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Beware soldiers, avalanches, hawks in this Far Cry 4 trailer

Image Far Cry 4 will carry on the series' fondness for threatening your life in new, varied manners. Ubisoft's latest trailer profiles the opposition you'll find in Kyrat, including patrolling drug-lord henchmen, arena battles, avalanches and irritable hawks. [Image: Ubisoft]... Continue Reading

Slender: The Arrival stalks ratings for PS4, Xbox One, Wii U

You can't escape Slender Man. Even if you unplug your old consoles and huddle under stronger machines, you're still not safe. That's what new ratings from PEGI (Europe's content rating board) suggest anyway, as a 12-and-up grade has been assigned to Slender: The Arrival's sudden appearance on PS4, Wii U and Xbox One.

Release dates included in the ratings range from October 23 to October 24, which seems ... wrong, given the current-gen port's absence from Europe's digital marketplaces. Majesco Europe Limited is listed as the The Arrival's publisher in each content rating however, so at least that part reflects reality.

Brave souls can also venture into The Arrival's creepy woods on PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Mac, but we propose joining our cowardly sanctuary under the bed, where we're definitely safe and none of life's monsters can ever get us. Well, except for the one that lives down here ...
[Image: Midnight City]

Lab Zero reveals driver to make PS3 fight sticks work with PS4

Shelling out for a comfortable fight stick makes sense if you're going to pour months or years into a fighting game, but updating with each console generation can get pricey. Thankfully, Skullgirls Encore developer Lab Zero Games is collaborating with Naughty Dog's John "Cowboy" Bellomy on an upcoming driver that will make some PS3 fight sticks compatible with PS4 titles, as reported by Polygon.

Lab Zero CEO Peter Bartholow told Polygon that "any stick that reads as a generic USB gamepad or joystick will work," explaining that this covers MadCatz TEs and "other smaller brands and custom options such as the GodLike Controls' Cthulhu boards."

The driver is not officially supported by Sony, but Lab Zero will allow other developers to use and adapt it for their own titles, so long as they share their work with Lab Zero. Bartholow explained that the team "thinks it's better for the consumer and the industry" for money to go toward new games instead of replacing fight sticks every console generation.

Lab Zero intends to have PS3 fight stick compatibility present when it launches Skullgirls Encore on PS4 and Vita in 2015, but in the mean time, you can see it in development-kit action in a demonstration video after the break.
[Image: Lab Zero Games]

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Evolve's progression systems dole out perks, boosts, new characters

Evolve players will hunt character perks and general experience in addition to monstrous game, as detailed in a recent update on Evolve's official site. Progress is earned in two ways: Character Progression, which relates to a player's efficiency with a specific character's arsenal, and Player Progression, which is tied to a player's general account rather than one particular class type.

Aptitude with a hunter's (or monster's) weapons and abilities is rated on a three-star scale, and a "permanent perk" is granted with each earned star. For example, you'll need to deal a set amount of damage with Markov's assault rifle to earn a two percent accuracy boost (tied to the first star), while distributing enough pain via headshot will grant a 10 percent accuracy boost and an elite-tier weapon, as well as the rifle's third star.

Player Progression won't be in the Halloween weekend alpha, but when it does show up, it'll dish out medals, awards and levels, with that last element capping off at 40. The update notes that this tier of rewards is "generally earned through time spent playing" and unlocks perks like armor regeneration, jump bonuses and a quicker jetpack recharge.

New characters can also be unlocked by earning stars for their respective class type. If you plan on prowling through Evolve's alpha however, just know that any earned progress will not carry over beyond the event's weekend. Alphas are all about the thrill of an early hunt though, right?
[Image: 2K Games]

How to take a seat on the PS4's virtual couch with Share Play

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for boarding Joystiq Airways. If you'll direct your attention to your screens, our extremely good-looking (and funny, don't forget funny) crew will be going over the Share Play features coming to PlayStation 4 on Tuesday, October 28, courtesy of the PlayStation Blog.

Share Play, if you need a refresher, is the PS4's virtual couch. If you want to play a game with a faraway friend but said friend doesn't own the game, Share Play lets you do just that, one hour at a time. Not so good at first-person shooters but know a friend who is? Use Share Play to have your pal get you through tough spots. Want to play a quick round of competitive multiplayer in <your favorite series here> but your friend doesn't own the game? Share Play will let them join you - again, for an hour.

After the PS4 update - codenamed "Masamune" - arrives, the option for Share Play will pop up when you create a party with a friend. Whoever is hosting the Share Play session will need to have an active PlayStation Plus membership no matter what. If you're the guest though, you only need your PS Plus membership to be active if you want to play with the host simultaneously.

To see Play Share in action, check out an overview video from Sony after the break:

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Costume Quest 2 drags Sackboy to PS4, PS3 next week

Double Fine's dress-up RPG Costume Quest 2 will launch on PS3 and PS4 next Tuesday, October 28, publisher Midnight City announced. The PlayStation versions of the game will also receive an exclusive Sackboy costume modeled after the hero of Media Molecule's popular platforming brand, LittleBigPlanet.

The Sackboy costume will be available for free to PS4 and PS3 players as part of an update to the game. To unlock it, quest-goers must find four pieces of the costume tucked away in the game. While there's no set release date for the Sackboy update, it is expected to go live "in the coming weeks." Costume Quest 2 is already available to PC, Mac and Linux players via Steam for $14.99. No launch date has been announced for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U versions as of yet.
[Image: Midnight City]

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Sony sets up Season Passes for Video Unlimited, PS Store

Sony has introduced a new feature for the PlayStation Store and its Video Unlimited service, allowing users to buy full seasons of featured content at a discount.

Starting today, PSN shoppers can queue up a full season of their favorite shows with a single "Buy Season" purchase. The feature is available for the PlayStation 3 and online via the PS Store this week, and support for the PlayStation 4, Bravia TVs, and Blu-ray players is coming soon.

Sony commemorates today's feature launch with a collection of discounts for several popular series, including The Walking Dead. Season Pass launch deals go into effect on October 30, and extend through November 17.

[Image: Sony]

Pixel horror finds a Home on PS4 in October

Home, the pixelated horror game from Benjamin Rivers, is due out on PS4 on October 28, "just in time for Halloween," Rivers writes on the PlayStation Blog. The Vita version will come out soon after, and it is a Cross-Buy game, meaning those who buy it on PS4 automatically get it on Vita, too. Home will be on sale for $3 for the first two weeks after the PS4 launch.

"Home has been a weird little trailblazer, and it now has the honor of being the first title developed entirely within YoYo Games' Game Maker Studio environment to natively hit PlayStation consoles," Rivers says. "It's pretty amazing as an independent developer to be able to make console games, and I couldn't think of a better home for it (pun totally intended)."

In Home, players wake up as a man with no memory of how he ended up alone in a stranger's house. As he makes his way to more familiar territory, he finds things that jog his memory, and the story changes as players decide what objects to pick up and what information to digest. We heard Home would hit Sony consoles this year back in March.
[Image: Sony]

The Legend of Korra review: Bend it like Bayonetta

Bending the elements like folks do in The Legend of Korra is an intoxicating dream. Much as they did in the original Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon, many people born in Korra's world can freely manipulate the four elements through martial arts. The Avatar, born into every generation to maintain the spiritual balance of the world Dalai Lama style, is the only one who can bend all four. Fire from your fingers, literally riding the wind, lifting up the earth to make an easy chair, and never needing a squirt gun; the promise of feeling unity with the physical world, even if you're just playing around, is mesmerizing. Who wouldn't want to do that?

That Platinum Games captures even a little of that feeling in its video game adaptation of The Legend of Korra is impressive, but physical fantasy is only one piece of the show's winning formula. Platinum's made a fun, flighty, sometimes infuriatingly pedantic game that's admirably old fashioned but disappointingly limited. The Legend of Korra is a strong body missing most of its heart.
[Images: Activision/Nickelodeon]

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Heads roll in gorgeous Witcher 3 intro cinematic

Image As this meticulously rendered intro cinematic for The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt demonstrates, Geralt of Rivia's world is a dark place, full of arcane magicks, hardened warriors and horse heads flying through the air like so many bloody pigeons. [Image: CD Projekt] ... Continue Reading

PS4 update rolls out USB music player, Share Play next week

The PlayStation 4's version 2.0 system update will arrive next Tuesday, October 28, PlayStation announced via Twitter. Codenamed "Masamune," the update adds the ability to play music from a USB stick connected to the console. As revealed earlier this month, it also features more game broadcast tools, such as the ability to archive sessions and search for specific games being broadcast, as well as themes to spice up the system's layout.

One of the major features being added to the console next week is Share Play, the pass-the-controller-style cooperative multiplayer game sharing mode announced by Sony at its Gamescom 2014 event in August. Though limited to one-hour increments, the feature will be inherent to all PS4 games, allowing PS Plus members to let a friend take over a game the latter doesn't own via PSN. The Masamune update also adds a dedicated YouTube app as well as improved game library filtering options.
[Image: Sony]

Digital Foundry looks into Evil Within pre-patch problems

Our review of The Evil Within wasn't too keen on Shinji Mikami's latest survival horror epic, but according to the techies at Digital Foundry, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game are worse off if you play offline and forego the day-one patch.

As you'll see in the performance comparison video beyond the break, the un-patched game runs 30 to 40 percent slower than its updated counterpart. The slowdown is so bad at times that when creating the video, Digital Foundry couldn't even properly record its findings and "needed to modify the values of our frame-time graph when creating the performance video, in order to accommodate gameplay pauses of up to 100ms." Additionally, while the patched game runs at a resolution of 1920x768, the unpatched game can only manage 1600x900 awkwardly crammed into a 1920x768 window. "What's baffling, though, is that even with a lower resolution, the performance is so much lower all around than the patched product," Digital Foundry adds.

While the development team's impressive work on the game's 1.01 patch can only truly be appreciated when witnessing the technical troubles of its original incarnation, it does drive home the worrying nature of our new "always online" hobby.
[Image: Bethesda Softworks]

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Joystiq Streams: Relapse with Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions [Replay]

Update: It's over, so catch the full replay after the break!

Don't worry, the hard days are all in the past. The habit's been kicked. No more obsessing over leader boards. No more retries at dawn, trying to best your friend's achievements. No more shakes when you put down the controller. Geometry Wars 2 was 2008! We've all moved past it. Wait. There's a Geometry Wars 3? It warps and distorts the old twin-stick shooting? Fine. Just one play. It's easy to stop after just one round. Let's do this.

Lucid Games joins Joystiq Streams today to give us an early taste of Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions. Starting at 5:15PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) will pick up his controller and relapse hard.

Joystiq.com/Twitch broadcasts live every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST, but if you want to catch streams of weird games and upcoming releases like this one, follow us on Twitch to know whenever we go live.

[Images: Sierra]

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Joystiq Discussion: Will you get a new console this fall?

One year later and the current crop of gaming machines are looking a whole heck of a lot different than they did in the fall of 2013. Mealy launch exclusives like Knack, Ryse and Nintendoland are distant memories. Now the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U are cooking with gas. Sony's got heaters like Infamous: Second Son, Xbox One's got freaks like D4 alongside bruisers like Forza Horizon 2, and Wii U has heavyweights like Mario Kart 8 and weirdoes like Bayonetta 2 backing it up.

The question now is: Is that enough? If you haven't taken the plunge yet, have any of the new machines sufficiently convinced you? Are you considering adding a second new console to your living room domain? Or have you walked away from the console world for good? Take the poll then take to the comments to discuss.


[Images: Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft]

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round picks a fight in February 2015

The updated, supposedly final iteration of Dead or Alive 5, known as Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, will reach the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360 on February 17, publisher Koei Tecmo has revealed.

Alongside the wealth of fighters and stages included in Dead or Alive 5, Dead or Alive 5 Plus and Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, Last Round introduces two new fighters and new stages, including "The Crimson," a remixed Dead or Alive 2 stage where players battle their way across tin rooftops before plummeting onto a busy Asian street to continue the fight. Like all of Dead or Alive 5's best stages, The Crimson features "several all-new over-the-top Cliffhanger events" for those times when you just have to toss your opponent off a building.

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round will feature a $30 price tag on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and a $40 price tag on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. However, PlayStation 4 owners can download the free Dead or Alive 5 Last Round: Core Fighters for a test drive featuring four fighters and limited gameplay options, with the option to purchase additional pieces of the game later. Xbox One owners can purchase access to Core Fighters for $5, or they can play a free demo that lacks Core Fighters' DLC options.

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