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Amazon Digital End of Summer Sale: Half off Civ 5, Titanfall

To celebrate the waning summer months and the return to temperatures that won't cause small children to burst into flame, Amazon has instituted massive discounts on a huge number of gaming items in what it has dubbed the "Digital End of Summer Sale."

Highlights of the promotion include a 50 percent discount on hyper-addictive strategy game Civilization 5: Complete Edition which reduces its price from $50 to $25. Respawn Entertainment's flagship giant robot shooter Titanfall has also had its price cut in half, from $40 to $20. Not content to solely discount games, the Digital End of Summer Sale also offers deals on in-game currency for various online worlds. Star Wars: The Old Republic players can grab 5500 Cartel Coins for $35 while EVE Online fans can add 2 Plex to their accounts for $31.50.

The above discounts only represent a small fraction of the 339 items available in the Digital End of Summer Sale. For more, visit the sale's Amazon page. Hurry though, these discounts expire on September 1.
[Image: EA]

Harmonix's dreamy PC shoot-em-up, A City Sleeps

The newest game from Harmonix doesn't involve dancing or guitar peripherals – instead, A City Sleeps is a classic, twin-stick shoot-em-up starring Poe, a dream exorcist and part of The Silk clan. Dream exorcists enter people's dreams to dispose of demons, and everyone in the city of SanLo has fallen into an endless slumber, so there's plenty of work to go around.

The game is music-driven because that's still Harmonix's thing. "Level design and song authoring is done in parallel, insuring a hand-crafted and utterly unique audio-experience that only Harmonix can provide," Harmonix says. "Music drives player projectiles, enemy spawning, movement, and bullet patterns."

A City Sleeps is due out for PC and Mac on October 16 via Steam, and it's available for pre-order now for $12.75, a 15 percent discount. Harmonix recommends using an Xbox 360 gamepad (keeping that Microsoft relationship alive).

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Joystiq Streams: A low down dirty Oculus Rift DK2 tour [UPDATE: Relive the stream!]


Psst. Hey. Sick of all those tame interviews and careful hand-holding through the growing world of virtual reality? Want to take a trip down the unbeaten paths where the weird stuff is happening in Oculus Rift? Want to see a grown man fight with his inner ear when a computer helmet convinces his brain he's actually in outer space? Who wouldn't want that? That's why we're taking a dip into the wild world of streaming Oculus DK2 demos. This is unknown territory, y'all. Buckle up.

Starting at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, we're going to be streaming a plethora of bizarre Oculus Rift demonstrations, including a tour of the ocean, a deeply upsetting spacewalk, and even a trip to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's Kokiri Forest. How does one actually stream Oculus Rift demos? It ain't easy. Richard Mitchell will be struggling with his rig to make the whole thing work while Anthony John Agnello feeds him your encouragement from the chat.

That's 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch!

Joystiq Streams broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, but to catch all those other streams we do make sure to follow us on Twitch.

Assassin's Creed Unity delayed to November 11

Assassin's Creed Unity will launch on November 11 in North America and on November 13 in Europe, a delay from the previously announced release date of October 28 in the US. Ubisoft says the extra two weeks will be spent bringing the game up to fans' and the team's expectations.

"As we got close to the finish, we realized we were near the target but still needed a bit more time to hone some of the details to make sure Assassin's Creed Unity is exceptional," Ubisoft Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand says in a press release. "We sincerely appreciate players' commitment to the game and their patience. It's just a couple more weeks. And it's going to be worth it."
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Indie Megabooth Solid Gold Collection is 6 games for $20

The Indie Megabooth Solid Gold Collection is here for all those discount divas on Steam, offering Guacamelee! Gold Edition, Hotline Miami, The Stanley Parable, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine and FRACT OSC all for just $20. Individually priced, these all tally up to $85.

As Megabooth puts it: "Think of it as the gaming equivalent of a prized box set from your favorite classic rock band, but without all the weird 'lost tracks' from their freestyle-jazz period. Sound awesome? That's because it is awesome. And by buying this awesomeness you're not only helping to support the indie developers who made the games, you're also supporting the Megabooth, so we can keep doing our thing and bringing you the best indie games, live, in person, at gaming conventions all over the world."

The Indie Megabooth recently made its Gamescom debut, and it's heading to PAX Prime next week with 78 games and seven panels.
[Image: Indie Megabooth]

Next game from Metro series developer 'less linear, more sandbox'

The next game from Metro 2033 developer 4A Games will shift away from a linear progression and offer players a more freeform approach to gameplay, studio CTO Oles Shishkovstov told Eurogamer this week.

"For the game we are working on now, our designers have shifted to a more sand-box-style experience - less linear but still hugely story-driven," Shishkovstov said. "I will not go into details, but it requires some work from programmers as well. Also, we are improving graphics in very different aspects, like recently we did a physically-based global ambient occlusion (instead of local, like SSAO). I will not talk about PBR (physically-based rendering) here, because here we are at the stage when artists are still adapting their mentality to it."

Shishkovstov did not reveal whether the undisclosed project is a new entry in the studio's Metro series. The visually upgraded franchise compilation Metro Redux shipped this week for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC platforms.

[Image: 4A Games]

Legendary Gems, Greater Rifts now infest Diablo 3

As if Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls wasn't already packed with enough content to keep you dutifully clicking away at demons for months, Blizzard has launched Patch 2.1.0 which adds a host of new items and activities to the fan-favorite dungeon crawl.

Most notable are the addition of Greater Rifts and Legendary Gems. Unlike Nephalem Rifts, Greater Rifts force players to slay enough monsters to summon a Rift Guardian while racing against a countdown clock. Unfortunately, the only creature in the Greater Rift capable of dropping any items is the Rift Guardian, so if you don't kill enough demons to summon the big fella, you've wasted all that time and effort. As you'd expect, those who do manage to kill the Rift Guardian within the time limit will walk away with some very nice rewards.

Legendary Gems offer all the benefits of their standard counterparts, but can be infinitely upgraded and include unique enhancements not found elsewhere. They can only be socketed into rings and amulets, but each time you complete a Greater Rift there's a chance your Legendary Gem will be upgraded, depending on how quickly and decisively you dispatched the Rift's denizens.

Full details on what's included in Patch 2.1.0 can be found on Blizzard's Diablo 3 website. There's currently no word on when or if this new content will be added to the recently-released Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, but Blizzard has committed to supporting both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game with post-launch content additions.
[Image: Activision Blizzard]

Interstellar Marines uses the buddy system, gets co-op in September

Interstellar Marines has sold over 100,000 copies since it launched in July 2013 on Steam Early Access, developer Zero Point Software announced this week. The sci-fi game has generated "more than $1.5 million in revenue" for the studio. Still in "heavy development," the tactical FPS will also receive an update on September 18 that adds cooperative multiplayer to the game.

Zero Point Software first revealed Interstellar Marines in 2006, and the game received multiple "it's still alive" reassurances over the years. Players can pick up the game on PC, Mac or Linux via Steam for $18.99, which grants access to both the Early Access version of the game and its upcoming expansions and updates, such as the "Project Co-Op" one scheduled for next month. The developer will showcase its spacey shooter at PAX Prime in Seattle this weekend at Alienware's booth (#1246).
[Image: Zero Point Software]

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GOG.com adds movies to its lineup

DRM-free game distributor GOG.com has expanded its online catalog to include a selection of gaming documentaries, announcing that it will seek partnerships with major studios to feature additional TV and film offerings via download and streaming.

Twenty gaming-themed documentaries are now collected under GOG.com's new "Movies" tab, including the world premieres of Gamer Age, The King of Arcades, and Pixel Poetry. The service currently offers two of its featured films -- Art of Playing and TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard -- free of charge of registered users.

GOG.com hopes to entice major studios to join its catalog with the strength of its initial offerings, but GOG's VP for North America Guillaume Rambourg notes that getting Hollywood to embrace the service's DRM-free stance is an uphill battle.

"Our initial idea was to start with the big guys, but the process is not easy," Rambourg said. "In our first round of talks, the response was largely, 'We love your ideas, but we do not want to be the first ones. We will gladly follow, but until somebody else does it first, we do not want to take the risk.' Most studio officials agreed that DRM is pointless, but were quick to add that the lawyers would not allow them to get rid of it."

New DRM-free film releases will hit GOG.com weekly.

[Image: GOG.com]

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Gauntlet needs new release date, badly

WBIE's Gauntlet reboot is being delayed by a couple weeks so everyone can build up more rage against friends who will inevitably shoot the food. Originally scheduled for September 3, the game has now been moved to a September 23 launch.

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Rockstar: Lohan's GTA 5 lawsuit just Jonas-ing for publicity

Lindsay Lohan's Grand Theft Auto 5 lawsuit was "filed for publicity purposes" according to creator Rockstar and parent company Take-Two Interactive. Lohan sued Rockstar and Take-Two for damages back in July over the in-game character of Lacey Jonas, a troubled young actress who struggles with an eating disorder and dealing with the paparazzi.

The case claimed Lohan's image, voice and styles from her clothing label were all used to depict Jonas, forming an "unequivocal" reference to the Mean Girls star. As the Associated Press reports, Rockstar is having none of it. Manhattan court papers made public this week show Take-Two and its subsidiary not only want the suit dismissed, but the company wants Lohan to pay its legal fees. As far as Take-Two is concerned, Jonas only resembles Lohan in being a young, blonde woman.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition 4-player co-op revealed, separate to campaign

BioWare revealed the third Dragon Age game mirrors the third Mass Effect by introducing four-player online multiplayer on top of the single-player experience. An IGN preview reveals the co-op in Dragon Age: Inquisition runs separate to the main RPG campaign, with players ditching their Inquisitor robes to team up in randomly generated mini-dungeons that take around 20 to 30 minutes to complete in total.

There'll be three multiplayer campaigns at launch, each generating a level made up from 5 of 10 smaller, pre-designed areas. Players will see different areas in different orders, with variables like the types of enemy encounter changing across different sessions. Also, rather than playing as the Inquisitor, you and your buddies are lackeys for the main hero. As Bioware's Mike Laidlaw told IGN, the studio's attempted to infuse the mulitplayer heroes with personality: "They're kind of like mini followers, and they banter among themselves."

Update: Check out the reveal trailer below the break.

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10 new Rockstar Verified Jobs in GTA5 (That's What She Said)

We're probably not using that joke correctly. "That's What She Said" is one of the new Rockstar Verified Jobs in Grand Theft Auto Online. It's a Race for Sports Cars dealio featuring a broken-down trainyard and a "final huge leap from the freeway back to the finishing line," as Rockstar describes it. That's What She Said joins nine other new jobs in today's update.

Jobs include the racers Code 13-91, Rebel Rodeo, Brand's Snatch, Hit the Apex, Tittie Twister and That's What She Said, plus the capture maps Hold: Operation Interrupt and Raid: Claustrophobia, and deathmatches Urban Jungle and Rail Yard, Railed Out. Read run-downs of the new jobs on the Rockstar Newswire.
[Image: Rockstar]

Play all of the 'Connected World' Ludum Dare 30 games

But be warned: There are a lot of entries to play.

Ludum Dare 30 is in the bag, and so are a bunch of cool new games and prototypes from developers worldwide. Ludum Dare 30 includes the 48-hour Compo and the 72-hour Jam, both with the theme "Connected Worlds." This all went down over the weekend, from August 22 - 25.

With a theme like that, a lot of entries involve space, planets, shadow play, puzzles and death, oddly enough. A few (of the many) eye-catching Jam and Compo entries so far include Line Crossing, Star LORD, Collect Worlds, Starpiercer, Racer Death Derby, Ice Box, Nature Trial, Zanlings Match, Present & Future, Godshunter, Shrodinghost, Dominions'n'dominoes, Cablage and The Salt Pleeease.

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The Crew races at 30FPS, 1080p on Xbox One, PS4, PC

An Ubisoft representative has let slip the graphical benchmarks the team behind open-world racer The Crew is currently aiming for: 30 frames per second at a resolution of 1080p on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

This revelation comes in response to a forum member's complaints that the PC beta test of the game is locked at 30 frames per second. An Ubisoft community manager stepped in to respond with a succinct rebuttal: "The final game will run in 1080p with 30 frames per second on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, and will support up to 5760 x 1080p on PC for triple screen set-ups," the response reads. "Right now the team is focusing on providing an optimal experience for all players."

Later, the community manager would edit the reply to note that the development team is working to reach 60 frames per second on the PC. "We can officially say that we're aiming for 60FPS on PC at launch," he wrote. "Our Beta build is still more performant at 30FPS, but you can expect to play at 60FPS on PC when the game is launched."

Whether or not Ubisoft's developers reach the hallowed realm of 60 frames per second remains to be seen. Editing a configuration file in the beta client will remove the game's 30 frames per second cap, but testers attempting that alteration have reported graphical issues, even on high-end PCs. Hopefully Ubisoft will have something more solid by the time The Crew debuts on November 11.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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