Welcome to our weekly ICYMI for Xbox news!
This week, we're looking at Dishonored 2, Gears of War Ultimate Edition, FF7 remake for Xbox One, leaked Hitman footage and more!
We'll still be posting major Xbox announcements in the main feed, but I'll be collecting some of the more nuanced news, rumours and talking points into one handy post every weekend!
So without further ado, here's our latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.
Gears of War Ultimate Edition console bundle unveiled alongside a 9 part behind-the-scenes documentary
John DiMaggio (Marcus Fenix) and The Coalition engaged fans at San Diego Comic-Con on the upcoming Gears of War Ultimate Edition re-master. The team debuted the first in a 9 part documentary series looking at how The Coalition have been re-approaching the original Gears of War.
In the video, they use the execution of Minh as an example of how they've been able to enhance the emotion of particular scenes. In the original, the hulking enemy character RAAM takes Minh unaware. But in the new version, he's able to fight back initially - which shows off Minh's courage and RAAM's power in a subtle way. Hit the video above for a full look-in.
Additionally, The Coalition unveiled a new Gears of War Ultimate Edition console bundle, complete with a 500GB Xbox One, the refreshed controller complete with 3.5mm audio jack and early access to the Gears 4 beta test. The bundle is currently available only in the US and Canada, so get those pre-orders in if you're interested.
Gears of War 2 and 3 would've taken "too much time", may come to backward compatibility
When asked if Gears of War 2 and 3 would be getting the same treatment as the Gears of War Ultimate Edition, Coalition head Rod Fergusson seemed to imply that it was unlikely. In recap notes posted by DualShockers, Rod mentioned that Gears of War Ultimate Edition took them between 16 and 18 months to make. They selected the original Gears of War because it serves as an introduction to the characters and the world which Gears 4 will take place in.
Instead, Rod said that they were looking into including Gears 2 and 3 into the Xbox One's backward compatibility line-up. Considering Microsoft own the franchise and all the assets of those games, it's not a stretch to think that Gears 2 and 3 (and probably Judgement) will be high on the list for backwards compatibility.
Considering the documentary above, it certainly seems as though Gears of War Ultimate Edition is not your run-of-the-mill re-master. Cinematics appear to have been completely re-worked, and giving Gears 2 and 3 the same treatment would likely strip development time away from Gears 4. How do you guys feel? Would you rather Gears 2 and 3 be re-mastered in the same way? or are you happy for them to simply hit backwards compatibility? Let us know in the comments.
Hitman reboot footage leaks, game will ship in 'episodes'
Early footage of the upcoming Hitman reboot has leaked onto DailyMotion (via VG247). The footage appears to show a strong shift back to stealth and open-endedness, following fan feedback after Hitman: Absolution. This footage certainly looks unpolished, so do not take it as indicative of the final product - but at least we can glean a sense of the gameplay.
Hitman won't release in a typical fashion. Taking cues from Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Hitman will launch on December 8th as a digital only title, featuring just part of the finished content. Throughout 2016, IO Interactive will release further parts of the game with a 'complete' retail version set to launch once all the parts have shipped.
EB Games claims Final Fantasy 7 remake is confirmed for Xbox One
Sony's E3 conference featured a Final Fantasy 7-shaped bombshell, which stated that not only would the legendary game be receiving a remake, but it would be hitting PS4 'first'. The 'coming first' caveat is a sure-fire indicator that the long-rumored FF7 remake will eventually hit Xbox One, but execs on all sides have been quiet about the possibility.
EB Games in Australia reportedly broke cover on Facebook to state explicitly that Final Fantasy 7 is coming to Xbox One.
..."It is coming to XB1. They have announced for both consoles, however PS4 will have early access."...
EB Games have also listed the game on their online store. If Sony's admission that FF7 would be 'coming first' to PS4 wasn't enough, we now have strong indication from a prominent retailer.
Arkane Studios discusses how Dishonored 2 will improve on the original
Arkane have been busy since they shipped Dishonored to thunderous praise back in 2012. The original is about to receive an Xbox One definitive edition, in addition to a full-blown sequel planned for Q2 2016.
In an interview with The Guardian, co-creator Harvey Smith discussed how they hoped to improve upon the original with Dishonored 2.
..."Dishonored was a mish-mash. We wanted to make a first-person immersive game in a fantasy world with some stealth features; it was a homage to games we'd made before or loved. But, halfway through, we were only just figuring out what it was."...
Harvey went on to note that several elements of the game were rushed, describing the UI as being "slapped together at the last minute".
..."On top of that we were thinking, 'Well, our swordfighting could have been a little deeper, our stealth could have been more reliable with better feedback, and our UI was slapped together at the last minute.' Just at every level there was something to deepen or extend or think about longer."...
Dishonored 2 will put you in control of Corvo or Emily Kaldwin on a mission to save the Empire from an 'otherwordly' entity. Both Corvo and Emily will be fully voiced and approach the story with different perspectives, offering strong replay value. As was the case with the first game, you can finish Dishonored 2 without killing a single enemy.
ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week
- Kojima Productions has disbanded according to Metal Gear Solid voice actor
- EA Access members on Xbox One can play free trial of EA Sports Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
- Xbox app on Windows 10 Mobile updated with new improvements
- Halo: The Fall of Reach CGI series gets its first trailer, along with new Halo 5 ViDoc
- Looking Backwards: Praising the Xbox One's backward compatibility
- Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Xbox One bundle now available for pre-order
- Punching trees: A 30-year old's struggles with Minecraft
- Xbox One update prepares console for Windows 10 game streaming, backward compatibility) at E3
New Xbox One game releases for the week ending July 12th, 2015
Spectra - Racing / Music - Gateway Interactive
"Spectra is a beautiful twitch racing game that will have you on the edge of your seat! Blast your nimble ship down intricate ribbons of light in time to a thumping all original soundtrack by Chipzel (Super Hexagon, Size Does Matter)."
SMITE (Open Beta) - MOBA - Hi-Rez 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."
And that's a wrap!
I'm around 1500 miles away from my Xbox One this week, so I won't be playing a great deal of anything! I'm still mopping up side-quests in The Witcher 3, it's daunting just how large that game is. I'm also planning to drag our Managing Editor Richard Devine onto Minecraft for a Twitch stream at some point. What are you guys playing? Hit the comments!