Aug 11, 2011

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PlayStation Week in Review: 8/11/11

PlayStation Week in Review: 8/11/11

Are you itching for some updates on the world of PlayStation? You’ve come to the right place. With another summer week in the books, we’ve got updates on everything from the highly-anticipated Assassin’s Creed Revelations to your opportunity to name the next ModNation Racers game. There may not be much to play during the month of August, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of stuff to look forward to. Read on to find out what you may have missed in the last several days.

  • Assassin’s Creed Revelations is one of this holiday season’s most highly-anticipated sequels and fans of the franchise will be happy to know that Ubisoft will be running a beta for the game’s revamped multiplayer modes this fall. The Revelations beta will begin for PlayStation Plus members on September 3 and will feature nine playable characters with customizable abilities unlocked at the outset. In addition, three maps will be available for play – Knight’s Hospital, Antioch, and Constantinople – and the beta will introduce two new game modes to complement two returning favorites from Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. More details can be found on the official PlayStation Blog. No announcement has been made of an open beta for gamers who are not PlayStation Plus subscribers.
  • A new firmware update (3.70) graced the PlayStation 3 on Tuesday bringing with it two exciting features for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Automatic Update, formally called Automatic Download, will now allow PlayStation Plus users to sync trophies and automatically save game data to the cloud server. For non-PS Plus users, the firmware update also adds a new category to the XMB called “TV/Video Services”, which allows quick and easy access to video content from services like Hulu and Netflix. Some users have reported trouble with downloading the update via PlayStation Network; if you are having issues you can head to our firmware details page, where you can find the download at the bottom of the page and install manually.

 

  • Starhawk, the sequel to the classic PS3 multiplayer shooter Warhawk, is well on its way to release and Harvard Bonin of Sony Santa Monica Studios recently sat down with the official PlayStation Blog to discuss certain aspects of the game. In the interview, Bonin reveals that Starhawk was originally imagined as a game where players could create their own levels; the team used LittleBigPlanet’s creation features as inspiration. This initial concept eventually blossomed into the RTS gameplay elements that Starhawk will now exhibit in its multiplayer matches. In Starhawk, players will have the ability to change the landscape by installing bunkers, armories, and other structures on the battlefield. New details on main character Emmett and his struggles with Rift energy also abound, and Bonin reaffirmed the studio’s focus on a very strong single-player narrative. Be sure to check out the full interview here.
  • The all-new PSN PLAY program is in full swing, as pre-orders are now available for the four games being promoted in the annual summer event. The games are: Street Figher III Third Strike Online Edition, The Baconing, BloodRayne: Betrayal, and Renegade Ops. Under the PLAY program, each of these games offer different bonuses for both purchasing and pre-ordering. In addition, by purchasing all four you will receive a voucher code to download upcoming multiplayer frenzy PAYDAY: The Heist for free. Finally, all five games will come at a 20% discount for PlayStation Plus members. Check out our previous coverage of this event for all the details on these four games and what rewards are up for grabs.
  • A sizable video content update hit the PlayStation Network on August 5. The update includes animated hit Rio, Soul Surfer, Jane Eyre, and the entire second season of HBO comedy series Eastbound & Down. A Jersey Shore sale has also begun, offering every episode from the first three seasons for half-price. If GTL just isn’t your thing, you can pick up Discovery Channel’s Shark Week Dynamic Theme in the Games Store.

 

 

  • A PlayStation Vita version of ModNation Racers was demonstrated extensively at E3 2011 and developer San Diego Studios is giving gamers the chance to name this next installment in the franchise. Community Specialist Mark Wilson explained via PlayStation Blog’s ModNation Monday that the developer would be taking ideas from the community via the Comments section on what the game’s title should be. The winner, Wilson stated, will receive ModNation goodies from the team. The post also highlights a few of the game’s expected features, including backwards compatibility with all PS3 user creations and a revamped toolset to make use of the Vita’s touchscreen and touchpad controls. Look for more details on the future of ModNation Racers in the coming months.
  • Today brings a massive content update to MotorStorm: Apocalypse, the third installment in one of Sony’s key racing franchises. The new Mode Editor will allow gamers to create their own race variants and play them with others online and offline. While general parameters like vehicle types, objectives, and lap number can be tweaked, modifiers like moon gravity and infinite boost can also be added to these created modes, allowing for a dizzying array of possibilities. In addition, players can enjoy full PlayStation Move control, as well as support for numerous retail racing wheels, including a variety of Logitech models. Finally, players can share customized vehicle designs on motorstorm.com and download ones they’d like to apply to their own vehicles. You can find full details on the update here.

 

  • Matchmaking has officially been restored to the Resistance 3 Multiplayer Beta via Patch 2.01. After a lengthy period of downtime in which only private matches were functional, Insomniac Games has addressed concerns over the functionality of matchmaking and continues to update the game and community with new fixes, including server moves and optimization. Our own Eric Galaviz covered the details of this restoration; check out his article here. Stay tuned to Vivid Gamer for more on any updates to the Resistance 3 Multiplayer Beta, and watch for our impressions pieces to be posted very soon.
  • Finally, Zipper Interactive has announced via the official SOCOM 4 forums that the minimum required number of players for created matches in SOCOM 4 has been lowered from eight to two, allowing for 1v1 matches and other possibilities not available before. The latest tactical third-person-shooter from Zipper received generally positive reviews from critics on release, but was plagued by unfortunate timing when the PlayStation Network went offline on April 20, one day after its North American release. If you’re a SOCOM fan, be sure to support the game’s continued development with this new feature.

Fans of Warhawk are no doubt in for a real treat when Starhawk comes along and infuses the genre with RTS elements, space vehicles, mech combat, and cool sci-fi weaponry. E3 2011 was a blowout for details on this game, and I hope we get to see some multiplayer footage very soon. It’s also great to see so many betas coming to PlayStation Network; unfortunately, it also seems like every other week brings another compelling reason to be a PlayStation Plus subscriber and another incentive that leaves normal users without any love. PlayStation Plus is a great service in many ways but let’s hope these tidings aren’t the sign of an eventual transition to a required monthly fee for using PSN. Meanwhile, it’ll be interesting to see how Sony’s answer to Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade develops, and whether gamers will adopt the eclectic offerings on sale this year.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these and other headlines, so be sure to post in the comments below. Thanks for reading. keep on gaming, and come back next week to catch up on all things PlayStation!

*PlayStation Week in Review is a Thursday feature article that recaps the most interesting PlayStation news of the week. We also run Xbox Week in Review for all your Xbox news of the week.