Tag Archives: mass effect

Gears of War 4 and six more titles coming to Game Pass

The Game Pass content continues to grow and seven new titles will be introduced to the service on December 1st. Also, ICYMI, Xbox launched Game Pass Goals, a fun way to get rewarded for playing games in Xbox Game Pass. Each month a new Goal is posted in the Xbox Game Pass Lounge, and everyone who completes their Goal is guaranteed to win a prize, which include Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Gift Cards, movies, DLC and more. One lucky Xbox Game Pass member will also win a grand prize each month, such as a $500 Gift Card for Microsoft Store! With Game Pass Goals, there is no need to register or sign-up, if you’re an Xbox Game Pass member then you can jump right in and start winning. Head over to the Xbox Game Pass Lounge and check out your Goal at the beginning of each month for your chance to win awesome prizes!

The new games joining the service are;

Gears of War 4 – Jump into campaign solo or co-op and take on the role of J.D. Fenix, son to Marcus Fenix and Anya Stroud, as you and your band of Outsiders confront the Coalition of Ordered Governments, battle the impending Swarm, and unravel the mystery of Marcus Fenix’ last 25 years. And that’s just in the single-player campaign – there is more excitement to be found in multiplayer or Horde mode. As an added bonus, The Coalition is kicking off December with a double XP incentive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji2aU4EdQww

Darksiders: Warmastered Edition– THQ Nordic’s third-person action adventure journey based on the lore of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. You play the horseman War, and you are tasked with venturing out from The Scalding Gallow to explore and discover new lands, weapons, enemies, and abilities. The Endwar has begun on Earth, inciting a great battle between angels, demons, and man. Only War can break the Seventh Seal and finally restore order to the realm.

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter – The legendary detective is back with five cases to investigate, as well as a host of additional personnel, professional, and moral hurdles to overcome along the way. Use your detective powers to collect all the evidence and solve each puzzle as you bring peace and security back to the streets of London.

This War of Mine: The Little Ones – A civilian-based perspective on the Bosnian War, developed by 11-bit studios and published by Deep Silver. This War of Mine is equal parts strategy and survival, requiring you to take on the role of a bystander to war and scavenge for resources, ration supplies, and try (oft unsuccessfully) to avoid the perils of war. This War of Mine is a demanding game covering a very sobering topic and one you are not likely to forget anytime soon.

Casey Powell Lacrosse 16 – Lacrosse is a fast-paced, action-packed sport requiring keen strategy and tactical precision and CPL 16 delivers pace and excitement reminiscent of the real thing. If you’re new to Lacrosse, jump into the Lacrosse Academy to develop and polish your skills. From there, play pickup in Quick Match (solo or competitive multiplayer) or start your sure-to-be-illustrious journey in career mode. Are you a fan of customization? With CPL 16, create your own characters, build your own teams and forge your LAX dynasty from the ground up.

Mega Man 10 – Mega Man 10, the last and final installment in the legendary platforming saga, allows you to assume the role of either Mega Man or Proto Man and take on classic boss battles with Blade Man, Chill Man, Sheep Man, and more! Mega Man may seem fun and simple, but it can be a very challenging test of your skills. Struggling with your stealth? Play through the main story or jump into Challenge Mode, where you can polish your abilities in 88 different mini-games. There’s never been a better time to join the action and defeat the evil Dr. Wiley!

Mass Effect – One of the greatest single-player action RPGs of all-time, Mass Effect is a true classic that has aged extremely well. In Mass Effect, we follow the story of Commander Shepard, a 22nd-century soldier assuming the tiny little mission of… saving the entire universe from a super race of ill-intentioned, mighty mechs. Choose from six different classes and level-up your character as you seek out and complete combat missions, resource gathering expeditions, and other side quests.

 

Mass Effect Andromeda review

Mass Effect Andromeda isn’t quite the return for the series we all hoped for. It’s technically flawed, suffers from sections of poor writing, padded with dull and tedious side content, and lacks the subtlety of its former trilogy of titles. It’s largely been developed by a fresh set of creators, and it unfortunately feels like it. However, some excellent combat mechanics and a fascinating concept behind the story does make this adventure one worth exploring.

The arrival in the Andromeda galaxy and the events proceeding it tell a well-paced and fascinating story of survival, exploration and mystery. Indeed, the idea of leaving the behind Milky Way, many of that galaxy’s species, and the Reapers, makes this adventure feel fresh and your discoveries more intriguing. It’s a smart choice that certainly feels like a great introduction for an entirely new series of Mass Effect games and stories. However, it also raises a level of expectance and anticipation for something grander that the original trilogy offered; something more threatening than the Reapers and more fascinating that the mass relays, and Andromeda’s stand-ins for both of these don’t fill their predecessor’s shoes just yet. There’s time for this to develop further, of course, if indeed the plan for another trilogy is realised, but this potentially opening act doesn’t feel as strong.

However, the new threat in the form of the alien menace the Kett and the dark matter infecting the Helius region of the Andromeda galaxy, prove to be intimidating enough to compromise the best laid plans of the Andromeda Initiative that organised this colony mission. The Human, Asari, Salarian and Turian races each have their own ark, with other races, such as the Krogan, also joining these arks but in lesser numbers. It adds a nice slice of familiarity to the cast, helping ease you in to the new. As for the stand-in for mass relays, instead there’s ancient Remnant technology from a mysterious, advanced race that can cleanse a planet’s atmosphere, acting as a new tool and source of technological intrigue that works well within the fiction of arriving in a hostile new galaxy.

The goal of the Andromeda Initiative was to setup the first few colonies of Milky Way species in the Andromeda galaxy across seven ‘golden worlds’, that long-range scanned determined were rich with resources and fit for life. However, during the 600 plus years it took the arks to travel to this region, the worlds have been altered. The discovery of the aforementioned dark matter veins surrounding the region, the alien race the Kett, and the Remnant vaults that sit on these planets, provides a strong driving force to figure out how they’re all connected, and your struggle to overcome the challenges of this new galaxy embroils you in a well-told adventure, just one that’s on a smaller, more personal scale than the original trilogy.

While the galaxy is new and mysterious, Mass Effect Andromeda still manages to feel very familiar. Nods to previous events and characters in the series helps make this new chapter feel connected and many of the original title’s tropes are played on to make this feel like a familiar yet new beginning. There’s politics to your position within the Andromeda Initiative as Pathfinder that feels pleasantly similar to the struggle of Shepard as the first Human Spectre. Meanwhile, the Nexus – the huge hub space station where the arks are meant to rendezvous – is the Citadel in all but name. Scanning planet for resources, the Pathfinder’s personal ship, crew and land vehicle the Nomad, intense combat and copious amounts of lore to read up on and glean from dialogue, all makes Andromeda feel like any other Mass Effect title.

Where’s there’s been improvements are in the dialogue choices and the combat. You can now choose from up to four emotional responses during conversations, allowing for a much more natural flow to dialogue, although situations where you’re only provided two options that are practically identical do crop up far too often, and this element of ‘choice’ is more of an illusion than an actual dialogue tree. The combat, meanwhile, is now much more fluid, with your character taking cover automatically when you approach it, weapons and abilities hitting harder and having clear strategic uses, and ammo being strewn across battlefields ready to restock you and get you back in the fight. The upgrade tree is split between different disciplines allowing you to craft different character classes, such as a traditional soldier, biotic enhanced, tech enhanced, etc. Furthermore, you can switch between these disciplines at will, allowing you to adapt to the situation you’re in as well as find a play-style that best suits you. Finally, the jet boosters adds a nice amount of verticality to your movement during combat to allow for better tactics and a more flowing and intense set of encounters, with the enemy AI proving aggressive enough to make moving around during a fight an important strategic consideration.

However, there’s also plenty of issues that can ruin the experience for you. Humans and Asari suffer from horrendous facial animations and dead eyes that make dialogue with them distracting. Meanwhile, all characters are prone to dodgy walking animations and glitches where they reset to the ‘T’ position. There are also many instances of low frame rates and screen tearing, some truly terrible writing, poor draw distance, and characters floating in the air when you approach them. Largely these are issues with the final polish, and as such can be ignored, however, we also ran into some game-breaking bugs that prevented us talking to other characters or being able to achieve objectives within a mission. Reloading fixed these issues the majority of the time, but not always. Additionally, a lot of the side missions feel like filler, giving you dull and repetitive tasks that added little to the lore. Furthermore, tutorials only provided the briefest overview of some of the new systems and inventory management options.

Indeed, Mass Effect Andromeda has a lot of issues that can pull you out of the experience, however, when focused on the story missions it can easily immerse you in this new galaxy and the new challenges it provides. Additionally, some terrific lighting and environment textures make planets a visual treat to visit, and the voice cast does a great job, for the most part. The Multiplayer also provides a compelling, wave-based, cooperative challenge; it’s a little shallow but the intense combat makes it thrilling enough.

Despite the issues there’s still a good Mass Effect title here. There’s a lot of potential for the sequels to jump off this opening chapter in the Andromeda galaxy and build something great. Sure, the bugs and glitches are immersion breaking and disappointing, lacking that polish we expect from BioWare, but a strong story steeped in intrigue does a great job of mitigating most of the flaws.

Thanks to Xbox and EA for supporting TiX

Mass Effect Andromeda to hit EA Early Access on March 16th

The official Mass Effect Andromeda Twitter have sent out a tweet replying to Twitter user @N7Follower confirming that the BioWare space RPG will be coming to Xbox One’s EA Early Access on March 16th.

ME Andromeda early access tweet

This came as a bit of a surprise, as originally it seemed it would hit Early Access only a couple of days before release, but it looks like EA Access subscribers will get to enjoy 10 hours of the hotly anticipated title eight days before it hits shelves, with all save progress carried over if you buy the full game.

Mass Effect: Andromeda won’t have a season pass

The inclusion of season passes for games has become ubiquitous with new releases for several years now, offering up a slightly cheaper way to get a set of planned DLC with your latest purchase. It’s a bit of a cheeky proposition, asking consumers to pay extra on top of the already pricey products for content down the road, especially when many feel this content should be included as part of the full price. Fortunately, PC Gamer spotted a Twitter conversation that suggests Mass Effect: Andromeda, which received a firm release date the other day, won’t have a season pass.

Twitter user coldboy33 tweeted BioWare’s General Manager Aaryn Flynn and asked him whether Mass Effect Andromeda will be receiving a season pass, to which Flynn’s answer was a straight up “no”. However, when pushed for more details on whether there were any DLC plans for Mass Effect: Andromeda, Flynn replied that “We’ll talk more about this later”.

mass-effect-andromeda-tweet

So perhaps it’s too early to rejoice about the lack of a season pass. It seems likely from that response that paid DLC will still be present for the space opera RPG, and we may all be worse off if we have to buy it individually. One step forwards, two steps back.

TiX Podcast: Mass Exodus

Welcome to the This is Xbox Podcast.

Join Greg Giddens and Steve Peacock for a new episode of the This is Xbox Podcast – episode 23 Mass Exodus. In this episode duo discuss Fallout 4, Lego Dimensions, Mass Effect and Dying Light The Following, amongst the usual silly banter you’d expect.

https://soundcloud.com/thisisxboxpodcast/tix-podcast-mass-exodus

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 @stevetheblack

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/)

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Test

We predicted it in our latest podcast and Microsoft revealed it in their E3 2015 press conference: backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games on Xbox One.

Initially the following games are supported, but more will follow:

A Kingdom for Keflings
A World of Keflings
Alien Hominid HD
Banjo-Kazooie
Banjo-Tooie
BattleBlock Theater
Defense Grid
Geometry Wars Evolved
Hexic HD
Jetpac Refuelled
Kameo
Mass Effect
N+
Perfect Dark
Perfect Dark Zero
Super Meat Boy
Toy Soldiers
Toy Soldiers: Cold War
Viva Piñata
Viva Piñata: TIP
Zuma

But how well does it work? Well, we take a look at it by loading up the original Mass Effect, with footage of the process including any problems we meet.

Update:

We’ve found the Backward Compatible digital titles. Rather than appearing in your download queue, these titles can be found in Games and Apps, Games, scroll all the way to the end to see what you can re-download, and boom there they all are – if you’ve previously downloaded them on the Xbox 360 of course.

Deals with Gold – 27 Jan – 2 Feb

This weeks Deals with Gold has been announced and there are some great bargains to be had. If you missed out on the brilliant Titanfall deal over Christmas then you can pick up the deluxe edition for only £10.

There are also some great Xbox 360 deals on games like Skate, Crysis and Mass Effect.

Xbox One

Xbox 360

Everstar in development by Ex BioWare Team

5dbfc96a8136f011cc2f655f3c124234_large

What happens when you combine developers with resumes which include Command and Conquer, Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls, World of Warcraft, Mass Effect, Star Wars, EA Sports, and the Sims, a fully 3D, party-based action-RPG featuring a fully co-op campaign and an $850,000 KickStarter campaign? The answer is Everstar.

MorningstarAcademus

Unlike many Kickstarter projects, Everstar has fully developed gameplay to show to inspire confidence in the final product.

Everstar is a game about a class of teenage gladiators who will charm and surprise you, follow you into danger, face their worst nightmares, and eventually tear down the world and stand atop the rubble in victory.

  • Everstar is a cutting edge realtime 3D RPG for Xbox One &  other Next-Gen machines.
  • You control a party of up to 6 characters at once
  • Each character’s gameplay is deeply customizable with job and kit swap systems
  • The full campaign can be played with online co-op – invite up to 5 friends or go it alone – your choice
  • Be a battlefield general in Tactics mode, or get your hands dirty on the front lines in Action mode. Both styles of play support either a keyboard/mouse (PC only) or gamepad (all platforms)
  • Everstar will support (at least) the Spanish, French, German, Polish, and Portuguese languages

You can think of Everstar as: Harry Potter with teenage gladiators or Dragon Age with improved gameplay and the deep NPC relationships from Persona 4.

The team includes  Jeremy Townsend (Director), Anwar Bey-Taylor (Lead Character Artist), Jeremy Hentschel (Writer), Eric Marks (Audio Director), Anthony Maurice (Engineer) and Alan Stone (Engineer).

For more information on both Everstar and how you can get involved in supporting the project, head on over to their KickStarter page.

Casey Hudson’s Departure from BioWare/EA

Casey

With the build up to GamesCom, it could have been easy to miss this massive announcement. What follows is the post from blog.bioware.com


 

After nearly 16 years of game development at BioWare, Executive Producer Casey Hudson has made the decision to move on from BioWare and enter a new stage of his career. We thank Casey for his hard work and dedication as we look back on his time with BioWare.

Starting as a Technical Artist on Neverwinter Nights and MDK2, Casey moved into the Project Director role with 2003’s Game of the Year Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He then led the team in the development of the Mass Effect trilogy, an award-winning series that I and many others consider to be one of the most important science-fiction universes of our generation. Casey’s focus on production quality, digital acting technology, and emotionally engaging narrative has made a substantial impact on BioWare and the video game industry as a whole.

Casey shared his thoughts with his colleagues in a letter earlier today:

After what already feels like a lifetime of extraordinary experiences, I have decided to hit the reset button and move on from BioWare. I’ll take a much needed break, get perspective on what I really want to do with the next phase of my life, and eventually, take on a new set of challenges.

Though there’s never an easy time to make a change like this, I believe this is the best time for it. The foundation of our new IP in Edmonton is complete, and the team is ready to move forward into pre-production on a title that I think will redefine interactive entertainment. Development for the next Mass Effect game is well underway, with stunning assets and playable builds that prove the team is ready to deliver the best Mass Effect experience to date. And the Dragon Age: Inquisition team is putting the final touches on a truly ambitious title with some of the most beautiful visuals I’ve seen in a game.

But while I feel that the time has come, this is without a doubt the most difficult decision of my career. BioWare is as magical a place today as it was when I started. The projects we are working on are some of the most exciting and prestigious in the world. The talent in our teams is second to none. And the people here are some of my closest friends. I’ve spent more time with many of you than my own family, and I have enjoyed every day of it.”

Casey also had a message of appreciation for BioWare fans:

“Long before I worked in games, I was fascinated by their ability to transport me to places where amazing and memorable experiences awaited. When I made my very first asset that I knew would actually make it into a game (the laser bolt in MDK2!) I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to contribute in some small way to the process of creating interactive entertainment.

Now, having led the development of four major titles, I’m profoundly appreciative of the role I’ve been able to play in creating these games. The very idea that so many of you have enjoyed spending time in the worlds we’ve created is the defining achievement of my career, and it’s your support over the years that made it all possible.

Thank you.

I know that I leave our projects in great hands, and I join you in looking forward to playing them.”

As we say a fond farewell, I know I speak on behalf of the entire studio when I say that we will be forever grateful for Casey’s hard work, passion, and everything he has taught us over the years – a methodical dedication to quality, a spirit of teamwork and camaraderie, and putting fans above everything else. But most of all, Casey has challenged every one of us in the studio to be better tomorrow than we were today. It is in that spirit that as we finish Dragon Age: Inquisition, we will continue working on the next Mass Effect game and our new IP project, confident in our goals and progress.

Thank you Casey. This is not an ending, but a new beginning.