, common odors of perspiration, perfumes, cigarettes, candies, and food are beacons to his senses.

Many of Sabretooth's physical abilities function with superhuman levels of efficiency. He possesses some degree of superhuman strength, the limits of which are unknown. Originally, Sabretooth possessed sufficient physical strength to crush an iron barbell, with ease. Sabretooth has undergone various procedures, some willingly and some unwillingly, that have increased his strength considerably beyond his original levels. Sabretooth's mutant healing factor grants him much greater immunity to the lactic acids generated by his muscles during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human. Hence, Sabretooth possesses superhuman stamina in all physical activities. His natural agility and reflexes are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural limits of the human body. Sabretooth's agility and reaction time are superior to those of the finest human athlete.

Currently, Sabretooth's entire skeleton has been artificially infused with the, virtually indestructible, alloy known as Adamantium. As a result, Sabretooth's bones are practically unbreakable.

Abilities:
Sabretooth is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, having been trained by the Foreigner, the C.I.A., and many others. Sabretooth is also an extraordinary hunter and tracker.

Weapons:
He also possesses a single, razor sharp, retractable claw at the tip of each finger. Originally, these claws were fully capable of rending substances as durable as bone, wood, and stone. However, just like his skeleton, Sabretooth's claws have been artificially infused with Adamantium. As a result, his claws are not only as indestructible as his skeleton, but are now capable of cutting any known solid substance other than Adamantium itself.

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