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Uhh, Shovel Knight is in Road Redemption


Is it weird that Shovel Knight is now a playable character in Road Redemption, the spiritual successor to Road Rash? Like, really weird? Yes, of course it is. It is also, however, kind of awesome to see our beloved, blue-suited hero smacking people with a shovel at unlawful speeds. If Croaker were around, he might call the whole situation a cycle of violence.

Road Redemption is currently available via Steam Early Access.
[Image: Dark Seas Games]

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Read the fine print: Ubisoft free game offer waives lawsuits

Ubisoft's offer of a free game to make up for the widespread technological problems of Assassin's Creed: Unity seems generous, but those hoping to take advantage should be aware of a notable caveat tucked inside the offer's fine print.

You'll find the entirety of the relevant legalese beyond the break, but in short it states that by downloading the free game, players are waiving the right to sue Ubisoft or any of its development studios over the state of Assassin's Creed: Unity. This precludes players from suing Ubisoft directly, as well as joining any class-action lawsuits against the publisher.

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Cop drama, gadgets star in new Battlefield: Hardline trailer

Image Battlefield: Hardline's latest trailer shifts focus from police officers shooting non-descript criminals with military hardware to highlighting the game's melodramatic storyline and its non-firearm gadgets. Though, inevitably, there's still lots of gunplay and explosions. [Image: EA] ... Continue Reading

2014's Box Art: The Year in Review

Gaming is as deeply entrenched in the online age as it's ever been, with more downloadable games hitting storefronts than ever before. So there's no better time than now, while we still can, to commemorate the year through the lens of box art.

So many hours and so much thought goes into creating box art, with designers working their utmost to grab consumer attention at ground level. That makes for a curious mix of designs, turning the average store shelf into a kaleidoscope of logos, familiar faces, and occasionally glittering artwork. That very much remains the case this year.

We've taken 50 of 2014's retail releases - we've restricted it to games that hit physical store shelves (sorry, Shovel Knight) - and compiled them into a gallery to chronicle the year. As for which box art stood out from the rest, we welcome you to illuminate us in the comments.

What was your favorite video game box art of 2014? Which of the covers we didn't include were ones you really liked? And what about the coulda-shoulda-done-betters? Let us know!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is UK's Christmas No. 1

Ding dong merrily on high / In the UK CoD is winning
Ding dong verily the sky / In LA Kotick's grinning
Spa-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-aycey
Kevin in excelsis!

Like an exosuit-clad soldier sneaking stealthily down the chimney, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare sneaks up on FIFA 15 to nick the UK Christmas No. 1. Activision's shooter usurped EA's kicker with a last-minute promotion, which according to Chart Track makes it the fifth CoD ever to claim the top spot in merrytime.

Outside of that excitement, the UK charts are getting into the holiday spirit by barely moving an inch. Nonetheless, if you jingle below the break you'll find the full top ten, and this week a very festive edition of the customary music video - sort of.

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Updated Steam Controller design features d-pad

The Steam Controller has already seen a couple tweaks since its initial unveiling, first by adding traditional face buttons, and later supporting an analog thumbstick. Now, it appears that the controller will also feature a directional pad, though in what capacity remains to be seen.

Game Informer uncovered an image file in the Steam Client beta that suggests the Steam Controller will be able to support a d-pad in place of its left-side haptic touch pad. We say "able to support" because this is not an image of an actual, physical controller, and nowhere is it implied that this design will be released to the exclusion of others. The d-pad could be something users install for when they want it, or it could be part of a redesigned haptic touch pad. Who knows?

Valve knows, that's who. And they haven't said anything official on the matter. However, Valve VP of Marketing Doug Lombardi told TechRadar last month that the company will have a large Steam Machines presence at GDC 2015, which begins March 2.
[Image: Valve]

Claire goes back to work in Resident Evil Revelations 2 opening

It's hard to imagine why Claire Redfield of Capcom's Resident Evil universe would put anything other than "I saved you from becoming zombie food" on her resume, but we suppose that's a pretty good attribute when you work for a human rights organization that unravels the schemes of/cleans up the damage made by terrorists using bio-weapons. Unfortunately, being such a high-profile figure also makes you a target, as evidenced by the opening scene of Resident Evil Revelations 2, which you can watch after the break.

Historically, Claire has fared well against both helicopters and men with guns, but age catches up to all of us it seems, and the lady Redfield is unable to save her place of business from attack. Community Manager Brelston writes on the Capcom Unity blog that after this scene, Claire and company wake up on a prison island with "little information, no weapons and no clear way home."

Well, at least our heroine will be in familiar circumstances when Resident Evil Revelations 2 begins its episodic tale on February 17, 2015.

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Malkovich, Paxton star in Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies



When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is overrun with zombies, who do you want standing at your side? If you answered "anyone who survived The Walking Dead's zombie apocalypse," "that girl with the gun-leg from Planet Terror," "the general keeping humanity from extinction in Warm Bodies" and "someone with expertise in exoskeletal power armor, like the Master Sergeant from Edge of Tomorrow," we have two things to say to you: One, wow that's a specific list. Like ... really, absurdly specific. And two, congratulations! You'll get all four when the Exo Zombies mode comes to Call of Duty.

According to a new teaser (which you can view above), the Exo Zombies mode will feature the talents of Jon Bernthal (Shane, The Walking Dead), Rose McGowan (Cherry Darling, Planet Terror), John Malkovich (Grigio, Warm Bodies) and Bill Paxton (Master Sergeant Farell, Edge of Tomorrow; also Private Hudson, Aliens). Unfortunately, there's still very little of the mode to be seen in action, so chew on what morsels of gameplay video you can before the zombies chew on Xbox-owning brains in January, and other platform owners at a later date.
[Image: Activision]

Green Man Gaming holiday sale: Alien: Isolation, Evil Within

Today marks the start of Green Man Gaming's annual Green Grogre holiday sale, where the digital games retailer offers hefty discounts on a wide range of games, both recent and not so recent.

Highlights of the sale include intergalactic survival horror gem Alien: Isolation at $25, while the terrestrial horror of The Evil Within is priced at $20.39 and sizable strategy hit Total War: Rome 2 Emperor Edition is $14.98. If buying one game at a time seems terribly inefficient, you can choose from either the massive Half-Life Complete Edition compilation or the Tomb Raider Franchise compilation. Both have received 75 percent discounts.

The Green Grogre holiday sale is scheduled to run until January 2. Prospective buyers should check the site regularly, as Green Man Gaming plans to add new discounts each day.
[Image: Green Man Gaming]

Shadowrun Returns to Kickstarter in January 2015

A recent addition to the two-year-old Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter page reveals that developer Harebrained Schemes will return to crowdfunding in January 2015, though the reasons why aren't entirely clear.

The image above is the entirety of the update. That pseudo-shamanic green dragon symbol is the de facto logo for Shadowrun Returns, suggesting that Harebrained Schemes is seeking money to develop additional content for a game we described as a loving, cyberpunk homage to the roleplaying games of the 1990s. Whether this new content might be a second expansion (a la Dragonfall) or even a sequel is unknown.

While Harebrained Schemes' first stab at crowdfunding went very well - the developer was seeking $400,000 and attracted over $1.8 million - that was two years ago. Since that time Kickstarter and sites like it have been flooded by developers seeking money. As we pointed out earlier this year, this glut (not to mention reports of Kickstarter scams) has decreased the amount of money available via crowdfunding. The success of Shadowrun Returns will no doubt bolster Harebrained Schemes' fundraising attempt, but it seems unlikely that the developer will again draw more than four times its goal.
[Image: Kickstarter/Harebrained Schemes]

Flight Simulator X lands on Steam at an 80 percent discount

Dovetail Games' updated, Steam-friendly version of Microsoft's seminal Flight Simulator X only just reached Steam yesterday but is already being swept up in one of the digital retailers' seasonal sales.

For the next 24 hours, Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition is available on Steam for $5. At the end of the day, the game will jump in price to $12.49 (which is still only half of its regular $25 price) and will remain that way until the end of the Steam Holiday Sale on January 2.

Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition includes not only Flight Simulator X, but also all of the content found in its official expansions. Dovetail's agreement with Microsoft precludes the developer from updating the game's graphics, but the studio has added new multiplayer functionality reliant on Steam instead of the now-defunct GameSpy service and has made it possible to run Flight Simulator X under the Windows 8.1 operating system.
[Image: Microsoft/Dovetail Games]

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I only play Hotline Miami 2 on vinyl

There's this game coming out called Hotline Miami 2. You probably haven't heard of it. Anyway, I found out you can get this sweet collector's edition with the soundtrack on vinyl. It's, like, sixty bucks and comes with three discs – all of them 180 gram, colored vinyl, of course – and it features 28 different tracks from the game. You also get a Steam download code for the game, printed on a special "phone card," which is, like, what old people used before smartphones or something.

You probably haven't pre-ordered it yet. I mean, I heard about it months ago, but it's cool if you like it now, or whatever.
[image: Devolver Digital]

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Lords of the Fallen on mobiles is 'brand new,' not a port

The Lords of the Fallen game coming to iOS and Android isn't a port of this year's console and PC game. In a statement provided to Joystiq, CI Games CEO Marek Tyminski confirmed the mobile game is instead a "brand new" experience. Tyminski also said the Lords of the Fallen sequel announced earlier this week is in development for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Tyminski's statement in full reads:
"I can confirm that the statements made recently to the local Polish media at a press conference earlier this week in Warsaw, and mentioned on Facebook by Executive Producer Tomasz Gop, are true: a Lords of the Fallen sequel is currently in development for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The reaction from fans to the news has been tremendous so far, and we're eager to take on the challenge of improving upon the solid experience that has been created with Lords of The Fallen.

"I'd also like to offer some new information - we're currently working on a mobile game that takes place in the Lords of the Fallen universe, which we're aiming to launch on iOS and Android in 2015. It will not be a straight port of the game though, but rather a brand new Lords of the Fallen experience. More details on that are still to come."

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Devolver serves up Fork Parker's Holiday Profit Hike for free on Steam

If the ongoing Steam Holiday Sale has you strapped for cash, Devolver Digital's faux CFO Fork Parker wants to cut you a deal in Fork Parker's Holiday Profit Hike, a freeware platformer released today on Steam.

Developed by Enter the Gungeon creator Dodge Roll Games, Holiday Profit Hike is a vertically scrolling action game that blends gameplay mechanics from Nintendo's Ice Climber and the classic arcade game Roc'n Rope. Players ascend an icy mountain using an infinite supply of ropes and pulleys, grabbing any cash they find along the way to fill Parker's pocketbook. Be careful, though -- the climb is perilous, and each death deducts cash from Parker's savings to cover medical costs.

It's a short game (there's an achievement for players who can climb the mountain in under 12 minutes), but the platforming within is surprisingly complex, and it'll take you a while to fully grasp how the rope mechanics work. Good luck, and try not to bankrupt Devolver Digital. Think of the indies!

[Image: Devolver Digital)

Far Cry 4 plans a prison break for January 13

Far Cry 4's "Escape from Durgesh Prison" DLC will be available to download on January 13, Ubisoft announced today. The DLC will have players racing across Kyrat to finish challenges and recover lost weapons, upgrading their gear and skills along the way. Escape from Durgesh Prison will be playable in both single player and cooperative multiplayer modes, but should they die in the DLC, players will have to start the mission over from the beginning.

Escape from Durgesh Prison was revealed as part of Far Cry 4's season pass in October, which gives buyers access to multiple add-on missions including the season pass-exclusive DLC, The Syringe. Those without the $30 season pass can still pick up Escape from Durgesh Prison separately for $10. Far Cry 4 launched in November and received praise for its "interesting and absorbing" world in our review.

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