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Bethesda has confirmed that Skyrim will not contain armor or weapon degradation, which means no hard-earned coin need be spent on repairs.

According to Pete Hines, speaking on Twitter: “We replaced that w/ creating/improve weap/armor, instead of spending lots of time getting them back to where they were.”

In Skyrim, players will craft weapons and armor and improve them in the game, so there is no longer the need to have them repaired.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is out on November 11. Check out the developer diary for Xbox 360 posted earlier today, here.
                                                                                                                                                                                {VG247}

 
 
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Bioware gave their community the chance to choose how the default female version of Commander Shepard would look, and the response was HUGE! Out of the several options, redhead Shepard was declared the hottest! Let's be honest, you voted based on how hot they were, not how "badass" the looked. If you head on over to Mass Effect's Facebook Page, you can download a wallpaper of Ms. Shepard designed by one of Bioware's concept artist, Patryk Olejniczak. Did you vote for the redhead? Would you prefer a different model of female Shepard? Be sure to leave a comment and gives us your thoughts!

 
 
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Bioware and Darkhorse have announced The Art of the Mass Effect Universe, which is a large hardcover collectors’ volume featuring Mass Effect 3 concept art, and other graphical aspects to the game.

The press release didn’t state what else you would find within the pages, but likely more information will be revealed before it drops in February 2012. Once released, it will run you $39.99 and since details are so minuscule, we’re also unsure whether or not this is the same art book included in the Mass Effect 3 Collector’s Edition. We will send a mail and ask for you. Hopefully, we’ll hear something back on Monday after PAX Prime is finished.



{VG247}

 
 
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BioShock Infinite tells an emotionally-charged story, but to accomplish this Irrational Games had to spend a lot of time in the recording booth. During a panel at PAX 2011, Irrational Game’s Ken Levine, and voice actors Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper talked about this experience. 

Here are a few interesting tidbits that came up during the panel:
  • Ken Levine didn’t meet any of the actors from the first BioShock, he only ever talked to them over the phone before recording sessions, but for Infinite he was extremely hands on, often getting in the recording booth to help out the actors.
  • The actress who plays Elizabeth – Courtnee Draper – is going to law school, and was actually about to quit acting when she got offered the part for BioShock Infinite. She actually hadn’t heard of BioShock before her audition.
  • The Uncharted games really inspired Ken Levine while working on BioShock Infinite.
  • Few of the dramatic sequences in BioShock Infinite are not truly scripted. BioShock Infinite has a system that watches for cool opportunities to introduce dialogue sequences, so the game’s story will evolve differently for every player.   
  • Ken Levine wanted every line of dialogue to sound perfect, so a lot of time was spent rerecording lines. Three lines, in particular, proved to be so challenging that it took the team over an hour to record what they wanted.
  • At least one scene in the game was not originally planned for the game, but was pieced together using ad libs and extra lines from other recording sessions.
  • During one particularly difficult recording session, actress Courtnee Draper was having trouble working up the emotions necessary to deliver her lines, so Draper encouraged the actor who plays Booker DeWitt (Troy Baker) to start berating her until she was in tears. Finally she was able to deliver her lines perfectly.

{GameInformer}

You can click this link if you'd like to see some footage from the recording sessions that Irrational presented at the panel. The first video features the recording of the emotional line "You were right" from the demo, and how Troy yelled at and degraded Courtnee so she could get the emotion just right tat was required for that line:

 
 
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Fans attending PAX can also head over to Halo Fest, a huge celebration of the franchise going on all weekend. We went to a press preview event to see what Microsoft planned to show off to fans.

The one Firefight map in the game is fully playable. It's called Installation 04 and is inspired the second level, called "Halo," from the first game. We defended the Forerunner spire from endless Covenant dropships along an idyllic cliffside. One new feature of this map is that NPC ally characters, the ODSTs, join Firefight for the first time to help take down enemies. This is especially made for players who want to dip into Firefight when none of their friends are online.

In addition to trying out the previously announced Beaver Creek and Damnation maps in competitive multiplayer, we also got to try out the just revealed Timberland and Prisoner maps. All of the revisited maps in Halo Anniversary have a classic layout that ties closely to the original version and an updated layout that adds in some fresh elements. 

Click "Read More" for the full list of details coming out of Halo Fest!

{GameInformer}


 
 
The death of PC gaming, it turns out, will be stopped by a new, multiscreen, ultra-thin, 17-inch $2,800 laptop from Razer.

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Razer, most notable for making gaming accessories, today unveiled their first laptop, codenamed the Blade. The laptop was developed with NVIDIA and Intel and features a Intel Core i7 processor, a "high performance" NVIDIA GeForce graphics processor, an LED-backlit 17-inch screen, weighs less than 7 pounds and is .88-inches thick. The laptop also includes the "Switchblade" UI which allows you to put hotkeys, macros and skills on 10 adaptive tactile keys with matching icons. Beneath that, an ultra-sensitive LCD multi-touch panel displays in-game info such as quests and chat messages. It can also be used as a multi-touch track pad.

The device's power supply is also surprisingly small for such a powerful rig. It's 5.9 x 2.3 inches, .7 inches thick and weighs 0.7 pounds. The device's battery life is 2 1/2 to six hours depending on what you are doing, Kotaku was told. (Six hours is if the computer is idling, 2 1/2 if you are playing a "hardcore" game.)


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The Blade

Price: US $2799.99
Availability: North America Q4 2011
Product Specifications:
· 2.8GHz Intel® Core™ i7 2640M Processor
· 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 Memory
· 17.3" LED Backlit Display (1920x1080)
· NVIDIA GeForce® GT 555M with NVIDIA® Optimus™ Technology
2GB Dedicated GDDR5 Video Memory
· Built-in HD Webcam
· Integrated 60Wh Battery
· 320GB 7200rpm SATA HDD
· Wireless Network 802.11 b/g/n Compatible
· Battery: 6 hours idle, 2 1/2 if playing "hardcore" game.
· 16.81" (Width) x 10.9" (Depth) x 0.88" (Height); 6.97lbs (Weight)

 
 
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If you're attending PAX this year, make sure you head over to the Warner Bros. booth. There, you can register to win a 100% free, brand new Batman Arkham City Xbox 360 Slim. As of now, this one of a kind custom 360 designed with Arkham City imagery will only be available at PAX in Seattle, Washington. Even if you aren't a fan of the game or of the Xbox, go ahead and register. If you win, you could make some BIG bucks with this on the good 'ol Ebay.


 
 
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Gabe Newell has said one of the goals Valve has set with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the inclusion of cross-platform play.

Speaking in a video interview with PC Games at Gamescom, Newell said Valve feels gamers shouldbe able to play together no matter what platform they are using.

“We never want to create these ‘islands of players’,” he said. “You have to be sensitive to control differences, and make sure you’re accommodating that, but, you know, our view is players should be able to play as part of a community on whatever device they can.

“You know, sometimes there are contractual, or other issues that make that hard, where somebody, a platform holder doesn’t want you to do that for whatever reason, but our preference is always to let customers play and be part of the larger community.”

CSGO is targeted for release in early 2012 and will be playable at this year’s PAX Prime and Eurogamer Expo 2011.                                                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       {VG247}

 
 
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Speaking to PC Gamer, BioWare CEO Dr. Ray Muzyka spoke a bit about what's to come for the Dragon Age series. Regarding the mixed reaction to Dragon Age 2, he said “It’s interesting because the first reviews – the number of the reviews was also very polarized, awesomely so. Lots of 90+ reviews, we also got fans that I think in some cases who were expecting more Dragon Age: Origins, and there was a misalignment of expectation there."

In terms of where the series is going next, Muzyka stated “What we need to do as developers is take that feedback from both sets of fans to heart and see about marrying that in future games in the Dragon Age franchise. I think that the team has actually got a great plan. I think the team is going to have some things that are going to surprise both sets of fans, both core fans and new fans with a marriage of these…the best from both games, Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2. And we look forward more to talking about that in the future.”

The next installment in the Dragon Age series most likely won't be seen for a while, but fans should feel comfortable knowing BioWare is listening to feedback on their previous titles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        {GameInformer}

 
 
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At his Gamescom keynote speech, Activision publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg says that the trash-talking between his company and Electronic Arts over Call of Duty and Battlefield, respectively, is bad for the industry.

"Competition is of course a good thing. It keeps us all on our toes and ultimately makes the games better. It's healthy," said Hirshberg according to Eurogamer. "But it's one thing to want your game to succeed and another thing to actively, publicly say you want other games to fail." Activision and Electronic Arts – particularly Activision's Bobby Kotick and EA CEO John Riccitiello – have engaged in a public feud over which game will come out on top this holiday season.

                                                                                                                        {GameInformer}