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Patch 1.03 for The Witcher 3 out now on PC, brings performance improvements and new graphics options

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's 1.03 patch is available now on Steam and, and brings a number of changes including new graphics options and general stability and performance improvements.

It's the first step towards smoothing out the game's rough edges, and perhaps adding in a little bit of extra visual flair - CD Projekt has admitted that the game's graphics were tuned down a bit since its impressive VGX demo.

Watcher Think? Porcunipine

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So few games these days seem to take into account the substantial, crack-like allure of local multiplayer. So it is an absolute delight that Porcunipine by developer Big Green Pillow has waddled onto the scene to remind us of those halcyon days of folks huddled around a computer, having a good old lark while they engage in compelling competitive play.

A top-down arena based battler, Porcunipine has players choose from a variety of different porcupines as they set out to skewer and puncture each other with their horrifically sharp quills, all the while scooping up the skulls of their fallen foes for precious points.

NCSOFT is bringing martial arts MMO Blade & Soul to NA and Europe this Winter

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NCSOFT has announced that it's bringing Asian market MMO Blade & Soul across to North America and Europe this Winter, with a new free-to-play model.

The game, which has been amongst the most popular subscription model MMO's since it launched in the East back in 2012, has an action-packed style inspired traditional wuxia (martial hero) literature.

Vehicular combat MMO Crossout announced, beta testing starts this Summer

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Gaijin Entertainment and Targem Games, the twosome behind popular World War Two MMO War Thunder, are uniting again to multiplayer vehicle combat game Crossout to PC. It's another Mad Max-style effort about strapping miniguns to the front of your car, and blowing enemy vehicles into scrap metal. There's certainly been a resurgence lately, hasn't there?

Take a look at the bizarre Ninth World in new Torment: Tides of Numenara trailer

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Sometimes it's easy to forget just how many exciting games there are in development. Take inXile Entertainment's Torment: Tides of Numenara, for example, which had completely dropped off my radar for some reason.

It's back on there now, thanks to a very intriguing new trailer that shows off some of the fantasy RPG's bizarre environments. Like an ashen desert filled with great big pustules that occasionally burst and splatter blood everywhere. Lovely.

Harebrained releases first images from Shadowrun: Hong Kong, kicks off celebratory sale on Steam

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Harebrained Schemes has released the first batch of screens and the first trailer for Shadowrun: Hong Kong, the third Kickstarter-funded entry in its cyberpunk fantasy RPG series.

Oh, and it's looking lovely. Soothing neon lights, grimy backstreets, a cool new setting. Fireballs. What more could you want?

Riot has initiated a “player reform system” for League of Legends

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Riot Games continues to crack down on anti-social behaviour in its eternally popular MOBA League of Legends – the latest initiative is a “player reform system” that punishes verbal harassment within fifteen minutes of a match ending. The system is now live in the North American region.

If team-mates or opponents report a layer for offensive behaviour, this new automated response system examines the situation, and if found guilty delivers him or her a reform card via email, with a chat log highlighting the offence in question and revealing the appropriate punishment.

Polish team Jujubee announces Kursk, a video game based on the Russian submarine disaster

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Polish team Jujubee has announced Kursk, an adventure and survival game (with a few horror elements if, like me, you've got a crippling fear of the deep ocean) inspired by the Russian submarine disaster that occurred back in 2000.

The Kursk was lost along with all its crew when a torpedo exploded on board. According to Jujubee, the game will study the incident “from a new angle", using details from the real-life disaster along with fictionalised elements.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will have a beta programme for $60 backers

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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi's return to the so-called 'Igavania' genre that made his name, will be open for beta testing to those who back it for at least $60.

Development team IGA revealed the news in an update on their Kickstarter campaign page, though the exact details haven't quite been nailed down just yet.

CD Projekt responds to accusations of graphical downgrades in The Witcher 3

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The Witcher 3 is a very good-looking game, but it doesn't quite hold up to the jaw-dropping standards of its initial promotional trailer, first shown off at the VGX game awards show in 2013. While it doesn't seem to have angered players as much as the Watch Dogs controversy, a section of the fanbase has been fairly vocal about what's becoming a frustratingly common issue in the games industry - glossy, breathtaking promo trailers that wildly over-promise the visual capabilities of a game's engine.

Ninja Theory will demo action game Hellblade to the public a week before E3

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Ninja Theory will demonstrate more gameplay from its upcoming action game Hellblade the week before E32015, the developer has revealed on its official Twitter account.

The studio has also released a developer diary video to accompany the announcement. It's refreshingly honest, actually, about how difficult and time-consuming it is to market your game.

Battlefield: Hardline's first expansion pack Criminal Activity includes a new nailgun weapon

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I think in a real firefight I'd probably want something a little more practical, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the new nailgun 'battle pickup' weapon that will make its debut in Battlefield: Hardline's first expansion pack.

Due out this June for Battlefield Premium owners, Criminal Activity will also include four new maps - Backwoods, Code Blue, The Beat and Black Friday - as well as new weapons, vehicles and a brand new game mode.

Dark Future: Blood Red States is a modern reboot of the classic Mad Max-inspired boardgame, coming Winter 2015

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Originally released way back in 1988, Dark Future was a Games Workshop boardgame very much inspired by grimy post-apocalyptic movies like Mad Max and Death Race.

Development team Auroch Digital is coming back to this long-forgotten franchise with Dark Future: Blood Red States, an updated reboot of the boardgame which focuses on vehicular combat.

ArenaNet is rebuilding Guild Wars 2's flagship capital, seeking advice on district names

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Last year all that power went to ArenaNet's head, and the developer went and blew up Lion’s Arch, the most prominent capital city in Guild Wars 2, as part of the game's ongoing Living Storyline.

Now that the villainous Scarlet Briar (she tore the place up with a great big drill mounted on an airship) has been defeated, however, it's time to rebuild. Guild Wars 2 players have been asked to help with that process.

Open beta now live for Blizzard's cross-IP MOBA Heroes of the Storm

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Beta testing has officially kicked off for Blizzard's cross-IP MOBA Heroes of the Storm. Anyone who missed out on the initial alpha phase and a subsequent closed beta can now jump in and start playing.

Head here, download the game client through, and away you go. To get trounced by some team of sods who've already been playing for about two hundred hours.

Watcher Think? Pongo

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Let's not mince words here then, the goal in Pongo is simple; from the first-person perspective of a pogo-stick wielding maniac who has seemingly ingested their weight in contraband-laced Skittles, the player has to reach the end of the stage before progressing onto the next and, well, that's pretty much it.

With its low-detail, cel-shaded style visuals and ear-bitingly whimsical music, Pongo certainly puts across a decent enough visage of a charming first-person platformer. Dig a little deeper however and a number of troubling flaws emerge which tarnish that early promise.

Watcher Think? Luna's Wandering Stars

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Sir Isaac Newton once famously mused that "Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things." Luna’s Wandering Stars - a "planetary puzzler" that lets you manipulate the forces of the solar system - certainly adheres to this philosophy, riffing on a few basic ideas that come together as an entertaining whole. Serenity Forge's celestial puzzler (now available on Steam for £5.94) lets you bend Newtonian physics to your will by employing one of nine unique mechanics, with each one corresponding to a planet of the solar system.

Daybreak president John Smedley claims the studio has banned over 25,000 H1Z1 hackers

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Daybreak Game Company don't like cheaters. Almost as much as Blizzard don't like cheaters. John Smedley, president of the company, recently revealed that nearly 25,000 H1Z1 players have been banned for cheating.

He's actually on something of a campaign against hackers and similar miscreants, and particularly against the sites that supply the cheats. "Please keep using and supporting TMCHEATS," he followed up. "We aren't banning users who use it at all." TM Cheats is a well-known supplier of aimbots, anti-anti cheat software and other hacks, and if anything Smedley's more angry at them than he is the hackers.

Logic Artists is working on Expeditions: Viking, a sequel to historical strategy RPG Expeditions: Conquistador

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Danish indie developer Logic Artists' turn-based strategy adventure Expeditions: Conquistador was a fine little game, so I'm happy to hear the team is returning to their historical series - this time, however, they're swapping Spanish galleons for viking longboats.

Expeditions: Viking will feature the same blend of strategic combat, RPG development, and choose-your-own-adventure storytelling as its predecessor, but it'll also add some interesting new features.

Gearbox and 3D Realms' Duke Nukem lawsuit now settled, according to reports

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According to documents posted on NeoGAF, a lawsuit between Gearbox Software and 3D Realms regarding use of the Duke Nukem IP that was filed in February 2014 has finally been settled.

Filed by Gearbox, the lawsuit concerned Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, a top-down shooter in development at 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment. The game was never officially revealed, but it was teased over on a website called

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