Assassin's Creed Revelations Stars Ezio and Altair

Play as both while crafting bombs, using the hookblade and much more.

May 9, 2011

We all found out that Assassin's Creed Revelations was real last week, and today, we know a whole lot more. Game Informer's June 2011 issue is arriving in subscribers' mailboxes now, and it's packed with information on Ubisoft's flagship title -- including that we're going to get to play as Altair, the protagonist from the first game.

While it's true that Assassin's Creed Revelations is the final installment of the Ezio trilogy, the story has him chasing down five seals that will allow him access to an important artifact in Masyaf (the setting of the first game). Each seal belonged to Altair, and when Ezio nabs one, he gets to relive Altair's memories like Desmond relives things through the Animus.

Making the setup a bit more confusing is the fact that -- spoiler alert -- Desmond is in a coma but hooked up to the Animus when the game begins. Desmond needs to fight through "the black room," an Animus world made up of his shattered mind and "the futuristic architecture of the Animus" to find a specific memory where he, Altair, and Ezio collide.

When we are playing as Ezio, who is now more than 50 years old and questioning how he's spent his life, we'll have access to the hookblade. The one screen released of Assassin's Creed Revelations showed the curved blade on Ezio's arm, but Game Informer has the facts on it. The blade can still be used for killing people, but the device opens up a ton of new movement options. Ezio can use it to zipline around Constantinople, propel himself up walls, and flip over opponents without breaking stride.

"It makes free running more fluid, faster, and more fun," Creative Director Alexandre Amancio told Game Informer. "It speeds up navigation by about 30 percent."

Also joining the fray in Assassin's Creed Revelations is the ability to make bombs. Game Informer said the game employs a simple crafting system that allows us to create more than 300 different bombs that range from flash bangs to smoke bombs.

While a lot of the Game Informer article detailed brand new features, the piece also focused on returning favorites that have been touched up. Multiplayer is back, but it's packing a story. As you increase your rank, you're moving up in the world of Abstergo and getting to know the Templar organization. This time around, you can change your character's appearance, create guilds, and craft your own coat of arms. Matchmaking will be faster, we'll be able to create custom playlists, and Ubisoft is planning Assassin's Creed tournaments.

On the single-player side, eagle vision is now "eagle sense" and will allow Ezio to listen in on far away conversations, hear heartbeats and predict where guards will move. There will be areas to infiltrate similar to the Lairs of Romulus from the last game, but they're based on an "undisclosed historical figure." Ezio's love interest this time around is a bookseller known as Sofia Sorto, who isn't a real person but is based on the Albrecht Durer painting "Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman."

We'll have more on Assassin's Creed Revelations as we move toward E3, but make sure you pick up the June 2011 issue of Game Informer for the full story on Ezio's return, new multiplayer characters, and more.



Xbox 360 spring update coming May 19?

Xbox 360 spring update coming May 19?
If you've run out of beef jerky and had your free Hulu Plus trial go bust, you're certainly not alone. Don't get bored: more bits of new hotness are coming to your console, and they're coming soon. An internal document leaked to our good friends over at Joystiq looks to confirm that the big Xbox 360 spring update will hit on May 19th. However, it'll come in six "separate groups" to "ensure a high quality deployment," so you might not get it until the end of the month, and everyone will have to wait until May 27th to get Avatar Kinect. What else is new? Well, there'll be the slightly larger disc format and support for PayPal, opening the door to a bold new world of personal finance information able to be hacked from your console.


The Avengers to Film Near Cincinnati, Too

May 9th, 2011
In addition to filming in Cleveland, Ohio, Marvel's The Avengers will be filmed close to Cincinnati as well. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the following:
The Marvel Studios feature starring Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson will shoot two weeks here later this year, said Kristen Erwin, Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission executive director. She refused to reveal the location, saying it was within 30 miles of Cincinnati. They're "still negotiating a location agreement."

Filming started April 26 in Albuquerque on the exploits of Iron Man (Downey), Black Widow (Johansson), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Col. Nick Fury (Jackson). Chris Hemsworth - star of "Thor" which opened Friday - will reprise that role with co-stars Tim Hiddleston as Loki and Stellan Skarsgard as Professor Eric Selvig.

Director Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") moves filming to Cleveland and Southwestern Ohio this summer, Erwin said.

Gov. John Kasich lured the comic book superheroes with Ohio filmmaking tax credits. Marvel dropped plans to shoot in Detroit after reports that Michigan planned to freeze its film incentives, said Ivan Schwarz, Greater Cleveland Film Commission executive director.

Marvel's $170-million budget is 10 times George Clooney's budget for "The Ides of March." "The Avengers" will spend about $30 million in Ohio, she said.

Marvel's The Avengers is scheduled to hit theaters on May 4, 2012.


Star Wars Blu-ray set ships Sept. 12th/16th (world/NA), has 40 hours of special features

LucasFilm has chosen Star Wars Day (May The 4th) to finally reveal more information about the upcoming Star Wars Blu-ray releases, due to hit shelves September 16th. The three editions include The Complete Saga with all the movies included, or the original trilogy / prequels by themselves. When the counter hit zero the official website has dropped the curtain on... absolutely nothing since it's down, likely crashed by the refreshing of a billion fans around the world. Before it crashed completely we snagged the release dates (September 12th internationally, 16th in the US) and a list of special features (included after the break along with the Blu-ray announce trailer) that breaks down the commentaries on each disc plus several new documentaries. Currently the site is refreshing to the standard Fox page, the plan is apparently for a promotion where fans share the page on social media networks which unlocks additional artwork as more people continue to visit throughout the day. We'll let you know if R2-D2 can get the servers back up, until then we can all just imagine what the three new documentaries might be like.

Update: There's also a short (really short) YouTube trailer meant to push the "Feel The Force" content unlocking promotion on the site, it's embedded after the break. [Thanks, Taylor T Farmer]

Update 2: It appears the site is up now, calling on fans to unlock more of an embedded video with various "exclusive imagery" by sharing the page on Facebook and Twitter. Of course, you could also not do that, wait a few hours for someone else to finish unlocking it and avoid ending up on our block list along with everyone who plays Farmville. Your choice.

Update 3: As of about 3 p.m. Eastern the site has been fully unlocked, so feel free to click through and check out the entire video, or just peep the box art for all three packs in our gallery here.

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Get Your Friends into the Gears of War 3 Beta

"Never Fight Alone" beta phase coming May 8.

May 2, 2011

Starting today, Gears of War 3 beta testers in the U.S. have an opportunity to earn a "buddy token" to share with a friend, granting them access to the beta as well.

Players will be given one token for each of the following tasks that are completed by Wednesday, May 4:
- Purchase any "Gears of War" content from Xbox Live Marketplace (including a "Gears of War" Game Add-on, a "Gears of War" Games on Demand title, or a "Gears of War" Avatar item)

- Play 20 or more hours of the "Gears of War 3" beta (any time already spent in the beta will count toward this challenge)

- Add a 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscription to your existing account (purchased from retail or online)

- Play more than 100 hours of any "Gears of War" title, lifetime to date
Buddy tokens will be e-mailed out starting May 8 when the "Never Fight Alone" phase of the beta is rolled out.


Billy Bob Thornton in Talks for Bad Santa 2

Source: TheWrap
March 18, 2011

TheWrap reports that Billy Bob Thornton is in negotiations to reprise his role of Willie in The Weinstein Company's Bad Santa 2.

"We feel that it's a Christmas perennial for the R-rated crowd,", a Weinstein Company spokesperson told the site. "Everyone loves the character and Billy Bob's excited to be in talks with us."

The Terry Zwigoff-directed original was released in 2003 and co-starred the late Bernie Mac and John Ritter, as well as Lauren Tom and Lauren Graham.

The dark comedy was made for about $23 million and earned $76.5 million at the worldwide box office.

Bad Santa 2 was one of numerous films announced by the Weinstein Company in December that could get sequels.

Read more: Billy Bob Thornton in Talks for Bad Santa 2 - ComingSoon.net http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=75399#ixzz1HCHQxlE1



Clerks III: Will It Happen?

Clerks III: Will It Happen?

January 28th @ 1:07 am | 1 Comment » | Scooped by Brad & Chris
  • Obviously, with the reveal that “Hit Somebody” would be the last ever directorial effort from Kevin before retirement, many were left scratching their heads, wondering if a Clerks III/3 would ever see the light. Rather than speculate, here’s the writer/director himself on that possibility:
      I’ve always said I’d leave room for a possible CLERKS III, but w/o Jay or Bob, focusing on Dante & Randal, if I felt like telling a story about how I felt to be in my 40′s (as CLERKS was me in my 20′s & CLERKS II was me in my 30′s). But rather than manufacture a CLERKS III, I decided to live a real life CLERKS II. My favorite moment in that flick will always be Randal finally revealing his dopey secret heart & yelling “I’D BUY THE QUICK STOP & RE-OPEN IT MYSELF!” I wrote that line for a deeper reason that I thought I had, in retrospect. From day four of the RedState shoot, all I could hear was Randal in my head, insisting “THAT’S what I’d do. That’s what WE should do.” A long time ago, Randal gave me my entire career; nearly 20 years later, he did it again. But that all being said? Right now, I honestly have NO story to tell with Dante & Randal. I was always really happy with where we left them. So while I’ll always allow for the possibility of a CLERKS III, it’s not likely. HIT SOMEBODY is the film the end on. Then? MORE PODCASTS!!!


Gears of War 3 Beta Unlockables, Dates and Details

Beta unlockables carry over into retail version.

March 4, 2011

 Epic Games today announced the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta will begin on Apr. 25 and conclude three weeks later on May 15. Those who purchased the Bulletstorm: Epic Edition get into the beta one week earlier starting on Apr. 18.

Over the course of the beta, three new competitive multiplayer modes and four maps will become available. Epic is also allowing players to unlock content in the beta that can be carried over into the full retail game when it launches on Sep. 20, 2011.

Below is the list of challenges and items:

Beta Tester Medal: Complete one match in the beta to unlock the Beta Tester medal, which will carry over to your gamer profile in the final game. The Beta Tester title will be featured in the "Gears 3" multiplayer lobby as well.

Thrashball Cole: Complete 50 matches in any game type to unlock the Thrashball Cole character variant in the beta. Once unlocked, complete 10 matches as Thrashball Cole during the beta and the character will carry over to your gamer profile in the final game.

Gold-Plated Retro Lancer: Show your ultimate "Gears of War" fandom by unlocking the Gold-Plated Retro Lancer. Complete 90 matches in any game type to unlock it for the beta, and score 100 kills with it once unlocked to carry the exclusive weapon skin over to your gamer profile in the final game.

Flaming Hammerburst: Complete one match by Sunday, April 24 and unlock this weapon variant.

Flaming Lancer: Complete one match during the week of April 25 and unlock this weapon variant.

Flaming Sawed-Off Shotgun: Complete one match during the week of May 2 to unlock this weapon variant.

Flaming Gnasher Shotgun: Complete one match during the week of May 9 to unlock this weapon variant.


Gears of War 3 will be in stores September 20, but fans will get the chance to kick its tires a bit beforehand. Epic Games and Microsoft are running a public beta of Gears 3's online multiplayer mode beginning in April, and IGN has all the info you need to get into the beta and help test the final installment in the sweeping saga of shooting people in the face.

I've compiled a list of the most-asked questions about the Gears 3 beta and answered them below. If you don't see your question here, throw in the comments section of the article and I'll do my best to answer it. The official Gears of War forums also have an in-depth info on the Gears 3 beta, and if you haven't already, head over to Epic's new and improved Community page for all your Marcus Fenix tattoo needs.

How Do I Get Into the Gears 3 Beta?

Own a copy of Bulletstorm Epic Edition (sorry, it's now sold out) to get into the beta a week earlier than everyone else. Pre-order Gears of War 3 to get in on the standard date.

When Is the Gears 3 Beta?

That depends on who you are. If you bought the Epic Edition of Bulletstorm, you also bought the right to access the Gears of War 3 beta. Bulletstorm Epic Edition buyers get into the Gears 3 beta earlier than almost everyone else, beginning on April 18. Those who pre-order Gears of War 3 get access to the beta on April 25. The official beta runs from April 18 – May 15 (although select media and Epic's friends and partners will kick things off a bit earlier).

What Time Does the Gears 3 Beta Start?

Wow, you're serious about this Gears of War 3 beta thing. OK, so let's say you took the day off of work in order to be front and center for the beta launch. As of this writing, Epic plans to launch each wave of the public beta (April 18 and 25) at 9 a.m. Eastern Time.

How Long Does the Beta Last?

The Gears 3 beta runs from April 18 – May 15. And yes, if you get into the beta early by buying the Epic Edition of Bulletstorm, you get to participate in the entire beta. Epic won't kick you out a week early. Unless you're a jerk and get banned. So don't be a jerk.

What Is the Purpose of the Gears 3 Beta?

A public video game beta is an intense period of testing for the developer. It's an opportunity for the multiplayer designers to put their hard work to the test and see what breaks so they can get to work fixing it. So keep in mind that as you're playing the Gears of War 3 beta things will break, glitches will emerge and balancing issues will emerge. Those are all good things. The more problems you find and report, the better the finished product will be. That's the simple explanation. However, in recent years, betas have also become opportunities for publishers to market upcoming games. The online chatter about an ongoing beta of a big game like Gears 3 goes a long way toward selling the game to more people.

Where Do I Pre-order Gears 3 to Get Into the Beta?

Those without the Bulletstorm Epic Edition can only get into the Gears of War 3 beta by pre-ordering any edition of Gears of War 3 (standard, Limited Edition, Epic Edition) from select retailers. Here's a list of the authorized outlets for each country.

In the US:

In Canada:

In the UK:

In France:

In Spain:

In Italy:

In Australia:
EB Games

In New Zealand:
EB Games

How Does the Beta Work?

Bulletstorm owners will need their Bulletstorm disc in order to participate in the Gears of War 3 beta. And yes, you'll need the disc for the entire run of the four-week beta. If you pre-ordered Gears of War 3, you will have received a code that allows you to download and activate the beta once Epic flips the switch on April 25.

What Is In the Gears 3 Beta?

The Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta will include four maps and three modes, which will roll out at different stages of the beta. Team Deathmatch will be playable from the start on all four launch maps. The Capture the Leader and King of the Hill modes will be available later in the beta, but the timing has not been announced yet. All matches will be run on dedicated servers.

Which Maps Are In the Gears 3 Beta?

There are four maps in the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta: Thrashball, Trenches, Checkout and Old Town. Each map is set up a bit differently, so beta testers will get a chance to experience multiplayer environments of varying size and setup. We'll have detailed walkthroughs of each map in the days to come.

How Do I Unlock Things in the Beta?

Beta testers have the opportunity to unlock items, outfits and badges for the final version of Gears of War 3 by completing tasks in the beta. Epic says that unlocking these things in the beta is the only way to get them.

Flaming Hammerburst
Complete one match by Sunday, April 24 to permanently unlock.

Flaming Lancer
Complete one match during the week of April 25 to permanently unlock.

Flaming Sawed-Off Shotgun
Complete one match during the week of May 2 to permanently unlock.

Flaming Gnasher Shotgun
Complete one match during the week of May 9 to permanently unlock.

Beta Tester Medal
Complete one match in the Beta to permanently unlock.

Thrashball Cole
Complete 50 matches in any game type to unlock for the Beta period. To permanently unlock, complete 10 matches as Thrashball Cole during the Beta period.

Gold-Plated Retro Lancer
Complete 90 matches in any game type to unlock for the Beta period. To permanently unlock, score 100 kills with the Gold-Plated Retro Lancer during the Beta period.

Does the Gears Beta Require Xbox Live Gold?

Yes. If you were putting off subscribing to Xbox Live Gold for some reason, now is probably the time to upgrade if you want to participate in the Gears of War 3 beta.  


The Avengers Cleveland Shoot Confirmed

Mar 4th, 2011
But they won't be there until the fall
Scoopers 'Rob Kainec' and 'Apama' alerted us to this article from The Plain Dealer which confirms that scenes for The Avengers will be shot in Cleveland in the fall. Here are some highlights from the article:
Gov. John Kasich announced that the upcoming Marvel movie featuring the superhero team The Avengers, scheduled for a 2012 release, will be filmed in Cleveland.

He made the announcement before Mayor Frank Jackson's State of the City address this afternoon at the City Club.

"I'm really pleased that the city is going to get this movie," he said. "It's fantastic. It required quick and hard work between the community here and the state of Ohio, something that hasn't always happened. We won another one from Michigan. I'm thrilled we are going to have this here. I'm just bucking for a part as Governator 2."

Wayne Hill, chairman of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, said the Avengers movie will be the largest film ever made in Ohio and that filming is expected to start in the fall.

Reportedly, people associated with the film are already in Cleveland scouting out locations.

As we previously mentioned, the majority of the filming will take place at Albuquerque Studios in New Mexico.


Star Wars 3D's Release Set

The Phantom Menace bows a year from now.

March 3, 2011

Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox have announced that the first of the 3D theatrical releases of the Star Wars films -- Episode I: The Phantom Menace -- now has an official release date. And it's in less than a year.

February 10, 2012 is the day when you will be able to return to theaters to see Qui-Gon, Amidala, young Anakin and yes, even Jar Jar in full stereoscopic action.

"Supervised by Industrial Light & Magic, the meticulous conversion is being done with utmost respect for the source material, and with a keen eye for both technological considerations and artistic intentions," says a press release.

Yousa people gonna be underwhelmed all over again?!