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Recession gaming: Get 50 hours of extra play time from games you already own

Extend the challenge in Far Cry 3, Skyrim, Black Ops 2, Assassin's Creed III and more

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MAX PAYNE 3

Challenge: Use shoot-dodge to kick back and relax in style

Poor old Max has had a hard life, what with his family being slain and his mind gradually deteriorating. Things don't get much better for him in this latest offering, and with the constant shootouts inevitably taking their toll he sometimes just needs to sit down and chill out for a bit.

Thankfully by manipulating the shoot-dodge mechanic you can not only give Max a long-overdue break, but do it in style. By either jumping backwards or (for extra finesse) diving forward and twisting round in mid-air using shoot-dodge you can land Max in a chair, then leave him to kick back and relax.

It might not sound like much but you'd be surprised how much fun you can have with this, be it a big leather sofa in a nightclub, a grimy bed in a Brazilian favela or a sun lounger on the deck of a luxury yacht. Don't forget you can pause the game at any point then use the right stick to move the camera and admire your handiwork.


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ASSASSIN'S CREED III

Challenge: Become a huntsman and track down every animal

Away from the main storyline, you can head out into the Frontier and turn your well-honed assassin skills against the fauna found in the wilderness. The Frontier is split into 12 regions, with each containing four distinct animal types to hunt. By highlighting a region on the Hunting map you'll see icons in the top right of the screen, which are initially blank then gradually fill in as Connor discovers and kills each animal.

The challenge here is to live the life of a hunter, travelling to each region and securing a pristine pelt from every type of animal found there until you reveal all of the icons. For added authenticity use only bait and snares for smaller prey and the bow and arrow against predators, or for a greater challenge try and take down every creature using just the hidden blade.

Once you've completed your collection of animals there's still plenty more to be done by joining the Hunting Society, whose cabins can be found at the northeast tip of Troy's Wood and the east edge of Black Creek. They provide a further three tiers of hunting challenges to undertake plus individual missions to hunt rare animals, which should keep you going for some time.


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SAINT'S ROW THE THIRD

Challenge: Launch cars and gang members from your penthouse helipad

There are already plenty of tongue in cheek Challenges to tackle within the game, and ones such as streaking and vehicle surfing that give you a time for each attempt can be repeated as often as you like to try and beat your best effort or take on your friends' records.

You can also have lots of fun with your penthouse suite, as the lift going up to it is big enough to fit an Emu compact car. Once you take one to the top floor you can drive around the swimming pool to reach the helipad then see how far you can launch yourself in it. If you have a co-op partner you can extend this by activating the no car damage cheat (add cheat from your phone and type 'vroom') then getting them to cover the vehicle's roof with satchel charges. Drive off the roof with them in the passenger seat, at which point blasting the charges can launch you hundreds of metres down the road.

Another game you can play on the penthouse roof with a co-op partner is gang member skeet shooting. Equip a scoped weapon, grab one of your gang members as a human shield then drag them to the edge of the helipad and turn to face the pool. Your co-op partner should stand on the helipad steps and equip the Sonic Boom weapon, then use it to launch the hapless gang member into the air after you throw them in their direction. Spin around and try to shoot them out of the sky before they disappear from view, before switching roles to see who's the sharpest shooter.

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