This Week in Gaming: LA Noire, Tomb Raider, VGAs more!

As the Holidays approach parents begin to look for games to buy their children, hardcore games begin to look for things to occupy their time as classes begin to let out, and more importantly, we start to make our lists for game of the year! A lot of places are already well into the process, as G4's vote-off is already in the finals. This weekend, we will another glimpse into the year's best titles, as Spike TV's annual Video Game Award. While not hailed as the industry's best measuring stick for the year's best games, it's still a fun time with a lot of exclusive performances and reveals.

This year's rumored reveals are a Bioware game (likely the follow-up to this year's potential game of the year winner, Mass Effect 3), the first footage from the follow-up to last year's Game of the Year winner, Uncharted 3, as well as the first gameplay footage from the follow-up to last year's other Game of the Year, Batman: Arkham City.

If all this wasn't enough to get you to tune in this weekend, Spike TV just announced that the emperor of awesome, Neil Patrick Harris, will be hosting the event. NPH is no stranger to video games, voicing Spider-Man in the recent game, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (read our review here!), so make sure to tune in on Saturday!


As mentioned above, as schools begin to let out, many games will be looking for ways to distract themselves for useless things such as real life, and while it's a relatively light week in terms of releases, PC gamers will get their fix with World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the expansion pack to one of the most popular titles in gaming history.Blizzard's newest venture adds 3500 quests for WOW enthusiasts and a boatload of new races, towns, areas and dungeons, just to name a few!

If you're interested in the game, check out G4's Attack of the Show tonight for an interview with Game Director Tom Chilton and Lead Designer Alex Afrasiabi from Blizzard tonight at 7PM.

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Is WOW is too "hardcore" for you, you'll also be able to purchase Bejeweled 3 this week from Popcap games. The download will be $19.99, but adds 4 new modes, as well features influences by Facebook's Bejeweled Blitz. The people at Popcap tend to lace their games with PCP and crack, so unless you want to be incredibly addicted, you might want to stay away from this one. But you will get your money's worth, as you always do.

The only major console release this week is Tron: Evolution, the accompaniment to the upcoming movie, so if this action-adventure game doesn't peak your interest, you might want to go back and check out some of the year's games that may have slipped through the cracks, such as Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. This original IP recently got some DLC, "Pigsy's Perfect 10", and I will be reviewing it on the site in the coming days.

Next week will bring DLC to Battlefield: Bad Company and a repackaging of Super Mario All-Stars for the Wii.


- Game Informer has revealed the cover of their January issue, which teases a Tomb Raider reboot with an all-new look for Lara Croft. The reboot will attempt to build an entirely fresh Lara – a culturally relevant hero worth of the attention that once came so effortlessly . All I know is that Lara is still as hot as ever, despite all the bumps and bruises.

- Killzone 3 single-player footage has leaked on the internet, and despite being filmed with what looks to be a handheld camera, it still looks amazing. The Sony 1st party venture and sequel to - you guessed it - Killzone 1 and 2 doesn't hit stores for the PS3 until 2011, but if you want a preview of what's certain to be amongst next year's best games, click here. Warning, might contain spoilers.

- Continuing with Sony news, the much anticipated sequel to Echochrome, Echochrome ii has been dated for a December 21st launch on the Playstation Network. The game will utilize PS Move technology and is said to be one of the first real reasons to look into buying a PS Move. Check out the gameplay footage at the link above.

- In a last piece of Sony news, Sony's new reward program for the PS3 will introduce quests for uses to accomplish in order to achieve certain statuses, including playing eligible Move games, watching Pulse, etc. The idea is of course to keep people on their PS3s and get them to do things that no one would otherwise do (seriously, who watches Pulse?), but it's an interesting idea, as people love quests!


Finally, screens were revealed today by Rockstar for the anticipated LA Noire, which is set to release sometime in the first half of 2011.

LA Noire is a detective-type game set in the 40s in Los Angeles (eat your heart out, Mafia 2), and follows a detective going through an (open) world of crime and drugs in order to solve a set of murders. While it may sound like a GTA/Mafia knockoff, something about this game strikes me as incredibly original. Nevermind the incredible production values for publisher Rockstar (the game itself is being developed by Team Bondi), the certain quality of the voice acting and sound as proved by the first trailer, and Rockstar's track record with open world games, I don't think they would make such a big deal about something like this if it wasn't different.

I'm really looking forward to this title, and Rockstar delivered today with screenshots that can be viewed at their official facebook page, but here are a couple as a preview:

We'll have more throughout the week. In the meantime, yes I know we could improve on our titles for features, so feel free to e-mail me suggestions as well as general thoughts and questions about the new site!

Have a great week,

George Prax

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Comments 6
Micheal A. Aldred's picture

Wow, LA Noire looks really cool!

Phil T's picture

I'm a sucker for Rockstar games so definitely looking forward to LA Noire

George Prax's picture

I'm a little worried that the developer isn't actually Rockstar (Rockstar's just publishing), but no way they attach their name to something that isn't at the level of RDR or GTA. The studio hasn't done anything else but the guy behind Team Bondi used to be the head of Team Soho for Sony, which developed the EyePet, EyeToy and Singstar... so we'll see. I'm REALLY hyped for this game.

George Prax's picture

More in-depth preview from Joystiq. Can't wait for this.

Adampro123's picture

LA Noire looks good, but then again like i have said before i would have been happier with GTA Vice City 2 or San Andreas 2. then again i didn't really like GTA4 so i don't know how much i will enjoy either.

I tried wow out and it just wasn't for me, it reminded me of playing a game on the N64 but having to use a keyboard.

The new Tomb Raider Reboot has my interest i was a big Tomb aider 2 fan back in the day. but i really don't see why they just don't make this a new game all together and not make it a tomb raider game because honestly when most people hear a new tomb raider game they really don't care.

Killzone 2 i beat out and played a fair bit of multiplayer and i didn't think it was all that good. i mean it was ok and if you only have a PS3 and want a multiplayer FPS....then get Bad Company 2 or black ops...but then if you still need more i guess you can give this a chance,

I Think the only reason I'm excited about the VGA is because NPH. He's so freaking awesome! i just usually don't like how anything on Spike presents its self.

Also i noticed you didn't post anything about the Xbox live rewards program. i know you're an admitted Sony fan boy but im pretty sure the Xbox came out with theres

George Prax's picture

I ALWAYS give Rockstar the benefit of the doubt. Even their one miss, GTA4, was still great, expansive, incredibly detailed and beautiful. It's hard to really group them together because it really is a lot of different studios, but generally they don't attach their name to anything bad.

And the reason I love the look and feel of LA Noire is because it's so different from anything they've done. Generally you play a gun toting criminal or vigilante who does what he wants when he wants. In this, you're within the confines of the laws and that's really going to make for something original. And from that preview it seems as if the game is much more story driven than prior rockstar games.

And Adam, it really had nothing to do with how I own a PS3 or like Sony more than 360. The news that day was about Sony's reward program, and frankly I actually noticed I was lacking on the MS news and I looked around and couldn't find anything new from 360 lol.