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Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions review: Game cubed

PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Mac

In 2008, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 was the ruler (pun intended) of Xbox Live. It riffed on Asteroids aptly, mixing simple, refined shoot-em-up with a hypnotic techno frenzy. Like a three-legged pub crawl with tequila shots, it delivered in short, impelling bursts that kept you drunkenly chasing high scores through the night, or at least until your thumbs passed out. In short, it was a black hole of time in the best possible way.

After such a siesta, it's hard to see Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions outside of what came before. Oddly enough, it's a sometimes overlooked Geometry Wars entry, Galaxies, that brings the most enjoyable component to developer Lucid Games' revival: a dense, challenge-based campaign. In contrast, GW3's freshest defining quality, the third dimension, doesn't make the same impact. If you view GW3 in the inebriated, blurry lens of GW2 it comes up a little short. Take a more sober look at it, and it's a welcome, faithful enough return that you can still sink plenty into.

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All of the Lights: Many curious uses for the PS4 light bar

Sony is no stranger to idiosyncratic hardware design. Nintendo and Sega put analog sticks on their controllers in the '90s? Sony adds on an extra stick and redefines console controllers. Touch screens are de rigueur? Sony slaps a touch surface on the front and back of PS Vita. The PlayStation 4 is a sleek piece of modern consumer tech design, but even it's got its quirks.

Case in point: the Dualshock 4 light bar. Every PS4 controller looks like KITT from Knight Rider, with a giant oblate spheroid of light pulsing on the front. Not just good for running down the battery, the light bar actually performs some unusual functions in a variety of games. Below the break is a taster's choice selection of memorable light bar uses from the PlayStation 4's first year of games. After browsing that, take our poll and discuss the light bar's career in the comments.

[Images: Sony]

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Hitman HD, Deadly Premonition join December's free PS Plus slate

Sony already mentioned that PlayStation 4 owners with subscriptions to PlayStation Plus will receive gratis access to both Secret Ponchos and Injustice: Gods Among Us in December, but this morning we learned of the other four games joining the service that month.

PlayStation 3 owners with active PlayStation Plus subscriptions will have access to both bizarre horror game Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut and the Hitman HD Trilogy, an upgraded re-release of Hitman 2, Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Blood Money. Vita owners will also receive two games: tower defense strategy game Final Horizon and neo-retro shooter Titan Attacks.

As always, these free games are only available to those with active PlayStation Plus subscriptions. A one month subscription is priced at $10, while a year-long subscription features a $50 price tag. Sony has all the information you need to sign up at its online store.
[Image: Ignition Entertainment]

Joystiq Streams: Will Shadow of Mordor on Xbox 360 break us?



The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have, for all their technological advancements, returned the gaming world to a place few expected it would go: the land for the down port. Way back when, PC and arcade games too beefy for consoles would be adapted to run on older, less capable machines, hence why you'd end up with a version of Double Dragon on Commodore 64 that looks like it's made of wood chips or Atari Donkey Kong. With games coming to both Xbox One and PS4 as well as their predecessors, Xbox 360 and PS3, the art of the down port has come back to the fore.

The question, then: What happens to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, so reliant on its processor-pushing Nemesis system, when it's crammed into the nearly decade-old Xbox 360? Let's find out!

Starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, we'll be playing the Xbox 360 version of Shadow or Mordor to see how it stacks up to the current gen version. Join us ahead of time for a bonus stream of Geometry Wars 3 and some pre-show banter!
[Images: WBIE]

WWE 2K15 review: Disqualification match

Like past games in the series, WWE 2K15 spends a lot of time looking back on wrestling history. Propped up by years of real-life stories, cuts and bruises, the series continues to be a good source for professional wrestling nostalgia. Still, while 2K Sports' efforts pay off in a few areas, the publisher missed a chance to be the best in the world by a wide margin this year. By dropping a number of customization options and introducing an annoying game mechanic, WWE 2K15 loses touch with what made the series special.

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Assassin's Creed: Unity CEO apologizes for bugs, offers free DLC

Everyone who owns Assassin's Creed: Unity will receive the Dead Kings DLC for free once that launches, Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto CEO Yannis Mallat says in a blog post. The freebie is an apology for the technical issues that have plagued Unity since launch.

"Unfortunately, at launch, the overall quality of the game was diminished by bugs and unexpected technical issues," Mallat says. "I want to sincerely apologize on behalf of Ubisoft and the entire Assassin's Creed team. These problems took away from your enjoyment of the game, and kept many of you from experiencing the game at its fullest potential."

In our review of Unity, we noted that the game was "in dire need of a technical re-tweaking." Today, Ubisoft launched the game's third patch, bringing in more than 300 fixes.

Players who purchased the Season Pass for Unity would have already received the Dead Kings DLC, and they are now entitled to one free Ubisoft game from the following lineup: The Crew, Far Cry 4, Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed Black Flag, Rayman Legends and Just Dance 2015. Ubisoft is discontinuing sale of the Season Pass, the FAQ reads.

DayZ PC beta due in Q4 2015, console prototype in Q3

DayZ has completed its first year in Early Access on Steam, and Bohemia Interactive is now sharing its plans for the game in 2015, including two important milestones: The beta version is due to launch in the fourth quarter of 2015, and the final version will launch in the first half of 2016. DayZ will retain its price of $30 during the Steam Fall Sale (starting today), but it will then increase to $35, and eventually $44 with the launch of the beta. The final version will cost $50.

Bohemia Interactive breaks down the 2015 DayZ schedule by quarters, starting with the addition of new zombie AI, basic vehicles, diseases and more in Q1. The second quarter adds advanced vehicles, advanced animals, new UI, player stamina and more, and the third quarter adds traps, barricading, aerial transport and a console prototype. The final quarter includes the beta, alongside animal companions, base building and Steam community integration. See the list of expected updates below.

Bohemia Interactive previously announced that a beta would be available by the end of 2014.

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Destiny's Dark Below trailer runs through the goodies

Image Destiny's upcoming expansion The Dark Below brings a boatload of new features to Bungie's multiplayer FPS, and the trailer above outlines what you can expect to see. Featured additions include new equipment, guns, environments, story missions, Crucible maps, a multiplayer Raid, and maybe even a J... Continue Reading

Tales from the Borderlands Episode One review: Busy earnin'

PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS, Android

You should probably know who Handsome Jack is. That's really the only advice I'd give to anyone looking to dip into Telltale's latest episodic series, Tales from the Borderlands. Granted, Borderlands doesn't have the most sophisticated lore, subsisting largely on dick jokes, pop culture references and lots of screaming jerks, but suffice it to say that you don't have to be intimately familiar with Gearbox's first-person shooters to appreciate Tales. If you know that Handsome Jack is a villain, perhaps heard his smarmy voice in a trailer or two, you should be fine.

In other words, regardless of your level of Borderlands experience, Tales from the Borderlands is a witty, well-written adventure with broad appeal. And yeah, there's a dick joke or two.

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'Haystack issues' - AC: Unity's third patch rolls out 300+ fixes

November's revolving door of patchwork continues unabated, with Assassin's Creed Unity's third band-aid promising "over three hundred fixes." The not-so-stealthy-sounding patch is due to hit PS4 and Xbox One today, while PC players have to wait until later this week.

You can see the full or abridged patch notes on Ubisoft's site, including the wonderfully succinct note of "fixed various haystack issues." While some of the game's technical woes have been as hilarious as they were disturbing, other performance concerns have included framerate drops and frequent crashes. According to Ubisoft, this week's patch addresses both of those issues, but the publisher added there's still more work to be done.

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PlayStation Co-Op Sale: Dark Souls 2, Far Cry 3, Rayman

In the spirit of the money-saving holidays (and Thanksgiving, we guess), Sony kicked off a new Co-Op Gaming sale today that discounts games with local or online multiplayer functionality. The deals end on December 1, and PlayStation Plus subscribers get a bigger discount than other PSN users: up to 80 percent off the price of some games.

Of the group, there are ten PlayStation 4 games on sale through PSN this week, among which are Awesomenauts Assemble ($5.39), EA Sports UFC ($13.99), Mercenary Kings ($8.99), Rayman Legends ($19.59), Surgeon Simulator: A&E Anniversary Edition ($6.39), TowerFall Ascension ($7.34) and Trine 2: Complete Story ($7.99). Other notable deals include Borderlands 2 (PS3, $4.54), Dark Souls 2 (PS3, $19.59), Rayman Origins ($13.29 on Vita, $9.79 on PS3) and Far Cry 3 (PS3, $9.79).
[Image: Ubisoft]

PSN Tuesday: Tales from the Borderlands, Geometry Wars 3

This week, PS4 and PS3 people get episode one of Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions and the FIFA 15 Holiday Edition. There's also a demo of Tales from the Borderlands for free on PS3.

PS4 now has Speakeasy, Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed, Aqua Kitty – Milk Mine Defender DX and Thomas Was Alone. PS3 players can now buy Jetpack Joyride Deluxe, the Armageddon Riders + Planets Under Attack Bundle and PSOne Classic Boxing. Vita gets Aqua Kitty as a Cross-Buy game with PS4, Jetpack Joyride Deluxe, Rocket RPG and Boxing.

Pre-orders are now live for Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, both on PS4.
[Image: Telltale]

Sony to shift focus from TVs, smartphones to PlayStation

PlayStation 4 console
Following a recent forecast that predicts Sony's mobile division will lose up to 30 percent of its sales by next Spring, the electronics giant has opted to increase its focus on the perennially successful PlayStation brand.

According to a Reuters report, Sony has instituted a three-year plan for the shift that aims to reduce support for its mobile device and television divisions and to boost sales of the PlayStation division by 25 percent, up to as much as $13.6 billion. Sony is also relying heavily on sales of image sensors, which the corporation believes could increase by as much as 70 percent, thanks to their use in iPhones and an increasing number of Chinese-manufactured smartphones.

"There's a lot of expectation for Sony now, but nothing is sure until there are results," Ichiyoshi Asset Management chief fund manager Akino Mitsushige told Reuters. "Getting out of the mobile market is an option, but they can't do that now, so they will need to make some fundamental changes."
[Image: Sony]

Secret Ponchos makes PS4, PS Plus debut on December 2

As Sony alluded earlier this month, spaghetti Western shooter Secret Ponchos will reach the PlayStation 4 on December 2.

That's great news for fans of top-down competitive shooters that borrow liberally from both fighting games and John Wayne-era cowboy lore, but even better news for PlayStation Plus subscribers who will find the game added to the service's Instant Game Collection for the entirety of December. Once it's arrived, PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to download Secret Ponchos at no additional charge, and can play the game as long as their subscription remains valid.

According to Sony's earlier tease, it will be joined there by the Netherrealm Studios/DC Comics fighter Injustice: Gods Among Us, though we've yet to receive official confirmation of when that game will arrive, nor any word on when the long-delayed Driveclub: PS Plus Edition might reach the service.
[Image: Switchblade Monkeys]

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Activision issuing DMCA takedowns on Call of Duty exploit videos

Activision is issuing copyright strikes on YouTube videos that "promote cheating and unfair exploits" within its Call of Duty series, Eurogamer reports.

Gaming network Machinima warned its userbase in an e-mailed newsletter this week that videos showcasing glitches in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare are currently being targeted for DMCA takedowns, and affected accounts will receive copyright strikes. YouTube users who earn multiple copyright strikes risk having their accounts permanently disabled.

"Activision is being particularly vigilant about their Call of Duty videos lately; issuing strikes on videos showing glitches," Machinima's statement reads. "If you post videos highlighting these glitches, your channel may be liable to receive a copyright strike so please be careful."

Activision issued a response to Eurogamer claiming that it intends to curb cheating and unfair play within Advanced Warfare's multiplayer mode.

"We're excited that so many fans are having fun playing the game and posting videos of their gameplay," an Activision representative wrote. "We love watching the videos ourselves. Occasionally, some folks post videos that promote cheating and unfair exploits. As always, we keep an eye out for these videos - our level of video claims hasn't changed. We are appreciative of the community's support in helping to ensure that everyone has the best playing experience possible."

[Image: Activision]

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