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First-person puzzler Magnetic: Cage Closed is like Portal, cubed

Guru Games isn't afraid of having their recently-announced game, Magnetic: Cage Closed compared to Portal. In fact, that's where it started: a school project designed as an homage to both Valve's famous, meme-producing first-person puzzler and lesser-known horror/suspense film, Cube.

Magnetic takes place in an alternate history version of the 1960s, where inmates sentenced to death can be sold for scientific testing. Such is your fate, as you are a prisoner charged with testing the D27 Magnetic Propulsion Device – or, in simpler terms, a magnet gun.

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For the '90s Arcade Gamer Soul: Gunsport

Wandering the halls of PAX South, a pattern begins to emerge: the 8-bit style resurgence has well and truly ended. While '80s nostalgia still rumbles throughout the booths of small developers, '90s style is what's playing on the screens. For newer players exhausted of blocky pixels in every other cult hit of the past five years, the chunky, dense neon of this 16/32-bit inspired games will be as welcome and vibrant as they were to players 25 years ago. To players of that era, games like Gunsport feel like home.

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Seen@PAX South: PAX Plays Pokemon

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PAX South 2015: Guild Wars 2's Heart of Thorns is an expansion

GW2
ArenaNet has just announced that Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is indeed an expansion.

Speaking from a packed main theater at PAX South 2015, ANet President Mike O'Brien formally confirmed the rumored expansion, saying it will take players "deep into the heart of the Maguuma jungle" and will avoid traditional expansion powercreep and gear treadmills by not raising the level cap. The expansion will introduce new group challenges, new profession specializations, and an account-based "masteries" system for character progression through the new territories.

Game Director Colin Johanson told cheering fans that new legendary weapons and precursors are inbound, as are epic quests that help players acquire their precursors. The expansion will include one new class, the Revenant, which is a heavy armor class that channels the spirits of the mists and famous characters from Guild Wars lore. Each existing class will receive new mechanics and weapons that "fundamentally" change how they play; for example, Rangers can become druids and Necromancers will be able to use greatswords. WvW will also finally get some love, and there will be a new GvG game mode called Stronghold, which of course means... guild halls!

The official site is live now, and the brand-new trailer is now below the cut. Massively's Larry Everett and Mike Foster are live at the event; we'll have more from San Antonio later this afternoon. Fans can follow the festivities on Twitch.

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PSN Indie game flash sale: Resogun, Brothers, Shadow Warrior

A lineup of more than 60 indie games and various movies are on sale right now on the PlayStation Network as part of a new Flash Sale, the PlayStation Blog has revealed.

From now until Monday, January 26 at 9:00am, titles like the PS4 original downloadable indie title Resogun, Joystiq favorite Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and the modern revival of Shadow Warrior and more are available for up to 80% off. The sale features games across the PS4, PS3 and Vita libraries.

A handful of movies are also discounted as part of the deal, including Snowpiercer and The Raid 2.
[Image: Sony]

EA snitches on Battlefield Hardline, reveals maps and modes

Following a raid by local authorities, informants at publisher EA were compelled to give up detailed information on the multiplayer maps and game modes included in the upcoming cops versus robbers shooter Battlefield Hardline.

The nine maps included in Battlefield Hardline all seem either ripped from a Michael Mann heist film or from one of the earlier, military-focused Battlefield games. Bank Job centers around an imposing financial institution that must be relieved of its cash, Hollywood Heights is populated by expansive houses likely belonging to media moguls and hip hop artists and Riptide is an ocean-front map that continues the Battlefield series' long-running fascination with gun battles set against a tidal backdrop. There's also a map called "Growhouse," but we're guessing you can figure out what happens there. A full rundown on each of the maps can be found on the game's website.

Battlefield Hardline will include seven gameplay modes, ranging from the classic to the wholly novel. Conquest is a Battlefield mainstay mode that pits teams of players (up to 64 in total) against one another in a battle to see who can control certain areas of the map. Blood Money, by contrast, is a new mode where both cops and robbers attempt to swipe money from the opposing teams' vault while gunfire rages all around. Perhaps the most intriguing new mode is Hotwire, a vehicle-focused addition in which the criminal team attempts to steal a list of cars while the cops try to stop them with extreme prejudice, leading to the sorts of high-speed gunfights pictured above. Full details on the game modes found in Battlefield Hardline can also be found on the game's website.

Battlefield Hardline is slated to launch on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC on March 17.

APB: Reloaded to wreak MMO havoc on PS4, Xbox One

Free-to-play PC MMO All Points Bulletin: Reloaded is coming to consoles, thanks to a collaboration between publisher Deep Silver and developers Reloaded Games and The Workshop Entertainment.

Barring catastrophe, APB: Reloaded is planned to launch on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the second quarter of 2015. The game will be free-to-play on both consoles, and while APB: Reloaded will be available for download to all PlayStation 4 owners, only those Xbox One owners with valid Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will be able to join the massively multiplayer game's perpetual crime spree.

For those who don't keep tabs on mid-tier MMOs, APB: Reloaded began life in 2010 as APB: All Points Bulletin, a sort of mashup of World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto 3, under developer Realtime Worlds. Only a few months after APB: All Points Bulletin launched, Realtime Worlds went into administration (think of it as the European equivalent of bankruptcy) and the game's servers were shut down. Eventually the property was purchased and relaunched with a new developer (Reloaded Games) and new title. According to Deep Silver, since its rebirth in 2011, the PC version of APB: Reloaded has been downloaded more than five million times.
[Image: Reloaded Games]

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WRUP: Encounter at Farpoint

Internet: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the gameship Joystiq. Its mission: to explore strange new downloads, to seek out new games and new experiences, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

What's everyone playing?

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Trials Fusion adds online multiplayer, new DLC hits next week

As promised late last year, developer Redlynx has added online multiplayer gameplay modes to its stunt-platforming motorcycle game Trials Fusion in a new, free update.

According to publisher Ubisoft, the new online multiplayer options support up to eight players, and include three gameplay options. Online-X Supercross pits eight players against each other in a series of three races, while Private Game and Private Game With Spectator allow players to alter race parameters, ranging from track to speed and handling to the strength of gravity, before the event.

Additionally, Ubisoft has announced that the fourth Trials Fusion DLC pack, entitled "Fire In The Deep," will arrive on January 27. Described as the "biggest downloadable content pack yet," Fire In The Deep will include "11 new tracks, five new achievements and trophies to unlock, 27 new track challenges and dozens of new editor objects." Like all Trials Fusion DLC packs, Fire In The Deep is priced at $5, but can also be found among the five DLC packs included in the $20 Trials Fusion Season Pass.

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Barely Related: Night Vale travels to YouTube, UFO files

Partying is such sweet sorrow.

Welcome to Barely Related, a conversational Friday column that presents the non-gaming news stories that we, the Joystiq staff, have been talking about over the past week. And no, we're not stopping our focus on industry and gaming news. Think of this as your casual weekly recap of interesting (and mostly geeky) news, presented just in time to fill your brain with things to discuss at all of those weekend shindigs.

Grab a fresh drink, lean back in your armchair, and get ready to talk nerdy with us.

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Early Access zombie survival hit DayZ tops 3 million sales

Publisher Bohemia Interactive has revealed that DayZ, the cult-hit, open-world zombie survival game, has attracted more than three million sales since its debut on Steam's Early Access platform.

DayZ arrives at this milestone only a year after reaching Early Access. Despite pragmatic warnings from DayZ creator Dean "Rocket" Hall that the Early Access version of DayZ is incomplete, the game was an immediate hit, selling over a million copies in its first month, owing largely to the cult following it attracted in its original incarnation: a modification for Bohemia's ArmA 2 first-person military sim.

"We would like to say thank you to every single one of the three million players, that have joined us on the journey of making DayZ," writes project lead David Durcak. "You all have helped make DayZ the best open world, zombie survival game. This is an amazing achievement, and we are really looking forward to start sharing with you all of our game design improvements, anti-hack solutions and other optimizations we have been working on for a majority of the last year."
[Image: Bohemia Interactive]

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How to make a game in an hour, no experience required


For many, game development seems like an unreachable dream. We envision a world where we can come up with an idea, hunch over a laptop, bang out some code and – voila – video game. Tom Francis, creator of Joystiq favorite Gunpoint, is putting together a very handy Game Maker tutorial and, while it won't make things quite as easy as they are in your dreams, you'll have a working prototype in about an hour.

The tutorial is published as a series of videos on YouTube (here's the playlist) and all it requires is a free download of Game Maker, which you may recognize as the engine that powers games like Spelunky, Hotline Miami, Risk of Rain, Gods Will Be Watching, Nidhogg and many, many more. You can download the free version of Game Maker Studio right here.

Even better, the tutorials require no programming or game creation experience whatsoever. If you can follow instructions, you can follow these tutorials. After the first two lessons, clocking in at a total of 50 minutes or so, you'll have a character that moves with the WASD keys and shoots in the direction of your mouse pointer. As noted by Francis himself: If you can shoot, it is officially a video game (also it's pretty easy to program).

Don't take my word for it though. Just check out the trailer for my upcoming indie-developed blockbuster, World of Shoo(ting). If you want to do more than just shoot, of course, you'll have to watch the rest of the tutorial series.

Breach and Clear: Deadline brings tactical thinking to zombie slaughter

A zombie apocalypse is no excuse for sloppy tactics. That's the thinking behind Breach and Clear: Deadline, an undead twist on the top-down strategy genre and offshoot of the iOS/Android game Breach and Clear.

In Deadline, ransacked interiors and mangled streets are home to various forms of infected; parasitic worms capable of "hyper-evolution" have invaded the soft, squishy bodies of the former humans that once lived here.

Okay, so they're not technically undead zombies, but the upside is that Mighty Rabbit is using the hyper-evolving worms as justification for a new campaign, a wide variety of enemies and a fresh gameplay experience.

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How to make top down horror like Noct scary? Ditch zombies

Noct, a new survival horror shooter by Chris Eskins, shouldn't be scary. Outwardly simplistic, Noct borrows the top down perspective of Devolver label-mate Hotline Miami as well 360-degree style shooting but ditches the color and detail. Dark, drab, and obscure, the black and white action is filtered through the ambient light of satellite night vision. Your blob of a character so easily killed is glimpsed through snaky sharp brambles and wandering down empty streets and detail-less warehouses. Noct should feel isolating but not scary. It's too distant, both in fidelity and in action. Yet it got me to yell, "Nope!" just like its characters do before they're run down by the blurry outline of a giant arachnid or wandering, ravenous, ill-defined bovine beast.

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Joystiq Deals: ChargeAll Portable Power Outlet

Wish you could carry a power outlet with you to charge your electronic devices? Joystiq Deals has you covered with the ChargeAll Portable Power Outlet, a portable battery pack featuring USB and AC outlets.

The ChargeAll Portable Power Outlet will supply power to your phone, laptop, or any other electronic device while you're out and about. Normally priced at $300, the ChargeAll is available through Joystiq Deals today for $205, giving you a 31 percent discount off its regular retail price.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

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