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Jay Castello

2 days ago

Gwent expansion Crimson Curse gets appropriately gory trailer

The Witcher’s spin-off card game Gwent will be bringing out a monster themed expansion called Crimson Curse at the end of this month. They’re teasing it now with a trailer full of blood: blood magic, blood moons, and a very enthusiastic looking vampire. Also, a prominent moth motif, because those winged wretches can be just as ominous as the teeth and claws everywhere else. You…

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3 days ago

Overcome a personal nightmare world in She Dreams Elsewhere

Strange monsters and more adult fears blend together in She Dreams Elsewhere, an upcoming “surreal adventure JRPG.” A young woman named Thalia must navigate her nightmares in an attempt to wake up from the subconscious maze she’s stuck in, facing all kinds of foes both supernatural and everyday. Here’s a trailer to get lost in.

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Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Hiding out somewhere on Google Earth

Everyone’s favourite international Robin Hood-alike is back at her usual thieving-for-good antics, this time taking globe trotting literally in Where On Google Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? The answer to that question is London, at least at first, but after that it’ll be your job to track her down by talking to locals and picking up clues that will point you in the right direction while…

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Hades’ updates reflect the shifting nature of mythology

The aptly named Murder Death Kill update had me descending back into Hades this week, checking out the new enemies like Thanatos, Alecto, and Tisiphone, and learning how to use Zagreus’s new Wrath Of Olympus power. (It’s basically an ultimate ability, charging as you fight until you can unleash a new divinely gifted attack.) But it’s also got me thinking about the premise of releasing…

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4 days ago

Ooh and ahh at VirtuaVerse’s cyberpunk city

Upcoming cyberpunk point and click adventure game VirtuaVerse has exposed my moth-like attraction to pink and purple neon. I know that cyberpunk is more than this and I hope that the game will critically engage with the genre's roots beyond kanji street signs and something called “cryptoshamans.” And yet. Look how pretty this trailer is.

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Hearthstone’s new deck builder makes the most of incomplete card collections

One of the updates for Hearthstone’s Year Of The Dragon has hatched early, bringing a new and improved deck builder to Blizzard’s collectable card game. Previously, the auto-complete feature technically could slot cards into an incomplete deck, or even make one from scratch, but it seemed to take little into account besides mana cost, often making nonsensical or simply weak suggestions. Now, though, it uses…

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6 days ago

Feature: War makes monsters of us all

A Year Of Rain is an accessible if ambitious upcoming co-op RTS

I was nervous, sitting down to play A Year Of Rain. I don’t have a lot of experience with real-time strategy games, and even though technical director Nick Prühs had explained some of the accessibility features, it still looked intimidating. Plus, as a co-op and a competitive game, it has twice the number of people available to embarrass myself in front of. As I dug…

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7 days ago

Feature: There's always next stage, Valiant

Know It OWL: big stories, small moments

We're just a few matches away from the end of the Overwatch League’s first stage, and we're finally beginning to see which teams will make playoffs and which are truly struggling. But in between the high-level stories are the smaller moments, many of which took place outside the game itself: a kindly text from a player's mum, a motivational speech by Symmetra's voice actress Anjali…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: This post is sponsored by the gold objective time medal

Know It OWL: One weird tip for winning your Overwatch League games

Spare a thought for the Overwatch League players this week. Bamboozled and led astray by last week’s upsets, they are wandering around the maps with no regard for the fact that, and I cannot stress this enough, you have to stand on the point in Overwatch to win the game. It doesn’t matter what map type we’re talking about, they are all about objectives and…

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Have your heart broken by a short-lived friend in RUNONCE

Usually, the last thing I do on a Sunday is clean up my documents from the week, organising everything I need and deleting everything I don’t. This week that’s going to be tricky, because I opened RUNONCE, the latest file-o-friend from Nathalie Lawhead. The little bunny within is currently stomping endearingly around my screen, asking me for my thoughts about death, and kindly requesting that…

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Resident Evil 2 mods replace Mr. X with an equally terrifying Thomas The Tank Engine

Replacing all of Skyrim's dragons with Thomas The Tank Engine was all fun and games, but I’m beginning to think we have accidentally unlocked a terrible curse, an urge in the heart of modders everywhere to insert him into more and more games. His latest appearance sees him replacing Mr. X in Resident Evil 2, and I think the horror of being relentlessly pursued may…

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Some unlikely games are becoming competitive through Twitch Rivals

I would love to be a fly on the wall for the planning meetings at Twitch Rivals. The livestreaming platform’s esports series keeps pushing the envelope into all sorts of weird and wonderful games and rulesets. Streamers have recently faced off in the arena modes of both Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering; they hosted two Apex Legends tournaments just one week after its release, and…

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Sling spells and solve riddles in You Are A Wizard

It’s nice when games make my job easy, so I’m pleased to say that You Are A Wizard does exactly what it says on the tin. It also does a whole bunch of things you probably wouldn’t expect, like raising questions about the nature of reality and grounding an otherwise whimsical dream adventure in a wider story about the relationships and families. Oh, and you…

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Lawsuit claims Fortnite’s random loot boxes were ‘deceptive’

Epic Games’ lawyers seem to be being kept quite busy at the moment, with yet another lawsuit targeting the company. This latest filing, which targets the lesser played survival version of Fortnite, Save The World, alleges that the blind loot boxes (which were recently pulled from the game) were “a predatory scheme,” that “mercilessly…lured minors and other purchasers.”

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Guild Wars 2 players hold gatherings in gratitude to laid-off ArenaNet staff

With MMO developer ArenaNet recently becoming the latest in a long string of studios laying off developers, Guild Wars 2 players have been gathering in the game to show their appreciation for those who find themselves without jobs. Multiple events saw people from all over the world meeting up under the Lion’s Arch, toasting with body-changing tonics, and setting off fireworks in commemoration of the…

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3 weeks ago

Hearthstone’s Year of the Dragon is coming in hot

The Year of the Dragon is sweeping into Blizzard’s collectable card game Hearthstone, burning up the previous Year of the Raven and bringing with it a whole lot of changes. Here’s creative director Ben Thomson and new executive producer Chris Sigaty giving the bullet points: a story running across all three expansions; new solo content; and hints towards a whole bunch of meta changing card…

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Feature: I told you this week was Shanghai's week

Know It OWL: Confusion and celebrations in the Overwatch League

This week a lot of people have been asking me which teams are shaking out as the ones to watch in this season of the Overwatch League, or how their favourites are doing. The answer to these questions is always: no one knows, every single team has either caused or suffered an upset (or both!), and everything is chaos. Except for the New York Excelsior,…

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Escape an ever-changing underground labyrinth in Nymphiad

Puzzle-platformer Nymphiad takes you into the cursed mazes below an ancient Greek temple, where a little nymph is trying to escape back up to the surface. As they try to find coins to pay the toll, the world around them shifts, opening up new passages and leading to a confusing tangle of paths that pass back and forth over each other. Also, they do a…

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Epic are teasing a pirate theme for Fortnite Battle Royale season 8

Arr, mateys! With season 8 of Fortnite Battle Royale just a few days away, developers Epic Games are teasing a pirate theme. It makes sense – with the snow that’s been coating the island for the last few months presumably set to melt now that spring is almost here, there should be plenty of water around. Perfect for sailing and skulduggery.

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