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Off-Duty Game News Roundup 1/31/14

01/31/14 Off-Duty Game News Roundup

Microsoft Acquires 'Gears of War' From Epic, Assigns Next Game to Black Tusk Studios

It looks like part of Microsoft's strategy with the Xbox One is to get some of its strongest exclusive IPs on lockdown. Fans of the Halo franchise have known for years that Bungie split off from Microsoft and left the Halo IP in their hands, and now it seems something similar took place with Gears of War. Despite the lackluster reception for "Gears of War: Judgment," Microsoft has acquired the rights to the franchise and plans on keeping it an Xbox exclusive. New Gears of War games will be produced by the relatively new Black Tusk Studios.

Dark Souls II – Combat Preview

Fans of "Dark Souls" will be happy to know that "Dark Souls II" combat is just as brutal, surprising, and unforgiving as the original. IGN posted a short video overview of "Dark Souls II" gameplay, and it seems to offer everything one might hope for in a sequel. Aside from keeping core gameplay principles intact, "Dark Souls II" promises to make classes more distinct.

The inclusion of Lifegems, however, may divide fans. Lifegems are items that heal players over time, but they're very plentiful and can be used seamlessly during combat. According to Brian Albert, the video's narrator, he was able to get through portions of the game without using his Estus Flask at all. Whether or not Lifegems will actually disrupt the flow of the game has yet to be seen.

Rumor: Xbox One major update, Titanfall console, Halo 2 HD, Crackdown 3

If a recent post on NeoGAF is to be believed, there are a few big things coming down the pike for the Xbox One. According to the rumor, Xbox gamers can look forward to a new "Titanfall" branded console, "Crackdown 3," and "Halo Anniversary 2." No official sources have commented on these rumors. Halo fans have been clamoring for an HD remake of "Halo 2" for a while, and it would be surprising if Microsoft and 343 Studios did not consider the earning potential of such a title.

How War of the Vikings respects historical fidelity, brutality and women warriors

How War of the Vikings respects historical fidelity, brutality and women warriors

How War of the Vikings Respects Historical Fidelity, Brutality and Women Warriors

If you've been craving a solid third-person hack-and-slash game about Vikings, Fatshark has you covered. Following up on "War of the Roses," "War of the Vikings" offers similar multiplayer swordplay with a few improvements bound to make fans of the first game happy. The game now provides improved feedback, so each move feels like it carries actual weight. The engine has been improved with a built-in anti-cheating component, and the game's overall aesthetics are much grimmer than "War of the Roses." In a progressive move, female warriors will also be included and will sport historical, functional gear.

PlayStation 4 to Get PS1/PS2 Emulator

Making old games accessible on new consoles isn't always easy: straight ports require reprogramming and HD remakes require improvements across the board. According to an anonymous source, the PlayStation 4 may very well offer a simple solution: providing a virtual emulator. Emulators, as many PC gamers know, are programs that virtually recreate the environment of a console which allows old console games to be downloaded and played. If the rumor is true, then PlayStation fans may have access to many classic titles that might have otherwise fallen by the wayside.

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