Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Originally outed this summer, it appears "The Scorchers" DLC for Rage is finally inching closer to release. A new set of trophies for the PS3 version of the game have popped up, confirming the impending release of the add-on whilst shedding some light on what to expect.

The Scorchers were originally intended to be a clan in the original release of the game. The upcoming DLC expansion appears to offer not only new missions, but weapons and mini-games to play through as well.

Five trophies are specifically tied to completing missions in the add-on campaign, so we can expect at least five missions. Other trophies discovered by PS3Trophies.org detail two mini-games: Roly-Poly and Video Poker. Finally, there are two achievements tied to using weapons in a specific way.

Oddly, Bethesda has yet to officially announce this expansion. One wonders exactly how much marketing muscle they'll put behind an add-on to a game that is already over a year old.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Final Fantasy is finally going free-to-play. Final Fantasy: Airborne Brigade is Square Enix's first English-language F2P social game based on the iconic JRPG franchise.

Unsurprisingly, the game was quite the success when it released in Japan, with more than three million registered users across the Pacific. That tally will only go up when the game hits Android and iOS later this year.

Airborne Brigade mashes the gameplay of earlier Final Fantasy games with the art style of Theatrhythm. Players control airships and form brigades to fight bosses, gaining XP and levels along the way. Throughout the adventure, you'll encounter characters, enemies, and abilities from across the Final Fantasy universe.

Pre-registering for the game will grant access to a Cloud card. By summoning the spiky-haired hero, you'll get some help in the game's boss battles.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The remake of indie darling The Binding of Isaac is being appropriately dubbed: "The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth."

If you've already played the game and its expansion, you'll still have reason to check out the remake. McMillen promises it will feature another Wrath-sized expansion, a new final chapter and ending, two more playable characters, and a ton of other goodies. It will also bring some cut content from the Flash version, including 2-player local co-op, a 16-bit styled graphical demake, and some new music and remixes.

According to a blog post by McMillen, Cave Story's Nicalis is assisting with development of the remake. While a PlayStation 3, Vita, and Steam release seems certain, Nicalis is also talking with Microsoft and Nintendo, although Nintendo has previously rejected the game. McMillen also says they're "looking into" an iOS version.

As for timing, you'll have to wait a while. The game isn't going into full development until next year, and he's only tentatively targeting the end of the year.

Shacknews - Ryan Calavano

Splash Damage has revealed its new PC multiplayer FPS. The lovely chaps behind Brink and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory are returning to their home turf with Dirty Bomb. Then, GameFly has entered the realm of game publishing today, releasing its first game for the iOS entitled Writer Rumble. The game was a 2011 PAX 10 selection and was created by indie developer Feel Every Yummy. Finally, Warner Bros has unveiled another pugilist from fight 'em up Injustice: Gods Among Us's lineup, confirming the stabby-shooty Deathstroke for its DC Comics brawl-o-rama.

You can also watch this episode on YouTube. And, don't forget to subscribe to get the latest episodes as they go up.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

The next time you call in a member of the Brotherhood while playing an Assassin's Creed game, it could be someone from your friend's list. A new survey from Ubisoft is reportedly checking interest in a sequel to Assassin's Creed 3, and co-op play is on the list of possible features.

Gaming Liberty (via Kotaku) reports that the survey refers to the sequel of Assassin's Creed 3, asks some general questions about satisfaction with AC3, and suggests that Connor and/or Desmond could return in future titles. The implication of co-op comes from a section that asks if participants would be interested in playing with a friend. It even asks about Uncharted 3, presumably to gauge whether it should take more notes from the action-adventure series.

A survey doesn't necessarily mean the game is coming or that it will include these features, but Ubisoft has had beans spilled from online surveys before. Both a Rayman sequel and the Revolutionary War era of Assassin's Creed 3 were outed this way before they were officially announced.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Company of Heroes 2 takes place on the Eastern front during World War II, featuring some of the bloodiest battles of World War II. A new trailer for the game from THQ shows off the "Turning Point" of the war from the Russian perspective.

Brutal winter, snipers, frozen lakes swallowing tanks and humans, and some large firefights all get screen time. The PC-only title, coming from THQ's Relic Entertainment division, is scheduled to come out in March.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Microsoft has opened a shiny new studio in the Canadian city of Vancouver to work on its "next big entertainment franchise." What that'll be, well, that's a mystery for now, but Black Tusk Studios has declared its existence to the world and is staffing up.

"We're not working on an existing franchise, we're looking to build the next Halo here in Vancouver, for example, which is really exciting. We are building something from the ground up," studio manager and EA veteran Mike Crump told the Vancouver Sun. "We are building something from the ground up."

Crump and four other EA vets began putting Black Tusk's team together a year ago, growing to 55 members before MS cleared it to launch as a separate studio. If you have skills that could conceivably pay the bills and don't mind Vancouver, they're hiring for a range of positions.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

343 Industries keeps rolling along with the cooperative Spartan Ops episodes in Halo 4, but those hungry for a refresh to the competitive multiplayer experience can now mark their calendars for December 10. That's the date that the first of three announced map packs will drop, bringing with it three new arenas and a new game type.

As previously announced, the maps are titled Wreckage, Harvest, and Shatter. Wreckage is a mid-sized asymmetrical map with lots of odd angles and cover. Harvest is a smaller map, ideal for Capture the Flag, with large exterior pathways for vehicles and sniper fire. Shatter takes place in a large mine, mixing outdoor vehicle-rich environments and indoor close-quarters firefights. 343 suggests it's best for the Dominion mode, along with the new game type titled Extraction.

Extraction is a 5v5, objective-based game type that has opposing teams moving to different map positions, placing a beacon, and then protecting the area during the extraction process. A point goes to the team for completing the extraction, or to the opposing team for successfully overtaking it. First to five points wins.

The map pack will be $10 (800 MSP), or can be bought as part of the "War Games" map pass for $24.99. The pass will grant you the other map sets, Majestic and Castle, when they drop in February and April, respectively.

Shacknews - John Keefer

In what seems to be an odd move, Humble Bundle has teamed with publisher THQ to offer seven PC games in its traditional pay-what-you-want packs. It marks the first time Humble has bundled games from a large publisher, while packaging Windows-only games and using the Steam DRM.

The package of games, which will be unlocked with Steam codes, includes Darksiders, Red Faction: Armageddon, Metro 2033, Company of Heroes and two CoH stand-alone expansions, Opposing Fronts and Tales of Valor. If you beat the average donation, you'll get Saints Row: The Third as a bonus.

The move is unusual as it goes against Humble's traditional indie games and anti-DRM stance. As for THQ, the cash-strapped publisher is apparently looking for money any way it can to survive. The company is already looking for buyers, and big games like Metro: Last Light and Company of Heroes 2 have been delayed.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

If you're a PlayStation Plus member -- and if you own a PlayStation system, you really should be -- you've probably figured out that buying games is now for suckers. A new Vita bundle acknowledges this strange new reality head-on, by offering the PlayStation Plus "Instant Game Collection" feature as its major selling point.

The new bundle, as detailed on the PlayStation Blog, will launch next week. For $299.99, you'll get a Vita 3G Wi-Fi system, a game voucher for Unit 13, a 1-year membership to PS Plus, and a 4GB memory card. That card, somewhat ironically, is not big enough to hold all of the games in the current Instant Collection offerings. You'll need to get a bigger card or just add the games to your shopping cart and check out so you can download them after they go out of rotation.

The Plus membership naturally comes with the other benefits of the service: the PlayStation 3 game collection, cloud saves, automatic updates, trophy sync, and discounts on other games.

The current line-up includes Wipeout 2048, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Jet Set Radio, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, and Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack. These will probably be swapped out semi-regularly, but Sony hasn't announced what games are coming after the initial volley.

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