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Mafia II Collector's Edition Announced

Yesterday 2K Games revealed the Mafia II Collector's Edition, which is available now to pre-order in advance of the game's August 24 North American release date. What's in the Collector's Edition and who will be buying it? And why do some game companies put out collector's editions while others, like Rockstar, don't? Muse worthy, indeed. Read More

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Bioshock 2 Expands to Fourth Development Studio

Rapture ain't what it used to be, folks. It seems Andrew Ryan's underwater utopia has sprung a few leaks in its last couple years of disuse. This week, Take-Two announced that Arkane Studios (Arx Fatalis, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic) will be joining 2K Marin, 2K Australia, and Digital Extremes (Dark Sector, Unreal Tournament 2004) in getting the sequel into stores before the end of the year. 2K Australia co-developed the original Bioshock alongside 2K Boston, so a multi-studio arrangement isn't new for the series. Meanwhile, 2K Marin handled the PS3 port, so they are presumably doing the same for the sequel. According to Alyssa Finley, producer at 2K Marin, "we've been working closely with...Digital Extremes for our robust multiplayer experience." So that just leaves Arkane Studios. "Under the direction and leadership of 2K Marin, Arkane is assisting in the creation of levels that embody the aesthetic and gameplay ideals that make BioShock such a unique and exciting experience," says Finley. What do you think? With all these developers, will Bioshock 2 be able to preserve the original's seamlessness and authenticity? There is that saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. Read More

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Red Faction: Guerrilla Demo Open to Preorders Through GameStop

Remember the original Red Faction games? Yeah, they were fun for what they were, but nothing too spectacular. Perhaps I'm a bit of an optimist, but I feel like the upcoming Red Faction: Guerrilla could be promising. However, the wait until the game is actually released is a bit of a long one; we won't see it until June. GameStop is working to remedy this, offering an early demo opportunity to anyone who preorders the game. Leave it to GameStop to come up with such an innovative idea! Kidding, of course. Read More

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The Games That Don't Install Well on NXE, and How Much Room It Takes for Those That Do

One of the most hyped features (somewhere after Netflix and Avatars) of the New Xbox Experience is the ability to install games to the Xbox 360's hard drive. However, as Halo 3 has taught us, it's not quite a perfect procedure. In fact, it would seem that there is a small number of titles which don't really see any improvement when installed, thanks to the way the developers designed them. According to Destructoid, these titles are Big Bumpin', College Hoops 2k7, Pocket Bike Racers, Sneak King, Crackdown, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, and Quake II from the Quake IV Bonus Disc (according to NeoGAF). Or, to put it in a different perspective, it's the three Burger King promo games, an out-of-date basketball game, a game most people bought just to get into the Halo 3 beta, and a game most people probably don't want anyone else knowing they own, anyway. Takes a bit of the sting out of it, I figure. So now we know which ones don't work. But of those that do work, how much space will they take up? This is a question that's no doubt on the minds of many... or at least, however many bought a 360 with a 20GB hard drive. Fortunately, Sean has compiled a list over at NeoGAF which answers that very question, along with a few notes here and there about the reduction in load times. However, he notes "I can't possibly verify all of these sizes/notes, just going off of what people tell me. If there's an error please correct it and be nice about it." For your Kombo Konvenience, the list is posted right after the kut... er, cut. Whew, that was close. Read More

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Fallout 3 Trailers Being Pulled to Accommodate ESRB Guidelines

Yet another series of ads has been removed from the public eye. Only this time, it's not due to the outrage of those on the street who might have been offended, but rather, they have been pulled from gaming websites by request of the publisher.The request came from Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines in an e-mail which is reproduced below. The e-mail does not delve into the reasoning behind the decision, but says the request is "in connection with ESRB's advertising guidelines." The move comes on the eve of Fallout 3's release, with thousands of retailers ready to start selling the game at midnight tonight, and follows a widely-reported public complaint regarding depictions of post-apocalyptic Washington DC in Fallout 3 ads. The ESRB struck last year when news outlets including Shacknews were asked to remove trailers for D3 Publisher's Dark Sector, with the rating board citing "gameplay montages [which] have been deemed to contain excessive or offensive content." The full e-mail from Hines follows: In connection with ESRB's advertising guidelines, you are instructed to remove immediately any of our Fallout 3 trailers from your website, pending further notice. Thank you for your attention to this matter. PeteI wonder if it's the same situation as Dark Sector, or if there might be another cause. To anyone who's seen the ads: Any guesses? They could have been a little more timely about this, at any rate. Also interesting is that some websites haven't been instructed to pull past trailers, and so far as I know, that includes us. Read More

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Dark Sector Developer Lending a Hand on PS3 Bioshock

No, "lending a hand" isn't just a half-baked, lazy way of spicing up the word "develop" -- although it certainly accomplishes that goal admirably; it's an accurate description of Digital Extremes' role in Bioshock's PS3 port. According to a press release issued by Take-Two, Digital Extremes will be joining the Bioshock PS3 team, currently staffed by 2K Marin, 2K Boston, and 2K Australia. "When 2K approached us to assist with development on BioShock for the PLAYSTATION 3 system, it was a no-brainer," said James Schmalz, CEO and founder of Digital Extremes. "You really can't ask for a more exciting, technically impressive world to work in than Rapture, and the incredible knowledge and talent between the 2K studios and our team at Digital Extremes is unprecedented. The collaboration on this project will make the PLAYSTATION 3 system sing with Big Daddy goodness and Little Sister 'thank you's'." While the devs behind Dark Sector and Pariah may not know much about "exciting...worlds," they've likely penned a few books about the "technically impressive" part. Thus, I have a pretty good feeling about Digital Extremes' involvement with Bioshock, and wish them luck in developing the Big Daddy-Little Sister karaoke mini-game Schmalz not-so-subtly hinted at. Read More