Ryan Reynolds has been cast as Connor MacLeod in the forthcoming reboot of the Highlander franchise.
According to The Tracking Board - who broke the story - Reynolds has been in negotiations for the last month to play the immortal, who was a sword-happy Scot in the original.
There’s no word yet as to whether Reynolds will be attempting a Celtic brogue in the reboot, though we recently caught up with director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who told us the following about his vision for the flick, including whether or not he'll be using any of Queen's iconic soundtrack.
 
 
A new trailer for the seventh season of Dexter showed up just last week, and while there hasn’t been any new footage shown from the new season, it does hint at some big things happening between Dexter (Michael C. Hall) and his sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), especially following the cliffhanger ending last season. Hopefully we’ll get more of an idea of what this season will entail at Comic-Con next month, bot for now, we have some hints from executive producer Sara Colleton who not only details some of the plot points of the forthcoming seventh season, but also confirms that the eighth season will be the last for Dexter. More details after the jump.

First of all, Colleton, speaking to TV Guide, has no doubt that the eighth season will be the last for Dexter. This was talked about when Showtime renewed the series for two more seasons last year, but Colleton officially confirms it saying:

“This was definite. We wanted to end it this year, but the network convinced us that it would be best to do it in two years. In some ways, this is a two-season series-ender. We have worked that out and know where it’s going to end. Next year will definitely be the last year of Dexter. Absolutely.”

Hopefully that means they don’t have to draw out the series in a way that feels forced for two seasons rather than just ending this season. But after hearing some of the plots from the seventh season, it sounds like there should be some great surprises in store. For those who want to go into the seventh season blind and want to avoid potential spoilers, steer clear from here on out.

Colleton first clears up some facts about the recently cast Yvonne Strahovski’s character. Previously it was said that she’s brought in to help close some old cases. However, the producer says, “She plays this woman named Hannah, who took off from this small rinky-dink Florida town and ran off with this older guy and they went on this wild killing spree. So when they got caught, she turned state’s evidence on the boyfriend, he went to jail for life and she started a new life. Years later, she’s in her 30s and she will intersect with Dexter. I would say Hannah is a still water that runs very deep and is quite unlike any woman Dexter has ever known.” That sounds a little more interesting.

Another plot point will have LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez) maybe getting closer to Dexter’s dark secret. At some point in the season, LaGuerta will find one of Dexter’s blood slides that he drops at a crime scene. Colleton elaborates:

“The only other time that she had seen this blood slide was in the copy case of the Bay Harbor Butcher. Her dear friend Sergeant Doakes, everyone thought he was the Bay Harbor Butcher, and thought that when he died, the Bay Harbor Butcher died with him. Now, she begins to suspect, ‘Is the Bay Harbor Butcher still alive and how can I set about proving the innocence of my friend Sergeant Doakes?’ That is something that’s a silent thing at the start, but it’s, again, going to be eventually working its way back to Dexter. It’s going to be very interesting to see if she can exonerate him.”

But the big question is, what will be happening between Dexter and Deb after her discovery at the end of the season last year? Colleton doesn’t reveal too much, but does say their relationship following this revelation will be somewhat rocky:

“Yeah. Obviously this whole season we’re going to have great fun playing with every permutation that can be played between Debra and Dexter in their relationship now that this information has come out. She was on her way to the church at the end of the last season because she had come to realize that she not only loved her foster brother Dexter but she is in love with him. So now what does she do? Does she turn him into the police? Is she repulsed by him? Can she continue to love him? Does she feel an odd relief that finally she understands some fundamental part of him that always felt elusive? Dexter was always elusive and Debra always thought it was because of her, and now she knows it wasn’t about her, it was about him really protecting her.

But she is the head of the homicide division and so it has to really affect her sense of justice and the whole system. It’s a really challenging year for her to juggle. And Dexter, of course, his world is equally rocked. He’s never had to deal with these kinds of emotions — regret, guilt, a sense of having let Deb down and also, obviously, the gnawing suspicion that at any time, she could have him arrested.”

Yeah, this season sounds like it’s setting up for the final go round, and I’m glad they’re not going to keep the show going just because the network wants it. It’s a little troubling that what should have been one season is becoming two, but I’m hoping the writers can maintain the quality of the show for a stellar ending for fans. For more of the interview with Collet and more details on the forthcoming season, check out the fill interview at TV Guide.
 
 
Microsoft has released an SDK for SmartGlass, its upcoming Xbox 360/Windows 8/Windows Phone cross-platform integration framework. The service allows non-Xbox devices, like tablet computers, to sync with the console and display context-sensitive information based on what's going on in a given game or app, among other uses.

The SDK, available now for anyone who's part of the Microsoft Game Developers Network, includes a SmartGlass JavaScript library, sample application and the Xbox SmartGlass Studio, an environment for constructing SmartGlass "activities." Microsoft isn't hedging its bets entirely upon third-party support, however, as the company plans on implementing the feature in every Microsoft Studios game from here on out.
 
 
Dawnguard, the massive DLC package coming to Skyrim, will launch in France, Italy, Germany and Spain in mid-July, Bethesda tweeted today. The tweet also reminds us that the US version will hit for Xbox 360 on Tuesday, June 26.

The "FIGS" 1.6 patch for Xbox 360 will launch next week as well.
 
 
Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation won't be the only way to get your assassination/conspiracy theory/fashionable hood fix on the go, as Ubisoft and GREE have announced Assassin's Creed Utopia for unknown mobile devices.

The game, which is set to launch sometime later this year, will see players building their own "Assassin's Creed utopian colonial city," producer Andreane Meunier told Pocket Gamer. Unlike Liberation on the Vita, Utopia will not be directly linked to Assassin's Creed 3's continuity, though the game does take place in the early days of American colonization.

GREE's trademark social inclinations will be present in some form or another, but Meunier insists Utopia won't abandon AC's "hardcore" roots.
 
 
Assassins Creed III continues the saga of the Templars vs the Assassins. The fifth installment follows a revolutionary; his name is Connor, and he's an assassin.

While we didn't know that much information about Assassin's Creed III's main character a few months ago, we've learned quite a bit about the new Revolutionary War-era hero in the past few months. We know his motives, we know his skills, and we know his style. And we've brought all of the new information here for you, so you can get caught up on what makes Connor different.

His name is Connor Kenway
The American assassin has a fairly American name: Connor Kenway. Well, actually, that’s not his birth name. He was born Ratohnhaké:ton, but now he calls himself Connor. We don't know exactly why, besides one name being easy to pronounce and the other being slightly more difficult, but we're guessing it has something to do with his mixed heritage.
Connor is half Native American and half British. His mother was Mohawk Native American, and his father was a British settler, which explains his alliance in the war. If he was just Mohawk this would be more confusing – the Mohawk actually fought against the Americans during the Revolutionary War for… obvious reasons.
He uses a tomahawk in the shape of the Assassin's Creed "A"

The new assassin's tomahawk looks like it's going to be his crowbar. Every image shows it in his hand, ready to be plunged into the chest of a British soldier (or, more likely, general). The fact that it's shaped like the Assassin's Creed "A" makes it even cooler, and we can't wait to see what we can do with it. We're hoping for the ability to throw it, because throwing axes at people is one of the coolest things you can do. Seriously, look it up. It's a fact.
He'll assassinate people during battles

Unless the game's cover is pulling our leg, it looks like Assassin's Creed III is going to have us assassinating people during battles. It actually fits right in line with the rest of the series - sneaking around a hectic battlefield while trying to blend into the mayhem while searching for a specific target is essentially an evolution of the series' unorthodox stealth mechanics, and paves the road for other war-based Assassin's Creed games in the future.
He looks like Ezio/Desmond/Altair

Again, this isn't all that surprising. Connor is definitely related to Desmond. Ubisoft has been sure to give each of its protagonists similar looking features, and though the new guy doesn't look like a clone of Ezio or Altair or Desmond, he definitely looks like their half-Native American uncle.

Connor's alliance in the Revolutionary War is clear: he fights on the side of the red, white, and blue (yes, we know those are the Union Jack colors, shh). In every video we've seen he's chased down and killed British Templar, and we've already heard that he's going to be working alongside the founding fathers. That said, we don't know if he's doing it for patriotic reasons, or if his actual motives are more in line with those of the Assassins'.
It makes sense, too, that the settlers would be Assassins. Assassin's Creed: Discovery explained that the Assassins knew of an Apple of Eden in North America, so it fits that it would have gotten to the continent first, only to be followed by Templars trying to take it back.
Not only is he fighting for America, but he's fighting with some of the people who signed the Declaration of Independence. The back of the Game Informer cover shows someone who looks a lot like George Washington leading an army, and one of the pieces of art on GI's website has the assassin standing behind the general during the famous crossing of the Delaware.

We're also hearing that he's going to be working closely with Benjamin Franklin and Charles Lee, as well as other historical players. We originally guessed that Franklin would be the mad scientist of ACIII, but it sounds like he'll spend more time in the brothel than in the workshop.

He has a bow

We really wish we had more to say about this one, but, yeah, he has a bow. Every image of Connor has a bow on his back, meaning we'll be able to take shots at enemies from afar. There's a quiver, too, hinting that the bow will likely have a limited number of arrows that can be fired before he needs to get more, or pick them out of the bodies of his enemies like a total bad-ass.
This is actually fairly interesting. In just about every picture, Connor is carrying a flintlock pistol, with another strapped to his side. This is important for several reasons. First, it means the hidden gun from Assassin's Creed II likely isn't returning, since there would be no reason to carry a few guns if there was one hidden in his sleeve. Second, it hints that he might be able to dual wield weapons, or to fire two shots without needing to (very slowly) reload.

And third, it reaffirms that he's working with some high-class individuals. Typical soldiers didn't carry flintlock pistols during the Revolutionary War, they were mostly carried by officers or generals. While we're not going to say this proves that he's a general or an officer, it definitely shows that he works with them quite a lot. 

He has new hidden blades

While it looks like his main weapon is going to be a tomahawk, the new assassin will still have access to the series' signature hidden blades. He'll have two - which is sort of the standard in Assassin's Creed games - and they appear to be upgraded from when we last put blade to throat. During one video, Connor actually removed the blade from the wrist-guard, allowing him more versatility whilst killing people.
He'll captain a boat

At Sony's E3 2012 press conference, Ubisoft took the stage to show off an element of Assassin's Creed III that hadn't yet been revealed: at some point, for some reason, Connor will become the captain of a boat. The demo looked awesome, and showed him commanding his sailors to fire on enemy ships and even jumping to board another vessel.
He can assassinate enemies while running

Guns are scary, and they're pretty easy to use. One shot and bam - you're down. That's why the typical assassinations (jumping on people and stabbing them) simply don't work anymore. Connor adapts by killing on the go, stabbing enemies as he sprints past them.

He's a real Assassin (with a capital A)
It took a little while for Ezio to actually join in the fight against the Templars in Assassin's Creed II. In the beginning he was just a guy out for revenge. This new character, however, is absolutely decked out in Assassin gear, with the emblem all over his outfit. It's on his belt, it's on his arms, and it's on his axe. He's not some guy who decided to start assassinating people, he's a true Assassin, in the Assassin's Brotherhood, fighting the fight against the Templars. He even has that Assassin's Creed notched hood thing going on!
He can hang people with the Rope Dart
Connor has access to a new, powerful item in ACIII. It's called the "Rope Dart," and it is exactly what it sounds like: a rope with a dart attached to it. We saw him stand in a tree, throw the dart into a man's neck, and then drop down, hanging the enemy while he takes on the other opponents.

He can assassinate enemies from corners
Connor has an elegant solution to taking down enemies from corners. While standing against a corner, he can grab a foe and kill them with a quick stab, placing them on the ground out of sight.
Connor obviously has a connection to eagles. He has a number of eagle feathers on his outfit, and even one emblazoned on his hood. This, obviously, fits within Assassin’s Creed’s lore, which has the Assassin’s sharing a connection with eagles, and also fits in with his heritage.

Eagles (and eagle feathers) and considered sacred in many Native American cultures. The eagle is considered a messenger to god, and some cultures believed that the eagle had the power to protect people from evil. Since he's part Native American, his association to the eagle is likely stronger than it was for the other assassins in past games, moving from a symbol to a sacred connection.

He can climb trees.

This might seem like a minor addition, but it's actually pretty freaking huge. Connor can climb trees, as seen from this screenshot, which has massive implications not just for the urban environments, but for the outdoors as well.

Stalking prey through the forest by jumping between trees could be an awesome expansion of the Assassin's Creed gameplay style, and from what we've seen it's as fluid and awesome as it sounds.
He can hunt

According to reports, about 1/3 of Assassin's Creed III takes place out in the open. Trailers have shown Conner in the open, hunting down and killing different types of wildlife, and one even showed him skinning an animal. Hopefully he'll be able to do something with the animals he kills, or else we're sure some people might be upset to find out that he's not using every part of the animals he slays. We're guessing that there will be some sort of bartering abilities, allowing Connor to trade his gathered goods for equipment or gold.
 
 
Microsoft teases ""rewards based on your achievements"" this Autumn

Microsoft has teased that it will soon be offering new 'rewards' based on the unlocking of Achievements in Xbox 360 games.

The announcement came from the official Twitter feed of the Xbox Live Rewards website, which teased, "Coming Fall: a new way to earn Rewards based on your Achievements!"
 
 
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Today Microsoft held a press conference to reveal
their new Tablet PC to rival competitors like Ipad. The "Surface,"a clever name Microsft "stole" from a far less universal product line, the newly dubbeb "Pixelsense" coffee table touchscreen.

Speculation held that Microsoft would be unveiling a new tablet that would be heavily integrated into the Xbox 360. However, that part of the tale never came to fruition. Kinect was mentioned a couple of times, but only in passing as Microsoft listed off their achievements in the personal technology world.

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Tech enthusiasts seemed fairly excited about the device, but Microsoft never tied the announcement to its gaming efforts. While we're absolutely positive the Windows 8-enabled tablet will work just fine with Xbox 360 Smart Glass, Microsoft never mentioned that functionality. They instead spent more time focusing on the personal computing features and form of the device, such as the magnetic cover that doubles as a keyboard.

No price or availability information was announced, however they said they'd be discussing that at a later date (obviously) and to expect the tablet to be competitive with others on the market.

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It was inevitable that we’d see yet another entry in this increasingly crowded market, but what was really surprising is just how little Microsoft had to say about the gaming potential of the new product. It mentioned support for the Xbox app, and it’s madness to think the Surface won’t utilise SmartGlass and connect natively with the next Xbox console, but no games were shown – although Cut the Rope was installed on one of the demonstration units. Despite this presentation oversight, the Surface is already exciting commentators.

The mobile gaming scene Apple has helped foster is booming, and while Surface’s “Windows 8 Apps” focus will struggle to catch up with that even with significant effort on Microsoft’s behalf, the iPad has demonstrated
that there is a demand for a gaming tablet. The number of calls for (and rumours of) an Apple control pad peripheral or decent third-party standard is proof enough that tablet gamers want to move beyond App Store offerings, too.

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The Surface is ideally positioned to meet that demand. Despite Microsoft’s tendency to work in closed systems the Surface does something the iPad is often criticised for failing to do – it works with the gear you’ve already got. The screen runs 1920×1080, meaning there’s no need to convert or scale video media, and for those times when that isn’t enough, the Surface has an HDMI port. No more shelling out an eye-opening amount of money for a glaringly white but exquisitely styled plastic converter which really ought to have been in the box on purchase; whatever you’ve got on there can presumably also go on your TV using cables already found in your home

 While we’re talking about ports, get a load of that USB 2.0 logo on the side there. It’s here that things start to get really interesting. Microsoft hasn’t promised anything, but the fact that the musclier of the two models – the Ivy Bridge-powered Pro – runs Windows 8 natively means that you may be able to plug in an Xbox 360 or generic PC control pad. Microsoft may even lose its head and throw in wireless Xbox 360 control pad support.

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So now we’re starting to see a compelling picture – you have an admittedly middling spec but serviceable Windows box which you can carry anywhere, hook up to a TV, and plug peripherals into. Will it run Steam, or Origin, or GOG, or that catalogue of indie games you’ve built up over the last dozen bundle sales? Will it be capable of supporting any number of modest browser-based and free-to-play games?

If so, Microsoft will have done something quite amazing. Over the last five years we’ve seen PC gaming explode and diversify as smaller and indie developers led a push to uncover new markets
not constrained by the big-budget conservatism of console-driven triple-A development. It might not have the grunt to run the latest and greatest blockbusters with maxed settings, but the Surface could, with very little effort, provide a portable window (I know, I know) into the PC gaming world for all those not interested in shelling out for an uber PC.

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"Surface" SPECS:
Weighs 576g
9.33mm thick
0.7mm Kickstand

Two Core Models, each with two memory options
Surface RT has nVidia ARM CPU and comes in 32GB and 64GB
The Surface Pro comes with a third-generation Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 and comes in 64GB and 128GB
1920x1080 optically bonded multitouch Gorilla Glass Display
Equipped with HDMI and USB 2.0 ports
Offical Microsoft accessories include a magnetically attached cover with a full keyboard, trackpad, and system
keys
Pricing said to be comparable to competing products
Lauch Window TBA

 
 
According to the details posted on Official PlayStation Managzine Dawnguard's story focuses on Harkon, a vampire lord trying to use and Elder Scroll to blot out the sun.

The DLC adds conversations about vampire hunters to the game, which opens up the option to either join Harkon's vampire uprising or allign yourself with the slayers and kill the sucker.

Joining the vampire has some appealing perks such as becoming a flying vampire lord, which functions much like being a werewolf and gets you a power called Vampiric Grip that suspends enemies in the air while draining their health. You can also turn into a cloud of bats.

Don't get too excited though, being a vampire will get you attacked on sight, so you'll have to keep switching to your human form.

Joining the Dawnguard will net you a few new weapons including the crossbow. These are always primed to fire and can stagger targets, the downside is that they take much longer than the standard bow to reload. You can also hire armored trolls as followers.

Finally, a new shout called Soul Tear lets you steal a soul and raise the victim as an undead companion. Not to shabby.

Have a look at the complete vampire and werewolf perk trees below.

Power of the Grave - 50 point bonus to health, magicka and stamina as a Vampire Lord.
Detect All Creatures - Requirement: Power of the Grave
Mist Form - Turn yourself into an invulnerable cloud of mist while regenerating your health, magicka, and stamina. Requirement: Detect All Creatures
Supernatural Reflexes -You move quicker, while enemies move slower. Requirement: Mist Form
Blood Healing - Killing a person with a power attack bite restores all your health. Requirement: Power of the Grave
Unearthly Will - Night powers and Blood Magic cost 33% less. Requirement: Power of the Grave
Poison Talons - Melee attacks deal 20 points of poison damage. Requirement: Unearthly Will/Blood Healing
Night Cloak - A shroud of bats feed on enemies within melee range. Requirement: Poison Talons
Vampiric Grip - Blood Magic: Can pull a creature to you from a distance, and do choking damage once it's close. Requirement: Power of the Grave
Summon Gargoyle - Summons a Gargoyle. Requirement: Vampiric Grip
Corpse Curse - Paralyze your foes with this magical blast. Requirement: Summon Gargoyle
Bestial Strength - Do 25% more damage as a werewolf.
Totem of Ice Brothers
Totem of the Predator
Totem of Terror - Werewolf Howl of Terror affects even higher level creatures.
Totem of the Moon - Summon an ally werewolf with a howl.
Animal Vigor - 100 point bonus to health and stamina in beast form.
Gorging - Feeding heals twice as much health.
Matt Carafano, lead artist on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and upcoming vampire themed expansion Dawnguard, has told CVG that Bethesda may look to support future releases with additional content on mobiles and tablets.
 
 
Hopes that Isaac Clarke may be an ambassador for the Wii U are quickly fading as Visceral Games's vice president and general manager Steve Papoutsis has reported the studio is not currently working on a port of Dead Space 3 for Nintendo's forthcoming system.
Today, Papoutsis fielded a Twitter question from one Dead Space fan who asked, “Hello Steve, May ask if DS3 planned for Wii U? It could be fun with asymmetrical gameplay, nope?”.

In response, Papoutsis tweeted: “Not currently in the plan.”
 

    June 2012 News

    Comment on any topic.
    This month houses E3


    This month starts the trend of discontinuing the Catetegories of Articles. Posting from my Iphone doesn't allow the feature of keynoting each news-post. So I can't organize articles with Keywords; apologies.