Weekly News Roundup: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Elderscrolls V and another Portal 2 Delay

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood launched to critical acclaim this week

So here we are again! We’re back with another weekly news roundup, taking a look through all of this week’s major developments in the world of gaming. It was never going to live up to last week’s huge software and hardware launches, but the past seven days have seen somepretty big releases nonetheless. We’ve also had some rumours confirmed, and a few more created. In the run up to the Spike VGAs, as well as Black Friday, publishers are clamouring to build hype for the usual deluge of reveals and announcements we’ll undoubtedly receive over the coming weeks.

There were two big game releases this week. The first was Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, the immediate sequel to last year’s Assassin’s Creed 2. The game bridges the gap between AC2′s Renaissance Italy and whatever era the series will next deal with by offering a “what happened next” account of events taking place immediately after Assassin’s Creed 2. The game has been widely acknowledged as the best AC installment so far; no mean feat for the third in a series of excellent titles.

The second big release of the week was Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. With the past few NFS games failing to perform well in both reviews and sales, it was refreshing to see the franchise returning to its roots, providing the old “cops and robbers” gameplay modes that originally defined the series. The game has reviewed very well overall, although it’s hard to imagine it selling all that well once the long-awaited Gran Turismo 5 is released later this week.

So what else has been happening in the industry? Well…

  • In kind of a weird move, Sony have announced an exclusive PS3 reveal that they’re going to put out the day after the Spike Video Game Awards next month. It’s tempting to agree with Kotaku’s Uncharted 3 prediction, but I’ve a feeling we’ll have heard all about that game by the end of the VGAs. So my money’s on some old Playstation IP revival, possibly related to the Move. We shall see…
  • Eurogamer reported a rumour that Elderscrolls V is being developed by Bethesda as we speak. Seems kinda shakey, although it would make a lot of sense considering the recent fan outcry for a new Elderscrolls game.
  • Following on from Viacom’s sale of Harmonix last week, Matt Matthews at Gamasutra posted a revealing examination of the commercial decline of music games. In short: 2008 music game revenue was up around $1.6 billion in the US. This year, it’s unlikely to break $400 million. We all knew the bubble would burst, I just never thought it’d happen that quickly.
  • Kotaku seem to be convinced that the screenshot released earlier in the week by Bioware is taken from a new, multiplayer-centered Mass Effect game (you can see the screenshot in one of our earlier posts ). Again, expect concrete details at next month’s Spike VGAs.
  • Nintendo have announced some new colours for the DSi, available this Christmas. Riveting stuff, I know, but I guarantee this news will be the tipping point for thousands of gamers who will finally shell out for the system this Christmas.
  • Bethesda have continued to announce details of the first DLC package for Fallout: New Vegas. The Dead Money downloadable content is to be launched on Xbox live marketplace on December 22nd, and is more than likely a timed exclusive. I’m sure PS3 owners will have it by Spring.
  • Valve announced a further 2 month delay for Portal 2. In typical Valve fashion, the developer released a hilarious statement celebrating the “shortest ever delay” in the company’s history. I’m weirdly ok with this; I think I can just about manage two months, despite how ridiculously excited I am for this game.
  • Both Sony and Microsoft have announced some excellent deals on downloadable games and content for Black Friday. PS3 owners will get half price discounts on games like Deathspank and Joe Danger, while selected Xbox Live Arcade titles will also see half price reductions (or better). Splosion Man for 160 points? Done. Check out the full list at the link above.

And that’s pretty much it for this week! We’ll be back again next Wednesday with another Weekly News Roundup.

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