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Three games, two controllers; Xbox One Value Bundle now available on Amazon.com

Amazon is currently offering one of the better available deals for a new generation console right now with the $350 Xbox One Value Bundle.

While the bundle does not include the Kinect peripheral, there is more than enough bonuses to make this offer pretty enticing. The package includes two controllers (one more than the standard console) and three games.

The more popular bundle that made waves during the holiday season included both the Assassin’s Creeds available on the console (Black Flag and Unity), but this new bundle adds Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Wolfenstein has one of the best single player campaigns available with GamesMachines and id Software creating an intense first person shooter set in an alternate universe where Nazi Germany actually wins WWII.

Check out the deal here.

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The Division and Rainbow Six will be released this year; new Assassin’s Creed details coming this Spring

Ubisoft has again confirmed in an investors report that The Division, Rainbow Six Siege, and a new Assassin’s Creed game are all on pace for their 2015 releases.

The report mentions the success of Far Cry 4, The Crew, and both of the Assassin’s Creeds released in Q3 of 2014 and the continued success of Watch Dogs with “the biggest launch ever of a new IP.”

Though Q4 isn’t predicted to have results as good as it had been in 2013, Ubisoft offered an immense amount of assurance for 2015 with the release of various new high-profile titles.

The Division — an entirely new IP — looks to bring the best of the classic Tom Clancy style to an open-world shared multiplayer experience. This third-person shooter is likely the best sales booster for Ubisoft. The game offers a very “next-gen” feel in the desolate streets of New Yorky City. Though with the disappointment that WatchDogs had in regards to bringing a new level of graphics and gameplay to the new consoles, the excitement for the game should stay reserved.

Rainbow Six is returning from a long hiatus — picking up from the last release of Rainbow Six Vegas 2 back in 2008 on the Xbox 360 and PS3. The tactical-focused shooter is coming back with even more intensity in the firefights and rescue missions that ensue.

Details on the new Assassin’s Creed are still hazy, but more will soon be revealed in an investors call in May.

Ubisoft Group sales report
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Dark Souls II wins Game of the Year; DayZ wins Best Original Game | Golden Joystick Awards 2014 winners revealed

Dark Souls' dark setting and art style help set the mood for one of the most intense games of the year.
Dark Souls’ dark setting and art style help set the mood for one of the most intense games of the year.

Dark Souls II and the intense challenge it brings to players, has been given the honor of Game of the Year.

With nine million voters this time around enticed by a free copy of X-Com: Enemy Unknown, GreenmanGaming and ComputerAndVideoGames’ award display had an assortment of winners, but The Last of Us: Left Behind, DayZ, and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag each tied for most awards in show (2).

From Software’s Dark Souls II won the most prestigious honor with the Game of the Year win. The difficult gameplay, dark style, and the intense online multiplayer were more than enough to entice the voters.

Future’s (Publisher of CVG) head of content and marketing for film, games and music, Declan Gough commended the event for it’s success.

“This year’s awards have been another triumph for both Future and the world of gaming. The fans have once again voted in their absolute masses with some categories literally coming down to the last hours of voting. The Joysticks have once again demonstrated the depth and quality of this market and something we are very proud to be part of.”

Here’s the full list of winners below:

Best Original Game in association with Digital Spy
DayZ

Best Online Game in association with PC Gamer
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Best Storytelling
The Last of Us: Left Behind

Best Visual Design
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Best Audio in association with PDP
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Playfire Most Played Game of the Year
Rust

Best Multiplayer in association with Absolute Radio
Battlefield 4

Best Indie Game in association with Official X-Box Magazine
DayZ

Innovation of the Year in association with T3
Oculus Rift DK2

Best Gaming Moment in association with Sony Xperia Z3
The Last of Us: Left Behind – “The kiss”

Best Handheld Game
Pokemon X & Y

Best Mobile Game in association with Kiss FM
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Most Wanted in association with The Sun
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

Gaming Personality of the Year in association with Kotaku UK
PewDiePie

Studio of the Year in association with CVG
Ubisoft Montreal

Gaming Platform of the Year in association with GamesRadar
Steam

Lifetime Achievement
Hideo Kojima

Game of the Year in association with Green Man Gaming
Dark Souls II

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Ubisoft reveals their games lineup for Gamescom

Far Cry 4 to have the biggest demo-installation in Ubisoft's history during the upcoming Gamescom
Far Cry 4 to have the biggest demo-installation in Ubisoft’s history during the upcoming Gamescom

Assassin’s Creed Unity, Far Cry 4, The Crew, Tom Clancy’s The Division, The Settlers Kingdom of Anteria, and more are coming to Ubisoft’s Gamescom 2014 presentations.

Gamescom is just a week away and those who make the trip to Cologne, Germany will have much to see from Ubisoft and it’s vast lineup of games. The developer/publisher is providing a total of 154 pods for gamers who’d like to get hands-on with the likes of The Crew, Far Cry 4, and the recently announced Assassin’s Creed Rogue.

90 of the pods will be solely for Far Cry 4. This will be the largest playable-demo installation in Ubisoft’s history.

Ubisoft will be presenting Assassins Creed Unity and  Far Cry 4 gameplay in dedicated 150 person and 85 person showcase theaters.

Fans will also be treated to a first look at The Division’s Xbox One gameplay, a Meet the Developers session, game give-aways, and Cosplay competitions.

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How can Watch_Dogs 2 improve on its predecessor?

Watch_Dogs comes so close to being amazing, but falls short in too many ways.
Watch_Dogs comes so close to being amazing, but falls short in too many ways.

With the release of the first Watch_Dogs long done and the reports that the game will be the first of a whole franchise of games, what can players expect from Watch_Dogs 2? A similar game from Ubisoft, Assassins Creed, showed an impeccable capability to learn from their mistakes and make vast improvements.

Like Watch_Dogs, the original Assassins Creed was a great game, but not an incredible one. It had all the mechanics to be great, but fell short in one-too-many ways — and many of the problems both games face are similar.

After the main story has finished the draw to the game dies rather quickly. With a very limited amount of side-missions and random events, Watch_Dogs struggles to find a variety of daily activities. The original Assassins Creed showed a similar lack of depth in its daily actions, but Assassins Creed 2 showed ample variety by changing the missions available to you during the night among many improvements.

So if we use Assassins Creed 2 as a guideline, how can Watch_Dogs enhance their gameplay experience?

  • More elaborate mission depth. After a while, running down criminals shows to have an unfortunate similarity to each encounter. With each culprit being slightly slower than your character, Aiden, and their wildly inaccurate shooting, it makes it far too easy to shoot down or stop a criminal. It’s fair to expect a greater variety in their reactions to you.
  • Incorporate additional hacking abilities. While there was a decent mix of abilities, it felt as though much more could have been done. Hacking individual lights of streetlamps and cars could be a great addition.
  • Improve car physics. Right now, cars are hardly slowed down by what’s in a players’ path. You can absolutely demolish CPU vehicles and roll through any impeding objects. While the physics can’t be overly realistic, they need to find a reasonable middle ground.
  • A world with mystery. While Watch_Dogs has a decently sized world to explore, almost everything about the game is revealed to you from the start. This killed any motivation to explore the outliers of the game. Give players reason to explore the game world by rather than locating everything on the players’ map from the start.
  • A bigger world. Watch_Dogs put themselves up to a direct comparison to Grand Theft Auto V’s Los Santos, but Watch_Dogs’ city of Chicago is nowhere on the same scale. Designing solely for the new generation of consoles should warrant a world even bigger than that of Los Santos. (And the end of the game heavily suggest that the next game will take place in a new city.)

Besides the graphical improvements and new setting, Ubisoft has the potential to make Watch_Dogs 2 one of the best games of this generation. There just needs to be greater substance to the gameplay.