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Tuesday Newsday: Star Wars, Nintendo at E3, Mad Max & Wolfenmelons


Don't do coffee, kids.
Apr 29
// Max Scoville
Put on your current events helmets, everyone, because Tuesday Newsday is here. Because it’d just be an Ephant Mon in the room if I didn’t address it, the Star Wars Episode VII cast has been revealed, following t...
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Just Cause

Just Cause 3 domain spotted


What's the holdup?
Apr 24
// Jordan Devore
The domain "justcause3game.com" was registered this week and the site has been associated with publisher Square Enix. After countless signs pointing to the inevitability of a third game and Just Cause 2 growing in unexpected ...
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AAA Games

AAA game business unprofitable says Just Cause dev


Business is 'not healthy at the moment'
Feb 08
// Wesley Ruscher
Profitability in AAA titles nowadays is tricky business. We scoff when companies claim a game that sells 3.5 million copies is not a success, and perhaps rightfully so. Amidst the inflating development costs of the new consol...
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Just Cause

Just Cause 2 Multiplayer is ModDB's mod of the year


The website's readers obviously like chaos on a massive scale
Dec 27
// Alasdair Duncan
The recently released multiplayer mod for Just Cause 2 has won the ModDB's Mod of the Year award. Fully released on Steam just two weeks ago, the mod allows a huge number of players to fight or race each other in the game's ...
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Deals

If you don't own Just Cause 2, go scrounge up $3


Steam sale valid until December 19
Dec 17
// Jordan Devore
It's remarkable to think back on the joy Just Cause 2 has given me in light of its absurd sale price right now on Steam: $2.99. For that little money, it'd be a mistake not to add this to your library, plain and simple. Even ...
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Just Cause

This Just Cause 2 multiplayer trailer is suitably crazy


That's a heck of a lot of chaos happening
Dec 16
// Alasdair Duncan
God bless modders; they don't settle for less. When Just Cause 2 was released, it was praised for its huge expansive world and chaotic, sandbox fun. But modders asked the question "Wouldn't this be even better with like.... ...
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Just Cause 2 multiplayer

Steam is releasing the Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod


Grappling hooks and friends
Dec 02
// Joshua Derocher
The Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod has been around for a while on the PC, but it's going to be getting an official release on Steam. This means you will be able to download the mod and server right from Steam, and you'll be abl...
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Rumors

Mad Max game might be coming out in April 2014


Just Cause 3 could be out in 2015
Nov 07
// Joshua Derocher
All Games Beta shared a picture of a Linkedin profile for the founder and CEO of Avalanche Studios, most notably known for creating the Just Cause series. The last two entries on his profile are very interesting, and could be...
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Square Enix game bundl

Nab four bundled Square Enix games for $15 by day's end


Hitman, Deus Ex, Just Cause 2, Sleeping Dogs
Sep 16
// Steven Hansen
Have you somehow avoided picking up Just Cause 2, Hitman: Absolution, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Sleeping Dogs for mere pittance? I feel like they've all been below $5 at some point, but if you're still looking to own the...
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This week's Challenge Scot!
This week's challenge in is Just Cause 2 -- more specifically, the Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod, in which I was tasked with getting myself to Panau international airport without flying a helicopter or plane, steal the bigges...

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Avalanche

Avalanche Studios has a steampunk-style game on hold


'We'll make something in that world sooner or later'
May 15
// Jordan Devore
Will there be another Just Cause? Probably. I mean, if there's any justice, yes. But those recent pictures Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg put out on Twitter aren't it. When Edge pressed him on the matter, he ca...
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Avalanche

Avalanche doesn't want to develop games on Wii U yet


The studio has dev kits, but they 'only collect dust'
May 09
// Brett Makedonski
Avalanche Studios, the team best known for the Just Cause franchise, isn't shy about its position on the Wii U. It simply has no interest in developing games on Nintendo's console. Not yet, at least. In an interview with Pres...
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Star Wars

Avalanche Studios almost made a Star Wars game


Just Cause studio came close to a deal a few years ago
May 07
// Alasdair Duncan
If you're still smarting over the news that EA now hase exclusive rights over the Star Wars franchise, then here's some more news to make you wonder about how things might have turned out differently. Former Avalanche&nb...
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'Clusterf*cking Limousines Circuit'
A few days ago, I saw that the Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod was going to do another weekend test run. Having so far failed to participate in a single one of these events, including this latest one -- screw my short-term memo...

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Just Cause 3?

If this isn't Just Cause 3, I don't know what is


What are you up to, Avalanche?
Feb 27
// Jordan Devore
The last teaser image we saw from Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg left some room for debate as to what, exactly, the screenshot was -- I'll grant you that much. But this latest one, Tweeted earlier today? If tha...
Avalanche Studios photo
Avalanche Studios

Is this an image of Just Cause 3 from Avalanche Studios?


Kicking confirmed for next Avalanche game
Feb 13
// Jordan Devore
Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg shared a rather fun tweet today: "We're making awesome games at #avalanchestudios! This year will be awesome! #yearoftheavalanche" -- which is all well and good, but he also inclu...
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$10 PC deal: Quantum Conundrum, Deus Ex: HR, and more


Offer also includes Just Cause 2 and Hitman: Blood Money
Oct 14
// Jordan Devore
I've seen some deals in my time, but it's been a while since I felt it necessary to drop what I was doing and spread the word. Right now, Amazon is offering its "Absolutely Great Square Pack" for $9.99, which totally lives up...
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Here's a 600 multiplayer game of Just Cause 2


Aug 03
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The mod community is the best. In this case, they've taken Just Cause 2 and given it new life by adding multiplayer. There's a huge community surrounding the mod, and you should go join up if you want to get in on the fun. 600 player in multiplayer mod of Just Cause 2 [Reddit]
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Just Cause 2 players will get an outfit in Sleeping Dogs


Jul 25
// Jordan Devore
United Front Games' open-world action title Sleeping Dogs is sneaking up on us. Ahead of its release in less than three weeks, Square Enix London Studios has revealed a neat little bonus for players of Just Cause 2. Available...

Review: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680

Mar 22 // Ryan Perez
[embed]224337:43139[/embed] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680Manufacturer: NVIDIARelease: March 22, 2012MSRP: $499 Important GeForce GTX 680 specs: CUDA Cores: 1,536 (Three times more than the 580) Base Clock: 1006 MHz Boost Clock: 1058 MHz Memory Clock: 6008 MHz Interface: 256-bit Total Memory: 2048MB GDDR5 Total Memory Bandwidth: 192.26 GB/s Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear): 128.8 Giga Texels/sec Connectors: 2 x Dual-Link DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort Recommended Power Supply: 550 Watts Thermal Design Power: 195 Watts (244 Watts for 580) Power Connectors: 2 x 6-pin (One 6-pin and one 8-pin for 580)  My general PC specs: Windows 7 x64 (cards are already compatible with Windows 8) Intel i7 2.80 GHz 8GB DDR3 SDRAM I'm just going to get straight to what most of you want to know: How it handles games. The reason I posted my rig's not-so-uber specs above is actually a way of pointing out that my 680 has been taking a lot of the stress with all of the graphically heavy games I've thrown at it. It's all for the card. Believe me, I would have gladly neglect mentioning my specs, as mentioning your lackluster PC to techies is like showing your four-incher to a porn star. The first game I tested -- and the most obvious -- was Battlefield 3. An important note about its Frostbite 2 engine is that it's very efficiently built to run on an adequately powered rig. My old 560 Ti (always overclocked) could handle ultra settings at around 40 to 50 FPS, minus VSync or anti-aliasing. So it's obvious that a 680 would make short work of this game's demands. However, even on powerful rigs, framerate drops are common during heated battles with an abundance of particle effects (smoke and explosions) and game models crowding the screen. To test this out the best I could, I played through several "Conquest Large" matches on BF3's biggest maps available, all on completely maxed-out settings. Even when a team had only one point captured, and the player focus was centered on that entire area, I didn't witness a single drop in smoothness. I mean I literally kept my eyes on the framrate as the sh*t was hitting the fan, and noticed no fluctuation at all. I then tested the 680 on an engine that isn't very efficiently built. The Witcher 2's RED Engine has turned quite a few heads due to its looks, though it's no secret that maxed-out settings require an overall top-end PC. More specifically, the "Uber Sampling" feature is typically what kills the game's performance, as it renders each scene several times over to provide a smoother image quality. Most people turn this feature off, as the slight visual improvement doesn't justify the hardware demands. On my 560 Ti, you could swear I was playing some game I received from ten years into the future; a whopping 15 FPS was the best I got out of it. With the 680, though, it ran at a very stable 40 to 50 FPS, with almost no drops below that 40 (even during combat). Mainly due to the RED Engine's cumbersome features, The Witcher 2 was one of the most technically demanding games I could test on it. A close equal was Crysis 2 with its DX11 upgrades, which ran surprisingly better than Witcher. Out of all the games I tested on the 680 (others include Skyrim, Rage and Just Cause 2), the most rewarding was undoubtedly Crysis 2. The Frostbite 2 engine looks beautiful because of it versatility, but the CryEngine 3 looks incredible because of its cutting-edge features, and the 680 handles them all brilliantly. Displacement maps, high-quality HDR, real-time reflections, and particle motion blur all look absolutely fantastic. My 560 Ti could barely handle Crysis 2 on max settings at around 30 FPS. My 680 laughs at it, with a strong 60 FPS, only dropping to near 50 during moments of extreme action (lots of explosions and particle effects). After all of this, I can't say I'm surprised that the 680 performed the way it did. Many people may remember the Unreal Engine 3 Samaritan Demo from last year's GDC. Well, that demo, mind-bogglingly beautiful as it was, originally required three GTX 580s and a power supply the size of a small child. When I was first presented the 680 at NVIDIA's Editor's Day event during GDC 2012, the same tech demo was shown ... running on a single 680 and nothing else. NVIDIA wants this card to really mean something to the gaming community, not only by being ultra powerful and providing us with longevity, but also via the cutting-edge features that are idiosyncratic to NVIDIA cards alone. A lot of you might have been wondering how I got such close framerate fluctuation with VSync presumably on (it was). Without getting too technical, a big issue people have with VSync is that it forces the framerate to drop by positive integers, based on your monitor's refresh rate (i.e. a 60Hz monitor dropping by 60FPS, 30, 20, 15, etc.) all for the sake of preventing "screen tearing." We gamers can see the obvious problem with this, as the drastic drop in framerate results in "jittering." To combat this, NVIDIA has developed what's known as "Adaptive VSync," which automatically turns off global VSync whenever the framerate needs to fall to anything below your monitor's max refresh rate. No more jitter and no more screen tearing. As another means of providing a smoother gaming experience, NIVIDA is aspiring to do away with MSAA (Multisample anti-aliasing) by providing their own FXAA, which can be activated within the card alone and be applied to any game. They're also providing the upcoming TXAA, a new film-style AA that is at least 4X more effective than MSAA. The result is a welcome addition, as we've been long overdue for an upgrade in this area. Another great feature that we're all becoming acquainted with is PhysX, NVIDIA's proprietary physics engine. PhysX has been steadily appearing in a lot of high-quality titles, providing great rigid and soft body dynamics, as well as fluid and cloth simulations. At NVIDIA's Editor's Day, Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford showed off Borderlands 2 and how it implemented PhysX. Fluids pooled and flowed in complete real-time, and even reacted to explosions -- splashing about into numerous smaller puddles. Cloth materials reacted accordingly to foreign objects, and could even be torn and shredded when fired at. It was quite incredible how these effects could be handled with such relative ease in real-time, when just five years ago it took me several hours to render them for 3D animations on a high-end PC. The last upgrade I'm going to mention is, in a lot of ways, more of a downgrade, but sold me on the card merely due to my living situation. As stated before, the 680 is a very efficient card, and that applies more than anything to its power consumption. The 680 is so streamlined that it actually draws less power than its predecessor, the 580 (see the specs above). What does this mean for me? Well, as a city that desperately tries to retain some sort of bullsh*t identity, San Francisco is adamant about holding on to their Victorian architecture of the 1920s. This includes the f*cked up power distribution systems that came with them. With that said, I can only have about two appliances on at any one time, before I cause a power surge and my place goes completely dark. When it comes to PC gaming, this presents a problem. I actually used to SLI two 560s, but had to get rid of one if I wanted to game with my heater on -- enduring cold San Francisco nights is definitely not worth an extra 560 Ti. So you can imagine that a card like the 680 fairs well for someone with my situation, if not also for people who dig the environment or like saving money on bills. Not only does it consume less power than the best of last generation, but its TDP is only 25 more than my freakin' 560 Ti. After seeing the Samaritan demo and what it took to run it last year, I don't know how they accomplished what they have with the 680. It's like someone sold their ass to the Devil to make this thing. To really explain every notable change and addition with the GeForce GTX 680 would take so much more time. This new line of graphics cards is leaps and bounds beyond the 500 series. This review alone is obviously not going to convince you to throw down $499 on a new card, but I do hope it drives you to do a little more digging into the fine details of the 680 ... especially if you plan on upgrading. PC gaming is slowly but surely making a comeback, and the GeForce 680 is the card to welcome it with open arms. Several games are in development right now with this very card in mind (others shown at the NVIDIA event were Max Payne 3 and The Secret World). If you yearn for the time when you filled your PC with the best of the best tech in preparation for the hottest-looking games to come, then the time is certain now, and the tech is certainly this card. Oh, and before I go, all of you hardcore NVIDIA fans are probably going to want to watch this: [embed]224337:43138[/embed]
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For some of us, upgrading our PCs with the best hardware and enjoying the most jaw-dropping games in all their glory is a not-so-distant memory. Even though I've consistently owned beefy rigs my whole life, I've spent less an...

Preview: Getting in deep with the Triads in Sleeping Dogs

Feb 17 // Ryan Perez
Sleeping Dogs (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [previewed]) Developer: United Front Games Publisher: Square Enix Release: August 2012 A police story with a super cop It pleases me greatly when I play a game from a developer that openly places narrative high within their development process. I had a chance to speak with Lead Producer Jeff O'Connell, who stated they put a lot of effort into featuring an intriguing and gripping story. "I think as far as a real, gritty -- whatever other adjectives you want to throw on top of it -- mature cop story; we've achieved that," he told me. "You can do the sort of Charles Bronson 'I'm a cop and I kill everybody' story, but we wanted to be more respectful of our source material than that." I like the sound of that. Not only does the subject of triads fascinate me immensely, but I'm even more intrigued if some degree of realism is incorporated within the portrayal. While this is a game, and action is very abundant within the gameplay, at least certain elements of the experience were subdued for the sake of the subject matter. What's even more gratifying to hear is that actual research was done from real Triad members. "We sent our writer to Hong Kong and he met with a guy who used to be in the Triads," O'Connell said, "and he hooked our writer up with some friends of his who are still members. They took him to different clubs and restaurants, and answered basically every question our writer had." Jeff informed me of some interesting misconceptions people have towards Chinese organized crime, so I can't wait to see how they incorporate all of this into the game. From what little I saw of the story, I can tell that people into Chinese crime and action films will be drawn in. Hard boiled and heavy hitting Speaking of Chinese action, Sleeping Dogs certainly has taken a lot of inspiration from the mordern-day martial arts films of Hong Kong cinema. The gameplay emphasizes a lot on hand-to-hand combat and utilizing the environment to subdue enemies ... because, from what Jeff told me, Triads are more keen on beating or cutting people to "send a message", rather than just killing them. Punches connect with such brutal audibility, that mere blood splatter sounds like a small cup of juice being poured onto the floor. Counter moves result in either a kick to the face or a broken arm, followed by a gut-wrenching squeal from the opponent. The environments, though, are where the real payoffs lie. Enemies' heads can be slammed onto table edges or in between car doors. They can be thrown and impaled on sharp objects jutting from the ground. My personal favorite, though, has to be shoving someone's face into the fan of an air conditioner, resulting in a crimson mist of meat and flesh. It's the little things in life that you treasure, really. Some may ask, "What's authentic about that?" Well, anyone who enjoys Hong Kong cinema can tell you that exaggeration is a key component to the composition. If protagonists aren't throwing enemies into things, smacking them in the head with random objects, or kicking them hard enough to let the power powder fly (the dust you see whenever people land blows), then you're probably not watching a Chinese action film. What's Hong Kong action without some automotive escapades, though? As expected, Wei utilizes several different vehicles to make his way through the open world streets of the city. Also, he can have a little law-bending fun with some street racing. One of the levels I played involved that very thing, against one of Wei's criminal cronies. It was fast and very arcade-like, and reminded me greatly of the Need for Speed Underground series. Though most people seemed to fail once or twice, the racing was fairly well done for a side feature. Hopefully they loosen up the vehicle handling a bit before the game launches. In short, though, the gameplay was fun and satisfying. End of story. Internal affairs of United Front Games Sleeping Dogs has had a bit of a rocky development. It first started off as an original IP, however Activision (the owner at the time) decided that the True Crime name would help the game sell, so it then became True Crime: Hong Kong. Unfortunately, that project was eventually canceled, though it was adopted soon after by Square Enix during their spell of swooping up western companies and franchises. I got to sit down with Lee Singleton, General Manager for Square Enix London, as well as Stephen Van Der Mescht, Executive Producer at United Front Games, and ask them about the relationship between both of their companies. "[Square Enix] is basically a dedicated team of designers and producers," said Singleton, "and we have a little acquisition group who knew a couple of people at UFG. We heard about what had happened -- how they were left with no game coming out -- so we spoke to Activision, we spoke to the guys at UFG, and we did a deal to make it work." It's never a bad story to hear whenever a company gets to continue with all of their hard work, and Van Der Mescht assured me that the relationship between the two companies couldn't be any more coalescent. "There was an immediate shared vision," Van Der Mescht stated. "[Square Enix] had experience with open-world games with Just Cause 2, so what we were doing became quite clear to them, as did our goals. So there was a perfect match." Both men were very confident about their work together and the project itself. As they should be, because I'm definitely interested in what else Sleeping Dogs has to offer. It's a shame that certain titles face the grave before they're even born, but at least Sleeping Dogs is now happily in development and seeing its eventual release. Singleton concluded with, "I can't really tell you why Activision let [Sleeping Dogs] go, but I can tell you why we signed it; it's an awesome game." A  better tomorrow So it seems that Sleeping Dogs will see the light of day, and I can't wait. While I'm not allowed to unveil all of the details of the demo just yet, I can assure you that the game looks great. Hong Kong is realized with vivid detail and life, the game's soundtrack is a beautiful mixture of ancient Chinese wind and stringed instruments, and it features a subject that I'm sure most of you would love to experience. If you love modern Hong Kong action flicks, intense cop stories, and the seedy underworld of organized crime, then be on the lookout for Sleeping Dogs.
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I'm so glad this game has shaped into what it is now, because when I first heard that Sleeping Dogs was originally titled True Crime: Hong Kong, I thought to myself, "Damn it, hopefully this will be a short demo." Once I saw ...

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Square Enix would really like you to buy some DLC


Feb 08
// Liam Fisher
If you've been holding off on buying some of that Deus Ex or Just Cause 2 DLC on XBLA, you might like to know that for the next week (almost) all of Square Enix's content will be up to 50% off. This includes Just Ca...
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Just Cause 2: Ultimate Edition hits PlayStation Network


Dec 20
// Jordan Devore
Though Just Cause 2 has been laughably cheap on PC, those of you without access may want to consider the still-budget-priced Just Cause 2: Ultimate Edition. It just became available on PlayStation Network for $24.99, which is...
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Just Cause dev Avalanche 'not releasing any game in 2012'


Oct 27
// Jordan Devore
Briefly responding to recent rumors of Just Cause 3 hitting as early as next year, Avalanche Studios has told Eurogamer "we're not releasing any game in 2012." So, how does 2013 sound? A minor bump in absurdity is all that I ...
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Just Cause 3 'set for 2012' according to rumor


Oct 26
// Harry Monogenis
Hey, did you enjoy jumping on a car, whipping out your Grappling Hook and hitting motorcyclists with it in Just Cause 2? Or maybe you preferred jumping off of a high building and then blowing it down to its foundation wh...
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11.3 million player deaths in Just Cause 2 look like this


May 27
// Maurice Tan
Jim Blackhurst, online operations manager at Square Enix and Eidos, made this fancy little video that depicts a map of all the player deaths in Just Cause 2. And not just player deaths, but death by impact with terrain or an...

Preview: Renegade Ops

May 27 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Renegade Ops (Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, PC/Steam)Developer: Avalanche Publisher: SegaTo be released: Summer, 2011 In the preview Sega was showing off, the demo was taking place on an island reminiscent of the one from Just Cause 2. Inferno's forces are trying to destroy the island and it's up to you to defend the place and save the local inhabitants along the way. Each of the four playable characters will have a custom vehicle they control with unique features associated to each. With the character I was playing as, I was able to unleash a special EMP blast wave that temporally shut down enemy weapons. As this is a twin-stick shooter, you'll use the left stick to steer and the right stick to aim/shoot at targets. Controls took a bit of getting used to and the vehicle controlled a lot like the Warthog from Halo. The upgrade system will work in two ways. First you'll be able to find machine gun upgrades (giving you extra barrels) or find missile pickups scattered around the level. These are sort term upgrades and won't reappear when you're brought back to life. The other system is based on the points you accumulate for completing mission objectives and other activities. After every level, you'll be able to use the points to upgrade your various abilities and health through a skill tree system that will stick with you throughout the game and in multiplayer. The island I was driving around on was ridiculous huge and I was able to go anywhere at any time. As you drive around, primary and secondary mission objectives will pop up. Primary mission objectives have a time limit while secondary ones looked like they could be completed at leisure. The mission structure basically involved either me saving hostages and transporting them back to a church (which acted as the main base for the locals), defending the church or taking out enemy weapon placements. At most there are three objectives at a time and there's a nav point surrounding your vehicle directing you in real time to the various objectives. Everything that I experienced felt very frantic and crazy, which I really liked. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing other locations and trying out some four-player co-op as I can only imagine it gets even crazier. I also want to see what it's like controlling other vehicles, like the helicopter. Expect more on Renegade Ops come E3 time.
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What would happen if the Just Cause series was a retro style top-down twin-stick shooter? It'd be Renegade Ops, basically. In fact, the upcoming PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC downloadable is by developer Avalanche and uses t...

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Avalanche not done with retail games, has two for 2013


Mar 30
// Jordan Devore
Earlier today, Avalanche Studios announced its upcoming digital distribution title Renegade Ops. Even with very little to go on, the game already sounds rather intriguing. Eurogamer followed up with the team to see what lies ...
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Just Cause creators announce Renegade Ops


Mar 30
// Maurice Tan
Avalanche Studios, the studio behind the Just Cause series, is working on a SEGA-published downloadable vehicular top-down twin-stick shooter using the Just Cause 2 engine. In the immortal words of Senior Producer Andreas "Sn...






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