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WWE 2K15 review: Disqualification match

Like past games in the series, WWE 2K15 spends a lot of time looking back on wrestling history. Propped up by years of real-life stories, cuts and bruises, the series continues to be a good source for professional wrestling nostalgia. Still, while 2K Sports' efforts pay off in a few areas, the publisher missed a chance to be the best in the world by a wide margin this year. By dropping a number of customization options and introducing an annoying game mechanic, WWE 2K15 loses touch with what made the series special.

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Assassin's Creed: Unity CEO apologizes for bugs, offers free DLC

Everyone who owns Assassin's Creed: Unity will receive the Dead Kings DLC for free once that launches, Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto CEO Yannis Mallat says in a blog post. The freebie is an apology for the technical issues that have plagued Unity since launch.

"Unfortunately, at launch, the overall quality of the game was diminished by bugs and unexpected technical issues," Mallat says. "I want to sincerely apologize on behalf of Ubisoft and the entire Assassin's Creed team. These problems took away from your enjoyment of the game, and kept many of you from experiencing the game at its fullest potential."

In our review of Unity, we noted that the game was "in dire need of a technical re-tweaking." Today, Ubisoft launched the game's third patch, bringing in more than 300 fixes.

Players who purchased the Season Pass for Unity would have already received the Dead Kings DLC, and they are now entitled to one free Ubisoft game from the following lineup: The Crew, Far Cry 4, Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed Black Flag, Rayman Legends and Just Dance 2015. Ubisoft is discontinuing sale of the Season Pass, the FAQ reads.

Steam Exploration Sale: Watch Dogs, Lords of the Fallen, more

As if there weren't enough deals to ruin your wallets this holiday season, Steam's Exploration Sale started today. As expected, the digital gaming platform began offering a number of discounted PC and Mac games today, with the sale lasting until December 1. Among the games on sale are Lords of the Fallen ($29.99), Don't Starve ($3.74), The Long Dark ($9.99), Watch Dogs ($29.99) and Goat Simulator ($4.99)

A number of retailers and publishers already listed their Black Friday deals, such as EA's discounts on games like The Sims 4 and FIFA 15 ($40 each) through Origin. Some stores are already offering deals on games and consoles, like Wolfenstein: The New Order ($30) and Infamous: Second Son ($32.94) through Amazon as well as Sony's Co-Op Gaming sale on PSN that kicked off yesterday.
[Image: Steam]

DayZ PC beta due in Q4 2015, console prototype in Q3

DayZ has completed its first year in Early Access on Steam, and Bohemia Interactive is now sharing its plans for the game in 2015, including two important milestones: The beta version is due to launch in the fourth quarter of 2015, and the final version will launch in the first half of 2016. DayZ will retain its price of $30 during the Steam Fall Sale (starting today), but it will then increase to $35, and eventually $44 with the launch of the beta. The final version will cost $50.

Bohemia Interactive breaks down the 2015 DayZ schedule by quarters, starting with the addition of new zombie AI, basic vehicles, diseases and more in Q1. The second quarter adds advanced vehicles, advanced animals, new UI, player stamina and more, and the third quarter adds traps, barricading, aerial transport and a console prototype. The final quarter includes the beta, alongside animal companions, base building and Steam community integration. See the list of expected updates below.

Bohemia Interactive previously announced that a beta would be available by the end of 2014.

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Destiny's Dark Below trailer runs through the goodies

Image Destiny's upcoming expansion The Dark Below brings a boatload of new features to Bungie's multiplayer FPS, and the trailer above outlines what you can expect to see. Featured additions include new equipment, guns, environments, story missions, Crucible maps, a multiplayer Raid, and maybe even a J... Continue Reading

Joystiq's Games of the Year 2006-2008

Those who don't learn from their past are doomed to replay it again and again. In the case of these games from Joystiq's "Best Of" lists from 2006 through 2008, that's not really a bad thing. As we celebrate our decade of existence, it seemed like the right time to look back at the games we thought were the greatest in their respective launch years. (The 2004 and 2005 lists remain classified.)

In some cases, our selections are part of franchises that have stood the test of generations, while others are like trying to recall what happened after that fourth Red Bull with a Mountain Dew chaser. Here are our selections and links to explanations to the best ghosts of Joystiq's past.

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Tales from the Borderlands Episode One review: Busy earnin'

PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS, Android

You should probably know who Handsome Jack is. That's really the only advice I'd give to anyone looking to dip into Telltale's latest episodic series, Tales from the Borderlands. Granted, Borderlands doesn't have the most sophisticated lore, subsisting largely on dick jokes, pop culture references and lots of screaming jerks, but suffice it to say that you don't have to be intimately familiar with Gearbox's first-person shooters to appreciate Tales. If you know that Handsome Jack is a villain, perhaps heard his smarmy voice in a trailer or two, you should be fine.

In other words, regardless of your level of Borderlands experience, Tales from the Borderlands is a witty, well-written adventure with broad appeal. And yeah, there's a dick joke or two.

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'Haystack issues' - AC: Unity's third patch rolls out 300+ fixes

November's revolving door of patchwork continues unabated, with Assassin's Creed Unity's third band-aid promising "over three hundred fixes." The not-so-stealthy-sounding patch is due to hit PS4 and Xbox One today, while PC players have to wait until later this week.

You can see the full or abridged patch notes on Ubisoft's site, including the wonderfully succinct note of "fixed various haystack issues." While some of the game's technical woes have been as hilarious as they were disturbing, other performance concerns have included framerate drops and frequent crashes. According to Ubisoft, this week's patch addresses both of those issues, but the publisher added there's still more work to be done.

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Dark Souls' Steam migration delayed, prepare to die next month

Dark Souls PC owners can throw another log on the bonfire, because they have to wait until December for the game to transition over to Steam. Namco Bandai says it's finalizing the nuts and bolts of moving the action-RPG from Games for Windows Live to Steam, and more testing means the company's targeting the transition for next month rather than this one.

In its original announcement, Namco said owners will be able to redeem Dark Souls on Steam by using their GFWL tokens at no extra cost. Saves and achievements can survive the journey during a short migration period, but GFWL rankings will be flattened by a figurative cannonball rolling down a metaphorical staircase.

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Let there be Torchlight for free

If you've yet to try it, Torchlight is a decent way to while away the holiday hours this week. A frequent flyer in our 2009 Best of the Rests, Runic's loot-heavy action-RPG is free until Sunday, November 30 on Perfect World's Arc client, and that's for keeps. If you don't have Arc then it's another PC client to clutter up your desktop, but on the flipside... free game.

While you're at it, keep the Torchlight on inside the birdhouse in your soul. In other, less obscurely referential words, you can also get the deeper, multiplayer-enhanced Torchlight 2 at a cut-down price. It's reduced from $20 to $5 on Arc, again until November 30.
[Image: Runic Games]

PlayStation Co-Op Sale: Dark Souls 2, Far Cry 3, Rayman

In the spirit of the money-saving holidays (and Thanksgiving, we guess), Sony kicked off a new Co-Op Gaming sale today that discounts games with local or online multiplayer functionality. The deals end on December 1, and PlayStation Plus subscribers get a bigger discount than other PSN users: up to 80 percent off the price of some games.

Of the group, there are ten PlayStation 4 games on sale through PSN this week, among which are Awesomenauts Assemble ($5.39), EA Sports UFC ($13.99), Mercenary Kings ($8.99), Rayman Legends ($19.59), Surgeon Simulator: A&E Anniversary Edition ($6.39), TowerFall Ascension ($7.34) and Trine 2: Complete Story ($7.99). Other notable deals include Borderlands 2 (PS3, $4.54), Dark Souls 2 (PS3, $19.59), Rayman Origins ($13.29 on Vita, $9.79 on PS3) and Far Cry 3 (PS3, $9.79).
[Image: Ubisoft]

Valiant Hearts: The Great War on Android tomorrow

Valiant Hearts: The Great War will be available on Android via Google Play and the Amazon Appstore starting tomorrow, November 26. Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a World War 1-era puzzle-adventure game with an endearing, cartoonish art style that ends up creating a powerful narrative. In our five-star review, we said, "By the time you perform one of the game's final acts, a moment so brilliantly orchestrated as to be instinctual, you might wonder what it is you've learned in this sometimes sanitized, sometimes upsetting war."

On Android, Valiant Hearts: The Great War comes in four chapters – $5 for the first chapter and $4 each for the final three, or get those last three in a bundle for $9. The game is also available on Google TV. As with the iOS versions, anyone who owns Valiant Hearts: The Great War on Android gets the interactive comic, Valiant Hearts: Dogs of War, for free.

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Deals with Gold: Defense Grid, Diablo, Valiant Hearts

A sizable collection of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games star in this week's Games with Gold lineup, including standouts like Defense Grid 2, Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, and Peggle 2.

The Xbox One versions of Strider, Valiant Hearts, Rayman Legends also see discounts of up to 75 percent off this week. Featured Xbox 360 releases include Resident Evil 4, Super Time Force, Slender: The Arrival, and the Gears of War trilogy.

This week's sale additionally offers deep discounts of up to 85 percent off of Xbox 360 Games on Demand releases like Bully: Scholarship Edition, Crysis, Borderlands 2, Mirror's Edge, and SoulCalibur 5. Listed sale prices remain in effect through December 1.

[Image: Hidden Path]

New weapons join Sunset Overdrive in action hit's first DLC

Now that players have had just under a month to explore Insomniac Games' vibrant open-world action hit Sunset Overdrive, the developers are rolling out new toys for fans to play with, specifically new weapons and a big (if temporary) boost to multiplayer rewards.

The first Sunset Overdrive weapons pack is now available for $5 (no charge for Season Pass holders) and includes four new guns. The Plague Bomb is exactly what it sounds like: Once detonated, the bomb spreads a virulent disease that will cause affected enemies to vomit until they explode. If that's not violent enough for you, try the Rager, which sends enemies into a murderous rage. It doesn't kill your foes directly, but they will turn on each other and fight to the death, at which point they, too, will explode.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is the Shield Buddy, a device that creates a protective shield for your character and any nearby allies. In keeping with the DLC's unspoken theme, the Shield Buddy also drops bombs which will explode any enemies caught in the blast. Finally, the DLC introduces the Multi-Lock Rocket Launcher. Not only does this thing cause your enemies to explode, it homes in on and explodes up to eight targets simultaneously.

To celebrate these new armaments, Insomniac is also tweaking the game's online Chaos Squad multiplayer mode. From now until December 2, not only will Overcharge cans drops at 27.9 times the normal rate, but the elusive Propain Launcher will also appear more frequently.
[Image: Microsoft]

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EA Black Friday: Up to 75 percent off 300 games, DLC

Like GameStop, Walmart and Microsoft, EA's digital distribution service Origin will celebrate Black Friday with big discounts on a wide number of items.

Though very recent PC games like Dragon Age: Inquisition maintain their $60 launch prices, slightly older games like The Sims 4 and FIFA 15 are available at $40. Likewise discounted is Titanfall, which can be purchased for $15. The biggest discounts are seen on EA's classic games. The normally $15 Mass Effect is now available at $3.74 while Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 and SimCity 4 are each available for $10. A full rundown of the discounts can be found on Origin.

Though Origin's Black Friday sale is available until December 1, you should keep a close eye on the event once Black Friday rolls around. EA won't commit to anything just yet, but the Origin news feed suggests that even bigger discounts will come on November 28.
[Image: EA]

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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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