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When Microsoft and Epic Games released Gears of War 3 last year, it brought one of the most thrilling third-person action game series to a thunderous close, with plenty of surprises and no shortage of action.  But seeing as how the game was a rousing success, you just can't keep a good series down.  This past week, Game Informer did a cover reveal for its July issue that indicated a new game in the series was coming...and now we know what it is.  If you wish to be spoiled before Microsoft's big reveal Monday, read on.


It looks like the strenuous wait for Doom 4 will continue on, as neither Bethesda nor id Software have any new information about the sequel -- and it won't likely be present at E3.  However, it looks like we'll have the next best thing, as the companies did announce this morning that it is bringing back an Xbox/PC favorite for the current generation of gaming.  Hope you've got your boomstick handy.


It’s been a good five years since we stepped onto the battlefield with a full-fledged Ghost Recon game, cruising through the skies with Advanced Warfighter 2.  Since that time, Ubisoft’s been putting the finishing touches on its latest chapter, Future Soldier, only to run into delays and forcing its release date to move a few months.  Well, the time for delays is over, as the finished product has finally worked its way to store shelves.  Now the question is, has this long wait been worth it?


You’ve seen the first trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, right?  The one where our own drones are turned against us in the face of a new enemy and plenty of chaos happening around Los Angeles?  Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Recently, Activision invited us to a pre-E3 event, where it showed off the first gameplay footage, a good ten minutes worth of tense future action.  And we can tell you right now – Treyarch hasn’t lost a step between the first game and the second.  In fact, it’s learned quite a bit with the tweaks it’s made to the familiar Infinity Ward tech.


We're just going to say it right now.  Far Cry 3 is shaping up to be the best game in the series yet.  The first two games set up great tales of survival, with one man battling the odds through lush terrain and occasionally using feral abilities to get the jump.  The third looks to follow suit with an even more engaging single-player campaign, along with a new focus on multiplayer, where teams can battle it out to control parts of the terrain.  We recently went hands-on with the demo to see how it was coming along.


Kart racers are usually a dime a dozen, especially back in the old days, when it seemed like every gaming company wanted to make its own version to capitalize on the popularity of the Mario Kart games.  But Sega did it quite effectively several months back with Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing, a smorgasbord of racing goodness stemming multiple characters and tracks inspired by various Sega classics, including the House of the Dead, Samba de Amigo and more.  The formula worked extremely well for both the company and players, so it should be no surprise that the long-rumored sequel was finally announced today.


If you look at it a certain way, Radical Entertainment’s Prototype is sort of an evolution from what they were trying to do with The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction.  You’ve got a character that can destroy pretty much everything with superhuman powers, run up buildings and let loose with an uncontrollable sense of rage.  That said, the story was quite interesting, and the game did pretty well on its own merits.  Fast forward to two years later to the release of Prototype 2, and though some elements will feel familiar, there are a number of improvements that really make this feel like a huge step forward for the team.  You know, what a sequel needs to be.


While we’re big fans of where the SSX series has gone as of late (the February 2012 release has blown us away, and we’re still challenging leaderboard times), we can’t help but think back to the classic days of the series, back when we were playing SSX Tricky and SSX 3, not caring about sudden drop-offs or weather conditions and instead just having fun grinding down the mountain with a hotly dressed babe or some dude with a red-headed afro.  Apparently, Electronic Arts lovingly remembers those days too, and on May 1, it’ll be celebrating them with an upcoming SSX Mt. Eddie and Classic Characters Bundle Pack, for both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.


Every year, EA Sports always runs the risk of getting a little long in the tooth with its sports franchises.  Madden NFL 12 was kind of an example of this, despite the game’s huge sales numbers.  But I will get credit where credit is due, they always seem to add the right kind of content, even if some of it doesn’t “stick” like originally intended.  This can be said for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13, the latest in its golf franchise, which brings back one of the bigger features from last year – the Masters tournament – along with several new ingredients to keep momentum from shifting.  And for the most part, it’s a good thing.


It sounded like a fair enough idea.  Capcom signed on Slant Six Games to produce a new Resident Evil game that takes more of a team initiative, and rather than controlling the usual heroes (or anti-heroes, depending who you choose), you’re instead in charge of someone working for Umbrella, in this case some Spec Ops soldiers sent in to do clean-up.  It sounds like a compelling idea, but how did Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City go wrong?  Well, it’s right there in the opening sentence – Slant Six Games.


I just have something to share with Namco right now.  If you really want your anime franchises to stand out as a fighting game, call in Capcom and have them do Dragon Ball Z vs. Naruto.  It’d easily be the best crossover game since the old Jump Superstars games on DS.  Sigh…it’ll probably be a while before something like that is even considered, so for the time being, we’ll manage with the 3D fighters Namco has to offer.  Its latest, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations, continues to buck the trend, and, when it comes to its key audience, is quite effective.


I’ve spent quite a bit of time with Capcom’s Street Fighter x Tekken, not only because I wanted to make sure to test out the online play and the additional PS3-exclusive fighters (y’know, “fat” Mega Man” and Cole McGrath from Infamous), but also because it’s not just another typical crossover fighter.  Yes, it combines characters from both Capcom and Namco’s respective fighting universes, but its controls are set up a little differently, rather than relying on the mechanics that worked so well in the Marvel vs. Capcom games.  That’s not a complaint by any means.  In fact, I can’t think of a hardcore fighting fan that wouldn’t dig into this thing like a treasure chest.  Casual fans, too.


Another week is upon us and another batch of new content has arrived on Xbox Live. If you were a fan of Rockstar's L.A Noire. Then you will happy to see that all the DLC for the game is at a low price. If you were holding out on getting the DLC for the game then now is your chance. As personal recomendation, I would get the Nicholson Electroplating case and skip out on Reefer Madness.