This week in games: Free Assassin's Creed DLC, an Xbox One/PS4 laptop, and more

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell

Operators are on the line, ready to take your calls about this week’s gaming news, which includes a Saints Row infomercial, an Xbox One/PlayStation 4 hybrid laptop... thing, and whatever the hell a “Guillotine Gun” is.

This is Missing Pieces for the week of January 12.

Good to be king

Let’s lead off with our monthly dash of console news, otherwise known as the NPDs. There’s good news from both camps this month—the Xbox One was the best-selling console in December thanks in large part to a temporary price cut to $350, while the PlayStation 4 nabbed the best-selling console of 2014 prize.

To celebrate, Microsoft announced it’s “temporarily” dropping the price of the Xbox One back to $350 after raising it to $400 on January 1. Bought an Xbox One sometime in the last two weeks? Sucks to be you.

Civilization: Beyond Saints Row

Steam’s letting you play some games for free this weekend—Civilization: Beyond Earth for the discerning individual, and the entire Saints Row series for the even more discerning individual.

Frankenstein

First Eddie Zarick put an Xbox One into an oversized “laptop” form factor called the Xbook One. Then he did the same with a PlayStation 4.

PlayBox

Now he’s somehow combined both systems into one 22-inch device called the PlayBox (4 One), which reminds me of those depressing “Microwave Cooking For One” cookbooks or a bad porn flick.

Too old for this beta

Visceral’s been out and about touting a multiplayer beta for the upcoming Battlefield: Hardline, but with no firm dates yet. All they’ll say is “It’s coming sooner than you may think.”

Really? Sooner than I might think considering the game is only two months away from release? The span of dates where this “beta” could possibly take place is remarkably slim and growing slimmer by the day. Keep in mind that this is actually the second “beta” for Hardline, after the first was so disastrous that the entire game got pushed back six months.

Waiting for an Eternity

Obsidian finally gave Pillars of Eternity, its Infinity Engine-inspired CRPG,a real solid launch date this week: March 26. Hopefully the extra four months of polish cleared out some of the traditional Obsidian bugginess.

Better than chainsaw gun

I promised myself I’d never write about Assassin’s Creed: Unity again, but here we are. Ubisoft put out the “Dead Kings” DLC this week, which it’s providing to all players to apologize for the game’s shoddy quality.

Whatever. The important fact here is that there’s apparently a “guillotine gun” included. I’m struggling to even picture what that entails, which leaves me torn between curiosity and a desire to never boot that game again or really even remember it exists.

Dragon slayer

EA put out some stats about Dragon Age: Inquisition’s dragon-hunting this week. The main stat? Approximately 2.6 million dragons have killed by players since launch in November.

Dragon Age Stats

That number seems high because our human brains are really bad at comprehending big numbers, but let’s think about it for a second—if the game sold only a million copies, that would still only be an average of 3 dragons killed per player. If the game sold let’s say 5 million copies, that basically means only half the players ever killed even a single dragon.

Either way, it seems like a pretty low stat considering there are ten dragons in the game.

Roll the DICE

I’ll be heading out to Vegas in a few weeks to attend DICE, everyone’s favorite businesspeople in suits gaming event. The main attraction though is the DICE Awards, which compete with March’s GDC Awards each year to see which can be more prestigious.

The nominees for the DICE Awards came out this week, and they’re led by Shadow of Mordor with nine nominations and Far Cry 4 with seven.

Here, for your perusal, are the Game of the Year nominees:

Destiny, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Far Cry 4, Hearthstone, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.

I’ll be on hand to tweet snarky things, just like last year.

Just stop

I thank the gods every day that as a PC gamer I don’t ever have to step foot in a GameStop ever again, but I thank them doubly on days where GameStop is in the news for something creepy as hell.

This week GameStop announced a partnership with Microsoft’s Azure cloud network to let employees access information about individuals (voluntarily) using the GameStop app, to “provide a personalized shopping experience based on the customer’s unique shopping history,” which it claims will take “retail innovation to the next level” (via similarly-named-but-unaffiliated-GameSpot). Ugh, I feel dirty just writing that.

Evolve into higher DLC tiers

I’m looking forward to Evolve, I’ll admit. But I feel like I’m looking forward to the game a little less every day, and that feeling wasn’t helped this week by the unveiling of some truly bonkers DLC plans. We’re talking Horse Armor status.

Evolve Wraith

At least this Evolve screenshot still looks rad.

Each new Hunter will cost $7.50. New monsters? Fifteen sweet-jiggity-on-a-hot-dog dollars. Remember when we used to look at Call of Duty selling map packs for fifteen bucks and scoff at how expensive it was? Now we’re apparently paying the same for a single character.

It’s a brave new next-gen world we’re living in.

The one silver lining on this enormous thundercloud is that any new maps will be free, so as not to split the player-base. Still, this DLC plan seems pretty egregious for a $60 box product even in comparison to our DLC-hungry industry.

”Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”

I didn’t think Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell could top its crazy musical trailer, and it couldn’t. But it tries really hard, with this awesome infomercial-inspired launch trailer.

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