Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

In a virtual bedroom in the 1980s, the Cold War still rages on. Toy Soldiers: Cold War has been bolstered with two new DLC packs, each bringing a new "mini-campaign" and other shiny new things.

The Evil Empire and Napalm packs are available now for 400 Microsoft Points ($5) apiece. Evil Empire lets you play as the dastardly Ruskies, while Napalm's campaign is a fiery affair. Both bring new survival modes, units, weapons, and more.

Hit the announcement for more details on what exactly is in each pack. If you don't buy either, though, you'll need to download the free compatibility pack to play with those who do.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Update: 11:30 a.m. with Ubisoft confirmation of the game.

Following whispers and domain registrations, a Rayman Origins sequel is now confirmed thanks to a leaked trailer for Rayman Legends. That gorgeous art style is returning, and the game seems to have some interesting uses for the Wii U's near field communication support (the same tech Skylanders uses).

The leaked trailer, picked up by Gamekult, teases online multiplayer, a football-like competitive mode, new playable characters, "social" challenges, and exclusive Wii U features. One player will be able to control environment elements through the touchscreen tablet, moving platforms and such. NFC appears to be bringing powerups and enemies into the game, including those dastardly Rabbids, by placing a figurine on the tablet.

A Wii U release is confirmed then, clearly, but there's no word on what other platforms it'll hit. Rayman Origins has been released for PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Vita so far, with a 3DS version coming in June.

After the trailer leaked, Ubisoft confirmed the game to GamesIndustry International: "An internal video showing images of Rayman Origins' sequel has leaked over the Internet," said Ubisoft spokesperson Ollie Coe. "This video was intended as a purely internal demonstrative video, and in NO way represents the final game, the final console or their features. This video was destined for internal production teams who often create game prototypes with work in progress development kits," he noted. "Ubisoft confirms the development of Rayman Legends handled by Michel Ancel and his team in Montpellier."

Here's that leaked trailer:

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Sony finally unveiled PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, its unique take on the Smash Bros formula. The long-in-development mash-up fighter spans 15 years of PlayStation history--and the currently-announced roster reflects that legacy. So far, six characters have been revealed: PaRappa the Rapper, Sly Cooper, Sweet Tooth, the Fat Princess, Kratos, and Radec from Killzone. However, these are all first-party characters--from properties Sony owns. Could we see third-party characters make an appearance?

"Absolutely. It's an important part of PlayStation history," SuperBot Entertainment executive producer Chan Park told Shacknews. "This game wouldn't be complete without their involvement. [Fans] can expect third party characters."

"Everything's fair game. We definitely wanted to draw upon everything as a potential consideration. We want fans when they're playing to be 'oh my God, they threw that character in there!'"

Park wasn't able to get into details of course, as the reveals are part of a carefully-planned marketing plan. When quizzed if the previously-released Michael ad (embedded below) could hold clues as to other character reveals, Park admitted that "it just happened to be happenstance and a fortuitous one at that."

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Perhaps one of the worst-kept "secrets" of this generation, Sony has officially announced PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. As expected, PASBR is a SuperBot-developed Smash Bros-inspired fighter that combines various PlayStation franchises. The first six fighters revealed are PaRappa the Rapper, Sly Cooper, Sweet Tooth, the Fat Princess, Kratos, and Radec from Killzone.

The contestants will fight on a number of other recognizable stages, including levels from God of War, Ratchet and Clank, Hot Shots Golf and LittleBigPlanet. Characters will be able to pick up items, such as the shield from Wipeout. And with four-player support, this really is Sony's equivalent of Smash Bros.

For a first-look video of the game in action, check out the latest episode of GT.TV.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

As expected, Nintendo plans on selling retail games digitally through the Nintendo Network. The first first-party game to be available at both retail and on the eShop will be New Super Mario Bros. 2, scheduled for release in August. And that will be just the beginning. "Starting from this software, the company will offer the software titles that Nintendo itself publishes in both packaged and digital download formats so that our consumers can choose the way to purchase them," the company announced at its most recent investors' meeting.

The digital release of NSMB2 is part of Nintendo's growing commitment to digital. "It is imperative for us to expand the exposure of the digital download products to potential consumers," the company admitted.

Representative of Nintendo's growing investment in digital is the fact that Wii U will launch with this functionality on day one. "Our consumers can choose either the packaged version or the digital download version of the same software from day one of the Wii U’s launch."

However, not willing to alienate retail, the company promises that digital games will be available for purchase at retail as well, through the use of prepaid cards. "Our consumers can visit retail outlets or the retailers’ online shopping sites, look for products of interest, make a purchase decision and actually pay for the product there. The retailers then can issue the 16-digit software exchange code."

Interestingly, retailers will be able to set their own prices for digital games sold in-store, much as they would with physical copies of games. "By taking this approach, there will not be a situation like 'there is no markdown for the digital products while markdowns are the norm for the packaged software.'"

Shacknews - Tyler J. Smith

Shacknews receives a slew of new screenshots and trailers for upcoming games everyday. The most anticipated titles receive their own post, because we know you're eager to see that content. For the rest, we have the Daily Filter, a place to feature all of the media we add to our enormous database on a daily basis.

Today's Filter features a launch trailer for Risen 2: Dark Waters, a 1911 trailer for Max Payne 3, and much more!

Risen 2: Dark Waters


Max Payne 3


We also have a Gunsmith trailer for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier, a gameplay trailer for Portal Royale 3: Pirates and Merchants, two new trailers for Hitman: Absolution, and two character vignettes for Dead or Alive 5. Be sure to check out additional trailers and screenshots on each game page!

Shacknews - John Keefer

Being on the cover of the Madden NFL games has been deemed a curse. Injuries, poor play and any other malady that could befall players usually happens the year after the player makes the cover of EA Sports' popular pigskin franchise.

The latest player with a target on his facemask is Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who won the fan voting over rookie quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. Johnson received 52 percent of the more than 20 million votes cast, meaning his mug will be plastered on Madden NFL 13 when it hits shelves Aug. 28. The newest installment of the franchise has an upgraded passing game and adds Phil Simms and Jim Nance to the broadcast booth.

Hopefully, Johnson will have better luck than last year's winner, Peyton Hillis, formerly of the Cleveland Browns. Hillis went from a 1,100-yard rusher and a darling of the blue-collar city to a perceived prima donna who sat out a game over a contract dispute, missed practice to go to a wedding, and gained less than 600 yards. He has since left as a free agent for Kansas City with few Clevelanders sorry to see him go.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Remember when that marketing firm made a little oopsy a few days ago indicating a sequel could be in the works for the popular Rayman Origins? Despite Ubisoft's silence, there is more evidence something is brewing.

Ubisoft has registered two new domains for RaymanLegends.com and Rayman-Legends.com, according to whois search. After the success Rayman Origins had last year, it really isn't that much of a stretch to expect a sequel.

While Ubisoft is staying mum, E3 is right around the corner and prime time for new game announcements.

Shacknews - Jeff Mattas

EA Montreal, the studio behind a number of games including the Army of Two series, is going through some restructuring. Electronic Arts has confirmed that the mild shake-up has to do with renewing the studio's focus on 'digital initiatives,' including social and mobile endeavors.

The news was unearthed by Games Industry International. "These are routine changes which address the cyclical nature of the game industry," EA corporate communications told the outlet. "A very small number of employees will be impacted -- many will be assigned to new projects at EA, others will leave the company."

It was initially believed--based on the unnamed source who provided the tip--that somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty employees were shed from EA Montreal, but based on EA corporate's response, it seems like many of these employees were reassigned, not laid-off.

"Overall, we expect that EA's headcount will be up at the end of this year," EA said.

Shacknews - John Keefer

While many naval gaming enthusiasts cut their teeth on the Silent Hunter series, I earned my naval rank through a not-as-popular game, Enigma: Rising Tide. I loved the sub combat, but eventually grew away from the genre, never fully adopting the SH games.

Now, I am probably going to get that submariner yearning again. After the "always-online" debacle that was Silent Hunter 5, Ubisoft is trying again, this time with a game that is supposed to stay connected. Silent Hunter Online was announced today as a Flash-oriented, browser-based game. It is being developed by Blue Byte, the studio behind the Settlers and Anno series of games.

The game world is dynamic, affected by what other players do in the game. Players can also group up in wolfpacks to hunt down enemy convoys.

Not much is know yet, but the game is in alpha and expected to launch later this year. Watch the teaser below, then you can enlist in the beta if you can stand the close quarters.

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