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Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes gets permanent price cut

Konami announced a permanent price drop for Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes this week, cutting the game's cost down to $19.99 on all platforms. Ground Zeroes is now priced at £19.99 and €19.99 in Europe as well. The game will reach Steam on December 18.

Acting as a prologue to Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and also set after the events of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Ground Zeroes took players through a rescue mission as series hero Snake. Ground Zeroes launched in March for $30, and according to our review was "also 30 bucks for one hell of a cliffhanger" as the game wound up "teasing more than it satisfies." The next proper entry in the series, Metal Gear Solid 5, will launch in 2015.
[Image: Konami]

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WoW level designers discuss Draenor's callbacks and vignettes

WoW
Blizzard's final Artcraft blog for World of Warcraft has arrived today in the form of an interview conducted by Community Manager Bashiok. Once again, the topic is the design of Nagrand, a zone made iconic in The Burning Crusade expansion and returning in Warlords of Draenor next month.

The five interviewees, all level designers, discuss preserving key landmarks and environments in the proto-zone and how they've incorporated appropriate callbacks for classic content. The popular Ring of Blood arena quests will return, for example, as might everyone's favorite escort quest NPC, Corki. "Vignettes" will sound familiar to fans of more modern MMOs, as well; Senior Level Designer Victor Chong explains:
We've added a lot more vignette stuff, and I was working with Kurt Sparkuhl, a quest designer, on how I could add hidden stuff on the tops of mountains. So we have a lot of vignettes where players have to figure out how to get up there without just being able to walk up. It's stuff like doing some jumping around to get into an area, and then when you get to the top, you find a goblin with a glider that'll let you glide to specific areas that aren't normally accessible. Then if you get through all of that and land on a specific spot, you're rewarded with whatever the prize is there from a chest or something. We're doing a lot of that, and Nagrand was a good test bed for those kinds of things.
The complete interview is available on the WoW official site.

Humble Indie Bundle 13 features Jazzpunk, OlliOlli


Comedy adventure game Jazzpunk and side-scrolling skateboarding sim OlliOlli headline the latest Humble Indie Bundle, with Shadowrun Returns available as an incentive for buyers who pay $12 or more for the package.

All bundle buyers receive copies of OlliOlli, 2D exploration game Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, and twitch FPS Tower of Guns. Beat the average purchase price (currently $6.93) and you'll unlock Jazzpunk, survival horror sequel Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, and four giftable copies of the 2D action-roguelike Risk of Rain.

Humble Bundle's organizers are also offering up Teleglitch: Die More Edition free of charge for Halloween. The Humble Indie Bundle 13 is up for grabs through November 11.

[Video: Humble Bundle]

Nintendo to introduce digital pre-loads with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Wii U and 3DS owners will soon have the ability to download games prior to their release in order to play them immediately at launch, Nintendo announced as part of its investor-facing quarterly financial report this week.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be the first game to offer pre-downloads starting next month. Nintendo 3DS pre-download support will be introduced next year.

Several Xbox One and PlayStation 4 games have allowed players to pre-load purchased content over the past year, including The Evil Within and the upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition. The feature is also common on PC digital platforms like Steam and Origin.

Nintendo additionally announced plans to introduce an automatic download system for its consoles, giving players the option of downloading games via SpotPass while shopping at nintendo.com.

[Image: Nintendo]

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]

Just Dance Now tallies 6 million downloads in a month

Tucked inside Ubisoft's latest financial report is a small blurb on Just Dance Now, the publisher's mobile adaptation of its hit rhythm franchise Just Dance. According to Ubisoft, the free-to-play game has already been downloaded more than 6 million times since its September 25 debut.

Further, the game's proving especially successful in the international market. Though nowhere near as saturated with mobile devices as the United States or the UK, both Brazil and the Philippines rank in the top five countries downloading Just Dance Now. The mobile rhythm game is also reportedly big in India where Ubisoft has borrowed the song "Indian Whaaale" from the recent Bollywood film Happy New Year.

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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Xbox Entertainment Studios now officially closed

Following earlier reports heralding the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios, Microsoft made things official on Wednesday by dismissing those few employees remaining at the company's former film division.

The good news is that the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios signals an end to the mounting layoffs that have haunted Microsoft since Satya Nadella was promoted to CEO following the departure of Steve Ballmer. The bad news is that the abrupt closure has likely killed any projects that were still in the works at Xbox Entertainment Studios. Variety reports that studio head Nancy Tellem initially expected to have more time to "sort through the thicket of rights issues involved in relocating the scripted and nonscripted projects" prior to the studio being shuttered.

Despite the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios, Microsoft remains committed to the live-action Halo: Nightfall digital series. Barring catastrophe, the Ridley Scott-produced adaptation will debut in early November.

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]

BioShock Infinite: Complete confirmed for Nov. 4, mostly

BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition is due out on November 4 for Xbox 360 and PS3, Take-Two's second quarter 2015 financial report confirms, but there's no mention of a PC launch date. Previously, 2K said BioShock Infinite: Complete Edition would be out for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC "later this year." We've reached out to 2K for clarification on the PC release.

Retailer listings for BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition say the bundle features all of the game's DLC packs, including the Clash in the Clouds arena combat mode, and prices it at $40.

EVE Online uses jump fatigue to discourage long-distance travel

eve
Hold your horses, space buckaroo. Where do you think you're going so fast?

EVE Online is preparing to deliberately slow down pilots with the introduction of jump fatigue in the upcoming Phoebe patch. Jump fatigue adds a timer following a jump that must be endured until the next jump is allowed. According to a dev blog (that includes an appendix!) on the subject, "This allows us to discourage people travelling longer distances using jump travel, while keeping penalties relatively light for tactical/occasional movement."

Another dev blog tackles the changes to invention and manufacturing that are planned with the patch. One big change is the merge of invention with reverse engineering, which comes with an algabraic forumla because spaceships and laser battles are not exciting enough on their own.

PS Plus in November: Binding of Isaac, SteamWorld Dig

November brings PS4 owners a final tide of big 2014 releases like Assassin't Creed Unity and Little Big Planet 3, but it also brings PS Plus subscribers some slick downloadables like the long-percolating Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.

Sitting alongside Isaac on PS4 is Image & Form's SteamWorld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt. While you spend an inordinate amount of time underground in both games, Isaac has you exploring adorably grotesque, randomly-generated dungeons while SteamWorld has you digging through an interconnected, sprawling cave system under an Old West town.

PlayStation 3 owners get a hearty selection of games as well. Luftrausers, Vlambeer's minimalist dogfighting escapade, joins strategy shooter Frozen Synapse Prime on Sony's elder statesman console. PS Vita owners can pick up The Hungry Horde as well as the tricky, creepy launch game Escape Plan. Lucky for them, Luftrausers, Rebirth, and SteamWorld are all Cross Buy on the platform as well. Vita owners with PS Plus are going to have a busy Thanksgiving.
[Images: Nicalis]

Joystiq Streams: Halo: The Master Chief Collection restarts the fight



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.

Spooking Joystiq: Our scariest gaming memories

Around this time of year there are a deluge of horror game suggestions from all corners of the gaming world. Which game is the scariest? Which game is sure to make you jump out of your seat? We all have our favorites, but we've all come to remember specific moments those games delivered.

To celebrate the great candy exchange of 2014, the team at Joystiq looks back at a few of its favorite and scariest gaming memories. The games themselves may not be horror-themed, but they each included moments that left us feeling uneasy, sent our heart rate soaring and left a permanent (yet welcome) scar on our psyche.

Tell us your scariest gaming memories and you may find them haunting our gallery, too. For more Halloween treats, make sure to watch our continuing Horror Game Streaming Event.

Joystiq Deals: MondoHub

Today on Joystiq Deals, we're offering a definitive solution to your USB woes with the MondoHub, a 28-port USB hub that will power and charge all of your USB-enabled devices. The powerful yet compact MondoHub is regularly priced at $99, but can be yours today through Joystiq Deals for just $59.99.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 118: Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Civilization Beyond Earth, Fantasia

Latest episode: Saturday, October 25th, 2014

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