Microsoft/Xbox at GDC (March 2016)

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In March the yearly Game Developers Conference will come around again in San Francisco, the event attracts over 26,000 attendees where professionals of all job descriptions come and attend or present over 400 lectures, panels, tutorials and round-table discussions on a variety of game development topics (more here).

I want to take a look here at some of the sessions Microsoft and Xbox will be participating in or running themselves, in previous years Gears of War 2 was announced back at GDC 2008 and last year Phil Spencer announced their partnership with Motiga on Gigantic, it is not a big show for new game announcements and the like but it is an event that could have some interesting news for gamers at home about various things on the horizon.

This event is not to be confused with the Media Event for Xbox and Windows 10 on February 25th which is a completely different type of event (previews for press to play their Spring 2016 line-up)

Here are the most notable talks I found:

  • Speaker:  Max McMullen (Microsoft)
  • Format: Sponsored Session
  • Track: Programming
“DirectX12 can unlock incredible performance in your games and help you build your content pipelines for the future of gaming (including 4K), which we will demonstrate using real-world examples. We will cover the key concepts to get your existing DirectX Game ported to DirectX 12 and looking great and up and running as quickly as possible.”

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News surfaced today first via WinBeta.org that Microsoft are planning a media event in San Francisco for their Xbox and Windows 10 titles with hands-on previews available for members of the press for their line-up launching this Spring.

Here are the games they have down for release in that period:

  • Killer Instinct: Season 3 (Xbox One & Windows 10) – March 2016
  • Quantum Break (Xbox One) – April 5, 2016
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (Xbox One & Windows 10) – Spring 2016
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition (Windows 10) – Spring 2016
  • Fable Legends Open Beta (Xbox One & Windows 10) – Spring 2016
  • Gears of War 4 (Xbox One) – Multiplayer Beta in Spring 2016

OriDE (more…)

Sparkle 2 Review

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Sparkle 2 releases on Xbox One after the launch of Sparkle spin-off title “Sparkle Unleashed” which released in June 2015 from developer 10tons Ltd. It’s a classic match 3 orb game with levels set across a map with the aim to match all the orbs on a level and see the story through to the end.

What it’s about…

A long time ago, five keys were created. These enchanted keys are supposed to open a lock which guards something valuable. The keys were scattered across these lands forever locked between night and day. Many have tried to search for the keys, but they still remain undiscovered. Will you be the one to unravel the mystery, or will you become yet another soul consumed by the search?

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AIPD: Twin-Stick Shooter Launching January 29th

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AIPD is a top-down co-op twin-stick shooter from developer Blazing Badger based in Frankfurt, Germany where you are fighting against streams of evil artificial intelligence with lots of choices for weapons and modifications.

“Enjoy thousands of possible combinations of enemy and arena permutations that give you an unprecedented and nearly unlimited arcade experience. Enjoy the TRON-style retro graphics of AIPD using the power of Unreal Engine 4 to its limits, combined with a slamming soundtrack and overwhelming sound effects.

Choose between weapons like the powerful howitzer, the devastating shotgun or the precise phaser for point attacks. In AIPD you can choose your favorite combination of game mechanic modules and fight action driven coop battles with up to four players on one screen. Enjoy the freedom to create your own experience and adjust the game to suit your needs and skill level. Show them who is the boss in the digital AI world!”

AIPD

Included Features:

  • Thousands of possible combinations of enemy and arena permutations
  • Flexible playstyle thanks to customizable weaponry and modifications.
  • Local coop mode with up to four players.
  • Several online leaderboards for fierce competition
  • Timeless Neon-Art style powered by Unreal Engine 4
  • Smooth 60 fps

AIPD launches January 29th on Steam, PSN and the Xbox Store for $9.99/£7.99

  • Developer: Blazing Badger
  • Publisher: Mamor Games
  • Release Date: January 29th 2016
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4
  • Steam PageWebsite

Sparkle 2 releasing January 27th!

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Following the success of “Sparkle Unleashed” on Xbox One last year developer 10tons Ltd are bringing mainline title Sparkle 2 to Xbox One.

“Sparkle 2 is a highly polished match three marble shooter action puzzle game. Set in a mysterious world of magic and mystery, the player must travel through an enchanted landscape to find five magical keys. This is done by conquering more than 90 increasingly challenging marble shooter levels, equipping gameplay altering enchantments, and discovering breathtaking scenes.”

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Steverulez.com Game of the Year Awards 2015 (Part 2)

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Part 2 of my Game of the Year Awards with a bunch of new categories and my overall GOTY.

Part 1

Best Early Access Game

Early Access games are still in development working towards full release and so with that in mind I’ve given it a pass on launching this year, as it happens two entered Early Access this year and another two fully launched this calendar year too.

  • Mad Games Tycoon
  • Sheltered
  • Prison Architect
  • Invisible Inc

Winner: Mad Games Tycoon

MGT (more…)

Steverulez.com Game of the Year Awards 2015 (Part 1)

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The end of the year brings awards for games of all shapes and sizes, here is the first part (of two) detailing my favourite games in each category. All my awards are based on games that i’ve played at the very least extensively if not completed the story and played any multiplayer modes.

Part 2

Best Remaster/Collection

Lots of remasters and collections, I played a lot and enjoyed a lot of them, this was a hard one as there were some great games here:

  • Gears of War Ultimate Edition
  • Dishonoured Definitive Edition
  • Rare Replay
  • Resident Evil Remastered;
  • State of Decay Year One Survival Edition
  • Zombi

Winner: Gears of War Ultimate Edition (more…)

2016 Most Wanted

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

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Human Revolution was a huge surprise hit for me, I loved the stealth RPG style which worked really well and being a prequel to the original two games it meant I needed next to no knowledge of the franchise already. Eidos Montreal certainly earned my trust (I even quite liked Thief…) so August can’t come soon enough

  • Release date: 23rd August 2016
  • Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
  • Website

Quantum Break (more…)

Until Dawn Review

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Originally a Move accessory game for PS3, Until Dawn from British developer Supermassive Games is an interactive drama survivor horror adventure game for Playstation 4 and was heavily retooled from the original concept, now third-person and using a regular controller it is similar in gameplay style to Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain and utilised an upgraded version of the Killzone Shadow Fall engine.

It’s intended as a story like a teen slasher movie with a style and character attitude to suit.

What it’s about…

A group of friends go to the annual winter getaway in a secluded lodge at the Blackwood Pines Lodge, owned by the Washington’s family including Josh and his twin sisters Beth and Hannah, during the break a prank is played on Beth which heavily embarrasses her and she runs off into the forest during the night, as Hannah goes after her they are chased by persons unknown and disappear.

A year later the group of friends return to the lodge after an invitation from Josh, to bond and remember his sisters and things start to go wrong from the moment they return. (more…)