All posts by Jason Andrews

Founder of ThisisXbox.com (owner from 2010 - 2014), now writer and reviewer with an interest in writing thriller fiction. Two addictions; Diet Coke and Call of Duty. All views expressed everywhere are my own and not that of my employer!

Sunset Overdrive 24hr Taster Now Live

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It’s the one year anniversary of Xbox One today and to celebrate, Microsoft and Insomniac Games are inviting all Xbox Live Gold members who still haven’t equipped their TnTeddy’s to get an unlimited taste of Sunset Overdrive for 24 hours starting right now as at Saturday 22nd Nov.

Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One will get to play Sunset Overdrive for free from 05:01 AM GMT on Saturday 22nd Nov to 05:01 AM GMT on Sunday 23rd Nov. Players can grind across Sunset City and decimate mutants until their hearts are content in the campaign, or join with up to seven players for co-op mayhem in Chaos Squad.

ThisisXbox.com reviewed Sunset Overdrive and scored it a whopping 90%:

Sunset Overdrive is without a doubt, one of the best games currently available on the next generation platforms and it’s a game worth remembering. It’s a bat-shit insane and enjoyable game from start to finish and contains mountains of content in a variety of different forms, as well as some truly memorable characters and situations. Sunset Overdrive is without a doubt the best exclusive currently available on the Xbox One.

Celebrate One Year of Xbox One This Saturday

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This Saturday, November 22nd marks the official one year anniversary of Xbox One – and Xbox want to thank you for being a part of an amazing 12 months by celebrating with you all weekend long.

First, if you’re in one of the original 13 markets and have opted in to receive Xbox Marketing emails, you’ll receive a personalized email detailing what you’ve accomplished since the Xbox One launched last November, and To show their appreciation their are several gifts to be had:

  • A Year One Gamer Picture
  • New Xbox One backgrounds: A special Year One background as well as an exclusive Day One background for those who unlocked the Day One achievement
  • A Year One background image for use on Twitter, your desktop, etc.
  • A free rental of “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” (for a limited time)
  • A free rental of “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods” movie and a sampler pack of “Dragon Ball Z” TV episodes (for a limited time, available in the U.S. and Canada only)

And in addition, fans will be selected at random to receive a special gift from Xbox. The full list of possible gifts include:

  • Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle (U.S. only)
  • Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle (U.S. only)
  • One month membership for Xbox One-exclusive EA Access service
  • Tiger Shark cash card for Grand Theft Auto V, worth $200,000 in-game GTA Online dollars
  • Forza gift pack with Forza RallyCross hat, Lamborghini Huracán 1/24 scale replica, and Xbox One Controller (launch team edition) signed by Tanner Foust, host of Top Gear America, Global RallyCross champion and professional stunt driver (U.S. only)
  • Forza Horizon 2 Limited Edition Casio G-Shock Men’s Black Multi-Function Digital Sports Watch (U.S. only)
    Grand Theft Auto V gift pack with the Los Santos Sheriff Trucker cap, Michael, Franklin and Trevor Posters, and a Grand Theft Auto V sticker pack (U.S. only)
  • Xbox Live Gold 12-month membership digital code
  • Killer Instinct Season 1 Combo Breaker Pack, the retail version of Killer Instinct Xbox One’s first season and includes all eight season one characters: Jago, Sabrewulf, Glacius, Thunder, Sadira, Orchid, and Spinal. Also includes Fulgore DLC character.
  • Special limited edition Nissan 370Z, featuring a custom Casio livery for Forza Horizon 2
  • Air Vehicle shortcut for Battlefield 4 for immediate access to all available unlocks for helicopters and jets available in the main Battlefield 4 game
  • Arno’s French Rapier for Assassin’s Creed Unity to improve your combat skills
  • 75 Platinum in Warframe
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Costume Pack for Peggle 2
  • Epic Quest Table in Pinball FX2
  • Dance Central Spotlight (full game token)
  • Project Spark Premium – 15 days: Grants 2x gain of Spark XP, credits, and champion XP, as well as the ability to purchase new token-only content for earned in-game credits

Thanks Xbox Wire

Titanfall Deluxe Edition Coming Soon

Respawn has today revealed the Deluxe Edition for Titanfall. Described as “delivering the complete Titanfall experience” the Titanfall Deluxe Edition includes the award-winning game featuring agile pilots and massive titans battling it out in fast-paced future warfare. In addition to the base game, players will also receive all three Titanfall DLC packs including Expedition, Frontier’s Edge and IMC Rising, adding nine maps designed to allow fans to continue the fight on the edge of the frontier.

Released in March, Titanfall has quickly become the best-selling new IP for the Xbox One. Since then Respawn have added a wealth of post-release content including the introduction of new game modes including co-op play, titan customisation, the Black Market, ranked play and more. All this great content combined in one package means there has never been a better time to feel the rush of Titanfall and the thrill of dropping your first titan on the battlefield.

Upon its release, Titanfall seized the attention of gamers around the world with its exhilarating first-person action gameplay centered on the dynamic between elite assault pilots and agile, heavily-armored, 24-foot titans. Praised by Game Informer as “a brave new vision of the future of multiplayer games”, the action in Titanfall is rapid and varied – featuring parkour-style wall running, massive double jumps and the ability to control titans. The freedom to shift back and forth between pilot and titan allows players to change tactics on the fly, attacking or escaping depending on the situation and extending the action vertically to new heights.

The Titanfall Deluxe Edition is available next week digitally for Xbox One on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace

The Xbox One Monopoly Family Fun Pack

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A new era of Monopoly for home consoles! The Monopoly Family Fun Pack is now available on the Xbox One marketplace and gathers the 3 Monopoly Games as detailed below. Everyone loves Monopoly the world over, so if you fancy owning the streets of Mayfair and Old Kent Road, give it a whirl…

MONOPOLY PLUS: Play the MONOPOLY you know and love set in a beautiful 3D world. Play online or in person with up to 6 players.

MY MONOPOLY: Personalize the classic MONOPOLY game board! Name the properties, add silly icons or pictures to make it your own.

MONOPOLY DEAL: The fun of MONOPOLY packed into a fast-dealing, card-stealing game! Play online or in person with up to 5 players.

Enjoy the classic Monopoly in new fun ways, with your friends and people all around the world!

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris: Puzzles 101

Lara Croft returns in Temple of Osiris, ready to use her brains and brawn to best a gauntlet of new puzzles. In our second Developer Diary, Executive Producer Scot Amos is joined by Lead Level Designer Jeff Wajcs, who discuss the difficult task of perfectly challenging a player. Take a peek at the mirrors, time bombs, twisting gears, and falling platforms you’ll need to manipulate to solve your way out of trouble, alone or with friends.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection – Flaming Heads, Halo 2 Forge Maps and More

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Our review of Halo: The Master Chief Collection went live this morning at 8.01am and scored a perfect 100% (10/10) in our write up:

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is quite possibly the largest ‘Master’ collection of gaming history in one very large bundle. With all the campaigns of four great Halo games and every bit of multiplayer maps and the downloadable content is no denying a great deal and a great piece of gaming history re-touched and improved to freshen gameplay and bring Halo on to the Xbox One. It’s very hard to find fault with such a piece of excellence as this, everything is created to ensure you have an easy transition between games with encouragement for cross-game play action. A whole ton of maps and of course, a completely re-made Halo 2, where everything else on disc is more of a bonus to accompany it.

But following a flurry of messages to my Xbox LIVE account I have been asked to share the Main Menu Selection System, the Halo 2: Anniverary Forge Maps on offer, and of course, the Halo 3 Flaming Head in all its glory…

So, here you go!

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Review

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Bungie and 343i’s iconic franchise returns to the next-gen stage in one stunning collection designed to please almost all, if not every Halo fan on planet Earth with an Xbox One this Fall. Containing all of the legendary games featuring Master Chief (this means excluding Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach), you have every single chapter of Halo 1, 2, 3 and 4 at your disposal in addition to every single multiplayer map ever made. To keep the game as a 1-disc shipment, a 15GB update is required for those who want to play the best multiplayer games on Xbox LIVE. I don’t see this as an issue considering if you are online with an internet connection then downloading should not be a problem, saving all the necessary campaign content for disc – and you do get to play and keep the flaming helmet in Halo 3 made famous for Bungie staff only on Xbox 360!

The traditional Halo menu system with all previous left-sided options has been replaced for a series of drop down selections and slides to make navigation as seamless as possible between games. With such a huge collection of content to hand, finding what you want, when you want has never been easier. It’s quite a simplistic system of choices by Campaign, Multiplayer, Playlists, Options & Career, and Extras. With each selection opening up further choices by title, map, and rather impressive is a new cross-play playlist to play well remembered parts of different Halo titles straight off as one chunk of gameplay action. Whether you want to focus on Hogs, Jets, Tanks and Mechs – or the final escape from each title then it has now all be made possible. This collection is about re-living memories and moments that made an impact on your love of Halo and Xbox, with next gen touch ups to the main engine of each and solid, fluid gameplay at 60FPS – replaying Halo all over again feels like an entirely new experience on Xbox One.

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The driving force behind the collection is undoubtedly the remake of Halo 2; do you remember the outrage at closing down the original Xbox servers forcing Halo 2 online to its sudden death? With the remake of Halo Combat Evolved, Halo 2 Anniversary was always ‘that’ rumour, or for many, a wish, a hope, a chance to replay a classic game in a whole new skin – and now that day is here. In the same tradition of Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary which was released three years ago on the Xbox 360, Halo 2 Anniversary also has a seamless old vs remade graphics switching on the fly. This transition of old vs new is such a realism check on how far gaming has evolved since the early days of Halo, but in the newest Anniversary edition cut-scenes too have been completely remade from the ground up and taking advantage of next-gen capabilities allowing them to look as amazing as your mind can only imagine. This leaves something to be admired in terms of the upcoming Halo 5, because if Halo 2 cut-scenes can look this good on Xbox One, just how bloody amazing will Halo 5 look! Since, touching on the subject of Halo 5, do not forget that the Beta is only available through Halo: The Master Chief Collection this coming December as for those with the game will notice its presence in the Extra’s menu! Just sat there teasing you with an image.

When the campaign of Halo is as majestic as it is and millions around the globe having already played it many times over in the last ten years and more, Halo 2 Anniversary truly is like reliving the magic all over again as every detail you remember re-skinned, from the very floor tiles to the stars in the sky – it’s all new and shiny, with a very current feel!  Gamers who joined the Xbox brand from the Xbox 360 days may have never played Halo 2 and if they haven’t upgraded yet to an Xbox One – they still might never play Halo 2! The early Halo games are a pinnacle in the story lines that gave rise to the continuation in to Halo 4 and upcoming Halo 5: Guardians. A real “miss it or miss out” game and if you’ve enjoyed all other Halo’s then rather than cling on to the Xbox 360 for every last day it has left in its life – go out and get your Xbox One if only for this collection alone!

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Halo 2 itself was originally released in 2004 seeing out the Xbox original in its last year, but was quite rightly the most popular game on Xbox LIVE until Gears of War was released on Xbox 360 in 2006. That’s two whole years of LIVE domination and before the rise of Call of Duty, the FPS king of gaming was always that of Halo. The story campaign plays out in alternate plot lines between an early Master Chief, and a Covenant Elite called the Arbiter, who also made the transition to Halo 3 as a co-op playable character. So, if you’ve ever wondered about how the Arbiter branched into the first chapter of Halo 3 – you need to play and relive the story through Halo 2 Anniversary which has a visual quality now far greater than ant of its predecessors thanks to the overwhelming power of Xbox One. Halo 2 has been revamped and brought back to life in a very eye-catching way, so much so that it could even be considered a current game on Xbox One, it’s a grand job well done from 343 industries.

Other Halo games in the Halo: The Master Chief Collection, that includes Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4 are all Xbox 360 editions that now take advantage of improvements to the game engine running on Xbox One with clearer detail and more fluid gameplay – and it is clearly evident in the frame rates. Whilst Halo Combat Evolved and Halo 3 campaign do not appear much more visually enhanced than what you would normally see on Xbox 360, Halo 4 on the other hand looks far cleaner, brighter, smoother detail enough to make you sit up and realise that lighting and textures appear to be enhanced in some way.  The main benefits of all four halo games together as one collection has to be being able to jump right into any mission from any game instead of having to play your selected game through from beginning to end to keep chapters you’ve played. 343i have really opened up Halo as a whole allowing for cross-game playlists as mentioned earlier and also being able to compete in challenges, Leaderboards and make it a real social experience with friends over Xbox LIVE.

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One of the burning questions you might ask is about Customisation; with so many Halo games and each with their own unique styles for multiplayer – it’s natural to think about how has this been adapted for one huge collection as this.  The customisation options are all linked together in the Options and Careers menu that allows you to edit your online multiplayer settings for each game, Player ID, Career Stats Viewing, My Files for Map Variants, Films and Screenshots, controller Settings and Leaderboards, all linked into the same menu system. Character customisation allows you to edit your player for Hale Combat Evolved, Halo 2 & Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4 independently. The best options for Halo 3 and Halo 4 include all the Armors unlocked from the start; this allows you to play with a Flaming Helmet in Halo 3 that was never previously available outside of Bungie Employees, and no need to earn unlock rewards in Halo 4 as the mass of Armor is readily available to you without earning CR points. It’s simply about choosing what you think suits you best. This also applies to colour options too, but it’s all a little different for Player ID and NamePlates.

Player ID’s are those shapes and symbols used to display on your Service Record where you can mix and match emblems, where as NamePlates are the background displays showing a game logo or associated icon. To get access to these you need to complete certain challenges within each title and then a notification will appear alerting you to check for new unlocked items. If you want to edit your own Clan Tag you must complete 50 Missions or multiplayer games, but you can edit your Service Tag at any time you choose. Other unlockables include Avatar’s, which are relevant images of iconic characters that you can set to appear on your Player Details page (accessed through Roster and highlighting a player). These characters are also unlocked for performing various tasks within each title and are prominently displayed on the Player Details page that includes your Career History, File Shares and Rivals.

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For gamers who love to create their very own map or game variants, Forge has returned and allows you to play around with Halo 2: Anniversary Maps, Halo 3 Maps and Halo 4 Maps and some with Magnets and Snaps to create a seamless and tidier looking map variant by accurately being able to place objects where you need them. In the older days of Halo, just dropping a whopping great boulder as close as possible was the only option and hope for the best it landed where it needed to be. With snap tools and magnets crafting a great map has never been easier, but this has been left untouched in Halo 3. It’s not just Forge that makes a return, but Theatre mode is back too, with all recent play offerings stored in your Temporary files you can simply browse and watch all the action all over again, and again if you wish.

Although online Multiplayer was not available during the time of this review, all maps were available as part of custom game play and browsing.  Nineteen maps available for Halo Combat Evolved, Twenty-Five maps for Halo 2 Classic, Six re-made and renamed maps for Halo 2: Anniversary, Twenty-Four maps for Halo 3 and finally Twenty-Five maps for Halo 4. This is a grand total of Ninety-Nine Multiplayer Maps – a huge amount of endless gameplay online right there when the multiplayer becomes available. I have a sneaky suspicion that more Halo 2: Anniversary maps could come as DLC on the success of this collection because six seems like such a low number. I am unable to comment on server encounters because multiplayer was not played, but having looked in depth at a great deal of the maps available, the same fluid movement and improvements to texture and lighting applied to each. This has given me confidence that the multiplayer in Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be every bit as bright, detailed and fluid just as I encountered during a Press Only session at Gamescom with Xbox UK earlier this year.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection is quite possibly the largest ‘Master’ collection of gaming history in one very large bundle. With all the campaigns of four great Halo games and every bit of multiplayer maps and the downloadable content is no denying a great deal and a great piece of gaming history re-touched and improved to freshen gameplay and bring Halo on to the Xbox One. It’s very hard to find fault with such a piece of excellence as this, everything is created to ensure you have an easy transition between games with encouragement for cross-game play action. A whole ton of maps and of course, a completely re-made Halo 2, where everything else on disc is more of a bonus to accompany it.

The ‘must-have’ game of the year, and an absolute disgrace not to own it.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection Day 1 Update Reduced in Size

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Whilst we are currently reviewing Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and the majority of our readers have it sat waiting for the November 11th digital edition switch-on, or your pre-order to arrive. Good news just in! A huge 5GB of data has been trimmed from the day one Multiplayer update from the original 20GB quota previously announced.

Not only does this mean 5GB worth of download waiting time has been cut, but it doesn’t cut anything from the game or the experience. The update is a requirement of online gameplay to enable the title to ship on 1 disc. If you have an internet connection and space left on your HDD, then this shouldn’t really be an issue.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection launches worldwide on November 11th 2014 exclusively on Xbox One

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Gameplay Launch Trailer

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Launch Trailer takes you into the definitive Halo experience coming November 11, 2014. Get the details: http://bit.ly/HaloMasterChiefCollection

The Master Chief Collection features a remastered Halo 2: Anniversary, along with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 4, Halo: Nightfall (a new digital series), and access to the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta.

Honoring the iconic hero and his epic journey, the Master Chief’s entire story is brought together as The Master Chief Collection, a collection of all four Halo games, including the remastered Halo 2: Anniversary and over 100 multiplayer maps, all at Xbox One visual fidelity and 60 fps.

Grand Theft Auto V – Exclusive FPS Mode for Next-Gen

Exclusive to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions of Grand Theft Auto V, this new mode gives players the chance to explore the world of Los Santos and Blaine County directly through the eyes of their character, revealing all the world’s glorious details in an entirely new way.

Available in both GTAV and GTA Online, Rockstar have made a host of changes to accommodate this new perspective, including the creation of an optional first person cover system, a new targeting system, a more traditional FPS control scheme, and integrating thousands of new animations into the existing game. It’s also available at the touch of a button so you can easily switch back and forth between perspectives.

Alongside the new First Person mode, Grand Theft Auto V for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC features hundreds of additions and enhancements including 1080p resolution at 30FPS on PS4 and Xbox One (4K compatible on PC).

Grand Theft Auto V will be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 18th. Coming January 27th to PC.