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The Long Dark ventures to Steam Early Access

Hinterland Studio launched its first-person exploration game The Long Dark on Steam Early Access this week, making the in-development survival simulator available for PC and Mac users for $20. Set in the pacific northwest, the game forces players to scavenge for resources and survive the threat of starvation, wolves and more.

The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion lead designer Ken Rolston joined the developer earlier this month. Rolston adds to a well-credited crew at Hinterland, which includes Far Cry 3 Narrative Director Raphael van Lierop. The Long Dark's journey took off with its success on Kickstarter in October 2013, at which point the developer earned $248,899. Those that want a taste of the game should revisit Joystiq Streams' archive from July, in which Hinterland took us through the dark woods for an hour.
[Image: Hinterland Studio]

Triad Wars is online PC game in Sleeping Dogs universe


United Front Games has begun detailing Triad Wars, the studio's follow-up to Sleeping Dogs and set in the same world, which was revealed by trademark filing last year. Using Sleeping Dogs as a foundation, Triad Wars is an online open-world action game.

"Your goal is to rise to power as a criminal kingpin of the Triad underworld. As an Enforcer and mastermind of your criminal enterprise, it's up to you to construct an empire the likes of which your enemies would never dare to mess with," United Front Community Manager James Baldwin describes on the game's site.

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Legend of Grimrock 2 plumbs the depths in mid-October

Developer Almost Human has revealed that its classically-styled first-person dungeon crawl Legend of Grimrock 2 will debut on October 15.

Alongside the announcement, the developer also revealed that pre-orders for the game are now open, and those who purchase the game within the next 22 days will receive a 15 percent discount, which reduces the game's price to $20.39. Additionally, fans who somehow missed the original Legend of Grimrock can purchase a bundle which includes both that game and its upcoming sequel. Like the aforementioned pre-order this bundle has also been discounted, allow players to grab both fantasy adventures for a total of $25.49.

For more details on Legend of Grimrock 2, including its required tech specs and a bullet list of features, visit the game's website. If you'd rather just toss your money at Almost Human immediately, drop by the new pre-order page.
[Image: Almost Human]

Joystiq Streams: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! with Gearbox [Update: It's over]

Moons haven't gotten so much love as they have by video games in the past month since Buzz Aldrin landed on one in 1969. Link pulls one down to smash up dragons in Hyrule Warriors, and the good Guardians playing Destiny have spent an inordinate amount of time blowing up Wizards from around the lunar neighborhood. Everywhere you look, moons! In anticipation of even more moon action, Joystiq is bringing you an early look at Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, a game that places tiny, chatty robots on the moon and gives them many, many guns.

On Joystiq.com/Twitch at 6:00PM 6:30PM EST, 2K Games and Gearbox will be hanging out with Joystiq's own Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) to check out the ins and outs of this side story to the only shooter RPG with a bartender named Moxxi. Come by and ask questions of both the team and Luddy in the chat.

We regularly broadcast on Joystiq.com/Twitch every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST, but if you want to catch specials like today's show, make sure to follow on us on Twitch.
[Images: 2K Games]

Humble's End of Summer Sale Encore offers free Tropico 3

The Humble Store's End of Summer Sale Encore event features a number of solid deals in its final hours, including free copies of Kalypso's dictator sim Tropico 3 for all customers.

Sale highlights include Telltale's episodic adventure game series The Wolf Among Us for $9.99, Messhof's one-on-one swordfighting game Nidhogg for $4.99, roguelike side-scroller Risk of Rain for $2.49, and FTL: Advanced Edition for $3.33.

The sale also features several games from Ubisoft and Warner Bros, including Far Cry 3: Deluxe Edition for $7.99, Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition for $4.99, Rocksmith 2014 for $14.99, and the Game of the Year Editions of Batman: Arkham City and Arkham Asylum for $4.99 each. Sale prices are effective through September 24.

[Image: Kalypso]

Assassin's Creed Unity's season pass includes game set in China

Ubisoft unveiled a season pass for Assassin's Creed Unity today, and it includes a full standalone game. The pass costs players $30 and "opens up every piece of DLC" for the game, including Dead Kings, a story campaign set after Assassin's Creed Unity. The full game available to Unity's season pass holders is Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, which has players hopping and skipping along the Great Wall of China.

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China is set in the 16th century Middle Kingdom and stars Shao Jun, a female assassin that trained under Ezio Auditore, star of Assassin's Creed 2. Shao Jun previously appeared in the 2011 animated short Assassin's Creed: Embers as well as the Assassin's Creed Revelations novel by Oliver Bowden. It's noteworthy that Ubisoft is opting for a female lead with the 2.5D side-scrolling platformer, as it suffered criticism for its growing lack of diversity in the past with Unity's co-op multiplayer mode prior to its introduction of Elise, a Templar in the game.

Assassin's Creed Unity's season pass will also give players "over 30 new weapons, equipment and outfits" on launch day. The game will arrive on November 11 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, and the season pass content will all be released by early 2015.

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P.T.'s ghost makes a spooky cameo in Metal Gear Solid 5


Lisa, the terrifying ghost woman featured in the Silent Hills demo P.T., will make an appearance in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, developer Kojima Productions revealed during TGS.

The video above, cropped from a streamed TGS presentation, shows Snake harassing enemies with the "Active Decoy" item, which summons Lisa to the battlefield. Naturally, a ghostly demonic figure has plenty of useful combat applications, letting players spook enemies off cliffs and scare away curious wolf puppies. Kojima Productions gave another glimpse at Silent Hills with a TGS concept trailer last week, following up on the recent launch of the PS4 demo version P.T.

Metal Gear Solid 5 is slated to launch in 2015.

[Video: The Grate Debate / Konami]

GTA 5 adding first-person vehicle view on PC, next-gen

A since-pulled support article on Rockstar's website points to some new features for Grand Theft Auto 5 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. According to the article, seen above, the revised versions of GTA 5 will feature a first-person mode for vehicles "that shows the interior of the vehicle, including working speedometers, tachometers, dash lights, and more." The game will also include a first-person mode "while on foot."

Rockstar plans to offer an "overhauled character selection screen" as well as new Easter eggs and random events for the game's story mode. The developer noted that new animals will appear in the city of Los Santos, and appears to be determining whether animals will also appear in the game's online modes. Lastly, it added that players transferring characters from the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game will receive "new weapons and a free garage in GTA Online." GTA 5 will reach PS4 and Xbox One on November 18 and launch on PC in 2015.

Destiny retains UK No.1 against Disney Infinity 2.0, Hyrule Warriors

Destiny "comfortably" held on to top spot in the UK, says data compilers Chart Track, despite new releases Disney Infinity 2.0 and Hyrule Warriors charging into second and third. Sales of the space-roaming shooter had a typical second week dip, going down by 78 percent, but it was enough for Bungie's guardians of the galaxy to see off Marvel's guardians of the toy box.

While it didn't take top spot, Disney Infinity 2.0 sold 32 percent better than the first entry did in its debut week in the UK. Similarly Hyrule Warriors, Nintendo's link to the Dynasty Warriors, notched one of the best UK charts debuts for a Wii U game, only bested by the likes of Mario Kart 8 and Pikmin 3. In other Nintenews, 3DS nostalgia-fest Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call fell short of the top ten, placing 17th in its first week.

For the full UK top ten (and customary music video), head below the break.

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Dark Souls 2's 'Crown of the Ivory King' pushed back [update: NA?]

Update: We've yet to hear back from Bandai Namco America, and the game's US homepage is still advertising the DLC for tomorrow, September 24. Once we confirm if the delay includes North America or not, we'll update this story.

Bandai Namco Europe announced a week's delay for 'Crown of the Ivory King,' the third and final chapter in the coronation trilogy of Dark Souls 2 DLC. The add-on content was due on September 24, but according to Bandai Namco's European branch launch it's due now on September 30 for Xbox 360 and Steam, and October 1 for PS3. Also, Famitsu reported a delay to September 30 in Japan. We've reached out to Bandai Namco America for stateside info.

When approached, Bandai Namco Europe provided Joystiq with From Software's statement on the delay: "The [sheer] scope of Crown of the Ivory King facilitated the need for a bit more time to deliver to level of polish that the previous two chapters of The Lost Crown trilogy embodied. It is From Software's intent to only release Crown of the Ivory King with the highest level of quality possible."

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Falling Skies combats an invasion on September 30

Falling Skies: The Game, the turn-based alien invasion battler that takes place between the third and fourth season of TNT's similarly-named sci-fi drama, will pull strategists into the fight on September 30 on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U and PC.

Pre-orders placed at GameStop will expand the controllable roster to include Tom Mason, a central protagonist in Falling Skies and leader of the 2nd Massachusetts Militia Regiment. Note that the Wii U and PC versions of Falling Skies will only be available via digital download, whereas the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions will have disc-based counterparts.

Weekend Editor Sam Prell's E3 preview found intense similarities to XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but noted Falling Skies' take on the playstyle seemed "shallow and uninspired."
[Image: Little Orbit]

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Earn an honest living in Farming Simulator 15 on October 30

Farming Simulator 15, the latest in the million-selling series (yes, really), will start tending the PC's fields at ungodly hours on October 30, developer Focus Home Entertainment has announced. Crops will also be planted on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4, but they won't be ready for harvest until early 2015.

Lest you think tending this season's livestock will feel exactly the same as last year, Farming Simulator 15 includes a new graphics and physics engine, a revamped interface and new activities such as logging. There's also support for 15-farmer online play to consider, as well as whatever the series' devoted modding community is bound to cook up.
[Image: Focus Home Interactive]

Ultra Street Fighter getting free Omega Mode, PC network fixes

Ultra Street Fighter 4 fans will have plenty of new combos to practice once Capcom distributes Omega Mode, a free portion of DLC due later this year that switches up the normal and special attacks of Ultra's entire roster. Capcom Unity's related post explains that since Omega Mode is focused on fun, balancing every minute character strength was less of a priority in favor of making the roster's collective moveset feel fresh. Omega Mode will support online bouts, but they'll be restricted to unranked matches only. For a sense of what to expect, Capcom put together a demonstration video that's waiting for you after the break.

Capcom's separate version 1.04 patch, due to hit the streets in October, will help PC competitors battling more than just their rivals. Version 1.04 should address problems regarding online play, like slowdown caused by players getting pinged in the middle of a match, as well as other connectivity issues. There are finer details to Version 1.04 that Capcom Unity elaborates on, like balancing tweaks and a delayed wake-up option for training mode dummies, but a full list of balancing fixes will be "disclosed closer to the release date."
[Image: Capcom]

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Outland switches platforms, absorbs bullets on Steam

Resogun developer Housemarque's platforming, bullet-dodging hybrid Outland will make its way to Steam on September 29. A related post on Housemarque's blog notes that in addition to Outland's campaign co-op, the port will include "a revamped checkpoint system," which should be helpful for those going against flowing, tone-changing bullet patterns for the first time.

Outland's intricate, dangerous environments first appeared on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in April of 2011, and while Editor-In-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann wished the co-op had altered the experience in a meaningful way, his review concluded that Outland "succeeds where it counts."
[Image: Ubisoft]

Mojang drops price, doles out freebies for Scrolls tablet launch

Scrolls, Mojang's - or is it Microsoft's? - card battle game, will see a price drop of more than 75 percent when it launches this fall, the developer announced on its blog this week. This means that the normally $21 game will drop to $5, regardless of platform. If you've already dropped a Jackson and Washington on the game, that might sound like bad news - but there are several upsides.

First, those who have already purchased the game will receive the $20 shard package, which allows players to purchase new scrolls, pre-constructed decks and player avatars, free of charge. Also, not only will the price be the same across platforms, but so will gameplay; Scrolls players on tablets will be able to compete with those on PC and Mac, as well as have their collections and progress transfer from one version to the other.

"Our current price of $21 isn't feasible for tablets," Owen Hill of Mojang wrote. "As you probably already know, games are cheap on those things. Free-to-play would be an option, but we're not keen on the way that that form of monetisation can affect gameplay."
[Image: Mojang]

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