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Microsoft

Sunset Overdrive is the next insane release from Insomniac Games exclusively on the Xbox One, and I talked with James Stevenson from Insomniac about it.

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2027. Sunset City. A contaminated energy drink has transformed most of the population into a multitude of toxic mutants. For many it’s the end of the world, but for you it’s a dream come true. Your old boss? Dead. Your boring job? Gone. Transform the open-world into your tactical playground by grinding, vaulting and wall-running across the city while using a devastating, unconventional arsenal. With hyper-agility, unique weapons, and customizable special abilities, “Sunset Overdrive” rewrites the rules of traditional shooters and delivers an explosive, irreverent, stylish, and totally unique adventure exclusively to Xbox One.

James Stevenson is the Community Lead at Insomniac Games, so over to James, and there is some brand new gameplay in there too:

Sunset Overdrive will be released October 31st only on Xbox One.

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The third and sadly the final map pack for Titanfall has arrived for gamers on the Xbox One. So let’s all go out with a bang as we enjoy more Titan exploding fun across 3 more battlegrounds. Whether you’re into your open and wide playgrounds for Titan and sniper heavy duals, to my personal favourite tighter built up arenas to show off your parkour abilities there’s something for everyone here. The IMC Rising DLC adds yet another 3 maps to the game’s playlist giving you more reasons to take down your opponents in a variety of ways.

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Backwater is a medium sized map that is set high into the mountains. The story mention ex-IMC pilot Barker and his fellow colonists have made a comfortable living by producing moonshine in this hidden bootlegging colony. Players will notice that the centre of the map is raised while the surrounding area is flatter, but as this is Titanfall being king of the hill doesn’t mean you’re at an advantage. With lots of shanty-like structures and buildings surrounding the based of the hill you’ll find various ways to sneak to the top as a pilot.

I particularly enjoyed playing Last Titan Standing on Backwater as players without a death wish all avoided going straight up to the hill to be exposed and resulted in tactical ground level fights surrounding it.
(A cross between the maps Smuggler’s Cove and Colony)

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Zone 18 is a map that is inside an old IMC base that’s hidden in the vast wilderness of the Dakota system. Home to the advanced IMC robotics research labs this base was my personal favourite map to play from this pack. The larger exterior with vast runabout space is home to some of the best Titan fights I’ve had, and that’s me facing them as a pilot. The rooftops have dips in them that allow you to get up high and avoid being attacked from other roofs as well as Titans on the ground. This map is large and is perfect for pilots to go toe to toe with Titans from above.

This map was great for Marked for death as nothing really beats running from other enemies across the tops of building all whilst trying to avoid the larger open ground level where Titans and only the bravest pilots will traverse across.

(A cross between the maps Nexus and Airbase)

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Sand Trap is a secretly recommisioned IMC facility which holds deep reservoirs of unrefined fuel which, to the story could be key in improving fleet and manufacturing capabilities This night time map a couple of cool areas which includes a huge open field to duke it out on and perfect for long distance sniping and several bottomless pits with the possibility to wall run across if you’re skilled enough.

Playing Capture the flag on this map was by far the most enjoyable game mode. With a variety of ways to cross from one side to the including both the dangerous open fields and the underground pits, this game mode played differently every time I played Export.
(A cross between the maps Demeter and Rise)

The IMC Rising variety pack and IMC Rising Attrition are 2 playlists you can choose to play if you fancy just playing the 3 maps on rotation. These, the DLC and the added recent update have given more to the Titanfall experience including yet another free game mode. Being the last game DLC map pack we’re to expect this could be possibly the last unless there’s more up EA’s sleeves. Over the months we’ve had a total of 9 great maps and several massive free updates that has improved the game including the Black Market, Insignias and Private lobbies. Good show, EA.

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I recently had the chance to sit down and talk with 343 Industries Executive Producer Kiki Wolfkill about Halo: Nightfall and the Halo Channel.

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Over to Kiki:

The Halo Channel is an all-new interactive digital network that provides unprecedented, personalized access to the Halo universe. Created by 343 Industries, the Halo Channel is home to all your Halo content and entertainment, and includes an abundance of interactive features that allows fans to immerse themselves in Halo like never before.
Key features include:

  • Live and Timely Content – Along with a library of original programming and entertainment, access timely Halo news and live events including eSports broadcasts via the Halo Channel.  Through robust Twitch integration viewers can watch Halo broadcasts, follow their favourite players and launch into the game with the press of a button. In addition, the Halo Channel can display stats and data during matches, allowing you to monitor players in real-time.
  • Interactive and Sharable – Interact with Halo content with a personalized viewing experience, social sharing, Halo Encyclopaedia integration and a best-in-class video platform. Instantly connect with the Halo community and your friends through social media, sharing your favourite Halo moments and content.  Pull up the Halo Encyclopaedia and learn more about the scene you’re watching, including characters, weapons, vehicles, locations and more.
  • Rewarding – Unlock a variety of exclusive in-game content for upcoming Halo titles – including Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Halo 5: Guardians – by watching original Halo programming and entertainment, participating in some of the interactive community polls or trying your hand at trivia that will test your knowledge of the Halo universe.
  • Multiplatform Access – Sync your Windows 8.1 device to your Xbox One, and use it as a controller or a second screen where you can access the Halo Channel.  At any time, you can begin your viewing experience on one screen and seamlessly continue it on another.

Taking place between the events of Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, Halo: Nightfall follows the origin story of legendary manhunter Jameson Locke (Mike Colter) and his team as they are caught in a horrific terrorist attack while investigating terrorist activity on the distant colony world of Sedra.

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Led by Locke, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) agents are forced to coordinate with a Sedran commander with a remarkable history and deep-rooted mistrust of ONI. As the plot unravels, they’re drawn to an ancient, hellish artefact where they’re forced to fight for their survival, question everything, and ultimately choose between their loyalties and their lives. Agent Locke is a new character in the Halo universe poised to play a major role in Halo 5: Guardians releasing on Xbox One in 2015. Led by world class talent such as executive producer Ridley Scott, Scott Free TV President David Zucker, award-winning director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Battlestar Galactica, Pillars of the Earth, Heroes), and written by Paul Scheuring (A Man Apart, Prison Break), Halo: Nightfall takes full advantage of Xbox One’s seamless blend of high-quality visuals and rich interactive storytelling features, connecting the games and the series in innovative new ways.

The Halo Channel will be available on Xbox One and Windows 8.1 devices on Nov. 11, 2014, and a version for Windows Phone 8.1 will be made available shortly after. Halo: Nightfall is included as part of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection and will be accessible digitally on Xbox Live beginning on November 11, 2014.

Are you excited for HALO Nightfall or HALO The Master Chief Collection? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Mojang and the Minecraft has officially joined Microsoft after all the rumours of last week for $2.5 Billion, Minecraft is one of the most popular video games of all time, with more than 100 million downloads, on PC alone, from players since its launch in 2009. With Minecraft inspires millions to create together, connects people across the globe, and is a community that is among the most active and passionate in the world.

Microsoft relationship with Mojang began when Microsoft initially talked to the team about bringing Minecraft to the console. With Minecraft quickly became the top online game on Xbox Live, with over two billion hours played on Xbox 360 in the last two years. That working relationship set the ground work for other opportunities.

Microsoft believe in the power of content to unite people. With Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms. Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise. That is why we plan to continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC.

As we all know that the Minecraft community is passionate and diverse, ranging across all ages and demographics. Microsoft respect the brand and independent spirit that has made Minecraft great, and we’ll carry on the tradition of innovation to move the franchise forward. With the investments in cloud, Xbox Live and mobile technology will enable players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect with the Minecraft community.

Also Microsoft announced that MINECON will continue next year

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In a few weeks time Microsoft will be releasing Forza Horizon 2 and I recently had the opportunity to sit and talk with Ralph Fulton from Playground Games all about it.

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Race through a massive wide-open world featuring dramatic weather and day-to-night cycles. Instantly connect with friends in the ultimate celebration of speed, style, and action-packed driving. Explore beautiful and exotic locations in more than 200 of the world’s greatest cars, all created with precise detail in stunning 1080p.

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Ralph Fulton is the design director at Playground Games. He is responsible for the creative direction of the studio and its projects. Ralph is also a director at Playground Games, having been one of the company’s founders in 2010.

Fulton has 17 years of experience in the games industry in a broad range of genres. Prior to Playground, he was design manager for Codemasters’ award-winning Racing Studio where he was instrumental in the creation of the BAFTA award-winning titles, “GRID” and “DiRT 2.” While there, he also received a BATFA award for his work in establishing the creative vision for “F1 2010.”

So over to Ralph (and there’s a few minutes of new gameplay footage in there too):

Forza Horizon 2 will be available October 3rd on the Xbox One.

As only just last week that Minecraft just made the jump to current generation consoles, but its original creator, Mojang may be jumping onto the Microsoft bandwagon if the current rumours are true.

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A deal could be reached between Mojang and Microsoft as early as this week and is valued at over $2 billion that is a lot of bricks.

If this rumour is true then that would certainly be a feather in Microsoft’s cap as Mojang has been steadily gaining momentum with Minecraft. With each update and new console release, more and more players are become addicted to the title, and keeping it exclusively on Microsoft’s platforms could strike a huge blow to its competition.

 

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Microsoft have announced that Xbox One users in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain will be able to experience premium live TV features on Xbox One, such as the ability to access your favourite shows and channels with the sound of your voice through the OneGuide, with the new Xbox One Digital TV Tuner.

Beginning in October, the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner will be available in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, providing Xbox One users in those markets with an over-the-air digital terrestrial TV experience through the USB single tuner, an alternative to accessing TV content from a cable or satellite set-top box connected through the HDMI-In port. The new digital TV tuner will also support free-to-air DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C television standards.

Here’s a list of the capabilities enabled by the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner:

•          Watch HD TV on Xbox One: With the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner, you can watch free-to-air DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-C television channels without changing TV inputs. You can receive game invitations and notifications while watching TV and even watch TV while you wait for a multiplayer match to start.

•          TV Viewing in Snap Mode: You can watch TV using the Snap mode, watching TV on the side and leaving the main screen for games, Skype, or other applications.

•          Pause Live TV: Pause your favorite show when you get up to take a break.

•          TV Listings in the OneGuide: TV listings will be available in the OneGuide. From anywhere, say “Xbox show guide, what’s on BBC One?” to quickly navigate directly to that channel’s listings*.

•          Favourite Channels in the OneGuide: Create your own personal Favourites in the OneGuide so you can easily choose what you want to watch.

•          Channel Tuning by Voice: The OneGuide allows you to call out your favourite TV channel by name and start watching it instantly*.

•          The OneGuide on Xbox SmartGlass: Now you have access to the full OneGuide on the new Xbox SmartGlass app with the ability to tune channels on your TV.

•          TV On Demand: TV listings in the OneGuide will indicate which shows are available on demand from video apps.

The Xbox One Digital TV Tuner will be available beginning late October in the UK for £24.99.

TFE

The second set of maps for Titanfall has arrived for gamers to enjoy more Titan bashing fun across 3 more battlegrounds. Whether you’re into your open and wide playgrounds for Titan and sniper heavy duals, to my personal favourite tighter built up arenas to show off your parkour abilities there’s something for everyone here. The Frontier’s Edge DLC adds yet another 3 maps to the game’s playlist giving you more reasons to take down your opponents in a variety of ways.

dig_site_01

Dig Site is a small industrial mining facility where energy-rich ores are extracted that offers a tighter arena for Titans to engage in combat. Build out of from the interior of a mine this environment incorporates both naturalistic rock formations to parkour on as well as the man made factories to enter into. Players can storm these mines on this medium sized map in numerous ways. From the open ground level you’re exposed a lot more and could be ambushed from players if you’re not quick, cautious or not in your Titan. This map is medium sized compared to the others.

I particularly enjoyed playing Capture The Flag on Dig Site as the various ways to get from one base to the other were plentiful. With the central structure being the key vantage point any team nesting within can control this game mode pretty well.
(A cross between the maps Airbase and Boneyard)

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Haven is a map that features a hotel, several sky scraping buildings and a beach. This is a luxury retreat for the wealthy built on the shores of a natural crater lake and it shows. And with every city-like map in Titanfall comes the tighter, less spacious streets restricting Titans from moving as freely. This map is extra large and offers loads of interiors, a lot of height and cover above if you’re into your sniping.

This map was great for Hardpoint Domination as nothing really beats running from building to building avoiding Titans and capturing bases. With the main hotspot being ‘B’ inside a hotel lobby it is a scene for mayhem as Titan’s can enter as well as a couple of elevated floor for pilots to rain down covering fire from above.

(A cross between the maps Fracture and War Games)

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Export is a dock with an interesting feature that can cause quite a lot of panic. With an exposed generator housed in the centre of the map, shooting this will result in one of pathways from one end of the map to the other to become electrified frying friend and foe. This map is my personal favourite from this pack as it balances a decent amount of building to enter, amazing vantage points for snipers, great open spaces for Titan fights and a decent amount of zip lines to get from the ground upwards out of danger. This map is large and is perfect for pilots to show off their abilities to traverse across the arena.

Playing Last Titan Standing on this map was by far the most enjoyable game mode. With a variety of ways to cross from one side to the other not forgetting the potential electrified easier route, this game mode played differently every time I played Export.
(A cross between the maps Smuggler’s Cove and Relic)

The Frontier’s Edge Variety Pack and Expedition Attrition are 2 playlists you can choose to play if you fancy just playing the 3 maps on rotation. These, the DLC and the added recent update have given more to the Titanfall experience. Since the last DLC we’ve now got the additional OS Voice option to choose what AI speaks to us once inside the Titan. The Titan Insignia is also added as the emblem to show off what challenges we’ve accomplished to heard these. The Black Market is also available to sell you current Burn Cards at and the one stop shop for buying more insignias or packs of Burn Cards, some featuring some rare cards.

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For all the Xbox One users this week the July system update will land for you, within the  new features and improvements based on user Feedback including the new ‘Snap Achievements’ feature. Other additions include:

Snap Mode for Achievements. Microsoft is offering an easier way to track and view your achievements in the moment. With Achievement Snap, you can track your achievement progress in real time without ever leaving the game. You can also ‘Get Help’ on any Achievements you’re struggling with. Xbox will scan the web for you and deliver relevant tips and strategy content right to your TV.

  • Double-tap to Snap.  Double-tap the Xbox button on your controller to bring up Snap Centre, where you can launch Achievements or any other snap-able app, without leaving your game. Already have an app snapped? Double-tap quickly switches between your game and the snapped app.
  • Choice of Spoken Language. Folks in New Zealand, Ireland and Austria, with this update in July, will be able to select voice control using the English or German voice models from other countries.  And if you’re an expat in an English-speaking country, you, too, can choose any of the other English language models that fit you.
  • Future Digital Bundles and Compilation Discs. We’re doing some work now so that publishers will have options for great digital bundle and disc compilation offerings in the future. As we test this feature, we’ll be seeing more flexible combinations of game titles and game content.
  • ‘Like’ Game DVR clips. We’re adding the ability to ‘Like’ all your favourite Game DVR clips as well as activity feed items in SmartGlass.

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In case you missed it last week, Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition has been released on the Xbox One.

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Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition is published through the ID@XBOX program, exclusively on the Xbox One. Ultimate Edition includes all of the downloadable content that was ever created for the game, plus a new pack of car skins that hasn’t been released on any other platform. We didn’t want to just throw the extra DLC into the package so we’ve modified the Blood Race campaign to include the additional cars as rewards for winning the tournaments. The game now features 31 story missions, 36 Blood Race events, 9 Slaughter arenas and 15 drivable vehicles.

Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition is available now from the Xbox Store priced £11.99.

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In case you missed it, Another World 20th Anniversary Edition was released last week on Xbox One.

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Also known as Out Of This World, Another World is a pioneer action/platformer that released across more than a dozen platforms since its debut in 1991.

Along the years, Another World has attained cult status among critics and sophisticated gamers alike.

An immersive adventure with unique storytelling, Another World chronicles the story of Lester Knight Chaykin a young scientist hurtled through space and time by a nuclear experiment that goes wrong.

A remastered presentation: a joint effort between visionary game-designer Eric Chahi and developer Martial Hesse Dreville, Another World is back in its 20th Anniversary Edition with Full High Definition graphics faithful to the original design.

It’s available now from the Xbox Store for £6.49.

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In case you missed it, Sixty Second Shooter Prime was just released for the Xbox One.

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Sixty Second Shooter Prime is a twin stick shooter with a sixty second time limit. You’ll be surprised how fun that is. You have one minute – and one life! – with which to deal as much destruction as possible. The enemy hordes are relentless, so only the sharpest wits and the fastest reflexes will prevail. Will you press your luck and fly to the deep levels where the truly treacherous foes await? The clock is always ticking in this fast-paced dual-stick shooter. But thankfully, our intrepid scientists at Happion Laboratories have developed all-new weapons to help you in those sixty seconds of hell. Use missiles to build a large chain bonus or lure your opponents into deadly remote-detonating bombs. With these tools at your disposal, you can develop all kinds of strategies to make that minute last a lifetime!

Sixty Second Shooter Prime is available now for £3.99.

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