Welcome to our weekly ICYMI for Xbox news!
This week we're looking at new Halo 5 details, stealth gameplay from Rise of the Tomb Raider, and more!
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.
So without further ado, here's the latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.
Backwards compatibility announcements set for next week
Xbox head Phil Spencer mentioned on Twitter earlier this week that Microsoft would be announcing a bunch of backwards compatible games this week. However, it looks like we'll be waiting a little longer. This past Friday, Phil Spencer apologized for teasing earlier, stating that the news has been delayed.
..."I apologize. Looks like BC news is delayed and will likely come next week. Again, sorry for the delay."...
Microsoft announced backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games on Xbox One back at E3 to loud applause. Backwards compatibility has a limited offering in the Xbox One preview program as of writing, but it's expected to grow to over 100 titles when it launches to the public this fall.
Several major publishers are on board, including Disney, Ubisoft, EA and 2K Games. Despite fan's calls to bring Call of Duty to backwards compatibility, Activision has so far been silent. I think it's fair to speculate that they're planning to launch their own Call of Duty "remasters" instead. Likely for full price too. And millions of people will buy them. Again. Sigh.
Head over to here to cast your backwards compatibility votes. I hope Mass Effect 2 and 3 join the line-up as soon as possible.
Video shows how Lara Croft can avoid combat in Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider is exclusive to Xbox One in 2015, and it looks bloody great. With an emphasis on the bloody.
Lara's melee attacks are no longer reluctantly awkward swings of the grappling hook. In Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara can leap from on-high, embedding knives into the heads of her enemies Assassin's Creed style. In the context of the plot, this could make total sense, but tonal shift is pretty stark.
Developer Crystal Dynamics has since launched the above video, detailing how you can circumvent combat using the game's stealth mechanics. Lara can distract enemies by throwing objects, and making noise with a well-placed arrow. Sadly there doesn't seem to be any non-lethal take-downs, something I thought would be a given in a game that claims to support stealth. Speaking of which, you get rewarded EXP for headshots and stealth kills, but there doesn't seem to be any material incentive to play stealthily. Perhaps you'll be rewarded at the end of the level for stealth like Metal Gear Solid V, who knows.
Will you be playing Rise of the Tomb Raider violently or stealthily? Hit the comments!
Master Chief's face will remain hidden in Halo 5: Guardians, and other details
Master Chief won't be pulling a Tali'Zorah in Halo 5: Guardians, according to comments from creative director Tim Longo. During Microsoft's X15 event in Canada, Longo responded to fans questions on the topic of Master Chief's helmet removal with a pretty definitive response:
..."I actually don't even know if I can talk about that. He doesn't take his helmet off."...
You do get to see Master Chief's face briefly at the end of Halo 4 for completing the game on Legendary difficulty. You can check that out here (spoilers, obviously).
343i's Josh Holmes recently answered some fan questions on Twitter.
- 343i plan to support Halo 5 post-launch with new maps, modes, REQ packs and more - this also includes the return of "traditional" Big Team Battle maps gameplay modes.
- There's no cap on the number of REQ points a player can earn. REQ points unlock packs that are similar to Battlefield's Battlepacks, which contain weapons and other cosmetic unlocks.
- Microsoft uses cloud compute to power Halo 5's co-op component, although Holmes didn't provide details on how.
Halo 5 is shaping up to be pretty solid FPS competition for Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Star Wars: Battlefront this holiday season. I know that I'm throwing my lot in with Master Chief. Which FPS games will you be picking up this year?
ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week
- On the challenges and benefits of a disc-free Xbox One
- Review: The wireless Turtle Beach Stealth 420X brings crystalline Xbox One audio without breaking the bank
- This Madden NFL 16 Xbox One trailer may be the weirdest video game promo ever
- Latest Forza 6 Garage additions are all about the racing
- Kerbal Space Program is headed to the Xbox One
- Bridge Constructor hits Xbox One August 21, Xbox-integrated Windows Store versions incoming
- Rainbow Six: Siege gets delayed until Dec. 1; closed beta will still start Sept. 24
- Microsoft wants your help deciding the next Xbox One game from Press Play
- Microsoft enables very high-quality Xbox One streaming on Windows 10 by default
- Gears of War Ultimate Edition launch trailer returns us to the 'Mad World'
New Xbox One game releases for the week ending Aug 23rd, 2015
Never Alone Arctic Collection - Platformer - E-Line Media
"Never Alone is an atmospheric puzzle platformer developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people, drawn from a traditional story that has been shared across the generations."
Pure Hold'em™ - Card & Board, Strategy & Simulation - VooFoo / Ripstone
"Step onto the casino floor, where playing big could mean winning big. Split across six different tables, each requiring more skill and determination than the last, Pure Hold'em brings all the excitement of the high stakes casino to the convenience of your couch."
Bridge Constructor - Simulation - HeadUp
"Become an appraised bridge engineer and architect in Bridge Constructor. Create and design your own constructions and watch the cars and trucks pass over them - or see them fall and crash while your inferior creations collapse due to weight and the laws of physics!"
Clash - Fighting - FennecFox Entertainment
"Clash is an indie game developed in Denmark by the tiny indie studio FennecFox Entertainment. Clash is a fast paced four player fantasy arena fighter. The main focus of the game is to defeat your friends in a couch gaming manner."
Velocity 2X - Action & Adventure, Platformer, Shooter - Sierra
"Swapping back and forth between top-down vertical shoot 'em up and side-scrolling action platformer, Velocity 2X blends two unique styles of fast-paced, frenetic gameplay into one incredible experience."
SMITE - Multi-player Online Battle Arena - HiRez Studios
"SMITE is the online battleground of the gods. Players choose from a diverse cast of deities and use their unique powers to triumph over the opposition in 5v5 team matches. SMITE is a new take on the MOBA genre; rather than observing from above the action, the game's third person perspective puts players into the thick of combat."
Giana Sisters: Dream Runners - Multi-player Online Battle Arena, Platformer - EuroVideo Medien GmbH
"Run and jump, dash and smash, daze and teleport, morph and cannon… oh you get the idea: mess with your opponents!"
Kinect Bundle: Squid Hero + Boom Ball - Action & Adventure, Family - Virtual Air Guitar
"Get up and play! This double fun bundle for all ages contains two active Kinect games from Virtual Air Guitar Company that are easy to learn but challenge your accuracy and dexterity with active, responsive and satisfying gameplay."
ZOMBI - Action & Adventure - Ubisoft
"London is falling. Are you prepared? The Last Blight is upon us. It was foretold. For the second time in history, a great plague has shrouded London in a fog of death. Big Ben tolls as thousands of unprepared die, or worse, are infected by a sickness more gruesome than death."
And that's a wrap!
This week I've been playing a preview version of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. Between you and me, I don't think fans are going to be disappointed. Stay tuned for our full review, penned by our own Paul Acevedo. What have you guys been playing this week?