Oct 22, 2011

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PlayStation Week in Review: Week of 10/22/11

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for another PlayStation Week in Review! Between holiday game releases and a multitude of PSN releases, this month has been a busy time for PlayStation gamers. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories of the week.

  • This week saw a few big retail releases. First off, Batman: Arkham City is Rocksteady’s sophomore effort with the Batman license. Following in the footsteps of Arkham Asylum, the sequel tasks you with defending Gotham City from the titular “Arkham City” and a multitude of classic villains. Arkham City is garnering considerable praise among the gaming press, so it may be worth your time. Look for our review soon. Meanwhile, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One launched this week as the latest PS3 exclusive from Insomniac Games. All 4 One recasts popular franchise characters with a much greater emphasis on cooperative gameplay. Kids and adults alike may want to check out the platforming duo’s latest adventure. Ubisoft’s Rocksmith and EA’s The Sims 3: Pets also hit store shelves this week.

  • On the digital side, the PlayStation Store received three titles this week to help boost its Only On PSN program. The first, Okabu, challenges players to work together and cleanse the world from an industrialized enemy. Puzzles, quirky gameplay, and a unique art style highlight this PSN exclusive. The long-awaited PAYDAY: The Heist also dropped on Tuesday. The game combines four player cooperative action a la Left 4 Dead with the thrill of pulling of a bank heist. Finally, Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken challenges you to take down a totalitarian penguin leader and save the city of Albatropolis with a slew of weapons.
  • After anxiously waiting for word on a US release date, Vita-hungry gamers got what they were waiting for. Sony has announced that the PlayStation Vita will launch in North America, Europe, Australia, and Latin America on February 22, 2012. Pricing hasn’t changed; you can expect to pick up the Wi-Fi-only model for $249, or the 3G-equipped system for $299. Still, you may end up paying more – recent news has indicated that some Vita games will require a proprietary Sony flash memory card for save files.
  • In other Vita news, a few US launch titles have been confirmed. Among them are Touch My Katamari, Ridge Racer, and Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen. All three games are being published by Namco Bandai. Other launch day or launch window games include Uncharted: Golden Abyss, LittleBigPlanet, Ruin, Wipeout 2048, Little Deviants, Hustle Kings, and Gravity Rush. The next ModNation Racers is also expected to accompany the Vita near launch, and developer San Diego Studios has finally announced the fan-submitted title: ModNation Racers: Road Trip.

  • Starhawk may not be coming out until next year, but developer Lightbox Interactive is ratcheting up anticipation for their spiritual successor to Warhawk. On last week’s review, we reported that new copies of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception would include a voucher code for entrance to the Starhawk public beta next year. Now, Lightbox president Dylan Jobe has announced that a private beta for the game will be running in November. A mix of Warhawk faithful will be receiving email invites, and a private forum for direct discussion between players and developers will be setup. Jobe also mentioned that his team would be encouraging direct feedback via VOIP during matches, and a Hot-Fix system will be pushing out balance updates and other fixes almost every day. Finally, players who get invited to the Starhawk private beta will receive a special gift down the line as thanks for their participation.
  • Finally, as if you didn’t have enough to play already, inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood will be dropping on October 25. The standalone expansion to inFAMOUS 2 will task Cole MacGrath with stopping a vampire infestation in the hopeless city of New Marais. The game will offer new UGC features like 2D cutscenes and additional enemies, and give Cole new powers he can use to stop the undead onslaught. One such power is Shadow Swarm, which allows Cole to fly using bat wings at the expense of the innocent people he must feed upon to power it. If you’re a Plus member, you can preorder the game for $7.99 or pick it up at the reduced price 0n Tuesday when it launches. The game will cost $9.99 for everyone else.

That’s all for this week’s review! Chances are you’ll be swamped with games to play for some time, and if you’re lucky, Dylan Jobe and team might toss you into the Starhawk beta. While many people thought that the Vita would see a US release in March 2012, it looks like you’ll have one less month to save up for Sony’s handheld.

That’s all for this week’s PlayStation Week in Review! Come back next week for another round. As always, be sure to use the comments to tell us what you think of these headlines, and any that we missed. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out James’ Xbox Week in Review for all your Xbox news of the week.

*PlayStation Week in Review is a 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.

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About Kyle Prahl

You can friend him on PSN (geist226) and follow him on Twitter: @PaybackPrahl