PS3 Attitude

PlayStation 3 news, views and gossip from PS3 Attitude - a daily news site with bite!

Friday, 23 May 2008

Haze Week; wrap-up, re-cap and meta-review

That was Haze Week. We hope you enjoyed it, because apart from letting you know who won the Haze games and goodies - including the signed copy of the game - it's all over...

Firstly, here's a quick re-cap of the stories we ran, in case you missed anything:

5 things you may not know about Haze
Monday news wrap-up
Interview with Rob Yescombe and Derek Littlewood
Tuesday news wrap-up
PS3 Attitude's multiplayer review
Wednesday news wrap-up
Thursday news wrap-up
The PS3 Attitude review

During the week, it was the reviews of Haze that got the most attention across the blogosphere and at sites like N4G. The fuss all started when IGN gave Haze 4.5/10, and other sites quickly followed in their wake.

Our review has been well received and we've been told that some see it as a kind of antidote to the madness. The comments we got at N4G have been well-received, and we would like to thank everyone for letting us know we're going in the right direction. As you may have spotted by now PS3 Attitude don't give scores - we just tell you how it is and let you decide for yourself.

Of course, review scores are the staple diet of other sites and magazines, so here's a round-up of how Haze did elsewhere (all scores normalised to a percentage):

90 - PSM Italy
85 - Famitsu
71 - PSM3 Magazine UK
70 - GamePro
70 - GameDaily
70 - Total Video Games
65 - IGN UK
65 - Gamer's Hell
63 - Game Informer
62 - IGN AU
62 - Cheat Code Central
60 - VideoGamer
60 - GameTap
60 - GameSpot
58 - The Onion (A.V. Club)
55 - GameZone
50 - Hardcore Gamer Magazine
45 - IGN
40 - Giant Bomb
40 - G4 TV
40 - GameSpy
40 - EuroGamer

That gives us an average of just over 60% and if you were to press us on the issue, we'd say that is not a completely fair reflection. But ultimately, it is you, the consumer, who has to make up your own mind. If you're not sure, then why not rent it. If you like it, buy it.

One thing is for sure - you'll catch me playing online when I'm not on GTA: IV, but I can't promise anything after Metal Gear Solid arrives!

Our thanks go to Ubisoft and Free Radical for the great prizes they offered our readers and the previews that enabled us to put Haze Week together.

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Haze Week; and the winners are...

Haze Week is almost over at PS3 Attitude, and it's been a blast.

There are just two more stories left to deal with, and one of those is the announcement of the three people who have won our biggest ever prize.

You'll remember that we had a copy of Haze plus a box full of nectar-induced goodies to give away, but that one of the copies of the game was special; it has been signed by the creators at Free Radical.

The competition is now closed, and details of the winners will be announced here soon.

Remember, if you stay subscribed to our daily email summary, you will gain automatic entry to all our 2008 competitions. If you do decide to unsubscribe, the opposite is true and you will count yourself out of any future competitions in 2008, even if you subscribe again later.

Keep an eye out for the names of our winners in the near future - was it you?

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Burnout Paradise Discovery Map goes live for PS3 only

The Burnout Paradise Discovery Map, previously talked about as their 'save game analyser', has gone live at the BurnoutTeamRocks website.

A PS3-only feature, it allows you upload your game save and get a map of all the items you have yet to complete, helping you reach the 100% mark.

Hop over to the new web-based feature and try it out now.

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MGS4; 90-minute cut-scenes - do you want them?

The word is out.

According to PSW magazine, who have played MGS4 through to the end, some of the cut-scenes (not one, but some) weigh in at almost 90 minutes each.

90 minutes! That's as long as I expect for a full movie - in fact if movies go over 90 the minute mark they really have to be good or I start to lose interest.

Of course, some people think a 3-hour movie is a good thing.

The good news - you can skip or pause them now, but you might be missing out on the story, which is supposedly epic.

So here's the burning question - do you, the MGS4 buying public, really want cut-scenes that are the length of the average feature film?

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Haze Week; the PS3 Attitude review

It's the year 2048, and the world is not a happy place.

Mantel Corporation are the Microsoft, Oracle or EA of the future. A huge behemoth swallowing everyone up in their wake, purely in the name of profit and shareholder value. As well as producing a range of half-decent weapons, they have a performance-enhancing drug up their sleeves - Nectar.

As a Mantel Trooper named Shane Carpenter, it is your job to stop the 'ethnic cleansing' being performed by members of a rebel group - The Promised Hand. Nectar offers you the edge you need to defeat the 'evil' rebels by giving you unique capabilities, such as Nectar Foresight which warns you of impending explosions or Nectar Focus; a kind of auto-zoom for your gun sight that helps lock on to your now-glowing target.

In the first part of the single-player campaign, you are introduced to these various drug-induced abilities, only not in the way I expected.

Having been invited to play the co-op and multiplayer modes of the game twice by Ubisoft and Free Radical over the last month, and after experiencing the joy of zero load times during a two-hour co-op session, it was a surprise to me that the flow of the game stopped almost as soon as I had got into it. In front of me was a large black dialogue box with reams of text about how Nectar works.

The fact that you're introduced to the features Nectar offers in this clunky way does put you off your stride. It would have been nicer to bring them in through example and commentary. But the delay doesn't last long (assuming you bother reading it at all) and you're back into the experience.

The 4Gb mandatory install that is becoming so common on the PS3 does actually work in Haze, since the rest of the game streams constantly with no load times. Well, that is until your get your second rude interruption as your Rebel abilities are spelt out for you in a similar way.

Unconscious competence

There are two things I noticed immediately about Haze when playing the campaign mode, and interestingly both of these items became largely insignificant later, but for different reasons.

The first is the graphics.

Haze is never going to win any awards for graphical prowess. After a mammoth 8-hour session playing the single-player campaign through, I can honestly say I didn't notice any major issues with the graphics - certainly not the pop-ups being commented on in other websites and magazines. The graphics are not remarkable, but they aren't terrible either.

But the reason the graphics become largely insignificant is that they are good enough to do their job, and so after a short while you forget that you're not looking at a work of art, and you get on with the game instead. Think of it like painting a feature wall in your living room - it's only a feature for a few days, and then you don't even notice it is there.

Things do change graphically when you realise 'the truth' about Nectar and switch sides, and it's interesting to note what the real world looks like without honey-tinted glasses, but once again you begin to forget about how things look and get on with the game instead after a few minutes.

The second are the controls.

Free Radical haven't messed around with the way you play an FPS, and with their pedigree and experience, why should they.

I remember the first time I picked up Haze at GameCity in Nottingham last year, I didn't even need to look at the cheat sheet - the controls were so intuitive and the targeting system worked so well, it just came naturally. Of course, to progress you do need to know how to use the specific buttons that operate the Troopers' or Rebels' special abilities, but it all seems to just work.

So consequently, you end up forgetting about the controls quickly too, which helps with the flow of the game and the better-than-average gameplay.

The only problem I found that destroys the illusion of this 'natural gameplay' is when you are required to press a button or pull a lever - often there is a delay between being told to 'press square' and actually being able to press it. The frustration of standing in front of a lever, pressing and pressing until your character does what he's told, can't be ignored.

Something that never quite sits naturally in Haze, however, is the acting.

Did someone say 'Semper Fi'?

I understand why FRD went in the direction they did with the Troopers. Troopers act just like frat boys, and in the UK we just don't have those characters like they do in the US. It wouldn't have been right for a British developer to cast Brits in the role. It's pretty clear to me why the Mantel soldiers all sound like they belong to Kappa Omega Sigma. In fact, the only things missing are beer kegs, toga parties and induction ceremonies.

I also understand that Rob Yescombe went to the additional expense of recording the voice talent all at the same time, like a high-tech episode of The Archers, in an attempt to make sure that the actors fed off each other's lines (no drug-pun intended). Usually, developers record actors separately as it is cheaper and easier to schedule their diaries.

The result, unfortunately, doesn't quite work. And it's not the process that is at fault, it's just the acting isn't that good. The lead character of Shane Carpenter and the voice behind the leader of the Rebels (Gabriel 'Skin Coat' Merino) are the best of the bunch, but the supporting 'cast' often sound awkward.

The storyline itself works well as far as I'm concerned. Many people will look at this game and think that the only parallel here is neoconservatism, with a leader ruling through fear, uncertainty and doubt to ensure his troops take the enemy down regardless of whether they are the bad guys or not, and ensuring the support of the populace. There are nods towards 'pep pills' with the fabled Nectar and references to the politics and psychological strategy of war.

Another way of looking at Haze is that this could also be a game about gaming. The Troopers are the FPS masses who don't care about the morality of the task they're performing - they just see the prize ahead and go for as many headshots as they can. The Rebels are the gamers that think about what they're doing, seeing the game in a different angle and connecting emotionally with the story and the actions they have to perform.

Ultimately, the script just misses the target and I'm sorry to say the campaign does have one of the weakest endings I've experienced in a game of this type. You never quite get that 'light bulb' moment where you actually feel truly bad about killing the Rebels, and you are quickly sent out by your new 'leader' to do exactly the same to the Troopers with a similar lack of remorse because you never quite connect with the cause.

It's not all bad though - there are good moments in the script that do involve you, particularly early on in the game, and it is a shame the momentum of those emotions weren't carried throughout the entire campaign.


Haze's single-player campaign offers competent graphics with well-above-average gameplay that mostly seems natural and intuitive. The multiplayer and co-op elements of Haze are slick and varied and offer longevity to the game. We have written a good deal about both the co-op and multiplayer modes already, so follow the links to hear what we had to say about them.

Haze definitely has enough going for it to keep you involved. I'm not so bloody-minded that I absolutely have to complete a game just for the sake of it, but in the case of Haze I wanted to complete it in one session, and had a lot of fun in the process.

You may not be looking at the future winner of 'Graphics of the Year 2008', but the single-player, co-op and multiplayer experiences Haze offers ultimately make up for that shortfall.

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Thursday, 22 May 2008

Haze Week; Thursday news wrap-up

Another day passes and Haze Week is nearly over.

Tomorrow, you'll be able to read our full review of the game. Will we agree with the likes of IGN, or do we side with Famitsu and The Guardian? You'll have to wait and see...

In the meantime, here's what the rest of the 'net had to say about Free Radical/Ubisoft's shooter today:
  • Haze Cutscenes from Eurogamer [Warning: Spoiler Alert]
  • Co-op play patch issues? Haze Forum thread...
  • Guardian Haze review
That's it for today. Check in tomorrow for...
  • PS3 Attitude's Haze Review
  • Haze Competition winner announcement (there's still time to enter)
  • Haze meta-critic scores

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European PS Store update for 22nd May

No full games this week, but a good mix of demos for both the PS3 and PSP, as well as a bunch of add-ons, videos, themes and wallpapers.

I say 'demos' but as far as the PS3 is concerned, I mean 'demo'. Having already experienced the pain of Iron Man from the US PS Store, I won't want to relive the experience again.

We played The Bourne Conspiracy already too, and I have to report the actual game is looking better than the demo, which seems to have too many 'breaks' to show how fluid the finished product is.

Here's the full list:

Demos (all free)

The Bourne Conspiracy
Iron Man
Everybody's Golf 2
Beginner's demo for PSP
Everybody's Golf 2 Intermediate demo for PSP
Ultimate Board Games Collection demo for PSP


High Stakes Poker video chat (free)
Go!Explore map packs for PSP (£14.99 each)

Videos (all free)

Haze music video
High Stakes: Poker trailer
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie trailer

Themes and Wallpapers (all free)

PixelJunk Monsters: Encore wallpaper
PixelJunk Monsters: Encore theme
echochrome wallpaper

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19 incredible MGS4 screenshots

With MGS4 just around the corner, it time to start getting ready for what could be the biggest PS3 Exclusive of the year.

Start by taking a good long look at the incredible screenshots.

MGS4 Screenshots

Have they whetted your appetite? You can pre-order the standard version for delivery to your doorstep on launch day (June 12th), or go for the bundle that includes the official branded bluetooth headset - the choice is yours...

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The Agency gets some colourful characters

We've been keeping a close eye on The Agency from Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), simply because the premise looks too good to miss.

Imagine an MMO universe where you get to play as a Bond-like special agent every day, with all the gadgets, weapons and tricked-up cars that job requires.

The Agency doesn't yet have a release date, but we've heard on the grapevine that there will be an announcement at E3 and that the title will hit around November.

Check out this 'Colourful Characters' trailer and let us know what you think in the comments...

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Haze Week; competition reminder

Don't forget to enter our Haze Competition if you haven't done so already.

Up for grabs are three prize packs - all including a copy of the game and various Nectar-induced goodies. One of the three winners will get an extra bonus - their copy of Haze will have been signed by Free Radical!

Go find out how to enter now for your chance to win with PS3 Attitude and Ubisoft.

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Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Haze Week; Wednesday news wrap-up

A whole slew of reviews hit the internet today - far too many to put them all here. We'll be doing a 'metacritic' round-up on Friday after our full Haze review is launched.

However, there is some other interesting Haze news popping up on forums around the Internet. Here is a round-up of some of the forum posts we've come across - positive and negative comments included.

Don't be discouraged
I think this sums up Haze the best
Mantal or rebels? Which will do you choose?

That's it for today. Check back tomorrow for more from Haze Week.

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Haze Week; PS3 Attitude's multiplayer review

With our full review of the game appearing this Friday, today we're focusing on our experience of playing the various multiplayer modes Haze has to offer.

Haze is up against some strong multiplayer competition, of course, in the form of our other favourite shooters - namely CoD4 and Warhawk. Naturally, people will compare Haze to the former (being a gritty FPS) rather than the latter, but it is the multiplayer portion we're focusing on here.

As we explained in our '5 things you may not know about Haze' article, there are effectively 8 multiplayer modes, but they are arranged into 3 types - Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Team Assault.

Within the Assault mode, you have 6 'campaigns' that cleverly align themselves to the single-player story. I'll give you an example, without any spoilers...

Let's say that in the single-player game, someone meets you at an extraction point with a helicopter. In the Assault mode, you might play a 'story' that sees you escorting that person to the helicopter. But along the way, you need to recapture a building (and hold it), remove a blockade and find the radio to call the helicopter in.

It's this multi-task gameplay that makes Haze stand out from the crowd. The Assault modes require proper teamwork and communication, something that a lot of shooters don't foster or promote.

Of course, this being Haze, your view of that particular assault mode changes dependent on which side you choose.

When playing the 'village' map, for example, it might be raining when you play as a member of the Promise Hand, but all is sweetness and light when you're playing as a Mantel soldier. The objectives change, of course, and that means you effectively have 12 Assault experiences to enjoy.

Another Assault mode sees you either trying to burn down, or save, the very plants that Nectar is synthesised from.

The thing that really sticks out in the multiplayer mode is the slick gameplay. Whilst no-one is going to say that the graphics in Haze are particularly cutting-edge, they do serve their purpose well.

Of course, there has always been a pay-off in the world of videogames, where either the graphics a good or the gameplay is good, but seldom does anyone manage to pull off combining the two. As we continue with this current generation of consoles, not only do we start to see great gameplay with excellent graphics, but we almost expect it - maybe that is why so many commenters are being sidelined by the look of the game rather than concentrating on the feel.

The truth is, multiplayer in Haze is immediate and fun. The Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes offer you the chance to play both sides of the coin with the varying pluses and minuses of being a Trooper or a Rebel, and the Assault modes add a nice change of gear that allow more strategic FPS fans a chance to show their worth against the 'gun and run' merchants.

The other thing that struck us is that it seems that being a Trooper on the more open, expansive levels is a better option than being a Rebel, whereas Rebels tend to do much better in close-quarters environments; such as running in and out of all the buildings in the village.

This means that you can choose to really impress your friends by selecting the 'wrong' type for the environment and still win! But the difference we found was a small one - the balance between the factions has been carefully managed by Free Radical, and both sides will find their particular skills useful regardless of the map.

You can check out our multiplayer screenshot gallery below, and look out for our full, non-sponsored, frank and independent review of Haze on Friday.

Haze Multiplayer

You can pre-order Haze now for delivery to your doorstep this Friday, and don't forget to enter our Haze Competition - you could win a signed copy of the game and more...

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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Haze Week; Tuesday news wrap-up

It's been an interesting day for Haze, given that IGN decided to review the title and award it a 4.5/10 mark.

So today we'll list both the review and the reply from Rob Yescombe of Free Radical, as well as some fun stuff for you to enjoy:

  • IGN Haze Review
  • Response from Free Radical
  • Multiplayer Dating with Haze

Come back tomorrow for more from Haze Week at PS3 Attitude. It'll be interesting to follow the various comments and fallout from the IGN review and whether other reviewers follow suit. Of course, other reviewers also have the option of reflecting the likes of PSM Italy and Famitsu, who both gave it much better scores.

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Haze Week; interview with Rob Yescombe and Derek Littlewood

Recently, we had the pleasure of interviewing Rob Yescombe and Derek Littlewood of Free Radical about Haze. Well, it wasn't going to be about anything else, was it?!

During our 15 minutes with the dynamic duo we found out a lot more about the game. We discovered Rob has an uneasy obsession with his crotch-area, and he can do a Rebel Sidekick We hope Rob likes the size of our 'censored' sticker... Finally, we saw what happens when someone interrupts an interview with Rob and Derek!

Check back later this week for our 'gag reel', which includes some possibly NSFW chat about monkeys and dogs!

Our Haze Competition is now live - go win yourself a signed copy of the game and more...

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Haze Week; win a signed copy of Haze and more

As promised, here's our biggest competition yet!

Thanks to Ubisoft and Free Radical, we have three prize packs to give away this week.

Three lucky readers will walk away with a copy of Haze and a goodie box that includes a can of Nectar, a glow stick, a torch, a pen and a notebook.

One of those three winners will get an extra surprise when they open up their copy of Haze - as it has been signed by the team at Free Radical!

Here are the answers to the questions I can already hear you asking...

How do I enter the competition?

Simple. All you have to do to for a chance of winning is sign up for our email update. Click the 'Email' button on the left sidebar, enter your details and then confirm you want to sign up in the verification email that you'll receive.

Then, when you get your next email update (which goes out at around 11:00 a.m. UK time each day) you'll see confirmation that you have entered.

Only 'verified' email subscribers will be entered. That means if you sign up and don't see a verification email appear soon after in your inbox, check your spam folder. Adding news [at] ps3attitude [dot] com to your 'whitelist' or contact list will also help.

What if I'm an RSS subscriber?

That's fine - please continue to subscribe to our RSS feed. It is your way of staying in touch with the news as it happens, since the RSS feed updates each time we send out a story.

But to enter the competition, you need to subscribe to our daily email summary by following the instructions above.

What if I already subscribe via email?

You are automatically entered into this and all future PS3 Attitude competitions! If you stay subscribed, you'll gain a place in every future giveaway.

What is the prize?

Three lucky email subscribers (picked at random by our 'supercomputer') will win:

- A copy of Haze
- A Haze merchandise package containing a can of Nectar, a glow stick, a torch, a pen and a notebook.

One of the lucky winners will receive a signed copy of Haze instead of a regular version.

Who is the competition open to?

All PS3 Attitude email subscribers worldwide.

When will the winner be chosen?

We'll be picking three winner from the current list of verified email subscribers on 23rd May 2008. The prize will be sent out within 14 days of the 23rd May 2008.

Good luck, and keep coming back all this week for more Haze goodness...

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Monday, 19 May 2008

Haze Week; Monday news wrap-up

Since it's Haze Week here at PS3 Attitude, it would be wrong of us not to give you a daily summary of the important nectar-induced info hitting the 'net.

Here's a taste of what other sites a saying about the much-anticipated PS3 exclusive:

  • Haze 4 vs. 4 tournament announced (US only)
  • PSM Italy reviews Haze (9/10 score)
  • Free Radical confirms final Haze resolution

Haze Week continues tomorrow, with details of our biggest competition yet and an exclusive video interview with two of the team at Free Radical.

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Sony Ericsson to get XMB on phones?

This video has appeared on YouTube showing what is apparently a forthcoming Sony Ericsson handset, not unlike the Sony Xperia X1 that was recently reported on various gadget sites.

The interesting part? Sony's XMB seems to be coming to yet another device.

You may remember how Phil Harrison demonstrated access to PlayStation Home via his mobile phone back at E3 2007. Now, it looks like those compatible phones will also share a common interface with the PSP and PS3.

Check out the video for yourself.

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Haze Week; 5 things you may not know about Haze

Haze Week begins at PS3 Attitude - check back every day for new Haze content, information and exclusives... plus details of our biggest competition yet!

Let's start the ball rolling with a few details you may have missed during the recent information storm surrounding Haze.

1. Multiplayer has 8 modes, not 3

Whilst you may be excused for thinking that Haze only has three multiplayer game types - Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Team Assault - the reality is that Team Assault has a lot more to offer than it seems.

Each of the six maps has a different Team Assault mode, changing the multiplayer gameplay depending on which landscape you choose to fight in.

2. The script brings people out of retirement

Carlos Riera, a Spanish star who plays Gabriel "Skin Coat" Merino (the leader of the rebels), apparently came out of retirement to do the voice acting after having read the script. Of course, we gleaned this fact from scriptwriter, Rob Yescombe...

The voice talent also includes Rupert Evans, who has been seen in films such as Hellboy and on the sci-fi TV series Lexx.

3. Spanish people love Haze

The acting for the various rebel soldiers was performed by a group of Mexican actors who happened to be in the UK performing Shakespeare at the time when Free Radical were recording the voices.

Consequently, the accents and inflections are spot on, and that's one of the reasons the Spanish press seem to have really latched on to Haze.

4. The single-player campaign will take you about 8-10 hours to complete

Like that other great FPS title, CoD4,the single-player campaign could be seen as a relatively short experience.

However, just like that other FPS, it is an emotional ride with a great story and a real sense of involvement. The main difference between the two titles is the switch from one distinct style of fighting (when playing as the dosed-up Troopers) to another (the nimble and resourceful rebels).
Of course, this is only in Normal difficulty. Hard is particularly challenging and completing the game in that mode unlocks Extra Hard, in which you die... a lot!

5. Separated at birth

"Skin Coat" looks remarkably like one of the Directors of Free Radical, David Doak. Take a look at the pictures and decide for yourself.

Don't have your copy on order yet? Pre-order Haze and have it delivered to your doorstep on launch day...

[UPDATE] Our Haze competition is now live - go win yourself a signed copy of the game and more!

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Friday, 16 May 2008

Jump 2008; PS3 Attitude Charity Fund and GamesAid

It's going to be a week of big announcements at PS3 Attitude, what with Haze Week starting from Monday, but we're going to get the ball rolling right now with our most important news yet.

You may have seen the news that GamesAid, the new UK video game industry charity, launches today. This new charity will focus on raising funds for children's charities, putting much needed funds into health, housing and social welfare projects.

PS3 Attitude are pleased to announce that we are one of the first industry websites that will raise money for this worthwhile cause.

Taking our inspiration from one of the PlayStation Store's downloadable games, on August 31st 2008 the people behind PS3 Attitude, plus a carefully selected crew of gamers and gaming industry contacts, will leap out of a plane at around 13,000 feet.

Fortunately, each person will be connected to one of the Royal Marines at Aldershot that have graciously offered their time and experience to the cause.

Starting today, PS3 Attitude will be running a 'call for jumpers' that will decide the final group taking part in the event. We, and the entire Jump crew, will then be running fund raising activities across June, July and August until the day of the event, which will be recorded for you to enjoy in the following weeks.

If that wasn't exciting enough, here's the fun part - YOU could be jumping with us!
Yes - we are offering PS3 Attitude readers an opportunity to join the crew for Jump 2008.

If you fit the bill, you can help raise money for GamesAid and tick off one of those 'things to do before you reach 50' achievements off your list. So how do you take part?

You need to be fit and healthy, and because it is a tandem sky-dive you need to weigh less than 14 stone. We will require every potential member of the crew to have a British Parachute Association form completed by their Doctor (who may charge for the service of filling it in; a cost you will have to bear).

You need to have a good network of friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances, because we will be targeting each crew member with the job of raising at least £1,000.

You need to be free on August 31st and be able to get to Aldershot.

Finally, you must be at least 18 years old.

If you feel you can commit to the fund raising target, that you are up for the challenge and that you're happy to invest a little money with your Doctor, send us an email with your full name, your address, your age and a paragraph or two about why you want to get involved.

We can only take a few people - spaces are limited - and if you are not chosen we will not be able to refund any money spent gaining your Doctor's go-ahead.

Send your details to jump2008 [at] ps3attitude [dot] com.

Look out for more Jump 2008 news soon, including details of how you can sponsor the crew and a range of widgets you can use with your website or social network profile to support the cause.

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Thursday, 15 May 2008

GamesAid charity launches tomorrow

New industry charity GamesAid launches tomorrow (May 16th), looking to replace the Entertainment Software Charity (ESC), which seems likely to disappear.

GamesAid arrives without specific fiscal targets or a rigid manifesto, but with an over-arching desire to include everyone from developers to retailers – and even consumers.

It has been established with seven trustees: Greg Ingham, chairman (MediaClash), Andy Payne, vice chairman (Mastertronic), Andrew Eades (Relentless), Paul Gardner (Osbourne Clarke), Sarah Seaby (GameCock), Rupert Loman (Eurogamer) and Miles Jacobson (Sports Interactive).

It is likely that the majority of monies will go to UK children’s charities – although, again, the trustees will look to the industry for guidance.

Look out for more GamesAid news tomrrow.

“It’s important to note that this is ‘an’ industry charity, not ‘the’ industry charity. We won’t be dictating, it’s about creating a broad-based membership which comes up with ideas and inspires each other.” - Andy Payne, GamesAid vide chairman.

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European PS Store update for 15th May

What an update!

SCEE have certainly been putting things right since the new store came our way, but it looks like this could be one of the biggest updates we have ever seen.

Not only do we get to finally play Dark Mist (and for less than a fiver), but today's update also sees the arrival of the PixelJunk Monsters expansion.

There is also a downloadable version of WipEout Pure for your PSP (in case you didn't pick it up on UMD), another classic PS1 game that will have RTS fans cheering and an Overlord demo.

Not to mention two additional characters for one of our recent Big Three titles, Everybody's Golf: World Tour.

Throw in a bunch of videos, themes and wallpapers, and you're done.

Here's the full list:


Dark Mist (£4.99)
C&C Red Alert - PS1 game for PS3/PSP (£3.49)
WipEout Pure - PSP game (£14.99)

Demos (all free)



PixelJunk Monsters: Encore expansion (£1.99)
Everybody's Golf: World Tour - 'Alex' character (£0.69)
Everybody's Golf: World Tour - 'Gloria' character (£0.69)

Videos (all free)

Dark Sector launch trailer
Burnout Paradise trailers (2 of them)
Brothers In Arms trailer 2
Haze 'TV Ad' trailer

Themes and Wallpapers (all free)

Overlord wallpapers (5 of them)
Overlord theme
Warhawk themes (2 of them)
Eye of Judgment themes (2 of them)
PAIN themes (10 of them)

Don't forget it is Haze Week at PS3 Attitude starting Monday, including our biggest competition yet. Find out more and download the Tiny Trooper wallpapers now.

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Haze Week preview; new Tiny Trooper wallpapers

Next week is Haze Week at PS3 Attitude - 5 days of exclusive interviews and content for you to enjoy that celebrate the release of one of our favourite PS3 exclusives to date.

To get you warmed up for the big event, here are four fun Tiny Trooper wallpapers for you to download. Just click the gallery icon below...

Check back every day next week for much more honey-coated goodness, including news of our biggest competition yet!

Haze Tiny Trooper

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Firmware 2.35 goes live; no new features

Firmware 2.35 has gone live on the PS3.

Supposedly, this fix is not due to the GTA: IV freezing issues, but when the only update information we can find is "improves the stability of some PS3 titles", you have to assume this is in response to those problems.

According to most people, the GTA issues are limited to 60Gb consoles that ave the hardware PS2 compatiblity, which explains why there are no widespread reports of problems in Europe, since have a 60Gb version that uses software backwards compatibility instead.

We've searched high and low, but if you find a new feature hidden away, drop it in the comments.

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Wednesday, 14 May 2008

MGS4: the first ten minutes

Yesterday, Konami threw a 'it's done and dusted' party for the press in Tokyo where Hideo Kojima played around 40 minutes of MGS4.

Here's the first ten minutes for your delectation, courtesy of GameVideos.

I don't need to add any witty prose - the video speaks for itself.

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Tuesday, 13 May 2008

D+PAD Editor speaks - PS3 flak, Italian food and Wii worries

We managed to get some time between issues to quiz David Scammell, Editor-in-Chief at D+PAD magazine, on all things gaming.

For those of you that don't know, D+PAD is a PDF-based web magazine that is frankly so well put together it makes us feel mildly envious. This month's edition alone had a great review of GTA: IV and some exclusive Motorstorm: Pacific Rift screens that made us sit up and take notice.

Here's the interview in full:

[PS3A] What is your background and why did you start D+PAD magazine?

[DS] Video games have always been one of my greatest passions, and as a kid growing up in the late 80s/90s when gaming really started to take off in the mainstream, it was hard to avoid them.

Back in the day when the internet wasn’t readily available, I remember picking up heaps of gaming magazines at a time to get my fix, and I was even an avid reader of ‘Sonic The Comic’ if anyone out there can remember that!

As a result I always wanted to be a part of the gaming press and found myself writing for a few websites before wanting something I could call my own. I thought about starting my own fansite (albeit with an added twist) but felt the market was saturated and that it would struggle to gain a decent following.

With the industry leaning towards digital distribution, the idea of D+PAD came along with the plan to give consumers a free digital publication with high quality content and a design comparable to that of equivalent print magazines.

[PS3A] How long does it take to put together each edition?

[DS] D+PAD’s a monthly publication so we generally turnaround the magazine from start to finish within four to five weeks. However, with D+PAD being digital we can be a lot more flexible with dates than print magazines could ever be.

So, if postponing the publishing date for a few days allows us to fit in a review of the next big title, we’re able to do so. An example of this would be way back in Issue 3. We were just about to hit the upload button when review code for Call of Duty 4 landed on our desk.

Delaying the issue by a few days allowed us to provide one of the world’s first reviews of the multi-million selling title.

[PS3A] What does a PDF-based magazine offer that you can't find at the newsagent?

[DS] Well, not only is D+PAD completely free and available without having to trek down to your local newsagent, being PDF-based allows us to experiment with other ways to deliver content to our readers.

We’ve introduced video streaming into the latest issue of D+PAD so our readers can check out gameplay footage and trailers on the same page as reading the review.

There are also some other exciting features that we’re currently working on implementing into future issues...

[PS3A] When you're not putting D+PAD together, what do you enjoy doing instead?

[DS] I’d be lying if I said I didn’t play a lot of videogames, but there’s plenty more I get up to besides. I’ve recently put a lot of time into GTA IV in a desperate attempt to gain membership to Rockstar’s 100% Club. And with that 19th May date looming there’s not that long left to achieve it!

But of course, with summer approaching, I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time out in the sun with my fantastic girlfriend and our little puppy dog.

[PS3A] Where do you stand on the 'console wars' debate?

[DS] It’s a very touchy subject and admittedly not one that I like to get myself involved in all that often. I’ve never considered myself to be a fanboy of any sorts, and as editor of a multi-format magazine it’s crucial to remain open-minded.

With that said, I think the PS3 took a lot of unnecessary flak early on and I believe we’re really going to see it come into its own later this year with the exciting 08/09 lineup. I recently had the chance to play Killzone 2 at PlayStation Day which has the potential to blow every other FPS out the water should it all come together for February.

Having said that, the Xbox 360 has proven to be a fantastic console with some great exclusive titles, and in my opinion at least, it still houses a superior online experience – even if it does come at a cost.

Wii, as much as I love the little white box, bothers me slightly. It’s home to a few classic titles, but I’m concerned that targeting casuals as much as it has done and being host to some truly awful, yet worryingly popular, ‘casual’ games may harm the industry in the long run.

It’s great that a wider audience is being introduced to gaming, as long as it doesn’t harm the hardcore that the industry has grown on.

But with all that said and done, I always had a huge fondness for the SEGA consoles and was shocked when they pulled out of the console race. Hopefully one day they’ll be back...

[PS3A] What's the best place to eat at in St. Albans?

[DS] There are so many great places to eat in St. Albans it’s unreal! One of my favourite places though has to be Sazio, a lovely little Italian restaurant that offers an all you can eat lunchtime menu. More than enough to fire you up for a productive afternoon back at the office!

[PS3A] We can vouch for that - we've been there and the food is excellent! Bonus question: Was it really necessary to point those things at us on pages 21 and 22 of Issue 7?

[DS] This is going to sound like a horrendous generalisation on my part, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about the majority of gamers it’s that they love their female leads dressed in revealing outfits. And with assets like that, it would be rude not to.

You can get the latest edition of D+PAD at their website, and add yourself to their subscription list to be notified when the next edition is available.

Our thanks to David and please keep up the good work - D+PAD is truly a great read every month.

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Home open beta in November

In recent articles following the London PlayStation Day, David Reeves of SCEE has talked a lot about the current timeline for PlayStation Home.

He and Kaz Hirai have explained why Home has been pushed back, and Reeves has talked about a renewed focus on games rather than advertisers within Home.

Following all this coverage, we were expecting an expanded closed beta in the Summer followed by an open beta in Autumn.

Ron Festejo, the Creative Director for Home, has now made those broad time slots much narrower, stating the closed beta will be expanded in July and the open beta will arrive in November.

"We have between 8,000 and 10,000 users in this closed beta phase. Around July we’re going to be expanding on the closed beta phase and allowing more people to gradually come in, and then in November this year we’ll be going to the open beta."

So it looks like we'll all get to enjoy a new Home before the end of the year, and help ensure it is as good an experience as we would all like through beta feedback.


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Monday, 12 May 2008

EA making SKATE 2 for the PS3

During an announcement regarding 'SKATE It', which is coming out for Nintendo platforms, EA have confirmed that SKATE 2 will be making its way onto the PS3 and Xbox 360.

No other details have become available yet, but this is certainly welcome news.

We had previously commented on 'the skating wars' and how EA's game was giving Tony Hawk a run for his money. There's no doubt that the lean towards realism and a new control mechanism made SKATE a popular title last year.

We'll keep you posted as we find out more.

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Konami confirm UK MGS4 limited edition and pre-order bonus

We had heard about this pack through various sources, but until Konami themselves said it was true, we've held back on reporting it.

But today Konami have confirmed that a limited edition of Metal Gear Solid 4 will hit UK shores. In addition, they have partnered with various UK retail outlets to provide a pre-order bonus.

Consumers that pre-order at certain retailers (list not yet confirmed) will gain the Metal Gear Saga Vol. 2 DVD - a seven-part documentary detailing the origins of previous Metal Gear games and the evolution of Hideo Kojima’s epic series.

The limited edition version of the game includes a soundtrack CD, a 6” 'Old Snake' action figurine, and an exclusive ‘Making Of’ Blu-ray disc. The Blu-ray disc contains two high-definition documentaries which offer a candid, behind-the-scenes look at the development of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, with interviews with series creator Hideo Kojima and key Kojima Productions personnel.

The Limited Edition will carry a £79.99 RRP.

“Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is rightly seen as the stand-out title for 2008, and we were determined to come up with something special for its launch. With interest so high, it is only right that we reward fans of the series for pre-ordering the game, and the Metal Gear Saga DVD is a stunning look at how the series has evolved into the phenomenon it has become. Likewise, the Limited Edition is a celebration of all things Metal Gear, and will be prized by those who buy it.” - Martin Schneider, European Marketing Director for Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH.

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Friday, 9 May 2008

Racism in Resident Evil 5? We think not...

This website is called PS3 Attitude for a reason - I guess it's about time we exhibited the 'attitude' part of the title...

Cast your mind back to E3 2007. The Resident Evil 5 trailer was shown for the first time to the masses.

I have a question for you.

What did you see when you watched the trailer?

I will answer that question myself before this article is finished, but let's just put this trailer in the correct frame to begin with.

This is Resident Evil 5. The clue is in the name. It's not actually the fifth game in the series (there are more than that, of course) but it is a continuation of a well-known franchise.

The location is E3 2007. It's a gaming show. It's all about the games.

So this trailer doesn't need to fill us in with reams of back-story detail about 'good vs. evil' or 'humans vs. zombies'. We don't need to know that a virus is killing humans off only to bring them back as the undead, because we gamers already know this. And the location of the premiere of this trailer put the message out loud and clear to the correct target audience.

But in the 21st Century, such trailers don't stay local for long. The Internet made the trailer, and the subsequent 'extended version' available to the masses.

What did 'Black Looks'1, a blog devoted to African women, see when they watched the trailer back in July 2007?

“The new Resident Evil video game depicts a white man in what appears to be Africa killing Black people."

"This is problematic on so many levels, including the depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young… fearing, hating, and destroying Black people."

This view of the trailer is, in my opinion, a racist view. I'll explain why later.

Of course, the view of the Black Looks blog writer is inaccurate in any case. The story of RE5 is set in Haiti, not Africa. The game is going to be 18-rated and 'M for Mature', so it is not marketed to children or young adults.

What did Ragnhild Mogren, a teacher at Stockholm University and being interviewed by kezins.com2, see when she watched the trailer?

"Question: What does a person with no understanding of the Resident Evil franchise, as a game series, think about this piece of film?"

"Answer: If I should interpret this trailer from a hermeneutic perspective, that my previous understanding and knowledge plays a huge part in what I actually see here, then this piece of film is very racist."

Hermeneutics is an ancient term and was originally the development/study of theories around the interpretation and understanding of writings. The word is being used in a broader sense here, but the view of Ms. Mogren is still a racist view. Again, I'll explain why later.

What did N’Gai Croal3, Newsweek's gaming journalist, see when he watched the trailer?

"I looked at the Resident Evil 5 trailer and I was like, 'Wow, clearly no one black worked on this game'. The point isn’t that you can’t have black zombies. There was a lot of imagery in that trailer that dovetailed with classic racist imagery. What was not funny, but sort of interesting, was that there were so many gamers who could not at all see it. Like literally couldn’t see it. So how could you have a conversation with people who don’t understand what you’re talking about and think that you’re sort of seeing race where nothing exists?"

"This trailer says to me that the black people here are portrayed as Neanderthals, quite frankly. This white figure, on the other hand, is very good looking in terms of the norms and rules of what a good looking man is supposed to look like in our society, even if it’s completely unrealistic. The trailer shows political power in that it presents a sense of historical colonial suppression."

Of course, N'Gai is wrong and, I have to report, this is a racist view also. I'll explain why in just a moment.

In terms of his specific points, it worries me that he believes certain characters in the game are portrayed as Neanderthals. They happen to be Haitians who have contracted a deadly virus and are, to all intents and purposes, 'dead men/women/children walking'.

I've seen people look worse than this when all they have is the 'flu.

Their race is not the reason they don't look so good - the fact that they're infected and zombified are the reasons they look a bit 'peaky'.

And yes - the imagery does have history. A terrible, horrific history perpetrated by truly evil people. But perpetuating the mistakes of the past and attributing images to times gone by are the not the way forward for society. Let me explain by telling you...

What did I see when I watched the trailer?

I'm a gamer. I understand the RE series. I know the story. The location of the trailer's premiere targeted me personally.

But even despite all the back-story knowledge and the targeted advertising, there is one thing that makes my view of the trailer different to all the people mentioned above.

I truly didn't see the colour of any character's skin.

I saw 'good vs. evil'.

I saw a man trying to stop the onslaught of a deadly virus that could wipe out humanity.

I saw a character with the drive and heroism to attempt to save us all from evil.

I didn't see black. I didn't see white. I didn't see slavery or oppression.

So I ask, who, out of all the people who have discussed the trailer (including myself), are the racists?

Comments please.

Black Looks blog
Part 1 of an interview at
MTV multiplayer interview with N'Gai Croal

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Codemasters take chequered flag for F1 licence

There has been much speculation regarding where the official Formula 1 racing game licence would end up after Sony decided not to take up the renewal.

We can now reveal that Codemasters have taken the licence on in a worldwide deal that will see the next F1 game appear on all major platforms, including consoles, PCs and handhelds.

“As a world-leading creator of driving games, this alliance with Formula One is the jewel in Codemasters’ racing crown and creates an undisputed segment champion. Formula One has gone with the best, the segment leader. It has gone to the home of the EGO Engine for quality; it has gone to the company that can host Formula 1 Online, to the company that is streaking away from the pack.” - Rod Cousens, CEO at Codemasters

The first new F1 title should appear in 2009 and will feature all Grand Prix circuits, Formula One teams, cars, and driver likenesses.

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Thursday, 8 May 2008

Mirror's Edge dazzles; gameplay video

I can imagine the pitch for Mirror's Edge:

"We take all the best bits of Trinity running along, leaping around with guns and shooting whilst falling backwards off buildings in The Matrix trilogy, but do it first person and make it all happen in 'the real world'..."

That's basically what the game says to me. And it is a good thing because of that.

A mixture of parkour, puzzle solving (how to get from A to B via 100 obstacles) and gun-toting action, this video of Mirror's Edge shows the promise this game holds.

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Wednesday, 7 May 2008

GTA IV; Niko Bellic is the 6 million unit man

Let's just pause for a moment and think about this.

According to Take Two, GTA IV has sold 6 million copies worldwide in one week. That's around $500 million in sales (£255m). We know from Chart Track that the UK alone accounted for close to 1 million units. We also know that around 50% (give or take 5%) of the total worldwide sales were for the PS3 version.

Here are some 'entertainment market' comparisons for you:

  • 'Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End' took $404 million at the Box Office in its first week.
  • The combined Top Ten US movies took $438 million this weekend - if it weren't for Iron Man that total would have been $336 million.
  • The iPhone sold only 70,000 units in the UK in the first week; around 500,000 were sold in the US during launch week.
Can we really compare the iPhone launch and GTA: IV? Well yes - and we just did. If you can imagine that a good percentage of GTA: IV sales involved a hardware bundle that retailed for around the same price, I think the comparison is fair!

Like I said - just think about all of this for a moment and put it in perspective.

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Details of our April Competition winner

Thanks again to everyone that entered our April Competition to win 2Kg of prime gaming swag.

Our winner is Paul Nichol from South Shields, United Kingdom. Well done Paul - the prize is all yours and will be with you soon.

Don't forget - if you stay subscribed to our email updates you will automatically be entered for every single 2008 competition... which also means that if you unsubscribe, I'm afraid you'll rule yourself out for the rest of the year.

And our next competition is a real peach - whatever you do, don't miss it.

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Tuesday, 6 May 2008

PlayStation Day 2008; European PS Store update for 6th May

As we revealed earlier today, there was going to be an additional update to celebrate the PlayStation Day event in London.

We knew about some of the items on the list, but were surprised to see the likes of High Velocity Bowling finally appear in Europe.

Here's the full list of items you can download today:


Blast Factor Advanced (£4.99)
High Velocity Bowling (£4.99)
Street Skater - PS1 game for PSP/PS3 (£3.49)

Demos (all free)

Condemned 2


High Velocity Bowling - Mike (£0.69)

Videos (all free)

Buzz! Quiz TV
Secret Agent Clank
Siren: Blood Curse
Motorstorm: Pacific Rift
PS Day Showcase

Amongst all these updates you'll have noticed two name changes; one we knew about a few days ago, the other was announced today. Yes, Motorstorm 2 is officially subtitled Pacific Rift, and Siren: New Translation has been, erm, translated to Siren: Blood Curse.

Look out for another date as usual this Thursday.

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PlayStation Day 2008; PlayTV launches in September

David Reeves has confirmed an official launch window and price for PlayTV (finally).

Once again, this is a product we expected would be released soon with SCEE stating 'Spring' launch windows last year. In fact, we did hear PlayTV was priced and dated for a March release not so long ago, but that turned out to be false.

However, it is nice to finally get the definite word from SCEE, and that word is 'September'.

PlayTV will retail for €99, which is about £75.

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PlayStation Day 2008; Killzone 2 will be out in February 2009

At the PlayStation Day event today, SCEE showed in-game video of Killzone 2.

Not only does it look amazing with incredible graphical detail, but the big announcement is that Killzone 2 will now hit the streets next year in February.

Some time ago, we had thought that Killzone 2 might make it before Christmas, but it looks like the much-anticipated title will actually become 2009's lead game.

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Haze demo and Motorstorm 2 on the PS Store today

To coincide with the PlayStation Day event in London, there will be an additional update to the PlayStation Store today.

Look out for an update later on this afternoon that includes a new Motorstorm 2 trailer and, most importantly, a Haze demo.

The Haze demo will take you through the opening level of our new favourite FPS.

We'll have more news from the PlayStation Day event as it unfolds.

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Monday, 5 May 2008

Our winner has been chosen...

Thank you to everyone who signed up to our email updates in order to enter our competition.

This month's giveaway is now officially done and dusted, and a winner has been chosen.

We'll be revealing the lucky recipient of 2Kg of prime gaming swag soon, but in the meantime here's a quick reminder that if you stay subscribed to our email summary, you will automatically gain entry into the rest of our competitions throughout 2008.

That means if you choose to unsubscribe, you will forfeit your place in our competitions, even if you re-subscribe later.

Come back over the next two days for full details of our lucky winner. Is it you?

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Friday, 2 May 2008

April Competition; a few words for our email subscribers

It's nearly time for us to draw a close on our first competition of 2008. The winner will be picked on May 5th.

This is the first of a number of competitions we have planned for this year, and if you stay subscribed to our email news summary (using the 'Email' button in the left sidebar) you will be entered into every competition automatically!

So let me just explain what 'stay subscribed' means.

If you decide to unsubscribe before or after this month's competition has finished, you will rule yourself out of any other competitions we run in 2008 - even if you re-subscribe later.

In conclusion, not only do you get a daily summary of what Thesixthaxis call "awesome blog-style site with stacks of rapid, exclusive, well written content", but if you continue to receive the email summary you'll get a chance to win some really great prizes through the year.

You won't want to miss our next competition - the prize sweeter than honey.

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Thursday, 1 May 2008

GTA breaking records; were we right about the numbers?

In our news wrap-up 7 days before Grand Theft Auto: IV hit the streets, we came up with some projected sales figures for worldwide week one and lifetime sales.

We did this by comparing, analysing and averaging out the best analyst predictions for the ground-breaking game, and here's what we came up with:

PS3 - 7.4 million units
Xbox 360 - 11.5 million units
Total sales - 18.9 million units

Week One sales will make up an astonishing 25% of those totals, leading us to expect a combined 4.75 million units will hit the streets next week.
So how are we doing so far with our predictive skills?

ChartTrack announced that 600,000 copies of the game were sold in the UK on day one. 45% of these were on the PS3.

In the meantime, VG Chartz have put their sales estimates up and expect 1.7 million units in Europe (with the PS3 taking 60% of the overall sales) and a staggering 2.5 million in the US (with the PS3 taking 40% of the overall sales).

Adding this all together means that GTA: IV has so far reached 4.2 million consoles. 1.93 million of these are on PS3, just over 45%. For our prediction to be right, the rest of the week should see another half-a-million copies shipped.

Somehow, we think there's a chance the analysts we based the numbers on may have underestimated! Without the Asia Pacific region figures being added in, and despite the fact that many people didn't pre-order and are buying their copies this weekend, we feel that the results could break the 5 million mark quite easily.

Check back next week for the official week one figures, since the VG Chartz figures above are considered an estimate rather than fact.

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Wednesday, 30 April 2008

May mayhem; PS3 Attitude Big Three

This is certainly going to be one of the more interesting Big Three features we've done, simply because many of you will automatically be thinking 'but GTA: IV is out, why would I buy anything else?'.

And to an extent, you'd be right.

The GTA effect means that many publishers are not releasing titles in early May as there is really no point in competing with 'the big one'. But that doesn't mean May can't offer us three great titles to pick up or rent later in the month.

Here's the rundown on the Big Three for May. Remember, the Big Three is based on UK and European titles that will launch in May only...

1. Haze [pre-order] [pre-rent]

With a confirmed release date finally in our hands, it's time to revisit a former Big Three title. Yes, back when we thought Haze would hit the streets in time for Christmas, it was one of the games we thought you should spend your hard earned cash on.

Although a few months have passed by since then, our opinion hasn't changed. In fact, we're even more certain about this game then we were back in 2007. Why?

After being invited up to London to get a sneak preview of the co-op and multiplayer modes that Haze has to offer, we can tell you that the gameplay is sublime. The multiplayer mode is as good as any FPS we've been playing to death recently (CoD4, if you hadn't worked that out).

In terms of the single-player campaign, Haze is a game that dares to treat us like the adults we are, with political themes that resonate well against the current world climate despte being set in a sci-fi future.

We will have a lot more to say about Haze before it launches, but I promise you this is one game you definitely should pick up in May - in between GTA fixes, of course!

2. Race Driver: GRID [pre-order] [pre-rent]

When we got hands-on with this new racing game from Codemasters we must admit to having mixed reactions.

On the first hand, it is as good as any of the TOCA series that Codemasters did so well with on the PS2. The action is fast and furious, it looks fantastic (especially the race replays) and sounds wonderful. For an 'arcade racer', as opposed to the simulation tag GT5: Prologue enjoys, you really can't beat it.

On the other hand you may have noticed we're big fans of Burnout Paradise here at PS3 Attitude, and we can't help but think that everything Race Driver: GRID has to offer can also be had in Paradise City, only with more race-type variety, better crashes and ridiculous stunts.

There is no denying that Race Driver: GRID is a polished game that delivers more on the out-and-out racing scene than Burnout, and it certainly does a 100% better job than games such as the recent Need for Speed effort.

For me personally, this is more a 'rent' than a 'buy' title, but that's just because I'm still into Burnout in a big way. You may be less of a 'gimmick racing' fan and more an 'arcade racer' purist, in which case Race Driver: GRID is worthy of your attention.

3. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars [pre-order]

You didn't really think we'd put Top Spin 3 or Iron Man in the Big Three, did you? So that means that we only really had one choice left as May is certainly a sparse release month.

Does that mean Quake Wars doesn't deserve to be here? Certainly not.

Firstly, for those of you comparing it to Haze, here's a few statements:

Is it another FPS? Yes.
Is it another FPS that has asymmetric teams? Yes.
Is it another FPS that has asymmetric teams and various vehicles to control? Yes.

But it does have one thing that the other FPS in this month's Big Three hasn't, and that is the Quake universe.

The follow up to Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Quake Wars really acts as a prequel to Quake II and that alone will have series fans clamouring for the release of this game.

Already out on the PC since Autumn 2007, Quake Wars has done universally well in reviews. In our opinion, it doesn't play as well as Haze or have the interest level of that new IP, but Quake devotees will certainly enjoy the latest foray into the franchise that has sold over 4 million copies.

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Criterion pile on more Burnout features

Where do we even start? The fact is, we thought we'd been spoilt all this time with free and chargeable DLC for great launch titles like Motorstorm and Resistance, but Criterion seem to be taking things to a whole new level.

Along with all the incredible new features coming along in their Cagney and Davis updates, the promise of an additional area to drive around which will arrive within the Eastwood update (and, apparently, won't be the last map expansion), Criterion are set to announce another big news update this Friday.

There's a lot of discussion regarding what the big announcement might be, with the smart money going on the addition of a driveable 18-wheel truck or weather effects, such as snow. But the fact is, nobody really knows - you'll just have to check the podcast on Friday to find out!

In the meantime, Criterion have also announced a 'save game analyser' is coming for PS3 Burnout Paradise gamers.

The idea is ingenious - transfer your game save data to your PC, upload it to the web-based analyser and it will produce a report for you of everything you are missing so that you can get to 101%. This certainly ranks well in comparison to some of the other PS3/website integrations already available in titles like Resistance and the MGO Beta.

We think it's safe to say that Paradise City is going to be one of two virtual metropolises we'll be spending a lot of time in this year.

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Tuesday, 29 April 2008

GTA: IV freezing on 60Gb PS3 models?

Has this happened to you? Let us know in the comments...

There are lots of reports coming in from forums and websites around the world that GTA: IV is freezing on some 60Gb launch models.

Although we're absolutely certain that a patch will be released to fix the problem (that is what has happened every single time something like this has come along, so we'd expect the same again), it does mean that a number of people aren't able to enjoy their new purchase on launch day.

If you've had this problem, let us know in the comments section...

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Monday, 28 April 2008

GameFlirt Most Wanted chart for April

Exclusive to PS3 Attitude, we bring you the monthly 'most wanted' PS3 charts at GameFlirt

GameFlirt are one of the UK's top games rental companies, and you won't find this information anywhere else - not even at the GameFlirt website.

Like the often seen Netflix charts for US movie titles, it's a great indicator of what's hot in the PS3 community.

Assassin's Creed continue to be the number one rental. In the course of running these charts, we've noticed that critically acclaimed games don't tend to stay around for too long since it would appear people would rather buy the game instead. What does this say about Assassin's Creed? It's too early to say, but the general consensus of opinion appears to be 'great look, repetitive gameplay, worth renting'.

In the meantime, Oblivion and Army of Two have dropped off the chart altogether.

Metal Gear Solid 4 remains the number one pre-rent title and GTA: IV has finally made an appearance, although coming in at fourth place suggests that most people will be buying their copy outright. Which makes us wonder if consumers are just a little wary of MGS4 and whether it really is as good as the preview videos would suggest.

Here are the charts in full.

Top 5 current rentals year-to-date:

1 - Assassin's Creed
2 - Blacksite
3 - Unreal Tournament III
4 - Devil May Cry 4
5 - Ridge Racer 7

Top 5 pre-ordered games for April:

1 - Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
2 - Haze
3 - Mercenaries 2
4 - Grand Theft Auto 4
5 - Monster Madness

Many thanks to GameFlirt for providing the data.

Click any of the links to visit GameFlirt for more details and to rent or pre-rent the titles. As a thank you to our readers anyone who signs up for the GameFlirt service via these links will receive 10 days free rental.

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Capcom announce six PSN titles in Europe for 2008

We've been excited about Capcom's Bionic Commando: Rearmed for some time now. The re-imagining of a classic 2d action-platformer, BC:R is a perfect example of the type of 'classic game reuventation' we had in mind when ThreeSpeech featured our guest article.

Now, Capcom have confirmed titles and release windows for a whole range of PSN titles, available this year on the PlayStation Store.

As well as BC:R, which is due to arrive any time now, they have announced 1942: Joint Strike will appear this Summer. Another update to a classic top-down shooter, this could be another exciting update.

In addition, you can expect to see Plunder and the long-awaited Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix arrive in the Summer months. Plunder is a real-time strategy game developed for Capcom by Certain Affinity.

Finally, Capcom also announced two titles that have no current launch window - Wolf of the Battlefield and Talisman.

Talisman is the videogame version of the classic board game from Games Workshop. Apparently, this title was meant to coincide with the release of the 4th edition of the popular board game when it launched late last year, but Capcom halted work on the title to seek a new developer.

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Tomorrow is GTA-Day, or is it?

As you can see from the countdown timer above, there are less than 24 hours to go until GTA: IV hits UK streets and doorsteps.

But as we expected would happen, some people have managed to get their copies of the game early.

The Xbox 360 version of the game has been available in PAL and NTSC format via BitTorrent for over four days now, so some people may have chosen to break the law to get their copy early.

In addition, a number of stores across Europe have broken the street date for GTA: IV. We've seen pictures of receipts for copies from Asda, to which Asda have stated that "this is an isolated incident, we had a clear message to stores not to sell early, and so any copies that have gone on sale are miniscule. We have no policy to sell before the street date, and we’ll make sure this doesn’t happen again."

One such store is in The Netherlands, where one gamer has been banned by Sony from the PSN for one week for playing GTA: IV early. He alledgedly bought the game from a store called Futurezone in Rotterdam and 'had been playing it for 4 days' before receiving an email from SCEE.

So if you have managed to precure your Grand Theft Auto experience legally and early, fight the urge to break the date yourself or you could end up banned. If you've gained your copy using less socially acceptable methods, please play it as much as you can whilst connected to the PSN...

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Friday, 25 April 2008

MGO beta back online; official word from Konami

Here's the latest from Konami Europe on the MGO beta:

We would first like to offer our most sincere apologies to all participants of the "METAL GEAR ONLINE PREMIERE BETA" test for all inconveniences caused thus far. At the same time, we would like to inform you details of the possible causes of the problem along with the actions we have taken in order to resolve them.


Initial problems were caused by the extraordinary numbers of customers trying to login to the site in order to create a KONAMI ID in order to take part in the beta test. In response, we have increased server capacity as well as creating a separate KONAMI ID registration site specifically for customer wanting to take part in the "METAL GEAR ONLINE PREMIERE BETA" test.


In order to reduce the load on our server, we have implemented a queing system where the number of players that can login to the server is kept at a certain level over a period of time. Added to this, the client has been updated so that the time out settings when logging in have been relaxed. This may though, lead to a longer wait when trying to login.

At peak times, you may be placed in a queue for places in our server. In such a case, we would like to recommend that you try to login after a period of time.

It was also discovered that connecting to the server on creating and registering your character was very difficult. This again, was due to very high levels of traffic. We have increased server capacity and have also improved both the system performance and the server program in response .

We will be carrying out further improvements between 00:00 on 04/26/2008 with the start of the beta test as the game is scheduled to enter full service on 06/12/2008. We would like to apologize once again for all inconveniences caused.

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Thursday, 24 April 2008

European PS Store update for 24th April

It is the second week since the PS Store got it's shiny new look and we're treated to our third update already. Both the 'launch day' bonus items and the regular weekly update brought Europe a good amount of new stuff to get our teeth into - so what about this week?

The big news is the CoD4 Variety Pack has arrived. The pack, which brings us four new multiplayer maps - Broadcast, Creek, Chinatown and Killhouse - appeared on the store (after a short delay - it wasn't there initially). Speaking of CoD4, don't forget that this weekend is 'Double XP' weekend in CoD4, and Friday is 'play with the devs' day between 19:00 to 22:00 UK time and from 01:00 to 04:00 UK time on Saturday morning.

There is also a CoD4 v1.30 patch that is available now when you launch the game. The patch adds two new game modes that take advantage of the Variety Pack maps.

Here's what is included in the update:


Bishi Bashi Special (PS1 game for PS3/PSP) (£3.49)
Command & Conquer (PS1 game for PS3/PSP) (£3.49)
Flow (PSP version) (£4.99)


Call of Duty 4 Variety Pack (£6.99)

Demos (all free)

Rocketmen: Axis of Evil - PS3 Demo
God of War: Chains of Olympus - PSP Demo

Videos (all free)

Resistance 2 announcement trailer
Warhawk Broken Mirror trailer
Viking trailers (2 videos)
Timeshift trailers (3 videos)

Wallpapers and Themes (all free)

MGS4 Sneak Out wallpaper
Dark Sector wallpaper
Motorstorm wallpapers (7 images)

The release of two new PS1 games will appeal to some gamers who like their fix 'retro-style'. The Rocketmen demo is the same as the one we played from the US Store a little while back, and you may remember our review of the game.

It is nice to see a full game and a demo for the PSP appear, further showing the improving bond between the PS3 and its little brother.

As far as the Variety Pack in concerned, some may argue that £6.99 is a lot to pay for four new maps. The Xbox 360 version of the Variety Pack was 800 MS points I believe, which equates to about $10. $10 in local money is £5.10, so £6.99 does appear slightly inflated.

Having said that, you can't buy a coffee for you and your mates in London for less than that, let alone a few beers. We still think it's reasonable value, but it would have been nice to see some price parity.

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Burnout's 'Bogart' update goes live on the PS3

After all the excitement of learning what is coming in the Burnout Paradise 'Cagney' and 'Davis' updates, revealed in our Burnout news premiere yesterday, we're pleased to say that Criterion have released 'Bogart' as planned today on the PS3.

Effectively v1.20 of Burnout Paradise, Bogart fixes a number of issues in the game.

The Top 10 problems reported by users have been fixed, these are:

  • PS3 game can crash when a player is taken down and the player that has performed the Takedown leaves the game.
  • The game indefinitely displays "Connecting to Paradise City Servers" if it's having problems communicating with the rebroadcast server.
  • Disconnecting the controller before a race begins can mean that race timings can be manipulated with players who didn't cross the line first being awarded the win.
  • Repeatedly joining and leaving a game with 8 players can cause the game to hang.
  • Hammering the X button after unlocking a car can cause the game to hang.
  • East Crawford and Watt St achievements cannot be achieved if the player goes online and sets road rules before attempting them.
  • Audio distortion when using 5.1 / DTS and looking back at the car.
  • Total time driven in player stats would stick at 145 hours.
  • VoIP connection problems with 8 player games.

The update also adds game experience enhancements and other high-priority fixes, details of which you will find at the Criterion website.

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Round up of Burnout Paradise news

Following our 'almost live from Paradise' news yesterday, Criterion have now updated their website with details, high-resolution pictures and videos of many of the new features we premiered at PS3 Attitude.

Here's a list of the related posts:

Criterion announces 70 new Freeburn Challenges for its upcoming "Cagney" software update

Criterion Games announces Live Update page for Burnout Paradise

Missed the inaugural episode of Crash TV?

Criterion Games announces motorbikes in Burnout Paradise!

Hunter Olympus announced for Burnout Paradise

New liveries competition winner announced! announces dates for new Burnout content

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NOVASTRIKE details emerge at TheSixthAxis

Our friends over at TheSixthAxis scored an interview with Kevin McCann of Tiki Games Inc. about their forthcoming PSN title, NOVASTRIKE. Follow the link to read the full article.

You'll remember we announced NOVASTRIKE was on it's way back in early March, so it's good to hear some more about it already.

"And there are two weapon systems - the beam and electro-mine - that aren't directly forward-firing. The beam will lash out a short distance in any direction when used. The electro-mine always falls behind the player's ship and lashes enemy fighters that come within a set distance of the mine. When upgraded the beam will chain-link its attack across multiple enemies, and the electro-mine becomes invaluable at helping clear up swarming enemies."

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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Live from Paradise; Criterion announce motorbikes, community features and planes!

Today was always going to be an exciting day.

Criterion announced that their podcast, for the first time, was going to be broadcast live across the 'net. If that wasn't exciting enough, they were going to invite some PS3 owners to play Burnout Paradise live during the podcast.

So then imagine our joy when they asked little ol' PS3 Attitude to join in the game so we could write up how it felt to be part of their first live podcast!

We were ready and waiting at 15:00 UK time, but the podcast start-point came and went. And so did 10 past, quarter-past and half-past. No sign of the team online ready to bring us in to the game.

But it's OK - because today just became even more exciting than we had previously thought.

After starting the live podcast later than expected, the guys at Criterion had something much more important on their minds than a mere PS3 free-for-all, no matter how much fun that would have been.

With their 'Bogart' update only just over 17 hours away for the PS3, the Burnout team started to talk about the following upgrade - named 'Cagney' - and what it is going to include.

Firstly, there are a whole slew of changes to races to make them fairer, especially when they are ranked races:
  • Custom Routes are no longer featured in competition races - you can choose from 40 predefined Paradise Drives that Criterion have sanctioned, 7 of which came from fans.
  • Sanctioned Routes have their own Time Leaderboards - so you can all see who’s the fastest per route.
  • Traffic can no longer be switched off in competition races
  • No more ‘rounds’ in competition racing - many players disconnect, when they feel like there's no chance of winning, so they've got rid of the concept of rounds.
  • Cars can be grouped by Boost Rating - limiting to Boost Level 3 cars, for example, still gives you 10 massively varied cars but they'll all be pretty closely matched for great racing.
  • Car Select now appears after the Race Route has been selected - the host can't make sure they're the only one who knows the route, and now everyone gets a chance to choose an appropriate car.
  • The host can't kick other players any more
  • Grid position is based on player ranking
  • Full Boost Bars
  • Rank and Ranking Points are displayed in game
  • New map icons differentiate the Start and Finish points

All of this will be familiar to regular visitors to the Criterion website... so what else is coming along with Cagney?

Apart from some cosmetic changes to the start screens and logos, when you launch the game you'll see a new page with streaming player and game news, bringing all the great content from the Criterion website (and more) direct to the players. That new page shows the local time, Paradise City weather (plus real cities too), a calendar and all manner of hints/tips/news/info.

It moves Burnout Paradise up to a new level, giving you instant access to the world Criterion have created and offering a view of what has happened in Burnout in the last 24 hours. It's a real community-driven offering.

The calendar is more than just a useful reminder of what day it is.

From July, every weekend there will be a formal - and personal - Burnout Paradise event and some of these events will involve new cars. The team announced that some of these new cars will not have boost - it's all going to be about using your skill under standard conditions.

The 'personal' element? The event might be based on your licence or how much you interact on the forums. If you have an Elite licence, you may get a chance to test drive a new car for 24 hours before anyone else sees it! The more you give to Criterion, the more you'll get back.

By getting involved when this new feature kicks in, you may gain cars that will never be offered again, so it's worth jumping on board as soon as Cagney launches.

As was already reported elsewhere, Cagney on the PS3 will bring custom soundtracks as well. In addition to this, the team are going to remix all the sounds and music, and even add sirens to the police cars!

The guys went on to announce that 70 new freeburn challenges are coming to extend the game in Cagney, but they will be adding new challenges throughout the year. And some of these new challenges are multi-part challenges. In addition there will be leaderboards for each challenge so you can see how quickly you completed it.

Cagney should be available at the end of June.

But all of these community functions, new cars, events, challenges and competition-racing rule changes aren't the most important item announced in today's live podcast.

Criterion announced yet another update in their list, named 'Betty Davis'. Davis is going to be available around the end of July.

Yes - motorbikes are coming to Paradise, for the first time in any Burnout title.

This will be one of the first 'paid for' packs. Up until now the other updates have been free of charge. Personally, we think that it's about time and completely fair for Criterion to start charging for some of this brilliant DLC.

What else is coming in Davis? You can now drive around Paradise at night. Watching the live podcast video you get a real sense of speed and control on the motorbikes, and Paradise City looks brilliant at night. There will even be less traffic at night, just like in real life.

There is still some work to do in terms of bringing car vs. bike racing to the game - you won't be able to do that in Davis - but Criterion are committed to improving all of these new features over time. Road Rash for the 21st Century? Possibly!

Finally, the guys showed something that is not in any of the updates yet. Planes! Criterion wanted to stress this may or may not make it into the game this year, but I'm excited about it. I remember a couple of great air race games on the Amiga, so it would be brilliant to see the Burnout team bring Red Bull Air Race style action to Paradise.

High quality images and video will be available over the next couple of days at the Criterion website.

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GTA: IV European bundle finally confirmed

Remember we told you a GTA: IV bundle was definitely coming to play in Europe... well now it is definitely, definitely happening thanks to confirmation by SCEE today.

The so-accurate-you-could-use-it-as-a-targeting-device PS3 Attitude Calendar was spot on once again. Wow!

The price of the bundle will be €439 (£349) which, for a 40Gb PS3 with a standard SixAxis (still no DualShock 3 over here) and a copy of GTA: IV is, in our opinion, a little pricey.

GAME - for example - are taking pre-orders for the bundle at only £319 and that earns you £8 in reward points to spend on future items.

The bundle launches on the 29th April as you'd expect.

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Haze multiplayer; new screens and info

You may remember we were invited up to London to get a sneak preview of both the co-op mode in Haze and the multiplayer game modes.

We were sworn to secrecy about the game modes - until now that is.

Today we're happy to reveal to you, for the first time, brand new screenshots from the multiplayer game modes. Click the icons below for our gallery of brand new, never seen before on the 'net images.

Haze Multiplayer

We'll be giving you our full review of the multiplayer experience in May, along with lots of other Haze news.

We'll also be running an exciting Haze giveaway in May, which you'll automatically be entered into if you get involved in our current April Competition!

So watch this space for everything you want to know about Haze - arriving next month on May 23rd. You can pre-order Haze now.

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Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Holy Baterangs! Interview with Jonathan Smith reveals more Lego Batman details...

PS3 Attitude got a chance to talk with Jonathan Smith of TT Games today about their Lego titles and, specifically, Lego Batman.

Before getting into the interview, here's what we already know about Lego Batman and TT Games.

Recently acknowledged as the leading UK developer in the Develop 100 report, TT Games was acquired last year by Warner Bros Interactive, a result we guess of their relationship with movie licences and tie-ins. They are certainly one of the most respected names in the UK development community and have two big Lego titles coming out this year; Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures and Lego Batman.

Lego Batman is based on an original story where all the lunatics have taken over Arkham Asylum and succeeded in escaping. It's your job to round them up, of course. The campaign to re-capture the likes of Catwoman, the Penguin, the Joker, Killer Croc, Scarecrow and others takes you across 18 Lego infested levels. But that is literally only half the story.

As you play through the 'hero' levels, you'll unlock another 18 levels where you play the game from the villain's point-of-view.

The success of the gameplay in the previous Lego titles is mirrored in Lego Batman with grappling hooks that are similar to those in Star Wars II, the chance to build new items out of Lego pieces and the usual mix of action and puzzle solving. However, in Lego Batman the emphasis will change somewhat - let's find out more from Jonathan Smith:

[PS3A] This is the first time you've developed a title outside of the Lucas arena...

[JS] I suppose it is. We just think of it as a natural progression of our work on Lego games. Obviously, the Lego company has been making play materials for a long time for a wide range of different properties including loads of characters from TV series and movies over the years. So we don't see it as a radical departure for us.

[PS3A] What has been different about working with the PS3 over the years?

[JS] Traveller's Tales (the developers) are experts in working with the PlayStation 3. Obviously they were strong on all Sony platforms from PlayStation 1 through to the PS2 and PSP. They have a lot of expertise in those areas that they've brought to the PS3 when they first starting developing for it a few years ago. With Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga and Lego Indiana Jones on the PS3, and with other PlayStation 3 titles already in development, it is really a platform that everyone is extremely comfortable with and enjoys working on.

[PS3A] What is your approach to producing multi-platform titles?

[JS] Traveller's Tales has been brought up over the last 17 years or so as a specialist in multi-platform development and right from the start their culture and technology has been built up around that. They have proven over the years to be extremely effective and being able to share assets, models, animations, sounds and elements of design between platforms with a common engine at heart but with different modules that allow the advantages of each platform to come to the fore. It is a technology and approach that has served them in good stead over the years.

[PS3A] Batman is an interesting choice because of the different incarnations of the character. There's the mildly camp TV series, the sometimes grittier films, the animated series, the original comic books and the graphic novels. As far as Lego Batman is concerned, which style of Batman are we going to see?

[JS] Lego Batman is really both its own version of Batman, and all the other versions of Batman as well. It is a sort of distillation of many of the common elements that have appeared in the different in carnations over the decades. Elements of it will seem familiar from the comic books in particular but also from your memory of the different things that Batman and the other Gotham City characters have got up to or meant to you across all the other versions. But the game does have its own distinct look in terms of style, the colours we use, vehicles and costumes. They're unique, but I suppose it is best to say they are compatible; compatible with all the other different versions of Batman.

[PS3A] With previous Lego titles there are areas that you can't access until you have played the game through. Once completed, you can access other areas when playing as 'the bad guys'. Is this feature in Lego Batman?

[JS] You're right, but we're taking it to a whole new level. You're right to say that in our previous games we've had the concept of 'story mode' and 'free play', and in 'free play' you can go back and access areas with all the characters you've unlocked, including the bad guys. We still have that, but what we have done that takes this to a new level is 'villain mode'. In 'villain mode' you won't just be able to go back and look at new levels, we're creating an entirely new and separate campaign that tells the whole story of the game from the villain's point-of-view.

[PS3A] Is 'villain mode' unlocked when you finish the hero campaign?

[JS] No - it is actually unlocked as you progress through the game.

[PS3A] What new game mechanics can we expect from your Lego Batman title?

[JS] In Lego Batman it is all about the gadgets and technology that Batman has researched, or have been researched for him. We have the concept of different suits he and Robin can wear that give unique and distinct abilities in order to progress through a level.

[PS3A] I guess that's why Robin is wearing scuba gear in the trailer!

[JS] Exactly, Robin's scuba suit is one of them and both characters have a range of very cool suits that give them special abilities.

[PS3A] What else is new to the series?

[JS] On top of that, people that play the Lego series of games will find plenty of other fundamentally new approaches to the gameplay that suit the action of Batman including a greater emphasis on cool hand-to-hand combat and fighting. In terms of weapons, whereas in Indy we have lots of different firearms, Batman is not a character that needs to use guns to deal with the bad guys, so as well as the cool hand-to-hand combat he has baterangs as well.

[PS3A] How do they work?

[JS] Baterangs work in a very cool way in Lego Batman that you won't have seen in the series before where you can manually target a sequence of different objects with a baterang, then send it off and destroy a group of objects and enemies from a distance.

[PS3A] On the PS3, will that be controlled using the SixAxis or with the analogue sticks?

[JS] The targeting system is stick-based.

[PS3A] You don't have to comment, but that's probably a good move! So what's next for you and the Lego series?

[JS] I'm going to have to be coy about specifics, but the thing about Lego is it can become anyone and do anything. So it's just down to your imagination really. We spend a good deal of time imagining cool directions for the series and all I can say is that we're sure fans won't be disappointed with what comes next. Traveller's Tales are working on another game that will be out this year, and we're very excited about our Guinness Game of World Records. Based on the famous Book of World Records, the idea is that all the most amazing feats of human achievement you've previously read about you can now undertake yourself - in a game, with your friends, you can break those records and become a real record breaker.

PS3 Attitude would like to thank Jonathan Smith for his time and we look forward to catching up with him in person later this year at GameCity 3. Check back soon for more Lego Batman details, and watch the trailer below for some sneak preview action.

Lego Batman is currently planned for release in September this year. Lego Indy is being released on the 6th June, which you can pre-order now.

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7 days to GTA: IV; analyst sales figures and other news

As you can see from our countdown timer above, there are now officially less than 7 days to go until GTA: IV hits shelves in the UK and Europe. Or are there?

Our wrap-up will explain some of the more important GTA: IV news that has hit the 'net over the last two weeks, including details of a possible early release.

We also do some maths for you and tell you just how big this release is going to be, based on working through a set of over 10 analysts' predictions.

1. Release dates

Scheduled for release on the 29th April, a story about Tesco in the UK breaking the release date emerged recently. Tesco were apparently going to launch GTA: IV on the 25th April instead.

Tesco's website has since been changed to state that the game will arrive on the 29th. But the news prompted Take2 to have retailers sign agreements that stop them from shipping early. The agreement allows the retailers to send out customers' copies on the 28th so they will arrive on the 29th.

2. Missing feature

GTA: IV has been one of the most highly reported titles ever, and that means we already know as much as we can about the game and its features. One of these gameplay elements was going to allow you the ability to listen to music any time using your in-game mobile phone (that's a cellphone, for all our US readers).

With GTA: IV confirmed as going 'gold' only five days ago, we discovered that his had actually been dropped from the game entirely. Of course, this is nothing but standard practice. Features get cut from games all the time. It's just that you don't normally get to hear about it, as the hype-machine isn't as ramped up for other titles.

3. Supply issues

For some time now, most UK retailers have been unable to guarantee the arrival of the standard version of the game due to lack of stock. The special edition is still available, but they're running out fast as people buy up the stock and take the hit on the price in order to get the game first time around.

France is apparently running out of stock fast and there won't be enough for launch day. And it is a similar story all across Europe.

4. Rockstar Social Club

The Rockstar Social Club is a portal that will bring players of various Rockstar games together, and the first major title supported is GTA: IV. You can now go a pre-register at the club which will start up properly on - you guessed it - April 29th.

Anyone who signs up before next Tuesday will be entered into a competition to win a portrait of themselves drawn in the now iconic GTA cartoon style.

The integration with the game will be interesting too. When listening to a song in Liberty City, you'll be able to pull up your phone and dial ZIT-555-0100 to 'tag' it. The song will then be waiting for you at the club where you can buy it from Amazon.

5. Biggest game launch ever?

We've been watching all the analyst predictions regarding the launch of GTA: IV and we have distilled all their best guesses into the official PS3 Attitude answer to the question of whether this will be the biggest game launch ever:


We've done the work for you. PS3 Attitude have averaged out over 10 analyst* 'best guess' figures and according to the results, GTA: IV will sell the following numbers over the life of the game:

PS3 - 7.4 million units
Xbox 360 - 11.5 million units
Total sales - 18.9 million units

Week One sales will make up an astonishing 25% of those totals, leading us to expect a combined 4.75 million units will hit the streets next week. That's more than £190m in revenue ($375m /€236m), based on the standard version's street price alone.

Halo 3 sold 3.3 million units in comparison during Week One, generating £150m ($300m / €189m). Putting that into perspective against the movie industry, the number one grossing film this year is Horton Hears a Who, which has managed just £72m ($144m / €90m) thus far since being released five and a half weeks ago.

*Sources include estimates from Wedbush Morgan, Hudson Square and aggregated results from The simExchange...

So get yourselves ready for a hugely competitive online multi-player experience. We don't think you'll be hanging around trying to find someone to play with!

Don't forget you can win over 2Kg of swag in our April Competition - click the link or the big red button in the sidebar to find out more.

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Metal Gear Online beta debacle; news update

A quick update on the MGO beta debacle.

Yesterday, Konami updated their guidance on when the beta would be relaunched in Europe, and the official date is 25th April - this Friday.

Worryingly though, this isn't a completely 'solid' date (do you see what we did there?). No, the date is in fact a little more 'liquid' than we expected (stop, please stop!).

Konami have put a catch-all in the press release that says the date is subject to change if they have any further issues.

It is a beta, after all.

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Home open beta not arriving until Autumn; needs more tuning

Sony announced today that it will be expanding the currently closed beta of Home in Summer to include a larger number of testers, and that an open beta will not now arrive until the Autumn.

Previously, Sony had announced that an open beta was on it's way soon. The decision to delay the open beta is due to Home needing more tuning and testing in a manageable environment before it is released to a wider audience.

With the various issues Konami have had supporting an open beta for Metal Gear Online, we personally feel that although it is disappointing not to get our hands on Home earlier, we'd prefer to wait for something that will work when we try it.

“We understand that we are asking PS3 and prospective PS3 users to wait a bit longer, but we have come to the conclusion that we need more time to refine the service to ensure a more focused gaming entertainment experience than what it is today. Our overarching objective is to provide users with new gaming experiences that are available only on PLAYSTATION Home. Spending more time on the development and on the Closed Beta testing reaffirms our commitment to bringing a quality service, maintaining the PlayStation® tradition.” - Kazuo Hirai, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Details of the expanded closed beta will be made available soon.

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Monday, 21 April 2008

Silent Hill: Homecoming is coming home to the PS3

Konami have today announced the offical name of the next Silent Hill game. The title of the first ever PS3 version of the survival-horror franchise will in fact be called Silent Hill: Homecoming.

Konami had this to say about the game:

"The story follows Alex Shepherd, returning to his hometown of Shepherd’s Glen to investigate the sudden disappearance of his brother. From Shepherd’s Glen to Silent Hill, Alex must face the darkest of horrors in order to find his brother. Struggling with his own grip on reality, Alex must unravel the mystery behind his nightmares, discover the truth behind his brother’s disappearance, and confront the evil lurks in the seemingly empty streets of Silent Hill."
We've always been closet Silent Hill fans here at PS3 Attitude, so look out for more news on the game which will be released around September.

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MGO Beta debacle; official word from Konami

The Metal Gear Online Beta debacle continues with an official statement from Konami on the difficulties everyone has had setting up the various Konami and Game IDs:


We would like to thank all players for their keen interest in taking part in the beta test. However, we regret to inform you that due to extraordinary levels of traffic from all around the globe, we have been unable to run the service to the level we expected. As a temporary measure, we will be deferring the start of the US public beta test until we are able to stabilize our server.

We would like to apologize for all inconveniences as well as confusion caused. We would like to add that due to the above reasons, we will be making the following changes to the schedule:

1) Starting date: TBA. We will be making another announcement on 22/4/2008 23:00(PDT)
2) Beta Test closure: This will now be on 11/05/2008 at 24:00(PDT) rather than 06/05/2008 at 24:00(PDT)

IMPORTANT: Please note that your voucher code will only be valid up until 05/06/2008, so please make sure to register them by then.
Quite where this leaves UK and Europe-based players is unsure, since Konami only mention the US. It would also appear from other reports that Japan is unaffected and is going ahead with the beta as planned, so Konami seem to have delayed the rest of the world whilst they upgrade their servers.

I wonder if somewhere in a Japanese boardroom an executive is looking at a capital expenditure request for a bunch of new servers and is pondering whether they should have used the PSN ID like everyone else!

[UPDATE] The Konami ID servers finally let us create the various IDs we need to get involved. In trying to launch the game, it simply sends an error message stating it cannot conect to a server. It would appear that Europe has been switched off too for now.

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Friday, 18 April 2008

First Mortal Kombat vs. DC Comics trailer

A little while back we wrote an article called 'Fatality! Do We Still Care About Mortal Kombat?'.

And now that the actual title of Mortal Kombat 8 has been revealed, we continue to ask the question.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Comics is certainly a different direction for the franchise, but is it the right one.

Anyone worried about why DC Comics would allow the likes of Batman and Wonder Woman to be the victim of a fatality or, even worse, a babality shouldn't worry for long. Word is that this Mortal Kombat won't feature any fatalities and will have 'very little blood' according to a Midway executive.

So what's the point? It might have some of the MK universe characters, but without the signature gore and finishing moves that made the original MK so enjoyable, what's left.

Maybe the DC licence is best left to the likes of TT and their Lego Batman series.

Anyhow, here's the first trailer of the game courtesy of GamesRadar, looking very much more like DoA than MK for my money.

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Konami ID site still broken, but MGO does update

If you've been following the mess that has been created by Konami surrounding the release of the Metal Gear Online beta programme, you'll know all about the various IDs you have to create before you can play the game.

The beta itself became available on the 17th to people that pre-ordered MGS4 around the world or, if you are lucky enough to be in the UK/Europe, on the PS Store as a free download.

There are two things you'll notice when you download the beta:

  1. It requires both a Konami ID and a GAME ID to be able to play. The two IDs cannot be the same, so you can't just use your PSN ID for both of them.
  2. The beta has a v1.01 download available for it already.

So far, due to the massive weight of traffic heading to the Konami ID site, it has been almost impossible to set up the two IDs necessary to play the game. There was a glimmer of hope that you could complete all the forms needed to gain your IDs for a few minutes today, but it broke again soon after without actually ever finishing the process.

The v1.01 download, however, does work as long as you choose peer-to-peer mode. Peer-to-peer operates in the same way as a BitTorrent, sharing the update file between users rather than everyone hammering the server. Choose this option if you actually want to get the update, as the HTML option just doesn't work at all right now.

Our advice to you is simple; grab the v1.01 update via the peer-to-peer option, wait until the 19th or 20th to register your Konami IDs at the site. And use a PC rather than the PS3 browser if you can. If you have to use the PS3 browser to get your IDs, use a keyboard if you have one.

Our advice to Konami is simple; use the PSN ID next time and avoid all this nonsense.

Quite how these unique IDs will play out when MGS4 launches is unclear, and it is certainly going to make Home integration for MGO an interesting topic - imagine meeting someone and noting their PSN ID, launching into an MGO game, and then not being able to find them because their name is different.

Seriously Konami - fix this as the number one bug in your beta!

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Siren: New Translation revealed; we were spot on...

Let the gloating begin!

Whilst many people were calling the SCEJ teaser site out as the next Silent Hill or even Heavy Rain, we did our research and revealed it as the teaser for Siren 3.

The countdown has now completed and, sure enough, 'Siren: New Translation' has been revealed. Of course, we knew that was the official name too after Famitsu helpfully printed some screens and details of the title a day after our news.

The game is dubbed 'New Translation' as it is effectively a remake of the original Siren title, so those of you in the Western world that never got to see Forbidden Siren 2 (all Siren games are known as Forbidden Siren over here) shouldn't worry too much. It's not like they're doing a sequel to a game you've never seen!

The teaser site reveals that a 550Mb demo will be available to play on the Japanese PS Store on 25th April.

There is also a debut trailer. Given the movie is in WMV format, we've set up a direct link to the Siren trailer - you need to have Windows Media Player or another WMV-compatible player available.

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Thursday, 17 April 2008

More original Japanese games please... thesixthaxis plea

Those good guys over at thesixthaxis (TSA) have posted an interesting guest article that deserves a good 10 minutes of your day.

Here's an excerpt from the piece, credited to Kamruz M.A.M., but please head over to the TSA website to read the entire story - it's worth it:

"Japanese developers make the greatest games, there is no doubt there and anyone who thinks otherwise can get their teeth kicked in by a donkey. But what they have in talent they lack in cold hard cash, specially when compared to the rich giants backing the western developers. Not helping matters is the ongoing shooter epidemic that is rapidly eating away at the minds of young gamers. This flesh eating disease had just about run itself to extinction on the PC, but now it has been unleashed on the console and its destructive nature has been reinvigorated by fresh unknowing victims for it to gorge itself with and pick its teeth with their bones once it is full and satisfied."

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Hong Kong gets an English Lair demo

Lair has certainly polarised opinion since it launched. Many reviewers panned the game for having a terrible control system. Some reviewers spent a little more time and energy getting used to the SixAxis controls and realised that the game had more merit than they initially thought.

Now that the analogue stick control patch is out, and the PS Store has been updated with a free 'Dragon Pack', you might be wondering if Lair is worth picking up.

Now you can try it out for yourself and make your own mind up.

If you have a Hong Kong PS Store account, and a spare 2Gb on your HDD, you can now download a fully English Lair demo from the HK PS Store.

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Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Warhawk v1.31 goes live; reverses one of the 1.3 updates

You'll remember when we told you about Warhawk v1.3; one of the new features was to stop people from switching sides in a ranked game.

Well back on the 7th April, Dylan Jobe wrote a frank and honest assessment of that change on the US PlayStation Forum. And he admitted - they got it wrong.

Incognito did attempt to fix the problem using a server-side fix (or 'poke' as it's called) but this led to unbalanced teams. There were times when you could be on the receiving end of a 15 vs. 2 whooping!

Now, v1.31 fixes the issue permanently and with proper team balancing, and it has gone live today.

This version also fixes a couple of other issues, again led by users leaving comments on the forum.

It's great to see this kind of customer feedback being dealt with so quickly and with honesty and integrity. Qudos to Incognito and Dylan Jobe for their handling of the situation, and just in time for Operation Broken Mirror, which launches tomorrow.

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April Competition; win our swag!

It's the first competition of the year at PS3 Attitude, and we promise you it won't be the last.

During Live we collected a load of swag from all the nice people exhibiting there. Some of it you may have received in your goodie bag if you went along to the event, but we managed to secure some additional items that were held back for VIPs only.

Now is your chance to walk away with over 2Kg of prime swag in our competition.

You have questions, I can tell. Here are the answers...

How do I enter the competition?

Simple. All you have to do to for a chance of winning is sign up for our email update. Click the 'Email' button on the left sidebar, enter your details and then confirm you want to sign up in the verification email that you'll receive.

Then, when you get your next email update (which goes out at around 11:00 a.m. UK time each day) you'll see confirmation that you have entered.

Only 'verified' email subscribers will be entered. That means if you sign up and don't see a verification email appear soon after in your inbox, check your spam folder. Adding news [at] ps3attitude [dot] com to your 'whitelist' or contact list will also help.

What if I'm an RSS subscriber?

That's fine - please continue to subscribe to our RSS feed. It is your way of staying in touch with the news as it happens, since the RSS feed updates each time we send out a story.

But to enter the competition, you need to subscribe to our daily email summary by following the instructions above.

What if I already subscribe via email?

You are automatically entered into this and all future PS3 Attitude competitions! If you stay subscribed, you'll gain a place in every future giveaway.

What is the prize?

One lucky email subscriber (picked at random by our 'supercomputer') will win over 2Kg of swag including:

From Ubisoft - an environmentally friendly cloth bag (not pictured)
From Codemasters - a Lord of the Rings leather bracelet; an exclusive magnetic paperweight
From SanDisk - a baseball cap; a lanyard; a pen (not pictured); a Ducati T-Shirt
From - 2 x Ratatouille keyrings, a 'Spooks' book; 'Ice Age' Extreme Cool Edition DVD
From THQ - Stuntman Ignition metal number plate; Conan mini-comic

Who is the competition open to?

All PS3 Attitude email subscribers worldwide.

When will the winner be chosen?

We'll be picking a single winner from the current list of email subscribers on 5th May 2008. The prize will be sent out within 28 days of the 5th May 2008.

What does all this swag look like?

Click through to our gallery below for some artily blurry and overexposed pictures of all the key components.

Good luck, and look out for an even bigger competition coming this May!

April Competition 2008

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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

[UPDATE] Forbidden Siren 3; SCEJ launches teaser site

We're going to go ahead and call this one.

The blood red teaser site that has appeared on the SCEJ website is for Forbidden Siren 3. If it turns out we're wrong, we'll eat our video-tape copy of Ringu.

Why are we so sure?

The countdown is exactly the same design and style as in the previous games. And there's lots of blood. Oh, and it has been nearly 18 months since hearing anything about the title, not to mention the development schedule points to the marketing machine starting anytime around now.

Anyhow - come back in 58 hours from now and we'll see if our next task is picking the winner in the 3:15 at Epsom or not.

[UPDATE] Additional evidence in. The symbol on the far right of the teaser is the Japanese さ which would be the first letter of either Siren (as it is known in Japan; Forbidden Siren is a US/EU title) or Silent Hill. The sounds that play in the background are the same as the sounds that play in the original Siren game. Oh, and Famitsu have just printed details of the new Siren game too in their magazine. It's Siren 3 for sure - formally known as Siren: New Translation.

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GT5: Prologue gets an update today

Looks like it is a day for updates! The latest news comes from the good people at Polyphony Digital, who have this to say about GT5: Prologue:

Starting on Tuesday, April 15th, we have provided an update for “Gran Turismo 5 Prologue Spec II”. The main contents of this update are as follows;

Online play
- The award of race credits are now allocated at a fixed rate regardless of the number of race participants.
- The High Speed Ring course diagram has been fixed.
- Some online ID's were appearing in grey in the entry list, this has been amended.
- Some online opponents appeared to "blur", this has been amended.

- Country and area information now appears next to the online ID in the ranking boards.
- Unusually high scores had been recorded in some Drift Trials, this has been rectified.
- When Drift Trial replays were saved, occasionally these appeared in the "Load as Ghost" option of Time Trials.
This has now been rectified.

Performance Points (PP)
- The method of calculating Performance Points has been revised, to balance vehicles in events with PP upper limits.

- LCD display has been added in the F2007 interior view.
- Some interiors and exteriors of some vehicle models have been revised.
- On occasion the Quick Tune gear ratio became impossible to reset in some cars, this has been amended.
- The manual has been updated.

- The button assignments will be reset when the update is applied.
- In line with the application of the update, all ranking data will also be reset.

* To update, you will need a Playstation 3 connected to the internet with a broadband connection, and "Gran Turismo 5 Prologue" (Either the Blu-ray disc version or downloaded version)
Seems like a comprehensive bug-fix to us. Hopefully the re-balancing of the PP system will allow us here at PS3 Attitude to complete those last two 700PP 'S' Class races!

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New T-Shirt design; get your nametag on...

Our official PS3 Attitude merchandise shop has been updated today with a new design (probably the second most important store update of the moment).

You too can now go to conventions and exhibitions wearing your nametag proudly on your chest.

Remember, a percentage of all sales go to the PS3 Attitude Charity Fund, which will be awarded to a worthwhile cause once a year.

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AU Store; 'I Got The Music In Me' - not any more you don't...

Whilst the 2.30 update has brought along a shiny new PlayStation Store that seems to be winning universal praise, it appears there is a downside if you're in Australia.

Not only do our antipodean friends have to deal with a version of GTA: IV that looks more like the Coke Side of Life, now we have discovered that something else is missing.

The one thing that made the AU Store stand out from the crowd was the availability of free music videos from Sony BMG artists. Not only is there no category for music videos anywhere on the new store, but all the pre-existing videos have been taken down.

So if you were pining for that Bic Runga video you accidentally deleted, I'm afraid you'll have to find it elsewhere.

Of course, this does mean that there's a good chance the much-rumoured music and movie download service might be just around the corner. Does this new firmware have even more delights in 'store' than we thought?


New T-shirt design in the PS3 Attitude merchandise shop...

A percentage of all sales go to the PS3 Attitude Charity Fund, which is awarded to a worthwhile cause once a year.

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Firmware 2.30 arrives, along with a PS Store update

Sony sure do know how to make us happy right now.

Not only does firmware 2.30 hit the network before most people have woken up, but the nice new PlayStation Store has a few updates included in it as well.

The first thing you notice is just how fast the new store loads in comparison to the old one. And the zoom 'n' fade between windows is much better in real life than it showed up on the walkthrough video.

In terms of new content, there is an awesome update for Super Stardust HD that adds four new game modes and a retro soundtrack, amongst other things.

We have some new Guitar Hero III content from the band Dropkick Murphys and then there's the Sega Superstars Demo we were expecting to hit on Thursday.

Finally, we get a Bionic Commando Rearmed trailer and a second Lost Planet trailer.

This is good, but it's going to get better this week with the arrival of Metal Gear Online and the next Warhawk expansion - Operation Broken Mirror.

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Monday, 14 April 2008

Burnout Paradise demo servers say goodbye too this Thursday

As well as saying goodbye to the browser-based PS Store this week, Criterion have let us know that the Burnout Paradise demo servers will be switched off for good this Thursday.

That means that if you, Mr. Joe Public, haven't purchased the full game already, you will no longer be able to enjoy multiplayer gaming on shoestring after the 17th.

Yes - it's time to stop acting like a student and actually go and spend your hard-earned grant cheque on something other than subsidised beer and permanent marker pens that help you stake your claim to that sausage at the back of the fridge.

Burnout Paradise is available at some good game stores and some bad ones too.

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PlayStation Store; so long, farewell...

It probably won't have escaped your notice that the PlayStation Store is 'down for maintenance' at the moment as we lead up to the release of firmware 2.30 and the brand spanking new store.

So now seems like the perfect opportunity to say a fond farewell to the old, browser-based PS Store.

There have been times, being in the UK, when we wondered if the Store was worth having at all. The occasional nonsense update from SCEE has left us scratching our quite considerable heads.

But overall, and never forgetting it is a free service, we have enjoyed a good array of demos, games, add-ons, videos, wallpapers, themes and the odd surprise here and there.

Tomorrow is the big reveal - look out for your PS3 nagging you for an update. That'll be your cue to download v2.30 and gain access to the shiny new store.

Then check again Thursday for the first update of the new era. We already know what's coming to the PS Store this week, and if that is an indication of times to come then we should all be very happy indeed.

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More GTA: IV voice talent revealed - SNL dancer edition

Another member of the voice-over squad that will be bringing Liberty City to life has been revealed, and this time it's the super-talented Joan Baker. Joan will be voicing a TV reporter in the game.

Joan is author of the book Secrets of Voice Over Success and has provided her talents for hundreds of promos, commercials, TV shows and short films.

Joan Baker is, of course, not to be confused with Josephine Baker, who according to the Digital Underground song 'Heartbeat Props' "had them hooked, they loved the way she shook her money-maker".

Although in addition to her voice talents, Joan has been seen shaking the aforementioned 'money-maker' as a dancer on an episode of Saturday Night Live.

Along with the obviously well-known Bruce Kronenberg playing Niko Bellic, David Conley as 'Gordon' and the superstar that is Kevin Breznahan playing 'Various', this is lining up to be a veritable galaxy of voice-over talent.

Where did I leave my anti-sarcasm pills again?

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Saturday, 12 April 2008

Resistance 2 teaser trailer goes live

Over at GameTrailers they got the exclusive Resistance 2 teaser trailer, which ends with a promise that they will show the first ever gameplay video on June 13th.

Enjoy the short introduction to Resistance 2 - there's nothing much to see here but what you do get to view certainly looks exciting enough!

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Friday, 11 April 2008

Metal Gear Online beta coming next week

Metal Gear Online has been offered as a beta for people that pre-order in the US and Japan, and we've been wondering what will happen to a European beta.Konami said earlier in the week that the beta was definitely coming to Europe, but still we had no details of how to get access.

Now, SCEE have confirmed that a completely open beta program will start next Thursday (17th) as part of the new store's first update. Yes - you'll be able to play MGO next week and you don't even have to pre-order MGS4.

In addition to the MGO beta, Europe will also get a Lair update that allows you to control the game using the analogue sticks, some new dragons for Lair, a Sega Superstar Tennis demo (same one that hit the US a few weeks back) and - importantly - Warhawk's Operation Broken Mirror map and APV pack.

There will also be a smattering of videos, including the latest GTA: IV trailer.

If this is how European updates are going to look in the future, we all have nothing to worry about!

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PS3iPlayer brings BBC TV on demand

Via our friends at PS3 Fanboy, news of a BBC iPlayer mash-up makes for interesting reading.

A chap calling himself/herself Ixalon has created a website with some clever coding that allows the BBC iPlayer to play videos directly within the PS3 browser.

There is no full-screen playback mode as there is in the actual PC-based iPlayer, but apparently you can get a good size picture using the zoom functions.

Apparently, the PS3iPlayer site and system were set up in a day. Considering the BBC just announced Wii compatibility for the iPlayer, Ixalon has shown how easy it could be for an official PS3 version to be made.

For those of you that don't know, the BBC iPlayer is a PC-based on-demand service for UK TV Licence paying residents that allows you to catch up with your favourite programmes for a week or so after they aired. Similar services are available in the UK from Channel 4 and Sky with their 4oD and Sky Anytime applications.

So if you're an iPlayer user, go ahead and try this out before the BBC stops it from working! It'll certainly give you a small taste of TV on your PS3 whilst we wait for news on the 'should-have-been-released-already' PlayTV PVR.

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MCV Industry Excellence Awards 2008

Last night saw the annual MCV Industry Excellence Awards at The Brewery in London.

You know, holding an awards ceremony at a place called The Brewery is already letting people know exactly what the event is really all about - the booze!

But amongst the debauchery some gongs were actually given out. The winners are chosen by their trade peers, so they actually tend to mean something.

Whilst Nintendo dominated the evening's events (as they did last year), we were please to see Assassin's Creed win best New Games Brand.

Here are the winners in full:


Independent Retailer:
Grainger Games

Specialist Retailer:

Entertainment Retailer:

Online Retailer:

Star Store:
Zavvi, Oxford Street


PR Team:

Game Campaign:
Halo 3 (Microsoft)

New Games Brand:
Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft)

Trade Marketing Team:
Electronic Arts

Marketing Team:


UK Development Team:

Distribution Team:

Sales Triumph:
Cooking Mama (505 Games)

Sales Team:

Games Publisher:


Paul Donnelly (Gem)



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Thursday, 10 April 2008

GTA: IV European bundle definitely happening; probably PS3 exclusive

You know us - we hate 'rumour'. But aside from SCEE not confirming this to us directly, we have so many other sources that say this is happening it's almost embarassing.

The news is great. A GTA: IV bundle will appear on shelves in Europe the same day as the game arrives - 29th April.

And most of our sources are confirming the answer to the obvious question - is there a PS3 bundle only, or will there be an X360 bundle too?

It seems that to give the PS3 some level of exclusivity after we lost 'episodic content' to Microsoft, the PS3 will indeed be the only console to gain a hardware bundle. Nice.

The PS3 Attitude Calendar has been updated as ever.

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Develop 100; European developers doing well

Today the fourth annual Develop 100 is released, a book that ranks the world's developers based on sales of their games across the UK.

Nintendo takes the number one position this year knocking EA Canada off the top spot, which it has held since the Develop 100 was originally conceived.

But despite the increased success of Nintendo and the reportedly low-cost development resources available in Canada, the Develop 100 shows that European studios are doing well.

Development teams in the UK and mainland Europe claimed 36 places in the list between them, having generated £284m at UK retail in 2007 – higher than Canada’s 12 studios and £221m revenues.

The top UK studio, sitting in 10th place, is Traveller's Tales - producers of the Lego series of games. Look out for more news from Traveller's Tales and TT Games soon at PS3 Attitude.

You can read the Develop 100 online after the jump.

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Additional Firmware 2.30 details

In addition to carrying the new PS Store with it, firmware 2.30 will also feature DTS-HD Master audio support.

Thankfully, the guys and gals at the Official PlayStation Blog explained what the heck that means:

"DTS-HD Master Audio is literally bit-for-bit identical to the studio master recording and makes movie soundtracks and sound effects truly come to life. The technology delivers audio at the incredibly high rate of 24.5 mega-bits per second (Mbps) on Blu-ray disc, which is significantly higher than standard DVDs. DTS-HD Master Audio also offers 7.1 audio channels at 96k sampling frequency/24 bit depths, so you’ll be totally immersed in the sound. The firmware update will add DTS-HD High Resolution Audio as well, which is a similar output technology that requires less disc space."
I'm glad we cleared that one up! PS3 Attitude are sure audiophiles everywhere are salivating right now.

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New PlayStation Store coming on 15th April

I'm sure you don't need reminding, but there will be no update today whilst we await Firmware 2.30 and the new-look PS Store.

But as promised, SCEA have presented us with a walk-through video of the upgraded store, presented by Grace Chen - the woman that posts on the Official PlayStation Blog about the usual weekly US store updates.

In addition, it has now been confirmed that the 2.30 update will happen on the 15th April. 'But that's not a Thursday', I hear you cry. Because the update happens on a Tuesday, we're not sure whether the firmware will simply allow you access to the new store with the existing content, or whether the new items we're expecting will arrive with it. Sony aren't confirming either way.

Take a look at the video below and look out for your firmware update this coming Tuesday.

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Wednesday, 9 April 2008

ThreeSpeech feature our guest article

Many thanks to the guys at ThreeSpeech, who were good enough today to feature a guest article we wrote.

'5 Remakes Perfect For The PlayStation Network' is our countdown of the five games from back when we were playing around with the C64, Amiga, Atari ST and MSX machines that would be perfect for re-imagining on the PSN.

Enjoy the article, and don't be shy - leave us a comment here and at ThreeSpeech!

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Haze date not hazy any more...

We told you about the Haze launch date.

Then we told you the date was a little hazy.

Now the previously hazy date is clear once again!

Yes - Ubisoft have finally set the date. And guess what?

That pesky PS3 Attitude Calendar was spot on all the time! Wow!

Why not celebrate with a new T-Shirt...!

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Get your PS3 on - PS3 Attitude Gear goes live!

You can now support your friendly neighbourhood PS3 news website, and show how proud you are to be a PS3 owner, with our new PS3 Attitude Gear.

Choose from a number of T-shirt designs or accessories, and show your love for the big black monolith.

A percentage of all sales will be donated to the PS3 Attitude Charity Fund, which is awarded yearly to a worthwhile cause. Look out for more PS3 Attitude Charity Fund news soon!

If you have any ideas for a design, let us know in the comments.

Here's one of our designs - click through to find the others...

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Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Home on the way this month?

We don't usually do rumours here at PS3 Attitude, but this one is too interesting to pass up.

Our friends at The Sixth Axis have discovered details of Home 1.00 being available on the PSN, even though the download itself won't do anything just now - it's locked by Sony.

The download was made available using a Folding@Home exploit - again, not a topic we usually go for here since we're not interested in exploits and, *cough*, questionable activities.

Go read about it over at The Sixth Axis and then cross your fingers for the next nine days!

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Monday, 7 April 2008

GTA IV revealed; Niko Bellic is voiced by Bruce Kronenburg

It has been revealed that the voice actor for the main role of Niko Bellic is none other than Bruce Kronenburg.


Well, Bruce has appeared in the occasional TV episode as a mobster, notably the Sopranos and Law & Order. He has also featured as 'Man on Street' in the 2004 movie 'Noise'.

OK - so whilst he may not be Robert De Niro in terms of his CV, he does already have a good amount of videogame voice-over experience having provided his services for various characters in Max Payne, Max Payne 2 and GTA 2.

Who knew he could do a Russian accent? Maybe that will score him some diverse roles in the future instead of playing mobsters all the time - oh, hang on...

There are scant pictures of Mr. Kronenburg available, and none that are free to use, so click through to see what Niko looks like in the flesh - we'll give you a clue (2nd from left).

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Stephen King tells it how it is; video game violence

In the UK we have a slightly different situation than in the US. Firstly, our retailers are happy to say 'no' to a minor trying to buy a game that is too old for them. It's the law, after all.

And since we don't have a Constitution that makes such a law irrelevant, that's the way it will stay. Just like 18-rated DVDs, for example - it is illegal to rent them or sell them to an under-18 customer.

Also in the UK we can't go and buy a gun from our local supermarket. That's probably the number one reason why the US has a major issue with gun crime - ease of access.

As far as I'm concerned, the 'freedom to bear arms' is as sensible as the 'freedom to arm bears'.

So it with a great deal of jealousy that I read Stephen King's defence of videogames and the reality behind the violence that is contained within them. Jealousy? Yes - as he says everything I believe to be true on the thorny subject in a way I can only dream of.

I have copied the full piece below rather than linking to it, and my only hope is you take 10 minutes of your time today to read through it in entirety. The article itself comes from Entertainment Weekly:

I'm no fan of videogames; pretty much gave them up in the late '70s or early '80s, when my kids used to beat me regularly at Pitfall! (hell, they used to beat me at Pong, and back then our youngest wasn't yet eligible for T-ball, let alone Little League). Sure, I've occasionally plugged quarters into one of the machines in the lobby of my local cineplex and shot at some bad guys, but I always miss the high-value targets and can never remember how to reload. As for amassing enough points to get bonus time? Forget about it. If I arrive early for the show, I'm much more apt to stick my money in the nonviolent machine that's full of stuffed toys. You probably know the one I'm talking about; you get 30 seconds to maneuver the claw, then drop it. I won a stuffed dog on one occasion doing that. Another time I won a rubber frog. When you squeezed it, the frog made a ribbit-ribbit sound and stuck out its tongue, which I enjoyed (your uncle Stevie is easily amused, he admits).

So, nope — videogames are not my thing. Nor am I some kind of raving political nutcase. But when I heard about HB 1423, which happens to be a bill pending in the Massachusetts state legislature, I still hit the roof. HB 1423 would restrict or outright ban the sale of violent videogames to anyone under the age of 18. Which means, by the way, that a 17-year-old who can get in to see Hostel: Part II would be forbidden by law from buying (or renting, one supposes) the violent but less graphic Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

According to the proposed bill, violent videogames are pornographic and have no redeeming social merit. The vid-critics claim they exist for one reason and one reason only, so kids can experience the vicarious thrill of killing. Now, what does and doesn't have social merit is always an interesting question, one I can discuss for hours. But what makes me crazy is when politicians take it upon themselves to play surrogate parents. The results of that are usually disastrous. Not to mention undemocratic.

One of HB 1423's cosponsors is Rep. Christine E. Canavan, of Brockton. "I think this legislation is a good idea," she told the Boston Herald. "I don't want this constant barrage of violence on young minds and for them to think it is all right." It's a good point...except that it seems to me that the games only reflect a violence that already exists in the society.

Nor will I argue for the artistic value of stuff like God of War, or 50 Cent: Bulletproof, where looting the victims of gang violence is part of the game (players use the money to buy new Fiddy tunes and music videos — classy). I do, however, want to point out that videogames, like movies, have a ratings system, and ones with the big M or A on the box mean "Not for you, baby brother".

And if there's violence to be had, the kids are gonna find a way to get it, just as they'll find a way to get all-day shooters like No Country for Old Men from cable if they want. Or Girls Gone Wild, for that matter. Can parents block that stuff? You bet. But most never do. The most effective bar against what was called "the seduction of the innocent" when this hot-button issue centered on violent comic books 60 years ago is still parents who know and care not just about what their kids are watching and reading, but what they're doing and who they're hanging with. Parents need to have the guts to forbid material they find objectionable...and then explain why it's being forbidden. They also need to monitor their children's lives in the pop culture — which means a lot more than seeing what games they're renting down the street.

If HB 1423 becomes law, will it remain law? Doubtful. Similar legislation has been declared unconstitutional in several states. Could Massachusetts legislators find better ways to watch out for the kiddies? Man, I sure hope so, because there's a lot more to America's culture of violence than Resident Evil 4.

What really makes me insane is how eager politicians are to use the pop culture — not just videogames but TV, movies, even Harry Potter — as a whipping boy. It's easy for them, even sort of fun, because the pop-cult always hollers nice and loud. Also, it allows legislators to ignore the elephants in the living room. Elephant One is the ever-deepening divide between the haves and have-nots in this country, a situation guys like Fiddy and Snoop have been indirectly rapping about for years. Elephant Two is America's almost pathological love of guns. It was too easy for critics to claim — falsely, it turned out — that Cho Seung-Hui (the Virginia Tech killer) was a fan of Counter-Strike; I just wish to God that legislators were as eager to point out that this nutball had no problem obtaining a 9mm semiautomatic handgun. Cho used it in a rampage that resulted in the murder of 32 people. If he'd been stuck with nothing but a plastic videogame gun, he wouldn't even have been able to kill himself.

Case closed.

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The Agency; want to know more?

Over at The Agency HQ fansite they scored a great interview with one of the creators of this forthcoming multiplayer online game.

Part one of the interview concentrates on how abilities and attributes work, what skills the player has, how aliases work, what types of intel you can gain and how to get the best goods.

PS3 Attitude is pretty hyped about The Agency and we've been waiting for something new to report. Go read this interview with Hal Milton now and then check back with them in a few days for the second part.

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Friday, 4 April 2008

No GTA: IV Special Edition pre-orders in-store at GAME

That great-looking GTA: IV Special Edition set is now looking more exclusive than ever, with news that major UK games retailer GAME will not allow you to pre-order the pack in-store.

The Special Edition set comes with:

  • Grand Theft Auto: IV in a special metal safety deposit box
  • The GTA: IV art book
  • Selected soundtrack CD
  • Exclusive Rockstar keychain
  • Rockstar duffel bag
A representative at GAME told us:

"The special edition is just that - very special. Because it is in such short supply, the only way we can allow pre-orders is online through our website."
We understand (although we are waiting on confirmation) that other UK game vendors are following suit with this pre-order policy.

So the message is a simple one. If you want to pre-order GTA: IV Special Edition in the UK, the only way is to grab your copy online... or we suppose you could queue up for hours outside your local shop on the 29th April, just in case they have one!

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Criterion shows us the other side of the bridge

We've been waiting and waiting all day after a teaser message from Criterion, but the news is now live.

The guys and gals at the Burnout Paradise development studios have released early footage of exactly what is over the other side of the bridge. Firstly, you'll watch a video of what happens when the new 'Dust Storm' vehicle lands and continues it's journey onto the 'island'.

Then you will no doubt watch the second video giving an aerial overview.

Lastly, you'll want it to happen right now so you can go play in the new sandbox.

It certainly looks like Burnout Paradise is going to keep on delivering for months to come, much like Motorstorm has. We at PS3 Attitude can't wait for the official release of this new area!

We've posted the videos below, and you can read what Criterion have to say about it at their new improved website.

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Latest PlayStation Store screens show new features

Grace Chen over at the Official PlayStation Blog has been reminding us that there will be no updates until the new PS Store is unleashed.

Whilst Grace has confirmed what we knew - a video will be out next week to walk us through the new Store - the new screenshots that were put up at the blog show off an extra feature not seen before.

Looking at the third picture in our gallery (below), you'll see a 'preview' button. Some keen readers spotted this and asked what previews we can expect, and Grace had the - erm - grace to reply:

"Sometimes it will be a video, other times it may be screenshots."
Simply put, in some cases you'll be able to watch a preview video of the game you're about to buy, which is a great idea.

The red bag you see in one of the screens signifies that you have already bought that item.

Along with the 'filter by type of game' functionality and the altogether fresher look, this update is looking mighty nice.

In case you hadn't heard, the new Store doesn't use the browser as it's engine and will require a firmware upgrade to version 2.30. It will still be region-free, so those of us with multiple region accounts won't be locked out.

PlayStation Store Redesign

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More Resistance 2 details emerge

Ted Price of Insomniac has been speaking at a Sony Australia gaming event (called Pause), and has done his best to whet our appetites for Resistance 2.

The guys over at IGN did a great job of rounding up all the major points, so why not head over to the Ted Price story at their site to get all the information.

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Thursday, 3 April 2008

GT5: Prologue getting crunched in Autumn

We already knew from various interviews last year that the full Gran Turismo 5 experience would be getting car damage for the first time.

But today it has been announced, in an interview with IGN, that GT5: Prologue will gain the 'car deformation' features in a download sometime in Autumn this year.

So you'd better be practising driving around those tracks without using the barriers or the side of an opponent's car for leverage, as it's going to cost you in the not-too-distant future!

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Motorstorm first to hit the 3 million mark

Motorstorm has become the first PS3 game to pass the 3 million sold mark.

Whether it's because it was one of the only two decent games worth having back in the beginning (Resistance being the other), or if it's down to being bundled along with the hardware, it doesn't matter. As long as the ball goes in the back of the net, as pundits might say.

This is a great thing for the guys at Evolution, who are now owned by SCEE and are producing Motorstorm 2 for release later this year.

Close behind Motorstorm are Call of Duty 4, Resistance and Assassin's Creed, all of which are hovering around the 2.5 million mark right now.

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Haze: hands-on with co-op mode

Along with a select few, we were lucky enough last month to be invited up to the PlayStation 3 Rooms to get hands-on with Haze.

On display for our thumb-twiddling pleasure were the co-op and multi-player modes. We're sworn to secrecy about the multi-player experience right now, but today we can reveal more about Haze co-op play.

Sitting down to a February build of the game (much further on from the one we played last November at GameCity) the anticipation built as we were launched into a LAN play co-op game.

Which is where I made my first mistake. I didn't spot the handy vehicle sitting behind me, and none of the other three players I was 'teamed' with decided to use it, so I ran blindly off into the distance on a map that was clearly made for driving through.

Picking off a few Mantel troopers with some select sniper shots, Derek Littlewood of FRD popped up from somewhere and said "decided not to use the vehicle then?". By the time I'd realised just how many troopers were against us, and without the protection of a vehicle, I was done for.

What I didn't know about co-op mode was that once you are dead, you get to sit in spectator mode and see what your teammates are doing. And they weren't doing a lot. So I sat. And waited. For a long time.

Eventually, the guys at FRD and Ubisoft got the others to move up and get themselves killed. I've never been so happy to see my compatriots bite the dust.

Second time around was a lot easier with the vehicle in action. When you're inside pointing your gun through the armour plating, you get a real sense of claustrophobia. The idea, I guess, is to make you think about how you approach the enemy. Drive up close, but not too close. Get out. Find cover. Pick them off.

Having a good strategy makes all the difference in Haze co-op, and the fear of dying only to be relegated to the 'stands' ensures that there is a good incentive to get on the headsets and work together as a cohesive unit. If you go all Rambo on the enemy, you're sure to be punished.

In all, the co-op mode offers something different that requires a good amount of thought and proper cooperation. Having little mini-stories to complete extends the life of Haze beyond what other FPS titles currently offer. After all, who has bothered to go back and complete CoD4 single player again after the brief, but brilliant, experience. It's all about the multi-player mode from then on. At least with Haze you are offered an extra, almost episodic experience you can enjoy with your friends.

Co-op mode on Haze is available on separate screens via LAN play with up to four players, or two on a single screen and two joining via the 'net. There's no lobby to access for your friend to get involved - they just press Start and they take over the body of one of your team-mates instantly.

Check out the brand-new, never seen before screens of the Haze co-op mode below, or click the gallery thumbnail to check out the hi-res versions. We'll have a lot more from the Haze universe soon - watch this space!

Haze Co-op Mode Gallery

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Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Time Crisis 4 gets a UK release date

We've updated the PS3 Attitude Calendar with the news... Time Crisis 4 and the new G-Con gun have finally been given a release date in the UK, according to Game and Amazon, and it arrives on 18th April.

You may have seen our video of the quirky FPS gameplay from Live 08. Outside of this 'unique' playing mode, Time Crisis 4 is pretty much the experience you would expect it to be if you've ever played the arcade.

It has taken a panning in reviews around the world but if you take it at face value, and if you like the Time Crisis franchise, then you'll find something to enjoy about the latest in the series.

The most interesting feature is one that we just can't get a definitive answer on. We have been told by various sources, including SCEE, that the UK version will have online multiplayer for the FPS mode. This would certainly make the title a lot more fun.

However, the current release details available for the game do not mention this, and it is not a feature of the currently released versions in use elsewhere in the world. Whether this multiplayer mode materialises, we'll have to see.

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Warhawk v1.3 goes live later today

We already covered the Warhawk v1.3 patch back in February, and we created an event for it at the PS3 Attitude Calendar.

You know the calendar, don't you? It's that so-accurate-it-actually-defies-gravity feature we have here that tells you all the upcoming releases and events in the PS3 universe. Heck, you can even embed it on your site using the 'share' button on the widget version in the sidebar.

So just as a reminder, the patch is being implemented today.

Warhawk's servers will be down from between 10:00 and 16:00 UK time. After that, the patch will be available for free download.

Considering it is free, this update does deliver on all levels. Two new 'weapons', one being a wrench to repair vehicles (and smack the crap outof the enemy) and the other being a bio-field emitter.

This is also the update that includes the winning insignia and paint designs from the Warhawk competition. There are also a few extra features added, such as Home integration (for when Home launches) and changes to the CTF games.

All these updates are well timed for the release of Operation Broken Mirror when the PS Store returns.

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Tuesday, 1 April 2008

BBFC passes GTA: IV for 18-rated release

Yesterday, the BBFC passed GTA: IV for release.

On the official BBFC website, the Grand Theft Auto: IV page was updated and it clearly states 'This work has passed with no cuts'.

The game has been handed an 18 certificate as expected and was, as with most games, passed by clearing the seperate component parts - those being the gameplay footage and the cut scenes.

The BBFC page states the cut-scenes run to a length of 7 hours and 43 minutes, and they cleared over five and a half hours of gameplay footage in the process. We think it is safe to assert that the single-player experience in GTA: IV is going to take around 13-20 hours to complete, if you add together the gameplay, cut-scenes and a good amount of time for each mission.

All of this bodes well for the anticipated release on 29th April.

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