This week we're looking at Titanfall 2's confirmed story campaign, The Division's final map size, Fallout 4's imminent Xbox One patch, Halo 5 updates and much more!
We're also giving away a digital pre-order for Tom Clancy's The Division to one lucky commenter! Simply leave a reply and join the discussion for a chance to win.
Every week, I collect some of the biggest Xbox news, rumors and talking points into one handy post every weekend. You can also rely on this weekly column to catch up with all the latest game releases.
Welcome to the latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.
Titanfall 2 will have a story-driven campaign, spin-off TV show
In an interview with Forbes, Titanfall 2's lead writer — Jesse Stern — confirmed that Respawn Entertainment is injecting a full-blown story campaign into Titanfall's sequel, repairing one of the original game's biggest criticisms.
Formerly an Xbox exclusive, Titanfall recreated the best of Call of Duty's fluid multiplayer and combined it with unique mech combat in a science fiction world. Sadly, the original didn't go to great lengths to provide story context, it seems Titanfall 2 will rectify that.
Beyond discussing Titanfall 2's campaign, Stern also remarked that the studio is exploring a spin-off TV series, but fell short of confirming that it's in active development. However, he did confirm that Titanfall 2 will feature a story-driven campaign, drawing inspiration from American colonial history:
"So we are doing our best to deliver a vision of grand global colonial warfare retelling the story of the American Revolution and the American Civil War in space. We imagined the next generation of immigrants moving out to the new frontier of an inhabitable planet. Rather than taking a traditional sci-fi approach to that we wanted to look at how that would happen practically, what the ships would look like and with machines that were designed for excavation and construction, demolition and working the land, and what happens when they are turned into instruments of war."
"What inspires us is the junction of technological advancement with the inevitability of conflict and war and what the next war might look like. In Titanfall 2 there will be a lot of [scenes] where science meets magic, but keeping it grounded and dirty and human and real."
Respawn echoed comments from EA's investor call, stating that Titanfall 2 will arrive within EA's 2017 fiscal year:
"It takes two years to make these things usually. Sometime late this year or early next seems like the right neighborhood."
Fallout 4 patch should hit Xbox One next week
Fallout 4 recently received patch 1.3 on PC, bringing with it a payload of quest and bug fixes, as well as much needed improvements to settler management. The patch has yet to arrive on Xbox One and PS4, but the wait could soon be over according to Fallout 4's community lead:
"We should have more info on the 1.3 release soon. Could push to early next week, but we're working through it now."
In patch 1.3, selecting a settler will inform you what roles they're currently assigned to, without you having to have line of sight with the specific assigned object. As depicted here (via Imgur):
The full changelog can be found here, although these are the notes for the Windows PC version. Naturally, some features like new ambient occlusion settings probably won't make their way across, but the gameplay and quest fixes are a pretty safe bet.
The Division's map size compared to Fallout 4's Commonwealth, GTAV's Los Santos
According to his calculations, The Division's full map is similar in scope to Fallout 4's sizable Commonwealth. Combined with The Division's underground and interior areas, one could speculate that it'll be around as dense as Fallout 4's map as well. As I saw in the beta, many areas were either unavailable or unpopulated, so those of you who had concerns that The Division's playable space could be too limited can look to Fallout 4 to get a rough estimate of how extensive The Division's Manhattan reconstruction will be.
Those of you who have been following The Division since it's original announcement might be wondering why previously advertised areas like Brooklyn haven't made it into the full game. In a separate video, MarcoStyle retraces The Division's marketing materials which previously advertised Brooklyn as a playable area, but from the beta map, it seems as if those plans have been shelved. Still, The Division's season pass promises to add three new playable areas to the game, so there's hope some of those previously advertised Brooklyn vistas could return in a future update.
Are you happy with The Division's map size? Let us know in the comments.
Halo 5 Guardians update removes Breakout from Team Arena and more
- Halo 5 Guardian's networking algorithms got a tweak to improve matchmaking speeds for some of the game's more highly ranked players.
"We've implemented changes in our algorithm to get players at all skill levels even faster matches. This should improve matchmaking times and increase the number of people eligible to match for players at all skill levels as well as players in international regions."
- The breakout game mode has been removed from the Team Arena playlist following player feedback.
"Based on feedback, Arena Breakout has been removed from the Team Arena playlist. When the mode was first introduced in a weekend playlist, we saw an overwhelmingly positive response, and the decision was made to move it into the Team Arena playlist as these settings (starting weapons, shields and health, etc) closer aligned to the playlist's settings when compared with original Breakout. Over the past 2 months, we've seen feedback that the mode is a bit too different from standard Arena, so we've removed it from this lineup."
- Several Warzone REQ cards have had their level requirements altered to reflect their potency.
"The Carbine is a powerful precision weapon in the right hands, but it just wasn't stacking up against the other level 4 card options. Combine that with players equipping comparable Battle Rifle loadout cards one level earlier, and almost no Carbines were being used in Warzone. We've dropped the Carbine a couple levels (to 2) where it will hopefully find use early in matches before BRs hit the field. The SAW, Suppressor, Bolt Shot, and Light Rifle also had their REQ Level cost lowered."
- 343i use big data telemetry harvesting to determine how Red and Blue Team's colors provide an advantage in certain scenarios. As a result, Blue Team had its coloring brightened. 343i were also able to identify an area of the Eden map where Red Team had an advantage, as a red object reduced Blue Team's target acquisition on the map.
"The first thing we went about doing is combing through the vast amounts of telemetry we gather on each and every game. There were a few different key metrics that were interesting, but at the end of the day the simplest metric we landed on was looking for choke points that were biased for one team or the other."
The full blog post also details some upcoming game modes, tweaks to rankings, and more.
Giveaway – Tom Clancy's The Division (Xbox One Digital Pre-Load)
This week, we're giving away a digital code for Tom Clancy's The Division! This digital key will allow you to pre-download the game ahead of its March 8th, 2016 launch. The Division is a tactical RPG shooter, bringing together cover-shooting mechanics from games like Watch Dogs and RPG progression and loot from the likes of Borderlands. The game is set in an apocalyptic New York City, following a catastrophic viral outbreak. It's your task to discover the cause of the pandemic and survive alone in an unforgiving and anarchistic city. Check out our preview for The Division right over here.
The winner was SmoothDog! Check back next Sunday for another giveaway.
ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week
- Red Dead Redemption bringing the Wild West to Xbox One with backwards compatibility
- MMO survival-shooter H1Z1 is headed to consoles; becomes two seperate games in the process
- Gigantic ditches its closed beta NDA, will be inviting more testers soon
- Conan O'Brien's Clueless Gamer gets gory with the new Doom reboot
- Navigating depth, difficulty and the Dark Zone in The Division's Xbox One beta
- Mirror's Edge Catalyst gets a closed beta and new trailer
- DOOM reboot will let you battle demonic forces on PC and Xbox One on May 13
- Rainbow Six Siege's 'Operation Black Ice' free update adds a new map and more
- Cobalt is Mojang's new shooter with a focus on slo-mo combat
- Beyond Flesh and Blood brings violent mech shooting to Xbox One and PC in this latest trailer
New Xbox One game releases for the week ending February 7th, 2016
Cobalt - Platformer / Shooter - Mojang / Microsoft Studios
"Shoot, roll, punch, and jump your way to slow-motion victory in Cobalt, an action platformer from Oxeye Game Studio. Take on the role of a mysterious cyborg stranded on an even more mysterious planet in our single-player campaign, or play with friends in a wealth of coop and versus multiplayer modes."
Fortified - Action & Adventure / Shooter / Strategy & Simulation - Clapfoot Inc.
"Fortified is an explosive strategy shooter where players will defend the Earth against a menacing Martian invasion in the 1950s. Play as one-of-four pulp-inspired heroes as they fight swarms of terrifying robots with an arsenal of Cold War-era weapons and experimental technology."
Bike Mayhem 2 - Racing & Flying - Goldmark Studios
"Smash down trails, launch huge jumps, pull off insane tricks, win tons of gear, build amazing trails and challenge your friends to be the King of the Mountain! Bike Mayhem 2, the sequel to its' hugely successful predecessor that was downloaded over 7 million times!"
Dad Beat Dads - Action & Adventure / Fighting / Platformer - Stellar Jay Studios
"Dad Beat Dads is a fast-paced, local multiplayer brawler for up to 4 players. Dad Beat Dads also has the latest in Robo-Dad technology, so you can ditch your friends and play against the computer. 3 different game modes keep the gameplay fun and challenging."
Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign - Puzzle & Trivia - D3Publisher of America, Inc.
"The award winning match-3 puzzle gameplay meets Marvel's biggest Super Heroes and Super Villains in the most epic puzzle adventure. Combine your favorite characters from the Marvel Universe (including Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Venom) with deep RPG leveling, episodic events written by Marvel writers, and much more."
Krinkle Krusher - Action & Adventure / Strategy & Simulation - Ilusis Interactive Graphics
"Krinkle Krusher is an action castle defense where you cast elemental spells to defend your kingdom from twisted and hungry creatures called Krinkles. After several generations of peace, they happen to come back exactly when the Ancient Tree bears its first fruits in centuries, and of course, a cake was made from it.."
And that's a wrap!
This week I've been playing Cobalt, which is proving far more confusing than expected, and Microsoft's exclusive MOBA, Gigantic. Gigantic recently had its closed beta NDA lifted, which means I'll soon be posting a full preview here on Windows Central in the next week or so.
With games like Red Dead Redemption and Deus Ex Human Revolution hitting backward compatibility, I've started to give up hope of ever clearing my backlog. What have you guys been playing this week? Let us know in the comments for a chance to win a Tom Clancy's The Division Xbox One pre-order digital code!