• Impressions: World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

    It’s here! Warlords of Draenor is here! I’ve been playing World of Warcraft on and off since Cataclysm (earlier if you count the characters I managed to level all the…
  • Review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is newcomer Sledgehammer Game’s first stab at arguably the industry’s biggest IP. While the development team did help Infinity Ward develop 2011’s Modern Warfare…
  • Let's take a closer look at Blizzard's new baby: Overwatch

    This year’s BIG BLIZZCON SURPRISE™ was none other than Overwatch: Blizzard’s first new IP in over 16 years. Technically speaking, StarCraft was the last new IP that Blizzard released…
  • Blizzard and Overwatch: doing diversity right

    The first thing that struck me about the Overwatch trailer, before anything else, was the fact that this game was trying to appeal to me. This is not something…
  • Review: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor one was probably an easy sell for some people. An open-ended action game set in Tolkien’s Middle-earth in which you play a revenge-driven ranger imbued with dark powers…
  • Review: Munin

    Wits must he have who wanders wide, For all is easy at home. At the witless man the wise shall wink, When among such men he sits. So ends…

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Greetings NAGuxers, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have some expert opinions on the future of the console race, a gleeful Far Cry 4 troll, and Apple makes a much-needed change to their App Store. Then we have Activision blowing smoke up our collective ass, a DayZ spin-off surfaces, Ubisoft has a new side project in the works and finally we talk sex in Dragon Age. Yup, sex! How can you not click “read more” now? What if I told you said sex discussion included a video? See you on the other side.

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If you’re a Firefox user, you’re going to have to change your search engine preferences if you reinstall, or update Firefox in late December 2014. Mozilla announced recently that they are ditching Google Search as the default for their browser and instead adopting Yahoo Search as their default for new installs of the browser. The new deal with Yahoo will last five years and give the fledgling company a boot in advertising revenue and more mindshare.

With the next version of Firefox, Mozilla also plans to offer up to 61 search engines around the world with countries like China seeing Baidu as their default, while Russian users will have Yandex. Google Search will still be an option as well as DuckDuckGo, which is a useful service if you don’t want your searches logged by any one company.

Source: Mozilla

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Next month, Bungie will release its first chapter of downloadable content entitled “The Dark Below”. A YouTube user called Mr Jester6598 just uploaded the intro video for that piece of DLC, claiming that he gained access to it via an error in the Destiny main game.

The pre-rendered intro sets the scene for the DLC. Players will be facing Crota, the closest thing the Flood the Hive have to a god. Basically, he’s a badass who has claimed the lives of all sorts of guardians. So naturally you’ll need to party up to kick his butt in the new raid.

Alongside this new raid, the DLC will bring three new PVP maps, new weapons and equipment, a new Strike (two if you’re on PS4), and three new story missions. It’s out on 09 December; hit the jump for the intro before Activision’s ninja lawyers have it expunged from the interwebs.

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With all the focus on Nvidia’s GSync scaler and software allowing variable refresh rates, it’s been a while since anyone paid attention to AMD’s pushing of the open standard for Displayport 1.2a as adopted by VESA, also known as Adaptive Refresh aka FreeSync. AMD’s “Future of Compute” inaugural event is being held in Singapore and the company announced a collaboration with Samsung for the first Adaptive Refresh monitors with the UltraHD 4K resolution.

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zalman cooler

Zalman employees can breathe a sigh of relief this weekend as their positions in the PC components company is not endangered. The company’s headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, released a statement this week that sought to provide relief for existing Zalman component owners, stating that the company wasn’t going bankrupt and wouldn’t disappear as a result of the South Korean government’s investigations into Moneual.

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Telltale Games continues to trickle information online for their upcoming episodic take on HBO’s Game of Thrones TV series. A few weeks back, Telltale revealed that we’d be playing as five characters belonging to House Forrester – a family that originally appears in Martin’s book A Dance with Dragons.

Now we get our first glimpse at the game in action. While there’s no gameplay on show (let’s be honest, this is a Telltale graphic adventure so you know exactly what the gameplay it going to be like) there are plenty of familiar characters popping up.

In addition to this first teaser trailer, Telltale has announced a cast of characters. They did something a little odd by giving specific characters to specific websites to reveal as exclusives. Polygon has luckily rounded up most of them in a handy list that you can find over here. Hit the jump for the trailer.

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If you asked me what a modern Ghost in the Shell video game adaption would possibly look like, I would’ve probably described something that was not a multiplayer co-op FPS, but here we are. Nexon, a South Korean-based company largely specialising in free-to-play MMOs, obtained the license for the popular Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex branch in 2012, and Ghost in the Shell: First Connection Online is the first product of that agreement.

Given its developer, it’s likely going to be a free-to-play FPS, but we’ll have more details once they’re available. Hit the trailer after the jump for all the hacking-shooting-camostealthing action; it’s in Korean, so you’ll just have to appreciate the visuals for now.

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Another piece of free content has been added to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. One of the main characters from part two of the game, Lithariel, can now be used as a playable character during the campaign.

Note that it’s just a skin and you won’t be getting any new skills or animations, but still it’s kind of cool to be able to swap out super-emo old Talion for kick-ass Lithariel to continue your orc genocide.

The content update, known as the Power of Defiance pack, also includes a new “Test of Defiance” challenge mode, as well as a new epic ruin called “Defiant to the End”. The content is already live on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. No mention of the content reaching last-gen versions of the game.

Source: Shadow of Mordor

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Destiny! For those of you still playing (and we know there are still a lot of you still playing it), Bungie will be adding a new Sparrow called the EV-30 Tumbler. While the new Sparrow won’t allow you to keep a microblog of your journey across the Destiny universe (Ha! Tumblr LOL!) it will allow you to at least look a little cooler while doing said journeying.

In addition to sporting a super neat custom flame paint job, the EV-30 allows you to perform tricks as you glide your way across the surface of the Moon/Venus/Mars/Earth. According to the nerds at Bungie, “The EV-30 Tumbler features advanced modifications that bypass standard safety systems, disabling the stabilization and gyroscopic-force dampeners designed to keep you grounded. It’s also got a pretty sweet paint job.”

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Mordheim is a setting I have some fondness for; a variant of Games Workshop’s fantasy tabletop war game Warhammer, the game focuses on building and maintaining a unique squad of heroes aiming to collect the precious Wyrdstone strewn throughout the accursed city of Mordheim.

Mordheim‘s appeal is that it dealt with combat on a smaller scale with groups of units who could be individually developed and customised over multiple missions and campaigns in a manner similar to XCOM. Actions and consequences in each engagement carrying over to the next, and with a host of races to choose from (I was always partial to the slow but sturdy Dwarvish warband), the game always had some dramatic moments.

Rogue Factor and Focus Interactive have been working on a computer version of the game entitled Mordheim: City of the Damned for a while now and in anticipation for its expected release on Steam Early Access this month, have released a 10-minute multiplayer gameplay trailer for your enjoyment. I’m a bit perturbed by some of the changes to the system (considering Focus Interactive’s Bloodbowl franchise was in many ways a really faithful recreation), but nevertheless it looks set to scratch that turn-based itch.

Hit the jump for the video, and check out the official announcement for more details on the game and what’s included in the Early Access version.

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Welcome to the sixteenth edition of the NAG Online Podcast! In this episode we’re joined by Geoff Burrows and Mark Del and we have an array of topics to discuss this week, from Ubisoft’s shenanigans (again!) to how GTA V on PS4 and Xbox One changes things significantly, to how you shouldn’t trust this one dude in a Russian forum who claims to know something that probably isn’t a thing and people freak out because, “HEY! People lie on the internet? Impossibru!” Also, We learn that Geoff knows a lot about makeup. Join us!

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This is rapidly becoming the norm for PC game releases: developers removing features or adding in nasty traps that trigger the moment the game is cracked and pirated. It’s been used by EA and Maxis in The Sims 4, and rather famously in Serious Sam 3’s immortal red scorpion enemy.

Now it’s Ubisoft’s turn to add to the increasing collection of pirate traps. A number of PC players have hopped online to vent frustration at the fact that the game lacks an FOV (field of vision) slider. The game’s creative director, Alex Hutchinson, sent out a tweet to tell people what was up with that.

Well, that’s awkward. The PC version of the game does actually have an FOV slider, if that’s your thing.

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Hello, boys and girls, welcome to the System Builders Guide for November. Here we’re going into the mid-range builds, which typically offer you much more bang for your buck and a good deal of performance hidden away behind software sliders and BIOS settings to increase clock speeds. This is the first part of the guide to have a Nvidia Maxwell GPU bringing up the rear and it’s not going to be the last – in the high-end builds, the GTX970 and GTX980 are taking top spots in all manner of benchmarks and tests and it doesn’t seem like Nvidia is going to wait for an reply from AMD. The hurt may start with the GTX980 this year, but remember that it only has a 256-bit memory bus and it’s not the full implementation of Maxwell. There’s another Titan lurking around the corner and I bet it’ll hit the ground before Christmas. On to the builds!

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draenor_queue

Blizzard’s latest expansion pack for World of Warcraft launched last week. Things didn’t go as smoothly as was expected with players facing queues of up to 4 hours, and game lag when eventually logged in. While Warlords of Draenor is definitely shaping up to be an excellent expansion (read resident WoW nerd Laura Shortridge’s impressions right here), the technical hiccups have left a sour taste in the mouths of many.

Blizzard is well aware of this, and to compensate players for the teething period around launch day, they will be adding five days of game time to World of Warcraft accounts on the American, European and Oceania servers. Accounts eligible for the extra game time are all accounts that were active from 14 November 2014 onwards.

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sad cat

2014 is coming to an end, and as I was reflecting on it, I realised that’s it’s just been an absolutely awful year for gaming.

The awkward console transitional phase brought with it a fair share of problems, and industry greed hit new heights.

Read my list of reasons this year sucked, and then tell me your own in the comments (or, alternatively, you can be that guy and tell me why it was a great year).

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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH! OMG! OMG! OMG!

If you’re old and grumpy like 90% of the NAG staff, then you would have played a point-and-click adventure game called Maniac Mansion.  Created by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick for a company called Lucasfilm Games (that went on to later become LucasArts), Maniac Mansion is responsible for the deluge of adventure games that dominated the gaming landscape of the late 80s and most of the 90s. It is, essentially, the Wolfenstein of adventure games; the one that started an entire genre.

You can imagine then that news of Gilbert and Winnick collaborating on a new point-and-click adventure is kind of a massive deal. What makes it even better is that their new game, Thimbleweed Park, is being purposefully designed to look like it comes straight out of the 80s. The game will use a pixel art style and will even utilise a SCUMM-like interface based off verbs.

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