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DID YOU READ

Liars & Cheats DLC Rustling Up a Posse for “Red Dead Redemption”

Liars & Cheats DLC Rustling Up a Posse for “Red Dead Redemption” (photo)

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Earlier this summer, Rockstar Games announced that they’d be rolling out four DLC packs for “Red Dead Redemption,” their hit game released in May. John Marston’s saga has already racked up significant numbers–an estimated $5 million by June alone–and, even if only a fraction of the cowpokes who grabbed the game at launch log onto Xbox Live or Playstation Network, “RDR” will be earning its keep over a long stretch of time. The rundown from the initial press release:

Legends and Killers Pack New active map locations, characters and more:
New active map locations, characters and more:
• 9 new multiplayer map locations — more than doubling the amount of territories in the multiplayer competitive modes;
• 8 new multiplayer characters — play as characters from Red Dead Revolver;
• Introducing a new projectile weapon: the Tomahawk, with corresponding challenges for single-player and multiplayer gameplay;
• New achievements and trophies;
• Pricing: $9.99 (PlayStation Network), 800 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE).

Liars and Cheats Pack
New competitive modes, multiplayer mini-games in Free Roam, and more:
• Attack and Defend multiplayer competitive mode and challenges;
• New multiplayer horse races, complete with mounted combat;
• Play as the heroes and villains of Red Dead Redemption, as well as 8 additional multiplayer characters;
• Multiplayer versions of Liars Dice and Poker from the single-player game;
• Introducing a new weapon: the Explosive Rifle, with associated challenges available in single-player and multiplayer gameplay;
• New achievements and trophies;
• Pricing: $9.99 (PlayStation Network), 800 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE).

Free Roam Pack
Delve deeper into the world of Red Dead Redemption with new modes, challenges and gang hideouts to discover:
• Additional Free Roam challenges;
• New action areas and defensive placements;
• Posse scoring and leaderboards;
• New anti-griefing measures in Free Roam;
• Pricing: TBC.

Undead Nightmare Pack
Ghost towns and cemeteries come alive in a West gone horribly wrong:
• Release date: TBD;
• Brand new single-player adventure, challenges and quests;
• 8 new multiplayer zombie characters;
• Additional animals unleashed in the world;
• New dynamic events and more;
• Pricing: $9.99 (PlayStation Network), 800 Microsoft Points (Xbox LIVE).

The GTA publisher’s using DLC in a different way than most other major game publishers. The four content packs interlock in a way to make the already-huge gameworld even more filled with possibilities. Want to play as characters from “Red Dead Revolver,” the odd-bird precursor that Rockstar bought halfway through development? Legends and Killers has you covered. Itching to blaze new trails into virgin territory? Saddle up in Free Roam. And if you want to play a couple of rounds of poker, this week’s Liars & Cheats will have you covered.

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The cost of each pack individually is about $9.99. Some packs adds a new weapon–a tomahawk in Legends and Killers, for example–that bring with them specific challenges. Others expand the playable territory of the game. And, of course, the Undead Nightmare pack upends the whole experience completely, throwing in outré horror elements into a game that’s inherently plainspoken and no-nonsense.

Aside from the secondary revenue stream provided by the DLC packs, Rockstar could possibly get something even more valuable than the cash: a steady stream of information about how users are playing the game. Lots of recent games send data back to servers; when you see a long stat sheet in a game about how many people you’ve killed with such-and-such weapon, those metrics are likely being beamed back to developers, too. Who uses cover, which areas see the most traffic, which weapons are the most popular… it basically amounts to free, surreptitious focus testing. BioWare recently revealed some of its findings from “Mass Effect 2” and gleaned, for example, that only 15% of conversations were skipped past by players. Now, “Mass Effect 2” is a talk-heavy game and that the bulk of players would sit through most of it is a testament to how compelled they must be by the dialogue.

I’ve written a bit about the way BioWare’s using DLC for “Mass Effect 2” to extend the fictional universe and sense of characters. Rockstar’s doing something a bit different: seeding the multiplayer world with lots of different ingredients for emergent, unscripted experiences. And then, I suspect, the House of Houser will sit back, take a look at how players are improvising and use it to make their next offering even more spot-on. Or, tantalizingly, even more divergent.

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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…