Every weekend, Windows Central streams an Xbox One or Steam game for 1-2 hours and gives out free games to the cool people who join us during the stream. It's like a live podcast, only you also get to watch a game while chatting with our awesome readers and viewers!
Tonight on Beam, we played Hitman, the game of stealth and assassination, and Gigantic, the multiplayer online battle arena game that's currently in closed beta. Read on for quick impressions, contest winners, and our video playthroughs of both games.
Square Enix and developer IO Interactive chose a unique release strategy for the 2016 version of Hitman. Starting in March, they released new episodes every few months. Players could buy the full set of episodes all at once and play them as released, or simply by the episodes individually.
The final episode, Situs Infernus, just arrived on October 31. It takes place in beautiful Hokkaido, Japan. Hitman is now a complete digital game that lives up to the series' legacy. Players who prefer physical games can rest easy, as a retail version will launch on January 31 next year.
Watch us as we take on the role of Agent 47, the bald Hitman with a heart of gold. Will Agent 47 finally find love, or face more persecution for his unusual choice of profession?
After Hitman wraps up, we hopped into Gigantic, the free to play MOBA from Motiga and Perfect World Entertainment. Gigantic is currently in closed beta on both Xbox One and Windows 10, with a release date to be determined.
In this game, two teams of five players compete against each other to destroy the other team's Guardian, a magical behemoth of immense strength and size. Gigantic features fast-paced combat and a striking art style, making it thrilling to watch and play...
At least, that's how things should have gone. Despite having a full team of five Xbox players, we simply couldn't get into a multiplayer game. Matchmaking appears to be nearly completely broken in the Xbox version of the Gigantic beta at present.
Hopefully Motiga can get that extremely important element working in time for the next beta. Without proper matchmaking, there is no point to Gigantic. It doesn't offer team play against bots.
CHOOSE -- Select from over 16 Heroes. Master them and win. Each features a comprehensive skill tree empowering players to win and encouraging players to perfect significantly different playstyles so teams can better adapt to opponent's strengths mid-fight. Don't forget to boast exotic weapon and hero skins to better define your champion.
FIGHT -- Utilize flanking points or directly attack the enemy while mastering imaginative landscapes and claiming Points on the map to summon powerful Creatures. Different Creatures offer different benefits. One thing's certain: Allied Creatures change the map to be more advantageous for your team and can pull victory from certain defeat.
POWER UP -- Turn the tide of battle to favor your team. Unite and work together to win intense PvP battles. Use swords, guns, bombs and wondrous magic on a quest to gather magical orbs, capture Points and spawn Creatures to Power Up your Guardian.
GO GIGANTIC -- This is it. Your Guardian is fully powered and is going head-to-head with the enemy. Now's the time! Strike! But always beware, an opposing team can and will protect their Guardian to ensure you don't get the chance to seize the day.
We streamed Hitman and Gigantic for ~90 minutes tonight. During that time, we gave out loads of prize codes:
- 28 Gigantic beta for Xbox One – Good for all future closed betas!
- 30 Gigantic beta for Windows 10 – Good for the current closed beta only.
See contest winners at the end of this story.
Want an even more exciting prize?
How to watch Beam livestreams
We're now streaming on Beam, Microsoft's interactive livestreaming platform. It provides some welcome improvements over Twitch, such as a cleaner website layout, built-in stream interactivity, and extremely low latency.
You can follow our channel at Beam.pro/WindowsCentral. From there, you'll be able to watch the stream and participate in chat directly from any web browser, including the Xbox One and Windows Phone browsers.
To receive email notifications when our Beam streams go live:
- First, follow our channel.
- Now select your profile from the top-right corner of the screen.
- Pick the Account option near the bottom of the menu.
- Go to the Notifications tab.
- Make sure "Send me important email updates on the Beam platform" is enabled. This option is labeled deceptively, but it's required for all forms of email notifications.
- Click or tap the Email box next to our channel name until a check appears. That's it!
- We highly recommend that you set a recurring alarm on your phone. Our weekend stream always starts at the same time (9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific), so the phone reminder can be very helpful.
Beam does not offer Xbox One or Windows Phone apps yet, so watching from the browser is the only option on Microsoft platforms. But Beam does offer apps on Android and iOS. Yes, that's a strange inequity. Native Xbox and Windows 10 support is coming though, so stick with us!
Want to know what's next for Windows Central's weekend Beam programming? We stream a different game every Saturday (and sometimes Sunday). The stream always starts at the same time: 9pm Eastern (8pm Central, 6pm Pacific, 1am GMT). Over the next few weeks, we'll be streaming the following (schedule not finalized):
- Saturday, November 12: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Win an Xbox gift card as we play the holiday's hottest sci-fi shooter!
- Saturday, November 19: To be announced
- Saturday, November 26: Little Acre, the beautiful adventure game coming to Xbox, PlayStation, and PC on November 22. Win a copy of your own!
We hope you'll tune in as often as you can! Set a recurring alarm on your phone so you'll always know when it's time for the stream to start.
These winners are in for a gigantic good time.
Gigantic beta for Xbox One
Gigantic beta for Windows 10
Tonight's prizes provided by Perfect World Entertainment. Thanks also to our stream moderators for keeping the peace and giving away the prizes!