Dead Space 3's demo version will be available via Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on Jan. 22, though a news release from Electronic Arts this morning says that a limited number of Xbox Live gamers can get access to the demo a week early.
Early access will be awarded through the site demo.deadspace.com. The news release said codes would be given out "while quantities last," up to Jan. 14, and that the early access code expires Jan. 22. An Origin account, or registering one, is necessary to get an early demo code. Oh, and you must be 13 or older, which is interesting, as this is an M-rated game.
Anyway, the demo will feature Isaac Clarke and new co-op companion Sgt. John Carver battling necromorphs on an ice planet, sounding similar to what EA showed off way back at E3 in June. Co-op play will be a feature of the demo, EA said.
The demo news accompanied this trailer, a recap of the events in the first two games. It still gets you current without giving away too much from them, but for those still playing through, I guess this gets a qualified spoiler alert.
There's some kind of preorder bonus at the end of the trailer. Skip ahead to 3:27 if you're interested in it but don't want to see the series recap.
In the horror game Dead Space 2, there is... a scene. This scene.
It's the sort of scene that once you see it, you can't un-see it. Even if, say, a machine were to jam a giant metal needle into your eyeball? That would be less traumatic than watching that Dead Space 2 scene.
Fair warning, this might get a little gross. Or a lot gross.
I mean, okay, here:
Does that give you an idea of what I'm talking about? DOES IT??
Once someone sees this scene, once they take control over the needle, stick it into Isaac's eyeball… not too far now! Wouldn't want to drill into his brain and kill him or anything…
OH FUCK YOU PUSHED THE NEEDLE TOO FAR LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE EEEEEEEEE
Once you've experienced this scene, you're changed forever. Your life can never go back to the way it was. The brightest June afternoons are cast under a pall. Open meadows have a faint sulfurous smell. Your morning bowl of Honey, Bunches of Oats seems flavorless and bland. You are a husk of a person, doomed to wander the earth without joy or respite, your restless nights haunted by eyebally nightmares.
But there is one thing you can do. You can save others from the same fate.
And so thank god for this sister, who jumps on the grenade for her brother, even though it appears that he may have already seen too much:
And three cheers for this girl, who despite her boyfriend's protestations, surely has his best interests at heart:
He may be annoyed now, but once the scene is over, he'll be able to get on with his life unscarred. He'll never know how close he came.
And high-five to Doofy Pageboy Guy, who does his best to save his Blonde Sister-Friends from sharing his fate:
We know so much about you, Bored Blonde Teenagers with Mismatched Controllers. But we didn't know it had gone this far. If only Blonde Sister #2 would listen to Doofy Pageboy Guy and let him protect her! Clearly Blonde Sister #1 is beyond saving. She has the dead eyes and soulless affect of one who has already seen The Horrible Eyeball Scene in Dead Space 2. But maybe her sister isn't beyond saving…
No matter how hopeless life may seem now, it's not too late to save others. Not everyone needs to see that scene. Not everyone needs... to know...
Multi-national releases are a difficult process. Not only are there linguistic and cultural barriers to overcome, but very often content or simple monetary reasons can keep a game from entering one country or another. Even so, some games are desired despite their limited availability no matter where you are. That being said, here are the top ten Xbox 360 games in Japan that were never released in Japan* (Comments are from the owner of the game store, Game Station, which sells imports in Japan).
10: Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe
"The first Mortal Kombat for the next-gen consoles. Highly sought by Mortal Kombat fans and fans of DC heroes like Superman and Spider-Man." (editor's note: Spider-Man is neither a DC property, nor even present in Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe)
9: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
"Most games based off of anime or movies are generally lackluster, however, this title turned out to be surprisingly good. Much like the Toy Story 3 game, which came it at number 11, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a fairly popular movie-based game."
"An entirely new game in the series. The ability to unlock and play the previous 3 games is an added bonus."
7: Mortal Kombat
"The second next-gen Mortal Kombat. Unlike Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe, which, much to the chagrin of many hard-core fans, was rated Teen due to the addition of the DC heroes, the new Mortal Kombat was rated Mature, with its staple graphic killing scenes."
6: Aliens Vs Predator
"Pretty much all Alien-based games sell well. It's best to play this game after watching all the Alien movies, Predator movies, and Alien Vs Predator movies!" (editor's note: It's really not.)
5: Silent Hill: Homecoming
"The Japanese version was cancelled just before release, so this game sells well even now. Recently, people have been buying Homecoming together with the newly released Downpour and the HD collection of the originals."
4: Dead Space 2
"The sequel to Dead Space. It looks like "game sequels never outsell the original." Still, people who enjoyed the original should enjoy this one as well."
"Even people who don't regularly play foreign games often come to our store asking, "Do you have this game called, ‘Prototype?'" Mostly likely it's word of mouth from friends that's making this game popular enough for people to buy it without knowing what it's about."
2: Call of Duty: World At War
"This was the only game in the Call of Duty series that didn't get a Japanese release. Whether it's because it was released the year Activision pulled out of Japan, or because the enemies in the game are the Japanese, either way, it's a must-have for fans of the Call of Duty series." (editor's note: My bets are on the latter…)
1: Dead Space
"Dead Space is so famous that even people who don't play imported games know about it. The announcement that it wouldn't be sold in Germany or Japan was probably the best sales advertisement ever."
*All data gathered from Game Station and Game Station Online sales from August, 2007 to April, 2012.
Forget NECA's official Dead Space figures, which make Isaac look like was born disfigured. Remember the Dead Space hero as he should be remembered, with this intricately-detailed, custom-made action figure.
A Korean fan the series' official Facebook account only calls "이호갑" is to thank for it, and included alongside the finished shots some images of the figure as a work-in-progress.
Even if you're not the biggest fan of the games, this is still some incredible craftsmanship to behold.
2011 saw its share of disappointments, but it was also a year that contained a good number of nice surprises. Some were games we just didn't see coming—they snuck up on us and grabbed us with their excellence. Others were games that we thought were going to be terrible or at best so-so, but which would up being terrific.
I polled my fellow Kotaku editors and assembled a list of some of the most pleasant surprises of 2011.
I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't sold on Bulletstorm. It looked juvenile and boring, like a generic FPS dressed up with some color and silly language. I played a bit of it at a press event and remained unimpressed. I wrote a skeptical, critical preview.
As it turns out, I should have given Bulletstorm, and by extension its developers at People Can Fly, much more credit. Our reviewer back at Paste loved the game, and when I finally really sat down and played it, I found that I loved it too. It's genuinely funny in its brash dumbness, and it plays like a dream. The slide-kick alone is one of the most satisfying, endlessly fun gameplay mechanics of the year. I am still surprised at how much I love this game.
An iPad/PC game based around making chemical compounds certainly doesn't sound fun, but boy is it ever. As Stephen Totilo wrote in his Review, it is "a stellar puzzle game well worth your time and brain cells." Easily one of the best iOS games of the year, and the most fun I've ever had nerding right the hell on out.
This one was a surprise mainly because it came out with so little preamble, pomp, or circumstance. And yet it was a fantastic game, utterly worth buying in every way. Ashcraft called it "his new favorite shooter," while Totilo described it as "the total package of retro-chic style and substance," and one of his favorite PlayStation 3 games of the year. (!!) That alone puts it on the "surprises" list.
Superman on iOS
When Totilo wrote this game up, he said that it's not perfect, but simply surprising that it's so good, given the crappiness of most Superman games. I haven't played it, but I'm actually surprised that a Superman iOS game is good at all, so it makes the list!
The Witcher 2
It wasn't so much a surprise that The Witcher 2 was good—its predecessor had also been a fantastic game that got better and better the more you played it. The surprise was the way that The Witcher 2 was good. The Witcher had been a fairly niche game, a stat-based hardcore CRPG that made those of us who love that sort of thing very happy, but didn't have much mainstream appeal. With a new engine and control scheme, The Witcher 2 arrived on PCs loaded for bear, a game that was ambitious not only in its scope and storytelling, but in its mainstream accessibility. In fact, it was the game that the very-mainstream Dragon Age II wished it could be, a complex, hugely branching tale of moral intrigue loaded with great characters, cheap thrills, and fun action combat (once you got past the first few levels.)
I'll be very interested to see how its coming Xbox 360 port does—provided it's a console translation of the amazing game we PC gamers played in 2011, The Witcher 2 will surprise a whole new crop of console gamers in 2012.
What looked like a somewhat strange god-game from Eric Chahi wound up surprising us with is depth, difficulty, and satisfying gameplay loop. Stephen Totilo described it as "a very good video game that starts badly," going on to say that it crept up on him, and as he wrapped up the campaign, he was in love with it.
Trenched, of course, is now known as Iron Brigade, a humorous action/tower-defense game from Tim Schafer's Double Fine Productions. I remember when Schafer unveiled it at the end of the GDC awards in March, and I felt… underwhelmed. It was weird, the tone was kinda bro-y, there was this guy yelling, and I wasn't clear on what the game was. Then, it came out, and I played it—and fell in love with it. Double Fine has a reputation for making games that favor art and story over gameplay, but project lead Brad Muir's design chops made Trenched arguably the best-playing Double Fine game of all time. It's great in single-player and even more fun in co-op, and was one of the summer's most enjoyable surprises.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
So obviously, I loved this game a whole lot, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a surprise. I knew next to nothing about it before it came out, and it sure took me by surprise.
As our own Brian Ashcraft put it, "I had no idea iPhone games could do that." Indeed, Ash.
Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars
When the 3DS launched, the pickings were pretty slim. I had a bunch of the launch titles, but there were very few that I wanted to play for more than five or so minutes at a time. Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars was the exception in a big, big way. A combination of Ghost Recon and X-Com, it was a top-down tactical strategy game with an emphasis on troop positioning and canny battlefield exploitation. It was also supremely addictive. Our own Brian Crecente agreed, calling it a 3DS Must-Buy. Later games like Super Mario 3D Land and Cave Story 3D replaced in in my regular rotation, but I still play Shadow Wars quite a bit.
Dead Space 2
I'm putting this one in because I was all but convinced that it was going to suck. I had liked the first Dead Space no small amount, largely because of its isolation and genuine scares. Seeing trailers (like the one at the left, actually) with Isaac talking, stupid rock music playing, Uncharted-ish action sequences… it left me thinking they were going to amp up the game and wreck it. Little did I know that Dead Space 2 would be one of the most polished and enjoyable mainstream action games of the year, a near-seamless blend of horror and action that was almost impossible to stop playing. Bravo, Visceral.
Man, did I not see this one coming. Who did, really? I'd been kept in the loop by Microsoft PR, and when they finally sent me a copy, it was right after I got a Kinect. So, I plugged it in, thinking "This will be a silly kids' game for sure," and what did I get but one of the two or three funniest games of the year. It worked great with the Kinect tech, it was hilariously written, and it was really fun to play. As it turned out, the origin story for the game was a hilarious case of last-ditch improvisation. I can only say I'm glad the guys at Twisted Pixel faked it like they did—the result was a game that all but proved that the Kinect could have super-fun games.
Saints Row: The Third
This one certainly snuck up on me—I'd liked the first two Saints Row games fine, but I was most certainly not expecting the third one to be as polished, smart, hilarious, and balls-out fun as it was. I tried to articulate that as best I could in my review of the game—this was a game that was generous, funny, and would go to almost any length to show the player a good time. At times, I couldn't even figure out how they were getting away with the things they were, but there ya go. Saints Row: The Third was easily one of the most welcome surprises of the year.
But those are just a few of the things that surprised us. What games pleasantly surprised you this year?
With 2008 survival horror third-person shooter Dead Space, EA created a hit title. Dead Space went on to spawn a sequel, a rail-shooter spin-off and a puzzle game, animated films, comic books, and a novel. But according to one insider, EA is just getting started.
EA is looking at new ways to expand Dead Space, an insider told Kotaku. The Dead Space team was apparently told that it must look at ways it can make the series bigger and better. Thus, according to the source, EA is working on a Dead Space first-person-shooter. That's not all.
This would not be a first. Back in 2009, EA released an on-rails Dead Space shooter for the Wii called Dead Space: Extraction. The game, a prequel to the first Dead Space, was ported to the PS3 earlier this year.
EA's desire to expand Dead Space is also apparently why there are plans to make a Dead Space flight game—in short, it's Dead Space, but you're flying ships.
The insider added that after these titles are completed, the Dead Space team is moving forward on "an Uncharted-like game". Work on this game has not started yet, and the title is still supposedly in the early planning stages.
Dead Space's expansion comes as a management shuffle at EA brought in new brass that nearly killed off Dead Space 3—the reason being the Dead Space games don't sell like games like Uncharted games do. This change also means that there are likely to be fewer risky new big titles, such as Mirror's Edge.
Dead Space the FPS, Dead Space the flight sim, and Dead Space the action-adventure game would only dilute what makes Dead Space, well, Dead Space.
Dead Space 3, however, is apparently not cancelled. The insider told Kotaku that the game will feature co-op and is set on an ice planet. That backs up earlier rumors that Dead Space 3 will be trade pitch blackness for a blinding, frozen tundra. As Kotakupreviously posted, the next entry takes place on the planet Tau Volantis. The planet's "white-out blizzard conditions" may trade the blackness of previous Dead Space games for pure white, a new method for keeping the beasts of the horror franchise well hidden from view.
The third entry will also supposedly be the last Dead Space to feature engineer Isaac as the protagonist, thus ending a trilogy.
After that the Dead Space franchise is, as previously mentioned, moving on to an action-heavy Dead Space game. Think Uncharted in space.
None of these Dead Space games are yet official. Even Dead Space 3, which was apparently outed in September, hasn't been officially announced. Considering how often game titles are killed off in production, if true, a similar fate could await some of these games. Or, it's entirely possible that EA pushes them out the door and releases them.
If so, Dead Space the FPS, Dead Space the flight sim, and Dead Space the adventure game would only dilute what makes Dead Space, well, Dead Space, diluting it.
Kotaku is following up with EA and will update this post should the company comment.
This week, Sony brings its usual raft of new and tweaked content to the PlayStation Store. Notable additions to their selections include Dead Space 2 as a downloadable for $29.99, with a free full game trial for PS+ subscribers.
If you're more in the mood to try something new, you can give the Rayman Origins demo a spin and get a sense of Michel Ancel's latest flippy, slappy color-explosion. Disney Universe and Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One also get a demos, and Fight Night Champion becomes a downloadable for a mere $5.
The usual themes, avatars, discounts and updates are included as well. Check out the full list below:
Games & Demos for PlayStation 3
Fight Night Champion ($4.99)
Dead Space 2 ($29.99)
Monopoly Streets ($29.99)
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One Demo
Disney Universe Demo
Rayman Origins Demo
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Demo
Games & Demos for PSP
Cars 2: The Video Game Full Game ($29.99)
Patapon 3 Perfect March Challenge
Patapon 3 Mission Pack 2
Add-ons & Expansions
LittleBigPlanet 2 Oddworld Stranger costume ($1.99)
Dead Rising 2: Off The Record: Firefighter Skills Pack ($1.99)
Dead Rising 2: Off The Record: Gamebreaker Pack ($4.99)
Motogp 10/11 2011 Season Update (free)
Red Faction Armageddon: Ruin Pack ($4.99)
WWE '12 – Fan Axxess ($11.99)
WWE '12 – Online Axxess ($9.99)
Rock Band 3 tracks
Assorted Singles (x26) ($1.99)
Country Mega Pack ($19.99)
Going Country Pack 05 – 08 ($5.49 – $19.99 each)
3D Display Product Video
Gran Turismo 5 Spec 2.0
PlayStation 3 To Michael – Long Form
Batman: Arkham City Nightwing Trailer
Sam & Max: Beyond Time And Space Trailer
Rock Of Ages Humor Trailer
Rock Of Ages: Powerups Trailer
Daytona Usa Announcement Trailer
Payday The Heist – Slaughterhouse Trailer
Deus Ex: Human Revolution – The Missing Link Teaser Trailer
Final Fantasy Xiii-2 – 2011 Nycc Change The Future Trailer
Themes, Wallpapers & Avatars
Daytona USA Retro Theme ($1.49)
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: Timeline Animated Theme Paid Theme ($1.99)
Christmas Nightmare – Halloween Dynamic Theme (Non Game Dynamic Theme) ($2.99)
Abstract Neuron Flow Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
Bikini Dawn Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
Bouncing Beach Babes Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
Halloween Wraith Dynamic Theme ($2.99)
Super Street Fighter 2 Avatars (x16) ($0.49 each)
Just Cause 2 Avatars (x9) ($0.49 each)
Sales, Price Drops & Bundles
Magic Orbz – Sale (PS3) (now $4.99, original price $9.99)
Shift 2 Unleashed Digital (Price Change) (PS3) (now $29.99, original price $39.99)
Medal of Honor Frontline (Price Change) (PS3) (now $9.99, original price $14.99)
PlayStation Move Heroes (Price Change) (PS3) (now $19.99, original price $39.99)
Where is my Heart (Free Mini)
topatoi – 70% off
MONOPOLY STREETS (Free Game Trial)
Dead Space 2 (Free Game Trial)
inFAMOUS Festival of Blood (Free Dynamic Theme)
Super Street Fighter 2 Avatar Bundle – $1.49
You should know him, though, as a video game concept artist who's worked on games like BioShock 2, Dead Space 2, and Dragon Age: Origins.
Chan works at Massive Black, a creative agency that specialises in concept art for movies, TV and video games. They do good work; we've featured a few of their artists here on Fine Art before, like Coro Kaufman and Wes Burt.
In the gallery above you'll find a selection of his video game work, as well as a his contributions to Coke's 2011 Super Bowl ad and few trading card game pieces (World of Warcraft included) to go along with them.
To see the larger pics in all their glory, either click the "expand" icon on the gallery screen or right click and "open link in new tab".
Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists. If you're in the business and have some concept, environment or character art you'd like to share, drop us a line!
Lots of video games claim to be scary. Amnesia, Dead Space, you name it, if it's dark and things jump out of closets at you, it's "scary". Don't let video game developers tell you what's scary. Let science.
User experience studio Vertical Slice has conducted research into scary games, using a 500-person psychological database, six live test subjects and fancy gear that measured stuff like skin temperature, sweat levels, and heart rate.
That's the good stuff. The bad stuff? They only tested on the Xbox 360, and then only tested from a shortlist of games deemed scary enough to be on the shortlist. Some titles considered, but ditched, included Left 4 Dead 2, Gears of War 2, Condemned 2, FEAR 1 & 2, Dead Space 1, Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alone in the Dark and Mass Effect 2. Likely because half of them aren't scary in the slightest.
The four titles picked in the end to test on the live subjects were Alan Wake, Resident Evil 5, Dead Space 2 and Condemned.
In the end, the study found that casual and hardcore players were affected differently by horror in games, core players being less susceptible to scares (because we know basic game design, like what an area looks like when there's fighting to be done).
It also found that across both groups Dead Space 2 was the scariest game of the lot, proving that monster closet gags may be clichéd, but they also work.
So sorry, Amnesia. And sorry, Sherlock Holmes. Maybe next time they'll expand the platforms a little and include you too!
Dead Space's Isaac is normally running around in the dark scared out of his mind. Here, he's just a kid. Kickin' it on the playground. Maybe with an imaginary friend. Note I said imaginary friend, which is good times. Not imaginary dead girlfriend. Which is bad times.
If the style looks familiar, it's another giant-headed gaming masterpiece from Aussie artist Ben Guy, and if you dig this like you dug his other stuff (and live in the the Melbourne area) he's putting on a whole show of them, starting tonight, at The Vic in Abbotsford.