Microsoft’s X019 round-up
Microsoft’s X019 event is underway, and they’ve already made a number of big announcements: New games, even more Xbox Game Pass goodies and a even new game pad.
xCloud heads to PC in 2020
Microsoft’s game streaming service xCloud will be available on PC as well as mobiles next year, and will be input agnostic – meaning you can even use DualShock 4 controllers for it! They’re also adding 50 new titles to the service, which definitely makes Google Stadia’s measly 12 launch titles look a bit sorry.
Xbox Game Pass for PC, and a DPM X019 Exclusive wireless controller
A bunch of new games are being added to Xbox Game Pass for PC, including Age of Empires II Definitive Edition, Hearts of Iron IV and The Talos Principle. More games will be added all the time, so Microsoft is clearly serious about applying the Netflix model to videogames.
Xbox Game Pass for PC, and a DPM X019 Exclusive wireless controller
To mark the occasion, Microsoft has also made a special DPM X019 Exclusive design for the Xbox Wireless game pad. It features a camouflage pattern dotted with various iconic London landmarks including the London Eye, Tower Bridge and wacky skyscraper The Gherkin.
X019 game trailers and reveals
Halo: Reach finally has a release date for PC: December 3rd. It’s the first part of the Master Chief Collection, which will be launched bit by bit as the ports are completed. Rare’s Everwild appears to focus on the nature and wildlife of a fantasy world, while Minecraft Dungeons offers a blocky, more family-friendly take on the ARPG.
Grounded (Obsidian Entertainment, PC/Xbox One) – “The world is a vast, beautiful, and dangerous place – especially when you have been shrunken to the size of an ant. Explore, build, and survive together in this first person, multiplayer, survival-adventure. Can you thrive alongside the hordes of giant insects, fighting to survive the perils of the backyard?”
Wasteland 3 (inXile Entertainment, PC/PlayStation 4/Xbox One) – “In Wasteland 3 the fate of Arizona depends on the fate of Colorado. You’re a Desert Ranger, fighting a losing battle to keep your beloved Arizona alive, when the self-proclaimed Patriarch of Colorado radios, promising aid if you’ll do a job he can only entrust to an outsider—rescue his land from the ambitions of his three bloodthirsty children.”
Bleeding Edge (Ninja Theory, PC/Xbox One) – “Grab your team and tear it up in Bleeding Edge, an electrifying online brawler where every fighter comes mechanically enhanced for mayhem!” It’s a multiplayer Battleborn-like game from Ninja Theory, with a focus on melee combat and with a firm March 2020 release date.
Tell Me Why (DONTNOD, PC/Xbox One) – “Tell Me Why is the latest narrative adventure game from DONTNOD Entertainment, the studio behind the beloved franchise, Life is Strange. In this intimate thriller, twins Tyler and Alyson use their special bond to unravel mysteries of their loving but troubled childhood. Set in beautiful small-town Alaska, Tell Me Why features true-to-life characters, mature themes and gripping choices.”
Microsoft Flight Simulator (Asobo Studio, PC/Xbox One) – “Coming 2020, Microsoft Flight Simulator is the next generation of one of the most beloved simulation franchises. From light planes to wide-body jets, fly highly detailed and stunning aircraft in an incredibly realistic world. Create your flight plan and fly anywhere on the planet. Enjoy flying.”
Age of Empires 4 (Relic Entertainment, PC/Xbox One) – “The acclaimed RTS franchise returns with Age of Empires 4. Experience the epic, historical battles that shaped the modern world.” We get a big tease for the next big instalment in the real-time Age of Empires dynasty that’s being developed by Relic Entertainment, the creators behind Company of Heroes and Dawn of War.”
Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
Which is these is NOT a playable protagonist in a Star Wars videogame?
- Mara Jade
- Dash Rendar
- Ace Azzameen
- Zarien Kheev
The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order review round-up
EA has finally managed to launch a Star Wars game instead of cancelling it! Respawn Entertainment’s eagerly anticipated single-player action-adventure Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is finally here, and spoken the critics have:
- Gamers Heroes (Score 100/100) – ”Much like what Arkham Asylum did for Batman games, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sets the new standard for Star Wars titles. Not only is it a great Star Wars game, it is also the best game of the year.”
- Gaming Trend (Score 95/100) – ”Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is an absolute masterpiece. Well paced, written, and executed, the game is Respawn’s best thus far.”
- IGN (Score 9/10) – ”Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order makes up for a lot of lost time with a fantastic single-player action-adventure that marks the return of the playable Jedi.”
- Press Start Australia (Score 9/10) – ”Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the Star Wars game fans have been waiting for. It brings together a strong story, addictive combat and an earnest dedication to recreating that Star Wars magic to offer one of the best Star Wars games in over a decade.”
- Game Informer (Score 8.75/10) – ”Respawn Entertainment’s maiden voyage with Star Wars is largely a success, but it’s a little rough around the edges.”
- TheSixthAxis (Score 8/10) – ”Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is exactly the kind of single player game we had originally hoped to see when EA and Disney joined forces. Even if you strip away the license, you’re left with a super satisfying mix or combat, story, and exploration, deftly crafted by a studio best known for spearheading an entirely different genre.”
- Guardian (Score 4/5) – ”In relaunching a much-loved and much-missed Star Wars genre, Fallen Order does exactly what it set out to. It reaches the bar, but then stops, with a set of characters and adventures that are not particularly intriguing or fresh, but certainly feel like they come from that very particularly galaxy, far, far away.”
- Gamespot (Score 8/10) – ”It’s true that Fallen Order borrows liberally from other action games, but those elements work together with Respawn’s combat and environment design, and a story that finds humanity in the Force and in its characters, to hone in on what makes the world of Star Wars worthy of revisiting again and again. Even with some rough edges, Fallen Order represents one of the most compelling game additions to the Star Wars franchise in years.”
- GamesRadar+ (Score 4/5) – ”Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order might take ideas liberally from others, but the result is an endearing adventure that ranks as EA’s best Star Wars effort yet.”
- USgamer (Score 3.5/5) – ”Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order comes painfully close to being the best action game of the year, but it ultimately falls short due to pacing problems and a host of technical issues. Still, this is the first step into a larger world for a franchise that has persistently struggled since its acquisition by EA.”
Fortnite invaded by Imperial Stormtroopers in Star Wars crossover
Do you play Fortnite but dream of dressing up in white plastic armour and get blasted by a wholesome Jedi whelp or some wisecracking smuggler? Then the forthcoming Star Wars crossover was made for you! You can buy an Imperial Stormtrooper skin right now and until November 17th. If you’ve already bought Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, then you can grab it for free!
The original bloody design for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Remember holding up patrolling guards to get them to cough up their dog tags? Remember eeeeeeasing your finger carefully off the button to avoid blowing their heads off? Remember that weird sense of surprise, shock and guilt when you messed up and popped a bullet in their head anyway? Well, Metal Gear Solid 2 was supposed to feature considerably more bloody failure for you to feel bad about.
The original game design required you to save dozens of hostages before Metal Gear Arsenal was activated, or be forced to wade through piles of dead bodies if you failed. This never made it into the game, but hey – at least we got musical pots and pans! If you shoot the pots and pans in the kitchen, they play different musical notes.
Nintendo Switch SD card ‘wipe glitch’ NOT Pokémon Sword and Shield’s fault
Switch owners are reporting a nasty error that appears to wipe the SD card plugged into the console, which means installed games, screenshots and – more importantly – save game data might be lost. Fortunately, the operative word here is appears.
Angry fans eager to find stuff to blame on Game Freak first suspected the eShop version of Pokémon Sword & Shield was at fault, but it turned out to be a longstanding issue with the Switch’s ExFAT SD card driver instead.
Custom homebrew’ers affected, not standard Switch users
Since the first reports of the bug coincided with the launch of Pokémon Sword & Shield, it looked like the game might be at fault, but intrepid sleuths soon discovered that the cards aren’t actually wiped – and that only a particular subset of Switch users are at risk.
While Nintendo’s official ExFAT SD card driver is the root cause of the problem, it seems to mostly affect users who install homebrew and pirate software. Save game data is usually stored on the Switch’s internal memory, but if you use modified system software to run unsigned code and store save games on that SD card, well, you might be in for a nasty surprise.
Microsoft ‘won’t repeat Xbox One mistakes’ with Project Scarlett
“More expensive and less powerful.” That’s how Xbox boss Phil Spencer characterizes the Xbox One at launch, but Microsoft won’t be caught with their pants down when the time comes to launch Project Scarlett.
“I would say a learning from the Xbox One generation is we will not be out of position on power or price,” Spencer told The Verge at the X019 event. “If you remember the beginning of this generation we were a hundred dollars more expensive and yes, we were less powerful. And we started Project Scarlett with this leadership team in place with a goal of having market success.”
Exact technical specs are still a closely guarded secret
The Xbox One was still an improvement on the Xbox 360, which managed to launch ahead of PlayStation 3, but eventually succumbed to the dreaded Red Ring of Death, which resulted in tens of thousands of consoles returned to Microsoft, a product recall and a class-action lawsuit. Ouch.
“So we’re going all in. We’re all-in on Project Scarlett and I want to compete, and I want to compete in the right ways which is why we’re focused on cross-play and backward compatibility,” he continued. Project Scarlett still doesn’t have a name and there’s no release date yet either, but PlayStation 5 is supposed to launch in late 2020, and Microsoft probably don’t want to be late for that party.