Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

The opening credits roll by with a familiar song in tow. The developer logos roll by, accompanied by Redbone's "Come and Get Your Love" playing over the sight of the Milano flying through the skies. The LEGO-fied versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy are making a crash landing onto the planet Xandar. As they speed towards the planet's surface, different elements of scattered worlds from across time and space are popping in, creating chaos all over.

That's the story behind LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, as players once again take control of the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe. Taking place in the immediate aftermath of the first game, long-time Avengers bad guy Kang the Conqueror is messing with the space-time continuum, leading to the aforementioned madness. Shacknews got a chance to go hands-on with the latest LEGO adventure and do a little dancing along the way.

The playable demo put the focus squarely on the Guardians, whose looks have been updated since the first game to reflect their Marvel Cinematic Universe overhauls. Players are given a chance to familiarize themselves with the controls by exploring the Milano and collecting LEGO studs along the way. It's nothing LEGO veterans aren't already familiar with and it's someting newcomers will learn quickly. The most notable item here is that each character has their own individual character abilities that stay true to their character. In Star-Lord's case, he can bust out his Walkman and dance to "Come and Get Your Love," just like in the opening credits of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

After landing on Xandar, the Guardians are confronted by a massive Celestial gone mad. In the sky, they spot Kang the Conqueror, taunting them from his Damocles base. A boss battle commences, with the Guardians quickly surrounded by Roman sentries, Egyptian guards, 1930s mobsters, and other anachronisms that have been warped in by Kang's machinations. The Celestial fight proves to be a showcase for the characters' individual moves, while expressing the importance of the characters working in tandem. Star-Lord starts things off by deploying a gravity bomb, Gamora then stabs the Celestial's arm, which then allows Drax to cut into the Celestial's shoulder.

Certain characters can also team up for attacks, like Rocket and Groot. Groot is also an example of a character that utilizes his own time tech. In his case, it allows him to go from full-grown classic Groot to Baby Groot at will, with certain situations calling for one or the other. Groot's transformations play into the idea of time, which will linger as the game's ever-present motif.

With the time theme in mind, TT Games is aiming for the LEGO games' biggest hub world to date. Between levels, players can explore Chronopolis. This is Kang's domain, where he has ripped notable Marvel locations out of time and collected them as his trophies. These locations include familiar sights like Black Panther's kingdom of Wakanda and the war planet Sakaar, home to the Planet Hulk storyline. TT is emphasizing that the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 storyline is nonlinear and that players will be able to jump into different stages in whichever order they please.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 will feature dozens of unlockable characters, with the Guardians of the Galaxy only scratching the surface. A handful of the game's playable characters include ones that were first introduced to the Marvel Comics world after the first game was released. For example, the demo briefly showed off Spider-Gwen, a parallel world's version of Spider-Man where Gwen Stacey donned the Spider mantle. Like in her comic title, Gwen can dish out her own spider-themed pain, while also showcasing some character-specific abilities. She can even take selfies in mid-battle, an idea reminiscent of the first Spider-Gwen issues.

This is just the beginning of the Marvel Universe's stand against Kang the Conqueror. Look for more on Marvel Super Heroes 2 in the coming weeks, with the game set to release on November 17 on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Hurricane Sandy-related power outages are to blame for a variety of tech issues today. Gaming has not been spared the weather's wrath, and Activision has announced that online play for select Call of Duty and Guitar Hero titles will be problematic while data centers attempt to restore power.

Players will have "some trouble connecting" to all versions of Call of Duty: World at War and all online-enabled versions of Guitar Hero. In addition, the PS3 version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and the PS3, PC, and Wii versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops are also experiencing service outages.

Activision's One of Swords advises that the company is "working on restoring full functionality as soon as possible," but notes that they do not know precisely when that will be.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Mac gaming has come a long, long way over the past few years, but apparently not everyone has received the memo yet. While Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is mere months away for launching on PC and consoles, the original Cod Blops from 2010 is only just making its way to shiny white Apple things this week.

Cod Blops will launch for Mac OS X on September 27, porting specialist Aspyr announced last week, priced at $49.99 and including the originally $15 'First Strike' DLC pack. It'll be available on Steam but won't be a SteamPlay title, so you won't receive it if you already own Cod Blops for Windows on Steam, and vice versa.

Aspyr will release the other two Cod Blops DLC packs on Mac as a bundle "later this year."

Check the system requirements this-a-way.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

If you're an Android owner and a fan of capping the undead, you might have been a little disappointed by last month's news that Black Ops Zombies was only available exclusively on Sony Xperia devices. Unless you happened to own Sony's Xperia S or Xperia Ion, you were out of luck. Fortunately, that exclusivity window has closed and now any Android player can get their zombie fix.

The game is now available on Google Play, and will cost you $6.99. It features an upgradable perks system like the console title it's based on. It also includes a handful of maps for single- and multiplayer modes, and a gauntlet "Dead Ops Arcade" mode.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, the mobile undead-centric spin-off from the console Black Ops title, has now hit Android. The bad news? If you happen to own any Android device but Sony's Xperia S or Xperia Ion, you'll have to wait another 30 days to get it on your device. Yes, even open platforms are getting hardware exclusivity deals now.

Like the iOS version, the Android version costs $6.99, and approximates the zombie-hunting action from the console game. It features a handful of maps, a gauntlet "Dead-Ops Arcade" mode, and solo and multiplayer complete with a perks system.

"We're delighted to bring the blockbuster Call of Duty franchise to Android smartphones and Xperia for the first time. And what better way to make this introduction than with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies," said Sony Mobile's Tim Harrison. "There's nothing else in this world or the underworld like Call of Duty. We can't wait to unleash Zombies to our fans."

That last line sounds vaguely threatening, but regardless you can grab the game now on Google Play.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

While Electronic Arts is celebrating the fourth with double XP in Battlefield 3, Activision is taking a different approach. Starting today, all previously released DLC for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops will be available for half-off. The deal is available on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, and will be ongoing for a week.

That means all four Black Ops packs--First Strike, Escalation, Annihilation, and Rezurrection--will be available for $7.50 each. The two Modern Warfare 3 "content collections" are also available at a discount.

In addition, a portion of sales from the DLC promotion will be donated to Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit organization that provides job placement and training services for veterans.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Sure, the rest of the world is waiting for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, but Mac gamers will finally be able to get their hands on the original Treyarch shooter later this year. It will be the first Mac Call of Duty since the original Modern Warfare. Neither Modern Warfare 2 and 3 were ever ported to OS X.

Mac specialist publisher Aspyr Media is handling the port, and is aiming to have it available at both retail and online later this fall.

The initial announcement doesn't reveal a price of minimum spec requirements. However, Aspyr's port of Call of Duty 4 retails for $40 (currently "on sale" for $20).

Curiously, it appears the numerous DLC packages released following Black Ops' launch may not be included with this years-late re-release. In a separate bullet point, Aspyr notes that "all four packs of Call of Duty: Black Ops DLC are scheduled to arrive on the Mac later this year. More details to be released soon."

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

While Activision's official reveal isn't set until May 1st, it appears the cat is finally out of the bag. This year's entry to the Call of Duty series will be Black Ops 2, a pre-order card spotted at Target reveals.

According to the promotional materials, the Treyarch-developed sequel will be available on November 13th, giving it an almost-clever release date of 11/13/12.

IGN reader "Richard" sent in the following photographic evidence:

Target reveals the next Call of Duty

Rumors have long-pegged this year's Call of Duty as a sequel to Black Ops. Could other rumors--like a possible future setting--be true as well?

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Call of Duty: Black Ops may be getting a sequel this year, if online retailer Amazon is to be believed. The site's French arm put up a product page for "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2," before pulling the page down. That's when things reportedly started to heat up between Activision and the French media.

French site GameBlog (via GameSpot) reports that the after publishing news of the leaked site, Activision contacted the blog requesting the story be pulled. When GameBlog refused, Activision disinvited the site from a preview event for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron and supposedly canceled advertising. This doesn't confirm the news, of course.

Still, a sequel to Black Ops certainly makes sense. Before the juggernaut that is Modern Warfare 3 trumped its early records, Black Ops was Activision's most successful Call of Duty title. In fact, it called the game the best-selling game of all time in terms of dollars generated. Activision also recently reacquired the Black Ops 2 domain.

Joystiq also discovered a LinkedIn profile referencing development on Black Ops 2.

A sequel to Black Ops seems very likely, but it would be at odds with Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg's claim that this year's Call of Duty would bring "meaningful innovation to the franchise." Call of Duty Elite 2.0 will be built into this whatever Call of Duty 2012 turns out to be.

Shacknews has contacted Activision regarding the report, and will update as more information becomes available.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

It's likely that there will be another Call of Duty game this year, and it's a safe bet to assume it won't be Modern Warfare 4. (Not yet, anyway!) So what could Activision be working on? Well, history has taught us that it should be developer Treyarch's turn to churn out this year's iteration of Call of Duty--and what exactly could they be working on?

They could be working on a sequel to Black Ops, 2010's entry which took the franchise to the Vietnam War. A new report reveals that Activision has managed to acquire the domain, and has transferred it to a brand protection company.

Fusible (via Joystiq) notes that Activision had previously purchased a number of Black Ops-related domains last year, including However, was only recently acquired.

While the domain registrations could be protective (Activision had a very public fight to reacquire a Modern Warfare 3 URL which was used to promote EA's competing Battlefield 3), Activision decided to shell out money for the domain now, instead of months earlier. The transfer of the domain to MarkMonitor, an internet brand protection company, may also suggest Activision is eager to use the domain for marketing purposes.

Black Ops is one of the most popular games of all time. It was the top-played game on Xbox Live throughout 2011, and its Zombies mode has proven to be quite popular.


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