Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion Heavensward will launch in June

Heavensward expansion for Final Fantasy XIV to get a summer release.

Square Enix has announced a release date for the first full expansion for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

The announcement came with the today's arrival of patch 2.55 dubbed Before The Fall which sets up the game's story for the events that will take place in Heavensward.

“FFXIV, which started as A Realm Reborn, has evolved and grown massively in the last year and a half. These dramatic changes to the game have also been a fun and exciting experience,” said the game's producer/director Naoki Yoshida. “Even if you are away from Final Fantasy XIV at the moment, please enjoy the last of A Realm Reborn and look forward to a new beginning in Heavensward - which will bring the start of a new scenario and a huge volume of new content including new jobs, maps and raids, an increase of level cap, the implementation of Free Company contents and much more. The volume will be more than a brand new RPG. Thank you for all your support so far and please look forward to the updates coming in the Heavensward 3.0 series.” Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion Heavensward will launch in June

Heavensward will arrive for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on PC, PS4 and PS3 world wide on June the 23rd.

Sony gives the full PS Plus line-up for April

Dishonored and Killzone Mercenary lead April's PS Plus line-up.

Sony has announced the full line-up of free games that will be included in the PS Plus subscription for April.

PS4 gamers will get a juicy three titles this month including the rogue-like FPS Tower Of Guns, Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) which is a puzzle platform based on Alaskan Native stories and Aaru's Awakening which is a fast-paced action platformer.

Aaru's Awakening is also available on the PS3 this month alongside Arkane's superb first-person stealth action game Dishonored.

PS Vita gamers are getting pretty big treat for April too with Guerilla Cambridge's excellent FPS Killzone Mercenary which we loved whenn we reviewed it. Also coming for the Vita is the puzzle adventure MonsterBag.

The new line-up will be available to download for PS Plus subscribers from April the 8th.

Before The Fall patch arrives for Final Fantasy XIV today

New patch for Final Fantasy XIV sets the scene for the upcoming Heavensward expansion.

Final Fantasy XIV fans will have good day today with the arrival of the last big patch of content before the Heavensward expansion releases later this year.

Before The Fall sets up Final Fantasy XIV's storyline for the arrival of the new expansion with the dragon Vishap attacking the Gates of Judgment and landing on the Steps Of Faith.

Players will get the chance to line up alongside the Temple Knights to help defend the Steps Of Faith from the attack by Vishap and the Horde. Before The Fall patch arrives for Final Fantasy XIV today

FFXIV's producer/director Naoki Yoshida said, “First of all, I would like to thank all the FINAL FANTASY XIV players around the world who have supported the development team in bringing the current story to its climax, as well as to the development and operations team that have worked around the clock – thank you very much! As the Patch 2.0 series comes to an end in Patch 2.55, I am very excited to see your reactions to the end of the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn scenario.”

Click on the image above to see a full gallery of screenshots from FFXIV: A Realm Reborn's patch 2.55.

Evolve's first load of DLC arrives today for Xbox One

Free maps and a monster as well as a new batch of paid Hunters arrive for Evolve today on Xbox One.

Evolve players on the Xbox One today have their chance to get their hands on the first salvo of post-release downloadable content.

There are some free additions first of all in the shape of two brand new, radically different designed maps – Broken Hill Mine and Broken Hill Foundry – and the new battering-ram of a monster called the Behemoth. There's also some paid content in the form of four new Hunters.

This includes Torvald the mortar-wielding cyborg Assault class character, Crow the Trapper who tracks his prey with a pet Batray, Slim the genetically modified Medic (the combat version of DS9's Dr Bashir) and Sunny the Support class character who packs a mininuke grenade launcher.

The new Hunters cost 6.19 GBP each or are available as part of Evolve's Hunting Season Pass for 19.99 GBP which comes with three new Monster skins as well. It's all out on the Xbox One today and it will hit the PC and PS4 on April the 30th.

Lords Of The Fallen exec producer confirms a sequel is in production

Lords Of The Fallen 2 goes into pre-production.

Tomasz Gop, executive producer on Lords Of The Fallen has confirmed that they have a sequel in the works.

Speaking on his own Facebook page (translated by Eurogamer Poland) Gop announced that they have started working up concepts and ideas for Lords Of The Fallen 2.

He later confirmed the news in English saying, "We're now working on vision and concepts for Lords 2." Lords Of The Fallen exec producer confirms a sequel is in production

Lords Of The Fallen launched at the end of October last year on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and offered a faster and slightly more accessible take on the gameplay of Dark Souls.

Thanks Eurogamer.

Pacman takes over Google Maps

Google's coders just love having fun with their apps.

It looks like the developers behind Google Maps have a fantastic sense of humour and have added a little bonus to it just in time for April Fool's Day.

If you load up Google Maps in your web browser and soon into street level you'll see a small button appear in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen with and image of Pacman on it. Click on the image and the map will turn into a Pacman level complete with pills and ghosts.

The really wonderful thing is that it's very playable and it gives Pacman fans a massive library of new ready-made levels to experience. Pacman takes over Google Maps

It's not the first time Google's coders have inserted some video game-themed comedy into their technology. Much fun has already been had typing “do a barrel roll” into the search engine and watching the screen replicate Fox McCloud's famous aerial acrobatics.

Thanks Kotaku.

Techland warns of contaminated Antizin hitting Dying Light tomorrow

Tomorrow's batch of Antizin may cause Dying Light players some unforseen side effects.

Techland has announced that tomorrow will see some odd happenings in Dying Light.

They have warned that the batch of Antizin, the drug that holds back the effects of the virus turning people into bloodthirsty zombies, that has been dropped in by the Global Relief Effort has been contaminated with a non-toxic element which may have odd side-effects.

GRE spokesman Hudson Jenkins explained, “All undelivered Antizin crates have been destroyed, and we would like to assure the survivors that untainted drops will resume as of April 2nd. We urge all the survivors to use extreme care when exhibiting symptoms of the contaminated Antizin injections.”

The effects of the contaminated Antizin will affect the survivors of Harran for up to 24 hours tomorrow for players on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Speedruns are usually quite impressive but they are even more so when the player beats a game as difficult as From Software's Bloodborne.

One player going by the name of Oginam_tv on YouTube has managed to beat Bloodborne in just 44 minutes. He uses the any percentage method of speed running which means that no cheat devices or tools are used, just a careful understanding of how the game works and and potential glitches that may help along the way.

Oginam notes in the video's description, "This run makes use of a duplication glitch involving a second character's stash inventory and a very early skip into a later part of the game (just jumping over a fence really). This was a pretty good run but I can certainly get faster."

Whether you agree or not that glitches are a valid way to enhance your speed run or not you can't deny that managing to get through one of From Software's characteristicly tough titles so quickly within a week of launch is pretty impressive.

Thanks Polygon.

Dragon Age: Inquisition's Jaws Of Hakkon DLC not out on remaining platforms till May

Looks like a long wait for PlayStation and Xbox 360 gamers for the first Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC.

BioWare has finally given a release date for the Jaws Of Hakkon downloadable content for Dragon Age: Inquisition.

It recently arrived on the PC and Xbox One but there was no sign of it appearing on the PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360 much to the dismay of Dragon Age fans on those platforms.

It now appears that BioWare's slowness of announcing the release date for other platforms was not the greatest of signs. Dragon Age: Inquisition's Jaws Of Hakkon DLC not out on remaining platforms till May

PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360 gamers will not be able to get their hands on the Jaws Of Hakkon DLC until some time in May although, again they have refused to be specific.

Thanks Polygon.

Pillars Of Eternity community debating the validity of an in-game trans joke

Memorial gravestone in Pillars Of Eternity causes a stir for featuring a transgender joke.

The community around Obisdian's new RPG Pillars Of Eternity are currently debating the validity of a transgender joke that appears in the game.

As part of the game's Kickstarter campaign one of the levels of rewards offered the chance to have personalized message appear on a grave stone in the game. This particular one has caused a stir however because it makes light of a transgender woman.

The text reads: “Here lies Firedorn, a hero in bed. He once was alive but now he's dead. The last woman he bedded, turned out to be a man, and crying in shame, off a cliff he ran.” Pillars Of Eternity community debating the validity of an in-game trans joke

There's a couple of ways this could be interpreted but there's definitely no doubt that it at the very least makes light of trans issues. The community has been debating the message and whether or not it should remain in the game in a 30-page thread on the official forums.

Pillars Of Eternity director Josh Sawyer has also been made aware of the message and the discussion surrounding it thanks to a tweet passed along from Gameranx editor in chief Ian Miles Cheong.

Thanks GamePolitics.

Warner Bros teams up with ESL for a programme of pro-Mortal Kombat X tournaments this year

A hat-trick of Mortal Kombat X pro-tournaments planned for this year.

Warner Bros has announced details of the pro-gaming Mortal Kombat X tournaments that will be taking place this year in conjunction with ESL.

There will be a series of three tournaments in total which will offer Mortal Kombat X players the chance to compete for bragging rights and a share of a 100,000 USD prize pot.

The programme begins slightly before the game launches with the Fatal 8 Exhibition Tournament on April the 11th. It's then followed up by the Mortal Kombat ESL Pro League Tournament which begins on April the 19th for Xbox One gamers in North America and Europe. Weekly competitions will give players the opportunity to earn a place in the tournament's finals which will take place in LA on July the 11th. Warner Bros teams up with ESL for a programme of pro-Mortal Kombat X tournaments this year

Then there's the Mortal Kombat Cup which will take place in 17 different territories including the UK, India, South Africa, the Middle East and another 13 countries across Europe and culminate in a live final taking place at the Japan Expo in paris on July the 5th.

Mortal Kombat X launches on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on April the 14th. The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are due to launch later on in the summer.

New Rainbow Six: Siege trailer explains the operator system

Here a first look at the operator system for Rainbow Six: Siege.

Ubisoft has released a brand new gameplay trailer for their upcoming team shooter Rainbow Six: Siege.

The new video takes a look into the operator system that the game uses and how crucial the operator actually is to the success of each mission that teams will undertake.

The game will feature 20 different operators in all offering a wide array of different tactical options to approach breaking each individual siege.

Rainbow Six: Siege is currently in closed alpha testing on PC but Ubisoft has promised news of a beta on PC, PS4 and Xbox One soon.

Thanks VG247.

UK headteachers threaten to report parents who let their children play adult-rated games

English school group takes a hard line against parents who let their kids play games like GTA and Gears Of War.

One groups of headteachers in the UK has threatened to report parents who let their children play 18-rated games to the police and social services.

The Nantwich Education Partnership which includes 14 primary schools (children aged five to 12 for those of you outside the UK) and two secondary schools (children aged 12 to 18) has drafted a letter warning parents that they have found that children have been playing 18+ PEGI and BBFC rated titles such as Grand Theft Auto, Gears Of War and Call Of Duty and that this was considered neglect. It indicated that the schools have been advised to contact the police and social services in these cases.

The letter stated, "If your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game or associated product that is designated 18+, we are advised to contact the police and children's social care as this is deemed neglectful." UK headteachers threaten to report parents who let their children play adult-rated games

Parents group Parents Outloud agreed that children should not be playing 18+ rated games but they stated that the letter from the Nantwich Education Partnership had gone too far.

"Accepting the huge concerns about these violent games and their effect on children, I think the schools are stepping outside the realm of what is probably acceptable," Parents Outloud's Margaret Morrisey explained. "It will be construed by many parents as a threat and it is not helpful. If schools want to get the support of parents and gain their confidence, threatening them with social services will not help."

Of course, the PEGI rating system exists to make choosing appropriate games for their children much easier and the ratings have been legally enforcable in the UK for some time now.

Andy Payne, chairman of the UK games industry body Ukie stated directly, "Any 18 rated game should not be played by anyone under 18. It's really as simple as that. Parents just need to enforce this with their children."

Is the school group right to step in or have they taken things too far by issuing a warning like this to parents? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks The Sunday Times (behind a paywall) via Eurogamer.  

Spotify hits the PS4 and PS3 today

Music Unlimited's replacement arrives for PlayStation users.

Spotify has arrived in PlayStation home consoles replacing Sony's soon-to-be-discontinued Music Unlimited service.

The new app includes support for Spotify Connect which allows users to control the app via their Android or iOS devices through the official Spotify app. This includes selecting playlists, skipping songs, adjusting the volume and more.

The Spotify Premium service clocks in at 9.99 GBP per month. Music Unlimited users with an active account as of the 29th of March will get a two month free-trial of Spotify Premium. All other PSN users will get a one month free-trial including existing Spotify users who have never had a free trial. Spotify hits the PS4 and PS3 today

The new PlayStation Spotify service launches on the PS4, PS3 and Xperia mobile devices from today in 41 regions around the world although the PS Blog entry announcing the launch doesn't specify which regions beyond giving the subscription price in Pounds Sterling. 

Halo 5: Guardians coming to the Xbox One in October

October 27th is when we finally get to find out what happened to the Master Chief after Halo 4.

Microsoft has announced a release date for the eagerly-anticipated new installment in the Halo franchise Halo 5: Guardians.

Halo 5: Guardians will be continuing the story of the Master Chief with the introduction of Spartan Locke who is searching for the Chief after the concluding events ofHalo 4 when it arrives in late October of this year.

343 Industries boss Bonnie Ross said, “We wanted Halo 5: Guardians to be the game that pays off the epic promise of the Halo universe in scope and scale and drama. We want to amaze players with the sheer size of the worlds and battles they’ll experience, even as they question everything they thought they knew about its heroes, marvels and mysteries. Hunt The Truth is only the beginning and we can’t wait to debut the game to Xbox fans around the world at E3 this June.”

As well as the two part teaser trailer, the second of which you can view above and the first you can view here, 343 has prepared an audio series named Hunt The Truth which Keegan-Michael Key as Benjamin Giraud, a journalist who is unearthing the truth about the Master Chief's true origins and who he really is. It will be presented on Tumblr in the weeks leading up to E3 in June.

Halo 5: Guardians will arrive on the Xbox One on October the 27th world wide.

The next episode of Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Exo Zombies get s new trailer

See the cast of Exo Zombies battle the undead at a branch of Burgertown.

Activision has released a new trailer for Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare's next pack of downloadable content this time focusing on the new installment of the Exo Zombies mode.

The new Ascendance DLC will include the second episode of the story-driven Exo Zombies campaign starring John Malkovich, Bill Pullman, Rose McGowan and Jon Bernthal.

After defending an Atlas installation from the undead in the first episode the second one see's the crew making a stand against the shambling hordes in a branch of Burgertown.

Xbox One and Xbox 360 gamers will be able to get their hands on the Ascendance DLC from tomorrow. PC and PlayStation gamers will have to wait until the end of April.

Microsoft doubles down for April's Games With Gold

Games With Gold offers up six games during April.

Microsoft has announced the line-up for April's Games With Gold and they've got an expanded line-up for Easter.

They have doubled-down on the amount of games they'll be giving away over April starting with Pool Nation FX and Child Of Light on the Xbox One both of which will be available for the whole month.

On the Xbox 360 between the 1st and 15th of April Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be able to get their hands on Gears Of War: Judgement and Terraria for free. Then, between the 16th and 30th of April they're offering Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel. Microsoft doubles down for April's Games With Gold

All in all it looks like April will be a good month to own an Xbox with a Gold subscription.

Every wondered what it would be like in James Bond and Joanna Dark met? Cara Ellison and Irene Koh have answered that question

New comic short imagines what would happen if Joanna Dark and James Bond ever hooked up.

They were probably the two video game heroes that made people fully believe that first-person shooters could be good fun on consoles but James Bond and Joanna Dark never met.

Now, in a new short comic entitled Liquor, Bond Dark, writer Cara Ellison and artist Irene Koh have imagined what would happen in Rare's two ultimate spies met in real life.

It's quite a sultry meeting between the two heroes of old but it's well worth a read for the sheer geek factor and excellent sense of humour injected into the comic. Every wondered what it would be like in James Bond and Joanna Dark met? Cara Ellison and Irene Koh have answered that question

You can read the full thing over on Cara's very own blog.

Dirty Bomb beta is back online

Splash Damage's new free-to-play FPS returns to Steam.

Nexon and Splash Damage have announced the return of the closed beta for their new free-to-play hardcore FPS Dirty Bomb.

Dirty Bomb is set in a near-future London that has been left devastated and irradiated by a dirty bomb. Players fight either to secure the secrets hidden in the city for shady buyers or to prevent London's secrets from falling into the wrong hands.

As an added bonus, Splash Damage will not be wiping player stats and profiles again so anything and everything earned while playing the new beta will carry over to the finished version of the game when it launches later in the year. Dirty Bomb beta is back online

The closed beta is live again on Steam and anyone who has participated previously in the beta will be able to dive right back in. Beta keys are also available by signing up on the Dirty Bomb website. Instant access to the beta will also be granted to anyone who picks up the Merc Starter Pack on the Steam store which grants permanent access to all five ot the game's full-time Mercs.

To accompany the announcement Splash Damage have released a volley of new screenshots which you can view by clicking on the image above.

Obsidian's saviour Pillars Of Eternity launches today, Watch it streamed live here later today

Classically styled Kickstarter RPG Pillars Of Eternity is finally here.

Obsidian are celebrating today as they have launched Pillars Of Eternity, their incredibly successful Kickstarter RPG project.

The studio has an impressive pedigree with RPGs and a large chunk of the staff came from Black Isle Studios, the team behind games like Fallout, Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate. Indeed Pillars Of Eternity is a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate and has been created lovingly in the same style as the seminal PC D&D RPG.

Obsidian's CEO Feargus Urquhart said, “Moments like these feel surreal when they finally arrive. Today is the culmination of two years’ hard work, but there’s even more to it than the usual game release day. Given where we were when we started on Pillars of Eternity, this is the start of a new chapter in the story of Obsidian. We’ll be forever grateful to all of our fans and backers for making this moment possible, and truly hope that we have lived up to the faith you placed in us.”

To celebrate the launch, as well as releaseing the trailer above, the studio will be livestreaming gameplay from Pillars Of Eternity on publisher Paradox Interactive's Twitch channel later tonight. The stream will begin at 11pm GMT (6pm ET, 3pm PT). You can watch it live below with chat enabled. Pillars Of Eternity is out now via Steam and for Linux, Mac and Windows PC. 

Infinite Crisis launches fully today on Steam

Turbine's DC Universe MOBA, Infinite Crisis comes out of beta.

Today is a good day for MOBA fans as Turbine's DC-themed title Infinite Crisis hits Steam fully today.

Infinite Crisis is available as a free-to-play title but they're also offering a couple of paid bundles that give permanent access to a number of characters at a discount to celebrate the game coming out of beta.

The Basic Steam Bundle is just 6.99 GBP at the moment and includes eight champions (Superman, The Flash, Mecha Wonder Woman, Stargirl, Catwoman, Atomic Green Lantern, Poison Ivy and Aquaman) plus the exclusive Golden Superman costume. Infinite Crisis launches fully today on Steam

The Elite Steam Bundle features 34 champions ranging from Atomic Wonder Woman and Gaslight Catwoman to Shazam and Swamp Thing and Zatanna plus the Golden Superman costume.

Here's what the new Hunters and the Behemoth for Evolve look like in action

2K Games shows off the upcoming DLC characters for Evolve in a new trailer.

2K Games has released a brand new gameplay trailer showcasing the new Hunters and the new Behemoth monster in action.

There are four new Hunters due to hit Xbox One as paid DLC at the end of this month. These are Torwald the Assault, Crow the Trapper, Slim the Medic and Sunny the Support.

The Behemoth is also coming to the Xbox One at the end of the month as a free add-on alongside the brand new Observer mode which will allo Evolve players to spectate in other players' games.

The four new Hunters and The Behemoth will arrive on the Xbox One first on March the 31st. PC and PS4 gamers can expect to get their hands on them on April the 30th.

Blood and Burning and Celts Culture DLC Packs arrive for Total War: Attila

Total War: Attila just got it's first two packs of DLC.

Creative Assembly has announced the release of the first two packs fo downloadable content for the latest in the Total War series, Total War: Attilla.

First on the DLC block is the Blood & Burning pack which adds more visual detail to the real-time battle elements of the game. This means more gore, dismemberment, disembowelment and even ill soldiers vomiting on the battlefield. It even adds beheadings and more gory event pictures to the Campaign Map.

The other pack, the Celts Culture Pack adds three new factions into the mix. These are the Ebdanians, the Caledonians and the Picts. These three new factions specialize in swift and brutal guerilla warfare and boast the Guerilla Deployment trait which allows them to deploy almost anywhere on the battlefield. Blood and Burning and Celts Culture DLC Packs arrive for Total War: Attila

Both packs are out today on Steam with the Blood & Burning pack costing 1.99 GBP/2.99 USD/2.49 EUR and the Celts Culture Pack costing 5.99 GBP/7.99 USD/7.49 EUR. Click on the image above to see a full gallery of screenshots from both packs.

F1 2015 coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One this summer, first screenshots released

Have a peek at what F1 2015 will look like when it arrives in the summer.

Codemasters has announced that when Formula One fans can expect to see this year's iteration of the F1 racing game franchise.

F1 2015 will be thr first game in the series to release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One and it being built using a brand new version of Codemaster's proprietary EGO game engine bringing new levels of visual fidelity to a series that already looked pretty darn good as it is.

As well as improved looks, F1 2015 will boast improvements and enhancements in over 20 areas of vehicle handling from engine and transmission to a brand new tyre physics model. F1 2015 coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One this summer, first screenshots released

F1 2015 will be released on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One in June of this year. Click on the image above to see a full gallery of screenshots from the game.

Ubisoft introduces Alex Parizeau, the new head of Ubisoft Toronto

Alex Parizeau is formally introduced as Jade Raymond's replacement.

If you thought that Jade Raymond leaving Ubisoft would leave a big hole in the company's talent pool you'd probably be right but Ubisoft has introduced the man who they have chosen to fill her shoes at their Toronto super-studio.

In a new video Ubisoft have put together they introduce the Alex Parizeau, the new studio head of Ubisoft Toronto and he speaks about the bright future that he sees for the studio.

The studio's time is only just beginning and Ubisoft's success in recent years and they are planning a massive expansion for the studio in order to fulfill their agreement with the Ontario local government to grow to a studio of 800 bye 2020.

The studio contributed considerable amounts of work towards Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed: Unity as well as shipping their own title in Splinter Cell: Blacklist recently so they are keeping busy.