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On track with the first three hours of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

There's an immediate intimacy to my first three or so hours with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and no, I don't mean the bare buttocks I see in one of the opening cut scenes. The third entry in CD Projekt's fantasy RPG series may offer a new open world that's umpteen times bigger than previous entries. Yet, following a story-driven tutorial, I end up losing myself to the very first landmark, the peasant village of White Orchard.

It's a small riverside muddle of hovels, taverns and fields, its warm hues belying the deeper, darker stories within. There's the impulse to call my horse and gallop towards the horizon, but I find the village's multitude of side quests as welcoming as they are distracting, and certainly meaty enough to steer me away from temptation.

Eventually I drag myself to the main quest and my first wild hunt of The Witcher 3, as I track and take on a huge, bloodthirsty griffin. But before all that, let's return to those buttocks...

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Adventures of Pip is modern cute plus classic challenge

I'm calling it now: the Kickstarted Adventures of Pip from developer TicToc Games is going to win cutest game of 2015. I don't care that we're not even to the end of January; Pip is so cute that I want him in a kids' TV show. He's so heart-meltingly precious that I want plush figures and a breakfast cereal themed after him.

Pip is so gawl-darned lovable and sweet that it makes me deeply, deeply angry.

The game's charming aesthetic masks a sinister beast. For despite the playful bounce of our square-shaped hero and the bright colors that surround him, this is a world looking to commit straight-up pixelated murder.

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First-person puzzler Magnetic: Cage Closed is like Portal, cubed

Guru Games isn't afraid of having their recently-announced game, Magnetic: Cage Closed compared to Portal. In fact, that's where it started: a school project designed as an homage to both Valve's famous, meme-producing first-person puzzler and lesser-known horror/suspense film, Cube.

Magnetic takes place in an alternate history version of the 1960s, where inmates sentenced to death can be sold for scientific testing. Such is your fate, as you are a prisoner charged with testing the D27 Magnetic Propulsion Device – or, in simpler terms, a magnet gun.

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For the '90s Arcade Gamer Soul: Gunsport

Wandering the halls of PAX South, a pattern begins to emerge: the 8-bit style resurgence has well and truly ended. While '80s nostalgia still rumbles throughout the booths of small developers, '90s style is what's playing on the screens. For newer players exhausted of blocky pixels in every other cult hit of the past five years, the chunky, dense neon of this 16/32-bit inspired games will be as welcome and vibrant as they were to players 25 years ago. To players of that era, games like Gunsport feel like home.

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EA snitches on Battlefield Hardline, reveals maps and modes

Following a raid by local authorities, informants at publisher EA were compelled to give up detailed information on the multiplayer maps and game modes included in the upcoming cops versus robbers shooter Battlefield Hardline.

The nine maps included in Battlefield Hardline all seem either ripped from a Michael Mann heist film or from one of the earlier, military-focused Battlefield games. Bank Job centers around an imposing financial institution that must be relieved of its cash, Hollywood Heights is populated by expansive houses likely belonging to media moguls and hip hop artists and Riptide is an ocean-front map that continues the Battlefield series' long-running fascination with gun battles set against a tidal backdrop. There's also a map called "Growhouse," but we're guessing you can figure out what happens there. A full rundown on each of the maps can be found on the game's website.

Battlefield Hardline will include seven gameplay modes, ranging from the classic to the wholly novel. Conquest is a Battlefield mainstay mode that pits teams of players (up to 64 in total) against one another in a battle to see who can control certain areas of the map. Blood Money, by contrast, is a new mode where both cops and robbers attempt to swipe money from the opposing teams' vault while gunfire rages all around. Perhaps the most intriguing new mode is Hotwire, a vehicle-focused addition in which the criminal team attempts to steal a list of cars while the cops try to stop them with extreme prejudice, leading to the sorts of high-speed gunfights pictured above. Full details on the game modes found in Battlefield Hardline can also be found on the game's website.

Battlefield Hardline is slated to launch on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC on March 17.

APB: Reloaded to wreak MMO havoc on PS4, Xbox One

Free-to-play PC MMO All Points Bulletin: Reloaded is coming to consoles, thanks to a collaboration between publisher Deep Silver and developers Reloaded Games and The Workshop Entertainment.

Barring catastrophe, APB: Reloaded is planned to launch on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the second quarter of 2015. The game will be free-to-play on both consoles, and while APB: Reloaded will be available for download to all PlayStation 4 owners, only those Xbox One owners with valid Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will be able to join the massively multiplayer game's perpetual crime spree.

For those who don't keep tabs on mid-tier MMOs, APB: Reloaded began life in 2010 as APB: All Points Bulletin, a sort of mashup of World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto 3, under developer Realtime Worlds. Only a few months after APB: All Points Bulletin launched, Realtime Worlds went into administration (think of it as the European equivalent of bankruptcy) and the game's servers were shut down. Eventually the property was purchased and relaunched with a new developer (Reloaded Games) and new title. According to Deep Silver, since its rebirth in 2011, the PC version of APB: Reloaded has been downloaded more than five million times.
[Image: Reloaded Games]

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Trials Fusion adds online multiplayer, new DLC hits next week

As promised late last year, developer Redlynx has added online multiplayer gameplay modes to its stunt-platforming motorcycle game Trials Fusion in a new, free update.

According to publisher Ubisoft, the new online multiplayer options support up to eight players, and include three gameplay options. Online-X Supercross pits eight players against each other in a series of three races, while Private Game and Private Game With Spectator allow players to alter race parameters, ranging from track to speed and handling to the strength of gravity, before the event.

Additionally, Ubisoft has announced that the fourth Trials Fusion DLC pack, entitled "Fire In The Deep," will arrive on January 27. Described as the "biggest downloadable content pack yet," Fire In The Deep will include "11 new tracks, five new achievements and trophies to unlock, 27 new track challenges and dozens of new editor objects." Like all Trials Fusion DLC packs, Fire In The Deep is priced at $5, but can also be found among the five DLC packs included in the $20 Trials Fusion Season Pass.

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Fable just the first step in getting more Xbox One games on Windows

It's easy to forget the Xbox's place inside the Windows empire. The bespoke platform is hinged on games and entertainment, looming over the console world but still living in its own fiefdom under Microsoft. The Xbox 360 and Xbox One are seen as instrumental to the software giant's goals, but their reach is about a billion behind that of Windows. Microsoft wants to dismantle the barriers within itself now, unifying games, productivity and phones under the banner of Windows 10.

The Xbox One will host new universal apps – programs designed to run on both Windows devices and Xbox architecture – alongside a Windows 10 update later this year, but that's a lesser gesture compared to what Microsoft announced on Wednesday during its Windows 10 event. Even having the Xbox and its games there, on stage, represents a change in the Windows message.

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, took that stage to announce a PC version of Fable Legends, the latest entry in developer Lionhead's long-running and lovably lighthearted fantasy role-playing series. Not only is the game coming to Windows PC players, but it's coming in a way that allows them to play and chat with Xbox One players through Xbox Live. According to Spencer, it's the first game of several first-party Xbox games coming to PC.

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The hows and whys of time manipulation in Life Is Strange

Image The latest footage from developer Dontnod's Life Is Strange offers a detailed look at how the game's central time manipulation gimmick is supposed to work, courtesy the developers that built the system in the first place. [Image: Square Enix] ... Continue Reading

Jon Snow brings lack of knowledge to Game of Thrones Episode 2

The second episode of Telltale's six-part Game of Thrones saga debuts early next month, starting February 3 for PC, Mac, PS4 and PS3. Titled "The Lost Lords," the episode is also coming to Xbox One and 360 on February 4, iOS on February 5 and Android at a later date.

The Lost Lords continues the story of House Forrester, a Westeros family who in history have aligned with the Starks - not always the wisest alignment, it has to be said. Telltale's game is interwoven with HBO's TV series, and the plot takes place between the end of the third season and the start of the fifth.

If you've played the first episode then you've already had a few chit-chats with Cersei Lannister, her brother Tyrion, Margaery Tyrell and the huggably lovely Ramsay Snow. As the teaser trailer below the break reveals, another Snow is coming to the game in Episode 2.

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Dos Anjos among cuatro fighters added to EA Sports UFC

A new content pack for EA Sports UFC is now available to download, adding four fighters to the mixed martial arts game's roster. The new fighters include light heavyweight bruiser Anthony "Rumble" Johnson and women's bantamweight fighter Holly Holm. The latest update also introduced two lightweight fighters: Eddie Alvarez and Rafael Dos Anjos.

EA Sports offered sixth other free content updates for its introductory UFC game since it launched in June 2014. The last update for the game added big-name legendary fighters to the mix in December, such as Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Mark Coleman and Brock Lesnar. Past updates introduced new game mechanics to EA Sports UFC as well, such as Finish the Fight, kick catching and manual taunts.

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Pelicans' Holiday is T-Rexing in NBA 2K15 glitch video


We're fairly certain that New Orleans Pelicans basketball player Jrue Holiday has perfectly functional arms in real life. As demonstrated by YouTube user wEEman33, it appears that NBA 2K15 disagrees. As seen in the video shared shared above, a recent glitch in the game caused Holiday's arms to seemingly retreat into his body following a server-side update to its MyTeam mode, leaving his hands to jut out from his shoulders like fish fins with opposable thumbs. To make matters worse, the shirtless Holiday was also missing part of his torso and occasionally disappeared, but none of it stopped him from sinking multiple three-point shots.

According to Operation Sports, the special armless "Sapphire" version of Holiday no longer exists, as Visual Concepts issued a patch to squash the bug yesterday. 2K Sports' basketball game is no stranger to horrifying glitches; NBA 2K15's face-scanning feature resulted in numerous monstrosities for created players. The publisher had fun with the issue, offering fans Halloween masks based on the face-scan glitch to print out and wear.
[Image: 2K Sports]

Elders wait for traffic, play Grand Theft Auto 5


The Fine Brothers offered another React Gaming video, but unlike the youthful ones in the past, this one features senior citizens taking Grand Theft Auto 5 out for a spin. The charming video shows the elderly folks stealing cars, shooting civilians and above all else, obeying traffic signals. Grand Theft Auto 5's PC version will launch on March 24.

The channel's previous reaction videos included teens playing Mario Kart 64, commenting on the Game Boy as well as just plain sucking at Mega Man. Another video features Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams discussing the absurdness of Nintendo's NES. Now that The Fine Brothers delved into senior players reacting to video games, we don't know if these videos make us feel overly young or old.
[Image: Rockstar Games]

DmC Definitive is 1080p, 60fps fast in this clip



Definitive and remastered editions are all the rage nowadays, and in some cases a bump in technology can vastly change how a game is played. That may very well be the case for the DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive set, which brings the lightning-fast action gameplay to 60fps and 1080p.

Oh so many frames means those relentless battles can blaze by while ratcheting up tension. Watch above as the Dante for a new era steps out of his 30fps cage on console and plows through enemies at a much quicker clip.

The DmC: Devil May Cry Definition Edition launches for PS4 and Xbox One on March 10.

EA Access offers first look at Battlefield Hardline

General PSA for EA Access subscribers, and likely to be similar to the Dragon Age: Inquisition promotion, Battlefield: Hardline will also be available early through the service.

"Yes, you will be able to get early access to Battlefield Hardline through EA Access," responded the official Battlefield twitter to a question about the game being downloadable for the service.

The DA:I early access was on the Xbox One-exclusive service for five days ahead of launch, with a trial period of six hours. We've followed up with EA for further details.

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