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Destiny's version of Venus is a lush, tropical warzone

The real planet Venus seems like a fairly inhospitable place to visit, with its 800 degree Fahrenheit temperatures and carbon dioxide atmosphere, but the version in Bungie's Destiny is described as "a paradise." In a new trailer for Destiny, we get a look at a team of guardians exploring the lost planet, doing battle with enemies like the Vex and the Fallen and what appear to be some pretty intimidating warships. Bungie and publisher Activision recently showed off what Destiny's version of Mars looks like — a red planet filled with alien terrors to shoot. Destiny is coming to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on Sept. 9.
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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor DLC includes a mission playable as Celebrimbor

Downloadable content for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will include a story-based mission in which players control Celebrimbor, the original forger of the Rings of Power and the Wraith attached to protagonist Talion, publisher Warner Bros. announced this morning. The mission is part of the Shadow of Mordor season pass, which will give players access to a handful of additional missions, in-game challenges and runes and skins for Talion. These new missions include the above-mentioned Celebrimbor-focused story — The Bright Lord, in which players will battle against Sauron and his forces — as well as the Lord of the Hunt mission, in which players will stalk the beasts of Mordor to collect unique runes, discover hidden areas and fight more powerful creatures. Exclusive to season pass...
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Get a birds-eye view of hockey in this NHL 15 gameplay video

The latest gameplay trailer for NHL 15 offers players a glimpse of how the game — the first entry in the NHL series to hit PlayStation 4 and Xbox One — will look from an overhead view. The trailer, which you can watch above, kicks off with a match between the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks. It jumps between several other games, offering players a look at how they can watch their team from a broad overview with Dynamic Low, Dynamic Medium and Dymanic High gameplay cameras. NHL 15 will be available Sept. 9; a demo is expected Aug. 26. For more on the game, check out our preview from E3 2014.
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How Halo: The Master Chief Collection is improving on more recent games in the series

Not surprisingly, much of the attention so far lavished on Halo: The Master Chief Collection has focused on Halo 2. That game is celebrating its tenth anniversary and will, by some margin, be the most improved of the four core Halo games included in the package,which is due to be released on Xbox One on Nov. 11. But more recent additions to the franchise, Halo 3 and Halo 4, are also being given significant improvement, according to senior producer Dennis Ries. "We are putting a tremendous amount of work into Halo 3 and Halo 4 as well," said Ries, in a Gamescom presentation attended by Polygon. "You'll see them running at 60 frames per second at 1080p. We've made a lot of improvements to the lighting system and to the shaders and the difference is actually quite dramatic." Halo: The...
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Assassin's Creed Rogue lets you assassinate the assassins

The Assassins Creed series has long allowed players to assume the role of a stealthy assassin who tries to thwart the work of the Knights Templar. Now, the series' developer is giving players a taste of their own medicine by putting them in the shoes of the Templars. "In previous games you were performing all the assassinations," said Assassin's Creed Rogue's game director, Martin Capel. "Now we've developed characters that can assassinate you." Playing as a templar named Shay Patrick Cormac, players work with the British forces to try to remove the French from power and break the control and influence of the assassins. Where assassin characters in previous games had to follow the creed and approach most missions in a stealthy way, the templars don't live by rules. "If you want pure...
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Life and death as a pirate in Risen 3: Titan Lords

When you're a pirate, there are no rules. Is that duck looking at you funny? Then you slice it. That's just the hard life you lead as a scoundrel sailing the seven seas. I may be prepared for such a tough life, but I'm sorry to say my buddy Griffin McElroy is not. You can watch our journeys in the world of new pirating RPG Risen 3: Titan Lords above, and see if you are left as aghast as him at my blatant hatred toward innocent birds.
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    • Platforms: Win, 360, PS3, Wii U, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Ubisoft
    • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
    • Release Date: 2014-05-27
  • Destiny
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Activision
    • Developer: Bungie
    • Release Date: 2014-09-09
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
    • Platforms: Mac, Win, iOS, Android
    • Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
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    • Publisher: Namco Bandai
    • Developer: From Software
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
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Destiny goes to Mars in its newest trailer

The red dunes of the planet Mars will be one of the many battlegrounds players will explore in Destiny. Today, Bungie gives us a sneak peek at what threats players will face among the ancient ruins of a once-populated Mars. It appears that two of the primary species players will face on Mars are the Cabal and Vex, the hulking humanoids and time-traveling robotic aliens of Destiny, respectively. Destiny is coming to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on Sept. 9.
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New Madden ad is expensive, idiotic and unmissable

Reveling in self-consciously moronic dudebro fireworks, the new Madden commercial is a 21st-Century ad creative's wet dream. Featuring Kevin Hart, Dave Franco and a hatful of athletes, it follows a grandiosely blokey video game sporting rivalry, festooned with low-hanging cultural references, stupid jokes and hilariously pointless surrealism. If I hadn't already grown weary of Old Spice's shenanigans, I'd rank it as a work of genius, rather than merely a greatly entertaining slice of testosterone-ish buffoonery. Madden NFL 15 will be released on Aug. 26 for Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
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Disney Infinity 2.0 comes with AI builders, game makers, interiors and more

Disney Infinity 2.0 brings with it a slew of new options for the open-world, build-it-yourself Toy Box mode of the toys-to-life game, the company announced this week. The new Disney Infinity, due out Sept. 23 in North America on PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Windows PC, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, includes a host of new options designed around some of the issues with the original game. Fans, myself included, found it frustrating to unlock the toys, pieces and characters they wanted to use in Toy Box mode. In the original game, things were unlocked randomly. In the new game, players can choose what they unlock. But that's the smallest of the changes coming to Toy Box. This time around players can easily control procedurally generated content on a map by simply choosing a theme they like and...
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Pinball FX2 launches on Xbox One with Xbox 360 table import

Pinball FX2 is now available on Xbox One, and customers who purchased certain tables on Xbox 360 can import them for free, developer Zen Studios announced today. When Zen announced the original release date for the Xbox One version — July 31 — the studio said the game would not offer cross-buy support for tables purchased on Xbox 360. At the time, a Microsoft representative told Polygon that it was working with Zen to make that happen. A couple of weeks later, Zen happily announced a reversal: Players would be able to import tables from Xbox 360, although the Xbox One version wouldn't be available until August. Pinball FX2 on Xbox One is a free download, as it is on other platforms; customers buy individual tables or table packs from within the app. The Xbox One version includes the...
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Now you know who to blame for all those banner ads on your Xbox One

The home screen on my Xbox One is "featuring" three products today; Nutjitsu, Powerstar Golf and Wall-E. They are presented as little banners that lead me to retail pages. They are ads; an entirely common entity on games console user interfaces, here in 2014. Curious to consider that the notion of advertising through a game console's navigation was once viewed with horror, not merely by gamers, but by Microsoft itself. That, at least, is the tale told by Allen Murray, in a mea culpa on Gamasutra today, titled "Sorry for all the ads." Murray, who worked at Microsoft in the early part of the last decade, takes the blame for infesting console UIs with advertising. "I am one of the people, if not the person, responsible for ads on the Xbox," he says. I think we can all recognize a...
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Remember Me creator's next game looks like Gone Home with time travel

Dontnod Entertainment's upcoming episodic adventure game, Life is Strange, draws some parallels with The Fullbright Company's indie hit Gone Home. But it also has some major differences. For one, there's time travel.Speaking to Polygon at Gamescom, Life is Strange's creative director Jean-Maxime Moris and game and art director Michel Koch said they are fans of games like Gone Home, and Koch himself was even in contact with The Fullbright Company after the latter's game launched last year. But Life is Strange was in development six months before Fullbright released Gone Home, so it is a coincidence that both games feature coming-of-age stories set in Oregon, U.S., that also rely heavily on environmental storytelling. While there may be similarities in the games' setting and the way...
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Is Battlefield Hardline the next eSports darling?

Electronic Arts has unveiled the next mode coming to Battlefield Hardline. Known as "Rescue," the company is describing this as its new "eSports-focused mode," suggesting tentative plans to court the eSports audience at release. "Rescue" is one of two modes unveiled by the company this week during a presentation attended by Polygon. At the modes centre are two opposing teams: Five criminals who have taken a group of hostages, and a squad of five cops whose aim is to get the hostages to safety. In this mode there is one life per round, which emphasizes safe, stealth play. It's a change in pace from the next newly revealed mode: "Hotwire." In "Hotwire," Hardline players will experience the cat and mouse antics of cops seeking out marked vehicles in a high speed chase. A new trailer for...
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Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 launches Nov. 11, demo coming Sept. 17

Pro Evolution Soccer 2015, the first entry in Konami's soccer franchise to be developed on the new consoles, will be released Nov. 11 in North America, the publisher announced today during Gamescom 2014. The game will be available Nov. 13 in Europe. That's much later than its competition, FIFA 15, which is set to launch Sept. 23 in North America and Sept. 26 in Europe. Bayern Munich standout Mario Götze, who won the 2014 World Cup for Germany with a goal late in extra time, will appear on the cover of PES 2015. "Konami feels that Mario Götze is the player that truly epitomizes the pace, skill and moments of incredible brilliance that elevate modern football," reads a statement from the publisher. Konami also announced that it will release a PES 2015 demo Sept. 17. The demo will be...
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Relive the Stanley Cup Final in NHL 15 demo Aug. 26 on PS4 and Xbox One

NHL 15 publisher Electronic Arts will release a demo for the game on Aug. 26, the company announced today during Gamescom 2014, alongside the release of a new gameplay trailer. The NHL 15 demo will feature the same matchup as the 2014 Stanley Cup Final: the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings. Both teams' home arenas — Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center, respectively — will be playable in a full game of three two-minute periods. Three new camera angles and three difficulty settings will be available, along with a practice mode for players to get their ice legs under them if they're new to the franchise. Today's announcement comes shortly after Madden NFL 15 developer EA Tiburon confirmed it won't be making a demo for that game. That leaves EA Access on Xbox One as the...
Culture
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This live-action Titanfall short film is about as insane as you'd expect

The latest episode of Titanfall: Free the Frontier, the live-action short film based on Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall, was released today during Gamescom 2014, and it's just as frenetic as the game itself. Respawn originally announced Free the Frontier shortly before Titanfall's release in March, and put out a brief teaser at the time; a longer segment of footage was released during E3. The studio collaborated with Toronto-based visual effects house Playfight and director William Chang to produce Free the Frontier, and you can see a behind-the-scenes breakdown of the process of making the E3 video here. Today's video continues past the spot the E3 clip ended. This time, our hero jumps into a Titan of his own, and carnage ensues. For more on Titanfall, check out our full review. ...
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The Walking Dead Pinball begins Aug. 26

Zen Studios' pinball tables based on the first season of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead will be released starting Aug. 26, the developer announced today. Release dates on each platform are as follows: Zen Pinball 2 on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4  and  PlayStation Vita: Aug. 26 in North America, August 27 in Europe Zen Pinball 2 on Mac, Aug. 27 Pinball FX2 for Windows PC on Steam and Xbox 360, Aug. 27 Zen Pinball 2 for Wii U, Aug. 28 Zen Pinball for Android and iOS Aug. 28 Check out the gallery below and trailer above to see The Walking Dead Pinball tables and familiar locations like Macon and Savannah.
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Tomb Raider's Xbox exclusivity likely means more sales, higher profits

Fans of the Tomb Raider series were upset when it was announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be an Xbox exclusive upon release. Why would Square Enix turn its back on PlayStation 4 customers? Why are they walking away from making the game a hit by limiting its potential audience?The outrage from fans, and the very real sadness of PS4 fans who may not play the game now, is real. Here's what's hard for gaming fans to do: We need to stop looking at these deals purely through the lens of someone who wants to play the game. Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics are companies that pay its employees and stay in business by making profits on video games. They don't necessarily think about success as units sold. They have to think of it in terms of profit. This deal was not made by the...
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7 Comments

The Evil Within's season pass will let you play as one of its bloodiest enemies

The season pass for Tango Gameworks' survival horror title The Evil Within, announced today, will give players the opportunity to complete a mission as one of the game bloodiest opponents — the Keeper, also known as the Boxman. The $19.99 season pass will include three add-on packs. The first features the Keeper, where players will get to control him through a set of mission-based maps to complete "sadistic" objectives, according to a statement from publisher Bethesda. The second and third pieces of DLC will feature a two-part narrative-driven mission centered on Juli Kidman, Sebastian Castellanos' partner from the main game. As Juli, players will come up against new enemies and areas and further unravel the game's mysteries. The Evil Within's season pass will be available at...
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