Joystiq Weekly: Free Radical's Haze, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Tony Hawk and more

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Joystiq Weekly: Free Radical's Haze, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Tony Hawk 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.
Yes okay, BlizzCon 2014 was full of announcements. A new team-based shooter called Overwatch, a Hearthstone expansion, Warcraft movie details, the next StarCraft 2 expansion ... Blizzard fans have plenty to look forward to.

Thanks to an unexpected announcement however, Tony Hawk fans also have something to look forward to (or dread, depending on cynicism) in the form of a 2015 console game. Sure, the Skate series was a cool take on realistic tricks, but we wouldn't mind getting back to the outlandish challenges, yellow-text specials and SKATE letters of the original killer skateboarding series.

If you've never enjoyed injury-supplementing planks of wood with wheels, there's still plenty of good stuff from this week. News of Grand Theft Auto 5's first person mode, reviews for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Lords of the Fallen, a feature exploring the development of the unfortunate PS3-exclusive Haze, and more is all waiting for you after the break!

  • Practice your physics-defying extreme sports tricks while you still have time – A recent tweet from Tony Hawk announced that the iconic skater is working with Activision on a console game due next year ... oh, and a mobile game, too.
  • BlizzCon wasn't all about familiar faces – a fresh cast debuted in a pair of trailers for Overwatch, Blizzard's superhero, team-based shooter that has a 2015 beta in its sights.
  • 3DS owners will meet a terrible fate this spring, thanks to Nintendo's plan to port the bizzare, dark Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask to the handheld. Mask enthusiasts in Europe can track down a Special Edition, but everyone can watch a comparison trailer of the original and reworked port right this minute.
  • We don't have a ton of details on the next Mass Effect, but at least Bioware filled us in on some of the names leading the series' next voyage. Halo 4 Lead Writer Chris Schlerf is authoring the next Mass Effect, with Mass Effect 2 and 3 Lead Writer Mac Walters serving as creative director on the project.
  • With more than 120 new cards planned for the just-drawn Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion, your surefire strategy might not be so reliable when the content shuffles in next month.
  • All early excitement for committing crimes in first person was not in vain, thanks to this week's trailer for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions of Grand Theft Auto 5.
  • Even without the port, you can still kind of channel the first-person GTA5 experience by jamming to the three-disc (or six-vinyl) soundtrack in your car. What, you don't have a record player riding shotgun?
  • Duck Hunt's impending arrival on the eShop means you soon won't have to dig out your bulky CRT whenever you get the urge to scare up some winged target practice.
  • Console-wide features aren't always guaranteed to be implemented in every game, as is exemplified by the absence of Share Play in the PS4 version of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
  • Those paying attention to the framerate scoreboard should take note of Digital Foundry's analysis of CoD: Advanced Warfare, which found the Xbox One version to run a little more consistently than its PS4 counterpart.
  • Not every Destiny player will pony up $20 for The Dark Below, but every Destiny player will get some form of playable content when the expansion arrives on December 9.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's massive world should host plenty of things to do, but just in case you grow to miss that new content smell, 16 additional pieces of DLC will be released over the two months following Wild Hunt's launch.
  • Just because Nintendo's Amiibo concept will launch as $13 figurines doesn't mean it will retain that sole format forever, game designer Shigeru Miyamoto suggested during a recent investor Q&A for Nintendo.
  • The pacifists among us can try persuading a Heartless into a truce via cuddling, provided they go for the Collector's Edition of Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix.
  • Wii U owners can trace Kirby's path to safety using their GamePad when Kirby and the Rainbow Curse launches in February 2015.

  • Editor-in-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann assembled a futuristic loadout to blast through Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, finding a "rich and varied multiplayer mode" and a "thrill-a-minute single-player campaign." However, Ludwig feels that Advanced Warfare "doesn't have the power to break through the expectations of the brand, often coming across as an expertly played round of Call of Duty Mad Libs."
  • Lords of the Fallen is bound to be compared to the Dark Souls series, and Contributing Editor Justin Clark likens it to an accessible take on From Software's brutal aciton RPG. With jumbled level design, weak moral choices and an experience exploit however, Clark concludes that "the worst enemy in the game may be the game itself, and there's nothing hiding in a chest somewhere to fix that."

Featured Content
  • You can tell a game is bad by playing or sometimes just watching it in action, but either method rarely tells you what went wrong behind the scenes. Contributing Editor Edward Smith dug into the history of Haze, the PS3-exclusive shooter from Timesplitters series developer Free Radical that was billed as a "Halo killer," to learn how the house of a popular shooter series came to make such a misfire.
  • Creating something with newfound fan expectations in mind can easily become stressful, as is the case for To The Moon developer Kan Gao. Senior Reporter Jess Conditt interviewed Gao about what he hopes people take away from his dialogue-less followup, A Bird Story, as well as what he hopes to achieve with it.
  • Reviews Content Director Richard Mitchell, Community Manager Anthony John Agnello, Contributing Editor Danny Cowan and Ludwig gather round this week's episode of Super Joystiq Podcast to discuss Halo: The Master Chief Collection's most impressive feature: butts. Master Chief Collection's lesser features are also discussed, as well as impressions of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Freedom Wars.
[Image: Activision]
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