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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will now release one week earlier

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will now launch one week earlier than initially announced, developer Monolith Productions announced today. The PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions will launch on Sept. 30, while the Windows PC and Steam versions will be available later that week on Oct. 2. According to a statement by publisher Warner Bros., the decision to bump up the release date was based on "hearing fans' excitement." Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, originally slated to launch on Oct. 7, is set in J.R.R. Tolkien's iconic fantasy world  and features a storyline set chronologically between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Players follow Talion, a slain Ranger who has been resurrected by a mysterious Wraith that shares Talion's desire for revenge...
Contest
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Win a trip to California and one-day design apprenticeship on Sunset Overdrive!

When talking about Sunset Overdrive, Insomniac Games has always emphasized the importance of player creativity and individuality in the game. Now they're taking that one step further by offering one talented Polygon reader a chance to travel to Insomniac's Burbank studio to turn their character design into post-release DLC for the game. Here's how it works. You create a design for your dream Sunset Overdrive outfit and send it our way with a brief description. We'll narrow it down to 11 finalists which will be voted on by Polygon readers. The creator of the most popular design will be flown to Burbank where they'll be welcomed to Insomniac's HQ to help bring their design into the game, where it'll be made available as DLC post-launch. You've got until August 14 to make your...
News
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Two Ubisoft developers watched a goat sacrifice while researching Far Cry 4

Two Ubisoft developers journeyed to Nepal to research the inspiration for Kyrat, the fictitious Himalayan setting for Far Cry 4, and while there they ended up observing the ritual sacrifice of a goat. The scene plays out in this, part one of a documentary filmed by Vice Media and shown at a Far Cry 4 panel at Comic-Con 2014. It happens off camera at 4:05 but it might make some uncomfortable. Mark Thompson, the game's narrative director, and Phil Fournier, the associate producer, made the journey with Vice's Krishna Andavolu. (Vice and Ubisoft also collaborated on a pirate-history documentary to promote Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag.) When they arrived in Kathmandu, they caught a rumor there was to be an animal sacrifice, and they found the event. It was a sacrifice of thanks a man...
6 Comments

Far Cry 4's director details how its free multiplayer trial will work

The creative director for Far Cry 4 explained how the game will let those who don't own the game participate for free in co-operative multiplayer with a friend who does. Originally discussed at E3, Far Cry 4 will give buyers of the game 10 codes to give to friends. That downloads enough of the game to play online in Far Cry 4's open world with the friend (but not in campaign missions). Asked how long the code would last, Alex Hutchinson didn't give the Comic-Con 2014 panel a specific timespan, but it will depend on the friend who owns the game being online. "The inspiration came from the Super Nintendo days, and the way you tried out games then was to go to a buddy's house and sit on his couch and play," Hutchinson said. "How long you got to play depended on how long his mom let you...
News
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Sunset Overdrive's character customization is serious business

Character customization in Insomniac Games' Sunset Overdrive will offer choices in the thousands, giving players access to an untold number of shirts, gloves, hair styles, and more in an effort to let them express who they feel they would become at the end of the world."Anything goes," lead character artist Gavin Goulden told Polygon. "We have a certain tone we're trying to hit, a certain attitude and feeling for when you're playing the game. There aren't necessarily many vanity pieces, and we've rejected concepts that we thought were too much, maybe too weird or different. But, I mean you can run around as a panda in our game, so we're not necessarily reserved." In Sunset Overdrive, players step into a frantic city after the world has ended, where nobody really cares much anymore...
Video
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Watch the first footage of Halo: Nightfall

343 Industries revealed first footage of Halo: Nightfall, the Ridley Scott-produced live action series coming to Xbox this November, at San Diego Comic-Con today. If you weren't present at the panel, it's now available for everyone to watch. Halo: Nightfall tells the origin story of Jameson Locke, a "a legendary manhunter and agent with the Office of Naval Intelligence." Locke is also the playable co-star of next year's Halo 5: Guardians and will be played by actor Mike Colter. The live action series is set between the events of Halo 4 and Halo 5. For more on Nightfall, read our recap of the Halo: Nightfall Comic-Con panel.
Top Games
  • Watch Dogs
    • 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
  • Dark Souls 2
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, Win
    • Publisher: Namco Bandai
    • Developer: From Software
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
All Games
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Halo: Nightfall's Agent Locke is playable in Halo 5, and other details from Comic-Con

Halo: Nightfall, the live-action series that will serve as a prologue to Halo 5: Guardians, will be set on a broken fragment of a halo ring and tell the origin story of Agent Jameson Locke, who will be portrayed by actor Mike Colter. At a Halo: Nightfall panel at San Diego Comic-Con today, 343 Industries' Kiki Wolfkill and Frank O'Connor were joined by executive producer David Zucker and actors Mike Colter and Christina Chong to show first footage from the show and reveal more details about its setting. "Setting it on a halo is a pretty big statement about the scale of this project," O'Connor said. "This is a partially functioning fragment of the halo ring and its nature and functionality play a role in the fiction." Given that it's set on a damaged halo artifact (with a functioning...
News
8 Comments

Report: Walmart canceling Destiny Ghost Edition pre-orders 'due to a supply issue'

Walmart is canceling pre-orders of the Ghost Edition of Destiny and replacing them with the cheaper Limited Edition, according to a post on NeoGAF. A NeoGAF member posted what appears to be a screenshot of an email from Walmart to a customer who pre-ordered Destiny's Ghost Edition on PlayStation 4. The $149.99 package includes a replica of a Ghost (the player's companion robot), a letter of introduction from developer Bungie and "relics" from the Golden Age of Destiny's fiction. "Unfortunately, due to a supply issue, we will be unable to fulfill [your order]," the email reads. "We would like to offer you a substitution with the Limited Edition, which is a comparable item." Destiny's Limited Edition, which does not contain the aforementioned goodies but comes with everything else in...
Opinion
228 Comments

Want to win the console war? Here's how

Isn't it about time the console companies finally figured out the big, big secret about making a successful games console?You and I know this secret, but if the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony understand it, they seem to let it slip their minds from time to time. The trick is to make something that people want to buy; not something that companies want to sell. The trick is to make sure that you are selling games consoles and not high-falutin' super-boxes. Undoubtedly, Xbox One was launched as something that its creators wanted to sell, rather than something an appropriately sizeable number of people wanted to buy. Must Read Why you should wait before buying a new console Microsoft spent much of 2013 telling anyone who would listen that Xbox One was more than a...
Analysis
11 Comments

Is Sniper Elite 3 the first shooter that is boring on purpose?

Shortly after Rebellion Entertainment completing Sniper Elite 3, Jason Kingsley, the studio’s CEO and creative director, brought the game home to let his partner have a look at it. They have both visited firing ranges, and she’s a good shot in real life, he says, so he figured she might enjoy it.One evening, as she began a new mission, Kingsley got up, went to the kitchen, made a pot of tea, poured himself a cup and returned to the living room. She hadn't shot anyone. She hadn't even moved. "I said, ‘What are you doing?'; she said, ‘I'm listening and watching,'" Kingsley recalled. "I said, ‘It's been 12 minutes! You've actually — I've made a cup of tea — I've come back in and you're still in the same place! "And she said, ‘Well, yes, I'm just being very careful,'" Kingsley said. The...
News
30 Comments

Titanfall getting in-game currency in update 5, coming July 31 with Frontier's Edge map pack

Titanfall's second expansion, Frontier's Edge, will be released July 31 on Windows PC and Xbox One along with the game's fifth major patch, developer Respawn Entertainment announced yesterday. Frontier's Edge brings three new maps into Titanfall: Haven (screenshot above), Dig Site and Export. It will be available for $9.99 on its own, and it will be free to owners of the game's $24.99 season pass, which also includes a third map pack that is coming later. Titanfall publisher Electronic Arts has not yet announced a release date for Frontier's Edge on Xbox 360. The game's first add-on, Expedition, was released May 15 on PC and Xbox One, and launched June 17 on Xbox 360. The last-generation version of Titanfall is developed by Bluepoint Games, not Respawn. Respawn will also release Game...
News
10 Comments

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes arrives Sept. 23

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, the next entry in the Disney-based, toy-filled franchise, will launch for  iOS, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on Sept. 23, Disney Interactive announced today. Disney Interactive announced the 2.0 Edition of the game in April. The game introduces a variety of Marvel super heroes, from the Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy. As of today, those interested can pre-order the game for a bonus Marvel figure. In Disney Infinity, players control popular characters from Disney's vast vault in a sandbox world. The game uses physical figurines, which players place on a an Infinity Base to activate. In Toy Box mode, players can craft their own worlds complete with items, characters and more. The original Disney Infinity...
Report
7 Comments

Indigenous groups seek games company to tell endangered stories

Inspired by media interest in a game about Alaska Natives, indigenous groups around the world are seeking ways to bring their own cultures to video games. E-Line Media, Upper One Games and the Cook Inlet Tribal Council are putting the finishing touches to Never Alone, a game that draws heavily on the Inupiat culture of rural Alaska. Following heavy publicity for the game, including NPR and the Los Angeles Times, other groups that represent indigenous communities are looking to tell their stories through games. Both E-Line and CITC have set up a new operation called World Games that will release games based on cultures that have hitherto struggled to find a voice. Interest has so far come from Hawaii, Azerbaijan and Siberia. "It's really resonating to the point where other...
News
13 Comments

Up to half of Redbox game rentals translate into game sales (update)

An increasing number of people are streaming and downloading video games, but this doesn't mean the end for physical goods, nor does it spell trouble for game rentals — that's according to Redbox's director of video games, Ryan Calnan. Redbox currently has automated rental kiosks for DVDs, Blu-ray discs and video games at more than 35,000 locations across North America and offers game rentals for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Select markets also offer games from the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U. During the company's first quarter for this year it topped 200 million rentals, of which video games accounted for two percent. While this number may seem small, Calnan told Polygon it's actually a big deal for the games industry. "We have a 20-50 percent conversion rate...
News
46 Comments

Far Cry 4 avoids the 'white savior dudebro' pitfall

In some ways, Far Cry 4 is a product of Far Cry 3's missteps."We don't create our games in a vacuum," C.J. Kershner, one of the script writers for the game, told me at a recent PlayStation event. "We were aware of the discussions happening about Far Cry 3. People identified some problems." What sort of impact did that have on Far Cry 4, I asked. "Our protagonist is not the white savior, not the dudebro," Kershner said. "He's not coming back to his hometown to help. "Your basic objective is to fulfill your mother's last wishes, to scatter her ashes in her home country." And that was one of the things that interested Kershner in the game. "The thing that drew me most to the project was that the basic objective was human, very relatable," he said. "That feeling was sort of driven home...
News
7 Comments

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris launches Dec. 9

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, the sequel to isometric action-adventure game Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, will launch for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC Dec. 9, IGN reports. In Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Lara and her rival Carter are cursed after breaking into an ancient temple. Along with demigods Isis and Horus, they set out to defeat the evil Set and break their bad luck. In a step up from the previous game, Temple of Osiris will feature co-op play for up to four people. The game's predecessor was released in 2010. Unlike other Tomb Raider games, it focuses heavily on multiplayer gameplay. Players compete for loot while working together to solve puzzles and smack down enemies. Crystal Dynamics announced Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris at E3...
Video
90 Comments

Destiny's beta comparison video: PS4 versus Xbox One

Now that both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have access to the Destiny beta we thought it would be fun to compare what the first few minutes of each looked like. Do keep in mind that while the PlayStation 4 beta runs at 1080p, the Xbox One beta is running at 900p. That will change at launch when both hit the 1080p mark. Both videos were captured using the console's built-in video capture app. Now drop into the video to have a quick look-see at how the two versions compare, and why I'm constantly mocked when I play shooters, no matter the platform.
Feature
22 Comments

Launching Civilization: Beyond Earth

Launching Civilization: Beyond Earth By Russ Pitts @russpitts Share Tweet Lying on its side, it's longer than three 18-wheelers and as tall as a three-story house. It's broken into sections: the F1 rocket engines, the first stage, the second stage, the third stage and then the command module and escape tower — the parts people recognize. The Apollo parts. The parts that took men to the moon. Eleven-year-old Will Miller stands next to the bell of the F1, the broad business end of the rocket engine. The part that breathes fire. He looks up at the engine bell, then at the relatively tiny command module. He thinks about how much power it takes to send such a small object into space, and how, back here on the ground, there are people who made that powerful rocket,...
News
35 Comments

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...
News
16 Comments

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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