Saint Valentine bestows gifts upon gamers

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The Independent Tech

Valentine's Day is a time to reflect on those that are most precious and video gamers' sentimental buttons are set to be pushed by some unlikely candidates. Gears of War 2 and Demon's Souls are among those that are running in-game Valentine's Day specials for their beloved fans.

Epîc Games, the minds behind 2008's Gears of War 2, polled their community and came up with some bonuses to reward co-operative play over the weekend. As a result, double experience points are being awarded for reviving team mates, and fighting together in the game's Horde and Wingman modes.

Demon's Souls adpots a similar fan-appreciating approach to deciding how the game will change on February 14. The game has developed a reputation for its crushing difficulty and tense, oppressive atmosphere. Visitors to the game's website are invited to vote on whether Altus, the game's publisher, loves them or loves them not.

A majority in favor of love will result in a temporarily brighter game world, but a winning vote for rejection will plunge Demon's Souls into even greater darkness for the day. Each side had been neck-and-neck so a close finish is expected.

Electronic Arts are using Beatles Rock Band to get in on the act, albiet a little late, by making the Fab Four's "All You Need Is Love" available to owners of the Nintendo Wii version from Tuesday February 16.

Many of the subscription-based massively multiplayer online games are also putting on their own Valentine's Day celebrations, as befits those games' emphasis on social interaction and co-operation.

World of Warcraft has a collection of love-themed quests, while Aion have pledged double the usual amount of experience points to those who play over the weekend instead of wining and dining their dearest.

Warhammer Online takes a more bloodthirsty tack with a night that honors the Elven death god, but it's Maple Story that wins hearts from a typically cute angle, sending players on a search for Cupid's lost arrows.

Vote for Demon's Souls to become lighter or smite-ier at Demons-Souls.com.
Find out more about Gears of War 2's bromantic weekend at their official forums.

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