A hurricane rages in the Northeastern U.S., but even that can’t slow the torrent of gaming news. So charge up your handheld gaming devices, batten down the hatches, get to safety, and weather the storm with this week’s edition of “Level Up” Gaming News.

GTA News

While Hurricane Sandy might be reaping havoc in urban areas, players of Rockstar Games’ popular Grand Theft Auto series have been doing the very same thing for years. In fact, October 29th marks the 10 year anniversary of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s release. To celebrate, Rockstar is teaming up with Take-Two Interactive to bring GTA: Vice City to iOS and Android mobile devices. Along with the upcoming mobile game, there will also be a commemorative set of old and new assets, including: never-before-seen artwork, a brand new anniversary trailer (watch it below) highlighting some of the game’s most iconic music and moments, and a limited run of collectible promotional items available from Rockstar Games Warehouse ( with select items available through online giveaways).

Along with the new trailer, a new anniversary logo has also been released.

Gaming news Grand Theft Auto: Vice City anniversary logo

While all this is well and good, fans are probably even more eager to learn new information about GTA V. Fear not, we have a little of that for you as well. A new piece of “Pest Control” artwork for GTA V was released this week, along with the promise that new info would be arriving next month.  Images also surfaced on a Polish website of Grand Theft Auto V promotional posters, showing the game available for preorder with a spring 2013 release date.

gaming news Grand Theft Auto V Pest Control art

Assassin’s Creed III

While we still have to wait for GTA V, the wait for another highly-anticipated game series installment is coming to an end. Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed III releases at midnight on October 30th! To usher in the release, an official ACIII launch trailer has been released.

In other ACIII gaming news: unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy is going to disrupt Assassin’s Creed III’s launch in the NE U.S. Even if they miraculously manage to have power in their homes when the game launches, gamers in the NE likely won’t even be able get their hands on the game. GameStop has cancelled all midnight releases of ACIII in their NE stores. Our hearts really go out to our gaming brothers and sisters in the NE. The rest of us will assassinate Redcoats mercilessly and parkour through the forest with reckless abandon in your honor.

 

Borderlands 2 Bug

A malicious bug which erases players’ saved game data has infiltrated the Borderlands 2 multiplayer on Xbox 360. Gearbox has addressed this issue on their forums for those who would like to hear their take, as well as submitted a patch to Microsoft. Multiple other sources are blaming players who are using hacked versions of the game. The bug seems to be traveling like a virus, and gamers playing with legitimate copies of the game could become infected and lose their save data just by playing multiplayer with other players who have been compromised. Gearbox offers the following advice to help combat this issue:

We also advise that before ceasing play, users always select “Save and Quit” from within the pause menu while their character is alive. If after the death of their character players find themselves at the main menu of Borderlands 2 instead of respawning in-game, be sure to immediately select “Continue” to resume playing as that character.

We ask that players report any suspicious behavior in Borderlands 2 to spotted@gearboxsoftware.com and provide as much details and documentation of their disrupted experience as possible to assist us in our investigation.

 

Play Halo 4 Early and Pay the Price

Halo 4 isn’t released quite yet, but the game was leaked a couple of weeks ago and quickly showed up on various pirate sites. Microsoft has vowed to permanently ban anyone caught playing illegitimate copies of Halo 4 early from Xbox Live. Permanently, as in: forever. We don’t approve of piracy in any form, and any gamer stupid enough to actually go on Xbox Live with an illegal copy of Halo 4 completely deserves whatever happens to them. You have been warned. [Insert “Master Thief” joke here]. Enjoy this Halo 4 gameplay launch trailer and wait until the officially game releases on November 6th like a responsible gamer.

PS3 Might Finally Be Permanently Hacked

In one last piece of sketchy console news, it seems that hackers have finally found new PS3 exploits. Following the breach that compromised user’s personal info and took PSN offline for an extended period, Sony released a firmware update (3.60) that (for the most part) plugged those holes and kept modded systems off of PSN. Now hackers have created custom firmware that allows hacked consoles to access PSN. To pour salt into this wound, the PSN LVo decryption keys have now been published as well. This allows new firmware updates to be easily decrypted, basically allowing hackers with PCs to be able to download PSN content, then turn around and re-encrypt it to run on hacked PS3 systems. There is no doubt that Sony must be less than pleased with this turn of events, but to what lengths will they be willing to go to fix this exploit so late in the console’s life-cycle? Yikes.

gaming news Hackers PS3

Thank you for reading another edition of “Level Up” Gaming News. Be safe, and I hope you don’t get flooded out (or run out of charge on your handheld gaming devices) during the hurricane. As always, happy gaming.