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Feed Provided By GameSpot Gaming Reviews

Among the ways to win in past Civilization games has been building a rocket that takes your nation to the stars. Civilization: Beyond Earth takes that concept and makes a game out of it, letting you play out the Civ experience on an alien world.

Some concerns have been expressed that Beyond Earth is too much like Civilization V for its own good, looking and feeling and too much like an expansion pack. Others feel the refinements it offers are more than enough to justify beingan entirely new game. One thing I think we can all agree is that having a satellite-based laser weapon is totally awesome.

We've gathered up a sampling of the first reviews for Beyond Earth below. For more, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Civilization: Beyond Earth
  • Developer: Firaxis
  • Platforms: PC (Mac/Linux coming this holiday)
  • Release Date: October 24
  • Price: $50

GameSpot -- 7/10

"[T]he path to victory is more elegantly interwoven with the early and middle game this time around, and of course, global domination, ever the crude way out, remains as tempting as ever when another world leader shows up uninvited to talk some smack. The more things change, the more they stay the same, then; a journey to a planet halfway across the universe reaffirming the draw of the same old creature comforts--a plot of land, and just one more turn." - Nick Capozzoli [Full review]

Polygon -- 9/10

"Civilization: Beyond Earth is an immensely pleasing simulation of a future human society, struggling to survive on a new planet. It presents the player with a constant stream of challenging and intriguing choices. Packed with big ideas about science and science fiction, it meticulously interlocks dozens of strategic gaming systems that work together at a level that approaches genius." - Colin Campbell [Full review]

PC Gamer -- 87/100

"This is how Beyond Earth succeeds in spite of its similarities to Civ 5. It offers a game steeped in the traditions and mechanics of Civilization, that's nevertheless surprising and new in often unexpected ways. I've conquered countless civilizations on the planet Earths of each various Civilization game, and each time it's felt like reinventing a fantasy version of the past. In Beyond Earth, victory feels like living in--and forging--humanity's future, and I can honestly say I've never had more fun building a civ 'to stand the test of time.'" - Russ Pitts [Full review]

IGN -- 7.9/10

"Beyond Earth is nowhere near the strongest game in the more than 20-year-old Civilization series, but this big collection of interesting experimental ideas definitely still kept me playing long after I should've gone to bed. The Affinities and streamlined military upgrade system, and a colorful change of scenery make it worth the time to figure out the difference between Protogenetics and Surrogacy, and suffering through temperamental alien wildlife." - Dan Stapleton [Full review]

Eurogamer -- 8/10

"Inevitably, it's not really a game about space and aliens, even though it effortlessly got me googling Bracewell probes and the Great Attractor. Like the best [sci-fi], Beyond Earth is about humanity--more so, perhaps, than Civ itself is. Here comes Earth, eh? So filled with contradictory certainties and lofty dogma, so ready to forget its principles when greed takes over. The wider mechanics, meanwhile--with that web, those quests, all those new choices--are emphatically concerned with distracting you from your dogma and even your self-interest, with distracting you from one strategy by offering so many others." - Christian Donlan [Full review]

Shacknews -- 7/10

"Civilization: Beyond Earth takes some getting used to, even for longtime Civ fans. Although the game has more than a fair share of quirks, I believe that it has the potential to become a much better game. While the Affinity system lacks the kind of personality and flexibility that other Civ games have, I'll admit that it is an interesting twist. Even after multiple playthroughs, I can't really say that I'm completely comfortable with the technology web. Perhaps it's because a web makes for more indecision than a straightforward tech tree. Or maybe it's because I'm one of those people who can't decide between a creating a giant robot or a giant bug to crush my foes. Despite its faults, Civilization: Beyond Earth does fulfill its promise to take you to a distant world, where you'll find exotic alien life, meet future leaders of mankind... and conquer them." - Steven Wong [Full review]

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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If you're in the market for an Xbox One and can hold out for a few weeks, you may want to consider this new deal from Kmart. According to an adscan for a sale beginning the week of November 9, Kmart will offer Kinect-free Xbox One bundles for $350, a markdown of $50 from the normal $400 price point.

The adscan above comes from Twitter user thebiglouie. If true, it would represent one of the best deals to date for an Xbox One, not to mention making the Xbox One $50 less expensive than the rival PlayStation 4.

There is no mention of a markdown for the $500 Xbox One bundle that comes with Kinect.

It is unclear if this deal is limited to Kmart or if it is a wider price drop that will be available at retailers nationwide. We'll report back with more details as they become available.

The deal, if genuine, is timed with the release of marquee Xbox One title, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which goes on sale on November 11.

This isn't the only rumored Xbox One deal. Adscans from Target and Wal-Mart show that the $500 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 1 TB console will be offered for $450 beginning in November.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

The upcoming Gears of War game in development at Black Tusk Studios for Xbox One is not a reboot, according to Phil Spencer, who heads up all of Xbox. In a new interview, Spencer said it is imperative that the new Gears of War game recaptures the essence of earlier titles, including their dark tone.

"I wouldn't call it a reboot because I don't think the franchise necessarily needs that," Spencer told IGN as part of a wide-ranging podcast interview.

Gears of War: Judgment was not the franchise's finest hour, Spencer says

The franchise, which Microsoft acquired from Epic Games earlier this year, does not need to be rebooted in part because the series still has legions of dedicated fans, despite an underwhelming game in Judgment, Spencer said.

"I know Judgement didn't hit everybody's needs and desires in terms of what they wanted. But I think we can continue, but we can also--we have a new team, [original Gears of War trilogy producer Rod Fergusson is] there to really help with the continuity. I think we can make sure that we're investing in this thing for the next decade, which is how I want to think about it."

Also in the interview, Spencer said that while the Gears of War series started out strong and confident in what it was aiming to be, subsequent titles felt like parodies of earlier games.

"The thing that was great about the early Gears of War games, to me, [was] just the epic scale of the settings that I was in," he said. "The story, the setting was a lot more what I would call soulful and maybe even a little dark. And [Rod Fergusson] and I have talked about this; I think the game over time became almost more of a parody of itself; not for any kind of horrible reasons. It's hard to continue to manage the IP."

"And Gears 2 did well, Gears 3 did well. So I thought the franchise continued to grow. But we've talked about getting back to something … I think the story and the setting and what they're going through ... in a Gears of War--the name of the game, it really meant something to what that game was about. We've got to get back to that. The feeling of those individuals."

The new and untitled Gears of War game for Xbox One is in the very early stages of development, and all we've seen so far from it is a blurry piece of concept art.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Nintendo announced earlier this month that they'll be revealing "50 new things" coming to Super Smash Bros. on Wii U, and you can watch that presentation right here through the embedded video above.

The presentation is set to start at 3PM PST / 6PM ET.

Leaks have revealed that the game will have a stage creator and a "board game" mode, and we're expecting to hear something about that during the stream. But what do you most want to hear about? Let us know in the comments below!

We'll be updating this story with additional details as they're revealed.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Team Ninja Creative Director Tom Lee talks about the two new stages in DOA 5 Last Round as well as game mechanics and more.
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With Dragon Age: Inquisition's release now less than a month away, the game's ESRB rating has been posted, and it's a doozy. Via Kotaku, the role-playing game has received an M rating for blood, violence, strong language, nudity, and sexual content.

ESRB ratings are often funny/strange/bizarre to read without the context of playing the game, and this is no different for Inquisition. Regarding Inquisition's sexual scenes, the ESRB reveals some of the most bizarre pillow talk we've ever seen in gaming.

Here's how the ESRB sums it up (emphasis added):

"The game includes some sexual material: a female character briefly depicted in front of a man's torso (fellatio is implied); characters depicted topless or with exposed buttocks while lying in bed or after sex; some dialogue referencing sex/sexuality (e.g., 'I will bring myself sexual pleasure later, while thinking about this with great respect' and 'The way your t*ts bounce when I pin your arms and take you on the side of the bed…'). The words 'f**k,' 'sh*t,' and 'a*shole' appear in dialogue."

The ESRB rating also reveals that Inquisition will make the most of its M rating in terms of violence. According to the rating, we'll see cutscenes where characters get impaled or have their throats slit. Other violent sequences will highlight cries of pain, gurgling/gushing sounds, and "large blood-splatter effects."

Inquisition launches November 18 for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. BioWare recently confirmed that the game will run at 1080p on PS4 and 900p on Xbox One. Inquisition was originally targeted to launch a full year ago, but has since been delayed twice.

November 18 is shaping up to be a busy day for high-profile new releases, as the Xbox One and PS4 versions of Grand Theft Auto V and WWE 2K15 are due to launch on that day, alongside Far Cry 4, Escape Dead Island, LittleBigPlanet 3, and Watch Dogs for Wii U.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

The next system update for PlayStation 4, v2.00, will be released next Tuesday, October 28, Sony announced today.

This is a major update for the system--so much so that Sony has apparently decided to give it a non-numerical name, Masamune. We first heard about this update back in August, and just recently learned about more of what it includes.

Among the highlights are YouTube sharing, Share Play (allowing a remote PS4 owner to play games with you as if they were in the room), themes, and a USB music player that effectively enables custom soundtracks.

Other small improvements are also in store, including refining the home screen. Although not changed to the degree many would like, the home screen will now display the 15 most-used games and apps, with the remainder of the software installed on your system being confined to the Library section. Also new is a way to add PlayStation Plus games to your account without initiating a download and a "players you may know" area in the What's New section.

Check out some of the PS4 themes Sony has shared so far in the gallery below.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Ubisoft today announced the minimum and recommended PC specs for Assassin's Creed Unity, and let's just say it's going to generate Nvidia and AMD some new business.

A 64-bit operating system is required in order to play Unity, and you'll need a whopping 50 GB of hard drive space to install it. The processor and RAM requirements aren't especially noteworthy, but what stands out most are the video card requirements.

A GTX 680 or HD 7970 is the bare minimum for what will run the game. The only video cards supported at release are the GTX 680 or better; the GTX 700 series; the HD 7970 or better; and the R9 200 series. Laptop versions of these "may work but are not officially supported."

By comparison, the last Assassin's Creed game, Black Flag, recommended a GTX 470 or HD 5850 (GTX 260/HD 4870 required), both of which are significantly older than what's being asked for by Unity. Even looking at other games that have been or will be released this fall--Alien: Isolation (GT 430/HD 5550), The Evil Within (GTX 460), and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (GTS 450/HD 5870)--show how Unity's requirements blow them all away.

Ubisoft would no doubt point to the fact that Unity has been built exclusively for current-gen consoles and PC, and it therefore needs a good deal of horsepower to run. Still, it's surprising to see that the PC version of Unity will only be available to a relatively small subset of PC owners--I'm personally out in the dark despite spending close to $600 on a video card less than three years ago.

The full required and recommended specs follow below. Let us know in the comments how your machine compares.

Required Specs:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8/8.1
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.3 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz or AMD Phenom II x4 940 @ 3.0 GHz
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon HD 7970 (2 GB VRAM)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers
  • Hard Drive Space: 50 GB available space

Recommended Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770 @ 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz or better
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290X (3 GB VRAM)

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Watch extended gameplay footage from Legend of Grimrock 2 featuring the Giant Bomb crew.

Upcoming stealth-action game Assassin's Creed Unity will offer "dozens of hours" of gameplay, creative director Alex Amancio says in a new video published today (above). That's just for the main game, as the open-world title's season pass content will offer up another eight hours, the publisher says.

In the video above, Amancio outlines the many activities players can take on outside of the main campaign, including side quests (murder investigations and treasure hunts are among them), co-op heist missions, and the Cafe Theatre. This is a hub for main character Arno's assassin activities, and a place where you can customize your character and participate in training activities before you go out into the world.

Overall, Amancio says Unity will deliver an "unparalleled scope" of activities to participate in. This is fueled by "unprecedented density and variety" that Amancio says will "take interactivity to a new level and introduce play styles never before seen in an Assassin's Creed game."

The game's $30 DLC pass includes a new single-player campaign called Dead Kings, as well as various additional weapons and items. On top of that, the Unity pass comes with Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, a 2.5D side-scrolling game set in 16th century China. In addition, if you preorder Unity, you'll receive an exclusive mission called Chemical Revolution.

Unity launches November 11 for Xbox One (with special bundles), PlayStation 4, and PC. Another new entry in the series, Assassin's Creed Rogue, also launches that day for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Earlier today, Ubisoft announced the minimum and recommended PC specifications for Unity. You can see them here. For more on Unity, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Sports fans willing to pick up NBA Live 15 during its launch week will get $30's worth of bonus content for free, EA Sports announced today.

Early adopters of the game--which comes three weeks later than originally planned, as well as three weeks after the launch of NBA 2K15--will get 10 Gold Premium packs for the game's Ultimate Team mode. Ultimate Team allows you to build a team in what amounts to a card game of sorts--a mode that has proven popular in Madden and FIFA especially, generating $380 million in revenue for EA during the fiscal year that ended this past March.

This offer is obviously an attempt to encourage early sales for the game--something that might not be in your best interest given the NBA Live series' recent history. Thankfully, you'll have a full week after launch to qualify for the bonus; just buy the game between launch on October 28 and November 6, connect to the online servers, and you'll receive the free packs on Xbox One or PS4.

A blog post from the game's developers positions this as a reward for faithful fans who have stuck with the series despite its problems. "Here's the deal. We know that NBA Live has been on, let's call it 'a journey,' recently," the blog states. "We took a few extra weeks to polish the game up, so you've had to wait longer than you should have to play.

"You've stuck with us through thick and thin, so we want to take this opportunity to say thanks and give you a little something to help get your experience and your Ultimate Team off on the right foot. Since Ultimate Team is quickly becoming the most popular way to play online, we're doing our best to help you get that little extra advantage up front."

Whether you're on Xbox One or PS4, you'll have the opportunity to try out Live 15 for yourself. EA Access members can download a six-hour trial on Xbox One today, which will then be made available to all Xbox One owners next Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, a more traditional demo will be released for PS4 owners. Either way, you should be able to see for yourself how the game stacks up against 2K15.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

The Pew Research Center has released a new study about online harassment, and among the findings is that, of major online environments, gaming is the least welcoming for women.

The study surveyed around 3,000 Internet users (both male and female), and only 3 percent of respondents said that online gaming was more welcoming toward women, compared to 44 percent who felt it was more welcoming toward men.

"Most online environments are seen as equally welcoming toward men and women; the exception is online gaming," Pew wrote.

Other online environments featured in the study included online dating sites/apps, social networking sites/apps, comments sections, and online discussion sites. You can see how the online gaming category compares to the others in the chart below.

Pew also shared some of the responses that participants provided in the open-ended question section of the survey. Harassment through online gaming mostly was attributed to "sore losers" and name-calling, the research group said, adding that "many" respondents "easily brushed off the negativity."

Below are some of the responses that Pew shared:

  • "Someone was a sore loser in an online game and hurled threats and insults."
  • "Nothing bad just someone didn't like how I was playing a game. The good thing is, on the computer, you can just leave!"
  • "When someone is losing a game, the opponent will abruptly leave but not without calling me or others a vulgar name or comment."
  • "A standard bully-type came into a video game broadcast that a friend of mine and I run and made offensive comments at the two of us, mostly referring to our breasts."
  • "This happens too regularly in online games to remember a specific occurrence."

This study comes as the topic of women in gaming has made headlines of late. Over the summer, Assassin's Creed publisher Ubisoft caught flak for its explanation as to why Assassin's Creed Unity has no playable female characters, while Magicka publisher Paradox said the industry should not shy away from talking about the topic. On top of that, another new study showed that the percentage of female game developers has more than doubled since 2009 to 22 percent, according to the latest data.

In terms of the bigger picture, the Pew study found that 73 percent of adult Internet users have witnessed someone being harassed in some way, while 40 percent have personally experienced harassment. You can read the full report at Pew's website here.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Driveclub's messy launch has still not been entirely cleared up, though developer Evolution Studios says it's "steadily improving connectivity for everybody" as it adds new multiplayer events for those who can play the game online.

The latest update on its attempts to resolve issues that have hampered the game since launch makes note of everyone's frustration, but asks fans to "please understand that we are doing everything we can to get all aspects of online play up and running smoothly as quickly as possible."

More servers for the game continue to come online, and Evolution says regular server updates are going out, too. The company recently claimed that the "majority" of players are now able to connect to the game's servers, which is necessary for accessing many of Driveclub's features. Those who are able to connect will now find new events that are available in multiplayer, as well as "more variety when you choose to race with and against other drivers online."

"We will keep you up to date as we improve server performance for all aspects of online play," the studio says. "Thank you again for your support while this work continues."

There is still no word on when we'll be seeing the free version for PlayStation Plus members. The Plus Edition was to offer a limited slice of the game; while you'd have access all features, only certain cars and tracks would be playable without upgrading to the full version (priced at $50 for Plus members). Earlier this week, Evolution said it had no "concrete info" on when it would be released. It was originally expected out alongside the full game on October 7, only to be delayed due to server issues.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Microsoft has released a slick new trailer for Halo: Nightfall, the upcoming live-action series produced by Alien and Gladiator director Ridley Scott.

The trailer shows off protagonist Agent Locke (played by Mike Colter), who is not only the focus of Nightfall, but also plays a major role in 2015 Xbox One game Halo 5: Guardians.

The first episode in Nightfall, which is directed by Battlestar Galactica's Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, will be shown during the HaloFest live-stream event on the evening of November 10.

The rest of the series will debut later. You can get access to the entire Nightfall series by buying Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which launches on November 11.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Steam page has revealed the game's minimum and recommended PC system requirements. We already knew the minimum requirements, but this is the first time we're hearing about the game's recommended requirements.

Interestingly, the Advanced Warfare page has since removed the requirements, though not before CVG was able to capture them. You can see the full minimum and recommended requirements below.

Minimum:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit / Windows 8.1 64-Bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-530 @ 2.93 GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 2.80 GHz or better
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 @ 1 GB / ATI Radeon HD 5870 @ 1 GB or better
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Hard drive: 55 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX-compatible

Recommended:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit / Windows 8.1 64-Bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.30GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 @ 4 GB
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Hard drive: 55 GB available space
  • Sound card: 100% DirectX 9.0c Compatible 16-bit
  • Additional notes: Field of View ranges from 65-90

Advanced Warfare launches November 4 (get it November 3 by preordering) for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4--but not Wii U. Activision recently announced a special promotion whereby last-generation Advanced Warfare owners can upgrade to current-generation for free, with some limitations.

Despite Advanced Warfare's release still being two weeks away, Activision just recently debuted the game's launch trailer. For more on Advanced Warfare, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com