By Eli Green
February 20, 2008 - 23:00
Microsoft was all about the “toos” and the twos today at GDC, during its introduction of its blockbuster lineup of Xbox 360 titles for this year. On the plate today was a serving of Too Human , mixed with a side order of Ninja Gaiden II , Fable 2 and Gears of War 2 . Yes, you read that properly. At the close of Microsoft's GDC keynote address, Epic Games' lead designer, Cliff Bleszinski (known by some as CliffyB), announced that Gears of War will continue on Xbox 360 this fall. The sequel to the 4.5 million unit-selling hit continues the story of Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad and delves deeper into humanity's fight against the Locust Horde. Epic is even promising to take the high definition visuals to a whole new level.
Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios also took the stage to showcase new multiplayer features that will be available in Fable 2, including a franchise first – dynamic cooperative play. Molyneux also announced that later this year, before the launch of Fable 2 , gamers can get a sneak peek at the game’s world when the Fable 2 pub games debut as a stand-alone download on Xbox LIVE Arcade. When the game launches, gamers will have the ability to transfer currency earned in the pub games directly to their character in Fable 2 .
Tomonobu Itagaki also stopped by to reveal some of Ninja Gaiden II 's Xbox Live user-sharing features, including Ninja Cinema, which lets players record and upload their best ninja moves to Xbox Live for others to see. Canadian developer, Silicon Knights, also showcased its upcoming game, Too Human , before the start of the keynote address.
2K Sports revealed its all-star roster for its latest installment of its realistic tennis franchise, Top Spin . The lineup for Top Spin 3 includes a number of today's biggest tennis stars, including Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, and also includes three of the sport's legendary players, Brois Becker, Bjorn Borg and Monica Seles. “With Top Spin 3 , we wanted to give gamers the choice to play with their favorite tennis players, as well as classic legends, an option that no other tennis game is offering,” said Chris Snyder, Director of Marketing for 2K Sports. “Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg and Monica Seles have given the game of tennis such great history, and we are excited to have them join the current roster of professionals in the most realistic tennis video game to date.”
The full Top Spin 3 lineup includes the following players – Mario Ancic, Tomas Berdych, James Blake, Roger Federer, Tommy Haas, Justine Henin, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Amelie Mauresmo, Gael Monfils, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal (only on Playstation 3), David Nalbandian, Mark Philippoussis, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, Nicole Vaidisova, Caroline Wozniacki. Becker, Borg and Seles will also be appearing in some, but not each version of the game. Top Spin 3 is currently slated to release this spring for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii and Nintendo DS.
THQ announced today that Volition's critically acclaimed Red Faction franchise will be making its way to the next generation in a new video game, titled Red Faction: Guerrilla . The game is a third-person, open-world shooter that takes place on Mars, 50 years after the events of the original Red Faction . Players will take the role of an insurgent fighter with the newly re-established Red Faction movement as they battle for liberation from the oppressive Earth Defense Force. Throughout their journey, players will plot their own course, wreaking havoc across the vast, open-world environment of Mars, from the desolate mining outpost of Parker to the gleaming EDF capital city of Eos.
“ Red Faction: Guerrilla expands the signature destruction elements of the series and pushes the boundaries of next-gen gaming on a massive, terra-formed Mars where gamers can literally tear down the enemy EDF presence brick by brick,” said Mike Kulas, president of Volition, Inc. ”With a new 3rd person perspective, a full cover system that allows for guerrilla style tactics and a diverse planet to explore we’re excited to revitalize the gripping world of Red Faction for high-definition platforms.”
Red Faction: Guerrilla is currently in development for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. THQ expects the game to ship to retailers some time in 2009.
Another big announcement from GDC today came from Logitech's unveiling of the Logitech Driving Force GT racing wheel for Gran Turismo . This is the kind of racing wheel racing simulation enthusiasts tend to drool over. The wheel features powerful force feedback, an innovative 24-position real-time adjustment dial for on-the-fly control of brake bias, traction and damper settings, and, last but not least, 900 degree lock-to-lock steering.
Today, Ubisoft declared Fresno, California as the winning city of the “Great American Word Challenge”. Fresno came out on top in this challenge, which pit cities against one another to measure the depth of their vocabularies. The city received the highest cumulative average score and took the title and the prize: a Ubisoft donation of My Word Coach video games and Nintendo DS systems to a local family literacy center selected by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL). The beneficiary organization is the Fresno County Library Literacy Services Center, which provides free reading, writing, spelling, and math tutoring to Fresno County adults that cannot read or write English.
This week's game releases
EA Sports Big's FIFA Street 3 for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo DS – Price varies by system
N+ for Xbox 360 Xbox Live Arcade – 800 Microsoft Points