Daily updates on video games and popular culture, along with Australia’s grooviest gaming podcast.

nanoBITES 30

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Thursday 24 February 2011No Comments

NanoBITES captures those small but important morsels of gaming information that otherwise might slip between the cracks.

ITEM! Last year’s Medal of Honor reboot may have endured a mixed reception from critics, but EA and Danger Close aren’t ready to fall on their swords just yet. Executive Producer Greg Goodrich recently acknowledged the feedback provided by players and confirmed that a follow up is in the works.

ITEM! Ultra violent sci-fi sequel Gears of War 3 will arrive in the third week of September, Microsoft has announced. The concluding chapter (we’ve heard that before) in the trilogy was originally expected in April.

ITEM! Telltale Games has revealed that it has given the green light to a second Puzzle Agent title. The prolific studio is also working on a revival of the classic King’s Quest adventure series and a multiplatform relaunch of indie iPhone series Hector: Badge of Carnage.

ITEM! Minecraft has been confirmed for iOS and Android compatible systems, according a report published on Gamasutra. Despite still being in beta, the world building game from tiny Swedish developer Mojang is already a PC phenomenon.

ITEM! The next wave of DLC for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is set to arrive in the second week of March. The single player component will see you investigating the disappearance of Leonardo Da Vinci while the multiplayer aspect of the game will be enhanced with additional characters and modes as well as a new map.

Recent instalments of nanoBITES: 17.02.11 l 10.02.11 l 03.02.11 l 27.01.11 l 20.01.11

This place is dead

Posted by Erin Marcon On Wednesday 23 February 2011No Comments

Whenever the zombie phenomenon appears to be slowing down, it seems to find new legs (arms, torsos, etc) to feed its insatiable appetite. Dead Island is the latest offering to shamble up to the plate. If its pre-rendered announcement trailer is any guide, Polish developer Techland will be aiming for a level of pathos largely absent from existing titles in the subgenre.

According to publisher Deep Silver, the game will deliver “first person action with a heavy focus on melee combat”. In offering four player co-op and makeshift weapon customisation, the producers of Dead Island are inviting direct comparisons to the likes of Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising 2. While the current trailer has piqued our interest, we’ll need to see some in-game footage before we can determine Dead Island has a soul of its own.

The three minute clip also serves as an excellent reminder to read the comments on Trip Advisor (“Nice view, shame about the zombies”) before booking your holiday accommodation.

Dead Island is due for release on 360, PS3 and PC in 2011.

A pirate’s life

Posted by Erin Marcon On Tuesday 22 February 20112 Comments

“My name is Inigo Montoya…”

German developer Piranha Bytes has commenced work on Risen 2: Dark Waters. An island based action RPG like its 2009 predecessor, the latest instalment will see you investigating a series of cataclysmic monster attacks. As you strive to halt the seemingly inevitable fall of humanity, you’ll delve deep into the murky depths of pirate society. Actually, if you live here in Australia, you may not be doing much of anything.

As reported by Kotaku in August 2009, the Australian Classification Board refused to grant an MA15+ rating to Risen as it contained what it described as “sexual activity and drug use related to incentives or rewards.” As there is no provision for R18+ rated games in this country, Risen was effectively banned from sale. Will the sequel have more luck with our notoriously unpredictable Ratings Board? Will Australia have a new rating system by the time the game ships? Who can say?

Risen 2: Dark Waters is being prepped for PC and unspecified consoles. Publisher Deep Silver is yet to announce a launch window.

Bizarre end

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Monday 21 February 2011No Comments

The team responsible for some of the more compelling driving games of the past decade is no more. As reported by Edge, parent company Activision has made good on its November 2010 promise to close the UK studio unless it could secure a buyer.

The mega publisher purchased Bizarre Creations in 2007, but allowed it to release only two games before swinging the axe. The first was Blur, a manic racer that sought to bring arcade style power-ups into a more mature environment. The second was James Bond 007:  Bloodstone, a poorly received third person shooter.

Established in 1994, the studio was best known for its work on Project Gotham Racing, a series that rewarded stylish driving as much as speed. Lightning fast and neon bright, the Geometry Wars twin stick shooters provided Bizarre with downloadable success.

The tribute video posted above was issued by Bizarre video editor Eamon Urtone, who will obviously be leaving with some fond memories.