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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]

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]

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

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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NBA Live 15 six-hour trial now available via EA Access

Sports fans can check out the Xbox One version of EA's NBA Live 15 a week before it hits retail via the EA Access subscription service, which serves up a time-limited version of the upcoming basketball sim starting today.

EA Access subscribers can spend up to six hours with NBA Live 15, and are granted access to all of its included gameplay modes. All player progress made during the trial will carry over to the full version of NBA Live 15, and members can unlock the upcoming digital release at a 10 percent discount.

EA Access is currently exclusive to the Xbox One console. NBA Live 15 premieres digitally and at retail on October 28 in North America, October 31 in Europe.

[Image: Electronic Arts]

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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Free Xbox Music streaming to stop in December

The free music streaming feature for Xbox Music will be discontinued on December 1, Microsoft revealed on an Xbox Support page for the service. The company said it is "focusing Xbox Music to deliver the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience for our customers" with Xbox Music Pass, its $10/month music streaming plan.

Announced at E3 2012, Xbox Music arrived in October of that year as a Zune replacement and Spotify competitor. It took nearly a year before the service reached iOS and Android, just two months before Microsoft began closing down the Zune Marketplace. Those interested in trying out the paid music streaming service can sign up for a 30-day trial on Microsoft's site.
[Image: Microsoft]

Xbox One's screenshot feature won't arrive until next year

The Xbox One's screenshot-making feature won't be added to the system's feature set until next year. Xbox head Phil Spencer explained to IGN that as the company comes "back into the new year, we'll see new stuff, and screenshots is on the list." The news follows Spencer's promise a few weeks ago that the company would deliver on oft-requested features such as screenshot creation and background themes for the Xbox One's dashboard. Those custom backgrounds will be part of the system's November update.

"In December, it's probably a time for us to pause for a little bit and settle just as all the new consoles are coming online," Spencer said, indicating a small break in the action for the console's development team. He also noted that screenshot creation for Xbox One is "a little more technically challenging than I thought," but that the team found a "good solution" two weeks ago. "They're working on it. They know people want it. The team has a path to getting it done, and now it's just prioritizing," he added.
[Image: Microsoft]

HaloFest to stream Halo 5 multiplayer, Nightfall's premiere next month


Halo devotees can get an early glimpse at Halo 5: Guardians' multiplayer mode during HaloFest, an upcoming live broadcast event that will also host the world premiere of the digital series Halo: Nightfall.

Starting at 8 p.m. PST on November 10, players can tune in at Xbox.com and Twitch.tv/Halo to see exclusive beta footage, developer interviews, and the first episode of Nightfall as part of HaloFest. On November 8-9, Microsoft will additionally host coverage of The Master Chief Collection Launch Invitational, a global multiplayer tournament in which 32 top Halo 2: Anniversary players compete for $50,000 in prizes.

Microsoft's streamed event leads up to the launch of the Xbox One series compilation Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which hits retail on November 11.

[Video: Microsoft]

Titanfall update gets cooperative, adds ranked play

The next major update for Titanfall will land tomorrow on Xbox One and PC, Respawn announced today. The patch is the "biggest update ever," according to the developer's blog, which revealed the inclusion of new modes in the update. For starters, Titanfall players will have a new "Frontier Defense" cooperative multiplayer mode in which teams of four stand their ground against waves of AI enemies, getting assistance from stationary turrets and loadout crates.

The other major addition is ranked play, which will be in beta through the end of the month. Respawn's dedicated discussion on its ranked play system for Titanfall notes that players will receive "Rank Chips," which act as "expensive pedometers" that measure players' prowess in the game. Players will have the ability to turn off their Rank Chips as well, so ranked play in Titanfall won't boil down to a separate set of maps or playlists. The update will introduce a multitude of other fixes and improvements, such as the ability to go full-screen with the mini-map, a "sudden death" addition to Capture the Flag mode and seven new Titan insignias.

Lords of the Fallen dev addresses complaints about slow-moving characters



Lords of the Fallen, the Dark Souls-ian role-playing game from Deck 13 and City Interactive, has had trouble communicating what it's all about to potential players ahead of its release on October 28. Looking to better explain his game, Tomasz Gop of City Interactive released a video detailing the different ways Lords of the Fallen can be played.

Following a number of YouTube videos and live streams of the game, Gop moved to address criticisms that characters move too slowly. "The first thing I wanted to talk about it movement speed," said Gop. "We don't believe the game is too slow or too fast for anybody because you can adjust quite easily the way that you move."

He goes on to explain how weapon and armor choice significantly change the speed with which your chosen character can dodge and block attacks. Gop also reiterates that the game will take approximately 50 hours to complete, and that as with nearly all role-playing games characters change dramatically over that time.

Joystiq's own time with Lords of the Fallen during preview sessions at E3 demonstrated how difficult it is to get a sense of the full range of character options with just a short time with the game.

[Images: City Interactive]

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