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‘LEGO Harry Potter Collection’ coming to PS4

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In what may well be the greatest surprise gaming announcement of all time, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced the “LEGO Harry Potter Collection” for PlayStation 4.

Combining the two previously released LEGO Harry Potter games — “LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4″ and ‘LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7” — the new game features enhanced graphics and visual effects, along with two DLC packs which offer additional characters and spells.

The original LEGO Harry Potter games were fantastic and I can’t wait to experience them again with my kids, who have recently discovered the wizarding wonders of the Potterverse.

The “LEGO Harry Potter Collection” will retail for $49.99 and apparate into stores Oct. 18.

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While it may not be the new “Batman” game from developer Rocksteady I was hoping for, the announcement of a remastered collection of the first two installments in the acclaimed Arkham trilogy is nonetheless a welcome one.

“Batman: Return to Arkham” bundles the Game of the Year editions of “Arkham Asylum” and “Arkham City” along with all of the DLC released for each game. The titles are being remastered by Virtuos using Unreal Engine 4, which allows for improved graphics like character models, environments, lighting and effects.

“Batman: Return to Arkham” launches July 26 for $49.99 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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In a post on the PlayStation Blog, Hello Games’ Managing Director Sean Murray announced that “No Man’s Sky” will launch June 21 on PS4 and PC.

After wowing gamers at last year’s E3, the ambitious “No Man’s Sky” has flown relatively under the radar, with little information leaking out about the game.

That changed this week as sites such as IGN and Giant Bomb revealed their hands-on impressions. While I’m still not quite sure exactly what kind of game “No Man’s Sky” actually is, I do know that I can’t wait to play it. Thankfully the wait is almost over.

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Fans of “Star Wars Battlefront” can look forward to exploring two new locations in the upcoming “Outer Rim” expansion, announced today by EA on the game’s official website.

The two new settings are Sullest, an industrial hub surrounded by lava flows, and Jabba the Hut’s palace on Tatooine. Two new heroes are also being added to the mix, Greedo and Nien Nunb. New weapons and Star Cards are also being introduced. A new game mode, Extraction, is also included. In Extraction, the Rebel team looks to successfully deliver a valuable shipment to their transport ship while the Empire tries to stop them.

The “Outer Rim” expansion is included as part of the game’s season pass. No release date has been announced.

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Publisher Square-Enix and developer Io-Interactive today have given gamers a fresh look at “Hitman” with the season premiere trailer.

With the first episode launching in just over a week, the new trailer highlights several locations from both the prologue and the first two episodes. A total of six episodes are planned for 2016, with the first arriving March 11.

The recently conducted beta showcased much-improved visuals and the return of the classic open-ended “Hitman” gameplay that has made the series such a success with players. The beta was a welcome return for Agent 47 and certainly whet my appetite for the full version.

“Hitman” is releasing on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. For more information on the game, visit the official “Hitman” website.

‘Uncharted 4’ delayed

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PlayStation 4 owners will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on Nathan Drake’s latest adventure.

SCEA President Shawn Layden announced Tuesday on the PlayStation Blog that “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” will now release two weeks later than expected. Layden says the delay is to allow for additional manufacturing time, which makes sense considering “Uncharted 4” is likely to be one of the hottest-selling PS4 titles of the year.

“Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End” will now launch May 10.

In related news, an open multiplayer beta for “Uncharted 4” will run March 4-6.

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One week before it descends upon retailers everywhere, Ubisoft today released the launch trailer for its upcoming RPG shooter, “The Division.”

After spending hours upon hours exploring a post-apocalyptic New York City in the public beta, I can safely say that “The Division” has become my most anticipated game of early 2016. The cover-based shooting is spot-on, the RPG elements are addictive and the Player-vs.-Player action found in the Dark Zone is totally unpredictable. If the beta is indicative of what awaits in the finished product, this could be a serious Game of the Year contender.

“The Division” is set to launch March 8 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

‘Uncharted 4’ story trailer released

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Sony today gave fans another look at its upcoming blockbuster, “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End,” with a new story trailer.

Here’s a quick synopsis, courtesy of Sony:

Several years after his last adventure, retired fortune hunter Nathan Drake is forced back into the world of thieves. With the stakes much more personal, Drake embarks on a globe-trotting journey in pursuit of a historical conspiracy behind a fabled pirate treasure. His greatest adventure will test his physical limits, his resolve, and ultimately what he’s willing to sacrifice to save the ones he loves.

A PS4 exclusive, “Uncharted 4” will be released April 26. In the meantime, players can catch up on Drake’s previous exploits by checking out “Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection,” which brings together the first three games in the series.

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Ahead of its release later this week, Telltale Games today unveiled the launch trailer for its latest series, “The Walking Dead: Michonne.”

The first of three episodes, “In Too Deep,” arrives tomorrow on most platforms. Additional episodes will follow in March and April. All three episodes will be available for $15.

Loot Gaming crates on sale now

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Loot Gaming, the latest monthly subscription service from Loot Crate, is now accepting orders for its debut Founder’s Crate. The theme for the first mailing is Legacy and will feature items from such storied franchises as “Halo,” “The Elder Scrolls,” “Skyrim” and “Super Mario Bros.” Founder’s Crate packages will ship in April.

For $25 each month, Loot Gaming subscribers receive a crate full of gaming-related goodies, including exclusive items available only through the service. In addition to collectibles, apparel, accessories and physical items, Loot Gaming subscribers can look forward to digital items (downloadable games, in-game DLC) in select crates. All told, each crate contains more than $60 worth of items.

To learn more about Loot Gaming or to subscribe, visit www.lootcrate.com/gaming.