Friday, April 01, 2011

Blizzard announces a slew of new releases (AFD #3, #4, #5, #6)

Holy cow, it's been a busy time over at Blizzard Entertainment this week, as the company decided to unleash a slew of new announcements to gamers, just in time for the weekend.  I mean, if you're a fan of ANY Blizzard game, it's like Christmas in April for you.  Just take a look at what's coming from the studio.

Trust me when I say I'm excited by the news.  I mean, I couldn't make any of this stuff up!! [Ed. Note: But that doesn't mean someone else didn't]

First up ...

It's been a long LONG time in coming, but Blizzard is finally making its triumphant return to the world of console gaming ... and it's starting with with a custom port of its hit StarCraft franchise, with the upcoming release of StarCraft: Motion Overdrive for the Xbox 360.  Utilizing the 360's Kinect controller, Motion Overdrive makes the StarCraft experience even more immersive, by giving players the ultimate control over their forces.

Just check out this announcement video posted today:

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to wield the power of the Protoss.

Moving right along, because there's a lot of ground to cover here, Blizzard hasn't forgotten about you World of Warcraft players out there. I mean, there's still one or two of you around these days, right? Well, to you few dedicated players, Blizzard is offering up, not one, but TWO major new additions.

The first of these additions is Crabby, a new fully featured "dungeon helper" meant to help newbies and veterans alike through any particularly rough times they may encounter in Azeroth.

Unlike any standard "pet" currently available, Crabby is there to help you, the user, by providing helpful hints and tips to guide you through your World of Warcraft experience.  According to Blizzard:
"Crabby uses a complex and extensive set of context-sensitive situational heuristics to analyze your current status in real-time; that's tech talk for "Crabby always knows what's up." He watches your every move with his all-seeing eyes. Nothing escapes his unwavering gaze; not even the slightest nuance of your play style goes unnoticed. Before long, Crabby will know what you're going to do before you even do it. And he will use this knowledge to help.

Crabby is able to tell you exactly what's going on and what you should do. His many useful tips will appear in the bottom right corner of your screen, where he hangs out, ever patiently, waiting for you to need his help. Of course, whether you follow his advice or not is entirely up to you; Crabby may possess an advanced level of artificial intelligence, but we're reasonably sure he doesn't have any feelings you could hurt. Reasonably sure. But just in case, the ability to remove Crabby has been disabled for now."
But wait!  There's more ...

Blizzard knows that WoW players are all about unique dungeon crawling experiences.  So, utilizing its new "Deep Dark®" technology, the company has created a new dungeon the likes of which players have never seen ... and will never see again.  The "Tomb of Immortal Darkness" is a new five-player normal and heroic dungeon that will be introduced in patch 4.1.11.

Found beneath the graves of Duskwood's Raven Hill Cemetery, the Tomb of Immortal Darkness will challenge players like no other instance before.  Just make sure that your current system is up to the task of handling the impressive new graphics like this:

Featuring new daily quests, updated monster models, brand new achievements, and all-new unique loot, you could quite possibly be blinded by the brilliance of everything this dungeon has to offer.

Finally, for all you Diablo fans out there still waiting patiently for the release of Diablo III, well Blizzard has some good news for you too.  No, the game's still not due out just yet ... but over the course of the development cycle, the studio has managed to actually incorporate the properties of one of Diablo II's most important artifacts into a real world application.

Introducing the Horadric Cube App for the iPhone and iPad ...

Tired of buying useless apps to add to the collection of other useless apps cluttering up your iOS?  Well why not make the most of 'em and combine them into something new and original?  Much like the Horadric Cube from Diablo II, this new app from Blizzard allows owners to drop their unwanted apps into a virtual cube and then click the "Transmute" button to create a totally new app from the materials.  Finally, there's something useful that you can get from all those freebies sucking up your iPhone or iPad's storage space.

Plus, as an added bonus, Blizzard is promising to add the "Translocation" feature to the app in a future update, which will allow owners' Cube to "spawn portals to the deepest depths of the Burning Hells and throw open the gates to a realm beyond your darkest nightmares." Just the thing to help in those times when you just want to get away.

So ... with all that news from Blizzard today, which are YOU most looking forward to?

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