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Destiny combines arms in the Crucible this weekend

The next two community events for Bungie's Destiny will start this weekend. We had names for the two events before, Combined Arms and The Queen's Wrath, and now we have dates and descriptions for them as well. The Combined Arms event is an "all out war on a massive scale" in the Crucible multiplayer section. Players form fireteams of up to six, driving across the map and making use of increased heavy weapon ammo drops. The event starts today and lasts through the weekend.

Next up is The Queen's Wrath, a set of bounty missions that begin on Tuesday, September 23 and runs through Monday, October 6. By completing the mission, players earn unique rare and legendary gear. The following two Destiny events are September's Salvage mission and October's Iron Banner mission. This week's Vault of Glass quest was first conquered roughly 11 hours after it opened. Bungie opted to double its well-broadcasted shooter's public events for players to encounter while patrolling areas in the game.
[Image: Bungie]

Need for Speed Rivals 'Complete Edition' revs up for October

The "Complete Edition" of Need for Speed Rivals will launch on October 21. The special edition package includes all of the game's previously-issued DLC, six packs in total. NFS Rivals' Complete Edition will arrive on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, and will launch three days afterwards in Europe on October 24. The Complete Edition does not appear to include the game's Ultimate Racer Pack, which is only available on PC and Xbox platforms, the game's official site noted.

The standard version of NFS Rivals launched in November alongside the latest home consoles from Sony and Microsoft. The racing game was added to the EA Access vault earlier this month, allowing subscribers to play the full game at will. EA did not list a price for the Complete Edition, though pre-orders are expected to be available shortly. The game-and-DLC bundle will replace a new entry in the series this year, the first time in 13 years that EA has gone without a brand new Need for Speed game. The next entry will arrive in 2015.

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Watch 20 minutes of new gameplay from MGS5: The Phantom Pain

Image Hopefully witnessing 20 minutes of new gameplay footage direct from Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain can alleviate the sting of learning that Metal Gear maestro Hideo Kojima refuses to commit to a release date any more specific than a nebulous "2015." [Image: Konami] ... Continue Reading

Destiny attracts 5 million unique viewers on Twitch in first week

Destiny drew in 5 million unique viewers and 20 million total views on Twitch last week, making it the "biggest console game launch of the year" on the streaming service, Activision said in a press release. Viewers watched 240 million minutes of Destiny gameplay during the week.

It's difficult to directly compare these numbers to other console game launches on Twitch, since those stats aren't readily available. "We can't provide those numbers since it is up to our partners to determine what they want to publicize about their channel's engagement," a Twitch spokesperson told Joystiq.

However, there are Twitch engagement numbers for the Xbox One and PS4: Titanfall was the game most often broadcast on Twitch via Xbox One in its first month, with 10 million minutes of streaming. Players broadcast 23 million minutes of gameplay in Xbox One's first month with Twitch, and on launch day, Xbox One players accounted for 30 percent of all Twitch streams. In its first month, PS4 players accounted for 10 percent of all Twitch streams, with 20 million minutes of live broadcasting.
[Image: Activision]

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NBA 2K15 scans your face, thinks you're beautiful

NBA 2K15 will feature the ability for players to scan their faces into the game and onto the bodies of digital athletes. 2K Sports revealed the feature in a tutorial video, which instructs prospective virtual basketballers to hold the PlayStation Camera six to 12 inches away from their faces. After slowly turning their head both ways, players will find their mapped mugs in the game, at which point they can fine-tune their features. Created players can then be used in MyCareer mode, where they will likely get dunked on by cover star Kevin Durant.

While the tutorial mentioned the PlayStation Camera by name, 2K says the feature uses "first-party camera hardware." The publisher also doesn't specify whether the feature is locked to a given console, indicating that Xbox One players can use the Kinect to scan their faces as well. NBA 2K15 will launch October 7 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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Destiny's plot condensed to Dinklebot size

Image A brief and accurate retelling of Destiny's story. Take that information in whatever spirit you wish to interpret it.... Continue Reading

Alien: Isolation Season Pass is for Survivor Mode DLC

Alien: Isolation's Survivor Mode is simple and scary: survive against the clock and the alien, with limited resources on each map. The first Survivor Mode map, Basement, is included with the game when it launches on October 7. Alien: Isolation is getting a Season Pass for all five of its Survivor Mode map packs, the first of which launches on October 28. Each Survivor Mode pack includes three maps.

The first map pack has its "own set objective and challenges, a new playable character and a variety of enemy types between you and your escape," Sega writes in a press release. "Over the following months, four more add-on packs will release, each featuring a new playable character, and a mix of new maps and game modes to challenge even the most proficient player."

All of the Survivor Mode maps are due to be out by March 2015, Sega says. There's no word on a price for the individual packs or the Season Pass, but the pass gives players a discount of "up to" 25 percent.

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Destiny sales reach $325 million worldwide

Activision has pegged sales of Destiny at $325 million worldwide in its first five days, which follows last week's announcement that the MMO-shooter dungeon crawler shipped over $500 million into retail. We don't have time to explain how Activision has time to explain where it got those numbers.

"Destiny is a platform that will grow and evolve and we will continue to work closely with our partners at Bungie to bring a long line of new experiences and content to life in the game," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. The company spoke to Joystiq yesterday about changes coming to the game, saying it has already "more than doubled" the number of public events players will encounter.

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The Evil Within not without TGS trailer


The Evil Within, from Resident Evil maestro Shinji Mikami, is heading to this week's Tokyo Game Show with a new gameplay trailer. The game already features a cast who know grisly, but the game's environments don't seem to be holding back either.

There's plenty of gore, blood and terror to go around in this trailer, but the room with spinning blades is a nightmare room. No wait, the one with the stamping spikes is a nightmare room. Wait, the barbed wire fishtank of drowning is. It's all a nightmare room!

Destiny's Vault of Glass already cleared

The Primeguard clan of Destiny guardians were the first to break through the Vault of Glass, some 11 hours after the raid launched yesterday. The six-person team posted proof of their exploits on Twitter, and soon after Bungie acknowledged them as first to finish the mission, while coyly suggesting they now do it on the harder difficulty.

Bungie posted Primeguard's Vault of Glass stats, and they show the marathon mission was tough going for the team. As DestinyDB elaborates, the sextet of three Titans, two Hunters and a Warlock, all across level 26 to 28, died a staggering 1,606 times in total with a combined kill-death ratio of 3.59. The team's average lifespan? Just 2 minutes and 22 seconds.

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Mortal Kombat X controllers from PDP are lopsided, not final

Gaming accessory manufacturer PDP is working on new gamepads designed specifically for Mortal Kombat X, and the company showed off designs for Xbox One and PS4 at GameStop Expo last week. Iron Galaxy Community Manager Alex Jebailey snapped some photos of the gamepads and posted them on Instagram.

The controllers displayed at the conference featured six big buttons on the stumpy right side of the gamepad – A, B, X, Y, LB and RB for Xbox One – and a directional stick on the left side. It's not an analog stick, PDP told IGN. "The stick that you see is actually a series of micro-switches as well (just like the buttons), not an analog stick. It helps to bring the player closer to the classic arcade feel."

PDP clarified that the gamepads shown at GameStop Expo were not final products. "The Mortal Kombat X controller that we showed at the GameStop Expo is still in development, so platforms have not been finalized," PDP said. "We like to work with the manufacturers to get a licensed product when possible. The controllers are designed along the lines of our VS Fight Pads which came out for the Xbox 360 and PS3 a few years back."

Mortal Kombat X is due out on April 14, 2015, for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.
[Image: PDP]

Metareview: Destiny

Our review of Destiny said we're in it to "slay monsters, level up and collect loot." It's an interplanetary dungeon crawler. Go into the experience with that expectation, along with some friends, you'll do just fine.

But, overall, Destiny reviews have skewed toward the lower end of the acceptable game spectrum. The game has been dinged for a lack of content, a lack of story and a lack of refinement. Destiny seems to suffer from "The Lack," which is actually a perfectly acceptable name for a new Destiny villain race.

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Bungie doubles Destiny public events, plans to add requested features

Bungie told Joystiq today that it will roll out a number of post-launch improvements for its multiplayer online shooter Destiny, and notes that it has already "more than doubled" the number of public events players will encounter throughout its world.

"Bungie is hard at work behind the scenes, updating Destiny to make it better," Bungie community manager David Dague said. "We've rolled out numerous patches, tuning updates, and server adjustments. For instance, the frequency of public events has more than doubled."

Dague added: "We'll keep working to ensure our server performance remains stable for our already sizeable community, which has shattered previous records for any Bungie game to date. In an effort to keep our community up-to-date on these changes, patch notes will continue to appear on Bungie.net. The team is committed to a steady stream of post launch support, including the addition of some much requested features."

Joystiq's staff noted a distinct lack of Destiny public events during our post-launch roundtable session, and Bungie's quick response indicates that it is listening closely to player feedback. Destiny's online features maintained a consistent performance during its launch week, and Joystiq's Richard Mitchell praised the game's "well-oiled shooting mechanics" in his review posted today.

[Image: Bungie]

Destiny State of Service: Week One

This is State of Service, an ongoing review of the online service of a recently launched game. You can read our scored review of Destiny here.

Tuesday, September 16 | T-minus 23 days until final verdict
Current State of Service:
Good
Summary: Destiny's launch week has been generally smooth, with a few outlying issues. The game has been updated and new content added.

Launch week has come and gone, and Destiny's servers seem to be handling things well. Bungie has issued an update to the game and added the first "Raid" mission, the Vault of Glass, which is intended for (very) high level players. Over the weekend, players could also jump into a special, limited-time Crucible mode called Salvage. Bungie has announced several other events that will take place over the next few months.

The Joystiq staff hasn't encountered any persistent connection issues thus far. Reviews Content Director Richard Mitchell did lose connection during a Strike mission, though his equipment and experience progression were not lost. He also notes that the update immediately booted him to the title screen – his ship had been in orbit at the time – and prompted him to install the file. Other players have made similar reports, saying that the update notice even kicked them out of missions in progress.

Finally, Joystiq's review of Destiny is now live. You can read it right here.

If you encounter any connection problems while playing Destiny, let us know in the comments, or on the Joystiq Twitter or Facebook accounts. Use the hashtag "#sos" and specify your platform, please.

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FIFA 15 removing trade offers from Ultimate Team mode

Electronic Arts announced that it has disabled a key feature in FIFA 15's Ultimate Team mode in an attempt to crack down on the harmful trade of in-game currency.

In recent FIFA series games, players could exchange in-game items, coins, and players with friends using the Trade Offers feature. Finding that coin sellers often used the service to shuttle ill-gotten currency between accounts, EA removed the feature from this year's game. The coin-selling market is tied to account hacking and phishing, and functions in previous FIFA games could be exploited to cheat players out of cash by artificially inflating auction bids.

EA's Ultimate Team revisions supplement recent changes to its cheating policy, which gives coin buyers three strikes before they're permanently booted from FIFA online play. Sellers are dealt harsher penalties, and risk being banned from all EA-published games for coin selling and farming.

[Image: Electronic Arts]

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