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    Top Releases of December 2020

    Valve
    By Valve,

    : You can find the details for this event on the announcement page [url=https://steamcommunity.com/ogg/593110/announcements/detail/3020194687222449851]here[/url].

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    BioWare Confirms Dragon Age 4 Is Set In Tevinter

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    80.jpg

    Tevinter has officially been confirmed as the location of the next Thedas adventure with Dragon Age 4. While wildly assumed based on the ending of Dragon Age: Inquisition and its Trespasser DLC alongside comics such as Mage Killer, Blue Wraith, and Knight Errant with the anthology Tevinter Nights, this is the first time the studio has actually confirmed the location as our next stop (in a roundabout way). 

    In the newly released BioWare: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development book, it's confirmed that Dragon Age 4 (which is a placeholder name at this time) will be taking players into the land of blood magic and empirical grandstanding. This is also the place that gifted us with the glorious Dorian Pavus and Cremisius Aclassi from Inquisition and Fenris from Dragon Age II. 

    In the book, there are several ages that show off Antiva City and the various Crow assassins that have been referenced throughout the trilogy (and first introduced with the Origins companion, Zevran). Also included in the book is the Mourn Watch, a group that guards "Thedas from Occult threats" alongside various pages reflecting Nevarra and The Lords of Fortune just north of Tevinter in Rivain. From Deep Roads treasure hunters to death magic and fringe organizations, Dragon Age 4 is shaping up to be a title that expands beyond the mage and templar struggle, instead diving deeper into how Thedas found itself in its current state to begin with. 

    Recent concept art also showed off a closer look at what we can expect from the upcoming Dragon Age game. The Game Awards also had a nifty new trailer to enjoy, filled with even more artwork and our first look at Tevinter's high-society landscapes and a glimpse at those pesky Antivan Crows. With Nevarra, Antiva, and Tevinter all on the horizon, Dragon Age 4 will be taking fans to the corners of Thedas previously unexplored yet heavily talked about. We might even see the hidden depths of Nevarra with a possible Mortalitassi companion, something we explored in-depth with our previous coverage here

    As for the book that this confirmation comes from, the deep dive into the history of BioWare is available now through the official BioWare Store. I purchased mine recently and while halfway through, I feel as though I've barely touched the surface of the studio's evolution and the hidden history behind some of our favorite games. You can get lost in the history yourself with the hardcover book right here for $50. 

    [Source: BioWare via Eurogamer]

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    Exclusive First Look At Two New Assassin's Creed Valhalla Soundtracks Coming Soon

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    befunky-collage.jpg

    The music of Assassin's Creed Valhalla was nothing short of stunning and now there is even more to enjoy with two new soundtracks from musical geniuses Jesper Kyd and Sarah Schachner. With a total of 61 new tracks to enjoy between the two options alongside new art as well, the audio stylings of Valhalla are far from done offering up new surprises. 

    There are two new options to enjoy: Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Sons of the Great North by Jesper Kyd and Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Twilight of the Gods. Interested in learning more? Here's what you need to know about each as well as an exclusive first look at two of the new tracks with Kyd's Nightfall in Wessex track and Schachner's Voices of Fornburg right here at Game Informer. 

    Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Sons of the Great North 

    sons-of-the-great-north_1200.jpg Ubisoft

    Sons of the Great North by Jesper Kyd offers almost a full two and a half more hours of musical tracks to enjoy. The BAFTA Award-winning artist has impressive credits to his name, including the phenomenal Ezio trilogy and the original Assassin's Creed game, so the additional tracks to enjoy will feel new and beautifully familiar at the same time. Kyd has also worked on a plethora of other gaming adventures including Borderlands, Darksiders, Hitman, State of Decay, and more. 

    "I'm excited to present the full score of my music for Assassin's Creed Valhalla," Kyd tells us. "The album Sons of the Great North includes 29 previously unreleased tracks with almost 2 ½ hours of music. My score reflects the brutality of the era infused with the spirituality of Norse mythology. The vast outdoor natural environments are supported by authentic live instruments, mixed with a modern electronic approach which gives the score a unique sound, an Animus-infused take on the Viking sound."

    Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Twilight of the Gods 

    twilight-of-the-gods_1200.jpg Ubisoft

    Twilight of the Gods by Sarah Schachner offers 32 extra tracks in addition to her previous work on the original game soundtrack. Schachner has an incredible talent within TV, movies, and games with previous work heard in Assassin's Creed: Unity, Origins, Anthem, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare as well as other media such as The Lazarus Effect. 

    "Twilight of the Gods is my full collection of Valhalla music that will take you from the fjords of Norway, through the hillsides of England, and everywhere in between," she tells us. "My score represents the blending of Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon cultures, with hints of Norse mythology woven throughout. I wanted to create a deep and emotional backdrop for Eivor's Journey, and I truly enjoyed immersing myself in the history and learning new instruments along the way."

    Exclusive first look at two new tracks! 

    As a special tease for what's ahead, Game Informer has two exclusive new tracks you can listen to and enjoy right now! First, we have Kyd's Nightfall of Wessex track: 

    Click here to watch embedded media

    And Schachner's Voices of Fornburg's haunting melody in the video below: 

    Click here to watch embedded media

    Both sountracks will be available digitally via Spotify on January 29! As for the game itself, Assassin's Creed Valhalla is available now. To learn more about the Viking adventure, check out our full review here to see what we thought about the latest journey into the world of Assassin's Creed. Feel free to also drop down into the comment section below and tell us what you think about the two new tracks heard above! 

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    Canceled Jade Empire Spiritual Successor Concept Art From BioWare Revealed

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    canceled_jade_empire_concept_art.png

    There is a lot of talk concerning BioWare right now, especially regarding the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, but Jade Empire is another narrative treasure that deserves the same love. While many have been begging for a new Jade Empire game for over a decade, it's not looking likely in the foreseeable future, but we do have at least a glimpse at what could have been with some newly revealed concept art from the canceled Jade Empire sequel. 

    BioWare has mentioned in the past that a Jade Empire sequel is "never dead," but the recent Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development book revealed the now-canceled concept of Revolver, a game that was meant to be the spiritual continuation of the Chinese mythology RPG. We've got another new look at what could have been when BioWare art director Matt Rhodes shared a few pieces of artwork on his Instagram account. 

            View this post on Instagram                      

    A post shared by Matt Rhodes (@mattrhodesart)

            View this post on Instagram                      

    A post shared by Matt Rhodes (@mattrhodesart)

            View this post on Instagram                      

    A post shared by Matt Rhodes (@mattrhodesart)

            View this post on Instagram                      

    A post shared by Matt Rhodes (@mattrhodesart)

            View this post on Instagram                      

    A post shared by Matt Rhodes (@mattrhodesart)

            View this post on Instagram                      

    A post shared by Matt Rhodes (@mattrhodesart)

            View this post on Instagram                      

    A post shared by Matt Rhodes (@mattrhodesart)

    Each Instagram post above has numerous art entries per post, showing off villain concept art, shapeshifting, and an almost cyberpunk-esque take on what players loved about Jade Empire. 

    "Beginning its life as a sequel to Jade Empire, Revolver evolved and changed course many times throughout its development," Rhodes wrote in a recent Instagram post. "It was recently revealed in more detail in the book Bioware: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development. To celebrate, I sifted through the archives and blew 15 years of dust off some of my favorite pieces from that project."

    The canceled sequel isn't something I would have expected as a Jade Empire fan, but it is intriguing nonetheless. The original vision for Revolver was an open-world adventure that took what players loved from BioWare's trademarked decision-making RPG elements and blending that with a non-linear story to lose oneself in. The now-canceled Jade Empire spiritual successor was in full-on development up until 2008 when it was eventually canned so that BioWare could pivot and focus on Dragon Age: Origins and the continuation of the Mass Effect trilogy. 

    The artwork is interesting, but we're curious what you think. It's a big change from the Jade Empire we know and love, are you feeling the direction planned, or would you have rather had a more traditional sequel instead? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

    [Source: Instagram via Eurogamer]

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    The Resident Evil Village Collector's Edition In Japan Is Special, But It'll Also Cost You $1,800

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    resident-evil-village-capcom-communicate

    Earlier this month, Capcom gave us an extensive first look at gameplay for the upcoming Resident Evil Village in addition to a detailed showing of the different collector's editions available worldwide. Japan, however, took an already awesome collector's edition and made it even better — at least for those that have $1,800 to spare. 

    The Complete Set Collector's Edition comes with the standard Chris Redfield statue, a commemorative box, an art book, and more but it also comes with a wearable replica of Chris' coat. That swanky style can be yours but it'll cost you, because this particular set retails for $1,800 (or 192,500 yen in Japan). 

    resident-evil-village-complete-set-colle Capcom

    This isn't the first time Capcom has done this, especially regarding the Resident Evil franchise. Resident Evil 6 also saw an expensive collector's edition in Japan but with Leon Kennedy's jacket. That set cost players $1,300, which is slightly more affordable than its Resident Evil Village counterpart. 

    While the jacket certainly looks well-made, which equates to a higher price point, it's not exactly the most unique. Leon's jacket was iconic, but this? This is just a grey peacoat. But, as an avid collector myself, who am I to judge? If it makes you happy, you can shoot your shot by nabbing one right here

    As for the game itself, the PS5-specific demo is available now to enjoy. As for when the whole adventure releases, Resident Evil Village launches on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on May 7, 2021. Thoughts on the pricier collector's edition seen above and what we've seen thus far of Resident Evil Village? Shout out those Chris Redfield stan thoughts in the comment section below! 

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    Neflix's The Witcher: Blood Origin Reveals First Casting Choice To Play Éile, A Fierce Warrior

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    jodie.jpg

    Netflix confirmed another new Witcher adventure back in July of last year with a prequel story set 1,200 years before the time of Geralt of Rivia. Now, the streaming company has shared our first look at the cast of The Witcher: Blood Origin with Jodie Turner-Smith (Tom Clancy's WIthout Remorse, The Last Ship, Nightfilyers, Jett, Queen & Slim) taking on the role of Éile. 

    Éile, according to Netflix, is a "fierce warrior with the voice of a goddess" and she's the first character to be revealed from the upcoming series. "The limited series will tell the story of the first Witcher prototype and the Conjunction of the Spheres," according to the series' official description. 

    🐺 WITCHER NEWS ALERT 🐺

    The first cast for The Witcher: Blood Origin has been announced. Jodie Turner-Smith will play Éile, a fierce warrior with the voice of a goddess.

    The limited series will tell the story of the first Witcher prototype and the Conjunction of the Spheres. pic.twitter.com/wTltgArMW7

    — NX (@NXOnNetflix) January 25, 2021

    The new series is a six-part live-action spinoff to the ongoing main series that was an instant hit for the streaming service. Blood Origin will be helmed by Declan de Barra alongside Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, the showrunner for the original The Witcher show. 

    “As a lifelong fan of fantasy, I am beyond excited to tell the story The Witcher: Blood Origin,” mentioned executive producer Declan de Barra said in a press statement when the show was initially announced. “A question has been burning in my mind ever since I first read The Witcher books – What was the Elven world really like before the cataclysmic arrival of the humans? I’ve always been fascinated by the rise and fall of civilizations, how science, discovery, and culture flourish right before that fall.”

    “I am so thrilled to collaborate with Declan and the Netflix team on The Witcher: Blood Origin," added showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. "It’s an exciting challenge to explore and expand The Witcher universe created by Andrzej Sapkowski, and we can’t wait to introduce fans to new characters and an original story that will enrich our magical, mythical world even more."

    With our first casting revealed for Blood Origin and Netflix's The Witcher season 2 back on track, there will be a lot of witchers to toss our coins to in the near future! Are you excited? Thoughts on the latest Witcher reveal? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

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