Weekly Gaming News – 07/22/11

Weekly Gaming News – 07/22/11

By Patrick Newman



Penthouse Pets & Saint’s Row



Saint’s Row: The Third will be welcoming a downloadable content pack that features six “Penthouse Pets”. Though the DLC doesn’t have a release date or name yet, a team of women has been picked for “Their passion for Saints Row; their sense of style and Saints Row attitude; and above all, their desire to give every player a unique, over-the-top, unforgettable experience,” according to lead producer Greg Donovan. The six erotic models chosen are Heather Vandeven, Justine Joli, Heidi Baron, Shay Laren, Ryan Keely, and Nikki Benz.






Team Bondi Branching Out



According to Brendan McNamara, co-founder of Team Bondi (Which developed this year’s critical hit L.A. Noire), Rockstar has been considering incorporating the ultra-realistic, performance-motivated animation technology from L.A. Noire into all of their upcoming games.  Continued McNamara, “It brings a level of humanity to the experience that means people will – in the first few minutes – start relating to the characters on screen. They don’t have to make that decision about ‘whether I like this guy’ or ‘do I actually believe them? – but they can make all the like or dislike decisions based on the actor’s performance.” He added that “Rockstar will make those decisions.”






Mortal Kombat & Freddy Krueger



Warner Brothers and NetherRealm Studios, publisher and developer, respectively, for this year’s Mortal Kombat, have announced that A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger will be added to that game’s roster of playable characters. Being the fourth downloadable character for Mortal Kombat, Freddy will sport his trademark costume and knifed glove, as well as two unique fatalities and his own moveset. There will additionally be an ending to his story in the game’s arcade, “ladder” mode.






Diablo Source Book Coming



At Comic-Con 2011, Blizzard announced – along with some previously-announced details regarding novels based on the Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo franchises – That a source book for the Diablo franchise is in the works to debut alongside Diablo III, which is still searching for its release date. The book, framed for readers as the journal of Deckard Cain, includes an extensive workup on the history and characters of the Diablo universe.






Roku Update



The second iteration of the Roku streaming media box is now available, with better pricing, features and aesthetics than ever. Beating its rival peripheral Apple TV in price by leaps and bounds (there are $59.99, $79.99 and $99.99 versions), the Roku 2 also sports a Wii-like motion controller and games like Angry Birds to boot. It is less than a third of the weight of Apple TV.






Guitar Hero Gets A New Studio



In a recent Forbes interview, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has said that the company is using a new studio to re-invent the Guitar Hero series, which had a massive meltdown recently as sales plummeted. Elaborating on how Kotick plans to re-mount what is essentially a dead franchise, he said “[It’s] a very rigorous process, but we spend a lot of time talking to different customers in different customer ranges and different demographics, different audience interests, and that process takes a little bit of time. Then we also let the studio–there’s a studio that’s now assigned to this project–we let them explore technology pathways, and so they’ll do a variety of different prototypes.” Which is another way of saying it’s a long road ahead, but one that Activision is sure to move forward on.






Australia Games Get Mature Rating



In Australia, the federal government has announced that the oft-debated R18+ gaming classification will be instated in a matter of months. Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor is of the mind that “This is a big step forward in the long-running debate on classification of computer games for adults…Once introduced, the classification will afford adults the opportunity to view material designed for adults. It is a credit to all jurisdictions that the meeting has now been able to achieve agreement over what is a complex matter in classification policy.”






Isaiah Mustafa In GOW 3



At Epic Games’ Comic-Con panel, Isaiah Mustafa, the actor who has approached near-iconic status as the face of Old Spice in a series of hilarious commercials, was announced as having signed on to the cast of Gears of War 3 as a COG gear. Furthermore, graffiti artist OG Slick has been commissioned to add his work to some of the upcoming title’s art design.