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Elite: Dangerous leaves alpha, enters beta and introduces trading

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Elite: Dangerous alpha 3.0

Elite: Dangerous is about to shed its alpha chrysalis and emerge a beautiful beta butterfly. Frontier have announced that Premium Beta players will now be able to download and play a single player combat build of Elite: Dangerous, ahead of the Beta's full launch on May 30th.

They've also hinted at what's coming next for Alpha backers: travel, trading and trousers. No, not trousers, I mean "in-system super cruise" speeds that let you zip around within a solar system without hyperspace jumping to another neighbourhood entirely.

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Stay frosty: Arkham Origins' Cold, Cold Heart footage shows off fancy weapons and a very hot suit

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Batman: Arkham Origins DLC

Although Batman: Arkham Knight is on its way, this doesn’t mean that we’re finished with Arkham Origins quite yet. Cold, Cold Heart is a DLC campaign where Batman tangos with Mr. Freeze after dealing with his nasty assassin problem. 

It’s separate from the main campaign and throws in some new anti-freeze gadgets and the intimidating XE suit, the Dark Knight’s special extreme conditions costume. DC All Access has put up a clip of creative director Eric Holmes and game director Benoit Richer discussing Batman’s next outing, accompanied by five minutes of in-game footage. Direct your peepers below. 

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Even esports had a montage: watch the Katowice 2014 highlights

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Katowice 2014 highlights

Katowice, Poland played host to one of the biggest esports events to date, recently. Intel Extreme Masters World Championship finals featured both Starcraft II and League of Legends, while the EMS One finals pit Counter Strike: Global Offensive players against each other for a prize of $250,000. It was won by Virtus Pro, who walked away with $100,000 of the sizable prize pool. 

If you missed the live streams, you can catch up with the highlight reel ESL has put together. Take a gander below. 

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H1Z1 is a post-apocalyptic MMO from SOE where you can burn everything down

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H1Z1 MMO

Sony Online Entertainment’s newest title, H1Z1, is a post-apocalyptic MMO that’s lousy with the walking dead. SOE president John Smedley made the reveal on the Game Talk Live podcast, which goes live later today. 

"H1Z1 is an MMO that allows players to take on the role of an apocalypse survivor who is in a world that is filled with zombies," Smedley said on the podcast. "A world! Not just a little tiny server."

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The Wolf Among Us: A Crooked Mile PC review

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The Wolf Among Us Episode 3 review

The Wolf Among Us: A Crooked Mile begins with a smoldering ball of rage storming out of a hotel. A lot barging, stomping, storming and rushing follows like a very angry race. The aforementioned rage ball, Bigby Wolf, does most of it, but it’s very much an episode focused on the hunt for the Fabletown serial killer, with everyone on a deadline. 

The illusion of limited time, split second decisions and everyone just shouting at each other makes the episode a tense affair. It seems like just about every character is primed to flip their lid, utter a battle cry and start ripping throats out. 

Nobody comes out of it clean. 

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All Infinite Crisis champions are unlocked for a week, because Superman likes PAX East

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Infinite Crisis roster unlocked for a week

Infinite Crisis, Turbine’s DC-themed MOBA, opens up its roster for the next week. No more worrying about what hero or villain is in the rotation, no splashing out on new characters - from today and for the next week, every one of the game’s combatants is unlocked. 

So if you’ve always wanted to take a robotic Superman for a spin, now’s your chance.

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Get back to the table: Card Hunter is getting an expansion

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Card Hunter expansion

Card Hunter is an absolute delight, being both a tight, clever strategy card game and a celebration of tabletop gaming. The halcyon days of being a child and sitting around a table with friends, roleplaying and rolling die never happened to me - I didn’t get into that until my mid-20s - but I’m still affected by the nostalgia. The excitement inherent in playing something utterly new, exploring a fantastical world for the first time, that’s pretty much ubiquitous among anyone who dabbles in gaming.

So it’s good. But it might be about to get better. Blue Manchu announced the first major expansion for Card Hunter yesterday: Attack of the Artifacts. More monsters, quests, gear and lore - oh my, I’m excited. 

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Dawngate opens up: EA's fantasy MOBA enters community beta

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Dawngate beta

EA and Waystone Games’ fantasy MOBA, Dawngate, is now open to beta registrations, if that’s your cup of tea. You can pop on over to the site, sign up and download the client. 

The second of EA’s bids to break into the MOBA market, Dawngate is meant to be evocative of League of Legends rather than something starkly different. That’s not to say it doesn’t have a few tricks up its sleeve to make it stand out. 

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Latest The Evil Within trailer is sort of creepy, then very creepy, then kind of nice, but then very creepy again

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Evil Within morgue

The Evil Within, she ain't so pretty, but Bethesda's third person psychological horror is certainly creepy as balls. It's an unerringly scary game by the legendary Shinji Mikami, he of Resident Evil (and Dino Crisis!) fame, and sees private investigator and trilby botherer Sebastian Castellanos wandering ever deeper into the guts of an asylum. Try to piece together the plot from the latest trailer if you can. I think you'll find that Acts Two and Three are very much concerned with the pervasive themes of all of your blood spilling out.

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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.

Diablo III Patch 2.0.4 touches down and now the world will never be quite the same again

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Reaper of Souls Crusader

Blizzard have just launched the latest Diablo III patch and it's a big old betsy. Patch 2.0.4 is now live across all servers everywhere and introduces major changes to every class as well as to some of the game's town hubs. There's nothing any one of us can do to stop it, so we might as well embrace the change and carry on.

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Article submitted by RossWigan

Age of Wonders III Review Diary Part I

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I've been immersing myself in a turn based strategy that isn't Civilization this week. Here's what I think so far of Triumph Studios' Age of Wonders III.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel goes to the moon, lets you play as Claptrap

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

This isn’t Borderlands 3. This is Borderlands One and a Half, an interim, standalone adventure that takes place between the first and second games. It’s being developed by 2K Australia with help from Gearbox (who are also busily working on their own new IP), will use the Borderlands 2 engine and will not be coming to next-gen consoles. 

It’s a whole lot more Borderlands, just expanded outwards rather than upwards. You’ll play as one of four new characters —one of whom is the sardonic robo-sidekick Claptrap — in a quest to assist Handsome Jack’s rise to power and set the scene for the beginning of Borderlands 2. It also takes place, largely, on Pandora’s ever-visible but until now inaccessible moon.

They’ve actually called it Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, bless them.

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Article submitted by TheIndieMine

Goat Simulator review

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Play as a goat in Coffee Stain Studio's newest title. Destroy things, ruin dinner parties, and cause as much anarchy as your little goat heart desires.

Halo: Spartan Assault PC review

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There is a new Halo game on PC, and it’s a little bit what the hell. It’s not a first-person shooter or a strategy game, but an entirely new, developed from the ground up for Windows 8, twin-stick shooter. You play as ‘a Spartan’, fighting baddies from the top down. You’re meant to be playing within a simulator; reliving pitched battles for highscores and achievements. 

Designed for Windows 8 is a weird thing to say. So here’s what it means: it is both a PC game and a mobile and tablet game. You can play it on a Windows Phone and a Windows PC, although you’ll have to buy the mobile and PC version separately. It uses mouse and keyboard, and touchscreen controls if you have a Windows 8 tablet.

It’s an almost parodical recreation of Halo, viewed from above. 

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Windows 8 increasingly tolerable - 8.1 update 1 now available

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Windows 8 doesn’t get much love in the press, but here’s a positive. There’s a new update available today, charmingly titled Windows 8.1 Update 1, that improves the operating system for desktop and mouse users. 

Here’s another positive: in my mind, thanks to some considerable improvements over the past year, I don't think Windows 8 can be considered the OS boogeyman. 

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Secret Ponchos' not so secret PC reveal

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Secret Ponchos coming to PC

The cat is out of the poncho: Secret Ponchos is coming to Steam. Developer Switchblade Monkeys made the sneaky reveal on Twitter, the game’s title with “STEAM” lingering in the background.

Previously announced for PlayStation 4, it’s a multiplayer shooter with gun-toting cowboys and whip-cracking bandits; a spaghetti western with a stylish cartoon aesthetic. 

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The Chaos Reborn demo lets you command vicious unicorns and illusory beasts

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Chaos Reborn demo

Julian Gollop’s Chaos Reborn Kickstarter has eight days to go and is $45,000 away from its $180,000 goal. Based on Gollop’s ZX Spectrum game, Chaos, it retains the robust magic system of the original tactics game, but adds multiplayer, RPG-style progression and a co-operative mode. 

Possibly in an effort to make that final push to the target, Gollop’s released a basic demo of Chaos Reborn, available to everyone here

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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.

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Warlock 2: The Exiled review

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Civilization goes Beyond Earth, but not back to Alpha Centauri

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The Wolf Among Us: A Crooked Mile PC review

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel goes to the moon, lets you play as Claptrap

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Halo: Spartan Assault PC review

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Building blocks — LEGO Minifigures Online

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Death in Candlewood is a Poe-inspired first-person shooter and twisted romance

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Goat Simulator review

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The Joy of Hex: a truly brilliant computer CCG

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Review: BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Part Two

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Why Hollywood wants a piece of the Oculus VR action

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Age of Wonders 3 review

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Let’s make the Formula One of cheats

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot review

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Everquest Landmark closed beta review

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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls review

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Endless Legend shows Amplitude Studios building on lessons from Endless Space

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Four things Facebook will not do with Oculus Rift

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Why Oculus chose Facebook

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Breaking: Facebook plans to buy Oculus VR for $2 billion

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Blizzard on Diablo III's missing PvP: "There's probably not a week that goes by that we're not talking about it"

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TowerFall Ascension PC review

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Port Inspection - Deus Ex: The Fall