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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


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.

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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."

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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]

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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.

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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]

Joystiq Streams: Silent night, Dying Light

Do not go gentle into that zombie fight/shambling corpses should burn and rave at close of day/Rage, rage against the hordes of Dying Light.

Techland has been working on the zombie apocalypse train for years now, determined to make the best possible open world overrun with stumbling undead freaks they possibly can. What started as a third Dead Island game became something else entirely when they realized just how big and parkour-ready a world they were building. When Dying Light became its own beast, though, Techland was forced to delay it nearly a full year. While the game's still not done, Joystiq does have its hands on a preview version of the game, and we're ready to rage against the dying. Or the dead, as the case may be. is broadcasting Dying Light live at 4:00PM EST. Xav de Matos (@Xav) will be playing while Susan Arendt (@SusanArendt) and Anthony John Agnello (@AJohnAgnello) hang in the chat. broadcasts live every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST. Starting this week, though, Joystiq will be streaming at all hours, revisiting the games of 2014. Follow us on Twitch to catch us whenever we go live.

[Images: WBIE]

Shadow of Mordor rings in Lord of the Hunt DLC today

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor today welcomes into its fellowship the "Lord of the Hunt," Warner Bros. informs Joystiq. The DLC will be available to purchase on its own for $10, or you can acquire it through the $25 you-shall-not season pass. Lord of the Hunt is already available on Xbox One, and should hit PS4 and PC in North America later today.

As previously detailed, the DLC offers new story content courtesy of Dwarven Hunter Torvin, as well a bunch of extras. There are Uruk Beastmaster Warchiefs to fight, new beast-hunting challenges to take on, an Ultimate Beastmaster skin for Talion, five new epic runes for mounts, and more. But, most importantly of all, you get a toxin-puking Wretched Graug to mount and make your friends sick with jealousy. Or sick with something, at least.

Hunt down the DLC's rather bloody, perhaps NSFW launch trailer below the break.

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Warhammer Quest announced for Steam, arrives in January

Warhammer Quest will receive a PC, Mac and Linux version early next year, Rodeo Games announced. The strategy game based on Game Workshop's original 1995 board game will launch on Steam on January 7, 2015. The video game adaptation of Warhammer Quest was introduced in May 2013 on iPhone and iPad, where it is still available for $5. Set in the popular Warhammer universe the game features turn-based tactical RPG action with dungeon exploration.

The Steam version will be available at two different pricing tiers: The standard edition begins at $15 (£11 / €15) and features three areas in the game as well as the "Vampire and Zombie" content pack. Players can also opt for the Deluxe edition for $30 (£20 / €28), which includes all the goodies from the standard edition plus "more than $27 (£19 / €25) of additional extras." Those that purchase Warhammer Quest on Steam before January 7 will get a 20 percent discount ($12, $24 for the Deluxe edition).
[Image: Rodeo Games]

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Praise the Sun: Dark Souls Steamworks update now available

Following a short delay, developer From Software has issued an update for the PC's Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition that replaces its native Games for Windows Live functionality with a full suite of Steamworks components.

Additionally, from now until February 16, 2015, players will be able to transfer and update their original Dark Souls saves and achievements from Games for Windows Live to the new Steamworks version of the game. A full walkthrough on how to transfer your existing data is available on Steam. After February 16, the Steamworks version of Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition will become the default version of the game and save transfers will no longer be possible.
[Image: Bandai Namco]

Assassin's Creed: Unity patch on hold to 'refurbish' Paris

Ubisoft delayed the fourth Assassin's Creed: Unity patch today, citing additional issues that need to be corrected in the game before the update can be made available. The publisher anticipated that it could offer the patch today across all platforms. Unity's update was expected to fix "most of the remaining issues our players have been reporting," according to Ubisoft last week.

"We are committed to delivering major performance improvements, which requires that we refurbish the Paris map and that will take a few more days to hit the high level of quality our players deserve," the publisher said in a brief community update. The update's delay strikes at an unfortunate time, as Assassin's Creed: Unity is half-off ($30) on Amazon today, and Ubisoft recently added a note to the game's description on the retailer's site that promises "performance has been improved on all platforms."

Mystery girl Ciri joins The Witcher 3 as new playable lead

Where previous games have exclusively dropped players into the boots of Geralt of Rivia, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt includes a new playable character: a mysterious white-haired young woman named Ciri.

"A descendant in a long-lost Elven-blood lineage, Ciri plays an important role in the Witcher lore - a powerful, living weapon capable of both healing and destroying the world she inhabits," reads developer CD Projekt RED's official description. "As Ciri is pursued by the Wild Hunt, a cavalcade of ghastly riders capable of unspeakable destruction, as well as the mighty Empire of Nilfgaard, it's down to Geralt to explore The Witcher 3's vast, open world to find her before anyone else does." The studio remains largely coy on what Ciri brings to combat, though it does note that she's an agile swordfighter with short-range teleportation abilities and a dark, possibly cataclysmic secret.

Though Ciri brings a novel face to the series, CD Projekt RED stresses that Geralt is still the star of The Witcher 3. "Adding Ciri as a playable character unlocks quite a few narrative possibilities for the team, though while Ciri is a major character, she is not a playable character in the same way as Geralt - the game is still about him, his story and how you, as the player, choose to face the choices and encounters in front of you," the developer stated.

How the presence of a female protagonist might affect the series' traditionally libertine approach to nudity is unknown, but the developer claims more information on Ciri's role in The Witcher 3 is coming shortly. Barring further delays, The Witcher 3 is slated to reach the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on May 19.

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Assassin's Creed: Unity trimmed to $30 on Amazon today

Ubisoft's latest rooftop-jumping stealth game Assassin's Creed: Unity is half-off on Amazon today. For just $30, players can take a leap of faith on the publisher's word that its more critical errors are a thing of the past, as the game's history of fatal flaws, such as game-crashing bugs and faceless characters, have seemingly been rectified. Ubisoft issued an apology for the issues and free DLC to players in late November.

The sale arrives in time for Unity's fourth patch, which reached all platforms today. Ubisoft noted last week that the update should fix "most of the remaining issues our players have been reporting." The publisher even added a product update on Amazon that noted the game's "performance has been improved on all platforms. When you start the game, you will be given the option to automatically download and install all the latest improvements." The sale is good for all three of Unity's platforms: PS4, Xbox One and PC.

[Thanks, Jason!]

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