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When AI goes mad: A Grand Theft Auto 5 traffic jam

Image Honestly? It's still not as bad as the traffic in LA. [Image: Rockstar Games] ... Continue Reading

Meet Killer Instinct's next fighter, the sorceror Kan-Ra

After weeks of teasing fans, developer Double Helix has unveiled the next fighter to join Season 2 of Killer Instinct, an ancient sorcerer named Kan-Ra.

"Didn't Double Helix claim Kan-Ra would not be a mummy? Wasn't there even a #notamummy hashtag in use for a while?" you wonder. Yes, the developer repeatedly said that Kan-Ra is not a mummy, and he isn't (technically, sort of). In lieu of revived Egyptian royalty, Kan-Ra is a 2,534-year-old sorcerer from Ancient Babylon who betrayed his king and was exiled for an assassination attempt. Instead of aging gracefully, Kan-Ra used dark magics to slow the decomposition of his body. Double Helix offers no explanation for the decidedly mummy-style bandages, so we're just chalking that up to a universal undead fashion sense.

Beyond the break you'll find footage of Kan-Ra in action. Be sure to stay to the end. There's a tease that should excite old-school Killer Instinct fans.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition Easter egg is The Lord of the Pies

A Dragon Age: Inquisition Easter egg that a BioWare artist is dubbing "The Lord of the Pies" surfaced this week, and occurs when players manage to fall through the floor of the Skyhold area of the game. Shown in a video courtesy of YouTube user LeeCsM after the break, the secret, cavernous room with relatively creep music discovered under Skyhold houses what LeeCsM calls a "Nug with a top hat."

BioWare designers jumped into YouTube's comments to confirm that the Easter egg was placed in the game intentionally, with artist Graham Kelly noting that he "hid it under the level" and that players "weren't meant to fall through it." Kelly added that the hidden figure is "not a bunny either," but rather The Lord of the Pies. "I may or may not have hidden some of his smaller flock around the rest of Skyhold," he wrote. While we didn't find any pie, we enjoyed our time with Dragon Age: Inquisition in our review.
[Image: EA, LeeCsM (YouTube)]

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Everyone can hang out with The Crew in next week's open beta

Well, not quite everyone; PS4 and Xbox One owners can test-drive The Crew's open beta between Tuesday, November 25 and Thursday, November 27. Then, five days later on December 2, Ubisoft Reflections' and Ivory Tower's persistent-world racer launches worldwide for PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC - perhaps with its own live updates blog.

Beta players can roam free across the entire open world of Americana, condensed into the five major regions of the Midwest, East Coast, South, Mountain States and West Coast. In the beta, challenges and player vs. player lobbies are limited to the first two of those regions, and Ubisoft notes "some online features" - i.e. multiplayer - require a Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus membership.

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Watch the Atari: Game Over documentary for free on Xbox

Yes, there are a lot of big new games out this week, but if you need a break from the rush you don't have to move from your Xbox. Instead, you can dig into the past by watching Xbox Live's Atari: Game Over documentary for free.

The hour-long feature explores the video game crash of 1983, a seismic event that resulted in reports of Atari dumping thousands of unsold copies of the E.T. video game, infamously regarded by many to be the absolute worst ever, to grace our screens. An excavation team headed out to New Mexico to unearth the truth about the reports, and sure enough they dug up shrink-wrapped copies of the game along with other Atari bits and bobs. And now all that garbage is starting to make crazy money on eBay. Weird world, huh?
[Image: Microsoft]

World of Warcraft once again tops 10 million subscribers

The last time we checked in on Blizzard's wildly successful online roleplaying game World of Warcraft, the MMO was bleeding players and subscriber numbers had fallen to 7.7 million. Thanks to the newly-launched Warlords of Draenor expansion, however, the game's fortunes have turned around.

According to an Activision Blizzard press release, Warlords of Draenor sold through more than 3.3 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability. Additionally, the publisher reports subscriber growth "across all major regions" has once again boosted the now decade-old online game's total subscriber tally above the 10 million mark.

"We're thrilled that so many players jumped in to play Warlords of Draenor on day one and are having a great time with the new content," said Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. "We poured a lot of hard work and passion into this expansion, and we appreciate all the kind words from players and the overwhelming support they continue to show for World of Warcraft."
[Image: Activision Blizzard]

Joystiq Deals: Touchscreen gloves, Bluetooth beanie

Looking for some warm and tech-friendly apparel this holiday season? Joystiq Deals has the stylish solutions you need. First up is a pair of TRNDlabs' knitted touchscreen gloves, which will keep your fingers warm and nimble while you use your smartphone in wintry weather. Normally priced at $49, these special mitts are available through Joystiq Deals for $19 this weekend only.

You may also want to check out our Bluetooth Audio Beanie, a unique piece of headwear fitted with a fully functional Bluetooth receiver and speaker that allows you to listen to music and make phone calls while keeping your noggin toasty. The beanie is available this weekend for only $24.99, so grab one while you can.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Amazon's pre-Black Friday deals discount InFamous, Wolfenstein

Amazon has revealed its initial selection of holiday price drops, discounting several games and accessories ahead of the Black Friday sales rush.

Amazon's current pre-Black Friday deals include Wolfenstein: The New Order for $29.99, Infamous: Second Son for $32.94, Madden NFL 25 for $14.99, and The Wonderful 101 for $25.34.

Publisher NIS America also shares the spotlight with offerings like Danganronpa for $28.49, The Witch and the Hundred Knight for $19.99, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited for $29.99, and Natural Doctrine for $46.99. Featured accessory deals include a Turtle Beach Ear Force Z22 headset for $59.99 and discounts offering up to 30 percent off Logitech PC gaming mice, keyboards, and controllers.

Other limited-time price drops will enter rotation throughout the week. Amazon will also offer PlayStation 4 hardware bundles for $399.99 apiece on Black Friday -- one featuring digital copies of Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Last of Us Remastered, and the other offering Lego Batman 3 and LittleBigPlanet 3. Neither deal is currently live.

[Video: Koei Tecmo]

Joystiq Streams: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Amiibrodown

We've waited patiently, quieting the nigh on unstoppable power in the collective Joystiq gut with games like Shadow of Mordor and Bayonetta 2. Now our acrobatic feats of destruction can be unleashed. Now, after so long, we can finally beat the ever loving crap out of each other online in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.

After taking an extensive look at Smash Wii U's single player content on Joystiq Streams this past Wednesday, we're going to dive into the online multiplayer as a team. Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK), Richard Mitchell (@TheRichardM), and Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello) will test their mettle, while Danny Cowan (@db_cowan) and Thomas Shulenberg (@T_Schulenberg) may join the fun later on.

It all goes down on at 4:00PM EST.
[Images: Nintendo]

Pretty platformer Ori and the Blind Forest delayed to 2015

Bad news for fans of the lovely and ethereal, as developer Moon Studios has revealed that Xbox One and PC platformer Ori and the Blind Forest will not make its previously-announced pre-holiday launch window.

"While we're extremely excited for all of you to get your hands on Ori and the Blind Forest as soon as possible, we made the decision together with our partners at Microsoft Studios that we'll need just a little more time in order to add a final layer of polish to - what we hope - will be an unforgettable gaming experience," reads a notice posted by the developers.

While Moon Studios does not have a specific date in mind, it is now aiming to launch Ori and the Blind Forest at some point in "early 2015."
[Image: Microsoft]

Games we love and hate

It's always a drag when you're in love with a game and your friend doesn't see how wonderful it is. Alternatively, it's maddening when you're sure something is terrible and your pals think it's fantastic. But that's how opinions work in our crazy world!

To warm us up for the "Best of 2014" voting process, which is sure to come to blows (or, at the very least, harsh name-calling), the Joystiq staff has engaged in a debate. One game, two editors, and an argument for why that game should be loved or hated.

You decide who makes the stronger point in the comments below.

Joystiq Giveaway: 3 copies of The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity

For all of Assassin's Creed: Unity's foibles, from lackluster mission design to myriad, horrifying glitches in the initial release, one thing is undeniable: It's gorgeous. Ubisoft's digital recreation of Revolution-era Paris is a monumentally impressive work of digital artistry. Who can blame old Arno for constantly getting stuck on the environment? It's gorgeous!

That elegant facade was carefully designed by a talented team of illustrators whose work is compiled in The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity, the equally gorgeous tome. Joystiq is giving away three copies of this book. One grandprize winner will also receive the Assassin's Creed: Unity Abstergo Handbook as well.

How do you enter? Just use the Rafflecopter widget below between November 21 and November 28. Winners will be selected after the Thanksgiving holiday and contacted via email. Full rules and details after the break.

Joystiq Giveaway: 3 copies of The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity

[Images: Ubisoft]

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Super Joystiq Podcast 122: Far Cry 4, GTA V, Assassin's Creed Rogue, WWE 15

This week's Super Joystiq Podcast is having trouble finding Kyrat on Google Maps Mapquest.

Another week in November means another week of big releases. Ubisoft is back seeking reception with another open-world game with Far Cry 4-thankfully, this one seems to have turned out a bit better than its France-set label sibling. Ludwig, Xav, Mike, and Earnest cover plenty more as well, including GTA V for Xbox One and PS4, WWE 15, Assassin's Creed: Rogue, and Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire.

*Feed is currently non-functional as we do some work behind-the-scenes. Please use the direct download link or embedded player after the break. Thanks!

Listen to the Super Joystiq Podcast: Podcast timestamps and relevant links are available after the break.

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Activision, Vivendi lawsuit settlement amounts to $275 million

Activision Blizzard reached a settlement this week over a shareholder's lawsuit in regards to the Call of Duty publisher's October 2013 buyout. As a result, Vivendi and others will pay $275 million to Activision to settle the litigation, which began in August 2013 before Activision's $8.2 billion purchase of itself from Vivendi was completed. Under the settlement terms, Activision will also add two directors to its board and must change the terms of its voting rights.

According to the lawsuit, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and Co-Chairman Brian Kelly seemingly benefited from insider knowledge of the company's purchase, obtaining a 10 percent discount when Kotick's investment firm purchased 172 million shares of Activision for $2.34 billion. The lawsuit alleged a "breach of fiduciary duties, waste of corporate assets and unjust enrichment." Emails from the suit presented in July revealed that Vivendi wanted to fire Kotick in 2013 during the purchasing negotiations.
[Image: Activision]

PSA: Chat commands barrage Akiba's Trip streamers with underpants and foreigners

Akiba's Trip isn't what you think it is. You spend your time in Marvelous' action RPG mercilessly beating vampires with folding chairs and forcibly removing their clothing, but it's not some kind of perv fiesta made for voyeurs. Players are performing a public service getting rid of those vampires! Of course, that doesn't mean Trip doesn't hide voyeuristic thrills inside, they just happen to be reserved for folks watching Twitch streams of the PS4 version, which is out next week. With just a few simple chat commands, viewers can smother an Akiba's Trip player in panties, aunties, and more.

The extensive list of commands chat can use to alternately aid and torture players includes a sizable number of summons. Type in "tourist" or "gaijin," you'll summon in some non-Japanese natives onto the screen. Not too weird. Type in "gothic lolita" and you'll call in a woman dressed like this, not a copy of Vladimir Nabokov's novel with a Cure sticker on it. Also not weird. Type in "auntie" and someone's aunt will show up. Fine, very weird.

Weirder are the actions. Type in "look," and every character on screen will turn around and stare into the camera. Speaking of those unmentionables, typing in "pantyjump" will blow all panties, boxers, and briefs into the air where they fly around like leaves on the wind.

Yes, by simply typing typing "auntie," "pantyjump," and "look" into Twitch chat, you too can turn a friend's Akiba's Strip stream into a horrific anxiety dream about being stuck in class in your underpants.

More commands after the jump.
[Images: XSEED]

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 122: Far Cry 4, GTA V, Assassin's Creed Rogue, WWE 15

Latest episode: Friday, November 21st, 2014

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