I’ll jump right in with the most important (I’m a fan, OK?) of the recent announcements at Microsoft’s San Francisco press event (invite still in the post chaps?…).
The Gears of War 3 public multiplayer kicks off mid-April giving players the chance to try out three new multiplayer modes on four new maps. You can also help even decide which maps you would like to see in the beta by visiting the Gears of War Facebook page and voting on your favorites. Voting has started and ends on February 28. I can see a lot of SA gamers outside their local retailer this morning (or awaiting their courier) for their copies of Bulletstorm…
Other news includes the date of Halo: Reach’s Defiant Map Pack, Fable III DLC and other (maybe) slightly less exciting stuff.
Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack – Available on Xbox LIVE for 800 Microsoft Points on March 15, the Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack introduces three stunning new battlefields for the most critically acclaimed shooter of 2010. Set in the heat of the legendary Battle of Reach, the three new warfronts – Condemned, Highlands and Unearthed – are primed for non-stop action in Firefight and all competitive multiplayer modes.
Halo Waypoint – Looking for more ways to share your best Halo victories with friends? Fire up Halo Waypoint on Windows Phone 7 or HaloWaypoint.com today to check out the new stat-tracking features, which allow you to share your in-game stats on the web and compare against friends from the palm of your hand.
Fable III Traitor’s Keep game add-on – Available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 560 Microsoft Points on March 1, the Traitor’s Keep game add-on continues the journey as fans venture into three new levels called Ravenscar Keep, Clockwork Island, and the Godwin Estate, taking on new quests and encountering a mysterious prisoner. Traitor’s Keep also comes packed with 250 gamerscore points and additional content.
Crysis 2 3-D – Stunning in either HD or 3-D, Crysis 2 from Crytek and Electronic Arts, lets players step into a post-apocalyptic world where alien invaders stalk the streets of New York City. With 12 multiplayer maps and six modes on Xbox LIVE, wield the supersoldier enhancements of the Nanosuit 2 when Crysis 2 launches on Xbox 360 on March 22.
Child of Eden – Winner of several E3 awards, Child of Eden is a multi-sensory shooter from the mind of renowned game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi that will send players diving into a kaleidoscopic matrix of synchronized music and mind-blowing visuals. Since “Child of Eden” was designed with Kinect for Xbox 360 in mind, only on Xbox 360 players will experience the controller-free magic that provides a new dimension of immersion when the game launches later this year.
Once Upon a Monster – In a truly original interactive experience, young players join Cookie Monster, Elmo and other Sesame Street characters as they explore a living storybook titled Once Upon a Monster. In the book, they make new zany monster friends from the Once Upon a Monster world and share in their adventures, solving problems, forging friendships and learning key life skills along the way. Parents and children literally become part of the whimsical storybook adventure by getting active together through dancing, jumping, flying and more.
The Gunstringer – From the developers that brought you award-winning hits like Splosion Man, The Maw and Comic Jumper, comes an all-new Kinect-exclusive title, The Gunstringer for Xbox LIVE Arcade. Take control of an undead marionette in an epic Wild West stage production that requires your puppeteering and quick draw shooting skills to exact revenge on the Gunstringer’s enemies – all controller-free.
The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile – Created by award-winning indie developer James Silva, “The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile” is the stylistic action platform sequel to 2009’s “Dead Samurai.” The exclusive Xbox LIVE Arcade title features solo and co-op campaigns, 50 intense arcade challenges, an almost endless Dish Challenge, and now for the first time, the combo-fueled action will be playable in 3D. Grab your six foot long syringe and sharpen your cleavers, because it’s about to get bloody.
Fable III for Windows – Launching in the US on May 17, Fable III for Windows takes gamers back to Albion for the next installment of the beloved Fable franchise. Players can take advantage of the same great action found on the console game as well as a full 3-D functionality made possible by NVIDIA technology and a PC-exclusive hardcore mode which offers a higher level of difficulty.
Age of Empires Online for Windows – The next evolution in the best-selling real-time strategy franchise, Age of Empires Online invites players to create a living, growing online world, shared with friends and friendly rivals around the world. With a robust free-to-play experience and a deep selection of premium content packs, Age of Empires Online is always evolving so you can choose the content that’s right for you and your budget.
Fable Coin Golf – Launching March exclusively on Windows Phone 7, Fable: Coin Golf draws upon the wealth of traditional British pub games and lets you transfer gold earned in the game to your Fable III game on either Xbox 360 or Windows. In addition, you can unlock three exclusive weapons that can be used in the Traitor’s Keep game add-on.
Must Have Games for Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone 7: Kicking off this spring, this collection of the biggest names in mobile games brings you six weeks of hits, including Plants vs Zombies, Hydro Thunder Go, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I, geoDefense, Doodle Jumpand more – all complete with Xbox LIVE Achievements, leaderboards and more.