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IGN Couch Co-Ops Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

IGN.com - 2 hours 58 min ago

Four-player couch co-op games seem to be quite rare in this new console generation. That's why we're excited for Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, the top-down, dungeon-crawling follow-up to 2011's Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Hop on IGN's virtual couch as Greg Miller, Naomi Kyle and Daemon Hatfield co-op their way through Lara's latest adventure with Crystal Dynamics Executive Producer Scott Amos. The above video is the main dungeon gameplay, while the below video shows off the game's tutorial, and the bottom video details what kind of upgrades await you if you dig deep enough.

 

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Finding Sweet Loot in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

IGN.com - 2 hours 59 min ago
Greg, Naomi, and Daemon seek the preciousssssss gear in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.
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How Important Are Constant MOBA Updates? - IGN Arena Podcast

IGN.com - 2 hours 59 min ago
Frequent but minor updates help address balance issues and support an ever shifting meta-game.
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IGN Learns to Play Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

IGN.com - 2 hours 59 min ago
Greg, Naomi, and Daemon get taunted by a god-dog while couch-co-oping Lara Croft's latest dungeon crawler.
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IGN Couch Co-Ops Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

IGN.com - 2 hours 59 min ago
See Greg, Naomi, and Daemon conquer a tomb in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.
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UK Consumers Paying Much More For Tech Than Americans

IGN.com - 4 hours 12 min ago

UK consumers are paying up to hundreds of pounds more than their US counterparts when it comes to tech prices, according to a survey by a watchdog.

Which? looked at the prices of 13 identical products in Britain and North America, excluding tax, and found that in many instances UK shoppers are paying hundreds of pounds more.

Items looked at include the PS4 and Xbox One, both of which are £57 more expensive in the UK, while an Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch laptop and Samsung TV were £194 and £402 more costly, respectively.

Though some may argue the increased costs are down to the need to manufacturer and transport the items, it appears even digital goods are affected, with a 12-month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud costing £114 more here than in the US, and Microsoft Office Pro costing £89 more.

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Pac-Man and Donkey Kong Land Roles in Pixels

IGN.com - 6 hours 12 min ago

The list of video game characters that will appear in forthcoming movie Pixels has been announced, and it’s a veritable who’s who of 1980s icons, with the likes of PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, Centipede, Galaga, Frogger, Q*bert and Space Invaders appearing.

They join human stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Brian Cox in the film, which also now has an official synopsis…

In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults.  President Will Cooper (James) has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Dinklage and Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet.

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WildStar 'Sabotage' Update Announced

IGN.com - 6 hours 28 min ago

WildStar is getting a second free content drop featuring a 15 vs. 15 player battleground, Carbine Studios announced today.

Titled "Sabotage," players can start accessing the content at level 30. It will take place in a new arena called Daggerstone Pass, in which both teams attempt to capture and maintain control points. The sabotage part of the name comes into play thanks to time bombs, which randomly spawn near bases. Once picked up, they begin counting down to detonation and can be used on enemies, the enemy's bases, or friendlies if you are so inclined. Sabotage will also add new mounts and airstrikes. It's due out later this month.

In the announcement, Carbine also teased that the next update will be aimed at PvE players.

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Nvidia's Tegra K1-Powered Shield Tablet is All About Gaming

IGN.com - 6 hours 28 min ago

Nvidia has unveiled the next generation of its Shield gaming hardware. Starting later this month, the company will be offering a new Shield Wireless Controller and the Tegra K1-powered Shield Tablet, changing up the formula from the original Shield clamshell portable that was announced at the beginning of last year. We got a chance to check out both new products, and were able to see what Nvidia has planned for the future of mobile and PC gaming.

The Shield Tablet is equipped with an 8-inch 1,920 x 1,200 display, a 2.2Ghz quad-core A15 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and Nvidia's impressive Tegra K1 mobile processor. The Android-powered device also comes with a built-in stylus, 5-megapixel cameras on the front and rear, and microSD card support up to 128GB. Those with 4K-ready televisions will also be able to use the tablet to deliver ultra high-definition content via a Mini HDMI port.

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$299 Nvidia Shield Tablet Coming July 29

GameSpot's PC Reviews - 6 hours 29 min ago

GPU-maker Nvidia has taken the wraps off its Shield Tablet, an 8-inch, 32-bit Tegra K1-powered tablet launching in the US on July 29, starting at $299 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model. A UK and European launch will follow in August, with the tablet priced at £229. All regions will receive a free copy of Trine 2 at purchase. Nvidia is also launching a separate controller for the tablet, which will retail at $59, and a cover with kickstand for $39. No discounted bundles will be available at launch.

The Shield Tablet features 2GB of RAM, a 1920x1200 pixel display, a MicroSD slot for up to 128GB of storage expansion, a 5MP front-facing camera as well as a 5MP autofocus rear camera, a stylus based on Nvidia's DirectStylus 2 technology, front-facing stereo speakers, 10 hours of battery life for video playback and 3-5 hours for gaming, and a construction that company claims dissipates twice as much heat as its rivals during extended gaming sessions. A version of the tablet with LTE and 32GB of memory will be available for $399.

On the software side, the Shield Tablet will ship with a largely stock version of Android 4.4.3, with just a few gaming tweaks. Twitch is integrated into the device system wide, allowing players to stream almost any app, game, or part of Android interface. The front-facing camera can be used for picture-in-picture, with audio coming from the integrated microphone or an external headset. When plugged into a TV, the tablet automatically switches into "Console Mode," which brings up a controller-optimised 1080p interface for launching and purchasing apps and games.

Other apps include 1080p Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, Shadowplay for capturing gameplay footage, and Gamestream for streaming PC games directly to the tablet. 11 Tegra-K1 optimised games will be available at launch, including The Talos Principle, Half Life 2, and free-to-play shooter War Thunder, complete with cross-platform online play.

The separate wireless controller features the standard collection of buttons, triggers, and analogue sticks, as well as Android-specific home and back buttons. There's also a touch pad at the bottom for controlling mouse actions for games streamed from a PC via Gamestream, and buttons for adjusting the volume of the headset jack. In addition, the controller features an integrated microphone for controlling Google Now in Android, as well as voice chat in games.

Interestingly, the controller doesn't communicate over Bluetooth, but instead communicates via a proprietary WiFi standard, which Nvidia claims results in 2X less latency, and allows for up to four controllers to be paired with the tablet. The company is working with Google to integrate the specialised drivers into Android so other devices can make use of the controller, but has not confirmed a date for launch. Support for the controller is coming to the exisiting Shield Portable via a software update, though.

Also notable is that the Shield Tablet comes equipped with Nvidia's 32-bit Tegra K1 system on a chip, and not the flagship 64-bit version. However, the quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU and Kepler architecture graphics of the 32-bit Tegra K1 were used to great effect as this year's Google IO, with the chip being used to run an impressive Unreal Engine 4 demo in real time

GameSpot was at the unveiling of the Shield Tablet, so be sure to check out its initial impressions.

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Nvidia's Shield Tablet Makes a Good First Impression, Not So Sure About the Controller

GameSpot's PC Reviews - 6 hours 29 min ago

GPU maker Nvidia is expanding its Shield line of handheld Android gaming devices. Where the first Shield was a quirky mash-up of gaming controller and LCD screen, its follow-up is far more reserved. The Shield Tablet (starting at $299/£229 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model) is an 8-inch tablet that at first glance looks like a standard black slate with a glass screen. Its gaming focus comes from its 32-bit Tegra K1 internals, a separate wireless controller that will retail for $59, and a $39 cover with kickstand. While there's a certain inconvenience with having to carry around a separate controller to play non-touch games, it's a preferable compromise when the alternative is something like the gargantuan Wikipad.

While I'm still waiting to get some more time with the Shield Tablet for a full review, I was pleasantly surprised after my brief hands-on with the device. The tablet itself is understated, with a matte black finish and front-facing speaker grills reminiscent of HTC's One series of mobile phones; the only branding comes from an embossed Shield logo on the back. The top of the tablet houses a headphone jack, a micro USB port, and a mini HDMI 1.4a port, while around the side is a slot for a sim card on LTE models ($399 with 32GB of memory), a slot for micro SD expansion up to 128GB, and a slot for the stylus that makes use of Nvidia's DirectStylus 2 technology.

The bulk of the tablet is dominated by a clear and bright 1920x1200-pixel LCD screen up front. While the bezel seems a little chunky by today's standards, the Shield Tablet is a pleasing device to look at, and with a 9.2mm thickness and a 390g weight, it's comfortable to hold too. Indeed, it's not hard to imagine people picking up a Shield Tablet, simply because it's a good tablet. And--for UK consumers at least--the price isn't that large a markup over the £199 Nexus 7. Nvidia is planning on hooking people in with the Shield Tablet's gaming credentials, though, and for that you get a powerful 32-bit Tegra K1 (used to great effect with Unreal Engine 4 at Google's IO conference), as well as a bunch of gaming-focused software that sits atop a largely stock build of Android 4.4.3.

Most notable is the tablet's Twitch integration, which lets you stream almost any app, game, or part of the Android interface. The front-facing camera is used for picture-in-picture, while audio commentary comes from the integrated microphone, controller microphone, or an external headset. The feature worked well in the demo I was shown, but I'm not sure we'll start to see people Twitch streaming and commentating on their games from coffee shops (or, at least I hope we don't!) as Nvidia envisages. When plugged into a TV, the tablet automatically switches into console mode, which brings up a controller-optimised 1080p interface for launching and purchasing apps and games. Essentially, you get simple text for menus, and big images to select the games or apps you want to use. It wasn't fancy, but it worked just fine on a big TV.

Like the Shield handheld, the Shield Tablet supports Nvidia's GameStream tech, which lets you stream games from your home PC to the tablet. Over Ethernet, games are streamed in 1080p, while Wi-Fi or LTE limits that to 720p. I had a quick blast on Dirt 2, and while the visuals looked impressive, there was a slight pause between my actions on the controller and the car's movement on screen. It'll be interesting to see how well the feature works at home, but Nvidia has said it hasn't made any large improvements to the existing GameStream tech, so if you're already using it with a Shield handheld, the experience will be largely the same.

Similarly, if you've used a Shield handheld, the separate $59 controller will be familiar to you too, which is to say, it's rather big. The Shield handheld's size is forgivable given it houses a full Android device within, but it's tough to see why the Shield controller is so large. It's not original-Xbox-controller large, but even for someone like me with large hands, it didn't feel as comfortable as, say, an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller. Aside from a mushy D-pad (seriously, why is it so hard to make a good D-pad?), though, the controller was otherwise decent, and the Android buttons at the top and the touchpad at the bottom for navigating mouse-driven menus in PC games were useful additions during the demo.

The controller also has a built-in microphone, which Nvidia was keen to show working with Google Now so you can bark "OK Google" commands at your TV while the tablet is in console mode. It can also be used for voice chat in games, but there's also a headphone jack on the bottom of the controller for using a separate headset if you prefer. Interestingly, the controller works via a proprietary Wi-Fi standard instead of Bluetooth, which Nvidia claims results in 2X less latency.

Up to four Shield controllers can be used with the tablet, but it also supports regular Bluetooth controllers if you prefer. If you're wondering whether you can use the Shield controller with your other Android devices, sadly, that's not a feature that's going to be available at launch. Nvidia says it's working with Google to integrate the specialised drivers into Android so other devices can make use of the controller, but has not confirmed a date. Support for the controller is coming to the existing Shield Portable via a software update, though.

Sadly, there were a bunch of other features on the Shield Tablet I didn't get to check out, including 1080p Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, a 3D drawing app for use with the stylus, and ShadowPlay for capturing gameplay footage. I also didn't get much time with many games, but Nvidia is promising that 11 Tegra K1-optimised games will be available at launch, including Trine 2 (which comes free with every device), Half Life 2, and the free-to-play shooter War Thunder, complete with cross-platform online play.

I'll be checking those games out, as well as giving the Shield Tablet the full review treatment just before launch, so keep your eyes on GameSpot for more soon.

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Cryomancer Gameplay Trailer

IGN.com - 6 hours 29 min ago
The frigid Cryomancer is the master of harnessing the power of ice and snow.
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The Dragon's Reach: Part 1 Trailer

IGN.com - 6 hours 29 min ago
The Elder Dragon Mordremoth continues to threaten Tyria with his corrupted minions.
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Sabotage Dev Speak

IGN.com - 6 hours 29 min ago
WildStar's second content update is a 15 vs. 15 capture and hold battleground with a few explosive twists.
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UK Internet Companies Changing Approach to Illegal Torrents

IGN.com - 8 hours 45 min ago

Some of the UK's biggest internet providers have joined forces with the British government and distribution platforms to fundamentally realign their collective approach to the illegal download and sharing of entertainment online.

As highlighted in a statement by Virgin Media, the new approach means those found to have participated in illegal sharing won't be punished. Instead, they'll be sent letters in a bid to educate you and point you towards legal alternatives that are competitively priced. You can receive up to four of these a year, though choosing to ignore them won't have any negative consequences.

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Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Sunken King Review

IGN.com - 12 hours 27 min ago

Dark Souls 2’s first piece of DLC, Crown of the Sunken King, is a remarkably tough trek down to the bowels of Drangleic. It provides some of the most interesting and difficult challenges that From Software has ever created. Your gorgeous adventure takes you to forgotten cities, labyrinthine tombs, and ancient lakes, all of which are predictably littered with a slew of things wanting you dead.

Check out our full review of Dark Souls 2 here.

As the first chapter in the Lost Crowns Trilogy, Sunken King makes Dark Souls 2 tougher than ever, and that’s saying something. The ledges are narrow, a huge number of enemies carry poison weapons, and the entire thing is infested with giant insects that spew corrosive mist. More so than ever, you’ll have to juggle each encounter with managing your inventory and curing status and equipment ailments.

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Video Review

IGN.com - 12 hours 29 min ago
The first part of Dark Souls 2's DLC trilogy is as tense, challenging, and rewarding as anything in the series.
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New Hearthstone Naxxramas Cards Revealed

GameSpot's PC Reviews - 13 hours 29 min ago

Blizzard has revealed cards that will be introduced as part of the upcoming new Adventure Mode update for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

The cards will be part of the Curse of Naxxramas patch, a single-player expansion that will be introduced to the game on July 22. The new additions were revealed on the Hearthstone facebook page, and will include the cards shown in this gallery.

Naxxramas itself will be released over five individual updates that will unlock one after another each week after the first update. Each will cover a specific area in Naxxramas; The Arachnid Quarter, Plague Quarter, Military Quarter, Construct Quarter, and Frostwyrm Lair. Players who participate in the expansion within the first month of it's launch will be able to access the first wing for free, but must buy the rest with in-game gold or real world currency.

Zorine Te is an associate editor at GameSpot, and you can follow her on Twitter @ztharliGot a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Heroes of the Storm Dev Discusses New Warcraft Hero, Upcoming Map, and Making the Game Unique

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Mon, 2014-07-21 20:30

Heroes of the Storm, the MOBA-like hero brawler from World of Warcraft developer Blizzard, has been in a closed alpha test since March. Every few weeks, the developer launches a new update, adding new content, changing balance, and reworking character progression. With an upcoming patch, the team intends to make Heroes of the Storm stand out even further.

We were able to talk to game director Dustin Browder and learn more about the map, hero, and design changes coming to the game in the next patch. We also took the opportunity to ask about the game's future, its esports potential, and its competition.

Who's the new hero coming in the update?

First and foremost, players will get to battle as a new hero named Rehgar. He's an agile character who is inspired by the shamans of Warcraft. "He's a pretty cool and aggressive support character," Browder explains. "He can change into his mount form whenever he wants very quickly. He turns into a ghost wolf and runs around. He's a very special kind of support character, and a lot of fun to play. Basically, Rehgar is a shaman with a bunch of elemental abilities. He's a classic Warcraft III Shaman build."

And how about that new map?

It's called Garden of Terror, and it's a dynamic map similar to others in the game. "You're trying to collect seeds to be able to create this big plant monster that you can become," Browder says. "[It's] kind of like [how] you can become the dragon knight in one of our other maps. It gives you the chance to be this giant monster that runs around, gums up the map and slimes enemy towers with this evil plant stuff. [It can also] choke off enemy towns, preventing them from fighting and making your pushes [into enemy territory] very effective."

Are there any other changes going into the game?

In addition to the map and character, Blizzard is also implementing a sweeping array of UI, performance, and progression changes. Most significantly, the developer is overhauling how you advance your heroes in and out of battle.

Firstly, the team has reworked cooperative gameplay so that you can now earn experience without entering into competitive arenas. Browder explains, "We want to give players the opportunity to earn experience and complete quests in cooperative play, but at the same time we didn't want to feel like it was wrong to play Player vs. Player modes. So we've changed the whole system, [and now] you do get a win bonus when you play cooperatively."

There will also be more items for you to work toward, including new cosmetic items called Master Skins. To make this work, the developer has made leveling up individual heroes much more important: "We've got this idea for a master hero skin that you'll earn if you play a hero for a really long time, so we've redone the entire leveling system. A lot of it is [now] about leveling up individual heroes. We had six hero levels before; now we're up to 10 different hero levels. So it feels like a much more meaty experience."

Finally, the team has redone the way you earn the gold used for microtransactions, to make it both more rewarding and more useful. This includes the addition of artifacts, which actually allow for an entirely different way of hero customization. Browder says, "We've gone to a gold-per-game model, or a gold-per-win model. It was just too long between rewards, so we've rebalanced the whole economy around [this new] model."

He continues, "We've added a whole new system to the game, an artifact system, and this allows players to customize a lot of the core stats on their heroes. This is one of the things we had a lot of requests for from the players. At the same time, they didn't really want it to be a part of the talent system--they wanted the talent system to be more focused on skill, heroic abilities, all that stuff--so we thought it might be kind of cool to give the players the ability to customize the stats on their characters before the game launches. So now you can go in and you can get these artifacts and you can slot them into your hero.

"This also ties into a request from a lot of our players for something more to do with gold. a lot of players will purchase a couple heroes and be totally content with that, but say 'I'm earning all this gold, what else can I do with it?' We thought this could be a cool thing you can do with your gold--buy better and better artifacts and customize your hero."

Is Garden of Terror designed around a core type of competitive play?

"No, Garden of Terror will go into our regular map pool," Browder states. "We haven't decided yet if we're going to do special maps for special types of play, it's possible when we get to ranked play, we might say, 'Okay, these are the ranked play maps, they're a little different from unranked maps.'"

Is the map modeled after another Blizzard area?

"No, we're still doing the realms of the Nexus [right now]," he explains. "We're still exploring new worlds that allow us to be crazy and creative with the space. You'll see us explore more of Blizzard's environments in the future, and we will also have some of our other more classic worlds going forward."

What are you doing going forward to make Heroes of the Storm stand out in a genre that's becoming increasingly crowded?

Browder argues that Heroes of the Storm is fundamentally shaking up the MOBA formula by encouraging teamwork and a focus on individual hero customization. "We're doing things with team leveling where people are really asked to do things together as a team, and it's not about getting ahead on your own and being the carry," he says. "We really feel like it's making a difference and it's really showing a lot of what the genre can be. There're a lot of different things you can do in the genre.

"We really feel like it's making a difference and it's really showing a lot of what the genre can be. There're a lot of different things you can do in the genre."

"We've got lots of different maps with lots of different map mechanics. We're trying to make each map as unique as possible. We're doing things with our talent system. We're moving away from the traditional shop system and really giving players a custom set of options per hero. We can have items that are range bonuses on heroes. We can give a hero who specializes in melee attack and give him a +3 range bonus, and now he's a short-range hero. If we put that in a shop that's generic for all, that would break the game.

"That's been a huge win for us that's distinguished us from other games in the genre. We've got something legitimate to offer. It's not for everybody, but we feel that we're gathering an audience of players that's very excited that we're taking these types of risks."

Looking at your competitors and their expansions into esports, does that influence how you're approaching development on Heroes of the Storm?

The game is certainly inspired by League of Legends, Dota and Dota 2, but it is becoming increasingly driven by the community, Browder states. In the future, it'll be the players who determine if Heroes becomes an established esport.

"We owe an enormous debt to the modders in Warcraft III who helped develop the genre, and all the other developers who iterated on that even further," he says. "Early on, we were looking at those games a lot and learning from them, but at this point in our alpha, we're learning more about our game from our game. Our game and our players, that has become the focus and that teaches us what to do.

"It's not up to us if this game is an esport, it's up to the players. Do players start forming leagues, do shoutcasters show up? If they do, we'll be there for them. It'll be interesting to see where these people take the game."

Can you say when Heroes of the Storm will move out of alpha and into a beta test?

"Nope. We're still making sure the technology is good and safe," he explains. "You have to understand, when we go into a beta, we'll end up connecting up to Blizzard's other games. So you'll be able to chat with people in WoW, you'll be able to chat with people in Diablo, you'll be able to chat with people in Hearthstone and StarCraft. When we go to that point, if we make a mistake in Heroes of the Storm, it's not impossible that we could crash WoW. That's bad.

"So we're adding a few people every week to the alpha, and we're still testing the infrastructure. Once we're in a position where we feel like we're good to go, we'll roll over into the production hardware and into the beta."

Will there be any other announcements for Heroes of the Storm before November's BlizzCon conference?

"You can always look for more heroes, changes to the HUD, and changes to the progression system," Browder promises. "We're also updating talents as often as possible. But we've also got another milestone before then."

The patch looks to change things up pretty dramatically, and it'll be interesting to see how the new progression systems work out. You can check out Blizzard's Twitch stream tomorrow at 11 A.M. PDT for more information and a first look at the update. Keep an eye on GameSpot for more news about Heroes of the Storm as it becomes available.

What do you think about Heroes of the Storm and how Blizzard is trying to make it unique? Let us know in the comments!

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouseGot a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com
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The Dragon’s Reach: Part 1 Begins on July 29!

Guild Wars 2 News - Mon, 2014-07-21 20:04

Log in on July 29 to experience The Dragon’s Reach: Part 1.

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