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Articles on this Page
- 08/28/15--16:47: _Call of Duty Black ...
- 08/28/15--18:28: _After months of wai...
- 08/29/15--12:56: _Watch our exclusive...
- 08/30/15--09:22: _This Week in Xbox O...
- 08/30/15--09:28: _EA Access members c...
- 08/30/15--14:03: _The final DLC pack ...
- 08/31/15--06:21: _Xbox One Elite Bund...
- 08/31/15--06:32: _Xbox One Lunar Whit...
- 08/31/15--07:28: _Deus Ex: Mankind Di...
- 08/31/15--08:58: _Any developer can n...
- 08/31/15--09:02: _Early impressions o...
- 08/31/15--12:52: _You can play Evolve...
- 08/31/15--23:55: _Out This Week on Xb...
- 09/01/15--02:30: _Score a discount on...
- 09/01/15--03:47: _Check out the actio...
- 08/29/15--12:56: Watch our exclusive preview of Nightmares from the Deep for Xbox One
- Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart – Windows Phone – 249 MB – $2.99 – Store Link
- Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart – Windows tablet and PC – 475 MB – $6.99 – Store Link
- 10 for Xbox One
- 10 for Steam
- Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare from EA – Play along with us and win EA Access codes as prizes!
- A quick look at Xbox streaming to YouTube Gaming with Elgato's Game Capture HD cards
- Xbox One Mini is not happening, says Phil Spencer
- Exclusive first look at Onigiri, the next MMO for Xbox One
- Forza 6 demo goes live on Xbox One September 1
- Here are some of the best current and upcoming Xbox One first-person shooters
- Take Dying Light for a spin on the Xbox One in the new demo
- Gigantic closed beta starts Friday, August 28 for Xbox One and Windows 10
- Rise of the Tomb Raider Collector's Edition includes a Lara Croft statue and more for $149
- The best racing games for Xbox One
- Xbox Preview program is at 'near capacity', so new invites will be cut back
- 08/31/15--12:52: You can play Evolve for free this weekend on the Xbox One and PC
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - $41.99 - Xbox One Store
- Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - $14.99 - Xbox One Store
- Assassin's Creed® IV Black Flag – Freedom Cry - $4.99 - Xbox One Store
- Rayman Legends - $19.99 - Xbox One Store
- Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - $9.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Assassin's Creed III - $9.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag – Freedom Cry - $4.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Assassin's Creed Rogue - $19.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Assassin's Creed® Liberation HD - $4.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Rayman Origins - $4.94 - Xbox 360 Store
- Rayman Raving Rabbids - $4.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Rayman Legends - $19.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Rayman 3 HD - $2.49 - Xbox 360 Store
- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - $4.49 - Xbox 360 Store
- Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts - $9.89 - Xbox 360 Store
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II - $19.79 - Xbox 360 Store
- Call of Duty: Ghosts - $19.79 - Xbox 360 Store
- Call of Duty: Ghosts Season Pass - $29.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - $29.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Deadpool - $24.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Duck Dynasty - $15.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Spider-Man: Dimensions - $14.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Spongebob Squarepants: Plankton's Robotic Revenge - $9.89 - Xbox 360 Store
- The Voice - $14.79 - Xbox 360 Store
- Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark - Free - Xbox 360 Store
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD - $7.49 - Xbox 360 Store
- TMNT: Out of the Shadows - $4.94 - Xbox 360 Store
- Chivalry - $7.49- Xbox 360 Store
If you own an Xbox One or if you own a Windows PC with the right hardware requirement, you can now play in Activision's Call of Duty Black Ops III multiplayer beta test. The beta was launched earlier this week just for people who had pre-ordered the upcoming first-person shooter for both platforms.
Several maps, gameplay modes and the new Specialists characters are a part of the multiplayer beta, which will end for everyone on Sunday, August 30. The final version of Call of Duty Black Ops III will be released for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on November 6.
Source: Call of Duty (Twitter)
Mortal Kombat X was a big critical and sales hit for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC platforms when the fighting game was released in April. Its developer NetherRealm Studios and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment had planned to launch the game for the older Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles as well. However, today it was revealed that Mortal Kombat X won't be released for those platforms after all.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment originally said they were delaying the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions until this summer, but it looks like the publisher decided to throw in the towel instead:
"After months of development, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has come to the regrettable conclusion that we cannot release Mortal Kombat X for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Please know our teams worked diligently to meet the quality standards set by the current-gen versions of the game. We were not able to get the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions to the quality expected of a Mortal Kombat game and are very sorry for not being able to deliver the products as originally planned."
"If you pre-ordered Mortal Kombat X for PS3 or Xbox 360, please go to the retail location where you pre-ordered the game and you will receive a full refund."
Every weekend, Windows Central streams an Xbox One game or two on Twitch for 1-2 hours and gives out free games to the cool people who join us during the stream. It's like a live podcast, only you also get to watch a game while chatting with our awesome readers and viewers!
Tonight we streamed Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart from Artifex Mundi. The Xbox One version of Nightmares from the Deep launches on September 4th, but you can watch our YouTube replay to get a good look at it right now!
Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart
The Cursed Heart centers around a supernatural pirate named Remington whose decayed body comes to life inside of a museum. Soon he wrecks the museum and kidnaps the museum director's daughter. As the director, you must follow Remington to his island base and rescue her before he completes his evil plan.
Like most Artifex Mundi titles, The Cursed Heart is a hidden object puzzle adventure game. Players will navigate a variety of well-illustrated environments, interacting with various objects to solve puzzles and move the story along. Hopefully, the console controls will handle such tasks well.
At various intervals throughout the game, players will engage in hidden objects puzzles as well. You know how these work – you'll have to find all of the objects from a list amidst a crowded scene. The Nightmares from the Deep games dole their hidden object scenes out less frequently than some games in the genre, probably due to their greater focus on narrative.
Players who don't care for hidden objects should be pleased to know that The Cursed Heart offers Mahjong Solitaire as an alternative to the hidden object sequences. Xbox One doesn't have any mahjong tile games just yet, so this will scratch an extra itch on top of the hidden object stuff.
How well do the Xbox One version's physical controls work? Watch tonight's stream to find out!
The Cursed Heart comes to Xbox One on Friday, September 4th. It should cost $9.99. If you can't wait, try the Windows versions…
We'll be streaming Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart for 90 minutes tonight, starting at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific, 2am GMT). During that time, we'll be giving out a total of 20 game codes:
To enter, just follow us at Twitch.tv/WindowsCentral and Twitch.tv/EastXTwitch (making sure to enable email notifications!) and tune in during the stream. You can watch the stream right here in this post, but you need to actually participate in the stream chat to have a chance at winning. We'll deliver codes to the winners via Twitch message (PM) during the stream. No code begging!
Feel free to stick around in chat before and after the stream if you have any questions or just want to say hi. If you enjoy the stream, be sure to check our schedule and come back for more!
How to watch Twitch livestreams
What's the best way to experience Twitch? The Twitch website on your PC or Mac web browser. If you don't have or prefer not to use a computer, you can get the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Xbox 360 Twitch apps and watch from the comfort of your couch. Android and iOS both have official and unofficial Twitch apps to choose from as well.
On Windows Phone, you'll have to grab an unofficial app. There are several to choose from, each with different strengths and weaknesses. Only one app lets you search directly for our channel, though. If you use the others you'll have to find and follow us from a web browser first. Read the roundup to learn more!
Next week's stream
Want to know what's next for Windows Central's Twitch programming? Here's next weekend's contest stream. The stream always starts at the same time: 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific, 2am GMT).
We hope you'll tune in as often as you can! Set a recurring alarm on your phone so you'll always know when it's time for the stream to start.
The following people are about to have some really fun nightmares!
Tonight's prizes provided by Artifex Mundi. Thanks also to our Twitch stream moderators for keeping the peace and giving away the prizes!
Welcome to our weekly ICYMI for Xbox news!
This week we're looking at tweets from Phil Spencer, LawBreakers and Dragon Age Inquisition's final DLC!
We'll still be posting major Xbox announcements in the main feed. However, I'll be collecting some of the more nuanced news, rumors and talking points into one handy post every weekend! You can also rely on this weekly column to keep up to date with all the latest game releases.
So without further ado, here's the latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.
Backwards compatibility announcements delayed once more
..."I talked to the team, they aren't ready to talk yet. Sorry I set expectation so I'll want until I know they have their news ready."...
Microsoft is hard at work building a catalogue of playable Xbox 360 games for Xbox One, with hopes of more than 100 titles by this fall. I guess we'll be waiting just a little longer to see what heavy hitters from the requests list makes the cut.
Doors are open for Lawbreakers on Xbox One
Gears of War godfather Cliff Bleszinski is hard at work developing Lawbreakers, a free to play class-based FPS. You can check out the action-packed game trailer above. Lawbreakers is being developed for PC between BossKey Productions and their publisher Nexon. That doesn't mean LawBreakers won't be gracing Xbox down the line, though.
Phil Spencer recently praised LawBreaker's reveal, inferring Cliff Bleszinski's success with Gears of War.
..."Last time @therealcliffyb launched a new gaming franchise that one seem to turn out ok. Congrats to you and the team. #LawBreakers."...
Phil then followed up the tweet, stating that Blezskinski "is always welcome" on Xbox One.
Cliff Bleszinski has since posted a celebratory Vine of Microsoft staff playing LawBreakers at PAX. I think this is a done deal, folks.
Bioware announce a final DLC for Dragon Age Inquisition titled 'Tresspasser'
Bioware have announced Dragon Age Inquisition's final DLC, which is set to serve as the game's epilogue.
Dragon Age Inquisition is one of the biggest and boldest RPGs available for the Xbox One as of writing. The game boasts 100 of hours of gameplay across several huge open-world areas. In Inquisition, players are tasked with repairing a demon-spewing tear to the spirit realm known as The Fade, building up an army to do so.
The 'Trespasser' DLC will serve as Inquisition's epilogue, taking place two years after the events of the core game. To access Trespasser, you'll have to finish the base game first. Dragon Age head Mike Laidlaw described the DLC to Gamespot in this way:
..."It's something we haven't tried before. Trespasser tells an entirely new story, set two years after the main game. The story explores what it's like to be a world-saving organization when the world no longer needs saving."...
Laidlaw went on to state that Trespasser will "mark the end" of Bioware's time with Inquisition, and also tease the future of the franchise as well.
Trespasser will launch on September 8th across all versions of Dragon Age Inquisition.
ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week
New Xbox One game releases for the week ending Aug 30th, 2015
Whispering Willows - Action & Adventure / Puzzle - Abstraction Games
"In Whispering Willows, you take on the role of Elena, a determined young girl with the extraordinary ability to project her spirit outside of her body."
Blues and Bullets - Episode 1 - Action & Adventure - A Crowd of Monsters
"Eliot Ness, the former leader of the legendary Untouchables, wished only to spend the rest of his days working in his diner, not dwelling too much on the cesspit of corruption his city, Santa Esperanza, had degenerated into."
Nova-111 - Action & Adventure - Funktronic Labs
"Pilot your trusty vessel through mysterious and foreign planets in this original sci-fi adventure. Your mission: fix space-time and search out the scientists lost in the aftermath of the Universe's greatest experiment."
Magnetic: Cage Closed - Action & Adventure / Puzzler - Guru Games
"Magnetic is a first person puzzle game that lets you manipulate and master magnetic forces. The mechanics are focused around a single tool: The Magnet Gun. This device is the only thing that helps you navigate the vast and deadly prison-maze you've been cast into."
WATCH_DOGS™ Complete Edition - Action & Adventure - Ubisoft
"Experience Watch_Dogs - the phenomenon of 2014 - with the biggest edition ever! As Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker, turn Chicago into the ultimate weapon in your quest for revenge. In this Complete Edition, including the game + Season Pass, access a new game mode, weapons, outfits and missions and plays as T-Bone, the legendary hacker in a brand new campaign!"
Octodad: Dadliest Catch - Action & Adventure - Young Horses Inc.
"Octodad: Dadliest Catch is a game about destruction, deception, and fatherhood. The player controls Octodad, a dapper octopus masquerading as a human, as he goes about his life."
Goat Simulator: Mmore Goatz Edition - Action & Adventure / Simulator? - Double Elevent
"Mmore Goatz Edition brings exactly what you'd expect; more goats than ever previously thought possible in the biggest goat simulation experience of all time! Next-gen MMO simulation allows you to be a simulated goat in a simulated MMO. You no longer have to fantasize about being a simulated goat in a simulated MMO, your dreams have finally come true! !"
Yasai Ninja - Action & Adventure - Recotechnology S.L.
"Yasai Ninja presents Samurai Onion (Kaoru Tamanegi) and Broccoli Joe, the good guys in this new Hack & Slash adventure, with a high dose of action, a combat system designed for one or two players, puzzles, large quantities of humor, friendship, personal improvement, honor and collaborative spirit belong in this unique atmosphere, which puts our characters in their own universe."
Don't Starve: Giant Edition - Action & Adventure - Ubisoft
"Don't Starve: Giant Edition is an uncompromising wilderness survival game full of science and magic. You play as Wilson, an intrepid Gentleman Scientist who has been trapped by a demon and transported to a mysterious wilderness world. Wilson must learn to exploit his environment and its inhabitants if he ever hopes to escape and find his way back home."
And that's a wrap!
This week I've been reviewing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. As the game is so huge, I may have to spin out some early impressions tomorrow instead of the full review. Some of the larger sites were invited to MGSV "boot camps" by Konami, which made me wonder just how objective those 9s and 10s could be. I'm a colossal Metal Gear fan, but I've already got a small collection of gripes with MGSV. What have you guys been playing this week?
EA Access is a great way to spend a few bucks a month on your Xbox One and members are being rewarded this month with ownership of an expansion for Battlefield 4. For a limited time, EA Access subscribers can snag the Naval Strike expansion pack completely free of charge. Perfect to play with Battlefield 4 being one of the titles in the vault.
"Battlefield 4™ Naval Strike is one of five expansion packs included in Battlefield 4™ Premium. Battlefield 4 Naval Strike takes the intense and dramatic water-based combat introduced in BF4 to four all-new maps set in the South China Sea. Blow open a crashed passenger plane in the tropical Lost Islands. Nansha Strike features the largest ocean stretch yet in a Battlefield map where the weather and waves constantly change the battle. Drop a submarine on your foes in the naval base or rush between the shipping docks and rocky islands on the massive Wave Breaker map. Storm an abandoned cliff-side resort in Operation Mortar for combat on a scenic overview. Naval Strike also introduces five new weapons, the amphibious hovercraft vehicle, ten assignments and brings the Carrier Assault game mode which is a re-imagining of the classic Battlefield 2142 Titan mode with aircraft carriers. "
If you want it, or think you might fancy it down the line even, fire up EA Access on your console and follow the prompts. It'll only be around for a short time, though, so get it while you can.
Dragon Age: Inquisition, the acclaimed fantasy RPG from developer BioWare and publisher Electronic Arts, will get its final DLC expansion pack for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC platforms on September 8. The pack, titled Trespasser, will serve as an epilogue to the main game's storyline.
Here's a quick description of the pack:
"Trespasser tells an entirely new story, set two years after the main game. The story explores what it's like to be a world-saving organization when the world no longer needs saving. It's a chance to meet and talk with old friends, to uncover a new threat, and ultimately decide the fate of the Inquisition you worked so hard to build. It might just contain hints about the future of Thedas, too."
Trespasser does require that the player have a character that has already completed Dragon Age: Inquisition's main storyline. In addition, BioWare is also planning to release a free patch for the main game that adds a few features, such as a "Golden Nug" that allows players to sync up their collectibles across games after they have completed the main storyline.
Source: Dragon Age
Microsoft is offering hardcore console gamers a new option if they want to get a new Xbox One for the holiday shopping season. The company has just announced the Xbox One Elite Bundle, which not only has the previously announced Xbox One Elite Controller but also uses a 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive for storage.
Current Xbox One consoles use either a 500GB or 1TB hard drive, but the one included in the Xbox One Elite Bundle will be different:
In addition to a matte finish, the Xbox One Elite Bundle includes a 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive, which stores frequently-accessed files on a solid state partition and optimizes system performance so you can get to the action up to 20 percent faster from energy-saving mode. This means you can spend more time this holiday playing the greatest games in Xbox history, including Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Forza Motorsport 6.
The Xbox One Elite Bundle will be priced at $499 and will officially start shipping on November 3. Pre-orders are now live on the Microsoft Store and will also be available on the GameStop site soon.
Source: Xbox Wire
Alongside today's announcement of the Xbox One Elite Bundle, Microsoft has also revealed plans to sell a special Lunar White version of its standard Xbox One Wireless Controller. It will go on sale later in September for $64.99.
"This new controller includes all the updated features of the standard Xbox One Wireless Controller and adds a white and gold color scheme and improved grip texture for more control and comfort."
When the Lunar White Xbox One Controller does go on sale, it will be available in the US exclusively at GameStop.
Source: Xbox Wire
Square Enix is getting closer to taking fans of the Deus Ex games series on another adventure. The publisher revealed today that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be released on February 23, 2016, for the Xbox One, PC and PlayStation 4 platforms.
The latest game in the cyberpunk RPG series will allow players who pre-order the game to choose which special items they want to get for their Day One edition of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Each extra option will unlock as more pre-orders are received. The final unlock option will be to get the game four days ahead of its scheduled release date.
For gamers who just don't want to choose, there's also the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Collector's Edition, which will offer all of the digital pre-order bonuses, plus a 48 page physical art book and a 9-inch figure of the game's lead character Adam Jensen. Pricing for the Collector's Edition has yet to be announced.
Source: Square Enix
Epic Games had previously announced that its Unreal Engine 4 tools would support Microsoft's DirectX 12 API in Windows 10. The developer has released an updated version of Unreal Engine 4 that allows anyone to make DirectX 12-based games with the tools.
The new Unreal Engine 4.9 still uses DirectX 12 as an "experimental" feature. Epic Games says:
"DirectX 12 offers a much lower-level rendering API that is more efficient and allows for rendering commands to be submitted in parallel across many threads, a feature inspired by console rendering APIs. Going forward, we'll continue to improve support for DirectX 12 and look for ways to leverage the new API in upcoming versions of the engine."
Microsoft and Epic previously offered DirectX 12 support for Unreal Engine 4 to a limited number of developers, but this launch will expand that access to all game creators. Unreal Engine 4 is free to download and use to make commercial games, with Epic taking a 5% royalty on revenues. Microsoft's upcoming free-to-play game Fable Legends for Windows 10 and the Xbox One will use both Unreal Engine 4 and DirectX 12.
Source: Unreal Engine
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is finally here, and for better or worse, it could be the final Metal Gear Solid ever made.
Controversy marred the build-up to MGSV's launch. Long-time director Hideo Kojima has reportedly been ousted by Konami, following internal conflicts. Similar reports say that Konami are treating staff at Kojima Productions with an unfairness, pending dismissal once the game ships. Konami have been scrubbing all mention of Hideo's name from the game's marketing materials, right after cancelling a high-profile Silent Hill reboot helmed by Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro. What a mess.
Going into this review, I had to wonder if the reported drama at Kojima Productions would have an impact on MGSV's quality. At this early stage, it's hard to claim that it has. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is damn good, but I do have concerns.
What is Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain?
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain takes place several years after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. Without spoiling anything, the events of MGSV: GZ have led Big Boss and his partner, Kazuhira Miller on an international quest for revenge against the franchise's central antagonist, Zero. If you want to catch up with MGSV's story without playing the previous games, I recommend Metal Gear Timeline.
MGSV: TPP is similar to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker on the PSP, were it on steroids. You play as Big Boss, tasked to rebuild his private army and off-shore base of operations. You'll be recruiting soldiers, managing resources and choosing upgrade paths for dozens of weapons, vehicles and other equipment. That isn't all, though.
The Mother Base management gameplay plays second fiddle to Metal Gear's core-gameplay, which sees you launch military ops across the globe. Infiltrate complex enemy facilities, extract prisoners, eliminate your enemies and unravel a global conspiracy within vast and complex open-world areas.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is likely the last Metal Gear game with Hideo Kojima at the helm. Can Kojima tie up and deliver closure to the series in this final act? What I've seen so far is incredibly promising.
The Good: rewarding gameplay with an enticing attention to detail
It's still Metal Gear. Hideo Kojima has combined the best aspects of each previous title and condensed them into a singularity of gameplay excellence. In terms of combat and motion, The Phantom Pain plays identically to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. Movement is responsive and snappy, and the finger-acrobatics from MGS4's cumbersome controls have gotten streamlined without sacrificing complexity. There're a lot of context menus and toggles to remember, but I'd argue that it's intuitively done and easy to pick up.
MGSV: TPP is without a doubt the best Metal Gear game for gunplay. Each of MGSV: TPP's weapons can be customized and upgraded, and there are ridiculous amounts of them to unlock. Iron-sights aiming feels almost as good as a regular first-person shooter, each weapon sporting a unique personality and individual attachment options.
Metal Gear Solid V is still a stealth game, first and foremost, but it has more room than the other Metal Gears to tailor your playstyle. Being detected will trigger a 'Reflex Mode', enabling you to take snap decisions in slow-motion. Of course, Metal Gear purists can turn this off, and doing so will allow you to procure higher rankings for completing missions.
MGSV: TPP has a mission-based structure set in vast open-world areas. Undertaking primary missions will unlock new ones and MGSV: TPP's story plays out in between. Often you'll have several available at once, and it's up to you what order you tackle them in. The story will occasionally make mission choice requirements of you, however. Side missions unlock periodically, allowing you to procure extra cash to help you develop Big Boss' base, equipment and army.
Unlike previous games, there are no difficulty levels, at least not on the first play-through. You can challenge yourself to obtain higher rankings within the game's mission structure, and doing so will award you with more rapid unlocks. Stealth gameplay will yield the highest rankings, but you don't seem to get punished as harshly for going in guns blazing. Why have all those shotguns and light machine guns if you get incentivised against using them?
I was still able to obtain an 'S' rank on a mission even while alerting the enemy, rapidly wiping everyone out with sniper rifle headshots before being seen.
I believe Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has perfected the 'play your way' game design convention, even if it has stealth leanings. You're given ample time to plan your infiltrations (or attacks), using binoculars similar to the ones found in Ground Zeroes, marking targets and taking note of entry points.
There's no tried and true 'perfect' way to undertake a mission, the sheer amount of tools and abilities at your disposal will prevent any two attempts from being identical.
As you progress through the missions, you'll gain access to even more powerful equipment and abilities. Some of these include a Metal Gear prototype mini-mech and the ability to call in airstrikes. Some of these powerful abilities limit your mission ranking, and also come at hefty development costs.
I'm around 15 hours in, and Big Boss' aerial command unit reports that I've only seen 5% of the game. There are so many small details to appreciate. From the realistic judder of the camera when a dynamic sand storm rolls in, or the ability to set your helicopter's music from a selection of classic 80s hits. It's not as pretty as The Witcher 3's 30 FPS open-world, but sacrificing visual features for 60 FPS works in a game that often demands quick reactions.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a meaty game that'll have completionists busy for months. If you're looking for something to sink your teeth into until Fallout 4 or Halo 5, look no further.
The Concerns: Odd performance issues, the spectre of micro-transactions and Kiefer Sutherland
I'm a pretty big fan of Metal Gear Solid. I can measure my gaming career in the wait between titles. Now that I write about games for a living, I've made an extra effort to not let my personal feelings for the franchise get in the way of reporting the true state of the game. Here are my concerns.
Major outlets derived their reviews from MGSV "boot camps" set up by Konami PR companies around the world. It had me wondering the extent their impressions were skewed when there's reps on hand, whose job it is to sell games. IGN and Gamespot have both given MGSV 10/10 based on these "boot camp" playtest sessions, likely with the PS4 version of the game. As a fan, I can't say MGSV on Xbox One warrants a perfect ten yet.
One of the most controversial aspects of MGSV in the early days was the omission of long-time voice actor, David Hayter. The replacement of Hayter with Kiefer Sutherland came as a slight to many long-term fans who felt Hayter's portrayal was iconic to the series. I do like Sutherland's portrayal, but so far I have concerns that his likely-expensive inclusion has impacted the amount of dialogue Konami could fit into Metal Gear's budget. Simply put, Big Boss is uncharacteristically short on things to say. He's too damn quiet.
Kaz and Ocelot will launch into lengthy tirades, and Sutherland's Big Boss will often respond with a single word, or even more often, nothing at all. Whether this continues further into the game remains to be seen, but it's cause for concern thus far.
Another concern I have pertains to the game's performance. Now and then, the game will sharply lag, disorienting audio and dropping frames. I've experienced it perhaps once every 30-60 minutes. During these periods (maybe 2-4 seconds), the game continues to roll, remembering your last controller input and ignoring all others. In a tight spot, it's conceivable that it could have you involuntarily wonder out of cover or put yourself in a dangerous situation.
I had hoped that today's 650MB patch had fixed it, to no avail. It's not game breaking, but it's something I hope they fix sooner rather than later once the game is out there. There's always the chance it's my Xbox, but no other game distorts in this way.
As of writing, the game's online PVP mode is disabled. There's no way to access the online portion of MGSV: TPP, but we know that it'll carry some form of micro-transactions. I'm concerned to what extent the 'accelerators' will have on MGSV: TPP's versus mode, and it's a bit worrisome that Konami have kept the full nature of it under wraps. The servers will likely spin into action later tonight, but until then, we'll have to wait and see.
My enjoyment of Metal Gear Solid V vastly outweighs my concerns
Despite some concerns, I'm hopeful that I'll end up agreeing with the critical reception of the game so far. The gameplay is solid, the attention to detail is incredible, and switching to open-world hasn't dampened Metal Gear's signature stealth gameplay. I'm ablaze with eagerness to continue play, ignoring social and professional responsibilities in the process.
I'm intrigued by the game's mysterious plot, kicked off by last year's prologue Ground Zeroes. I'm eager to develop my Mother Base, discover Skullface's motivations, and ultimately be blown away by Hideo Kojima's signature plot twists.
Metal Gear fans already have this pre-ordered, and if you were a fan of Peace Walker's PMC simulator gameplay and mission structure you're going to feel right at home. If you're a newcomer to the series, you'll likely find the plot disorienting, but you'll discover a beefy open-world stealth 'em up that puts the likes of Assassin's Creed to shame. You might just find yourself sucked into the Metal Gear franchise as well, thanks to what is likely the final real Metal Gear.
Stay tuned for our full review.
Check out the disc version of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for the Xbox One at Amazon ($59.99; Currently Unavailable)
Developer Turtle Rock Studios and publisher 2K Games are allowing any Xbox One or PC owner to play the full version of Evolve for free starting on Sept. 4 at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time (3:01 a.m. Eastern time). The sci-fi 4v1 first-person shooter was released earlier this year.
2K Games says:
"You can experience everything Evolve has to offer: Four Monsters, 18 Hunters across four unique classes, five game modes, 19 maps, and the newly released Hunt 2.0 - all playable for free this weekend. Following the free weekend, players that purchase the game will retain the progress they earn in the base game (not DLC unlocks)."
Anyone who has already bought the full game can still try out all the post-release DLC characters for free this weekend. The Xbox One free play period will end at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Sept. 6 (2:59 a.m. Eastern time) while PC players get a few extra hours before it end at 10 a.m. Pacific time on Sept. 7 (1 p.m. Eastern time).
Every week, new games are released for the Xbox One. Whether they are indie titles or AAA titles, we want to make sure they're on your radar. So get your wallet ready and clear some space on your hard drive. Let's take a look at what's coming out this week for Xbox One.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Big Boss is back
Metal Gear Solid V: TPP is arguably the most anticipated game of the year and it is finally here! The game has set to close the loop between the saga and seems to be ultimately the Big Boss's last hurrah and maybe even Kojima's.
For the first time in the series, MGSV: TPP pits players in an open world as they figure out how to take down enemies and infiltrate base unlike ever before. The game encourages players to use stealth as their preferred weapon of choice, but as usual you can go in guns blazing if you'd like.
The road to The Phantom Pain has been tough for Kojima and Konami, which inevitably led the two to split just before the game went gold. That being said, I'm sure most gamers will agree that that road was worth it in the end. You can get your hands on what may be the last Metal Gear from Kojima when it launches Tuesday, September 1.
Explore the Great White
It makes sense to release an open-world Mad Max game the same year that the newest installment to the film franchise dominated the box office. That being said, the game has nothing to do with what we saw in theaters this summer.
You play as Max as he explores the Great White region of the Wasteland with his rusty battle machine, the Magnum Opus. 60% of the game will require players to make use of the vehicle which can fully be modified and customized. However, fuel is gold in this world and if you run out you're asking for a death sentence.
Mad Max launches tomorrow, September 1 for the Xbox One.
Am I a Deer? Why?
This month's first Games with Gold title is Deer God which proclaims to be a spiritual journey as much as it is a game. The game is about reincarnation in which you play as a deer and focus on keeping good karma.
Along the journey, you will learn to reincarnate into other animals as you explore the beautiful landscapes that transform from night to day. The story in Deer God can either be dark or enlightening based on people's religious reviews. Deer God launches Tuesday, September 1 for free for Xbox Live Gold members.
Which games are you grabbing this week? Or are you saving your money for bigger and better things?
It's time for another round of Deals with Gold, with this week's sales headlined by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for Xbox One, available at $41.99 for both Xbox Live Gold and Silver subscribers. Several games in the Assassin's Creed franchise are also discounted.
Any games that strike your fancy this week?
Source: Major Nelson
Microsoft has shared the opening cinematic for Halo 5, releasing the teaser on YouTube for everyone to enjoy. As one would expect, the cinematic is packed full of action, Covenant and Foreunner tech. If you're a fan of the series and are eagerly awaiting the next instalment, this is the video for you.
In the video we join Fireteam Osiris as they prepare to drop to the terrain below. The only issue is that they're thousands of feet high and a battle between Covenant and Foreunner forces is taking place directly underneath. But this proves to be a walk in the park for the highly trained soldiers.
You excited for Halo 5? Let us know in the comments!