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Evolve Medic Caira loves the smell of napalm and heals in the mornin'

Image Doctors in the real world may have goliath-sized tuition bills to pay off, but Medics in Evolve have it pretty rough too, what with the giant monsters and all. If you've wondered whether the Medic life is the life for you, here's a walk in the boots of Evolve's Caira. [Image: 2K Games]... Continue Reading

Pre-order Geometry Wars 3, get two extra levels

You don't have to worry about quantities of Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions depleting during this week's launch, but pre-ordering the $14.99 twin-stick shooter wouldn't hurt if you're looking for a couple extra levels.

As explained on Sierra's website, pre-orders placed on Xbox One consoles will earn the torus-shaped Blood Count and the cupe-shaped Titan Box, the latter of which is exclusive to Xbox. In place of pre-orders on the Xbox 360, the extra stages will be given to anyone that purchases the game before 11:59 PST on December 2.

For PlayStation fans, the exclusive Symbolic stage will spawn enemies in shapes matching the four shapes used for the DualShock's buttons, as well as the triangular Secret Eye that's seen in the above image. However, pre-orders on PlayStation Network will only be available in the Americas.

PC, Mac and Linux users that pre-order through Steam will receive Secret Eye and Blood Count, and there appears to be no region-based restrictions on that offer. You shouldn't run out of targets if you decide to wait things out however, as GW3: Dimensions will still launch with more than 50 levels for single player.
[Image: Activision]

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Combat-free MMO Wander coming to PS4


Wander is an unconventional, combat-less MMO that's currently in beta on PC and Linux and planned to reach PS4 in March 2015, as announced on the PlayStation Blog. Rather than the common hunt for loot and quests, Wander focuses on unguided exploration across a cluster of overgrown islands. Players can set out on their own to discover oddities, or work with those they cross paths with to piece together the area's history.

Adventurers begin as walking trees with no memory, but can find and take alternate forms like a winged griffon or the swimming-savvy azertash. While parsing through Wander's rainforest for hidden secrets might feel overwhelming, Siren-like songs will usher players toward secrets that they're close to.

While it seems expansive and mysterious, Writer and Character Designer Crystal Flinn explained that it's possible to get to the "end" of Wander's story. While a price for the PS4 version hasn't been offered, access to the PC and Linux beta is available for $25.
[Image: Wander]

The Alienware Alpha has come for your money, Earthlings

Alienware and parent company Dell have made good on the promise to release a console-sized, TV-oriented PC by year's end with the Alienware Alpha - a not-quite Steam Machine that runs Windows 8.1 and comes with an Xbox 360 controller (as opposed to running SteamOS and utilizing a Steam Controller the way a "true" Steam Machine does).

For $550, you can order the base model, which comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics card, Intel i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive. For $700, you can double the RAM and storage capacity to 8 GB and 1 TB, respectively. For $800, the Alpha will come with an i5 processor instead of an i3 (as well as the additional RAM and storage space). Lastly, for $900, you can get an Alienware Alpha with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M, i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 2 TB of storage.

If you prefer to do your shopping in person, the Alpha is available at select Walmart and Fry's Electronics locations. Online, you can order via Walmart, Fry's Electronics, Dell, Best Buy, GameStop, Amazon, NewEgg, Sam's Club and Tiger Direct. Hey, maybe you'll even get one in time for the supposed Steam Fall Sale start date of November 26 and put it to use right away.
[Image: Dell]

Just Cause 3 won't launch with multiplayer, but Square Enix says it 'does make a lot of sense'

The recently-announced Just Cause 3 will not feature multiplayer capability when it launches in 2015, but developer Avalanche Studios and publisher Square Enix are being coy about the mode being patched in down the road. In an interview with Game Informer, Avalanche CCO and co-founder Christofer Sundberg said that although the team was focusing on the single-player content for now, they would consider it "maybe sometime down the line."

Taken on its own, that statement doesn't seem too encouraging. However, Shinra Technologies - a subsidiary of Square Enix that aims to pioneer cloud-based gaming technology - has several key personnel sharing Avalanche Studios' office space. Jacob Navok, senior vice president of business for Shinra, told Game Informer he and his staff were working on a "possible future collaboration" with Avalanche.

"What we see in the near future are cloud games that are developed from the ground up as well as games that are in an existing pipeline that we will enhance," Navok said before presenting an oddly-specific hypothetical situation. "For example, taking a game that doesn't have multiplayer right now and easily giving it multiplayer is what we imagine for enhancements."

When Game Informer asked Navok if Just Cause 3 could or would be that game, Navok responded, "I think it does make a lot of sense."
[Image: Square Enix]

Report: Steam Fall Sale begins November 26

The Steam Fall Sale will commence on November 26, the day before Thanksgiving, and run until December 1, according to VG247. The site reports that an email sent by PayPal, encouraging account holders to stock up on Steam Wallet codes, has beaten Valve to the punch and revealed dates for the annual spree of wallet genocide savings before an official announcement.

Of course, by listing the dates before Valve has confirmed them, PayPal runs the risk of being incorrect. We doubt that's the case, seeing as PayPal works closely with Valve to act as one of Steam's methods of payment, but we'll keep an eye out and let you know when things become official.
[Image: Valve]

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]

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