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Put those goats to use in Tropico 5's 'The Big Cheese' DLC

Mmm, cheese. Tropico 5's first DLC pack is called The Big Cheese, and it involves actually making cheese in El Presidente's very own artisan factory, The Creamery. The Big Cheese is available now for $4, or free for those who pre-ordered the game via Steam or purchased a physical boxed copy.

"'The Big Cheese' DLC, available today, challenges players to create and promote an artisan cheese brand by introducing a new production chain with The Creamery: a new building that enables you to make the most of Tropico's local goats and llamas," Kalypso says in a press release. "Put on the chef's hat and face international competition in an epic quest to create the best cheese in the world!"

Update 1.04 is live today as well, enabling saves in multiplayer and squashing some bugs. We can't have bugs in the cheese factory, after all.
[Image: Kalypso]

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Halo still evolving its combat, graphics and more on PC



Halo: Combat Evolved has already had its Anniversary edition on Xbox 360, and later this year, we'll see its remastered form once again as part of The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One. But official efforts from Microsoft and 343 Industries aren't the only ones working to update John-117 and Cortana's adventures; a group of modders has created "SPV3," a mod that improves the visuals while adding features not only from later Halo games, but some completely new ones as well.

Want to hijack a Ghost? Take out a Brute with the Battle Rifle? Such are the dreams that SPV3 makes into reality. The mod is a work-in-progress, however, and won't be ready until later this year. The recently-released trailer shows that instead of being made available all at once, the group behind SPV3 is aiming to release individual levels over the course of two months later this year. Check out the full list after the break:

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Titanfall adds 'Black Market' and in-game currency system

Respawn Entertainment added a new in-game market to Titanfall known as the "Black Market," which allows players to redeem credits in the game for burn card packs and insignias. For instance, the game's standard burn card pack costs 5,000 credits and contains six random pilot and Titan burn cards. Players will have access to the Black Market once they reach level 11 and have opened the burn card menu.

Respawn emphasized that the game's new currency and market updates do not indicate that Titanfall players will be spending real money in the game at any point, driving the point home with an all-caps "NO MICROTRANSACTIONS" note in its announcement.

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Kickstarter-funded game developer at heart of Airbnb squatter scandal

Reports from multiple sources identify the culprit behind a recent high-profile Airbnb squatting case as Maksym Pashanin, a game developer who turned to Kickstarter last year to fund the courier-themed roguelike RPG Confederate Express.

Airbnb is an online service that allows travelers to seek out low-cost temporary lodging provided by independent homeowners. According to CNN Travel, Pashanin is taking advantage of a California law that protects squatter's rights. After using Airbnb to negotiate a 30-day stay at a privately owned condominium in Palm Springs, Pashanin and his brother refused to move out afterward, claiming that tenants who occupy a living space for more than 30 consecutive days are automatically granted a month-to-month lease under state law.

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Dark Souls 2 'Crown of the Sunken King' review: Lost and crowned

After losing days to just navigating Lordran, I understood the switch to more linear pathways in Dark Souls 2. Still, I missed getting truly lost in the first game's open world. It was a labyrinthine mess that coiled in on itself in the most confusing ways, and it added another layer to an already oppressive game. The world itself was against you in Dark Souls, and it magnified those feelings of dread, challenge and, eventually, satisfaction.

It's great to see Crown of the Sunken King, the first Dark Souls 2 DLC expansion, is closer to the first game's mazey madness, albeit in a more conscise form. Its rocky inclines and crumbling chambers don't so much twist and turn as gently lead you astray, and the interconnections are more foreshadowed. It makes sense for the DLC's scope; it takes five hours to find and defeat the final boss, and that's even if you lose your way a few times.

All the same, in its stone-cold heart of hearts, Sunken King is just more Dark Souls 2, albeit inevitably tougher. There are a few new enemies - some total bastards - while others are more reworked and re-skinned, but generally the higher difficulty comes from placement and numbers.

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Jazzy noir stealth game, Third Eye Crime, lands on Steam

Third Eye Crime has jumped from mobile devices to Steam, available on PC for $5. Third Eye Crime is a jazzy, telepathic stealth game where you play as a criminal who is able to predict where enemies will move as they attempt to capture or stop your ne'er-do-welling. Players are able to lay traps and plant false leads in a top-down world.

Third Eye Crime has three acts, eight environments and more than 120 levels. The game comes from Moonshot Games, a team of former AAA and Bungie developers, and it launched on iOS earlier this year. Moonshot started work on Third Eye Crime last year, after funding for a download-only console shooter, Fallen Frontier, fell through.
[Image: Moonshot Games]

The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection free through Origin this week

After recently ending official support for the PC version of 2004's The Sims 2, Electronic Arts is now offering all Origin users a copy of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection for free, through the end of the month.

Users can redeem the expansion-bundled freebie by entering the code "I-LOVE-THE-SIMS" after choosing "Redeem Product Code" from the Games tab after firing up the Origin front-end. Downloads will remain available through July 31st at 10 a.m. PDT, so act fast if you want to add the classic human-torment simulator to your Origin library.

[Image: EA Maxis]

Gods will be launching tomorrow, prepare with trailer



And on the twenty-third day of July, lo did publisher Devolver Digital bestow upon the world a new trailer for Deconstructeam's point-and-be-sad-click game, Gods Will Be Watching. And thus did Joystiq readers weep, for they knew the many feels the game would bring on the morrow, when it releases in both standard and collector's editions.

And those that did not know of Gods Will Be Watching, they saw that Joystiq did stream the game with developer Jordi de Paco, and thus knew that they could learn more about the game. Which, again, tells quite the sad tale. Seriously.
[Image: Devolver Digital]

Updated Steam Controller adds an analog stick

Ah, there it is. A new version of Valve's Steam Controller includes an analog stick on the left-hand side, replacing a series of four directional buttons previously in its place. The new controller design still has two circular track pads, four lettered buttons, bumpers and triggers, among other features included in previous iterations.

The new design shows up in the latest Steam client beta, as spotted by SteamDB and on the Facepunch forums (via Engadget).

We've tried out previous Steam Controllers in the wild, and found the latest version to be functional but awkward: "It's impressive that the Steam Controller can bounce between styles as disparate as 2D adventure and first-person puzzling, and its touch pads could become second nature over time, but it's definitely not going to provide a seamless transition from traditional controllers, at least not in its current state," our reviewer, Richard Mitchell, said.
[Image: Valve]

Postcards from WildStar: See you, space cowboy

Welcome to Postcards from WildStar, a look at Carbine's new MMO. This is our final set of impressions, so be sure to check up on our previous postcards, and we hope you enjoyed the series!
Well, here we are, friends. End of the Postcards from WildStar line. You've met my purple-haired, green-eyed defender of the forest, and tagged along as she fought her way through Dominion foes and savage beasts. You've been welcomed into her home and watched in horror as she died – often – in WildStar's PvP. Though to be fair, the "horror" part might just have been me. (I'm not very good at PvP!)

MMOs are monstrous beasts and massive undertakings. They require a significant time commitment and sometimes month-to-month monetary compensation. The goal with these postcards has been not to give a finalized review, but to offer thoughts and impressions on the many aspects of Carbine's entry in the genre. Having poked and probed around for nearly two months now, I'm ready to wrap things up and give a summary conclusion. Read on to see where I place WildStar in the annals of MMO history.

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Buy Secret Ponchos on Steam, give another to a friend

Spaghetti western shooter Secret Ponchos is best enjoyed with a friend Lady and the Tramp-style, like a plate of pasta. While you won't need to do any smooching with your bestie, those playing the game on Steam can now show a little love by gifting a copy to one friend.

The "Secret Ponchos Double Down" promotion grants all buyers an extra Steam code, providing they pick the game up before August 5. The game arrived on Steam in mid-June via Early Access, and is currently available for $14.99. Whether you buy a copy for yourself or are the recipient of one of the free codes, you'll have access to the full version of the game when it arrives later this year. While there's no set release date for Secret Ponchos, it is expected to launch in full on both PC and PS4 this fall.
[Image: Switchblade Monkeys]

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Alternate 1980s RPG Majestic Nights is one big conspiracy


Some choose to believe the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969 was a hoax, or that the United States government is keeping extraterrestrials in a hidden building somewhere in the Nevada desert. Epiphany Games is playing off these types of conspiracies with its freshly-announced episodic game, Majestic Nights, which will debut in September. In the alternate 1980s game, these sorts of conspiracies aren't just theories, but are "truths." Players guide an intelligence operative known as Cardholder and a private investigator named Cal in the isometric RPG, uncovering clues to the criminal cover-ups and world-breaking facts about events like alien abductions.

The first season of Majestic Nights includes six episodes and kicks off with a "Chapter Zero" prologue for free in September, which dives into the aforementioned moon landing. Majestic Nights' subsequent chapters will come at a cost; the first is expected to arrive in October, with the season's conclusive sixth episode currently slated for April 2015. The game is in development for PC, Mac, iOS and Android, and while Epiphany didn't put a price to each chapter, season passes will be available for players to guarantee access to the whole shebang.
[Image: Epiphany Games]

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Live Look: Hearthstone Curse of Naxxramas


If you've been interested in Blizzard's collectible card game Hearthstone, but the whole idea of competitive multiplayer is a turn-off, it's time to take another look at the title with the Curse of Naxxramas single-player expansion. Launched late yesterday, we did a quick little walkthrough of the new content this morning on our Twitch channel. Skip ahead to the seven minute mark for the start of gameplay.

We got a little confused about the pricing of the expansion on the stream, so we've placed those details after the break for easy reference. The first wing of Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas is available free-to-play now on PC and iPad.

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Crysis 3, Ryse producer Mike Read departs Crytek

Crytek's exodus of company talent continues, as Ryse: Son of Rome and Crysis 3 producer Mike Read has left the studio, The Escapist reports.

The Escapist notes that Read's recently updated LinkedIn profile no longer lists Crytek as his current employer. Read's Twitter bio additionally states that he is a "former producer" at Crytek.

Read's departure follows up on the recent resignation of 11-year Crytek veteran Tiago Sousa, who now serves as Lead Rendering Programmer at id Software. Subsidiary Crytek UK also saw a number of departures last month, losing more than 30 employees and Homefront: The Revolution director Hasit Zala amid rumors of late staff payments.

[Image: Crytek]

Batman: Arkham Knight Red Hood DLC exclusive to GameStop

An exclusive batch of story mode DLC will be available for customers who pre-order Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Knight at GameStop, the retailer announced today.

GameStop's "Red Hood Story Pack" DLC introduces Batman series vigilante Red Hood as a playable character, and features a number of exclusive single-player missions. GameStop pre-order buyers will also receive the Harley Quinn Story Pack, which bundles an additional playable character and four challenge maps.

Today's DLC reveal follows up on GameStop's recent announcement that it would fund unique DLC for featured games. The Arkham series has a history of experimenting with retail- and platform-exclusive content; the PlayStation 3 version of Arkham Origins hosted exclusive Knightfall maps, and Arkham City's Catwoman DLC served as a retail-focused incentive to curb used game sales.

Batman: Arkham Knight will hit the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms in 2015.

[Image: GameStop]

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