NHL 15

    NHL 15 for Xbox One is now available as a playable demo. The upcoming hockey game releases on September 9 and will be the first NHL game in this new console generation. Use the Xbox One SmartGlass app on your Windows Phone to begin the download right now, so it's ready to play when you get home.

    NHL 15 launches in two weeks on Xbox One and Xbox 360, though you're going to want the Xbox One for some "next-generation" features. Look forward to the following new features in NHL 15:

    • 12 player NHL collision physics
    • Revamped and real puck physics
    • Authentic NHL Areas
    • Authentic player and equipment models
    • Superstar skill stick
    • New commentary team

    Search for "NHL 15" on your Xbox One to find a playable demo. Or fire up the Xbox One SmartGlass app on your Windows Phone. From there just search for "NHL 15" and you can begin downloading the game to your console.

    Which team are you going to play as this season? Me? The Kings!

    (We'll add the Xbox One link once it goes live in a few hours, for now you'll have to search for it)

    Via: EA Sports


    Project cars Namco Bandai Xbox One

    When console gamers think of Namco Bandai, they probably think of Pac-Man or Dragonball Z. But you might not know that Namco also publishes quite a few racing games – they have no less than three racers planned for Xbox consoles later this year. Let's look at that lineup!

    Project CARS will make a big splash on Xbox One this November. On Xbox 360, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2, Digimon All-Star Rumble, F1 2014, and MotoGP 2014 all arrive this fall. Finally, Dragonball Xenoverse and Tekken 7 are coming in 2015. Read on for impressions and trailers!

    Coming in 2014

    Project CARS

    The Xbox One already has a strong racing lineup, with Forza 5 filling in the simulation end of the spectrum and the upcoming Forza Horizon providing a more arcade-style experience. Project CARS from developer Slightly Mad Studios and Namco Bandai play much closer to Forza 5 than Horizon, as it aims to be a serious racing simulation.

    Project cars Namco Bandai Xbox One

    The scope of the racing is one thing that sets Project CARS apart – players will take control of a wide variety of vehicles, including karts! The developers promise over 60 different tracks, including real-world tracks like the Silverstone Circuit, the Hockenheimring, and the Dubai Autodrome. That's a lot of road to tear up!

    Another unique feature is 2-player co-op! Players can team up as driver and co-driver, which sounds like a lot of fun. The game will also feature dynamic weather (cool!) and user-created content.

    Project CARS is due out on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC on November 30.

    Digimon All-Star Rumble

    It has been much too long since a Digimon game came to America. You'd think the series had died, but it's still going strong in Japan. All-Star Rumble is the sequel to Digimon Rumble Arena 2, which graced the original Xbox way back in 2004!

    The story of All-Star Rumble involves the "Digimon Evolution Tournament," a competition meant to restore the Digimon's lost ability to Digivolve (transform) into more powerful monsters. The campaign provides an actual story as well as 3D stages to explore.

    Digimon All-Star Rumble Xbox 360

    The Digimon Rumble games started out as Super Smash Bros. clones, but All-Star Rumble opens up the stages a lot more. Up to four local players can battle it out in 10 different stages. The controls are designed to be easy to learn, making this a great fighting game for kids and family.

    The stars of the show are (of course) the Digimon themselves. All-Star Rumble allows players to select from 12 Digimon favorites, including Agumon, Biyomon, Dorulmon, Gabumon, Gatomon, Gomamon, Shoutmon, Tentomon, and Veemon. Each monster can Digivolve into a different form, doubling the total number of characters.

    Digimon Rumble Arena arrives on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on November 11. Yes, I still like Digimon and I'm excited for this one!

    F1 2014

    F1 2014

    We covered the announcement of F1 2014 earlier this summer. The game is being developed by racing experts Codemasters and published by Namco Bandai in some territories.

    This year's F1 game promises another serious racing simulation. But a new driver evaluation system will make the game more accessible to beginners by tuning settings to the player's skill level. That sounds useful to me, as I tend to slide around and bump into things a lot in racers!

    The game features many authentic tracks, such as Austria's Spielberg circuit, a track filled with dramatic elevation changes. This is the first time the Spileberg circuit has appeared in one of Codemaster's games. Three more tracks make their debuts in F1 2014, including the Sochi Circuit in Russia, the Hockenheimring (also seen in Project Cars), and the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    F1 2014 arrives on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC on October 17. An Xbox One version is planned for next year.

    MotoGP 2014

    The latest in Namco Bandai's long-running MotoGP series comes from Italian developer Milestone s.r.l., who also made last year's version. If you're a fan of motorocycle racing, MotoGP is pretty much the only game in town.

    This year's MotoGP features a whopping 18 tracks and more than 100 riders to put them to the test. Players can also create and customize their own unique riders and then put them through a detailed career mode.

    All official nike manufacturers and racing classes appear as well, making for an highly authentic experience. Namco Bandai calls 2014 the most refined entry in the series.

    MotoGP 2014 crosses the finish line on Xbox 360 and Playstation consoles on November 4. Let's hope we get an Xbox One version next year!

    Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 Xbox 360

    Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2

    Last year, the CG animated cartoon series Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures debuted on the Disney XD channel. The show finally arrived on Netflix recently, and I must say it's quite a good show for kids. It must be doing pretty well, because Disney renewed it for another season.

    Naturally Namco Bandai released an Xbox 360 game based on the Ghostly Adventures last fall, which we previewed from E3. The sequel promises more of the same great 3D platforming and colorful Pac-Man worlds. Think Mario 64-style gameplay, but with Pac-Man and ghosts.

    Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 Xbox 360

    Like the first game, Pac-Man can eat special power pellets to gain unique costumes and powers. One new transformation will change him into a towering Pac-zilla! And new to this game, players will get to control Pac's friends from the show: Cylindria and Spiral. The gang will travel through a variety of stages, including an undersea habitat and outer space.

    Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 arrives on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii U on October 14.

    • Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 – Xbox 360 – $39.99 – Amazon Preorder

    Coming in 2015

    Dragonball Z Xenoverse

    Dragonball Xenoverse

    This year finally saw the US theatrical debut of Dragonball Z: Battle of the Gods. I caught it and came away totally impressed with the amazingly fast action and reverence for the pre-Dragonball Z era of the series. Next year, Dragonball Z fans can look forward to the most exciting DBZ game in ages.

    What sets Xenoverse apart from the thousands of previous Dragonball Z games? Players get to create their own male or female custom characters, choosing from human, Saiyan, Namek, and Majin. You'll play as that character in the all-new story mode, which centers around a hub area called Toki Toki City.

    Dragonball Z Xenoverse

    The game is scheduled to feature exploration on top of actual fighting… But there will still be crazy-fast battles for up to four players. Thanks to the power of the new consoles, character faces will express emotion and pain during battle.

    There are plenty of Dragonball games in the sea, but this marks the series' first appearance on Xbox One. Xbox 360 players won't have to miss out either, since Xenoverse is coming to previous gen consoles as well.

    Tekken 7

    If fighting while flying through the air and firing planet-destroying bursts of energy are too fantastical for you, the slightly more grounded Tekken 7 might be more to your liking. The seventh numbered entry in the long-running Tekken series will be powered by Unreal Engine 4, making for better visuals than ever before.

    Namco Bandai hasn't revealed much about Tekken 7's actual gameplay, instead focuses on story teases. This entry promises to conclude the "Mishima clan saga" that has evolved throughout past games. Players will learn the mysteries behind elderly antagonist Heihachi's misdeeds, including the murder of his wife.

    Tekken 7 is due out on unnamed platforms in 2015. The safe money is on Xbox One will being one of those platforms. We'll have more news in the months to come!

    That's all for this preview, loyal readers. Which of Namco Bandai's games are you most excited about?


    Ever since Microsoft decoupled the Kinect sensor from the Xbox One, the one lingering question was when would they sell it as a stand-alone unit? Offering an Xbox One without the Kinect sensor made financial sense in Microsoft's struggle against Sony, but it does not mean that people may never want to want to buy the Kinect at a later point. Until now though, there was no option to do so.

    Windows Phone Central has now learned that Microsoft is planning to sell the stand-alone Kinect sensor for $149 beginning on or around October 6. The timing is ideal as it leads well into the holiday season in the US and other countries, making the add-on an excellent gift for those who already own an Xbox One without the next-gen accessory.

    Presumably, you should be able to pick up the stand-alone version from stores like Best Buy, Target, and Microsoft, just like buying an Xbox console. Regional availability for the stand-alone Kinect is not known at this time, though the US market is definitely the first to get it.

    Microsoft took a gamble with a $499 price mark for the Xbox One with Kinect sensor bundle when compared to the Sony PlayStation 4 assessed at $399. Priced equally, sans Kinect, and early numbers reflect the Xbox One recouping some lost ground, although it remains to be seen if Microsoft's console can ever catch up to – let alone surpass – Sony.

    Have you bought out an Xbox One without Kinect?


    destiny

    Microsoft is allowing Xbox One owners to pre-load and pre-order the digital versions of Bungie's long awaited sci-fi shooter Destiny before the game is officially released on September 9th.

    This will likely be a huge but welcome surprise for gamers who have been waiting to play Destiny but didn't want to bother with buying a physical disc. The digital purchase and pre-load for both the regular version of the game, the Vanguard Amory pre-order incentive, and the special digital edition is already available in Europe, according to our tipster. In the US, the pre-load and pre-ordering is still unavailable on the Xbox One but we would bet it will be going live soon.

    Pre-loads mean that Xbox One owners can download most of the game well ahead of its September 9th release date and they will be able to grab the final files on 12:01 am Pacific Time on that day to start playing Destiny right away. Are you excited that the game will be available for digital buyers in this fashion?

    Update It looks like Microsoft might have turned the keys on the Destiny digital pre-orders a little early as those links are now no longer available. However, it's likely that this was just a case of the company jumping the gun a bit and that Destiny will officially be available for digital pre-orders soon.

    Thanks to Dawid for the tip!


    Need for Speed

    Need for Speed Rivals on Xbox One can be yours for just $25. You'll need to be an Xbox Live Gold member to take advantage of this deal since it's a "Deals with Gold" promo. You'll also be able to pick up Killer Instinct character Sabrewulf for 60 percent off.

    Need for Speed Rivals on Xbox One normally retails digitally for $49.99, but can be yours for $25. Would you rather have a disc? Amazon Prime members can snag it right now for $29.99.

    Has anyone played Need for Speed Rivals on Xbox One? What did you think of the game?


    Xbox One SmartGlass

    Microsoft has updated Xbox One SmartGlass for Windows Phone and Windows 8.1. Today's update brings features from the beta like threaded messages, status updates more for Xbox One fans on Windows Phone and Windows.

    Head into the Windows Phone Store and you'll find Xbox One SmartGlass listed at version 1.0.6.0.

    Here are the new features you'll find in both the Windows Phone and Windows version:

    • Share and post activity feed items
    • Post status updates to your activity feed
    • See your activity feed on your profile
    • Display messages in a new conversations view
    • Record game clips
    • In-app display of release and feature notes
    • Expanding to new markets
    • TV and OneGuide available in new markets
    • Bug fixes

    Grab the update and let us know what you think!

    Thanks for the tips everyone!

    QR: Xbox One SmartGlass


    Stick it to the Man Xbox One

    After enduring a small release drought over the last couple of months, the floodgates of new Xbox One games have finally opened back up. Last week we got Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition at retail and two indie games: The Golf Club and surprise hit Fibbage to download. This week, Metro Redux Bundle hits retail while another ID@Xbox game makes its downloadable debut: Stick it to the Man from Swedish developer Zoink! Games and Ripstone Publishing (Pure Pool).

    Stick it to the Man is a 2.5D platformer with clever visuals that often appear to be made out of paper. A surprisingly witty and story heavy game, players take on the role of a hapless guy who gets infested with an alien parasite. The parasite causes a giant stretchy arm to grow from his head, which can be used to swing from objects and read other characters' minds. Can your Xbox One handle such a weird and creative little game? Let our impressions and hands-on video help you decide!

    Stick it to the Man Xbox One

    It's raining little green men

    While Stick it to the Man is technically a puzzle platformer, it also qualifies as an adventure game thanks to a heavy helping of story.

    One day "average Joe" Ray Doewood is walking home from his job as a hard hat tester when a mysterious canister falls from the sky and knocks him into a coma. The canister unleashes a parasite that quickly makes its home in Ray, giving him strange and fantastic powers. Meanwhile, the shadowy governmental organization that lost the parasite (run by THE MAN) will stop at nothing to get it back.

    The whole thing is fully voiced and endearingly silly. Characters often reference how their world is made of paper, and Ray even respawns from color copy machines when he dies. The game would have worked even without the paper world setting, but that flourish makes the game so much more vibrant and unique.

    Stick it to the Man Xbox One

    Stretch Armstrong

    Now that Ray has a funky glowing arm stretching out of his head (which nobody else can see), he'll have to learn to use it. At its most basic, the arm can grapple onto pushpins and pull our hero up onto new platforms. Soon Ray learns to use the arm to pull on tears in the background, revealing new areas behind them. And naturally the arm can pick up objects and use them on other objects.

    Stick it to the Man Xbox One

    The arm's most unique power, though, has to be reading people's minds. Ray can attach his new appendage to the brains of anyone he meets (even dead people!), hearing their innermost thoughts and desires. These exchanges are often quite funny, but they also serve a purpose. Many of the game's puzzles revolve around helping people based on the contents of their noggins. Ray can even make enemies see things that aren't there so that he can sneak past them.

    The arm mechanics remind me a little of fellow Xbox One platformer Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. Both games involve remotely interacting with different parts of the environment. That said, aiming the arm in Stick it to the Man doesn't seem as intuitive as the aiming in Max. When you have multiple objects close together, it's tough to pick just the one you want. Hopefully it becomes easier with practice.

    The Achievements should be pretty easy, by the way. They all involve reading minds or avoiding specific dangers. Don't worry about missing those dangers. The game is broken up into ten chapters, which you can replay at will.

    Sticking it to You-know-who

    Stick it to the Man is a relatively short game (5-6 hours), not unlike fellow artistic platformer Contrast. But this one rings up at ten bucks, making the brevity much easier to swallow. For that price you'll get to experience a striking cartoon world, a strange and silly story, and plenty of platforming and puzzle solving. Plus you get to stick it to the man. That guy pretty much has it coming.

    • Stick it to the Man – Xbox One – 1.8 GB – $9.99 – Xbox.com Link

    halo reach

    Microsoft will give Xbox 360 owners two free games in September via its Games for Gold program while the Xbox One will get one free game during that same month.

    From September 1-15, Xbox 360 owners who are signed up for the paid Xbox Live Gold service can download Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine. It's descibed as a "team-based, top-down, stealth-puzzle game featuring retro-style graphics and a really interesting plot." From September 16-30, the Xbox 360 gets Halo: Reach for free. It's the final game in the Halo first person shooter series that was developed by Bungie. Their latest game, Destiny, will be released for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One on September 9.

    Speaking of the Xbox One, owners with Xbox Live Gold will be able to download Super Time Force during the entire month of September for free. It's a retro-looking side scroller shooter that has a cool "time-reverse" feature that not only lets players try again but also has them fight alongside their previous "ghost". In addition, Crimson Dragon, which is already available as a free download for the Xbox One, will stay free during the month of September.

    What do you think of the selection of games for Games for Gold in September?

    Source: Xbox Wire


    destiny

    After a false start on Wednesday, Microsoft has officially announced that Xbox One owners can now pre-purchase and pre-load the digital version of Bungie's long awaited sci-fi shooter Destiny.

    There are actually two versions of the game players can purchase and pre-load; the regular pre-order edition for $59.99 and the Digital Guardian Edition for $89.99 that has a number of extra in-game content items and free access to the Destiny Expansion Pass, for downloading two post-release DLC packs.

    • Xbox One Destiny Pre-Order Edition, available starting today for $59.99, including the standard game, plus access to the Vanguard Armory and Emblem pre-order bonus

    • Xbox One Destiny Digital Guardian Edition, available starting today for $89.99, including the standard game, plus access to the Vanguard Armory and Emblem pre-order bonus, an exclusive Ghost Shell, Player Ship, and Player Emblem, and the Destiny Expansion Pass – an online pass for two upcoming Destiny Expansions featuring all new storylines, new cooperative and competitive activities, and new weapons, armor, and gear to earn

    Pre-loading means that Xbox One owners will be able to download most of the files for Destiny well ahead of the game's September 9th release date. The final bits of the game will be unlocked at 12:01 am Pacifc time on that day.

    What do you think of Microsoft offering the digital version of Destiny for pre-loading on the Xbox One?

    Source: Major Nelson


    Titanfall

    Respawn has just announced the sixth game update for Titanfall. This update will bring new game modes, burn card mechanics and more. Titanfall gets better with each update and we think you're going to like what's in store for you with this sixth game update.

    New game modes and features:

    Pilot Skirmish is the New Featured Game Mode - Pilot Skirmish is an 8v8 mode with no AI and no Titans. Due to the difference in player sizes with the rest of the game modes, Pilot Skirmish will not be among the game modes played when choosing Variety Pack playlist.

    Marked For Death is Now its own Permanent Game Mode! - When we first introduced Marked For Death, we were planning to rotate it out for another mode after a couple of weeks, but the enduring popularity of the mode convinced us to bring it on full-time. There will now be a Marked For Death playlist to choose from, along with custom Marked For Death loadouts to unlock.

    Pssst...wanna buy a burn card? - Black Market Daily Deals now include the ability to buy individual Burn Cards from a limited, ever shifting stock. These items are in short supply, so prices may vary.

    Gambling is for Winners - Roll the Dice is a new ultra-rare Burn Card that gives you the ability to tap into your entire deck from inside a match. It's the Fabergé Egg of burn cards if you will.

    Burn Card Auto Fill - Toggle the new Burn Card Auto Fill option in the Burn Card Menu and it will automatically fill empty Burn Card slots for you. Never fight empty-handed again.

    Late to the Game - Joining late is no longer penalized. If you join a match that is more than half way over and your team is not winning, a loss will not be counted on your record. If the match is a win for your team, we'll count it as one. We've also added a warning message noting you will receive a loss on your record by leaving a match in progress.

    Gameplay changes

    • Titans no longer show up on the minimap when they dash.
    • Atlas and Stryder melee damage values have been switched to mirror their original design intent. The Titan melee damage order is now: Stryder, Atlas, Ogre from least to most. This is also consistent with the hierarchy of damage for the Big Punch mod.
    • To stem the influx of Burn Cards at higher levels, the Bonus XP-to-Credits conversion rate for max level players has been adjusted.
    • As part of the pan-galactic stimulus package, credits for selling rare Burn Cards have been increased from 200 to 400.

    There are also numerous bug fixes coming to all platforms. Here are the Xbox One specific bug fixes:

    • Fixed issue where a user couldn't sign in to Titanfall if there is a second account on the system which has access to Titanfall DLC content which the first user doesn't.
    • Fixed incorrect leave game dialog behavior when in a party.
    • Connecting a SmartGlass device to the X1 while Titanfall is running should no longer cause a crash.
    • You should no longer be able to get behind walls when rodeoing a Titan that is ejecting on Relic.
    • Titan OS no longer says that you are being attacked by an Enemy Pilot when you are inside an enemy Dome Shield.

    We're happy to see Respawn continue to update and improve Titanfall. No exact release date for the changes above has been shared, we just know it's coming out "soon". We'll keep you posted.

    Source: Respawn


    walking dead

    Pinball FX2, the virtual pinball game from developer Zen Studios, had added a new paid table to its library of virtual pinball machines for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 game consoles, and this one is based on the mega-hit Walking Dead zombie franchise.

    This particular Walking Dead table is not based directly on the comic book or the hit AMC series but rather the recent first season of the adventure game developed by Telltale Games. Zen Studios says:

    "With recognizable locations from Clementine's treehouse and Everett's pharmacy in Macon down to the walker-infested streets of Savannah, players will find a breathtaking retelling of Season One that keeps the peril and drama of Lee and Clementine's story intact."

    Unfortunately, people who own both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles won't be able to transfer their Walking Dead table purchase from the Xbox 360 port of Pinball FX 2 to the recent launched Xbox One version yet. Zen Studios says, "We are continuing to work with Microsoft in regards to how new tables will transfer from Xbox 360 to Xbox One, but no decision has been finalized at this point. If we can make it happen, the imports/transfers would go from Xbox 360 to Xbox One only, as we are doing now with legacy content. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."

    What do you think of the addition of the Walking Dead table for Pinball FX 2?

    Source: Zen Studios


    Xbox One

    There's a new update ready for your Xbox One! A worldwide rollout has just started that will give Xbox One consoles new features like social features, party system updates, and the highly anticipated media player. That's right, the Xbox One September update is ready in August.

    Those in the Xbox One preview program have been using these features for a few weeks, but now everyone will soon be able to watch and listen to nearly any media type on their Xbox One.

    Here's what's new in today's update rolling out:

    • A new Media Player app: Play media files from an attached USB device with the new media player app – DLNA support for your home media servers is coming soon. Xbox One will support more formats than Xbox 360, including support for dozens of new file formats like Mpeg 2 TS, animated gifs and MKV, which will be added by the end of the year.
    • Party on in the new and improved Party App: Be the leader of your party with the new party leader setting. As the party leader, you can change whether the party requires invitations and you can remove others from the party. The updated app also lets you see what activities everyone in your party is doing and who is playing in the same game with you in addition to being able to quickly perform common actions like muting, joining, or sending game invites.
    • New features for SmartGlass: You can now post status messages from the Activity Feed and comments, or share items from both your Activity Feed and Game Clips. Along with the new comment and share features, a personalized Activity Feed has been added to your profile and messages have been updated to a new layout supporting a full conversation view. Additionally, we are adding the ability to record game clips directly from the Now Playing bar. Finally, for users who upgrade the app directly, we have introduced a What's New page highlighting the features of each release.
    • "Xbox On" capabilities in Australia, Canada (French), Italy, Spain and Mexico: New regions will have the ability to use the "Xbox On" Kinect voice command to power on their consoles when they're in connected standby (Instant On) mode.
    • OneGuide comes to Brazil, Mexico, Austria, and Ireland: The ability to configure live TV listings will be available to all customers in these four countries. Also coming to these markets is the ability to use OneGuide and the Universal Remote Control in SmartGlass.
    • Boot to TV: Now Xbox One owners will be able to set their console to boot directly to television when coming out of connected standby.
    • Bandwidth Usage Display: Bandwidth Usage will show users how much bandwidth their Xbox One is consuming over a period of time, a useful tool for those who want to track against bandwidth caps set by ISPs in certain markets.
    • Save your Avatar Gamerpic: A new option to save Avatar Gamerpics to users' OneDrive.
    • GameDVR deletes: Users will be able to choose multiple GameDVR clips to delete at once in the Upload app.

    This is one of the best updates yet to the Xbox One. Which feature are you most excited for?

    Want to grab the update now and not wait for your console to automatically update? Head into your system settings and click 'system update'. The update is rolling out to users around the globe, so you might not be able to click system update button just yet.

    Source: Xbox


    State of Decay Xbox One announced

    The Xbox One launched with an exclusive game called Dead Rising 3 that, statistically speaking, contains all of the zombies. That game is all about putting hundreds of zombies on-screen at once and then letting players drive cars through them. Plus you can play dress up! It's not the most serious zombie game in the world.

    Next year though, the zombie fighting on Xbox One is going to get deadly serious. Today Microsoft and developer Undead Labs announced that Xbox 360 fan-favorite survival fantasy game State of Decay will be coming to Xbox One in 2015! The new edition will include new and improved 1080p visuals, all previous DLC, and brand new content as well. State of Decay: Year One Survivor Edition will be anything but decayed.

    Fighting off the zombie hordes

    State of Decay was originally released as an XBLA game in June 2013, where it went on to become one of the best-selling XBLA games of all time. If you haven't played the game, prepare for a fairly realistic depiction of human life after a zombie apocalypse. We're talking about a third-person action game with RPG and strategy elements, a combination which makes for a deep and challenging experience.

    Step outside into State of Decay's world and you'll find that hordes of zombies roam the streets. You'll have to evade and/or kill them as you work to gather supplies and rescue fellow survivors. These survivors will join your crew and either help you going out scavenging or stay at home and defend your base.

    As the player, you'll have to carefully choose how much time you spend outside of the base and how much time you spend at home, fortifying against the countless zombies plaguing the area. Spend too much time away and your base not be strong enough to keep its inhabitants safe. But if you don't go out and look for supplies, you'll run short of food, medicine, ammo, and other materials necessary for survival.

    Meanwhile, the team you take out scavenging can fall prey to zombies all too easily. You might enter a house looking for food and find that one of your partners has gotten overwhelmed. You'll want to help them develop their skills as fighters, but don't get too attached.

    Another big difference between State of Decay and Dead Rising is that State of Decay has a more grounded story. It follows the player's attempts to meet up with the military who are fighting the zombie hordes. But the military might have another agenda besides simply rescuing civilians… And the story only advances when you complete specific objectives, so you're free to focus on survival if you prefer.

    State of Decay Xbox One announced

    Year One Survivor Edition

    The upcoming Xbox One version of State of Decay promises a number of improvements.

    Whereas the Xbox 360 version always suffered from performance issues and bugs, the Xbox One version will (presumably) run much smoother. We know the visuals have been upgraded to 1080p, the character animations have been enhanced, and new graphical effects have been added. Let's hope the team at Undead Labs can get the frame rate up to 60 frames per second, too!

    Both of the previously released DLC packs, "Breakdown" and "Lifeline" will be included in the new edition. Breakdown adds a true sandbox mode with no ending. Players simply try to last as long as they can, while optionally searching for an RV that will trigger an increase in the overall difficulty. As for Lifeline, it lets players manage a military base that gets besieged by increasingly dangerous zombie raids.

    The Year One Survivor Edition will also include new content, including new mission types. Undead Labs promises to reveal more details about the new content as the game's spring 2015 release date approaches. That's a long wait, but you can always try the Xbox 360 or Steam versions in the meantime.

    • State of Decay – Xbox 360 – 1.81 GB – $19.99 – Xbox.com Link

    Dying Light coming to Xbox One

    Earlier today, Microsoft announced that zombie survival game State of Decay will be coming to Xbox One in 2015 as State of Decay: Year One Survivor Edition. Based on the quality of the original Xbox 360 version, that game should be the ultimate survival fantasy game when it arrives on Microsoft's latest console. Or so I'd have thought…

    As it turns out, 505 Games (publishers of Sniper Elite III) have also just announced an Xbox One zombie game called How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition. With a mix of survival elements, humor, and co-op gameplay, How to Survive should be able to carve its own niche when it arrives this fall. Meanwhile, Polish developer Techland and Warner Bros. are preparing a first-person open-world zombie game called Dying Light for both Xbox One and 360 to be released in early 2015. Read on for impressions and trailers!

    How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition

    Like State of Decay, How to Survive originated as an XBLA game. This one launched in October of last year, right around the time that everyone was gearing up for the new console launches. As such, it flew under a lot of gamers' radars, including mine. And that's a shame, because it actually looks really cool.

    You play as one of three survivors who has become stranded on a zombie-infested island. Like the average person, they have little idea of how to handle the situation on their own. Luckily, an eccentric survival nut has created a "How to Survive" guide for just such an emergency. You'll hunt down the pages of the guide, which contains useful (and funny) words to live by.

    How to Survive

    How to Survive takes place from an overhead view and controls like a twin-stick shooter. But it's still a survival game like State of Decay. Your character has three basic needs: food, water, and sleep that must be met in order to stay alive and kicking. You'll have to hunt animals for food, gather water from wells, and find safe places to rest as you navigate the island's perils.

    Besides exploring, foraging, and zombie killing, you'll also have to complete RPG-style quests for fellow survivors. Completing these quests, as well as fighting enemies and crafting unique objects, gains EXP for your character. Use it to purchase upgrades for a skill tree, personalizing your character while gaining useful benefits like a reduced need for sleep.

    Best of all, How to Survive has that one major element that State of Decay (as far as we know) lacks: cooperative multiplayer! Two players can team up on one system or online in order to face the zombie island together. Since each character has his or her own strengths and abilities, you'll be able to complement your partner and hopefully keep each other safe.

    How to Survive

    The Xbox One version of How to Survive naturally includes a few improvements over last year's release. No word on graphical enhancements (though a 1080p resolution is likely), but the developers promise new maps, characters, modes, weapons and survival tips. And the Storm Warning Edition will include an arsenal of content that was previously sold as DLC:

    • Heat Wave DLC to equip the 3 original playable characters with fireproof suits and teach them the ability to craft incendiary ammo.
    • Kovac's way DLC, which introduces an additional difficulty level to the game with new and demanding gameplay conditions.
    • Hello, My name is Nina DLC. Presenting an additional character with the ability to craft flamethrowers and advanced chainsaws.
    • "El Diablo" Islands DLC where players will discover new islands, meet new characters and face unpredictable threats.
    • One Shot Escape DLC. Allowing players to roam the islands on a highly randomized scenario trying to find and repair an escape vehicle.
    • Barricade! DLC. Introduces a new game mode where players will try to protect survivors as long as they can, setting traps and barricades.

    It sounds like How to Survive will be less serious and more fast-paced than State of Decay. In any case, it will help keep us all busy as we wait for State of Decay (and Dying Light) to come along in 2015. How to Survive: Storm Warning Edition comes to Xbox One and Playstation 4 this fall.

    Dying Light – February 2015

    Whereas State of Decay has a third-person behind-the-back view and How to Survive uses an overhead view, Dying Light mixes things up by taking place in first-person. No surprise since developer Techland also made the Dead Island series. But Dying Light focuses much more on speed and mobility, to the point that it almost looks like a zombie-themed take on Mirror's Edge.

    Players will have to navigate in a zombie-infested city. The zombies are suitably slow, but they become much more dangerous in numbers. Avoiding them seems to be surprisingly natural and intuitive thanks to your character's parkour-like skills. You can run, jump, and climb things with ease, using the rooftops to get around safely while armies of the undead congregate below. It looks great in motion.

    Still, sometimes fighting will be the only way to survive. Dying Light favors melee combat over ranged combat, allowing players to wield over 100 different weapons against the zombies. Those zombies come apart and splatter in a truly visceral and thrilling way when struck with wrenches and other objects. Players will also be able to pull off a number of melee moves, such as jumping over one zombie and kicking another as you land, grappling and throwing an enemy out of a window, or snapping an unsuspecting zombie's neck.

    Dying Light coming to Xbox One

    Dying Light is an open-world game, so players have plenty of freedom to explore. It also incorporates a day-and-night cycle. During the daytime, you can focus on completing quests and finding useful crafting materials. But at night, zombies actually transform, becoming faster and gaining the ability to jump and climb to chase hapless humans. You'll have to play more stealthily and use an infrared-like feature called "Night Sense" during the night cycle if you want to see the sunrise.

    Being a much larger and more graphically intensive game than How to Survive, Dying Light won't offer local multiplayer. But it does promise 4-player online co-op, which should be even more exciting. Dead Island worked really well in co-op, and I'm sure Dying Light will as well. You'll want somebody watching your back when the sun starts to go down!

    Dying Light is due out on Xbox One and 360, Playstation consoles, and PC in February 2015.

    Dying Light coming to Xbox One

    Zombies games on the rise

    Let's count: How to Survive and Telltale's The Walking Dead are on their way to Xbox One this year, with Dying Light, State of Decay, and Dead Island 2 coming next year.

    Still, I wouldn't say that we're going to be overrun with zombie games on Xbox One just yet. The zombie apocalypse is just an enduring setting that allows for a variety of different interpretations. All of the games I just mentioned (plus Dead Rising 3) differ in significant ways, with widely varying game mechanics, survival elements, multiplayer features, and tones.

    What do you guys think of How to Survive and Dying Light? Will you get one or both of these games, or hold out for State of Decay?


    Lockout

    Destiny and Sunset Overdrive will be two fun games on your Xbox One in the near future, but Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the game that has me hyped the most. Today Microsoft revealed Lockout as the next map in Halo 2 that will be remastered. Check out this gameplay footage for some beautiful Halo action.

    Don't fret over the falling ice in the gameplay video, you should know that's a game mechanic that can be turned on or off.

    Here's Certain Affinity president Max Hoberman on the new Lockout:

    "Lockout was hands-down the most popular small arena-style map in Halo 2. We're thrilled to be bringing this fan-favorite back, and are paying close attention to the details and subtleties that made the original great while also making a couple of very careful, very calculated enhancements. Most prominent among these are a bit of cover added to the 'Elbow,' the long walkway connecting the grav lift to the sniper tower, and a dynamic element that should help counter an entrenched group of enemies. Of course this can be disabled in Forge for players who want a near-match of the original experience."

    There will be six remastered maps for the anniversary edition of Halo 2 included in The Master Chief Collection. So far we know of Ascension, Coagulation, Zanzibar and Sanctuary. The sixth has yet to be revealed, but we're wondering which Halo 2 map you'd like to see remastered?

    Source: Xbox