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Splinter Cell: Echoes comics due this summer

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Splinter Cell: Echoes comics due this summer

If you can feel the effects of repetitive strain injury kicking in and want to give your gaming implements (hands) a rest then you might want to take a look at Splinter Cell: Echoes, a four issue comic that bridges the gap between Splinter Cell: Conviction and Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Though, your hands will need to hold out a little longer, it’s not out till the summer.

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Child of Light video shows off its painterly fantasy world

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Child of Light video shows off its painterly fantasy world

Ubisoft’s been making quiet waves about its UbiArt Framework engine, the technology behind its recent Rayman games. The Engine also powers Child of Light, a beautiful fantasy tactical game.

The latest trailer shows off the variety in Child of Light’s world, from classical statues overgrown with leaves and weeds to 18th centure caravans to bulbous, organic hot air balloons.

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Ubisoft has over 9,000 employees. Possibly becoming the world’s largest gaming company

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Ubisoft has over 9,000 employees. Possibly becoming the world’s largest gaming company

Kotaku’s Superannuation’s been at it again, this time delving into the data released on Ubisoft’s corporate website. They found that the publisher now employs more than 9,200 people, 7,800 in a production role. That’s a staggeringly large number but it goes some way to explaining how the company is able to put out a yearly Assassin’s Creed release, all while making Watch Dogs, Far Cry, and the rest of their games.

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot gets a bit more free for the weekend

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot gets a bit more free for the weekend

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, Ubisoft’s fort-building and loot-stealing F2P fantasy game, doesn’t sound very free. Not if it takes a special event for players to get to try out all but one of the game’s heroes. And that event kicks off today until April 22nd, unlocking all but the Runaway for every player. 

At least you get to keep the first hero you try out after the event ends.

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Embrace the Chaos: X-Com creator Julian Gollop on independence and the trouble with Ubisoft

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Embrace the Chaos: X-Com creator Julian Gollop on independence and the trouble with Ubisoft

Julian Gollop is playing Chaos Reborn, and he’s losing. Badly.

His wizard, both player avatar and font of all spells in this turn-based game of spellcasting, is backed into a hexagonal corner of the map - a charcoal island arena interrupted by jutting rocks and dotted with leafless trees. With an impotent fizz-crackle, his would-be spider goes the same way as a potential unicorn, an intended giant, and a whole host of sentient, violent flora that never quite materialised.

As our eagle and scorpion close in on his position in a pincer movement of Gollop’s own advising, you might even be tempted to feel sorry for him - but you shouldn’t. It’s sort of his fault. 

Let us not forget: this man has been driven all his professional life to create strategy games in which every shot, swipe and grenade toss hinges not just on player intent, but on the fickle roll of the dice.

Here’s the thing: Julian Gollop cannot help but make these games. It’s this fact which has driven him to leave security at Ubisoft for unbound creativity, and to roll the dice on the goodwill of X-Com fans on Kickstarter.

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Here's Watch Dogs running on an Ultra spec PC - and the hardware you'll need to do the same

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Here's Watch Dogs running on an Ultra spec PC - and the hardware you'll need to do the same

Watch Dogs’ most recent trailer was recorded on a rig rocking an Intel Core i7-3930K and a GeForce Titan. It could hardly be more unattainable if the GPU was cooled using a steady supply of dragon’s blood, or if its disc drive read DVDs via a diamond needle.

You needn’t own the most powerful graphics card in existence to run Watch Dogs on ‘Ultra’, though - merely something in that ballpark.

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Blood Dragons and dud-free reboots: Uplay's Spring Sale is quite good

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Blood Dragons and dud-free reboots: Uplay's Spring Sale is quite good

Occasionally Ubisoft will send out emails about games they didn’t make. That’s not because they’re jealous or forgetful, but because they’ve quietly started selling the works of other publishers on their Uplay store.

It might never be the centrepiece of your gaming life like Steam is, but Uplay is a perfectly sensible place to buy PC games - especially now, while its Spring Sale is going on.

Here’s what’s on offer: Blood Dragon for less than the price of Total Recall on VHS in ‘91, and Tomb Raider for far under the cost of a gap year gone awry.

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot tackles player loneliness with pets in new update

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot tackles player loneliness with pets in new update

The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is a game with an ingenious high concept - Diablo vs Dungeon Keeper - that we really would have preferred to like. But in practice, it felt a little like returning home to find you’d been burgled. Every day.

What does work in Mighty Quest is the nitty gritty hacky slashy part - so it’s odd to see Ubisoft Montreal fiddling with that side of things, rather than work on rebalancing the business of castle building. Pets will accompany players on their grand home invasions, providing company and picking up gold and life force.

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Watch Dogs gets chummy with Nvidia in a new tech trailer

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Watch Dogs gets chummy with Nvidia in a new tech trailer

Watch Dogs looks rather easy on the eyes, doesn’t it? In the latest trailer for the open world action hacking game, lead PC engineer Paul Glassi goes over the special graphical features the game’s partnership with Nvidia has provided. 

“During the last years of development, we have worked closely with Nvidia in order to create the most vivid and breathtaking Chicago possible for the PC version of Watch Dogs," says Glassi.

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The Crew launches this autumn, when you'll be able to make America your race track

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The Crew launches this autumn, when you'll be able to make America your race track

Ivory Tower’s vehicular MMO, The Crew, is launching on PC this autumn, Ubisoft announced today. It was pushed back last year, but managed to impress more than a few people when it was shown off at E3 in the summer. 

Along with a release window, The Crew gets its first gameplay trailer, taking a look at four cars with different capabilities as they drive across the slimmed down but still massive facsimile of the United States.

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Watch Dogs PC system specs demand hefty processors

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Watch Dogs PC system specs demand hefty processors

For a brief moment Watch Dogs was available to pre-order from Steam. The page has been pulled, but whilst it was available the minimum and recommended specs for the game were plain for all to see. 

Despite the upset over the apparent visual downgrade since the game’s original E3 reveal in 2012, to get the most out of Watch Dogs you’ll still be needing a relatively beefy PC. 

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Hands on with Child of Light

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Hands on with Child of Light

Child of Light is a side-scrolling RPG from a talented team of people that includes two of the men who helped create Far Cry 3. In it you play Aurora, the spirit of an Austrian princess trapped inside (something like) the memory of a dream of an afterlife of a whisper of a cloud. Child of Light is very lovely, a soothing soundscape of gentle piano tinkling and drawn out string quartets set against a hand-drawn and pastel coloured backdrop.

You're on a quest to retrieve the sun and the moon and the stars. You can fly, everybody speaks in rhyming couplets, your best friend is a teardrop and you collect forgotten wishes. The only way Child of Light could be any more ethereal is if it appeared hovering at the foot of your bed.

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Watch this: Watch Dogs' wind, water and lighting effects on a high-end EDIT: PS4, sigh. But still pretty.

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Watch this: Watch Dogs' wind, water and lighting effects on a high-end EDIT: PS4, sigh. But still pretty.

EDIT: The video's in-game text tells a lie, say PC Games Hardware. It's playing on a PS4. Sorry. Who knew those things could look good too?

EDIT-EDIT: And now YouTube inform us that Ubisoft themselves have asked for the video to be pulled down, "on copyright grounds". Hopefully it'll pop up somewhere else soon, correctly-labelled. We quite liked it.

Want to see what Watch Dogs looks like on PC? You probably already have - there wasn’t anybody foolish enough at E3 last year to demo their new games on anything else. But how about a detailed breakdown of some of the lovely effects that keep future Chicago ticking along?

The video’s all a bit In German - but mostly written in universal languages like wind-rustled trees, rain-slick pavements, and the reflections of 30-storey offices in the fountains of central Chicago. It’s a tech demo, but a mood piece too.

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot review

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot review

Every day I log into The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, I’m stepping over broken glass to reach my own front door.

I’m logging in to improve on my dungeon, but before I start, I suffer a report of the night’s losses: how many players raided my home, how many gems were taken from my vaults, how much gold from my coffers, and how badly the reputation of my castle suffered in the process.

Usually you’ll have had one or two visitors - but if you leave it a couple of days, you might find your fortress has been raided six or seven times. Enough to necessitate subdivision into current and older attacks.

Mighty Quest’s world is always-online, interconnected - but you’ll never bump into a castle’s owner prowling its halls, nor walk in on a raider filling their pockets with your gold. In fact you’ll never see anyone except on CCTV - replay images of an attacker long gone, probably tucked up in bed in another timezone. Surrounded by security measures and minions, you’re profoundly alone.

It’s not a feeling I’ve had before in an RPG - but it’s not an especially good one either. What’s the point of having your own castle if it makes you feel like crap?

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That's more like it: Watch Dogs trailer showcases Ubisoft Montreal's "hyper-connected playground"

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That's more like it: Watch Dogs trailer showcases Ubisoft Montreal's "hyper-connected playground"

The new Watch Dogs trailer ends, like the last, with explosions. Sorry. But it begins better, with shaky-cam shots of Chicago’s denizens - every one of which, we’re told, has a “unique identity and reacts intelligently to the world around them".

Where last month’s worrying Watch Dogs leak was a montage of revenge motives and muddled accents, today’s is precisely what it needs to be: a sell for the city.

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Chicago on forever: "doing everything" in Watch Dogs will take close to 100 hours

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Chicago on forever: "doing everything" in Watch Dogs will take close to 100 hours

A couple of weeks ago, Ubisoft sent me an email reminding me to complete Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Over tens of hours, I’ve filled the oceans with enough driftwood to sink the whole West Indies beneath the waves. I've watched Blackbeard’s facial fuzz grow from bumfluff into that famous chin-tree. But that’s left me just 39% of the way through, according to Abstergo’s metrics.

Expect a similar relationship with Watch Dogs - which has story missions enough to last you 35 to 40 hours, and enough everything else to last you 100.

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Chi-town tech: minimum PC specs for Watch Dogs revealed

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Chi-town tech: minimum PC specs for Watch Dogs revealed

It seemed a tad presumptuous to start talking specs for Watch Dogs while it kept disappearing over the horizon, first from Winter to Spring, and then from Spring to Summer. We're finally gaining on it, though, and short of suddenly raised bollards or a power surge that renders the surrounding blocks pitch black, will have caught up by May 27.

Now, finally, the Watch Dogs dev team have begun talking system requirements.

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No more console-ation prize: Ubisoft to release Watch Dogs simultaneously on PCs, Xboxes and PlayStations

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No more console-ation prize: Ubisoft to release Watch Dogs simultaneously on PCs, Xboxes and PlayStations

We’ve become accustomed to getting our open-world Ubisoft games a month later than our mates on the consoles. By that time, they’ve long since captured all their territories, talked things out with Vaas, and worn out the knees of their white robes on treetrunks. We’ve lived with it - but it hasn’t exactly engendered the sort of shared pop cultural zen moments Ubisoft would presumably like us to be having.

Maybe that’s all about to change? Ubisoft’s schedule for 2014 would seem to confirm as much. Watch Dogs is set for a May 27 release on Xboxes, PlayStations, and PCs.

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Watch Dogs trailer leaks, reveals May 27 release

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Watch Dogs trailer leaks, reveals May 27 release

Watch Dogs finally has a release date after its abrupt disappearance from the 2013 release calendar. Thanks to a leaked trailer that slipped out through Xbox.com, we now know the open-world hacking game comes out on May 27.

And thanks to leaked trailer, we can also be prepared for some very dubious voice acting.

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Here's what we'll see in place of South Park: The Stick of Truth's censored scenes

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Here's what we'll see in place of South Park: The Stick of Truth's censored scenes

South Park: The Stick of Truth will be censored in Europe - which, given the glee South Park and its fans have always found in the offense of others, is about as close to perfect promo as Ubisoft could ask for.

Thing is: European ratings body PEGI didn’t need to waggle any threatening banhammers to prompt the edits. Rather, Ubisoft’s European division made the decision to expunge The Stick of Truth of some of its more extreme cutscenes themselves.

In their place, they’d like us to watch carefully-crafted stills at selected points during the course of the game. Here’s one of them.

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