Eachweek, X3F tips gamers to the tricks of the trade of Achievement hording in Points>Life. Every week a new achievement is unlocked to help you continue your unhealthy obsession with the Xbox 360 meta-game.
Throughout the ages in the world of game design, the idea of collecting random items was developed to artificially extend the life of a game. Why only include a five-hour campaign when you can stuff that length with two hours worth of collecting junk, right? Until the advent of the Xbox 360 such collect-a-thons had no business in our games, but for those of us addicted to Achievement Points it has become a necessary evil in our war to 1000 points.
This week in Points>Life we're taking a look at some recent offenders on the Xbox 360 and attempt to show you where all those knickknacks, trinkets and gems are hidden. Sit back, it's going to be a bumpy and boring ride to Collect-a-Thon city!
Well, well, well ... look what the mangy old dog just drug in off the streets. It's a new 736MB Condemned 2: Bloodshot demo that's now available to most Live subscribers via the Xbox Live Marketplace, the same demo we were promisedweeks ago. The same demo that broke our hearts numerous times and now, just because it's available today, thinks our heart will be instantly healed. Well, we have news for you Bloodshot. Our heart is still broken. You promised us the world and delivered weeks too late. We may find enough forgiveness in (what's left of our) heart to download you and your demo, probably later today. But don't be angry when a today download promise magically turns into a June download execution. It's called karma.
Well good golly, that sure took a while. The Condemned 2 demo has been public knowledge for quite some time now, with the first mention appearing in February. We learned in March that the demo was "coming soon." Apparently coming soon meant "in a month," as the demo is finally gracing XBLM tomorrow morning at 2:00am (we're guessing Pacific time, though it's not specified). So, if you haven't sampled of Condemned 2's particular brand of zombo bashing creepiness, you'll finally get the chance to do it for free. It's just in time for the weekend too. We don't know about you, but that's really when we like to be scared to the point of soiling ourselves.
So, anyone out there play Indigo Prophecy (known as Fahrenheit in Europe)? You remember how about halfway through everything got really stupid? Remember how all the intriguing elements gave way to a ridiculous plot? If not, you could always pick it up on Xbox Originals and find out. Anyway, if Yahtzee (of Zero Punctuation fame) is to be believed, Condemned 2: Bloodshot suffers from Indigo Prophecy syndrome. In other words, it's a great game ... right up until the halfway point. Find out exactly what went wrong after the break (as usual, this week's Zero Punctuation video is NSFW).
Quick! Quick! Quick! If you're in the market for Call of Duty 4 (and don't mind not getting the GOTY edition) then head over to Amazon.com, because they're running a sweet Deal of the Day offering CoD4 for $34.99 with free shipping! We have no idea how long Amazon.com will keep these in stock but, even if they don't sell out, we can guarantee that the deal will expire tonight when the clock strikes midnight. Hurry kids and buy if you want a copy.
Also, after paging through our Sunday ads, we discovered that this week Circuit City is offering Condemned 2: Bloodshot for a cool $39. Just thought you'd like to know.
Read - Call of Duty 4 for $35
Read - Condemned 2: Bloodshot for $39
Throw this one in the "our-bad" category. The team at Xbox 360 Achievements.org are giving away two copies of the Condemned 2: Bloodshot strategy guide signed by 18 members of the development team at Monolith. Why "our bad" you ask? Entries for the prize are due by 11:59PM PST on March 29. If you're looking to add a guide on how to hit dudes in the face to your collection, this giveaway might be the perfect thing for you! Check out their site for complete entry details.
You know, the one thing that gets under our skin is when developers or publishers can't get their crap together when it comes to releasing any type of content to the Xbox Live Marketplace. To us, there is absolutely no excuse for miscommunication or confusion ... just get your crap together! And that's the exact case we're dealing with when we talk about the (supposed to already have been released) Condemned 2: Bloodshot demo.
You see, since February we've known about a demo because Xbox.com told us one was already available, but upon discovering there was none, we were then informed that a demo was to be released soon. Then, last Friday, we received a press release telling us the Bloodshot demo was already available to European Xbox Live gamers, but alas ... none is available. Now, today, that exact same press release has been re-worded and re-released but minus the details about the demo being on Xbox Live already and replaced with a "coming soon" kind of tone. What the fudgesicle sticks SEGA? At this point we don't know what to believe, who to believe and whether or not the demo is going to be region specific or even rollout by the end of 2008. Get your crap together! We're officially adopting a new Condemned 2: Bloodshot XBLM demo mindset: we're only believing it's a reality when we see it on the Marketplace. Humph!
Update: Live in Europe and still don't see a Bloodshot demo? Well, this is probably the reason.
According to a SEGA issued press release, the once rumored to be available Condemned 2: Bloodshot demo is now available on the Xbox Live Marketplace, but (sadly) for only European Live members. The release mentions that the demo will be available today (if not already) and will feature campaign gameplay from midway through the first level. There is no mention of a Bloodshot demo for North American fanboys, but we're thinking this is SEGA's apology gift to those in Europe for the game's continuous delays. But we wouldn't mind you sharing your demo love SEGA ... can we has Bloodshot demo too, please?
Lest you haven't heard, the sequel to the Xbox 360's scariest launch title launched this week. We are, of course, talking about Condemned 2: Bloodshot (although Perfect Dark was pretty scary in a completely different way). For those who have been on the fence about the title, worry no more, as the reviews are in and it looks like Bloodshot delivers just the survival horror fix we've been waiting for. Joystiq has compiled some of the reviews in a handy metareview, and all of them deem Bloodshot to be a bloody good time. In particular, the revamped combat and forensics systems seem to be a welcome addition. And don't forget the creepiness. Oh the creepiness. Head on over to Joystiq to see if another trip into Ethan Thomas' head is right for you.
Our speculative speculation ended up being correct, Condemned 2: Bloodshot will not be releasing to Europe as planned and has again been pushed back a few weeks. SEGA confirmed the release date slip with Eurogamer and is now scheduling Bloodshot's gruesome content to make a European debut in a few weeks on Thursday, April 4th. SEGA didn't divulge the reason for the delay, but one could probably chalk it up to development and them not getting the game to certification in time rather than shipment issues. But we know you can handle the delay European friends, it isn't like you haven't been anticipating Rock Band's release for the past four months.
While for many this week represents one game and one game only, we would be remiss if we didn't point out that Condemned 2: Bloodshot is heading to stores as well (at least we think it is). Condemned was one of the best games of the Xbox 360 launch lineup and, based on what we've seen, Bloodshot looks to build upon its predecessor's success. Also, football (the non-US kind) fans have something to be happy about in Pro Evolution Soccer 2008. Unfortunately, that's all 360 fans get this week, so we hope you like beating people to a bloody pulp for no good reason or, if that's not your thing, you can always pick up Condemned 2.
The calm, cool Sunday air has once again brought an informative wind gust of savings, and this week the savings are focused towards Condemned 2: Bloodshot.
This week, purchasers of Bloodshot have two retail options to choose from to get a copy of the game AND get something for free. If you head to Best Buy to make your Bloodshot purchase, you'll be rewarded with a free Best Buy $10 gift card which we have to say isn't too shab. The other purchasing option is Circuit City, where they are offering Condemned: Criminal Origins for free with the purchase of Bloodshot. Yes, we said free! And if you're low on Microsoft points you can grab a 1600 point card for $10 with the purchase of any Xbox 360 game $29.99 and up. That means, buy Bloodshot at Circuit City, get Criminal Origins and 1600 Microsoft points for $10. Lovely! But be warned Circuit City shoppers. When they offered CoD3 for free with the purchase of CoD4, they only honored the offer until their already depleated stock of CoD3 was gone and anyone else pretty much got screwed. Oh, and we guess we should say these offers are probably only good IF the game ships this week.
Read - Condemned 2: Bloodshot at Best Buy
Read - Condemned 2: Bloodshot at Circuit City
It's really hard to come by interesting office stories. "So this one time, Bill-from-accounting and I were sitting in the break room, right?" See? It's already boring. But how about this one: "Hey, remember that time when all the filing cabinets started bleeding and we were attacked by demons with mouths full of metal?" Much more interesting. It would seem, then, that this Condemned 2: Bloodshot commercial was concocted for the sole purpose of proving that an office can be scary (and not in that dead end job, "I'll never make manager" kind of way). Indeed, the commercial is pretty frightening, but it begs the question: what other locations could use a spooky makeover? Our vote: the DMV.
If you're like us and love getting an inside look into how simple video game development decisions are made then you'll probably want to read Monolith's latest IGN blog entry, The Beta to Cert Push.
In the post, Condemned 2: Bloodshot's senior producer Dave Hasle talks about and gives examples of the development process behind Bloodshot's user interface (UI) and how they had to scramble to get it right. Because as everyone knows, a concrete release date is thorn in a developer's creative foot. Hasle's UI writeup is a pretty solid read showing the evolution of Bloodshot's UI and in the end, we're happy with the grungy / dirty feel they settled on. Thumbs up to Hasle, thumbs up to UI and thumbs up to Bloodshot. Now let us play it already.
If you've been waiting for a bunch of in-game videos of upcoming Condemned 2: Bloodshot then man oh man do we have a (bloody brutal) treat for you. The cool cats over at GameTrailers posted a googling number of super new Bloodshot videos each highlighting a specific portion of the game. So much content that we'd be willing to bet you could make your purchasing decision after viewing all the media contained in this post. No lie. We've embedded all the new in-game Bloodshot media after the break and lovingly highlighted the opening cinematic above. Speaking of which, Bloodshot's opening cinematic is quite enjoyable as we again learn that you can never go wrong with a roach cameo.