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Games with Gold December: Worms, The Raven, SSX

Like its PlayStation Plus counterpart, Xbox Live's Games With Gold service will feature a new roster of free games available to subscribers during December.

Xbox One owners will be able to download anthropomorphic annelid strategy game Worms: Battlegrounds throughout the month. Xbox 360 owners can download point and click adventure The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief from December 1 through December 15. On December 16, The Raven is replaced by EA Sports' physics-defying snowboarding franchise reboot SSX.

As usual, these free games are only available to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Three month subscriptions to the service are available at $25 while 12-month subscriptions can be purchased for $60.
[Image: EA]

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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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

Joystiq's Games of the Year 2006-2008

Those who don't learn from their past are doomed to replay it again and again. In the case of these games from Joystiq's "Best Of" lists from 2006 through 2008, that's not really a bad thing. As we celebrate our decade of existence, it seemed like the right time to look back at the games we thought were the greatest in their respective launch years. (The 2004 and 2005 lists remain classified.)

In some cases, our selections are part of franchises that have stood the test of generations, while others are like trying to recall what happened after that fourth Red Bull with a Mountain Dew chaser. Here are our selections and links to explanations to the best ghosts of Joystiq's past.

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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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Deals with Gold: Defense Grid, Diablo, Valiant Hearts

A sizable collection of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games star in this week's Games with Gold lineup, including standouts like Defense Grid 2, Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, and Peggle 2.

The Xbox One versions of Strider, Valiant Hearts, Rayman Legends also see discounts of up to 75 percent off this week. Featured Xbox 360 releases include Resident Evil 4, Super Time Force, Slender: The Arrival, and the Gears of War trilogy.

This week's sale additionally offers deep discounts of up to 85 percent off of Xbox 360 Games on Demand releases like Bully: Scholarship Edition, Crysis, Borderlands 2, Mirror's Edge, and SoulCalibur 5. Listed sale prices remain in effect through December 1.

[Image: Hidden Path]

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]

Assassin's Creed Rogue review: Avast ye, clone!

PS3, Xbox 360

Here are just some of the things you can do in Assassin's Creed Rogue: climb a tower, hunt a whale, hide in a haystack, steer a ship in a storm, stick a sword through a man's eye socket, air-assassinate a fox, fight off a boarding party.

If the opening of this review sounds mostly familiar, it's because it was mostly copied from our review of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. This was done to illustrate a point: If you're looking to Rogue to bring something fresh to the table, keep pillaging elsewhere. Assassin's Creed Rogue is essentially a clone of Black Flag's setting and systems.

If you can accept rampant copy-and-paste in another full priced entry, you'll more than likely enjoy what Assassin's Creed Rogue has to offer.

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Tales from the Borderlands rollin', rollin', rollin' out today

The first episode of Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands hits Steam across the globe later today, as well as PS4 and PS3 in North America. Next up are the Xbox One and Xbox 360, with worldwide releases due tomorrow, November 26, and December 3 respectively. Last but not least, PS owners in Europe also join the episodic party on December 3.

As for prices, on PlayStations and Xboxen each individual episode is $5. On PSN there's the option to purchase all five episodes in a $20 season pass, while on Xbox Live you can get Episodes 2-5 in a $15 season pass upgrade. On Steam the asking price for the season is $25, which you can bring down to $22.49 with a pre-purchase. Finally, Telltale's previously said the first episode should hit iOS and Android before the end of the year.

To see the launch trailer in action, move 'em on and head 'em out past the break. Also, that title is not referencing Limp Bizkit - you guys are just the Durst.

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Expanded Dark Souls 2 coming to smite Xbox One, PS4 owners


You might have thought that buying into the new generation of consoles would protect you from the gleeful, maniacal punishment of the Dark Souls series, but you were wrong. Namco has revealed that a new edition of Dark Souls 2, subtitled Scholar of the First Sin, is headed to Xbox 360, PS3, PC and now, for the first time, Xbox One and PS4.

On all platforms – according to Namco – the expanded edition of the game packs some new features, including improved balance, new NPCs, an expanded story, and new item descriptions. These improvements will also be available to existing Dark Souls 2 owners via a free update. Meanwhile, the Xbox One, PS4 and DirectX 11 PC versions of the game will offer "enhanced graphics," with Namco explaining to Joystiq that this includes higher resolution textures and improved lighting effects, among other things. Furthermore, these versions of the game will increase the maximum number of online players.

Of course, it wouldn't be a proper re-release without packing in some DLC, and all versions of Scholar of the First Sin will include all three of Dark Souls 2's DLC episodes. Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin is set to arrive on April 7, 2015 – just after Bloodborne, developer From Software's newest game, hits the shelves.

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You don't have to wear a horse mask in this Kinect, PS4 camera game

Developers André Noller and Georg Graf of Grandé Games aren't interested in the spotlight. They want their game, a body-bending platformer for Kinect and PS4 camera called Commander Cherry's Puzzled Journey, to be the star. To ensure that Noller and Graf don't interfere with the game's message, their demo videos star a man in a horse-head mask and a purple morphsuit, and when they emailed Joystiq answers to an interview, it was in the voice of Commander Cherry himself.

We did eventually speak with the real Noller and Graf, and unfortunately for their invisibility plans, they have an interesting story. Commander Cherry is their first game, but they're already registered developers with both Sony and Microsoft for PS4 and Xbox One. They're financing the game with their own money, working side jobs on Mondays and Tuesdays, and developing Wednesdays to Fridays from 9AM to 9PM, Noller said.

To get in with the big players, Noller and Graf prepared a pitch package that included a video of the team and a short Commander Cherry gameplay trailer.

"We also pulled off some 'guerilla contacting,'" Noller said. "The breakthrough with Sony was a tweet to Shahid Kamal Ahmad. This was necessary because we had trouble uploading an OpenOffice file (yeah, yeah, the poor Indies). The breakthrough with Microsoft was also the work of guerilla contacting. We searched for the email address of the ID@Xbox director on the internet and found it on the last page of an old PowerPoint document."

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Marvel's Venom infects Zen Pinball games next month

Zen Studios announced a new table for its pinball games based on the popular villain from Marvel's Spider-Man universe, Venom. The table explores Venom's rivalry with Spider-Man as well as Carnage, the offspring of the dark Symbiote, hosted by the first of Venom's victims from the webbed superhero's comics, Eddie Brock.

As with Zen Studios' other tables, the add-on will launch for multiple Zen Pinball and Pinball FX games on December 10 and December 11. It will cost $2.99 (€2.99/£2.49) for Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX 2 players on PS4, PS3, Vita, PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U. Those playing Zen Pinball, Zen Pinball HD and Marvel Pinball on iOS and Android will need to pay $1.99 (€1.79/£1.49) to access the Venom table in those games.
[Image: Zen Studios]

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Free-to-play shooter Warface visits Siberia with a friend

Fans of Warface (not to be confused with Warcraft, Warframe, Faceball 2000 or these abominations) should invest in warm clothing for two, as the game's next setting is a cooperative mission in the snowy Altai Mountains of Siberia.

"The stunning new Co-op setting, Operation Cold Peak, will test experienced players to their limits as they target a secluded stronghold located high in Siberia's Altai Mountains," reads an official description from developer Crytek. "Teamwork will be key as players bid to crack Blackwood's icy grip and advance through three separate stages on their ascent. Along the way, they'll have to brave the elements as well as enemy fire, and stay on track when blizzards suddenly strike up to change the state of play."

According to Crytek, Operation Cold Peak will feature three new maps as well as new boss characters. Like all Warface updates, Operation Cold Peak will be available at no charge, though Crytek has yet to reveal when these new maps will debut. While you wait, have a look at the teaser beyond the break.
[Image: Crytek]

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New trailer for Destiny's The Dark Below glances at gameplay

After Destiny's cinematic introducing the story of the game's upcoming DLC, The Dark Below, leaked, Bungie opted to issue a more explanatory video. As seen on Game Informer, the developer diary-style trailer discusses the "one way trip" nature of The Dark Below's design. The trailer also introduces Eris Morn, the merchant and primary quest-giver that failed to defeat the DLC's main villain Crota in the past.

The Dark Below will launch on December 9 and adds new gear and maps to the game, which are also shown in today's video. The DLC will cost $20, and it is also part of the Destiny's $35 season pass program. Those that buy the expansion will also receive a new Sparrow vehicle capable of performing some fancy tricks.
[Image: Activision]

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