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Hohokum launch trailer is just the right amount of weird


The arrival of Honeyslug's cheerful Hohokum is mere weeks away, and it's still impossible to classify. The game received a new trailer to celebrate its August 12 launch date (August 13 in Europe), showing the meditating hermit-like star of the game in addition to the squiggly, flying worm that players control.

Devised by artist Richard Hogg, Hohokum became a 2011 IGF finalist before Sony Santa Monica began working with the Hogg and Honeyslug in May 2013 to bring the game to PlayStation platforms. It will be Cross-Buy-enabled as well, so the $14.99 price will give players access to the PS4, PS3 and Vita versions.

Hohokum is part of the PlayStation Store Play event Sony announced just yesterday, in which players that pick up four games in August will receive $10 of in-store credit. Additionally, pre-orders for the four games are 20 percent off each for PlayStation Plus members. Joining Hohokum in the deal are Rogue Legacy, The Swapper and CounterSpy.
[Image: Sony]

Live and let CounterSpy

Image Yesterday we learned that Dynamighty's mod stealth-action game CounterSpy will reach the PlayStation 4, PS3 and Vita on August 19. Today we're presented with a launch trailer that's less "debonair, Connery-era James Bond" and more "Daniel Craig on a murderous rampage." [Image: Dynamighty]... Continue Reading

Play Destiny's Beta on Saturday, get a reward in the full version

Bungie is offering Destiny Beta participants an exclusive reward for the full version of the game as an incentive for logging in this weekend, according to an in-game message relayed to players today.

"To earn your reward, play the Destiny Beta on Saturday, July 26th at 2pm PDT (9pm GMT)," the message reads. Bungie did not specify what the reward is, but free is free, so be sure to hop on this weekend if you're intrigued. Here's hoping that it's a gold-plated Peter Dinklage-bot. Or new character dances. Or a dancing Dinklage-bot.

[Update: Bungie confirmed that the featured reward is an in-game emblem.]

[Image: Bungie]

Relive classic Grand Theft Auto moments in GTA Online

In its latest newswire update, Rockstar Games highlights a handful of GTA Online jobs that revisit pivotal moments from past Grand Theft Auto entries courtesy of creative fans and the game's powerful Creator tool.

From the classic Grand Theft Auto 3 to the underloved GTA: Chinatown Wars, Rockstar's selection covers a wide swath of open-world sandbox mayhem. "Four Iron," for instance, is a modern, deathmatch take on the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City mission of the same name, in which Tommy Vercetti chased a land developer through a golf course before murdering the poor sap. "Valet Parking," on the other hand, is a lap race homage to those recurring side missions in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in which CJ would pose as a valet, and either politely park cars to earn extra cash or drive off with a fancy new ride.

The Rockstar newswire has a full list of throwback missions, for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but keep in mind that the limitations of the GTA Online Creator prevent any of these jobs from being singleplayer affairs. The only way to truly relive Rockstar's classics is by replaying the original games.
[Image: Take Two]

Destiny Beta Google Hangout and Xbox One Stream Spectacular [Update: Relive the stream!]



Update: Watch the Google Hangout discussion here and the Xbox One stream above!

At first, Joystiq said, "Sure, I'll check out Destiny. Why not? Bungie's made some good games. We like playing games." Then we played it. A lot of it. Then the beta went offline for a couple of days and Joystiq said, "Whatever. I'll wait three days to call Destiny back. We're not that serious or anything." Then we couldn't stop thinking about Destiny. The only course of action is to get everyone in the crew together and make a list of everything we like about the Destiny beta and everything we don't like to determine if we're ready for a real Destiny commitment.

Starting at 2:30PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, the Joystiq staff will be in a Google Hangout to discuss all things Destiny after our first taste of the action. Then we'll roll directly into a stream of the Xbox One version of the game immediately afterward, with a brand new fire team including Jess Conditt, Xav de Matos, and Susan Arendt.

Tune in to hang out with us and ask many questions at Joystiq.com/Twitch at 2:30PM EST!
[Images: Activision]

Destiny beta comparison: PlayStation 3 versus PlayStation 4


Though the PlayStation 4 has been soaking up the majority of the spotlight, the Destiny beta is also available on the PlayStation 3, and based on this side-by-side graphical comparison, the older hardware does an admirable job of keeping up.

While the PlayStation 3 game runs at a lower resolution and features less detail than its PlayStation 4 counterpart, the broad graphical strokes remain the same. Characters bear the same futuristic, decidedly Halo-esque aesthetic in both games, and actual game content appears to be the same, down to the infamous, ominpresent Peter Dinklage voiceover. Most impressively, the PlayStation 3 beta does an admirable job of providing a stable, fluid framerate, even when the screen is filled with explosive graphical effects.

Obviously the PlayStation 4 version of Destiny looks and performs better than its PlayStation 3 counterpart, but if this comparison is any indicator, the older generation of hardware offers a perfectly suitable Destiny experience.
[Image: Activision]

Crysis 3, Ryse producer Mike Read departs Crytek

Crytek's exodus of company talent continues, as Ryse: Son of Rome and Crysis 3 producer Mike Read has left the studio, The Escapist reports.

The Escapist notes that Read's recently updated LinkedIn profile no longer lists Crytek as his current employer. Read's Twitter bio additionally states that he is a "former producer" at Crytek.

Read's departure follows up on the recent resignation of 11-year Crytek veteran Tiago Sousa, who now serves as Lead Rendering Programmer at id Software. Subsidiary Crytek UK also saw a number of departures last month, losing more than 30 employees and Homefront: The Revolution director Hasit Zala amid rumors of late staff payments.

[Image: Crytek]

Guardians of the Galaxy converge in Disney Infinity 2.0

The Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel's oddball ensemble leaping from comics to film on August 1, are visiting earth in the form of tiny figures. Disney Interactive is preparing a cosmic Play Set for the upcoming launch of Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, rooted in the likenesses of Groot (the tree), Gamora (the assassin), Drax (the Destroyer), Rocket Raccoon (you know) and Star-Lord. (Star-Lord, man. Legendary outlaw?)

The five space criminals on the cusp of heroism are playable in their own story, joined by a handful of crossover characters from other sets. Iron Man swings by to help out in the battle against Ronan the Accuser, while Nova jets in from the Spider-Man Play Set. Oh, and switch "swings" with "jets" there. Now it's wordplay.

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PlayStation Store Play event offers pre-order discounts, bonus PSN credit


Throughout the next month, Sony is launching a selection of new cross-platform games at a discount for PlayStation Plus members as part of its annual PlayStation Store Play event, with cash-back credit offered for buying multiple titles.

Featured games include Cellar Door's roguelike platformer Rogue Legacy (premiering July 29), Facepalm Games' side-scrolling puzzler The Swapper (August 5), Honeyslug's fanciful exploration game Hohokum (August 12), and Dynamighty's espionage-themed CounterSpy (August 19). All games are available as Cross-Buy releases, and are playable on the PlayStation 4, PS3, and PS Vita.

PS Store Play games are available for pre-order at a 20 percent discount for PlayStation Plus subscribers. PSN members are eligible to receive $3 in store credit for buying two featured games, $6 for three, or $10 for all four between July 22 and August 25.

[Image: Sony]

Hulk smash Disney Infinity: Marvel 2.0 on PS4, PS3

The Sony-specific Collector's Edition of Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 features all of the Avengers characters available at launch – Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow – plus Hulk, a figure that won't be for sale separately until later on. And the Collector's Edition comes with a huge display featuring the Frost Beast and spaces for all of the characters. And it glows. The Collector's Edition will be available for PS3 and PS4 this fall.

Additionally, a bundle featuring the Marvel Super Heroes 2.0 Starter Pack (which includes Thor, Black Widow and Iron Man), and a 12GB PS3 will launch in the fall for $250.

While the collector's display looks large, it probably won't require any assembly – the Avengers usually have that covered.

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PSN Tuesday: Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty, Superhero Sales

This week's PlayStation Store update features a host of games ... you can pre-order! Downloadable PS3 and PS4 exclusives CounterSpy – launching August 19 – and Hohokum – coming August 12 – are both available to pre-purchase ($14.99 each) today. Pre-orders for PS3 and PS4 versions of popular PC titles Rogue Legacy – arriving July 29 for $16.99 – and The Swapper – recently delayed to August 5 for $19.99 – are also available. Plus members can enjoy a 20 percent discount on advanced orders of each title.

As for actual releases, the PlayStation 4 welcomes Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty today. The game, a "re-crafted take" on Abe's Oddysee from the original PlayStation, is available for $29.99.

PSN also features a slew of discounts on superhero games. Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS3, PS4), for example, is down to $27.99 or a staggering $8.40 for Plus members. Never has punching Lex Luthor in his dumb, bald head been so cheap! The sale includes everything from Batman: Arkham Origins ($27.99, $8.40 for Plus members) to Lego Marvel Super Heroes (PS4) ($34.99, $10.50 for Plus members).

For the complete listing of superhero-sized sales, check out the PlayStation Blog.

[Image: Oddworld Inhabitants]

Guardians, the Destiny beta is back and early on Xbox

Maintenance on the Destiny beta has concluded early, Bungie has announced, and Guardians are invited to proceed on their galaxy-saving quests.

"We know you've been waiting, so we busted our asses to finish our chores up early," a post on Bungie's blog says. "Every single Guardian with a pre-order code is welcome to join us in the Tower," it adds. This appears to include Xbox One and Xbox 360 users, as Destiny beta codes are now available for Microsoft's platforms.

While the beta was scheduled to begin tomorrow for hardware crafted by Bungie's previous overlords, codes work right now. Download the beta on Xbox One or Xbox 360 and help join the fight.

Remember, on Saturday, Bungie has something special in store: "If you've already played, you haven't seen everything yet. We've got some surprises in store, and if you play on Saturday, July 26th beginning at 2pm PDT, we've got a permanent reward on reserve that will commemorate the experience."

The beta is scheduled to end on July 27.

Entwined tunnels to PS3 and Vita today

Entwined is now available on PS3 and Vita in North America, and will float to Europe tomorrow. The game launched on PS4 in June on the same day it was announced during Sony's E3 2014 press conference. Developed by a group of Carnegie Mellon University graduates, Entwined has players controlling two characters at once - a fish and a bird - flying through a colorful tunnel and collecting memories.

The brief getaway elicits "a sense of serenity and peace," according to our review, and is also easy on the checkbook: The $10 game is Cross-Buy compatible, so those that own the game on PS4 can download it for free on PS3 and Vita. It's also Cross-Save capable, so Entwined veterans will be able to carry their progress across the three consoles.
[Image: Sony]

Battlefield Hardline delayed, now arriving in 2015

Despite earlier claims that EA's cops versus robbers shooter Battlefield Hardline would debut in October of this year, the publisher has now officially delayed the game to 2015.

According to a new entry on the Battlefield blog, Battlefield Hardline has been delayed to give developer Visceral Games more time to ensure that Hardline is "the best, most innovative Battlefield experience we can give to you, our fans." Full details on how Visceral plans to accomplish that feat are lacking, but the developer claims the delay should allow it to improve the game's single-player story depth, add more innovative multiplayer features and enhance the shooter's online stability.

Battlefield Hardline is not the only game delayed by EA today, as Dragon Age: Inquisition has also been pushed back to November 21.

Dragon Age: Inquisition delayed to November

Dragon Age: Inquisition will launch on November 18 in North America, a delay from the previous launch date of October 7, Executive Producer Mark Darrah announced today. In Europe, Inquisition will now launch on November 21.

"We appreciate the enormous support we've received from all of you to get to this point, and 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 says.

He continues, "I'm privileged to be a part of a team that has been working very hard to surpass every measure they've set for themselves. That has meant completing huge amounts of game content, fixing bugs both big and small, and improving the overall experience. 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 choose to play on."

Dragon Age: Inquisition was part of what we called "The Video Game Industry's $300 Day," a lineup of five major games slated to launch on October 7. This is the first game on that list to change release dates, and a few of our contributors totally called it.

EA also announced today the delay of Battlefield Hardline from October 21, 2014, to some time in 2015.

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