Battlefield 3 unveils Close Quarters Trailer and upcoming DLC

EA already hinted at this one but today we have video and details on the upcoming DLC package for Battlefield 3. Close Quarters acts exactly as noted and brings tight action to the game with new weapons and maps. For those who didn’t pre-order the game, this shouldn’t be any different from the Back to Karkand DLC pack that hit in December as it packs even more into an already expansive game.

Close Quarters going almost completely indoors is bound to bring up some tension, Ziba Tower is the demo video and honestly it’s beyond tense with destructive environments coming out of the woodwork. If you have a fear of heights or tight spaces this map will do anything but put those at ease. Explosions, damage and gunfire will keep anyone on edge as cover is shot to pieces of fragged into dust. It’s a sweet teaser for something coming out so far off in June, I’m sure we’ll have more glimpses as the DLC gets closer to release.

Details from EA:

Battlefield 3: Close Quarters key features

·         Get plunged into frantic and relentless infantry combat on 4 new maps
·         HD Destruction lets you reduce entire locales to ruin
·         Earn 10 new weapons and bring them back to the base game
·         Complete 10 new Assignments and equip 5 unique dog tags

Battlefield 3: Armored Kill key features

·         All-out vehicle warfare on huge maps
·         Includes the biggest map in Battlefield history
·         New vehicles, including tanks, ATV’s, and mobile artillery

Battlefield 3: End Game is the final expansion slated for this Winter but they’re not speaking up on it yet. In the meantime check out the pricing details below and get saving for your next mission assignments.

Battlefield 3: Close Quarters information

·         Publisher: Electronic Arts
·         Developer: DICE
·         Formats: PlayStation® 3, Xbox 360®, PC
·         Release: June 2012 (1 week early access on PlayStation®3)
·         Players: 2-16
·         Rating: ESRB Mature 17+ / PEGI 16
·         MSRP: $14.99 USD for PlayStation 3 and PC, 1200 MS Points

Borderlands 2 packs Steamworks on PC

Gearbox and 2K have been quick to eliminate any speculation about online support and protections for Borderlands 2, today they’ve announced that Steamworks will handle achievements, DLC, updates and matchmaking services with Steam Cloud picking up the tab for game progress data as well.

This acts as a shift from the in-house system used in the original title on the PC, with Steamworks they’re able to harness an entire user base with relative ease especially when handling 4 player match-ups. The only frustration might come from using online activation for the game, generally Steam requires online decryption of the files before allowing someone to play the game offline which means there will be a one-time validation requirement attached.

Borderlands 2 is set to arrive this September, hopefully we’ll have some deeper looks at the game between now and the release.

Gotham City Impostors launches new DLC for 360 users

Today we have a bit of good news for Gotham City Impostors owners, well at least those of you on the 360, today we see a new update that brings matchmaking fixes and live joining ability to matches. Also new maps, weapons, gadgets and other goodies are also unleashed in this update for use immediately, finally the DLC tops things off with new costumes for characters to spice up the action just a bit. The only word for PC and PS3 players is that an update with the same goods will arrive in the near future, no word is out on this meaning possible exclusive releases for the 360 on this game but it wouldn’t be a first.

Check out the trailer below to get an idea of the madness coming in the new DLC for the game! If you haven’t heard of Gotham City Impostors check out the official site for more info and extra videos on the game.

Skyrim HD, 2K and Normal and ENB round-up

Skyrim has an ongoing list of super mods available, users are able to modify so many aspects of the game it’s almost crazy. We’re not going that far into the exploration just yet, instead we’re focusing on the visual engine and how many tweaks are just waiting to get used out there. Before jumping into that I’ll go over the hardware used in the testing and the software we used.

Test system:

  • AMD Phenom 9750 (Stock)
  • Jetway 790GX ComboL
  • 4GB Crucial DDR2 PC6400
  • ASUS EAH6850 DirectCU (950 core / 1100 memory)
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtrememusic

Software:

  • Windows 7 x64
  • 2K Texture pack for Skyrim Version 1.4
  • ENB Series mod (ENBPM 2.03 Beta)
  • Fraps (monitoring FPS and screen caps)
  • ATI Catalyst 12.2

Settings:

  • Resolution: 1920×1200
  • FXAA: On | SSAO: On (slow) | AA: Off

Skyrim is no doubt amazing to look at from a distance, the textures at their worst come off with clarity and drive home the sense of fantasy. Up close though… that’s really a different story, the textures look blocky and blurry upon closer examination (walking over them). One of the first moves from the community to restore the immersion was the 2K texture mod, a project completely revising the look of the game textures. Recently Bethesda tried their own hand at releasing a full HD kit of their own to update the PC version. The question now is, what gets it done the best and that’s what we’re looking at now.

Outdoor comparison:

 
Normal Textures – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

 
2K Texture Pack – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

 
HD Texture DLC – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

Biggest thing to take out of the outdoor shots? 2K demolishes both without hesitation, in fact it’s a huge difference walking through the world and over land masses. Sure if you fast travel everywhere it doesn’t matter as much but that’s not exactly for everyone and after a while you need to explore to find those extra hidden areas in the map. ENB manages to help polish up all 3 options as well, you can be on normal and get an entirely new sense of depth to Skyrim thanks to the ENB mods being made.

Where does the HD DLC really kick in then? It’s actually indoors that I noticed the biggest kick, with the 2K kit establishing a large lead I left the next comparisons down to the normal and DLC textures instead.

Indoor comparison:

 
Normal Textures – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

 
HD Texture DLC – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

Here we see the HD pack shine, it adds definition to the sheets for threads and revises the chest completely, floor textures like the rugs and coverings all get a revamp for higher clarity. While the outdoor scenes may not show it, tighter spaces make heavy use of the revised HD textures. The primary difference to the 2K pack is the illusion of bump mapping and depth to the textures in the 2K pack for more realistic walls and added depth to tables. This all comes at a cost as we’ll see in the performance section. Before going there, we’ll take a close up with character models and the HD pack update to clothing and overall design.

 
Normal Textures – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

 
HD Texture DLC – (Left: no ENB | Right: ENB on)

Huge shift in the shirt is the first thing I picked up, clothing gets a massive overhaul to give actual definition to the characters. Faces, hair and other items also take up a boost but that shirt… it’s like it’s from a different game. Odd enough if you’re running ENB you’re able to potentially mask some of the horror in the blurry textures thanks to the post processing effects masking it with heavier shadows and blur.

It’s amazing what can be done with just a revamp, but these do come with their own damage. Lets take a look at the Memory and FPS hit running these mods.

Memory in GB (1.46GB before starting Skyrim):

bamfas.com

FPS:

bamfas.com

Memory wise it’s almost confusing why Skyrim HD DLC takes up nearly as much memory as the 2K pack given how it performs outdoors, it seems likely the bulk of it focuses on armor, models and structural spaces more than anything. The 2K pack is the clear winner for overhaul sake but it also does require a large amount of memory and it has the biggest performance hit out of the list. When using heavier ENB mods like ENBPM you’ll drop FPS in half if not worse which is a gamble unless you have the hardware to back it up. Either way they both work to leave the stock pack of textures in the dust and it should be a clear recommendation to at least get the HD pack if you have the memory to spare. For those more adventurous there are users also combining the two for an ultra texture mod of traditional art and the 2K pack.

For those wondering if ENB always takes that much power away, no. It’s strictly on a case by case basis and many of the mods don’t induce that hard of a performance hit but finding the perfect one for your setup may require investing some time in tweaking the configuration yourself.

Thanks for tuning in with us and if you have questions feel free to ask in the comments.

Downloads: 2K Texture Pack (Skyrim Nexus) | ENB Series Presets | ENBPM 2.03 beta | ENBPM Feedback

New WWE ’12 DLC arrives for all

THQ is hard at work cranking out new downloads for WWE ’12, today we get a look at the Diva pack including these past and present wrestlers.

  • Trish Stratus
  • Brie Bella
  • Nikki Bella
  • Vickie Guerrero
  • Kharma
  • *Alicia Fox

They’re available now on the PS3 and Xbox 360 with a price of 99 cents or 80 MS points. Those bummed out about the lack of holiday cheer can take note that Alicia Fox is actually a freebie on either platform. Enjoy the goods and get down with some crazy Diva action on your console this season.

Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition gets a massive 2012 update

So you’re a Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition fan. I bet you never saw 12 pages of update information in move by move and character by character form, all of this is coming at you for the next patch in 2012.

Because the team at Capcom didn’t want you to feel like they were holding out information, they’ve detailed every single change in such precise detail that no one will have an excuse to claim nerfed characters or hidden changes that aren’t really on that list. Get ready to have your mind blown with a huge PDF from the team.

What I can say from just a few initial browses, this list impacts every single move by every single character in the game. Amazing but a huge read, I would suggest focusing on the characters you commonly battle and use the most to avoid walls of details.

SSFIV Arcade Edition 2012 Final Change List – US

Ubisoft Celebrates 25 years of gaming on Xbox Live

It’s a month of gaming promotions I kid you not, Steam, Android, Get Games and others are just blowing out sales on products. Today though Xbox users get to share in 25 years of Ubisoft products with an exclusive sale on digital titles. Unfortunately it’s a mix of pricing but we’ll note it all here.

It was mentioned we would also see Scott Pilgrim Vs the World The Game in the list, unfortunately it looks like all the related goods for the game are still at full price. Hopefully some shifts do come up, it would be a shame to lose out on it at the last minute.

Killing Floor Holiday updates and Free-to-Play Weekend arrive

The holidays are here and it’s time to get busy, while all the new releases slow down the team at Tripwire are here to bring Twisted Christmas 2 over for all the good little Killing Floor players from December 7th through January 4th. Packing new levels, music, and of course weapons it will keep players busy for the next month. To help stimulate the servers the game is also going on a free weekend on Steam from December 8th to the 11th so anyone can get a shot at all the new holiday goodness and the classic holiday enemies making a return.

For those curious on some details for the Twisted Christmas 2 event we have a few tidbits to share.

Making a return

  • Christmas enemies (replacing standard models)
  • Santa’s Evil Lair (Map)
  • Baddest Santa (character unlock)

New additions for the Holiday Update

  • New achievements for 2011
  • The Ice Cave (Map)
  • Steampunk 2 DLC pack

Weapons

  • The Sharpshooter gets a shiny .44 Magnum revolver – good for dual-wielding for even more stopping power.
  • The Commando picks up a US Army surplus M-4 Carbine, with a nice, new red dot sight fitted.
  • For Demolitions, we’ve removed the sight and added the under-slung M-203 single shot grenade launcher. Wonderful all-purpose weapon!
  • Support Specialists can get their hands on a semi-automatic combat shotgun.
  • Berserkers can go all Scottish, with a massive two-handed Claymore. Perfect for the holiday season…
  • Following on from Horzine’s earlier experiments with healing darts, they have now provided the Medic with an MP5 machine pistol, mounting a dart-firing device.
  • Ripped from the arm of a dead Husk the Firebug gets his asbestos-covered hands on the fireball launching Huskgun!!! Charge this baby up and watch the zeds explode in a ball of flames!

Tripwire does warn that Baddest Santa will only be unlockable during this event so try to not miss out, with this being the second shot at obtaining him this might be a last shot at the unlock. If you’re curious for more information about killing floor check out the Holiday 2011 page.

*SDCC 2011* Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

The fans have been asking for more DLC characters. But releasing two at a time is over. How does twelve new fighters sound?

Announced today is the return of Strider, Ghost and Goblins villain Firebrand and the long overdue, non april fools day appearance of Ghost Rider! Check the press release out for yourself.

CAPCOM®, MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT PREPARE FOR EPIC REMATCH IN ULTIMATE MARVEL® VS. CAPCOM 3®

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — July 20, 2011 — Capcom®, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, and Marvel Entertainment today announced that Ultimate Marvel® vs. Capcom® 3 is in development for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will take the epic battle to all new heights with new iconic characters from the Marvel and Capcom universes, a refined fighting system, eight new stages and new modes when it releases this November for the low MSRP of $39.99.

The highly acclaimed fighting game adds 12 new legends to the robust Marvel vs. Capcom 3 roster, bringing the total overall roster of characters up to 50. The first new characters revealed for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 include much-requested Capcom character Strider who slashes his way into the fray along with Ghost ‘n Goblins™ villain Firebrand. On the Marvel side, Ghost Rider will finally exercise his vengeance and Hawkeye will pick apart foes. More characters will be revealed in the coming months.

In addition to characters, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 features a host of enhancements and new features to improve the game’s balance and online functionality. One of the biggest additions to Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the fan-requested Spectator Mode, which allows fighters to watch live online matches together. With multiple improvements and 12 new characters, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 brings home the ultimate fighting experience for newcomers and pros alike.

[Updated] Stack up bodies in Left 4 Dead 2’s Cold Stream for DLC!

Killing zombies is a tough task, Cold Stream in Left 4 Dead 2 actually makes that to new levels. Valve is trying to sweeten the deal as the add-on is slated for release, if they can get 20,000 people to survive the onslaught they’ll release Dead Air for L4D2 early on July 10th. Players can beat the campaign on any difficulty to earn the new achievement and help everyone enjoy the goods a little earlier.

Check out the official blog post for more information or jump on Steam and lend a hand. I’ll be in the fight in just a bit as well.

[Left 4 Dead Blog]

Update – Playthrough tips:

  • When you can grab a second pistol do so, you’ll have 30 rounds to unleash when your primary weapon goes out of ammo
  • Melee strike as much as possible when reloading, try to maintain the high ground and if you’re playing in SP, grab high range weapons like the sniper rifle to pick enemies off before leading the AI in.
  • The waves rely on users moving forward after the first attack, doing so leaves you open to being surrounded, fight the first flood and then wait for the second before going forward. If your team is tightly held you can last through these waves.
  • Solo players will die, you can’t rush in these maps, trying is pretty much suicide and leaves the team with one less person
  • On the bridge, beware of some glitches in crossing the beams, if someone falls there is a chance they’ll get stuck on the side railing until they die, trying to save them is pointless as they’ll instantly go into falling mode again.
  • In the final map have at least one person get the grenade launcher, save the rounds as much as possible, in the final zone unload the rounds to reduce the swarms to 0.
  • Heal your team often but always try to keep 1-2 med packs in reserve, in some cases the game will ask for a sacrifice, if you survive they’ll have a med pack waiting unless someone hijacks it and leaves you for dead. (Bridge scene has a charger that blows you off the scaffolding if you don’t have grenade rounds).

Xbox 360 users:The L4D team has confirmed that the 360 version of Cold Stream will arrive later this summer.

Completed using: Dual Handguns, Grenade Launcher, M249 SAW, Sniper Rifle (primary)

Hopefully these lend a hand in getting through Cold Stream and get you a new badge. Completed it in 49mins solo on hard, well designed but the boundary boxes need work still and the AI enemies and team often get stuck or make really odd mistakes through the entire campaign.

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