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Deadlight now free for Xbox Live Gold members

As promised, the Tequila Works-developed survival game, Deadlight, is the latest freebie for Xbox Live Gold members. The Xbox 360 game – regularly priced at $15 – will remain free until April 30.

In her review of Deadlight, Joystiq's Jess Conditt said the game "shines in its detailed world-building," though its gameplay "fails to live up to the standard" set by the game's "glorious" art direction.

The Xbox Live Games with Gold program offers two free titles per month to Live subscribers. Earlier this month users were offered a free copy of Hitman: Absolution. Unlike the program's PlayStation counterpart, players can continue to enjoy any games they have downloaded if their Live subscription lapses.
[Image: Tequila Works]

Behind-the-scenes 'Final Hours of Titanfall' app now available

The Final Hours of Titanfall, an in-depth look at the development of Respawn Entertainment's first game, is now available to download on iPad, Windows Surface as well as PC and Mac via Origin for $1.99. Versions of the app are also planned for Android and iPhone, and both a text-only version for Kindle as well as an audiobook version are being considered.

Created over a four-year span by Geoff Keighley, the app is a 25,000-word deep-dive on Titanfall's development and the legal issues that Respawn co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella settled with Activision in May 2012 pryor to West's departure from the developer in March 2013. Keighley conducted interviews with over 80 people to chronicle Respawn's beginnings, which cover the "toxic mix of office politics and creative struggles the build the next great videogame franchise." It also features concept art and videos from the early days of the game's development.

This isn't Keighley's first foray into longform app development, as the behind-the-scenes "Final Hours" series includes an episodic webseries on Square Enix's Tomb Raider reboot, an app for Portal 2 and one detailing the creation of Mass Effect 3.
[Image: EA Games]

The latest Rocksmith 2014 DLC is Garbage (in a good way)



You're not paranoid, Rocksmith 2014 owners: Ubisoft does indeed have more DLC coming your way, and this time it's three hit singles from '90s grunge band, Garbage. Those looking to relive the glory days of Clinton, Beanie Babies and denim overalls can learn to play "Only Happy When It Rains," "I Think I'm Paranoid" and "Stupid Girl."

Songs are available for $2.99 purchased individually, or for $7.99 when purchased as a pack. And don't worry, you don't need to be a '90s kid to get this - everyone with access to Xbox Live, the PSN or Steam can download the songs now.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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Final Skylanders Swap Force character debuting next week at Times Square

Hundreds of ravenous Skylanders fans will swarm the streets of New York next week to herald the arrival of final Swap Force series character Doom Stone during a special giveaway event at Times Square.

On Wednesday, April 23, the first 500 customers who line up at Toys 'R' Us Times Square will receive a free Skylanders toy and a chance to own Doom Stone before the figure is released to the public at large. Costumed Skylanders characters will also be in attendance, giving players the chance to meet some of their questing buddies in real life.

Attendees are advised not to break costumed employees in half and attach them to other Swap Force characters. They probably wouldn't appreciate that.

[Image: Activision]

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Ransack Steam for War of the Vikings

Those of you who woke up this morning with a craving for blood and glory will be happy to learn that publisher Paradox Interactive and developer Fatshark have officially launched War of the Vikings.

Normally this is where we'd outline the historical action game's features, but in this case we can do you one better. Last week our own Richard Mitchell and Anthony Agnello were joined by War of the Vikings producer Gordon Van Dyke for a Joystiq Stream. Don't worry if you missed the initial broadcast, you can find an archive of the entire thing by visiting our original post.

If that hour-long glimpse at the blood-slicked chaos of battle has piqued your interest, you can pick up War of the Vikings from Steam at a price of $25. Alternately, those of you with deeper pockets can spring for the $35 "Blood Eagle" edition of the game which offers an art book, soundtrack and special in-game gear, or the $175 "Valhalla Edition" which features all content found in the Blood Eagle version of the game, along with all future DLC content, a strategy guide, a digital novel, and quite a bit more.
[Image: Paradox Interactive]

New BloodRayne teased by fighting game studio

Arc System Works is teasing a new game called "BRCS," which appears to be related to the BloodRayne franchise. VG247 points out the iconography on the character's medallion and sword are that of red-headed dhampir, Rayne.

In recent years Arc System Works has been best known as a fighting game developer, with Guilty Gear, BlazBlue and Persona Arena to their credit.

However, the company also did Hard Corps: Uprising in 2011, which was a heavy-action sidescroller, so that's also a possibility for this potential BloodRayne game. The last good game to use the license was BloodRayne: Betrayal, a well-executed 2D action game by WayForward.
[Image: Arc]

Steam's Daily Deal offers System Shock 2 at half price

If your life is painfully lacking in malevolent AI and angry, telekinetic monkeys, today is your lucky day: Steam is currently offering survival horror classic System Shock 2 at a 50 percent discount.

Co-developed by Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studios, and designed by BioShock maestro Ken Levine, System Shock 2 drops players into the dark corridors of a faster than light spaceship where a routine rescue operation has gone horribly wrong. Armed with scavenged weaponry and a handful of special powers, players must battle the twisted denizens of deep space, all the while being mocked by SHODAN, a once helpful AI that has started to lose her virtual marbles.

Despite being a "Daily Deal," System Shock 2 will remain at its current $5 price point until Monday, April 21 at 10AM PT. Would-be players need not worry about system compatibility, as Steam offers System Shock 2 in PC, Mac and Linux flavors.
[Image: Night Dive Studios]

Broken Sword 5, Episode 2 out today on Windows, Mac, Linux


The second episode of Revolution Software's classic-styled point-and-click adventure game Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse is out today on Steam, Good Old Games and Get Games, finishing up heroic duo George and Nico's latest globetrotting journey.

The first episode of The Serpent's Curse launched late last year for PC and mobile platforms. Broken Sword 5 exceeded its Kickstarter goal in 2012 during a boom period for crowdfunded point-and-click adventure game projects, earning nearly $800,000 in backer pledges.

Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse - Episode 2 is due to hit the PlayStation Vita, iOS and Android devices soon.

[Video: Revolution Software]

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Eufloria Adventures hits PS Mobile this week

Omni Systems brings its latest project to the PlayStation Vita and supported Android platforms this week with the release of Eufloria Adventures, a PlayStation Mobile-exclusive follow-up to its ambient real-time strategy game Eufloria.

Eufloria Adventures puts players in control of a single floating Seedling Ship for a series of exploration-based challenges, contrasting the strategic, troop-swarming gameplay of the original Eufloria. Levels are procedurally generated, and players can choose to specialize in Speed, Strength, or Energy attributes as the difficulty ramps up at lower depths.

Eufloria Adventures includes both a casual mode focusing on low-key exploration and a roguelike mode for hardcore players. The game is available from the PlayStation Store for $7.99.

[Image: Omni Systems]

Chaos Reborn funded, births in 2015

Julian Gollop, the creator of X-COM: UFO Defense, has hit the $180,000 goal for Chaos Reborn, an update to his 1985 strategy game, Chaos: The Battle of Wizards. Unlike many, many projects seeking funding on Kickstarter, this game is already in a solid prototype state. We know, because we streamed it with Gollop as our adversary.

The prototype of Chaos Reborn is accessible through the game's Kickstarter page. The game itself now has the funding to gussy up the graphics and hopefully make its May 2015 launch on PC, Mac and Linux.
[Image: Gollop]

Bust-A-Move 4 on the PlayStation Network this spring

Natsume announced that it will release a digital PSone Classics version of Taito's Bust-a-Move 4 this spring, bringing the classic bubble-bursting puzzler to the PlayStation 3, PSP, and PS Vita.

Bust-a-Move 4 expands on the color-matching gameplay of Taito's arcade-born Puzzle Bobble series with new pulley mechanics, challenging players to balance bubble clusters throughout its single-player Puzzle mode. The game also includes a friendship-straining competitive Versus mode, along with an Edit mode that allows players to create and save up to 25 custom level layouts.

A specific release date for Bust-a-Move 4 was not announced.

[Image: Natsume / Taito]

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Indie Royal Bundle 12 says you are not a banana

The Debut 12 Bundle from Indie Royale is live. The pay-what-you-want bundle features eight independent titles looking for Steam Greenlight campaign support: Yrminsul, Selknam Defense, Luna's Wandering Stars, Rot Gut, Storm over the Pacific, You Are Not A Banana: Chapter 1, Pester and GEARCRACK Arena.

At the time of publishing, the bundle's average purchase price is $2.92. By raising the minimum of $5, Indie Royale is offering a bonus album of independent music.

All games in the bundle are available for Windows via the Desura distribution. The sale ends in less than seven days.
[Image: Indie Royale]

Bethesda under fire from barbed wire industry, reports The Onion

Image The Evil Within publisher Bethesda Softworks is under fire from the barbed wire lobby for its portrayal of the industry's spiked resource, The Onion has learned. Remember: The Onion. [Image: Bethesda]... Continue Reading

Infamous: Second Son patch adds Photo Mode, subtracts bugs


Infamous: Second Son lead Delsin Rowe might be able to shoot burst of smoke from his hands and run up walls as a streak of light, but he's not perfect. Hence, developer Sucker Punch has outlined plans for a patch that it hopes to release as soon as April 17.

The highlight of the patch is the addition of "Photo Mode," a new feature designed to make it even easier to capture screenshots of virtual Seattle. Once the patch is installed, players will find a toggle for Photo Mode within the Infamous: Second Son options menu. As long as the option is enabled, players can click the L3 button (that is, the left analog stick) to enter Photo Mode which superficially functions like the PlayStation 4's built-in screenshot capture mechanism, but offers expanded photo editing options, such as adjustable depth of field. For more, see the above video, which Sucker Punch describes as a Photo Mode tutorial.

Additionally, the patch squashes a few game-crashing bugs, automatically pauses Infamous: Second Son if a controller runs out of juice and adds a clear notification of whether or not players are eligible for the "Unstoppable" trophy, which is earned by beating the game on Expert difficulty.

PlayStation 4 sales exceed 7 million so far

Sales of Sony's PlayStation 4 have exceeded 7 million worldwide, the manufacturer announced today. Games are going along with them, according to internal estimates from Sony Computer Entertainment, selling to the tune of over 20.5 million copies as of early April. This figure includes retail sales in addition to those made online.

Major releases on PlayStation 4 ($399.99) and its competitor, Xbox One ($499.99), are still sporadic, roughly six months after their November launches. However, both are beefing up their portfolios with independent games, and both are coming off well-received flagships: Titanfall and Infamous: Second Son.

The PlayStation 4 is also pursuing a virtual reality component in Project Morpheus, while Microsoft is lining up Xbox One with the likes of Steven Spielberg in its television spinoff, Xbox Entertainment Studios.
[Image: Sony]

Obsidian gives your ears a taste of the Pillars of Eternity soundtrack



Just because we can't play old school-inspired, Kickstarter success Pillars of Eternity right now doesn't mean we can't experience it. Developer Obsidian has released a score from the game's soundtrack to give anxious adventurers a taste of what to expect when the game releases later this year. The music is an ambient background tune for the Dyrford Village area.

Audio Director Justin Bell noted in a forum post that he looks to the Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale) for inspiration, blending "tropes found in European folk and pre-Renaissance modal music" with modern techniques. Bell also wrote that he listens for inspiration during his daily commute to work, and that he reads Johann Sebastian Bach daily.

Video games: classy stuff.
[Image: Obsidian]

Pre-order Wolfenstein: The New Order, earn Team Fortress 2 hats

Alternate history Nazi shooter Wolfenstein: The New Order is now available for pre-order via Steam, and Valve has opted to sweeten the deal by offering free Team Fortress 2 hats to anyone who plunks down early cash for the PC game.

Though Valve's announcement makes no mention of what exactly these hats will look like, it does describe them as both "exclusive" and patterned after some element of Wolfenstein: The New Order. Whether that means historically inaccurate pickelhaubes or the combination helmet and gas mask worn by the grunts in this trailer remains to be seen, but, again, these are free bonuses so try not to look this gift horse in the mouth.

Alongside the newly-revealed gratis chapeaus, a pre-order of Wolfenstein: The New Order also grants players access to a beta of id Software's next entry in the hallowed DOOM franchise. However, as we mentioned earlier this month, that beta will only be available to those who pre-order Wolfenstein: The New Order on PC, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.

Zenimax Media files trademark for 'Nuka Cola'

Bethesda Softworks parent company Zenimax Media recently filed three separate trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the term "Nuka Cola," a phrase that should be very familiar to Fallout fans.

Not just the favorite carbonated beverage of the post-apocalypse, Nuka Cola is also a handy energy source, and wily vault dwellers have even been known to craft the sugary goop into a deadly weapon. While it's currently unclear what Zenimax plans to do in the event the trademark is granted, it is notable that the applications were filed "based on intent to use," as opposed to "based on use in commerce," despite the fact that Nuka Cola appears frequently in both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. This suggests that instead of attempting to protect an existing product, Zenimax has new plans for the Nuka Cola name.

When contacted, Zenimax offered no further information, but we can be reasonably sure the media company is not planning to launch a line of Fallout-themed soft drinks. Two of the trademark applications apply specifically to computer games and related electronic services, while the third applies to branded clothing items. About a year ago, Zenimax renewed its trademark on the Fallout name, however, so it's possible this Nuka Cola trademark may tie in to any upcoming sequels Bethesda has planned for the roleplaying franchise.
[Image: Zenimax Media]

Tackle 'Son of the Crawmerax' in final Borderlands 2 DLC

Developer Gearbox Software has released its final piece of Borderlands 2 DLC. Headhunter 5: Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of the Crawmerax is available now via Steam, PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Marketplace for $2.99.

The content sends players to Wam Bam Island to partake in the largest Headhunter DLC mission released, according to a 2K blog post. "At the end of your adventure, you will battle a foe that may look familiar – Crawmerax Jr., the son of the great crab worm from The Secret Armory of General Knoxx add-on from the original Borderlands."

The content now shelves the Borderlands sequel, giving developer Gearbox ample time to focus its efforts on the next installment of the game: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.

Successfully completing the Headhunter 5: Sir Hammerlock Versus the Son of the Crawmerax DLC (boy, that's a mouthful) will allow players to wear a shrunken version of the final enemy's head like a hat. If swanky travel duds are more of an incentive, each character will net a beach-themed skin as part of the content. Taking on Handsome Jack in an "Aloha shirt"? Say no more.
[Image: Gearbox]

Naughty Dog announces final season pass DLC for The Last of Us

Naughty Dog will finish out its planned season pass content for The Last of Us with new weapons, additional multiplayer maps, and a new single-player gameplay mode as part of the upcoming Grounded Bundle.

Grounded Mode puts a new, difficult spin on The Last of Us' single-player campaign, pitting players against "relentless, smart, and brutal" enemy mobs throughout. Naughty Dog notes that survival in the new mode will be "near impossible," and claims that the "Completed Grounded Mode" challenge will be one of the most difficult Trophies players will earn.

The Grounded Bundle additionally features the Reclaimed Territories Map Pack, adding the Wharf, Capitol, Coal Mine, and Water Tower maps to the game's multiplayer component. Players may opt to expand their arsenal with the Survivalist Weapon Bundle, which introduces the multiplayer-only Specter, Double Barrel, Enforcer, and Launcher weapons. Also arriving are the Situational Survival Skills and Professional Survival Skills bundles, which enhance character abilities in online battles.

Grounded Mode will be priced at $4.99 as a standalone download. The Reclaimed Territories Map Pack is priced at $9.99, the Survivalist Weapon Bundle is $5.99, and the Survival Skills Bundles are $3.99 apiece. All upcoming content is included as part of The Last of Us' $19.99 season pass, but interested players may want to hop on the deal soon, as the season pass bundle will be discontinued in mid-May.

A release date for Grounded Bundle content has not been announced.

[Image: Naughty Dog]

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

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