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Ryse: Son of Rome Duel of Fates DLC adds three new maps

Crytek's third add-on pack for its action-adventure game Ryse: Son of Rome, Duel of Fates, adds three new maps today for Xbox One, according to a post on Xbox Wire. Those who pick up the pack can play two new arena maps, "Invictus" and "Barbarous," as well as survival map "Island." According to the post, each map is "loosely based" on historical events. "Invictus" is inspired by the Serville Wars, a series of slave revolts in the Roman Republic. "Barbarous," meanwhile, takes a cue from barbarian invasions said to have assisted in the fall of Rome. "In these maps, gladiators are tasked with seizing and holding special landmarks such as the God Tree, lighting wicker men on fire, defending Emperor Nero from harm, and avoiding numerous firetraps and arrow jets," the post reads. "New...

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Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is now free on Android and iOS

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Sega's kart racer filled with a cast of video game characters, is now free on Android and iOS, publisher Sega announced today. You can download the game at no charge now on Google Play and the iOS App Store. Those who previously purchased the game will receive a "VIP Pass" valued at $4.99, which includes four playable characters, including Sonic. Their version of the game will remain ad-free. Next Tuesday, April 29, Wreck-It Ralph and Metal Sonic will join the game as unlockable characters, and two new tracks, Galactic Parade and Outrun Bay, will arrive as unlockable content. Developers will also add two new modes, Boss Cup Challenge and World Tour, as mobile version exclusives. For more on Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, be sure to read...
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Why a deal between Netflix and Comcast matters to gamers

When U.S. cable giant Comcast recently announced a deal with Netflix, in which the video-streaming service would receive a direct connection to the cable company in exchange for an undisclosed fee, it had the tech industry worried.Netflix's performance had been suffering on Comcast's network while its performance on other internet service providers saw little degradation, a fact it made known publicly. Comcast denied it was stifling Netflix's traffic. While the cause of the poor performance was not revealed, the two companies reached an agreement where Netflix would pay Comcast a fee to directly interconnect with the cable company, vastly improving the quality of video streams for Comcast customers. The deal is a boon for Comcast subscribers, who will now experience better-quality...
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Experience the terror of drowning in this interactive video

Sortie En Mer: A Trip Out to Sea, an interactive video from French marine wear manufacturer Guy Cotten, aims to promote lifejacket use by turning an idyllic boating trip into deadly game of survival. The story begins on a sailboat where things take an unexpected turn. You experience Sortie En Mer entirely from the eyes of the unnamed protagonist. Soon, you're overboard, and uninterrupted scrolling with your mouse or trackpad or tapping the up arrow key is the only way you can stay on the water's surface. Stop swiping, and you start drowning. Keep swiping, and you'll survive, at least for a time, as your body and mind tire, deteriorate and hallucinate. You can visit the video's site to experience Sortie En Mer (which, though in French, contains some NSFW subtitles) for yourself.
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4.0

Moebius: Empire Rising review: remedial history

Moebius: Empire Rising was difficult for me to get through. It's not difficult in the traditional sense — any determined player with an eye for adventure game logic will be able to complete it. No, I found it hard to get through because of its unlikable lead character, dopey writing, uneven puzzle design and omnipresent sexism. There were times during my playthrough where I caught glimpses of what writer/producer/designer Jane Jensen (famous for her work on the Gabriel Knight series) was going for — but Moebius utterly failed to recreate the charm of a 1990s-era adventure game. Moebius stars Malachi Rector, a genius art appraiser with a cold, misanthropic demeanor courtesy of a difficult past. Throughout the game, Malachi traveled the world, appraised rare artifacts, solved...
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9.0

Dark Souls 2 review update: PC

There was reason to be concerned about the PC port of Dark Souls 2. When From Software brought the original Dark Souls over to PC in 2012, it was hamstrung, limited to the same framerate cap and resolution as the console versions and tied to Games for Windows Live for online play. It took a fan-made mod to eventually fix the former problems. Praise the sun, it seems like From Software has learned a lesson from that disappointment. The PC version of Dark Souls 2 may have taken a little more time to see the light of day, but it's a much more fully-featured port, with all the technical additions we've come to expect from the platform. Most notably, Dark Souls 2 on PC looks incredible. Between the higher resolution and the solid 60 frames-per-second that it runs at, I was shocked and...
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Watch Dogs inspires a clothing line with a 'near-future aesthetic' from Frank & Oak

Watch Dogs, Ubisoft Montreal's upcoming open-world game overflowing with futuristic technology, serves as the inspiration for the capsule collection, a 12-piece men's clothing line from Frank & Oak. Must Read Watch Dogs: Invasion_ According to the capsule collection's official site, the clothing line consists of "minimal menswear that blurs the lines between fashion, art, and technology." It includes four t-shirts ($32 each), canvas pants ($65), long-sleeved shirts, a henley and a hoodie ($42-$65), a duffle bag ($115), a hat ($35) and two collared shirts ($55 each). Watch Dogs is scheduled for a May 27 release on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC with a Wii U version to follow. For more on the game, be sure to read our recent hands-on...
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Is Watch Dogs doing anything original?

Watch Dogs begins with a tutorial mission that heavily accentuates the game's aspirations as a thriller about modern surveillance. Set in a sports stadium, this sequence forces the player to make use of cameras and security servers in order to demonstrate power over the world. It is an overlay of semi-transparent lines, criss-crossing the physical realm, bending and warping reality; a conspiracy-theorist's fantasy user interface. The in-game goons who would harm me can be rendered impotent by the flick of a switch. Reaching that switch is a matter of following simple sequential puzzles and holding down a button on the joypad. It is a secondary weapon, a smart bomb that the designers have placed in the world in order to add an extra dimension to the combat and to give the game a gleam...
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Sony announces schedule for its PS4, Vita game Road to Greatness tour

Starting this month, Sony will bring its new and upcoming PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita titles on the road for its cross-country Road to Greatness game tour, according to a post on the PlayStation Blog. The road show kicks off tomorrow at the Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio, Calif. and will hit a new U.S. city every week until November. Titles featured on the tour include PS4 launch games like Knack, recently-released games like Infamous: Second Son and upcoming games including Destiny and The Order: 1866. Complete lists of titles to be showcased at each event are available on Sony's website. Confirmed stops include: Stagecoach Music Festival, April 25 - 27; Indio, Calif. Beale Street Music Festival, May 2 - 4; Memphis, Tenn. Nascar Sprint Cup Series, May 9 - 10; Kansas...
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Classroom games are likely to fail if teachers aren't on board

It's all well and good to develop games and technology to be used in the classroom, but if school teachers aren't on board, the games are likely to fail, according to a panel of developers and researchers speaking at the Games for Change Festival in New York. "Presuming we're talking about K-12 public schools, one novel piece of advice is perhaps engaging a teacher in the [development] process early on," said associate professor of digital media at the University of Wisconsin, Constance Steinkuehler. "Technology doesn't get taken up in many classrooms because it's a solution looking for a problem no one ever had. [We need to] make sure it's useful and it's a problem the teacher wants to solve, whether it's a conceptual understanding or making something faster or better." Managing...
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Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn patch ups PvP rank cap, adds new content

Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn's 2.25 patch is now live and adds new content and a higher level cap for player-vs-player matches, Square Enix announced today. PvP players can now raise their rank from the previous level cap of 30 to 40. New weapons, armor and other gear is also now available to purchase, while some class requirements for gear have been changed. The patch also brings new items to dye, quests and unlocks the Material Transmutation system, which becomes available after the Marvelously Mutable Materia quest is completed. For the full list of changes, check out the patch notes. Final Fantasy 14 relaunched as A Realm Reborn last August. The game is now available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC. For more on where the original game went wrong and how...
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Limbo, Skullgirls Encore and more join PlayStation Instant Game Collection in May

PlayStation Plus members in North America will be able to download free copies of games such as Limbo and Skullgirls Encore next month as part of May's Instant Game Collection, senior community specialist Kristine Steimer announced via the PlayStation Blog. PlayStation 4 owners can pick up Stick It to The Man, previously released for PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Steam. The game follows hard hat tester Ray, who discovers an arm sticking out of his brain after a strange accident. With his new appendage, Ray can read the minds of others. The game was announced for PlayStation 4 and Wii U earlier this month. Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, Puppeteer and Skullgirls Encore will be available via PlayStation 3. 2D fighting game Skullgirls Encore is a re-release of the original Skullgirls,...
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Unreal Engine 4 updated with PS4, Xbox One, Linux and SteamOS support

The first major update to Unreal Engine 4 since its public launch last month adds support for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Epic games announced today. Registered Xbox and PlayStation developers, including members of the ID@Xbox program, can access the complete Unreal Engine 4 code for these platforms. The update also adds support for Linux and Valve's SteamOS operating system, as well as tweaks to the workflow for Android and iOS and a handful of changes based on community feedback. The Elemental demo is also now free for subscribers through the engine's marketplace, along with sample project Shooter Game, which demonstrates Unreal Engine 4's capabilities on PS4 and Xbox One. During the 2014 Game Developers Conference last month, Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be available...
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Child of Light's creators discuss the birth of Aurora and her fairytale journey

The third making-of segment for Ubisoft's Japanese role-playing game inspired Child of Light gives viewers a look at the heart of the title — the driving forces behind Aurora's story. In Child of Light, players will guide the pink-haired child Aurora on a quest to restore the world's light and defeat the evil Queen of the Night. Together with a ragtag band of heroes hailing from deepest corners of Lemuria — the strange world Aurora travels — and her firefly companion Igniculus, Aurora must save the day. This final video introduces the storytellers behind the game — writer Jeffrey Yohalem and creative director Patrick Plourde —  as well as actress Caroline Dhavernas (Hannibal), who narrates Aurora's journey. Watch above for a look at the fairytales and themes that inspired Aurora's...
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Titanfall's Expedition DLC offers a 'parkour playground' with the 'War Games' map

Titanfall's first salvo of downloadable content, Expedition, will include a map called "War Games," which developer Respawn Entertainment detailed for the first time in a post today on the game's official site. Respawn unveiled Expedition earlier this month at PAX East, where its developers explained that "War Games" would take place inside the game's training simulator — a "parkour playground," according to today's post. Because it's built in a simulator, "War Games" allowed designers to create "themed areas" connected by the clean style of the simulator levels that Titanfall players explore when playing the first-person shooter for the first time. The IMC starts in a structure based on the "Airbase" map, while the Militia begins in an area based on the "Angel City" map. A middle...
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Soulcalibur: Lost Swords launch delayed for some due to technical issues

Bandai Namco games has delayed the launch of free-to-play downloadable fighter Soulcalibur: Lost Swords due to unresolved technical issues, according to a post on the franchise's Facebook page. The post does not provide specifics on the technical issue in question, but notes that a resolution requires the work of more than one involved party. Bandai Namco notes it is "feverishly" working with one of the game's key partners to find a solution and launch Lost Swords as quickly as possible. "There is currently a technical issue that has delayed the launch of the game and we have been working through this issue all through last night and today to expedite the launch of Soulcalibur: Lost Swords," reads the post. "We have discovered that the issue requires a resolution across multiple...
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Minimum offers multiplayer shooting without the frills

Minimum has the look of a shooting prototype; boxy, skinless models leaping about in a plain, undecorated world.But it's actually a work of intense design. Getting something simple to look sophisticated is the magic trick of minimalism. In Minimum, various shades of gray and beige work with stark, straight lines and tiny splashes of color to produce that rare thing, a combat world that looks fresh and interesting. The game itself borrows from classic multiplayer team-shooters of the 1990s as well as more modern MOBAs, creating frenetic but tactical gunplay along barrier-dotted lanes. There is a heavy emphasis on power progression inside individual games. Minimum is due to be released for Windows PC on Steam Early Access in the next few weeks. Published by Atari, it's been developed by...
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Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will include story DLC, RPG-like arena mode

Fighting game Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will include story-based downloadable content as well as an arena mode with role-playing game-like elements, according to the game's listing with Japanese media seller Rakuten. The scenario DLC will be available as bonus content when the title launches in Japan on Aug. 28. There is currently no information on what this scenario will be about. Ultimax will also include a Golden Arena Mode, which includes character progression elements familiar to role-playing games. Players will use the arena to level up — here they can earn extra experience points and items and learn new abilities by fighting through various stages. The game itself includes 150 different skills for players to unlock. Earlier this week, developers Arc System Works and Atlus...
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Minecraft Realms now available in North America

Minecraft Realms, Mojang's private-server service for Minecraft, is now available in North America, the studio announced today. The service gives Minecraft players the opportunity to pay a subscription fee for Mojang to host a private server for a small group of people, like family and friends — as many as 20 individuals. Minecraft Realms servers are available 24/7, and owners have the ability to roll back the world to an earlier restore point in the case of a catastrophe. Subscriptions start at $13 per month, and the service is currently available only for the Windows PC version of Minecraft. Mojang debuted Minecraft Realms in Sweden last December. With today's launch in North America, it is now available in the Åland Islands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Croatia,...
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