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Articles on this Page
- 03/24/15--06:00: _Everything you need...
- 03/24/15--07:05: _New Xbox 360 spring...
- 03/24/15--07:43: _Call of Duty: Advan...
- 03/24/15--08:38: _Dragon Age: Inquisi...
- 03/24/15--14:37: _Weekly Xbox Upload ...
- 03/24/15--16:48: _Rosetta Stone bring...
- 03/24/15--19:03: _Epix streaming app ...
- 03/25/15--08:24: _Slender the Arrival...
- 03/25/15--09:36: _Game Troopers: Dedi...
- 03/26/15--04:16: _Review: Resident Ev...
- 03/26/15--07:36: _Evolve update with ...
- 03/26/15--08:47: _Gears of War: Judge...
- 03/26/15--10:44: _F1 2015 confirmed f...
- 03/26/15--18:19: _Second Xbox One Apr...
- 03/26/15--21:00: _Forza Horizon 2 pre...
- 03/24/15--06:00: Everything you need to know about ID@Xbox
- 03/24/15--07:05: New Xbox 360 spring value bundles include two free games and more
- Xbox 360 500GB Spring Value Bundle with a download code for Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare and a physical copy of Fable Anniversary included (available in most regions worldwide, including the US)
- Xbox 360 4GB Kinect Spring Value Bundle with copies of Kinect Sports Ultimate and Kinect Adventures included (available in select regions)
- Xbox 360 500GB Kinect Spring Value Bundle with copies of Kinect Sports Ultimate and Kinect Adventures included (available in select regions)
- Forza Horizon 2: Digital Edition - $47.99 - Xbox One Store
- WWE: 2K15 - $40.19 - Xbox One Store
- WWE: 2K15 Digital Deluxe Edition - $53.59 - Xbox One Store
- Threes! - $3.50 - Xbox One Store
- Evolve - $47.99 - Xbox One Store
- Evolve: Digital Deluxe Edition - $63.99 - Xbox One Store
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - $40.19 - Xbox One Store
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Digital Pro Edition - $66.99 - Xbox One Store
- WWE: 2K15 - $29.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Hitman: Blood Money - $4.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution - $3.74 - Xbox 360 Store
- Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light - $3.74 - Xbox 360 Store
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - $40.19 - Xbox 360 Store
- Digimon: All Star Rumble - $19.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown - $9.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- XCOM: Enemy Within - $9.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Spec Ops: The Line - $7.49 - Xbox 360 Store
- Duke Nukem Forever - $4.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Borderlands - $4.99 - Xbox 360 Store
- Uncover a lost chapter in the history of the Inquisition and discover the ultimate fate of the last Inquisitor
- Explore a vast, new area in Thedas with lush forests and mountainous terrain
- Earn the respect of Avvar warriors while destroying an ancient cult
- Strengthen the Inquisition through new operations unlocked by your discoveries
- 03/24/15--14:37: Weekly Xbox Upload Contest: Forza Horizon 2
- Entry must be submitted to the corresponding forum post which you can access, here.
- You must have used a valid email address to register here at Windows Central, so I know how to contact the winner
- ONLY one entry per week per person
- If we have reason to believe the content isn't yours, we will contact the Gamertag via XBL for verification.
- 03/24/15--16:48: Rosetta Stone brings language learning to the Xbox One
- 03/24/15--19:03: Epix streaming app lands on the Xbox One
- 03/26/15--04:16: Review: Resident Evil Revelations 2 on Xbox One
- 03/26/15--07:36: Evolve update with new monster and hunters to mature on March 31
- Torvald - cyborg Assault character with a mortar cannon for an arm
- Slim - genetically modified combat Medic
- Crow - Trapper with a pet Batray for tracking Monsters
- Sunny - Support character equipped with a mininuke grenade launcher
- 03/26/15--10:44: F1 2015 confirmed for Xbox One and PC, launching in June
- Voice messages – Xbox One preview program members will be able to compose and playback voice messages in the messages app when snapped on Xbox One. Quickly and easily record audio to send to your friends or others through your snapped messages app accessed through a simple quick double tap of the Xbox button. Additionally, voice messages can be exchanged between Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles.
- Dedicated servers for party chat – We're enhancing party chat with dedicated chat relay servers that will enable Xbox One owners that may have historically had NAT issues to party chat more reliably. Parties where players are unable to form direct peer-to-peer connections for party chat will automatically leverage dedicated server infrastructure to relay traffic. This service is only enabled for parties where one or more members are previewing the April system update.
- What's On – The Xbox engineering team is continuing to experiment with the What's On area, which highlights popular videos, movies, TV shows and game broadcasts. We're continuing to test different experiences for preview members in the U.S. and this month, the preview of this feature is being expanded to Canada and the UK as well.
ID@Xbox is a Microsoft program which allows independent developers to publish Xbox certified titles to Xbox One and the Windows 10 unified app store.
The program was announced in August 2013, and already boasts well over 200 independent development teams across the world. Indie devs who become approved for the program receive up to 2 Xbox One development kits, access to the full technical documentation and direct support from Microsoft. In addition to free hardware, all ID@Xbox developers get free access to Unity Pro – a popular video game engine which allows for easy porting to different platforms.
And here's everything you need to know about the program and its games.
Microsoft has launched three new Xbox 360 value bundles for the spring shopping season, each of which includes two free games along with a code for one free month of Xbox Live Gold.
Here's the list of what Microsoft is including in each Xbox 360 bundle:
US prices for the bundles begin at $249 but not all bundles will be available in all parts of the world. These special deals will only be available for a limited time.
Here's what you can buy at a discount from now until March 30. Some of the sale prices do require a subscription to Xbox Live Gold:
In addition to the games that are on sale, both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions of WWE 2K15 have 25% discounts on some of its DLC content this week.
Source: Major Nelson
As promised by developer BioWare Monday, Jaws of Hakkon, the first major expansion pack for the critically acclaimed fantasy RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition is now live for Xbox One owners. The price for the expansion is $14.99 and it's 1.5GB in size.
Here's a look at what fans of the game can look forward to when they purchase and download Jaws of Hakkon:
Discover the fate of the last Inquisitor and the powerful dragon he hunted. Enter an overgrown wilderness filled with Avvar, fiercely independent hunters who settled in the southern mountains of Thedas. Explore their culture to uncover what happened to the last Inquisitor and the dragon he pursued. Find an ancient Tevinter fortress that hides a dangerous secret. In this new adventure, playable within the Dragon Age: Inquisition campaign, you will face powerful foes, gain legendary armor and weapons, and confront an ancient god of war bent on destroying the world.
Keep in mind that if you are a member of the EA Access subscription service for Xbox One, you can get Dragon Age: Inquisition - Jaws of Hakkon for 10% percent off at $13.49, as you can with any digital download purchase of games and add-ons from Electronic Arts.
Source: Xbox One Store
Have you said, "Xbox, record that" lately due to an epic kill? How about to some funny bug you encountered? Well, we want you to share those moments with us, and we'll give away some sweet prizes you for doing so. Each week, we'll pick one lucky winner for the week's theme on Xbox One.
Get ready for this week's edition of the Windows Central Xbox Upload Challenge!
This Week's Contest
This week we're getting an awesome treat from Turn 10 Studios with Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious! The world of Forza Horizon is absolutely stunning and can provide for some epic photos. So here's what we want from you. This week we're looking for your most beautiful screenshot from Forza Horizon 2 on the Xbox One. You can only submit one screenshot and your submissions go here.
The contest starts as soon as you read this post and all entries must be submitted on Saturday, March 28 by 11:59 p.m. (PST). Winners will be announced (with their winning screenshot) in next week's contest post is up.
Before we get into this week's prizes let's announce last week's winners!
'Grand Theft Auto 5' Winners
Epic Moment Winner: Brian Farkas
Brian Farkas somehow managed to escape from the cops in the most elaborate way. He is now the proud owner of Ori and The Blind Forest!
Epic Fail Winner: TheBanjomatic
TheBanjomatic plays with fire and it of course gets the best of him. His failing efforts have earned him a copy of ScreamRide for Xbox One!
We appreciate all the submissions, especially the ones that made us laugh. It's always tough trying to narrow it down to just one winner. Good luck with the next contest!
This week's prize is simple. Give us the best screenshot from Forza Horizon 2 and we'll send you a $25 Xbox card. This will also allow you to buy apps and games on Windows Phone and Windows 8.
Screenshots via Xbox One
With the Xbox One's latest update, you can now take screenshots of your gameplay and share it with your friends. In order to get the highest quality image, we recommend uploading the screenshot to OneDrive first on your Xbox One. Then you can attach the screenshot to a comment in the corresponding forum.
Good luck and have fun! But most importantly, don't forget to say "Xbox, record that!"
Ever wanted to learn a language on your Xbox? Well, now may be your chance, as the popular language learning tool Rosetta Stone has just announced an app for the Xbox One.
Available with English and Spanish options, the app will allow players to explore different virtual locations where they can practice speaking with characters in their chosen language and play various games. From Rosetta Stone:
"You'll explore several locations in the Discovery Zone and chat with the characters you find there. In the Training Zone, you'll solidify the concepts you encountered with study recommendations, cultural tips, phrase books, and of course, more games! Keep track of your achievements, and keep practicing until you get a perfect score. With Rosetta Stone's proven technology-based immersion method in a video-game interface, who knew language learning could be so fun?"
Overall, this looks like a fun way to take on the challenge of learning a new language by bringing the fun of gaming to an often difficult process. If you'd like to check it out. As of this writing, it doesn't look like the Xbox app page has been updated with the listing, but you should be able to grab the app and check it out from the dashboard on your Xbox One.
What do you guys think? Do you plan on brushing up on a little Spanish on your Xbox One?
Source: Rosetta Stone
Epix, a streaming video service that serves up a ton of content such as movies, concerts, and comedy specials, has come to the Xbox One today.
With the Epix app, users can stream thousands of movies from major studios such as Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM, in addition to a ton of other content. To use the service, you have to have a current TV subscription that includes the service either as part of a bundle or a la carte.
To celebrate its launch on the Xbox One, Epix is currently running an offer for a 14-day free trial of the service for those who download the app to their console. The free trial offer runs through March 31, and you can sign up here to get started.
While it's obviously not a solution for cord cutters, Epix does provide a nice selection of streaming content for those who are still holding onto their cable or satellite subscription. If you'd like to check the app out in between Rosetta Stone lessons, you should be able to snag it on your Xbox One now.
Slender Man (or Slendy, as his friends call him) was created by a forum poster in 2009, according to Wikipedia. A blurry, faceless man added to old photographs, the character soon caught the imagination of online horror fans of all ages. YouTube videos and several indie games followed, most notably a free downloadable title called Slender: The Eight Pages.
That game would serve as the inspiration for its much larger sequel Slender: The Arrival from Canadian developer Blue Isle Studios. This one casts players as several severely screwed people who are being stalked by the sinister Slender Man and his minions. Slender: The Arrival has just arrived on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, after launching on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows in 2013 and 2014.
Slender might just be the scariest game I've played. Read on for more details and to witness me freaking out in our exciting hands-on video!
The road to Slender
As the game begins, Lauren arrives at Oakside Park, an isolated suburban subdivision where her friend Kate lives. A tree mysteriously falls onto her car, forcing her to get out and walk along the dirt road to Kate's house.
You start playing just outside of Lauren's broken car, without having actually witnessed the accident. Slender conveys a surprising amount of information without the traditional cinematics or in-game animations that you'd see in a larger-budget game.
Upon entering Kate's house, players will soon realize that something has gone wrong. The door is open, and much of the place is in disarray. This portion of the game sees Lauren exploring the house and searching for clues to Kate's whereabouts. The sense of dread here is palpable, with ominous music and perhaps a few glimpses of someone you don't want to run into.
Eventually, Lauren has nowhere else to go but the path behind the house, which leads to a delightful scare and the end of the Prologue.
The Eight Pages
Slender: The Arrival is a relatively short game broken up into nine chapters, two of which are the Prologue and Genesis, an epilogue/prequel chapter. Individual chapters can be replayed at will after reaching them.
Several of the chapters differ slightly in play style, but the first one 'The Eight Pages' sets the tone for the game and how things will unfold. Lauren finds herself alone in Oakside Park at night. She carries only her camcorder (through which we witness most of the game) and a flashlight. The flashlight provides a minimal amount of light – this is one oppressively dark game, and turning up the brightness won't help.
During this first chapter, Lauren must collect eight pages scattered throughout the area in order to progress. The game doesn't tell you so. You just have to fumble around and figure things out, if you're not using a guide or reading my review like all the smart people do. The location of the pages is random, but they can only appear in ten different places. If you explore the park thoroughly enough, you'll find them and move on.
If you survive, that is. During this first level, Señor Slender takes notice of Lauren's presence and begins to chase her. Jefe is not bound by many of our reality's laws. He can disappear and reappear closer to you, even when you're looking at him. Your camera will freak out and distort as long as he remains close by; you can't even pause during these encounters.
Running is the one and the only way to deal with Slender Man. Unfortunately, Lauren's stamina will run out and slow her down after a short while. Sometimes she just gets unlucky, Slender appearing too close to escape. When he catches her, you have to restart the chapter from scratch. The lack of checkpoints ratchets up the tension because you really want to get away from him, so you don't have to look for those pages again.
More chapters of horror
Chapter 2: Into the Abyss proves the most challenging in the game. Lauren's search takes her to an abandoned mine. There she must activate eight generators in order to power an elevator and escape. The challenge increases because she is pursued by not only Slander Men but also the first of his minions, a freakish and violent girl. This chapter will require several attempts before you can succeed.
Subsequent chapters ditch the "find eight objects" objective, thankfully, and prove less stressful, as a result. Players will step out of Lauren's shoes briefly to experience the perspectives of a young boy, another one of Kate's friends, and even Kate herself. These levels mostly involve exploring and completing smaller objectives, plus a fair deal of running from Slender and a new minion.
Throughout the dread-filled adventure, you'll find a vast number of collectible letters and documents. Yes, it has become a horror game cliché to fill in the story via collectibles. But this form of storytelling fits well with the game's low budget nature.
You only get the tiniest glimpses and hints of story during actual gameplay. Yet should you find enough of Slender's 50 collectibles, the overall story and the fate of each character becomes clear. The high-quality writing really casts the game's events and participants in a new light.
A bogus bonus chapter
The final chapter, 'Genesis' unlocks when you complete the main game. A remake of the original freeware Slender game, 'Genesis' sees Kate searching for eight pages in a park. The page searching is the least enjoyable mechanic in the main game, but I guess 'Genesis' needed to be included for posterity.
However, despite the smaller map and only 10 possible page locations, I could only find six pages during my four attempts at the level. Plenty of people watched me play on Twitch can attest to this; we checked every location and the last two pages weren't there. To make things even more frustrating, Slender becomes unavoidably fast as this particular level goes on. It's not scary or fun, just annoying.
Is it possible to find all eight pages on Xbox One? Let us know if you pull it off!
The Xbox One version of Slender boasts the same 20 Achievements as its 360 predecessor, this time worth a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. Many are fun, optional goals such as playing all of the songs on a radio and playing a tune on a piano.
On my first playthrough, I found 47 of the 50 collectibles. Figuring out which ones you're missing proves difficult, because the game doesn't number them in a logical way and I haven't found a list online that matches the weird numbering. You probably want to use this video-based guide to pick them up.
Be sure to play on Normal (not Easy) during your first run so you get the Achievement for beating the game. The hardest Achievements will be beating the game on Hardcore difficulty and three speedrun Achievements.
Beware the Slender Man (and Xbox One specifics)
Don't expect much in the way of improvements for the Xbox One version of Slender. The game still looks aggressively low budget, with low resolution textures and glaringly low-polygon models for characters and enemies. Slender can't hold a candle to its ID@Xbox horror competitor Outlast in those departments. The sound design, omnipresent darkness, and challenging gameplay provide the scares here, not the visuals.
It will probably take anywhere between 3-5 hours to beat Slender the first time through, with additional plays in store for Achievement hunters. The short length and chapter-based nature actually fit the game well. I don't know about you, but I can only take so much tension and dread before I need a break. Also, in these days of $15-20 downloadable titles, the $9.99 price ends up being quite fair for a game of Slender's scale.
Slender: The Arrival's exploration-based gameplay and complete inability to fight back against pursuers won't appeal to everybody. Slender runs with the themes and concepts of found footage horror movies and Japanese movies like The Ring and The Grudge. That helplessness and fear won't be for everybody, but it scared me really nicely.
Note: During launch week on Xbox One, Xbox Live Gold members can get Slender for $6.99.
The heroic publisher Game Troopers arrived last year to save Xbox for Windows Phone from the jaws of mediocrity. The company are now advertising for the position of Lead Unity Programmer ahead of what they're are calling a 'drastic' expansion of operations.
Game Troopers have thus far published the addictive virtual finance game Make It Rain and the adorable top down squad shooter Tiny Troopers, both with full Xbox integration. The company also recently announced the imminent arrival of Overkill 3, a popular third person shooter making the leap from Android and iOS.
Game Troopers is expanding its operations and will drastically increase its development and publishing activities and capacity in the upcoming months. In order to do that we will be publishing a number of offers in order to cover key positions for our company.
The full job listing points explicitly to the development of console titles (one has to presume this means Xbox), and Game Troopers also state that they'll have more vacancies to announce in the near future.
Game Troopers is currently undergoing an expansion and require a Lead Programmer to work on a range of mobile and some console titles. As the Lead Programmer you will be working on performance optimization & diagnostic on 3D and some 2D games, while leading and mentoring a small team of coders to produce a range of titles, you will also have a hand in contributing to the existing codebase, as well as creating your own code. As well as your day to day tasks, you'll be in charge of finding and introducing tools that improve the development workflow of the team.
Click here to view the full job listing.
Considering Unity's strengths for portability between platforms and ID@Xbox's arrival to Windows 10 devices, the prospects for future Xbox mobile games, and indeed Game Troopers, seems bright.
The undead of Resident Evil are a fitting metaphor for a franchise with one foot in the grave.
Since the departure of Shinji Mikami, Resident Evil has arguably become a decrepit shadow of its former self, mutated with spin-offs and genre hybridity as Capcom seek to broaden the brand's audience.
Resident Evil 2 is widely regarded as one of the greatest horror games ever made, and is a personal favourite. Watching the franchise rot like one of its iconic undead monstrosities has been a painful endeavour. What made Resident Evil 5 scary wasn't to be found in chilling atmosphere, tense and vulnerable gameplay, but instead in catastrophically poor design choices. Resident Evil had become a linear action arcade shooter with wilfully awful controls and an utterly absent minded plot. Resident Evil 5 had no idea what game it wanted to be, and I felt so wronged by it that I haven't touched the franchise since, until now.
Terrifying: For the wrong reasons
Coming in to Resident Evil Revelations 2, I was afraid, but for the wrong reasons. Just how would Capcom desecrate the corpse of my beloved franchise this time? I fully expected to hate Resident Evil Revelations 2, but after finishing the game, I can't say that I do. I find myself longing. There are elements of Revelations 2 that hark back to those survival horror greats of yore, but it simply doesn't go far enough.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 takes place on a former mining colony, situated on a creepy Russian island. Claire Redfield and her Terrasave bioterrorism security force have been kidnapped, and dumped right in the midst of a deranged woman's personal reimagining of both Hostel and Saw. The colony has been reverse engineered into a labyrinth of diabolical traps, elaborate puzzles and roaming mutants as part of a mysterious and, reasonably unethical experiment. Claire and her dwindling survivor comrades have all been strapped with wrist tags which monitor their movements, as well as deliver harrowingly cliché taunts from their unsympathetic captor - the Overseer.
The characters are generally likeable and include franchise staples such as the fatherly Barry Burton and forever stoic Claire Redfield. The character interactions are the most enjoyable aspects of the game's writing (as well as the occasional clever reference to past Resident Evil games). Barry, wracked with guilt for his sub-par parenting skills is on the island to hunt Moira, his foul mouthed wannabe-punk daughter, who was the newest employee with Terrasave. There is some very scant character development, but the scenario based gameplay format combined with the length of the game severely limit the potential here.
It may seem an unfair presumption, but as the game was released in an episodic format, complete with recaps and teasers between each, I felt as though the story itself should've been stronger. Without giving away too much, the plot is laughable at worst, bland at best. Resident Evil has never been known for particularly amazing writing, but Revelations 2 takes this sentiment to new heights.
Throughout I was trying to deduce potential plot twists and uncover mysteries which simply weren't there. The game offers little intrigue, and leaves players with an irritatingly unsatisfying conclusion regardless of which ending you get landed with. It's typical that there should be unanswered questions, but Resident Evil Revelations 2's leaves little room for anything else. It makes one wonder if those questions do in-fact have answers, or whether they're intentionally as open ended as possible to odiously maximise the potential for DLC to wrap up the unanswered questions the main game has failed to do.
Combined with the episodic format and the recap sequences, the game contains numerous excerpts and references to Frank Kafka poetry with varying relevance, which gives me the sense the writing staff think they're smarter than they actually are. It is a tad pretentious.
There are some genuinely humorous moments, particularly when Barry Burton refers to some of the infamous dialogue from the original Resident Evil, but Revelations 2 mostly fails to deliver. I wish I could elaborate further without spoilers, but the primary take-away here should be Citizen Kane, it ain't.
A great game does not need to have a great plot, if it has great gameplay
I haven't played Resident Evil Revelations 1, but my general understanding is that it enjoyed some positive critical reception. Reviews point to a thoughtful marriage between old school survival horror with more modern action leanings, but I can't help but feel that the game was favoured positively because it originally shipped as a handheld title for Nintendo 3DS. Expectations of hand held games are generally lower, owing to hardware limitations and other factors. Resident Evil Revelations 2 has been launched on Xbox One and will be summarily judged as such, probably harshly, by this cynical, jaded, old school Resident Evil fan.
But hey, Resident Evil Revelations 2 does a pretty good job in the gameplay department, for the most part.
The 'tank controls' of previously Resident Evil games have been dropped in favour of more contemporary third person motions. Strafing, sprinting and even dodging make the cut, placing this horror game firmly into the action camp (albeit at a slower pace than say Zombie Army Trilogy). The awkward controls of classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill games have been credited as fear inducing devices which add to a sense of vulnerability, and despite updating the control schemas, Revelations 2 isn't completely devoid of that feeling.
Each episode takes place in intersecting areas across two different time periods, one of which follows Claire Redfield and Moira Burton, with the other following Moira's father, Barry Burton accompanied by a mysterious child survivor called Natalia. When played in single player, you can switch between the two characters by pressing Y, to take advantage of unique abilities. Moira can blind targets with her flash light, leaving zombies open for a roundhouse kick from Claire. Natalia similarly can hurl bricks at targets producing similar stun effects, and can see enemies through walls.
Trading fear for fun
All these extra combat abilities, combined with split screen offline co-op serve to detriment the notion of Resident Evil Revelations 2 as a scary game. Considering that Revelations 2 has offline co-op, the absence of online co-op seems like a glaring omission.
The playable characters have to occasionally split up to throw switches or solve puzzles, which can result in tense situations - particularly given Moira and Natalia's inability to use guns. Natalia's ability to see enemies through walls helps you take advantage of the game's basic stealth kill mechanics, and help you to deal with the invisible Glasp enemies, which hover around and then one shot you if you get too close. Dealing with those monsters in particular was a hilarious experience, listening to my brother's frantic attempts to point them out so I could shoot them, often unsuccessfully.
Speaking of shooting, one of my biggest gripes when it comes to combat is the complete absence of dismemberment and gore. Hold the thought that I'm just being blood thirsty, and consider that if I'm wielding a magnum as the legendary zombie hunter Barry Burton, shooting a rotting zombie in the face at point blank range, you might expect something a little more spectacular than a slightly larger splash of blood. After playing The Evil Within, Dying Light and Zombie Army Trilogy, the lack of dynamic head poppin' just makes combat feel muted. Considering the game's universal mature rating, the omission just seems lazy.
Beyond combat, there are elements of exploration and puzzle solving ditched by Resident Evil 5 that gave me fuzzy nostalgic feelings. Whilst nowhere near as complex as Resident Evil 1 or 2's rat-in-a-maze approach to progression, the occasional requests to explore more open areas on hunts for keys or puzzles was a welcome throwback.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 sees the return of Raid Mode, expanded over the previous game. Raid Mode is essentially an arcade zombie shooter best played with friends offline, or online on following a patch slated for March 31st. Damage numbers, levels and character skills are thrown into the mix, injecting a ton of replayability across various characters, skins and unlockables. You can revive utilizing crystals you can purchase with in-game credits, or via a micro-transaction, something the game was widely slammed for when the news initially broke - but I haven't found it to be particularly inhibiting.
There are also daily challenges to complete, a crafting table for upgrading/selling/buying weapons and the ability to customize loadouts. I played Raid Mode for quite a long time but found it to be a fairly pedestrian experience, I'd rather just play Dying Light or something designed from the ground up for this sort of gameplay. Having said that, Raid Mode certainly has its fans, so I'd put this one down to personal preference. If you enjoyed the Raid Mode of Revelations 1, this new one will be a welcome, much expanded edition to your game library - but its far removed from the core concept of the game, and likely won't appeal to everyone.
Whilst the endings left a sour taste, upon reflection it certainly seems like Capcom are still trying to find the perfect balance between the old and new. I came in expecting, perhaps even wanting to hate Resident Evil Revelations 2, but I can't say that this is the case. The Resident Evil classics I look upon fondly with rose tinted glasses may never return, but there is a sentiment that Capcom still have faith in the franchise - and aren't just cashing in on their largest brand outside of Street Fighter.
At around 30-45 minutes per scenario, across 8 in the base game with 2 extras (without hunting down every collectable), coupled with the replayability of Raid Mode, Capcom offer a lot of value on the back of £20 (and it has made me curious enough to purchase Revelations 1 and RE6). But unless you're a big Resident Evil fan or are specifically looking for something slower and more methodical, you may want to hit up Zombie Army Trilogy for a vastly superior third person action experience, or even spend a bit extra to pick up Dying Light.
Whilst I genuinely enjoyed my time with Resident Evil Revelations 2, its hard to see the game as anything more than a footnote in a increasingly diffuse franchise. The plot is utterly convoluted, bordering on laughable. The sheer amount of bland archetypes, viral strains and random uncorrelated events could be portrayed as one of the game's own mutant monstrosities screaming out for death, or in this case, a reboot. If the success of the recent, humbler Resident Evil 1 remake is anything to go by, perhaps the fans are too.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available now on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 - Amazon - Store Link
The team behind Evolve has announced that the upcoming update – which will introduce a new playable monster alongside four new hunters – will arrive on March 31.
A video has been published that shows off the new playable characters in the popular PvP game. If you do not purchase the new Behemoth or hunters, you'll still be able to play alongside them in matches, which should help prevent players from becoming divided based on what content they own. More details on Behemoth can be found on the Evolve website.
Evolve is currently available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. See our Evolve review for more details as to whether or not you should purchase the game. If you're already an avid fan, will you be investing in these new characters?
As promised a few weeks ago, Microsoft will offer Xbox gamer a total of six free games to download in April if they are paid subscrbers to Xbox Live Gold. The April Games with Gold lineup includes two free games for the Xbox One and four free games for the Xbox 360.
Two of the four free Xbox 360 games will be available for download April 1-15. They are Terraria, the popular Roguelike sandbox game, and Gears of War: Judgement, the fourth, and so far last, game in the sci-fi shooter series. From April 16-30, Xbox 360 gamers with Xbox Live Gold can download Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, one of the many games in Ubisoft's action game series, and Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel, the co-op themed modern day shooter from Electronic Arts. The combined prices of all four games is about $60, which also happens to be the standard cost of a 12-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold.
Xbox One owners with Xbox Live Gold can download two free games during the entire month of April. One is Pool Nation FX, a billiards game with "photo-realistic graphics" that will be making its Xbox One debut on April 1. The other is Child of Light from Ubisoft, the critically acclaimed 2014 released turn-based RPG. The combined prices of those games are about $25.
Microsoft has also announced that over 100 million games have been downloaded by Xbox Live Gold members since the Games with Gold program began in July 2013.
Codemasters has today confirmed more details on the next instalment in its Formula 1 franchise, F1 2015. The good news is that the game will be out in June and we'll be able to play it on both the PC and Xbox One this year.
This marks the very first time that the F1 series will have graced the Xbox One, with the 2014 edition missing the cut and only going to the 'last-gen' consoles. None of that for 2015 with the PS4 also supported.
It's getting some pretty neat Kinect integration, too:
"Using the voice recognition technology available for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles you'll be able to interact with your race engineer like never before. Through in-game voice commands with Kinect for Xbox One and the PlayStation®Camera or compatible headsets for PlayStation 4 you can ask for race info, updates on the weather, tyre status, request tyres and even front wing changes… And that is just a few of the many options available."
Hopefully you don't get any responses asking you to let your team mate through. As a bonus to everyone who missed out on last years game, all the 2014 content will be available, too.
June isn't that far away now so we don't have too much longer to wait. In the meantime head over to the source link below for many more early renders to get your motor running.
Just as promised, the second stage of the Xbox One April update preview is now rolling out to preview members.
Today's update brings voice messages, dedicated servers for party chat, and expands the What's One section to users in Canada and the UK. Here's the full breakdown of what's new in this wave of the April update preview for the Xbox One:
Of course, all of this is in addition to the party chat improvements, game hub links, and changes to achievement notifications that came with last week's update preview wave. If you're in the Xbox One preview program, the preview should be available for download on your Xbox One now. And while you're waiting on the download, check out the video above to see Xbox's Major Nelson go through each of the new features.
Source: Major Nelson
Fans of Forza Horizon 2 and fans of erratic driving in general have a new time killer on their hands as the official standlone Fast and Furious 7 expansion is now available for Xbox One and Xbox 360. To celebrate the launch of the movie in early April, it can be had completely free of charge for two weeks until April 10. So there's not a lot of reason not to take it for a spin.
We'll be taking a closer look at Fast and Furious Forza very soon, so stay tuned for that. But if you're looking for a little extra persuasion before downloading, check out a quick behind-the-scenes look below.