As 2012 comes to a close, I think it is time to say good-bye to some fictional characters that we have lost this year. Let’s face it, so many fictional characters died this year that we will ring in 2013 a worse world. So grab your darkest suit and your shades and come with us as we talk the top ten fictional character deaths of 2012. Spoilers ahead. (more…)
Listen to the last episode of PGR ever, before it’s too late. Link after the jump. (more…)
Mass Effect 3 has seen its share of multiplayer DLC packs [not to mention the whole ‘let’s change the ending a bit because people complained’ DLC] but hasn’t had any paid single-player DLC since From Ashes released on launch day. This week Bioware is hoping to reel us back into the game by releasing the Leviathan DLC Pack. If you’re a Mass Effect fan, you probably completed the game when it was originally released and maybe even when the Extended Cut DLC came out in the summer. So you’re probably wondering if Leviathan is worth hopping back on board the Normandy. To put it plainly: yes, yes it is.
The premise of Leviathan can be summed up in one sentence: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Since the story of Shepard has been told at this point, Leviathan takes place mid-game during the recruitment of forces to take on the Reapers. Shepard heads to the Citadel to investigate claims that a scientist has information on the Leviathan, a creature strong enough to have destroyed a Reaper all on its own.
For $10, Leviathan offers more than just two to three hours of gameplay. The new information it provides to help clear up one of the more critical and out of left field moments from the ending is something that every Mass Effect fan should know. But for the answers it provides, it did bring up more questions. Of course to stay spoiler free, we can’t go into more detail about that.
Leviathan takes place over six missions, structurally similar to the Shadow Broker Lair DLC from Mass Effect 2. The early missions focus on information collection and detective work. Later missions focus more on combat and the very last mission contains one of the hardest encounters in the entire game. It’s not quite end-of-game difficult but it is certainly stepped up a notch from other mid-game content. But fortunately the combat in Leviathan is quite varied and includes many forms of enemies. And yes, Banshees are still a pain in the rear.
Leviathan also adds some material bonuses. You’ll find a few mods for weapons in Shepard’s arsenal as well as two new weapons the AT-12 Raider shotgun and M-55 Argus Assault Rifle both of which were only available as pre-order incentives. An omni-blade attachment for assault rifles is also available which increases melee damage. You also obtain the Dominate power and can train Shepard to use it. The Dominate power causes enemies to turn against each other temporarily. It’s basically the organic version of the Sabotage power used by tech specialists. You can assign it in the med-bay once the DLC is complete.
While not as good as the Shadow Broker Lair DLC and Overlord DLC from Mass Effect 2, Leviathan is a great addition to Mass Effect 3. In fact, I wish it was included on-disc when the game launched. Just like From Ashes, Leviathan expands on some of the more interesting and critical parts of Mass Effect’s story. Add that with some loot and combat variety, and you have a must buy for Mass Effect fans.
Bioware has released the launch trailer for Mass Effect 3′s Leviathan DLC which is set to be released on August 28.
Check it out below and let us know if you plan on picking it up in the comments.
Bioware has announced that the Leviathan DLC for Mass Effect 3 will be released on August 28 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. European PS3 owners will have to wait an extra day as it will be available to them on August 29.
The Leviathan DLC will be first single-player DLC released for Mass Effect 3. It will take place during the campaign and players “will be thrust into the darkest corners of space where they will hunt a mysterious being rumored to be powerful enough to destroy a Reaper.” The DLC will contain uncharted systems and new areas on the Citadel to explore. Players will be able to interact with brand new characters, unlock the AT-12 Raider shotgun and M-55 Argus Assault Rifle.
The price was previously announced at $10 or 800 Microsoft points.
Commander Shepard’s quest may be over for most players but the battle for the galaxy still rages on thanks to Mass Effect 3′s cooperative multiplayer mode. The multiplayer has already been augmented with maps, characters and weapons and now details have leaked about what is coming next.
The leak points to the next group of multiplayer maps being set on Earth in Rio, London and Vancouver. In addition to new locales it is rumored that we will receive six new human classes: Destroyer, Paladin, Demolisher, Slayer, Shadow, and Fury. The pack will also add the Pirahna Assault Shotgun, Acolyte Pistol and Typhoon Light Machine Gun.
Can you believe it’s almost that time of year again? The Electronic Entertainment Expo, the biggest event in the gaming industry, is set to begin on June 4. What started out as nothing more than a way for publishers to show retailers their upcoming products in an attempt to win shelf space for the upcoming year, has turned into a all-out spectacle full of big game announcements, non-stop trailers, opportunities to catch whatever flu is hot at the moment and booth babes. Lots and lots of booth babes.
Anyway, I am a self-pronounced pessimist, cynic, and skeptic: I typically see the glass half-empty, expect disappointment over satisfaction and do not believe what people tell me. Combine those characteristics with someone who loves video games and the media frenzy that E3 causes every year (not to mention my envy for those who get to attend while I stay home), and you get someone who views the entire event as cause for a few modest hopes amidst a week’s worth of smoke from a very large factory blown directly up my ass.
So if this wish list does not strike you as particularly positive, then just think of me as the scorpion that stung the frog halfway across the river: I can’t help it; it’s in my nature.
My top 5 hopes and expectations (or lack thereof) for E3 2012 are:
No announcements from Microsoft or Sony about next-gen consoles
This one is about money, plain and simple. I am broke and cannot afford a next-gen console right now or for the foreseeable future. The more time it takes the next-gen consoles (not counting Wii U, which I am not particularly interested in) to arrive, the more time I have to accumulate some wealth so that I can afford them when they get here.
Blowouts. The more, the better
“Blowout” may be the wrong word here, I’m not sure. I don’t mean a sports blowout when one team prevents the other from scoring any points. For me, a blowout in the context of video games means a huge amount of information about a game in development given to you all at once: a lot of screenshots and/or video footage, a summary of the game’s story, and a thorough explanation of the gameplay. For example, almost every cover article Game Informer magazine has ever published is a blowout. A few blowouts that I’d like to see in particular at E3 2012 include Doom 4, God of War: Ascension, Grand Theft Auto V, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s Insane, and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. (Have I missed any of these? I haven’t been a Game Informer subscriber for almost a year…)
[UPDATE: I've just learned that Game Informer featured The Last of Us as a cover article earlier this year. Damn!]
The Last Guardian release date
This year’s E3 makes it three years since The Last Guardian was announced. I didn’t actually expect it to be released in 2009 when the announcement was made, but I was hoping we’d get it in 2010. Well, it’s 2012 now, and not only has The Last Guardian still failed to materialize but project lead Fumito Ueda (already an industry favorite for his work on ICO and Shadow of the Colossus) left Sony in December. While he is still under contract to complete his work on The Last Guardian, his quitting the company casts a long shadow (pun intended) over the game.
No playable demos at E3 OR all playable demos available online
This applies to E3 in general more than it does E3 2012. Press conferences, announcements, trailers and gameplay footage are easy enough to find online once they’re revealed, but playable demos at E3 are another story. Knowing that those privileged E3 attendees get to play a game that I don’t have any access to makes me a few shades greener than the Incredible Hulk every single year. It isn’t fair for those of us who can only view the event from afar. I would rather the convention have no playable demos at all than any that attendees can play and I can’t. Either that, or I should be able to download the same demos they’re playing in San Diego. If I can’t have my cake and eat it too, then those going shouldn’t either.
A new ending for Mass Effect 3 and a galaxy-sized mea culpa from BioWare
At first, I tried to be ambivalent about Mass Effect 3’s ending. I really did. I tried to accept that the hard choices and harsh realities of the Mass Effect universe were reflected in the final decision and that the bizarre deus ex machina of the whole thing was inspired storytelling. Then I played it again from the beginning, and the blinders were lifted. I hate Mass Effect 3’s ending. I loathe it. I abhor it. I detest it. I despise it. BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka’s statement in April about “extending” the ending will not satisfy me. The ending is too bad to be fixed by a few new cutscenes. Answering a few questions about what happened is like dipping a rotten apple in caramel: no matter how you flavor the outside, the inside is irreversibly damaged.
I don’t want an extended ending; I want a new ending worthy of the series. And because of the damage done, I also want an apology. I want an apology worthy of or greater than Sony’s apology about their “external intrusion” last year. I want every BioWare executive who okayed that excrement of an ending to sit side-by-side with their lips puckered so that all of us who hated that ending can line up on a conveyor belt in front of them, pull down our pants, and have them kiss our asses one-by-one as we roll by. Oh, and a free copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic, a machine optimized for playing it, and a pre-paid lifetime subscription. That would be a start.