Next month, Xbox Live Gold members can look forward to a total of five free games on Xbox One and Xbox 360. As Head of Xbox Phil Spencer recently announced, June’s system update will debut Games with Gold on Xbox One, with Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault. We will announce specific dates that these games will be available soon.
On Xbox 360, Xbox Live Gold members will receive a bonus third title in June to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Games with Gold. Starting Sunday, June 1st, Dark Souls (normally US $19.99) will be free for Xbox Live Gold members through June 15th.
State of Decay: Lifeline puts you into the boots of Greyhound One, a military unit sent into a zombie-infested city to rescue the team of scientists who can put an end to the outbreak.
Lifeline features a new map, new characters, and a new way to play: Defend your base against hordes of zombies, using the best military equipment and personnel your unit can scrape together. The fate of the city is in your hands. How many people can you save?
Today, Activision and Infinity Ward are offering the first look at Invasion, the third DLC Pack available for Call of Duty: Ghosts. Invasion features four Multiplayer maps and the next installment in Extinction’s four-part episodic narrative, Awakening. Have a look at the trailer:
Here’s more on those new Multiplayer maps:
DEPARTED – Set in a rural Mexican town amidst the Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) celebration, this medium-sized map features a classic three-lane design. The decorative streets, back alleys, and festive cemetery have plenty of cover for run-and-gunners, but still features some long-range engagements.
If you complete the map’s unique Field Order, you will unlock the Death Mariachi killstreak. Armed with dual wielding pistols, the Death Mariachi rampages through the map, turning your kills into your own squad mates. Celebrate the dead, just try not to become one of them!
PHARAOH – In an abandoned archeological site of an ancient Egyptian palace, where the pyramids create a formidable backdrop, this medium sized, complex multi-level map includes a collapsing monument, urns full of flesh-eating scarabs, and other surprises.
Within the Egyptian palace, you will battle through different chambers, a throne room, and temples ideal for close-quarters combat and short-range weapons, all under the watchful eye of Anubis, the half-jackal/half-human, protector of the dead. The more adventurous of you will be handsomely rewarded by exploring the deepest secrets of the site.
MUTINY – In a secretive cove on a remote Caribbean island, this mysterious inlet is not your ideal holiday destination. Harboring an eerie pirate hideout – complete with abandoned trading posts and prison cells – you’ll need to focus on speed and stealth as you find your way through the narrow and intertwining pathways.
Mutiny comes packed with many “treasures” for you to discover, such as the map’s unique killstreak – an escort of ghostly pirates who will happily send your foes down to Davy Jones’ Locker.
FAVELA – Favela is a refreshed version of the fan-favorite Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 map of the same name. Years later, the favela has seen substantial cosmetic changes – buildings once under-construction are now complete, while others have not aged as gracefully as others with the passage of time, and are now in a state of disrepair.
With narrow passageways, multiple housing complexes, and abandoned storefronts, there is also plenty of opportunity for shorter range weapons as you navigate this Brazilian shantytown.
Extinction continues its storyline with Episode 3: Awakening. Descend into an alien underworld and strike at the mysterious puppet-masters behind the Cryptid invasion. Three new Cryptid species await players, along with some familiar enemies and allies.
Call of Duty: Ghosts Invasion arrives first on Xbox – next Tuesday, June 3rd.
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region
In today’s hyper-connected world, Chicago has the country’s most advanced computer system – one which controls almost every piece of city technology and holds key information on all of the city’s residents. You play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker but also a former thug, whose criminal past lead to a violent family tragedy. Now on the hunt for those who hurt your family, you’ll be able to monitor and hack all who surround you while manipulating the city’s systems to stop traffic lights, download personal information, turn off the electrical grid and more. Use the city of Chicago as your ultimate weapon and exact your own style of revenge. In a world led by technology, hacking is our weapon!
Here are this week’s games and add-on deals on the Xbox Games Store. Discounts are valid now through 2 June 2014. Please note FIFA 14 and Killer Instinct deals that began last week are also still valid.
Dash Text: Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a cinematic adventure filled with action-packed platforming and creative puzzle-solving. Armed with only a Magic Marker, Max must confront evil at every turn in a hostile and fantastical world in order to save his kid brother, Felix. Join Max on his great adventure!
Please note: prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by region. Deals with Gold are valid for Xbox Live Gold members.
*FIFA 14 and Killer Instinct discounts are valid now through 2 June 2014.
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region Super Time Force is an action-packed platformer with a time-travelling twist! You’re in control of time itself, bending and stretching it to your advantage on the battlefield. Rewind time and choose when to jump back into the action, teaming-up with your past selves in a unique single-player co-op experience! Take control of up to 16 unique characters, and battle across 6 different time periods, from the long-ago past to the far-away future.
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region The Black Queen has stolen the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. You play as Aurora, a young princess with a pure heart whose soul is brought to the kingdom of Lemuria. Embark on a quest to recapture the three sources of light, defeat the Black Queen and restore the kingdom of Lemuria.
The UBIart framework has powered some of the finest 2D visuals in all of gaming, as demonstrated in Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends. What happens when a team sets out to make a JRPG using this engine? The result is the unique Child of Light, now available on Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Working on the Assassin’s Creed series, Child of Light writer Jeffrey Yohalem became enamored with the blurring of history and fiction. “There’s a place in Austria that I saw that was very magical, in a place called Carniola now,” Yohalem told me during a hands-on demonstration at PAX East. “I wanted to create a fairy tale that talked about how that place came to be.” This tale centers on young Aurora’s quest to reach her father, the duke, in the days leading up to the Easter Earthquake of 1895.
While the location and timing of the story have roots in reality, the UBIart-enhanced visuals present a rather surreal view of the tale. Everything flows as if underwater: Aurora’s hair floats around her in a manner reminiscent of Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Yohalem confirmed the influence), flying fish actually flit through a forest.
Child of Light’s character animation truly is a sight to behold. I marveled at the way Aurora loses her crown when she takes a hit, scrambling to retrieve it and place it back on her head. Even turning about-face during platforming segments is lavishly rendered. When I pointed this out to Yohalem, he informed me that one of the lead animators helped bring Assassins Altair and Ezio to life, as well as the Prince in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
With a European setting, two dimensional platforming, and a birthplace in the West, why is Yohalem calling Child of Light a JRPG?
“For me [JRPG is] a rule set,” Yohalem explained. “If you said we’re going to take RISK and make a game based on that, it doesn’t have to look like it. For us it’s a rule set that happens to have been made by the Japanese. Also the art is inspired by Yoshitaka Amano (Final Fantasy’s original concept artist), at least on a loose level. We feel like this is a set of rules that hasn’t been used in a long time. We took that rule set and applied that to a very different type of experience”
Despite the distinctly different look, Child of Light’s includes a number of clear JRPG elements. Battle revolves around a timing mechanic similar to classic Final Fantasy’s classic Active Time Battle system. Your characters level up, and the game’s skill tree even reminded me of Final Fantasy XII’s License Board. Oh, and it’s not easy – your tactics will be tested in Child of
Light. I’m not ashamed to say I was wiped out during the demo… and that’s a good thing.
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region The Amazing Spider-Man 2 takes place outside the events of the 2nd film in a unique story where Spider-Man discovers a larger threat to NYC that has turned the underworld upside down. Villains from the film and classic Marvel characters are woven together in a twisted web of adrenaline-fueled, web-slinging action that puts players on a collision course with an evil far beyond Spider-Man’s reckoning.
Today we’ve announced the list of projects slated for the Xbox Originals program. Including details on the documentary that was behind this weekend’s discovery of the Atari E.T. games in a desert landfill. Starting this June, you’ll have more reasons to love your Xbox: Xbox Originals – premium dramas, comedies, documentaries, animation, unscripted shows, and live events. Available only on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and other Microsoft devices, every Xbox Original will offer interactive capabilities, as well as unique interactive features customized on a per-show basis, making it a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience you won’t find anywhere else.
“Halo” television series The “Halo” television series is a groundbreaking original series based on the award-winning “Halo” franchise. Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer Steven Spielberg will executive produce the live-action TV series, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Amblin Television.
“Every Street United” “Every Street United” is an unscripted series of eight, thirty-minute episodes and a one-hour finale, featuring legendary soccer players Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids, focused on the global search for soccer’s most gifted and undiscovered street stars scouted across eight countries (United States, England, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Ghana and South Korea). The series culminates this July in a 4v4 street game finale in the shadow of the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
Each episode will feature unique and incisive narratives about the grassroots street stars and the communities that shaped them. Industry veteran and eight-time Emmy-Award winning producer, director, writer and editor Jonathan Hock (“Streetball,” “30 for 30: The Best That Never Was”) is directing the series. Emmy-Award winning producer Mike Tollin and Mandalay Sports Media are executive producing. Professional soccer luminaries, Henry and Davids, will serve as coaches for the 4v4 street game in Rio. “Every Street United” will premiere in June 2014. All episodes will be available through Xbox Video for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8 (PC and Surface) and Windows Phone 8.
Bonnaroo Xbox owners around the globe can experience the magic of the 13th annual Bonnaroo music and arts festival with a live concert destination on Xbox Live Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15, 2014, brought to viewers in partnership with Superfly Presents. With the Bonnaroo app, fans can enjoy live music like never before, with a virtual experience featuring the best performances, multiple stages, biggest artists and amazing SuperJams, and explore this year’s lineup to see the best of Bonnaroo’s past with exclusive performances. Fans can also join the conversation with fellow virtual-Bonnaroovians and get connected to their friends and the festival. Xbox is the exclusive broadcasting partner for Bonnaroo and the only location to get all of the interactive features.
“Signal to Noise”/“Atari: Game Over” Xbox is creating a new six film documentary series, “Signal to Noise,” (working title) with two-time Academy Award winning producer Simon Chinn (“Searching for Sugar Man” and “Man on Wire”) and Emmy winning producer Jonathan Chinn (FX’s “30 Days” and PBS’s “American High”), through their multi-platform media company, Lightbox. The series will expose little known stories of how modern technology has radically altered the way we interact with our world.
The first installment, “Atari: Game Over” (working title), explores the fabled Atari mystery, dubbed “The Great Video Game Burial of 1983.” As the legend goes, the Atari Corporation, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to the E.T. video game, disposed of millions of unsold game cartridges by burying them in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico. Fuel Entertainment took an interest in the legend, and in December 2013, with help from local garbage contractor Joe Lewandowski, acquired the exclusive rights to excavate the Alamogordo landfill. Fuel Entertainment then brought the opportunity to Xbox Entertainment Studios. The team will head to the landfill in question to determine if the story is true, interviewing a cast of characters related to the game and its mystery along the way. “Atari: Game Over” is directed by writer/director Zak Penn (“X-Men 2,” “Avengers,” and “Incident at Loch Ness”). It will air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014.
“Humans” “Humans” is a bold new drama co-produced with UK broadcaster Channel 4. Award-winning UK production company Kudos (“The Hour,” “Utopia,” “Broadchurch”) will produce the hour-long, eight-episode series, which will share a premiere broadcast window on the Xbox platform and Channel 4 in the UK in 2015.
Executive produced by Jane Featherstone (“Life on Mars,” “Broadchurch”) and Derek Wax (“The Hour,” “Sex Traffic”), and written by British writing team Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (“Spooks,” “Spooks: The Greater Good”), “Humans” is an English-language adaptation of Sveriges Television and Matador Film’s acclaimed Swedish series, “Real Humans.” “Humans” is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a ‘Synth’ – a highly-developed robotic servant eerily similar to its live counterpart. In the hope of transforming the way they live, one strained suburban family purchases a refurbished synth only to discover that sharing life with a machine has far-reaching and chilling consequences. Casting for “Humans” will begin in May 2014, and production will commence later this summer.
“Halo” digital feature 343 Industries and Scott Free Productions are creating a “Halo” digital feature to be released later this year. The project will be executive produced by Ridley Scott and Scott Free TV President, David Zucker. Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Pillars of the Earth,” “Heroes”) will direct.
Projects in Development
“Deadlands” Xbox Entertainment Studios has committed to a script based on the successful pen-and-paper role playing game created by Shane Lacy Hensley. “Deadlands” is a genre-bending alternative history of the Weird West, filled with undead gunfighters, card-slinging sorcerers, mad scientists, secret societies, and fearsome abominations.
“Extraordinary Believers” Xbox Entertainment Studios is developing an innovative, hybrid stop-motion show dubbed “Extraordinary Believers” (working title) with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, creators of the Emmy-Award winning “Robot Chicken,” the longest running stop-motion show on television. The executive producers on the project are Seth Green, Matt Senreich, and creators/writers/executive producers are Eric Towner and John Harvatine IV.
“Fearless” “Fearless,” (working title) is an unscripted series currently in pilot production starring Paul de Gelder, an Australian Navy bomb clearance diver and shark attack survivor who takes on an adrenaline-fueled quest to aid individuals who risk their lives to make the world a better place. “Fearless” will be produced by Australia’s International Emmy-Award winning production company, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder (CJZ).
“Gun Machine” Xbox Entertainment Studios acquired the rights to “Gun Machine,” a hardboiled detective thriller based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Warren Ellis. Ellis will executive produce with Brett Conrad (“The Killing,” “Sons of Anarchy,” Netflix’s upcoming “Marco Polo”) who has signed on to write the pilot script about a detective tracking a serial killer who is tied to a mysterious collection of guns used in infamous New York murders.
Untitled JASH Comedy/Variety Half Hour In this unique comedy format developed by Xbox Entertainment Studios with JASH (a comedy collective founded by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim and Eric and Reggie Watts), the biggest names in comedy will showcase the people that make them laugh. Each week, a different comedian will host/curate a show featuring new and unsung talent, in various video formats. Sarah Silverman will host the pilot episode and Daniel Kellison (“Late Night/Late Show with David Letterman,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Crank Yankers”) will executive produce. The series has a pilot commitment and will begin shooting in June.
“Winterworld” Xbox Entertainment Studios and IDW Entertainment are co-developing a limited event live-action series based on Chuck Dixon and artist Jorge Zaffino’s seminal graphic novel series “Winterworld,” in which our world has been encased in ice from pole-to-pole. The surviving humans have formed tribes that war, enslave and trade with one another in an effort to survive the infinite winter. Ted Adams and David Ozer from IDW Entertainment, and Rick Jacobs and Dave Alpert from Circle of Confusion (“Walking Dead”) will executive produce.
Dash Text: Engage in explosive action with this exhilarating free-to-play FPS from Crytek, keeping you on your toes with daily new missions. Master four soldier classes as you team up to complete daring Co-op raids or dominate Versus modes. Join the battle with unique assault moves and real-time weapon customization. Downloadable and free-to-play to Xbox Live Gold members.
Please note: If you participated in the Warface Open Beta, you don’t need to re-download the game, you will get a title update next time you launch the game. Anything purchased or earned in the open beta will carry forward.
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region
Welcome to the next generation of Trials! With its glimmering vision of what our future holds were technology and nature to co-exist, combined with today’s most exciting and popular motorsport, Trials Fusion has retained and enhanced the essential features from its best-selling, critically acclaimed predecessors, Trials Evolution and Trials HD. A magnificent fusion of the proven, no-frills Trials formula based on ultra-addictive competition with the cutting edge of graphics and social networking.
I spent some time with Trials Fusion this weekend at PAX East, where Creative Director and co-founder of RedLynx Antti Ilvessuo walked me through some of what’s new in this latest Trials title (hint: there’s a lot).
The new look and feel is apparent from the title screen, which is simplified to just two main options: Ride and Create. “The first game (Trials HD) was in a warehouse, next (Trials Evolution) was outdoors,” Ilvessuo explained. “This will be the first experience in a new game, and it won’t look like an Evolution level. Everything will be shiny and new.”
The way Fusion treats your progress is also quite different, which you’ll notice in the post-race screen. Everything you do on the track: career, multiplayer, everything is represented by a total experience level for each track across every mode. You also now have a overal XP level, which supplements the returning, all-important leaderboards. Now you know who has spent the most time on tracks, putting in work to post a fantastic time on a course.
Everything in between the main menu and the post-race is the pure, awesome physics-based gameplay that has made the Trials games so fun. “The great thing about physics is you don’t know how it will end until you land,” said Ilvessuo.
This fact is never more apparent than in the new FMX mode, which has players gunning for high scores by pulling risky tricks and successfully landing Tony Hawk-style; you only bank the points if you don’t crash. You’ll have the opportunity to plot out devastating combos in FMX Training, a kind of zero-gravity safe zone where you can toy with the moveset, free of the fear of crashing.
The realistic physics engine means wipeouts are still incredibly fun to watch, and I’d expect Upload Studio to be filled with painful-looking blooper reels in short order.
There’s a lot more “new” in Trials Fusion: 40 new levels, including many aimed at the hardcore audience, more character customization options, unique – and sometimes bizarre – challenges for each track, and a 4-wheeler that handles completely differently than the bikes you’re accustomed to.
RedLynx apparently has much more in the works. “The whole idea of Trials is what we call the ‘Minecraft Model’ you buy it once, and you get all the upcoming features for free,” Ilvessuo told me. “You buy the game, you’re buying a ticket. We know what we want to do one year in advance, we’re planning two years in advance. We’re planning online tournaments, teams, and then online multiplayer. Huge stuff is coming.” (Ubisoft clarified that while they will be offering players many upcoming features for free, this does not preclude paid DLC for new tracks and editor mode assets)
So why “Fusion”? “Fusion is the greatest power in the universe,” said Ilvessuo. “Evolution was second.”
Dash Text: Simple. Fun. Classic. The retro baseball gameplay you’ve been craving is back and updated with modern graphics, 2014 players and all 30 MLB teams. Play season, postseason and exhibition mode. Experience PURE FUN that everyone can enjoy solo or with a friend!