Daily Recap: May 26, 2009

The long Memorial Day weekend is now behind us (I know I have a bit more color on my skin to show for being in the beautiful Northwest weather!) and E3 is just over the horizon, with press conferences starting in just under a week. Whew. Time certainly flies, and the news mill has definitely been churning.

Unless this is the greatest prank Hideo Kojima has pulled in his life, it looks like the konami.jp teaser site that's been counting down for over a week is working toward a Metal Gear announcement next week at E3.

Unless this is the greatest prank Hideo Kojima has pulled in his life, it looks like the konami.jp teaser site that's been counting down for over a week is working toward a Metal Gear announcement next week at E3.

The big pieces of news have come from Kojima Productions and Rockstar, respectively. Starting with the Japanese developer, its teaser site – which has seen multiple countdown clocks on top of ever-changing imagery, all the while focused on a field during a thunderstorm – has now left little question as to what Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima will be working on next. Today, the image of a young Big Boss – replete with eye patch – joined the flashing numbers and letters that have been on the site for well over a week, seeming to imply that a new Metal Gear game of some sort is due to be announced soon.

The other piece of news related to the teaser site and Kojima’s next project comes from scans of a leaked copy of the newest issue of Japan’s Famitsu Magazine, the TIME of Japanese gaming. There’s a feature story with lots of self-editing by Kojima, and accompanied by another image from the countdown that hasn’t been seen yet: Raiden, circa MGS4. It’s good news for Metal Gear fans and, with a bit of elementary math, it looks like the timer will run to zero early next week.

Oh my. The logo for the next piece of GTA IV DLC, "The Ballad of Gay Tony," looks appropriately fabulous.

Oh my. The logo for the next piece of GTA IV DLC, "The Ballad of Gay Tony," looks appropriately fabulous.

A week ahead of E3, Rockstar made the other big news of the day by announcing the first details for the second piece of DLC for last year’s Grand Theft Auto IV. “The Ballad of Gay Tony” will release this fall both on Xbox Live and in a disc-based compilation along with “The Lost and Damned,” and puts players in the shoes of Luiz Lopez, who works under Liberty City night-club owner Tony Prince.

After Rockstar has cast players as both Baltic badasses and leaders of a motorcycle gang, it’ll be interesting to see what sorts of situations the club owner’s assistant gets into. It’s likely that more details will be revealed next week at E3, possibly as soon as Monday at Microsoft’s keynote press conference, so stay tuned.

Bioshock 2, the anticipated shooter set in Ayn Rand’s (very) wet dream land, has received a release date – and count it as a win for the old country. In a change from the usual conventions, Bioshock 2 will debut first in Europe. The game will be released on Friday, October 30 in Europe; it will hit stores in the United States on the following Tuesday, November 3. Curiously, publisher Take Two still lists the game as “to be determined” regarding which platforms the sequel will appear on; the original arrived on the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3. Perhaps that situation will be cleared up by next week.

Some more news briefs to close the day’s recap: