Spec Ops: The Line is hiding something (preview)

Publisher 2K Games wasn’t afraid to take up a huge portion of the PAX East show floor with its four big titles. Spec Ops: The Line is probably the lowest profile of those games, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. With an intriguing narrative and satisfying shooting mechanics, The Line has a lot of potential.

NAVGTR announces nominees for 2012 game awards

The National Academy of Video Game Testers and Reviewers (NAVGTR, pronounced “navigator”) announced its list of nominees for their 2012 NAVGTR video game awards. Voice actors Tom Sizemore and Tara Platt were on hand to present the nominations.
The organization plans to have a panel of game journalists and other industry folks debate the list and predict the winners during the PAX East festival this April. It will announce the winners shortly afterwards.
And the nominees are…

GamesBeat Reviews

Below are all the reviews from GamesBeat in 2011. They are listed in reverse-chronological order by the date the review was posted, NOT the release date for the game.

Crysis 2 leads the list of 2011’s most pirated games

Editorial ‘game of the year 2011′ picks favored the likes of Uncharted 3 and Skyrim, but the pirate vote went to Crysis 2. According to statistics published by BitTorrent blog TorrentFreak, the PC version of Electronic Arts’ first-person shooter was the most-pirated game of the year 2011 with an estimated 3.92 million downloads.

Left 4 Dead short film rivals Hollywood production values (video)

As the gaming culture matures, a handful of impressive fan films paying homage to popular titles have continued to emerge. First, the “Escape from City 17″ Half-Life shorts from two years ago set a new standard with their Hollywood-lite production values, then earlier this year Modern Warfare and Portal received similar treatments. Now another Valve-published game, Left 4 Dead, has been reimagined in this live-action eight-minute film.

The DeanBeat: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception tops our list of the 10 best games of 2011

This year, with our ramped up our GamesBeat review team, we’ve taken our Game of the Year choices much more seriously than we have in the past. We asked our reviewers to select the semifinalists and then picked the final winners ourselves. But our vote on the best game of 2011 ended in a tie, so we had to hold a tie-breaker round to pick our winner.

This week on Xbox Live: Expansions for Battlefield 3, Assassin’s Creed Revelations, and Gears of War 3

Microsoft has expanded Xbox Live to enable new entertainment options such as YouTube and Verizon’s FiOS TV, but the bread and butter of the Xbox 360 remains games. This week will see a slew of attention-grabbing new content on Xbox Live for some of the year’s biggest titles. Battlefield 3 finally gets its Back to Karkand expansion, available for $15, or free to those who purchased the Battlefield 3 Limited Edition retail package. Gears of War 3 kicks off its 12 Days of Gearsmas celebration with the RAAM’s Shadow campaign. You can read my review here. I didn’t like it. And Assassin’s Creed Revelations receives the first of several content bundles with the Ancestors Character Pack, which adds a few new faces to the multiplayer.

gamesbeat building

The DeanBeat: Building a better GamesBeat

For almost four years, we’ve been building out GamesBeat as VentureBeat’s game channel. We have held three annual GamesBeat conferences where the movers and shakers of the industry talk about the latest trends in games. Now we’re expanding to build an even better GamesBeat.

Video game sales drop 6 percent in September

U.S. retail video game sales can’t seem to get out of their summer funk. In September, the trend continued as overall retail game sales fell 6 percent from a year ago, according to market researcher NPD Group.

Our picks for the best video games of the fall season

NOTE: Each week, I’m writing a column on videogames called The DeanBeat that’s available to newsletter subscribers a day before it appears on the VentureBeat website. This week, my column was co-written with Matthew Lynley.

Hands-on preview of Gears of War 3: an epic story with closure

Gears of War 3 from Epic Games will be one of the game industry’s early seasonal blockbusters when the third-person shooter game debuts on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Sept. 20. It will set the tone for the console game industry’s all-important holiday selling season. I’ve had a good look at the first act of the single-player version of the game and am happy to report that it won’t be a disappointment. Up until now, Epic has kept the details of the single-player campaign secret.

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The best games of E3 2011

We saw lots of video games at the E3 trade show in Los Angeles last week.

Microsoft demos a Kinect-enabled Mass Effect 3 for hardcore gamers (video)

Xbox 360 manufacturer Microsoft announced today that one of the hottest titles that will be released next year, Mass Effect 3, will feature voice controls with the console’s Kinect motion controller. Microsoft made the announcement at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, one of the video game industry’s largest trade shows, in Los Angeles, Calif. today.

VentureBeat’s most anticipated games of E3 2011 (take our poll)

The E3 video game trade show will draw about 45,000 attendees to the Los Angeles Convention Center next week. We aren’t sure of all of the big titles being announced, but we attended the pre-E3 judge trip a couple of weeks ago as part of the Game Critics Awards group and we have a good idea of what the big games will be.

A first look at Gears of War 3’s super-bloody multiplayer (video)

The super-carnage video game Gears of War 3 is set to launch its public multiplayer beta in mid-April and debut on the Xbox 360 on Sept. 20. Alongside Halo, the Gears of War franchise is Microsoft’s best-selling video game on the Xbox 360 game console. Fans are chomping at the bit to get a close look at the game’s newest release, which will be the culmination of eight years of work for Epic Games on the three-part series. Today, the game press got a close look at the game’s multiplayer combat.