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Pre-order Destiny, earn a trip to the Vanguard Armory

Image Those who purchase Bungie's open-universe shooter Destiny prior to its September 9 debut will be granted in-game access to the Vanguard Armory where they'll find new weaponry, gear and an "exclusive player emblem." [Image: Activision] ... Continue Reading

PSA: Destiny beta is down for two days

Hopefully you got your fill of moon wizards over the weekend, as the Destiny beta has now entered a temporary hiatus. "We are beginning the process of taking the Destiny Beta offline for maintenance," reads a tweet from developer Bungie. "It shall return on 7/23 for all registered testers."

It's unknown what changes (if any) the beta will receive during this maintenance period, but Bungie's most recent Weekly Update hints at an upcoming special event planned for July 26. The developer is coy on exactly what will occur, but says players will "want to be there for that day," and that rewards "will be handsome and permanent." Whatever Bungie has planned is slated to start at 2PM PT.
[Image: Activision]

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty launch trailer is making its escape

Image Just Add Water's remake of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee will launch tomorrow in North America, Wednesday in SCEE regions. Those awaiting their pre-ordered costumes can check out Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty's launch trailer ahead of the PSOne remake's Cross Buy-enabled arrival on PS4, PS3 and Vita for $30.... Continue Reading

UK charts: Watch Dogs stands guard, market melts in heat

Watch Dogs notched its fifth UK number one this week, the most for any game in 2014, and that's all well and good. Frankly, the entire country is just too exhausted from the relentless summer heat to notice. Brits are so used to rain, clouds, rain and more rain, so prolonged heatwaves like this one tend to take their toll.

Maybe the heat's even affected games retail in the country, with nationwide sales enduring a 14 percent drop in revenue from the week before as the heat ramped up. Then again, it really doesn't help when you're having a summer drought of new releases.

Since the UK charts refuse to play - it's another week of tiny changes - we're continuing our run of music below the break. In the words of Avicii, wake us up when it's all over.

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FIFA 15's North American cover gets shirty over Xbox sponsorship

World Cup star Clint Dempsey joins Argentina's Lionel Messi on the North American box art for FIFA 15, EA revealed. The USA talisman is a great choice, but if money's short and you're looking to save loads, we recommend the Tim Howard edition (boom boom tish.)

Dempsey, however, isn't the most striking thing about the new covers. That honor goes to his jerseys and the unmissable difference between them on Xbox and PlayStation. As you can see above, Dempsey's wearing his Xbox-sponsored Seattle Sounders jersey on the Xbox One cover, while on PS4 he's clad in the Xbox-less Team USA colors.

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Join Risen 3's Demon Hunters faction, kill creepy beasts

When your world's gods have bailed, how do you combat mysterious, unchecked enemies stemming from the darkness? You side with the faction called Demon Hunters, earn a bunch of skills and gear from quests and then trample everything in sight with your newly-earned power. Risen 3: Titan Lords' adventurers will have three allegiances to choose from, though Deep Silver's recent press release and accompanying batch of screens only detail the Demon Hunters.

The Demon Hunters are recovering from a bit of a slump ... okay, slump probably understates a few decades' worth of time. The point is, they're getting back together, arming themselves to restore their once-glorious citadel and reestablish fear in their enemies, which we're assuming would be the demons.

Risen 3 won't reach the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC until August 12, but you can pass some time viewing its landscapes in the gallery below, complete with twisted creatures that look like some prime prey for the Demon Hunters.
[Image: Deep Silver]

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Bungie engineer explains lack of cross-platform play for Destiny

Destiny's galaxy may be vast and currently well-populated with beta Guardians, but players aren't able to team up with heroes hailing from different consoles. While technical issues might seem like a likely culprit, Bungie engineer Roger Wolfson told Digital Trends the lack of cross-platform play is more about maintaining a consistent experience for everyone.

"Regardless of where the reality is, there's definitely a perception among gamers that better hardware means you have an advantage," Wolfson explained. "We don't want to have to enter that fray, so to create the best, most level playing field, both actually and perceptually, we separated it by platform."

Wolfson provided a hypothetical example of snipers aiming at each other while using two different consoles. The one playing on older hardware might see their target as two pixels, while the modern console's output could paint a target twice as wide.

Speaking of pixels, Xbox One users will be missing out on a few when their Destiny beta launches on July 23, but Bungie is still aiming for 1080p with the final version for all consoles.
[Image: Bungie]

Destiny beta introduces The Iron Banner event today

Guardians that have already trampled Destiny's alien species can still find something new to do later today – Bungie's weekly update has introduced The Iron Banner, an event that opens today at 5pm EST and serves as the "only way" to return to Rusted Lands, which was in Destiny's alpha. The Iron Banner will also lead players to Blind Watch, a locale on Mars. Because this adventure is in space.

Destiny's update reminds us that its mobile app is available too, lest you be stuck tending to real-life responsibilities without an outlet for your genuine interests. The app lets players peek at their Guardians, swap gear or dive into meticulously-detailed stats for their time in the beta. In a response to a fan's question, Bungie also reminded us that saves will transfer between last generation consoles and their modern counterparts. In other words, you can start your journey before you finish saving for a new console without worrying about wasting your time.
[Image: Bungie]

Korean rating board lists The Unfinished Swan for PS4, Vita

Korea's Game Rating Board has issued content ratings for unannounced PlayStation 4 and PS Vita versions of The Unfinished Swan according to a Gematsu report, suggesting that the 2012 first-person puzzler is due for a cross-platform release.

Currently available exclusively for the PlayStation 3, The Unfinished Swan is a (mostly) monochromatic adventure game in which players splatter their solid-white surroundings with black paint in order to reveal environmental clues and hidden passages. Joystiq's Richard Mitchell awarded The Unfinished Swan four stars in his review, recommending it for players who are looking for "a little less logic and a little more fascination" in their puzzlers.

Neither publisher Sony nor developer Giant Sparrow has issued a statement regarding new ports for The Unfinished Swan.

[Image: Giant Sparrow]

Save Churchill in part one of Sniper Elite 3 DLC

Save Churchill Part 1: In Shadows is the first of a three-part DLC package for Sniper Elite 3, available now on Steam for $7 and "coming soon" to Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 and PS3, Rebellion announced in a video.

A new, free multiplayer map, Airfield, is heading to all platforms, and it's the first in a series of free multiplayer maps due out this summer. The other maps include a dense tropical landscape, a high-altitude map with three spires surrounded by ancient ruins and crumbling infrastructure, and a dusty battlefield surrounded by the sea.
[Image: Rebellion]

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Destiny Beta Live: I don't want no Ghost [UPDATE: Relive the stream!]

A Ghost is an AI who can't get no love from me, and we're proving it at Joystiq.com/Twitch! That's not technically true. We love that wee Ghost. Like many proud knights this day, Joystiq cannot resist the siren call of Bungie's Destiny beta. As such, we're extending our usual Joystiq Streams pre-show antics by many minutes so as to dive into the beta for your viewing pleasure.

Joystiq.com/Twitch at 2PM EST. Joystiq flies to the moon and sails among the stars. Then? Fatal Frame 4 at 4PM EST.
[Images: Activision]

Destiny beta now with added robo-Dinklage

If you've been playing the Destiny beta, you'll no doubt have noticed Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage sounding a bit different. As CVG showcases excellently in a new video, the actor's much maligned performance as AI helper "Ghost" clearly underwent some robotic post-processing since the alpha.

And yes, that line about "the moon" has gone too. Check out the vid below the break.

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Dark Souls 2 Crown of the Sunken King DLC floats new imagery

Publisher Bandai Namco has issued a deluge of new screens from the first chapter of From Software's planned Dark Souls 2 DLC trilogy, officially dubbed "Crown of the Sunken King."

Though producer Takeshi Miyazoe originally claimed From had no plans for Dark Souls 2 downloadable additions, the developer changed course following the game's success at retail. When Crown of the Sunken King debuts on July 22, it will reportedly transport players to a wholly new realm "where stepped pyramids span a vast underground cavern."

Each chapter of the DLC trilogy will be priced at $10 on release.

The Evil Within pushed up to Oct. 14 for early scares

Sometimes fear sneaks up on you. News from QuakeCon – via the game's official Twitter account – reveals that The Evil Within, the upcoming horror game from Resident Evil mastermind Shinji Mikami, is now launching on October 14 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.

The date shift brings the game forward in our calendar, a week earlier than the game's originally expected October 21 release date.

The Evil Within, in development at the ZeniMax-owned studio Tango Gameworks, was originally set to scare gamers at the end of August before moving to October. Thankfully, the game won't arrive on October 7, which is already a terrifying date for everyone's wallet.

[Image: Bethesda]

GTA Online nabs 10 new verified jobs, including Hipster selections

Rockstar has updated Grand Theft Auto 5's GTA Online multiplayer component with ten new verified jobs created by Rockstar Games Social Club members, including five winning entries in its "I'm Not A Hipster" job design competition.

Contest-winning jobs include the Grove Street Deathmatch "The 80's Turf War," along with a collection of Point-to-Point and Lap Races featuring vehicles from the recent "I'm Not A Hipster" content update. Other featured jobs include the Grand Prix-styled Race "The Los Santos Triangle," explosive Team Deathmatch map "Pit Stop," and the vertically-oriented free-for-all Deathmatch "Retaliate."

Competition winners receive an exclusive HIPSTER vanity plate and $1 million in GTA Online in-game currency. Verified user-submitted job designs feature changes and improvements implemented by Rockstar staff, and are playable on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Grand Theft Auto 5.

[Image: Rockstar Games]

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