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Just when you thought it was safe to go exploring in Thedas. You’re going to need a bigger dragon-cart. EA and BioWare have released a new single player campaign DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition. The Jaws of Hakkon adds a new area to the game and reveals what happened to the last Inquisitor. The DLC may also have a dragon somewhere in it.

Enter an overgrown wilderness filled with Avvar, fiercely independent hunters who settled in the southern mountains of Thedas. Explore their culture to uncover what happened to the last Inquisitor and the dragon he pursued. Find an ancient Tevinter fortress that hides a dangerous secret. In this new adventure, playable within the Dragon Age: Inquisition campaign, you will face powerful foes, gain legendary armor and weapons, and confront an ancient god of war bent on destroying the world.

The Jaws of Hakkon is $14.99 and it is available “first” Xbox One and PC. Presumably, it will be available for PlayStation 4 players at some point in the future.

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Geralt of Rivia may not be a great monster hunter because of his beard, but the folks behind The Witcher 3 will make sure static facial hair isn’t to blame for any failures. The Witcher 3 features beard growth. According to CD Projekt, Geralt’s manly whiskers will show the passage of time.

The beard has several “states” and these states determine its length – the longest is really long but it’s not Gandalf-long.

That’s too bad. Imagine sexy-time with hobo-bearded Geralt. The Witcher 3 will launch on May 19th for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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If you saw this trailer for RollerCoaster Tycoon World, you may have had less than charitable thoughts on the game’s appearance. Gamers lamented that the upcoming title from Atari looked suspiciously similar to the 11-year-old RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. Many of the assets in the video appeared to be a direct grab from the older game with no improvements. Developer Area 52 Games says that the trailer is showing a “pre-alpha” version of the game and that it will improve visually when they finish working on the underlying code and concentrate on graphics.

Regarding the current state of game graphics, we have been exploring prototypes for a while and are happy to announce we will be upgrading to the Unity 5 Engine. We hope to be able to share the results of the upgrade by this summer. We hope to take full advantage of the many new environmental, lighting, and shadow improvements as well as many other features in our original Unity 4.6-based engine to create a game that looks great. Our early results are extremely promising. We know that today these words must ring hollow, but trust that we are doing everything we can to make the game look excellent.

Area 52 also vowed that if the game needs more time, they won’t launch until its ready. We won’t find out until release whether or not they’re being sincere, but the developer seems to be doing what they can to assure fans of the franchise that this won’t be a repeat of RollerCoaster Tycoon 4.

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Arma III launched back in 2013 with a lot of guns. The NATO and enemy forces had their own handguns, assault rifles, carbines, sub-machineguns, and sniper rifles. Don’t ask me to name any of them. The weapons felt generic and unmemorable, but apparently what Arma III needs is more of them. At least, that’s what Bohemia Interactive is offering in the upcoming Marksman DLC. Seven spiffy new weapons, focused on augmenting team firepower, are coming in the expansion. Alongside the DLC, the developers are releasing a free update that adds bipods, weapon resting, a new multiplayer mode, and single player scenarios for everyone to use.

Weapon resting means that players will benefit from an accuracy bonus whenever they are near a stable surface, while weapon deployment will enable players to use bipods for a more steady shot. Together with improvements made to the simulation of recoil, and improvements to enemy AI suppression, this should provide a more tactical, intuitive, and rich experience

Bipods and weapon resting are features that have long been requested by the community. Depending on the execution, these changes could do a lot for making small arms fire feel more distinctive. The Marksman DLC for Arma III will be available on April 8th for $15.99, or as part of the Arma III DLC bundle.

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Bruce: So this game seems fascinating. Completely ahistorical in every way, yet an interesting gaming problem to solve and arguably a practical solution to an almost intractable problem of simulating the nonmilitary tactical aspects of counterinsurgency. I both love and hate the concept. I wonder if the gameplay will make me feel the same way?

Tom: What do you hate about the concept? And I’d like to hear more about why you call it “completely ahistorical in every way”? Other than the fact that helicopters in this game can’t land in rice paddies.

After the jump, roll over, Westmoreland! Continue reading →

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Conker, the foul-mouthed squirrel of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, is coming to Microsoft Studios’ Project Spark. Conker’s Big Reunion will be an episodic “create & play” DLC experience. In addition to a playable storyline that will have Conker overcoming obstacles to attend a reunion, the accompanying Conker Content Pack will add approximately 300 assets to the Project Spark toy box for use by players in their own creations. Chris Seavor, the original voice for Conker will be returning to supply new dialogue.

“As we got near E3, we knew we needed the original Conker, so we reached out to Chris Seavor, who was no longer at Rare. When we shared the plan and showed him what Project Spark was, he was excited to bring in Conker. Rare gave us all the original assets we’ve needed, including the original music. Pretty much everything from tone, to scenarios, to music, etc. Rare has given feedback and help all along the way, it’s been tremendous. They really care immensely about the characters and giving them to the fans to create with.”

Conker’s Big Reunion will launch on April 23rd for Xbox One and Windows PC. I’m sure this is exactly how Conker fans hoped his return to gaming would be like.

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Insect mantis faced dude, otherwise known as Slim, is coming to Evolve with three other new hunters at the end of the month. Slim, the new medic, is a genetically modified insect hybrid because… Oh, who cares? He’s a bug guy with a wasp-shaped healing drone. The other new hunters are Torvald, a mortar dropping assault trooper, Crow, a sneaky trapper, and Sunny, a support character that can boost the whole team’s jetpacks. Each of the new hunters can be purchased separately or come as part of the Hunting Season Pass.

If you’re more interested in stomping around, the fourth monster, the Behemoth, will be available as well on March 31st. Thanks to Evolve’s confusing DLC scheme, he’s not part of the Hunting Season Pass. He comes with the Monster Expansion Pack.

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In the ongoing saga of Driveclub being a five-star racing game that was released two stars too early, it has finally gotten a replay feature. Now you can enjoy the truly gorgeous graphics without having to keep your eyes on the road. The replay mode lets you watch a race from a variety of camera views, with the option to enter a ridiculously detailed photo mode if you want to grab stills. It’s also a new way of looking at the tracks to learn how to drive them better.

The latest update also claims to make drift events less annoying. I’m not sure that’s possible, as I’ve yet to meet a drift mode in a videogame that wasn’t annoying. But with relaxed requirements for scoring drifts, at least it’s easier to get the stars you need to progress in the single-player tours.

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Infested Planet developer Alex Vostrov posted the following update to the game’s Steam page:

The game is about to get a new mini-expansion: “The Trickster’s Arsenal”. The details of what’s inside are still being worked on, but I can announce some new combat abilities.

The DLC is going to add 7 new powers, kind of like the chopper strike, but with different effects. For example, one ability is STASIS FIELD – you can fire it at a hive and freeze everything in the area. The hive can’t take damage, but it also can’t do anything to you. Good for splitting up enemies. Another one is OVERDOSE – you lose some health, but your marines go into a frenzy.

The abilities allow you to fight in new ways, like teleporting across the map to deal with an emergency.

At least some parts of the DLC will be free to everyone who owns the game. For example, I didn’t want to split the leaderboards between DLC and non-DLC, so the new abilities are unlocked for everyone if you’re playing a leaderboard map.

The Trickster’s Arsenal is coming out on April 24th.

Thanks, Gigglemoo!

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That’s Los Santos from Grand Theft Auto V as a playable map in Cities: Skylines. One of the big attractions for many players of Colossal Order’s city sim is the game’s mod community. As of this writing, there are almost 14,000 items in the Steam Workshop. Everything can be found there from user-made buildings, real-world maps, and wacky road patterns, to game changers like a tool to remove that dag-blasted Chirpy bird. The mod scene for Cities: Skylines is popular enough that one ex-Maxis developer hopes to make a temporary living through his custom building work.

The game isn’t without flaws, but its popularity has propelled it to becoming publisher Paradox’s fastest selling game at launch. Not bad for a game that routinely gets confused with the appalling Cities XL franchise.

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Nintendo is going to mobile platforms beyond their own hardware. In a stunning announcement for Mario fans, Nintendo confirmed that they will be working with DeNA, a major player in the Japanese mobile market, to create games for phones and tablets based on Nintendo’s established properties within the year. According to the investor copy, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata explained that while the company’s software sales remain strong on dedicated hardware, they could no longer ignore the mobile market.

Very simply put, it is structurally the same as when Nintendo, which was founded 125 years ago when there were no TVs, started to aggressively take advantage of TV as a communication channel. Now that smart devices have grown to become the window for so many people to personally connect with society, it would be a waste not to use these devices.

In the same announcement, Iwata offered proof that the company was not abandoning their hardware by revealing that they are working on a new home console, codenamed “NX”, but that it was too early to discuss details.

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