The Battle of the Five Armies marches onto Xbox One

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Update: Alas, this was too good to be true and indeed an April Fool – I hate this bloody day – besides, as it was posted yesterday isn’t there something to say they are the fool?

In the UK, an April fool joke is revealed by shouting “April fool!” at the recipient, who becomes the “April fool”. A study in the 1950s, by folklorists Iona and Peter Opie, found that in the UK, and in countries whose traditions derived from the UK, the joking ceased at midday. A person playing a joke after midday is the “April fool” themselves

Original story: Fans of Lord of the Rings rejoice, theres a new Battle for Middle-Earth and it’s headed for Xbox One.

The real-time strategy game is set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth at the end of The Hobbit trilogy, and is due to march onto consoles in 2016.

Having secured the rights to this fabled franchise, we can finally bring The Battle for Middle-earth into the current generation of video games,

says Isaac Johnston, High King, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Utilizing the award-winning people behind 2014’s ‘Shadow of Mordor’, we are looking to both satisfy the existing The Battle for Middle-earth fanbase as well as evolve its concepts to attract new gamers to this franchise. This is going to be the Lord of the Rings RTS experience fans have been waiting for.

Dying Light gets crazy one-day event

April 1 – the day the internet is a interesting place to visit – can you really trust anything you read on a day where many sites insist on pushing through bogus stories that are far from amusing! It’s only fitting then that Techland get this in before March is out – Dying Light’s world of Harran is set to receive some crazy Antizin on April 1, which has some pretty humours side effects that, for once, help rather than hinder!

All undelivered Antizin crates have been destroyed, and we would like to assure the survivors that untainted drops will resume as of April 2nd. We urge all the survivors to use extreme care when exhibiting symptoms of the contaminated Antizin injections.

says Hudson Jenkins, spokesman for the GRE.

April Fool? You’d be a fool not to give this a try, it’s a shame it only lasts for 24 hours!

Trials Fusion receives its final piece of ‘planned’ DLC

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10 new tracks, 24 challenges, 5 achievements and a variety of new objects for the track editor – this is “Life after the incident” the sixth and final piece of planned DLC for Trials Fusion, and available to download now for Xbox One – free to those who own the season pass.

In After the Incident players investigate the causes of the disaster that has devastated Earth. Following tragic events, the flourishing world as we know it has brutally passed away, leading to a vast field of ruins and the broken dreams of a whole civilisation. Riders must proceed with caution as they navigate through ruined cities and devastated ecosystems.

 

Ubisoft announce brand new Assassin’s Creed trilogy

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Ubisoft have revealed that Assassin’s Creed Chronicles will be the next title in the popular series, however it’s not what you might expect! Chronicles is a trilogy that will take you on a journey spread over three games with three different assassins, across three different periods in history and three different empires – China, India and Russia.

Check out the trailer below… Do I spot a bit of UbiArt! It looks fantastic and I’m already buzzing with excitement. The side scrolling 2.5D action will make for a great change of pace to the series and has a Prince of Persia vibe about the gameplay.

China will be the first chronicle in the series, which will release on April 22.

Deals with Gold is quite the Easter treat

This week Deals with Gold has a whole host of offers and unlike previous weeks, they are actually good! Battlefield and LEGO games make up the bulk of the deals, I’m eyeing up Dragon Age Inquisition, which makes a re-entry into the deals.

The deals are available until April 6. Remember to check your local territory for availability and pricing.

Xbox One

Diablo III Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition Xbox One Game 50%
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Xbox One Game 75%
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Xbox One Game 40%
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Deluxe Edition Xbox One Game 40%
The LEGO Movie Videogame Xbox One Game 67%
LEGO The Hobbit Xbox One Game 60%
FIFA 15 Deluxe Edition* Xbox One Game 50%
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare* Xbox One Game 67%
Peggle 2 Magical Master Edition* Xbox One Game 60%
Battlefield 4 Ultimate Shortcut Bundle* Add-On 50%
Battlefield 4 Vehicle Shortcut Kit* Add-On 50%
Battlefield 4 Soldier Shortcut Kit* Add-On 50%
Battlefield 4 Weapon Shortcut Kit* Add-On 50%
Battlefield 4 Air Vehicle Shortcut Kit* Add-On 50%
BF4 Ground & Sea Vehicle Shortcut Kit* Add-On 50%
Dragon Age: Inquisition Deluxe Edition* Xbox One Game 50%

Xbox 360

Diabo III Reaper of Souls Games On Demand 50%
LEGO Marvel Games On Demand 75%
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Games On Demand 40%
LEGO Movie Games On Demand 75%
LEGO Lord of the Rings Games On Demand 75%
LEGO Hobbit Games On Demand 60%
LEGO Harry Potter 5-7 Games On Demand 75%
LEGO Batman 2 Games On Demand 75%
Bioshock Infinite Season Pass Add-On 33%
Bioshock Infinite Burial at Sea Ep 1 Add-On 33%
Bioshock Infinite Burial at Sea Ep 2 Add-On 33%
FIFA 15* Games On Demand 50%
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare* Games On Demand 67%
Battlefield 4 Ultimate Shorcut Bundle* Add-On 50%
Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening* Add-On 75%
Dragon Age: Origins – Warden’s Keep* Add-On 75%
Dragon Age 2: Mark of the Assassin* Add-On 50%
Dragon Age 2: Legacy* Add-On 50%
Kingdoms of Amalur- Teeth of Naros* Add-On 50%
Kingdoms of Amalur- Legend of Dead Kel* Add-On 50%
NFS Most Wanted Complete DLC Bundle* Add-On 50%
Battlefield 4 Soldier Shortcut Bundle* Add-On 50%
Battlefield 4 Weapon Shortcut Bundle* Add-On 50%
Battlefield 4 Air Vehicle Shortcut Kit* Add-On 50%
Battlefield 4 Ground & Sea Vehicle Shortcut* Add-On 50%

 

Enter Mortal Kombat’s worldwide competitive program

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Mortal Kombat X is but a mere fortnight away from release and the PR machine is going into overdrive. So what’s next in the way of announcements? How about a worldwide competitive program!

Together with ESL, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and NetherRealm Studios are asking Who’s Next? What they want to know is who is the best Mortal Kombat player from a series of tournaments. To find out when and where these are happening, or maybe enter yourself, visit the official site.

NetherRealm Studios is a huge supporter of the pro fighting game scene and to be able to work with ESL on the Pro League Tournament allows us to take the Mortal Kombat™ X competition beyond what we’ve ever done before,

said Ed Boon, Creative Director, NetherRealm Studios and co-creator of Mortal Kombat.

We’ve seen some incredible match-ups in the past and we can’t wait to see what this next level of competition brings.

TiX crowdfunding spotlight issue #5

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Issue #5 is here, albeit 24 hours later than usual, and hopefully you’ve all become accustomed to how this works? Don’t forget to let me know about projects you see online (or those that you are involved with) that you feel could be feature here. Either comment below or reach out via email to kris[at]thisisxbox[dot]com and I’ll get back to you. So, let’s move on and get into the nitty-gritty of this week’s spotlight.

Catch-up:

Still yet to build any momentum is new RPG from Zenrock Studios LLC looking for $7,500 towards the development of their Sci-Fi title; Wormhole City. The project includes a stretch goal for an Xbox One release but with eight days to go and still less than $1,080 raised, it looks like this project is a washout. I hope for them things turn around quickly and even if they manage to fund the PC release of this title, there could still be hope for an Xbox One release much later down the line.

Last week we quickly looked at the progress of Albert & Otto and unfortunately I have to report that this project failed bringing in less than $2,500 towards the required $15,000. You can post messages of condolences or future support for them in the comments section here. I loved the look of Albert & Otto, and by the buzz from PAX East, so did those who played it. I hope that this doesn’t mean the project is completely abandoned, as that would be a shame.

Hot Armor: Brothers War failed. Better luck next time guys.

Another quick look at Gamer’s Edition tells us that things are slowing down for the Idea Planet and Gamers Network, the two parties behind this new project. Since last week less than 100 additional Hotline Miami bundles have been sold and the Papers, Please bundle is still struggling to gain any traction among gaming fans. With nine days left on both, it doesn’t look good for either title.

Once Bitten Twice Dead! is a new zombie first-person action game set in an open world from Dark Day Inc. We featured this last week and although not tipped for an Xbox 360/Xbox One release, the Kickstarter page shows a strange use of the Xbox 360 controllers in the rewards graphic. With 18 days of the campaign left, Once Bitten Twice Dead! has only managed to raise $827 of the required $20,000.

The 3D jump and run game RUMP! which caught my attention last week is doing much better than everyone above. So far the campaign on IndieGoGo, has raised $13,772 towards the initial base goal of $50,000. Before we start getting too excited, Dedication Labs are looking to hit the stretch goal of $200,000 before they get to work on an Xbox One release. There are still 32 days left for this campaign, so time is still on their side.

And finally last week we took a look at ICY the survival RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world witnessing a new Ice Age. The IndieGoGo campaign didn’t have any stretch goals for Xbox 360 or Xbox One development, however, it was featured as it seemed like a great title for potentially leveraging the ID@Xbox program. It’s now at 292% of its base goal and still attracting backers.

New this week!

Up first is something a little different, instead of recommending a game campaign that needs your backing we have found this little gem; The American Father’s Podcast, on Kickstarter from Near Future Fiction writer, Henry L. Sullivan III.

Henry L. Sullivan III and Director Adrianne Cury would like to tell you and I a story. It takes place in the year 2032. It involves four dynasties, a Lebanese-American Journalist, an impassioned college professor, a security contractor, a flamboyant hitman, a rebel hacker, a megalomaniac, and a smart, idiosyncratic heiress. Get ready to experience a movie in your ear. Audio storytelling. Every image, every action, conveyed entirely through voices. And they want to make this entire podcast available for free around the world.

So why have we picked up this campaign for the spotlight? Because of this man…

Steve Downes

Millions of Xbox fans know Steve Downes’ legendary sound as the voice of one of the world’s most beloved heroes: The super Spartan cyber-soldier; Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 from Bungie Studios’ top-selling HALO video game series. But countless many have also heard this epically talented VO extraordinaire as the exclusive voice for the Carnival Cruiselines national ad campaign and as narrator for The Discovery Channel’s hit show, The Shark Attack Files.

Likeliness of happening: Henry L. Sullivan III is looking for $30,000 through the Kickstarter campaign and with just 15 days left to run, has so far managed to raise just $2,131. I couldn’t call this so I’ll simply wish Henry all the best and should the project be funded, I look forward to listening to Master Chief… I mean Steve Downes bring the world of The American Fathers to life. Going to be 50/50 from me.

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Atom Universe is another of those projects with currently unannounced stretch goals and hidden hints of what could come. Atom Universe is a theme park featuring rides and mini-games, as well as advanced social interactions. It’s a virtual reality theme park where your avatar goes to meet friends and do all the same sort of things you would do at a normal Theme Park.

Atom Universe

Some of the ‘advanced social interactions’ include environmental interactions: sit on benches, lean on walls, lie on a bed (steady). Perform actions like dancing, take a pose, and express your emotions via gestures and effects. You can partake in avatar-to-avatar interactions like dancing with your buddy, shake hands, hug, kiss, hold hands, piggyback and a few more. Multiple avatars can also execute synchronized moves as a group: conga line, Mexican wave, line dancing, Macarena, walk like a horde of zombies etc. You will also be able to drive a vehicle, but not just on your own: in Atom Universe, you can hitch a ride too! Any avatar can pick you up in their vehicle and you can just enjoy the ride!

So what makes us confident this could be another campaign with a hidden Xbox One stretch goal? Two things actually. One is simply the fact it is being developed using Unreal Engine 4 and the second is the following statement;

Multi-platform, Atom Universe will not die with the PS4: we can port it to any high-end hardware, and it will out-live the current generation of consoles.

Atom Republic, the developers behind Atom Universe have 16 days left to get their campaign funded. With 101 backers to date they’ve raised just shy of £7,500 of their base goal, £20,000. Atom Republic are based in London and started life releasing content for PlayStation home so it comes as no surprise that Atom Universe is already approved for PlayStation 4.

Atom Universe 1

Likeliness of happening – Atom Republic are looking for KickStarter backers to set-up the initial PC launch with PS4 to follow on from that. It seems they already have financial backers watching them closely to fund further platform releases. This is very likely to hit its base goal of £20,000 and I believe we’ll see this for Xbox One either during the third Quarter of 2015 or early into 2016.

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The Live Escape Game Experience in London!

OK, so a little like the first project we looked at, this one isn’t actually looking for funds to develop a game. Instead the brains behind Enigma Escape are looking for £5,000 to complete the £60,000 they require to start their own business, an attraction in Central London where you can play immersive live escape games. Sam Wai and Hon Ban Lee, the two guys behind are Enigma Escape are cousins and have already poured £55,000 of their life savings into the business.

Enigma Escape

What’s a live escape game? It’s a fun-filled activity based on a video game that you can do with your friends and family. Sam and Hon will lock your team of two to five players in a room, and you must explore your surroundings to find clues and solve puzzles. Your objective is to figure a way out and escape the room – all within 60 minutes. It’s like playing a cooperative video game, but in a real interactive environment. Its great fun for teams of friends, family, colleagues, students – anyone really. It’s great as a “something to do” and even better as a team building exercise. (I am thinking a TiX field trip is in order!)

How does it work then? The two cousins have designed an experience so that everyone will enjoy their visit regardless of whether completing the game or not. Your experience will last up to 90 minutes and follows this structure:

  • Short briefing on the rules of the game.
  • Chapter 1: Watch an intro video for your chosen game.
  • Chapter 2: Play the live escape game.
  • Chapter 3: Watch an ending video for your game (there are at least 2 different endings).
  • Short debriefing on your experience. Take photos and take home your prizes.

London is just a short train ride away from me, I am sold and definitely want to go. There are a number of great Xbox titles over the years that would translate into fantastic live escape experiences. What games would you like to see converted?

https://youtu.be/wvmhNkoZtT8

Likeliness of happening – The business owners have already said this will happen, it will just be a case of when not if.

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Collector’s Edition and Operator system are headed to Rainbow Six Siege

 

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Ubisoft have announced that Rainbow Six Siege will have its own Collector’s Edition, which will include:

  • Full game
  • Collector’s box
  • Gold Skins Pack for all in-game weapons
  • Exclusive 120-page Tactical Guide

The edition can be pre-ordered now from the Uplay Shop. Remember, if you do pre-order the game you’ll get access into the upcoming beta for the game. To sweeten the deal, if you do pre-order from the Uplay Store, you are “guaranteed” access to the beta and also receive an ‘exclusive numbered steel book’ with the game.

Ubisoft have also announced that an Operators system will be at the heart of Rainbow Six Siege – here’s the trailer.

Made up from the best of the best, Operators go back to the roots of the Rainbow Six series – a team made up of specialists from the World’s Special Forces – each member has a unique skill, or rather a preference in how to get things done.

Check out the trailer below to hear more about the system direct from the developers and be sure to join Ubisoft on March 30 at 7pm UK time when they will be streaming the game on Twitch.

Project Root release date confirmed

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Back in mid-December we brought you news of an exciting new, old-school style shoot em up called Project Root. At that time, it had only just been announced and was coming soon.

Well, soon is nearly here as this Xenon, Battle Squadron, SWIV and no doubt whole host of other game inspired shooter will be released on the Xbox One on the 28th of April.

Technical Director at OPQAM Pablo Testa is keen to get this out there,

We’ve been blasting countless enemies both on the ground and in the sky in Project Root for so long, we’re so excited that we’re just about a month away from gamers everywhere getting the chance to do same. We are extremely proud of our first game, and think that SHMUP fans, and anyone who enjoys fast-paced and action-packed videogames, will have a lot of fun with Project Root.

So, will you be taking on the role of Lance Rockport, piloting your F-72 Zonda hover-fighter against the ruthless Prometheus Corporation?

If you’re not sure, look what you’ll be missing in the announcement trailer below.

Nobody panic but, We Are Doomed

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As game names go, this has to be up there. We Are Doomed has literally just been announced for release this April by independent developer Vertex Pop.

This twin-stick space shooter is deceptively simple. Zap polygon enemies with a massively overpowered laserbeam, chargeable even to a superbeam where you can zap everything out of existence in an instant.

This looks like a mad mash-up between Smash TV and Asteroids, although Vertex Pop’s founder, Mobeen Fikree was originally wondering where all the colour was in video gaming.

What’s with the lack of colour in videogames? It bummed me out, so I added all the colours to We Are Doomed.

The game will feature no cutscenes, story or lengthy tutorials, just all-out, fast-paced arcade action.

We Are Doomed is scheduled for an April 17th release.