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Big Download's News Bits & Bytes - September 30

We at Big Download want to send a sincere "Good Luck" to Kieron Gillen, the co-founder of Rock Paper Shotgun, as he retires from writing for the site and working full time in game journalism in general to pursue his comic book writing career. We will be reading Uncanny X-Men, Kieron.

BioWare to help Maxis on Darkspore [Update]

EA Maxis' reveal of Darkspore earlier this week made a few people scratch their heads. Maxis is known for their sim games like Sim City, The Sims and others. What did that team known about making an sci-fi action-RPG title? As it turns out the team is getting some help from a studio that has had a few RPG games on its resume.

GameSpot reports from the San Diego Comic-Con that fellow Electronic Arts development studio BioWare will be assisting Maxis on Darkspore, which takes the core of Maxis's 2008 game Spore with its Creator Creator and puts it in a totally different gameplay mechanic. GameSpot's article, based on attending the Darkspore panel at Comic-Con, goes into more detail on the game's features including some influence for Magic: The Gathering in making the game's monsters. Darkspore is due out in 2011.

Update: Destructoid clarifies that Malcolm Azania, a writer on the BioWare team, is the lead writer of the fiction behind Darkspore.

Red Faction Armageddon trailer fights the nightmare


Red Faction Guerrilla was one of our favorite games of 2009. It combined some of the best environmental destruction we've seen in a game yet with fun - although slightly flawed - open-world gameplay. Volition has been hard at work on the sequel, and while there hasn't been any concrete gameplay videos, this new trailer from San Diego Comic-Con sure comes close!

While the trailer itself is rather vague, it does show off some important information. You play as the grandson of the protagonist from Guerrilla, and the people of Mars have been driven underground by some disaster on the surface. When they retreated below the surface, they found a rising tide of monsters out to exterminate them. The trailer doesn't really show the monsters in any detail, but they are referred to as "nightmares," which should be a good indication of the general design! All in all, a great trailer.

Download HD Red Faction Armageddon Comic-Con Trailer (76MB)
Check out all Red Faction Armageddon downloads

Ghost Recon's live action short film gets preview at Comic-Con

As we reported a few weeks ago, Ubisoft had a panel at this weekend's San Diego Comic-Con that not only had a discussion and demo of the upcoming shooter Ghost Recon Future Soldier but also showed and discussed a preview of the previously announced Ghost Recon-themed live action short film.

The one minute preview of the movie, which has the title Alpha, showed members of the Ghost team taking out an Eastern European military installation. GameSpot reports that the movie showed some high production values and "will certainly appeal to fans of the high-action, big-explosion action film genre." And yes, there will be Ghost team members cloaked in the movie like they will be for Future Soldier. Both game and movie will be released in 2011.

StarCraft II action figures finally shown at Comic-Con

You may remember that back in February it was revealed during Toy Fair that DC Unlimited was going to be releasing action figures based on StarCraft II. At the time pictures of the action figures were not allowed to be taken. Thankfully that's not the case anymore as prototypes for the figures are on display at the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend.

Figures.com have a number of photos of the figures in the first wave. They include long time StarCraft character Jim Raynor, the Protoss character Zeratul, and a Terran Space Marine. The action figures, based of course on Blizzard's RTS game, should be available for sale in spring 2011.

More Dragon Age Origins DLC and Dragon Age 2 shown at Comic-Con

If you are going to the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend you might want to drop by the Hilton hotel across from the main convention center. Electronic Arts has set up a location where folks can get their hands on an early build of the recently announced BioWare RPG sequel Dragon Age 2. If you can't make it, 1Up.com has some impressions you can check out.

Even more interesting is that Comic-Con attendees are getting a chance to check out upcoming downloadable content for the first game in the series, Dragon Age: Origins. 1Up.com reports that the DLC, which doesn't have a title or release date yet, will be made for high level characters to go into a dungone filled with high level enemies. There's no real story content; it will be all about combat.

World of Warcraft movie still in development

There hasn't been a lot of news about the upcoming World of Warcraft movie but that doesn't mean progress isn't being made. Our sister site Joystiq reports that during a Comic-Con panel on Blizzard's hit MMO, Blizzard's VP Chris Metzen confirmed that the development of the feature film had slowed down. A script treatment is being worked on and Metzen stated that once it is completed, "hopefully it'll start moving very quickly, very soon."

And what about the movie's director Sam Raimi? Metzen says Raimi is still "very, very passionate" about the World of Warcraft movie. However Raimi is also a very busy man. During Comic-Con it was announced that Raimi is also attached to direct Earp: Saints for Sinners, a sci-fi version of the classic Western hero tale. He's also rumored to be working on a prequel to The Wizard of Oz.

Star Wars The Old Republic to feature space combat [Update]

When Star Wars Galaxies launched in 2003, many people were not happy with the fact that the MMO didn't feature any space travel or combat at first. Players had to wait over a year for the game's first commercial expansion pack to get a chance to fight off fighters and Corellian starships. Developer BioWare isn't making that same mistake for their MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic.

During the Star Wars The Old Republic panel at Comic-Con today (and also on the game's official message boards by BioWare's Sean Dahlberg) it was confirmed that the game would feature space combat. As Dahlberg states in his message board post, "In space combat, you fly your personal ship to various "hot spots" on your galaxy map. From there, you will blast your way through asteroid fields, enemy fighters, frigates, destroyers, and a variety of other obstacles that will evoke memories of some of the great Star Wars" space battles." More details on the space combat features will be revealed next month in PC Gamer's print magazine.

Update: PC Gamer's web site has posted up the cover for the Star Wars The Old Republic issue.

[Via Massively]

First Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning trailer and screenshots released

As promised, developer 38 Studios and publisher Electronic Arts has released the first teaser trailer for their upcoming and epic single player fantasy RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. The game's official web site has also launched with some screenshots (reproduced in our gallery) and more info about the title from 38 Studios' Big Huge Games division.

From the looks of the CGI trailer and the in-game screenshots this title looks a bit like the Elder Scrolls games hopped up on crystal meth. There's still not a lot of concrete info about the game but perhaps today's San Diego Comic-Con panel will give up some more info. In the meantime you can check out the teaser trailer (not for the kids, by the way) after the jump:

Download the HD version of the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning teaser trailer at Big Download

Tron Legacy PC mouse, keyboard and mouse pad coming from Razer

Last month at E3, PC gaming peripheral maker Razer showed off the StarCraft II branded PC gaming mice and keyboards. Today at Comic-Con Razer announced that it would be making gaming PC products based on the upcoming movie Tron: Legacy, including a PC gaming mouse, a gaming keyboard and a mouse pad.

All three products will have that distinctive Tron blue color like the mouse you see above. The Tron Legacy PC mouse will have seven buttons, an ambidextrous design and a 5600dpi laser. The Tron Legacy gaming keyboard will have fully programmable keys and a detachable keypad that can be placed to the right or left of the main keyboard. Both the mouse and keyboard will have Tron-like "rez and de-rez" visual effects when you start up and shut down your PC. The Tron Legacy mouse pad will have a blue "Bioluminescent Tracking Glow Trail".

All of the products are due out in the fourth quarter of this year. The gaming keyboard will sell for $149.99, the mouse for $99.99 and the mouse pad will be sold with the mouse in a bundle for $129.99. You can check out images of the keyboard and mouse pad after the jump:
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