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With Game of Thrones back on our screens, how would you like to learn more about Westeros, and what better way than with a pop-up book?

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Featuring stunning pop-up re-creations of several key locations from the series, including the formidable castle of Winterfell, the lavish capital city King’s Landing, and the Wall’s stark majesty, this book—designed by renowned paper engineer Matthew Reinhart—takes you into the world of the series like never before.

Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros features a total of five stunning spreads, which fold out to create a remarkable pop-up map of Westeros that is perfect for displaying. The book also contains numerous mini-pops that bring to life iconic elements of the show, such as direwolves, White Walkers, giants, and dragons. All the pops are accompanied by insightful text that relays the rich history of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond, forming a dynamic reference guide to the world of Game of Thrones. Visually spectacular and enthrallingly interactive, Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros sets a new standard for pop-up books and perfectly captures the epic scope and imagination of the series.

Here are some pictures to show you just what is included, although they really don’t do the book justice.

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The Pop-up Guide to Westeros is available now from the HBO Store priced £40.

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It’s been a long time since the 1981 release of Castle Wolfenstein, and Bethesda in conjunction with MachineGames are bringing the latest in the series, Wolfenstein: The New Order to us next month. I recently had the chance to play the first three hours of the game.

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The game starts on July 16th 1946 (yes 1946), and B.J. Blazkowicz (you) is on a plane on a last ditch mission to destroy Deathshead and his army. Your plane is hit and you have to perform a small series of tasks to stop the plane from exploding, and before you know it you are sitting in a gun turret shooting futuristic looking planes out of the sky. I wont spoil the start of the game but you have to jump between two planes in the air, survive a plane crash, swim underwater, and assault a beach in a scene reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan.

You have various missions to complete, from assaulting the compound, to disabling some heavy guns, all the while being attacked from all angles by Nazi’s, dogs and even robotic machines.

It’s about an hour to an hour and a half of gameplay then before you finish the sequence in 1946, and in fact that’s when the title sequence for the game starts, so think of the whole of the 1946 game as the pre-title sequence.

Something happens to Blazkowicz during that game sequence that then has him waking up in Poland in 1960. The Nazi’s have won the war, the world is under their thumb, and it’s time for Blazkowicz to fight back. He has to escape his current situation, rescue a nurse called Anya and try to find out where the Nazi’s are holding what’s left of the resistance (something he does during a cinematic torture scene involving a chainsaw!).

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Before I knew it my 3 hours were up, with Blazkowicz ending up on a train full of Nazi’s having just played a rather strange game with a rather unlikeable woman and her boy toy!

The graphics are very good, with lots of exploding body parts and showers of blood, all rendered with Software’s id Tech 5 engine. The gameplay was very smooth as well considering how many things were happening on the screen at once in terms of explosions and characters.

There is a lot of use of cover in the game, with you being able to lean around columns to see and attack your enemies, to shooting through things at floor level – it all makes for some interesting gameplay.

I have been lucky enough to play two previous builds at closed door events and the game gets better and better, and harder!

Talking of which, there are 5 difficulty levels, and good luck with the hardest one!

One thing that is brand new for this build is the new perk system. Like other games, you can earn perks to enhance your abilities. The way you earn these perks is to perform certain tasks, such as perform a silent kill on an enemy. This will then unlock a certain perk from the four perk trees – Stealth, Tactical, Assault and Demolition. You also don’t have to perform the tasks in sequence to unlock the perk which I thought was good.

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There is also a map in the game, although the map is only revealed as you make your way through the levels, unless of course you happen to find a map laying around somewhere, in which case you can see more!

There are also a lot, and I mean a lot of collectables to find in the game, including codes and Nazi gold, each of which opens up background information to read. During my 3 hours I managed to find a few, and way told after I had finished that I had in fact missed several that were hidden around. And as you would expect there are also secret passages, hidden rooms, and lots of surprises.

One thing I really liked about my time with Wolfenstein: The New Order was that I could choose to play the game using stealth or I could just go full out and shoot everything that moves. There are missions where you have to get through to a certain area that can either be done using stealth, including quietly killing the enemy or even leaving them alone, or you could just go in all guns blazing, which I have to be honest is exactly what I did most times – who doesn’t want to dual wield some heavy machines guns! There are also different routes to get to your objectives – some of which are only available to you depending on certain decisions you make. For example, there is a sequence in the 1946 area where you are captured by Deathshead and you need to decide which of your two friends dies. Depending on who you choose, the story will subtly change which certain skills being taught to you by the survivor thus helping you later. I won’t spoil it but it was a nice little touch that I didn’t realise until much later in the gameplay.

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I mentioned dual wielding machine guns – there are lots of different weapons in Wolfenstein: The New Order, ranging from knives, to pistols, to turret guns. Pretty much all the weapons (with the exception of the turret gun) can be dual wielded, which really unleashes hell on your enemies. Just remember though, you burn through your ammo quicker that way!

I look forward to playing more of Wolfenstein: The New Order soon.

Here is some gameplay footage to keep you going as well:

Last year I also spoke with Andreas, one of the level designers about Wolfenstein: The New Order:

Wolfenstein: The New Order will be released on May 20th for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Are you going to play it? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Thief was released by Square Enix back in February and Titan Books released an amazing Art of Thief book, and we have 2 copies of the book to give away.

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THE  ART  OF  THIEF  demonstrates  the  stunning  concept  and  development  art  from this  eagerly  awaited  game.  With  the  game’s  reimagined  Victorian  period  setting,  THE  ART  OF  THIEF  will  also  appeal  to  steampunk  and   fantasy  fans.

How to enter to win

Via the site

So all you have to do to win one of the two copies of The Art of Thief book is to click on the Contact Us link here or at the top of the page and tell us what score we gave Thief in our review – simple!

Via Twitter

Just retweet the message below, and make sure you are following @aedney on Twitter:

Usual contest rules apply, and the winners will be selected at random. This contest is open only to those in the UK – sorry! You can enter as many times you as you like, but only one entry per day will be counted.

The contest ends Tuesday 22nd April, so good luck.

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Titanfall is already shaping up to be one of the biggest games of the year, and Titan Books have released an amazing Art of Titanfall book, and we had 2 copies of the book to give away – and here are the winners.

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THE ART OF TITANFALL,  written by Andy  McVittie,  offers fans of this ground-­breaking game an exclusive insight into its visual development through all stages of production…  and a rare sneak–peek  at what they can expect.  The book also features  detailed creator  commentary from the entire Respawn Entertainment art team, giving readers added insight into the evolution of the game.

The Winners

Justina Howells

Emma Wolski

Well done to our two winners and thank you to Titan Books for the prizes. Another contest will be starting soon so keep an eye open for it!

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Today, Ubisoft announced the ebook Watch_Dogs  //n/Dark Clouds, inspired by the highly anticipated video game Watch Dogs. Authored by John Shirley, the ebook is a direct sequel to the events of the game and will allow fans to further explore the world of Watch Dogs with an all new story. The ebook is a first for Ubisoft, as it was conceived inhouse and will be released exclusively via digital channels.

John Shirley, prolific author of over 30 books and short stories such as A Song Called Youth, is a known figure in the hacker community and is a pioneer of the cyberpunk movement, and therefore is a natural fit to author the Watch Dogs ebook. Having unprecedented access to our Montreal studio dev team and writers, he has recreated the atmosphere of Watch Dogs, into his thriller, that combines high-tech crimes with both new and known characters.

Watch_Dogs //n/Dark Clouds will be available in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish at game’s release on May 27, 2014. It will be available in two digital formats: an upgraded e-book version with interactive elements including videos and image and a classic e-book. For more information, click here www.watchdogs.com/ebook.

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Universal have released a new video showing scenes and interviews from the new movie Bad Neighbours.

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Here is the new video:

Bad Neighbours stars Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and is directed Nick Stoller and opens in UK Cinemas May 3rd.

Check back soon to hear what we thought of the movie.

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Titanfall is already shaping up to be one of the biggest games of the year, and Titan Books have released an amazing Art of Titanfall book, and we have 2 copies of the book to give away.

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THE ART OF TITANFALL,  written by Andy  McVittie,  offers fans of this ground-­breaking game an exclusive insight into its visual development through all stages of production…  and a rare sneak–peek  at what they can expect.  The book also features  detailed creator  commentary from the entire Respawn Entertainment art team, giving readers added insight into the evolution of the game.

How to enter to win

Via the site

So all you have to do to win one of the two copies of The Art of Titanfall book is to click on the Contact Us link here or at the top of the page and tell us which your favourite titan is – simple!

Via Twitter

Just retweet the message below, and make sure you are following @aedney on Twitter:

Usual contest rules apply, and the winners will be selected at random. This contest is open only to those in the UK – sorry! You can enter as many times you as you like, but only one entry per day will be counted.

The contest ends Thursday 17th April, so good luck.

Last year Mad Catz announced that they were entering the Android Micro-Console market with their M.O.J.O. device, and we got our hands on one to review.

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M.O.J.O. by Mad Catz is a truly versatile gaming and media console. Connect M.O.J.O. to your HDTV to play Android games, surf the web, stream media, and connect with your friends. Root and customize, modify and create – the stock Android OS lets you take M.O.J.O. where you want to go. Fully compatible with Mad Catz’ GameSmart suite of mobile accessories. GameSmart brings Bluetooth keyboards, controllers, headsets, and mice to M.O.J.O., your PC, and other smart devices.

Back at E3 2013, Alex “The Big Boy” Varrey showed us the M.O.J.O.

Who are Mad Catz?

From their website:

Mad Catz Interactive is a global provider of innovative interactive entertainment products marketed under its Mad Catz (gaming), Tritton (audio), and Saitek (simulation) brands. Mad Catz also develops flight simulation software through its internal ThunderHawk Studios; publishes games under its Mad Catz brand; and distributes games and videogame products for third parties.

Specifications

  • NVIDIA Tegra 4 T40S 1.8GHz Processor
  • 16GB Internal Storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n Support
  • USB 3.0 Port
  • USB 2.0 Port
  • MicroSD Flash Slot
  • 3.5mm Headphone Socket
  • HDMI Out
  • 100Mbit Ethernet Socket
  • Pre-installed Google Play and NVIDIA TegraZone Apps

What’s in the Box?

The box contains:

  • M.O.J.O. 1080p Gaming Console and Media Player
  • HDMI Cable (4.9ft/1.5m)
  • AC Adapter
  • C.T.R.L.R Mobile Gamepad
  • USB Nano Dongle
  • Travel Clip
  • 2x AAA Batteries

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Everything comes very neatly packaged.

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A Closer Look

The M.O.J.O.

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The rear of the M.O.J.O. houses all of the ports. These include both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports (you will want to plug in the C.T.R.L.R dongle into the USB 3.0 port), an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, headphone port, power socket and MicroSD card slot.

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C.T.R.L.R Mobile Gamepad

The first thing you will notice about the C.T.R.L.R gamepad is that it looks very similar to an Xbox 360 controller. Gamers should immediately feel at home holding it, as it feels nice and robust in your hands.

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The C.T.R.L.R has three separate modes which are selected via a switch. These include a “mouse mode” which enables the left stick to control the cursor on the screen, as though it were a mouse.

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There are also media playback controls situated on the top of the C.T.R.L.R which include play, pause and mute.

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Fitting the batteries is simple, as you would expect.

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There is also a travel clip included in the box which enables you to connect up your smartphone to the C.T.R.L.R so that you can pretty much play games wherever you want.

Using the M.O.J.O.

Setting up the M.O.J.O. is very simple and only take a few moments – you can use either Wi-Fi or Ethernet to connect to your home network. If you plan on streaming a lot of content such as movies and music you might want to go for wired, but for everything else Wi-Fi works just great.

When the M.O.J.O. is operational, the light on the front is illuminated. There is no on/off switch on the M.O.J.O. so this is the primary way of telling that the device is operational (it will go into deep sleep mode after a period of inactivity). Don’t worry about having the M.O.J.O. running, it only draws 4.7W when used intensively and in standby mode it only draws 1.5W!

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One thing I did notice when I was setting the M.O.J.O. up was that it kept being referred to on screen as a phone. So Android would report “your phone is installed”. It’s not a big deal, and doesn’t really cause a problem, but it would have been nice to have had it saying M.O.J.O. instead of phone!

Once you have signed into your Google account you can start installing apps and games, although you will fairly quickly notice that a number of games (such as Angry Birds) and apps (such as Facebook) won’t actually allow you to install them as it says your device isn’t compatible. Don’t worry, you haven’t just purchased an expensive media player, this is because of the way games and apps are reported in the Google Play store – they expect your device to be “touch-screen” enabled, which out of the box the M.O.J.O. doesn’t report. Mad Catz are actually working with developers to resolve this quirk, but in the meantime there is a simple solution and it’s called rooting!

Rooting enables your device to do more than was originally intended by the manufacturer and is something that the Android community adopted with open arms. In fact, an extremely high percentage of Android devices have been rooted, and there are thousands of sites on the Internet that offer guides, and even custom ROMs that make your device do more.

Mad Catz actually provide onscreen assistance in rooting the M.O.J.O., and even support the device once it’s rooted (not something that a lot of manufacturers actually do).

Rooting the M.O.J.O. is very simple and is just a case of downloading a small piece of software to your computer, connected your M.O.J.O. to your computer and running the software in order to root it. And that’s it! Once you have rebooted the M.O.J.O. it is rooted and you can then go an easily install and use any app or games from Google Play. In fact, the once rooted, the M.O.J.O. thinks its a Nexus 10 device.

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Final Thoughts

The M.O.J.O. is very small, and lightweight and it looks great – perfect for sitting in your living room by your television without looking out of place. The setup is quick and easy and if you have ever used an Android device it will all be familiar to you. The M.O.J.O. runs (at the time of writing) Android OS (Jellybean 4.2.2.) and thanks to its Tegra 4 it is very fast!  It is also silent, and it’s power requirements are extremely low. We mentioned earlier that even using an intensive game results in a draw of 4.7W compared to the 170W that an Xbox 360 drawers at its peak.

The M.O.J.O. is fully compatible with the Mad Catz GameSmart range of accessories, so it is very easy to connect up a mouse, or keyboard to the M.O.J.O – this will make your life easier in the long run.

I liked the feel of the C.T.R.L.R – it really did remind me in both look and feel of the Xbox 360 controller, but with more functionality. And the inclusion of the travel clip means that if you have another Android device such as a smartphone you can use the controller with that too. It also uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology to ensure lag free gaming, and believe me the last thing you want if you are playing a game is lag! You also get around 50 hours of playtime out of a single set of AA batteries, so that’s really good too!

The box also contains a set of batteries for the controller (which you would expect) but also an HDMI cable. This may not seem like a big deal, but you may not have a spare one laying around, so the fact they put one in the box makes life easier, and saves you a few pounds!

The M.O.J.O. comes with 16GB of built-in storage, and along with that it has a MicroSD slot so that you can expand your storage or plug in some of your own existing content to use.

Whilst it would have been nice to have had the device pre-rooted, this isn’t something I believe Mad Catz are allowed to do, however they can offer guidance and assistance, and as the whole process only takes a few moments and isn’t a scary list of steps and comments, pretty much anyone can do it. Once rooted the device really comes into it’s own.

Controlling the M.O.J.O. using the on screen pointer (remember that Android really is designed for touch) can take a little bit of getting used it, and is a little cumbersome at times, but it doesn’t take too long to get to grips with it, and you could always connect up one of those GameSmart devices to make your life even easier.

One thing that is a pain though is that some of the games you could install and play force a certain screen orientation – now on a phone or tablet the solution is simple, you turn the device, but that isn’t so easy on a large television. Fortunately there are plenty of apps available to change the orientation, so make sure you look for one and install it pretty much after you have rooted – after all you don’t want to ruin your gameplay experience!

One really great thing about the M.O.J.O. is that if you already own apps and games that you have previously purchased from Google Play, unlike other Android consoles you won’t need to buy them again, you can just download and install them without paying anything more.

The M.O.J.O. can be used for more than just playing games – you can surf the Internet (although you really want to use a keyboard for that otherwise you will get annoyed at how long it can take to enter a URL, especially if it is a long one), listen to music, watch movies, and so much more. In fact, if you have a TV or movie collection one of the first things you may want to install is Plex. And with the recent announcement that Mad Catz are bringing OUYA Everyone to the M.O.J.O. you will be able to do even more!

Overall I was very pleased with the M.O.J.O. I wasn’t concerned that it needed to be rooted, after all it was simple and quick to do, and most likely the majority of people who will buy the M.O.J.O. would be comfortable doing that anyway, and beside, Mad Catz actually help you to do it! There is so much that can be done with the M.O.J.O. and I look forward to exploring that more in the coming months, including testing it out with NVIDIA’s GameStream technology.

The current price of the M.O.J.O. is £179.99 which is quite a drop from the launch price at the start of the year.

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You can learn more about the M.O.J.O. from the Mad Catz website.

2K Games have just announced Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, being developed by Gearbox Software and 2K Australia – and we have some gameplay footage for you.

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This game takes place between the original Borderlands and Borderlands 2 and focuses on Borderlands 2 bad guy Handsome Jack. Oh, and it’s set on the moon!

Here is the gameplay footage in 1080p – enjoy:

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be available in Autumn 2014 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

What do you think of it? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug has just been released on DVD and Blu-Ray, and you can get an exclusive Lego Mini Set if you buy it from Sainsbury’s.

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The exclusive Lego Mini Set, which includes Legolas Greenleaf with accessory kit is only available when you buy the Blu-Ray from Sainsbury’s, so if you are a Lego collector, and you want to see a great movie, you know where to go!

Every now and again I experience a game so awesome I just want to scream and shout about it from the top of the highest mountain but fear everyone else would have me shot due to spoilers.

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Telltale’s latest episode for The Wolf Among Us is the culprit for this desire of mine. It’s perfectly paced, has an amazing story and once again features a lot more detective work as opposed to an imbalance of action and quick time events. Episode 3: A Crooked Mile throws you into a deeper and darker world, yes it goes further down the rabbit hole so please excuse the fable pun. With the continuation of all the events and choices you’ve made from the previous episode Bigby Wolf, Sheriff of Fabletown, is put into more situations where you must decide if the violent approach is the only way of getting answers.

With all eyes pointing towards Deputy Mayor Ichabod Crane the race against the clock is on before the truth is lost forever. What I loved even more this time round was the fact even more choices were given as to where you’d like to visit first and what clues are being lost in the other locations due to your lateness. This gives you the temptation to replay the episode right away to see what you’ve missed even though you should stick to your decision, that’s the Telltale way.

One thing I’ve noticed whilst playing was the fact that I was starting to enjoy seeing the recurring characters as if I’ve known them as long as Bigby himself. With the immersive story and heightened situations characters such as the strong Snow White, intelligent Bufkin or the mischievous Tweedle twins, my belief that deep 3 dimensional characters have a big impact within a video game and should never be overlooked. Just as you find yourself getting to know them you’re thrown into a position where you can help or pursue one and upset or let the other get away, that makes every decision tough yet interesting.

There is a huge improvement from the previous episode with the catch up and coming soon video now running more smoothly. Before the tailored story videos that was different for each player’s choice staggered with long loading times to the point of annoyance and seeing as that was the only thing letting it down previously it’s now perfected.

We’ve reached the half way mark and once again the twists and turns will make the long wait for episode 4 an exciting and painful one. So many questions arise where the previously answered ones lay. I’m still hooked and most importantly I’ve not predicted a single thing.

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In the early 1980s, enormous oil and gas deposits were discovered in the North Sea, and that is the premise for the new movie Pioneer, opening tomorrow.

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A corporate battle ensues between competing Norwegian and American diving teams to win the lucrative contract to bring these natural resources ashore through a pipeline on the ocean bed, 500 metres below the surface. Norwegian diver Petter (Aksel Hennie – Headhunters) is obsessed with reaching the depths necessary to lay the pipeline and – along with his brother and an ambitious American diver (Wes Bentley – The Hunger Games) – has the discipline, strength and courage to take on this dangerous experiment. But a sudden, tragic accident changes everything. In trying to get to the truth behind the accident, Petter finds himself up against shadowy forces and an industrial machine that will go to any lengths to keep the truth under wraps, in order to secure the profits that will flow. With his life at stake, he must decide who he can trust and what he most believes in.

Based on real events that are still unfolding even now, Pioneer is a claustrophobic, edge-of-the-seat conspiracy thriller featuring an international cast, from the producers of HEADHUNTERS and the director of INSOMNIA, Erik Skjoldbjærg.

Pioneer opens around the UK tomorrow, April 11th.

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