Treyarch Details Call of Duty: Black Ops ‘First Strike’ Maps

Thanks to Major Nelson’s weekly podcast, new details on the first Call of Duty: Black Ops map pack, First Strike, have been declassified.

The pack will initially be available for the Xbox 360 on February 1, with PC and PS3 downloads to follow at a later date. The pack will be priced at 1200 Microsoft Points ($15) and include four multiplayer maps and one Zombies Mode map.

  • Berlin Wall: Takes place in and around the Checkpoint Charlie crossing in Berlin.
  • Discovery: Takes place at a German research base in Antarctica, abandoned since World War II.
  • Kowloon: Takes place on “the rainy rooftops of Kowloon City” and inspired by the level from the single-player campaign.
  • Stadium: Takes place inside a hockey rink in the northeastern United States (Lake Placid perhaps?).

    The new Zombies map in First Strike will be titled “Ascension,” but Treyarch’s Director of Online, Dan Bunting, wasn’t ready to talk about it yet.

    “We learned a lot of lessons in the development and design of the maps on the shipped game. For DLC we really wanted to go bigger with some of the things we learned that people liked. We focused a lot more on providing variety of weaponry, variety of engagement types, variety of verticality–a lot more verticality, bringing some sniper opportunities into it,” Bunting said.

  • Joe Mauer Steps Up to the Plate for MLB 11: The Show

    Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer is stepping up to the plate for a second at-bat as the cover athelete for Sony’s MLB: The Show series. Mauer will take his first cuts on March 8, 2011, when Sony plans to release MLB 11: The Show for the PlayStation 3.‘s Jon Robinson got a chance to check out some of the game’s new features including full analog control, co-op play, Challenge of the Week mode, Move support and 3D display support. They probably don’t want people talking about it, but Sony might just be working on a “perfect game” here.

    If that weren’t enough, the PlayStation.Blog has a look at the game’s cover art (and I mean “art” literally, it’s a nice looking box) and an MLB 11-themed DualShock 3.

    SSX: Deadly Descents is a “Redefinition”

    Don’t call it a reboot, Electronic Arts has officially announced that SSX: Deadly Descents, a “redefinition” of the long-running franchise, will be coming to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sometime in the future.

    So what exactly does “redefinition” mean? Well, according to EA, it sounds very similar to the darker and edgier reboots that many other franchises have received in recent years:

    Redefining the SSX franchise, SSX: Deadly Descents will pit riders versus both mountain and man. Players will explore the story of a team who seek to be the first to descend the faces of the most treacherous mountain ranges on the planet. The team will travel the world to face the worst that Mother Nature can throw at them. From the peaks of the Himalayas, where the air is so thin that riders have to descend through the death zone at breakneck speeds to keep from blacking out, to the solid ice ranges of Antarctica, where a sunlit line is the only survival option when temperatures drop 50 degrees centigrade in the shade. And the mountain isn’t the only danger players will face. In SSX: Deadly Descents the first goal is to survive. The second, in true SSX fashion, is to look good doing it.

    SSX: Deadly Descents is being developed by EA Canada, and while we don’t known when it’s being release, we can watch the debut trailer one more time:

    Elder Scrolls V Coming to PC, PS3, Xbox 360

    After shocking the world with the announcement of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim during this weekend’s Spike TV Video Game Awards, Bethesda has revealed a little bit more about the RPG sequel.

    According to the developer, Elder Scrolls V has been in development for years and will utilize a completely brand new game engine. “It’s exciting finally to announce the game,” said Todd Howard, Game Director on Skyrim. “We’ve been working for many years on Skyrim and the technology behind it. A new Elder Scrolls game has been a long time coming, and we can’t wait to show it off.”

    The company also confirmed that the game will be simultaneously released for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 11, 2011.

    Even more details about the game will be revealed in the February issue of Game Informer, which ships to subscribers in early January.

    But in case you missed it, here’s the announcement trailer one more time:

    Guillermo Del Toro’s Insane Will be a Trilogy

    THQ and director Guillermo Del Toro might have jumped the gun just a bit when they revealed Insane during this weekend’s Spike TV Video Game Awards. With a 2013 release date, it’ll be a long time before gamers get a glimpse of anything concrete about the title.

    And now they’ve gone and revealed that Insane is actually a trilogy of games. The first chapter is of the series is in development at Volition and is scheduled to be released on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. With the concluding chapters over four years away, it’s possible that the remainder of the Insane trilogy may make the jump to the (currently unannounced) PS4 and Xbox 720.

    “With this new series of video games, I want to take players to a place they have never seen before, where every single action makes them question their own senses of morality and reality,” said del Toro. “THQ and Volition, Inc. are equally excited to make this vision of a completely new game universe into a reality.”

    Here’s the game’s debut trailer again, in case you missed it:

    Uncharted 3 Announced

    After the massive success of Uncharted 2, a sequel was a sure thing. Until now, Sony has hidden the game away like a pirate hides his plunder. But no longer, as Entertainment Weekly got the first look at the third Uncharted game, which will be titled Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.

    Due for release in Fall 2011, Drake’s Deception was inspired by the early life of T.E. Lawrence, better known as “Lawrence of Arabia.” As you can guess, Nathan Drake will be exploring a lot of desert locales in his latest search for fortune:

    According to Naughty Dog’s creative director Amy Hennig, the theme of deception plays out in multiple ways throughout the threequel, from Drake doing the deceiving to Drake being deceived to some mysterious deception about Drake’s very identity. The story focuses on the hero’s relationship with his mentor and father figure, fan fave Victor “Sully” Sullivan, and has him searching for a legendary lost city that will ultimately take him to the Arabian Peninsula and the vast wasteland of the Rub’ al Khali Desert, also known as the Empty Quarter.

    Developer Naughty Dog ran the EW editors through an early level of the game showcasing some of the new features for Uncharted 3 including better climbing and the ability to fight multiple enemies at once. A larger focus on multiplayer and co-op gameplay will also be evident in the final game. Behind-the-scenes, the game is also being developed with an eye towards being an “interactive cinematic experience” using more advanced motion capture techniques.

    Finally, the first trailer for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception will debut this Saturday during the Spike TV Video Game Awards. But EW has a short teaser you can watch at the end of the preview.

    NeoGeo Games Coming to PSN on December 21

    SNK Playmore is breaking into the PlayStation Network in a big way on December 21. The publisher has announced they will be bringing ten games to a SNK-branded section of the PlayStation Store known as the NeoGeo Station.

    The ten games will run the gamut of SNK’s arcade production from the 90s. All ten titles will be priced at $8.99 and feature online play. The first wave of NeoGeo Station titles will include:

  • Fatal Fury
  • Alpha Mission II
  • The King of Fighters ’94
  • Samurai Shodown
  • Baseball Stars Professional
  • Magician Lord
  • Metal Slug
  • League Bowling
  • Super Sidekicks
  • Art of Fighting

    All titles in the NeoGeo Station will also be available on the PlayStation Store for PSP in January. They’ll be priced at $6.99 each with PSP versions of Fatal Fury and Metal Slug launching alongside the PS3 versions on December 21.

  • First Back to the Future Trailer

    Telltale Games is getting ready to go back… back to the future. Or possibly the past… I’m not sure. But right here in the present, the developer has released the first trailer for Back to the Future: The Game, their upcoming distant sequel to the beloved film trilogy.

    The first episode in the five part game will be released on the PC, PlayStation Network and iPad this month. With new episodes following every month afterwords. Telltale has even offered up a list of titles for each episode, which you can find right here:

    It’s About Time – December
    Get Tannen! – February
    Citizen Brown – March
    Double Visions – April
    Outatime – May

    First Resistance 3 Gameplay Trailer at 2010 VGAs

    Another world premiere for the 2010 Spike TV Video Game Awards has been revealed. Sony will showcase the first gameplay footage from Resistance 3.

    In addition to the world’s first look at the game in action, Sony also plans to continue the live action storyline that began with the Gamescom trailer. You can watch a short preview of that right here:

    The 2010 Spike TV Video Game Awards will be held on Saturday, December 11.

    Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime Announced

    Bustin’ must make Atari feel good as the publisher is prepping a sequel to last year’s Ghostbusters: The Video Game. However, like the Ghostbusters themselves (“Everybody has three mortgages nowadays”), Atari is a tad strapped for cash and will be releasing Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime as a downloadable title for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

    Sanctum of Slime follows the further adventures of “The Rookie” from the first game and is set for release sometime next Spring. According to USA Today’s Game Hunters, the original team from the films (Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson) will not be appearing in the game.

    Instead, The Rookie and the rest of his team will head into battle with the spooks and specters in a top-down shooter developed by Wanako. Four players will be able to play locally or online as they battle “gigantic bosses” and “a new supernatural threat.” Players will get the opportunity to drive the previously unseen Ecto-3.