Follow us on:

Reminder: Steam Holiday Sale starts today at 1 p.m. Eastern

Update: Valve themselves have officially announced the beginning of the Steam Holiday Sale, writing in a short press release that "The Steam Holiday Sale is on now thru January 2, 2015. Throughout the sale, Steam customers may take advantage of special deals running every 12 hours and new Featured Deals happening each day. In addition, holiday shoppers may vote in the Community Choice promotion to determine which games receive deeper discounts. And those who participate in the sale may also earn exclusive Holiday Sale Trading Cards."

Original: Valve has a very special gift for all you last-minute holiday shoppers out there: a Steam sale on PC video games! Yaaaaaaaay! Or at least, that's what we expect if recent reports from Reddit, which held up Japanese PayPal emails as evidence of a December 18 start date, turn out to be correct. (Eurogamer also reports to have verified the claim.)

Going by the Reddit thread and emails, the sale will begin today at 1 p.m. Eastern, and last until January 2. That should be plenty of time to not only snag some games before the holidays, but also put some gift cards to use if you should find one left in your house by a certain jolly, bearded man. By which of course we mean Valve boss Gabe Newell.

Valve attempted a special "holiday auction" earlier this month, but "issues with [auction-specific currency]" caused the event to be suspended. That suspension was quickly lifted however, as Valve fixed the irregularities and the auction continued as planned.
[Image: Valve]

Continue Reading

Simogo launches The Sensational December Machine on PC, Mac

Hot on the heels of launching its last narrative-driven game roughly one month ago, Simogo offered another game today for free, The Sensational December Machine. The Device 6 developer just teased the PC and Mac game on its Twitter account yesterday before offering it as a holiday gift to its fans today. Simogo's last game, The Sailor's Dream, was received rather well in our review and is available on iPad for $3.99.

The Sensational December Machine is a "short interactive story about an inventor and her unusual new creation." The brief interactive story took three weeks to create and includes hand-drawn art and text as well as "dynamic music" that evolves alongside the story provided by Daniel Olsén, the composer for Device 6 and Year Walk. "We hope you'll snuggle up with this little seasonal, and very three-dimensional, tale in fullscreen mode," the developer added. "Perhaps with some good headphones, and a warm drink by your side." The Sensational December Machine can be downloaded through Simogo's website.
[Image: Simogo]

Evolve's Wraith monster steals the show

Fear is meant to follow in the wake of most monsters, but I've never found Evolve to be scary. It's a hunting game that puts you on edge, though leaning forward – as if to stick your head through the foliage just to glimpse the cloaked creature – is an act of determination, not angst. When you're a glorified exterminator with a big gun, joined by three others playing to win, you get camaraderie, strategy and failure divided equally. The monster (and the fifth player) is nothing to be scared of.

Continue Reading

Evolve tests creature features in open beta on Jan. 15

Evolve is doing another round of online testing to ensure a roaring launch in February, with 2K Games announcing an open beta to run January 15-19. The beta will test Evolve's giant goals on Xbox One with a curtailed selection of monsters – the "Goliath" and "Kraken" – along with 8 hunters and 12 different maps. (And as with all monster products, there's a premium: you must be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber to gain access.)

Ferocious opposition and considered team play are both valued in Evolve, which pits one beastly player against 4 human-controlled hunters on a wild planet. Though the game hinges on the different permutations of Muldoons and monsters, it does have a campaign variant (playable offline and solo in the full game) called "Evacuation," which will enter the Xbox One beta test on January 17th. "Evacuation" offers a skeleton of a story, with sequential mission outcomes affecting the conditions of the next until the planet of Shear is evacuated. If you win consecutive rounds as the monster, for instance, few people escape and the hunters get thrashed. Unlocks in the Xbox One beta will carry over to the final game.

2K Games says "closed technical tests" for Evolve will also be conducted on other platforms, though not to the extent of the Xbox One beta (so, no "Evacuation" there). PC players can encroach upon the poaching as of January 16, provided they have invites to the "Big Alpha," or have Left 4 Dead or BioShock Infinite in their Steam libraries. PlayStation 4 owners, meanwhile, can start on January 17th with a Big Alpha invite and PS Plus subscription in hand.

Lords of the Fallen 'will be released' on iOS, Android

Action-RPG Lords of the Fallen is bringing its dark, fantastical challenges to iOS and Anfroid next year, CI Games announced. The publisher's wording in a tweet published last night would seem to indicate a port of the PS4, Xbox One and PC game, though that's not stated explicitly. We've reached out to CI Games for clarification.

The news arrives hot on the heels of confirmation that a Lords of the Fallen sequel is in the early stages of development. Executive Producer Tomasz Gop revealed conceptual work on what he dubbed "Lords of the Fallen 2" has already begun.

Continue Reading

'Lords of the Fallen 2' in early stages of development

It looks like Bandai Namco's other brutally punishing action RPG, Lords of the Fallen, is getting a sequel. The news comes by way of developer CI Games executive producer Tomasz Gop, who confirmed on Facebook (and also to Eurogamer) that development on the sequel's "vision and concepts" has begun. Gop refers to the game simply as "Lords of the Fallen 2," though we fully expect a grim subtitle to be tacked on at some point. Lords of the Fallen 2: Dim Spirits, perhaps.

Our own review of Lords of the Fallen praised the game's departures from the Dark Souls series, with which it shares a great deal, but ultimately found that "there comes a point at which it has no more tricks up its sleeve."
[Image: Bandai Namco]

Natural Selection 2 dev's 'Subnautica' dives into Steam Early Access

Natural Selection 2 developer Unknown Worlds launched its latest game on Steam Early Access this week, Subnautica. In it, players submerse themselves in an "alien underwater world" with brightly-colored creatures and environments, such as coral reefs and volcanoes. Fighting to survive, the swimmers also hunt for resources to build new gear and submarines, allowing them to further explore the aquatic areas.

Subnautica is currently 10 percent off ($18) until December 23 and supports virtual reality headsets such as Oculus Rift. Unknown Worlds handed development duties for Natural Selection 2 to a group of dedicated fans in June, after announcing Subnautica one year ago. Head past the break to see a trailer for Subnautica, showing some of the pretty (and some of the ferocious) creatures in the Early Access game.
[Image: Unknown Worlds]

Continue Reading

Joystiq Deals: Borderlands - The Pre-Sequel 48-hour sale

Joystiq Deals is offering the latest entry in Gearbox's acclaimed Borderlands series at a special price over the next 48 hours. Today and tomorrow only, you can grab a Steam-redeemable copy of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for only $39.99, shaving $20 off its regular retail price.

If you want to hang out with Handsome Jack, you'll need to act fast - our sale ends tomorrow. Good luck out there, vault hunters.


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.

Xeodrifter review: Snacktroid

3DS, PC

There's a purity to Xeodrifter that I really admire. The 2D action exploration game is brief, but Xeodrifter explores its simple, well-executed mechanics to a T. It takes the best elements of other exploration-driven action games like Castlevania and Metroid and packs them neatly into a handful of hours.

Nimbly rewarding you with health extensions, gun upgrades and special abilities along the way, Xeodrifter plays something like a "greatest hits" compilation of the genre, though not without adding a few B-sides of its own. Before long, you'll be running at turbo speed, soaring into the sky with rocket-propelled leaps and cleaving your way through enemies with enhanced firepower.

There's no cruft, no filler – just a competent, compact adventure.

Continue Reading

The Sims 4 update gets paid time off, adds holiday cheer

EA updated The Sims 4 this week, adding a significant amount of new content to the life simulation game. Your sims can now go after an athletic or business career like Hall of Famer or Business Tycoon and accrue paid time off for any of their occupations, plus they can take family leave from their jobs to celebrate new life entering their families. The developer also changed career objectives, cleaning out repetitive or overly specific goals and tweaking ones that were too difficult to complete.

The update also introduces the free, downloadable Holiday Celebration Pack, which adds a wreath, snowman, holiday decorations and festive sweaters to the game. Additionally, sims are now able to eat the fruits and vegetables they harvest from gardening activities, and can also die at venues. EA also fixed a few game-crashing bugs and other issues, such as a crash that occurred when players tried placing roofs away from their lot. Head to The Sims 4's patch notes page to see the full list of changes.

Time-bending teen drama Life is Strange debuts next month

The debut episode of the DONTNOD-developed Life is Strange arrives on January 30, 2015, Square Enix announced today. The publisher commemorated the news with a new trailer showing the game in action. To see how Remember Me studio DONTNOD is mixing emotional teenage drama with supernatural time manipulation, check out the video below the break.

Life is Strange caught our eye at Gamescom this year, particularly in the way it presented a convincing glimpse of modern teenage life. As Joystiq's Jess Conditt put it, "Life is Strange presents two fully realized, genuine young women navigating adolescence, betrayal, love and loss. Chloe's pot-smoking and profanity-laced room feel honest to her character, as does her reception of Max. Anyone who's drifted apart from a teenage best friend can relate to the guarded, chilly reunion between these two girls, as well as the spark of envy that Max can display when she learns about Rachel, the new best – and perhaps better – friend."

Continue Reading

Dragon Age: Inquisition add-ons expand multiplayer, go Deluxe

Today, Dragon Age: Inquisition gets a piece of free multiplayer content and a $10 upgrade that elevates the Standard Edition of the game to the Deluxe Edition, all across PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. The free multiplayer expansion is titled Destruction and it adds new paths to existing destinations, BioWare writes on the Dragon Age blog:

"The conflicts raging throughout the world have upset the balance of nature. Wild creatures now roam the battlefield, introducing chaos as they attack both friend and foe."

The $10 Deluxe Upgrade "is ideal for players who purchased the Standard Edition of Dragon Age: Inquisition," mostly because it features swag already in the $70 Digital Deluxe Edition, including the Skyhold Throne, Bog Unicorn, Red Hart Halla, Flames of the Inquisition weapons, Inquisitor Armor and an armored mount.

Dragon Age: Inquisition received a day-one patch and a second patch released last week that addressed stability and multiplayer issues. BioWare says it's already working on a third patch. These are all tweaks to an already robust, enchanting and "gorgeous" game, as outlined in our five-star review.
[Image: BioWare]

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 targets 2016 release for PS4, Xbox One, PC

A new entry in the million-selling Sniper: Ghost Warrior series is "deep in development" for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC platforms, developer CI Games announced today.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 will feature a blend of precision shooting and strategic gameplay, challenging players to use stealth in order to safely navigate its open-world environments. Developed by Lords of the Fallen creator CI Games, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is "created from the ground up by an all-star development team," including Sniper Elite V2 senior producer Steve Hart.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is due to launch in the first half of 2016.

[Image: CI Games]

Continue Reading

Payday 2 enlists its first woman gang member in new DLC

Murderous thieves though they may be, the masked crooks of Payday 2 are a progressive bunch and have hired a new female member going by the pseudonym "Clover" to join their heists, assuming you buy the game's newly-available character pack.

Available on Steam and other digital distribution platforms for $5, the character pack introduces Clover alongside her unique mask and Shillelagh weapon - Clover is overtly Irish, in case the name didn't give it away - as well as the new Queen's Wrath assault rifle and an additional perk deck focused on breaking into things and accessing areas that are otherwise off limits.

Payday 2 also receives a new mission today, dubbed "The Diamond Heist." In it, players will attempt to swipe the world's most famous diamond from a heavily guarded museum. Players are given the option to pre-plan the heist or just ad-lib the whole thing, and they'll do so in style thanks to four new masks "based on historical figures and myths of old." The Diamond Heist DLC features a price of $7.

Beyond the break you'll find a trailer for the Diamond Heist narrated by Clover. It's not in-game footage, but it does set up ample reason to steal the precious mineral.

Continue Reading

Assassin's Creed: Unity patch 4 is nearly 7GB, out today

The fourth patch for Assassin's Creed: Unity will roll out today on Xbox One and PS4, and it's due to hit PC later in the week. Ubisoft has said that the fourth patch for Assassin's Creed: Unity will fix "most of the remaining issues" in the game – which may explain its robust size of 6.7GB.

"Part of the team's effort to enhance frame rate for players involves replacing and updating portions of the Paris city map where we are seeing issues," Ubisoft writes in a blog post. "This explains the large size of this title update (6.7 GB). However, since a large portion of the patch replaces existing files the net increase to the game's overall size will be less than 6.7 GB."

Patch 4 addresses performance and stability (framerate drops, lost progress and game crashes), gameplay (navigation and lock-picking chests), and online issues (connectivity, matchmaking and the companion app). The patch was supposed to launch yesterday, but Ubisoft delayed it to refurbish the Paris map.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Featured PC Stories

Image

Evolve's Wraith monster steals the show

Posted on Dec 18th 2014 8:01AM

Image

Xeodrifter review: Snacktroid

Posted on Dec 17th 2014 1:00PM

Engadget

Engadget

TUAW

TUAW

Massively

Massively

WoW

WoW