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Robin Williams' Genie may be immortalized in World of Warcraft

Wowhead.com, a World of Warcraft database site, found an NPC called "Robin ," in the data for the upcoming WOW expansion Warlords of Draenor. The NPC is associated with a 3D model that looks an awful lot like "Genie," the chatty genie that Williams voiced in Disney's popular animated film, Aladdin. The model appears to be a djinn. There are two other Robin NPCs, also coming in with patch 6.01. The character's presence appears to confirm the story last week that the beloved actor (who died on Aug. 11) would be immortalized in the game. Genie is one of Williams' most well-known performances, and Aladdin one of Disney's highest grossing films of the 1990s. WOW super fan Alix Hope — also known as The Sha of Happiness — found the model a fitting tribute to the actor and his love...
News
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Sexual conquest and emotional connections in Dragon Age: Inquisition

We've seen plenty of games in which romantic encounters are nothing more than sexual challenges. The player manages a character's actions in order to score, and this is counted as a relationship.It's a dynamic rooted in both the competitive, goal-driven nature of games, and the laddish perspectives of many of the people traditionally making games. But things are changing as games, and the people making them, take a more sophisticated approach. Dragon Age: Inquisition, BioWare's big fantasy role-playing game, focuses on the relationships between the character and the non-player characters he or she encounters throughout the story. Players have latitude about who they wish to spend time with, and how. Simply conquering another's affections, and notching a win on the bed-post, is not the...
News
5 Comments

Buy side-scroller Azure Striker Gunvolt on 3DS, get 8-bit throwback Mighty Gunvolt free

Developer Inti Creates is offering a big incentive for buyers of its side-scrolling action game Azure Striker Gunvolt: Players who purchase the Nintendo 3DS game will also get a second game, Mighty Gunvolt, for free. Mighty Gunvolt is a 2D action game that features the star of Azure Striker Gunvolt and Beck from Comcept's Mighty No. 9 as playable characters in a retro 8-bit style. (Inti Creates is also handling development of Mighty No. 9.) Mighty Gunvolt is a graphically simpler take on the main game — a la Castlevania spin-off Kid Dracula and Mighty Final Fight for NES — that takes place across five stages. Mighty Gunvolt features another playable character, the angel Ekoro from developer Inti Creates' suggestive, Japan-only rail shooter, Gal Gun. Takuya Aizu, president and CEO of...
Video
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Caped crusader goes kinda nuts in new Lego Batman 3 trailer

A new trailer for TT Games' Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham today shows Batman in a freaky frenzy over his little buddy Robin. There's no explanation about the dark knight's weird behavior, but we do know that many characters in this game are subverted by evil Brainiac as he seeks to take over the world. It just so happens that this trailer is almost entirely focused on Brainiac and his incredible shrinking device, but we also get a song and dance routine from Joker. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will be released on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Wii U, 3DS and Windows PC this fall
News
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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare isn't coming to Wii U

This year's Call of Duty is skipping the Wii U, developer Sledgehammer Games confirmed today. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was announced in May for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC, with PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions confirmed later. Sledgehammer Games is focusing its efforts on developing the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions, with an unconfirmed studio handling development on previous generation platforms. Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey said today that there won't be a Wii U version of the game, which he explained on Twitter was "an Activision decision." In previous years, Activision confirmed Call of Duty games for Nintendo platforms well after announcing each year's entry. The Wii version of Modern Warfare 3 was announced in Aug. 2011, months after other...
News
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Mad Max developer working on 'surprises,' possibly Just Cause 3

Avalanche Studios, the development house behind Just Cause 2 and the upcoming Mad Max, has just teased "several surprises" for 2015 on its website. In an update titled "we're moving" the studio announced that it's moving its Stockholm office to a bigger space, just a few blocks from the current digs. The post also notes the recent expansion in its New York City-based office, where it currently houses about 90 employees. The move will occur in the fall of 2015, and the new space will afford "greatly increased studio space and state of the art amenities along with all-important high tech infrastructure." Then comes the tease: "Avalanche Studios also has several surprises planned for next year. Keep your eyes on avalanchestudios.com." With all of this talk of gearing up and expanding,...
Deals
12 Comments

Real exoplanets inspire Civilization: Beyond Earth pre-order deal

A pre-purchase offer for Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is now available on Steam, offering early-bird buyers the Exoplanets Map Pack, which includes six custom maps, inspired by real exoplanets. The custom maps include the following exoplanets (list below), with added features from the imaginations of the development team at Firaxis. Publisher 2K Games is offering Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth for $49.99 and Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Classics Bundle, which includes three previous Civilization games, for $69.99. Civilization: Beyond Earth is a turn-based strategy game in which players settle an alien planet, while conquering or treating with neighbors and researching new technologies. It will be released on Oct. 24, 2014. ​Kepler 186f: One of the...
News
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Which games company do developers most want to work for?

A survey of game developers recently asked which outfit they would most like to work for. The answer? Valve. In fact, the Independent Game Developers Association survey of more than 2,200 developers found that Valve was an even more popular choice than working for their own company. Other popular potential employers included Activision Blizzard, BioWare and Ubisoft. Privately-held Valve, which is best known for the Steam retail platform as well as the likes of the Half-Life and Team Fortress series, is well known for eschewing old-fashioned notions of hierarchy and management in favor of individual creativity and production. Here's the full list... Valve My own company Activision Blizzard BioWare Ubisoft Current employer Nintendo Naughty Dog Double Fine Bethesda Game...
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15 Comments

Ghost-catching RPG Youkai Watch could come West next year

Popular Japanese role-playing game Youkai Watch could be coming West next year, developer Level-5's president Akihiro Hino told Japanese publication Zakzak. Youkai Watch launched for Nintendo 3DS in Japan in July, 2013. The game follows the player character — a young boy or girl — and their pet ghost Whisper throughout their quiet hometown, solving mysteries and capturing ghosts for use in battle against other ghosts. Speaking with Zakzak, Hino said Level-5 is currently evaluating Western markets in hopes of bringing the well-loved series to international territories. He noted that the popularity of Japanese culture could mean the game will be successful in non-Japanese regions. "Our plan for next year includes worldwide expansion," Hino said of bringing Youkai Watch West. "I believe...
News
20 Comments

This is the next game from the developer of Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater

Developer The Behemoth, the creator of Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater, has a new game in the works, which it's tentatively calling "Game 4." That new game, set to be revealed soon, is the subject of a new teaser video released today. The Behemoth says development on its next game started shortly before the release of BattleBlock Theater in April 2013. While the studio doesn't provide any real gameplay details on the prototype it's been polishing for more than a year, it says the game "is of a genre we haven't covered before and seek to breathe a new flavor into." Hexagons are prominently on display throughout the teaser, which could point to a hex-based strategy game. Narratively, The Behemoth's new game appears to be about the aftermath of a galactic,...
15 Comments

Get cyberpunks drunk in VA-11 HALL-A, the world's first dystopian booze 'em up

VA-11 HALL-A is an upcoming bartending simulator set in an Anime-style cyberpunk world, from Sukeban Games. In it, the player mixes drinks and chats with the clientele, all of whom live in a bleak, corporate-trampled dystopia. From the game's site: "You are a bartender at VA-11 HALL-A, affectionately nicknamed 'Valhalla.' Although it is just a small bar downtown, it attracts the most fascinating people this side of dystopia. Keep your clients lubricated and you will be made privy to the most interesting stories." Check out the trailer for examples of the drink-mixing, story-driven action. The prologue is available for free now on the game's website, though paying $4.99 nets you the full game when it comes out. The full version of VA-11 HALL-A is due out in December, for MAC, PC and...
News
24 Comments

Driveclub was delayed due to a 'huge technical issue,' says Yoshida

The decision to delay Evolution Studios' racing game Driveclub from the PlayStation 4 launch window into 2014 was due to a large-scale technical issue, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida told Eurogamer. Driveclub was announced alongside the PS4 console reveal in Feb 2013, with Sony touting the social-focused car title as a launch game. That October, with one month to go before the PS4's Nov. 15 launch, the game was delayed into early 2014. This past April, Sony announced that Driveclub had been delayed again, and instead of launching in "early 2014" the game will hit PS4 on Oct. 7. At the time, Evolution Studios' game director Paul Rustchynsky said the delay was due to problems with "primarily just one feature" — the game's dynamic menu system. "We're excited with what D...
News
15 Comments

Interest in motion control may have waned, Sony says, but hold onto those Move controllers

The days of motion gaming are more or less behind us, but throwing away your Move controllers is probably not the best idea. "Motion gaming was a big thing but, like with social games, dance games, music or guitar games, I don’t think there’s a lot of appetite for another motion game at this moment," Sony's Shuhei Yoshida said in a recent interview with Pocket-lint. "However, what we are realising ourselves is that PS Move was a bit ahead of its time — a precise and accurate 3D input device. We were very excited about the possibility of using 3D positional tracking to make games, but it’s really hard to do so with a regular 2D screen." It may not be worth holding your breath for another Move-enabled game on the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4, but that hardware does have another...
News
32 Comments

Xbox 360's 500 GB HD is cheaper than its 320 GB cousin but still expensive (update)

You'll soon have the option to upgrade your Xbox 360 with a 500 GB hard drive for $109.99, according to a product listing on the official Xbox website. Pre-orders for the device are "coming soon," and you can check out an image of the upcoming product below. The Xbox 360 is currently available in 4 GB and 250 GB configurations. The Xbox One ships with a 500 GB internal drive and support for external storage, while a Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare model set for a Nov. 3 release will include a 1 terabyte hard drive. Microsoft's hard drives are the only officially sanctioned way to upgrade the storage in an Xbox 360, and the prices trend higher than naked 500 GB hard drives, which sell for around $50 on Amazon, New Egg and other retailers. Microsoft sells a 320 GB Xbox 360 hard drive,...
News
13 Comments

Ukraine's 4A Games lands in Malta: 'We are not betrayers'

Less than 24 hours ago, the leadership of 4A Games landed in Malta, fleeing the ongoing conflict that ravages Ukraine. The studio announced the move in May, just two months after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the Eastern Ukrainian province of Crimea. "Malta offers fantastic incentives for game development, and we are confident 4A games will be able to attract the very best talent from Ukraine, Malta and beyond," said head of business development Dean Sharpe. Must Read STALKER Fallout: Polygon goes to Kiev In the months since their decision to move the leadership of the company abroad, tensions with Russia have increased. A passenger airliner was downed, killing hundreds and sparking global outcry. The Ukrainian government has reported that Russian forces are...
News
11 Comments

Wasteland 2 will be officially released Sept. 19

More than 25 years after Electronic Arts and Interplay Productions released the first Wasteland for PC, developer InXile Entertainment will officially release that game's sequel. Game director Brian Fargo announced on Twitter today that the game will hit Sept. 19. Wasteland 2 was crowdfunded primarily through Kickstarter, where InXile's campaign raised more than $2.9 million in pledges from backers in 2012. The developer released an Early Access version of the game on Steam last December for Windows PC, following that up with Mac and Linux versions. InXile planned to release the game officially in August, but recently delayed the game to September in order to fulfill physical rewards for Kickstarter backers. For more on Wasteland 2, read Polygon's feature on the game and its creator.
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