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Polish Witcher Trivia #2 – Hearts of Stone and its plot built around a Polish legend

Today we dive once again into the world of The Witcher. My main goal is to familiarize the international audience with Easter eggs that are tailored specifically for Polish players. Two weeks ago I focused on Brunwich and its relation to Polish literature. This time around we’ll take a look at the first expansion, Hearts of Stone, and analyze how its main plot theme is built around a character taken straight from a Polish legend. Enjoy the second part of our Polish Witcher Trivia series.

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Gamedev in the time of revolution – how Euromaidan changed the Ukrainian gaming industry

The Ukrainian Revolution of 2014 was an event of significant political consequences, among them the following unrest in Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. Among the many people and organizations affected were the Ukrainian video game developers. They witnessed the revolution, often participated in it, and later, long after the dust had settled in Kiev, had to face the new economic realities – lost business contracts, lack of investors’ trust, and various other impediments. And yet they kept on working. We’ve talked to several Ukrainian devs, listening to their experiences and hopes, and learning about the current state of the gaming industry in the country that gave us Metro, Cossacks, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

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Polish Witcher Trivia #1 – Brunwich and its significance for Polish literature

It’s been almost two years since The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt came into our gaming lives and took them by storm. CD Projekt Red put a lot of thought into the game, taking inspiration from the original books by Andrzej Sapkowski and introducing their own ideas for Geralt’s adventures. However, since this is a Polish creation, there are some bits and pieces in the game that only the Poles will be able to notice and appreciate. Through our Polish Witcher Trivia series of articles, we’ll present some of these references and Easter eggs, so that you too might enjoy the game to the fullest.

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Unfinished stories in The Witcher series – loose ends swept under the rug

The Witcher 3 was released almost two years ago. I actually find this hard to believe – because it’s such a vast game and because it received such good support throughout the subsequent twenty months after its release, including two enormous expansions. The whole Witcher series, however, leaves a gap in the gaming world. In this article, we explore the unresolved threads and characters who never got any closure, and the possible reasons behinds the devs’ decisions not to pick them up in the final installment.

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War without victors – Pirates vs Denuvo

The history of anti-piracy software is long and turbulent, especially so in the video game industry. The ongoing war between publishers and warez groups and pirates, like any other conflict, often leads to situations in which bystanders get hurt. We’re taking a look at Denuvo – the most effective anti-piracy safeguard that supposedly wrecks your PC. But does it really?

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Diablo III 2.5.0 – colossus still waiting for revival

Maybe we are too quick to herald Diablo III’s demise, but there’s something uncanny going on. Subsequent updates fail to introduce any concrete changes, the conspicuous problems remain largely unsolved, and the monotony of the game is increasingly omnipresent. While the 2.5.0 update does introduce some rather major upgrades, it still doesn’t look like a game-changing patch. What’s even worse, some of the solutions introduced there don’t seem to work the way we (or at least I) have imagined.

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The end of MMORPG? – we analyze the current and future condition of online RPGs

One swallow does not make a summer. What’s the biggest MMORPG right now? World of Warcraft, of course. Well, that’s our swallow right there. Name five more prominent Western MMORPGs. You’ve got two? Nice. In the meantime Asia has churned out dozens of titles. The current condition of Western online RPGs is bad and the market, being the market, prefers the cheaper option. That’s why instead of investing in new IPs, Western publishers tend to import games from the prolific Asian segment. Is that the best they can do? Let’s take a look at how it all began, and why Korea and China are successfully invading the Western market.

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Gothic Sequel – the add-on that never was. A cancelled expansion for the iconic RPG

Unreleased games. I suppose we’ve all heard of at least one such case that made us feel genuinely sorry that it didn’t happen. Not often, however, is such a project revealed after having spent years on a shelf, somewhere deep in the devs’ HQ. Gothic Sequel was to become an expansion for the successful RPG from Piranha Bytes. It didn’t. It was left to rot in limbo and cannibalized, providing plots, mechanics, and names for many of Piranha’s subsequent games, mainly the full-fledged sequel Gothic II and its expansion. How much did it provide? Enough for us to say that had it been released as intended, the history of the Gothic series would have taken a different turn. Let’s take a closer look at Gothic’s lost expansion.

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Why Square Enix may have actually pulled the plug on Deus Ex

The Deus Ex series might be in jeopardy. Gaming websites report that further development of the cyberpunk franchise has allegedly been suspended due to poor sales of last year’s Mankind Divided. Honestly, even before Eurogamer and Kotaku published news on the topic, I had thought that Mankind Divided wasn’t doing very well…

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The best mods for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – January 2017 Edition

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt might not be the first game that comes to mind when we try to think of a super enthusiastic modder community, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing cool to find there. Check out our list if you’re interested in making the witcher look more, well, witcher-y, seeing him polish his sword (no funny business!) or wear some fancy armor from the second installment in the series. Or perhaps you’d like another batch of quests, more books to read, or a less frustrating experience with the map? Whatever you’re looking for, you might find it in one of the mods!

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World of Warcraft vanilla – was it really better? A story about Nostalrius and deceptive nostalgia

Twelve years in video game industry is an eternity. Word is that it’s almost enough time to develop a sequel to Duke Nukem. But amidst the stampede of new franchises and sequels, there’s at least one place where we can find refuge. And that would be the servers of World of Warcraft. The game has been continuously running for twelve years now, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to retire anytime soon. Still, it wouldn’t be possible without changing the concept every now and then – which seemingly isn’t in line with some players’ ideas. Let’s see how World of Warcraft has changed since its vanilla version launched in 2005.

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This week, we are trying to believe

Starring this week: The Sims Online, The Sims Online’s free version called FreeSO, The Sims 4, Vampires, January, Husk, Days of War, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, Fallout 4, and who could forget – Mr. Bubbles! But the best… you’ll have to wait for. And it’s not Nintendo Switch.

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The best Fallout 4 mods – Volume 2 (January 2017)

Well, I’ll be… there’s even more good Fallout 4 mods out there. So much more, in fact, that it calls for a new selection of what’s best among them. That’s the second time we’re doing this, so let’s not waste any space on needless introductions. Today’s menu: companions, settlements, ponytails, and music – here’s a dozen new interesting mods for Bethesda’s latest work.

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This week, I won't mention Mass Effect: Andromeda

Oh, so you came here to read about Mass Effect: Andromeda – its brand new gameplay trailer, the release dates, and the impression all this information made on me? If so, retreat – I’m not covering any of it, end of story. If, on the other hand, you’re interested in CES 2017 and what it brought to the tech table, or Arkane’s promises on Prey’s optimization, then read on.

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The most anticipated games of 2017 – Gamepressure picks

2017 – here we go! In our recent articles we’ve shared with you some thoughts on the releases and disasters of 2016, and now the time has come to leave the past behind and look into the (hopefully) bright future. The upcoming twelve months are shaping up to be quite interesting. We’ve got some highly anticipated RPGs vying for our attention as well as remakes of classics awaited by the fans, some sequels, and – of course – a couple of fresh, original productions. Without further ado, check out the top picks of our editorial team that are going to invade our computers and consoles in 2017.

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Top 20 games of 2016 you might have missed

Some games don’t need an introduction or even too much of a marketing effort – they fare well on their own. But among the flashy franchises and smash hits productions get overlooked that are worthy of our attention, many of them inventive and fresh, luring us with great atmosphere or a movie-like soundtrack. Here’s the catch, though: we must know first that they even exist. To make your lives easier we’ve prepared a list of 20 games of 2016 that for some reason might have missed your radars. Our picks include various genres and bigger titles as well as niche indie gems. We hope you’ll find something to your liking!

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9 browser games to brighten your gloomy, winter evenings

Browser games don’t have a good reputation among “real” gamers. The shaming label of the realm of casual players is often enough to discourage us from even checking out what’s out there. And by doing so, we miss out on a lot of good stuff! True, many of the popular browser games are generic MMORPGs, but in fact there’s something for everyone. We’ve got complex strategies, hack’n’slash action RPGs, and tycoons. And the themes? Vikings, time travel and… fish. Check out our list of interesting browser games and stop hiding the fact that you enjoy them too every now and then.

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Fails of 2016 – let's get ready to grumble

The end of December is always full of different summaries, analyses, reminiscing and resolutions. We’d like to contribute by bringing you a collection of the biggest flops the industry has seen this year – we’re not trying to spread defeatism, nor do we think that this year was exceptionally horrible, but there are certain mistakes that we should all remember not to repeat (No Man’s Sky, *cough*). We won’t be talking about failed games only, as we witnessed scandals and controversial practices as well. Not to mention empty promises, gambling, money laundering, stacks of glitches, hype and lies. Brace yourselves – here’s our list of awards for fails of the year 2016.

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Criticized yet adored – games that lost to the critics but won the hearts of gamers

Video games, as any other area of entertainment out there, are a matter of taste. That said, most of them can be reliably rated, as some things, such as the presence of bugs or low-res textures, are visible to anyone. Several reasons are behind the discrepancies of ratings given by critics and gamers: maybe there’s something unique in a game, which only some can see, maybe the game was perfected in time, maybe the game hits the sweet spot for some people while rubbing some others the wrong way. There are plenty of games in the history of the industry that sparked a debate on who was right in the end – the critics or the gamers. Here are some of the examples.

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When English is not enough – linguistic experiments in video games

English, mothertaffers, do you speak it? Turns out they do in fiction; most unknown alien species humanity meets on the fringe of the universe, most fantasy races you’ll ever meet, as well as most people living in China before Old English even became a thing – all of them will happily engage in a conversation held in Shakespeare’s tongue. Which can be, subjectively speaking, bad, because some settings are screaming for something more unique or realistic, depending on how you look at it. Some devs have reached the exact same conclusion, and decided to substitute English with something more interesting, be it in the name of art or laziness. Coming up with original languages can be time-consuming and tricky though; let’s see how video games have tackled the issue.

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15 RPGs we can’t wait to play – top upcoming role-playing games

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – check. Fallout 4 – check. Pillars of Eternity – check. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – check. All right, who’s next? Turns out we’re anything but short on candidates for really cool RPGs – there are some big titles on the way and we wouldn’t miss them for the world. TPP and isometric, action- and dialogue-driven, gothic, futuristic and post-apocalyptic, linear and open-world – you name it and we have it on our list of 15 most-awaited upcoming RPGs.

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Behind Rockstar’s silent hype machine, or how to stay sane until Red Dead Redemption 2 is finally here

Are you a devoted Red Dead fan? Recently things have been looking pretty promising for you, haven’t they? First a bundle of Red Dead Redemption 2 artwork, then an announcement accompanied by an in-game trailer, and now so much new information waiting to be unveiled. That’s just great, except… you won’t be getting any of this stuff anytime soon. So how is Rockstar going to keep us interested in their game before the release? They probably won’t do much… we’ll do it all on our own, just craving for more and digging through what was already revealed. So let’s take a look at how Rockstar’s hype train works… and how we board it every time.

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Cyberpunk 2077 – what to expect from an RPG made by the studio that gave us The Witcher 3?

It seems that game developers like to shroud themselves with mystery these days. I remember that before Mass Effect 2 came out, the players knew more than half of characters and a concrete outline of the plot, not to mention various trivia fed to the community almost every week. Now, we are (probably) months away from the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, and yet nobody has a clue what we’re in for. The case is identical – or even worse – with Cyberpunk 2077, the new game from the creators of The Witcher 3. Still, since the game is based on a table-top RPG, we can make some educated guesses once we’ve analyzed the manuals for Cyberpunk 2020 and 2030.

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Mafia III won't be remembered – how progeria turned New Bordeaux into a forgotten city

With Mafia III we are kicking off a series of articles that will tackle some hot topics of today's gaming industry. Many gamers have a serious issue with Hangar 13’s new baby and whether or not it delivered on the promises made when the game was first announced. Will Lincoln Clay be remembered in a decade or will we think more fondly of Vito Scaletta?

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How Yennefer was brought to life and won your hearts in The Witcher 3

It’s because Yennefer had a theme song written by Priscilla, isn’t it? There’s no other way that ice queen could win against a redhead. If you agree, that’s fine. If you don’t, that’s fine as well. The numbers do not care however, leaving us with a clear winner of the 2016 Miss Wolf Tamer Contest – black is the new black as Yennefer of Vengerberg takes the cake. Admittedly, the choice was a hard one, so how exactly did that happen? Now here’s an interesting question, one we asked CD Projekt Red directly. And guess what? They provided some in-depth answers, which you can find in our article, along with the results of a survey on Geralt’s love life carried out among a group of players.

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Why games avoid contemporary armed conflicts – political corectness or industry's immaturity?

War is a difficult and complex topic. Who started it? Who was right? Sometimes it takes years to determine even such basic facts about a conflict; sometimes it’s outright impossible. Still, there are always people who have experienced modern wars, survived, and some of them want the truth about their story to be told to the world before the world forgets. Literature, photography, cinema, television, various media can be found conveying the survivors’ message. But video games rarely do so. Why is it that true stories of modern wars can be told in television but not in a game?

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Call of Cthulhu – list of upcoming games inspired by H. P. Lovecraft’s works

Movie adaptations of the works by H.P. Lovecraft have been… less than successful. So much so that movie producers have come to dread the Great Old Ones and their spawn almost as much as Lovecraftian characters do. Game developers, on the other hand, have a far better track record and exhibit no shortage of ideas. We have prepared a collection of Lovecraft-inspired games to be released in the future, taking into account their compliance with the source material. Some of them can be expected as soon as this year, while others may keep us waiting. No hurry, though, for that is not dead which can eternal lie.

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Smash hit video games – how many of them did we actually finish?

The gaming community loves to complain that video games nowadays are too short or at least much shorter than in good old times. But the thing is that no matter if it’s an FPS that lasts for a single evening or a sandbox that wants you to give up on your daily job, not many players actually finish the games they buy. The data on achievements collected by Steam and PSN says it all. Still, since it’s not the length that’s the real issue, then what is?

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Windows 10, DirectX 12 and Windows Store – everything you need to know

Windows 10 has been around for a while now, but it’s still subject of much controversy. As the newest system from Microsoft slowly approaches the end of its free-upgrade trial, we decided to take a closer look at its features as well as many doubts surrounding it. We will discuss in detail the process of upgrading from the old system and try to address some of the questions about abusing users’ personal data. Last but not least, we’ll put DirectX 12 under scrutiny and see what’s up with Windows Store.

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Land of The Witcher and Home of the Devs – What are Polish Developers working on?

Poland – a country that currently has over 38 million inhabitants – was still behind the Iron Curtain when companies like Atari, Sierra, LucasArts or MicroProse worked hard on making the gaming industry matter. This article contains a list of the most important games currently in development by Polish studios with the exception of titles that are in Early Access, those that employ free-to-play formula, as well as web and mobile games.

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