Red Dead Redemption: Now With Multiplayer!

Prepare to shoot-up the Ol’ West with a friend or two… or seven!

Rockstar Games has finally revealed the multiplayer aspect to their upcoming Clint Eastwood simulator Red Dead Redemption. Completely independent of the single-player campaign, “Multiplayer Free Roam” allows players to explore the world of Redemption in an online environment. Within the world, gamers will be able to wander the Wild West on their own or with a group and form a “posse” of up to 8 of the roughest, toughest, and meanest guys to ever travel west of the Mississippi!

While in a gang, players will be able to simulate ol’ west shootouts with other posses, play the mercenary card by hunting down wanted men or starting or starting a formal “group activity” that plays out like a standard online team deathmatch. The player cap is set to 16 players a lobby.

Experience points can be obtained in multiplayer – much like Grand Theft Auto IV, however, the experience gained will go to unlocking new weapons, characters, steeds, and challenges.

Rockstar stated that: “There are more structured competitive modes that we’ll reveal soon.” While the game itself looks extremely solid and polished, I have my doubts about Rockstar’s ability to deliver on the open-world multiplayer aspect. Does anyone remember the wonky and tacked-on implementation of GTA IV’s multiplayer functionality? Yeah… well, I do – though the trailer looks to offer fluid action and a steady framerate.

Paying no mind to my lackluster experience with Rockstar’s previous online outing, Redemption looks to be shaping up nicely. Hopefully the development team spent their delay time wisely to ensure a swift release and polished final product.

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DLC // First Modern Warfare 2 Map Pack is Oscar Mike!

Infinity Ward’s face, Robert Bowling, has opened the proverbial can-o-worms with his tweet regarding the cure for “mapathy” hitting Xbox LIVE three weeks from now.

Three weeks!? What the heck are we supposed to do before then – play more Modern Warfare 2 and running around the same God-forsaken maps over and over again like we have been doing for the past five months!

Okay then.

REVIEW // Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares

Resident Evil 5 may have been the black sheep in the series’ main line-up (that’s excluding the Outbreak, the Chronicles, and the Survivor games), but that didn’t mean it wasn’t one of the best action/adventure titles to come out last year. While I could go on about how fantastic Resident Evil 5 is – seeing as how it is easily in my top 5 games of all-time – I’ll merely refer you to the review.

It has been a little under a year since Capcom has given Resident Evil 5 owners anything but the controversial “Versus” mode released April of last year. “Lost in Nightmares” is one of two reported downloadable episodes for the game. The pack includes a semi-new chapter in the main game’s storyline – sort of a prequel – that will help establish why Chris is overly butt-hurt about losing Jill throughout Resident Evil 5‘s narrative, as well as a remixed variant of the game’s “Mercenaries” mode called “Mercenaries Reunion” that features new characters.

Chris and Jill reprise their roles... as Chris and Jill.

“Lost in Nightmares” is essentially the prologue to Chris’ adventures with Sheva in Africa. It is set in Ozwell E. Spencer’s mansion – which should look familiar to those who have played through enough of Resident Evil 5‘s main story – the CEO of the infamous Umbrella Corporation. The episode has BSAA-edition Chris and Jill as they infiltrate Spencer’s mansion in order to apprehend the frail, old, God-complexed cripple.

Big, bad... but not really scary.

Nostalgic Feelings All Around
The gameplay in
“Lost in Nightmares” still retains the action-oriented handling that players have come to expect from Resident Evil 5, but there is definitely this feeling that Capcom was constructing this episode in throwback fashion. Feelings of isolation and dark, cold interiors were staples to the Resident Evil series and they are ever present here. Puzzles pertaining to “fetch” quests and looking for something to “fit in this square recess” also make a more prominent return. Chris even mentions in-game of the unhealthy obsession Spencer has with cranks.

“Mercenaries” Mode Still Rocks…
“Mercenaries Reunion” is just more of the same “Mercenaries” mode that came with the retail package, only now players can take control of new characters. Chris and Sheva are still in the mix with different attire (Heavy Metal, Warrior and Fairytale, Business Woman; respectively), as well as Josh Stone, Excella Gionne, Rebecca Chambers (
Resident Evil 0), and Barry Burton (Resident Evil). “Reunion” also features two new enemy types: infected dogs can now be found in “Mines” and the overgrown spider-like creatures from the marshes can be found in “Public Assembly”.

This probably would have been a romantic moment for our two heroes - if they could forget about the grimy mansion walls and the dead people rotting in the lobby...

…But What is the Point of “Reunion”?
Sure, “Reunion” is fun… but what is the point? It would have been much better to integrate the new characters and enemy variants into the pre-existing “Mercenaries” mode. Creating this new mode now thins the number of available players online between those who bought the DLC and those who didn’t. The number of
Resident Evil 5 players online are already dwindling without having them split between two game modes that are essentially the same.

Short Episode is Short
The episode itself can be finished in under an hour – if you’re slow. There are little-to-no cutscenes in
“Lost in Nightmares” and enemies are actually a rare treat. However, the enemies that are in the episode can easily be taken out with a bit of teamwork, and the mansion’s layout is linear with no reward for exploration.

No Lasting Value
Besides “Mercenaries Reunion”, players won’t see themselves revisiting
“Lost in Nightmares”‘s narrative. Unlike Resident Evil 5‘s main story features, players can’t upgrade weapons or transfer items to-and-from the game’s inventory system. Then again, there is NO point in doing so – seeing as how there is nothing really to shoot at!

Looks like someone forgot to turn into a zombie.

“Lost in Nightmares” is a complete fan-service throwback. Period. There is no real substance to be found here for shelling out the $5 (400 MSP) to download this content, unless you are either: a) a die-hard fan of the series; b) wholly interested in the new characters offered in “Mercenaries Reunion”; or c) really interested in what happened at Spencer’s mansion after the constant reference made to it in the main game’s narrative. The added chapter lacks any real challenge, and because of that – there is really no point to playing through it.

While “Lost in Nightmares” is definitely not what I was looking for in additional content for Resident Evil 5, it was certainly… interesting to experience, though not worthwhile. For those of you still holding out hope for some substantial content (like me), “Desperate Escape” will be available March 3rd.

Review based on the Xbox 360 version.

LIVE Activity // 02.08.10

Major Nelson recently posted one of his infamous “LIVE Activity” posts in his official blog. He has since removed the “top 10” restriction on the list and provides us with the top 20 Xbox 360 titles over LIVE, which he believes “gives a much better idea what the 23 million Xbox LIVE members are playing”.

For the sake of my lazy bum, I’ll maintain the traditional 10 – what can I say… I’m a stickler for tradition. But if you’re really interested (and I mean, really interested) just click here.

Xbox 360 Top LIVE Titles:
1. Modern Warfare 2
2. Halo 3
3. Aliens v Predator Multiplayer Demo
4. Call of Duty: World at War
5. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Demo
6. FIFA 10
7. Call of Duty 4
8. Mass Effect 2
9. GTA IV [PURCHASE]
0. Madden NFL 10 [DEMO]

Though I skipped out on the “Top Arcade Titles”, “Top Indie Games”, and “Original Xbox Top LIVE Titles” sections, I thought I would just critique this top 10 of Xbox 360 titles.

First of all, FIFA 10 beating out Left 4 Dead 2, BioShock 2, Assassin’s Creed II, and my most beloved Mass Effect 2? Jeez, I’ve never thought soccer (or fútbol, as it were) would dominate these heavy-hitting games.

And boy has Call of Duty 4 fallen. Though I do understand that fans most likely moved on to Modern Warfare 2, World at War having more players surprises me – seeing as how I kind of hate that game.

In regards to Grand Theft Auto IV, I’m surprised the game is seeing such success as the buggy, multiplayer after-thought beats out Left 4 Dead 2, Borderlands, and Gears of War 2 (which is also a glitchy mess, but it has much more gore-related charm).

[Amazon] Big name titles of 2009 discounted!

Hey Xbox 360 owners – feel like taking down terrorists with the most advanced weaponry of today and having the line between good and evil blur? Modern Warfare 2 is on sale at Amazon for only $40. And if terrorists aren’t what you prefer shooting at, Left 4 Dead 2’s hordes of zombies will definitely fill that void at $40, as well. Or even shooting people – dead or undead – are not your thing, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 will have you stepping in the boots of your favorite hero/heroine for only $20 (also accounts for PlayStation 3)!

Own a PlayStation 3? Don’t fret! Assassin’s Creed II is available on both systems for one easy payment of $40, too! At these prices, Amazon will surely have gamers leaping across the rooftops of 16th-century Italy, spending rounds of ammunition against the undead, and flashbanging the hell out of terrorists in no-time!

Molyneux talks Fable III, wants you to like co-op

On the 4 Guys 1UP podcast for last February 12, Peter Molyneux – Lord of Lionhead with a God-complex – admitted that he “heard you all about co-op [in Fable 3]. You want to have your own hero come into the world. Okay, fine, you can have that definitely.”

Molyneux also reiterated the damage and “consequences” that could also be brought on by allowing others to visit “your Albion”. He went further in affirming the return of “dog” in stating:

“When you come into my world, you come in as your hero, with your dog, with all your unique weapons, self-crafted weapons. I heard you — you don’t wanna be tied to my camera, you wanna go off and do your own thing in my world. Fine, fair enough.”

He also revealed some examples of how Natal would be integrated into Fable 3… albeit in an odd fashion.

“You can use touch with your co-op partner. Yes you can walk down the street hand-in-hand. Yes you can drag your co-op partner to your dungeon and see what happens. Absolutely.”

Remember people: what happens in Bloodstone, stays in Bloodstone… *wink*

Ars Technica reports: FFXIII and Conviction 360 bundles

According to Ars Technica, Xbox 360 bundles are about to get better – not that I don’t like the LEGO Batman / Pure combo. *cough*

Releasing on their given release dates, the Final Fantasy XIII bundles will be available on March 9th while Splinter Cell: Conviction combos will make an appearance on April 15th.

Here are the stats on the upcoming kits: