Welcome to our weekly ICYMI for Xbox news!
This week we're looking at The Division, Brütal Legend for backwards compatibility, Cobalt's launch date and more!
We're also giving away a copy of Sunset Overdrive to one lucky commenter! Simply leave a reply and join the discussion for a chance to win.
We'll still be posting major Xbox announcements in the main feed. However, I'll be collecting some of the more nuanced news, rumors and talking points into one handy post every weekend. You can also rely on this weekly column to keep up to date with all the latest game releases too.
Here's the latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News!
This is how your base works in Tom Clancy's The Division
The Division is coming, with a beta test for those who pre-order at the end of the month, and a full release planned for March 8th, 2016. Ubisoft has granted Arekkz Gaming access to broadcast some of The Division's finer details, and this latest vid is all about your personal base of operations.
The Division's base of operations is an instanced area of the game world where only you can travel. Moving into this area won't disband your team, but you won't be able to see them either. Each player gets their own "version" of the base of operations. There are three wings to the base, a medical wing, a tech wing and a security wing, and each has ten upgrades apiece and serves different functions.
The base of operations also has a personal stash similar to games like Diablo. Here, you can store weapons and other gear for later use. Next to the stash is a crafting station, which allows you to turn raw materials into new weapons, gear, mods, ammo and other items. Crafting materials are obtained either from looting out in the game's world or from deconstructing other weapons and items into their constituent parts. The base of operations also has vendors, quest givers, restocking crates, and various other features detailed in the video above.
The Division won't have microtransactions, I think?
Speaking of The Division, creative director Magnus Jensen recently discussed the possibility of introducing microtransactions into the game – a 'feature' that's becoming increasingly prominent in big budget titles. Eurogamer asked whether The Division will be supported by DLC, microtransactions, or both. Jensen supplied the following statement:
..."It's definitely just the one - the DLC. I don't know if there's a globally agreed definition of the word microtransactions, but you don't pay to win or advance or anything like that. We have DLC plans – which we're not talking about now – and obviously you'll pay for that, but in addition to that there's no microtransactions, as I define them."...
You'd be forgiven if you thought the above statement is vague, considering that we don't know exactly how Jensen defines microtransactions. Eurogamer did too, so they asked Ubisoft for further clarification:
..."Magnus's statement is correct, there will be no microtransactions at all. Not even for vanity items. Vanity items will be sold as DLC, through the regular first-party stores."...
Still confused? Ubisoft seems to think that paying for in-game currency to purchase in-game items constitutes a microtransaction. But even if you're buying vanity items from the Xbox Store for The Division, for a micro-sized amount of money, doesn't that constitute a microtransaction?
Regardless of the definition, it appears certain that you won't be able to pay-to-win or negatively impact the experience of players who choose not to purchase microtransactions. Expect things like emotes, weapon skins and the like, similar to Destiny.
The Division launches on March 8th, 2016 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
We could see Brütal Legend hit backwards compatibility
Brütal Legend was an eclectic Xbox 360 game that combined action-adventure combat and real-time strategy elements, with unique art and heavy-metal celebrity cameos. Jack Black portrayed the main character, who gets sucked into a comedic heavy-metal world on the brink of destruction. Throughout the game, you traverse a vibrant open-world, undertaking dungeon crawls and RTS-like battles to save the world's inhabitants.
A fan recently asked the game's director, Tim Schafer, whether we could see the game appear on Xbox One via backwards compatibility. Schafer replied "I think it would be cool too!".
While overcoming the technical hurdles of backwards compatibility was a feat unto itself, the biggest issue facing the program pertains to licensing. When contracts were signed for the Xbox 360 versions of games, there was no plan in place to include them in future console libraries, so new terms must be worked out per game. A game like Brütal Legend, which features various celebrities, licensed music and logos, could prove complicated to introduce to through backwards compatibility. Although, we do know that EA – Brütal Legend's publisher – is a supporter of the program. So at the very least, Tim Schafer and EA are on board with the idea.
The next list of backwards compatible Xbox One titles should appear soon, according to Phil Spencer. Until then, we have Deus Ex Human Revolution, recently made available for free via Games with Gold.
As usual, drop your backwards compatibility votes into the Xbox UserVoice page here, and let us know in the comments what backwards compatible game you want most!
Metal Gear Solid voice actor David Hayter reacts to the Kiefer-less 24 reboot
One of the more contentious aspects of Metal Gear Solid V was the omission of David Hayter – the iconic English voice of Snake for each of the previous MGS titles. Hideo Kojima replaced Hayter with Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, citing the desire to match the voice work with the latest facial motion capture technology. While Sutherland delivered an excellent performance, it left a sour taste with long-term fans, hopeful to see Hayter appear for one last time before Konami axed Kojima Productions.
Kiefer Sutherland, famed for his portrayal of Jack Bauer in 24, won't be appearing in FOX's upcoming reboot of the series, and David Hayter made an appropriate response.
..."No way, You can't just replace an icon like @RealKiefer .The man defines the series."...
..."Not one word a lie, by the way."...
Konami is hiring to develop a brand new Metal Gear Solid without series creator Hideo Kojima, although I think most fans (myself included) don't have particularly high hopes for the future of the series. Still, let's hope Konami prove us wrong.
Mojang published Cobalt will finally hit Xbox One on February 2nd
Cobalt is a 2D side-scrolling shooter from Oxeye Game Studio, an indie outfit featuring talent from Mojang – famed for Minecraft. Cobalt was originally slated to launch last October, but Oxeye delayed the game to repair some outstanding bugs.
..."We've been working on Cobalt for a long time and, though the game is feature complete, our current build is buggier than we're comfortable with. We want every part of Cobalt - the campaign, challenges, and local and online multiplayer to live up to your expectations, no matter which platform you play it on. That's going to require a bit more development time."...
Cobalt's campaign mode lasts around 8 hours and allows you to customize and upgrade your cyborg (named Cobalt!) as you progress. Cobalt's combat seems frenetic and explosive, and features dodge rolling as a signature mechanic. Rolling at the right time allows you to deflect projectiles and even bounce them back into the enemies that attacked you. In a pinch, time will slow down, allowing you to regroup and reassess dangerous situations.
Cobalt will launch for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Steam for Windows on February 2nd, 2016 for around $19.99. Beyond the main campaign, Cobalt includes various online and local co-op modes, and competitive multiplayer modes.
OneCast Episode 2: The Division, VR, beta tests, reviving old game franchises, and more!
Every week, I'll be hosting a podcast with our new writer Matt Brown and various other Windows Central team members as we look back at the week's Xbox, Windows and Microsoft news and events. Send a tweet to myself @MSTFY or Matt @RTEnvi with the hashtag #OneCast if there's any particular question or topic you'd like us to discuss!
Giveaway - Sunset Overdrive for Xbox One
Every week, we give away an Xbox One game to one lucky commenter! Join the discussion below for a chance to win Sunset Overdrive for Xbox One.
The winner was coip! Congrats! Check back next week for another giveaway.
ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week
- Game director for Rise of the Tomb Raider departs studio
- Rainbow Six: Siege review: an exceptional FPS broken by its business model
- Giant rideable kangaroos hop into ARK: Survival Evolved for Xbox One
- The U.S. Supreme Court will take on Xbox 360 game disc-scratching lawsuit
- ZHEROS now available on Xbox One, free for Xbox Live Gold members
- #IDARB on Xbox One's new DLC packs are based on Masters of the Universe and The Walking Dead
- You'll be able to buy Tom Clancy's: The Division with a 1TB Xbox One bundle
- Pre-order The Division for closed beta access on January 28
- Xbox One records best U.S. sales ever in December 2015, still loses out to PlayStation 4
- Don't expect Xbox One background music playback until the summer
New Xbox One game releases for the week ending January 17th, 2016
ZHEROS - Action & Adventure - Rimlight Studios
"In a journey through distant and unknown galaxies, you play as the members of the ZHEROS squad: Mike and Captain Dorian. Brave, strong as awkward and dim-witted the first one; agile, smart and ready for anything the second one."
Oxenfree - Action & Adventure - Night School Studio
"Oxenfree is a supernatural thriller about a group of friends who unwittingly open a ghostly rift. Play as Alex, a bright, rebellious teenager who brings her new stepbrother Jonas to an overnight party on an old military island."
Hyperdrive Massacre - Shooter - 34BigThings
"Jump in a space cadillac and frag your way to victory against your friends, or fight the vicious AI to unlock the full crews roster, in the most frantic couch multiplayer neon fragfest for next-gen!"
Rebel Galaxy - Action & Adventure, Strategy & Simulation - Double Damage Games Inc.
"Rebel Galaxy is a swashbuckling space adventure, with action-packed combat, exploration, discovery, trade, and "negotiation" with the outlandish denizens at the edge of the known universe."
The Banner Saga - RPG - Versus Evil
"Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape."
Assassin's Creed® Chronicles: India - Action & Adventure - Ubisoft
"Embody Arbaaz in his quest for retribution through a colourful depiction of 19th century Colonial India in 2.5D stealth gameplay."
Unepic - Action & Adventure, Platformer, Role Playing - EnjoyUp Games
"Unepic is a mixture of platform game, role game and joke that takes place in a huge castle of medieval fantasy. It is set in the eighty's style, but completed with the most actual features."
Cubot - Puzzle & Trivia - NicoplvGames
"At first sight, Cubot is a puzzle-game with a minimalist gameplay, just move color cubes towards tiles of the same color. It's really easy, but it will be a torture for your mind to complete all levels of the game because the apparent simplicity of the game is in contradiction with the complexity of the puzzles."
And that's a wrap!
This week I've been hitting ARK: Survival Evolved. The latest patch finally made the game playable, with server connections becoming far more reliable. I'll be reviewing Resident Evil 0 for Xbox One throughout the rest of the week, expect to see that land soon.
What have you guys been playing this week? Let us know in the comments!