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Halo, Destiny composer O'Donnell says he was fired 'without cause'

Halo series and Destiny composer Martin 'Marty' O'Donnell is no longer working for Bungie, and he claims the studio's directors fired him "without cause" last Friday, April 11.

O'Donnell tweeted the news this morning, and shortly after Bungie responded on its blog. Community Manager David Dague said the studio and O'Donnell parted ways "as friends."

"For more than a decade, Marty O'Donnell filled our worlds with unforgettable sounds and soundtracks, and left an indelible mark on our fans," wrote Dague. "Today, as friends, we say goodbye. We know that wherever his journey takes him, he will always have a bright and hopeful future. We wish him luck in all his future endeavors."

We've reached out to Bungie for further details.

O'Donnell's departure is certainly a surprise given his stock with Halo and Bungie fans, especially with Destiny rapidly approaching its release date of September 9. The veteran composer had collaborated with former Beatle Paul McCartney on a "musical prequel" to Destiny, titled Music of the Spheres. It has yet to be released.

Wasteland 2 beta update fleshes out Arizona

While "less than half" of Wasteland 2 is currently available in beta via Steam Early Access, an update coming next week will add another major area. After the update, Wasteland 2's beta will feature "most of the Arizona portion of the game."

According to "beta testing metrics and feedback," InXile estimates Wasteland 2 will take about 50 hours to complete for a regular playthough.

Developer InXile Entertainment is also teasing the location for the second portion of the game, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles (also known to residents simply as Los Angeles). The Los Angeles areas in Wasteland 2, teased above, will feature "the ruins of familiar landmarks overgrown with wild plant life, crawling with weird creatures, and dangerous mad cults." So, it's just like the real Los Angeles.

Wasteland 2 is the official sequel to the 1988 classic isometric role-playing game from developer Interplay. Its Kickstarter campaign, which sought a total of $900,000 to bring the series back from the dead, eventually accrued over $2.9 million.
[Images: InXile Entertainment]

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut sneaks onto Mac

A Mac version of the Deus Ex: Human Revolution "Director's Cut" is available now from developer Feral Interactive. The version is available exclusively through Steam. DX:HR - Director's Cut overhauls the original RPG's boss battles, tweaks enemy AI and "upgrades" the game's textures, fog, shadows and lighting. Black and gold environments never looked so pristine!

The Director's Cut also includes The Missing Link and Tong's Rescue Mission DLC, as well as the Tactical Enhancement pack. All content has "all been seamlessly integrated into the narrative flow of the main game."

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut is $19.99 on Steam, though as a Steam Play title the version is available to all whom already own the PC version of the game.

The Mac version requires a 2.0Ghz Intel Mac with at least 4.0GB RAM, 512MB or better graphics card and Mac OS 10.8.5 or later. Deus Ex: Human Revolution supports the ATI 4850 series or better, Intel HD4000 series or better, and NVIDIA GT130, NVIDIA 9600 or NVIDIA 600 series or better.
[Image: Square Enix]

Xbox 360 spring sale discounts Batman games, Saints Row 4

Microsoft is cleaning out its digital shelves with a sizable sale on Xbox 360 games and add-ons this week. Ending April 21, the sale spans 11 games and hundreds of pieces of DLC. Five of the games feature popular DC comics superhero Batman in some capacity, such as 75 percent off both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City through Games on Demand ($4.99 / £3.74 / 4.99 euros each). Additionally, Injustice: Gods Among us is half-off ($19.99 / £17.49 / 24.99 euros), Lego Batman 2 is 67 percent off ($6.59 / £4.94 / 6.59 euros) and XBLA game Gotham City Imposters is 75 percent off ($3.74 / £2.49 / 3.59 euros). All of the above deals are valid for those with a paid Xbox Live Gold subscription.

Among the other games on sale for all Xbox Live users is Saints Row 4, which is half-off this week ($14.99 / £12.49 / 14.99 euros). Three other games are discounted through Games on Demand: Borderlands 2 is 65 percent off ($6.99 / £6.99 / 10.49 euros), Lego Marvel Super Heroes is 33 percent off ($33.49 / £30.14 / 43.54 euros) and Prototype 2 is 75 percent off ($9.99 / £4.99 / 7.49 euros). Lastly, XBLA games Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ is half-off ($4.99 / £3.37 / 4.74 euros) and Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD is 33 percent off ($13.39 / £10.71 / 13.39 euros) for the week.
[Image: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment]

MechRunner coming to PS4, Vita, PC, Mac in July

MechRunner, an endless runner/action game featuring mechs and a wonderfully suitable name, is coming to the PS4, Vita, PC and Mac in July, developer Spark Plug Games has announced. To help add additional polish to the game, Spark Plug is turning to Kickstarter with a campaign targeting $25,000. A $10 pledge will net Kickstarter users a copy of the game for either PC/Mac via Steam or a cross-play version for the PS4 and Vita.

"The game is feature complete, fully playable, and in its final stages before we launch in July 2014," the Kickstarter campaign page says, indicating that regardless of the crowdfunding effort's outcome, MechRunner will be released.

MechRunner is a video game adaptation of Jane Austen's seminal work, Pride and Prejudice. Wait, no... the story follows a giant mech that can also turn into a tank with an affinity for destroying just about anything that stands in its way, which sounds more like the story in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.

MechRunner is the North Carolina-based developer's second attempt at Kickstarter success. In 2012, the developer canceled a project called Steampunk Bullet Train, which sought the same funding total before the end of its campaign.
[Image: Spark Plug Games]

BurgerTime World Tour discounted ahead of delisting on April 30

Publisher MonkeyPaw Games is hosting a last-chance sale on BurgerTime: World Tour this month, discounting the game to just $5 before it disappears from digital storefronts forever on April 30.

Starting today, amateur burger chefs can pick up the Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and WiiWare versions of the remade arcade classic for $4.99. Alas, even Peter Pepper himself is not immune from the harsh reality of expired licensing agreements, which MonkeyPaw cites as the culprit behind the game's delisting at the end of the month.

Speculation from an anonymous source suggests that Peter Pepper was forced to close up shop by area health inspectors, who objected to his unsanitary burger-stomping ways. Pepper declined to comment when questioned regarding his cooking methods, claiming that the delisting is part of a conspiracy devised by giant sausages and human-sized eggs.

[Image: MonkeyPaw Games]

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Reprogram your surroundings in Glitchspace, now on Early Access

First-person puzzler Glitchspace is now available through Steam's Early Access service for PC, Mac and Linux. The alpha version of the game from developer Space Budgie is available for $6.99 on Early Access and $6.49 through the game's official site.

Described as a "first-person programming" game, Glitchspace has players navigating a cyberspace-style world to locate a place that is a "by-product of cyberspace and its various glitches" known, appropriately enough, as Glitchspace. Space Budgie focused on emergent mechanics for the game, as players can identify glitches in the game and "exploit them in various different ways." Objects in the game are both programmable and non-programmable thanks to the "Null" programming system in the game created by the developer. Programmable objects include a "canvas" in which players can add functions to affect them, such as forces to move them, scale them, duplicate them and a myriad of other possibilities.

The game includes a sandbox mode for players to toy around with as well as Oculus Rift support for those that want to immerse themselves in the matrix-like world. Space Budgie expects to launch the full version of Glitchspace in Q2 2014.
[Image: Space Budgie]

Half-Life world record speed run is fluid, frightening

Image I considered myself a pretty good Half-Life player, until now. This speed run video, which reportedly took four years of planning to execute correctly, proves I was completely wrong and should stop thinking so highly of myself. [Image: Valve]... Continue Reading

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Zomboss Down DLC drops today

PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare takes to the Wild West today with the launch of "Zomboss Down," a free DLC pack that introduces a batch of new multiplayer content on the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Zomboss Down adds eight new playable characters to Garden Warfare's roster and a new Western-themed map, complete with an Ennio Morricone-inspired soundtrack. Zomboss Down follows up on last month's Garden Variety DLC, which added the "Gnome Bomb" gameplay mode and new character customization options.

[Video: PopCap]

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Spelunky world record beaten with new high score of $3,109,825

Twitch user YamaYamaDingDong has earned the highest recorded score to date in Mossmouth's roguelike platformer Spelunky, shattering the previous record in a run that clocks in at over four and a half hours.

YamaYamaDingDong's treasure hoard tips the scales at $3,109,825, besting the previous record by just under $4,000. Yama spends much of the run steering ghosts into jewels in order to earn score-boosting diamonds -- a required tactic, considering the difficulty involved in approaching the established record. It's a remarkable demonstration of skill, and it's impressive that anyone could maintain their concentration and composure over a four-hour stretch in a notoriously difficult game. Congrats, Yama!

[Image: Mossmouth]

Respawn to increase frequency of Titanfall updates

Respawn plans to improve its "update tempo" for future improvements to Titanfall, upping the frequency of announcements related to updates as well as the patches themselves. Game Director Steve Fukuda broke down the developer's update plans in a recent blog, noting that one part of the game's updates will "tend the garden and keep the weeds out," such as last week's changes to the game's Gooser Challenge.

Fukuda also discussed both convenience and infrastructural features, the former making "life more pleasant" for players in the game. Future convenience feature additions to Titanfall include the ability to rename custom loadouts and set custom loadouts specific to each of the game's mode. Infrastructural additions include items like the private online match mode that arrived last week.

"Whenever possible, we want to get these kinds of features out early in beta form, in order to get your feedback and arrive at the best possible result through multiple iterations," Fukuda wrote of the infrastructural features. He added that "tangible" content for Titanfall is on the way, including new maps, game modes, a new burn card set and "Nose Art" insignias for those that want to customize their titans.
[Image: EA Games]

Battlefield 4: Naval Strike now available to non-Premium masses

It looks like the Megalodon has a whole new batch of victims incoming. After being released an exclusive for Premium members, Battlefield 4's Naval Strike DLC is now available for purchase for all. The content is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Naval Strike adds four new maps; a hovercraft vehicle; new Carrier Assault mode, which is inspired by Battlefield 2142's Titan Mode; and the aforementioned giant shark attack.

Battlefield 4's Naval Strike DLC is priced at $15.
[Images: DICE]

Crysis and Crysis 2 to lose PC multiplayer with GameSpy shutdown

The PC versions of Crysis and Crysis 2 will lose multiplayer functionality when GameSpy's matchmaking services go dark on May 31. The single-player campaigns as well as the multiplayer modes for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of both games will remain playable.

"As of May 31 this year, the multiplayer modes in Crysis and Crysis 2 for PC will no longer be playable," Crytek wrote on its forums. "The conclusion of online multiplayer support comes as a result of GameSpy Technology shutting down all their hosting services. GameSpy have been providing multiplayer functionality for Crysis and Crysis 2 since they launched."

GameSpy announced plans to shut down its middleware servers earlier this month, over a year after it ceased editorial production. The service began as a Quake server search program in 1996 before hosting online multiplayer for hundreds of games. EA said it will shift multiplayer for its older Battlefield games from GameSpy to Origin last week.
[Image: Crytek]

UK boxed copies of Dark Souls 2 PC delayed by a week

Bandai Namco UK revealed it's pushed back the PC disc version of Dark Souls 2 to May 2, but the action-RPG will remain available to download in the territory starting April 25. In a statement provided to Joystiq, the publisher made it clear the delay only affects physical copies in the UK - don't worry, PC players elsewhere, you'll get to praise all the suns you want next week.

"It will be delayed unfortunately and we apologize to UK customers," a Bandai Namco rep told Joystiq. "This is due to a manufacturing issue with packaging. To confirm, this will only affect the UK boxed launch."
[Image: Bandai Namco]

Trials Fusion day-one update increases resolution on Xbox One

The Xbox One version of Trials Fusion will require a day-one patch to increase the game's resolution to 900p, Ubisoft has confirmed.

Prior to the application of the patch, Trials Fusion on Xbox One will run at 800p at 60fps. Ubisoft also confirmed developer RedLynx had originally targeted a resolution of 1080p for both the Xbox One and PS4, but the team was still optimizing its game for each platform. The PlayStation 4 version of Trials Fusion will run at 1080p at 60fps at launch.

Trials Fusion from developer RedLynx launches tomorrow for the Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360 and PC.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Joystiq Streams: Broforce brodown [UPDATE: Relive the stream!]

Hey! Where you going, Brosephine Baker? Got someplace better to be? Not when there's Broforce to play, you don't.

Free Lives' shooter may look like a pile of pop culture references, pixel art, and 16-bit era run-and-gunning no different from legions of games put out by small developers over the past four years, but to dismiss Broforce's raw power is to do it a major disservice. Playing this chaotic madness well requires more patience and careful attention than you'd expect from something the lets you play as Dutch from Predator teaming up with Wesley Snipes to blow up everything ever. Even more so in co-op. When partnered up, you've got to play diplomatically and be a regular Brotros Brotros Ghali. Only then can you achieve true brodom.

Joystiq Streams is rolling deep in Broforce today at 4PM EST on the Joystiq Twitch channel. Our very own Brah'lexzander Sliwinski will be playing while Anthony John Agnellbro hangs out in the chat and comments on all the brolation. Many special guests may appear as well...

Joystiq Streams bro-casts live every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST on Twitch.tv/Joystiq.
[Images: Free Lives]

PAX East 2014: Upsilon Circuit is an MMO like no other

This is the first time that a rough pre-alpha build has excited me so deeply.
A lot of what I see in the MMO industry is fairly predictable. That's not an insult; it's just that most of the new games you see are either a result of elegant mechanics solving a problem that's always been there or a new take on an old system, and that's OK. There's nothing wrong with taking old favorites and refining them. But then I see something like Upsilon Circuit and I wind up being completely blown away because the very idea is a fundamental rewriting of how we understand MMOs.

Upsilon Circuit is a new game currently in very early development from indie studio Robot Loves Kitty (of Legend of Dungeon fame), and when I say early, I do mean early. The animations are rough, the build is very much in a proof-of-concept stage rather than a fully playable state, and none of that matters. The game is the love child of Twitch Plays Pokémon, the Hunger Games, and Diablo III, a game that not only encourages streaming but demands it while interacting with the audience

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Killzone Mercenary DLC adds offline multiplayer

Today, developer Guerrilla Cambridge will unleash a new DLC pack for Killzone Mercenary, which adds offline multiplayer to the Vita shooter.

"With the purchase of the Botzone Soldier Training Pack, all of our multiplayer maps can be played offline in Mercenary or Guerrilla Warfare modes," a post on the PlayStation Blog from Guerrilla Cambridge' Tech Director, Matt Porter, revealed. With the new content, players can face off against up to seven AI soldiers.

Porter notes that, with the offline mode, players will have a chance to collect some of the portable game's "harder-to-obtain" multiplayer trophies.

Additionally, the content brings with it a mandatory update, which tackles some longer standing collision issues reported in the game's multiplayer maps. The free update will be available today. The BotZone DLC will be available to purchase on the PlayStation Store, but at the time of publishing, no price was made available for the content.
[Image: Guerrilla Cambridge]

Blood Bowl 2 resurfaces with new teaser

Orcs and humans battle it out in an in-game teaser for developer Cyanide Studios' Blood Bowl 2, coming to PC from publisher Focus Home Interactive. The brief footage is the first look at the game, which features a "brand new graphic engine," since being announced in June 2013.

Blood Bowl, a video game series based on the Games Workshop board game property of the same name, is a comical spoof of American football featuring fantasy characters. Cyanide says the upcoming sequel is "more ambitious" than its previous efforts, adding a new single-player campaign and a multiplayer-based League mode, which gives players managerial control over their team, club and stadium. What are hotdogs in an orc-run stadium made of, do you suppose? Actually, never tell me the answer to that.

Cyanide promises more information and footage of Blood Bowl 2 in the coming months.
[Image: Cyanide Studios]

MLB 14: The Show review: Changeup

The term "simulation" is appropriate for MLB 14: The Show, but not just because of its beautiful presentation, a defining trait of the series that's become a benchmark for other sports video games. Rather, MLB 14: The Show earns its simulation stripes by continuing the series' tradition of challenging players with mechanics and statistics that mirror the real sport. While MLB's gameplay has changed little this year, no matter what option players select for pitching, fielding and hitting (we'll get to that later), they will fail or succeed as regularly as athletes do in the big leagues.

Yet much like the faithfully-recreated and wildly differing batting stances of hitters in the game, MLB 14: The Show truly makes its mark in the baseball sim series by being one thing: dynamic.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast Special: PAX East 2014 with Capy and Wadjet Eye

Latest episode: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

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