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Paradox reveals out of this world RTS 'Ancient Space'

Paradox Interactive and developer Creative Forge have unveiled a game called Ancient Space that the duo describe as "a new story-driven real-time strategy game."

As its title suggests, Ancient Space takes players to the edges of the universe. Specifically, an area known as "The Black Zone." Though objectives vary throughout the game, the core goal of Ancient Space is to build an impressive interstellar fleet that can survive attacks by aliens, space pirates and things that exist only in nebulous regions of the cosmos.

Unlike most real-time strategy games, which are split equally between a b-movie singleplayer campaign and an online multiplayer component, Ancient Space focuses entirely on the former. To that end the developers have enlisted a cast of sci-fi genre regulars to populate the game, including John Billingsley of Star Trek: Enterprise and Dina Meyer of Starship Troopers.

No official release date has been established for Ancient Space, but barring catastrophe Paradox and Creative Forge plan to launch the game on both PC and Mac this Fall. Jump past the break for a trailer.
[Image: Paradox Interactive]

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Go 'Deep Under the Sky' on Venus as a weird jellyfish

In Deep Under the Sky, you're an acrobatic jellyfish navigating the neon world of Venus, flying through fuzzy passageways to collect glowing orbs and stars, all while avoiding the dangerous native creatures. Deep Under the Sky comes from Incredipede creator Colin Northway and Pineapple Smash Crew creator Rich Edwards, so it's really no wonder this is a psychedelic platforming romp of a game.

Deep Under the Sky is out now on iOS and Android for $3, and it's due to hit PC and Mac tomorrow, August 22.

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Adventure Time: Nameless Kingdom debuts November 21 in Europe

WayForward's next Adventure Time game, The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom, premieres in Europe for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, and PC platforms via Steam on November 21, publisher Bandai Namco revealed this week.

Announced earlier this year, The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom takes gameplay cues from classic entries in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series, and models its structure after the lauded 16-bit action-RPG A Link to the Past. Gameplay focuses on solving environmental puzzles to progress through the game's many dungeons, ditching the roguelike-styled gameplay of its predecessor Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! for a more traditional approach.

A North American release date for The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom was not announced.

[Image: Bandai Namco]

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Joystiq Streams: Putting Madden 15 through its PS4 paces [UPDATE: Relive the stream!]



There's a lush place where video games and football meet, and it's not just in EA and the NFL's island industry known as Madden NFL. In the heart of August, when the temperature and light start to drop, these pastimes begin their full bloom seasons. Today, we play Madden NFL 15 not just because we are Steelers fans and Packers fans and Eagles fans. We play Madden NFL 15 not just because we thrill in the coming rush of new games from Destiny to Alien Isolation. Today we play Madden to open the season. Today we open the floodgates to fall!

Whew. That got romantic. Just make sure you read all of that in Don Cheadle's voice. When you're properly psyched, get ready for a tour of Madden NFL 15 on PlayStation 4 at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch.

Expert Mike Suszek will show you the ins-and-outs of this year's much scrutinized entry and then join Anthony John Agnello for some spirited scrimmages.

Joystiq Streams broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, but we broadcast at random times as well so make sure to follow us on Twitch to know when we go live.
[Images: Electronic Arts]

The Walking Dead Season 2 finale hits next week

The fifth and final episode of The Walking Dead Season Two launches for PC, Mac, PS3 and Vita on August 26 in North America, and then on Xbox 360 on August 27. Episode five hits iOS on August 28 as an in-app purchase.

Episode five is titled "No Going Back" and it wraps up all of the bone-chilling insanity within Season Two so far. The trailer released today contains spoilers for seasons one and two of The Walking Dead, though Telltale promises no spoilers for episode five itself. It does, however, contain a heartbreaking home video of Clementine before the outbreak. Grab some tissues and see the trailer below.

If you've been playing along this season, read our reviews of each episode under the Walking Dead home page. Episode four's review can be found here.

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In the garden of Eden Hazard, don't you know that I love FIFA 15?

Belgium and Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard is the new face-next-to-Messi's-face for FIFA 15, at least in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Voted the best young player in the English Premier League last year, Hazard is also a less hazardous proposition to have on the cover than last year's choice, Gareth Bale. If you'll remember, Bale left for Real Madrid after appearing on the FIFA 14 cover in a Tottenham shirt, leaving EA Sports in a bit of a pickle. No such fun, sadly, is on the cards for Hazard this year.

To see the full box art, dribble below the break and remember to wipe.

EA's sportsball sim will once again grace a myriad of platforms starting September 23 in North America. Three days later it'll come to Europe, where Microsoft's once again offering it as part of a Xbox One bundle, priced 400 euros or £350.

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Microsoft abruptly removes Ascend: Hand of Kul from Xbox 360

Free-to-play action-RPG Ascend: Hand of Kul is no longer available on the Xbox 360 after Microsoft discontinued it this week, apparently without informing developer Signal Studios beforehand. In what's seemingly less a case of "So long, farewell" and more Jazzy Jeff leaving the Fresh Prince's house, Signal Studios said the news only surfaced when the team was investigating player troubles from the weekend.

"We are deeply saddened by this decision and the impact it has on our community," Signal Studios said on its site while urging players towards the Steam version released in May. The studio didn't note what Microsoft's reasoning was behind the decision, and when we approached the publisher a spokesperson told us Microsoft had "no further comment."

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PES 2015's pre-order bonuses build your team of the year

Those that pre-order Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 in the UK will receive some bonus goodies, Konami revealed. The pre-order exclusives are for the game's new My Club mode, which stands as an overhauled version of the series' Master League management mode. My Club brings microtransactions to the soccer sim as well, which is where the pre-order bonuses come in.

The exclusive pre-order content was "built around the UEFA Team Of The Year," Konami told Joystiq in an email. The bonuses include "10,000 Game Points, 10 Recovery Items to assist the fitness of the squad, and one player picked at random from the team voted by over 5 million people on UEFA.com." Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 is the first in the series for PS4 and Xbox One, and will launch on November 13. A demo of the game will be available on September 17 for each of its platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.

Borderlands 2 free Steam weekend, Pre-Sequel up for pre-purchase

Want a fresh world to explore? If you haven't already entered the insanity that is Borderlands 2, this weekend represents your best bet. Beginning today and until Sunday at 1pm PT, the game is available to play for free on Steam.

As part of the promotion, Borderlands 2 and its content are currently on sale for up to 75% off. You can grab the single game, sans DLC, for $4.99 or double down for $9.99 and nab the Game of the Year Edition, featuring bonus content.

If you're a forward thinking player, this week Steam has opened pre-orders up for the next installment in the series, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Launching October 14, The Pre-Sequel is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
[Image: Gearbox]

Reus picks up 700K sales ahead of Renowned Explorers launch

Abbey Games has sold 700,000 copies of its 2D god game, Reus, designer Manuel Kerssemakers told Joystiq at Gamescom. Reus launched in May 2013, and within its first three months, it brought in 235,000 sales. The 700,000 count comes from copies sold across Steam, GOG, Humble, Desura and Gamersgate.

Sales of Reus have allowed Abbey Games to establish a studio with 16 people, some full-time and others as needed, Kerssemakers said. Abbey is now working on Renowned Explorers, a turn-based strategy game about a group of 19th century adventurers traveling the world and gathering treasures to show off at the World Expo. It's inspired by XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Fire Emblem, Indiana Jones and Jules Verne.

Renowned Explorers is due out in the first quarter of 2015 for PC, Mac and Linux via Steam, and so far Abbey isn't interested in launching an early access version. "We're kind of traditional in that we want to release a full version," Kerssemakers said. "Reus people seemed to appreciate getting a full game."

Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition round table: Should you upgrade?

Diablo 3 raises a lot of questions. If angels don't have heads and faces, why do they exclusively wear hoodies? Does the witch doctor have a chronic illness or is he just shaking like that because he drank way too much coffee? Biggest of all, though, is this whopper: Should you take this chance to upgrade?

With Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition gracing PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this week, the Joystiq crew has been asking that very question. Richard Mitchell, a Diablo veteran back to the original game, joins console-only player Susan Arendt and complete Diablo neophyte Anthony John Agnello for a roundtable discussion of how best to enter the series while discussing their experiences with Ultimate Evil Edition on PlayStation 4.

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The Golf Club climbs into a tiny cart, departs Early Access

To coincide with its Xbox One debut earlier this week, HB Studios' picturesque golfing simulation The Golf Club has just exited Steam's Early Access program.

Now available on Steam at $35, The Golf Club offers players a spartan simulation complemented by a wealth of gameplay options, including online multiplayer, impromptu tournament creation and a fully-featured course editor. The Golf Club lacks extraneous bits such as a tutorial or any useful guide to learning the game's unique swing mechanics, but that falls in line with The Golf Club's aim of being a golfing simulation aimed not at gamers, but at those who consider themselves both gamers and golfers.

Alongside its Early Access exit, The Golf Club has been updated with a handful of new features including female golfers, additional objects and wildlife for the course editor and improved graphics. Full details on the final release version of The Golf Club can be found on Steam.
[Image: HB Studios]

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris UK pre-order bonuses announced

Square Enix revealed a series of retailer-specific pre-order bonuses it has in store for Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris in the UK, including a selection of franchise crossover character skins and items that grant in-game perks.

Players who pre-order Temple of Osiris at Amazon.co.uk will receive the Deus Ex Pack, which includes a unique combat rifle and an Augment ring that gives a 10 percent discount on in-game treasure chests. GAME customers get the Lara Croft Legend Pack, which bundles Tomb Raider Legend-themed skins, a golden pistol, and a health-regenerating Legend ring.

Pre-order the digital version of Temple of Osiris and you'll get the Hitman Pack, granting access to Agent 47's Silverballers, unique character skins, and a ring that deals increased weapon damage. Pre-orders are available up until the game's UK launch on December 9. A North American release date has not been announced.

[Image: Square Enix]

Joystiq Giveaway: Back to school with Razer PC gear

Graduation is a distant memory. Middle school? High school? Undergrad? Daycare? Everyone's leaving their old life behind and getting ready to build a new front of educational righteousness in the near future. Just like mom asked you to, you've made a checklist of necessities. New phone case to prevent backpack breakage! New writing utensils of varying stain power! One used copy of Lord of the Flies! A totally sweet new PC that you told your entire extended family was for that design class but it's really for Dota 2!

Alright, that last one is pretty hard to swing. Building a killer PC with all the accoutrements you can imagine is a difficult task. While we can't help with the rig itself, Joystiq and Razer can assist with some accessories. In the spirit of our Back to School feature, we're giving away one Razer Adaro Wireless headset worth $150, one Razer Naga mouse worth $80, and one Razer Black Widow Ultimate 2014 worth $140.

All you have to do to enter is like Joystiq on Facebook using the Rafflecopter widget below before 10AM EST on Wednesday, August 27th. Three random winners will be selected to win the goods.
Note: Contest is only open to legal residents of the United States and Canada and are 13 years of age or older.

Deus Ex writer teams with BioWare designer for Sienna Storm

Sheldon Pacotti, lead writer of Deus Ex, has joined forces with Tony Evans, designer on games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, to create an ambitious sci-fi adventure dubbed Sienna Storm.

Described as a "non-linear thriller," Sienna Storm uses sketchy, hand-drawn art to complement a lengthy story and a unique card game mechanic that takes the place of in-game combat. "Fluid situations are executed via an innovative card game mechanic that actuates the intel, gear, and skills you've gathered throughout the game," reads the game's description. "Persuasion is just as important as deduction in this sociopolitical thriller, in which the crucial moves in a dangerous multipolar world truly lie in your hands." Though full details on the card game component remain under wraps, the brief description offered by the developers makes it sound a bit like a less complicated take on Netrunner.

Unlike most crowdfunding projects, which add minor rewards for each funding goal reached, Sienna Storm will reward its backers with an improved development team. Assuming the two stretch goals are reached, the aforementioned developers will be joined by Unreal Tournament composer Alex Brandon and Fallout designer Chris Avellone.

Sienna Storm is seeking $179,000, and has currently raised $2,168. 28 days remain in the game's fundraising drive.
[Image: Digital Knights]

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