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Enter sandman: Riot talk new League of Legends champion Azir, Emperor of the Sands

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League of Legends: generally leafier than this.

Here, there’s somebody Riot want you to meet: new League of Legends champion Azir. A nuisance at the beach but an asset in the lanes, the Emperor of the Sands can summon dusty soldiers to do his bidding. And when he’s not reclaiming his rightful place as ruler of the Shuriman desert, Azir can channel the sand to throw his enemies high in the air. As you’re about to see.

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Blizzard free up unused World of Warcraft names ahead of Warlords of Draenor

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World of Warcraft

When Warlords of Draenor launches in November, new players will become indistinguishable from old. Not only will fresh subscribers sport level 90 characters, but some of them will take the names of old, lapsed accounts too.

Perhaps you’ll become RaiderOfTheLostOrc? Maybe claim the identity of a FrodoSam1066? Hell, it might even be worth checking the availability of LeeeeroyJenkins, give or take a couple of vowels.

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor live action trailer shows what orcs look like on the inside

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middle earth shadow of mordor trailer live action monolith warner brothers

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is right around the corner with its 3 October release date, so it’s time for the march of the trailers. The latest effort is from Corridor Digital, a group of indie filmmakers who make live action videos in the vein of the game their supporting. When it came to Shadow of Mordor they rightly went with seven minutes of hunting orcs.

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Far Cry 4 trailer elephant is more like an angry tank than a majestic mammal

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far cry 4 trailer elephant ubisoft

The elephant, nature’s shark: 14 metres long, its back ridged with razor sharp, poisonous spines, and armed with six tentacles, each strong enough to bend tungsten bars. It’s not difficult to see why Ubisoft included them in Far Cry 4 as your main enemy.

We too would face destruction in the face of the elephants if it weren’t for the work of the WWF and PETA (Pet Elephants are Traitorous Arseholes). Those wrestlers and activists have kept the elephants numbers down for decades.

In Ubisoft’s alternate history simulator we see a world where the elephant menace wasn’t kneecapped long ago.

The latest trailer profiles this monster.

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Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition updates visuals but no mod support coming

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sleeping dogs definitive edition pc update square enix united front games

Back in August United Front Games announced Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, a comprehensive collection of the open world game’s 24 DLC packs and a host of improvements to the base game. We’ve now learned a little more about what that entails. There’s newly crisped textures and increased draw distances, as well as full 1080p as the new standard.

However, the team have denied hopes of mod support in even a limited form.

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Borderlands PC multiplayer drops Gamespy, will add Steamworks

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Borderlands multiplayer steamworks gamespy

When Gamespy’s servers shutdown in May a lot of older games were left stranded without multiplayer support, Borderlands included. Since then the only way to play Borderlands online was through third party software, like GameRanger.

Last night 2K announced plans to release a tool that strips out Borderlands’ Gamespy dependency and replaces it with Steamworks.

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Hearthstone now boasts 20 million players and one very busy tavern

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Hearthstone

Hearthstone’s pretty popular. Also, water is wet. But now we know exactly how popular it is. Today, the folks over at Blizzard are no doubt pretty chuffed, as they’ve revealed that the game’s got 20 million players. 

“Thank you all for joining us in Hearthstone,” said the developer. “We're going to need a bigger tavern!”

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Electronic Arts

EA CEO Andrew Wilson on his future plans: "The focus is on the player"

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EA's future

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has almost finished his first year in the big chair. And as year one comes to a close, he’s planning for the future of the gargantuan publisher. At GamesBeat 2014, this morning, he laid out his three year plan and managed to do it without sounding like Lex Luthor. He did use a lot of jargon though. 

Wilson breaks down EA’s three priorities: establishing a player-first culture, digital content and internal stuff within the company - breaking down the traditional structure of sales, marketing and development. 

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Divinity: Original Sin free DLC doubles the companion roster and spells are now prettier

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Divinity: Original Sin DLC

When Divinity: Original Sin launched at the end of July, it was great. A clever, sprawling RPG that took the best bits from classic CRPGs while never feeling like it was cashing in on nostalgia. Larian’s already shifted 500,000 copies, and it’s a well-deserved success. 

But the developer isn’t done with it yet. Today saw a massive update being implemented with some new features, polish and a slew of bug fixes. But far more interesting is the new, completely free DLC: The Bear and the Burglar, which adds two new companions for the Source Hunters to recruit. 

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Spotlight
?

Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

Getting to know Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's vault hunters

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is little over a month away, so now is probably a good time to get to know the vault hunters - the four gun-toting protagonists of Borderlands’ middle child. 

If you’ve played the previous games -  if you’re interested in this then you almost certainly have - you’ll already know them all. Some you’ll remember as enemies, and others allies. Take a look at the new video below to get the skinny on them all. 

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Flockers PC review

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Flockers PC review

It’s about time that Team17 took a break from Worms, giving our wriggly, murderous friends some well deserved time off from the incessant war. But the developer’s love of giving cartoon animals violent deaths cannot be abated, which is why we have Flockers - an A to B puzzle game set in the Worms universe, but where sheep are the stars. 

Flockers is immediately familiar. It’s essentially Lemmings through the lens of the Worms universe, which should be great, especially since Team17 is no stranger to Lemmings either. But there’s something missing, and I spent most of my time in the maze-like abattoir trying to find out what that was. 

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What I wish Destiny had learned from PC games

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Destiny

Destiny isn’t on PC, but that hasn’t stopped me playing it over the last week. It’s a frustrating game - a lavishly produced mashup between Borderlands and Halo, but sad, and on the Moon. And Venus.

Destiny has been described as an MMO. If that’s true, it’s not a very good one. There’s a level of naivety in Destiny’s design that I find extraordinary. While Bungie know how to make first-person shooting work, it’s clear that the designers have really struggled to create MMO and RPG systems that produce fun. 

What’s frustrating is that many of the problems I have with the game have long been solved in PC land. 

Like these… 

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How much of Microsoft's $2.5 billion will Notch actually receive?

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Minecraft Mojang

Microsoft have just bought Minecraft developers Mojang for the brain-staggering sum of $2.5 billion, a number so large that if it were written out in full it would take up at least a couple of inches on a page.

But how much of that cash will actually end up in Notch's bank account? The answer will surprise you.

Let's do the math(s).

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Notch on selling Minecraft to Microsoft: “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity”

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Minecraft

Notch and the other founders of Mojang are selling their studio and Minecraft to Microsoft for $2.5 billion. In a blog post announcing the sale, Mojang’s Owen Hill broke down the reasons for the sale, and in a separate post Notch has made his own reasons clear.

“It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.”

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Mojang on Microsoft buyout: “Yes, the deal is real.” Notch and other founders to leave

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minecraft microsoft sale mojang notch

Last week was full of speculation over a potential sale of Minecraft developer Mojang to mego corporation Microsoft. Finally Mojang are free to talk about it and, yes, the deal is happening.

“Mojang is being bought by Microsoft,” writes Mojang’s Owen Hill. “It’s going to be good though. Everything is going to be OK.”

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Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut team rebuilt gore from the organs up

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Shadowrun Dragonfall - Director’s Cut trailer harebrained schemes

Harebrained Schemes are returning to their Shadowrun Return’s DLC, Dragonfall, and making it into a standalone release they’re calling Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut. The release has given the team time to go over its mechanics, music, artwork, heck, even it’s gore and give them a polish up. Which in the case just made a bit of smear.

In a recent Kickstarter update Mike McCain, dragonfall’s game director, detailed the rebuilt visuals of the cyberpunk RPG.

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Neverwinter: Siege of Neverwinter update sees you defend the city from dragon cultists

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neverwinter update siege of neverwinter cryptic

For us in the UK summer’s coming to an end and Autumn draws near, in Neverwinter it’s the decidedly toastier Season of Dragons. Technically it's a season in the sense of a storyline, like a television season, not anything to do with weather or geography. This series of updates has charted the rise of the Cult of the Dragons, a nefarious group who worship big, winged, scaly beasts.

The next stage of the season sees the cultists attack the city of Neverwinter and Cryptic have finally revealed what part you’ll play in its defense.

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Spotlight
?

Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.

Saints Row IV: Gat Out of Hell creative director Steve Jaros leaves for Valve

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saints row iv gat out of hell steve jaros volition

Saints Row IV’s fifth DLC, Gat out of Hell, will be out in January but without Steve Jaros, Volition Studios’ creative director. After a decade with the studio he’s moving on to a new job at Valve.

He made the announcement on Twitter but kept quiet about what his future at Valve held. I’ve my fingers crossed that we’ll be seeing a giant purple dildo grafted into Half-Life 3. Of course, that’ll likely lead to a further six year delay.

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Pages

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The 100 Best Minecraft Skins

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Planetary Annihilation review

Planetary Annihilation

Planetary Annihilation review

Gang Beasts Early Access review

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Gang Beasts Early Access review

Topic of the Week: What are your fondest memories of Minecraft so far?

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Topic of the Week: What are your fondest memories of Minecraft so far?

The Sims 4 review

The Sims 4

The Sims 4 review

The Watch_Dogs DLC Bad Blood plays better than the base game

Watch_Dogs™

The Watch_Dogs DLC Bad Blood plays better than the base game

Flockers PC review

Flockers™

Flockers PC review

What I wish Destiny had learned from PC games

Destiny

What I wish Destiny had learned from PC games

How much of Microsoft's $2.5 billion will Notch actually receive?

Minecraft

How much of Microsoft's $2.5 billion will Notch actually receive?

Clockwork Empires Early Access review

Clockwork Empires

Clockwork Empires Early Access review

The Sims 4: I trapped a man in a box and forced him to learn to play the piano

The Sims 4

The Sims 4: I trapped a man in a box and forced him to learn to play the piano

Dear Microsoft: about that Minecraft deal

Minecraft

Dear Microsoft: about that Minecraft deal

Why one developer has stripped microtransactions from their MOBA

Dragons and Titans

Why one developer has stripped microtransactions from their MOBA

Topic of the Week: What games infected you with hype but lost you after launch?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What games infected you with hype but lost you after launch?

Destiny isn't on PC yet, but you can play all of these other games and pretend that it is

Destiny

Destiny isn't on PC yet, but you can play all of these other games and pretend that it is

World of Warships is quietly brilliant

World of Warships

World of Warships is quietly brilliant

Bedlam asks ‘What if I could take Doom’s BFG into a fantasy RPG?’

Bedlam

Bedlam asks ‘What if I could take Doom’s BFG into a fantasy RPG?’

Torturing the elderly in The Sims 4

The Sims 4

Torturing the elderly in The Sims 4

A fireside chat: Pillars of Eternity beta impressions

Pillars of Eternity

A fireside chat: Pillars of Eternity beta impressions

Port Inspection - Dead Rising 3

Dead Rising 3

Port Inspection - Dead Rising 3

How to stream games on Twitch.tv

Twitch.TV

How to stream games on Twitch.tv

The best PC games of 2014 so far

Best PC Games of 2014

The best PC games of 2014 so far

Hatoful Boyfriend review

Hatoful Boyfriend

Hatoful Boyfriend review

Lichdom: Battlemage review

Lichdom: Battlemage

Lichdom: Battlemage review

Some thoughts on The Sims 4

The Sims 4

Some thoughts on The Sims 4

The 50 best Minecraft maps

Minecraft

The 50 best Minecraft maps

The 100 best Skyrim mods

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The 100 best Skyrim mods

The 20 best RPGs on PC

Best PC RPGs

The 20 best RPGs on PC

A Region Reborn - NA League of Legends Championship Series Playoffs crown TSM

League of Legends

A Region Reborn - NA League of Legends Championship Series Playoffs crown TSM