Joystiq Weekly: Battlefield Hardline, Watch Dogs review, Evil Within preview and more

Welcome to Joystiq Weekly, a "too long; didn't read" of each week's biggest stories, reviews and original content. Each category's top story is introduced with a reactionary gif, because moving pictures aren't just for The Daily Prophet.
With Sony upping PlayStation Plus to six games per month, we're pretty confident that the service is trying to ruin our lives. We're not obligated to tackle every single title, of course, but in the cycle of starting downloads for games "just in case" we ever feel an inkling to play them, we're losing track of which games we should feel guilty about not finishing and which games we should feel guilty about paying $60 for and not finishing.

If not for the bills, assignments and the omnipresence of life's ever-ticking clock, we'd plop down in front of our TVs for a few years and knock out every game we ever felt intrigued by. To hell with "everything in moderation" - moderation wouldn't clear out our shelves of "yeah, maybe one day" RPGs, nor would it help us get the timing for our go-to Street Fighter combos down to the exact frame. Moderation is just a feeble admission that we can't control time (yet), and it ignores our potential to play all the video games, which we'll definitely get to. Eventually. Some day.

Unfortunately, getting through every game we've ever wanted to play is still just a fantasy for now. Unless you find a way to break the laws of life's constants - if you do, you should totally let us know. We can do co-op or something. Until we reach that dream state, you can get a glimpse of Battlefield Hardline, read reviews for Watch Dogs and Among The Sleep, and dig into a neat feature on Watch Dogs that explains how legalities ruin everything. It's all waiting for you after the break!

  • Diehard fans are like savvy parents: you think you're clever and that you can keep secrets from them, but they're eventually going to find what you're hiding. After Battlefield fans spotted assets for Battlefield Hardline, EA fessed up to the project, which is in development by Dead Space series creator Visceral Games and is due sometime this fall.
  • If PlayStation Plus is an annual subscription to a rotating buffet of delicious games, Sony is upping our monthly portions to put some meat on our bones and also ensure we never, ever go outside again. Six games will now be offered to subscribers across the PS3, PS4 and Vita, with two games being offered from each console's library every month.
  • If there's one thing the Wii U isn't short of, it's supported controller options for Super Smash Bros.. If you're not much for any of the available methods, good news: Nintendo has announced an adapter box that will allow fans to use GameCube controllers to pummel each other with smash attacks. Those that don't have an old stash of GameCube controllers can look toward the Wired Fight Pad, an accessory that Nintendo is working on with manufacturer PDP. The Wired Fight Pad will connect through the nunchuck port of a Wiimote and will cost $24.99.
  • Who watches the watch dogs? A boatload of gamers, that's for sure - Ubisoft's freshly-booted Chicago hackathon broke the 24-hour sales record for any title in the publisher's entire library. Specific figures weren't shared, but Creative Director Jonathan Morin attributed Watch Dogs' buzz to the "incredible passion" of the game's initial fanbase.
  • Nintendo doesn't really have a great reputation with content creators that livestream or build content from footage of its games, and that's probably not changing anytime soon. The game creator recently tweeted plans to create an affiliate program for YouTube users, which would split revenue earned from ads on Nintendo-related gaming footage between the channel's owner and Nintendo. Keep in mind that Google's already getting a cut of that ad revenue as well.
  • There's generally gratitude involved when someone pays fees and bills for you, right? Well, Sony might be earning some brownie points with indie developers attending the Tokyo Game Show, as the console manufacturer has shared plans to pay the related fees for 50 booths' worth of space. While those booths will only appear in the Indie Game Area, which doesn't allow for direct sales to TGS patrons, Sony's offer is open to studios regardless of the platforms they have announced intentions to launch on. Sounds pretty nice!
  • There's still one sort-of console launch on the horizon left to anticipate, but Steam Machines and even the Steam Controller might not be something you can hope to see under a Christmas tree this year. An update from Valve's Eric Hope explains that the hardware is looking more like a "release window of 2015, not 2014" sort of situation. While Hope's update reassures us that Valve is just as eager to get the Machines out as fans are to snatch them up, he asserts that Valve wants to make sure they'll be "getting the best gaming experience possible."
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is an oddly-enjoyable experiment in converting a lane defense game into a first-person shooter, but what if you don't own the Xbox One, which Garden Warfare exclusively launched for in February? Well, provided you own a PS3 or PS4, you just plant your seed of hope and wait for it to bloom into reality later this year! PlayStation fans can start aiming unconventional weaponry at each other on August 19 in North America.
  • Technology can feel magical at times, especially when it lets you challenge the concept of privacy and draw a sense of power from that. Editor-in-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann handled personal information with the utmost care in Watch Dogs, granting himself access to everything via a smart phone and delving into firefights when things went wrong with his stealth approach. Ubisoft's newest world isn't without its faults though; Ludwig called its depth of content "more bloated than Windows Vista," questioning the inclusion of things like the "insta-fail stealth mission" formula and skill tree-enabled minigames, which he felt damaged the game's general pacing.
  • Do you remember your parents assuring you that there definitely wasn't anything to fear at night, like what's lurking under your bed or in your closet? Yeah, that's all pretty much out the window in Among The Sleep, a game that slips players back into onesies and a crib. Weekend Editor Sam Prell crawled through Among The Sleep's twisted take on reality, finding both "haunted house and hide-and-seek"-flavored spooks in its depiction of a childhood imagination running wild. While Among The Sleep is short and loses its capability of making players feel vulnerable in returning playthroughs, Sam found strength in its ability to "take you back to a time when a teddy bear was your shield, and you'd think twice about going to sleep without checking under the bed."
  • Being assigned the "heroic, save us all" role isn't easy, and Bigby's gathering frustration in The Wolf Among Us' fourth episode, "In Sheep's Clothing," exemplifies that truth. Managing Editor Susan Arendt led him through the motions, finding plenty of tension with Bigby's juggling of the Sheriff and Wolf roles. In a welcome surprise, Susan found the episode's quick time events to be engaging: rather than feeling "shoved aside and told to watch for button presses and stick wiggles," Susan felt "very much in the fight as glass flew and blood splattered." Of course, you don't have to take her word on how intense the fights got - you can always read the take of someone who was there.

Featured Content
  • Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami is taking another stab at the whole "pitting players against gobs of horrifying monsters" thing with The Evil Within. Ludwig and Contributing Editor Sinan Kubba examined the scares and traps awaiting players in our video preview, with Sinan also detailing his time with an early build of the game. If all this coverage is stoking the flames of your anticipation, well, pack it in a bit - The Evil Within's asylum of deception and terror won't open its doors until October 21.
  • Lots of games feature cover-based shooting, but The Order: 1866 builds its wall-shaped forms of sanctuary with the sophistication that comes bundled with really old stuff. Ludwig and Feature Content Director Xav De Matos covered The Order's alternate take on history in our video preview, explaining its ties to Arthur's Knights of the Round and its unexpected competence in the science of Awesome Weaponry. Unlike The Evil Within, though, The Order hasn't been pushed back for later this year! It's, uh ... been shoved all the way into 2015.
  • Just how in the world did Harmonix fund Amplitude on Kickstarter, a successor to the team's niche, note highway-bopping rhythm game on the PS2? Considering the sluggish first half of the project's crowdfunding campaign, Harmonix might be asking itself the same thing. Lucky for us, Contributing Editor Mike Suszek is a numbers nerd, as proven by his breakdown of Amplitude's Kickstarter campaign. Mike's analysis stacks Amplitude's success up against the revenue gathered in the general pool of other Kickstarter campaigns, but it also points out where the campaign's late surge of cash came from (hint: super fans).
  • Video game sandboxes don't have to reflect the full reality of the worlds they mimic, but in the case of Watch Dogs, Ubisoft invested plenty of time in getting the details right. Sometimes time isn't enough, though - Xav De Matos dug into the world of Watch Dogs, finding answers in the granular details for its regional language slip-ups and the absence of iconic pieces in Chicago's cityscape.
  • We touched on delays with The Evil Within and The Order: 1866, but they're not the only games with potential to scoot further away from their projected release dates. Ludwig grants the power of delays to News Content Director Alexander Sliwinski, Senior Reporter Jess Conditt and Mike in this week's Super Joystiq Podcast, with October 7's launch lineup serving as the group's targets. Beyond delaying everyone's good times, the crew also talks up Watch Dogs and the Amplitude Kickstarter.
[Image: Sony]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.