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Shadowgate opens the doors August 21 on Steam



Shadowgate, the Kickstarted and revamped first-person adventure game, launches on August 21 on Steam for PC and Mac, and it's due to hit iOS and Android devices in the fall.

The shiny new Shadowgate comes from the creators of the original MacVenture game, and it features updated and new puzzles, hand-painted illustrations, fresh cutscenes, and a Retro Mode that turns the game into its 1989 NES version. There's also a dynamic soundtrack and more than 50 Steam achievements to unlock.

Shadowgate is up for pre-order at three reduced-price tiers, ranging from $15 to $25.
[Image: Zojoi]

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Crimes And Punishments finds a gameplay trailer, my dear Watson

Image While it may lack the aloof, reptilian charm of Benedict Cumberbatch, this lengthy gameplay trailer for Sherlock Holmes: Crimes And Punishments seems to nail the crucial, super-sleuth aspects of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous character, right down to the borderline-sociopathic methods he... Continue Reading

Video preview: Nobody expects the Dragon Age: Inquisition


EA and BioWare's Dragon Age: Inquisition would like to go big and go home when it launches this November - which is to say it's getting ready to show off environments much larger than those seen in previous Dragon Age games, and it would very much like for you to buy it and take it home. The shelves of a store are so cold and lonely, you see.

In this Joystiq video preview, Editor-in-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann and Community Manager Anthony John Agnello explore the continent of Thedas in search of dragons and adventure, and find instead a game that teaches them the value of trying something new. Also, jumping.

Dragon Age: Inquisition begins its hunt November 18 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Have some more lore in new Shadow of Mordor trailer

October 7th's helmeted headbutt between prominent fantasy games is officially over: Dragon Age Inquisition is moving to November, while Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor gets an earlier debut, on September 30. According to developer Monolith Productions, the open-world orc-stalker is progressing well enough to reach PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 a week earlier than first announced, with the PC version coming in on October 2.

Warner Bros. has also released a new trailer to coincide with the game's promotion at San Diego Comic-Con. The spectral figure paired with Shadow of Mordor's protagonist, Talion, is revealed to be Celebrimbor, the long-departed Elven smith who forged the Rings of Power. Beyond their connection to Middle-Earth's notorious mind-control jewelry, both Talion and Celebrimbor have reason to venture into Mordor and hijack Sauron's army for their own purposes.

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Joystiq Streams: Last licks in The Crew beta [Update: Watch the replay!]



Update: The live stream has ended. You can relive the magic in the stream archive above.

What in the world is in that STREAM, what you got in that STREAM?
Get up out ya hater, we're playing
The Crew beta, wait to take place at a similar pace
So shake, shake it
Roll out! Roll out! Roll out! Roll out!
Get out my business, my biznass


Unable to get the lingering sense of defeat from Tuesday's stream out of our collective heads, the Joystiq driving club is going to get in some last licks with The Crew beta on Joystiq.com/Twitch.

Starting at 4PM EST, we're going to roll back into the crime ridden open world of Ubisoft's new racer. Xav de Matos, Jess Conditt, and Anthony John Agnello will be racing across the land. Alexander Sliwinski will be chilling in the chat, relaying your many questions to, well, the crew.

Remember, that's Joystiq.com/Twitch at 4PM EST! Joystiq Streams broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST, but make sure to follow us on Twitch for when we decide to get brazenly weird like we're doing right now.
[Images: Ubisoft]

Wayward Manor review: More like Wayward Meh-nor

"Youth is no excuse for bad taste," the crotchety old house in Wayward Manor says as it watches a pair of gluttonous children chow down on sugary snacks within its creaking walls.

If youth doesn't excuse poor taste, then certainly there's no excuse for Wayward Manor's bland appeal, not when it comes from a successful studio – The Odd Gentlemen – and a world-renowned author – Neil Gaiman.

Wayward Manor seems as if it were a mobile game that somehow ended up on Steam for PC and Mac. Maybe it was put on Steam by mischievous poltergeists or vengeful spirits, but the fact remains that it doesn't feel, look or play like a desktop game.

This doesn't automatically equate a terrible experience, but, as a puzzle game, Wayward Manor leaves much to be desired in terms of complexity, and as a showcase for the writing of Neil Gaiman, it just barely scratches the surface of the narrative depth he's proven he can provide in comics, books and online ramblings. Rather than the scritch-scritch of razorblade claws creeping out of your bedroom closet, Wayward Manor's scratches are more like the pawing of a feisty, yet de-clawed, cat.

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One does not simply move up the Shadow of Mordor release date (but WB did)

Warner Bros. revealed it's moved Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor away from the October 7 madness, bringing the game forward to September 30 in North America and October 3 in the UK.

According to a press release, Warner Bros is releasing the game earlier "based on hearing fans' excitement." It may also have something to do with the number of high-profile games releasing on the game's original street date of October 7. Dragon: Age Inquisition's already abandoned the October 7 ship for November, but the date's still home to the likes of Alien: Isolation, Driveclub and NBA 2K15.

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Frozen Endzone now Frozen Cortex, original name 'a bit rubbish'

Mode 7's upcoming turn-based strategy game is now Frozen Cortex and no longer Frozen Endzone, after the developer admitted a rebrand was necessary. In a frank blog post, the Frozen Synapse creator revealed its reasons for the change, one being "the original name was a bit rubbish and we got bored of it."

Mode 7 also introduced Mac and Linux versions this week in an update to the Steam Early Access release, as well as "significant" aesthetic changes. The studio added it believes the game looks better in its new guise, and that the original name was tied to perception of a "Madden game with robots."

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Trials Fusion moto-crosses one million mark in sales

Trials Fusion sold one million copies globally across all platforms, Ubisoft announced today. The game first arrived in April for PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. Announced alongside Trials Frontier at its E3 2013 press conference last June, Ubisoft's motorcycle-flipping action game entered closed beta for PC players in March.

Trials Fusion also received an update today, which improves the game's tournaments, track central and track editor modes. Now, players can craft custom supercross tracks for local multiplayer use, and can also create four-land motorcross tracks in the game's editor and put forth challenges to their friends. The Uplay Recommended section of the track central area in Trials Fusion has also been refreshed with 15 creations from the game's community, accessible to players on all platforms.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Warframe registers 10 million space-ninjas, adopts space-pets



Warframe has surpassed 10 million registered users, according to a recent press release, and developer Digital Extremes is celebrating the free-to-play game about exoskeletal space ninjas' success with a new patch. Dubbed simply "Update 14," the update revamps several areas of the game while adding to others. Highlights include:
  • An overhauled user interface
  • Pets
  • New Warframe, Mirage - a trickster-style character who can create copies of herself to fool enemies
  • Pets
  • New weapons
  • Seriously, did we mention pets? Because there are pets now. Look, we're not sure you understand, so feel free to check out the behind-the-scenes video above to see what we're talking about. They're like little bat-wolf-bears! So cute!
While Update 14 is already available for PC users, Digital Extremes notes that PS4 players will have to wait "a few more weeks" to get their hands on the patch, as the revamped UI requires additional tweaking to work with the DualShock 4. It's not clear if Update 14 will be applied before or after Warframe makes its way to Xbox One later this year.
[Image: Digital Extremes]

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Epic debuts concept footage from next Unreal Tournament


In a lengthy, official video preview, members of the Epic Games development team have unveiled the first look at the upcoming Unreal Tournament sequel. Jump to the 1:30 mark in the above video for a brief tour.

Keep in mind, the above video includes very early, work-in-progress footage taken from within the engine that will power the upcoming Unreal Tournament. There are no guarantees that the final game will look this good, though at this early stage of development it's entirely possible that the final product will look even better than what Epic has shown us here.

While the final version of Unreal Tournament is still a ways off - Epic has yet to announce a release date, or even a vague release window - the developer is still seeking input from fans on how best to craft this latest entry in the long-dormant series. If you're interested, register an account on the official Unreal Engine forums and give the developer a piece of your mind.
[Image: Epic Games]

GOG adds more than 50 Linux games, including many exclusives

DRM-free game distributor GOG.com has introduced support for Linux platforms, adding more than 50 Linux-compatible games to its online catalog.

GOG's initial lineup hosts a number of exclusive Linux debuts for many featured games, including Pirates! Gold Plus, Flatout 2, and Rise of the Triad: Dark War. Today's rollout is the first stage in GOG's previously announced initiative that will bring more than 100 Linux games to the service by this fall.

Other recent Linux-compatible additions to GOG's storefront include VVVVVV, Gods Will Be Watching, Kentucky Route Zero, Surgeon Simulator 2013, and SteamWorld Dig. Many classic games are currently discounted by up to 75% to commemorate GOG's Linux launch.

[Image: GOG]

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 coming soon to PC, Mac, Linux

Positech Games has announced a sequel to its interstellar strategy hit Gratuitous Space Battles, that, the developer claims, will make the titular melees between massive spaceship armadas even more ludicrous.

"[Gratuitous Space Battles 2] uses an entirely re-written custom engine, vastly better visual effects, a much-improved GUI, and will feature steam achievements, mod support and some very sexy undisclosed new features," reads Positech's official announcement. "The game is especially targeting gamers with multiple monitor setups who enjoy ridiculously over the top space battles, but the engine should comfortably scale down to much older PC's too. The aim is to replicate all of the OTT silliness of sci-fi movie user-interfaces."

Though Positech has yet to nail down a solid release date, Gratuitous Space Battles 2 should reach the PC, Mac and Linux platforms in late 2014 or early 2015. More information can be found on the game's newly-launched website.
[Image: Positech Games]

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Put those goats to use in Tropico 5's 'The Big Cheese' DLC

Mmm, cheese. Tropico 5's first DLC pack is called The Big Cheese, and it involves actually making cheese in El Presidente's very own artisan factory, The Creamery. The Big Cheese is available now for $4, or free for those who pre-ordered the game via Steam or purchased a physical boxed copy.

"'The Big Cheese' DLC, available today, challenges players to create and promote an artisan cheese brand by introducing a new production chain with The Creamery: a new building that enables you to make the most of Tropico's local goats and llamas," Kalypso says in a press release. "Put on the chef's hat and face international competition in an epic quest to create the best cheese in the world!"

Update 1.04 is live today as well, enabling saves in multiplayer and squashing some bugs. We can't have bugs in the cheese factory, after all.
[Image: Kalypso]

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Halo still evolving its combat, graphics and more on PC



Halo: Combat Evolved has already had its Anniversary edition on Xbox 360, and later this year, we'll see its remastered form once again as part of The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One. But official efforts from Microsoft and 343 Industries aren't the only ones working to update John-117 and Cortana's adventures; a group of modders has created "SPV3," a mod that improves the visuals while adding features not only from later Halo games, but some completely new ones as well.

Want to hijack a Ghost? Take out a Brute with the Battle Rifle? Such are the dreams that SPV3 makes into reality. The mod is a work-in-progress, however, and won't be ready until later this year. The recently-released trailer shows that instead of being made available all at once, the group behind SPV3 is aiming to release individual levels over the course of two months later this year. Check out the full list after the break:

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