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November's Games with Gold: Volgarr the Viking, Viva Pinata

Microsoft has announced next month's Games with Gold lineup, revealing that the Rastan-like barbaric side-scroller Volgarr the Viking will debut for the Xbox One as a free download for Xbox Live Gold subscribers.

Members will also receive a free copy of Rare's Xbox 360 Viva Pinata sequel Trouble in Paradise starting on November 1, and Volition's havoc-raising third-person shooter Red Faction: Guerrilla will join the program on November 16.

[Image: Crazy Viking Studios]

Shadow of Mordor is the ultimate Beastmaster in new DLC screens

Monolith detailed the first expansion to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor today, Lord of the Hunt. The upcoming DLC introduces "more tales from Torvin, the Dwarven Hunter, as you work together to tame the beasts of Mordor and fight Sauron's minions." Lord of the Hunt also features new monsters and nemeses to face off against, as well as new missions and beast-hunting challenges to take on. The DLC adds a "Test of the Wild" skill challenge mode and a character skin that turns Talion into the "ultimate Beastmaster."

Lord of the Hunt will be available for purchase later this year and will be part of the game's $25 season pass program. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor launched in late September for PS4, Xbox One and PC, and the game's Xbox 360 and PS3 versions will arrive on November 18 after being delayed last month. The game's season pass also includes an exclusive Guardians of the Flaming Eye mission as well as another piece of story DLC, The Bright Lord.

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There's something off about this Assassin's Creed: Unity trailer



The weird part of this Assassin's Creed: Unity video is where Arno jumps through a rift in time and travels from French Revolution-era Paris to a Paris filled with electricity, zeppelins, machine guns and the Eiffel Tower. And possibly Nazis. That's a 140-year jump. What the hell is happening here?

Ubisoft released the trailer with just one comment: "In Assassin's Creed Unity, all of French Revolution Paris is yours to explore, and perhaps more." Perhaps, indeed. Assassin's Creed has always dabbled in time travel of sorts with the Animus, but this is a big leap for an installment that's been billed as a French Revolution story, and nothing more.

Assassin's Creed: Unity is due out for Xbox One, PS4 and PC on November 11. See the fairly demanding PC requirements here.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Joystiq Streams: Halo: The Master Chief Collection restarts the fight [UPDATE: Live!]



Ten years later, it's hard to believe that Master Chief couldn't always dual wield those snappy pistols. Has it been so long since we messed each other up in Coagulation? Did 3650 days really pass between now and the first time we saw Master Chief ride that bomb right into a Covenant ship? Now that Halo: The Master Chief is officially in our hands, it's all coming back to us. And now it's coming back to you as we stream a slice of the newly-remastered Halo 2.

Join us on Joystiq.com/Twitch at 5:30PM EST for a one hour chunk of the freshly HD-ified Halo 2. Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) will be playing through a chapter of the campaign while Earnest Cavalli hangs out in the chat.

Joystiq.com/Twitch broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST, in addition to many other unpredictable times throughout the week. Follow us on Twitch to catch us whenever we're live.

Watch Dogs ships out 9 million units

Ubisoft has shipped 9 million copies of Watch Dogs, the company reported in its second quarter 2014-2015 financial report [PDF]. In the first quarter of the fiscal year, just three months ago, Ubisoft announced that it had shipped 8 million copies of Watch Dogs.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot called out Watch Dogs specifically in his comments on today's report: "The very strong momentum we saw at the beginning of the fiscal year carried on into the second quarter and enabled us to once again exceed our performance expectations. Ubisoft continued to capitalize on the popularity of new consoles, the successful launch of Watch Dogs, the quality of its back catalog and the considerable growth of the digital segment. Consequently, our operating income and cash flows improved significantly during the period."

During the financial call, Guillemot added that Watch Dogs was on track to ship more than 10 million units by the end of fiscal 2015. Watch Dogs launched in May on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It's due out for Wii U on November 18.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Halo 2's cinematics have never looked this good

Image The decade-old Halo 2 looks a bit long in the tooth these days, but thanks to the efforts of Blur Studio, the game's Master Chief Collection re-release is receiving a full complement of gorgeous new cinematics. [Image: Microsoft] ... Continue Reading

Fan-favorite Halo 2 map Coagulation returns as Bloodline

Among the many, many multiplayer maps included in the Xbox One's upcoming Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a remake of Halo 2's Coagulation, boasting improved graphics, new vehicles and a pair of EMPs that will stop Warthogs in their tracks.

Xbox Wire describes Bloodline as "like a "Best Of" collection for all the iterations of Blood Gulch," but notes a few key additions that weren't seen in prior Blood Gulch homages. In Bloodline, Hornet attack ships spawn behind both red and blue bases, the map features a new, neutral base stocked with weapons and vehicles at its midpoint and if you find your base being overrun by Banshees and Warthogs, you can shut down all of your mechanized attackers at once with an EMP burst. And, of course, the map includes all of the rocket launchers, sniper rifles and explosive pink shard cannons players have come to expect from Halo.

Beyond the break you'll find a video highlighting Bloodline's multiplayer gameplay. If you've ever squeezed off a few rounds in any iteration of Blood Gulch, it should seem immediately familiar.

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The Crew's PS4 and Xbox One beta starts next week

When Ubisoft pushed back the launch of its upcoming racing game The Crew to December, it revealed plans to hold an additional beta phase around the time the game was previously expected to launch. Today, the publisher announced the PS4 and Xbox One closed beta for The Crew will start next Thursday, November 6 and last through Monday, November 10.

The Crew's PS4 and Xbox One beta will allow players to cruise across the country, completing challenges in two of the game's five regions, the Midwest and the East Coast. It will also feature the game's PvP lobby in the dirt and street classes. The closed beta is open to all players, though Ubisoft said some features will require an Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus subscription. Those interested in participating in the beta can register on Ubisoft's official site for the game, and those that pre-order The Crew will be guaranteed access to the beta program. The Crew will launch on December 2 for PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Dragon Age: Inquisition pre-loading now available on Xbox One

The Xbox One version of BioWare's action-RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition is available for pre-ordering and pre-downloading on the Xbox One starting this week, EA and Microsoft announced.

Players who pre-purchase Inquisition on the Xbox One can download the game in full and have it primed to unlock immediately at launch. PlayStation 4 pre-order customers will automatically download the game in the days leading up to its release while the console is in standby mode, and PC pre-loading via Origin will likely be available soon.

Digital versions of Dragon Age: Inquisition will unlock when the retail edition launches on November 18.

[Image: EA]

Alien: Isolation is haunted by more than Xenomorphs


You might think that the scariest part of Alien: Isolation is, you know, the alien, but you would be wrong. There is something darker that lurks within Sevastopol station's cramped corridors, something altogether more sinister. If you don't believe us, see it for yourself in a video we captured this morning. Don't worry, it's spoiler-free, though we can't promise it won't fuel your nightmares for months to come.

The Dark Below expands Destiny on December 9

The first expansion to Destiny, The Dark Below, will launch on December 9, Activision revealed today. The Dark Below takes players below the surface of the moon to compete in new missions and blast through story quests that reveal The Hive's sinister plans to summon a god known as Crota. Which sounds a little too similar to "crouton" for us to be too worried about its desire to destroy Earth. The Dark Below will cost $20 on its own or can be obtained by purchasing Destiny's Expansion Pass, a $35 ticket to both The Dark Below and an upcoming expansion.

The Dark Below raises the game's level cap to 32 and adds five bounty slots as well as new weapons and gear, including legendary and exotic items. It also features three competitive arenas – Pantheon, Skyshock and The Cauldron – as well as the cooperative strike mission The Will of Crota and the six-player raid mission Crota's End. PS4 and PS3 players will have access to The Undying Mind, a strike mission that will be exclusive to PlayStation platforms until "at least fall 2015." The expansion was announced during Sony's Gamescom press conference in August. Descriptions of the expansion's content, though determined to not be final at the time, were leaked in September.
[Images: Activision]

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Titanfall, season pass discounted for Xbox Live Gold members

It's now a bit easier to jump inside the cockpit of Titanfall's giant stompy robots thanks to new discounts on both the game and its season pass.

Normally priced at $50, this discount reduces the price of Titanfall to $25. The season pass, which is normally $20, is now $8.25. That should be of special interest for anyone thinking of picking up any of Titanfall's three extant DLC map packs which remain priced at $10 each, but are all included in the newly-inexpensive season pass.

The NeoGAF posters who discovered these discounts believe they are part of the upcoming Games With Gold slate, though Microsoft has yet to confirm that claim. Whether true or not, the discounts are currently available on the Xbox Live Marketplace and Xbox.com for anyone with an Xbox One and a valid Xbox Live Gold subscription.
[Image: EA]

GTA 5 gets next-gen exclusive goodies

Rockstar has revealed a suite of new features exclusive to the upcoming PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC versions of Grand Theft Auto 5, including new vehicles, in-game events, and missions.

Players returning to Los Santos can expect to find new challenges tied to next-gen exclusive vehicles like the Imponte Duke O'Death, the Cheval Marshall monster truck, and the Dodo seaplane. The upgrade also offers an all-new murder mystery that scatters clues throughout Grand Theft Auto 5's expansive map, with noir-style camera filters awarded to players who can crack the case.

Other new additions include the Hatchet and Rail Gun weapons, stock car races, updated radio station playlists, and a Wildlife Photography Challenge that unlocks a submarine when completed.

Rockstar additionally revealed that GTA Online character progress will carry over into the Xbox One, PS4, and PC versions of Grand Theft Auto 5 via a one-time save transfer. Unlocked platform-exclusive content will also transfer alongside character data, and all player-created Jobs will be retained.

[Image: Rockstar]

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare season pass is $50, 4 DLC packs

The season pass for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare grants players four DLC packs, early access to DLC weapons and the bonus multiplayer map, Atlas Gorge, on day one. The season pass costs $50, a $10 savings if you were to purchase each $15 DLC pack individually.

The four packs in the pass are Havok, Ascendance, Supremacy and Reckoning. Havok is due out in January on Xbox Live, with other platforms to follow – Microsoft has a deal to get Advanced Warfare DLC first, as it historically does with the Call of Duty franchise.

See the Advanced Warfare season pass trailer below.

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Dying Light cancelled on Xbox 360, PS3

Developer Techland has announced it has halted production on Dying Light for Xbox 360 and PS3. In a Facebook post announcing the plan, Techland explained "older consoles just couldn't run the game and stay true to the core vision" at the same time.

"To ensure you enjoy Dying Light as much as we would like you to, we chose to release it without any compromises on the three strongest systems available," the post reaffirmed. Dying Light – a zombie-infested, open-world game with parkour-inspired movement – will now launch only for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Dying Light, from publisher Warner Bros., has seen multiple release date changes since it was announced in May 2013. Originally slated to arrive this March, the game was subsequently moved to February 2015 before settling on a January 27, 2015 launch.

Techland's complete statement on the decision to cancel the game on Xbox 360 and PS3 can be found after the break.

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