Hitman and Ryse: Son of Rome get added to Xbox Game Pass

Game Pass continues to improve and is surely a must-have service for any Xbox owner right now. Seven new titles have just been added to the service for August, including the awesome Hitman: Season 1. Regular visitors to TiX will know that this was my Game of the Year for 2016 and just kept improving for all of 2017 as well! Also added to the service are Ryse: Son Of Rome, Ruiner, Dead Rising 2, Dandara, The Escapists: Walking Dead and Rush: A Disney/Pixar adventure. A recent update to the Xbox One Dashboard also now gives you easy access to the Game Pass service with a tab on your home screen to jump right into the library of games.

Click on the titles below to read the TiX reviews of the new games entering Game Pass.

Hitman Season 1 – Welcome to the World of Assassination. You are Agent 47, the world’s best assassin. As an agent of the International Contract Agency (ICA), you are tasked with taking out hard-to-reach, high-profile targets in exotic locations all around the world. You’ll need to use your wits and creativity to find ways in eliminating your targets in densely detailed and intricate sandbox levels with complete freedom of approach. Where to go, when to strike, what to use, and how to kill is all up to you.

Ruiner – It‘s the brutal world of 2091. Ruiner immerses you in a cyberpunk dystopia, where you take on the role of a wired sociopath out to uncover the truth about the corrupt system and to retrieve his kidnapped brother. This brutal action shooter immerses you in Rengkok City, from its shady back-alleys to its towering corporate titans. Get ready to experience a game carved from the mold of the best cyberpunk anime.

Ryse: Son of Rome – Ave! Join the legions of ancient Rome as Marius Titus, a centurion on the rise. Sword-and-sandals meets action combat as you battle with the unique flow system, allowing you to seamlessly weave your battle between enemies. Prepare to immerse yourself in this alternate history, where the battles you fight will determine the fate of an empire.

Dead Rising 2 – The sequel to the smash hit features Chuck Greene, a motorcycle stuntman truly racing against time as he fights through hordes of zombies to keep his daughter alive. With loads of customized and constructible weapons, 2-player co-op, 4-player gladiator battles, and all DLC costumes included, players can rip through the undead horde in gory-ous 1080p at 60fps.

Dandara – Dandara is an exciting evolution to the metroidvania platformer genre. Take control of the mystical heroine Dandara as she leaps from the floor to walls to the ceiling, unhindered by gravity. Discover allies and mysteries hidden throughout as she fights to free the land of Salt from the oppression of the Eldarian Army.

The Escapists: The Walking Dead – 8-bit pixels meet biting zombies in The Escapists: The Walking Dead. The pixel art style familiar to fans of The Escapists brings the world of “The Walking Dead” to glorious un-life as you take on the role of Rick Grimes as he fights an endless horde of walkers let loose upon the world. Lead characters to safety while avoiding (and destroying) the undead.

Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure – This Xbox 360 title, newly remastered for the Xbox One, now features controller support as well as support for the Kinect Sensor. Create your avatar and jump between the worlds of Pixar films like “Up,” “Cars,” “Ratatouille,” “Toy Story,” and “The Incredibles.” The remastered version features an all-new level based on “Finding Dory.” Unlock secret areas, new characters, and more as you master more than 15 fully-voice-acted levels!

Splinter Cell Blacklist and Splinter Cell Double Agent available on Xbox Backwards Compatibility

Fans of Sam Fisher rejoice! Last month saw Splinter Cell Conviction free on Xbox One via the magic of Games With Gold and Backwards Compatibility. This has now been followed by the news that the franchise companions of Blacklist and Double Agent are also now available to play on the Xbox One. We might still be a few years from a new Sam Fisher game, so for now we can revisit these classics.

Splinter Cell Blacklist was originally released in 2013 and received favourable reviews. Unleash the power or the most lethal agent to ever exist. You are Sam Fisher, and you’ve been given the ultimate freedom to protect innocents against a series of global terror attacks known as Blacklist – the freedom to use limitless force, to break every law, and to become the globe’s deadliest operative. If you succeed, the President of the United States will deny you exist. If you fail, millions will die. You can read the TiX review of Blacklist here!

Splinter Cell Double Agent hails back to 2006 and again was rated very highly upon release. Veteran agent Sam Fisher is back. But he’s never faced an enemy like this before. To stop a devastating terrorist attack, he must infiltrate a vicious terrorist group and destroy it from within. For the first time ever, experience the relentless tension and gut-wrenching dilemmas of life as a double agent. As you infiltrate a terrorist organization in its American headquarters, you must carefully weigh the consequences of your actions. Kill too many criminals and you’ll blow your cover. Hesitate too long and millions will die. Do whatever it takes to complete your mission, but get out alive. Dual objectives to fulfill: NSA government agents and terrorists will each want you to accomplish opposing tasks at the same time. Discover the tension of being a double agent: Use actual tactics employed by today’s real-life double agents to sabotage the terrorists’ plans. Explore a branching storyline with multiple endings: Your choices have an impact on how the story and game play unfolds. Missions from all over the world, from Asia to Africa to the heart of the US. Experience extreme situations: underwater or in a sandstorm, hiding behind the dust or smoke – and even skydiving. Master the latest weapons and gadgets used by NSA government agents in addition to black-market terrorist weapons

Forza Horizon 2 and Dead Space 3 now available with August Games with Gold

Forza Horizon 2 and Dead Space 3 now available with August Games with Gold

Forza Horizon 2 Standard – 10th Anniversary Edition and Dead Space 3 are now available for free as part of Xbox Games with Gold for August. Coming up later in the month are For Honor and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.

Forza Horizon 2 Standard: 10th Anniversary Edition – Drive over 200 exotic cars and explore the beautiful vistas of southern France and northern Italy like never before, in this 10th anniversary edition of Forza Horizon 2. Show off your driving skills with friends online in challenging races and events, day or night, in dynamic weather conditions. A world of beauty and freedom awaits in this ultimate celebration of speed and style.

For Honor Standard Edition – Be prepared to enter the chaos of war in For Honor. Mix speed, strategy, and team-play across several multiplayer modes as you control your favorite warriors, be they bold Knights, brutal Vikings, or deadly Samurai. Master the innovative Art of Battle combat system and guide your armies to ultimate victory.

Dead Space 3 – Return as protagonist Isaac Clarke in the survival horror game Dead Space 3. Joined by Sgt. John Carver, travel to the ominous ice planet of Tau Volantis to uncover the secrets of the Necromorph plague. With online co-op mode, join a friend and use teamwork to end the deadly threat once and for all.

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two – Grab your magic paintbrush and return to save the world of Wasteland once again in Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. Pair up with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, interact with classic cartoon characters of the past, and defeat the Mad Doctor in this heroic two-player co-op adventure.

Things get hot for Descenders in the latest content update

While Descenders is still in Xbox One’s Preview program, it doesn’t mean that RageSquid are content with just tweaking the experience when bugs and feedback are submitted. Launching August 7, the world of Descenders is going to get hot, hot, hot – a bit like the heatwave the UK has been ‘enjoying’.

The Ring of Fire update brings a brand new location to whip, jump and scrub your way through and brings the total area number to five. Aptly named Volcano, stunts are omitted in favour of “tectonics” – which means a bumpy ride that is accompanied by the immediate danger of flowing lava!

Unlike the other areas, The volcano region is only accessible by completing special requirements during your Descender runs. The area also contains a new – third – secret area so keep your head on a swivel. To top the update off, new freeride options, kits and bikes have also been added.

Now… queue Jonny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider shows off its ‘stunning world’

The newest Shadow of the Tomb Raider trailer shows off its ‘stunning world’ and they aren’t wrong… the world looks incredible and makes me giddy with excitement to see this running on an Xbox One X. Not to get ahead of myself, I got serious Tomb Raider chills from watching this – I’m talking the original game from the days of the first PlayStation console.

Vast vistas, lush environments and Lara standing at the base of an imposing piece of ancient machinery makes for all the ingredients that made the original game so damn good. I hope that this third title in the new look series can finally hold a torch to what made Tomb Raider so good.

Let the excitement continue…

Victory is Life Now Available for Star Trek Online

Star Trek Online’s console players can now embark on a mission to save Deep Space Nine with the release of Victory is Life, available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game’s fourth official expansion celebrates the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine by sending Captains to Gamma Quadrant, where they will team up with some of their favourite crew members.

Victory is Life also features Deep Space Nine-inspired content that is brand new to consoles, including seven featured episodes, a new Jem’Hadar playable faction, an expansive Gamma Quadrant Battlezone and a total revamp of the original DS9 space station’s interior. In addition, the game also includes a new level cap of 65, a five-player co-op space queue and the new Gamma Task Force Reputation.

For additional details about Victory is Life on consoles, please visit Star Trek Online’s blog. Also keep an eye on our Twitter feed and site tomorrow, as there might be a special giveaway!

Vampyr gets an easier and harder mode

If you’ve yet to sink your teeth into the juicy neck of Vampyr, then you may want to hang fire until later this summer when two new difficulty modes are unleashed upon DONTNOD’s narrative driven vampire adventure. The update also addresses feedback since the game launched. But the best news is that a story mode is launching, so if you couldn’t get on with the combat – or were put off by it – then you can tackle the game in a mode that “de-emphasizes combat”.

For those that revelled in the combat, a “cranked-up” hard mode is also launching. This adds in more challenging combat scenarios, which rewards less XP from fights, making the choices of who to embrace that much more vital as this will be the only real way to get XP.

DONTNOD are quite clearly offering something for everyone – well done!

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics releases later this year

We last reported on Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics when it was launched on Kickstarter. A few months have passed, funding was successful, and indeed, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics will hit consoles (Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch) and PC in Q4 this year. You can check out the announcement trailer below:

Developed by Bristol-based Auroch Digital and to be published by Ripstone Games, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics challenges you to save the world from Nazis. But not just Nazis, also the other-worldly monstrosities they’ve uncovered through the occult.

Based on the wildly successful tabletop RPG from Modiphius Entertainment, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is set in an alternate World War II where the Nazis have gained a considerable advantage by summoning Lovecraftian monsters that could enable them to destroy the allies. Players take control of Charlie Company, an elite band of allied forces, sent in to do the impossible: foil the Nazi plans and turn the tide of war.

“We loved Modiphius’ pulp mash-up of World War II Nazis and the Cthulhu Mythos. It’s an incredibly evocative and exciting alternative history which makes for a unique tabletop experience”

said Nina Adams, Producer at Auroch Digital.

“We’re taking that nigh-on faultless foundation and transporting it into the video game medium, via our favourite genre, the turn-based tactics game. With the genre experiencing something of a comeback in recent years, we feel Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics will not only deliver an incredibly compelling theme and world to play in but also offer innovative gameplay possibilities.”

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics utilizes a mix of turn-based strategy and RPG mechanics as players embark on a globe-trotting campaign against the forces of evil. Each hero character features their own backstory, weapon specialisations, and combat abilities to give players an edge in the battlefield. Captain Eric “Badger” Harris is a British Intelligence operative who specializes in experimental weaponry and guerrilla warfare; Ariane Dubois is a French Resistance member who’s bonded with a demonic spirit creature that she can command on the battlefield; Corporal Akhee “The Eye” Singh wields a sentient amulet that can transform him into a whirling cloud of blades; and Sergeant Brandon Carter is a loud-mouthed American soldier with a medallion that imbues his signature Thompson submachine gun, with Mythos-fuelled bullets that can tear through the Nazi’s horrifying creations.

Beyond these four main heroes, Charlie Company is joined by the covert ops of Badger’s Commando Unit, and the Native American tribe The Keijn – or “Pathfinder Demon Hunters” as they’re often known.

In the world of Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics, all Allied forces fight better in the light. Step into the dark, however, and the forces of evil will grow ever more powerful.

Raiders of the Broken Planet goes free to play and re-names itself ‘Spacelords’

Raiders of the Broken Planet was launched in late 2017 and was given a good review from us here at TiX – Raiders of the Broken Planet review. It was released episodically at £9.99 per campaign and so far we have had three of those released (Alien Myths, Wardog Fury, and Hades Betrayal). It’s obviously not had the impact it desired as developer MercurySteam have now announced it will move to a free-to-play model and be rebranded as Spacelords as from August 23rd 2018. On the same day, a fourth campaign called Council Apocalypse will also be released.

Enric Álvarez, Spacelords Director commented – “When we launched Raiders September last year, we hoped its low price point of 9.99 per campaign would open it up to a large number of users, but it didn’t work as we planned. Our vision is to see our game enjoyed by millions of users for years to come and putting all of the game’s rich content into their hands for free is the way to realize it. We’ve answered our community and hope this removal of any payment barriers will build our devoted community further”

It’s a bold move to change both the payment model and the game name a whole year after release. Let’s hope it finds a place in gamer’s hearts for it to continue successfully.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands gets a Rainbow Six Siege special operation

Ghost Recon: Wildlands gets a Rainbow Six Siege special operation

Ghost Recon: Wildlands has teamed up with Rainbow SIx Siege to bring you a Special Operation to take part in.

When Caveira, an elite Brazilian Operator, goes missing, Rainbow fears she’s up to her old criminal ways. Intelligence agent Valkyrie has tracked her to Bolivia, and enlists the help of the Ghosts, along with nearby Operator Twitch, to find Caveira and discover out what’s really going on.

The operation came out yesterday and is free to all owners of the game. Will this get you back into Ghost Recon?

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