Follow us on:

Play Destiny's Beta on Saturday, get a reward in the full version

Bungie is offering Destiny Beta participants an exclusive reward for the full version of the game as an incentive for logging in this weekend, according to an in-game message relayed to players today.

"To earn your reward, play the Destiny Beta on Saturday, July 26th at 2pm PDT (9pm GMT)," the message reads. Bungie did not specify what the reward is, but free is free, so be sure to hop on this weekend if you're intrigued. Here's hoping that it's a gold-plated Peter Dinklage-bot. Or new character dances. Or a dancing Dinklage-bot.

[Update: Bungie confirmed that the featured reward is an in-game emblem.]

[Image: Bungie]

Relive classic Grand Theft Auto moments in GTA Online

In its latest newswire update, Rockstar Games highlights a handful of GTA Online jobs that revisit pivotal moments from past Grand Theft Auto entries courtesy of creative fans and the game's powerful Creator tool.

From the classic Grand Theft Auto 3 to the underloved GTA: Chinatown Wars, Rockstar's selection covers a wide swath of open-world sandbox mayhem. "Four Iron," for instance, is a modern, deathmatch take on the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City mission of the same name, in which Tommy Vercetti chased a land developer through a golf course before murdering the poor sap. "Valet Parking," on the other hand, is a lap race homage to those recurring side missions in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in which CJ would pose as a valet, and either politely park cars to earn extra cash or drive off with a fancy new ride.

The Rockstar newswire has a full list of throwback missions, for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but keep in mind that the limitations of the GTA Online Creator prevent any of these jobs from being singleplayer affairs. The only way to truly relive Rockstar's classics is by replaying the original games.
[Image: Take Two]

Destiny Beta Google Hangout and Xbox One Stream Spectacular [Update: Relive the stream!]



Update: Watch the Google Hangout discussion here and the Xbox One stream above!

At first, Joystiq said, "Sure, I'll check out Destiny. Why not? Bungie's made some good games. We like playing games." Then we played it. A lot of it. Then the beta went offline for a couple of days and Joystiq said, "Whatever. I'll wait three days to call Destiny back. We're not that serious or anything." Then we couldn't stop thinking about Destiny. The only course of action is to get everyone in the crew together and make a list of everything we like about the Destiny beta and everything we don't like to determine if we're ready for a real Destiny commitment.

Starting at 2:30PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, the Joystiq staff will be in a Google Hangout to discuss all things Destiny after our first taste of the action. Then we'll roll directly into a stream of the Xbox One version of the game immediately afterward, with a brand new fire team including Jess Conditt, Xav de Matos, and Susan Arendt.

Tune in to hang out with us and ask many questions at Joystiq.com/Twitch at 2:30PM EST!
[Images: Activision]

Crysis 3, Ryse producer Mike Read departs Crytek

Crytek's exodus of company talent continues, as Ryse: Son of Rome and Crysis 3 producer Mike Read has left the studio, The Escapist reports.

The Escapist notes that Read's recently updated LinkedIn profile no longer lists Crytek as his current employer. Read's Twitter bio additionally states that he is a "former producer" at Crytek.

Read's departure follows up on the recent resignation of 11-year Crytek veteran Tiago Sousa, who now serves as Lead Rendering Programmer at id Software. Subsidiary Crytek UK also saw a number of departures last month, losing more than 30 employees and Homefront: The Revolution director Hasit Zala amid rumors of late staff payments.

[Image: Crytek]

Guardians of the Galaxy converge in Disney Infinity 2.0

The Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel's oddball ensemble leaping from comics to film on August 1, are visiting earth in the form of tiny figures. Disney Interactive is preparing a cosmic Play Set for the upcoming launch of Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, rooted in the likenesses of Groot (the tree), Gamora (the assassin), Drax (the Destroyer), Rocket Raccoon (you know) and Star-Lord. (Star-Lord, man. Legendary outlaw?)

The five space criminals on the cusp of heroism are playable in their own story, joined by a handful of crossover characters from other sets. Iron Man swings by to help out in the battle against Ronan the Accuser, while Nova jets in from the Spider-Man Play Set. Oh, and switch "swings" with "jets" there. Now it's wordplay.

Continue Reading

Microsoft unveils 100 cars from Forza Horizon 2 garage

With the debut of Forza Horizon 2 less than two months away, publisher Microsoft has unveiled the first 100 cars included in the open-world racing sim's roster of exotic machines.

Though not a complete list - Playground claims that Forza Horizon 2 will ship with 200 cars in tow - the 100 vehicles mentioned today provide a nice glimpse of what the game's garage will look like. Ferrari, Jaguar, Lexus, Volkswagen, Ford, Audi and all the other manufacturers you'd expect are included, and alongside the typical high-powered sports cars, the Forza Horizon 2 roster even includes a few novelty vehicles, such as the World War 2-era 1945 Jeep Willys and the countercultural icon 1963 VW Type 2 De Luxe van. Notably absent are any vehicles from Porsche, though given the manufacturer's long-standing licensing agreement with EA that omission should come as little surprise.

For a full rundown of the first 100 vehicles included in Forza Horizon 2, pay a visit to the Xbox Wire website.
[Image: Microsoft]

Microsoft's Xbox revenue up 14% thanks to console sales

Microsoft reported an increase in revenue for the Xbox platform to the tune of $104 million, or 14 percent, in its fourth quarter results (ending June 30). Xbox One and Xbox 360 sales teamed with the company's Surface sales to boost its Computing and Gaming Hardware category by 23 percent for the quarter to $1.44 billion (an increase of $274 million). In total, Microsoft reported a 17.7 percent leap in revenue, from $19.9 billion to $23.4 billion in the past quarter.

Microsoft says it shipped 1.1 million consoles during the quarter, which compares to one million in the same period of time one year ago. Just last week, the company said sales of its Kinect-less packages doubled Xbox One sales in June. As of April, Microsoft shipped 5 million Xbox One systems to date. Meanwhile, NPD reported a substantial lift in video game hardware sales across the board last week, an increase of 106 percent in June compared to the previous month.
[Image: Microsoft]

Guardians, the Destiny beta is back and early on Xbox

Maintenance on the Destiny beta has concluded early, Bungie has announced, and Guardians are invited to proceed on their galaxy-saving quests.

"We know you've been waiting, so we busted our asses to finish our chores up early," a post on Bungie's blog says. "Every single Guardian with a pre-order code is welcome to join us in the Tower," it adds. This appears to include Xbox One and Xbox 360 users, as Destiny beta codes are now available for Microsoft's platforms.

While the beta was scheduled to begin tomorrow for hardware crafted by Bungie's previous overlords, codes work right now. Download the beta on Xbox One or Xbox 360 and help join the fight.

Remember, on Saturday, Bungie has something special in store: "If you've already played, you haven't seen everything yet. We've got some surprises in store, and if you play on Saturday, July 26th beginning at 2pm PDT, we've got a permanent reward on reserve that will commemorate the experience."

The beta is scheduled to end on July 27.

Battlefield Hardline delayed, now arriving in 2015

Despite earlier claims that EA's cops versus robbers shooter Battlefield Hardline would debut in October of this year, the publisher has now officially delayed the game to 2015.

According to a new entry on the Battlefield blog, Battlefield Hardline has been delayed to give developer Visceral Games more time to ensure that Hardline is "the best, most innovative Battlefield experience we can give to you, our fans." Full details on how Visceral plans to accomplish that feat are lacking, but the developer claims the delay should allow it to improve the game's single-player story depth, add more innovative multiplayer features and enhance the shooter's online stability.

Battlefield Hardline is not the only game delayed by EA today, as Dragon Age: Inquisition has also been pushed back to November 21.

Dragon Age: Inquisition delayed to November

Dragon Age: Inquisition will launch on November 18 in North America, a delay from the previous launch date of October 7, Executive Producer Mark Darrah announced today. In Europe, Inquisition will now launch on November 21.

"We appreciate the enormous support we've received from all of you to get to this point, and while this extra few weeks may not seem like a lot, I know the game you'll play will be all the better for it," Darrah says.

He continues, "I'm privileged to be a part of a team that has been working very hard to surpass every measure they've set for themselves. That has meant completing huge amounts of game content, fixing bugs both big and small, and improving the overall experience. This last bit of time is about polishing the experience we want you to see. Ensuring that our open spaces are as engaging as possible. Strengthening the emotional impact of the Hero's choices. And ensuring the experience you get is the best it can be in the platform you choose to play on."

Dragon Age: Inquisition was part of what we called "The Video Game Industry's $300 Day," a lineup of five major games slated to launch on October 7. This is the first game on that list to change release dates, and a few of our contributors totally called it.

EA also announced today the delay of Battlefield Hardline from October 21, 2014, to some time in 2015.

Walk like an Altair at the SDCC Assassin's Creed Experience



When San Diego Comic Con opens on Thursday, would-be Ezios, Altairs and Avelines will finally get their chance to seamlessly run over castle walls, shuffle along delicately arranged plinths, and hop over pedestals like a bonafide assassin in the Assassin's Creed Experience.

Ubisoft constructed this new, real-life teachable obstacle course for the convention, conceived in part by Michael "Frosti" Zernow, the publisher's new Chief Parkour Officer. Zernow and other pro freerunners will not only give demonstrations, they'll also give lessons on how to move like a regular Auditore as well. Before you go diving off any churches into hay carts, maybe try this out. Also remember you'll probably end up pulling a Homer.
[Images: Ubisoft]

Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition debuting at Comic-Con this week

Developer Toys for Bob will showcase the upcoming figure-powered action game Skylanders Trap Team this week at San Diego Comic-Con, giving showgoers an early look at the collector-oriented Dark Edition prior to its launch in October.

Skylanders Trap Team's Dark Edition is a special starter bundle that features the Ultimate Kaos Trap, an accessory that allows players to capture and control series antagonist Kaos for the first time. The package also includes two additional trap accessories, a redesigned Portal of Power, a poster, sticker sheets, trading cards, and exclusive black-and-silver variants of new characters Snap Shot, Wildfire and Food Fight.

Toys for Bob will additionally host a Skylanders-themed panel discussion and costume contest starting on July 24. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition retails at $99.99, and is set to launch on October 5 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PS3, Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and 3DS platforms.

[Image: Activision Blizzard]

Continue Reading

Madden 15 ranks the NFL's top ten rookies


EA Sports kicked off its annual player ratings reveal yesterday with a list of the top 13 rookies in the Madden NFL 15. The first-year athletes are led by Houston Texans' outside linebacker and first overall draft choice Jadeveon Clowney, whose 83 overall rating comprises stats like 88 speed, 95 hit power and 94 power moves.

The developers at EA Tiburon will issue regular player ratings updates for Madden 15 over the next few weeks, the culmination of months of work by Madden's "Ratings Czar," Donny Moore. Head past the break for the full list of Madden 15's top 13 rookies and their overall ratings. The game will launch August 26 for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360 and PS3, and features an "overhauled" defense and aims to encourage players to learn football strategy within the game.
[Image: EA Sports]

Continue Reading

The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 4 review: Life and Death

This review covers the latest episode in an ongoing season, and may contain minor spoilers.
Death is better than zombification, but life is the best option of all. Even in a hellhole of a world; even with rotting corpses hunting you down every path, salivating for your flesh; even when you have to kill your friends every day – life is the better option.

That's what "Amid the Ruins" teaches us. More than any previous episode of The Walking Dead, it throws the importance of life in our faces – the fragility of breathing, the futility of fighting, the need to do it anyway – and it makes us wish for life harder than we ever have. Not necessarily our own lives, either. Clementine, for her part, is capable and in charge in this episode. She's rarely in direct danger herself (at least not in any way she hasn't already conquered 50 times before), but she bears witness to the potential deaths of many others, multiple times over. She saves some people. She kills some people. And she survives.

She lives.

Continue Reading

Pre-order Destiny, earn a trip to the Vanguard Armory

Image Those who purchase Bungie's open-universe shooter Destiny prior to its September 9 debut will be granted in-game access to the Vanguard Armory where they'll find new weaponry, gear and an "exclusive player emblem." [Image: Activision] ... Continue Reading

Featured Xbox Stories

Engadget

Engadget

TUAW

TUAW

Massively

Massively

WoW

WoW