This Weeks Headlines In Horror : Batman A.A. 2, Dead Space 2, Diablo 3 And More

Christmas is just around the corner, but let’s be honest here, if it wasn’t for the presents would you really care? I know what you love, and that’s all things scary. Lucky for us there’s been an abundance of awesome in the past weeks, with new releases, new unveilings, and much more. There’s been good news like the newly released Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Bad news, like the stepping down of a very important survival horror veteran. There’s even been some interesting news, (maybe you could call it neutral news? Not yet proven whether it’ll be good or bad news… news?) in that a feature from a highly anticipated series is going to be removed in the next installment.

That’s not all, if you didn’t know already the Spike Video Game Awards were last Saturday, and that means exclusive world premiers! I guess it also means we get to see what games received which awards, but who cares? It’s all fairly predictable: Left 4 Dead kicks as in the coop category, Uncharted 2 grabs GOTY, and Halo 3: ODST gets something it probably doesn’t deserve because it’s Halo. (Alright, before we continue let me throw out a tiny disclaimer to all the disgruntled Halo fans: I like Halo. Halo as a series is great. ODST sucked compared to its predecessors. If you want me to expand on my opinion, let me know and I will gladly review it.) The best thing about the VGAs are the premiers, and there was one announcement that was as awesome as it was surprising. Intrigued? Click that little Read More button to see what game I’m talking about. Arkham Asylum 2 Announced: Trailer Included

How do you improve upon (near) perfection? Not sure, but I’m fairly positive it includes getting rid of that whole Joker on steroids final boss fight, and maybe a larger playground for everyone’s favorite man in black. Check out the nerdgasm-inducing trailer below:

The trailer really doesn’t give too much away, though I’m sure some poor hermit will prove me wrong by picking the video apart in his parent’s basement and find a ton of hidden details for the game. Until then it’s up to us to imagine what we want in our Batman game. What is it you want in Arkham Asylum 2? Some sort of multiplayer perhaps? More Scarecrow sections? Zombies seem to be all the rage right now, maybe they could sprinkle a couple of those into the sequel? My dream game is a mix of Batman and Assassin’s Creed. Just switch out Ezio for Batman, and throw a coat of Gotham paint onto the environments and there you go: the perfect Batman game.

Silent Hill Composer Leaving Konami?

This could be a very dark time for the survival horror genre, or will be if this gets confirmed.  It’s been rumored that Akira Yamaoka, longtime composer and producer for the Silent Hill series, is leaving Konami.  Yamamoaka san is the creative mastermind that makes the outstanding industrial soundtracks the series is known for, but he’s also been a producer for the series since the first game.  Obviously, losing someone like him will mortally wound the already ailing survival horror franchise.

As a longtime fan of the series this is definitely bad news though I can’t say I blame him since every new installment in the franchise has gotten progressively worse.  Origins was clunky, The Room wasn’t even originally a Silent Hill game, and Homecoming made an admirable attempt but was plagued with repetitive gameplay and a lackluster story.

Shatter Your Memories NOW

I realize that really didn’t make any sense, but speaking of Silent Hill; Shattered Memories is out now and ready to fulfill all your horror desires. It will do whatever you want it to. Naughty things. Things that are just plain wrong.

Horror fans should beware; if it weren’t for a handful of intense chase scenes in the game there wouldn’t really be a reason to file this under survival horror. It’s more an adventure game peppered with occasional shit-out-your-spine moments to keep you on your feet.

So if you own a Wii I suggest you get the game, and for the PS2/PSP owners out there you’ll be able to get you anxious hands on the game in January.

Borderlands DLC Out Too

If pumpkin grenades, Scooby Doo references, and vomit spewing zombies are more your thing than the Island of Dr. Ned is also out and willing to satiate your undying hunger for braaaiiiiiinnnnsss. The DLC is available on the PSN and XBLM, includes roughly seven hours of zombie slaying fun, and really helps break up the fairly repetitive locations in the game with some creepy swamps and a myriad of other familiar horror locales.

In related news, the second set of DLC for Borderlands has been announced entitled Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot. It costs the same as Dr. Ned (800 Microsoft Space Bucks, $9.99 on PSN) and throws you into three progressively difficult arenas where you fight waves of enemies. You can get your riot on December 29th on the Xbox and January 7th on the PSN.

Diablo III, Sans the Trees

I am a nerd.  A big one, actually.  You probably gathered this by the fact that I write about video games, which means I play them, add to that a little factoid about me you didn’t know: I design them too, and you now know I am a nerd whose life revolves around video games.  The point of this long-winded introduction, you ask?  Calm down, I’m getting to it.  I started gaming relatively young, but Diablo was the first game to really get me hooked, to pop my hardcore gamer cherry, if you will.  Diablo II and its expansion managed to keep me hooked, and I still occasionally play Lord of Destruction on my Mac, since it’s one of a handful of games available for the platform.

Needless to say I’m looking forward to Diablo III, keeping up with the newest happenings and rumors surrounding the game.  Well, today something big caught my attention via my new favorite news source: Twitter.  I don’t really use Twitter, but I have an account dedicated solely to stalking unsuspecting game designers so I get the scoop on the games they’re working on.  For the most part it’s a waiting game, but sometimes my patience pays off, and this was one of those times.

Blizzard recently tweeted a surprising change for the Diablo franchise as it seems the skill trees will be no more.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s the full tweet in all its tweety glory:

Diablo: The skill system revision is in full force. Trees begone! I think it might be a winner. Jay says hi.

So yeah, the two gems of knowledge you should glean from this announcement are: 1, it looks like skills trees will be gone in Diablo III, and 2, Jay says hi.  Whether or not you’re okay with this it’s important to note that the game is still a few years from release so anything can change, but if it does stay absent in the final product, will this affect your purchase decision?

Isaac Clarke’s New Look in Dead Space 2

So if you haven’t been keeping up with the newest goings-on in the industry you probably haven’t heard the great news, that Dead Space 2 was announced.  Yep.  That’s pretty awesome, pretty awesome indeed.  The next issue of Game Informer has the scoop on the next installment in EA’s action horror series, and the cover features none other than the strategically dismembering badass himself, Isaac Clarke.  Dead Space veterans will notice his new look that seems to have gravitated away from space miner to something more like a super hero. 

The more observant amongst us may have noticed the jet packs on Isaac’s legs, which could make dismembering countless foes more fun, or maybe outside the ship action will be more prominent in the next game? What do you think of Isaac’s extreme makeover?

Source: Dead Pixels Video Game News For Those Who Missed Out