The Division 1.8.1 update has been released and finally brings the Xbox One X enhanced 4k performance promised way back in 2017. Also added in this update are two new Global Events (Blackout and Onslaught, available in April and May, respectively), increased drop rates for Classified Gear and legendary difficulty option for Amherst’s Apartment and Grand Central Station missions.
There are also more than 40 new commendations, the legendary missions have 20% chance to drop Classified Gear and the assignments provide more Division Tech.
In Blackout, agents are equipped with Shock Ammo that stuns enemies. By running and shooting, it’s possible to increase your Charge meter, with more damage being dealt to opponents the greater the Charge.
Blackout’s Extreme variant, meanwhile, adds the ability to instantly kill enemies with Overcharged melee attacks. If you miss an attack, however, both you and your allies become stunned. The final variant, Total Blackout, follows the same rules listed previously, but makes your Charge meter cool down faster when close to other group members.
Onslaught, meanwhile, adds the ability to deal Burn, Bleed, and Gas effects to enemies, alongside normal damage, with effects changed by reloading your weapon. Savage Onslaught switches things up a little by introducing opponents that are vulnerable to one specific effect type and resistant to all others. You’ll take increased damage from resistant enemies.
Finally, there’s Brutal Onslaught, which adds one last spin: when two or more group members kill a vulnerable opponent within two seconds, explains Ubisoft, each member can reload to gain a damage bonus for a single clip.
Hamburg-based independent developer ROCKFISH Games has announced the release of the Enhanced Version of its 3D roguelike space shooter Everspace for the Xbox One X.
Everspace takes daring space pilots on a challenging journey through six sectors, each featuring multiple procedurally-generated levels full of dangers and treasures. In each run, they will face entirely new situations, continuously testing their skills, experience, and talent for improvisation. Players will find three ships with different capabilities to choose from, plus a wide range of weapons, devices, and consumables at their disposal. Great piloting skills will be needed to stand a chance against various enemies, along with a keen eye for loot and mineable resources, which are used to repair damaged ship components or to craft new equipment and modifications, giving players an advantage in combat and a better chance of making it out of a sticky situation alive.
As of now, the free patch is ready to download from the Xbox Store featuring the option of rendering in native 4K at 30 FPS or with 60 FPS and an improved level of detail distance settings as well as better shadow, shader, lighting, and VFX quality in native 1080p (instead of 83% screen resolution on the regular Xbox One).
“The Xbox One X is a beast of a console, and we are glad that it closes the gap to gaming PCs. [Of course, you will always have more computing and rendering power in a high-end gaming PC, but it will come at a much higher cost, in a much bigger casing, and with more maintenance effort.]” said Michael Schade, CEO and co-founder of ROCKFISH Games. “On console, Everspace has never looked any better and played more smoothly than on the Xbox One X, hands down.”
While space game enthusiasts are now able to enjoy playing Everspace on a console better than ever before, ROCKFISH Games is already working on bringing its critically acclaimed expansion Everspace – Encounters to Xbox One and the Windows Store, soon.
Everspace – Encounters adds about 10 hours of new gameplay, featuring five new questlines that blend seamlessly into the base game, all-new factory space stations which add further gameplay mechanics by offering special on-the-fly services, like refining and converting resources, upgrading ship capabilities or minor repair jobs, and a new player ship coming with sophisticated electronic warfare as well as a plethora of new weapons, devices and consumables to fool, distract, and defeat enemies in new ways. Furthermore, daring space pilots can pay the Okkar Homeworld a visit, too.
“We are super excited about Everspace Enhanced for Xbox One X supporting 4K rendering as well as improved visuals with super smooth 60 fps gameplay in 1080p,” said Chris Charla, Director ID@Xbox at Microsoft. “Everspace Enhanced is a fantastic poster child of what the Xbox One is capable of and we also look forward to the Encounters expansion coming out for the entire Xbox One family, too.”
Finally! Well that’s what I thought when Microsoft announced the release of Crackdown to the Backwards Compatibilty program on the Xbox One X. In fact, only last week I was wondering why it wasn’t already there and assumed it would be linked to the release of Crackdown 3, in a pre-order bonus kind of way. Does the fact that the release of this now mean that Crackdown 3 is delayed again, or that news is imminent and this release is being used to get gamers all excited about the franchise again?
And it’s not just Crackdown that is coming to the Backwards Compatibility program. Also now available are Fable Anniversary, Forza Horizon and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
A new feature has also been added which allows greater control over the graphical settings of the 360 games on the X. When you play Enhanced Xbox 360 games on Xbox One X, you can now choose how to experience them—with enhanced graphics or in their original form. Enhanced graphics will be turned on by default, running your game with higher resolution, 9X the pixel count, increased texture details and antialiasing, allowing you to enjoy greater visual clarity than ever before. If you turn off the Graphics setting, the graphics will be comparable to the experience on Xbox One or Xbox One S.
This new setting can be found on the old 360 guide, opened by pressing the “View” and “Menu” buttons together on your controller.
In a not so cryptic tweet yesterday, Xbox Live’s Major Nelson hinted that eight new games are winging their way to the Xbox Game Pass service. However, in the accompanying picture its quite clear that one of these eight will be Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Rise of the Tomb Raider was originally released in November 2017 and follows Lara Croft as she ventures into Siberia in search of the legendary city of Kitezh, whilst battling a paramilitary organization called “the Trinity” that intends on beating her to the city’s promise of immortality. As of November 2017, the game has sold nearly 7 million copies. In 2017 the game was updated to be Xbox One X Enhanced so X owners amongst us can now play in glorious 4K!
A smart move by Microsoft as the new Tomb Raider film is getting it’s theatrical release in March also, so interest in the franchise will be heightened, and I guess they hope that movie goers will head home to their console and maybe pick up a Game Pass subscription in order to continue their time with Lara.
In news that should be marked as #ICYMI, Overwatch is now an Xbox One X Enhanced title. The latest patch that went live this past week also delivers some nerfs to Junkrat and Mercy.
Surprisingly though, there’s no HDR support, but the addition of 4k on the Xbox One X has delivered a much sharper picture. It certainly looks and performs better than the 4k upgrade on the PS4 Pro which only delivered 4k HUD’s over the normal gameplay resolution.
We love Forza Horizon 3 here at TiX, and the great news is that it has now been updated to be Xbox One X Enhanced! Yes, now we can all race around Australia in stunning native 4k!
Forza Horizon 3 on Xbox One X is powered by the same state-of-the art ForzaTech engine at the heart of the Forza franchise, also used to develop Forza Motorsport 7 for Xbox One X which brought native 4K resolution racing to the new platform. Forza Horizon 3 enhancements let players experience the game in native 4K along with a host of additional visual updates, including improved car reflections and shadow resolutions, improved texture detail for road and terrain surfaces, and more. In addition, 4K resolution enhancements will be fully compatible with both Blizzard Mountain and Hot Wheels expansions for Forza Horizon 3. Whether you’re careening across the dunes of the Outback in your favourite off-roader or building up a legion of fans with death-defying stunt driving in the rainforest, the 4K-enhanced version of Forza Horizon 3 is a thrilling blend of fantastic gameplay and cutting-edge visuals.
Dead Rising 4 has now officially joined the list of games that are Xbox One X enhanced. In an interview that you can find on Xbox Wire, Geoff Coates, Art Director at Capcom has stated;
“The team was already working on bringing our new Capcom Heroes game mode to Dead Rising 4 and we had a list of things that we wanted to bring to the game after its launch that has been crafted in consultation with our passionate fan base. While working on these additions, we wanted to make our update to support the Xbox One X something special. It went beyond just being able to render more zombies. We wanted to push the visual quality and performance of Dead Rising 4 beyond anything the series has seen so far.”
“This is particularly important in Capcom Heroes. The all-new game mode that is coming free to all owners of Dead Rising 4 on December 5 allows players a new way to play the game. In Capcom Heroes, Frank West can don the costumes and abilities of some of Capcom’s greatest characters. Power-up Frank as he becomes X from the Mega Man series, Dante from Devil May Cry, Street Fighter’s Ryu, Adam the Clown from the very first Dead Rising game and many more!
When working on improving the game for the Xbox One X, our team’s focus was on higher resolution textures for a crisper look, and extending the LOD distance while maintaining framerate. One of the big challenges in making an open world game (and an open world game that’s set during the daytime in many cases) is the distance a player can see. We wanted to maintain the quality of the art as far back in the shot as we could.
Another big improvement to Dead Rising 4 with the now released Xbox One X update was improvements to anti-aliasing. There were some assets that no matter what we did, we couldn’t eliminate a subtle ‘buzzing’ of pixels along the edges. With Xbox One X’s rendering, those problems were immediately eliminated. The overall effect on the quality of the image was immediate.
Everyone here at Capcom Vancouver is having an absolute blast working with the Xbox One X, as well as playing the great games already released and coming soon. We’re so excited to be updating Dead Rising 4 for this killer new hardware and bringing Capcom Heroes to our fans and we can’t wait for you to jump back into the game again and experience it anew in its Xbox One X updated glory.”
The original The Evil Within’s setting of the mind of a psychopath; a whole world contained within a mind that others could access through a device, made for some excellent horror, and allowed elements such as pacing, logical world building, and even characterisation to take a back seat. With the sequel, more care has been taken to establish motivation and character personalities, playing more on emotion within the same madness of a mind-made world of horror.
The mind hosting the frights this time around is that of the protagonist’s, Sebastian Castellanos, daughter, who was abducted by the sinister MOBIUS, those behind the Beacon Hospital event from the original. This organisation have, once again, created a world that others can inhabit, something has gone wrong and now they rely on you to figure out what and save their operatives as well as your daughter.
Indeed, The Evil Within 2’s stronger focus on character gives it a Silent Hill 2 feel initially, this is further explored by a shift from linear environments to several open ones. However, while the psychology of Sebastian is mostly well played on in dialogue, boss encounters and general enemies fail to represent the trauma and fear of the protagonist in any meaningful way. In fact they’re a little disappointing in general, lacking the same originality and over-the-top gruesomeness as in the first title. Considering the visual are leagues ahead in detail and lighting, as well as featuring a far more varied colour palette, this is surprising and a bit of a let-down.
Fortunately, there’s still plenty of frightening encounters and environments to get your blood pumping. Despite spending a fair amount of time in the three open areas, there’s still plenty of corridors and more linear areas that allow for some creepy and tense exploration, playing on audio and the ‘close the shoulder’ camera to really play on the fear of the unknown. The open areas, meanwhile, are a little more action orientated but still do a good job getting the scares in with enough corners hiding terrors and copious amounts of items and side missions to encourage you to explore every nook and cranny. Moreover, the new ability to craft items means less collecting specific ammo types and more collecting material to craft what you want. This brilliantly allows you to create ammo for your preferred weapon rather than forcing you to use them all.
Additionally, the crafting mechanic creates a clever risk verses reward situation where crafting items in the field costs significantly more than returning to a safe house and crafting there. It forces you to frequently decide between trekking through enemy infested areas to get somewhere safe or taking the hit to materials and crafting where you are allowing you to continue. This is especially effective in the first few hours where a couple of hits is enough to put you down and your ammo count is pathetically small.
Even when ammo is more abundant, you’re never fully prepared for the enemy encounters. Stealth is the best way to proceed, avoiding combat as much as possible, and when it does kick-off, the open areas allow you to retreat, which is often a smart choice. Additionally, a more nuanced tree of abilities, both passive and active, can be unlocked with green goo as with the original title, and these help you shape Sebastian into the character you want for the play style you’ve chosen. Still, it’s a difficult game where a lapse in focus can easily result in your demise.
The Evil Within 2 is a great horror game that improves upon the original in movement, characterisation and inventory management brilliantly, but drops the ball a little when it comes to enemy originality and scares. This is partially due to the open areas offering a different experience but more so it’s a simple lack of creativity on the developer’s side. Still, it’s an attractive looking title with an intriguing setting and enough frightening encounters to put you on edge, less original but more refined.
Fornite is the latest game to be enhanced for Xbox One X. In their latest blog, developer Epic Games stated that “Fortnite on Xbox One X pushes the game’s visual settings comparable to what you’d see on a PC set to “Epic” quality.”
“This includes better-quality reflections (including screen space reflections being enabled); higher quality post processes like motion blur, anti-aliasing, and depth of field; great draw distances; more detailed foliage; shadow casting enabled on more lights and objects; and higher resolution textures and shadows. Content is rendered at 80% of 4K and then upsampled to 4K via a high-quality software upsampler. The HUD is rendered in 4K.”
The TiX crew played the latest update (1.9.1) this week and all commented on the graphical improvement. There were also a number of game features added in this patch, including Smoke Grenades and Leaderboards in Battle Royale, and new weapons in the Save The World mode, as well as the return of mutant storms.