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November’s biggest releases get patched up

November 27, 2014 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

The games, they are a-changin’.

We thought it was quite poetic that Assassin’s Creed Unity, a game about anger, protests and the power of the people, should cause a ragestorm that almost emulated the French Revolution itself, only with much less guillotining and far fewer heads on pikes. At least, in our area of the country.

Click here to read the full article …read more

Xbox Comes Bearing Games with Gold in December

November 26, 2014 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

You’ve managed to stay off the naughty list this year, so we’ve got three very different gifts for you this holiday season. The first is Worms Battlegrounds for Xbox One, an artillery-based game of annelid annihilation, which should handle your multiplayer strategy fix. On Xbox 360, you get two totally different titles: The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief and SSX. The first places you in a graphic adventure set in the 1960s, on the trail of a dapper art thief known as the Raven. The second, a modern day reinvention of one of the most critically acclaimed arcade franchises of all-time, allows you to experience the franchise’s signature fun and adrenaline-packed gameplay across iconic mountain ranges all over the world. As usual, all games are available only for a limited time*, as part of the ongoing Games with Gold program, so find a buddy (or not), and jump in!

* Worms Battlegrounds ($24.99 ERP): Available from December 1-31 on Xbox One
* The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief ($9.99 ERP): Available from December 1-15 on Xbox 360
* SSX ($19.99 ERP): Available from December 16-31 on Xbox 360


The latest game in the
Worms series is bigger, badder, and filled with more weapons and abilities than ever before. Your job is to command an army of weaponized worms against a rival force, using the arsenal at your disposal. You aim shots – and then gravity, wind, the type of weapon you’re using, the enemy’s defenses, and a whole bunch of other factors determine whether you hit, and how much damage you inflict. Terrain is deformable, and worms are surprisingly hardy, so beware the consequences of an errant or hastily placed shot. Worms Battlegrounds is both single-player and multiplayer, so you can test your artillery ability against the A.I. before trying your tactics out against a real-world foe. This is a huge game with tons of levels and weapons to choose from, so the depth will keep you busy well into the new year.

The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief is a period piece filled with the atmospheric depth of Europe in the 1960s. You’ll travel to many locations, experience beautifully drawn environments, and scratch your head at some challenging puzzles – all in pursuit of the titular Raven. He’s not a bird, of course, but an art thief who leaves telltale black feathers at the scenes of his crimes in order to taunt (or perhaps entice) the detectives pursuing him. In the first episode, you have to pursue the thief and catch him before he can steal a legendary gem: the Eye of the Sphinx. The Eye is traveling from Switzerland back to its original home in Egypt, and there are many opportunities for an enterprising burglar to pilfer it. You’ll need to follow clues and use your intelligence to make sure that doesn’t happen.


Also on Xbox 360 this December is
SSX, a modern day reinvention …read more

Xbox One Previews NFL Thanksgiving Matchups in Game Before the Game

November 25, 2014 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

Over the years, everyone from odds-makers to octopi have offered predictions on major sporting events worldwide. This Thanksgiving, Xbox One is getting in on the action. This time, however, the fate of NFL teams on turkey day lies in the gaming skills of one of their own.

For the first time ever, NFL players simulated two of the league’s premier Thanksgiving Day match-ups in a series dubbed Xbox One Game Before the Game. For each matchup, NFL players from the Seahawks, 49ers, Bears and Lions manned the controls of their own squad to square off against their Thanksgiving Day competition in a game of Madden NFL 15 on Xbox One at their local Microsoft Store. Throughout the contest, each player trash-talked the other on video chat via Skype, showcasing the unparalleled Madden NFL 15 experience on Xbox One.

The first Game Before the Game previewed the primetime NFC West showdown between the Seahawks and 49ers, with Doug Baldwin leading Seattle on the field against Stevie Johnson and San Francisco. Johnson and the 49ers jumped out to an early 10-0 lead on a Frank Gore two-yard touchdown run and Phil Dawson 19-yard field goal. But Baldwin stormed back, scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter on a pair of Russell Wilson touchdown tosses, the first to Jermaine Kearse and the other to, of course, Doug Baldwin himself, to give Seattle the win, 14-10.

Baldwin even got a keepsake of his game-winning touchdown catch. “You get to experience something in the game that you want to save, just tell the Xbox to ‘record that,’ and it saves (your highlights) so you can look back in the future,” he said after the game.

Meanwhile, one of the NFL’s oldest rivalries played on out Xbox One with Alshon Jeffery guiding the Bears against Golden Tate and the Detroit Lions. Defense was the name of the game in this one, with neither team putting points on the board until Jeffery ran Matt Forte up the middle for a three-yard touchdown run with just one minute left in the first half.

Jeffery maintained his lead throughout much of the second half, but just went the outcome looked most-dire for Tate, the Lions came roaring back. First, Tate guided Detroit on an eight-play, 56-yard drive capped off by a Jed Collins one-yard touchdown run to tie the game 7-7 with a minute left.

After forcing Jeffery and the Bears to a three-and-out, Tate got the ball back with just 39 seconds on the clock. That’s when Tate rolled quarterback Matthew Stafford out and found, who else, but Golden Tate on a 44-yard bomb to put the Lions in field goal range. After calling a timeout, Tate trotted out kicker Matt Prater to drill the game-winning 46-yard field goal, giving Detroit an improbable 10-7 victory.

“That was a lot of fun,” said a victorious Golden Tate. “I had never been a part of something like that. I just learned today that you can Skype your opponents and talk to them and see their interactions.”

A bevy …read more

A Closer Look at Episode 3 of Halo: Nightfall

November 25, 2014 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

The world of Halo continues to expand with the tense and deadly Ridley Scott-produced Xbox series, “Halo: Nightfall.” Tonight, the band of soldiers face even deadlier threats in episode three, “Lifeboat Rules.”

Previously, Agent Locke and his ONI quad teamed up with Colonel Aiken and the Sedran Colonel Guard to stop a deadly weaponized disease. The mission: Blow up a fragment of the Halo ring using a massive HAVOK bomb. The soldiers run into trouble when they find out this supposedly uninhabited chunk of Halo ring is actually home to some deadly new enemies.

The tension between Agent Locke and Colonel Aiken is mounting, even as they try to retrieve the HAVOK trapped aboard their crashed ship. As the team tries to complete the mission and fight off the new threat, it could spell the end for more than one of the soldiers.

Episode three of “Halo: Nightfall” premieres tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time, and 4:00 p.m. Pacific time. If you missed the last couple of episodes, you can catch up exclusively on Xbox One and Windows 8.1 via
the Halo Channel, where interactive features like Second Stories provide deeper perspective on the cast of “Halo: Nightfall” and bring fans deeper into the Halo experience. The full “Halo: Nightfall” series is included as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection at no additional cost.

Tune every week for the final two chapters of the epic
Halo story. And just so you don’t miss ‘em, here is the rest of the schedule for “Halo: Nightfall.” …read more

Watch the Best News Channels Now with Watchup for Xbox 360

November 25, 2014 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

Attention, TV news addicts and information junkies: the app to complete your television news experience is finally here. Watchup: Your Daily Newscast is available on Xbox 360 today. Level up your knowledge of current events with award-winning reporting from The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fox News, CNET, GameSpot, TheStreet, Euronews and Sky News. All for free on your favorite gaming console.


Multiple Channels, Multiple Perspectives
Watchup creates your personalized newscast from the most trusted names in news, based on preferences you indicate when installing the app. After deciding the type of news you’re interested in, the app immediately starts your personalized newscast and continuously plays a stream of high-quality content from our trusted partners.

All levels of Xbox Live members can access all app features. Viewers can watch all the content from a specific channel, or choose a multi-source newscast about a topic of their choice including business, politics or technology just to name a few.

It’s Better with Kinect
Control Watchup with your voice or via gesture with Kinect for Xbox 360, share news clips with friends on Facebook and watch your multi-channel newscast.

Watchup is a news junkie’s dream come true and we’re happy to be reinventing the way video journalism is consumed today. Watchup brings you multiple perspectives, and you decide what’s fact from fiction. Hack your newscast,
download the free app now.

…read more

The Force is Strong with Minecraft!

November 25, 2014 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

Starting today, the Star Wars™ Classic Skin Pack will be available for Minecraft only on Xbox One and Xbox 360. Disney, Lucasfilm and Microsoft have teamed up to bring downloadable content packs to Minecraft for Xbox, featuring a collection of 55 skins from Episode IV through Episode VI. Play as your favorite characters from the Galactic Civil War, like the courageous Luke Skywalker, scoundrel Han Solo, or brave and lovable Wicket in this new pack. These may just be the blocks you’re looking for.

Priced at $2.99 USD, the Star Wars Classic Skin Pack includes:
Luke Skywalker, Tatooine

Luke Skywalker, X-wing Pilot
Luke Skywalker, Bespin
Luke Skywalker, Hoth
Luke Skywalker, Dagobah
Luke Skywalker, Endor
Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight
Han Solo, Smuggler
Han Solo, Hoth
Han Solo, Endor
Chewbacca

Princess Leia Organa, Senator
Princess Leia Organa, Yavin 4
Princess Leia Organa, Hoth
Princess Leia Organa, Bespin
Princess Leia, Jabba’s Palace
Princess Leia Organa, Endor
Tusken Raider
Stormtrooper
Darth Vader
Blockade Runner Soldier
C-3PO

Ben Kenobi
Cantina Band Member
TIE Fighter Pilot
Walrus Man (Ponda Baba)

Hammerhead (Momaw Nadon)
Greedo
Governor Tarkin
Lando Calrissian, Bespin
Boba Fett
Bossk
Dengar
Zuckuss
IG-88
Emperor
AT-AT Pilot

Lobot
Rancor Keeper
Gamorrean Guard
Lando Calrissian, Skiff Guard
Princess Leia Organa, Boushh
Oola
Nien Nunb
Bib Fortuna
Scout Trooper
Emperor’s Royal Guard
Admiral Ackbar

R2-D2
Yoda
Jawa

Wampa Ice Creature
Wicket W. Warrick

Rancor
4-LOM

Fans can look forward to even more downloadable
Star Wars content releasing in the future. Happy mining!

STAR WARS © & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.

…read more

Sunset Overdrive Spices up the Awesomepocalypse with Player Voting, Weapons Pack, Soundtrack Release and More

November 25, 2014 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

Today, Insomniac Games and Microsoft opened a Fizzie Blimp-sized can of “heck ya!” on the world with a series of announcements that are sure to fire up Sunset Overdrive fans.

Even More Insane Weapons!

Sunset Overdrive
has a lot of weapons, but anyone who’s encountered a horde of OD will agree that there’s no such thing as too many weapons in a mutant apocalypse. With the first Sunset Overdrive downloadable Weapons Pack, you can beef up your arsenal with four new weapons and obtain more strategic options for creative mayhem and destruction.

The four weapons included in the weapons pack are:

  • Plague Bomb – Instantly intoxicate enemies in the area with this weapon. Enemies hit with the Plague Bomb will start vomiting, take damage over time and explode when killed. Plus, enemies affected by the Plague Bomb can spread the disease to others!
  • Rager – Releases a confusion-inducing cloud which causes enemies to attach each other in a fit of rage. And yes, they also explode when killed (sense a bit of a theme here?).
  • Shield Buddy – Activates a shield that protects you and your friends but also deploys bombs that will decimate your foes. No need to choose between offense and defense when you can have both with the Shield Buddy.
  • Multi-Lock Rocket Launcher – The most literal of the weapons included in the pack, the Multi-Lock Rocket Launcher does exactly that and locks on up to eight targets. Release the trigger and send a legion of homing rockets at your enemies.


Reading and descriptions not your thing? See the insanity in action with the archived footage from yesterday’s All Star Insomniac Games team
livestream which showcased the chaos that these four brand new weapons can cause in Sunset City!

The weapons pack is free with the
Sunset Overdrive Season Pass, or available for separate purchase for $4.99 (USD).

Vote Now or Die Hard (then Respawn)

Sunset Overdrive
is packed with tons of outfits and explosive weapons, but Insomniac wants you to help decide some of the exciting content updates and changes on a regular basis. Every other week, you’ll be able to vote on new outfits and game-changes through a new online Player Voting feature that will help shape the community’s experience.

The first Player Vote features a choice between Buck National and Floyd, and you can start voting now for the next two weeks in
Sunset TV. The results of the vote will be available in two weeks, and the winning character will have their outfit given to players as a free preset and will be prominently featured in the second story-based add-on content (releasing in 2015).

Stay tuned to
Sunset TV and Insomniac Games’ Facebook, Twitter and forums for information on the new Player Voting feature and upcoming content.

Don’t Bring a Knife to a ProPain Launcher Fight

For a limited time, the elusive and fabled (not to mention devastating!) ProPain Launcher will be more frequently …read more

Xbox One Black Friday Deals: Consoles Starting at $329, Deals on Digital Games

November 25, 2014 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

As we approach the busiest shopping time of year, we want to ensure our fans are getting the best deals and savings on Xbox One this holiday season. Beginning on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27 – 29, and Cyber Monday, online only Dec. 1, Xbox One consoles, including special edition bundles Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle and Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle, will be available* starting at $329, in the U.S. That’s $70 off the original console price. We’re also offering a number of amazing Xbox Live and digital game and video deals, including 40 percent off Forza Motorsport 5 and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition, through the Xbox Store starting today.

In addition to the limited time $70 off Xbox One promotion, several national retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Microsoft Retail Stores, Target, Toys R Us and Walmart will offer special Black Friday deals. Here’s a list of some of the offers that you won’t want to miss:

  • Best Buy: Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle with Kinect at $429, plus a free controller, and Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle for $329.
  • GameStop: Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle at $329.
  • Microsoft Retail Stores: Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle at $329, Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle with Kinect at $429, plus any select game of your choice in addition to other Xbox deals found here.
  • Target: Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle at $329, including a $50 Target gift card.
  • Toys R Us: Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle at $329.
  • Walmart: Xbox One at $329 with Halo: The Master Chief Collection and $30 gift card (one hour guarantee on Nov. 27) and Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundle for $329.


You can check out your favorite retailer for more specific details. In addition to Xbox One deals, participating retailers will also have a number of different Black Friday deals for Xbox 360 including, but not limited to:

  • GameStop: Xbox 360 500GB console for $199.
  • Microsoft Retail Stores: $50 off any Xbox 360 console, plus the game of your choice.
  • Target: Xbox 360 4GB console with Kinect for $179.
  • Walmart: Xbox 360 4GB console for $99.


Take advantage of more than 30 great discounts on Digital Games and add-ons on Xbox One including hits such as 40 percent off
Sniper Elite 3. Check back on Friday for a special set of Gold-exclusive deals on hit content such as Madden NFL 15 and Titanfall. Xbox Video will also offer discounts on popular titles like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The LEGO Movie. For the full list of digital offers across both Xbox One and Xbox 360, check out Xbox.com.

You can also save $10 or more on a 3-month or 12-month Xbox Live …read more

A Status Update From Bonnie Ross on Halo: The Master Chief Collection

November 24, 2014 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

On Nov 11th we released Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The goal being to create a tribute to Halo fans around the world, and to celebrate the Master Chief’s debut on Xbox One. With the initial release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, however, we have not delivered the experience you deserve. I personally apologize for this on behalf of us all at 343 Industries. Our team is committed to working around the clock until these issues are resolved.

While our team works on continual improvements and towards solutions, my commitment to you is that we will take care of all owners of
Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Our primary and continued focus is first on fixing the issues at hand. Once we’ve done that, we will detail how we will make this right with our fans.

On the matchmaking front, we have encountered unexpected issues that were not apparent in our internal test environment and that have resulted in a frustrating experience, including long matchmaking times and low session success rates. Within 343 Industries and Xbox, I can assure you that resolving these issues is our #1 priority. We continue to partner with the Xbox platform team to analyze all data to make ongoing server-side adjustments to continually improve the matchmaking experience. We are also preparing additional content updates that will address existing campaign, UI, and other issues to improve the overall experience. With each update we will carefully analyze data to confirm that the improvements we’re seeing internally are also happening with fans at home.

Know that we’re trying to be as nimble as possible to put fixes in place. We are planning multiple server-side tweaks and game content updates over the coming weeks. Looking forward, I want to give you a high-level cadence of the latest updates we’re currently working on. Development and testing of our latest content update continues and we are on track for release later this week. We will update you on the status and patch notes of the content update once we have a better understanding of our release window. Only through making changes on both the “server side” (matchmaking and other server rulesets) and, via content updates (to the game itself), can we make the significant progress we’re working towards. And in the interest of expediency, we’re attacking the problem from both sides, non-stop.

As we have been, we will continue to post the details of our updates and other adjustments on Halo Waypoint. Please check our forums at
http://aka.ms/mcc_updates for the latest details as we roll out further fixes.

Please accept my heartfelt apologies for the delay and for the negative aspects of your experience to date. We’re doing everything in our power to resolve it as quickly as possible.

Sincerely,

Bonnie Ross – Studio Head, 343 Industries
…read more

Forza and Marcos Ambrose Team Up for Sydney NRMA 500

November 24, 2014 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

At this December’s Sydney NRMA 500 V8 Supercars race finale in Australia, racing legend Marcos Ambrose is making his glorious return – after eight years in the U.S. NASCAR circuit – to compete in the championship once again. Ambrose is already a two-time V8 Supercars champion, but this time he has Xbox and Forza Motorsport at his side.

Iconic Australian motorsport team Dick Johnson Racing recently revealed that Xbox will serve as DJR’s official ‘wildcard’ entry partner in this year’s events. To make it official, Ambrose appeared at a V8 Supercars launch event at Lakeside Park in Brisbane, Australia over the weekend to unveil the Xbox Racing Ford Falcon FG that he’ll be behind the wheel of from December 5-7.

The car’s Xbox livery was custom made by Forza Motorsport developer Turn 10 Studios, using the very same creation tools that are available to Forza‘s many fans. And to celebrate DJR and Xbox’s partnership, Forza players can now tear up the virtual asphalt in Ambrose’s sweet ride: All Forza Motorsport 5 players will receive a free in-game version of a 2011 Ford Falcon FG, complete with the custom livery.

“The whole package has come together perfectly,” Ambrose said. “I have been eager to get back in the V8 Supercar and I’m a gamer myself, so to head to Sydney with Xbox as our major partner is a fantastic outcome. Today is the first time the Xbox / DJR team have been together, so no doubt we will work really hard over the next week and arrive in Sydney ready to go.”

So, fire up your copy of Forza Motorsport 5, snag your free Ford Falcon FG, and get racing – then keep an eye out for Marcos Ambrose on the real-life track next month! …read more