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Sexual conquest and emotional connections in Dragon Age: Inquisition

We've seen plenty of games in which romantic encounters are nothing more than sexual challenges. The player manages a character's actions in order to score, and this is counted as a relationship.It's a dynamic rooted in both the competitive, goal-driven nature of games, and the laddish perspectives of many of the people traditionally making games. But things are changing as games, and the people making them, take a more sophisticated approach. Dragon Age: Inquisition, BioWare's big fantasy role-playing game, focuses on the relationships between the character and the non-player characters he or she encounters throughout the story. Players have latitude about who they wish to spend time with, and how. Simply conquering another's affections, and notching a win on the bed-post, is not the...
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Caped crusader goes kinda nuts in new Lego Batman 3 trailer

A new trailer for TT Games' Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham today shows Batman in a freaky frenzy over his little buddy Robin. There's no explanation about the dark knight's weird behavior, but we do know that many characters in this game are subverted by evil Brainiac as he seeks to take over the world. It just so happens that this trailer is almost entirely focused on Brainiac and his incredible shrinking device, but we also get a song and dance routine from Joker. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will be released on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Wii U, 3DS and Windows PC this fall
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Xbox 360's 500 GB HD is cheaper than its 320 GB cousin but still expensive (update)

You'll soon have the option to upgrade your Xbox 360 with a 500 GB hard drive for $109.99, according to a product listing on the official Xbox website. Pre-orders for the device are "coming soon," and you can check out an image of the upcoming product below. The Xbox 360 is currently available in 4 GB and 250 GB configurations. The Xbox One ships with a 500 GB internal drive and support for external storage, while a Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare model set for a Nov. 3 release will include a 1 terabyte hard drive. Microsoft's hard drives are the only officially sanctioned way to upgrade the storage in an Xbox 360, and the prices trend higher than naked 500 GB hard drives, which sell for around $50 on Amazon, New Egg and other retailers. Microsoft sells a 320 GB Xbox 360 hard drive,...
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Resident Evil: Revelations 2 listing appears on Xbox.com

Capcom may have yet another Resident Evil sequel in the works, this time for 2012 spin-off Resident Evil: Revelations, according to a listing on Xbox.com. Box art and a single screenshot of Biohazard Revelations 2 — the Resident Evil series is known as Biohazard in Japan — were discovered on Xbox.com by French site Gamer In A Box. Capcom has not officially announced a sequel to Resident Evil: Revelations, but the company did cite performance of the game as one of its financial highlights last year. Resident Evil: Revelations was originally released for Nintendo 3DS in 2012. Capcom later released high-definition versions of Revelations for PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Windows PC in 2013. Capcom announced last week it would release an updated version of the 2002 Gamecube remake of the...
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Watch Dogs will be 'the only mature game' Ubisoft publishes for Wii U

Ubisoft will shift its focus when it comes to publishing games for Nintendo's Wii U. While the company will continue to release types of games that are already doing well — like the Just Dance franchise — it will back away from more mature titles. Speaking with Game Informer, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that Watch Dogs for Wii U will likely be the last mature game published for the console. One of the reasons for this is the poor reception for Assassin's Creed games on Wii U. Both Assassin's Creed 3 and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag received Wii U versions, but neither game appears to have done as well as the Just Dance games. "What we see is that they are very interested in Just Dance, very interested by other kinds of games," Guillemot said. "So what we are trying to do is to...
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EA Access subscribers only get six hours with the new Madden, says EA

Subscribers to the new EA Access program will be limited to "six gameplay hours" with Madden NFL 15 once it is made available to them before release, according to EA Access' Twitter account today. EA Sports did not answer questions, from Polygon and elsewhere, to clarify what "gameplay hours" means — whether actually playing the game or if that includes time spent in menus adjusting rosters and the like. Still, this figures to be more restricted than the old Season Ticket program, which gave subscribers early access to upcoming EA Sports games like Madden, with unlimited use, on the Friday before their general release in North America. In both cases, early access is limited to a pre-release period; once the game launches in retail stores and elsewhere, the pre-release copy that has...
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Destiny's version of Venus is a lush, tropical warzone

The real planet Venus seems like a fairly inhospitable place to visit, with its 800 degree Fahrenheit temperatures and carbon dioxide atmosphere, but the version in Bungie's Destiny is described as "a paradise." In a new trailer for Destiny, we get a look at a team of guardians exploring the lost planet, doing battle with enemies like the Vex and the Fallen and what appear to be some pretty intimidating warships. Bungie and publisher Activision recently showed off what Destiny's version of Mars looks like — a red planet filled with alien terrors to shoot. Destiny is coming to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on Sept. 9.
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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor DLC includes a mission playable as Celebrimbor

Downloadable content for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will include a story-based mission in which players control Celebrimbor, the original forger of the Rings of Power and the Wraith attached to protagonist Talion, publisher Warner Bros. announced this morning. The mission is part of the Shadow of Mordor season pass, which will give players access to a handful of additional missions, in-game challenges and runes and skins for Talion. These new missions include the above-mentioned Celebrimbor-focused story — The Bright Lord, in which players will battle against Sauron and his forces — as well as the Lord of the Hunt mission, in which players will stalk the beasts of Mordor to collect unique runes, discover hidden areas and fight more powerful creatures. Exclusive to season pass...
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Get a birds-eye view of hockey in this NHL 15 gameplay video

The latest gameplay trailer for NHL 15 offers players a glimpse of how the game — the first entry in the NHL series to hit PlayStation 4 and Xbox One — will look from an overhead view. The trailer, which you can watch above, kicks off with a match between the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks. It jumps between several other games, offering players a look at how they can watch their team from a broad overview with Dynamic Low, Dynamic Medium and Dymanic High gameplay cameras. NHL 15 will be available Sept. 9; a demo is expected Aug. 26. For more on the game, check out our preview from E3 2014.
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How Halo: The Master Chief Collection is improving on more recent games in the series

Not surprisingly, much of the attention so far lavished on Halo: The Master Chief Collection has focused on Halo 2. That game is celebrating its tenth anniversary and will, by some margin, be the most improved of the four core Halo games included in the package,which is due to be released on Xbox One on Nov. 11. But more recent additions to the franchise, Halo 3 and Halo 4, are also being given significant improvement, according to senior producer Dennis Ries. "We are putting a tremendous amount of work into Halo 3 and Halo 4 as well," said Ries, in a Gamescom presentation attended by Polygon. "You'll see them running at 60 frames per second at 1080p. We've made a lot of improvements to the lighting system and to the shaders and the difference is actually quite dramatic." Halo: The...
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Assassin's Creed Rogue lets you assassinate the assassins

The Assassins Creed series has long allowed players to assume the role of a stealthy assassin who tries to thwart the work of the Knights Templar. Now, the series' developer is giving players a taste of their own medicine by putting them in the shoes of the Templars. "In previous games you were performing all the assassinations," said Assassin's Creed Rogue's game director, Martin Capel. "Now we've developed characters that can assassinate you." Playing as a templar named Shay Patrick Cormac, players work with the British forces to try to remove the French from power and break the control and influence of the assassins. Where assassin characters in previous games had to follow the creed and approach most missions in a stealthy way, the templars don't live by rules. "If you want pure...
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Life and death as a pirate in Risen 3: Titan Lords

When you're a pirate, there are no rules. Is that duck looking at you funny? Then you slice it. That's just the hard life you lead as a scoundrel sailing the seven seas. I may be prepared for such a tough life, but I'm sorry to say my buddy Griffin McElroy is not. You can watch our journeys in the world of new pirating RPG Risen 3: Titan Lords above, and see if you are left as aghast as him at my blatant hatred toward innocent birds.
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Destiny goes to Mars in its newest trailer

The red dunes of the planet Mars will be one of the many battlegrounds players will explore in Destiny. Today, Bungie gives us a sneak peek at what threats players will face among the ancient ruins of a once-populated Mars. It appears that two of the primary species players will face on Mars are the Cabal and Vex, the hulking humanoids and time-traveling robotic aliens of Destiny, respectively. Destiny is coming to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on Sept. 9.
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New Madden ad is expensive, idiotic and unmissable

Reveling in self-consciously moronic dudebro fireworks, the new Madden commercial is a 21st-Century ad creative's wet dream. Featuring Kevin Hart, Dave Franco and a hatful of athletes, it follows a grandiosely blokey video game sporting rivalry, festooned with low-hanging cultural references, stupid jokes and hilariously pointless surrealism. If I hadn't already grown weary of Old Spice's shenanigans, I'd rank it as a work of genius, rather than merely a greatly entertaining slice of testosterone-ish buffoonery. Madden NFL 15 will be released on Aug. 26 for Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
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Disney Infinity 2.0 comes with AI builders, game makers, interiors and more

Disney Infinity 2.0 brings with it a slew of new options for the open-world, build-it-yourself Toy Box mode of the toys-to-life game, the company announced this week. The new Disney Infinity, due out Sept. 23 in North America on PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Windows PC, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, includes a host of new options designed around some of the issues with the original game. Fans, myself included, found it frustrating to unlock the toys, pieces and characters they wanted to use in Toy Box mode. In the original game, things were unlocked randomly. In the new game, players can choose what they unlock. But that's the smallest of the changes coming to Toy Box. This time around players can easily control procedurally generated content on a map by simply choosing a theme they like and...
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