Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Psychological horror slasher Hellblade goes platinum

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

There’s something about the very concept of ‘a million’ that sticks in the mind. It’s one of those nice, round numbers that still remains hard to visualise due to its sheer enormity. For instance, if you were to print DVD cases for all one million copies sold (across PC, PS4 & Xbox One) of Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, you’d have a million DVD cases, and I cannot even begin to parse how much space that’d take up. Still, it’s a hell of a success, considering that the game itself was a gamble, both business-wise (making ‘AAA Indie’ a thing) and thematically.

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Halo 5: Guardians looks to be coming to Windows 10, too

Halo 5: Guardians

With Halo Infinite confirmed for release on PC (Windows 10, at least), it seems that Microsoft are easing up on the stranglehold that has kept the series console-exclusive for so long. The changes might just be retroactive, too, as eagle-eyed folks on Reddit spotted that Halo 5: Guardians is now listed on the Xbox site as being both an Xbox and Windows 10 game, although it’s not up yet on the Windows 10 storefront.

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Every PC game at Microsoft’s E3 2018 conference

Microsoft had a lot of games to announce at E3 2018, but it’s a little murkier this year to find out what was relevant for PC users. Some games were coming to both, others only to their Xbox One consoles. You could of course watch the entire conference right here, but for some there just isn’t enough time to wade through the entire show.

Not to worry though, here are all the trailers and news for you in one place. There’s a surprising amount of variety in the announced titles: from an old favourite making a return, much celebrated developers showing off their new series, to even a completely free game launching very soon. The games below aren’t in any particular order but you’re in for a long ride.

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Microsoft buy Forza Horizon and Hellblade studios, and more

Microsoft have gone on a spending spree, buying four studios and opening a new one of their own. During their E3 pressblast tonight, Microsoft announced that they’ve picked up Forza Horizon developers Playground Games, Hellblade developers Ninja Theory, State Of Decay developers Undead Labs, and We Happy Few developers Compulsion Games. They’ve also opened The Initiative, a new studio in Santa Monica with a name like a faction of WWE heels. Read the rest of this entry »

Gears of War 5 isn’t the only new Gears game

gears-of-war-5

Gears of War is coming back in a big way. Today’s Microsoft E3 presser ended with a huge blast of Gears reveals. The first: a Funko based Gears of War game called Gears POP! which is… just bewildering? I don’t know. Are any of you Gearheads also big Funko collectors? Seems like a weird place to start bridging games into the Funkoverse, but it is also a mobile game so what am I even complaining about? The second announcement is Gears Tactics, which is an XCOM style game set 100 years before Gears 1. That… that makes a lot more sense than Funkos. And finally, there’s the big daddy announcement you all were waiting for: Gears of War 5 is indeed coming. We have two trailers and some storybits to enjoy today.
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Halo Infinite announced, returning to PC

John Halo is returning to PC with Halo Infinite, Microsoft announced today during their E3 presentation. It’s a bit of a mystery for now, but expect jeeps, ringworlds, and shiny helmets. Halo 2 was the last game in the main sci-fi FPS series released on PC, though Halo 5’s edit-o-sandbox Forge did come our way. Here, watch the announcement trailer. Read the rest of this entry »

When and where to watch the big E3 livestreams

Publishers are lining up to announce and show off their upcoming games at their big annual press conference-o-market-o-ramas, starting today. This is all livestreamed nowadays, and it’s certainly more comfortable to be watching from home than the conference rooms (sorry, Brendy), and it’s always a lark.

Cars descend from the rafters for no reason, lights flash, music plays, terrible terrible just awful jokes are told, YouTubers and Twitch streamers amble meekly onto stage, the assembled games media whoop and cheer wildly at the next year of mega-budget 7/10 games, and there are always pleasant surprises. Here’s who to watch, where, and when. Read the rest of this entry »

State of Decay 2 patch fixes some of the worst bugs

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Ah, there’s nothing like throwing a pipe bomb at a group of zombies, and having that pipe bomb freeze in mid-air right in front of your face and explode. State of Decay 2 wasn’t good at many things, but it was good at being a buggy jankfest. Now, a patch from developers Undead Labs includes fixes for the accidental facebomb, along with some more of the worst bugs, like disappearing health bars and doors that won’t stay open. The patch is 20 GB large, perhaps a testament to just how much of the zombie survival game was left unpolished when it released (for Windows 10 only) last month. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: State of Decay 2

state-of-decay-review-1

I’m driving home from a busy night of killing and the roads are empty, save for some legless grumblers. I sigh and look at my map, try to count the exclamation marks, when a voice comes on my radio. It’s probably the fifth voice I’ve heard tonight, and I half expect another plea for bullets from some faceless chump three doors down. But this time it’s one of my own, a member of my enclave. She’s just calling to tell me: Workshop level 3 complete.

“That’s one more item off the To Do list!” she says enthusiastically.

She’s right. State of Decay 2 feels like a massive To Do list. Read the rest of this entry »

State of Decay 2 is an overly familiar cart full of zombies

state-of-decay-impressions-1

I hope you like collecting groceries, because State of Decay 2 is basically a game of endless trips to the shops. The doomsday fantasy is one I enjoy, and few games approach it from this exact angle: a third-person do-it-yourself surviveathon in an open world. In a better universe, you could call it DayZ with direction, or The Walking Dead with freedom. But based on the time I’ve spent with it so far, about 10 hours or so, it feels like that intention has been clouded by antiquated ideas about what keeps players invested in a videogame. This is less an undead apocalypse, and more a town of timers, clocks and, unfortunately, bugs. Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller is coming to Windows 10 PCs later this year

Microsoft Xbox Adaptive Controller

After a week of rumours and leaked images, Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller is finally official – and it works with Windows 10 PCs, too. Designed to let people with limited mobility play games with their own button, joystick and switch setups, the controller is a fantastic step toward making games more accessible to those who can’t use a traditional Xbox controller or mouse and keyboard.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Boys are Blocky Now: FFXV skin pack for Minecraft

Cubism: The next frontier in selfies.

Minecraft is a strange phenomenon in gaming. Like a towering skyscraper, the mind stops recognizing it as a place for humans to inhabit, and it just becomes part of the landscape. Every now and then, something recognizable pokes out of a window and you’re forced to re-assess your outlook on the world. In this case, it’s the boys, girls and monsters of Final Fantasy XV, as they make a cameo appearance in the Windows 10/Cross-platform edition of the game.

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Halo Online returns with a bang as the fan-run ElDewrito

ElDewrito

Blasphemous as it sounds, I really like Halo. I like the floaty jumps, the slugfest combat where landing the first hit doesn’t always mean a win, the swooshy, slidey vehicles and the range of multiplayer modes. So naturally, Microsoft chose to release the free-to-play Halo Online in Russia only and cancel it before it could leave the early beta stages of development.

Legally fuzzy, perhaps, but thanks to a highly dedicated community and a lot of open-source poking around, development of Halo Online has quietly continued for years. Today, ElDewrito 0.6 is live, and it’s the best PvP Halo experience you can find on PC today.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: A 15in gaming laptop in disguise

surface-book-2-15-inch-review

Microsoft have been striving to present a stark alternative to Apple’s coffee-shop-ubiquitous Macbook line for a while now. In the past, their Surface range of (mostly) hybrid laptops/tablets have hardly been gaming machines, but that’s now changed with current range-topper, the shockingly expensive Surface Book 2. Its industrial edges and muted silver tones mean it announces itself as all business in the streets, but the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 tucked inside its detachable keyboard base makes a case for more than casual gaming in the sheets.

In theory, then, a gaming laptop not to feel hideously embarrassed by – not least because removing the keyboard and brandishing a hilariously large 15in tablet on the train will generate all the self-consciousness you could ever require.
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Below is absolutely real despite what you may believe

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 2.03.48 PM

The video game Below is absolutely going to happen. I know you can’t read my tone here but I am using my most Serious Voice. It’s probably coming out now. It may already be out. Who knows? Maybe we’ve already played it together and had a wonderful time. Do you remember that night? We all shared secrets and ate crisps. I had too many beers and you were like “Brock, don’t get drunk, we’ve been waiting so long for Below, we need to enjoy it together.” I said something inappropriate, but we all circled back and had a wonderful time. I apologized later to you in private and we’re all good now. Maybe we’re even closer because of the experience.

Point being, this weekend was another big video game conference and another chance for let leak a bit of news on a game that was first shown to us in 2013. And just enough leaked for us to have the conversation about the inevitability of Below yet again.

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Wot I Think: Sea of Thieves

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On the one hand, Sea of Thieves is a game so empty that recommending it feels like a dereliction of duty. On the other hand, I just chased down a man who killed me and threw a bucket of my own grog-induced vomit over him by way of revenge.

It’s the small things like that that can make Sea of Thieves triumphant, which is just as well, seeing as there’s just an empty mass of very pretty water where the big things should be. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Germans (and me) in a boat: finding my happy place in Sea Of Thieves

sea-of-thieves-multiplayer

I’ll go into this more in my full Sea of Thieves review (tomorrow, all being well), but my overwhelming feeling so far about Rare’s online pirate sim is that it’s a weirdly empty and inadequate game that can nevertheless be transformed into something oddly unforgettable if you manage to crew your ship with the right mateys. I’ve had many tedious or irritating voyages, defined by dull repetition or sudden gankings from other players acting like, well, pirates, but every miserable moment was thoroughly redeemed by my harmonious morning with The Germans. What a perfect sailing adventure it was.

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Sea of Thieves is fun until you meet other pirates

sea of thieves pirates

“More pirates!” I shouted at my matey, who we’ll call Andy because that’s his name. We’d both cleared our schedules so we could enjoy a leisurely cruise across Sea of Thieves’s striking azure ocean. This was our first sight of other players, and we were excited to get our instruments out and expand the size of our band. We jumped into the water to say hello. We were promptly shot.

Sea of Thieves is quite a lot of fun until you meet other pirates.

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Sea of Thieves is in final beta, finally

sea-of-thieves-kraken-battle

Sea of Thieves, the Microsoft open-world Jolly Rodger MMO, is finally in final beta. The title launches for realsies on March 20th, so this is the last chance for the community to test out the swashbuckling adventure before it becomes the biggest time-suck of your spring.

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