Xbox Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Xbox RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Redfall is Arkane Austin's Newest IP, Coming Exclusively to Xbox and PC Sun, 13 Jun 2021 15:34:30 -0400 David Carcasole

Redfall is a brand new IP from Arkane Austin, the studio behind Dishonored and Prey, that was announced during Xbox and Bethesda's E3 2021 showcase. Redfall is an open-world co-op FPS, bringing Arkane's unique style to a new kind of action game.

A legion of vampires has taken over the quiet town of Redfall, Massachusetts, and it's up to you playing as one of four diverse characters to stop them from eating through the whole town. 

You'll either be able to go in alone against the hordes of vampires or team up with up to three other players for some much-needed backup. Different hero loadouts give the gameplay what appears to be an incredible amount of variety; gameplay also looks to rely heavily on combining different abilities with teammates. 

The trailer shown during the Xbox/Bethesda E3 2021 event, however, isn't gameplay, so while these elements do seem to be core to the experience, we'll have to wait and see more to find out. With Arkane Austin's pedigree, though, and the support they'll no doubt get from other Xbox Studios as an Xbox exclusive, it is safe to say Redfall is a title to watch.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Update Introduces Brand-New Content Mon, 04 May 2020 13:52:29 -0400 Daniel Hollis

EA has announced a slew of new features coming in a free content update for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The news comes via a blog post on perhaps Star Wars' most sacred day, May the 4th, better known as Star Wars Day. 

The update is available now across all platforms and introduces a new hub area, game modes, new game plus (called New Journey +), and a host of new cosmetic rewards.

Meditation Training

First up we have the inclusion of Meditation Training, which is broken up into two sub-modes:

Combat Challenges

These challenge rooms will see you traversing multiple planets, fighting a plethora of enemies across numerous waves. They're aimed for the experienced players who have reached the end-game and have maxed out their skills. Unlocking stars for each challenge also rewards new BD-1 customizable options.

You can see those over at the official announcement linked at the top of this article. 

Battle Grid

This is a sandbox mode in which players will be able to customize battles to their liking by choosing enemy variations, difficulty settings, and various other modifiers. 

New Journey +

This mode allows players to experience the Jedi Fallen Order adventure again  right from the beginning  with all their upgrades, unlocks, and the ability to unlock chests or collectibles they may have missed in their first playthrough. 

There's also an array of unique customization options for this mode which consist of:

  • A Call Kestis Inquisitor uniform
  • Protection and Defence I & II lightsaber parts
  • Red kyber crystal for your lightsaber

Other New Additions

Alongside all of this, there's also been some quality of life improvements added to enhance the experience:

  • Quick time events can now be skipped
  • You can turn off the option to hold the climb button, as well as with interactions
  • A variety of text scaling options

This is on top of a range of bug fixes and tweaks that have been made to the game, which you can see below via the official announcement: 

Bug Fixes and Tweaks
  • Improved transitions between parry and block animations
  • The Bog Rats on Bogano were sometimes floating. They should now be more grounded
  • Improved the transitions into and out of jumping and double jumping
  • Fixed the issue where Cal could get stuck in an endless falling loop during air attacks
  • Fixed the issue that would prevent Cal from progressing his journey when a Bounty Hunter would show up
  • Improved overall responsiveness of gameplay and the reliability of actions based on player feedback

Be sure to check out our Fallen Order review, in which we said that, "Despite some technical and pacing issues, the final product is still the best Star Wars game we’ve seen for years. It’s particularly impressive, given the current gaming landscape, where live service titles are more prevalent than ever, and real singleplayer epics are falling by the wayside."

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, as well as the other games in the Star Wars universe, including LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga

Project xCloud Impressions: Microsoft Takes the Streaming Lead Tue, 26 Nov 2019 11:23:01 -0500 Mark Delaney

Project xCloud is here. If you read our early Stadia impressions, you know that game streaming has arrived sort of. While Google's foray into the game industry has been up and down so far, that may partly be because they're rushing to beat Xbox to market.

Microsoft is currently running a Project xCloud streaming preview program for select players who sign up for the trial phase. I was lucky enough to be given the green light as a sort of beta tester. 

That makes me one of the very few people with a foot in both the Stadia and xCloud camps so far. So how does xCloud work? In brief, xCloud works very well on mobile, just like Stadia. For the long version of that, keep reading.

Project xCloud promotional still featuring games played on phones and tablets.

What is Project xCloud?

In case you've missed the news of xCloud from the beginning or maybe aren't sure of everything it offers, Project xCloud is Microsoft's game streaming initiative.

Much like Google Stadia's 2018 experiment called Project Stream, where select players were able to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey via the cloud, Project xCloud is Microsoft's big bet that game streaming will matter in the years to come.

Unlike Project Stream, and even unlike Google Stadia at launch, Project xCloud has a lot of games on offer  over 50 right now. What's more, in 2020 the service will become compatible with Xbox Game Pass, which currently has well over 200 games in its library.

This includes major first-party stuff like Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 4 to indies and third-party titles like Oxenfree and Madden NFL 20.

Do I Need to Buy xCloud Games? 

The wildest part about xCloud right now is that you don't need to own any of the games to play them. Unlike Xbox Console Streaming  another invite-only initiative Microsoft is running where you stream games directly from your console  with xCloud, these 50+ games are available for free if you can get accepted into the program.

That's because it's all in preview right now, and the tech giant benefits from live player testing. 

Progress carries over, achievements pop, and if you've played before on console, the platform even recognizes that and picks up where you left off. It was awesome to see I didn't need to start my pirate's life over in Sea of Thieves.

What Devices Does xCloud Support? 

The program will roll out to more devices in 2020, but for now, you'll need select (see: modern) Android smartphones or tablets to access the app you'll need to play.

According to Microsoft, compatible devices should have specs of at least "Android version 6.0 or greater, as well as Bluetooth version 4.0." Useable Xbox controllers can double as xCloud controllers but require Bluetooth capability. 

Will xCloud come to iPhone or Apple devices? Presumably, yes. Microsoft has previously said the streaming service will come "to other platforms at a later date." Right now, that's all we know, though more news is sure to come.  

Project xCloud Games: What's Available?

Promotional xCloud still featuring a library of more than a dozen games.

As mentioned, there are over 50 games currently in the xCloud library. If you want the full games list, we've got you covered:

  • ARK: Survival Evolved
  • Absolver
  • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
  • Battle Chasers: Nightwar
  • Black Desert Online
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
  • Borderlands 2
  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
  • Conan Exiles
  • Crackdown 3: Campaign
  • Darksiders III
  • Dead Island: Definitive Edition
  • Devil May Cry 5
  • F1 2019
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Gears 5
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Hello Neighbor
  • Just Cause 4
  • Killer Instinct
  • Madden NFL 20
  • Mark of the Ninja: Remastered
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
  • Overcooked
  • Puyo Puyo Champions
  • RAD
  • ReCore: Definitive Edition
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • Sea of Thieves
  • State of Decay 2
  • Subnautica
  • Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition
  • Tekken 7
  • TERA
  • The Bard's Tale IV: Director's Cut
  • theHunter: Call of the Wild
  • Vampyr
  • Warhammer: Vermintide 2
  • West of Dead (BETA)
  • World of Final Fantasy Maxima
  • World of Tanks: Mercenaries
  • World of Warships: Legends
  • World War Z
  • WRC 7 FIA World Rally Championship
  • WWE 2K20
  • Yoku's Island Express

Will Project xCloud have exclusives? As of now, Microsoft has said that the service will not have exclusive games or titles. The company told Gamasutra

We are investigating a variety of new capabilities made possible by the cloud. However, we remain committed to an approach with game streaming that is complementary to console and have no plans for cloud-exclusive content at this time.

Does Project xCloud Work?

Sea of Thieves shooting cannon at broadside of ship.

Does Project xCloud actually work? In a word, yes.

With several hours logged in Project xCloud so far, I can confidently say it is living up to the dream. My hands-on time with Stadia was a few weeks of mixed feelings, but other than some slight scan lines when Sea of Thieves or State of Decay 2 got very dark the latter gets deliberately, cripplingly dark for horror effect I can't report a single issue I had with xCloud.

To be fair to Stadia, it too always works perfectly on my smartphone, so there seems to be something about the smaller screen or their Wi-Fi catchers that just works astoundingly well.

Playing several consecutive hours of Sea of Thieves has been a dream come true. It's a tough game to play at home when you've got two kids, including an infant, but with xCloud, I finally feel like I can reach Pirate Legend status because now I can play it anywhere the Wi-Fi is half-decent.

As games like Sea of Thieves and Forza exist in permanently shared, often uber-competitive worlds, they rely on high performance, and I would be lying if I said I felt disadvantaged when racing other drivers and fighting off pirates. It just works.

My games almost always look great, if not better than they do at home, thanks to my new phone with a gorgeous screen. In fact, the xCloud stream is, for me, much more reliable than the Xbox Console Streaming preview, which is usually unplayable unless I'm on my home network with my Xbox.

xCloud loads games faster too. I first noticed that when my two favorite aforementioned Xbox exclusives, both known for long load times, threw me into their games much faster than they do at home. When you can give me faster loads, and hitch-free HD displays, I'm convinced.

Project xCloud doesn't have it all yet, though. Notably, I saw no way to join friends' games, nor could I take screenshots or videos. For what it's worth, I could join voice parties at least. These are functions that will surely come later, so I'm not too concerned yet, but as a frequent screenshotter, the feature is missed for the time being. 

Knowing how well Stadia works on mobile, I see a similar trajectory for Microsoft, only the latter has 15+ years of experience in the industry and a huge fanbase.

Stadia took a major hit with its launch lineup of 22 games, some of the titles years old. Xbox won't have that problem as one of the established Big Three in the market, and with Xbox Game Pass compatibility on the way, there will be no shortage of titles.

I'm curious how Microsoft will decide to approach pricing. The a la carte menu on Stadia has turned many gamers away right off the bat. Is it possible Microsoft sticks to offering just Game Pass titles someday, tying the services together?

More likely, they will run it how they do their current digital store, where XGP and single-purchase games coexist. That way, xCloud never feels like it's missing anything, but it also offers a ton of incentive for current and curious Xbox gamers to jump in and try it.

The dream of next year, playing stuff like Cyberpunk 2077 and Halo Infinite wherever I may be, is coming to fruition — and fast. I'm already starting to feel old when I tell my seven-year-old how good he has it, and how back in my day, handheld games would never look or play like they do now.

Game streaming is rapidly altering the landscape of mobile gaming. Switch did something similar when it arrived in 2017, but Nintendo still struggles to pull in the full scope of third-party games. This future Microsoft and others are carving is also making Switch feel almost obsolete, or at least awkward at times, like a dedicated gaming handheld suddenly feels old-school.

Smartphones have swallowed up nearly every other item that was once in our lives, from calculators to cameras to newspapers. Now they're coming for your Switches and Vitas. With xCloud performing so well so far, I feel like my favorite games are just an app away.

Top 20 best Xbox 360 Backwards Compatible Games (So Far) Thu, 02 Aug 2018 13:33:26 -0400 Joseph Ocasio


Mass Effect 2


It's no secret that the original Mass Effect was one of the best role-playing games of its day. However, it hasn't really aged well. Mass Effect 2, however, has aged like fine wine.


The gunplay is improved over the original, the story is much more action packed, the characters are incredibly developed and complex, and it still has some of the best art design in all of gaming. 


Mass Effect 2 is the reason why I play video games -- and I'm not the only one who feels that way. Mass Effect may be dead, but legends like Mass Effect 2 will always live on.




Was there a game we missed?  If so, leave a comment below and let us know why. With so many games, it's easy for us to miss one or two of them.


Gears of War 3


The original Gears of War reinvented third-person shooters back in 2006, but the last game in the original trilogy was the one that perfected it.


Gears of War 3 takes everything you loved about the original series and pumps it up to 11. With great gunplay, amazing set pieces, and touching moments that will make even the manliest man tear up, Gears of War 3 is the pinnacle of the series. 


Red Dead: Redemption


After GTA IV, Rockstar took somewhat of a left turn, releasing a game that surprised everyone: Red Dead: Redemption.


Implementing the gameplay that made GTA so great, and using a setting such as the Old West, was one of the best idea's the developer has ever had. Along with an improved combat system over GTA IV and a compelling story of betrayal (and an ending that may make you cry), Redemption still remains a fan favorite and we can't wait to get our hands on the upcoming sequel.


Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD


With many fans playing Metal Gear Solid 3, a few may have been lost with some of the characters introduced in Metal Gear Solid 5. 


If you aren't familiar with characters like Paz, Kaz, or Huey, MGS: Peace Walker HD will catch you up. Along with the trademark storytelling that the series is known,  this entry in the series was the "blueprints" to what would eventually become MGS 5's excellent gameplay. That alone is worth checking this one out.


Dead Space 2


The original Dead Space was an excellent mixture of Resident Evil 4 and Event Horizon. Combining the backtracking, tension, and gunplay of the former with the ideal location of a spaceship in the middle of nowhere, Dead Space created something special.


The sequel expands upon this by allowing players to explore the blood-drenched floors of the space station, Sprawl. Dead Space 2's narrative may be a bit less interesting than the original, but truly great gameplay, excellent tension, and outstanding production make this a horror classic.


Alan Wake


If you love Steven King or Twin Peaks, then you'll probably love Alan Wake. As the eponymous character, you'll be shoved into a shifting, real-world nightmare as you puzzle out the secrets of an otherworldly town while attempting to rescue your wife from supernatural forces.


Mixing eerie storytelling and a creepy atmosphere (with the unique use of light as a combat mechanic and excellent gunplay), Alan Wake is one of the 360's more under-appreciated games.


Oh, and did I mention you can it for free if you buy Quantum Break?


Assassin's Creed


The original Assassin's Creed help start the open-world trend that many games still attempt to capitalize on, even other franchises that Ubisoft owns. It may feel old when compared to later installments and it can get extremely repetitive, but its core exploration-based gameplay and level design is still strong.


It also has a world that no game has ever been set in and an engaging story that still holds up after all these years. With the series exploring prequels in its latest installments, it's worth going back and seeing where it all began. 


Batman: Arkham Origins


Batman: Arkham Origins gets a bad rap for not doing anything different with the formula that it's predecessors laid out -- and that's true. Despite that, it tells a great Batman/Joker story, has engaging combat, and has some of the best boss fights in any video game.


Arkham Origins may only be available on disk, but it shouldn't be missed for Bat-fans craving more time in the Arkham-verse.


Deus Ex: Human Revolution


After years of hibernation, Deus Ex finally returned with Human Revolution. By allowing players to choose a specific gameplay style (either guns blazing or sneaking about), this excellent RPG managed to capture the original's spirit while not being afraid to try different things.


Human Revolution also managed to tell an intriguing story of government conspiracy and revenge. The sequel may be better in nearly every way, but this adventure is still an unforgettable tale that's worth experiencing. 




Grand Theft Auto's debut on last-gen machines may not be its best installment (the driving is still a pain in the ass), but the changes it made to story and gameplay, as well as the inclusion of multiplayer that's even more addictive than GTA Online, makes this one of the series' best installments.


Nikko's story of revenge still holds a place in many people's hearts, as it is easily the most grounded and relatable story in a GTA game. Top that with the same open world gameplay that's made GTA a household name and you've got yourself a winner.


Beyond Good and Evil HD


Technically an HD version of an Xbox game, Beyond Good and Evil HD still counts as it's the only way to play this classic game on consoles.


Jade's adventure has touched many gamers in the years since the game's release, and it still holds up with its solid mixture of gameplay types. With a sequel currently in development, it's the perfect time to replay this cult classic adventure.


Splinter Cell: Blacklist


After the action focused Conviction, Ubisoft listened to fans and was able to tailor Blacklist to what many players wanted: the ability to choose their own style of play.


By combining the gameplay mechanics and urgency of the previous game and the slower and more methodical style of Chaos Theory, Blacklist was able to cater to both newcomers and long-time veterans of the series.


It's shame that Sam hasn't been around in while, but his recent appearance in Ghost Recon: Wildlands gives us hope for a comeback. 


Hitman Absolution


Hitman Absolution took some risks with the typical gameplay of the long running series. While some changes, like more linear sections, didn't work so well, its change to a more Grindhouse style of storytelling and inclusion of the instinct meter were welcomed.


Absolution also contains some of the series' best kills, such as switching BBQ sauce with Gasoline. It's easily Hitman at it's most cinematic and most accessible -- more so than any title in the series.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 2


There's little doubt that Call of Duty is a defining franchise. But Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 did a lot of different things with the franchise -- and they payed off.


From the ability to make choices that changed the game's story to a futuristic setting and a villain that's actually intimidating, Black Ops 2 made for the best CoD game since the original Modern Warfare.


Not all additions, like Strike Force missions, are winners, but it's still a game that's worth playing. 


Sonic Generations


Probably the last Sonic game both critics and fans can agree on was good (well, except for the recently-released Sonic Mania), Sonic Generations let's players relive some of Sonic's best memories in new ways, while also acting as a great tribute to the entire franchise.


With classic Sonic platforming action and fast paced modern Sonic gameplay, it's still a great title that only has one crime: being too short. 


Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon


Do you love the 80's? Do you love shooting dinosaurs and neon-psychedelic henchmen? Then this version of FC3 just what you've been looking for. You even get to go around shooting baddies with Robocop's gun!


However, the 80's love doesn't stop there. Blood Dragon is so drenched in 80's nostalgia that it's the Ready Player One of video games. It may be short, but Blood Dragon still has the classic Far Cry gameplay, just colored in a retro vibe. And that ain't half-bad.




Another Platinum Games title that many didn't pick up when it was first released, Vanquish has one of the best campaigns in shooter history, an excellent sense of speed, and wonderful slide mechanics that other shooters tried to implement, but did so with varying results.


It may be a little on the short side, but it still works thanks to great gameplay, a wonderful visual aesthetic, and Platinum Games' trademark over-the-top set pieces. Give this one a shot. 




Though it was thought to just be "that game that came with the Halo 3 beta," Crackdown quickly gained a large fallowing thanks to its open-world gameplay, gripping character abilities, and one of the best radio sidekicks of all time.


Thanks to Xbox One X, Crackdown looks and plays even better than before. It can even run at 4K if you have the capability.


Long story short, you'll want to check out this classic Xbox game before it's third installment comes out next year.




Though her heart and sequels may be with Nintendo these days, and her first adventure has started showing a few signs of age, the original Bayonetta still offers plenty of hack and slash action that will please fans of action games and the hack and slash genre.


Bayonetta has some of the craziest boss fights in gaming history, and its battles are fierce (your thumbs will definitely get a workout). If you love character-based action games like Devil May Cry (but crazier), you owe it to yourself to check this one out.


Lost Odyssey


As one of a few JRPGs Microsoft produced to generate interest in the Xbox 360 in Japan, Lost Odyssey is a game that many fans of the genre overlooked.


Created by famed JRPG maker Hironobu Sakaguichi and his team at Mistwalker studios, Lost Odyssey does a lot of things right. While using basic frameworks from other games in the genre, Lost Odyssey still works thanks to its strong characters, excellent art design, and a functional combat system. 


If there's one thing the Xbox One has over the PS4 and Nintendo Switch, it's backwards compatibility. Sure, the PS4 has its streaming service (PlayStation Now) for playing PS3 games, but the relatively high price and often fuzzy visual quality isn't as consumer friendly as people may want it to be. And, of course, the Switch doesn't have Virtual Console, so ... 


Playing old games on your current system without having to pay some kind of Netflix-like membership is a much better alternative -- and it does a better job of helping the medium retain its physical history, too. 


With more than 300 titles currently getting the backwards compatibility treatment on the Xbox, picking only 10 games wasn't good enough. For this list, we're looking at 20 of the best Xbox 360 games you can play on your Xbox One right now.


There are only two caveats. One, the games in question can't be available in the form of a remaster -- so don't expect the Halo series, the original Gears of War, Burnout Paradise, etc) as they can be played on Xbox One with numerous improvements. And two, we're only looking at one game per franchise.


With that said, let's get started.

How to Play Better in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds on Xbox One Sun, 11 Feb 2018 16:55:29 -0500 buymymixtape123

Player Unknown's Battlegrounds has taken Xbox by storm, having about 4 million people that bought the game last month. This means that players who aren't familiar with the PC version of the game may be slacking on ways to get close to their winner-winner-chicken-dinners. It may be hard to win the game, but these few tips will help you at least get top ten.

Utilize Health Products

The first thing to do is to utilize energy drinks and pain pills. There are countless games with random players that do not care about these health products, and they don't last long because their health is lower than it could have been if they had used the pills or energy drink. Please be sure to pick these items up because they gradually bring your health back to one hundred percent.

Avoid Unnecessary Fights

Another tip is to not take fights you can avoid. This isn't Call of Duty where you can just run in guns blazing, taking on everyone you see. If you see people in the distance, and you know you don't have the advantage in the fight, let them pass. Avoiding unnecessary conflict is a great way to help you live longer. 

Optimize Inventory

The next useful tip is knowing what guns to use and what to have at a certain time. Using the S1897 shotgun or a pistol in the end game can hinder your chances of survival, as most of the conflict once 15-20 people are alive is usually mid-range to long-range battles that will require an assault rifle or sub-machine gun to be most effective. Also, dropping the pistol and its ammunition after you find two primary weapons is smart because it frees up the extra space you could use for extra bullets or healing products. 

Plan for the Unexpected

Lastly, always be ready for the unexpected. This version of the game isn't the most perfect, so always try to be ready for things like the frames dropping often or even the game crashing, as these problems can effect you winning the game.

If you take these tips into consideration, you'll be one step closer to your chicken dinner.

Overwatch Receiving New Skins, Sprays, and More in January 23 Update Sun, 21 Jan 2018 21:22:41 -0500 buymymixtape123

Get ready to open some loot boxes, as Overwatch is getting new cosmetic items on January 23, for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. These items include new emotes, skins and sprays for character like Tracer, Mei, Widowmaker and others.

Blizzard first teased this update in Blizzcon last November, where they showcased a bunch of the new items in a video short. Some of the memorable skins in that video are barbarian Zarya, butcher Roadhog and immortal Orisa. They are also adding skins from the fan favorite Mei and Reinhardt shorts.




Blizzard has been teasing these new cosmetics all last week on Twitter by  showing a different skin, emote or spray every day. One of these teases was the new Pharah skin, Lucio skin and the different new emotes you can unlock.

Blizzard is also planning to release their new map, BlizzardWorld, on January 23rd. This map pays homage to Blizzard's many games, like Warcraft and Diablo, in a amusement park setting. 

Be sure to download this update January 23, and stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Overwatch news. 

13 Xbox Games Coming to Xbox One October 24 Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:03:02 -0400 StrongerStrange

One of the more eye-catching surprises from Microsoft's E3 press conference was the announcement of backwards compatibility between the Xbox and the Xbox One. Today, the company announced the first 13 original Xbox games coming to the Xbox Marketplace -- all of which will be playable starting tomorrow, October 24. 

Here's the list of available games: 

  • Black
  • BloodRayne 2
  • Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
  • Dead to Rights
  • Fuzion Frenzy
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies
  • Ninja Gaiden Black
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  • Psychonauts 
  • Red Faction 2
  • Sid Meier’s Pirates!
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • The King of Fighters Neowave

These will be rendered in 1080p resolution, have vastly improved framerates, and of course, provide gamers with faster loading times.

If you own the physical disc for any of these games, the disc should work in your Xbox One. And in the case of original Xbox games that were previously re-released for Xbox 360, digital copies of those games will transfer over as well.

For those of you that don’t already own any of these titles, many of them will be available for $9.99 through the Xbox Marketplace. 

State of the Xbox One Wed, 06 Sep 2017 18:05:01 -0400 Joey Marrazzo

Ever since the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox were released back in 2000 and 2001 respectively, Sony and Microsoft have been at odds, each battle ending with a clear winner crowned. This new era of the 'Console Wars' has been intense and ongoing since these two consoles have been released. 

The PS2 destroyed the original Xbox in sales. The PS2 ended up selling over 150 million units compared to the Xbox which only sold over 24 million units. Because of this, Sony had their head held high when they released the PlayStation 3 in 2006.

Microsoft beat Sony to market when they released the Xbox 360 a year earlier than the PlayStation 3. Even though Xbox had a head start, the PS3 had a bumpy beginning after starting their console prices at $499 and $599 compared to the Xbox 360 which was priced at $299 and $399. The price disparity allowed the Xbox take a huge lead in sales, which lead to Microsoft winning this round of the console wars.

This leads us to the current generation: the PlayStation 4 against the Xbox One. Microsoft knew they had the video game aspect of the console in the bag, so they decided to focus on the entertainment side of their new console. Sony knew they had to take back the power, and decided to focus mainly on games and console power, which they did. 

PlayStation has easily won this generation due to its exclusive titles as well as confusion over whether or not the Xbox One was meant to be a gaming console or a home media center. We all know that Microsoft have struggled to get the high quality exclusives for Xbox that Sony boasts for its PS consoles. Studios have released many blockbuster games exclusively for the PS4 such as Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, Bloodborne and many more on the way. The Xbox One exclusives include games like like Halo 5, Gears of War 4, Sunset Overdrive, Forza, but not much else. 

The PlayStation 4 has already been named the winner of this console generation, with the PS4 sales at 63.3 million against the Xbox One, which has sold 26 million consoles as of the beginning of 2017. 

Microsoft have not lived up to their own hype

With the release of the Xbox One X later this year, Microsoft is going after the hardcore players that want the best in graphics and performance without having to buy or build an expensive gaming PC. While there are plenty of games lined up to get the 4K patch to make the experience better on this new console, there isn't much else to play if you want something new.

In Microsoft's 2017 E3 conference, Forza 7 and Crackdown 3 were the main exclusive games that used the power of Xbox One X. Forza 7 looked amazing, as expected, but Crackdown 3 didn't look too good. Many fans complained that the graphics didn't live up to expectations. If the consumer is supposed to spend $500 on the 'most powerful console ever made' the graphics should be very realistic. 

Microsoft have been suffering from a serious lack of quality Xbox exclusive titles. Besides Forza and Crackdown 3, the only other 'exclusives' were indie titles like Cuphead or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Where are the fresh IPs? Where is the next Halo? Where is a brand new game that is going to bring gamers back to the console people want to play? 

What can Microsoft do to bring gamers back to the Xbox franchise?

Backwards Compatibility and Xbox Game Pass are great additions to the console and many gamers spend a lot of time on both of these features. However, I don't want to buy a console just to play old games. 

If Xbox wants to bring gamers back to their platform, they need to show more quality games. Yes, people are excited for PC games to be ported to their Xbox One, but that isn't enough. They need to bring fresh IPs to the console. Whether they debut on the Xbox One X or the next console, they need to focus on bringing exciting and high quality titles to their gamers. 

I'd love to see a remaster of Banjo Kazooie for the Xbox One X. With the Crash Bandicoot N'Sane Trilogy selling as well as it is and Sonic Mania getting great reviews, it's clear that people want to see the return of these collect-a-thon games. They could either do a remastered version of all the games like Crash Bandicoot, or make a brand new one. We've recently seen that this style of game is in demand. 

The Xbox franchise isn't dead... but it needs work

People want to play games on the Xbox One, but if there are no new games, the Xbox will collect dust. Releasing a beefed up Xbox One is a great idea, but how much replayability is in a 3 year old game that's just repackaged with better graphics?

Phil Spencer and the Xbox team at Microsoft need to step it up and prove to both the loyal Xbox fans and gamers everywhere that the Xbox One and Xbox One X are the best consoles to play the best games. If they are unable to do that, they will always be in second place behind PlayStation.


Microsoft Announces New "Tech Series" Controlers Wed, 22 Mar 2017 05:44:50 -0400 Scopersniper

Xbox has announced that as a lead up to Project Scorpio it will be making new controllers. These controllers will be called the "Tech Series," and might just give custom controller retailers a run for their money. The first of these will be the Recon Tech Special Edition, which will cost $69.99 USD and ship to game retailers worldwide beginning April 25.

The development of the Recon Tech Special Edition controller was apparently influenced by military technology and performance patterns, exploring "concepts stemming from combat armor and sci-fi mechanical gear." The back of the Recon has "textured diamond rubberized grip for added control and comfort." The controller also has improved wireless range and Bluetooth for Windows 10 gaming and the Samsung Gear VR. There will also be a "custom button-mapping feature through the Xbox Accessories App."

Coinciding with this is the announcement of the Copilot program, "a new console feature that allows any two Xbox Wireless Controllers [to] act as if they were one." According to Microsoft, "the Copilot feature will be available through the Creators Update later this year."

How do all these additions sound to you? Let me know in the comments below.

Dark Souls Creator Reveals Three New Projects at Toyko Game Show Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:09:12 -0400 Jared Elliott

As the world gears up for the October 25 release of Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel, the developers at FromSoftware are busy working on three brand-new projects. During an interview with IGN at the Tokyo Game Show last week, Director Hidetaka Miyazaki dropped a few hints about what to expect from the post-Souls development team:

"So there are several titles that we are currently working on [...] Some of those are dark fantasy, some of those could be a mech [game] - that's one thing. The second thing is that one of the new titles I've been working on will probably comply with the expectations from the fans in straightforward manner."

Miyazaki goes on to reveal more specific details about the above-mentioned projects: The first is a dark fantasy RPG which is likely similar in concept to Dark Souls and Bloodborne, which would certainly "comply with the expectations from the fans"; the second is a new Armored Core title; and the third is a mysterious game that Miyazaki describes as simply "weird":

"The last thing is that another title will probably be a little bit weird. When we actually announce the title, probably fans will react with 'oh, what the hell is this very weird game that Miyazaki has created?'"

Miyazaki disclosed the same information to back in June, but as the interview was originally conducted in Japanese, Anglophones have had to rely on translation efforts by the good samaritans at NeoGAF. Now, almost four months later, English-speaking gamers can have confidence that this news is accurate.

Because no formal announcement for any project has been made at this point in time, there is no way of knowing when we can expect any of FromSoftware's works-in-progress to be released. Two DLCs are due for Dark Souls III between now and January 2017, so unless Miyazaki has any tricks up his sleeve, we may have to wait until next summer before we see an official unveiling.

Curious about next month's DLC? Watch the first five minutes here!

Getting Lost in Virginia Mon, 26 Sep 2016 00:49:22 -0400 Jared Elliott

When reviewing any game, it's important to consider what it seeks to achieve as an experience. At its core, Virginia is a cinematic experience, or a "first-person interactive drama." Whatever you call it, Virginia undoubtedly falls into the same category as games like Dear Esther and Firewatch - and in this category, storytelling is everything. With this in mind, it's only fair to start a review of Virginia where it really counts - its plot. 

Virginia picks up with Anne Tarver, the character whom the player will control for most of the game. She is a brand-spanking-new FBI agent who, on her first day of work, is given two assignments by the Director of the FBI. The first is to investigate the disappearance of a young boy with the help of a more experienced partner, Maria Halperin. The second is to investigate Maria Halperin herself. It is this series of events that Variable Games cites as the principle plot of the story:

Virginia is a first person interactive drama. It is the story of a recently graduated FBI agent and her partner as they seek to uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a young boy.

In reality, the plot is hardly concerned with the case of the missing boy. It serves only as a backdrop for the tense relationship between Anne and Maria and related events. In other words, its sacrifices the straightforward whodunit quoted above in favor of a complex character study. This turns out to be the most damaging criticism of Virginia. Because the game lacks dialogue entirely, the player must interpret the motivations, emotions,  and personalities of ever-silent Anne and Maria to piece the story of their relationship together. While this approach to storytelling sounds interesting in theory, it often leads to confusion as the player struggles to make sense of the plot's rapid twists and turns. The story of Virginia is its most critical element, yet by the time the credits roll, its significance is as mysterious as the characters within it.

For what it lacks in storytelling, Virginia succeeds in delivering some truly spectacular visuals - details like tall grass swaying in the wind and autumn-colored leaves blanketing the horizon look incredible in Virginia's cel-shaded world. The musical score is rich and varied, often complementing the character of game environments to create a dense and immersive atmosphere, which is the game's greatest strength. There are several moments during the game that Virginia will smother you with its magical vibes, and in some ways, that experience alone is worth the $9.99 pricetag.

Gameplay in Virginia is limited to character movement, camera movement, and a single action button. Anne must interact with specific objects in the world to continue the story, yet exactly what she must interact with and how is sometimes a mystery. This occasionally leads to frustrating moments where the player cannot find the necessary object to interact with. During my first playthrough, I wandered in circles inside of a certain bar location for about five minutes before I was able to continue. By then, the beautiful music had become repetitive and the solemn atmosphere stale. 


Virginia also has a bad habit of ripping players from one scene and tossing them into another without warning. This is presumably for dramatic effect, but it happens so often that one rarely has time to acclimate to an environment before a new one is presented. Not only does this interrupt gameplay to a frustrating extent, but it contributes to the disjointed and confusing nature of Virginia's plot.

Overall, Virginia is a beautiful, creative, and sometimes frustrating experience that will last about two hours total. While it ultimately fails to create a cogent or captivating narrative, it is a valiant effort on the part of Variable State to create an immersive experience using refreshing and innovative methods. If the collective talents at Variable State produce a more complete experience in the same gorgeous package, they could have a winner on their hands. Until then, I'm going to play something else.

Copy purchased by myself.

HyperX CloudX - Branded for Xbox One, Use it for Everything Thu, 11 Aug 2016 11:12:53 -0400 Stephen F. Johnston

HyperX has an evolving lineup of headphones. The HyperX CloudX, while building on the HyperX Cloud lineup, fits into the product line in a way that is not immediately intuitive beyond the Xbox One branding. My first sense upon getting my HyperX CloudX headset was that it was just an Xbox licensed variant of the Cloud or Cloud II. The reality is a bit more subtle, but very compelling for on-the-go gamers.

To start, the CloudX is simply one of the best sounding and most comfortable headsets in the around $100.00 price range. This holds true for its relatives in the product line the Cloud II. The build quality is excellent, the padding is ample, and the interchangeable ear cups let you tune the fit a bit. I like the velour, but others swear by the leatherette. The microphone is good, the noise cancelling is a welcome addition from the Cloud, and the sound quality of the headset is quite good.

So, now let's talk about the subtle. With the items I've mentioned it is easy to say the CloudX is just a Cloud II with Xbox branding and no 7.1 surround sound, but there is more to it than that -- and the subtle differences makes this headset a great lifestyle fit for gamers. The CloudX comes with a hardshell case, a 4 pole connector (the single connector for sound and microphone) with a dual/split connector for your PC, an extension cable, and it has an in-line volume control.

The combination of these items makes the CloudX not only an excellent Xbox One headset, but an excellent headset for nearly any use -- especially portable use. The CloudX works well with your smartphone, your portable DS or Vita and your laptop computer that is either dual or single connector capable.

Yes, the combination doesn't have 7.1 USB, but what it has is portable awesomeness for the devices that most people actually have and that most people on the go actually use -- and most of which don't even have 7.1 sound anyway.

To prove it to myself, I've used the CloudX as my portable headset since its release and the results have made a believer out of me. The CloudX has actually become my "daily driver" headset. I use my laptop at times to play games, then I listen to music streamed from my phone. I've even taken a call using the headset with good results. Then I have late night sessions on the Xbox One while the kids are asleep, and I play my DS while flying, and all with the same headset.

I have simply never had another headset that transitioned so easily among all of those usages so competently while sounding and fitting so well. The icing is having all of the right connectors and lengths of cables, and a convenient carrying case. It's not just the combination of features, this headset is seriously at the top of the class in each of these aspects.

To sum it up, I recommend this headset without question because it is simply the best all-around headset I've ever found for the gamer lifestyle.

Note: HyperX provided a headset for this review. I will still be giving these as Christmas and birthday gifts because they are that good.

Xbox Games with Gold for August 2016! Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:12:20 -0400 Ryan Gulliford

With July coming to a close, we have a whole lot of gaming news to look back on! We witnessed Pokémon overtake our world, and continue to do so, with Pokémon Go being a gaming sensation. So, to end the month on a high, let's look at the next set of free games with Xbox's Games with Gold programme...

For August of 2016, Xbox gold members will be hitting the ring with the launch of WWE 2K16 as a free game for the month! You'll be able to access your favourite WWE superstars as of August 16th on Xbox One. You'll also be experiencing high paced action with WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate as of the beginning of the month. With that being said, here's whats in store for the 360 players among you.

As of August 1stSpelunker will be free to 360 players, with Beyond Good & Evil HD coming August 16th. All in all, this represents some classic, pick up and play, 360 titles for gamers to enjoy. 

August should be a very exciting month for Games with Gold, particularly for Xbox One players, reliving their favourite matches from WWE with the widely popular game series.

Also as ever, the games available on 360 will be downloadable on Xbox One consoles as a part of backwards compatibility. 

Xbox Two Is On The Way For 2017 Release Fri, 03 Jun 2016 12:35:46 -0400 Rick Ormsby

Some anonymous sources have leaked that there are a couple new Xbox consoles headed our way. They're tentatively titled the Xbox One Slim and the Xbox Two (aka Xbox Scorpio), but we're still holding out for the Xbox 720.

Like the Playstation Slims before it, the Xbone Slim should offer the same features as it's big brother in a smaller package. It's rumored to hold a 2 TB harddrive, which is a great improvement assuming the price will stay the same or possibly even come down. This console could be out as early as 3rd quarter of 2016.

The Xbox Two Scorpio won't be here any sooner than 2017 however. Very little is known about this new contender other than a simple prototype image that's arguably pretty slick. Microsoft is clearly hoping to get ahead of the surge of PS4 exclusive titles like Uncharted 4, Hellblade, LBP 3, and Last of Us 2 which are sure to convert more than a few Xbox users to the PS side.


Addiction Unlocked: When Achievement Hunting Goes Too Far Tue, 31 May 2016 10:00:12 -0400 Josh Artman

I’m a Gamerscore addict. Now don’t get me wrong -- it’s not as serious as any real addiction, but it certainly does impact my gaming habits. Between Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows Phone, Games for Windows Live, and Windows 10 games, I’ve amassed a whopping 83,771 Gamerscore, as of this article’s publication. I’m sure that might sound measly to some of you, but in my circle of friends, it’s over double that of my closest competitor. I’m no Stallion83, but it’s safe to say I have much more than a passing interest in Achievements -- check out some of my 2015 Xbox Year In Review stats if you don't believe me.

A few months ago, a friend asked me why I still insist on pursuing these ultimately pointless badges.

My answer to this question has always been the same.

Achievements provide some continuity to my gaming experience, a gamer’s resumé, if you will. I’ve always enjoyed being able to pop open the Achievements menu, so I can fondly look back on some great games and particularly difficult accomplishments. It provides some structure to my overall gaming experience, and makes me feel like I’ve done something truly meaningful with every play session.

But lately, I’ve started to question that explanation more and more - is it all really worth it?

Achievement hunting isn’t harmless, and sometimes it can really take the fun out of a game. Take my experience with BioShock Infinite, for example. All of my friends and the online community praised the game for its great story, but it didn’t do much for me personally. I’m not trying to bash the game -- I’m actually really upset that it didn’t “wow” me like it did for everyone else. But I think back on my time with Infinite, and I suspect it has something to do with my Achievement hunting tendencies.

When I first acquired the Paddywhacker Hand Cannon in the game, I wasn’t thinking about the fate of Columbia and the personal tale of Booker DeWitt. I was only concerned with killing 25 enemies with the gun as soon as possible, receiving the “Loose Cannon” Achievement and the accompanying 5 Gamerscore. Although this alone was a minor distraction, I was in this Achievement-crazed state of mind for my entire playthrough of Infinite, and I feel like my overall experience with the game suffered because of that.

And in the end, what did I really get out of it? My overall Gamerscore ticker certainly increased, sure. But as a result, I look back on the game with little to no impactful memories of the game’s often-lauded story. Many gamers love to wax poetic about games as art, but I feel like I am often disqualified from this conversation because of the way I mindlessly play games.

I also feel as if my attachment to my Achievement resumé has given me an unhealthy level of brand loyalty -- I bought an Xbox One without even considering the PS4 as an option. Even worse, from 2013 to mid-2015 I used a Windows Phone, solely because that meant more Achievements. Allow me to repeat that for emphasis - I owned a Windows Phone.

So yeah, that’s what I have to share about my personal Gamerscore addiction. It’s still a prevalent part of my gaming experience, but lately I’ve been challenging myself to pop the Achievements menu less and less often. Hearing that glorious unlock noise will always hold a special place in my heart, but I'm beginning to learn that the hunt for Gs should never overshadow the fun of the game itself.

I can't be alone in this struggle. Have any of you ever felt overly-addicted to Achievements, Trophies, or other unlockables?

[Images sourced from Microsoft, Irrational Games, and]

Xbox One Cuts Price to $299 Tue, 31 May 2016 09:17:15 -0400 JunaeBenne

The Xbox One price has dropped to $299 for a limited time -- it truly is a Spring miracle.

Microsoft really wants its console to stand alone -- and with the major improvements plus this price cut, the Xbox One is continously making headlines. The cut is a total $50 decrease for the Xbox One, lowering the price to $299.99.

Microsoft started cutting prices on Xbox One bundles by $50 back in March. This new cut includes all Xbox systems at any retail store. But there isn’t any say whether the Xbox will return to the regular price of $350.

Along with this price cut there will be significant discounts on PC, Xbox One and Xbox 360 compatible video game titles. You can save 40 to 60 percent off over 150 titles. Titles will be available in the Xbox Store for both silver and gold members. A few titles that will have this discount are: Call of Duty Black Ops III, Halo 5, Far Cry Primal and  Fallout 4.

Microsoft has been doing tremendous outreach and listening to their consumers. Microsoft customers and O.T. Genasis have been saying the same thing:

“Your price is way too high, you need to cut it,” and Microsoft has listened.

This is the cheapest Microsoft has ever sold a console. Check out this Spring Sale on the Xbox website, the offers are continously being updated.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Dark Brotherhood is out on PC next week! Tue, 24 May 2016 06:42:10 -0400 Ian Ilano

Do you have what it takes to become Tamriel's deadliest assassin?

One week from today, players of The Elder Scrolls Online will have the chance to join the Dark Brotherhood and carve their name into the guild's bloody legacy.

The long-anticipated Dark Brotherhood expansion will include two new locations, a great deal of quests, and powerful assassin-inspired gear. Best of all, it will also introduce features available for both base-game and expansion owners.

The Dark Brotherhood expansion will launch on PC/Mac, May 31. Console owners can expect the game to release on June 14.

It will be available for purchase on the ESO crown store for roughly $20.

Dark Brotherhood

Blood will flow. A guild of assassins rises to power in Tamriel.

Complete with a new Dark Brotherhood passive skill line, gameplay and graphical fixes, and a fresh look at The Gold Coast, the new expansion will be packed with improvements of the base-game.

The expansion will feature:

  • Access to join the Dark Brotherhood and become an assassin.
  • Entry into The Gold Coast. Explore the the region home to the historical cities of Anvil and Kvatch.
  • A new passive skill line.
  • Hours of exciting new story content.
  • New repeatable activities. Complete daily bounty quests, contract kills, or sacrament quests.
  • Two new delves. Hrota Cave and Garlas Agea. Each one featuring their own distinctive challenges and rewards.
  • Two fresh world-boss encounters.
  • New gear and rewards inspired by the Dark Brotherhood. A new assassin personality. Three new item crafted sets, and two new costumes and venom dyes. 

The last time we visited Anvil and Kvatch was in TES: Oblivion.

However, similar to other previous expansions, the expansion will also incorporate some features available to base-game owners. 

The base-game patch will feature:

  • The removal of Veteran Ranks.
  • Poison-making. For those who want to be especially nasty to their enemies.
  • Toggleable nameplates.
  • Item locking. This will help prevent the deconstruction of some of your most valuable items.
  • Craft Bags. Will help you story a nearly unlimited amount of crafting materials.
  • Improvements and adjustments to Item Traits.
  • Performance improvements.
  • Combat and gameplay improvements.
  • Two new crafting styles. Abah's Watch is available from the large shipments of goods that the Thieves Guild distributes, and after completing heights, you'll be given the chance to use the highest standards of the Thieves Guild.

Your new goal is simple: make the Night Mother proud.

If there's one thing that I felt was missing from the online world of Tamriel, it was the Night Mother and her band of sneaky assassins. You can't have an Elder Scrolls world without your death-loving executioners.

The new expansion packs in a whole heap of features and is expected to make the online world feel more like the world Elder Scroll fans are so accustomed to.

Pick up the Dark Brotherhood DLC for PC/Mac on May 31, and June 14 for Xbox One and Playstation 4. 

The Dark Brotherhood is waiting for you.

Madden NFL '17 cover star announced Thu, 12 May 2016 14:43:42 -0400 Eric Levy

EA announced earlier this week that Madden NFL '17 will come to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 on August 23, 2016. Today, they released the official box art for the upcoming game, confirming this year's cover star as none other than Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots.  

You can demo Madden NFL '17 via EA Access' Play First Trial for a limited amount of time before its August 23 release date.  However, this is only available to Xbox One owners.

Madden NFL '17 is the next entry in the popular series of football games. EA is set on making this a more realistic and even more enjoyable experience with a host of new features. These features include new ball carrier controls, a tiered system of special moves, a revamped AI system, and changes to Special Teams -- to name a few. You can view the full list of changes and features in Madden NFL '17 on the official EA Sports website.

UbiSoft wants you to Experience E3 this Year! Thu, 28 Apr 2016 09:29:28 -0400 Average Xbox Gamer

E3 is not open to the public and Ubisoft wants to change that. While Ubisoft is scheduled to attend the most anticipated show in the U.S., they want to share the love with their fans. One has to wonder if Ubisoft may be testing the waters to host their own event rather than attend the main stage of E3. Others such as Activision and EA have already gone this route and opted not to grace the E3 stage this year.

Ubisoft is calling this event the Ubisoft Lounge, and it will be held on June 14th and 15th. Ubisoft Lounge is a pop-up event that will give attendees a chance to try out upcoming games, attend master classes, compete for prizes, and chat with Ubisoft’s teams about their favorite games.

The Ubisoft Lounge is the place dedicated to Ubisoft fans during E3. It is a unique immersive experience where you can get yours hands on Ubisoft's upcoming games, meet the dev teams and get in-depth details about your favorite games.

Fans that would like the opportunity to attend the Ubisoft event should pre-register at If selected, you must be 21 years of age or older to attend.

Spencer isn't a fan of an Xbox One and a Half Tue, 05 Apr 2016 06:59:12 -0400 JunaeBenne

The head honcho at Microsoft’s Xbox division, Phil Spencer, admits to not being a fan of the Xbox 1.5, and wants to put out quality rather than quantity.

There has been a rumor floating around about PS4 making a PlayStation 4.5, also potentially known as PS4K. Lately we’ve been hearing that Xbox might be coming out with another console, but Spencer expressed during a conference that he is not interested in putting out another Xbox with a few upgrades.

“I’m not a big fan of Xbox One and a half. If we’re going to move forward. I want to move forward in big numbers. For us, our box is doing well. It performs, it’s reliable, the servers are doing well. If we’re going to go forward with anything, I want it to be a really substantial change for people - an upgrade.”

--Phil Spencer, Microsoft Build Conference 2016

Although Spencer isn’t a fan of the half this doesn’t mean he’s not planning more upgrades. Microsoft caught a lot fire at the unveiling of the Xbox One in 2013 because it wasn’t what consumers expected, and they're still working to meet those expectations. 

But as far as Xbox 1.5 rumors go, Spencer has made it clear he doesn’t want to launch an upgradeable Xbox One kit, and the company doesn’t want to rebrand for an Xbox One and a half.