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Watch The Last of Us: One Night Live, but not the unseen epilogue


If you played The Last of Us and thought "hey this would make a really great stage show" then you're kind of weird. But also perhaps a visionary, since a The Last of Us stage show is exactly what Naughty Dog and Sony put on last night in a special one-off performance.

It's of course closer to a table read than a grand Broadway spectacle, but if you like seeing voice actors like Troy Baker (Joel) and Ashley Johnson (Ellie) apply themselves to their roles, it's worth a watch. Also, rather than telling the full plot, the show takes select scenes from various parts of Naughty Dog's horror. In short, it doesn't really explain the story but it sure as heck spoils it, so if you've not played the game, go do that first (it's really good!)

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This Destiny beta footage came from the moon

Image For two hours on Saturday, Bungie opened the gates to the moon in the Destiny beta. Historian of all things moon related, Joystiq invites you to watch this footage of the mission. Spoilers: We found wizards! The beta has since ended, but Destiny launches on September 9 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3... Continue Reading

GaymerX in dire straits after NIS America pulls pledge [update]

An email sent late on Monday afternoon is incurring a dour situation for the organizers of GaymerX2, an LGBTQ-focused and inclusive convention held in San Francisco on July 11-13. The marketing coordinator for niche publisher and developer NIS America reached out to event founder, Matt Conn, to apologize and renege on a pledge of $3000.

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The lighter side of murder with Jenny LeClue

Young detective Jenny LeClue is the star of a fictional choose-your-own-adventure book series written by Arthur K. Finklestein, and her latest story is her most important yet – her mother is accused of murder, and it's up to Jenny to figure out who did it and why. As a game, Jenny LeClue is an investigative point-and-click adventure where each player's unique decisions impact not only the lives of Jenny and her family, but also the life of the author, Finklestein himself.

Jenny LeClue is as lighthearted as a game about murder can be, with a hand-painted art style, a rich world in the town of Arthurton and an incisive dialogue mechanic that allows players to inspect suspects for physical clues while they talk. Developer Mografi sees Jenny LeClue as a trilogy of games, with the first one as a coming-of-age story:

"This is a game about your choices and how they permanently affect the story. We want to deliver a rich narrative experience about relationships with delightful surprises and interactions. The story also deals with mature themes, complex characters and an epic tangled mystery."

Mografi is looking for $65,000 on Kickstarter to fund the first episode of Jenny LeClue, due out first for PC, Mac and Linux, with iOS and other platforms to follow. With 25 days to go, the campaign has raised more than $27,000.
[Images: Mografi]

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A persona fit for Pillars of Eternity

Before computer-generated worlds came to life, we were running through dungeons in our heads, with rules on paper to govern our actions. Pillars of Eternity remembers those days and the games they inspired, and not just because it has an isometric perspective, or soul-storms, or tactical combat and special armor types, or even character creation. It's that right from the beginning, there's a space for the player to tweak the details, write a personality and imagine someone being there.

The real challenge – and the agony – of a traditional role-playing game lies at the beginning, in the dungeon named ... "character creation." It inspires a dread worse than any stone golem or world-eating viper, because you want to make someone fit to save the world and gallivant through it for at least a hundred hours. Will she wield an axe or a bow? Tall or short? Pointy ears or wizard's cap? Is this name going to sound like high fantasy, or like fantasy fiction while high? And no matter how many times you save the world, you don't want to be forever known as that guy with the weird eyebrows. Let's just lower them a bit.

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Live Look: Gods Will Be Watching



Gods Will Be Watching, the new adventure game from Spain's Deconstructeam and publisher Devolver Digital, doesn't like you. It has absolutely no problem telling you very quickly just how much it doesn't like you. Across the science-fiction parable's six diverse chapters, just one wrong decision on how to help protagonist Sergeant Burden survive can result in multiple deaths. You will die, the dog will die, a robot will be wrenched apart for parts. The game is so demanding that Joystiq thought a primer looking at the first two chapters of the game might be helpful.

Here's an overview of how to come close to completing the first chapter of the game and also a demonstration of how quickly things can go south in its fraught hostage situation. At the end is a quick sample of the game's second chapter, in which you have to survive brutal torture. Good times!
[Images: Deconstructeam]

NeonXSZ begins descent to Steam August 22


NeonXSZ, the latter three letters of which are pronounced "excesses," will launch on Steam via Early Access on August 22. The game puts players in the cockpit of a ship within cyberspace, joining a war between viruses and machines. While just entering beta, NeonXSZ is "already fully playable for 100-plus hours," according to the single-person developer, Intravenous Software.

NeonXSZ features "dozens of ships" complete with more than 850 upgrades, emphasizing treasure-collecting and enemy-blasting gameplay akin to that of classic "6DoF" FPS games like Descent and twitchy shooters such as Quake. The procedurally-generated, open world in NeonXSZ includes "approximately one thousand AI dudes" from four different factions, each at odds with one another. Those enemies drop parts of their hulls, upgrades and weaponry, so loot gathered from players' conquests is not randomized. The alpha version of NeonXSZ arrived on the Desura store in September 2013 for PC, Mac and Linux.

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Give me a deluxe apartment in Destiny's sky

There are plenty of mechanical details that need to be tweaked before Destiny is ready for its full public debut, as this weekend's past stress test showed. There are balance issues and a few bugs, and the smart thing for Bungie to do is to really nail down the questing and shooting and matchmaking until they're all pretty much perfect. That's your core gameplay right there, and if that's not satisfying, nobody will really care all that much if you can dye your armor red. After all that's taken care of, however, what I want most next - before more content, even, is a house. Well, more like an apartment. The game says that the Tower is "where the Guardians live," so fine, let me live there.

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Stained developer no longer issuing Steam keys to bundle buyers

If you're waiting to receive a Steam key for the Greenlight-approved PC side-scroller Stained, you can stop waiting. Developer RealAxis announced that it no longer plans to issue promised Steam keys for players who purchased the game as part of a bundle.

When Stained was featured in Indie Royale's Debut 3 bundle last year, RealAxis pledged to supply buyers with a Steam key after the game earned community approval via Steam Greenlight. Indie Royale's Debut bundles are assembled to promote Greenlight hopefuls, and its organizers note that "Developers have almost always provided Steam keys for Indie Royale games that have subsequently been greenlit and then appeared on Steam."

RealAxis blames its decision on declining sales, and claims that it only earned around $3,000 in revenue between Indie Royale's bundle and purchases via Steam.

"The game is not selling at all and there is no hope," a RealAxis representative explained. "I think we are already doomed so we are abandoning the process of distributing the keys. We will continue to do what is required to make the living and provide support to game related questions twice a week. If you really love this game you should consider buying it on steam else I think you already had your share of enjoyment when you purchased the game via IR-Bundle for 50 cent. [sic]"

[Image: RealAxis]

HBO documentary on gaming addiction, Love Child, airs tonight

HBO takes a sobering look at the consequences of gaming addiction tonight with the premiere of Love Child, a documentary film that explores the tragic circumstances behind the death of an infant girl as her parents battled MMORPG addiction.

The death of three-month old Sarang ("Love" in Korean) made national headlines when it was revealed that her malnutrition was a direct result of her parents' gaming habits. Sarang's parents, living in poverty, spent the majority of their waking hours gold farming in the now-shuttered MMORPG Prius Online as their primary source of income, caring for in-game children while their own daughter starved.

Love Child speaks to detectives, game developers, and psychiatrists for their perspective on gaming addiction in South Korea and worldwide. The Sundance-featured documentary makes its HBO debut tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST.

[Image: HBO / Love Child]

Visit scenic Twilight Gap, Destiny's latest Crucible map


With the Destiny beta now behind us, the developers at Bungie can resume teasing in-game content that the majority of us won't see in-person for months. Case in point, Twilight Gap.

According to this IGN featurette, Twilight Gap is a map that will be found in the final, retail version of Destiny's multiplayer combat component, the Crucible. As an abandoned military base set on the ruined Earth, it features foreboding, claustrophobic metal corridors, expansive outdoor vistas and mountainous, alpine terrain. As lead designer Lars Bakken explains, though relatively small, Twilight Gap offers combatants a multi-tiered battleground where vertical movement is as important as controlling the ground around your Guardian.

If this short tour has whet your appetite, we're sorry to report that you won't be admiring Twilight Gap first-hand until Destiny's September debut. In the meantime, why not have a look at our new list of those games that remind us of Destiny. Unlike Bungie's open-world shooter, those games can be played at this very moment.
[Image: Activision]

Diesel jeans files opposition to Dieselstormers trademark

Lawyers representing the Diesel fashion brand have filed legal opposition to attempts by Germany's Black Forest Games to trademark "Dieselstormers" as the title of an upcoming run and gun shooter.

According to Diesel representatives, the game's title could cause confusion in consumers. Despite Diesel being known almost exclusively for its clothing (and its jeans in particular), the company holds a trademark over the term "Diesel" in numerous miscellaneous fields including video games.

While this trademark squabble awaits an official ruling, Black Forest Games remains confident that Diesel has no case. "In all probability an understanding will be reached as Black Forest have no intent to create clothing under the Dieselstormers brand - and the "Diesel" part of Dieselstormers refers to the liquid fuel type of the same name and is not a parody of the fashion brand," reads an official statement from Black Forest.
[Image: Black Forest Games]

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Killer Instinct Classic 2 for Xbox One outed by Game Rating Board

A Korean Game Rating Board submission (via NeoGAF) named "Killer Instinct Classic 2" as an upcoming release for the Xbox One, suggesting that Microsoft is planning a port of the 1996 arcade game Killer Instinct 2.

Microsoft previously bundled a port of 1994's Killer Instinct with its Xbox One reboot issued last year. The retitled Killer Instinct Classic was available as a free bonus for players who purchased Killer Instinct's Ultra Edition and boxed Pin Ultimate Edition.

Developer Iron Galaxy Studios revealed earlier this month that Killer Instinct 2 star Maya will join Killer Instinct's playable roster this fall as part of its second season of content. Microsoft has not confirmed Killer Instinct Classic 2's existence or a release date, but given the publisher's previous release schedule for Killer Instinct content, the port could surface as part of a second-season bundle.

[Image: Iron Galaxy Studios]

Joystiq Deals: Bluetooth Shower Speaker, AviiQ earbuds

Today's round of Joystiq Deals are all about keeping your music playing, whether you're rushing around the city or relaxing in a hot shower.

First up are the AviiQ Concert Series earbuds, a headphone system designed with flat cables to prevent the sorts of tangles that are all too familiar to owners of other earbuds. For the next five days, Joystiq readers can pick up a pair of these 'buds for $19.99, a price point 42 percent less than their standard $35 price point.

Next we have a massive 60 percent discount on the aptly-named Bluetooth Shower Speaker. Thanks to a simple suction cup, water-resistant construction and the magic of Bluetooth audio, the Bluetooth Shower Speaker allows you to bring your music with you into the tub. Instead of its standard $99 price, we're offering the Bluetooth Shower Speaker for $39, but act fast: This deal expires at 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.

Doom comes to this ATM, courtesy Australian hackers


Fiscal convenience takes a backseat to murderous hellbeasts as hackers have added an Automated Teller Machine to the long, long list of devices capable of running id Software's classic first-person shooter Doom.

It seems a team of Australian hackers dismantled the machine and modified its hardware to get Doom up and running with full (if awkward) controls through the standard ATM keypad. The footage above offers a lengthy walkthrough of the process, and even includes discussion of the group's future plans for this hack which include a functional number pad and adding inexplicable support for the ATM's receipt printer.

As our pals at Engadget point out, this hack is relatively trivial given that the ATM already runs on Windows XP, but the effort here deserves no less praise. In our modern day and age, you can't really consider a computing device properly functional until someone's made it run Doom, so just think of this as necessary aftermarket quality assurance.
[Image: Bethesda Softworks]

The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 106: The Crew, Gods Will Be Watching, The Walking Dead, game delays

Latest episode: Friday, July 25th, 2014

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