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Interstellar Marines uses the buddy system, gets co-op in September

Interstellar Marines has sold over 100,000 copies since it launched in July 2013 on Steam Early Access, developer Zero Point Software announced this week. The sci-fi game has generated "more than $1.5 million in revenue" for the studio. Still in "heavy development," the tactical FPS will also receive an update on September 18 that adds cooperative multiplayer to the game.

Zero Point Software first revealed Interstellar Marines in 2006, and the game received multiple "it's still alive" reassurances over the years. Players can pick up the game on PC, Mac or Linux via Steam for $18.99, which grants access to both the Early Access version of the game and its upcoming expansions and updates, such as the "Project Co-Op" one scheduled for next month. The developer will showcase its spacey shooter at PAX Prime in Seattle this weekend at Alienware's booth (#1246).
[Image: Zero Point Software]

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Ubisoft execs take the Ice Bucket Challenge as Rabbid looks on

No one is immune to memetic charity, which is why Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot and Ubisoft EMEA executive director Alain Corre are seen below the break enduring a frigid deluge in front of Notre Dame cathedral.

Guillemot and Corre are taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a stunt in which the notable (and not so notable) video themselves having ice water dumped over their heads and/or donate money to the ALS Association, a non-profit dedicated to battling Lou Gehrig's Disease. Since this is an Ubisoft production, however, the two executives tapped some of the publisher's most famous characters to join in the footage, including Watch Dogs lead Aiden Pierce and Assassin's Creed: Unity protagonist Arno Dorian. And of course, there's the Rabbid who is doing an admirable job of behaving, despite his species' tendency toward chaotic, madcap hijinks.

In keeping with tradition, Guillemot and Corre have nominated three others to film their own Ice Bucket Challenge videos: Sony Computer Entertainment president and Group CEO Andrew House, Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison and legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Joystiq Deals: Limefuel Lite USB battery pack

This edition of Joystiq Deals brings you the Limefuel Lite dual-USB battery pack, a pocket-sized device that promises to grant even your most power-hungry portable devices enough juice to run two to three times longer than their original batteries would allow.

The heart of the Limefuel Lite is a 15,000mAh Lithium-ion battery attached to two USB ports. During charging, a digital readout lets users know exactly how much charge remains in the battery pack, and automatic on/off functionality ensures that the Limefuel Lite won't bleed energy while not in use. According to the manufacturer, the Limefuel Lite is good for "500+ lifetime use cycles," and even includes an attached flashlight for those moments when the lights go out and you'd rather not smash your face in looking for the circuit breaker.

Normally priced at $55, Joystiq Deals is offering the Limefuel Lite dual USB battery pack for $35. If you're interested, hurry over to the Joystiq Deals website and place your order. This offer is only valid through the end of the day.
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.

See Joystiq at PAX Prime 2014!

Are you headed to PAX Prime later this week? So are we! Your pals at Joystiq will be scouring the show floor for scoops on upcoming games, and we'll be making appearances at a number of panels throughout the weekend. Come see us and say hi!

Search for "Joystiq" at PAX Prime's website and you'll find out which panels we're appearing at. Joystiq's Managing Editor Susan Arendt hosts the always hilarious (and unspeakably profane) Game Show Night: Blankety Blank on Friday. Saturday finds Feature Content Director Xav de Matos directing the fictional life sim Game Journalism Story, and Sunday sees Weekend Editor Sam Prell helming Not My Problem: Why Everyone Has A Role In Promoting Equality.

PAX Prime will showcase a number of standout indie games this coming weekend, including new projects from The Behemoth, Team Meat, and Spry Fox. We'll bring you the latest developments direct from Seattle starting this Friday.

[Image: PAX] adds movies to its lineup

DRM-free game distributor has expanded its online catalog to include a selection of gaming documentaries, announcing that it will seek partnerships with major studios to feature additional TV and film offerings via download and streaming.

Twenty gaming-themed documentaries are now collected under's new "Movies" tab, including the world premieres of Gamer Age, The King of Arcades, and Pixel Poetry. The service currently offers two of its featured films -- Art of Playing and TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard -- free of charge of registered users. hopes to entice major studios to join its catalog with the strength of its initial offerings, but GOG's VP for North America Guillaume Rambourg notes that getting Hollywood to embrace the service's DRM-free stance is an uphill battle.

"Our initial idea was to start with the big guys, but the process is not easy," Rambourg said. "In our first round of talks, the response was largely, 'We love your ideas, but we do not want to be the first ones. We will gladly follow, but until somebody else does it first, we do not want to take the risk.' Most studio officials agreed that DRM is pointless, but were quick to add that the lawyers would not allow them to get rid of it."

New DRM-free film releases will hit weekly.


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Joystiq Giveaway: As Above/So Below gear to kick off horror season

October shouldn't get to keep all the horror fun. Why should scary movies be restricted to Halloween proximity? Joystiq's domain being the northern hemisphere of Earth, we know all too well that come September, the dark arrives earlier and earlier. Leaves start to crackle and crinkle as the temperature dips. We declare horror a full season, and to mark the occasion we're giving away swag for the new horror flick As Above/So Below.

We've got two prize packs. One grand prize winner will receive a t-shirt, backpack, messenger bag, and a poster signed by the cast & crew. One runner up will get their hands on a t-shirt and a signed poster. All you have to do to enter the raffle is be a legal resident of the United States and like Joystiq on Facebook using the widget below.

Joystiq Giveaway: As Above/So Below gear

Note: Contest is only open to legal residents of the United States and Canada and are 13 years of age or older.
[Images: Legendary Pictures]

Get an Xbox One Kinect sensor for $150 in October

xbox one kinect
A standalone Kinect sensor for Xbox One will hit retail for $150 on October 7, Microsoft announced this morning. The solo Kinect sensor comes with a copy of Dance Central Spotlight.

In May, Microsoft announced that it would sell Xbox One consoles without the Kinect for $400, a $100 drop in price. Dance Central Spotlight comes from Harmonix, a studio whose games largely rely on Kinect – when news of the dis-Kinected Xbox One unit went live, Harmonix shared its gut reactions on Twitter, along with an official statement re-establishing its commitment to Kinect games such as Fantasia: Music Evolved.

A month after launching the Kinect-less console in June, Xbox One sales doubled in the US, Microsoft reported.
[Image: Microsoft]

Take Forza Horizon 2 out for a test drive next month

The demo for Forza Horizon 2 will be available for players to download on September 16. Playground Games' open-world racer will launch in full on September 30 for Xbox One, and will feature over 200 cars at launch. Microsoft also disclosed the game's achievements list, which can be found at Xbox Wire.

The developer did not reveal which vehicles will be available to drive in the demo, just that the selection is limited to a "handful" of cars that have been picked to "give you a brief taste of what to expect" when the full version of the racing game rolls to retail. Forza Horizon 2 will debut without microtransactions and will feature a Kinect-enabled assistant known as "ANNA."

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Gauntlet needs new release date, badly

WBIE's Gauntlet reboot is being delayed by a couple weeks so everyone can build up more rage against friends who will inevitably shoot the food. Originally scheduled for September 3, the game has now been moved to a September 23 launch.

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WildStar's Jeremy Gaffney steps down as president of Carbine Studios

So long, and thanks for all the feuds.
Jeremy Gaffney, President of Carbine Studios, has announced via the WildStar forums that he will be stepping down from his current role as president of the studio. He's staying on in a consulting and advisory role, but he'll no longer be steering the operation.

Why the change? According to Gaffney's post, part of it is a result of both losing several family members to cancer last year and having to receive treatment for skin cancer himself. He's recovering without incident, but he put off the treatment for nine months to keep working through launch. Meanwhile, he also wants to allow the studio's creative team to keep working on improving the game rather than simply listening to his creative vision, something which is more easily accomplished if he steps away from an active role.

Gaffney concludes his letter by thanking the fans as well as the studio for making a game that he's proud to have been a part of.

[Thanks to Pete for the tip!]

Rockstar: Lohan's GTA 5 lawsuit just Jonas-ing for publicity

Lindsay Lohan's Grand Theft Auto 5 lawsuit was "filed for publicity purposes" according to creator Rockstar and parent company Take-Two Interactive. Lohan sued Rockstar and Take-Two for damages back in July over the in-game character of Lacey Jonas, a troubled young actress who struggles with an eating disorder and dealing with the paparazzi.

The case claimed Lohan's image, voice and styles from her clothing label were all used to depict Jonas, forming an "unequivocal" reference to the Mean Girls star. As the Associated Press reports, Rockstar is having none of it. Manhattan court papers made public this week show Take-Two and its subsidiary not only want the suit dismissed, but the company wants Lohan to pay its legal fees. As far as Take-Two is concerned, Jonas only resembles Lohan in being a young, blonde woman.

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Mega Man X4, X5 zero in on PlayStations next month

Two of the PlayStation-era Mega Man X platformers are blasting their way onto PS3 and Vita in the next couple of weeks. The first mighty number to land is X4, which hits PSN in North America on September 2. X5 follows a week later on September 9. Capcom didn't announce prices, but hopefully the games won't cost a pretty zenny.

Mega Man X4 was the first of the series to ditch the SNES and take full advantage of the 32-bit Sega Saturn and PlayStation. Apart from PC versions from around the turn of the millennium and a mobile phone port in Japan, Capcom hasn't put out either game as a standalone on other systems until now (they did appear in the PS2 and GameCube Mega Man X Collection). Does this mean Mega Man X6-8 could be on the way too?

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Under Defeat HD hits Xbox 360 stateside after two years AWOL

So this is a bit of an odd one. Back in late 2012/early 2013, Under Defeat HD came to PS3 and Xbox 360 in Japan and Europe. In North America, Rising Star released the remaster of G.rev's Dreamcast and arcade helicopter shoot-em-up exclusively for PS3. Why? Well, we could speculate, but the answer's unknown. Then this week, around two years later and out of the blue, Under Defeat HD finally hit Xbox 360s stateside via Games on Demand.

Despite being a vertical shoot-em-up, Under Defeat is ideally suited for HD widescreen life, as former Managing Editor JC Fletcher explained back in 2012. That HD "New Order" mode - which sadly doesn't have anything to do bizarre love triangles or blue Mondays - is part of the new Xbox 360 version, which is available now to download for $20.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition 4-player co-op revealed, separate to campaign

BioWare revealed the third Dragon Age game mirrors the third Mass Effect by introducing four-player online multiplayer on top of the single-player experience. An IGN preview reveals the co-op in Dragon Age: Inquisition runs separate to the main RPG campaign, with players ditching their Inquisitor robes to team up in randomly generated mini-dungeons that take around 20 to 30 minutes to complete in total.

There'll be three multiplayer campaigns at launch, each generating a level made up from 5 of 10 smaller, pre-designed areas. Players will see different areas in different orders, with variables like the types of enemy encounter changing across different sessions. Also, rather than playing as the Inquisitor, you and your buddies are lackeys for the main hero. As Bioware's Mike Laidlaw told IGN, the studio's attempted to infuse the mulitplayer heroes with personality: "They're kind of like mini followers, and they banter among themselves."

Update: Check out the reveal trailer below the break.

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Mario Kart 8 DLC packs priced $8 each, $12 2-in-1 bundle

Nintendo of America confirmed the crossover Mario Kart 8 DLC packs spotted yesterday on the company's UK site, with the Zelda pack due to launch stateside in November and the Animal Crossing one in May 2015. Both packs will be available for pre-order starting today, each priced at $8. However, if you know you're going to get both, you can save 25 percent by ordering the $12 two-in-one bundle.

The saving doesn't apply if you buy both packs separately, unfortunately. On the flip side, anyone who buys both packs unlocks eight new colors of Yoshi and Shy Guy "immediately," in case you're in immediate need of some technicolor racing.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 109: Madden 15, Akiba's Trip, PS Vita

Latest episode: Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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