News: Godfather, Halo, Ghostbusters

Compiled from various sources, here are the latest breaking game news stories from the CES 2009 convention:

The Godather 2 has a release date of February 27, for the PC, PS 3, and the 360. The second game based on the classic Mafia films will incorporate both top-down strategy and Grand Theft Auto-style street-level action.

Players who pre-order will receive an exclusive crew member, named Tommy Cipolla, to hire into their family. While the other soldiers start equipped with one specialty and level-one firearms, Tommy will possess two specialties – arsonist and medic – as well as carry a level-two double-barreled shotgun. With Tommy in your family, players will have a strategic advantage in the game, using his advanced skills either directly in battle, or sending him to take over and defend rackets on his own.

 

Microsoft announced that Halo Wars has been pushed forward to February 28, 2009. Furthermore, the publisher announced it will release a playable demo on February 5.

Unlike first person shooters like Halo, and Quake Wars: Enemy Territory, Halo Wars is an RTS, controlling armies and territories in an overhead view, very similar to the Command and Conquer series. Much of this is contributed by the development team at Ensemble Studios, whom brought the Age of Empires series to the real time strategy genre.

 

  Although we would have expected Atari to make the announcement, it was Sony Pictures that just revealed when Ghostbusters: The Video Game will be released June 16 for the PS3, and the 360.

For those of you that have been living in a cave, Ghostbusters has had a rough history of developer and publisher conflicts. The game itself is written by Harold Ramis, and Dan Akroyd, whom wrote the original two films. Bill Murray, Akroyd, and Ramis will reprise their talented vocal roles to the game, making it the closest we will ever see to a Hollywood adaption of Ghostbusters 3.

 

General Tech Headlines

Dan Aykroyd told Dallas radio station 105.3 KLLI that Atari has indeed picked up the publishing rights for Ghostbusters, confirming rumors that have persisted since Activision declined to pick up the game following its merger with Vivendi. He has also reported that it would be atleast a year before development stirs.

Ubisoft has released detials on the DRM system included with Farcry 2: 5 activations on 3 separate PC’s. Also, uninstalling “refunds” an activation. They also claim they are committed to long term support so you can always play Far Cry 2.

What can be expected of the next Xbox revolution? According to sources, the third Xbox installment will be “Forward Compatible” which will provide graphical and performance updates to Xbox 360 titles. This ranges from increased draw distance, improved framerate, or perhaps even new DLC. This would be the equivalent of upgrading your PC video card to allow for higher graphical settings. This, of course, will only apply to games still in development for the 360.

What is happening in the Half-Life 2 world? Possibly Episode 3: Marketing director Doug Lombardi says announcement may arrive later this year, though game is still more than a year off.

In a similar move to Microsoft releasing Silverlight version 2, Adobe has released Version 10 of the Flash Player plugin for browsers.

Nvidia has released the Official Forceware 178.24 drivers for Windows XP and Vista. These drivers are for all GeForce 6,7,8,9 and 200 series cards. The driver package also contains the 8.09.04 PhysX drivers which were released with the 178.13 Forceware last month. The only changes in this driver over the previous 178.13 are some bug fixes.

The free Opera browser has been updated to Version 9.60. This is a security and stability update, and also contains a range of new features and settings.

The free VLC Media Player has been updated to Version 0.9.4

Valve has official sponsored mods via the Steam network. So far included are DIPRIP, Zombie Panic, Age of Chivary, and Synergy.

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