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Dragon Age: Inquisition combat trailer burninates the countryside


A new trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition doesn't offer new info on the game's combat, but it's encouraging to see BioWare focus on the level of strategy offered by its real-time-with-pausing system. To see more combat in action, watch our new video preview which comes with even more dragon - that's really what it's all about, right? No?

As you probably already know, BioWare's upcoming RPG is now due on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 18. What you may not know is there's also a delay to Dragon Age Keep, the tool that will let you set up story choices from previous Dragon Ages to carry over in Inquisition. As explained on the BioWare blog, the delay is in keeping with the one for Inquisition, and it'll result in an extended beta program that'll drag on for testers.

Breach and Clear follow-up sets a deadline for this fall

Mighty Rabbit Studios announced a follow-up to its tactical military action game Breach and Clear today. Going by the name Breach and Clear: Deadline, the game will arrive on Steam's Early Access service for PC, Mac and Linux this fall for $19.99 (£12.99). Unlike the first game, which began on mobile devices before breaching Steam's walls via Greenlight, publisher Gun Media did not list mobile platforms among Deadline's destinations.

Deadline adds to Breach and Clear's warfaring gameplay by introducing real-time strategy elements to the series. Players will boss their squad around with new Command Mode tools, giving orders on-the-fly during battle. The game is set in the "urban expanse of Harbor City," in which players must find the source of a parasitic infection that's causing the city's inhabitants to turn into monsters. They'll also level up their team along the way and complete side quests to earn "rare ammo, weapons and gear."

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Hearthstone Naxxramas Plague Quarter opens its doors tonight

Curse of Naxxramas, Hearthstone's single-player content styled - and named - after the floating necropolis of Naxxramas from World of Warcraft, will be receiving its first update tonight. Following Blizzard's plans to release each of the locale's five wings individually over the course of five weeks, players in the Americas will be able to download The Plague Quarter starting tonight at 11:59 PM Pacific.

Those of you planning to stay up late might want to plan for a long night - The Plague Quarter features three boss fights, two class challenges and six new cards to unlock. Good luck!
[Image: Blizzard]

Activision reveals Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare special editions

Activision today unveiled a lineup of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare collector's editions, putting an array of bonus-bundled physical and digital packages up for pre-order at its official website.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Atlas Limited Edition ($79.99) includes a retail copy of the game packed in a SteelBook case, the Welcome to Atlas: Advanced Soldier Manual, the bonus multiplayer map Atlas Gorge, and the Atlas Digital Content Pack, which features themed character exoskeletons and weapons. The Atlus Pro Edition ($119.99, shown above) includes all Limited Edition content along with an Advanced Warfare Season Pass that will digitally deliver four multiplayer map packs to players throughout next year.

Also up for pre-order is the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Atlas Digital Pro Edition ($99.99), which includes all Pro Edition content, minus the retail edition's physical goodies. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will hit the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PS4, and PC platforms on November 4.

[Image: Activision]

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's story includes some very hostile takeovers


Between the bang-bangs and the pew-pew-pews, developer Sledgehammer Games is using Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to tell a story. The game's latest trailer proves as much.

It seems terrorists have attacked nuclear power plants all over the globe in a show of unlikely coordination that causes the world's governments to topple. In the wake of this collapse, a private military corporation rises to restore order to humanity. Unfortunately, that corporation is lead by Kevin Spacey in full megalomaniac mode, and after cleaning up the streets he uses his company's military might to assume de facto control over the planet.

Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the planet from one of America's finest living actors? If you do, will any scenery remain unchewed? Find out on November 4 when Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare makes its official debut.
[Image: Activision]

Meet Elise, the 'fiery Templar' of Assassin's Creed Unity


Following raucous online backlash against the notable lack of female characters in Assassin's Creed: Unity, publisher Ubisoft has introduced Elise, a female Templar who apparently plays a key role in the game's plot.

"This new trailer for Assassin's Creed: Unity shows Arno racing against time through a dense and chaotic central Paris in order to prevent the beheading of Elise, a character central to Assassin's Creed: Unity's story," reads Ubisoft's official announcement. "As an independent young noblewoman, Elise is determined to secure her place in the Templar dynasty amidst the chaos of the French Revolution. Her quest leads her to cross paths with Arno and establish an unlikely bond with him."

In addition to her appearance in Assassin's Creed: Unity, Elise is also slated to star in a paperback novel of the same name that chronicles her experiences with Unity protagonist Arno during the French Revolution. Assassin's Creed: Unity will be written by novelist and Renaissance historian Oliver Bowden and will be published by Penguin Random House.

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The Sun At Night reaches Steam on August 1

Following a lengthy stay in the proving grounds of Steam Greenlight, Minicore Studios' alternate history platformer The Sun At Night will debut on Steam proper come August 1.

To celebrate this release, Minicore plans to offer The Sun At Night at a 15 percent discount for its first week of availability. Normally priced at $15, those who purchase the game immediately after it appears will only spend $12.75. Before you budget the necessary funds, however, keep in mind our middling-at-best review, which claims The Sun At Night features both "bland gameplay" and an "awkward, convoluted story."

Those waiting for news on The Sky Below, the second part of Minicore's Laika trilogy, will be saddened to hear that development on that episode is now on hiatus. "[T]he team has decided to see how Steam sales of The Sun at Night go before committing further resources to that project," reads the studio's official statement.
[Image: Minicore Studios]

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Toki Tori devs ar-rive with new platforming shooter


Two Tribes announced its latest game today, a "metal wrecking, robot hacking shooter" called Rive. The game is a 2D shooter-meets-platformer with "old school gaming values," in which players blast robotic enemies and alter their enemies' behavior by gathering and installing hacks. Rive's announcement trailer shows the players' tank-like hero of sorts leaping across levels and firing in 360 degrees, emphasizing the game's blend of arcade-style shooting and platforming action.

Rive is the first game from the Toki Tori developer following its reboot in January. At that time, Two Tribes cut its team down to just two (now three for the development of Rive), switching its focus to publishing as opposed to development. The developer did create a hi-res Wii U port of Awesomenauts developer Ronimo Games' first game, Swords and Soldiers, which launched in May. Rive will launch in early 2015 for PC and unspecified consoles.
[Image: Two Tribes]

Payday: The Heist gets its pricetag stolen on October 18

Remember, everyone: Crime doesn't pay, but that won't matter on October 18, when Payday: The Heist will be available to download for free. Developer Overkill is growing its community in preparation for the Payday franchise's third anniversary, and has put together a list of rewards for each milestone they hit.

Overkill is aiming for 1.5 million community members on its official Steam page by October 18 - as of writing, the total sits at just a bit more than 1.1 million. Due to such impressive numbers, this gaggle of gangsters will receive a multitude of exclusive in-game rewards for Payday 2, including weapons, masks, characters and new heists. If you're just after the free game though, it looks like The Heist will be made available to all.

Robbers who know how to share the wealth. Who knew?
[Image: Overkill]

Joystiq Streams: Secret Ponchos grudge match giveaway [UPDATE: Relive the stream!]


This is what Joystiq knows about ponchos: they keep you warm, look cool while you're riding a horse in a storm, are appropriate attire for selling burritos outside a Phish concert, and they make excellent dog beds when you're done with them. The things we don't know about ponchos? That's a secret.

Switchblade Monkeys has the arcane knowledge that Joystiq covets. Secret Ponchos is Switchblade's new PvP shooter, hitting PC and PlayStation 4 this year and currently available through Steam Early Access. Always willing to fight for our right to party and know things about ponchos, Joystiq will take on Switchblade Monkeys in their own game on Joystiq Streams.

We'll be playing the brand new 4-versus-4-player mode in Secret Ponchos on Joystiq.com/Twitch at 4PM EST. While Joystiq pits its negligible skills against Switchblade, we'll also be giving out free copies of the game in the chat while we play.

Joystiq Streams broadcasts regularly on Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, but if you never want to miss a surprise stream make sure to follow us on Twitch!
[Images: Switchblade Monkeys]

Trials Fusion rides into the rustlands in first DLC pack


Ubisoft takes players to a grittier side of the Trials universe today in "Riders of the Rustlands," the first of six planned Season Pass DLC packs planned for Trials Fusion.

Riders of the Rustlands takes place in a wasteland outside of the squeaky-clean cityscapes featured Trials Fusion's core content, challenging riders with level layouts made up of makeshift metal platforms and rusty abandoned structures. The pack introduces six new Classic Trials tracks, two Supercross levels, one Skill Game, and one FMX track, along with a collection of 18 new Track Challenges.

Riders of the Rustlands is available as part of Trials Fusion's Season Pass, and is priced at $4.99 as a standalone download.

[Video: Ubisoft]

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PAX 10 spotlights Framed and Duet

This year's PAX 10, a collection of games from independent developers, has been determined and will be highlighted at next month's PAX Prime convention. The ten games were hand-picked by 50 industry experts, starting with Duet, Kumobius' elegant arcade-style action game for iOS. Duet is joined by LoveShack's Framed, a narrative puzzle game trapped in a comic world. Both Duet and Framed received attention earlier this year when the games were among six total mobile titles in the PAX East Indie Showcase.

Those two games are joined by an abstract 2D PC platformer from DigiPen's Neat Snake known as Flickers. Infinity Monkeys' Life Goes On is also in the mix, in which players set out to find the Cup of Life by ironically sacrificing knights to the game's deathly contraptions. Untame's amorphous puzzler Mushroom 11 will be included in the showcase, as will Funktronic Labs' sci-fi, turn-based adventure game Nova-111.

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Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky lands on Steam, out today


If you're unfamiliar with Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, that may be because Nihon Falcom's acclaimed PSP JRPG only headed West towards the end of the system's life cycle. The good news is there's now a new way of playing it, with the trilogy's first chapter coming to Steam later today, courtesy of XSEED.

XSEED is also bringing follow-up Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter to North America on PSP and Steam, but that's gonna take a bit more time to arrive. According to the publisher, the best fans should hope for is "the end of the year."

As for Trails in the Sky, its regular Steam price is $20 but there's a 15 percent first-week sale if you fancy dipping in early. For more on why it's worth a look, read this.

[Thanks, Jason K!]

The lighter side of murder with Jenny LeClue

Young detective Jenny LeClue is the star of a fictional choose-your-own-adventure book series written by Arthur K. Finklestein, and her latest story is her most important yet – her mother is accused of murder, and it's up to Jenny to figure out who did it and why. As a game, Jenny LeClue is an investigative point-and-click adventure where each player's unique decisions impact not only the lives of Jenny and her family, but also the life of the author, Finklestein himself.

Jenny LeClue is as lighthearted as a game about murder can be, with a hand-painted art style, a rich world in the town of Arthurton and an incisive dialogue mechanic that allows players to inspect suspects for physical clues while they talk. Developer Mografi sees Jenny LeClue as a trilogy of games, with the first one as a coming-of-age story:

"This is a game about your choices and how they permanently affect the story. We want to deliver a rich narrative experience about relationships with delightful surprises and interactions. The story also deals with mature themes, complex characters and an epic tangled mystery."

Mografi is looking for $65,000 on Kickstarter to fund the first episode of Jenny LeClue, due out first for PC, Mac and Linux, with iOS and other platforms to follow. With 25 days to go, the campaign has raised more than $27,000.
[Images: Mografi]

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A persona fit for Pillars of Eternity

Before computer-generated worlds came to life, we were running through dungeons in our heads, with rules on paper to govern our actions. Pillars of Eternity remembers those days and the games they inspired, and not just because it has an isometric perspective, or soul-storms, or tactical combat and special armor types, or even character creation. It's that right from the beginning, there's a space for the player to tweak the details, write a personality and imagine someone being there.

The real challenge – and the agony – of a traditional role-playing game lies at the beginning, in the dungeon named ... "character creation." It inspires a dread worse than any stone golem or world-eating viper, because you want to make someone fit to save the world and gallivant through it for at least a hundred hours. Will she wield an axe or a bow? Tall or short? Pointy ears or wizard's cap? Is this name going to sound like high fantasy, or like fantasy fiction while high? And no matter how many times you save the world, you don't want to be forever known as that guy with the weird eyebrows. Let's just lower them a bit.

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