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Dark Horse Announces Three New Figurines Based On The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

At the 2017 Toy Fair in New York City, Dark Horse announced three new figurines based on CD Projekt RED's massively popular RPG, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Dandelion, Shani, and a Geralt-alternate are joining the likes of Yennifer, Triss, Ciri, and the villainous Eredin, King of the Wild Hunt.

Like the previous set from Dark Horse, the new figures are highly-detailed, custom-painted, and stand around eight inches tall.

Dandelion, Shani, and Geralt (Grandmaster Ursine Armor) are slated to release in September for a suggested retail price of $ 34.99.

[Source: Dark Horse]

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Blog: A design discussion – Bloodborne vs Dark Souls 3

From Software has been refining their action RPG design to a tee, and it’s now time to break down two of their biggest hits. …


Gamasutra News

Hollow Knight Is A Dark, Atmospheric Platformer Arriving Later This Month

Hollow Knight, a Metroidvania-style platformer from indie developer Team Cherry, just received a new trailer that details its release date of February 24.

This atmospheric game takes place in an insect-filled world called Hallownest. It features 2D hand-drawn graphics with an aesthetic reminiscent of Tim Burton's dark style. Check out the trailer below.

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Additionally, Hollow Knight's gorgeous soundtrack is now available for purchase on composer Christopher Larkin's Bandcamp page. The game will release for PC and Mac.

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See Four Minutes Of Dark Souls III: The Ringed City DLC’s Gameplay

From Software has released a four-minute gameplay trailer showing off just a taste of what awaits in Dark Souls III's final DLC – The Ringed City.

Needless to say, if you want to go into the DLC totally fresh, you probably don't want to watch the video below due to spoilers.

The Ringed City is the game's final DLC, and naturally features new weapons, armor sets, enemies, bosses, items, and spells. It also contains new PvP maps (including the Hollow Arena from Ashes of Ariandel), and improved matchmaking.

The DLC comes out on March 28 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Search For The Ringed City In Dark Souls III’s Final DLC

Dark Souls III's second and final DLC – The Ringed City – has been announced (PS4, Xbox One, PC), and it takes players to the end of the world.

The Ringed City comes out on March 28, and is $ 14.99 by itself, but is cheaper if you've bought the season pass.

For more on the game's first DLC – Ashes of Ariandel – take a look at Suriel's impressions.

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Production Company Behind Zero Dark Thirty, Sausage Party Expands Into Games

Annapurna Pictures has built a name for itself over the years, producing films including Zero Dark Thirty, Her, and Sausage Party. Today, the company has announced that it's expanding its focus into games, with the introduction of Annapurna Interactive. The new division's first projects include new games from the creators of Katamari Damacy and Monument Valley.

According to Annapurna's founder and CEO, Megan Ellison, this new branch comes from a longtime love of the medium. "I’ve had a great passion for video games for as long as I can remember," she says. "Growing up, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was one of my all-time favorites. My brother and I ran up quite a bill calling the 1-900 numbers for tips on those games, before the internet provided game-guides. The artistry and diversity of interactive storytelling is exciting and we look forward to exploring the limitless possibilities in gaming. We want to empower artists across this medium to make Annapurna Interactive their home and I believe we’ve assembled the perfect team to make that happen." 

The company will publish Jason Roberts' Gorogoa and Giant Sparrow's What Remains of Edith Finch in spring 2017. In addition, Annapurna Interactive is working with Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi and Monument Valley game designer Ken Wong on their next, unannounced projects.

 

Our Take
Annapurna is starting off with some interesting projects – here's hoping they have the patience to see them all through. These aren't the kinds of games that are going to make AAA studios shake in their boots, but that fits with the direction that Annapurna has taken in the film business as well. Develop quality art, and audiences will come.

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Snoop Dogg, Future, More Coming To NBA 2K17′s Park After Dark

Publisher 2K is taking its music game to the next level with the introduction of the Park After Dark series in NBA 2K17. Artists including Future and Snoop Dogg will provide exclusive performances for fans in the game's MyPark Mode.

“Music is such a big part of the NBA 2K franchise and greater basketball culture, so taking such an innovative approach demonstrates our commitment to evolving the game into a destination for more than just hoops,” says Alfie Brody, VP of marketing for NBA 2K. “Park After Dark is something we hope further connects our community and elevates their NBA 2K17 experience.” 

Players can visit an in-game nightclub, featuring a center stage and light show. There, they can compete in special 3-point shootouts and dunk contests, or just hang out and enjoy the show.

The first Park After Dark is scheduled on November 26.

 

Our Take
Your move, Forza Horizon 3. 

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Dark Souls III’s Ashes Of Ariandel DLC Is A Meaningless Addition

One of Dark Souls III’s defining traits was acting as a sort of abridged version of the series. When you aren’t literally revisiting areas from previous games (like the trek through a new part of Anor Londo), you wander around facsimiles of them. These familiar encounters are retooled enough to play with your expectations, such as when the Jailers in the Irithyll dungeon (that resemble Demon’s Souls Mind Flayers) slowly reduce your maximum health instead of trying to kill you instantly with a powerful magic combo. At its best, Dark Souls III makes you nostalgic in the present, eliciting memories of the series’ best moments while offering some closure for longtime fans. By comparison, the Ashes of Ariandel DLC leaves me feeling empty and wondering why I came to it in the first place.

Ashes of Ariandel features a rather large snow-capped area with parallels to the first Dark Souls’ Painted World of Ariamis, two boss encounters, a variety of new weapons, a few new armor sets, and a handful of spells. The DLC is meant to be a late or post-game excursion (a message left on the ground by the developer advises you not to venture into the area until you beat Lothric Castle). But on its own, it doesn’t offer a compelling reason to return to a game that already had a satisfying conclusion. 

As I wandered through the DLC’s initial forested mountaintop beset by a blizzard, I wondered what larger goal this area would have for me, since my character’s journey through Lothric is already over. Taking a sharp right near a cliff that eventually crumbled beneath my feet, I wandered into a dead end riddled with Norse-inspired warriors guarding a tower. I’d been trudging my way to that tower for a while and felt a bonfire was nearby, so rather than methodically work my way through each enemy warrior, I rushed into the tower to plunder all its items, ran out, and kept going until I eventually stumbled onto that bonfire. I didn’t immediately feel the need to go back through that area and after retreading it later to see if I’d missed anything, my gut feeling proved right: barreling through it had gotten me everything I needed.

Dead ends filled with items aren’t new for the Souls series, but in Ariandel’s small, self-contained area, they beg the question: why bother? Finding a new Titanite Slab was nice, but at this point, I’d already upgraded my Butcher Knife to +10 and built my character around it. I later found a Strength-based axe that tempted me to switch, but with the amount of times I’d have to upgrade it before it could compete, I figured I’d stick with my trusty cleaver. More experimental players might tinker around with some of the new weapons, but they’ll have to invest some of their leftover resources to see if they measure up.

The new bosses offer another reason to test your mettle again, but they don’t offer as tough a challenge as, say, The Nameless King. The new centerpiece boss, which you spend the majority of your time working up to, is a worthwhile challenge and pulls at least one trick I haven’t seen in a Dark Souls boss, but that tactic loses its impact after the first time you see it. A few of the area's more nimble enemies (and a couple of named non-boss characters) might end up adding to your death count, but you don't face them often enough to commit any of them to memory.

The other boss is only worth fighting if you’re interested in the Ariandel’s other selling point: competitive multiplayer (killing it opens up the multiplayer portion of the DLC). The fight is brief, doesn’t show off anything you haven’t already seen before, and doesn’t feel momentous the way other bosses do. All told, scouring the new area and defeating all of its bosses took me about five hours, though your mileage may vary depending on your character level and build; I played a strength-based melee character at around level 95.

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That brevity prevents you from getting the highest highs Dark Souls has to offer. Because the bosses (and the rest of the area) don’t meaningfully connect to the rest of the game, it doesn’t build any sort of momentum. When I beat the area’s final boss, not only did it feel anticlimactic to have slain it so easily, I didn’t feel any sense of closure, either. I didn’t feel as though I’d accomplished anything particularly noteworthy or gained any new insight into this painted world.

The DLC’s timing and position exacerbate that empty feeling. I’d already triumphed over the base game and felt satisfied by its conclusion. I didn’t get that here; not only does this not feel like a complete experience on its own, but since there’s another DLC on the way, I don’t get the feeling of having finished something, either. I just stood there, wondering if I’d missed anything. You can explore a new multiplayer arena that lets you fight in one-on-one duels or six-player brawls, but there’s not much else to do once you’ve worked through the bosses and found some of the key items.

Dark Souls is at its best when you enter into longer contracts where you’re rewarded for hours of effort with a sense of triumph. I’m not convinced Dark Souls works in smaller packages like this, and the Ashes of Ariandel DLC doesn’t dissuade me. It might be a good way to extend another playthrough of the base game, but as a solo excursion it doesn’t feel good enough for anyone who’s retired their sword (or meat cleaver) to pick it back up again.

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Dark Souls III Ashes Of Ariandel Launch Trailer Seeks The Fire

Dark Souls III's first of two expansions subtitled, Ashes of Ariandel, is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and with it comes a launch trailer that looks daunting even for the most hardened adventurer.

Naturally the expansion features new areas, bosses, enemies, and weapons, and Ashes of Ariandel also adds new PvP modes (take a look via this recent trailer).

Dark Souls III's second planned expansion is slated to come out early next year.

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Pre-Orders Are Open For This Statue Of Dark Souls’ Sif The Great Grey Wolf

If you're a fan of the Dark Souls series, you may be interested in this upcoming statue from First 4 Figures featuring Sif the Great Grey Wolf.

Sif is a boss you meet in the Darkroot Garden, who protects the grave of his departed master, Artorias the Abysswalker. This figure stands 25 inches tall, with Sif clutching the Greatsword of Artorias between his teeth as he prepares for battle while atop Artorias' grave.

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Sif will be available to purchase as both regular ($ 529.99) and exclusive ($ 549.99) versions. The exclusive version includes additional swords that can be attached to the base, including the Gold Tracer, Silver Knight Straight Sword, Sunlight Sword and the Black Knight Sword. This edition will also include a high quality art print inspired by the statue's design.

Sif is the second Dark Souls-themed statue from First 4 figures, with the first being Artorias the Abysswalker.

You can view the gallery below for more images, though keep in mind that these are prototypes and may not exactly reflect the final product. The statue will release in Q2 2017. Click here to pre-order and view the exclusive version, and here for the regular version. Earlier this year, we played through Dark Souls III, which you can watch here

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