Once more unto the breach – Rainbow Six Siege launch trailer

I am stupidly excited for the launch of Rainbow Six Siege… Terrorist Hunt alone makes Ubisoft’s next title one of my most wanted titles of the year. I poured countless hours into Vegas’ version – nights became days, minutes became hours – and I loved every moment of it.

If you like intense tactical fights rather than the standard Call of Duty chaos, then Rainbow Six Siege could be right up your street – and don’t forget – if you purchase the game on Xbox One, rather than that other console, then you get a digital copy of Rainbow Six Vegas and Vegas 2 via backwards compatibility, how’s that for an incentive!

Grab your closest friends and head once more unto the breach.

Starpoint Gemini 2 release date announced

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It’s always the same, right? You sit around waiting for one space-shooter or RPG and several really good looking ones turn up at once. Publisher, Iceberg Interactive and developer, Little Green Man Games have finally got around to announcing the release date for their space-shooter come-RPG, Starpoint Gemini 2.

Having already won the coveted PC Gamer’s Best PC Game of 2014 award, it would only be a matter of time before the title headed to Xbox One.

It’s been two years since the end of the second Gemini war. The Empire have reduced a group of freedom fighters, the Gemini League, to a rudderless rag tag fugitive fleet. Just when the huge Imperial war machine was about to crush the last vestiges of hope from the Gemini League they pulled back and began fortifying Starpoint with mammoth numbers.

Take up the story and dive into a journey that will reveal dark secrets and unimaginable twists that will finally yield the incredible truth.

The game will boast all of the PC version’s features but will also have an improved HUD design which has been rebuilt for use with Xbox controllers.

It will also have a new “rotate and follow” camera mode to make it easier to move around during the heat of battle. A heap of xbox achievements and a redesigned user interface round off the Xbox One extras and tweaks that the game will benefit from.

Starpoint Gemini 2 will warp onto an Xbox One near you on the 11th of December.

December will see a Baseball Riot

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What better stress relief could you have than to whip out your baseball bat and smack a baseball into a spittle-flecked nutter’s face?

Developer 10tons Ltd are going to give you the opportunity to do just that.

This physics-based puzzler is coming to Xbox One through the ID@Xbox program on the 9th of December and allows you to take control of Gabe Carpaccio. Travel throughout the U.S and clear more than 100 levels packed to the rafters with Explodz Energy drink-crazed villains, biased umpires, obnoxious fans, leery catchers and more besides.

Line up a shot, swing the bat, and pretend you’re aiming for the latest I’m A Celebrity contestants and take them out with slapstick knockouts and ragdoll physics. Cracking stuff.

Tero Alatalo, 10tons Ltd’s CEO;

Baseball Riot is a fantastic sequel to Tennis in the Face, which has turned out to be quite the crowd-pleaser on consoles, desktop and mobile. Baseball Riot is slightly more refined in every way, and we’re looking to delight new and existing fans once again.

Here, have a look at the trailer and grab this soon.

Christmas Gunplay

Yes it’s still November, but, Hark the herald angels sing “Glory to the new-born king” …of Christmas gunplay games that is!

Damn, wouldn’t you know it but it’s nearly bloody Christmas again, and with the arrival of the festive season just around the corner our wish list is littered with all the pre-crimbo games we’ve been waiting for all year.

Whilst there are many games out there worthy of your desire, I’m going to look here at some of the top titles competing for your hard-earned cash or that elusive top spot on your Christmas list this year that are centred around gunplay.

First up, cult classic Call of Duty

I worked out I have spent nearly nine months of my life to date playing Call of Duty online. That’s just in game time. New little people have been conceived and born in the time I’ve spent on virtual battlefields under the CoD titles.

Ghosts and Advanced Warfare both failed to meet the mark for me, I found they lacked the holding power of previous versions. Black Ops III, however, has recaptured some of the series’ original magic. This game has pulled me back in big time.

Whilst the single player story doesn’t endear you to the cast as strongly as it clearly want to the new load-out system and skills means it’s actually really fun to play still. And of course with Treyarch producing it means more zombie action. Woo-hoo! They’ve nailed it with slick graphics and a wonderful 1940’s setting. I’m yet to get very far – my friends suck. I hope your reading this – but the Easter eggs keep me coming back for more. Zombie slaying is just as fun as in previous titles and this time a new array of weapons are available that can be customised pre ‘off the wall purchase’. Chuck me some gum – new perks instead of bottles – I’m going for the pack-a-punch.

As expected though it’s the multiplayer that really shouts out loud. Ultra quick paced play, maps that support fluid movement, great level design that gets you using the new jump packs and wall running as well as a neat slide all makes the running and gunning feel terrific. Tons of slick-looking and shooting weapons with strong variety allowing for many viable weapon setups to please most play styles, indeed the series has come back strong with this one. It’s highly addictive and well put together. Rather obviously, this will do well and I’m sure many of your mates will already have it.

Black Ops 3 Zombies

Halo 5

I have a lot of love for the Halo series. It’s my personal favourite storyline in gaming – Halo 1-3 – and it’s been continued by 343 very well. They clearly want to put their own stamp on the series and it shows.

This is Halo at its core, the game you’ve always loved, but with some serious changes that go down well. A more fluid movement system with boost jumps as part of your standard load-out as well as a clamber ability, a whole new large game mode with vehicles and a REQ system. A classic Halo storyline – although a bit disjointed in places – powered along by a brilliant score.

I’ve always felt that Halo bridged the gap between old school first-person shooters like Doom and contemporary ones like Battlefield. The bright colours, timed power weapons and overshields make it feel much less of a ‘realistic’ shooter than the likes of Battlefield and even CoD. That’s not to say it isn’t believable, I straight up feel like a super soldier in a suit bossing around slaying, but the feel of arena is ‘war-games’ not just war. Again, a strong fan base will mean lots of people have already got this one, but if you haven’t it should be a serious contender for your stocking this year.

Halo 5 Warzone

Star Wars Battlefront

Well, Hell! If you ever really wanted to be in the Star Wars films this is your best chance – short of getting a role in the next movie. The sounds and sights are spot on with this latest Battlefront title. I played this with my dad and he genuinely thought he was watching a trailer for the new movie. OK, he’s old, but the point remains the same: the graphics are siiiiick! It is truly beautiful; I was reduced to a gibbering state of awe as I couldn’t handle the Star Warsness of it.

It’s basically a Battlefield game in feel and game style but with a Star Wars skin. The people at Dice have gone to great pains to tell us that is not the case, but come on guys, It is, isn’t it. This isn’t a bad thing as such; this is full on multiplayer grandness. Big lobbies lead to big games filled with all the lightsaber swinging, X-wing dog fighting and rebel scum squishing/empire destroying – depending on your perspective – that you could possibly want. If you like Star Wars and you like videogames then you’re going to have a good time.

As a reminder though, there’s no single player story. There is a Wave mode in which you face increasingly difficult AI enemies but this is otherwise entirely focused on multiplayer. Despite this however, this is a must for the true Star Wars fan, and comes strongly recommend for everyone.

Star Wars Battlefront Gunplay

Fallout 4

“Finally!” I hear you cry “a game that isn’t centred around online multiplayer.” Yep, and this is maybe the best single player experience currently out there, by a country mile in fact. A friend of mine got this on release day, his girlfriend has left him and he lost his job. But he’s over 50% completed and that’s all that matters, at least that’s what he mumbles with vacant awareness that only comes from the truly addict…dedicated.

Bethesda have done it again, despite some bugs that crop up – pretty expected from a massive open world these days – the game is wonderful. It plays very well, has a good combat system, and has some extreme depth to, well, everything. Skill trees, weapons, characters, and a build your own settlement; this game provides ample content for you to delve into. Think Skyrim with guns and set in a messed up, mutated future.

Whilst taking up days of your life, the solo play means you can jump in and out of it at leisure without feeling like you’ve been left behind. It has good graphics – not incredible though – given some room due to the vast open world it’s running as backdrop, it’s seriously immersive with its story and has lots of little things to keep you entertained, such as funny characters, side quest, interesting weapons, crazy mutants. This is another must have entry in the series.

Fallout 4 gunplay

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Although out since September I’m still giving this an honourable mention as it’s just so friggin’ good! This is gaming done right. I’ve never really played the MGS series, but got tempted in when Ground Zeroes came out. I played it through again and again for weeks, now the Phantom Pain is out and I’m putting it up with some of the best open-world games I’ve played. The maps are very large and can be explored freely with the missions taking place within confined areas in the maps. The story is nuts, plain old out there crazy storytelling, which is great and everything I’d expect for the next edition in a series infamous for its convoluted plots.

If you played the Splinter Cell games you’ll get along with this. It’s ultimate stealth operations and you really do have a huge amount of options for how to do 99% of the missions. Konami said ‘the most strategically unparalleled game every created’ and I think they might be right. Fantastic graphics, good control system and menu access, and an abundance of weapons/equipment to choose from brings the open-world experience to life. I have spent hours on his game and will spend hours more. There’s also the addition of a multiplayer mode that, whilst quite different to a classic head to head, is also very good fun.

MGSV Gunplay

There you go, five of the top gunplay games out right now that you can get for Christmas. Slip on your slippers, grab your energy drink of choice and settle down. The weather is crap, perfect for melting into your seat for a few weeks.

Project CARS adopts the Lotus position

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It’s been out for a while and I’m yet to sample Project CARS. For a racing enthusiast, I’m almost finding that unacceptable as by all accounts, it’s excellent.

Slightly Mad Studios have just extended the life of the title too as they’ve just released the next car and track DLC pack. The theme for this pack is the classic Team Lotus brand.

With this pack, you’ll get:

  • 1965 Lotus Type 40 Ford
  • 1963 Lotus Type 25 Climax (F1)
  • 1966 Lotus Type 38 Ford (Indy)
  • 1967 Lotus Type 51 (Formula Ford)
  • 1970 Lotus Type 49C Cosworth (Free car #6)
  • Rouen les Essarts classic track
  • Hockenheim Classic track
  • Silverstone Classic track

The tracks themselves will take racers back to the days of their original roots. Silverstone, for example, will have more of it’s airfield-track features.

The Classic Lotus Track DLC is out now for £5.99 or your local currency equivalent and is part of Project CARS‘ commitment to fresh content in the Project CARS on demand feature.

Here’s some lovely visuals and sound to show you what you’ll get.

Van Helsing coming to Xbox One

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So, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have seen that Neocore Games’ RPG The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing will not only be released on the 1st of December, but will be free for Xbox Live Gold members for the whole of December.

As RPGs go, this is looking great.

You’ll take the lead as the young monster hunter, Van Helsing who along with his companion, Lady Katarina, must resolve the dark conflicts of Borgovia and fight hordes of gruesome monsters.

Boasting an engrossing storyline, a beautifully dark gothic style, an impressive skill-tree and a unique power-up system, this is already beginning to excite my RPG-loving mind.

Here’s a taster of what you’ll get from the 1st of December.

Dying Light DLC & Season Pass price increase on its way.

We are very close to seeing the brand new (and huge) DLC for Dying Light, so big in fact that the devlopers have made the decision to increase the price of that and the Season Pass. The good news is that fans will still have time to pick up the Pass at the cheap price for another week or so. Let the letter below from the team explain things:

Dear fans,

Over the past weeks Dying Light: The Following has almost reached its final stage: main quests, side quests, new skills, and driving challenges are ready. We now are moving into the polishing period. Looking at it, it’s clear how big the expansion pack has grown – it could be a stand-alone title, but since it would mean a launch delay, we decided against it.

However, due to the increased scale of the project, we needed to revise the pricing that we announced back in August, and so we want to let you know that Dying Light: The Following will be priced at $19.99 / €19.99 / £15.99.

As promised back in August, our expansion will still be free for all Dying Light Season Pass holders. However since the Season Pass will now include this bigger-than-anticipated addition, we needed to adjust the price accordingly.

Starting December 8th 2015, the Season Pass will be sold at $29,99 / €29.99 / £23.99. We didn’t want this to come as a surprise to you, so we’re announcing it in advance. This price change will not affect players who already own the Season Pass.

So if you’re looking forward to Dying Light: The Following, you still have time to get the whole Season Pass package, including the expansion at only $19.99. Just remember to do it before Dec 8th.

We’ve got some cool reveals about what’s in Dying Light: The Following and we’ll be sharing them with you really soon, so stay tuned!

Regards,

– Dying Light Team

Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations review

When I heard that a brand new Adventure Time title was making its way to the Xbox One, I was beyond delighted and was even happier to hear that it was an adventure-puzzle game – one of my favourite genres. I had missed out on previous titles due to numerous reasons, and had to get my gaming fix from the excellent mobile games available, but now was my chance to get my hands on a Finn and Jake adventure for the new generation.

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One quiet afternoon, Finn and Jake are relaxing in their treehouse, pondering what to spend their day doing, when suddenly BMO discovers an old investigations printing machine called the “Tickertype”, which belonged to their parents. Naturally Finn and Jake set out to solve these mysteries, whilst honing their puzzle-solving skills, battling bad guys, and just having fun in the Land of Ooo.

Each of the five mysteries are laid out just like an episode of Adventure Time and feature many smaller puzzles which need to be solved to then complete the main investigation of that episode. In the first investigation Finn and Jake take on they must prove to Princess Bubblegum that the Wizard, Abracadaniel, is innocent of kidnapping Peppermint Butler. To prove his innocence Finn and Jake must search for clues and question the members of the Candy Kingdom. However, it soon becomes apparent that there is a much larger mystery to solve, and the mathematical duo must escape the Candy Kingdom to discover the fate of the kingdom’s missing residents.

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Finn and Jake Investigations plays very similarly to other well known point and click titles, such as Monkey Island or Broken Sword, using the controller face buttons to interact with other characters and items within the environment. Whilst exploring the Land of Ooo, you will pick up items along the way, which can then also be used in special combinations to solve smaller mysteries.

As with any Finn and Jake adventure, you will find yourself battling against many of the unfriendly residents of the Land of Ooo, resulting in a basic button mashing exercise, which with a certain number of successful hits, unlocks special Finn and Jake combination moves to use throughout the battle. Victory in these battles will sometimes result in a new sword, with their own special abilities, such as the Root Sword which roots an enemy to the spot, hindering their attack. Any new swords Finn acquires will be available to pick up in his sword storage from the safety of the treehouse.

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Whenever anyone mentions Adventure Time, the first thing which comes to mind is the unique art style of the series. However, Little Orbit have decided to take the iconic imagery and style of the series into the third dimension, and the character, identity, and charm of Adventure Time is lost. They could have created a wonderful world using the original artwork of the series, but instead the game looks almost childish in appearance, and loses a lot of its original identity. What it lacks in detail, however, it certainly makes up in colour, as the environments and characters are instantly recognisable.

Little Orbit have created a well rounded and quite enjoyable puzzle-adventure title, which will keep you hunting for clues, and solving mysteries for hours. However, I did find that it felt more like a fleshed out arcade title, rather than a full retail game, and not sure whether it warrants the price of some other AAA titles out there.

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Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations feels as though it’s aimed at the younger audience, with its bright and colourful visuals, uncomplicated combat system, and a full cast of familiar faces, but it will satiate the appetite of the older Adventure Time fans, although only for an afternoon or two. The puzzles and combat aren’t particularly taxing, but overall it is an enjoyable romp through the Land of Ooo.

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Thanks to Xbox and Little Orbit for their support

December Games with Gold announced

It’s that time of the month again, where Major Nelson reveals to world which games Xbox Live Gold members will recieve as part of the Games with Gold promotion. This month, there are 5 games to get your hands on, and of course all 5 are playable on the Xbox One.

On Xbox One, Xbox Live Gold members can download The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing  for free during the month of December. Thief will be available as a free download from December 16th to January 15th.

On Xbox 360, starting Tuesday, 01 December, Castlestorm will be free for Xbox Live Gold members through December 15th. Then on December 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download Sacred 3 for free through December 31st. And as an extra gift for the holidays, Gold members can get Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising for free from December 16-31.
Happy with the selection? Let us know!

TiX Podcast: The Wasteland Beckons

Welcome to the This is Xbox Podcast.

Join Greg Giddens and Neale Jarrett for a new episode of the This is Xbox Podcast – episode 17 The Wasteland Beckons – where the duo talk about games they’ve been playing and a few news stories that took their interest recently.

https://soundcloud.com/thisisxboxpodcast/tix-podcast-the-wasteland-beckons

If you want to send us a question or topic for the topic discussion section, or simply contact us, then shoot over an email to: podcast@thisisxbox.com

You can also follow the hosts on Twitter: @GregGiddens and @BaronVonPleb

You can also find us on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

If you like the show and want to support it, please check out our Patreon page.

The awesome music in this episode was provided by Bangmaid and produced by James Gill. (https://www.mixcloud.com/bangmaid/)