Digital Blend: E3 2012 brings a Skyrim DLC trailer and a slew of game announcements

Elder Scrolls DawnguardWelcome back to Digital Blend, our weekly look at the world of downloadable video gaming that exists at the fringes of the mainstream. That means we look at the hottest new mobile game releases, downloadable content drops on consoles and PCs, indie darlings that deserve your love and attention, and the best gaming values under $20.

Keep your comments and feedback coming. We want to hear from you! Did you try something you read about here and enjoy it? Is there a particular game you think we’ve overlooked or news you want to share? Any questions you are dying to ask? Let us know! Your thoughts, feedback, suggestions and (constructive!) criticism are welcome, either in the comments section below or directed at yours truly on Twitter, @geminibros.

Making headlines…

* This week, Bethesda Softworks released gameplay trailer for the upcoming Skyrim DLC, Dawnguard. The trailer stands as confirmation that the add-on to Bethesda’s open-world RPG focuses on vampires and vampire hunters, revealing that new enemies, a new vampire form (with wings!), and crossbows will be added to the game. The DLC pack will hit Xbox 360 platforms first, sometime this summer, with a price of 1,600 MS Points. That likely translates to $19.99 for PlayStation 3 and PC platforms once the Microsoft exclusivity period ends.

digital blend e3 2012 brings a skyrim dlc trailer and slew of game announcements mass effect rebellion pack* If the wait for Skyrim‘s DLC seems unbearable, may you’ll tide yourself over with BioWare’s just-released Rebellion DLC pack for Mass Effect 3, which is free to all Online Pass-enabled players. The content boosts the multiplayer mode just like the Resurgence pack did before it, adding six new class variants (spread across three alien races), three new weapons, two new maps, a new mission objective, and a new gear slot to the cooperative Galaxy at War mode. All of this content can be unlocked by purchasing booster packs earned with credits that you pick up in the multiplayer mode.

* Microsoft plans to introduce a new Xbox 360 app modeled after Apple’s AirPlay. Called Smart Glass, the app will allow iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7 users to stream media stored on their devices over the air and into the gaming console. Microsoft is expected to formally reveal Smart Glass next week at the E3 2012 trade show in Los Angeles, Cali. [via Engadget]

* Among the new offerings that Square Enix will be showing off at E3 next week is Final Fantasy Dimensions, a new game in the veteran RPG series that’s been designed specifically for iOS and Android platforms. The game’s description spells out a list of features that includes “2D pixel art, job-driven character growth, additional scenarios in which to inherit the jobs of your adventuring companions, and a classic story of light, darkness, and crystals.” The running theory right now is that Dimensions is a localized port of the Japan-only episodic mobile release, Final Fantasy Legends.

dark souls  Artorias of the Abyss* Want some more console DLC? Look no further than Dark Souls. This fall, Namco Bandai and From Software will release the Artorias of the Abyss DLC for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game for 1,200 MS Points / $14.99, adding all of the bonus content from August’s Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition for PC to the console releases.

* Next week at E3, F.E.A.R. developer Monolith Productions will be offering attending members of the press their first look at Guardians of Middle-earth, a Lord of the Rings game for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade offering the same sort of play that you see in MOBA titles like League of Legends. Also due for a reveal next week is City Interactive’s XBLA/PSN/Steam title Dogfight 1942, an air combat game that was once destined for release as the boxed retail game Combat Wings: The Great Battles of World War II.

Top buys for the week…

digital blend e3 2012 brings a skyrim dlc trailer and slew of game announcements mad ridersMad Riders :: XBLA / PSN / Steam :: 800 MS Points / $9.99
Dead Island developer Techland steps back to its roots a bit with this week’s console/PC downloadable title Mad Riders. An offroad racing game that feels like a spiritual sequel to the developer’s Nail’d, Mad Riders sends players hurdling through a series of offroad ATV tracks in which the laws of physics do not apply. It isn’t a standout game, but it’s a fun little racer if you’re looking for something to pass the time with.

digital blend e3 2012 brings a skyrim dlc trailer and slew of game announcements sega vintage collection golden axeSega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe :: XBLA :: 800 MS Points
This one doesn’t really need to be pimped. You either know and like Golden Axe or you don’t. If you do, then $10 should seem like no big deal at all to spend on all three classic Genesis titles, newly enhanced with Achievements, trials, and online co-op. Amiright?

Air MailAir Mail :: iOS :: $4.99
The Chillingo-published Air Mail is a 3D flying game set in a lush fantasy world that was designed by the talented folks over at N-fusion Interactive. You soar through the skies of a world that feels like it was pulled out of a Miyazaki film, completing objectives against an unfolding story that details a conflict between two at-odds nations. Sweet-looking visuals and fun to play.

The Naked Gun ICUPThe Naked Gun: I.C.U.P. :: iOS :: $4.99
Seriously folks. A Naked Gun adventure game for iOS. Just go get it. You’ll follow the exploits of Sergeant Frank Drebin Jr. in a story from the movie’s writer/producer, Bob Locash. The fully voice-acted release features all manner of minigames, collectibles, and upgrades to be found across dozens of cases. Why are you still reading this? Go get it!

Product Review

Anybody seen my grenades? ‘Battlefield V’ shows up late and unprepared

Battlefield V’s War Stories give us a new perspective on World War II, but the game’s lack of polish across both its campaign and multiplayer modes are almost impossible to ignore.
Gaming

What games were nominated for the The Game Awards 2018? Find out here

The Game Awards returns to Los Angeles for its fifth show this December. Here is everything we know about the event, including its location, where you can watch it, and games that were nominated.
Business

‘The Grinch’ steals the box-office crown from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch is the new box-office champion, knocking off Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and posting a better opening weekend than Jim Carrey's 2000 live-action film based on the character.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for November 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles as well as bundles that feature games like Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Mobile

The best Huawei Mate 20 Lite cases to keep your budget phone intact

If you're looking for a budget phone, the Mate 20 Lite is among the best. But having to import is a pain, and you'll want to protect it. Keep it rocking with one of the best Huawei Mate 20 Lite cases.
Deals

The best cheap-but-awesome PS4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.
Gaming

‘Final Fantasy XV’ mod remembers the RPG’s canceled DLC and features

A Final Fantasy XV mod pays homage to the content canceled by Square Enix. Episodes Aranea, Luna, and Noctis will no longer happen, while the promised level-building tool and Mod Organizer improvements for the PC version were also shelved.
Gaming

Owners of ROM sites ordered to pay Nintendo more than $12 million

An federal court judge in Arizona has awarded Nintendo more than $12 million in damages in its lawsuit with the owners of two popular ROM websites. The sites must also be transferred to Nintendo's control.
Gaming

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Gaming

‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ parachutes onto PlayStation 4 on December 7

Following months of speculation, PUBG Corp. has announced that PUBG is coming to PS4 on December 7. The PS4 version includes all three maps and major features, and you can get some PlayStation-themed apparel items by pre-ordering.
Gaming

Struggling to survive 'Battlefield 5?' Our boot camp will keep you in the fight

Battlefield V's multiplayer component can be overwhelming, but you can succeed against the enemy with a little help. These are the tips and tricks you need to know to win in Battlefield V.
Gaming

How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4 or PS4 Pro

SSDs are much faster than mechanical hard drives, which is what the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro come with. Here, we show you how to replace it with an SSD, which will allow you to boot to the OS faster and load games quicker.
Gaming

Faction-based PvP, new Vault openings coming to ‘Fallout 76’ after launch

Bethesda is already hard at work on post-launch content for Fallout 76, which launches November 14 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Faction-based PvP is in the works, and new vaults will open over time.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Anthem', including new details on Javelin classes

BioWare announced an upcoming action role-playing game called 'Anthem' at EA Play 2017. Here's everything we know about the game so far, including gameplay, DLC, and when you'll be able to play it.