Claim a free game and give up the right to sue over Assassin's Creed Unity

Those who bought the season pass for Assassin's Creed Unity are off and downloading their free game now, a make-good for Ubisoft shipping broken game that needed four patches in its first month. Game Informer offered a useful reminder that's worth repeating here: You're giving up legal rights by accepting the free game. It basically says in 200 words what Ubisoft wants you to say in five: "I will not sue you," whether for the busted game or the fact giving away free DLC devalues the season pass you bought. The waiver is buried in the mile of legal text that no one ever reads, but they're required to say they have before they can get their stuff. This makes it a little more clear why Ubisoft (or any publisher) would do something this. It's not because it's an apology or good PR. As...

Someone made the Star Wars trailer in GTA 5, and they actually pulled it off

There have been some ... less-than-worthy remakes of the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but this is not one of them. Even working within the limitations of Grand Theft Auto 5, Powerlight-13 of YouTube gets the job done thanks to superb aerial choreography. If you need a frame of reference (like you haven't watched it 6,237 times already), here's the original: Powerlight-13 has a slew of other in-GTA remakes, ranging from Godzilla to Breaking Bad to Back to the Future. Enjoy them here.
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

Chris Roberts says there's plenty of room in the verse for No Man's Sky and Elite: Dangerous

Chris Roberts, the man behind the Wing Commander series and the upcoming space simulation Star Citizen shared his hearty congratulations to the team behind Elite: Dangerous on their launch this week, saying that space sims are "finally getting the love they deserve." Elite: Dangerous was launched by Frontier Developments on Dec. 16. After more than two years in development, founder David Braben himself pushed the big red button sending the final code live to players. Roberts said it was a moment worth celebrating. "I know that many Star Citizen backers imagine there to be an intense competition between our game and Elite," Roberts wrote. "Nothing could be further from the truth. David and I promoted each other’s projects during our respective crowd funding periods because we both...

Try this short, sweet interactive story for free

Device 6 and The Sailor's Dream creator Simogo has a special Christmas gift for fans this year in the form of a short, free interactive story called The Sensational December Machine, the developer announced via its website. "The year is almost over, and it's that time of the year when you look back, get a bit contemplative and perhaps even a little misty eyed," the post reads. "What we found looking back, is that we always get so much support and kindness from our fans, and we wanted to find a way to express our gratitude. So, we've spent the last three weeks creating this thing as a Christmas present for you, our dear fans." As described on Simogo's website, The Sensational December Machine is the story of an inventor and her "unusual" creation. It's available for Windows PC and Mac...

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Exo Zombies mode, Hollywood talent teased in trailer

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Exo Zombies mode will bring more Hollywood actors to the first-person shooter when it launches next month, publisher Activision announced today. A teaser trailer released today offers some glimpses of the creatures players will be fighting. This time around, they're not regular zombies — they're Exo Zombies. The cooperative Exo Zombies mode will feature John Malkovich (Con Air), Bill Paxton (Edge of Tomorrow), Rose McGowan (Planet Terror) and John Bernthal (Fury). It's unclear if the actors will lend their voices to Advanced Warfare, or if their likenesses and performance capture will also appear in the game, like Kevin Spacey's starring role in the campaign as Jonathan Irons. (The trailer features narration from Malkovich.) The first chapter of Exo...

Far Cry 4's next DLC adds permadeath Jan. 13

Far Cry 4 will become more punishing Jan. 13 when the Escape from Durgesh Prison downloadable content adds permadeath to Ubisoft Montreal's open-world first-person shooter, Ubisoft announced this week. The $9.99 DLC will be free to those who purchased the game's $29.99 Season Pass. Escape from Durgesh Prison will team up Far Cry 4 protagonist Ajay Ghale and the half-crazy Far Cry 3 veteran Hurk. Naked, bereft of weapons and thrown into prison, the duo will have to compete in a series of time trials for a spot on the game's leaderboards. The DLC will be playable in single player or co-op modes. To amp up the challenge, when players die, they'll need to start over at the beginning and use what they've learned to try again. For more on the game, which was released last month for...

Hatred, free speech and one developer's connections with Poland's far right (correction)

When Hatred was revealed to the world in October the team behind it, Poland's Destructive Creations, called it a "genocide crusade." In the announcement trailer a nameless man in a black trench coat murders every living person he can find, violently and indiscriminately. While the game itself was troubling to many, more concerning to some were the political affiliations of key members of the team including the CEO Jaroslaw Zielinski.In an effort to learn more about the social landscape in Poland, and to properly understand the political leanings of several members of the Hatred development team, Polygon reached out to Never Again, an organization that monitors Polish hate groups. They describe the groups which members of the Hatred team "like" on Facebook as racist, neo-fascist and...
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The 2014 Steam Holiday Sale begins now

Valve just kicked off its annual Steam Holiday Sale, with discounts galore on games across the Steam Store. The sale follows Valve's three-day Steam Holiday Auction, in which Steam users could bid on games with Steam Community items such as trading cards, backgrounds and emoticons. It will run until 10 a.m. PT on Jan. 2, 2015. New deals will appear every 12 hours. Valve ran the Steam Exploration Sale around Black Friday, and offered discounts earlier this month on titles nominated for The Game Awards. You can check out the holiday discounts on the Steam Store.

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...

Street Fighter 5 being developed in Unreal Engine 4

Street Fighter 5 is in development in Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4, the company announced today. "Our goal with the next generation of Street Fighter is to take our beloved fighting game franchise and bring it to our fans in the best way possible," said Bochan Kim, producer at Capcom, in a press release from Epic. "In order to fully deliver on that promise, we know we have to incorporate the latest and greatest technology available, which is why we partnered with Epic Games to power Street Fighter V using Unreal Engine 4." "This opportunity to help the development team using Unreal Engine 4 for the new title is a great honor for Epic, and I couldn't be more proud," said Taka Kawasaki, territory manager of Epic Games Japan. "Support staff" from both Epic Games Japan and Epic's...

World of Warcraft's toughest boss took 18 minutes to die

Bringing down Imperator Mar'gok is the most difficult boss battle in Blizzard's latest expansion to World of Warcraft, Warlords of Draenor. Only four guilds have been able to do it on the hardest difficulty. The one who did it the fastest is called Paragon. Warlords of Draenor reviewed very well at Polygon, receiving a 9.5 on our 10-point scale. Blizzard says that the expansion has breathed new life into the franchise, with now more than 10 million subscribers. If you've been wondering, this video clearly shows what modern high-level WoW play is all about.

Solving laser puzzles and the meaning of life in The Talos Principle

The Talos Principle demands that you dig into some pretty heady stuff, whether it's philosophical ponderings on the nature of consciousness and artificial intelligence, or a super tricky laser puzzle. In the Overview video above, we dive headfirst into both. It's all very erudite, until, inevitably, we get stuck for a full two minutes on a block puzzle the likes of which you probably solved in kindergarten. Humiliation, thy name is puzzle games. The Talos Principle is available now on Steam for $35.99.

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...

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is available for download on Steam right now

As promised this August, Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is now available for download on Valve's Steam service. Previously only available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, the PC version of Ground Zeroes is only the second Metal Gear game to come to Steam after Metal Gear Rising was released earlier this year. Its release arrives after the first videos of Metal Gear Online surfaced at The Game Awards earlier this month. The game is timed to unlock at approximately 1:00 PM eastern time. If everything goes as expected, players can look forward to enhanced graphical option including 4k support.

Time to choose your free game, Assassin's Creed Unity players

Ubisoft's website for selecting a free game as part of its mea culpa for problems with Assassin's Creed Unity is now live. In November, Ubisoft promised Unity's upcoming downloadable content, Dead Kings, free to players due to the game's many problems. Those who had already purchased the season pass were also promised The Crew, Far Cry 4, Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Rayman Legends or Just Dance 2015 for free. To claim a game, players must select the same platform they used to play Assassin's Creed Unity — Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or Windows PC — and log into Uplay. Eligible players will be able to select a game until the offer expires on March 15, 2015. Following its launch in November, Assassin's Creed Unity was plagued with more than two dozen bugs and glitches....

Minecraft to get an episodic, story-based game from Telltale Games

Minecraft has always focused on the creative, open nature of the game's world rather than try to craft any kind of story-based single-player mode, but today Mojang has announced a deal with Telltale Games that will lead an episodic game called Minecraft: Story Mode. The content will launch next year on "Xbox consoles, PlayStation consoles, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android-based devices." You can also get this news in game form, if you'd like, and the dialog in this little widget actually explains why the new game is being made. "We've begun to realize that there's a massive demand for fiction set in the Minecraft universe. People love engaging the world, whether they're building, adventuring, or role-playing an awesome Creeper slayer," the game says. "The tricky bit is working out how to...

The Talos Principle review: human interest

The Talos Principle takes one part Portal, one part Myst, and one part Asimov and weaves them together. I might have some of you right there, I know. In many ways, The Talos Principle covers ground that other games have touched before, mixing first-person puzzle platforming within developer Croteam's Serious Sam engine with a script from Tom Jubert, the mind behind The Swapper and FTL, and co-writer Jonas Kyratzes. That combination might seem strange — Croteam has never done subtle, after all, and minimalism practically defines Jubert's previous work while Kyratzes has authored a series of smaller indie titles as well. But Croteam has built a challenging, beautiful game that serves as a wonderful vehicle for some very serious questions about humanity, the technology we create,...

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...

The Sims 4's latest patch brings you holiday cheer and much-needed time off

The holidays have come to The Sims 4 with special items and additional updates that add new careers and paid time off for your exhausted Sim, Electronic Arts announced via its website. New content is available with the game's latest patch. The Holiday Celebration Pack adds a wreath, snowman, wall decorations and special sweaters; it's available to download for free through Origin. Other additions include the Business and Athletic careers, which add new outfits, rewards and more. Working Sims can also now take PTO to relieve stress, or family leave to prepare for a new baby. The patch also resolves several bugs and performance issues, and adds access to additional cheat codes. A list of detailed changes and updates is available on EA's website. For more on The Sims 4, check out our...

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...

Lords of the Fallen's sequel is in development

Lords of the Fallen, the Dark Souls-inspired action role-playing game from developer Deck13 Interactive, is getting a sequel, executive producer Tomasz Gop told Eurogamer. "We're now working on vision and concepts for Lords 2," Gop said in an email. Gop was a senior producer at CD Projekt Red who led the development on The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings before he joined Deck13 in 2012. Yesterday, CI Games, which co-produced Lords of the Fallen with Deck13, announced that Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is in development. In November, CI Games CEO Marek Tyminski told Polygon that the studio has two AAA games in development, though it's unclear whether the next Lords of the Fallen constitutes that second game. For more on Lords of the Fallen, which was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and...
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