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Trials Fusion online multiplayer planned for 2015, PC beta live

Trials Fusion's support for head-to-head online multiplayer is running a little behind its end-of-the-year schedule, according to a press release from Ubisoft. The launch window has shifted to early 2015, though PC players can rev up in a beta that's available now.

Fusion's online components include Online X-Supercross, a randomly-selected three-course score battle for up to eight players, Private Game, which lets up to eight compete in individual, modifier-friendly matches, and Private Game with Spectator, a mode similar to Private Game that lets its hosts watch the matches they create instead of partaking.

Fusion had online functionality closer to its launch in the form of tournaments, but they were ran off of leaderboards rather than direct competition. Teams were also implemented in this week's update, which allows up to 50 players to band together under a name and emblem to conquer leaderboards dedicated to tracking teams. The eventual-arrival of parallel multiplayer will address one of the criticisms within Editor-in-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann's review, but even with that absence and a nagging need to unlock content, Ludwig remarked that Fusion "nails its balance between purity and cruelty."
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Three years later, Calendar Man reveals Arkham City easter egg



Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham City has an easter egg that even "The World's Greatest Detective" (AKA: Batman) might have struggled to find, players have discovered. A recent YouTube video from the channel "Batman Arkham Videos" (embedded above) has revealed a secret message in Arkham City that not only went undiscovered for three years, but required developer intervention to discover.

Turns out, if you set your Xbox 360, PS3 or PC's clock to December 13, 2004 - the day Sefton Hill and Jamie Walker founded Rocksteady - you'll trigger a unique monologue from Calendar Man. After talking about how he's been there "from the beginning," the date-obsessed villain warns that "the end of days is coming."

If you think this story sounds familiar, that's because it also took a nudge from Rocksteady to reveal an easter egg hidden in Batman: Arkham Asylum. In that case, the secret was a room stuffed full of references and teases to Arkham City. The uploader of this new video likewise theorizes that Calendar Man's cryptic message is a reference to the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight.

You know, if a development team can slip these hidden bits of information past the Dark Knight and his followers so routinely, we have to wonder if Rocksteady might secretly be run by supervillains.
[Image: Warner Bros. Interactive]

Assassin's Creed: Unity title screen crash workaround: remove your friends

Assassin's Creed: Unity has been plagued with bugs and glitches since launch, and developer/publisher Ubisoft has already issued several patches to combat the game's problems. Still, not all the kinks have been ironed out. For example, if you're experiencing crashes at the main menu, according to a recent posting to the game's live updates blog - which details fixes and workarounds as Ubisoft discovers and releases them - you can blame your friends.

"We have discovered one of the issues that may cause the game to crash at the main menu after pressing the CONTINUE button. This issue affects all platforms," Ubisoft wrote on its Unity update blog. "For players who haven't experienced this issue, we highly recommend you take the following steps to prevent a crash: Do not add any IN-GAME RECENT PLAYER as a GAME CONTACT. If you already have GAME CONTACTS ... remove them."

Ubisoft writes that a fix is in the works. In the meantime, in the city of Paris, we are all strangers.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Buy Evolve, scare up game on its DLC maps for free

Evolve's initial monster hunts will be followed by extra safaris on DLC maps, but all players will be able to explore the game's additional hunting grounds for free. Developer Turtle Rock Studios' Creative Director Phil Robb shared the good news with IGN, explaining that the team wanted to avoid making players sit matches out just because they haven't bought the right DLC.

Furthermore, those who decline to buy extra hunters or monsters will still be able to partake in matches where other players are using them. Robb explained that beyond Evolve's base purchase, the team wanted to avoid making the community "feel like they have to buy anything in order to enjoy the game."

Robb reminded us that in addition to the Savage Goliath skin for one of Evolve's launching beasts, pre-orders will result in capturing Evolve's first DLC monster for free. If you're the two-with-one-stone efficiency type, GameStop will also have exclusive pre-order bonuses in the form of weapon skins for the Exterminator class.
[Image: 2K Games]

Mini DayZ is what DayZ would have been like in 1994

You can now play DayZ for free using a web browser ... kind of. Mini DayZ, a fan-made tribute to Bohemia Interactive's zombie apocalypse survival game, has been posted to the publisher's website and is now free to play via Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera. It's missing a few features - namely 3D graphics and multiplayer - but if you ever wondered to yourself, 'What if we gave DayZ a top-down camera and retro graphics," now is your chance to find out.

Mini DayZ is the work of CannedBits, a Russian player of Dean "Rocket" Hall's DayZ (which, in case you need a history primer, is a standalone game that began life as a mod for Arma 2 and arguably boosted the multiplayer survival genre into prominence). In posting the news about the game's availability via Bohemia to Reddit, CannedBits even caught the attention of Hall himself:

"I have to say, I absolutely love Mini DayZ," Hall wrote. "I think it's awesome, amazing, addictive, and brings something really new to the experience. I'm so glad you've been able to make it even better! Ignore the haters, the vast majority of people think it's fantastic and I am one of those people."
[Image: Bohemia Interactive/CannedBits]

When AI goes mad: A Grand Theft Auto 5 traffic jam

Image Honestly? It's still not as bad as the traffic in LA. [Image: Rockstar Games] ... Continue Reading

Dragon Age: Inquisition Easter egg is The Lord of the Pies

A Dragon Age: Inquisition Easter egg that a BioWare artist is dubbing "The Lord of the Pies" surfaced this week, and occurs when players manage to fall through the floor of the Skyhold area of the game. Shown in a video courtesy of YouTube user LeeCsM after the break, the secret, cavernous room with creepy music discovered under Skyhold houses what LeeCsM calls a "Nug with a top hat."

BioWare designers jumped into YouTube's comments to confirm that the Easter egg was placed in the game intentionally, with artist Graham Kelly noting that he "hid it under the level" and that players "weren't meant to fall through it." Kelly added that the hidden figure is "not a bunny either," but rather The Lord of the Pies. "I may or may not have hidden some of his smaller flock around the rest of Skyhold," he wrote. While we didn't find any pie, we enjoyed our time with Dragon Age: Inquisition in our review.
[Image: EA, LeeCsM (YouTube)]

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World of Warcraft once again tops 10 million subscribers

The last time we checked in on Blizzard's wildly successful online roleplaying game World of Warcraft, the MMO was bleeding players and subscriber numbers had fallen to 7.7 million. Thanks to the newly-launched Warlords of Draenor expansion, however, the game's fortunes have turned around.

According to an Activision Blizzard press release, Warlords of Draenor sold through more than 3.3 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability. Additionally, the publisher reports subscriber growth "across all major regions" has once again boosted the now decade-old online game's total subscriber tally above the 10 million mark.

"We're thrilled that so many players jumped in to play Warlords of Draenor on day one and are having a great time with the new content," said Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. "We poured a lot of hard work and passion into this expansion, and we appreciate all the kind words from players and the overwhelming support they continue to show for World of Warcraft."
[Image: Activision Blizzard]

Amazon's pre-Black Friday deals discount InFamous, Wolfenstein

Amazon has revealed its initial selection of holiday price drops, discounting several games and accessories ahead of the Black Friday sales rush.

Amazon's current pre-Black Friday deals include Wolfenstein: The New Order for $29.99, Infamous: Second Son for $32.94, Madden NFL 25 for $14.99, and The Wonderful 101 for $25.34.

Publisher NIS America also shares the spotlight with offerings like Danganronpa for $28.49, The Witch and the Hundred Knight for $19.99, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited for $29.99, and Natural Doctrine for $46.99. Featured accessory deals include a Turtle Beach Ear Force Z22 headset for $59.99 and discounts offering up to 30 percent off Logitech PC gaming mice, keyboards, and controllers.

Other limited-time price drops will enter rotation throughout the week. Amazon will also offer PlayStation 4 hardware bundles for $399.99 apiece on Black Friday -- one featuring digital copies of Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Last of Us Remastered, and the other offering Lego Batman 3 and LittleBigPlanet 3. Neither deal is currently live.

[Video: Koei Tecmo]

Pretty platformer Ori and the Blind Forest delayed to 2015

Bad news for fans of the lovely and ethereal, as developer Moon Studios has revealed that Xbox One and PC platformer Ori and the Blind Forest will not make its previously-announced pre-holiday launch window.

"While we're extremely excited for all of you to get your hands on Ori and the Blind Forest as soon as possible, we made the decision together with our partners at Microsoft Studios that we'll need just a little more time in order to add a final layer of polish to - what we hope - will be an unforgettable gaming experience," reads a notice posted by the developers.

While Moon Studios does not have a specific date in mind, it is now aiming to launch Ori and the Blind Forest at some point in "early 2015."
[Image: Microsoft]

Joystiq Giveaway: 3 copies of The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity

For all of Assassin's Creed: Unity's foibles, from lackluster mission design to myriad, horrifying glitches in the initial release, one thing is undeniable: It's gorgeous. Ubisoft's digital recreation of Revolution-era Paris is a monumentally impressive work of digital artistry. Who can blame old Arno for constantly getting stuck on the environment? It's gorgeous!

That elegant facade was carefully designed by a talented team of illustrators whose work is compiled in The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity, the equally gorgeous tome. Joystiq is giving away three copies of this book. One grandprize winner will also receive the Assassin's Creed: Unity Abstergo Handbook as well.

How do you enter? Just use the Rafflecopter widget below between November 21 and November 28. Winners will be selected after the Thanksgiving holiday and contacted via email. Full rules and details after the break.

Joystiq Giveaway: 3 copies of The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity

[Images: Ubisoft]

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GOG Big Fall Sale Finale: FTL, Fez, Sam And Max, Rogue Legacy

GOG.com kicked off its DRM-free Big Fall Sale Finale this morning, putting more than 700 games on sale until Tuesday, November 25. The sale is split into two 48-hour periods, the first a "recap of flash deals" that rapidly come and go, and a second period with the Big Fall Sale's daily bundles that starts on Sunday. Thrifty buyers may want to act fast, as some of the flash deals will expire within hours.

The deals include Fez ($5), Rogue Legacy ($3), Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition ($2.49), Pathologic ($2), System Shock 2 ($5), Rollercoaster Tycoon: Deluxe Edition ($3), FTL: Advanced Edition ($5) and the four primary Wing Commander games are $3 each, with the first two games bundled together. Sam & Max Save the World and Beyond Time and Space are $15 each, while The Devil's Playhouse is $17.49.

OG.com also has deals on bundles starting today, such as the Fedora Deluxe Pack, a five-game Tex Murphy bundle that players can download at 80 percent off ($7.16). The digital games distributor is also offering a movie bundle for $8.45 that features five films, including The King of Arcades, Pixel Poetry and Minecraft: The Story of Mojang.
[Image: GOG.com]

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Game of Thrones teaser offers a Stark reminder: Cersei is evil!

In fairness to Cersei Lannister, you could argue most of the characters in HBO's Game of Thrones would register 6.0 or higher on the Richter scale of Pure Evil. Yet when it comes to House Lannister's leading lady, every word drips with ice-cold vitriol, and every sentence veils her poisonous cunning. In other words... she's evil. Evil!

All of which makes her perfect to introduce the first official teaser for Telltale's Game of Thrones adaptation - you'll find the video below the break. As it suggests, actress Lena Headey reprises her TV show role in the upcoming game series, as does Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Snow. And of course, Peter Dinklage ghosts in as Tyrion near the end, confirming we'll see at least one other Lannister in the game.

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Titanfall Deluxe Edition welcomes new pilots to the fight

Publisher EA has announced that giant robot-pocked shooter Titanfall is being re-released alongside all of its DLC map packs in a bundle dubbed the Titanfall Deluxe Edition.

Exclusive to the PC and Xbox One, the $40 Titanfall Deluxe Edition includes the core shooter as well as the three map packs released for the game to date. Between Expedition, Frontier's Edge and the IMC Rising DLC, these downloadable additions add an additional nine maps to Titanfall's default complement of 15.

Titanfall Deluxe Edition is currently available for download on Origin, though Xbox One users will not see the digital bundle until next week. So far there's no word on retail version of Titanfall Deluxe Edition.

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Elite: Dangerous devs counter outrage with select refunds

To appease fans outraged at the recent announcement that freeform space sandbox Elite: Dangerous will not include an offline single-player mode, the game's developers are now offering refunds, but only to certain customers.

"Those who have pre-ordered an Elite: Dangerous release version from our online store and have therefore not yet played the game are eligible for a refund," writes David Braben, founder of developer Frontier Developments, in the latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter. "Those who have already been playing the game online in the Alpha and/or Beta phases, regardless of whether they backed the project via Kickstarter or purchased access to Alpha and/or Beta through our online store, are not eligible for a refund." Braben then adds that the developers will consider each case, even those that don't necessarily fit the above refund criteria, "with the thoroughness it deserves."

Finally, Braben explains why the planned single-player offline mode will not be included in Elite: Dangerous. "It is a creative decision, not wanting to produce an empty game. It is technically possible, but it would be a largely separate game development." Elite: Dangerous is slated to reach the PC on December 16, with an OS X release following three months later.
[Image: Frontier Developments]

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