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Updated: 6 min 54 sec ago

Stylish supernatural stealth game Aragami is heading to Switch next year

2 hours 45 min ago

Developer Lince Works has revealed that its stylish supernatural stealth game Aragami will launch on Switch, in both digital and physical forms, next February 22nd.

Aragami's third-person stealth-action follows the titular undead assassin as he battles the Army of Light. To help him in his quest to reach the city fortress of Kyuryu, players are granted the power to manipulate shadows.

Some might choose to take what Lince Works refers to as the Ghost approach, concealing themselves among shadows of their own making, and teleporting cautiously to remain completely undetected. Others might choose to play as a Demon, using more aggressive Shadow Powers and summoning creatures of pure darkness to tear unsuspecting foes apart.

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Categories: Video Games

Epic is making Fortnite's cross-platform tools available to all developers for free

Thu, 13/12/2018 - 00:40

Epic has announced that it will making its suite of cross-platform tools, originally created for Fortnite, free for use by all developers, starting next year.

The idea, as you might imagine, is to make cross-platform integration - something Epic has been instrumental in encouraging among platform holders, thanks to the phenomenal success of Fortnite - as easy as possible for all developers.

What's more, these tools won't be restricted to the Unreal Engine or Epic's recently launched store. As Epic's announcement post on the Unreal website explains, its tools are designed to work with all engines, all platforms, and all stores.

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Categories: Video Games

Sea of Thieves' latest update offers a festive boost toward Pirate Legend (and beyond)

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 22:33

Rare has released a brand-new update for its multiplayer pirate extravaganza Sea of Thieves, primarily aimed at bug fixes for the recent Shrouded Spoils expansion. However, it's also managed to sneak in some seasonal treats too, just in time for Christmas.

Version 1.4.1, as the new update is known, keeps it subtle as far as the festivities goes, but players logging into the game will find a few welcome sprigs of holly at outposts, alongside some rather charming seasonal renditions of familiar shanties in the taverns.

That's lovely and all, but most players will likely be more interested in their special Christmas gift, which can be acquired by speaking to Bilge Rat representative Duke in any tavern. Pirates are then able to select a Gilded Voyage from Duke's stash, which, once undertaken, will grant a festive heap of gold and rep for the quest's aligned trading company.

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Categories: Video Games

Final Fantasy 15's multiplayer mode Comrades goes standalone from today

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 21:01

Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy 15's multiplayer expansion, known as Comrades, will finally get its previously announced standalone release today, December 12th, in the US, and tomorrow in the UK.

Comrades, which originally launched at the tail-end of last year, unfolds six months after the concluding events of the main game. Players take on the role of a Kinsglaive soldier (conjured into being via a flexible character creation tool), and, starting at their base in Lestallum, must collect meteor shards to restore power to the kingdom of Lucis.

Meteor shards (as well as money for upgrading weapons and the like) can be acquired through missions, all playable co-operatively with up to three friends. Missions are predominantly focussed around monster hunting, using a modified version of the core game's combat system, and turning in meteor shards will unlock new missions and more areas of the map.

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Categories: Video Games

PUBG on PlayStation 4: a basic, rough around the edges port

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 19:32

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds is back with a new console port, finally arriving on PlayStation 4 a full 12 months after its debut as a timed-exclusive for Xbox One (where the title has transitioned to Microsoft's Game Pass subscription service). Available for £24.99/$29.99, we went into this one wondering whether the PUBG Corporation has managed to resolve the lingering issues with the Xbox One code, and the extent to which the port may have been changed or even improved over the existing game.

Upon booting the new release though, It's pretty clear that leveraging the capabilities of the PlayStation 4 hardware isn't a priority for the developer. Kicking off with some PUBG gameplay running on the base PS4 console, the overall impression you get playing it is uncannily similar to the standard Xbox One version. There's the same lurching performance during packed lobbies, the same ugly stutter going into the main game, and similar weirdness that sees frame-rate tank at the beginning of the session, before swiftly stabilising to 30fps - albeit with periodic stutter. Running some quick comparisons, the PS4 version is indeed very close to the turnout delivered by the vanilla Xbox One - the most noticeable improvement being pushed out foliage rendering in the mid distance.

There is PlayStation 4 Pro support, but the implementation is lacking. There are two key advantages to running PUBG on the enhanced console. First of all, there's a resolution bump to a straight 1440p - the 'go to' pixel-count for some of the least ambitious Pro upgrades we've seen across the years. Don't get me wrong, 1440p can look amazing - just check out Ratchet and Clank or For Honor on Pro - but the presentation here is blighted by no improvement to anti-aliasing quality. The jaggies and moire pattern aliasing are just as bad as they are on the base PlayStation - something of a mystery when PUBG's Unreal Engine 4 underpinnings include one of the best temporal anti-aliasing solutions around. The 1440p presentation is also matched by what look like 1440p HUD elements, which really should have been native 4K.

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Categories: Video Games

A Game of Thrones: the Board Game is down to just over £40

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 18:23

Grand strategy title A Game of Thrones: The Board Game has plummeted down to £42.95 over at Amazon, the cheapest you can grab it for, barring some shady eBay offerings. Unlike the usual culprits in this genre, it encourages plentiful backstabbing and treachery, which makes it a fun way to relieve tension and fuel new family feuds over the Christmas season. It's also an ideal present for a Game of Thrones fan, doubly so if that person's bonkers about board games.

Set after the death of King Robert, three to six players compete to take over Westeros and sit upon the infamous Iron Throne. Playing as one of the great houses - whether that's the stoic Starks or the treacherous Lannisters - an intoxicating mix of trickery, military might, populism and diplomacy are required to ascend. As well as being pitted against other players, the savage Wildling people (controlled by the game) pose a threat to all participants, among a host of other horrors. This means that you might find yourself teaming up with your foes in order to stay afloat in the murderous landscape, beautifully depicted with a ginormous map.

Every round of play is split into three phases: The Westeros Phase, the Planning Phase, and Action Phase. This is more straightforward than it sounds. The first phrase involves the day-to-day running of Westeros, the second involves diplomacy and deduction (it's in this part you can betray your allies, or make promises to new ones), and the third phase, as the name suggests, involves battle. Although strategic manoeuvres are important in Game of Thrones, much like in the books and TV series, true power lies in alliances. As such, it's a game that can encourage acts of real wickedness and cold-blooded cruelty!

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Categories: Video Games

Make a killing with Hitman 2 for under £20

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 17:21

Update: Argos removed the discount on Hitman 2 specifically on Xbox One, putting it back to full price this afternoon. However, some people have had success in reducing it back down to £19.99 in their trolley - so it's worth putting it in your basket to see if you can nab that deal! The next cheapest Hitman 2 offering on Xbox One is £34.99 over at Amazon.

Original story: The latest instalment of the legendary Hitman series has been reduced down to £19.99 on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at Argos. The next cheapest price is £34.99, and elsewhere it retails for over £45. If you've been waiting to play this for a while, or you're hoping to spend Christmas embroiled in murderous glee - now is definitely the time to buy.

Taking you from Miami to Mumbai, Hitman 2 comprises half a dozen deadly missions, each one a unique diorama that can be manipulated in a vast range of ingenious ways. Although this sounds like a sparse prospect compared to the standard hundreds of hours promised from big-budget releases, the levels are densely packed, with manifold means of completion, and high stakes that can lead to grisly consequences for you and anyone else in the vicinity. Particularly humiliating and/or bizarre assassinations this time round include weaponising a fish, exploding rubber duckies and poison coffee.

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Categories: Video Games

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's latest update is superb

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 16:02

Yesterday, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 received a substantial update to all platforms, the latest season started on the PlayStation 4 version, and Activision released the game's first premium DLC after it leaked the day before.

I've been playing Black Ops 4 with all of this enabled, and it's a superb update. The patch makes meaningful balance changes, and the new season, dubbed Operation Absolute Zero, makes the previously soul-destroying grind through the Black Market progression tiers more achievable and gives it better rewards.

But, problems remain. I'm still scratching my head over Activision's decision to continue to split Call of Duty's audience down the middle, the haves and the have nots on either side of a seemingly impenetrable publisher-drawn line. Multiplayer Map Pack 1, which is a part of the premium Black Ops Pass, came out yesterday in something of a stealth launch after an early version was pushed live in Australia the day before. It adds two new multiplayer maps and a new zombies experience starring Kiefer Sutherland, Charles Dance, Helena Bonham Carter and Brian Blessed. Brian Blessed! These maps and the new zombies experience are all really good - any Black Ops 4 player would want to play them. It's a shame then that Activision is charging for them at a time when most publishers and developers offer new multiplayer maps for free. Oh, and while adding Black Ops 3's popular robot Reaper to Blackout is great fan-service, locking him behind the Black Ops Pass is disappointing.

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Categories: Video Games

Red Dead Redemption 2 voice actor on the game's secretive five-year shooting schedule

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 15:13

Gabriel Sloyer spent five years acting on Red Dead Redemption 2.

He did other things too, of course. Since 2013, Sloyer's IMDB lists him as appearing in US TV series such as Power, Jessica Jones, Narcos, and Orange is the New Black.

But, between episodes of those, he would regularly fly back to shoot the latest bit of Rockstar's sprawling Western, portraying Mexican cowboy and fellow gang member Javier Escuella.

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Categories: Video Games

The new batch of NES games for Switch come with another surprise

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 13:19

A new batch of NES titles came today to the Switch's Online Service - as expected - and they've brought with them a couple of cute surprises.

The games added to the library today for subscribers to the Switch's Online Service are Adventures of Lolo, Ninja Gaiden and Wario's Woods - a fair selection - and they're joined by special editions of existing games, with Dr. Mario and Metroid both getting the SP treatment.

The SP version of Dr. Mario drops you in at level 20 at Hi speed, allowing you to access a scene that's supposedly rarely been seen. Metroid, meanwhile, has an SP version that grants you all of its star Samus' abilities, and places you just before the fight with Ridley that happens towards the end of the game.

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Categories: Video Games

Nintendo fans call for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online multiplayer to be improved

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 13:12

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has earned critical acclaim and some fantastic sales since its launch around the world last Friday - but also criticism for its scrappy online multiplayer modes.

Criticism has centred around two points in particular.

First, the general lag which can crop up when playing any of the game's online modes. The Smash Bros. series has consistently faced problems with this when playing online - but this isn't the Wii era anymore. As a fighting game, any lag at all can kill the experience and ruin any sense of fairness when playing competitively. And sometimes, seemingly for no reason, the game chugs down to a near-total stop.

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Categories: Video Games

Fortnite's Infinity Blade wrecking the game's $1m tournament

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 13:01

It's been about 24 hours since Epic introduced the latest change to the ever-evolving Fortnite - and in that short amount of time, it has managed to pretty much unite the game's community, although perhaps not in the way you'd think.

The Infinity Blade, added in yesterday's patch, is a one-off item that can now be picked up in Fortnite's main game mode. It gives the bearer an extraordinary advantage: 200 health, 200 shield, the ability to leap great distances and to deal 75 damage with each swing.

Naturally, everybody hates it.

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Categories: Video Games

SNK 40th Anniversary Edition gets 11 free new games today

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 12:05

The Switch's SNK 40th Anniversary Collection has just had its planned batch of free games drop, with 11 new titles now available for the compilation.

Nine of them - Munch Mobile, Fantasy, Sasuke vs. Commander, Chopper I, Time Soldiers, Bermuda Triangle, Paddle Mania, Ozma Wars and World Wars, to be precise - are available as a patch, while another two - Beast Busters and SAR: Search and Rescue - have to be downloaded via the eShop as a free add-on, thanks, it would seem, to their more graphic content.

It's an excellent addition to what's already an outstanding compilation - I wrote a little last month upon its release about what it is that makes SNK 40th Anniversary Collection a new standard for classic gaming compilations.

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Categories: Video Games

Why Fallout 76 players want to bring a bug back

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 11:08

Usually, when video game developers scrub bugs from their games, players are pretty happy. But yesterday, Fallout 76 players were calling on Bethesda to bring a bug back to the game.

This week's big Fallout 76 patch made a long list of bug fixes to the multiplayer game, but one in particular caught players' eye.

Feed the People is an event quest that pops up at Mama Dolce's Food Processing. Once you've collected some beef stocks, some diced vegetable mixes and some meat-flavoured soy chunks, you need to activate machinery from a terminal then defend three control consoles from waves of enemies. While doing this, an alarm bell will ring, signalling you need to head to the terminal to activate a fuse box. You then need to defend the machines again until the next alarm, heading to the terminal once again to activate a valve. You then need to fight more waves until the timer ends.

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Categories: Video Games

The brilliance of video game maps

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:00

Hello! Earlier this year, Thames and Hudson published a beautiful book on literary maps. It's called The Writer's Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands, and if that title doesn't make you yearn for the kind of novels that come with mysterious territories scribbled across their end-papers, here's a lovely piece in the Guardian to give you a taste of this wonderful, transporting book.

A few of us ordered the book to arrive on day one. And as we read through it, our thoughts inevitably turned to video games and their own relationships with maps. Below you'll find some of the things we ended up thinking about.

The world is what it is - Malindy Hetfeld

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Categories: Video Games

Ni no Kuni 2's The Lair of the Lost Lord paid DLC is out this week

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 01:47

Level-5's Ni no Kuni sequel Revenant Kingdom is poised to get a little larger this week, with the long-awaited arrival of its first major paid DLC expansion on December 13th.

The Lair of the Lost Lord, as it's known, will be available on PlayStation 4 and PC, and introduces a new zone, new quests, over 80 new weapons and armour pieces, a "returning enemy", and an expanded battle system.

Players that purchase the new DLC will be able to explore a brand-new area, the mysterious Labyrinth, in a bid to "rid the world of an ancient evil". It's accessed via a strange gate in the Rubbly Ruins, and those brave enough to face its depths are promised new challenges and new enemies, including the Prince of Wraiths, who rules the realm.

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Categories: Video Games

Mesmerising mop-'em-up Viscera Cleanup Detail just got some new spy-themed DLC

Tue, 11/12/2018 - 22:25

Developer RuneStorm's wonderfully hypnotic, and extremely hygienic, Viscera Cleanup Detail has just received a new secret-agent-themed DLC expansion. It's called The Vulcan Affair and is available now on Steam.

Viscera Cleanup Detail, for those unfamiliar with its amusingly mundane ways, takes the space corridors and military facilities of countless first-person shooters and presents them from the perspective of the clean-up crews called in once the bullets have stopped flying and the entrails have stopped dribbling dejectedly down the walls.

Players are cast as futuristic space janitors and charged with picking up debris, scrubbing away filth, sealing bullet holes, and incinerating rubbish (while trying not to accidentally tread blood everywhere) until the often gargantuan levels are spotless.

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Categories: Video Games

Square Enix officially unveils Nier: Automata's Game of the YoRHa Edition

Tue, 11/12/2018 - 21:10

Square Enix has formally unveiled Nier: Automata's Game of the YoRHa Edition, which bundles up 2017's superb action RPG, its DLC expansion, and a few extra goodies - all ready for launch on PS4 and PC next February 26th.

Nier: Automata's Game of the YoRHa Edition was first spotted last month by way of a listing on the ESRB ratings website, and its official announcement gives us a clearer idea of what will be included when it launches next year.

Both versions will feature the wonderfully eccentric, Platinum-developed base game, as well Nier: Automata's 3C3C1D119440927 expansion DLC, the Machine Mask Accessory, and four pod skins: the Grimoire Weiss Pod, Retro Grey Pod, Retro Red Pod, and Cardboard Pod.

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Categories: Video Games

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 just added Hijacked to Blackout - and it's absolute carnage

Tue, 11/12/2018 - 20:29

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 most significant update yet just went live - and Blackout is absolute carnage right now.

Operation Absolute Zero, available now on the PlayStation 4 version of Treyarch's first-person shooter, makes a number of significant changes to the battle royale mode, but it also changes the map for the first time - and the biggest change is the addition of Hijacked.

Hijacked is a luxury yacht that's popped up on the northwestern part of the map. It's a multiplayer map from Black Ops 2 transported into the game, and as you'd expect, pretty much everyone is interested in giving it a shot.

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Categories: Video Games

Retro-style Japanese Nintendo prints for £10 each

Tue, 11/12/2018 - 19:33

A range of stylish vintage-themed Nintendo posters have been reduced to only £10 each at Zavvi today. The designs are based on the firm's Super Famicom console and computer - the Japanese version of the SNES, with one NES release thrown in (points if you recognise which title it is). Five prints in total are available, featuring the usual Nintendo culprits: Mario, Zelda and Metroid.

Short for Super Family Computer, the 16-bit system was launched in Japan during 1990 and was later re branded as the SNES for international release. Its predecessor the NES also took on the exciting yet confusing 'Hyundai Comboy' moniker for its South Korea outing. Much to our delight, the prints actually draw from the original Super Famicom box-art style.

Officially licensed by Nintendo itself, the posters are printed on high quality A3 paper and look especially vivid. A litany of iconic games are featured, including Mario, Zelda and Super Metroid. Thanks to their distinctive Kanji characters, bold colours and retro character design, these prints look really unique - making them a perfect gift for Nintendo fans and art lovers alike. Display them proudly in some hefty yet affordable Amazon picture frames (available in a range of colours) for some alternative festive decoration.

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Categories: Video Games