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Far Cry 4 grows a new survival-focused open world today for Valley of the Yetis

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Far Cry 4 grows a new survival-focused open world today for Valley of the Yetis

After finishing the fantastic (and in places fantastical) Far Cry 4 last week, I felt no need to continue picking up the masks dropped by butter-fingers serial killers. Nor was I compelled to download the mish-mash of competitive modes and odd permadeath excursions that’d formed its DLC to date.

Valley of the Yetis is something different and intriguing, though: a new open world that takes advantage of Ubisoft’s free-rambling mechanics but fits them into a new structure - one that sets echoes of Minecraft and Fortnite bouncing between the peaks of the Himalayas.

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Why Far Cry 4 is wonderful for letting me choose my own subcontinental adventure

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Why Far Cry 4 is wonderful for letting me choose my own subcontinental adventure

There’s been a tendency in the more recent open-world Ubisoft games to track your progress with slightly unnerving precision. And even, after long periods of absence, to email you with the figures - as if you’ve failed to fulfill an obligation.

Any day now I’m expecting a note through the door to inform me that, though I’ve saved Kyrat, some 31% of the country remains technically unliberated. But I don’t think it’ll bother me, or awaken some untended completionist compulsion. Rather it’ll remind me of what an excellent job Far Cry 4 did in letting me play not just how I wanted, but how much I wanted.

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The Crew update stops cars from driving faster in reverse than forwards

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The Crew update stops cars from driving faster in reverse than forwards

I don’t know much about cars but when I saw a video of a Bentley going over 550km/h in reverse on dirt my interest was piqued. After reading the Dummies Guide to Cars, interviewing my man at NSA, and sitting on a bench for an afternoon watching people through the holes I’d cut in my newspaper I had my answer: the video was of Ubisoft’s The Crew, not a real car.

What? It’s not supposed to go that fast in the game either? Oh, good thing Ubisoft have fixed that little bug in their most recent update.

They’ve also added a new PvP mode and four new faction missions? Huzzah.

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Ubisoft’s sold 7 million copies of Far Cry 4

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Ubisoft’s sold 7 million copies of Far Cry 4

Ubisoft’s sitting happy despite Assassin’s Creed Unity and The Crew less than stellar launches. In a sales report published this morning, Ubisoft revealed that Far Cry 4 had sold more than 7 million copies. The two Assassin’s Creed games released last year - Rogue and Unity - chalked up a further 10 million sales.

They’ve also revealed details about the Assassin’s Creed movie, The Division, and Rainbow Six Siege.

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Heroes of Might and Magic 3 - HD Edition review

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Heroes of Might and Magic 3 - HD Edition review

Heroes of Might and Magic 3 - HD Edition is a handsomely restored relic of an earlier era. From the tacky prerendered cutscenes to an interface laden with cryptic buttons, it does not disguise its archaic origins. But its charms are timeless. Just as it was 15 years ago, Heroes of Might and Magic is an ideal fantasy strategy game whose simplicity masks demonic difficulty.

This HD edition is a great way for newcomers to encounter it, although it is not perhaps the comprehensive edition that fans deserve.

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Ubisoft reactivates stolen PC keys for players affected by unauthorised retailer sales, advises gamers only buy from ‘trusted retailers’

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Ubisoft reactivates stolen PC keys for players affected by unauthorised retailer sales, advises gamers only buy from ‘trusted retailers’

Recently a chunk of Far Cry 4 and Assassin’s Creed: Unity players found their Uplay accounts missing their new games, a result of Ubisoft deactivating a bunch of keys that had been stolen. Ubisoft have now chosen to reverse that decision, reactivating keys for any players affected, provided they had played the game before the point of deactivation. 

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Ubisoft is removing games purchased through unauthorised retailers from Uplay accounts

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Ubisoft is removing games purchased through unauthorised retailers from Uplay accounts

Update: The keys were originally purchased on EA's Origin platform with stolen credit cards, then resold to merchants that use third party sites like G2A. It was EA that alerted Ubisoft to the situation. Merchants at G2A and Kinguin, where a lot of the codes were sold, have agreed to refund customers.

If you’ve suddenly found yourself unable to go on a murderous, elephant-assisted rampage in Far Cry 4 or jump around like a loon in Assassin’s Creed Unity, it may be bacuse you purchased your game from a third-party seller that Ubisoft dissaproves of. 

Over the weekend, Ubisoft forum users noted that their library had shrunk, as the publisher had been deactivating games purchased from unauthorised retailers. 

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Far Cry 4 expands its territory with another lot of DLC missions: Hurk Deluxe

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Far Cry 4 expands its territory with another lot of DLC missions: Hurk Deluxe

Far Cry 4 players will remember that Hurk is your fellow American and murder-tourist in Kyrat - the one with the beard and the inability to tell Golden Path from Royal Army. He also doubles as Player 2 avatar in co-op, but if you haven’t been bombing outposts with a friend you won’t have seen an awful lot of him.

That can change, if you want it to, with today’s Hurk Deluxe DLC.

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Adventures in... Assassin's Creed: Unity - Butcher, or Benny Hill?

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Adventures in... Assassin's Creed: Unity - Butcher, or Benny Hill?

Balanced on a wire drawn taut between two of Notre Dame's supporting pillars, I survey the congregation below. Among them lies my target; a chubby guy in a hat whose name I’ve long forgotten because this Assassins vs Templar war nonsense is getting tedious now. All I know is that his neck needs to be profusely bleeding, and I’m happy to oblige. 

I drop from my perch, collide into a barrier that was meters away from where I should have fallen, and collapse in a heap at the feet of my target. Thirty exclamation marks start swinging around on my HUD, the ‘dong’ sound effect signalling that I’ve been discovered rings out repeatedly. Before I can gather myself together I’ve been surrounded by guards who don’t hang around before skewering me like a hog roast. Colours fade, my assassin collapses, and the memory desyncs. 

This is my third attempt. Since when did Ubisoft make murder this obtuse?

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Grow Home is Ubisoft’s latest passion project, help a robot climb a beanstalk

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Grow Home is Ubisoft’s latest passion project, help a robot climb a beanstalk

Ubisoft are getting really good at smaller ‘passion projects’. Having kicked out Child of Light, Valiant Hearts, and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon over the last couple of years, the studio is now gearing up to launch their latest little game: Grow Home. 

It’s all about helping a robot return to his spaceship which hangs in orbit. Rather than using the cliched method of rocket boosted boots though, the robot in Grow Home has decided to sprout a massive beanstalk and climb it to the clouds. 

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Looking back: why it's time to return to Far Cry 2

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Looking back: why it's time to return to Far Cry 2

I've been playing Far Cry 4 a lot the last few weeks, and the main thing that occurs to me is that it's not quite what I expected from the fourth game. I presumed something much different. The Far Cry series has always been about change and experimentation. The first three games, whilst all sharing common elements, are distinctly separate games in tone and feel. 

Far Cry 2 is the most obvious when it comes to being different. On the Venn diagram of Far Cry games it is the one that has the most components outside the shared zone. When it released in 2008 it wasn't fully embraced, with its harsh world and respawning checkpoints seen as a stain on the original game's fun legacy. But how does Far Cry 2 fit in today, in a world where Far Cry 4 is just more of Far Cry 3, and the shooter landscape is a distinctly different beast?

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Escape from Durgesh Prison: Far Cry 4 permadeath DLC ziplines in today

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Escape from Durgesh Prison: Far Cry 4 permadeath DLC ziplines in today

Far Cry 4 looks a bit like Skyrim, sometimes, when you’re picking flowers on the slopes of an unnamed mountain. But there’s something about the quick quest loops, and probably also the shotguns, that leaves it oh so much more frantic.

And if Far Cry’s frantic now, how do you think it’s going to be once you’ve been captured, tortured and stripped of your weapons in its Durgesh Prison DLC? And then, for good measure, set against the clock?

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The Assassin’s Creed movie's release date's been announced for December 2016

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The Assassin’s Creed movie's release date's been announced for December 2016

Retract your wrist blades, reader. You’re not going to be carving your way into a screening of the Assassin’s Creed movie anytime soon.* 20th Century Fox has announced a new release date for the Assassin’s Creed movie. Originally due out in Summer 2014, the film hit production issues which has caused a slight delay. You can now expect the film to drop into your local cinema on December 21, 2016.

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Ubisoft ponder the future of Far Cry: will it hold dinosaurs, vampires or Vietnam?

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Ubisoft ponder the future of Far Cry: will it hold dinosaurs, vampires or Vietnam?

Ubisoft have sent a handful of Far Cry 4 players messages in the last few weeks. Not to ask them to deliver any ashes, or guilt them into liberating a put-upon Himalayan country, but to inquire as to where they’d like the next Far Cry game to be set. How about a “Jurassic Park style" dinosaur island? Or the Spaghetti Western-era Americas?

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Assassin's Creed Unity unlocks all golden initiates chests during companion app holiday maintenance

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Assassin's Creed Unity unlocks all golden initiates chests during companion app holiday maintenance

Ubisoft have had to temporarily put their web-based companion experience to Assassin’s Creed Unity, AC Initiates, under a “continued state of maintenance". While it won’t affect players ability to play the PC game, it would inhibit their ability to unlock lucrative gold Initiates chests that are dotted around Paris.

All is not lost though. Foreseeing this problem, Ubisoft have gone and made all the cold Initiate chests accessible to all, for the entire period the maintenance is in effect. So if you want to go and get your hands on their contents, without having to trawl through the companion app, now’s the time!

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Far Cry 4's "Escape from Durgesh Prison" DLC to hit in January; will feature perma-death

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Far Cry 4's "Escape from Durgesh Prison" DLC to hit in January; will feature perma-death

Ubisoft have let the cat out of the bag about Far Cry 4’s first DLC: Escape from Durgesh Prison, which will arrive on January 13th 2015. It tasks the player with, surprise surprise, a prison break. Where it gets interesting however, is the fact you’ll be on the clock the entire time. Further more - if you wind up dead or recaptured, you’ll have to start the entire thing all over again.

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Heroes of Might & Magic III is getting an HD makeover and launches next month

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Heroes of Might & Magic III is getting an HD makeover and launches next month

I was grounded several times thanks to Heroes of Might & Magic III as a wayward youth. I could hardly be blamed for ignoring trigonometry or yet another bloody Shakespeare play when such a monumentally addictive strategy game was just sitting their, in my PC. But now, almost 30, I’m gleefully anticipating spending however much time I want with the recently announced HD remake.

Fifteen years after it first came out, HoMM 3 is getting a new coat of paint and Steamworks support. Along with the PC release, you’ll be able to grab it on tablet if fighting fantastical turn-based battles is the sort of thing you long for when stuck on the bus or sprawled on the sofa. 

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