When it comes to gift shopping, the wide world of electronic gaming can be daunting if the only controller you’re used to just changes channels. This guide is a comprehensive list of can’t-miss gifts for the gamers on your holiday shopping list - made up of the year’s most highly acclaimed video game releases and Black Friday and online-only deals that will save you some scratch.
Part IV | Digital stocking stuffers (under $20)
The downloadable add-ons below can be purchased in several ways: By purchasing an Xbox Live gift card (for Xbox 360 games), Playstation Network gift card (for PS3 games) or Steam gift card (for PC games) at a local game retailer, or by buying a download code from the developer's website, which is also listed below.
Bioshock Infinite "Burial at Sea Episode 1" add-on | X360/PS3/PC
The second downloadable add-on for Bioshock Infinite doesn't expand on the story so much as come at it sideways. Players will rejoin Infinite protagonists Booker and Elizabeth in a setting that fans of the series will recognize: the underwater dystopian metropolis known as Rapture. Those who played the original Bioshock may remember Rapture as a barren, leaking ruin stalked by its mutated, psychotic former inhabitants. But in Burial at Sea, players will get to experience Rapture before its fall. For any gamer who loved (and still owns) Infinite, this one is sure to please.
Mass Effect 3 "Citadel" add-on | X360/PS3/PC
Fez | X360/PS3/PS4/Vita/PC
Fez is a little independently developed title that kept a lot of gamers waiting a long time. Its repeated delays were actually a focus of the 2012 documentary Indie Game: The Movie, following eccentric creator Phil Fish during his development odyssey and the first public appearance of the game at a trade show. Gamers agree, however, that Fez was well worth the wait. Offering a fresh take on 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional perspective in the video game medium, players will have to learn to navigate a shifting, twisting world if they want to see this unique platformer to the end.
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1 - Faith | X360/PS3/PC
Gemini Rue | iPhone/iPad/PC
Gemini Rue harkens back to the mid-90s point-and-click adventure heyday. In those titles, players would have navigate a hand-drawn and animated world, acquiring items to solve puzzles and advance the often well-written storylines. A worthy homage to that now-dead genre, Gemini Rue fuses that style of play with a serious, futuristic Blade Runner-esque world and weaves a story involving two separate protagonists, amnesia and intergalactic travel. Players will get sucked into Rue's gritty, despondent atmosphere and the plot will keep them guessing until the very end.
Are America's biggest alcohol brands targeting the country's underage youth?
Underage drinkers - those between the ages of 18 and 20, most specifically - are more heavily exposed to printed alcohol advertisements than any other age group, according to a new study. And it's America's biggest booze companies that could be to blame.
Auto recalls break single-year US record with six months to go
With six months left in 2014, automakers have already recalled more vehicles in the United States than in any other year on record.
Mobile web siphoning revenue from U.S. cities as landlines fade
Tweeting, Facebooking, Skyping smartphone users are costing U.S. states and cities revenue as taxes rooted in old-fashioned telephone service fail to keep up with the Internet era.
More than one in every 10 vehicles on the road has been recalled since January
It's becoming the year of the recall: Automakers have recalled more than 28 million vehicles in the United States this year — more than one in 10 vehicles on the road — putting the industry on track to trample the 2004 record of 30.8 million.
Hospitals using consumer purchase data for information on patient health
Information compiled by data brokers from public records and credit card transactions can reveal where a person shops, the food they buy, and whether they smoke. The largest hospital chain in the Carolinas is plugging data for 2 million people into algorithms designed to identify high-risk patients, while Pennsylvania's biggest system uses household and demographic data.
Limit dies on New York's soda size
Michael R. Bloomberg's plan to limit the size of sodas in New York City, one of the most aggressive and controversial public health initiatives in recent memory, effectively died Thursday.
Americans falling out of love with shopping malls
Abandoned malls are hot: The Dead Malls Enthusiasts Facebook group boasts almost 14,000 members; a Google search of "dead malls" produces 5.7 million results; and the desolate interiors of these unused retailing meccas keep making cameos in thrillers and horror films.
Cattle at record signals higher beef costs for July 4th grillers
Cattle futures extended a rally to a record as Americans are gearing up to pay the most ever for beef served at barbecues over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Higher airfare, crowded planes likely to linger after summer
Air travelers are paying more to fly in the U.S. this summer on crowded planes as carriers keep capacity tight, conditions passengers will have to get used to beyond the vacation period.
Distracted? 3 desktop apps to save you from yourself
While we normally share mobile apps, this week's "special edition" piece includes three desktop apps to save your distracted self from social media scrolling, constant email checking and general lack of focus.
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