Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Today in the World of Games for 5/31/11

First up... new look for the blog in time for E3 next week!!!!

Expect a lot of Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm previews to hit the interwebs now as Brad from Giant Bomb was at Blizzard trying out what's new with this expansion. I'm not that crazy about StarCraft II, but I know some friends that are excited. Sure, the long wait for release next year is expected out of Blizzard, but knowing them, they know what it takes to get it right again. At least another multiplayer beta is coming out for Heart of the Swarm before its release with whatever balance changes they do to the multiplayer. Check the major sites for more details on the game itself.

Another year, another WWE game, but THQ and Yuke's finally abandons the Smackdown vs. RAW name as it is simply called now WWE '12 (just like those EA Sports games). They are clearly thinking this is gonna be the one that gets it right getting rid of all the flaws that plagued the franchise for years. IGN has a preview of what to expect in the new game and a teaser trailer featuring Randy Orton. After the success of All-Stars (I love that game just by playing it a few times at Wednesday Night Fights), let's see if they can continue the momentum.

Mortal Kombat is finally rolling out the DLC next month with new character Skarlet, the retro outfits that have been codes at various retail stores, and the patch that hopefully improves the online play along with character changes (Kung Lao's damage being nerfed, Kabal loop gone, etc.). With Evo and the MLG Circuit around the corner, it is still a good time to pick it up while it lasts because who knows after those events if people will still play the game and Netherrealm continues to support it with more downloadable content/balance patches (Hector from NR has said at UFGT7 last weekend that they will continue to support the game as long as they can). Oh, there's also the latest episode of Mortal Kombat Legacy featuring the infamous ninjas, Scorpion & Sub-Zero, below.

Finally in Call of Duty land, the rumored subscription service was finally announced today (more like leaked last night by the WSJ) called Call of Duty: Elite, which will make its debut in Modern Warfare 3 this November. It is basically a Playstation Plus-like deal where playing multiplayer is still free, but if you want more social networking features and new maps, you have to pony up for the new monthly-based service. Its finally time the franchise has their version of bungie.net (so beneficial to the Halo franchise) for all that stat tracking, clan support, and other social features. Sure, the initial reaction has been similar to the Modern Warfare 3 trailer of Activision and Infinity Ward jumping the shark for the franchise, but it was only a matter of time this would happen since they love money too much. The hardcore CoD fans will surely fall for it, but for everyone else that doesn't play it every day, who knows.

That's it for now... the E3 hype is starting to sink in. I might do a last minute predictions post later this week, but expect my thoughts on the press conferences and other big announcements throughout the show next week.