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Madden 15 tackles top linemen, cornerback ratings

Last week, EA Sports dished out its player ratings for the top NFL rookies and positions like quarterbacks and running backs for Madden NFL 15. The athlete-ranking countdown to the game's launch continues with ratings for the top players at six positions: Offensive line, defensive end, defensive tackle, inside linebacker, outside linebacker and cornerback. Madden 15 attempts to settle the debate as to who is the best corner in the league by giving Seahawks star and cover athlete Richard Sherman a 99 overall rating. The game's top defensive end, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans also came away with a 99 rating.

EA ranked two San Francisco 49ers players at the top of the middle linebacker position as well: Both Patrick Willis and teammate NaVorro Bowman bested Panthers linebacker and reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly with 96 overall ratings compared to Kuechly's 94. Head past the break for the full list of ratings provided by EA Tiburon. Madden 15 will launch August 26 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360. The game will attempt to turn players into better students of the sport and emphasizes improved defensive control.

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Pick your favorite The Evil Within case art, win a signed copy

Bethesda is polling fans to decide which alternate cover art should be bundled with Tango Gameworks' upcoming survival horror game The Evil Within, and ten copies of the game signed by director Shinji Mikami are up for grabs as a voting incentive.

Voters can pick between the "Asylum" exterior shot, the ocular "Piercing Eye," or the limb-bending "Twisted" cover art. The winning design will be featured on the back side of The Evil Within's sleeve art, similar to BioShock Infinite's reversible cover.

Voting ends on August 8. We've collected all three designs in the gallery below -- which one is your favorite?

[Image: Bethesda]

Sky's Now TV app out on Xbox One, Verizon updates FiOS

Xbox console owners in the UK now have an expanded variety of entertainment options at the ready, as Sky has released an Xbox One version of its Now TV app, bringing the service's streamed and on-demand catalog to Microsoft's platform.

Verizon also updated its FiOS app on Xbox consoles this week, introducing 14 additional channels to its lineup. New channels available to subscribers include AMC HD, Encore, Bloomberg HD, Showtime, and Starz.

While Xbox entertainment apps were previously available only for Xbox Live Gold members, Microsoft recently updated its policies to grant access to Netflix, HBO Go, and other services to all Xbox owners.

[Image: Sky]

Watch Dogs DLC tease rats out Camden, New Jersey

According to a new tweet from the official Watch Dogs Twitter account, Camden, New Jersey was the most crime-ridden US city in 2012. That's not at all true, but it's apparently a solid enough fiction for a DLC tease.

"Our data indicates surveillance has become more prominent in high-crime areas," the account states before linking to the above infographic. First, let's debunk that core claim. Depending on how you categorize crime, the dubious honor of highest US crime rates in 2012 would go to either Detroit or St. Louis. Camden doesn't even make the top-10 lists (though Newark, New Jersey ranked among the highest crime rates per capita in 2011). Despite this, the Twitter account claims that "a surveillance program is now in effect."

Shortly after the tweet was issued, a fan did the sensible thing and plainly asked if this cryptic message was related to upcoming DLC. Watch Dogs fans have long been waiting for the first installments of the singeplayer campaign promised by the game's Season Pass, and based on the Twitter account's brief reply - "Coming this fall" - it's probably safe to assume Camden, New Jersey plays some part in the additional content. How exactly is anyone's guess, so please deposit those guesses in the comments below.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Destiny beta: 4.6 million players guided by their Dinklage

The Destiny beta was a beast, with Activision announcing today that 4,638,937 players participated in the early access stress test of the game launching September 9.

"Hosting a beta at this scale is an incredible feat, so we're thrilled to see the phenomenal response. But the beta is just a taste of what's to come," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. "This is the biggest beta of this console generation by a wide margin and the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP to date."

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Dragon Age: Inquisition combat trailer burninates the countryside


A new trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition doesn't offer new info on the game's combat, but it's encouraging to see BioWare focus on the level of strategy offered by its real-time-with-pausing system. To see more combat in action, watch our new video preview which comes with even more dragon - that's really what it's all about, right? No?

As you probably already know, BioWare's upcoming RPG is now due on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 18. What you may not know is there's also a delay to Dragon Age Keep, the tool that will let you set up story choices from previous Dragon Ages to carry over in Inquisition. As explained on the BioWare blog, the delay is in keeping with the one for Inquisition, and it'll result in an extended beta program that'll drag on for testers.

Pinball FX2 delayed on Xbox One, devs adding table transfers

Pinball FX2 won't be pulling plungers and flipping flippers on July 31 after all, developer Zen Studios announced on its blog. But before you go full tilt on the comments section, know that it's for a good reason: Zen Studios is using the extra development time to implement table transfers so that players who purchased a table for the Xbox 360 version of FX2 will be able to move that table to the Xbox One, free of charge.

Zen Studios doesn't expect the implementation of the feature to take long, as the Pinball FX2 release date has only been pushed back to "sometime in August," nebulous though that date may be. "We do apologize for the delay while we create the Pinball FX2 experience that our fans both want and deserve," the Zen Studios blog reads. "We're excited to bring Pinball FX2 to Xbox One owners, to have their previous purchases honored and transferred, and we can't wait to share with you what we've got coming in the future."

[Thanks, Kraig!]

[Image: Zen Studios]

Activision reveals Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare special editions

Activision today unveiled a lineup of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare collector's editions, putting an array of bonus-bundled physical and digital packages up for pre-order at its official website.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Atlas Limited Edition ($79.99) includes a retail copy of the game packed in a SteelBook case, the Welcome to Atlas: Advanced Soldier Manual, the bonus multiplayer map Atlas Gorge, and the Atlas Digital Content Pack, which features themed character exoskeletons and weapons. The Atlus Pro Edition ($119.99, shown above) includes all Limited Edition content along with an Advanced Warfare Season Pass that will digitally deliver four multiplayer map packs to players throughout next year.

Also up for pre-order is the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Atlas Digital Pro Edition ($99.99), which includes all Pro Edition content, minus the retail edition's physical goodies. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will hit the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PS4, and PC platforms on November 4.

[Image: Activision]

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's story includes some very hostile takeovers


Between the bang-bangs and the pew-pew-pews, developer Sledgehammer Games is using Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to tell a story. The game's latest trailer proves as much.

It seems terrorists have attacked nuclear power plants all over the globe in a show of unlikely coordination that causes the world's governments to topple. In the wake of this collapse, a private military corporation rises to restore order to humanity. Unfortunately, that corporation is lead by Kevin Spacey in full megalomaniac mode, and after cleaning up the streets he uses his company's military might to assume de facto control over the planet.

Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the planet from one of America's finest living actors? If you do, will any scenery remain unchewed? Find out on November 4 when Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare makes its official debut.
[Image: Activision]

Xbox Deals With Gold delivers discounted Battlefield 4 DLC

Battlefield series die-hards can pick up an arsenal of discounted DLC this week through Microsoft's Deals with Gold promotion, which currently offers a 33 percent discount on Battlefield 4's Premium membership, China Rising, Second Assault, Naval Strike, and Ultimate Shortcut Bundle add-ons for the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

The Xbox 360 Games on Demand versions of Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, and NHL 14 are half-off this week for Gold members, and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is available for 70 percent off its regular price. Xbox Live Silver members, meanwhile, can pick up a copy of SpikySnail's liquid puzzler The Splatters for 50 percent off through next week.

[Image: EA DICE]

Trials Fusion rides into the rustlands in first DLC pack


Ubisoft takes players to a grittier side of the Trials universe today in "Riders of the Rustlands," the first of six planned Season Pass DLC packs planned for Trials Fusion.

Riders of the Rustlands takes place in a wasteland outside of the squeaky-clean cityscapes featured Trials Fusion's core content, challenging riders with level layouts made up of makeshift metal platforms and rusty abandoned structures. The pack introduces six new Classic Trials tracks, two Supercross levels, one Skill Game, and one FMX track, along with a collection of 18 new Track Challenges.

Riders of the Rustlands is available as part of Trials Fusion's Season Pass, and is priced at $4.99 as a standalone download.

[Video: Ubisoft]

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This Destiny beta footage came from the moon

Image For two hours on Saturday, Bungie opened the gates to the moon in the Destiny beta. Historian of all things moon related, Joystiq invites you to watch this footage of the mission. Spoilers: We found wizards! The beta has since ended, but Destiny launches on September 9 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3... Continue Reading

Give me a deluxe apartment in Destiny's sky

There are plenty of mechanical details that need to be tweaked before Destiny is ready for its full public debut, as this weekend's past stress test showed. There are balance issues and a few bugs, and the smart thing for Bungie to do is to really nail down the questing and shooting and matchmaking until they're all pretty much perfect. That's your core gameplay right there, and if that's not satisfying, nobody will really care all that much if you can dye your armor red. After all that's taken care of, however, what I want most next - before more content, even, is a house. Well, more like an apartment. The game says that the Tower is "where the Guardians live," so fine, let me live there.

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Visit scenic Twilight Gap, Destiny's latest Crucible map


With the Destiny beta now behind us, the developers at Bungie can resume teasing in-game content that the majority of us won't see in-person for months. Case in point, Twilight Gap.

According to this IGN featurette, Twilight Gap is a map that will be found in the final, retail version of Destiny's multiplayer combat component, the Crucible. As an abandoned military base set on the ruined Earth, it features foreboding, claustrophobic metal corridors, expansive outdoor vistas and mountainous, alpine terrain. As lead designer Lars Bakken explains, though relatively small, Twilight Gap offers combatants a multi-tiered battleground where vertical movement is as important as controlling the ground around your Guardian.

If this short tour has whet your appetite, we're sorry to report that you won't be admiring Twilight Gap first-hand until Destiny's September debut. In the meantime, why not have a look at our new list of those games that remind us of Destiny. Unlike Bungie's open-world shooter, those games can be played at this very moment.
[Image: Activision]

Waiting for Destiny: Games that remind us of Bungie's next franchise

Late last night, Bungie pulled the plug on the Destiny beta, forcing Guardians into hibernation until September 9. For those anticipating the game's multiplatform release, the server shutdown was like a swift tug of a band aid from healing wound: Quick and painful.

Were we patient, we'd say the wait to September 9 is no time at all – 42 days we could do standing on our head. But we're not patient and we need something to satiate our thirst. Luckily, Bungie's latest game seems to pull elements from a host of different franchises, so we have options for maintaining that buzz while we wait for the real thing.

[Note: View the slideshow in fullscreen to make sure the captions display properly.]
[Image: Bungie]

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