When was the last time you saw an insanely evil person? Or even a saintly good person? Our videogames teach us to see in black and white. They are the bad boss guy, I am the good hero. Even in games that let you choose your character’s destiny there are only ever two sides; good or evil.

And quite frankly that is not how the world works. In other media we have characters that reflect actual human beings. This is why I watch TV shows like Breaking Bad and The Wire in favour of playing many games. The protagonists aren’t always clear cut. Good people do bad things. Bad people do good things. If you even elect to use the words “Good people”. The world is made up of shades of grey, not a single binary position.

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Yesterday in some rather unexpected news BioWare announced 4 Player Online Co-op for the, until-now, single player Mass Effect series. This along with the added Kinect support gives good reason for the delay. In the words of John Riccitiello these are the steps from EA in order for Mass Effect 3 to “reach a far larger market”.

Now before you go crying asunder, the single player game remains largely untouched. Galaxy At War, as BioWare call it, is being developed in collaboration with BioWare Montreal and is completely optional to play. The co-op missions make one part of the new GAW system. You form a Shepardless Special Forces Squad with new characters of various abilities and races.

Even so, it appears you can earn “Galactic Readiness” by playing the co-op missions. Which from the sounds of things does have an impact on the world of your Commander Shepard.

Full details after the break.

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Gar mentioned this site, www.gamersoptout.com on the podcast, but it really bears repeating. The EULA updates in both Origin and PSN both includes clauses in which waive your right to join a class action law suit when you press that “accept” button. There is a way around, which is to write to these companies saying that you don’t wish to waive these writes. Hah! Writing letters! Sounds like a clever deterrent. Fortunately, the website mentioned exists for the sole purpose of writing those letters on your behalf.

Ready your wallets folks. Steam is selling two bundles of five games for $9.99 USD each, chock full of indie goodness. Most of the games usually sell at $9.99 USD each, so already you’re saving money!

First we have the Indie 2D Bundle comprising of — you-guessed-it — 2D games:
Bit. Trip Runner
NightSky
NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits
Swords and Soldiers HD
World of Goo

In the second pack we have the Indie Strategy Bundle – yeah I think you’ve got it now pal:
Anomaly: Warzone Earth
Defense Grid: The Awakening
Revenge of the Titans
Sanctum
Sol Survivor

Sale ends Thursday evening (11pm) so get in quick. (I’m going for the 2D bundle myself).

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STO is to boldly go where most other MMO’s appear to be going these days. It’s the hip thing to do for non-WOW MMO’s it seems, and I’d love to see if this is actually a successful business model. When STO originally launched, I recall they were offering a limited edition package which actually included a lifetime subscription to the game. I hope these people are somehow recompensed for their misplaced ‘investment’.

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With this on top of the Virtua Figher 5: Final Showdown announcement, it’s almost like Sega is trying to make me specifically happy. Sonic CD is actually high on my list of shame, being the only Sonic game I haven’t played that was generally well received (okay, I haven’t played Sonic: Colors, either.) The press release states that you’ll be able to play Sonic CD on your 360, PS3, PC or appropriate smart phone “this summer”, but it was signed off by Sega of Europe and America, so I’m willing to say that it’ll be our winter.

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How many? Indeterminate. Unspecified, even. Doesn’t have to be all, just quite a few. Developed by Demiurge and being published by Ubisoft, Shoot Many Robots looks like an action platformer which ticks several of my robot related checkboxes. Deflectable projectiles. A small robot controlling a much larger robot. Swarming little guys with chainsaws. Despite how far a long the video makes it look, it won’t be releasing until 2012 on XBLA, PSN and PC.
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Puzzle Dimension is, without a doubt, a puzzle platformer. There are platforms, and by Jove, there are puzzles too.

The aim of Puzzle Dimension is to move a ball around a floating stage, and gather all of the sunflowers. Who knows why an ancient-looking ball would need to collect sunflowers? Perhaps it wants to decorate its household garden. Maybe it just really, really likes to chew on sunflower seeds. All I know for sure is that you need them. Only crumbling platforms, slippery ice, flame pits, and of course various other obstacles stand in your way. Not to mention gravity

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I didn’t really need another reason to be looking forward to Arkham City, but getting to see, or rather, hear, the prolific videogame voice actor Nolan North playing the role of the sinister, fish-breathed Penguin is just another to add to the list. While the gravely, slimey voice of the Penguin is a far cry from the typical ‘dashing rogue’ character that Mr. North is best known for voicing, it’s not the first time outside of those boundaries. In fact, reading his portfolio is like a list of game voices that I wasn’t aware was voiced by him. I didn’t think it was possible for me to think he was even more prolific than my original estimate, but there you go.