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Dwarf Fortress will crush your CPU because creating history is hard

Like much of the collection at New York's Museum of Modern Art, Dwarf Fortress is a baffling, inscrutable mess. But with proper interpretation, even the most intimidating forms can provide for moments of admiration. Polygon sat down with one of the creators of Dwarf Fortress, Tarn Adams, to talk about his work. We wanted to take just a piece of the whole — world creation — and unpack it. To make it digestible. And in the process we found a whole new respect for the game. The opening cinematic of Dwarf Fortress. I met a traveller Dwarf Fortress has been made over the last decade by Tarn and his brother Zach. Version .40 was just released a few weeks ago and the focus of the game is, as it has always been, enabling players to lead a small colony of dwarves in building a fortress. But...
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Batman: Arkham Knight DLC to include a Red Hood story mission (update)

Batman: Arkham Knight may feature an add-on story mission starring the violent vigilante Red Hood, according to allegedly leaked GameStop promotional materials posted by Batman News. The above picture — in addition to the previously-announced playable Harley Quinn DLC — mentions the Red Hood Story Pack, in which players can "play as the ruthless vigilante." The picture also notes the pack is pre-order bonus and exclusive to GameStop. Yesterday afternoon, GameStop tweeted a blurry image of what looks like the Red Hood character shown in the above materials. The tweet mentions an announcement connected to the image and a "big game" coming today, July 23. In Batman lore, the Red Hood's identity has frequently changed, but one of his first incarnations was as the Joker's original form in...
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Kickstarter suspends Ex-STALKER devs' Areal campaign, West Games turns to direct funding

Areal, the game pitched as a colorful, open-world post-apocalyptic adventure from "senior ex-S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developers," found success on Kickstarter, but now the project has been suspended and all pledges have been canceled. According to a message sent to Kickstarter backers today, "A review of the project uncovered evidence that it broke Kickstarter's rules." Now the developer has turned to direct funding through its own website in an effort to finance Areal. The suspension of Areal's Kickstarter hit with less than 48 hours to go in its fundraising campaign. The developer, West Games, had raised nearly $65,000, well beyond its original $50,000 fundraising goal. Kickstarter doesn't disclose why it suspends campaigns, but said it will take such action if campaigns misrepresent or...
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The Crew beta gameplay video - From Detroit to Seattle

Earlier this week, Ubisoft's open-world driving game The Crew entered its closed beta testing phase, giving a few drivers access to the game's enormous, America-shaped playground. Check out the video above to see some of our experiences in action, including car shopping, customization, dynamic challenges and a few of the game's story-based missions. For more context on what you're seeing, check out our half-hour Overview on the game below, in which we take a road trip from Detroit to St. Louis in the very realistic span of about ten minutes.
Culture
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Find out which experimental games excite Korean devs

Note: A few frames of the above video are not suitable for work. A group of Korean game developers were inspired by GDC's Experimental Gameplay Workshop to host their own curated games exhibition. The festival, called Out of Index, opened for submissions June 22nd and just a short month later the games were demonstrated at a small party in South Korea. "People say ‘There is nothing new under the sun,'" reads OOI's mission statement. "Does that mean there wouldn't be any new grammar [of gameplay] then? No! "We would like to inspire new energy to the Korean game industry through various experimentation [sic]." The showcase featured 14 games, including Western games like David OReilly's Mountain. Check out the video for the highlights. You can find information, including videos, about...
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Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas Arachnid Quarter - Overview video

Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas single-player expansion has been a long time coming, but it's finally here! To celebrate the new content and the new cards, I invited fellow card game nerd Griffin McElroy to check out the freshly-launched Arachnid Quarter. We face down each of the new AI-controlled bosses on Normal mode, marvel at their crazy abilities and make all sorts of hilarious mistakes. Griffin and I will be back checking out each new wing of Curse of Naxxramas as they go live over the coming weeks.
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Heroes of the Storm's newest character plucked from World of Warcraft's comic

The latest hero to join Blizzard's upcoming "hero brawler" Heroes of the Storm is Rehgar Earthfury, an Orc shaman heralding from World of Warcraft's comic book series. Blizzard shared a new video today showing comic character (and action figure) Rehgar in action. He will be primarily useful as a support character, with high survivability and utility and with his damage dealing and complexity in the middle range for Heroes' fighters. His main abilities are Bloodlust — a move that will temporarily boost his and his allies' attack and movement speeds — and Ancestral Healing — an ability that can heal one or multiple allies at once. Rehgar's unique hero trait is Ghost Wolf, which allows him to turn into a fast-moving wolf ghost to chase down opponents or quickly flee a battle. He will...
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Battlefield Hardline delayed to 2015

Battlefield Hardline has been delayed to early 2015, Electronic Arts announced today, saying that the development teams want to spend more time developing the game to ultimately deliver a better product. "Back at E3, we launched a beta for Hardline — we wanted to not only show you the game, but to let you play it for yourselves," Karl Magnus Troedsson, DICE vice president and group GM, wrote on the Battlefield blog. "Millions of you jumped in and had a great time. As a result, the Visceral Games team learned a lot from players about what they wanted in the game. We've been pouring over the data and feedback, and have already been putting a lot of it right into the game and sharing it directly with you. "This feedback also spurred us to start thinking about other possibilities and...
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Dragon Age: Inquisition delayed to Nov. 18

Dragon Age: Inquisition, the upcoming role-playing title from BioWare, has been delayed and is now set for release Nov. 18 in North America and Nov. 21 in Europe, the studio announced today. Publisher Electronic Arts had originally set the release date for Oct. 7, so the new date represents a delay of six weeks. In an open letter on the game's website, executive producer Mark Darrah said, "While this extra few weeks may not seem like a lot, I know the game you'll play will be all the better for it." Darrah added, "This last bit of time is about polishing the experience we want you to see. Ensuring that our open spaces are as engaging as possible. Strengthening the emotional impact of the Hero's choices. And ensuring the experience you get is the best it can be in the platform you...
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The Crew closed beta - Overview video

Grab your Funyuns and your Yoo-hoo, because we're going on a road trip. There's a lot to do in Ubisoft's open-world driving game The Crew — even in the game's closed beta test, which went live earlier this week. You can buy cars, equip them with different specialties and performance-boosting upgrades, and plaster them with tribal tattoos. You can go through story-based missions, or drive around looking for the dynamic challenges that pepper the nation's roadways. My favorite activity, though, is just driving through our hyper-condensed country, and seeing what cities made the cut. (Congratulations to Greenup, Illinois!) In the half-hour Overview above, Chris Plante and I hit the open road, taking a leisurely drive from Detroit to St. Louis. If our chattering is making it difficult to...
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Walking Dead's momentum leads to this violent, brutal, shocking moment

The video above contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 4, as well as some very intense violence. If either of those things concern you, you'd best click out of this story right away and don't read further.Last chance before we get into spoiler country! All gone? Okay. Early into "Amid the Ruins," Clementine is forced to kill a zombie up close and personal. This isn't shocking in and of itself. Clem has murdered lots of zombies throughout the season. What makes this especially harsh is that she's essentially "putting down" the zombified form of Nick, one of the companions she's been traveling with for a couple of episodes now. It's worth noting that it's possible to never see this scene. If Nick has died earlier in your playthrough of Season 2, he won't show...
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Invisible, Inc. is more interested in quiet observation than murder

For Invisible, Inc. players, failure is sometimes an option. Don't Starve developer Klei Entertainment's new game doesn't expect players to succeed all the time, and it's not about to punish the occasional slip-up. Invisible, Inc. is a game about information: what you know, what you don't and the uncertain shades in-between. Players control a team of spies as they creep through procedurally generated levels. As spies progress, peeking around doors and disabling guards and cameras as they go, the level's layout gradually becomes clearer. But like navigating an individual level itself, Invisible, Inc. is about the larger picture — gathering enough resources to complete the game's final mission. Invisible, Inc. requires thinking on your feet. Still, if you trip just before the finish...
Review
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6.0

The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 4 review: existential crisis

Everyone you know and love will one day die. It's true for all of us, but Telltale's Walking Dead series — now nearing the end of its second season — has always done an especially powerful job of putting mortality at the forefront. In "Amid the Ruins," Season 2's fourth episode, that tension at the heart of the series is as loud and clear as it's ever been. Every moment of hope is contrasted by a devastating setback. Longtime companions fall before the episode is done, and protagonist Clementine finds herself in increasingly dire situations. This formula has done Telltale well in the past, but something is off in "Amid the Ruins." The normally brilliant characterization and writing of the series is less consistent. The plodding arc of the episode feels as exhausted and hopeless as...
Video
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League of Legends new cinematic trailer could be its best yet

Riot Games released its latest League of Legends cinematic trailer to its official YouTube page today, featuring a lineup of familiar champions, with a cast ranging from Ahri to Zyra. Coming in at just over six minutes long, "A New Dawn" sees "day [breaking] over a landscape consecrated by blood and steel," according to the official video blurb. In other words, it's a lot of combat. "I think we wanted players to come away with this feeling a stronger connection to the characters they play as," said Riot animator Rylan Davies in a behind-the-scenes talk. "I play Jax a lot and seeing him in cinematic form gives you a lot more of an attachment to the character." "I think it's just about fleshing things out," he continues. "Who are these characters? What is the world really like that...
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Wildstar's next major content drop is PvP heaven

Wildstar's next major content update — Sabotage — will introduce a plethora of player-versus-player options to the game, including a 15-on-15 battleground arena, developer Carbine Studios announced today. Slated for release later this month, the multiplayer mode Sabotage includes new airstrike and explosive options as well as mounts in its massive Daggerstone Pass battleground arena, which players can access once they hit level 30. Within Daggerstone Pass, the objective is to capture and hold certain points within it, which will in turn assist teams in damaging the enemy team's base. Bombs will randomly spawn near bases and can be used by players for various functions — just know they will begin ticking down as soon as they are picked up. According to Carbine, Sabotage's content...
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Endless Legend seeks the perfect imbalance to keep players exploring and exterminating

Most game designers strive for a state of perfect balance, a happy occlusion in which all parts of a game come together in a tight fit.But for Amplitude Studios, the opposite is true, at least for its turn-based strategy game Endless Legend. The Paris-based outfit wants to make sure that its game is in a constant state of imbalance, so that its players inhabit a universe that is constantly surprising. "I can guarantee you that the game will never be 100 percent balanced," said lead designer Romain de Waubert, in an interview with Polygon. "That is the nature of true asynchronous gameplay. It is always fascinating to see people playing a new way, a new strategy, to beat the game or another player." Endless Legend is a hex-based top-down 4X game (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate)...
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