We’ve got 10,000 Gwent: The Witcher Card Game closed beta keys to give away

Northern Realms, Nilfgaardian Empire, Scoia’tael, Skellige, Monsters – which do you prefer? Will you rush the table and overwhelm by number, or will you wait and watch, tease and toy?

Will you win at standalone Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, or will you lose? We’ve got 10,000 keys to the closed beta – on PC or Xbox One (you play with people on both systems) – to give away so you can find out.

Our giveaway coincides with today’s arrival (probably later in the afternoon) of a big Gwent patch introducing the Nilfgaardian deck to the game. The Nilfgaardian deck can reveal opponent’s cards, reorder their decks and use disloyal units. More than 60 new cards are being added to the game in all, new cards for other factions among them.

Rainbow Six: Siege is free to play this weekend

Rainbow Six: Siege is free to play on all platforms this weekend.

Already live, the PC version will remain free through 5th February at 9pm UK time, while the Xbox One trial will last until 6th February at 7.59am UK time, and the PS4 trial will remain live through 6th February at 6pm.

The free weekend offers access to all maps, modes, and Operators available in the full game. All progress made during this trial will carry over into the full version, should you choose to buy it.

Halo Wars 2 has some pretty cool posters

With Halo Wars 2 nearing release, Microsoft’s marketing machine is kicking into gear. The latest effort: a bunch of really cool posters.

Microsoft worked with illustrators to produce a handful of posters that make Creative Assembly’s PC and Xbox One real-time strategy game look more like a film than a video game.

These two are from Polish illustrator and cinematic artist Grzegorz “Gabz” Domaradzki. The left poster shows the commanding Shipmaster, the right focuses on Professor Anders.

For Honor open beta starts next week

With For Honor’s closed beta finished, it’s time for the open beta.

For Honor’s open beta runs from Thursday, 9th February to Sunday, 11th February, and it’s available to all players on PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One.

For Honor is Ubisoft’s third-person melee combat game that pits Knights, Vikings and Samurai against each other. The focus is on multiplayer, but there is a single-player story mode, too.

Torment: Tides of Numenera dev issues apology for missed stretch goals

Torment: Tides of Numenera developer inXile has issued an apology, following the discovery that certain stretch goals promised in the game’s have not materialised.

The discovery was made using leaked Achievements from the final game, due 28th February on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The most notable omissions include missing companions – I’ll discuss those in detail further down, underneath a statement inXile has sent me, so I can keep any potential spoilers out of the way – and no Italian language support. If you are an Italian backer and this is a deal-breaker you can now claim a refund.

But the most glaring issue is not the missing content – which some inXile staff members have tried to explain on the company’s forum and on Reddit – but that backers, people who funded the game, are only now finding out, off the back of their own detective work no less. Why didn’t inXile say something before?

Resident Evil 7 has third-best week one sales of the series

Resident Evil 7 is off to a solid sales start in the UK, hitting top spot in this week’s chart.

The horror game is the third-best week one debut for the Resident Evil series in the UK. The week one record is held by Resident Evil 5, which launched on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009. Resident Evil 7 launched on PC, PS4 and Xbox One (the PS4 version works with PSVR).

For some reason, UK numbers company Chart-Track failed to mention the second-best week one debut for Resident Evil. Presumably it’s 2012’s Resident Evil 6.

Fallout 4 gets PS4 Pro support and PC high resolution texture pack next week

Fallout 4 is about to get a big new update.

Update 1.9 comes out next week for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. On PS4 it adds support for the PS4 Pro, which means it gets enhanced lighting and graphics features including a native 1440p resolution, enhanced draw distance for trees, grass, objects and NPCs, and enhanced godray effects.

Also next week, Bethesda will release a high-resolution texture pack for the PC version of Fallout 4. “Consider this free download a love letter to our amazing PC fans that have supported us,” Bethesda said in a post on its , “not just with Fallout 4, but across multiple decades and games.”

Face-Off: Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil 7 is the biggest shake-up the series has seen since the switch to an action-based focus in RE4. With a new first-person perspective and gameplay elements reminiscent of Konami’s cancelled PT, this new horror title delivers a fresh take on Resident Evil that also manages to bring the series back to its core survival horror roots. From a technical perspective, a 60fps update offers up a level of smoothness usually reserved for remasters, rather than the latest current-gen instalments. The change in direction isn’t just used to facilitate a return to survival horror gameplay either: it’s also a direct result of the game supporting PlayStation VR, where the first-person action and 60Hz refresh makes an immersive low latency VR experience possible.

These aspects clearly drive the look and feel of the game, and used in combination with a heavy layer of post-processing, generates a vision unlike any other Resident Evil title. Boasting a dark and gritty aesthetic, liberal use of chromatic aberration, depth of field, static, scanlines, and other screen distortion elements, Resident Evil 7 generates a presentation resembling ‘found footage’ running on an old CRT. The result is a soft-focused image that is suitably grimy, but intentionally so, despite the high native resolution of the game across all platforms.

Both PS4 and Xbox One present Capcom’s bleak vision at a native 1080p, with raw clarity sacrificed in favour of a more organic video-like image. Both appear visibly soft, though the PS4 version looks more refined due to its implementation of higher quality anti-aliasing. Here Capcom appears to combine post-process AA with a temporal component, providing a clean image virtually free of edge-related artefacts. In contrast, shimmering is often visible on Xbox One across sub-pixel scenery and specular reflections resulting in a rougher overall look. A simpler post-process AA solution appears to be in effect here, seemingly lacking the additional temporal coverage found on the other versions of the game.