Joystiq Weekly: Battlefield delay, Dark Souls 2 DLC review, Dragon Age 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.
This week hosted a smattering of high-profile release date changes. You thought you'd be playing Dragon Age: Inquisition in October? Nope! Figured you'd prowl through Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor on that same day? Wrooong. What about upholding the law in Battlefield: Hardline sometime in October? Sorry, criminals will go unchecked until next year.

We suppose we'll persevere through the frightening uncertainty that is this dose of video game release dates, but we're not sure our frail hearts can handle any more excitement in this crazy life. Actually, we're fairly certain that frailty would combust into a five-story blaze if Destiny or Super Smash Bros. slip out of 2014.

There was plenty more to this week than release-date musical chairs, though! There's details on how to get The Last Of Us: Remastered for cheap, when we can next expect Sonic Boom to break our hearts go fast, a review for Dark Souls 2's first bout of DLC, a video preview for DA: Inquisition and much more, all waiting for you after the break!
  • Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you in Battlefield: Hardline? Well, one sensible answer would be to run the hell away, which is exactly what Hardline's robbers are doing. The cops are giving chase, but EA's cops-and-robbers simulator won't host concluding shootouts until 2015, so you'll have to find something else to make you feel like a hero this year. Say, maybe ... buying the Joystiq weekenders donuts?
  • Modern firefights aren't the only thing making room in October's once-lofty release schedule: Dragon Age: Inquisition won't be ready for questing until November. Executive Producer Mark Darrah explained that the extra time will allow for making Inquisition's world more engaging, amplifying the emotional impact of a player's choice and adding more polish to the adventure. We can only hope ramping up emotional heights doesn't mean BioWare is busy adding a choice-focused scene with adorable baby dragons.
  • High-profile adventures aren't done fleeing from the month of October, though RPG fans will probably like this shift: Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is now scheduled to simply walk into retail stores on September 30, a week earlier than its initially-planned October 7 release. Publisher Warner Bros. said the bump-up was "based on hearing fans' excitement," which means we should all promptly begin telling Warner Bros. how excited we'd be if they shipped us bags full of gold and gummy worms.
  • Need an incentive to replay The Last Of Us when The Last Of Us: Remastered smashes bricks over our PS4s on July 29? If you're willing to part with your PS3 version, GameStop will give you a copy of Remastered for $25. You'll need to leave behind your loved one between July 27 and August 2 to be Elliegable eligible for the promotion, but since Remastered comes with the "Left Behind" expansion and can fight Clickers at 60 frames per second, saying your goodbyes shouldn't be too hard.
  • Party masters, Dance Central: Spotlight will mostly leave arranging a killer playlist to you on September 2. Harmonix's dancer will be a download-only affair, offering a base invitation with 10 core songs for $10. You're in charge from then on, with an additional 50 songs to be offered as DLC on launch day, five of which have already been revealed.
  • San Diego Comic-Con attendees caught a first glimpse of Halo: Nightfall, the TV series produced by Alien director Ridley Scott, and you totally weren't there. That's okay though – this series of tubes can handle video sharing, meaning you can get a 75-second visual taste of the series' first trailer. If you're wondering why you should risk your love for the Halo series for a non-video game, Nightfall will serve as a narrative link between Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians.
  • Sonic fans, you can take or leave Sonic Boom's re-designed crew in November. Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time developer Sanzaru Games will reach the 3DS on November 11 with Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, followed by Red Button Entertainment's Wii U effort a week later. If you're still hung up about the athletic tape thing or Knuckles' neglection of leg day, have some perspective: at least we haven't seen Charmy Bee pop up in Boom yet.
  • To hell with begging for Destiny beta keys on Twitter, because Bungie's galaxy is now open to anyone with a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription. That's pretty great timing, considering an in-game emblem can be earned for the full version of Destiny simply by logging into its galaxy today.
  • Remember the PlayStation Network's security woes in 2011? The legal system sure does! The US District Court for the Southern District of California has approved a settlement for the related class action lawsuit, which may result in Sony paying out $17.75 million in goods to users affected in the security breach. Sony's settlement offers free PS3 or PSP games, PS3 themes and PlayStation Plus subscriptions, with offerings doubling for anyone who didn't partake in its Welcome Back program. The settlement lists a $6 million allocation for those that weren't down with the Welcome Back program, with a $4 million allocation being offered for those that were.
  • Whether you want to flex your architectural muscles or just have a nice old-fashioned bout of playing god, The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection is free to download until July 31 ... on Origin. You can get in on the offer by bringing up the Games tab after booting Origin, clicking "Redeem Product Code," and then typing "I-LOVE-THE-SIMS" in the field. Alternatively, you can try typing in "rosebud" and see if you're magically granted $1,000 in Origin credit (you totally won't be).

  • At this point, running away from a challenge probably causes deep moral rifts in the heart of a Dark Souls fan. With the arrival of Dark Souls 2's "Crown of the Sunken King" DLC, Contributing Editor Sinan Kubba steeled his will and ventured into Sunken King's fresh, monster-filled chambers. Sinan felt the DLC's layout more closely reflected the twisting trails in Dark Souls' labyrinth than the straightforward paths in Dark Souls 2, but felt the visual design to be generally lacking once its "colors drain away and everything seems to become green-grey - the enemies, the walls, the darkness below." Still, Sinan feels that Sunken King's high moments save it from feeling like more of the same, "even if that's mostly what it is."
  • Adding a baby to the zombie apocalypse sounds like a solid bet on ramping up stress in an already-unbearable situation ... so of course The Walking Dead's latest episode, "Amid The Ruins," goes there. Senior Reporter Jess Conditt guided Clementine's hand (and axe) through the latest installment, doing her best to keep her group calm, collected and alive. Naturally, things go to hell at some point, Jess remarks that no matter the outcome, "whatever we decide, Telltale makes sure that we feel each action."
  • Most people don't need to be repeatedly convinced to bail from a house after their first haunting, but Wayward Manor's Budd family is a determined bunch. Jess deployed a bag of scare tactics in the puzzle game, scaring the Budds using objects in the environment in each floor of the house, but she saw a fault in most of Manor's challenges: "They're obvious." While Manor's tone, accompanied by Neil Gaiman's writing, is "cheery, creepy and eccentric, in an entirely pleasing manner," Jess thinks its visuals "would feel more at home on an iPad, as they're done up in jagged 3D models that tend to overlap in physically impossible ways." With its atmosphere serving as its dominant strength, Jess concludes Manor "has charm for the adorable-goth market, but not so much for puzzle game enthusiasts."
Featured Content
  • It'll be a little longer until you can play Dragon Age: Inquisition for yourself, but you make the wait a bit easier by watching our video preview. Editor-In-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann and Community Manager Anthony John Agnello discuss what it's like slinging spells and exploring stretches of Inquisition's world, both from the perspective of a returning fan and a bumbling newbie.
  • Vacations are a great chance to unwind, but we've all got to return to reality eventually. Weekend Editor Sam Prell's final postcard summarizes his thoughts on his getaway in WildStar's saturated, comic book-style world, and in the comparison of WildStar and World of Warcraft, Sam reminisces on the trip fondly: "WildStar does things differently enough, interestingly enough, and streamlined enough to make it feel like the game Blizzard would make in 2014. It is, in almost everything except name, World of Warcraft 2."
  • Streaming isn't always as simple as using the Twitch app on PS4 and Xbox One. There are far more options when broadcasting gameplay on PC, and while extra choices are great, they allow plenty of room for confusion. Syncing audio can be particularly problematic, but Reviews Content Director Richard Mitchell put together a video walkthrough that might help the next time you want to share your gaming talents with the world.
  • The Walking Dead is one of those games that can inspire frantic conversations with friends as you play through each episode, just to see how they reacted to each horrific event. Contributing Editor Mike Suszek, Jess, Ludwig and Anthony definitely discuss the latest episode, "Amid The Ruins," in this week's Joystiq Super Podcast, but if you're not invested in the series, there's talk of Gods Will Be Watching, Sunless Sea and The Crew as well.
[Image: EA]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.