The latest addition to the Killing Floor series is headed to PSVR next week. Killing Floor Incursion, which released on PC VR platforms last year in November, features co-op modes across the story-driven adventure and endless mode.
While this is another VR shooter that joins an ever growing pool of this popular VR genre, Killing Floor Incursion looks like it supports quite a high render and any intense shooter that includes co-op certainly piques my interest.
Launching May 1 in NA, the PSVR version includes all post-launch updates that the PC versions have enjoyed and also launches with timed exclusive Holdout Mode map, The Crucible. Currently there is no UK store listing for the game so expect some delay for the title to appear.
Microsoft and Discord have teamed up in order to ensure gamers are connected across both the Xbox and Discord platforms. Starting in the Xbox Insider program soon, you will have the option to link your Xbox Live account to your Discord account directly from your Xbox One, and this will become available to the broader Xbox community at a later date.
Simply open the Account Settings menu on Xbox One, and select “Linked social accounts.” Here, you will see a new option for linking your Discord account. Once you receive your unique code from Xbox, open the Discord app and insert the code within the Connections tab.
Daniel McCulloch, General Manager at Xbox Live, shares the details. “Connecting with friends is such a big part of why people game. Gamers all over the world use and Discord to easily chat and connect with friends while they game. In the coming weeks, this collaboration will make it easier for gamers to choose do just that – make it easier to connect and see what friends are playing across console and PC. It’s part of the work we are doing to provide gamers with more choice, allowing them to play how and where they want to.”
“In response to your feedback, you will now have the option to link your Discord account to your Xbox account, making it easier than ever to see what your friends are playing. If you are playing Sea of Thieves on your Xbox, you can now choose to give your Discord friends the ability to see that and decide whether they want to hop on their Xbox and join you.”
The evolution of the Xbox One dashboard continues with more new features being added nearly every month. The April update has been rolling out and includes support for those of us who use monitors, and now allows direct sharing of captures to Twitter. Check out the details of the update on the latest episode of Inside Xbox with full patch notes of the update after the video!
Video & Display
We’ve added a bunch of new video features we hope you’ll enjoy, starting with Auto Low-Latency Mode (or ALLM for short). Auto Low-Latency Mode enables the family of Xbox One devices to notify your display when you’re playing a game, so a TV that also supports ALLM will know to switch to its low latency video mode. Many displays refer to low latency mode as “game mode.”
Gamers will also enjoy the newly introduced support for variable refresh rate output to AMD Radeon™ FreeSync and FreeSync 2 compatible displays. AMD Radeon™ FreeSync is a form of variable refresh rate which helps to reduce input latency and minimize display stuttering, delivering a buttery-smooth visual gameplay experience in your favorite games. The entire Xbox One family of devices will work with FreeSync-certified displays. Xbox One S and Xbox One X will also support high dynamic range with AMD Radeon™ FreeSync 2.
Xbox One X and Xbox One S now support output at 2560 x 1440 (1440p) resolution for games and media. With over a million and a half more pixels than 1080p, this resolution offers even more choice between Full HD and 4K displays. This feature should be especially appealing to Xbox One owners who use a 1440p display for PC gaming. Media apps can now add an option for 1440p output for on both Xbox One X and Xbox One S. Developers can also now enable games to run at native 1440p resolution on Xbox One X.
You can enable all these video options from the Settings menu on your Xbox One. Just navigate to “Display & Sound,” then “Video Output.” Note that you’ll only be able to turn on these settings if your TV or monitor supports them.
Streaming & Captures
Mixer streamers on Xbox One can now share control of their game with a viewer on Mixer.com. Just turn on the “Share Controller” toggle from the Broadcast & Capture section in Guide and your viewers will be able to share control through a virtual controller in their web browser, or by plugging a physical controller into their PC.
You can also now start Mixer broadcasts from anywhere on Xbox One, making streaming easier than ever. If you decide to switch games or exit to the dashboard, your viewers will see a pause animation until you jump back into a game. You will also see a pause animation on your broadcasting status bar on your screen.
In addition, you can now share captured screenshots and clips directly to Twitter, after authenticating your account, from the Broadcast & Capture tab of the Guide. Shared captures will now display and play directly in your Twitter feed instead of showing up as a link. We’ll also help you get your content discovered by suggesting a hashtag for the title of the game. Want to follow clips shared by Xbox gamers? Track clips with the #XboxShare hashtag!
Xbox Insiders have seen this option for a while, but now everyone can choose to switch between light and dark themes on your Xbox One based on the time of day. You can also personalize your theme to automatically transition from dark to light based on sunrise and sunset in your location. We’ve also added a new high-contrast light theme option, which makes on-screen elements easier to see.
Audio & Ease of Access
Based on fan feedback, we’re making additional improvements to Narrator on Xbox One. Narrator volume can now be adjusted independently from system audio volume. We’ve also introduced a new input learning mode to the Narrator menu. With input learning mode enabled, the Narrator on Xbox One will say the name of whatever button you press on an attached input device. High contrast light theme and narrator options can both be adjusted in the Ease of Access menu in Settings.
The Microsoft Edge browser on Xbox One has been updated to a more modern look and feel. Enhancements to history and favorites make it easy for you to get back to your favorite sites. Other new features include tab muting, read aloud and autofill. You can also now download and upload pictures, music, and videos from Microsoft Edge on Xbox One; your downloaded content can then be browsed with the File Explorer app.
Clubs, Game Hubs & Tournaments
Community tournaments are now available directly in Game Hubs for supported games. This means you no longer need to own or be the admin of a club to create a tournament. To get started, open the Game Hub for a game that supports tournaments. Head to the “Multiplayer” tab and select “Community tournaments” then choose the option for “Create tournament.”
Club feeds have also gained new filters to show you “what’s new,” “what’s hot” or “top posts.” Additionally, you can now lock the comments on your feed posts across clubs, Game Hubs, and Community, so the only person in control of the narrative is you.
If you’re a club owner or admin, you can now filter invitation requests based on several criteria, including Gamerscore, play time, reputation, Xbox Live Gold status, and recommendations from club members. Club invitation filters will persist until the administrator changes them, so if you set or edit club invitation filters, they will still be there the next time you sign-in.
In addition to all these new features on Xbox One, a subset of users may also see additional experimental features that we didn’t mention here. These features are only enabled for a portion of the Xbox audience to gauge interest and collect feedback.
Sea of Thieves is officially Rare’s biggest game in its history, according to US industry tracking company The NPD Group who track retail and digital sales of games. Sea of Thieves has sold faster than any other Rare game since tracking started in 1995.
“Sea of Thieves was the second best-selling game of March, and is the eighth best-selling game of 2018 year-to-date,” according to analyst Mat Piscatella. “Sea of Thieves generated the highest launch month sales for any title produced by developer Rare since tracking by The NPD Group began in 1995.”
As this only includes digital and physical sales it will not include those who are playing through Game Pass. In terms of cash sales, Sea of Thieves is the No. 8 game of 2018 so far. That actually makes it the second highest platform exclusive on the list, as PUBG which is at Number 7.
This data goes hand in hand with Microsoft’s own data which shows that over two million people played Sea Of Thieves in March, with most of those playing on Xbox One, as PC numbers show that around 283,000 played away from the console. Given the good but not great reviews this is a great start for the new IP, and the forthcoming additions will hopefully prevent the player base from falling too far.
We have a brand-spanking new trailer for the forthcoming Shadow of the Tomb Raider for our enjoyment, and once again it looks like Lara Croft will be busy saving the world, this time from a Mayan Apocalypse.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is being developed by Eidos Montreal and will be available on September 14, 2018 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. There will be three versions of the game available and all can be pre-ordered and pre-loaded on the Xbox One.
As well as the standard edition which is the game only, there is also the Digital Deluxe Edition which includes the game + 48 hour early access, Xbox Live Avatar outfit, additional Skills Booster Pack, additional weapon/outfit and Digital OST.
The Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Croft Edition is the bundle for all you die-hard fans out there and this bundle includes the game + 48 hour early access, Xbox Live Avatar outfit, additional Skills Booster Pack, 3 additional weapons/outfits, season pass and Digital OST.
I have waxed lyrical about Strange Brigade on a number of occasions and after playing the demo again at EGX Rezzed a few weeks ago I had everything crossed for a 2018 release date. Whilst I can’t take full credit for it I am confident that walking funny for a few weeks had some input, as developers Rebellion have confirmed a release date of August 28th 2018 and have released a new story trailer that you can watch below!
Rebellion have also released details of the different editions of the game that will be available.There are Standard, Digital Deluxe and Collectors editions of the game ready to pre-order now.
The pre-order of the standard edition will give you the Secret Service Weapons pack, containing three exclusive weapons.
The Digital Deluxe Edition will include the Secret Service Weapons pack and the season pass, gaining you access to all future content released for the game.
However, fans of the game will be wanting to get their hands on the Collectors edition, which features both the aforementioned weapon pack and season pass but also a Steelbook, Collectors box, Art book and a Build your Own Airship!
Microsoft have announced the next batch of titles that are on the way to Xbox Game Pass for the month of May. Following Sea Of Thieves, and the second original first party title that debuts on the service, is State Of Decay 2, that launches on May 22nd. Other titles include the awesome co-op cooking game Overcooked and PES 2018. All the titles below (except State of Decay 2 and Laser League) will launch on May 1st. More details of Game Pass and a list of all the games in the service can be found here!
State of Decay 2
State of Decay 2 is the ultimate zombie survival fantasy that asks – how will you survive? A true sequel to the hugely successful first game, you take on the zombie apocalypse as you build a community with unique survivor characters who have their own backstories and motivations and develop a base that makes each experience completely different. In addition, State of Decay 2 features one of the most requested features from the community: cross-platform co-op multiplayer, where you and up to three of your friends can survive together on Xbox One or Windows 10 PC. State of Decay 2 is available for Xbox Game Pass members May 22.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2018
It’s time to take to the pitch and feel the match-day electricity as Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 comes to Xbox Game Pass from May 1 through August 31. Experience the award-winning series and play as iconic teams like F.C. Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund, put on a gameplay masterclass with the striking prowess of Luis Suárez, or make Emirates stadium rumble with Arsenal’s Aubameyang. The authenticity of the beautiful game is presented with true-to-life visuals and animations of players like Philippe Coutinho, Marco Reus, Lionel Messi, and Neymar Jr. Team up with friends in online 3v3 co-op matches to become the next great e-sports team. Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 is where legends are made.
On May 10, Laser League, a light-speed, arcade multiplayer shooter like no other, will be making its console debut on Xbox One and join Xbox Game Pass the same day. Roll7, known for the award-winning OlliOlli series and Not A Hero, bring their trademark addictive gameplay to an original vision of near-future competition. Jump into exhilarating 4v4 local matches or go online for 2v2 and 3v3 battles, face off in packed and vibrant international stadiums with intensely challenging laser maps to master, and party up with friends to find the perfect strategic blend of the six distinct player classes. Make use of their unique abilities to dominate the pitch and fry your opponents as the pitch lights up with deadly laser lights. Climb the leaderboards and make a name for yourself, gaining mastery ranks and XP. Unlock new player kits, emojis, and laser patterns to customize your characters to leave your mark on the pitch and in Laser League history!
If you can’t stand the heat, it’s because your kitchen is on fire! Overcooked, the award-winning chaotic couch co-op cooking game for one to four players will be available on Xbox Game Pass starting May 1. Chop, dice, and fry your way to victory in a race to serve your hungry customers before they storm out, taking their precious tips with them! Choose from a variety of quirky chefs and take part in an epic journey, tackling an increasingly challenging gauntlet of kitchens that will push your skills of co-operation and co-ordination to the limits. Have you ever wanted to boil soup while moving between two speeding trucks or bake pizza in a haunted house? Then Overcooked is the game for you! You can read Greg’s review of Overcooked here.
Award-winning prison break simulation The Escapists is coming to Xbox Game Pass on May 1. While the aim of the game is simply to escape, the beauty is in the execution. You’re free to explore the prison, grabbing every chance to plan your escape between the mandatory rollcalls and chores. Do favors for your inmates, build up your strength in the gym, or read books to increase your skills. Liberate items from your inmates to use for crafting weapons and tools (soap can do so much more than keep you clean). Whether you execute a stealthy breakout or go out all guns blazing, the goal is the same: escape! Rich reviewed The Escapists for TiX and you can read his review here!
Homefront: The Revolution
Rise up and lead the resistance in Homefront: The Revolution, an epic open-world shooter set in a dystopian near future, where the United States has been occupied by the overwhelming military might of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) — available for Xbox Game Pass members on May 1. As Ethan Brady, you must master the art of guerrilla warfare — ambush, sabotage, infiltration, and deception — and fight a running battle through the war-ravaged suburbs of Philadelphia. Homefront: The Revolution boasts a vast single-player campaign and the Resistance Mode, a fully featured co-op experience that lets you and your friends form a Resistance Cell and take the fight to the KPA in thrilling PvE combat. Click here to read Dave’s review.
Unmechanical: Extended is a great puzzle adventure game that combines tricky puzzle solving, alluring exploration, and an engrossing atmosphere, and is available for Xbox Game Pass members on May 1. Players can look forward to losing themselves in a world of flesh, rock, and steel, solving a whole host of puzzling challenges, helping our little robot who is trapped in an underground complex find his way to freedom.
Sonic & Knuckles
Hedgehog and Echidna unite! Enjoy a different experience in the world of Sonic where adversaries work as one. Join Sonic and Knuckles from May 1, as they put aside their differences and combine forces to thwart the schemes of the conniving Dr. Eggman. Their goal is to acquire the priceless Master Emerald and save Angel Island—a goal they cannot reach on their own. You can play as Sonic with amazing new powers or play as Knuckles with your wall-climbing skills or bare-fisted fighting style to defeat Dr. Eggman. You have eight zones to explore and two adventures to conquer. And to enhance the excitement you can combine with Sonic 3 to blow out the experience—playing as Sonic, Knuckles, and even Tails to unlock the best secrets. Also, you can combine with Sonic 2 and all of Knuckles signature moves are now yours. Sometimes your enemy turns out to be your best friend!
Games with Gold May 2018 has got some nice little treats for us.
On the Xbox One you’ll get:
Super Mega Baseball 2 The critically acclaimed Super Mega Baseball series is back with gorgeous new visuals, deep team and league customization, and long-awaited online multiplayer modes. Fancy yourself as either a rookie or baseball purist, SMB2 packs a mode for everyone. Compete in ranked matchmaking (1v1), dominate friends in arranged matches (1v1, 2v1, 2v2), or take on the AI (solo, local co-op, online co-op) – all kept fair by the dynamic difficulty system known as Ego.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Ushering in a new era for the franchise with cutting-edge technology powered by the Fox Engine, MGSV: The Phantom Pain will give players a first-rate gaming experience as they are offered tactical freedom to carry out open-world missions, allowing them to find their own unique way to achieve victory. Traverse the world with jeeps, tanks, horseback and even on foot! Stay alert and don’t forget to call on AI companions when needed!
While the Xbox 360 titles are:
Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage
Join Axel, Blaze, and company as they battle the evil Mr. X across all three Streets of Rage games. Originally released for the Sega Genesis, the classic brawler series has now been updated for release on Xbox Live Arcade! Earn all new achievements, take on challenging new game trials, compete with other players across Xbox Live Leaderboards, and clean up the streets with a friend in two-player local and online co-op!
This is a sci-fi shooter of epic proportions with a fast, fluid, and frantic combat system. You play as Sam Gideon, a DARPA agent armed with the Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS) that gives him extraordinary combat powers to help evade attacks and take down enemies. Take too much damage and the ARS allows Sam the ability to slow down time, helping to give him the edge in battle.
It was a beautiful sunny day as my son and I caught the train to London to check out the latest Indie games on show at EGX Rezzed, which as usual was being held at Tobacco Dock in the heart of the city. This venue is the polar opposite of the large open spaces of the NEC in Birmingham, as it is an open air venue with lots of small rooms. My previous visit there in 2016 left me disappointed, as there were lots of people crowded into these small rooms, and with no queuing system in place there was more than a small amount of mayhem! Apparently feedback has been taken on board by the organisers, so let’s see what they have to offer.
With over 100 Indie titles on show, including a large presence from the folks at ID@Xbox, I knew we were never going to see everything on show, so a list was made whilst on the train, and our priorities were set. Here are my thoughts on some of the highlights of the day.
The newest racing game from Codemasters and developed by the team previously known as Evolution Studios, who were responsible for Driveclub on the PS4. ONRUSH is not your usual racing game where the winner is the first one to reach the chequered flag. This is an all-action team based car fighting game, where your aim is to takedown the opposing teams cars whilst racing around an off-road circuit. First impressions of Onrush is that it is quick, frantic and immense amounts of fun! We had an absolute blast on the four games we played, all on the Countdown game mode which require you to gain extra time by driving through highlighted gates. I was intrigued with what I had seen in previews, but after playing I am now really excited by what Onrush will deliver. Releasing on 5th June this is definitely one to watch.
The devs have been busy since Rezzed and have released new videos detailing the other game modes available. Check them out on their official YouTube page and on Facebook and Twitter.
We were also lucky enough to snag a goody-bag in one of their giveaways, which made my son’s day!
This is the one I was most hyped about going into Rezzed after seeing it and watching the dev session at EGX 2017. Strange Brigade is a Boys-Own style adventure game, with up to 4 player co-op. Each level sees you battling the undead, mummies and statues that have come to life. The areas are set with traps to help you destroy the hordes of enemies, and there is nothing more satisfying than luring the undead into one of them before shooting it and watching the blades scything through them. This is possible my most anticipated game of 2018, assuming it comes out this year!
The devs have been actively promising more news soon and commented that the playable demo was an old build, and that the new build is looking and playing much better. I cannot wait for Strange Brigade!
This one came as a suprise to me as I knew nothing about it before the show. Anyone visiting the room they were located in couldn’t fail to miss the colorful stand and stop to see what Insane Robots was all about. Developed by Playniac it is a single player and multiplayer card battling game which eschews the deck-building element so frequently found in the likes of Hearthstone. Instead, all cards are randomly allocated during the battle and these must be used to attack and defend, along with additional bonus multiplier cards in order to defeat your opposition.
Insane Robots was colourful and full of energy, and will be released in 2018 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Check out the official website.
Visitors to previous EGX events will remember the buzz around Gang Beasts, with huge crowds watching as well as playing. Well, Tyred had that same buzz. The premise is simple. You take control of a Tyre and battle against other tyres in a series of mini-games. Fans of the TV show Wipeout will be very familiar with Tyred and a massive amount of fun was had by all. It does need some tweaking as some of the games were over-long, but there is definitely a diamond in here. Developed by the UK team at SekritGames, Tyred is only currently available on Steam Early Access.
Big Crown Showdown
Yet another game that I knew nothing about, and another that caught my eye based on its graphical style. Big Crown Showdown is a four player battle game where you have to battle against three other players whilst also navigating a treacherous world with traps and chasms. Great for family get togethers and drunken couch co-op but will also have online capabilities added for launch. The graphical style is medieval inspired but also very cute and pretty as well, with lots of charm. Big Crown Showdown is developed by Hyper Luminal Games and coming out soon for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Check out their official website for more info.
Located in the same room as Double Fine – which due to the nature of the game was quite apt – Phogs is an interesting game where your have to control a dog with two heads using a control system very reminiscent of OctoDad. Developed by Bit Loom Games, Phogs is a puzzle platformer where the two dogs heads can attach to items by licking them, and then dragging them to a desired location. The body between the dogs can be stretched as well, and provided great moments where one head grabbed a light ball to allow the other head to function like a long stretchy torch. I smiled my way through this demo and look forward to what the devs will bring in the full game. Phogs was developed in conjunction with Coatsink and will be released in 2019.
Ah, the long awaited Below. This was one I was most excited for. Originally debuted at E3 2013 before disappearing in order for Capybara to concentrate its efforts on finishing the game, Below is now resurfacing with extended gameplay trailers and demo’ing at both PAX and EGX Rezzed. I hate to say it but I wasn’t as blown away as I thought I would be. But that’s not intended as a negative as I believe that Below is not a game you can immerse yourself into for 5 minutes on an Xbox with other gamers queuing behind you for their shot. Below will need time and concentration in the peace of your own home.
Below is an action-adventure game viewed from a top-down perspective with your character being a “tiny warrior exploring the depths of a remote island”. The game is about exploration, though that goal is contingent upon the character’s survival. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer described the game at E3 2013 as a “creative take on roguelike gameplay” in a “mysterious world”. The environments are randomly generated.
Below is still a huge one-to-watch for 2018, and I for one cannot wait to immerse myself in the world that Capabara Games has invented.
So, thats my review of EGX Rezzed. Was it better than my previous visit? Yes, without question it was loads better! There was plenty of time to chat to the wonderful developers, and minimal queuing for games. The game rooms felt larger than previous, although finding the games you wanted to play in these rooms was sometimes difficult. We did come away without seeing at least one title that was on our wish-list. But it is safe to say that Rezzed is on our to-do list for the coming years and my 13 year old son now prefers it to the larger main EGX that takes place in the larger venue.
Ubisoft continue to adapt and support their titles by offering new ways to entice new players and help the existing fanbase. For Honor’s next update brings an all-new training mode, which arrives April 19.
The new training mode will not only help new players learn the basics of the game’s mechanics without being butchered by online players or the game’s tough AI, but the mode will also offer existing players a place to hone their skills with each of the game’s character classes.
This isn’t just a Street Fighter-esque tacked on mode either, there are a whole host of options from tutorial videos to hands-on advanced techniques that will teach you to become a better fighter and evaluate your efforts. And yes… there is of course that Street Fighter training dojo should you want to open up on a dummy opponent.
You could argue that this mode should have shipped with the game, but let’s look at the positives here… it’s great to see that Ubisoft are constantly listening to their fans and continue to improve their games long after their initial release.