Shacknews - Steve Watts

Sony Online Entertainment announced the fourth downloadable content pack for DC Universe Online, titled "The Last Laugh." It's due for PC and PlayStation 3 in June, and puts the focus squarely on PvP fights. Also, by the name, you could probably guess which major DC villain plays a role.

The DLC will include a new weapon called "The Shield," which can be used to bash opponents, or thrown at them not unlike a certain Marvel hero. You can also take part in Safe House and Headquarters battles, which are 4v4 and 8v8, respectively. The HQ battle promises a player reward for completion. The DLC also adds two light-powered Legends for PvP battles: Kilowog the Green Lantern on the hero side, and Amon Sur of the Sinestro Corps for the villains.

A few new mission types will be available too, largely prompted by the Joker. These include Bomb Disposal, using a special robot to solve encrypted e-mail terminals, Graviton Techonlogy Recovery, retrieving code fragments to rebuild the teleporter codes, and Rescue, in which heroes rescue hostages and villains freeing arrested criminals.

A price wasn't announced, but it's likely to cost $9.99 like the others. If you're a Legendary Member, though, you snag it for free.

"The Last Laugh is the first DLC that we've created that focuses almost entirely on player versus player battles, and it adds an exciting new element as some of DC's greatest heroes and villains join to fight alongside you," said creative director Jens Andersen and the press release. "Players will have even more opportunities to prove to the world whether heroes or villains will be triumphant."

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter is getting another dose of downloadable content, set to hit on May 15. The "Legend of the Beast" DLC packs in three campaign missions, three survival mode maps, and three versus mode maps, for $4.99.

In addition, SSHD2's versus and survivor multiplayer modes will be switching to a F2P model starting May 15. Those modes include Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Instant Kill, Last Man Standing, My Burden, Survival, and Team Survival. The announcement didn't mention how this model will be monetized, but Croteam has offered free multiplayer weekends in the past.

"Our team is very excited to extend the world of the classic Serious Sam: The Second Encounter and we think the fans will really enjoy the new areas and scenarios we've put into Legend of the Beast," said Croteam's Davor Hunski in the announcement.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Apparently, Western gamers weren't put off by Dark Souls' hyped-up difficulty. According to figures released by Namco Bandai today, From Software's brutal dungeon crawler has become a million seller, pushing 1.19 million units across North America and Europe. (Japanese sales are not included, as the game was published by Sony across the Pacific.)

The sales figures are even more impressive when you look at Namco Bandai's slate for the quarter. Dark Souls is actually the publisher's biggest-selling game, besting Ace Combat and Soul Calibur 5.

Dark Souls tops the list

Sales figures are only going to go up once the PC version of the game comes out, as well. It appears Namco Bandai has a winning franchise on its hands--assuming the Dark Souls team wants to work on another Souls game.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

In many ways, Microsoft has captured the audience that once loved the Wii with its Kinect motion sensor. According to a new report, Microsoft may be taking yet another page from Nintendo's playbook with a new focus on Kinect-enabled exercise tracking. "Kinect Play Fit" is supposedly a new program that runs in conjunction with most Kinect games, tracking cumulative exercise and providing feedback to the player.

The Verge reports that a wireless heart-rate monitor, codenamed Joule, will be released to work in concert with the tracking software, but won't be a mandatory component for Kinect Play Fit to work. The software and device will track targets for weight loss, strength, and cross-fitness workouts. In practice, this means you'd get a unified piece of fitness feedback for time spent in several different Kinect games.

A dashboard update is expected to introduce the system later this year, and Microsoft is likely to unveil it during E3 in early June. A Microsoft spokesperson told Shacknews, "Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation."

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

It took nearly two years for PC gamers to get a proper port of Remedy Entertainment's horror action game, Alan Wake. Thankfully, fans won't have to wait long for the second entry in the series. Alan Wake's American Nightmare is coming to PC later this month.

American Nightmare--while not "Alan Wake 2"--picks up the story after the events of the first game. While it will expand upon the fate of Mr. Wake, expect a heavier emphasis on action, as the game began its life as a "survival mode" for the original.

The game is already available for pre-order on Steam. While the store doesn't reflect a date, Remedy Entertainment told Joystiq the game will be available on May 22nd. While no PC enhancements are noted, Remedy did spruce up the PC version of Alan Wake a bit--perhaps we can see similar treatment for his American Nightmare.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

As promised, Portal 2's "Perpetual Testing Initiative" DLC is now available for everyone that owns the game on Steam. This is a "simplified puzzle maker" that allows players to create, share, and play homemade Portal 2 puzzles via Steam Workshop.

Within an hour of release, there are nearly a hundred maps already created--and that number is likely to increase exponentially.

In the future, Valve plans on expanding the creation tools to allow for co-op puzzles. Until then, aspiring puzzle makers will want to create the most fiendish single-player challenges.

If you don't already have Portal 2, Valve is running a limited time sale on the game. You can pick up Portal 2 for $6.79, or get a bundle of Portal 1 and 2 for $8.49.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

You may remember a curious little indie tech demo from 2010 named Tiny & Big: Up That Mountain, which featured a delightful dynamic cutting laser and some lovely onomatopoeia. Developer Black Pants has been toiling away on the commercial sequel to the physics-based puzzle-platformer, and announced that Tiny & Big: Grandpa's Leftovers will hit Steam for PC and Mac on June 19.

The charming game sends Tiny off into the desert to recover his dear grandfather's pants from his nemesis, Big. Armed with a cutting laser, a grappling rope and rocket boosters, you have to slice, tug and blast obstacles in a sanbox-y sort of way.

The demo of the original Up That Mountain is still available for free if you fancy cutting things up, though do bear in mind that was early days for the series.

The Steam page for Grandpa's Leftovers is already up, though you can't pre-order.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The cult hit TV show Adventure Time is making the jump to video games late this fall, as promised. WayForward is developing the action-adventure title Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?! for both the 3DS and DS. The developers are working with series creator Pendleton Ward, who is giving input on the new story and quests for the game.

That story begins when Finn and Jake wake up to find that all of their trash has been stolen by the Ice King, who is using it to create a Garbage Princess. So the pair set off through the Land of Ooo to show him what-for, as they are wont to do. Presumably, the epic confrontation will include the titular line.

"Adventure Time fans have been asking for a video game to complement the series for some time, and we are working directly with Pendelton Ward, who has an amazing vision for the game," said D3P's vice president of product development, Peter Andrew, in the press release. "Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?! will be a fan's golden ticket into the elusive Adventure Time universe and will capture the random fun and adventure we all love about the series."

3DS box art

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The announcement of The Elder Scrolls Online has been a long time coming, but some fans weren't sure how the series' tone would transition to a larger world. The Elder Scrolls is known for being a large-scale, solitary experience, and the player is featured as the center of all the plot. The game's creative director, Paul Sage, has explained how he doesn't believe the core experience of The Elder Scrolls needs to change much.

"You absolutely get that same experience of the world with that distraction-based gameplay where you really get to control your own destiny in how you experience the game," Sage told Game Informer. "I don't think [being the hero] is much different in an MMO than it is in any other medium, really, any other typical RPG. I think this just gives us more opportunity to make you the hero."

He suggests that being the hero of the main story, normal quests, and Guild quests, will be largely the same. "When I'm looking at the screen, when the NPCs see me, they see me as the hero, they react to me as the hero," he said. "When you're playing with a group of friends, or even strangers, and you're a healer, and you heal that guy that's on his last leg -- it sounds silly, but in a way you're that person's hero. I think that's a big thing for people, it reinforces that social bond. You get to be a hero amongst your friends."

As for mods, which have proven very popular for Skyrim, Sage says the studio hasn't planned far ahead for them, but it will be a balancing act. "We do have plans for things like our UI, allowing the community to look at the UI and say, 'okay, what changes would I make?' So there are definite ways the community is going to be able to change their game experience," he said. "But you have to be really careful with this because you can't allow players to change other players' game experiences or they get a little upset with you."

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

After announcing its existence last week, The Fullbright Company today revealed its first game. The three-person indie team founded by BioShock series veterans is working on Gone Home for PC, a first-person explore 'em up set in a curiously deserted house.

Showing off a snippet of early pre-alpha gameplay, Fullbright explains that "core gameplay and UI features" are in place, with half of the world space and story elements sorted too.

"We're really interested in pushing toward simulation, both in the sense of the physics system but also in allowing the player to open any door or drawer they'd logically be able to and examine what's inside, down to small details," Fullbright said in the announcement.

It's very early art-wise, as all the empty spaces and white textures in the trailer and screenshots show. But the indies say "we can play through a representative, lower fidelity segment of the game and see if we're on the right track. And so far, we're excited by what we've got."

The studio was co-founded by Minerva's Den writer and lead designer Steve Gaynor, programmer Johnnemann Nordhagen and jack of all trades Karla Zimonja.

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