Loading...

June 12, 2017
Donald Duong
New Game Plus / Features

A new console usually brings with it unfounded grandstanding, a lot of hypothetical scenarios but little on day-to-day life with this new box. And in a year where Microsoft’s big tentpoles, Gears of War and Halo, are still being developed and where the platform partnerships seem to be going Sony’s way, you’d think that this would be the Scorpio Power Hour. Yes, we got some of that and more mentions of 4K than pixels in a 4K monitor, but this year’s Xbox Briefing somehow had even more game announcements.

Starting with the showstopper, the Xbox One X (formerly Project Scorpio) is the previously advertised hyper-powered version of the Xbox One, featuring a 6 teraflop GPU, 12GB of GDDR5 graphic memory and a vapour cooler; this is all in a form factor that is smaller than the Xbox One S. Ultimately, this will result in 4K performance for new games and upgraded graphical performance for existing ones. For non 4K TV owners, the Xbox One X will supersample and scale down for 1080p televisions.

This is admirable, but it is retailing for $649 in a world where the Playstation 4 Pro has failed to justify its existence even at $529; odds are this will be even lower come the Xbox One X’s launch on 7 November. At least the console isn’t mandatory; Xbox One games will still function throughout the ‘Xbox One family’ of consoles, as will backwards compatibility for the original Xbox. On top of this, Microsoft is still proceeding with Windows 10 and the Play Anywhere initiative.

Taking advantage of this is the newly announced Forza Motorsport 7. Perhaps to distract us from the inevitably iterative nature of Forza Motorsport games, Microsoft had on stage the world premiere of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, which will feature in the game alongside dynamic weather and puddles all at 4K and 60fps. Forza Motorsport 7 will be released on 3 October.

Making similar debuts on Microsoft’s stage were Metro Exodus, which appears to have a more open setting than previous Metro titles, and Assassin’s Creed: Origins. This time set in Ancient Egypt, AC Origins looks to have taken many lessons from Ghost Recon: Wildlands and The Division, featuring an eagle that can be used to tag enemies as well as heavier RPG elements — right down to a “LEVEL UP” prompt.

The Xbox is also catching up with the battle royale trend. Brendan Greene, who you may know better as Playerunknown, went on stage to announce that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is coming to Xbox One as a timed exclusive. Right alongside this was The Darwin Project, a much more cartoony take on the battle royale genre, right down to the “Chief Shoutcaster” used to commentate the action. Both games will appear to benefit from Mixer, Microsoft’s in-house streaming service.

Amongst blink-and-you’ll-miss-it trailers for Dragon Ball FighterZ (Dragon Ball meets Guilty Gear Xrd), Cuphead (which finally has a release date of 29 September), Black Desert Online, Tacoma and The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti, we also got a quick look at Crackdown 3, introduced to us by a very bombastic and very enjoyable Terry Crews. Crackdown 3 will be released on 7 November; Microsoft hasn’t confirmed if it will come with a Halo 6 beta key for old time’s sake.

That trailer sat rather awkwardly between the indies of this year’s Xbox conference. Aside from the usual ID @ Xbox montage, we also received confirmation of Life is Strange: Before the Storm (a 3-part prequel to LiS which will come out starting from 31 August) and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, introduced with a live piano performance to reinforce the series’ beautiful earnestness.

Xbox may no longer house the Call of Duty announcement, but this year it made up for it by bringing Monolith Productions on stage to show off Middle-earth: Shadow of War. It will double down on the Nemesis System from the first game by allowing you to recruit orc leaders and set your army of orcs against another. Shadow of War will also deepen the characterisation of its orcs as shown with Brûz, a talkative orc from the Australian part of Mordor. Shadow of War will come out on 10 October.

After its debut back at E3 2015, we finally got a closer look at Rare’s next game Sea of Thieves. Back then, all we saw were the ship battles with little direction of what else would be on offer. The 9-minute trailer shown off today paints the game as Destiny with pirates, incorporating blunderbuss gunplay and co-operative treasure hunting; at least Rare has stepped back from the influencer-heavy delivery from last time.

Finally, after being teased yesterday at EA Play, we got our first look at Bioware’s new game Anthem. I say new, but Anthem’s inspirations are plain for all to see. Donning exosuits similar to Warframe, you and a party of players will go on quests not dissimilar to Destiny battling beasts borrowed from Xenoblade Chronicles X and giant robots that wouldn’t be out of place in Horizon: Zero Dawn. Even the awkward player banter is lifted from Ubisoft’s presentations.

Having said that, this is only a small sample of what Anthem could offer. We’ve yet to see the game’s other gameplay beats or anything of that famous Bioware lore. And as we’ve learned with games like Dead Cells, a game can still be stellar if it incorporates its source material intelligently. We will find out much more about Anthem prior to its 2018 release.

It’s ultimately unsurprising that the Xbox One X itself took up so little of this event; $649 is a very expensive proposition for a half-step console, and it’s a case that even Microsoft isn’t particularly interested in pushing. It’s learned from the original Xbox One announcement that you can’t hang your hat on the box, that you have to focus on the games; and despite the absence of the tentpoles, with games like Metro Exodus, Anthem and the Ori sequel, Microsoft at least delivered.



July 24, 2017

Do you remember Catch of the Day, the website that used to have heaps of time limited sales with extremely limited stock? Well, theyre now known just as Catch and theyre going to the hottest gaming item for preorder this Wednesday, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System! After being announced just last month, preorders at online retailer everywhere promptly sold out, with no indication of when more would be available. While we know that Nintendo have promised that there will be more units compared to the Nintendo Classic Mini: NES, theyve also stated that they wont...

July 23, 2017

The first generation of VR technology has been out for a year now, and take-up by gamers has been relatively slow. Part of thats due to the high cost of entry, as well as the stuffing around required to re-arrange your playing space to accommodate VR. However, I feel the apathy is mostly due to the games on offer, as potential buyers are looking for whats unique about VR gaming that cant be found anywhere else, to justify the purchase. Developers are still looking for the answer to that question, which is why weve seen so many tech demos dressed up as games hit every VR platform. However...

July 22, 2017

The original Splatoon was a surprise hit. Not only was the game an original IP but it was also a third person shooter; a genre that you just wouldn’t normally associate with Nintendo. Yet they developed the game with its own distinctive style, making it fun and accessible to gamers of all ages and providing the Wii U with a needed exclusive, must-have title. As the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”, so with Splatoon 2 Nintendo have played it safe by offering a refined sequel that keeps the core game in tact but makes improvements in areas such as single-player. For those tha...

July 21, 2017

2015s Project CARS, or Community Assisted Racing Simulator, stands as an example of what can happen when a passionate, well organised community comes together behind a project. Largely crowdfunded, and developed with constant community feedback, Project CARS became a breath of fresh air for the largely stagnant racing genre, and has been lauded for its visual fidelity and accuracy in simulation. It may be time, though, to shift our perception of Slightly Mad Studios from that of an independent, community-assisted developer to a full blown, AAA company, because Project CARS 2 is shaping up to...

July 19, 2017

I absolutely loved Telltales The Wolf Among Us when I played through it for the first time last year; so I was incredibly disappointed when no news ever surfaced about the long promised second season...

July 15, 2017

We knew that a new world was going to be shown off at Disneys D23 Expo overnight, but we didnt know what world it would be or if it would come from Disney, Pixar or Lucasfilms stable. The brand new...

July 15, 2017

Better known for its excellent PS Vita titles, the Danganronpa franchise has slowly been making strides to hit a mainstream audience. As well as two anime series and a few manga and novel spin-offs, the franchise has received a huge boost in awareness thanks to the release of Danganronpa 1-2 Reload (a port of the first two games) on PS4 and PC earlier this year. The larger install base on those systems has exposed the brand to more players, and now to tide fans over until the Western release of the third main game, comes a port of the spin-off shooter Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair...

July 13, 2017

The seventh season of the hugely successful television show, The Walking Dead cemented the charismatic and malevolent Negan into pop culture history. Today, Entertainment One Australia have finally announced the home release of The Walking Dead Season 7 on DVD and Blu-Ray in Australia, on 27 September. In Season 7 of the iconic show, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group will find out yet again that the world isn’t what they thought it was and the lengths they will have to go to in order to find weapons, food and new fighters is nothing short of remarkable. While they have a sing...

July 12, 2017

Wait, what? Yep. A new Half-Life patch has appeared today on Steam which fixes a set of crashes throughout the game. The patch notes include thanks to community members that reported the issues, and has literally appeared out of nowhere almost 19 years after the game launched in 1998. For some, Half-Life is where it all began. It was Valves breakthrough game which led to Steam, Source, and changed gaming forever while making Gabe Newell a very rich man. Check out the official new Half-Life patch details after the drop: new Half-Life patch release notes: 10 JULY  ALFRED We have updated the ...

July 10, 2017

Final Fantasy XII celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Australian release this year, and in that time the title seems to have been quite forgotten by much of the gaming community. In comparison to Final Fantasy titles like VII and X, who still to this day have dedicated fan-bases, FFXII was a quieter success, lacking a high-concept fantasy world and being released at the end of the PlayStation 2s life-cycle. In my opinion, it was still a success nonetheless, and thanks to Square-Enixs recent spate of remasters, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age brings the game to modern audienc...

July 9, 2017

My first real love affair with an MMO began in high school where, despite only having a dial up connection, I would spend hours every night playing World of Warcraft. While I loved the game, I’d never been a big fan of Warcraft and didn’t have any connection to the lore, so many of the cameos and references went straight over my head. So, when I found out my favourite RPG series Final Fantasy was going to become an MMO, I jumped on Final Fantasy XI. After playing the game for quite a while, I eventually drifted away from the MMO space and hadn’t touched one in years. It wasn’t until Fi...

July 8, 2017

It was a sad day when Scribblenauts developer 5th Cell was hit by heavy lay offs in 2016, leaving many of its employees having to seek new employment elsewhere. One of the co-founders of 5th Cell has since gone on to create his own studio Digital Continue and is now ready to lift the lid on their first project, Next Up Hero. Next Up Hero is a community driven arcade action rogue-like in which players take turns fighting  and dying  in community gaming sessions, working to conquer monsters and bosses together, one hero at a time. Youll be able to choose from nine different heroes with a...

July 8, 2017

Wed all worn those red/blue glasses before, but do you remember the first time you sat down in front of a 3D movie, at home or at the cinema, and were just so blown away that you thought to yourself Holy Cow, this technology is the way of the future? Me neither. No one thought that. 3D cinema, circa Avatar, was a breakthrough, but it didnt revolutionise the film industry, and it didnt inspire a great deal of innovation from production houses. Ive always felt much the same way about VR in the gaming industry; obviously a jump forward, but not being used to its full creative potential. T...

July 7, 2017

Horizon Zero Dawn patch 1.30 has just been released and with it an array of new features for players to get excited about. With Horizon Zero Dawns first major expansion titled The Frozen Wilds due out later this year, fans of the new franchise should definitely be honing their skills in the latest patch, which features a new Ultra Hard mode which includes more aggressive machine behaviour, enhanced weapons and outfits, two new trophies and best of all a New Game+ mode allowing you to start Horizon Zero Dawn again but keep your characters progression and items. Check out the full Horizon Ze...

July 7, 2017

With the launch of the first Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC pack The Master Trials now behind us, Nintendo has begun to reveal information about DLC pack 2, with The Champions Ballad detai...

July 6, 2017

Uppercut Games today officially unveiled the latest project they have been working on: City of Brass. The developer responsible for the very popular Submerged game which launched almost two years ago has been busy creating another masterpiece, this time being a first person action adventure game where a strange genie brings a literal City of Brass up out of the sands, which just so happened to be& submerged. The game is currently scheduled to launch later this year on Steam, as well as Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Check out the official City of Brass Steam reveal trailer below: As we can tel...

Load More Blogs
Latest Videos
Latest Photos & Events