Welcome to our weekly ICYMI for Xbox news!
We'll still be posting major Xbox announcements in the main feed, but I'll be collecting some of the more nuanced news, rumors and talking points into one handy post every weekend!
So without further ado, here's the latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.
Microsoft reveals 2016 line-up at Gamescom: Scalebound, Crackdown 3, Quantum Break
Gamescom 2015 was a total blow-out for Xbox One news. The team from Redmond revealed tons of new information about the 2016 line-up, here's a handy summary for those playing catch up.
Scalebound gameplay revealed, complete with RPG systems
- Scalebound gameplay was revealed in full, shown above. The game takes place on the alien open-world of Draconis, featuring a 20-year-old Drew from modern-day Earth.
- Drew's fate is bound to Thuban, a huge bipedal dragon that forms a significant pillar in the game's combat.
- You can direct Thuban to locations, but he'll use attacks based on his own A.I. This makes him feel less like a tool and more like a character.
- Thuban can be customized. His play style (defensive/damage/utility), his looks, skin, armor, and even breath element can all be altered by the player.
- The game features 4-player co-op, but the details are still being worked out.
- Behind closed doors, we were shown RPG systems, including inventory management, several different weapon types, NPC cities, in-game economies, weapon durability and more.
- Scalebound is part of the 2016 line-up.
Click here for our full Scalebound preview.
Quantum Break's TV segments detailed, star-studded cast revealed
- Quantum Break is the next game from Remedy Entertainment, best known for Alan Wake and Max Payne.
- For those who don't know, Quantum Break is a time-warping action shooter in which the protagonists try to prevent the end of time.
- Quantum Break's live-action sections got detailed in full. At the end of each level, players get presented with choices that not only affect the world in-game but change scenes in the TV show.
- Quantum Break's TV show ships on disk and episodes play out between levels as a result of player's choices.
- The game's cast was revealed: Shawn Ashmore (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as Jack Joyce, Dominic Monaghan (Lost) as William Joyce, Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones) as Paul Serene, Lance Reddick (Fringe) as Martin Hatch, Marshall Allman (True Blood) as Charlie Wincott, Patrick Heusinger (Black Swan) as Liam Burke, Mimi Michaels (The Ugly Truth) as Fiona Miller, Amelia Rose Blaire (True Blood) as Amy Ferraro. Brooke Nevin as Emily Burke, Courtney Hope as Beth Wilder, Jacqueline Pinol as Sofia Amaral, Jeannie Bolet as Kate Ogawa, Sean Durrie as Nick Marsters.
- Sam Lake describes the project as a "dream come true", in the video above.
- The game received a new trailer called "Time is Power," which you can view here.
- Quantum Break will launch in April 2016.
Click here for our full Quantum Break preview.
Crackdown 3 blows the lid on Xbox One's cloud compute
- Crackdown 3 gameplay got its big reveal.
- Azure powered virtual machines give your Xbox One up to 20x extra computational power.
- Every chunk of debris in Crackdown 3 is a physical object. The physics calculations are off-loaded to the cloud, which scales up dynamically to meet demand.
- The bandwidth required is no greater than 4-5 MB/s.
- Full-blown cloud destruction is limited to multiplayer. This is so the game can still be enjoyed offline, and "you're meant to be saving the city", not destroying it.
- A multiplayer beta will take place in summer 2016 ahead of a planned holiday launch.
- In Crackdown, you play as police working to save a city riddled with a corrupt criminal underworld.
Click here for our full Crackdown 3 preview.
Be sure to check out the full breadth of our Gamescom 2015 coverage by clicking here.
Final Fantasy XIV MMO negotiations for an Xbox One version are "ongoing"
One of the only PS4 console exclusives I'm personally cut up about is Final Fantasy XIV. Square Enix's bold MMO is currently playable only on PC, PS3 and PS4, complete with cross-platform play.
Final Fantasy XIV launched a few years back, laden with bugs and various design problems. The team at Square Enix took it back to the drawing board and launched as Final Fantasy XIV: Realm Reborn. The new game repaired a lot of complaints about the previous one and is enjoying a solid subscription base of over 5 million players. Taking into account World of Warcraft's decline, Final Fantasy XIV could soon be in a position to overtake Blizzard's aging MMO. There is one thing that could undoubtedly push it beyond WoW, and that is an Xbox One version.
Speaking to Dualshockers, FFXIV's Naoki Yoshida offered an update on the situation for an Xbox One version. Sony has no deal in place keeping FFXIV from Xbox One. Simply put, Microsoft has "concerns" about Xbox One users sharing a space with Playstation 4 users. I find the situation a tad annoying, if for no reason other than Final Fantasy XI, Square Enix's previous MMO, was completely playable across Xbox 360, PC, PS3 and even PS2, all sharing the same servers.
We've reached out to Microsoft for comment.
Frontier announces "Horizons," a series of Elite Dangerous expansions
When I picked up Elite Dangerous, I found myself hopelessly addicted to its no-frills realism. Traveling across the galaxy could take literally weeks, as it's designed to mimic the scale of the real world Milky Way. The game's systems are grindy, but feel as real as you can get, right down to manual space-station docking. I wrote up my experiences here.
Frontier announced the "Horizons" expansion at Gamescom 2015, which will include planetary landings, exploration of wrecks, outposts, and fortresses. You'll be able to undertake these activities solo or in groups, using a new vehicle called a 'Scarab,' which is essentially the Mass Effect Mako buggy. Additional features will be revealed throughout 2016, but some fans have voiced concerns about the pricing.
The expansion comes at a cost of $60 and includes the base game. Fans who purchased Elite Dangerous will find themselves unable to buy Horizons separately. Elite: Dangerous owners who picked up the original game on PC will have spent $105~ (including a discount) to enjoy Horizons. New players who pick up Horizons will receive the expansion and base game for $60 when it launches sometime during this holiday season. A full explanation of Horizon's pricing can be found in the flow chart below.
Fallout 4 S.P.E.C.I.A.L. and perks system detailed
Fallout 4 is coming out this November, and there's no shortage of excitement for Bethesda's signature post-apocalyptic RPG. At Gamescom 2015, Bethesda VP Pete Hines discussed changes to Fallout's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. mechanics. S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stands for strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligent, agility and luck - they are the statistics that help you design your character. While discussing the system with IGN, Pete Hines described Bethesda's intentions for Fallout 4:
..."The focus of the team on Fallout 4 was to really play up the importance of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system. That it is really the core of the roleplaying part of Fallout 4. The way the game is now designed is to play up the importance of S.P.E.C.I.A.L, and to use it combined with the perks, to allow for a lot more variety as far as characters that you can play and choices that you can make - how you can make your character development and progression unique."...
Perks are abilities unlocked as you level up. In Fallout 3, those abilities were separate from your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, but in Fallout 4, certain abilities are only available if you have the corresponding amount of stats in a certain attribute.
..."There's so many different paths to what kind of character builds you can have. That you know, you can take your strength to 10, walking right out the door and unlock this crazy strength perk that most folks won't get to for a long time. But, you've kinda rolled the dice in one direction. You want to play this barbarian type guy that doesn't even use guns, he only uses melee, and he can carry everything. You're willing to sacrifice a lot of other stuff; you can create that kind of a build."...
In Fallout 4, each level of S.P.E.C.I.A.L. has perks tied to it. The perks also have their own levels, giving you a total of 275 to choose from. There's nothing stopping you from combining stealth and melee to create a wasteland ninja, something I did with enthusiasm in Fallout 3.
Fallout four launches on November 10th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week
- Windows 10 for Xbox One coming to preview members in September
- This is how Scalebound fills the open-world RPG gap in the Xbox One's first-party lineup
- I came away from my hands-on tour of Fable Legends thinking it could take over my life
- Remedy took us into the time-bending realm of Quantum Break, where TV and video game worlds collide
- Forza Motorsport 6 Preview: Shaping up as Xbox's biggest and best racer yet
- How to report Xbox spam messages in Windows 10 and get rid of spam altogether
- Halo 5: Guardians is the first game in the series to get a 'T' ESRB rating
- Ori and the Blind Forest Definitive Edition coming in late 2015 to Xbox One and Windows 10
- The Crackdown 3 multiplayer game will blow you (and everything else) away
- Xbox One Chat Pad now available for pre-order from Microsoft and Amazon
New Xbox One game releases for the week ending Aug 9th, 2015
Beatbuddy: Tale Of The Guardians - Action & Adventure, Platformer - THREAKS
"Experience an action-adventure game in a whole new way, which incorporates music into every aspect of the beautiful world. Players interact with the environment and a variety of creatures to open paths and solve puzzles throughout their journey."
Submerged - Action & Adventure, Platformer - Uppercut Games Pty Ltd
"Submerged is a third-person combat-free game in which you explore a mysterious flooded city and discover the beauty of desolation in vast outdoor environments."
The Swindle - Action & Adventure - Curve Digital
"The Swindle is a steampunk cybercrime caper about breaking into buildings, hacking their systems, stealing all their cash, and quickly running away again before the police show up. London, 1849."
Sheltered (Game Preview) - Strategy & Simulation - Unicube / Team17 Digital Ltd
"Please purchase only if you are comfortable with the current state of the game. Sheltered is a deep and emotional survival strategy game. After a huge global apocalypse, a small and frightened family find their way to a deserted underground shelter."
Beyond Eyes - Adventure - Tiger & Squid / Team17 Digital Ltd
"Beyond Eyes is a modern fairy tale about finding courage and friendship as you carefully guide young Rae on a life-changing journey, uncovering an incredible world, step by step."
Rare Replay - Action & Adventure, Classics, Fighting, Platformer, Shooter - Rare / Microsoft Studios
"To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Rare brings together the adventures of its iconic characters in a collection that spans the decades."
Boggle - Board Game - Ubisoft
"So you think you're fast at finding words? Prove it! Challenge yourself or up to 3 friends online in a refreshed, updated Boggle experience. There's still the same Boggle you like."
And that's a wrap!
I'm still sifting through all the announcements from Gamescom 2015. I'm preparing a write-up of my hands-on experiences with Gigantic, Cuphead, Super Hot and various others. Stay tuned to WindowsCentral.com for all the latest and greatest Xbox One news. What Gamescom 2015 announcement excited you the most? Let us know below.