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Diablo 3 has been out for a couple of years almost on multiple formats and finally makes it’s way over to the next generation consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Out originally on the PC and Mac the game has been tried and tested, perfected and tweaked over the years. Now available for next gen we have got the Ultimate Evil Edition that includes the original Diablo 3 and the Reaper of Souls expansion. Yes, this game is the same game out again with the extra content but I honestly think it was necessary. The Xbox One certainly needs as many titles, great titles, as it is. And as it’s a role playing game I dedicated a week of solid hack and slashing before writing this review.

Here’s why Diablo 3 is a necessity on next gen:

Adventure

If the idea of joining a crusade, taking up arms against hoards of enemies and fighting across mortal realms interests you then look no further. Diablo 3, if you haven’t played it already, is that game where you’d raid various dungeons and large open playing fields racking up a huge kill count before fighting mini bosses. What makes this game’s adventure so engaging is the fact you hardly ever have to repeat, back track or grind your experience points from kills in the same location for hours. Progressing forward, visiting new locations and grabbing all the loot is usually what most gamers look for which is what Diablo 3 offers. Clearing entire areas of foes, building up the biggest kill combo and finding hidden items is something too catered to for the more hardcore gamer which is also another option. Look no further for your adventure needs.

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Friends

What’s better than going on an adventure and fighting off foes? Doing all this with a friend or a bunch of them. Diablo 3 still offers local cooperative play on the same console, up to 4 players, as well as online Xbox Live play for 4 players too. For every individual friend that joins your party you will be provided with an XP boost. As fun as this is you’ll notice you would sail more easily through the game but it’s still a great perk for playing with others. The Reaper of Souls expansion adds exploration to the open world in Adventure Mode that allows you to hunt bounties on the elder evils that lurk throughout the mortal realms. What this means is that you can play the game with a target objective as opposed to the story mode, something recommended to do after completing the game for replyability.

The Ultimate Evil Edition has a cool feature which allows you to send and receive items from friends. You’re more likely to do this amongst friends rather than random people unless you’re really lucky and get gifts from people you don’t know. Nothing is welcomed more than a wonderfully crafted bit of kit, which at times, you might not be able to equip yet but it’s better than a poke in the eye. Also the more friends you have that play Diablo 3 on your format the likely you’ll come across the nemeses enemies from another friend’s game. Fighting and slaying these rewards you instantly and gives your friend a that the nemeses came from a gift which too can be shared.

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Reaper of Souls

Other than adding in the Adventure Mode the expansion the Apprentice Mode is a console exclusive feature to play with friends. Having one member of the group who should be a high level take the lead all other lower level characters will get significant boosts. Players will see their stats boosted to a level which the game thinks you’ll be able to survive on. The lead higher level character still plays a big role as if he doesn’t look after his guest apprentices they’ll most likely be worm food. This mode is mainly for playing to have the increased rate of experience, loot and gear but I personally can’t see this being the mode to play primarily.

The difficulty setting in Reaper of Souls is pretty much the only strange thing about the game. Easily resolved it’s not enough of an issue to criticise players who will start the game on the lowest setting will notice within the hour that the game becomes too easy. I was recommended to bump up the setting to the next level after every Act but ended up pushing it up twice to Expert within my first session. On the plus side the higher the difficulty the more experience points and loot you’ll acquire as a difficulty bonus which can all be altered in the game’s pause screen. If you find yourself or the group you’re playing with cutting down enemies in seconds with ease and no danger to your health bar then it’s time to up the difficulty.

Other additional goodies

I’ve always love games that come with their previous content attached to the game disk, DLC and all. Reaper of Souls is indeed the expansion that comes with the original Diablo 3 game but also an additional Act and the Crusader character. Once you get to the new Act, 5, you’ll meet Myriam the Mystic who offers you two options. You can Enchant which will change a single stat on any piece of gear for another stat of similar strength or Transmogrify your items to reskin them to look like other items. If you have also played the game on the previous console’s format you can transfer your character over through your account if connected to the internet.

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Verdict

I’ve never really played this genre of game before and I must say I was out of my comfort zone. Blizzard have created a game which has a learning curve that eases anyone at any skill level to enjoy. The fact that the Ultimate Evil Edition comes as a whole package is a bonus offering more than your average game getting your money’s worth. The fact there’s additional locked difficulty settings and the Adventure Mode available upon completion thrives with replayability. Even though the game has been tweaked with every outing for the better the difficulty setting is its only fault and can result in players blitzing through the entire game in less than half the time if not tweaked by the player. Other than that Reaper of Souls is a necessity for gamers on the Xbox One.

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We have some brand new exclusive gameplay from Project CARS featuring Brands Hatch.

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Project CARS is the most authentic, beautiful, intense, and technically-advanced racing game on the planet.

Create a driver, pick from a variety of motorsports, and shift into high gear to chase a number of Historic Goals and enter the Hall Of Fame. Then test your skills online either in competitive fully-loaded race weekends, leaderboard-based time challenges, or continually-updated community events.

Featuring world-class graphics and handling, a ground-breaking dynamic time of day & weather system, and deep tuning & pit stop functionality, Project CARS leaves the competition behind in the dust.

This footage was captured from the PS4 version of the game:

Project CARS will be available for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in November 2014, and on Wii U and STEAM OS in 2015.

What do you think of Project CARS? Let us know be leaving a comment.

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At a recent event for Project CARS held at the iconic Brands Hatch race track, I had the opportunity to talk with Creative Director Andy Tudor.

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Project CARS is the most authentic, beautiful, intense, and technically-advanced racing game on the planet

Create a driver, pick from a variety of motorsports, and shift into high gear to chase a number of Historic Goals and enter the Hall Of Fame. Then test your skills online either in competitive fully-loaded race weekends, leaderboard-based time challenges, or continually-updated community events.

Featuring world-class graphics and handling, a ground-breaking dynamic time of day & weather system, and deep tuning & pit stop functionality, Project CARS leaves the competition behind in the dust.

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Andy Tudor is the Creative Director for the video game developer Slightly Mad Studios in London, England.

He is most known for rebooting the Need For Speed franchise with the release of Need for Speed: Shift in 2009, Shift 2: Unleashed (2011), and “The Walking Dead: Assault”. The Internet Movie Database also credits him as a Voice Director and Motion Capture Technical Director on previous titles for SCE Cambridge Studio (24: The Game and Primal).

Over to Andy:

Project CARS will be available for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC in November 2014, and on Wii U and STEAM OS in 2015.

What do you think of Project CARS? Let us know be leaving a comment.

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Lionsgate have released six new posters for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 showing the Rebels.

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THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 opens nationwide 20th November 2014.

Here are the six new Rebel posters:

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The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Danny Strong and Peter Craig and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the third in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Josh Huctherson (Peeta Mellark), Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Julianne Moore (President Coin), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee), Jeffrey Wright (Beetee), Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair), Jena Malone (Johanna Mason), with Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman), and Donald Sutherland (President Snow).

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

Creative Technology have announced that its top-selling Sound BlasterRoar portable Bluetooth wireless speaker is now available.

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The Sound Blaster Roar is a new concept, 5-driver high performance portable Bluetooth wireless speaker is a #1 Bestseller on Amazon.com.  From 5 – 10 September, it will be showcased at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany at the Creative booth (No.105 at Hall 3.2).

Dubbed the ‘Audiophile Sound Booklet’, the sleek metallic Sound Blaster Roar is designed to rival existing home stereo systems in sound quality, yet light enough to be portable.  Measuring only 57 x 202 x 115 mm and weighs 1.1 kg, the Sound Blaster Roar packs an amazingly powerful punch in audio performance and features.  Engineered from the ground up with Creative’s expertise in audio technology and years of research and expertise in speaker design, the Sound Blaster Roar represents the pinnacle of portable wireless audio.  Its superb audio performance is set to redefine the home stereo and wireless speaker market – by combining wireless connectivity, portability, high fidelity and audio power all into one compact unit that can rest on the palm, and be brought along on-the-go for a truly mobile digital lifestyle.

Pre-launch, in March 2014, the Sound Blaster Roar garnered the prestigious Red Dot Award conferred by the famous German-based international “Red Dot Award: Product Design 2014” competition – often seen as the ultimate accolade in the world of product design that recognizes outstanding product designs for their innovation, functionality, quality standards, ergonomics and ecological compatibility.

Sound Blaster Roar – Advanced Acoustic Design and Features

The key advanced acoustic design elements of the Sound Blaster Roar are its dual amplifiers, Space-Filling Dispersion Architecture, Boxer-Bass-Module Design, Roar Audio Power, TeraBass and MegaStereo features.

Bi-Amplified Design

Most other portable speakers utilize a single amplifier to reproduce the entire audio spectrum, with most demand going into producing lows and mid-range audio.  A single-amplified design thus compromises the highs, which results in unbalanced, low-fidelity audio, a symptom that is common among portable speakers.  In contrast, the Sound Blaster Roar features a bi-amplified design that utilizes two amplifiers – one dedicated to driving the lows and mids, and another dedicated to delivering the highs. This allows the speaker to produce uncompromisingly clear, high definition and well-balanced music.

Space-Filling Dispersion

Another key differentiating factor is that the Sound Blaster Roar is specially designed to produce space-filling audio, instead of small, constrained audio.  This is achieved by the incorporation of far-field high frequency front-firing drivers that project audio further than

most other speakers in its class, allowing users to hear subtle audio details clearly even when at the other end of a room.  Audio spaciousness is further enhanced through the unique placement of the five different drivers.  While the two high frequency drivers are front-firing, the active bass and mid-range driver is top-firing, with lower-range audio enhanced even further by the two side-firing passive radiators.  This design results in a holosonic soundscape that enables improved width, height and depth while preserving stereo focus.  The listener thereby experiences spacious audio that is not sweet spot-dependant.

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Placing the top-firing bass and mid-range driver horizontally also allows for a low centre of gravity, which increases the stability of the Sound Blaster Roar.  This eliminates any unnecessary movement, vibration or rattling of the speaker’s body during audio playback, even at high volumes.

ROAR Audio Power

By default, the Sound Blaster Roar is designed to deliver clear and balanced high fidelity audio, even at high volumes.  In scenarios such as parties or gatherings where a large group is gathered, pressing the ROAR button will instantly and significantly boost the loudness, depth and spaciousness of the speaker audio for an even more powerful, kick-ass, no-holds-barred listening experience.

TeraBass

TeraBass is a feature that intelligently compensates for the perceived lack of loudness in bass during low level audio playback without artificially over-accentuating bass levels.  TeraBass processing will intelligently increase the loudness of bass at low to medium volume levels.

MegaStereo

The MegaStereo feature enables two sets of Sound Blaster Roar speakers to be easily connected to each other to form a wider and more powerful left/left and right/right mega stereo system with double the punch using an optional special MegaStereo cable.

High-Definition Audio Codecs – AAC and aptX

AAC and aptX are advanced HD audio codecs that deliver high quality audio for Bluetooth transmission.  These codecs, supported by iPhones and branded Android phones, are crucial for high quality wireless audio transmission.

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Other Useful Features

Beyond its astounding audio performance, the Sound Blaster Roar also incorporates many useful built-in features, such as Speakerphone teleconferencing, a MicroSD slot for MP3  music playback and Audio recording, a Siren, and  a unique Bluetooth Link Security Control that allows users to configure the connectivity settings of Sound Blaster Roar for different usage scenarios.  It even doubles as a Sound Blaster for connecting to a PC via the USB port.

  • Housed within the Sound Blaster Roar is a high quality microphone that provides clear voice pickup, making it suitable for speakerphone teleconferencing.
  • Integrated MicroSD WMA and MP3 Player – Plays music directly from a MicroSD Card without having to connect to the user’s smart device.
  • Integrated Voice Recorder – Allows for simple, one-touch audio recording of music and voice calls directly to a MicroSD card.
  • NFC connectivity – One tap of an NFC-enabled smart device on the Sound Blaster Roar connects it to a device via Bluetooth.
  • Connects to two Bluetooth-enabled devices simultaneously – Ideal in a situation when a user is watching a movie on a tablet and wants to take a phone call on the Sound Blaster Roar from a smartphone.
  • Link Security Modes allow users to select how they can connect their Bluetooth devices to cater for different usage scenarios:

– Default Mode (Creative Bluetooth Multipoint Mode) – Connects to up to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously.  Ideal for single users with two Bluetooth devices who may not want to share the Sound Blaster Roar with others.

– Friendly Access Mode – Allows Bluetooth devices that have been paired to the speaker before to takeover control of the Sound Blaster Roar.  Ideal for sharing music among family and friends.

– Free-for-All Access Mode – Allows device to be always set in discoverable mode.  Anyone can easily search and connect to the device without seeking permission. Ideal for use in meetings or classrooms for easy sharing of audio.

· Dual Purpose Battery – 6000 mAH battery charges smartphones beyond providing up to 8 hours* of continuous audio playback.

  • Siren – Comes with a built-in siren that lets users instantly grab attention when needed.
  • Additional Sound Blaster Functionality – Connecting the Sound Blaster Roar via USB to a PC or Mac enables advanced audio processing through Sound Blaster Control Panel, a free downloadable software program specially designed for the speaker.

· Size: 57 x 202 x 115 mm

· Weight: 1.1 kg

Pricing and Availability

The Creative Sound Blaster Roar portable Bluetooth wireless speaker is available now in the UK at uk.creative.com, RRP £129.99.

For more information on Creative Sound Blaster Roar, visit www.creative.com/roar

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Bones Never Lie, published in hardback by William Heinemann on 11 September 2014, is the gripping new Temperance Brennan novel from the world class forensic anthropologist and No. 1 bestselling author of Deja Dead, Monday Mourning and Bones of the Lost Kathy Reichs, who also inspired the hit TV series Bones.

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In eager anticipation of Kathy Reichs’ new novel, Penguin Random House are today launching a chilling, interactive murder investigation that will be hosted on Kathy Reichs’ Facebook page: https://a.pgtb.me/1gwWTS A KILLER RETURNS…

One lucky participant will win an IPAD MINI and there will be spot prizes throughout the week-long competition at each stage of the investigation including signed copies of Bones Never Lie.

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Users will be invited to delve into the cold case investigation from Monday Mourning that has returned to haunt Dr Temperance Brennan a decade later in Bones Never Lie. There will be 5 questions to answer, with a new clue appearing every few days. Each correctly answered questions counts as an entry into the grand prize draw.

By following clues that each lead to new vital information in the investigation, users will help Brennan back to her deadliest suspect to date…the only killer to ever get away and who has now come back.

Pre-order your copy of Bones Never Lie here: http://amzn.to/VM3MPm

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At Gamescom, I sat down with Toys for Bob President Paul Reiche to talk about Skylanders Trap Team.

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Skylanders is redefining the Toys-to-Life phenomenon with yet another ground-breaking innovation, Skylanders Trap Team. With Skylanders Trap Team, players can take characters out of the game and place them into physical “Traps” that kids can take with them, effectively bringing Life to Toys.

In the interview, Paul tells us about Skylanders Trap Team, the new Tablet edition of the game, Skylanders Minis and also demos some of the Tablet edition. Over to Paul:

So what do you think of Skylanders Trap Team? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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At Gamescom I sat down with Yager and Deep Silver to talk about Dead Island 2.

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The zombie apocalypse has hit the iconic, sunny realms of California. Building on the strengths of the multi-million best-selling hit Dead Island, Dead Island 2 delivers a shared survival, open-world zombie experience set in a clash of natural beauty and bloody horror and violence: paradise meets hell once again! Developed by award-winning studio Yager, Dead Island 2 is scheduled for release in spring 2015 on Xbox One, PlayStation4 and PC.

Several months after the events on Banoi, the United States  military has put the Golden State under full quarantine. Now a restricted zone, California has become a bloody paradise for those who refuse to leave their homes and an action-packed playground for renegades who seek adventure, glory and a fresh start. Combining the classic Dead Island elements of immersive close combat, action and role-playing, Dead Island 2 features crazy, never-before-seen handcrafted weapons and over-the-top characters in taking players from the iconic Golden Gate to the celebrated beachfront boardwalk of southern California’s Venice Beach.

Developed in Unreal Engine 4, Dead Island 2 brings back its acclaimed, seamless  multiplayer for up to eight players who cooperate, compete or simply coexist in a truly social, new-gen multiplayer experience. Dedicated classes offer a variety of gameplay: From the action-oriented berserker to the stealthy hunter, every character offers a different style of play. An in-depth skill system allows the player to handcraft their own heroes and weapons.

And if you want to just see some new gameplay:

What do you think of Dead Island 2? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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At Gamescom was shown some of the new Mortal Kombat X game from NeatherRealm Studios, and after I got to talk to Ed Boon about it.

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Mortal Kombat X is NetherRealm Studios’ next highly anticipated installment in its legendary, critically acclaimed fighting game franchise that propels the iconic franchise into a new generation. The game combines cinematic presentation with all new gameplay to deliver the most brutal Kombat experience ever, offering a new fully-connected experience that launches players into a persistent online contest where every fight matters in a global battle for supremacy.  For the first time, Mortal Kombat X gives players the ability to choose from multiple variations of each character impacting both strategy and fighting style. Players step into an original story showcasing some of the game’s most prolific characters including Scorpion and Sub-Zero, while introducing new challengers that represent the forces of good and evil and tie the tale together.

New and Klassic Characters: Featuring Klassics such as Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden and Kano, as well as new characters such as Cassie Cage, Kotal Kahn, Ferra-Torr and D’Vorah, the roster will include fan favorites where both good and evil must battle it out.

Character Variations: Mortal Kombat X offers three different versions for each playable character, all of which have their own fighting style, special moves, abilities and strategies. The Variation that players choose affects the style and overall strategy by which the game is played.

Epic, Cinematic Storyline: A deep story mode continues up to 25 years after the events of 2011’s Mortal Kombat and advances the dark tale – introducing new characters such as Cassie Cage, daughter of fan favorites Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage.

Visceral Kombat: Mortal Kombat X introduces the next evolution of fighting with the return of X-ray and Finishing Moves that showcase brutal battles like never before with enhanced graphics and animations.

Over to Ed:

Mortal Kombat X will be released in 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

Which is your favourite Mortal Kombat character? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

At Gamescom, I sat down with Gaz from Rocksteady to talk all things Batman: Arkham Knight and to try and answer the question – Who is the Arkham Knight?

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In the explosive finale to the Arkham series, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect. The Scarecrow returns to unite an impressive roster of super villains, including Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, to destroy The Dark Knight forever. Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile, which is drivable for the first time in the franchise. The addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Batman Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City.

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So Gaz, who is the Arkham Knight?:

Batman: Arkham Knight will be released in 2015 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

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At Gamescom, I sat down with Christopher Brookmyre and Nick Witcher to talk about Bedlam.

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Bedlam is adapted from the novel by Christopher Brookmyre, but diverges from the original in this change of protagonist. The novel’s hero, Ross Baker, does feature prominently in the game, but the switch to a female lead – who is a gamer and sci-fi fan – offered a fresh and bitingly humorous new perspective upon the “gameverse” that the player will explore.

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Over to Chris and Nick (and there’s some new gameplay in there too):

Bedlam will be released on PC later this year.

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Diablo 3 has been out for a couple of years almost on multiple formats and finally makes it’s way over to the next generation consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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