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Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition debuting at Comic-Con this week

Developer Toys for Bob will showcase the upcoming figure-powered action game Skylanders Trap Team this week at San Diego Comic-Con, giving showgoers an early look at the collector-oriented Dark Edition prior to its launch in October.

Skylanders Trap Team's Dark Edition is a special starter bundle that features the Ultimate Kaos Trap, an accessory that allows players to capture and control series antagonist Kaos for the first time. The package also includes two additional trap accessories, a redesigned Portal of Power, a poster, sticker sheets, trading cards, and exclusive black-and-silver variants of new characters Snap Shot, Wildfire and Food Fight.

Toys for Bob will additionally host a Skylanders-themed panel discussion and costume contest starting on July 24. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition retails at $99.99, and is set to launch on October 5 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PS3, Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and 3DS platforms.

[Image: Activision Blizzard]

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GameStop offering 50% off The Last of Us Remastered with PS3 copy trade-in

Starting next week, GameStop shoppers can get a steep discount on The Last of Us Remastered for the PlayStation 4 by trading in a copy of the 2013 PS3 edition at the time of purchase.

Between July 27 and August 2, customers who trade in a PS3 copy of The Last of Us at GameStop will get 50 percent off of The Last of Us Remastered, dropping it to $25 at launch. The Last of Us Remastered includes all content from last year's PS3 version, upgrading the core campaign with a 1080p presentation and bundling a collection of post-release DLC, including the "Left Behind" expansion.

The Last of Us Remastered launches on July 29.

[Image: Sony / GameStop]

Madden 15 ranks the NFL's top ten rookies


EA Sports kicked off its annual player ratings reveal yesterday with a list of the top 13 rookies in the Madden NFL 15. The first-year athletes are led by Houston Texans' outside linebacker and first overall draft choice Jadeveon Clowney, whose 83 overall rating comprises stats like 88 speed, 95 hit power and 94 power moves.

The developers at EA Tiburon will issue regular player ratings updates for Madden 15 over the next few weeks, the culmination of months of work by Madden's "Ratings Czar," Donny Moore. Head past the break for the full list of Madden 15's top 13 rookies and their overall ratings. The game will launch August 26 for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360 and PS3, and features an "overhauled" defense and aims to encourage players to learn football strategy within the game.
[Image: EA Sports]

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The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 4 review: Life and Death

This review covers the latest episode in an ongoing season, and may contain minor spoilers.
Death is better than zombification, but life is the best option of all. Even in a hellhole of a world; even with rotting corpses hunting you down every path, salivating for your flesh; even when you have to kill your friends every day – life is the better option.

That's what "Amid the Ruins" teaches us. More than any previous episode of The Walking Dead, it throws the importance of life in our faces – the fragility of breathing, the futility of fighting, the need to do it anyway – and it makes us wish for life harder than we ever have. Not necessarily our own lives, either. Clementine, for her part, is capable and in charge in this episode. She's rarely in direct danger herself (at least not in any way she hasn't already conquered 50 times before), but she bears witness to the potential deaths of many others, multiple times over. She saves some people. She kills some people. And she survives.

She lives.

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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]

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