News B33ts: Battlefield 3’s thousands, Skyrim exclusivity, Assassin’s Creed answers and other tasty morsels

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If you weren’t aware, gamesom 2011 was a pretty eventful time for El33tonline, which naturally means we were completely focussed on getting to meetings with the developers of upcoming games, and then writing our impressions and previews of these exciting titles: which in turn means that we haven’t had much time to sweep for tasty morsels of videogame news.

If you’ve been similarly busy in your daily activities, then we’re in the same boat, so together we’re going to catch up on a few tiny crumbs of information that may tweak your interest:

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim DLC exclusive to Xbox 360, arrives on one DVD

Bethesda Softworks has recently confirmed that the developer’s massive (gigantic, enormous) RPG, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, will in fact ship on a single DVD on Xbox 360, despite the game’s enormity.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Screenshot 1

In addition, it seems as though owners of the Xbox 360 version of Skyrim will be able to gain timed exclusive access to the first two pieces of downloadable content for the game. These DLC packs (which are yet to be revealed) will each be available for 30 days ahead of the PlayStation 3 and PC versions.

“If you’d like to be the first to break new ground in Skyrim,” reads a press release, “Xbox LIVE is the only destination that won’t keep you waiting.”

Aw shucks.

Battlefield 3 to feature thousands of custom weapons, new co-op details arrive

In a post on the official Battlefield blog (or BattleBlog), DICE has taken the wraps off of a raft of weapon customisation options in Battlefield 3 to make it possible to convert the 50+ weapons already in the game into “thousands” of different guns.

Each of the more than 50 weapons in Battlefield 3 will have three accessory slots in which to place additional barrels, grips, flashlights, sights, suppressors and more ‒ the more you use a particular weapon the more options will open up to customise those three slots. These customisations will then affect gun attributes like muzzle speed, energy and fire rate.

Battlefield 3 Screenshot 1

Additionally, a few new details have emerged regarding the announced co-operative mode in Battlefield 3, revealing that co-op missions take place in the same world as the singleplayer campaign, while randomised events will take place in co-op to keep this game mode fresh. The co-op campaign also includes missions that are “asymmetric,” which means that you and your co-op partner won’t necessarily be doing the same thing (you may pilot a helicopter while your partner is the gunner, for example).

You can get a few more details at the US PlayStation Blog, but you can get even more information with El33tonline’s recent hands-on preview of Battlefield 3’s co-op mode over here.

Look forward to the online Beta for Battlefield 3 coming in September!

Namco and Tecmo Koei PS3 announcement incoming

Namco Bandai is currently teasing an announcement of a new PlayStation 3 title with a large countdown clock over here.

Previously, the teaser site displayed the lettering “Namco Bandai Games Inc X Tecmo Koei Games Co Limited,” but this wording has since been removed.

Namco Bandai and Tecmo Koei Countdown Image

What could this mystery PS3 game (which seems to be a crossover title between Namco and Tecmo Koei universes) possible be? We’ll find out in only a few days!

Forza 4 to feature Halo 4’s Warthog military hardware

It looks as though Microsoft, developer Turn 10 and 343 Industries have indulged in a universe crossover of their own, as the upcoming Forza MotorSport 4 will include the Warthog military vehicle as envisaged in the next Halo game, Halo 4.

Forza 4's Warthog

The vehicle won’t be playable, but you will be able to take a good look at it in Forza 4’s ‘Autovista’ viewing mode. Halo protagonist Cortana will let you know all about the new Warthog with an audio entry, too.

”There is another” Brothers in Arms game in development

While we may still be reeling from the over-the-top nature of the next Brothers in Arms game, Furious 4, Gearbox president Randy Pitchford has attempted to assuage fears over the franchise’s apparent shark-jump by revealing that another Brothers in Arms title, starring series’ lead character Sgt. Baker, is also in development at the studio.

Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 Banner Logo (Temp)

Nothing more was discussed regarding this new title, but let it be known that Gearbox will return to more serious themes of war with another Brothers in Arms entry.

Tim Willits explains the importance of DLC for RAGE

“When people buy the game, they spend a lot of money on it,” said id Software’s Tim Willits in an interview at Rock Paper Shotgun. Willits is currently putting the finishing touches on RAGE, a game that’s been in development for close on seven years.

“To [consumers] it’s an investment,” Willits continued. “If they feel like the company that made [the game] doesn’t want to invest in it, then they don’t want to invest in it. That’s why I think DLC’s important.”

RAGE Banner Image

“We’re the patch kings, you know, so if there are issues that come up we’ve got to patch them. I think those things are important, to let people know that you still care about that franchise, and you want to support that franchise. Then you can make them say ‘okay, I’ll put my money down on this franchise’.”

Good on you Willits!

El33tonline recently went hands-on with RAGE and got to meet Tim Willits, too. Read about that experience over here.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations will answer some, not all, questions

As we’ve come to understand, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations will be the final chapter in the action adventure saga of Ezio before Ubisoft moves on to a full new franchise entry with Assassin’s Creed III. Before the publisher gets to that game, however, the developers want to answer a few questions about the universe: but not all of them just yet.

Assassin's Creed Revelations Screenshot

Speaking to Destructoid recently, AC: Revelations creative director Alex Amancio said:

“We actually found, I forget where it is on the web, somebody did a ‘Top Ten Things Fans Want to Know About Assassin’s Creed.’ And in that top ten list, we actually answer seven.”

What sorts of answers will be provided? For one thing, we’ll find out how Ezio and the original Assassin’s Creed protagonist Altair are related to one another.

“Keep in mind,” Almancio continued, “we’re following the typical trilogy structure. So of course, everything can’t be answered. But at the same time, we want to avoid what I like to fall the X-Files effect, where you risk crumbling under the weight of your own mythology, so a lot of doors have been left open.”

We’re looking forward to those answers!

SW: The Old Republic release date relies on beta feedback

When will the release date for Star Wars: The Old Republic be announced? It’s a question on many an online RPG gamer’s lips, but we may need to wait a little while longer for the answer, if comments made by EA’s Frank Gibeau are anything to go by.

Speaking to CVG, Gibeau said that the release date announcement for the game is “definitely tied to the beta test feedback that’s ongoing and so far, so good,” before adding:

“We’re driving towards a date, but we’re not announcing a date yet because [we] want to make sure that these services can last a decade.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic Screenshot 6

“You’ve got to have a great launch and as more and more user feedback comes in we make those polishing decisions on what we’re going to get right and nail. The other thing is, the technology of standing these things up and then getting all the server farms to work together, talk to one another, store character records: it’s extraordinarily complex and so we want a very stable experience.

“We don’t want to happen to us what happened to WoW and a couple of other services where in the first week there were queues trying to get on to the servers, the entire service crashed. So we need to nail and make sure that it’s up 24/7 and it’s high quality. We’re totally focused on quality, so whatever the beta test tells us is what will be the determining variable on when we will hit.”

Nice dig, Gibeau.

Borderlands 2 will be at least “a third” bigger than original

One final question for you all: How big is Borderlands 2 going to be, in relation to Gearbox Software’s original Borderlands? Art director Jeramy Cooke has the answer:

“It is definitely a bigger world this time around. I’d say we built about a third more space than we had in the last game,” said Cooke, speaking to Destructoid.

As a result of this increased size, the mini-map is now available and visible at all times in order to encourage exploration in the world of Borderlands 2, and to ensure players feel confident enough to drive the distance to find new and exciting areas.

Borderlands 2 Banner Logo

Additionally, the environments in Borderlands 2 are “seamless,” and Gearbox has worked hard in order to “connect each space to the others in a logical way.”

“For instance when you’re seeing the top of the dam in the demo,” says Cooke, “you’re looking off into the deserts in the South, and if you look to the other side you’re gonna see the frozen wastelands on the other side. It’s all totally connected.”

What kinds of environments can we expect to explore in Borderlands 2 (another question, sorry)? Here’s Cooke:

“We just decided okay well we need to go out and explore the rest of Pandora. So you get grass, you get ice, you get volcanoes. You were basically in the mid-West of Pandora before, and now you’re gonna head North, and also South-east a little bit. We actually worked really hard on the world map, the level design really loves this stuff, really takes care of it. So we locate every map in a real spot on the continent of Pandora.”

Borderlands 2 Screenshot 4

El33tonline recently attended a demonstration of Borderlands 2, filled with interesting information regarding the game’s improvements over the original title ‒ read over our impressions of Borderlands 2 over here.

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