Mike Nelson, Xbox Wire Editor, shares details about the Red Dead Online Beta.

Starting today, the Red Dead Online Beta is open to everyone who owns Red Dead Redemption 2 on Xbox One. Jump in to experience the vast and highly detailed landscapes, cities, towns, and habitats of Red Dead Redemption 2 in a new, living online world.

Built from the ground up for Xbox One, Red Dead Online blends the classic multiplayer of the original Red Dead Redemption with everything Rockstar Games has learned from creating robust multiplayer experiences. The result is something completely new in an online world that will continue to expand and evolve over time.

Red Dead Online

A Vibrant Open World

Red Dead Online is free to explore solo or with friends. You can ride in a Posse, set up your Camp, embark on cooperative story-based missions, go head-to-head in competitive series, find strangers throughout the world to help (or hurt), tackle spontaneous Free Roam challenges, go hunting, fishing, bond with your horse, and much more. Just keep an eye out for ambushes.

Honor and Outlaws

In Red Dead Online, your honor will shift high and low based on your decisions and behavior. You’ll shape your honor through your choices, from life or death decisions to natural interactions such as caring for your horse.

Red Dead Online

In addition to the world responding to you in subtly different ways, you’ll also notice the nature of certain missions will reveal themselves to you based on your current honor state.

To see this in action, check out the cooperative multi-part series of missions called “A Land of Opportunities,” where you’ll be faced with honor decisions on a larger journey to seek truth and justice, or revenge. You’ll also find a healthy reward upon completing it.

Red Dead Online

Competition and Showdown Series

Of course, Red Dead Online comes packed with all-new competitive gameplay. The beta includes five new modes at launch that are part of a larger series of Showdowns, and you can also enter your trusted steed into races including point-to-point, lap, and open races strewn across the map.

Enter one of the Showdown Series Markers for fast matchmaking into a variety of modes:

Shootout & Team Shootout
Classic gunfight modes with unlimited lives. Compete to rack up the most kills before the timer runs out. Sudden death will trigger in the event of a tie: whoever gets the first kill wins.

Make it Count
A true test of resourcefulness in two game modes: use nothing but a bow and a handful of arrows or throwing knives to be the last one standing. With a gradually shrinking player area, there’s nowhere to run.

Most Wanted
A tactical race to the top. Every kill pushes you up the scoreboard, but watch out: the closer to the top you are, the more points everyone else gets for killing you.

Hostile Territory
Work in teams to control the land. Capture a territory to start racking up points: the team with most points wins – or you can win outright by capturing every territory.

Name your Weapon
Demonstrate your personal specialty in this free-for-all or team-based match: the trickier the weapon you use to land the killing blow, the more points you get.

Red Dead Online

Stay tuned for more updates to Red Dead Online over the coming weeks and months on Xbox Wire.

Product Info:
Developer: Pearl Abyss
Publisher: Pearl Abyss
Website: Black Desert
Twitter: @PlayBlackDesert

NOTE: EA Sports NHL 19 is now available for Digital Pre-order and Pre-download on Xbox One 

Product Info:
Developer: EA Vancouver
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Website: EA SPORTS NHL 19
Twitter: @EA / @EASPORTSNHL

Product Info:
Developer: Fatshark AB
Publisher: Fatshark AB
Website: Warhammer: Vermintide 2
Twitter: @fatsharkgames / @VermintideGame

Larry Hryb @majornelson

More @majornelson on Twitter

Product Info:
Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Website: ONRUSH
Twitter: @Codemasters / @onrushgame 

 

Joe Neate, Executive Producer at Rare, shares some details about the final beta for Sea of Thieves.

It seems like just yesterday that we launched the Insider Programme for Sea of Thieves. We felt that getting our game into player’s hands early, learning from their feedback and growing a community around this game was critical for a new, shared-world experience like Sea of Thieves. We started with our first 1,000 players in December 2016, and we have been steadily growing the player base and feature set throughout the last year.

Since we began we have seen our community grow and players adventure in our magical world. We have seen battles held, friends made, instruments played and quite a bit of overindulgence on our surprisingly strong grog. Most excitingly, we have seen many, many amazing stories from our players, and recently we allowed them to share these with the world during our Closed Beta. It was incredible to be able watch players live in Sea of Thieves for the first time, to see their adventures unfold first-hand and to hear the stories they had to share.

As we head towards launch on March 20, we have one Final Beta test to run. This gives us an opportunity to grow our scale testing to our largest number yet, it allows us to test a broader range of features than ever before and it also gives anyone that is interested a chance to play and experience Sea of Thieves first-hand.

With that in mind, we are announcing the Sea of Thieves Final Beta, available now and running through to 2 a.m. PST (10 a.m. GMT) on Sunday, March 11.

Who can take part in the Final Beta?

This is open to absolutely anyone to play, and can be downloaded now from the Store on Xbox One and Windows 10. To install, you will just need to search for and install the Sea of Thieves Final Beta. The Sea of Thieves Final Beta requires an Xbox LIVE account on both PC and Xbox One, with an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription required on Xbox One.

What will I be playing?

In the Final Beta, alongside the Gold Hoarders, we will be testing Merchant Alliance voyages for the first time, giving players an entirely new way to play. As well, we are now introducing an emergent, intense opportunity into the world, with the chance of a Skeleton Fort now being occupied. Watch out for that tell-tale Skull Cloud above a fort which indicates the chance of great rewards, but also great risk. Will other players have seen it? Or might they even be there already? Will you work together or against each other? We can’t wait to watch and find out.

In addition, we’re excited to announce that Sea of Thieves’ Xbox One X enhancements will be available during the Final Beta! We’re thrilled that players will be able to experience Sea of Thieves in 4K on the most powerful console ever made.

Can I share my stories?

Absolutely! Whether co-streaming on Mixer, sharing on Twitch, uploading to YouTube or sharing via Game DVR, we are thoroughly looking forward to seeing what our players get up to.

What can I expect?

This is our biggest test yet, and we are excited to see how many players turn up, but we also want to ensure a good experience for everyone that is in and playing. What this means is that as we hit peak times, we might have to temporarily put a hold on other players joining whilst we manage player load. If this happens, we will be sharing the latest news and status via the status page on Seaofthieves.com, and we will be sharing regular updates on Twitter from the official @SeaOfThieves handle.

Thanks to everyone that has helped us get to where we are so far. Everyone who has played in the Technical Alpha, Closed Beta or scale tests – anyone who has submitted ideas and feedback, filled out surveys, shared their stories or made friends in our world – we wouldn’t be where we are without you, and we cannot wait to see where this adventure takes us next.

Here’s to the next leg of the journey.

Sea of Thieves is now available for pre-order in the Xbox Store and Windows Store, and you can play the game at launch on March 20 as part of Xbox Game Pass. For the latest on Sea of Thieves, stay tuned to Xbox Wire and SeaOfThieves.com.


As a reminder, the first episode of Inside Xbox returns on March 10th and will include coverage of Sea of Thieves. Details on how to watch the live show can be found here.

Content: METAL GEAR SURVIVE BETA 
Check availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: Play METAL GEAR SURVIVE’S CO-OP mode before the release of the full game! You will be one of the first to discover a thrilling and strategic team mode, taking place in a world infested by hostile creatures.

Experience the CO-OP mode in which up to 4 players team up and fight together, with 2 stages (Wrecked Base & Deserted Mine) and 3 different missions available.

The METAL GEAR SURVIVE beta runs from 18 to 21 January. You will unlock the following rewards for the full game for participating in the beta – FOX Hound nameplate, Metal Gear Rex Head and a bandanna.

*You will not be able to carry over your save data to the full game.

Download METAL GEAR SURVIVE BETA for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Pre-Order the METAL GEAR SURVIVE Pre-Order Bundle for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Product Info:
Developer: Konami Digital Entertainment
Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment
Website: METAL GEAR SURVIVE
Twitter: @Konami / @metalgear_en

Adam Isgreen, Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, shares details about the upcoming launch of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, releasing February 20th on Windows 10 PC.

When we set out to create the Definitive Edition of the original Age of Empires, our goal was to deliver the best possible version of this classic, from a top notch audio-visual presentation to multiplayer to core game systems. Everything needed to be as good as you remembered it (or better!) to deliver a compelling RTS experience 20 years after its original release.

…and that took us a bit longer than we’d originally planned. But, it was important for the team to treat the Age of Empires franchise with the respect it deserves, so we took the time we needed to get features like attack-move and the improved minimap exactly right, and even added things like an in-game tech tree (how did we survive 1997 without that?) that we hope fans will love.

And now I’m happy to announce that Age of Empires: Definitive Edition is launching on February 20 worldwide for Windows 10 PCs at $19.99 USD.

For this Definitive Edition, we’ve made improvements like:

  • Completely rebuilding assets for a modern 4K presentation
  • Letting you play online with Xbox LIVE (in addition to LAN play)
  • Re-recorded the original soundtrack with a new orchestral score
  • Adding campaign narration for every mission
  • Enhancing the campaign and scenario editor, which allows anyone to make original custom campaigns for the game, by letting players easily share them with other players around the world via AgeOfEmpires.com

The above and more outline the many quality of life gameplay improvements we’ve added – all while retaining the original feel and unique gameplay that made Age of Empires so special for so many.

To celebrate this announce, we’re also opening up the multiplayer beta to more players worldwide starting January 29 so everyone can get a taste of the game for free before it launches on February 20. You can find more information on the beta and sign up for it at AgeOfEmpires.com.

We’re excited to get Age of Empires: Definitive Edition into the hands of players this February and we thank you for your patience while we put the finishing touches on it!

Welcome back to history!