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The Sims 4 review

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The Sims 4

The Sims 4 is a game in which you can get angry and do an angry poop into a toilet. It's a game in which, if you read a book about mischief for long enough, you can convince another person to streak through their neighbourhood. It's a game with an option to shower in such a way that your Sim comes out feeling "flirty". And if that's not a euphemism for giving yourself a soapy seeing to in the bathroom, I don't know what is.

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The Watch_Dogs DLC Bad Blood plays better than the base game

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Watch Dogs Bad Blood

Watch_Dogs was divisive. Controversial. In all honesty, despite the stick it received, I really liked and admired its ambition. I liked its open world - I liked the paranoia it generated by having other hackers invade and track you. I loved its sense of prurient power: listening in on phone conversation, picking and choosing who to hack based on their background. 

But it had problems. The lead character, Aiden, was a fence-post in a trench-coat. The mid-game Enforcer bosses ruined the stealth combat. And it just didn’t feel like it was taking advantage of the tools it had created.

I’ve played about half of the game’s forthcoming DLC, Bad Blood. It feels better. Aiden is barely mentioned - you play as the far more interesting artist-demolition’s expert T-Bone. He is gruff and interesting, wears a bit too much denim, and looks like he needs a good wash. He has a new toy: a remote controlled car that can flit through small tunnels and ducts. 

But most importantly, in Bad Blood Ubi’s game designers have started to figure out how to expand on Watch_Dog’s core conceit: hacking.

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Garry Newman on Mojang sale to Microsoft: "I'd have done the same thing"

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Minecraft: big business.

The world watched as Microsoft bought Mojang for a country-floating $2.5 billion, and so did Garry ‘sMod’ Newman. But while the world at large mostly wailed and muttered dire warnings, the Rust mastermind decided that this is a deal in which “everyone wins”.

“Long story short. I’d have done the same thing,” he blogged. “The money is enough to very much take care of all the staff. The game is in relatively safe hands. Mojang’s legacy is as a huge success story instead of a one hit wonder.

“Can you seriously say you’d have done it differently?”

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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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Spotlight
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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.

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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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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Spotlight
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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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Alienware - Game VictoriousNvidia Shield - Titanfall
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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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Armored Warfare: why is Obsidian making a F2P tank game?

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ArcheAge review

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ArcheAge review

Blizzard on World of Warcraft PvP as an eSport:

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Blizzard on World of Warcraft PvP as an eSport: "it's kind of hard to watch"

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter PC review

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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter PC review

Playing With Myself: The Long Dark

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Civilization: Beyond Earth preview

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Endless Legend review

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Welcome to the VRAM apocalypse

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Both Nvidia and AMD are preparing for 8K: “for the human eye that resolution is close to perfection”

Nvidia

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Total War: Attila revealed - where Winter, and Barbarians, are coming

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I've got Train Fever, and the only prescription is more trains

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Runescape has been around for over 13 years, and somehow it's still growing

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Behind the scenes with the Alienware Alpha: the first Steambox

Alienware

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So PCGamesN are Steam Curators now - gizza follow for the best PC games of 2014

PCGamesN

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Wasteland 2 review

Wasteland 2 Digital Deluxe Edition

Wasteland 2 review

Nvidia: “Titan sold way above our expectations”

Nvidia

Nvidia: “Titan sold way above our expectations”

We've got five codes for Stronghold Crusader 2's Special Edition. Would you like one?

Stronghold Crusader 2

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Our best Diablo 3 builds

Diablo III

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Train Simulator 2015 interview: “Oculus Rift is just perfect complementary technology for Train Simulator”

Train Simulator 2015

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How Crusader Kings 2 caught Paradox by surprise

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The 100 Best Minecraft Skins

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The 100 Best Minecraft Skins

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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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