Eurogamer


Mass Effect 3's free multiplayer DLC pack Resurgance will be released on the EU PlayStation Store today.


The offering includes two new maps and the opportunity to unlock six new character classes, including the first chances to play as the robotic geth and four-eyed batarian races.


Enjoyable Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City and mediocre 5/10 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 are now available to download for fairly cheap prices, as is Goldeneye 007: Reloaded - although you'll need to stump up £39.99 to nab that.


PlayStation Plus subscribers get PlayStation 1 survival horror Silent Hill free until 9th May, while everyone gets demos of bullet-time shooter Sniper Elite V2 and unnofficial Olympics cash-in Summer Stars 2012 to try.


You can even dress up your Final Fantasy 13-2 characters in new costumes, including Ezio Auditore's garb from Assassin's Creed: Revelations.


The full listing of new content lies below, courtesy of the EU PlayStation blog

PS3 Games

  • Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City - £14.99
  • Goldeneye 007: Reloaded - £39.99
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II - £8.79
  • Pure Chess - £4.99 (20% discount for Plus members)

PS3 Demos

  • Summer Stars 2012 Demo - Free
  • Sniper Elite V2 Demo - Free
Eurogamer


More footage from the canned Star Wars: Battlefront 3 game once in development at TimeSplitters creator Free Radical Design has been uncovered.


The freshly uncovered video clip is taken from an early Xbox 360 build of the game, said Past To Present, earlier even than the previous video evidence of Free Radical's efforts: a shaky YouTube clip posted online three years ago, soon after the project (and then the studio itself) collapsed.


The video reveals early gameplay footage and a glimpse at what the full game would offer via the title's extensive menus. Modes included Story Campaign, Training, Galactic Conquest, Instant Action, Challenges, Freeplay and Jedi Arena.


The game's story was to begin with a prologue set on Tatooine, Luke Skywalker's dusty backgarden, before moving on to Coruscant, Cato Nemoidia, Dantooine, Desolation Station, Yavin IV, Hoth and Endor.


Later levels were set to feature Cloud City, Dathomir (from the Clone Wars cartoon), Mustafar, and Wookie homeworld Kashyyyk. Some maps were designed to allow "at least" 32 players.


Interestingly, the video shows off Free Radical Design's planned planet-to-space technology, which allowed players to seamlessly transition from ground-based fighting to shooting Star Destroyers in orbit. An ex-Free Radical employee stated after the game's cancellation that this tech was "dying with us", explaining that the next version of the game (headed up by UK developer Rebellion) was being rebuilt from the ground up, the ground-to-space transition instead replaced by a cut-scene.


LucasArts reportedly pulled the plug on Free Radical Design's work after two years of development (it's worth noting that the leaked footage is from a build long before that point), a decision which immediately preceded the studio's bankruptcy, closure and subsequent buy-out by Crytek.


After Rebellion's replacement Battlefront 3 project never saw release, development was then shunted to SOCOM developer Slant Six, before reportedly finding another home at Legendary: The Box developer Spark. Evidence of Slant Six's work was this week discovered hiding on Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City's disc.

'Cancelled Star Wars: Battlefront 3 footage discovered' Screenshot 1
Eurogamer


Resident Evil: Raccoon City developer Slant Six was working on a Star Wars: Battlefront sequel, according to hidden files unearthed on Raccoon City's disc.


The data (uncovered by BetaGames and posted on NeoGAF) contains in-progress artwork for a Hoth level, hidden in a folder named "Luke". A character model showing Luke in his orange pilot jumpsuit is also viewable.


"It is the morning of the Imperial assault on the Rebel base on Hoth," reads a chunk of text viewable on the concept art. "The wreckage of a downed Victory Class Star Destroyer is the setting for one of the first battles over Echo Base and the future of the Rebellion hangs in the balance."


The evidence tallies with a Kotaku report from January 2010 stating that the SOCOM developer was working on an online-only Battlefront game. Simply named Star Wars: Battlefront Online, it was claimed to be in early pre-production.


The future of the Star Wars: Battlefront series has long been in question. In 2008 LucasArts reportedly halted work on a fully-fledged Battlefront 3 after two years of development by UK TimeSplitters studio Free Radical - a decision which directly proceeded that studio's collapse and buyout by Crytek.


Evidence uncovered earlier this year suggests Battlefront 3 is now in the works at Legendary: The Box developer Spark Unlimited. Teasing Star Wars-themed tweets and LinkedIn job descriptions suggested a reveal was not far, far away.

'Star Wars: Battlefront sequel files hidden on Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City disc' Screenshot 1

Artwork found on Raccoon City's disc.

Eurogamer


Some of the key developers behind the first two Star Wars: Battlefront games and the Mercenaries series have announced their new project, a Facebook title called CelebrityMe.


Eric 'Giz' Gewirtz, who directed Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and Lord of the Rings: Conquest at Pandemic Studios, co-founded the LA-Based Seismic Games alongside former F.E.A.R. and Mercenaries developers in January 2012.


His partner is CEO Greg Borrud, who was co-founder and head of production for Pandemic Studios. He worked on the Battlefront series, Mercenaries, Destroy All Humans, Full Spectrum Warrior and The Saboteur.


In 2005 Pandemic, perhaps best known for its action-packed open world games, merged with BioWare after being bought by private equity firm Elevation Partners. This joint venture was eventually picked up by EA for an eye-watering $860 million in 2007.


For EA Pandemic made Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (2008) and The Lord of the Rings: Conquest (2009). EA announced the closure of the studio in November 2009 - a month before the release of what would prove to be its final game: The Saboteur. Cancelled projects included Mercenaries 3.


Now, over two years later, some of the key staff at the studio have re-emerged with CelebrityMe, Seismic's debut title.


It's designed to let players live out the fantasy of celebrity lifestyle with friends on Facebook. You begin at the top of your celebrity career, arriving at the premiere of your first Hollywood blockbuster. You're then transported back in time to the streets of Venice Beach, where it all started. You then have to climb the celebrity ladder. There's a focus on character customisation, in-game movie creation and sharing and interactive activities. You build your entourage with each animated performance, called a Gig. Your Facebook friends are cast to fill character roles, including love interests and villains.

Eurogamer


Drew Karpyshyn, the lead writer of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect 1, has retired from BioWare and video games.


The parting was "completely amicable and 100 per cent my decision", wrote Karpyshyn on his website. (His website post didn't mention his retirement from video games as a whole, but his post on Twitter did.)


He retired to focus on writing books, "screenplays and other projects". He wants to finish the first book in his own original fantasy series, Children of Fire.


Karpyshyn has a decorated career. He co-lead wrote Mass Effect 2 and, for the last three years, has been instrumental in writing Star Wars: The Old Republic.


He also helped write Jade Empire; Neverwinter Nights and expansion Hordes of the Underdark; and Baldur's Gate 2 and expansion Throne of Bhaal - his first "significant contribution" to a BioWare project.


On top of that, Karpyshyn wrote the three not-rubbish Mass Effect novels - Revelation, Ascension and Retribution; he wrote a book about KOTOR character Revan and KOTOR 2 character the Exile; he wrote a Throne of Bhaal book; and he's writing a Star Wars: The Old Republic book.


He's also written three Star Wars novels about Darth Bane, and a standalone fantasy tale called Temple Hill.


"As of last week, I have officially retired from BioWare," announced Karpyshyn.

"The story and dialogue in any BioWare game is the result of an entire team of writers working together, and I often felt I received an excessive amount of the credit for the games we created."

Drew Karpyshyn, former star BioWare writer


"I know going forward that BioWare will continue to live up to its well deserved reputation for making the best story-driven games in the industry. The story and dialogue in any BioWare game is the result of an entire team of writers working together, and I often felt I received an excessive amount of the credit for the games we created.


"The Dragon Age games and the continued success of the Mass Effect series after my departure make it pretty clear that BioWare can get along just fine without me, and I'm looking forward to experiencing the games as a fan rather than from the other side of the fence."


"I realise some of you may be shocked by this announcement. Maybe even disappointed. My identity has been closely tied with BioWare ever since I crawled into the public eye, and I know it's a risk to move away from my comfort zone.


"However," he added, "I feel that [it's] an essential step for every creative artist to take at some point. It keeps us fresh, it keeps us energised."


Karpyshyn closed by saying he has a "great appreciation" for - and "fond memories" of - his time at BioWare.


Sniffle.


Incidentally, BioWare's lead Dragon Age writer is David Gaider, and Mass Effect 3's lead writer was Mac Walters.


Mike Laidlaw co-wrote Jade Empire with Lukas Kristjanson, who both still work at BioWare. Just saying.

Eurogamer


Evidence continues to mount that a third entry in the Star Wars: Battlefront series is in development at Legendary: The Box developer Spark Unlimited.


As noted by PlayStation Lifestyle, a new job listing at the studio calls for a "senior combat designer for a 3rd Person Action/Adventure sequel in a high-profile science fiction franchise currently greenlit for full production development for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC markets."


The site also spotted the LinkedIn profile of a former senior software engineer that mentions time spent on an "unannounced third person sword fighting game (well known IP, Xbox 360, PS3)". *Cough* lightsabers *cough*.


On top of that, a further LinkedIn page belonging to another staffer lists a mysterious "AAA third person shooter using Unreal Engine and Kynapse AI middleware."


This isn't the first time we've heard chatter of a new Battlefront game being in the works at Spark. Late last year, the studio Tweeted about one of two unannounced titles it's currently working on.


"Publisher hasn't stated when or where the announcement will take place. The time and place could be close or far, far away," it read. Cryptic.


The previous entry in the Battlefront series came out on last-gen consoles back in 2005, developed by now-defunct studio Pandemic.

Eurogamer


BioWare's iconic role-playing game Knights of the Old Republic will be half-price, £3.50, on Steam this weekend.


It's part of a weekend-long Steam Star Wars deal timed to coincide with the Blu-ray release of the Star Wars Saga.


Other discounted Star Wars games on Steam include Battlefront II, Republic Commando and Empire at War.


Knights of the Old Republic reinvigorated the Star Wars licence for gamers. It's set thousands of years before the Star Wars films. You are a mysterious stranger with no memory of your past. You escape an attack on your rescuer's ship, and your subsequent mission to rescue a Jedi marks the beginning of an epic tale.


Eurogamer called Knights of the Old Republic as "the best Star Wars game since X-Wing and/or Tie Fighter, if not ever". Kieron Gillen's Knights of the Old Republic review for Eurogamer awarded a delicious 9/10.


The success of Knights of the Old Republic lead to a sequel (developed by Obsidian) and to BioWare's biggest ever project, MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. The success of KOTOR also helped bring about the Mass Effect series of games, which share many similarities.

Eurogamer


X-Wing and Tie Fighter dev LucasArts is hiring staff for an Aerial Combat Title.


Experience with flight sims, aerial shooters and "especially space-based shooters" is considered "a plus", according to a senior gameplay engineer job advert.


Could LucasArts be in the throes of reviving 1990's spaceship shooter series X-Wing?


Other LucasArts job posts tease an action adventure game and a first-person shooter.


There's no indication yet of what they are. A third Star Wars Battlefront game has long been lost in development purgatory, and was once in the hands of TimeSplitters studio Free Radical Design.


Earlier this year, LucasArts signed the Unreal engine for use in "multiple" titles.
LucasArts boss Paul Meegan also promised to make better games than 5/10 effort The Force Unleashed 2.

Video: The recent Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2.

Eurogamer


The maker of Star Wars The Force Unleashed is hiring for an openworld role-playing game.


A job ad for a gameplay engineer, Tweeted by LucasArts' Clint Hocking, mentions the genre of the game.


Hocking was the creative director of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Far Cry 2 at Ubisoft.


He left in May 2010 after nearly nine years at the company to work as creative director for LucasArts on an unannounced game.


The job advertisement calls for console development experience, suggesting the mystery game will at least appear on home consoles.


LucasArts' last internally-developed game was The Force Unleashed 2, which disappointed critics upon its 2010 release.


Eurogamer's The Force Unleashed 2 review force pushed a 5/10.


In June this year LucasArts admitted its recent games hadn't been good enough - but promised to do better in the future.


"LucasArts is a company with tremendous potential," boss Paul Meegan said. "I think people look at it and wonder why it hasn't done better in recent years.


"Lucasfilm has some of the most beloved and powerful brands in entertainment, we have a loyal community of fans, and talented people in every discipline. We're surrounded by staggeringly bright and creative people at the top of their games.


"In recent years, LucasArts hasn't always done a good job of making games. We should be making games that define our medium, that are competitive with the best of our industry, but we're not. That has to change.


"Our priority is to create authentic, immersive, high quality Star Wars games."

Video:

Eurogamer


Star Wars The Force Unleashed creator LucasArts has admitted its recent games haven't been good enough – but promised to do better in the future.


5/10 was the verdict in Eurogamer's The Force Unleashed II review. "While there are certainly pleasures to be had in The Force Unleashed II, they come off as the dregs of a concept that has run its course," wrote John Teti.


Now, LucasArts plans to return with a bang – with better games.


"LucasArts is a company with tremendous potential," boss Paul Meegan told MCV. "I think people look at it and wonder why it hasn't done better in recent years.


"Lucasfilm has some of the most beloved and powerful brands in entertainment, we have a loyal community of fans, and talented people in every discipline. We're surrounded by staggeringly bright and creative people at the top of their games.


"In recent years, LucasArts hasn't always done a good job of making games. We should be making games that define our medium, that are competitive with the best of our industry, but we're not. That has to change.


"Our priority is to create authentic, immersive, high quality Star Wars games."


A number of Star Wars games are in development – but none announced are being made inside LucasArts.


BioWare is hard at work on the Star Wars The Old Republic MMO, and Terminal Reality is creating Star Wars Kinect.


What is LucasArts cooking?

Video:

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