GTA Online now features adorable snowball fights and ugly sweater 'parties'

Grand Theft Auto Online players hoping to celebrate the holidays in Los Santos can download the "Festive Surprise" update to add snowball fights, Christmas sweaters and more, Rockstar Games announced today. A new homing missile launcher and proximity mines are available permanently, as are new vehicles Hot Rod Christmas Ratloader, Slam Van, and the Massacro and Jester sports cars. Players can now own a third garage to stash their cars, and weapons can be found at in-game store Ammu-Nation. Other additions include seasonal clothing items such as scarves, masks and holiday pajamas for free. These items will be available until Jan. 5. Special holiday crate drops will also begin dropping "frequently" until that end date. Check out the full update on Rockstar's site. For more on G...

Majesco, deeply troubled, infused with $6 million from investors

Majesco Entertainment, the financially troubled video game developer and publisher, secured $6 million in funding from "certain accredited investors," the company announced today. Of the total funds, "approximately" $1 million is available now. The balance will be placed in escrow and disbursed later, pending conditions like stockholder approval. The investors purchased Majesco sock shares at $0.68 per unit. As of this writing, Majesco's shares are trading at $0.59 per share on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Majesco, the publisher of games like Zumba Fitness series, has faced financial difficulties throughout the last few years. In March 2013, Nasdaq gave Majesco 180 calendar days to raise its stock price or face delisting if it remained below $1 per share. In August 2013, Majesco...
Cover Story
Issue 02

Dec. 9, 2014

The fall of THQ

Former employees explain what went wrong for the once-strong game publishing empire.

Read more

Lords of the Fallen will take over Android and iOS next year

Lords of the Fallen, developer Deck13 Interactive's Dark Souls-inspired action role-playing game, is going mobile and will arrive on Android and iOS in 2015, according to a tweet from the game's official Twitter account this week. Released in late October on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC, Lords of the Fallen was co-developed by CI Games. It's unclear whether the Android and iOS version will be ports of the existing game or a derivative version. We've contacted the developer and publisher Bandai Namco for more information and will update this story as we receive it. For those who don't want to wait for the mobile version, Lords of the Fallen is on sale at GameStop this week. UPDATE: Console and PC RPG #LordsoftheFallen will be released on iOS and Android devices in 2015! p...

Plex media streaming comes to PlayStation, but not to America ... yet

The video streaming application Plex has been made available on the Sony app store, and is compatible with the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4. There are no plans to support PlayStation Vita or PlayStation TV. Plex allows users to maintain their own personal collection of video files on a home server and stream that video to multiple devices in their home. This includes iOS, Android, Macintosh and Windows PC platforms as well as devices like Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku and Vizio televisions. Users have been clamoring for a PlayStation option for some time, and starting today Plex is rolling their new application out worldwide. In a blog post published today Plex stated that it actually began work on the PlayStation app before the Xbox One app. Only now is it complete, and has been...

2014 in review: The sports video game of the year

Six months ago at E3, writers and critics previewed what looked like the year's best sports title. It completely remade its broadcast presentation. It brought in a guy who worked on the Large Hadron Collider to overhaul its physics. Already an acclaimed series, NHL 15 had the clearest path to being the sports video game of the year.Except it left out practically half of the modes and features that had made the series great over the years. Die-hard fans treated it as a betrayal. Polygon's review torched it. For a series with 26 sports video game of the year citations, this was the lowest-scoring NHL title in franchise history. This year, in which all licensed sports series were present on the new console generation for the first time, will be remembered by gamers as a collectively...

Life is Strange's first episode arrives in late January, watch the debut trailer

The first episode of Life is Strange, the five-part adventure game from Remember Me developer Dontnod Entertainment, will be released Jan. 30, 2015, publisher Square Enix announced today. Life is Strange will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The episode will cost $4.99 by itself, and players who buy it will be able to pick up a season pass for the remaining four episodes for an additional $16.99. Those who want to get the entire package from the start can save $1.99 and purchase the complete season bundle, which will be sold on all platforms except Xbox 360, for $19.99. Dontnod expects to release the episodes about six weeks apart. The story of Life is Strange focuses on a teenage girl named Max Caulfield who lives in the fictional...

Gran Turismo 6 now includes Infiniti's gorgeous new concept car

Gran Turismo 6 players can now download the Infiniti Concept Vision Gran Turismo, a beautiful new supercar for the PlayStation 3 driving simulator. After installing update 1.15, Gran Turismo 6 owners can purchase the car or receive it after completing a lap in the game's current Seasonal Event. Check out the video above and the gallery below for closer looks and the story behind the digital car's development. Infiniti created the car as part of Gran Turismo 6's Vision Gran Turismo initiative. "Vision Gran Turismo is a project in which the world's leading brands develop concept cars for Gran Turismo and its fans," a post on the series' official website explains. "Please look forward to more fantastic car models in line to be released in the near future!" For more on the game, be...
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Dragon Age: Inquisition offers 'Destruction,' a free expansion

Dragon Age: Inquisition is offering two expansions, one free and another for $9.99, available now on all platforms. The free upgrade, Destruction, "adds new paths to existing destinations," BioWare says on Dragon Age's official site. "The conflicts raging throughout the world have upset the balance of nature. Wild creatures now roam the battlefield, introducing chaos as they attack both friend and foe." The premium upgrade essentially delivers the special in-game content given to those who ordered the "Inquisitor's Edition" deluxe online version. For $9.99, the Deluxe Upgrade offers two unique mounts, the "Flames of the Inquisition" weapons and armor and a digital soundtrack. The full details are at this link, along with several screenshots. For more on Dragon Age: Inquisition, see...

Bandai Namco changes its name for the second time this year

Bandai Namco Holdings' board of directors made another name change official today: As of April 1, 2015, 20 company subsidiaries will be rebranded from Bandai Namco Games to Bandai Namco Entertainment. "With the advance of technology and diversification of user preferences, the Group has expanded into new products and service domains that extend beyond its previous game business domain," a press release (PDF link) announcing the change explains. You can see the subsidiaries affected in the image below. This is the second name change for the company this year. In February, the parent company rebranded from Namco Bandai Games to Bandai Namco Games. Bandai Namco's latest decision is not without precedent. In January 2007, on the same day that Apple revealed the original iPhone, the...

Despite draft-week tragedy, NBA 2K15 makes rookie's hoop dreams come true

Isaiah Austin was projected to be a top pick in the NBA Draft this June, but then doctors discovered a potentially fatal condition that ended his real-life career. In NBA 2K15, though, he will make his pro debut this week. Less than a week before the NBA Draft, Austin, a 7-foot-1 center from Baylor, was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting the body's connective tissue. His major arteries were found to be abnormally large and at risk of rupture, forcing his immediate and untimely retirement. Austin withdrew from the draft but was still invited to attend it as the guest of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who then promised Austin a job with league upon completion of his college degree. 2K Sports, the maker of the NBA 2K series, recently rendered Austin in-game with...

Destiny update levels up The Dark Below's new raid gear

Destiny's latest update, released today by developer Bungie, makes gear earned in The Dark Below's new raid more worthwhile and more plentiful, the studio announced on its website. Many Destiny players complained about the weapons and armor they'd earned in Crota's End, the raid introduced in The Dark Below, because it wasn't as strong as the gear they had previously equipped to reach level 30. Today's hotfix, which brings Destiny up to version, addresses that issue: "Both existing and future Raid gear obtained in Crota's End now begins at Level 30 with an upgrade path to reach Level 32," said Bungie. Must Read Destiny's Dark Below expansion punishes the game's most important players Until now, it had been impossible to get the raid helmet in Crota's End —...

Destiny is half price at Amazon today on PS4 and Xbox One

Bungie's Destiny is on sale for $29.99 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at Amazon today, as part of the retailer's Gold Box Deal of the Day. The half-price offer is a significantly better deal than most Black Friday specials for Destiny, which dropped the game down to $45. It doesn't apply to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the shooter, although they are still on sale — Amazon has discounted them by 33 percent to $39.99 each. Destiny launched in September, and Activision released the game's first expansion, The Dark Below, a week ago. For more, see our full review of The Dark Below, check out our full review, which may call itself an expansion, but which we say "doesn't establish any legitimate claim to the term."

Get a look at online heists in Grand Theft Auto 5, coming in 'early 2015'

Grand Theft Auto 5's online heists will finally arrive in early 2015, Rockstar Games announced via its website. Online heists add to the game's multiplayer mode with four-player missions in which players plan, prep and (hopefully) pull off a big job. The feature has already been delayed several times; an update last month promised heists after the re-release of the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last month. In an IGN interview with producer and lead mission designer Imran Sarwar, the developer explained that delays happen when content is "not at the level we expect of ourselves." Heists will launch with "five unique strands" that include more than 20 missions and around 20 hours of gameplay. According to Sarwar, heists have taken so long to build because they were more difficult...

YouTube satirists put 'frustration simulator' Destiny in their crosshairs

Justin and John Grosjean, the satirists and filmmakers behind the ludicrous "Skyrim 2012" series two years ago, have set their sights now on Destiny, which they call a "frustration simulator." The duo put out this teaser video for the new series over the weekend, promising a new episode soon that "up[s] the game in every arena since the Skyrim 2012 days." John is the Guardian, Justin is Dinklebot. If this spoof is about frustration and boredom, then it's a solid bet the Cryptarch will feature prominently, in addition to Sepiks Prime. For the three-part Skyrim 2012 series, see this link.

Watch Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's brand new Lord of the Hunt DLC in action

A trailer released this morning for developer Monolith Productions' Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor puts its Lord of the Hunt downloadable content in motion. Set for release today, the $9.99 DLC will offer new monsters, missions, runes and nemeses. Press play above for an overview of each, which are included with the game's $24.99 season pass. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was released this year for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows PC. For more on the game, be sure to read Polygon's review.

Destiny's Dark Below expansion punishes the game's most important players

Destiny could be defended in the past. When others deemed its loot systems broken, I came up with justifications for them. When others declared the game mediocre, I explained why it was one of my favorite games of the year. I committed to this game, and mastered its arcane and counterintuitive systems. Bungie has punished everyone who trusted them or invested time into progressing a Guardian with Destiny: The Dark Below, and vindicated everyone who agreed with the original 6-out-of-10 review scores. The offense that generated the most discussion was Bungie's decision to include the expansion strike in the weekly heroic and nightfall rotation, thereby excluding non-expansion players from participating in the only relevant high-level activities available to them. The Dark Below's sins...

DmC and Devil May Cry 4 headed to PS4 and Xbox One in 2015 with upgrades

DmC: Devil May Cry - Definitive Edition, an expanded and upgraded version of developer Ninja Theory Limited's 2013 franchise reboot, will be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One March 17, 2015, for $39.99, publisher Capcom announced today. Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition is also headed to the same consoles in the summer of 2015, though Capcom did not announce a date or price. DmC: Devil May Cry - Definitive Edition will arrive on the new consoles with the original version's downloadable content as well as new modes of play, running at 60 frames per second in 1080p resolution. Must Read DmC: Devil May Cry's art director explores the series' 'visual rebirth' at GDC "New to DmC: Devil May Cry - Definitive Edition, players will be able to play as Dante's twin brother...

Everyone's in the lineup for Super Mega Baseball

I've been reluctant to jump in on the conversation about diversity and inclusion in video games because so many reactions to it are stridently belligerent, if not ugly. It's also troublesome to my favorite genre, sports, and opens uncomfortable, bottom-line dialogues about equal opportunity when publishers pay zillions for the license of male-only pro leagues and vow to deliver real-life immersion in their marketing promises. Yet there is one game, arriving Tuesday on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, that handles pluralist inclusion so gracefully, within such a marvelous sports experience, that I can't let it pass without comment. Super Mega Baseball, from Metalhead Software of Victoria, B.C., isn't some preachy after-school special, either. It is flat-out the most enjoyable sports...

Bungie bans gamers playing Destiny on modded consoles

Anyone playing Destiny on a modded console risks an immediate and outright ban, Bungie said this week. While not explicitly saying modded consoles were behind cheating in the sci-fi shooter, it's plainly implied."Something else that deserves mention is that the BanHammer has been a-swingin'." the studio wrote in its regular weekly update."Ninja Justice is always swift and final. "A review of the bans applied over the last week shows that all of the affected accounts had logged into Destiny on a modified console at some point," Bungie said. "Play nice! And use the boxes that your favorite retailer 'gave' you." Destiny is available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in addition to the current console generation. YouTube searches easily turn up videos showcasing cheats using modded...

PlayStation Plus gave away more than $1,300 in free games in 2014

The freebie games offered by online services like PlayStation Plus seems like one of the best values in gaming. But is it, really? According to one analysis, the answer is, well, yeah. Push Square, a U.K.-based, PlayStation-oriented publication, went through the entire year's worth of free games released in Europe and North America on PlayStation Plus, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. Yes, the well-known catch is that you get to play these games only if your $50 annual subscription is current. But buying in at that amount returned more than $1,300 in games (£960.64 in the U.K.), according to each game's listed PSN price as of yesterday. Of course, not everyone owns every platform and some games are not preferable for reasons of taste, but in whole numbers it looks like a...

Watch somebody beat part of Destiny: The Dark Below's raid alone

Destiny's first expansion, The Dark Below, has one sensational piece of content: the game's second raid, Crota's End. The second segment of the raid is a difficult sequence that requires all six members of your team to work in close coordination with each other... unless you're this person. [Warning: If you want to go into Crota's End cold, you should stop reading here.] A French Destiny player who goes by Maiky XD on YouTube figured out a way to get past this part of the raid without any teammates. It's not a glitch, but the individual does exploit the level geometry and the glide ability of the Warlock class to float up to a position that affords a view of the entire area. From there, they fire their Ice Breaker sniper rifle across the bridge at the enemies on the other side. Once...
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