July’s Games With Gold Announced

FREE STUFF! WE ALL LOVE FREE STUFF!

And in July there are more free games coming from the Games With Gold program on Xbox!

Hitting the scheme on July 1st and available for the whole of July is Grow Up. Then from July 16th through to August 16th is a new release called Runbow.

Grow Up – Living the life of a B.U.D. (Botanical Utility Droid) can be tough. Especially when your spaceship breaks into pieces and scatters across a planet filled with amazing plants and wondrous structures! As B.U.D., along with your friend P.O.D., you’ll traverse this open world and recover parts of your ship. Fly, climb, bounce, roll and complete challenges along the way in this wibbly wobbly fun adventure.

Runbow – A fast-paced party action game with a never before seen color mechanic. Up to nine players can race against each other locally or online as platforms and obstacles appear and disappear when the colored background changes. Go head-to-head in one of Runbow’s modes, including Arena, King of the Hill, ColourMaster, and The Bowhemoth.

 

Then, for Xbox 360 (and of course Backward compatible) are Kane & Lynch 2 and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean!

Kane & Lynch 2 – Play as two violent and disturbing criminals in the action shooter Kane & Lynch 2. Lynch, the psychopath, has his sanity on the edge at all times and Kane, the ex-mercenary, is disillusioned and desperate. Play as both in an epic single-player story driven campaign, or team up with a friend over Xbox Live.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game – Time for a swashbuckling adventure in LEGO form. Play as characters from the classic film series, each with their own personalities and abilities, and join your friends in co-op play! The wide-open seas are full of bricks for the plundering in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game.

Playdead’s ex-CEO announces ‘Somerville’

One of the minds behind Limbo and Inside has announced the formation of a new Guildford based studio: Jumpship. Their debut project is Somerville, a “sci-fi action adventure” telling the stories of people caught up in the midst of a catastrophe spanning the entire planet.

Beyond that, we don’t know much else yet. Jumpship has shared an initial teaser trailer for the game and its moody, mysterious setting, underpinned by a composition from Virginia composer Lyndon Holland.

Director Chris Olsen had been working on the project since 2014 until subsequently collaborating with Dino Patti, the ex-CEO of Playdead who left the company last year.

Playdead, meanwhile, are currently hard at work on their next major project following the launch of Inside.

No word yet on platforms or a release schedule for Somerville, although the studio very much seems to be in the early stages of the game’s development. We’re intrigued to see more when they’re ready!

Serial Cleaner launching on Xbox One this July

Serial Cleaner, the Stealth action game from iFun4all and Curve Digital is launching on Xbox One on July 14th for $14.99.

You can pre-order the game now. Serial Cleaner is set in the 1970s where players clean up murder scenes (some based on real life and movies) and dispose of incriminating evidence all while evading the police. You’ll explore, experiment and make swift decisions in order to avoid detection by police. Get caught and you earn a black mark on your protagonist’s career.

Serial Cleaner uses real-world data to modify levels accordingly with the current time of day in your whereabouts. Noise detection and “sneakability” will vary between night and day, and mean the difference between freedom and jail.

It sounds pretty cool and you can check out the trailer below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Project CARS 2 now available for Digital Pre-Order

Project CARS 2 is now available to pre-order digitally, there are two versions to get your hands on and we have more details about them below:

  • STANDARD EDITION: Includes the full game plus the exclusive Japanese Cars Pack that features 4 cars from iconic Japanese manufacturers Honda and Nissan—the Honda Euro Spec Civic Ty:pe-R, the fastest hot hatch to have ever lapped the Nordschleife; the thrill-a-second Honda Project 2&4 with its stratospheric redline at 14,000rpm; the original and one-and-only “Godzilla”, the Skyline GT-R (R32) Group A; and the brutal and raw twin-turbo V8 Nissan 280ZX IMSA GTX. This limited edition is available on PS4 & Xbox One and PC.
  • DELUXE EDITION: Includes the full game and the Japanese Cars Pack, plus the Season Pass (that includes all 4 additional contents that will enhance and extend the overall Project CARS 2 experience after release) as well as the Motorsport Pack  that includes 4 enthralling racing cars curated from 40 years of motoring history. The Deluxe Edition will be available on PS4 & Xbox One and PC

Project CARS 2 is rated PEGI 3 and will be released on 22nd September, 2017

Heading to Xbox this week – Jun 26 – July 2

Some great titles are heading to the Xbox this week, and we have listed them below. What will you buying?

 

Golf Club 2 Screenshot

The Golf Club 2 – June 27
With summer in full swing there’s no better time to sit down and golf! With better design tools, more realistic opponents, and community features like golf societies where you and your friends can play against each other (not to mention other players), The Golf Club 2 improves upon an already great golf game on Xbox One.

Final Fantasy XV Screenshot

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto – June 27
Separated from the group and alone in the arctic, Prompto fights to discover the truth of his origin. Take down enemies with bazookas, ride the snowmobile, and snap selfies along the way! Included as part of the Final Fantasy XV Season Pass.

Valkyria Revolution Screenshot

Valkyria Revolution – June 27
With an engaging story full of political intrigue, a battle system that mixes real-time combat and tactical strategy, a gorgeous visual style, and more, Valkyria Revolution will immerse players into the front lines of a desperate war.

Poi Screenshot

Poi – June 28
A 3D platformer featuring two kids on a grand adventure to unravel the mysteries of the Milky Way Globe. Explore uncharted lands, compete in challenge levels, meet quirky characters and defeat comical creatures on a journey to become a master explorer.

Crazy Strike Bowling EX Screenshot

Crazy Strike Bowling EX – June 28
A family friendly bowling game featuring anime style characters and wacky bowling alleys. Play as Aiden, Mr. Jenkins or other cute characters and play in such unique locations like the pyramids of Egypt or the Amazon rainforest.

Marvel Heroes Omega Screenshot

Marvel Heroes Omega – June 30
One of the largest gatherings of iconic superheroes, villains, and locations from the Marvel Universe in gaming history. Band together with fellow adventurers in Earth’s mightiest action RPG, take the fight to Doctor Doom in an epic nine-chapter story campaign, and experience your favorite heroes, including Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Deadpool, and more!

Ghost of a Tale Screenshot

Ghost of a Tale (Game Preview) – June 30
Play as Tilo, a mouse and minstrel thrown into a perilous adventure. Ghost of a Tale is an action RPG where you must use stealth and cunning to explore the secrets of Dwindling Heights Keep and successfully navigate (and survive) its many dangers.

AereA Screenshot

AereA – June 30
In this music-themed action RPG, your mission is to find and return the nine primordial instruments to restore balance to the world. Solve puzzles, complete quests, and defeat bosses in this innovative game on Xbox One.

Goliath Screenshot

Goliath – June 30
Welcome to the world of Goliath, an action-adventure about crafting giant robots and punching monsters in the face. Scavenge and explore ruined buildings from 1930s America that share space with wrecked pirate ships and the overgrown remains of spaceships from a far-flung future. Find the items you need to craft tools and weapons that will help you even the odd against the enormous creatures you confront.

This weeks Deals with Gold is short but sweet

This weeks Deals with Gold is short but sweet,

Discounts are valid now through 03 July 2017.

    

Xbox One Deals

*These offers are only valid for Xbox Live Gold members.
Please note: prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by region.

    

Xbox 360 Deals

A Look at the Xbox One X: What Should We Expect?

When Sony released an amped-up version of the PS4 last autumn, most experts would have offered good odds on the fact that Microsoft would follow suit.

This became even more likely given the initial success of the PS4 Pro, and it has led to the development of a significantly upgraded Xbox One X. Formerly referred to by Microsoft as Project Scorpio, the hardware has earned rave reviews, primarily due to its compact nature and outstanding power output.

Make no mistake; this no-nonsense, slimline console has made a huge mark on consumers, while laying the foundations for a brand new upgrade later this year.

The Low-down: What to Expect from the Xbox One X

Even at first glance, the Xbox One X is an impressive piece of hardware. A compact, black box packed full of gaming and processing power, it also delivers high quality gameplay while its specification suggests that it is the single most capable and high-performance console in the current marketplace.

The current price point is recorded at $499, which with the current exchange rate translates into approximately £390. This may seem a little steep, but it actually represents reasonable value when you consider its spec and status in the real-time market (although it is fair to surmise that users with a 4K television would be most likely to get the most from this console).

The enhanced power of the device will certainly improve its processing performance, triggering a smoother FPS and superior rendering. It also produces a more immersive and visually stunning experience for gamers, particularly when playing high-octane titles such as Forza Motorsport 7, Assassin’s Creed and Crackdown 3.

These games in particular look and sound superb, while the quality of graphics is impressive even if you are unable to utilise the device in conjunction with a 4K TV.

The Battle Between the Xbox One X and the PS4 Pro: Who Emerges as the Winner?

In terms of competing directly with Sony’s PS4 Pro, the Xbox One X has certainly produced a robust performance. In fact, it is hard to distinguish between the quality of the graphics and the processing speeds of each console, with both capable of delivering a 4K experience to players.

The two also share an almost identical price point, while the initial quality of the titles released with the Xbox One X also competes aggressively with Sony’s offering. So while the latter may boast a slightly larger software library, the ultimate choice will depend on your preferences as a gamer.

Not only this, but you may also be swayed by the quality of online gaming available through each console. After all, a growing number of people play online slot games at Royal Vegas and similar operators in the modern age, while many are also looking for virtual communities and gameplay through consoles.

It can be argued that Microsoft has built a superior online community around the Xbox One and the One X, so this may also influence your decision when upgrading your consoles.

Conan Exiles launches on Xbox on August 16th

We got a brief glimpse of Conan Exiles on Xbox at Microsoft’s E3 press briefing, but it was very brief and we didn’t get to hear from the developer and publisher, Norwegian based Funcom. Now, however we have had confirmation that the open world survival game, which is set in the world of Conan the Barbarian, will be coming to Game Preview on Xbox One on August 16th 2017.

Not only that, but launching on the same day will be a new, free expansion that introduces a huge new land to explore, bringing the game out of the desert and into the cold, frozen highlands in the north.
In Conan Exiles the game encourages the player to Survive, Build and Dominate.

  • Survive – Journey through a vast, seamless world. Explore crumbling ruins and uncover the history of ancient civilisations. Fend off hunger, thirst, and even insanity as you explore dark dungeons filled with monstrous creatures. Escape scouring sandstorms and bloodthirsty cannibals. Gain knowledge to craft new items and build stronger structures. Unleash your savage fury with brutal attacks that will see heads rolling and limbs flying.
  • Build – Harvest anything from rocks and wood to rare minerals and human flesh. Use forges, workbenches, tanneries, and more to craft tools, armor, and powerful weapons. Construct a home, a fortress, or an entire city using the incredibly powerful building system. Build on almost everything, from ancient ruins to towering mountainsides. Craft a wide variety of furniture and decorations to customize your home and settlement.
  • Dominate – Wage war on enemy players, blow up their city walls, and take control of the Exiled Lands. Capture thralls, break them on the Wheel of Pain, and put them to defend your settlement and craft rare items. Build an altar to your god and bring them offerings to earn their blessing and rewards. Summon and take control of towering avatars, and see your enemies driven before you as you crush their homes and their legacy.

More details of the game can be found on the official website – https://conanexiles.com/

Neverwinter: The Cloaked Ascendancy gets Shroud of Souls update

Neverwinter is a free-to-play action MMORPG that features fast-paced combat and epic dungeons. Players explore the vast city of Neverwinter and its surrounding countryside, learning the vivid history of the iconic city in the Forgotten Realms and battling its many enemies. Released NOW is the Shroud of Souls update.

After perishing in an attempt to steal the “Shroud of Souls” from its vault, the dragonborn necromancer returns as a shade manipulating a spectral force to overwhelm the city. Heroes of Neverwinter must end this undead uprising before Morlanth can recruit even more powerful sprits for her legions. The Loadouts feature, Strongholds upgrades, including a customisable Guild Hall as well as a new “Marauders” event and more come to Neverwinter in the Shroud of Souls update.

A complete list of new features coming to Neverwinter in this update can be found below:

  • New Story: The Cloaked Ascendancy has fallen, giving way to a new foe with plans to raise a spectral army to her side. Adventurers must traverse areas rife with evil spirits to overcome this powerful necromantic threat.
  • New Loadouts Feature: Adventurers can now create gear Loadouts to suit all of Neverwinter’s activities. Whether it’s dungeon delving, skirmishes, Strongholds, or PvP; quick swapping Loadouts will get players between the activities they enjoy faster than ever.
  • Strongholds Marauders: Building off of The Cloaked Ascendancy’s dynamic “The Illusionist’s Gambit” skirmish, this new Siege event pits adventurers against several waves of enemies. After they’re defeated, players will be able to continue defending their Stronghold or take their current rewards to bolster its advancement.
  • Customisable Guild Halls: Customisable Guild Halls give adventurers an all-new social space to call their own with dozens of customisable options where they can showcase their guild’s achievements in Neverwinter.

Xbox Avatars get an Upgrade for 2017

E3 is finished. All the juicy gaming news has been shared and devoured. Which, over the last few years has led Microsoft to start teasing their annual dashboard update. They have started that process this year by releasing a trailer for an upgrade to the much-criticised Avatars. Originally launched in the 360 era, Avatars were designed as a digital representation of us, and led to the availability of costumes and props, some free, but lots were paid DLC, hence the criticism.

Now, I used to enjoy Avatars, especially when a game rewarded you with a new outfit or prop for an in-game achievement, and I saw no need to join in the criticism for a monetary transaction which, shock horror, YOU WERE NOT FORCED TO DO!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBfB7kuk1lA

These do look very pretty, but it is unclear how they will be used within the new dashboard.

Bryan Saftler, lead project manager at Xbox, said the new Avatars are a “complete redesign” and are being built in the Unity engine, allowing for increased customisation. The new Avatars are “meant for whatever you want your digital self to represent,” said Saftler. “We don’t want to put you in a box.”

As can be seen in the trailer above, the new Avatars will offer multiple options for people with disabilities, including wheelchairs and prosthetics, and will eliminate gender-specific clothing. “If you see it in the store, you can wear it,” said Xbox interaction designer Kathryn Storm.