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NCSOFT and ArenaNet, from Guild Wars franchise has today announced the first-ever Guild Wars 2 release that is focused exclusively on bringing exciting new updates to in-game features. The Guild Wars 2 “April 2014 Feature Pack”, slated to release on 15th April, will introduce a sweeping range of new systems and feature enhancements to the game.

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The focus on features sets the stage for new content designed to upgrade the experience in a wide variety of areas, from quality of life to the way players enjoy various aspects of the game.

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ArenaNet has organised a rollout campaign to reveal everything players can expect in the “April 2014 Feature Pack”. Between now and when the release launches on 15th April, ArenaNet developers will deliver a series of videos, live streams, blogs and articles that unveil and detail every feature and what it means to the game. The rollout will give the entire Guild Wars 2 player community the opportunity to fully understand and engage in dialogue around each new upcoming enhancement.

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To kick off the campaign, ArenaNet today revealed the first new feature, detailing an overhaul of the existing trait system in Guild Wars 2. The improved trait system includes 40 brand new traits, a simplified UI, and new horizontal progression opportunities for players. A blog outlining details about the system is now live at www.guildwars2.com/en-gb/news/traits-unleashed-forty-new-traits-and-more.

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The finale in a storyline that began more than a year ago in Guild Wars 2, NCSOFT and ArenaNet has released the final cinematic from “Battle for Lion’s Arch.”  Relive Scarlet’s death and the moments that followed, setting the stage for what’s to come. Then check out “Aftermath” to see how Tyria’s living world will never be the same.
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The battle is over. Scarlet Briar is dead.  Tyria’s noblest warriors have done what they can to save the beloved city of Lion’s Arch – but have they truly saved it?

Word of Scarlet’s demise has spread like wildfire throughout the wards of the city and all across Tyria. The heroes of Lion’s Arch, the Lionguard, and Order
forces have driven out the remainder of Scarlet’s armies, their morale and ranks shattered. All the while, the Breachmaker – Scarlet’s enormous airship looming over Sanctum Harbor – continues to drill uncontrollably without its pilot at the helm.

One thing is certain – Tyria is scarred.  With today’s release of “Aftermath,” players will discover the depth of those wounds and the legacy left behind by Scarlet’s campaign of terror.

Sonos has announced a new look Sonos Controller app is now available for Android users to try in beta testing. The new Controller offers an array of new features that make it quicker and easier for users to find and listen to their music the way they want. Sonos is committed to constantly improving the user’s experience, by not only releasing new and innovative products, but also by improving the software that makes the system possible and making those updates available to all users, for free.

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Since the beginning, Sonos has been focused on one thing – giving users an incredible, immersive music experience throughout their homes, simply and enjoyably. The new look Sonos Controller app makes this even easier for users including new features such as:

  • A refreshed design and simplified interface
  • More intuitive navigation within the app
  • Introducing cross-service search – users can search for a song or artist across all their music services easily

It will be available for non-Android smart phones and tablets later this spring, with plans for new desktop controllers on Mac and PC to follow later this year.

If you are an Android user and want to experience the new look Sonos Controller app in beta, see instructions for how to sign up for the service below:

  1. Go to www.sonos.com and select “sign in”
  2. Log-in using your account information
  3. From within your account, select “Sonos Beta”
  4. You will only see one program, Sonos Beta Version 5.0
  5. Select “Join” and you will receive an email to your associated email account
  6. Log-in to your email and you will be able to access the download link for both Android and iOS mobile devices.

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Today the game 1954 Alcatraz, the noir adventure game from Daedalic Entertainment and Irresponsible Games is available now through digital download portals for PC and Mac. To celebrate the launch, the studio have released a brand new trailer giving players a taste of the love and crime story at the heart of the game.

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Set in the vice-ridden Golden Gate City of the fifties, 1954 Alcatraz tells the story of Joe, a man serving a long stretch in the notorious prison for armed assault. Eager to escape ‘The Rock’ and claim the hidden spoils from the heist, he soon realises his only chance to breakout is with the help of his wife Christine.

Facing death threats from the couple’s partner in crime Mickey if she doesn’t come up with the missing loot, Christine has problems of her own. But where is the cash? Only Joe knows; yet every crook, scam artist and chancer from North Beach is now looking for it. The race is on!

Alternating between the two main characters, Joe and Christine, players will have to make tough moral and action choices that will directly influence the course of the story resulting in surprising twists, multiple puzzle solutions and different endings. Touching on the social topics of fifties America, 1954 Alcatraz combines a compelling story with point and click gameplay to deliver a thrilling adventure.

1954: Alcatraz is available now on Steam for PC and GOG.com for PC and Mac at £16.99.

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Back in January we told you about StarTech’s new Thunderbolt laptop docking station – well now it’s time for our review.

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The Thunderbolt Docking Station gives you a single connection point to your home / office workstation, for a flexible setup with formidable speed. Adding Thunderbolt and HDMI video outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, a USB 3.0 hub and 3.5mm audio ports to your Thunderbolt-equipped laptop has never been easier.

Who are StarTech?

From their website:

Founded in 1985 by Paul Seed and Ken Kalopsis, StarTech.com is an ISO 9001 Registered manufacturer of hard-to-find connectivity parts. Since its inception, our company has been dedicated to making IT professionals jobs easier by helping them identify, find and get the connectivity parts they need to enable their solutions.

Features

· Thunderbolt output, daisy-chainable up to six Thunderbolt-equipped devices

· High resolution support: 1920×1080 through HDMI, 2560×1440 through Thunderbolt

· Integrated 3-port USB 3.0 hub, with UASP support, full USB 3.0 throughput per port

· Host connection supports full Thunderbolt throughput, up to 10Gbps

· 10/100/1000 Mbps compatible Gigabit Ethernet port

· Weighted stand for vertical positioning

· Speaker and Microphone support via 3.5mm stereo mini-jacks

· Includes 1m Thunderbolt cable

· Plug/port compatible with Thunderbolt 2-equipped MacBook laptops and Thunderbolt 2 devices

What’s in the Box?

  • The box contains:
  • The Thunderbolt Docking Station
  • 1m Thunderbolt Cable
  • Stand with screws
  • 4 x Rubber Feet
  • Power Adaptor (with multiple plugs for different regions)
  • Installation CD
  • Instruction Manual

A Closer Look

The majority of the ports are on the rear of the dock (these include 2 USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and of course the power connector.

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The front of the device has a single USB 3.0 port, and a 3.5mm microphone and headphone socket. There is also a power light on the front which illuminates when the dock is connected to your Mac.

Final Thoughts

The first thing I noticed when I opened the box is that the actually contained a Thunderbolt cable. So often these days you get a Thunderbolt device only to find that you also need to go and buy a cable. Thankfully StarTech put a 1m cable in the box for you.

The Docking Station is quite small and needs to be placed on the stand and secured with two screws – this only takes a moment and you are ready to go.

Plug in the power adaptor and connect the Thunderbolt cable to the dock and then to either your Mac or PC with a Thunderbolt port and the device comes to life – you can see it’s all working by the light on the front of the device. You don’t need to install any drivers as this is taken care of for you automatically.

One thing I really liked was the ability to use both a Thunderbolt display, and an HDMI display at the same time. In fact, if you count the Mac’s display as well you can have three displays running! If your monitor has a mini-display port then you can use that too, however the HDMI port then gets disabled, so bear that in mind depending on your multiple display needs.

Overall I really liked the Thunderbolt Dock – it had everything I needed to expand my Mac’s connectors.

The only thing that might put people off is the price – it’s not cheap, but then you are getting a lot of ports for your money, plus you do get a Thunderbolt cable in the box. And if you have a Mac you know that Apple doesn’t make docking stations so this could be a very wise purchase if you want to expand your Mac!

The price for StarTech.com’s TBDOCKHDPBC Thunderbolt Docking Station is $279.99 in the United States, $288.99 in Canada, £214.99 (exc. VAT) in the UK, but as usual look around for the best deal.

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You can learn more from the StarTech website.

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Today 2K and Firaxis Games has announced that XCOM: Enemy Unknown – The Complete Edition is now available internationally for Windows PC and Mac. Its was developed by the strategy experts at Firaxis Games, XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Complete Edition includes the XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2013) and XCOM: Enemy Within (2014), as well as the Elite Soldier Pack, Slingshot and Second Wave add-on content priced at £29.99.

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In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, players oversee combat strategies and individual unit tactics, as well as base management and resource allocation while playing as the commander of a secret global military organization: XCOM. With equal emphasis on deep strategy and intense tactical combat, XCOM: Enemy Unknown allows gamers to defend against a terrifying global invasion and determine the fate of the human race. XCOM: Enemy Within allows even more ways to enhance XCOM’s operatives: they can be genetically enhanced with abilities taken from the aliens themselves, or transformed into cybernetic warriors. These new abilities and units are imperative to face not just new aliens, but a new global threat known as EXALT, an underground human organization set on disrupting XCOM operations and taking control of Earth. XCOM: Enemy Within also includes an array of new maps, upgrades and weapons in both single player and multiplayer

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Warner Bros Games and Turbine have announced that on 14th March Infinite Crisis (MOBA), will enter Open Beta. To celebrate this milestone three never-before-seen Champions have been revealed!

Green Arrow, Aquaman and Mecha Superman will join an already robust lineup of Infinite Crisis Champions, which includes Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, among many others. Bios for each of these new Champions’ can be found below.

In Open Beta, players will be able to test their skills on Infinite Crisis’ exciting new tri-lane map, “Gotham Divided,” where two universes collide and players can battle across Gotham City and its Multiverse variant Gotham by Gaslight.

Meacha Superman Trailer

Green Arrow Trailer

Aquaman Trailer

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NCSOFT and ArenaNet, has introduces the penultimate chapter in the saga of super villain Scarlet Briar today with its latest living world release, “Escape from Lion’s Arch”. The release opens with the cosmopolitan city of Lion’s Arch, a multicultural centre of trade dating back to the original Guild Wars, under siege by Scarlet’s forces. Even as the heroes of Tyria, made up of players and the iconic characters of this diverse world, rally to save the city, the ominous sense that Guild Wars 2 will never be the same is evident from the opening scene. Lion’s Arch is burning!

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For the past year, players have battled Scarlet’s minions, foiled her schemes, and discovered more about her sinister goals. Now, after months of planning, Scarlet’s attack on Lion’s Arch sets the stage for a final ruthless push in her still mysterious grand plan. In “Escape from Lion’s Arch”, players battle alongside the Lionguard to take on Scarlet’s dark allies and evacuate as many citizens from the city as possible. They will face ferocious challenges as her minions roam freely through the besieged city and in the waters of the harbour. To protect the innocent, players will have to battle everything from the brutal charr of the Flame Legion and the towering clockwork watchknights to vicious creatures such as the krait and the feared Aetherblade sky pirates.

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As all of this takes place, a deadly miasma poison spreads across the city, forcing desperate survivors into refugee camps in the outskirts. At the Vigil Keep in the Gendarran Fields, players will find a new rallying point and an impromptu hub of trades and services they’ll need to defend Lion’s Arch. Only they stand between Scarlet and total devastation for one of the most important cities in Guild Wars 2.

 

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NCSOFT and ArenaNet, today released the teaser video trailer for the upcoming living world release “Escape from Lion’s Arch,” coming 18th February. The ominous trailer focuses on the trademark city of Lion’s Arch, a beacon of prosperity in Tyria that acts as trading hub for players. The city has proven resilient to numerous onslaughts by enemy races, pirates, the undead, even an Elder Dragon. Now, the villainous Scarlet Briar may present this proud city with its most terrifying foe yet.

As the teaser trailer shows, the forces of the sylvari supervillain will soon descend upon Lion’s Arch. Aetherblade airships, dirigibles of death piloted by the dreaded pirates who now serve Scarlet, loom over the city like birds of prey. On the ground, the cruel serpentine krait and subterranean dredge hunt for prey and terrorize its citizens. In one grim moment in the video, the famed nautical architecture of the city burns as innocents try to flee the devastation.

Lion’s Arch is a thriving city familiar to any Guild Wars 2 player, home to in-game traders and vendors as well as the asura gates that lead to the far corners of Tyria and beyond. The city has served as the focus for in-game holidays and events including Halloween and Wintersday, and has been featured extensively in living world releases such as “Sky Pirates of Tyria” and “Cutthroat Politics.” Lion’s Arch played an important part in the original Guild Wars, and is featured in the extension of the game lore in the novel “Sea of Sorrows” by Ree Soesbee. “Escape from Lion’s Arch” will be available to all Guild Wars 2 players on 18th February.

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Telltale Games, in cooperation with DC Entertainment, has launched the second episode of the five episode game series, The Wolf Among Us. Based on Bill Willingham’s award-winning comic book series ‘FABLES’ and licensed by Warner Bros.

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Telltale Games brings the second episode, ‘Smoke & Mirrors,’ to Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360, PS3 via the PlayStation Network, and on PC and Mac from the Telltale Online Store and other digital distribution outlets.  The episode also makes its debut this week on the iOS App Store as an in-app purchase within the original The Wolf Among Us release.

The Wolf Among Us second episode, ‘Smoke & Mirrors,’ is now available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and PlayStation Network for $4.99 individually, or as part of a season pass option including access to episodes as they are released.  On PC/Mac, the episode is available as part of a season pass, and also available on the iOS App Store as part of a season multi-pack, or for $4.99 as an in-app purchase within The Wolf Among Us application.

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NCSOFT and ArenaNet have introduced players to a mysterious new realm in the ‘Edge of the Mists’. The release delivers living world content that drives forward the story of villain Scarlet Briar, exposing more of her horrific plans for Tyria and its citizens. At the same time, ‘Edge of the Mists’ introduces an overflow map with new gameplay systems and improvements to the overall experience for World vs. World (WvW), the game’s massive battle PvP mode that continues to surge in popularity.

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As players will discover in the ‘Edge of the Mists’, no place is safe from the schemes of supervillain Scarlet Briar. The previously undiscovered realm is now overrun by the Aetherblades; dreaded sky pirates of Tyria who are undoubtedly pursuing the deeds of their minion Scarlet. Tragically, norn warrior Braham along with asuran child prodigy Taimi; both key characters in Guild Wars 2; have become stranded in the Mists. Players must help them while fending off attacks from the vicious Aetherblades.

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The introduction of the ‘Edge of the Mists’ is also giving players a new way to experience the game’s popular WvW mode. In WvW, armies of players engage in PvP on an epic scale, competing to seize territory, lay siege to castles, raid enemy supplies, and spread mayhem on four vast maps in the Mists. Now, players will never again have to wait to participate in WvW.  ‘Edge of the Mists’ acts as an overflow map that gives them the option to continue playing in a PvP and PvE environment, with different zones that compose the map’s network of floating islands inhabited by creatures such as the kodan, ogres, and grawl.  Players continue to build rank and gain loot and achievements while still in queue to join regular WvW matches.  There’s also a new UI system in place that provides complete visibility on which maps are populated and anticipated queue times.

The living world action in today’s release isn’t limited to the Mists. Back in Tyria, players will join two other key characters, Marjory and Kasmeer, in the seedy Dead End Bar to piece together clues as to Scarlet’s true motives. Using artifacts and props from the last year of living world storylines, players will deduce Scarlet’s ultimate plan in a shocking revelation.

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Ubisoft has announced  that the R.E.M. DLC pack for Rocksmith 2014 Edition is now available for download on Xbox LIVE for Xbox 360, the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 and Steam for PC and Mac.

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Songs included in this 5-song pack are “Shiny Happy People”, “Everybody Hurts”, “Uberlin”, “To The One I Love” and “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?”

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Individual songs are available for $2.99 or the complete 3-song pack for $11.99.

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New music packs continue to be released on a regular basis

 

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