Halo: The Master Chief Collection to get fixes, upgrades for Xbox One X

Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be updated with “enhancements” for the Xbox One X, developer 343 Industries announced during a livestream yesterday.

The studio offered few details on the upgrades, although it said that The Master Chief Collection’s Xbox One X update will offer more than improved graphics.

In a blog post, 343 said that in addition to enhancements for the 4K-capable console, the patch will feature “fixes, improvements and upgrades to the core game to help bring it forward and modernize many of the game’s systems to take advantage of Xbox platform advancements since its original launch.” For instance, 343 head Bonnie Ross said during the livestream that the latest version of the Xbox platform “has amazing improvements to matchmaking, which we’ll benefit from.”

Microsoft released The Master Chief Collection in November 2014. It is a compilation for the Xbox One of the first four Halo games — Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4 — all of which originally came out on the Xbox or Xbox 360. The package is a complex bundle of very different titles, and 343 noted, “While we’re incredibly excited by this opportunity to go back under the hood with MCC, it’s not going to be easy nor is it going to happen overnight.”

The Master Chief Collection received praise for its four Halo campaigns, but for weeks after launch, severe network issues rendered the games’ multiplayer components nearly unplayable. Ross eventually issued a formal apology, and 343 later offered a free make-good to affected players: a remaster of Halo 3: ODST’s campaign. The history makes it encouraging, and not surprising, that 343 is being cautious with the Xbox One X update for The Master Chief Collection.

“To help facilitate this process we’re planning to roll out a public ‘flighting’ program for MCC to allow for iterative patches and updates while testing in the wild at large scale,” said 343. The studio plans to begin testing the compilation with players in spring 2018.

As for the most recent Halo game, 2015’s Halo 5: Guardians, 343 is working with Skybox Labs on the game’s Overtime update. Scheduled for November, the Overtime update “takes advantage of the extra power of Xbox One X to deliver higher visual fidelity for players” — namely, native 4K resolution and high dynamic range (HDR) color. There’s no word yet on whether the Overtime update will be released in time for the Xbox One X’s launch on Nov. 7.

Xbox One update: original Xbox backwards compatibility up next?

Earlier this week Microsoft rolled out a major Xbox One update, bringing console owners a host of new features.

Following a summer-long preview, the update brought a much faster Dashboard and a more intuitive, horizontal guide that’ll make switching between menu options a breeze.

However, many of the features promised since E3 2017 are being held back for future updates, including backward compatibility with original Xbox games.

Way backwards compatibility

In a recent interview with GameSpot, Microsoft’s Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said development was currently on track for a launch before the end of the year.

He said: “We’re close. We’re really … I mean, so I have a little dashboard I go to, but I can see all the games where they are in getting approvals in pipeline. I know the games that are coming for the original Xbox.”

When pushed on a possible 2017 launch, Spencer added: “Oh yeah. I feel good.”

Just like the Xbox 360 titles, gamers will be able to insert their physical discs in order to download digital versions of the original Xbox games.

Related: Xbox One X hands-on

Currently, Microsoft has only confirmed two games; Fusion Friendly and Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, but Spencer says there are plenty more in the pipeline.

He said: “I don’t think we’ve announced them all. We have to do this in partnership with partners and stuff to do it, but we’re still on track. I feel really good. The games look great.”

New Avatars

This week’s update also arrived without the pending Avatars overhaul. Back at E3 2017, the company promised the return of custom-made avatars animated avatars from the Xbox 360 era.

However, this time, they’ve have been rebuilt using the Unity engine and that will allows gamers to do more with their Avatars and enjoy greater flexibility when it comes to emotions, diversity and customisation.

You’ve got to give a little

Finally, Microsoft has promised the next major Xbox update should enable console owners to buy games as a gift for their fellow players.

When checking out, Xbox One owners will be asked to pick a recipient, who’ll receive a download code to their registered email address.

Microsoft is yet to add these features to Xbox Insider preview versions, so the company will have to get a wriggle on if it wants them to be available before the end of the year.

Which OG Xbox game would you most like to play on your Xbox One? Drop us a line with a top five @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

Games with Gold October 2017 UPDATE: New Xbox games release COUNTDOWN | Gaming | Entertainment

The Games with Gold October 2017 lineup may have been a little overshadowed by the PlayStation Plus roster this month, however, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some good picks.

At the moment, fans can download both Gone Home and Oxenfree on Xbox One, and now the countdown can begin for the next batch of games.

Gone Home: Console Edition: “Interactive storytelling is at the heart of this award-winning, genre-defining game. Imagine coming home after a year abroad to find none of your family home. As you move through the house, interact with keepsakes and photographs and other clues to uncover what happened. From the creators of the recently-released Tacoma on Xbox One.”

There’s also Rayman 3 HD available to those hoping to expand their Xbox One Backwards Compatibility lineup.

But soon there will be the monthly refresh, giving fans just little over a day to grab whatever titles they don’t already have in their library.

Oxenfree will be replaced on October 16 with The Turing Test, which will be available until November 15.

The Turing Test: “Engage your logic skills for this first-person puzzler set on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. In The Turning Test, use your Energy Manipulation Tool (EMT) to transfer power in and out of many machines and giant structures that can help you as the narrative-focused story evolves.”

Rayman 3 HD is also being replaced, with Medal of Honor: Airborne replacing it on October 16, available until the end of the month.

Medal of Honor: Airborne: “How you decide to approach Medal of Honor: Airborne starts the moment you jump out of the plane. Control your drop as you navigate to a desired insertion point to put yourself in the thick of the fight. 

“Then navigate through the war-torn villages and towns to gain an advantage over your enemies on rooftops, balconies and other ruins.

“With customisable weapons and free-roaming objectives, and local and online co-op, this is a fantastic shooter to add to your library.”

The full Games with Gold lineup for October 2017 includes:

  • Gone Home: Console Edition: Available October 1 to 31 on Xbox One
  • The Turing Test: Available October 16 to November 15 on Xbox One
  • Rayman 3 HD: Available October 1 to 15 on Xbox One and Xbox 360
  • Medal of Honor: Airborne: Available October 16 to 31 on Xbox One and Xbox 360

For anyone interested in building their gamerscore with the current crop of Games with Gold titles, Microsoft have confirmed that a total of 3200 are available this month.

This week in ID@Xbox: Smash cars, dead beat brawling, and shiny platforming

Danger Zone for Xbox One

Welcome to our column that looks back at the week’s ID@Xbox releases for Xbox One!

It was a relatively slow week for ID@Xbox releases, with only five new indie games arriving on Xbox One. These include a spooky adventure game, a 3D brawler, a crash test simulation, a platformer, and a fighting game. Read on for impressions, trailers, and store links!

ACA NeoGeo: Real Bout Fatal Fury

ACA NeoGeo: Real Bout Fatal Fury

Japanese publisher Hamster’s ACA series is a collection of emulated NeoGeo arcade classics – we reviewed one-on-one fighter ACA World Heroes 2 and found it pretty solid and well-emulated.

SNK’s Fatal Fury is a series of (mostly) one-on-one fighting games akin to Street Fighter. Real Bout’s fighting engine uses three attack buttons, with a fourth button dedicated to plane changes. That’s the unique gameplay element here; fighters can jump back and forth between three planes of depth in order to maneuver and confuse opponents. Real Bout includes 16 playable characters, including the lovably bouncy Mai Shiranui. As with other ACA games, multiplayer is local-only.

Real Bout Fatal Fury costs $7.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch.

See on the Xbox Store

Danger Zone

Remember the Burnout series’ beloved Crash mode? Danger Zone from Three Fields Entertainment is heavily inspired by those classic vehicle destruction games.

In each of Danger Zone’s 36 levels, the object is to drive a car into traffic and cause as much destruction as possible. The more cars you hit, the bigger your score. Collecting score multiplier icons and using your at-will Smashbreaker power (which creates a huge explosion and lets you bounce around for a bit) are essential to scoring well. And to progress through the game, you’ll have to reach minimum score targets. That means lots of practice and learning the game’s combo system, for better or worse.

Danger Zone for Xbox One

The newly-released Xbox One version of Danger Zone features numerous enhancements that weren’t present when it launched on other platforms, such as more vehicles, revamped physics, and new levels. That said, the sterile virtual crash course environments and complete lack of music have a limiting effect on the game’s excitement levels. If you really enjoy the physics puzzle/driving nature, you’re sure to have a good time. But don’t expect this one to be as good as the real Burnout crash mode.

Danger Zone for Xbox One

Danger Zone sells for $14.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam. A promised update will add new Xbox One X features, including native 4K support and even more levels.

See on the Xbox Store
See on Steam

Xbox One review copy provided by the publisher.

Decay: The Mare

Former Windows Phone and Xbox 360 indie game Decay: The Mare has finally emerged on Xbox One, courtesy of original developer Shining Gate Software.

Decay is a point-and-click adventure game that uses static, prerendered scenes with minor animations rather than a full 3D presentation. The protagonist is a drug addict who has just checked into a rehabilitation clinic. He wakes up to find himself trapped in a dark nightmare version of the clinic. Players must explore the dark clinic and solve lots of puzzles if our hero is ever to kick his habit and get out alive.

Decay: The Mare

Decay looks a bit dated and cheap compared to more modern adventure games, but the whole thing can be beaten in an hour with all Achievements. Not a bad deal for Achievement hunters.

Decay: The Mare costs $9.99 on Xbox One and Steam (use our link to get a dollar off the PC version).

See on the Xbox Store
See on Steam

Deadbeat Heroes

Deadbeat Heroes comes from Square-Enix Collective, the Japanese publisher’s indie funding arm, and new developer Deadbeat Productions.

Deadbeat Heroes for Xbox One

A 1960s spy show parody in the style of Austin Powers, the game sends players out to beat up nefarious villains in 40 action-packed levels. Every fourth level has a boss, and you’ll get all of the Achievements just by beating the bosses. Between levels, players can visit their base to train in the gym or buy new moves and upgrades. Deadbeat Heroes’ gameplay is fast and fun, especially in 2-player local co-op. Check out our full review for more details.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKx8-mA4xYo

Deadbeat Heroes sells for $14.99 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam.

See on the Xbox Store
See on Steam

SHINY

SHINY is a 2.5D platformer from Brazilian developer Garage227. It stars Kramer, a cute and round robot who has been left behind on a doomed planet. His goal is to rescue his fellow robots and take them off-world.

SHINY

Kramer’s energy constantly depletes, so he’ll have to keep moving to survive. Each level has four robots to save, though you needn’t find them all to win. SHINY is extremely light on story and a bit rough around the edges, but players who are looking for a pure and simple platformer might enjoy it.

SHINY costs $9.99 on Xbox One and Steam.

See on the Xbox Store
See on Steam

Over to you…

Which ID@Xbox games are you getting this week? Let us know in the comments!

Now is the perfect time to buy an Xbox One — here are 16 reasons why

Xbox One SMIcrosoft

The Xbox One is a killer game console.

Not only is it a looker, but it’s a powerful little box — the Xbox One “S” model seen above is the new standard for the console, replacing the original box that launched in 2013. It plays the same games, but looks better, does more, and costs less.

All of which means now is the best time there’s ever been to buy a new Xbox One. Here’s why:


1. It starts at just $250.

1. It starts at just $250.

Microsoft

You can get a basic Xbox One S console, with 500 GB of storage, for $250. That said, you’re just as likely to find a bundle with a mildly-aged game like “Battlefield 1” for the same price.

However, if you’re willing to go a tad higher and drop $280, Microsoft has a bunch of different bundles this holiday that come with extra stuff that’s more than worth your $30. There’s a “Minecraft” bundle, with a ton of “Minecraft” stuff (including the game); there’s a “Halo” bundle with a ton of “Halo” stuff (including the most recent game); etc.

Check out all the details on those bundles right here.

2. It’s backward compatible with a growing library of Xbox 360 games.

2. It’s backward compatible with a growing library of Xbox 360 games.

Microsoft

Microsoft, unbelievably, added this feature after the Xbox One launched. It’s been a huge freebie to long-time Xbox owners — over time, more and more games from the Xbox 360 are supported on the Xbox One. So if you owned them for the 360, you already own them for Xbox One.

Any games you bought digitally on Xbox 360 automatically show up in your current collection, and all your progress and old save files will transfer over too. For physical Xbox 360 games, just slip the disc into your Xbox One and the game will download straight from Xbox Live. This also includes Xbox 360 game expansions, downloadable content, and achievements.

3. It’s a game console, plus a cord-cutting solution.

3. It’s a game console, plus a cord-cutting solution.

Microsoft

You don’t need an extra set-top box to enjoy TV and movies if you have an Xbox One.

It supports an array of video streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Sling TV, ESPN, and Twitch. It can also play your Blu-ray discs and media from your storage devices via USB. You can even make Skype video calls over your Xbox if you have the Kinect accessory. And it’s super easy to switch back and forth between different content.

4. The Xbox One S supports 4K Blu-ray discs and streaming video.

4. The Xbox One S supports 4K Blu-ray discs and streaming video.

REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Getting a new 4K TV this holiday? The Xbox One is a killer companion. 

It can play 4K/”Ultra HD” Blu-ray discs, and it can stream 4K content from services like Netflix and YouTube. The console even upscales standard high-def games (1080p) to 4K, and adds HDR support. 

What all this jargon means in practice is that games and movies will look as sharp as ever on your new 4K television, and with HDR support they’ll be more vibrant than ever. 

5. Not ready to cut the cable just yet? Maybe you’re a diehard sports fan? The Xbox One has a solution for your cable box.

5. Not ready to cut the cable just yet? Maybe you're a diehard sports fan? The Xbox One has a solution for your cable box.

Xbox

When you spin the Xbox One around, you’ll notice two HDMI ports: one is an HDMI out which goes to your TV, and the other is an HDMI in which your cable box plugs in to.

Through an interface built into the Xbox One software, you can easily watch live TV from your cable box. Anything you would normally do with your cable box, you can do through the Xbox One interface — without ever leaving your Xbox One dashboard. It’s a simple addition that makes the console feel like more of a centerpiece or control hub for your home entertainment center.

6. There’s even an option for pulling in local channels using an antenna.

6. There's even an option for pulling in local channels using an antenna.

Microsoft/Hauppauge

You can buy the Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for less than $60, which enables access to NBC, CBS, Fox, and more — anything you would normally get through a digital antenna. Microsoft also sells its own digital tuner, though it’s seemingly hard to find.

In so many words, if you’re getting broadcast TV channels in your house and want them on the Xbox One alongside cable and streaming services, you totally can.

7. Xbox Live Gold is a great way to play a ton of games for a ridiculously good price.

7. Xbox Live Gold is a great way to play a ton of games for a ridiculously good price.

Microsoft

As of this writing, the three games above are available on Xbox One for Xbox Live Gold subscribers in October. For $60 each year, you get a bundle of “free” games each month. For the first part of October, the three games above are available — included in your subscription at no extra charge — and another two will become available on October 16. 

As long as you remain a paying Xbox Live Gold subscriber, you keep these games. It beyond pays for the cost of an annual subscription. It pays for the cost of the annual subscription in just one month.

You also get basic features like online multiplayer, voice chat, matchmaking, and other standard features of modern game services.

8. If you buy a game on Xbox One, you can play it on your PC.

8. If you buy a game on Xbox One, you can play it on your PC.

Microsoft

If you have a Windows 10 PC, the Xbox One is a great companion. If the game’s published by Microsoft, you’ll get a copy of the game on your computer as well as your Xbox.

Better still, you can stream all your Xbox One games to any of those computers — even the Surface tablet. Microsoft is making big moves to put your Xbox game library wherever you are, and that’s a meaningful value-add to consider.

9. You have lots of options when it comes to controllers.

9. You have lots of options when it comes to controllers.

Microsoft

Though every Xbox One controller is nearly identical, there’s a ton of color options for people who want controllers that match their personal tastes. You can get tons of different face plates, but Microsoft also sells controllers in white, black, and a handful of military-inspired styles like “Covert Forces” and “Midnight Forces.”

Or perhaps you like the two really fresh controllers with beautiful color gradients pictured above? Those are affectionately known as “Copper Shadow” and “Dusk Shadow.”

There are even “Minecraft” game pads for people who are big into controllers having a tail.

Xbox One S (Minecraft)

10. The Xbox One Elite controller is the best controller ever made.

10. The Xbox One Elite controller is the best controller ever made.

Microsoft

Despite the array of beautiful Xbox One controllers out there, one controller stands head and shoulders above the rest. It unfortunately doesn’t come with the console, but Microsoft’s $150 Elite controller is the best gaming controller I’ve ever used.

It’s beautiful, it feels great, and it’s highly customizable: you can attach different thumbsticks, different directional pads, different triggers, and you can even assign different functions to those buttons for different games. 

There is literally no comparison to the Xbox One Elite game pad. It’s miles ahead of everything else, though it unfortunately comes with a premium price. “Elite” is right there in the name, after all.

11. While we’re talking premium, there’s a new Xbox One coming in November: The Xbox One X. It costs $500.

11. While we're talking premium, there's a new Xbox One coming in November: The Xbox One X. It costs $500.

Left: Xbox One X | Right: Xbox One SMicrosoft

The Xbox One X is a new, far more powerful version of the already existing Xbox One game console.

It’s smaller, stronger, and much more expensive: At $500, it’s aimed squarely at people looking for a bleeding-edge experience. The reason it costs so much: everything inside is upgraded to make it capable of powering 4K/HDR gaming in a way that no other console can.

But, it runs the same games that the standard Xbox One does, and it doesn’t do anything that other Xbox One consoles can’t. If you’re buying this, it’s for the graphics horsepower. It’s an option, but nothing more than that.

12. “Cuphead”

12.

Studio MDHR

“Cuphead” is a delightful anachronism among modern games. It’s a hand-drawn game set in a 1930s-style cartoon universe, where an anthropomorphic cup (“Cuphead”) and his brother Mugman fall into a trap set by The Devil. To save their own souls, they have to carry out his list of debts — essentially collecting the souls of other folks who’ve fallen into The Devil’s traps. 

And what don’t you do? 

Cuphead

That’s exactly right. You don’t make deals with The Devil. But that’s the hand you’re dealt in “Cuphead,” which punishes players with outrageously challenging combat and platforming. It plays like an old-school “Contra” or “Metal Slug” game, forcing players to master controls and overcome insane enemies — often by memorizing patterns and staying focused amid chaos. 

It’s a truly delightful new game, and it’s only available on the Xbox One and PC.

Check out our full review here.

13. “Halo: The Master Chief Collection.”

13. “Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Xbox.com

“The Master Chief Collection” includes the first four “Halo” games, which have been remastered and optimized for the Xbox One. “Halo 2” gets some extra love in the form of specially-remastered cut scenes, which really do look spectacular. And the collection also includes a cool feature that lets you switch between the game’s original graphics and the remastered graphics in just a click.

It probably goes without saying, but the “Halo” franchise is a classic — and this is the main trilogy in full. 

14. “Halo 5: Guardians.”

14. “Halo 5: Guardians.

Microsoft

It’s not quite as amazing as previous entries in the “Halo” franchise when it comes to story execution, but “Halo 5: Guardians” is the best-playing game in the long-running franchise. 

You once again play as Master Chief, the quiet, idealistic superhuman soldier featured in previous games. Controlling him is as tight and exhilarating as ever, seemingly leaping from enemy to enemy in between taking out snipers in the distance. There are few games that nail the feeling of moment-to-moment tactical first-person shooting like the “Halo” series does, and “Halo 5: Guardians” is the latest one to pull that off.

Also like previous “Halo” games, there’s a robust multiplayer community — though the game is a couple years old at this point, folks are still playing “Halo 5” in droves.

15. “Forza Horizon 3″

There’s a simple structure to “Forza Horizon 3.” You start the game with one of several cars, and you prove your worth in races to earn money, fans, and experience. As those things accumulate, you unlock more stuff: new areas, new cars to buy, new races to race, etc.

Thankfully, all of that quickly melts into the background as one of the game’s hundreds of cars goes flying over a sand dune at 150 miles-per-hour. Wanna drive an automatic Tesla Model S through the rainforest? Please, go right ahead! And might we suggest you race this train?

“Forza Horizon 3” is a massive, delightfully silly game that encourages fun at every possible moment. If you’ve ever enjoyed a racing game — whether it was “Need for Speed” or “Gran Turismo” or a “Cruisin’ USA” machine back at your local pizzeria —  you will enjoy “Forza Horizon 3.” 

Read our full review right here.

16. “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds”

16. “PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Bluehole Studios via SideArms4Reason/YouTube

“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” is a game that exploded in popularity in 2017. It’s currently available only on PC, but it’s coming to the Xbox One exclusively this year. 

The game is essentially a third-person multiplayer shooter. The twist is that it’s a 1-vs-100 death match on a massive, deserted island. And everyone starts unarmed, by parachuting onto the island from a nightmarish plane. When and where you choose to leap out is the first choice you’ll make of many. Let’s say another player lands near you in a town.

Here’s how that might play out:

-You both land around the same time, see each other, and head toward separate buildings.

-Maybe your building has a good weapon, or maybe it has a police vest for protection. Maybe it has nothing.

-But what about that other player? You’ve lost them, and they could have a killer weapon. Do you head out to another nearby building, hoping they aren’t in the same one? Do you wait near a window, keeping an eye on the building they’re in, waiting for them to leave? Do you take off running toward another nearby town, hoping for better supplies?

This is the central tension of “Battlegrounds,” and it starts immediately. The game is such a hit because it’s incredibly good. It so good that it’s fun to just watch this game, and I strongly encourage you to. It’s one of the top 10 most-watched games on Twitch every month. That’s why it’s such a big deal that it’s coming to Xbox One exclusively.

Read more about “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” right here.

Dave Smith contributed to a previous version of this piece.

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility update: THREE new Xbox 360 games arrive from Microsoft | Gaming | Entertainment

Xbox’s Larry Hryb has announced a new batch of Xbox One Backwards Compatibility games are being launched today.

A total of three will be made available today via both disc install and digital library.

Child of Eden, Goat Simulator & KOF SKY STAGE are coming to Xbox One Backward Compatibility today, Microsoft have confirmed.

As usual, each games has a certain amount of votes on the official Xbox One leaderboards, with The King of Fighters: Sky Stage ranking in lowest this week.

Both KOF SKY STAGE and Goat Simulator have clocked in less than a 1,000 votes each, making Child of Eden the most wanted of the bunch.

Child of Eden is a rhythm action game created by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, which was originally launched on Xbox 360 in 2011.

“Child of Eden thrusts the player into the center of a battle to save Project Lumi, a mission to reproduce a human personality inside Eden, the archive of all human memories. As the project nears completion, the archive is invaded by an unknown virus. The player’s mission is to save Eden from the virus, restoring hope and peace.”

Goat Simulator is a third-person perspective action video game launched in 2014 by developers Coffee Stain Studios.

“Gameplay-wise, Goat Simulator is all about causing as much destruction as you possibly can as a goat. It has been compared to an old-school skating game, except instead of being a skater, you’re a goat, and instead of doing tricks, you wreck stuff. Destroy things with style, such as doing a backflip while headbutting a bucket through a window, and you’ll earn even more points!”

The King of Fighters: Sky Stage was released in 2012 for the Xbox 360 and published by SNK Playmore.

It follows news of original Xbox Backwards Compatibility games coming soon from Microsoft.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that original Xbox games are close, and that fans should expect some unannounced titles to be included.

Speaking to Gamespot, he said: “We’re close, we’re really close.

“I have a little dashboard I go to and I can see all the games [and] where they are in getting approvals in the pipeline.

“I know the games that are coming for the original Xbox but I don’t think we’ve announced them all. We have to do this in partnership with partners, but we’re still on track. I feel really good. The games look great.”

Original Xbox Backwards Compatibility was announced at E3 2017.

Xbox Live deals: Deus Ex, Life is Strange, Divinity: Original Sin, more

By Stephany Nunneley,
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 21:44 GMT

The weekly list of deals on Xbox Live are up, and surely there’s something on there to tempt you.

Quite a few titles this week are 75% off, the highlights being Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Digital Deluxe Edition, the Season Pass and the standard Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

Life is Strange the Complete Season is also 75% off, along with Thief and some other Square Enix titles.

The only title on the list this week which isn’t exclusive to Xbox Live Gold member is Infinite Minigolf. Everyone gets 30% off the Zen Studios-developed title. Steam users too.

Deals listed below are valid until Tuesday, October 17. As of press time, Xbox 360 deals were not available. Microsoft said these would be added once the offers are live.

life_is_strange_episode_5_1

Xbox One

  • Blood Bowl 2 – 60% off
  • Cabela’s African Adventures – 75% off
  • Dangerous Golf – 50% off
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Digital Deluxe Edition – 75% off
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Season Pass – 75% off
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – 75% off
  • Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition – 67% off
  • Ginger: Beyond the Crystal – 67% off
  • Hunter’s Legacy – 50% off
  • Infinite Minigolf – 30% off (All Xbox Live subs)
  • Life is Strange Complete Season (Episodes 1-5) – 75% off
  • Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime – 50% off
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 – 33% off
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection – 60% off
  • MONOPOLY PLUS – 50% off
  • MXGP2 – 60% off
  • OlliOlli2: XL Edition – 75% off
  • Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut – 75% off
  • Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition – 75% off
  • Surf World Series – 33% off
  • Thief – 75% off
  • Tour de France 2017 – 60% off
  • Trackmania Turbo – 60% off
  • UNO – 50% off
  • X-Morph: Defense – 33% off

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Hands-On: Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One X is the Game’s Final Form

The Xbox One X is set to launch in just a few short weeks. As Microsoft has touted, this machine will be “the most powerful console ever.” One title that will take advantage of the system’s six teraflops is Rise of the Tomb Raider. This game already looked great on Xbox 360, PC, and PS4. How will it appear on Microsoft’s upcoming system? I had a chance to check out the game last week and saw the enhancements first-hand. It is safe to say that Xbox One X owners will be happy about this one.

As you would expect, Rise of the Tomb Raider (RotTR from this point forward) runs at a native 4K resolution on Xbox One X. It was developed by Nixxes, who also handled the PC, PS4, and Xbox 360 ports. The company has proven it knows how to get the most out of hardware. On Xbox One X, Nixxes was able to take things to another level.

Like the PS4 version, this port of RotTR has a slew of graphical options. There is the aforementioned 4K mode which delivers a pure 2160p signal. Enriched 4K mode contains more graphical in-game effects such as volumetric fog, increased anti-aliasing, increased foliage, and more. The game runs at 30 frames-per-second on both 4K modes. Lastly, users have the option to play at a standard 1080p resolution. While this mode displays fewer pixels than either of the 4K modes, it does enable the game to run at 60fps. Because of this, gamers can choose between performance or resolution.

I’ve played RotTR several times on each of the available platforms. As I made my way through the Syrian level’s familiar caves, hidden chambers, and aqueducts, it was like playing for the first time. There were a few instances where I almost botched certain jumps or got caught in easily avoidable traps because I was too busy looking at all of the new details. I was especially impressed by the lighting and how the environment was affected by it.

I was told that it wasn’t hard to port RotTR to Xbox One X. The game was already a graphical powerhouse even on the Xbox 360. It was really just a matter of further enhancing what was already there and optimizing it for the system. The build I played was actually an alpha version. Since development is still ongoing, it’s reasonable to believe it will look even better when the patch is eventually released.

Those who already own the game on Xbox One can enjoy the enhanced Xbox One X edition by simply installing a patch. RotTR on Xbox One is fairly cheap these days, so securing a copy won’t break the bank. By releasing this as an update, Microsoft is wisely ensuring that both old and new customers are treated fairly.

Square-Enix and Crystal Dynamics have certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of RotTR for the past two years. This isn’t an issue since the game is truly one of this generation’s best. Its fitting that this former Xbox One exclusive is also a showcase title for Xbox One X. Even those (like myself) who are somewhat skeptical about iterative consoles will have a hard time denying how impressive this port looks. It’s certainly worth it for those looking forward to purchasing “The X.”

Rise of the Tomb Raider has at last revealed its final form.

Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.

FIFA 18 on Switch Offers “Healthy Boost” In Tech Over Xbox 360 And PS3

One of the things that’s surprising about FIFA 18 for Nintendo Switch is that Electronic Arts designed a unique version for the platform. While the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions share the same technology, the Switch edition had to be built from the ground up for the platform. Early impressions pointed to it being a port of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of FIFA 18, but it’s not quite that either. You already know FIFA 18 is missing features like The Journey or squad battles in Ultimate Team, but what is missing from a presentation standpoint?

Digital Foundry took a look at the recent FIFA 18 release on Switch, comparing it other version of this year’s release. The closest analog seems to be the Xbox 360 version, though the tech is improved.


Images via Digital Foundry.

“At its core, it’s clear that the Switch version has much more in common with the Xbox 360 game we tested, though the visuals are given a healthy boost in several areas that help to give the game a more modern look. The level of detail is increased across the players via higher resolution textures and normal mapping, which adds more depth to facial features like skin and hair, bringing these a touch closer to the PS4 and Xbox One versions,” writes Digital Foundry’s David Bierton.

Digital Foundry says the foundations of the Switch version are definitely in the last-gen versions of the game, but with improved lighting and other effects. They point to similar core assets, like player models and the animated 2D sprites that make up the crowd, with identical cameras and camera controls for replays and pre-match shots. The lighting is beefed up and the shaders add more depth to the players, the pitch offers 3D grass during replays, and there’s some high-quality depth of field going on.

“These changes help to position the Switch version somewhere in between the Xbox 360 Legacy Edition and the mainline PS4 and Xbox One releases, though aspects like bloom lighting are absent on Switch,” says Bierton. “This makes FIFA 18 an intriguing Switch release, showing that the console has the capacity to provide a nice upgrade over the last-gen versions of the game in several areas, but perhaps lacks the horsepower to scale down the current-gen Frostbite engine.”

FIFA 18 Switch runs at 1080p when docked and while the image quality is solid, anti-aliasing is absent. The Switch can go portable though and at 720p undocked, the game looks great. Gameplay is a consistent 60fps in both modes, while replays drop down to a 30fps target for additional effects.

In the end, Digital Foundry feels FIFA 18 on Switch is a solid start for the franchise on the platform. There are clear limitations though and they ultimately feel the game works as a companion title for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

“We feel that it would be more accurate to call it an enhanced, customised version of the last-gen Legacy Edition, with visual tweaks and gameplay adjustments new to this version,” says Bierton. “As it stands, the Switch version doesn’t quite work as a replacement for the PS4 and Xbox One games – it’s best to think of it as the best mobile football game available, and one that just happens to work quite nicely on your HDTV too.”

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Xbox One Backwards Compatibility update: Two new games and big Microsoft Xbox 360 news | Gaming | Entertainment

While it hasn’t been the most blistering start to a new month, there have been new Xbox One Backwards Compatibility games released.

Following on from the strong end to September, October has seen the launch of both Fable Anniversary and Fable II Pub Games.

There the only new games launched so far this month, although it appears Microsoft still have more plans for bringing over classic Xbox 360 games in the future.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer recently commented on the latest Xbox One news and how it affects the brand moving forward.

One of the most noticeable aspects of Backwards Compatibility is the ability to sell old games on a new console, but it also has other important roles to fill.

“I see games as an art form,” Spencer told Wired

“Console games can get lost when hardware generations go away. It can become more challenging to play the games of our past. 

“There’s something to be learned from experiencing what I played as a kid. 

“There’s good business there for the content owners, but as players, it’s nice to be able to understand how our artform has progressed.”

This bodes well for fans looking forward to some of those classic Xbox games being added to the library in the near future.

While fans may have to wait a little while to see a good bunch of original Xbox titles to be added, there’s still this month’s collection to explore.

The Fable Anniversary edition has had strong backing for its Xbox One Backwards Compatibility inclusion via the official leaderboards site.

Over 34,000 votes have been cast to see it added to the library, while the Pub Games received a much more modest 2,500.

As mentioned above, both title have been made playable via disc install, or digital market purchase.

You can also expect that both will be made available on the Xbox marketplace for anyone who wants to fill in their missing Fable collections.

The Xbox One Backwards Compatibility program currently boasts over 400 games and continues to provide regular new additions.

And while a lot of the most requested titles have now been added, Microsoft still have plans to add a few more.

The most popular games not available as part of the scheme include the Call of Duty Modern Warfare trilogy, Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City.