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the essential guide to XboX 360 and XboX one


Issue 129 October 2015

eXclusive access
fallout 4 > doom > rise of the tomb raider > metal gear solid V

get ready for 400 hours

in the largest rPg ever!

new games tested!
rise of the tomb raider
assassin’s creed
mafia iii

metal gear
solid V rated
Is The Phantom Pain
Kojima’s masterpiece?

why XboX one

owns 2016
issue 129 october 2015 £5.99
Scalebound, Crackdown
and Quantum Break
lead the charge
a world 1
of clouds
and chaos
You expect two things when you
visit Cologne: bratwurst and that
impressive cathedral. You do not
expect a glimpse into the future,
and yet there I was, slack-jawed
as Dave Jones talked me through Crackdown 3,
showing how cloud computing could level a bombs, brutality and butlers:
skyscraper with a level of persistent detail I’ve exploring fallout 4
are we really only two months away from a new bethesda
never seen in a videogame. As exciting as the rPG? contain yourself and read our all-new info (p28)
rest of 2015 is for Xbox One – and with Forza 6,
Halo 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider it’s exciting
as hell – my eyes are firmly fixed on 2016.
Of course, we’re travelling to a very different 2 3
future for our cover star. In Fallout 4’s wasteland
there aren’t many skyscrapers left to topple, but
this doesn’t mean you
“you’ll find won’t find incredible
incredible adventures amid the
adventures amid rubble. Bethesda hands-on with rise of metal gear solid v: the
gives us a tour of its the tomb raider phantom pain reviewed
fallout 4’s rubble” biggest game to date Who needs uncharted when you’ve Kojima goes out with a bang (c-4) and
got the majestic lara croft? (p36) a whimper (the guards) in MGS V (p68)
on page 28. And if this talk of the future scares
you? Let Kojima whisk you back to 1984 in his
Metal Gear Solid swan song, The Phantom Pain. 4 5
I struggle to contain my love for it on page 68.
Back here in the present: enjoy the mag!

and SaVe!
turn to rare replay remembering
reviewed gears of war
email page 54 do 30 years of games stack up? developers reveal how the epic shooter
live oXm Pesto twitter @mrbasil_pesto alex delivers his verdict (p76) changed the gaming landscape (p92)

@oXm the official XboX maGazine / 3


Save up
to 50%
See p54


56 28 the nuclear option

We explore the wastes of Fallout 4, which are looking
very grim indeed. that’s a good thing.

page 56 hell & back

28 hands on with DOOM’s intense team deathmatch.
62 halo 5: What you need to know
not sure what a ‘master chief’ is? our faQs have you

36 Rise of the tomb Raider
40 tom clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
make room for doom page

36 42 homefront: the Revolution

chainsaws + Super Shotguns = bliss 43 Star Wars battlefront
44 lego Dimensions
rare replay 46 aRK: Survival evolved
Worth (re)playing? 47 mirror’s edge: catalyst
48 hitman
50 fifa 2016
51 assassin’s creed Syndicate
52 Previews round-up
page 68 metal gear Solid V: the
76 Phantom Pain
74 Submerged
76 Rare Replay
62 80 King’s Quest: a Knight to
82 game of thrones episode 5 -
a nest of Vipers

83 life is Strange episode 4 -
Dark Room
page 84 the binding of isaac: Rebirth
68 86 Prototype: biohazard bundle
87 beyond eyes
88 online: World of tanks
89 online: Rory mcilroy Pga tour
90 call of Duty: advanced Warfare
- Reckoning
91 batman: arkham Knight - a
metal gear solid v matter of family
Kojima’s peak, or Phantom Painful?
91 mortal Kombat x: tremor
@OXM the official xbox magazine / 5
Meet the…
OXM cOnTribuTOrS
The people behind, and in some senses also under, the UK’s biggest games mag

Alex Dale Emma Davies Tom Stone Joe Skrebels Martin Kitts
Deputy editor Production editor Staff writer Community manager Contributor
Live chocoboofDoom Live oxm emma Live oxm tom Stone Live oxm Joe Live Private
Twitter @SporadicDaler Twitter @emcetera Twitter @thetomStrange Twitter @2plus2isjoe Twitter n/a

this month we asked the “liquid Snake,” says OXM’s “i like how Para-medic “the Pain – who wouldn’t martin might look like a
team which Metal Gear resident word-fixer-upper. relates everything to old want the power to spit two-bit thug who’d mug his
character they’d like to be. because you’re a dangerous films. i’d like to give that bees from their stomach own gran for a second-hand
no surprise that old man sociopath? “no, so i can a shot.” but tom, she’s a on demand? but i’d open copy of Sunset Overdrive,
alex plumped for ancient possess the arm of the next movie buff and you’ve only my guts to other insects. but actually he’s a softie
sniper the end. “he gets guy who mixes up ‘its’ and seen one film in your life. imagine impressing a date deep down, as evidenced
so much sleep!” he drooled ‘it’s’ – and make them crash “this reminds me of a scene by belching a chorus of by his choice. “SKUll face!”
through toothless gums. their bike into a ditch”. okay. in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2…” butterflies.” imagine. forget we said anything.


rare replay rare replay rare replay rare replay

Not playing it, you understand; Not playing it, you understand; Not playing it, you understand; Not playing it, you understand;
listening to the theme tune on watching all the cute pop-up enjoying featurettes on legends okay, maybe a bit of playing it. Has
a loop. Press A! Hooray! animations on the intro screens. like, er, the KI announcer. anyone ever beaten Slalom?

OXM on GR+ the world’s best games

magazine also squats in a
corner of the world’s best
OXM on iPad
games website – makes sense, if rowdy seagulls are
doesn’t it? head to gamesradar. always swooping out of
com/oxm for the latest xbox the skies and pilfering
news and reviews, many of your copy of OXM, why not
which are online exclusive. try reading it on a bulkier,
recent highlights: ghost more seagull-proof
games explains why Need for format? our digital edition
Speed is always online / Watch is enhanced with
Assassin’s Creed’s evie turn exclusive videos, galleries
invisible / Lords of the Fallen and audio commentary
dev details new RPg, The Surge from the team.

6 / the official xbox magazine

xBOx nEws, AnAlysis, CulTurE, OpiniOn & MOrE

Time-distortion powers
stubbornly refuse to move
us closer to April, and
thus Quantum Break.

C O M E B A C K i n s TA l l E d

Backwards compatibility, Windows 10
and 20 times more power. Xbox One is
finishing 2015 a whole new machine…
8 / the Official XBOX magazine WWW.gamesradar.cOm/OXm
Needling its way into our wallets Killer Instinct gets a nasty Rash
Buy the Halo 5: Guardians pink Mist Between rare replay, shovel Knight and
Edition for just £449.99 and you’ll get now Killer instinct, rash of Battletoads
a 1TB xbox One and a replica needler. should be buying his agent flowers. if
Complete with lEd lights, accurate sound you’ve bought Killer instinct dlC, or own
effects and pink crystals that move up and rare replay, he’ll join your roster now. A
down when you pull the trigger. taster of the third season due in March.

//You know You’re watching

a confident presentation
when a release date for
Quantum Break is announced//

Anyone think this beast looks more

realistic than the CGi lizards we’re
enduring in Game of Thrones?

3 could have been a disaster. it’s easy to scoff
now, this safer side of June, but the teething
years for Xbox One have been continuously
difficult – and microsoft had no way of knowing
how its biggest announcements would go down
with the fans. Would Xbox 360 compatibility be
seen as a step backwards? Would the game
Preview programme be taken as a concession to last year’s
habit of unfinished game being released at full price? Would
Halo 5 be booed by angry Master Chief Collection owners?
Okay, Guardians was a pretty surefire hit, but as it turns
out, so was practically everything microsoft announced on
the stage. Just two years ago, Xbox One was pretty much
the console that wouldn’t let you play pre-owned games.
now it was going to play some of the biggest hits from our
Xbox 360 collection. the Preview programme means not
just access to in-development games, but also ports of Pc
behemoths such as Day-Z. it sounded too good to be true.
sadly, in the games industry, that usually means it is.
if e3 was the wild promises, gamescom was the reality.
far from being the depressing wake-up call we feared, we
actually got concrete details. there were no controversies
to contend with, like the initially mixed response to Kinect
or backlash to always-online modes. microsoft was instead
able to double down on the Xbox One’s new features, with
fan support behind it in a way that hasn’t been seen since
the peak years of Xbox 360. now we’re seeing the well-
received innovations of e3, smartly executed.
gamescom gave us got solid release windows – some
tantalisingly close. Backwards compatibility launches
in november, with over 100 Xbox 360 games supported.
november will also see the launch of the new dashboard,
replacing the current dated interface with a sleek new
design. so long, summer: november’s now the only month
that matters on our calendar. heck, you know you’re
watching a confident presentation when a release date for
Quantum Break is announced. no offence, remedy, but your
games have an unfortunate habit of slipping forward in time.
We’ve explored the announced games elsewhere in this
issue, but new surprises were slim – with the biggest being
Halo Wars 2 and that Koji igarashi can’t use a whip. But
the Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night creator was able to
announce co-op play between Xbox One and Windows 10
Pc players of his upcoming Castlevania-in-everything-but-
name adventure. no one’s ever not wanted it, but few of us
have been brought to tears of joy by Windows 10 support.

@OXm the Official XBOX magazine / 9

Resi 2 lurching to new-gen consoles
Following the well-received Hd remake of the very
first resident Evil, Capcom has announced that 1998’s
resident Evil 2 will be remastered for the first time.

This is the average amount

Yet announcements such as this and of carnage Crackdown’s you can partake in its multiplayer by
Cobalt showed cross-play’s massive multiplayer promises. the end of 2015 on Xbox One.
potential. already we have full Xbox so if 2015 was the comeback year,
One game streaming, so hopefully what of the future? Well we finally got
we are looking at a future where to see more publishers picking up the to see some of the games teased all
multiplayer between Pc and Xbox One fan-pleasing habit. the way back at e3 2014 (and we’ve
games will become the standard. the Xbox game Preview programme been promised Quantum Break since
everyone playing peacefully side by added a third title – Sheltered – to a 2013). as if having a dragon onside
side? enough to bring a tear to our eye. library that’s still looking far slimmer wasn’t enough, Scalebound now has
than we’d like, but it’s also smartly four-player co-op. Crackdown goes
lOOK BAcK fONdly turning some of 2016’s biggest games even further, using cloud computing to
a trailer for backwards compatibility into 2015 releases. along similar lines, utilise processing power 20 times that
gave us brief blink-and-you’ll-miss- you’ll have to wait far into 2016 to play of the Xbox One. suddenly we’re seeing
’em glimpses of boxart from the likes Homefront: The Revolution on Ps4, but city-wide destruction and collapsing
of BioShock, Dark Souls and Driver: the announcement of a beta means skyscrapers that would make Just
San Francisco. We’d mention all we
saw here, but we’re hoping ending on
Driver: San Francisco might somehow
subliminally persuade more of you
to play it. none of these games have
been officially confirmed (not even
your favourite, Driver: San Francisco)
but why would microsoft include
games that wouldn’t be backwards
compatible in a trailer for that very
feature? it was also confirmed that
all future Xbox 360 games With gold
freebies will be run on Xbox One.
following Fallout 4 and Rainbow Six
Siege, Just Cause 3 is the latest 2015
release that will also come with its Everyone knows that
Xbox 360 predecessor in the box. We Beats headphones are
hoped these generous bundles would key in dragon battles.
start becoming the norm, and it’s great

10 / the Official XBOX magazine WWW.gamesradar.cOm/OXm

Xbox One getting mouse support?
“yep, keyboard and mouse support for xbox would
this month
need to be there for this to work, those aren’t far
away,” tweeted phil spencer. sounds mouse-y to us.
we learned...

how to stream Xbox games to Pc

with Windows 10.


how cloud computing will let us

destroy an entire city.


what monsters would

show off these games, Rising, Saints Row – these were some
only for them not to be of the biggest-selling series of the
backwards compatible?
previous console generation. they also
all started out as new series on Xbox Why some glitches are best left
Cause 3 weep. Quantum Break not only 360, and we’d argue we’re yet to see
has cool time-twisting gunplay, but now their alternatives for the current era.
unpatched, if you asked us.
boasts Game of Thrones’ aidan gillen Will the likes of Quantum Break and
as a villain. so we’re getting littlefinger
versus time itself. investing earlier in
Scalebound become sequel-spawning
hits? no one knows yet, but these
developers has finally given Xbox One are the essential risks that have to
the definitive first-party lineup. be taken going forward. listening to
the fans has revitalised the console,
BREAKING fREE giving the audience what they wanted
this was the focus on new ideas which – an Xbox One that’s never felt more
we’ve been crying out for since the accessible or unique. the new-gen
new console generation began. not entries in some of our favourite series
only did the show open with Quantum are looking absolutely essential, but
Break, but almost a quarter of all the now it’s time to start taking risks, to that more fantasy games should
games shown were new productions. start challenging that audience again
it’s a vital transition following an e3 with games that would never have
have a drum and bass soundtrack.
that, while great, was conservative in been possible on Xbox 360. if those
its reliance on previous big-hitters.
Halo, Tomb Raider, Gears of War – all
risks involve investing millions in an
original game where you play a cocky,
great games, but wheeling out what’s Prodigy-loving youth who befriends a
worked before will only get you so far. dragon, we’re all for it.
Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, Dead TOM STONE

//listening to the fans has

revitalised the console – an
xBox one that’s never felt more that we really, really want to time
accessiBle or uniQue// travel to 5 april 2016.

@OXm the Official XBOX magazine / 11

tHIS MontH:
pro BACk tO thE FAnS
TIpS Disney Interactive producer Mathew Solie explains
why it’s important to keep playing with toys

“This time we’re … because they are
open galaxy, not the best
just open world.” Studio Gobo, which worked
on Guardians of the Galaxy and
Pirates of the Caribbean wanted
to do Rise Against the Empire.
That makes sense as it’s vehicle-
centric, so they helped rewrite
the flying engine. And there’s
another Marvel playset coming
that United Front Games is doing
for us – extrapolate from that
what you will. We’ve also got
Sumo Digital on board.

Embrace your
One of our fans, Patrick
Efird, was a school teacher. We
got in touch with him because
he was one of the best creators in
our community, and little did we
EAStER EGG American animator John Lasseter has another great love other than toys, and that’s Hawaiian shirts. Mathew Solie reckons Lasseter has over 600 of them.

know at the time he was getting

married. So he cancelled his

Don’t take no for capsule toy dispenser, and inside BACkGROunD honeymoon, flew out the Monday
answer… those capsules could be a sticky ChECk after his wedding, had the
The original idea for Infinity hand, or some blocks. And that interview, and he’s now working
nAME Mathew Solie
was to make it the spiritual would be the queue to get into at Avalanche Software!
successor to Toy Story 3’s Western multiplayer. But in testing, JOB titlE Producer, Disney

Town, where all the Pixar the kids playing were having Interactive Open it up
characters could interact with more fun messing around there BiO Mathew Solie joined My personal favourite
each other. So we asked Pixar’s than they were getting into the Disney Infinity with the goal addition in Main Street is
John Lasseter, but he said: “No – multiplayer. We thought, ‘Hang of being able to recreate Flynn’s Arcade, where everyone
it makes no sense, Buzz Lightyear on, this could be what we do’. his childhood memory of can check out the best user-
is six inches tall and Sully is eight tipping all his toys onto the created Toy Boxes. In 1 and 2 you

feet tall.” The Avalanche Software Realise the power carpet and have them play had to be friends with someone
guys thought, ‘Well, why don’t of cinema with each other in a bizarro to try out their creations – that
we just make everything toys?’ There’s now a spline tool, battle royale. He’s doing wasn’t working, so we changed it.
Turns out Lasseter loves toys, so players can make an object or that after working on a wide

and said it was genius. camera go on a certain path for range of games, from being a Ask the audience,
their own cutscenes. This came production tester on Quantum dream big

…because Avalanche from something we saw in Disney of Solace at Activision, to We asked people who they’d
didn’t Infinity 2.0 where players were dabbling with other toys like to see in Infinity. Lots of Peter
We were first told ‘no’ five using a weather vane, which with Transformers: Revenge Pans, Darkwing Ducks, everyone
years ago, but what we have in shoots you in a certain direction – of the Fallen at Luxoflux. He has a favourite – John Vignocchi,
the Toy Box is the ultimate goal people were linking these together even worked with Warren VP of Production, wants Captain
realised. We have everything in to make an artificial rollercoaster. Spector and the world’s most EO. I’d love to see him moonwalk
here – people laughed at us when legendary rodent as part of and shooting lasers.

we first pitched it. We finally did Go to the best… the Epic Mickey team.

it. We have feature animation, Who do you go to when Celebrate the
feature film, Marvel, Lucas, classic you want sword combat? competition
Disney – everything can live here. Ninja Theory. We were joking Skylanders, LEGO,
about getting them in years ago Disney Infinity – they’re all

Don’t be afraid to when we were thinking about different games. They do well, we
change lightsabers. Turns out they loved do well. We’re offering these true-
We’ve always wanted online Infinity, so it was a great bond. to-story experiences and allowing
multiplayer, but we didn’t want They added to all our characters – others to make their own. This
kids to have to look at screens my favourite is Rapunzel’s frying time we’re open galaxy, not just
full of text while waiting in dull pan, which acts like a lightsaber open world, as in Star Wars we
lobbies. So we created a toy so you can do this great air juggle. can go from planet to planet with
box on an island. Next to the ship-to-ship combat. This is the
palm tree was an old-fashioned kitchen sink game. OXM

12 / tHe offIcIAL xbox MAgAzIne WWW.gAMeSrADAr.coM/oxM

DVR recording on Xbox One
It’ll require an external hard drive,
but DVR recording for Xbox One owners
will be free and launching in 2016.

If you see this
purple cloud
between your Xbox

One and PC, you’re
doing it wrong.

Xbox One games on our PCs? So long, windows of opportunity

getting any work done How to stream to your PC

t’s something that’s happened to us
all. You’re just about to complete one
Most games are playable, with only Kinect
features disabled (even if you have the
1 Start on your Xbox One. From the
Dashboard, go into Settings, then
Preferences and make sure ‘Allow game
of The Witcher 3’s epic side quests, PC version of Kinect). Streaming is pretty streaming to other devices’ is ticked.
you’re finally leader of the pack in Forza, instantaneous, with lag only noticeable
or you’re just about to unmask your
nemesis in Arkham Knight, when a member
of your traitorous family
on more advanced games or if you have a
poor internet connection. Playing a Telltale
game will work fine, for
2 Launch the Xbox app on your Windows 10
PC, then select Connect. If you don’t have
a Windows 10 PC, sorry, you won’t be able to
demands to use the //You don’t even instance, but if you’re stream your games. Hold back your tears.
television. Previously this
have to sell Your playing Halo online – and
would have meant the end
of your night’s gaming,
soul to make
broadcasting through
Twitch – it might not be 3 After clicking Connect, a list of available
consoles should appear. Select yours, and
then press Connect. Select another console
and the beginning of your the ideal setup.
evening’s snooze fest
through Downton Abbey or
it work// In order to benefit
from the best streaming
to snoop at what your neighbours are playing
(sadly, that won’t actually work).
Coronation Street. performance, you’ll want to use a wired
That problem has finally become an
irritant of the past, now Microsoft has
connection and you’ll need to have a
Windows 10 PC with a 1.5GHZ CPU, that has
4 Use a USB cable to attach your Xbox One
controller to your PC, then select Stream.
You can now play Xbox One through your PC.
launched full Xbox One streaming onto at least 2GB of RAM. If you didn’t understand As a bonus, you won’t even have to switch the
Windows 10 PCs. Magic, and you don’t even a word of that, welcome to the terrifying Xbox One on. We celebrated by smashing our TV.
have to sell your soul to make it work! world of PC gaming.

In numbeRs > DATAPOInT: news In numbeRs > DATAPOInT: news In numbeRs >

20 14 10,000
The record number of servers used Number of publishers Total Gamerscore in Rare Replay.
to power Crackdown’s technically already supporting backwards 9,999 of that should be for successfully
jaw-dropping levels of destruction. compatibility on Xbox One. completing Battletoads.


absOlUtely cracking

One man army cOnditiOning

While the offline fabric
single-player campaign much of the city is
doesn’t feature building covered with what dave
destruction, it’s still a Jones calls ‘digital fabric’,
giant leap forward – aptly, a layer of holograms that
considering the focus on lets designers weave HUd
superpowered bounding – elements into the agent’s
for one of Xbox 360’s suit, and plaster their
best sandboxes. vehicle with damage

DeaD in the clouDs

How Crackdown 3’s online co-op turns Xbox One
into the most powerful console ever made
What’s the story? Why should i care? What happens next?
Imagine taking apart an entire city Because it surpasses anything Dave Jones – returning to the
with physics-based destruction the Xbox One could do alone. series he created (his assured
with not a crumb of concrete The co-op city – distinct to the touch was missed in Crackdown
vanishing from the world. Where single-player campaign’s – is 2) – and his team have to prove
machine guns dig doors through divided into sectors, each policed the game works outside of its
crumbling masonry and entire by a different server. Fire a gun test environment. He tells us that
skyscrapers can be toppled, and in an area and the calculations online play is being optimised for
leveraged as weapons as they are beamed to its server and a 2-4mbps connection which is
topple. Now imagine four Agents the crumbly results sent back far less than we’d expected based
co-operatively performing these to the Xbox One. If one area’s on the scale of information being
tricks at once and Xbox One material falls into another, the shared. If it can work consistently
somehow handling it without server hands responsibility to its in the wild it’s a genuine game-
melting. This is Reagent Games neighbour to share the load. When changer for Xbox, rendering some
and Cloudgines’ bold vision for Crackdown’s creator detonates of its specs irrelevant and inviting
Crackdown 3’s cloud-computed bombs planted around the city, developers to set their own
physics; a vision our hands-on we see up to 14 servers whir to boundaries. The sky’s the limit. Or,
demo proves to be reality. life to render the apocalypse. at the very least, the cloud is.


a Rare number one
uppeRs &
rare replay is the studio’s first Uk number one since
1998’s banjo-kazooie – and the first Xbox One-exclusive
game to top the charts ever. Pats on the back all round.
this month’s
temperature, taken
WHat’s HOt?

With great
males power comes great
as in the original responsibility, so…
crackdown your main let’s burn things!
objective is to kill crime Metal GeaR soliD V
lords. rather than dwell out so hot it features a man made out
in the open as before, they
of fire. It’s like Kojima knew we’d
now need to be tempted out
of hiding by first drawing write this hot/cold column.
their ire, represented on
the new, and cleverly
named, Hate
meter. 2

staR WaRs BattlefRont

Han shot first, but then we got to
respawn and shoot Han. serves you
right, mister smug.

avenUe 3
crime bosses can hijack
the city’s digital fabric
to taunt agents. this
way the narrative follows
you, countering (valid) MiRRoR’s eDGe catalyst
criticisms of crackdown’s Free-roam is so good it inspired Tom
lack of story without to enter the office by a third-floor
breaking the action’s window. Funeral next week.
hands-on flow.

WHat’s nOt?
Pieces Of
each tier of hatred
that you hit evokes ever MattheW’s GaMescoM Diet
more violent retaliation, Day one: smarties. Day two: gummy
causing attack squads of bears stolen from demo booth.
increasingly violent thugs Day three: death.
to come after you and the
city’s innocent citizens
until you draw out the
boss and finish him 2
for good.

yaRny’s hiDDen aGenDa

Unravel’s cute, but are we the only
mecH ones that think its hand-woven doll
my day looks like satan?
crime bosses aren’t
the flimsy meatsacks of
old; one villain storms
a port in a giant mech
suit, sending the terrified 3
dockworkers screaming for
their lives. Well, until
the agent goes and drops
a shipping container
on his head.
this Bullet-shapeD
MeMoRy stick
A cool design to celebrate 20 years
of Remedy, but a horrible shock for
airport security.



The abiliTy To paTch games is

fanTasTic – buT unTil updaTes are
a manageable size, maybe some
gliTches should go unfixed
Slow dow nload speeds and tight HDD space m ean
updates can be m ore trouble than they’re wor th

tep out into the world
of your favourite game Fancy playing The Evil
for a moment and soak Within without borders?
it in. Feel the breeze You don’t? That’ll be
of the cool evening a mandatory 5GB update
air dance around you anyway, my friend.
as bushes and reeds sway; sit
in quiet contemplation as the
Sun sets and the entire world
is drenched in an orange haze.
Game worlds built with today’s
tech are so rich and immersive
that it’s easy to forget the whole
place is built out of maths.
But built on numbers and
algorithms they are, and that
makes games more fragile things
than you could ever know. Any
tiny gap in the logic can tear even
the most robust game world clean
apart. Donkey Kong and Pac-Man
are among the famous old arcade
games that literally cannot be glitches of modern times occurs that bugs can be ironed out after in my street). Settling down for
completed; eventually, on screens in Wii launch title The Legend of the game’s release, isn’t it? But it’s a quick evening gaming session
117 and 256 respectively, the Zelda: Twilight Princess – save a balancing act, too, and one that has become a nerve-wracking
maths behind the madness gets your game at a certain point and I think Xbox One isn’t getting experience; I’m scared to click
tangled and the game glitches out you’ll be stuck in the room for right at all. One of the big draws on any game I haven’t booted up
in spectacular style. the end of time, instantly wiping of gaming on a console over a PC for a while. Six months’ worth
That’s endearing of an arcade out 30+ hours of progress, unless is supposed to be the immediacy of Destiny updates has to weigh
cabinet that’s ( just about) old you’re nursing a second save or – the notion that you can buy a at least 16GB, right? Even the
enough to be a grandad; not so are willing to download one and game, jam it in the disc drive and stuff I am playing manages to
much for a cutting-edge piece of muck about with SD cards. it’ll be up and running within trip me up. Just the other night,
software that costs the best part But things are different now, seconds. Mandatory installs Forza Horizon 2, a game I’ve
of £50. That’s why big companies aren’t they? I know people have already stripped this latest been enjoying for over 50 hours
spend such vast sums on quality don’t tend to write poetry about generation of some of its instant without a single bug, decided
assessment, and why testing patches, but it’s pretty magical punch, but that’s a necessary to balloon by another 300MB.
games for a living is nowhere evil with where we’re at at the While I was waiting, I thought I’d
near as glamorous as it seems moment – there’s no way sluggish give Jetpac Refuelled a whirl, only
(er, does it seem glamorous?). Blu-ray disc read times can be to be denied again – 500MB this
Much of QA’s time is spent not expected to keep up with today’s time, seemingly just to add the
embarking on thrilling speed lush game worlds. words ‘Rare Replay’ to the game
runs, but rubbing along the edges Patches, on the other hand, icon. In the end I decided to just
of the game world, doing weird are another matter. Updates are read (gasp!) a book.
stuff in an attempt to unlock the impossibly massive on Xbox Until Xbox One updates
magic combination of events that One, and download times are are wrestled down to a more
cause 10,000 watermelons to rain Now at nearly 70GB, The notoriously slow (even more so manageable size, I think it’s time
from the sky. Master Chief Collection for me – despite living in one developers were more judicial in
But games are huge, complex is to your Xbox what the of Britain’s largest cities, fibre deciding which glitches are big
things these days, so as you Flood is to Halo. optic apparently isn’t available enough to justify rolling out these
can imagine, even if you had disruptive, hard-drive guzzling
the entire country of Belgium updates. I’d rather a case of
working around the clock, a ‘glitch stops play’ than play never
few glitches are going to slip
through the cracks – which then
//ONe Of The big draws Of beginning at all.

inevitably surface on YouTube

within hours of the game’s
gamiNg ON a CONsOle Over PC is nexT monTh Tom on how spinning
on the spot helps pass the time
release. One of the most infamous suPPOsed TO be The immediaCy// while NPCs drone on at you.

16 / the official xbox magazine

Mighty No 9 Delayed until 2016
Keiji Infanue’s Kickstarter-funded game will
now be out in the ‘Q1 2016’ window. Apparently
extra time is needed to fix online issues.

the crew of the

spirit of fire
return in hw2.
this brute looks
new though.

Halo WarS getS

creatively reaSSeMbleD

eaSter egg With just five staff at its inception, creative assembly now hosts a team of more than 300.
The Total War team are revamping an Xbox 360 classic

ometimes the planets of a talent for squeezing genius out of It’s not just a question of smart
the games industry’s solar externally-owned property. Stir all controls, with group select commands
system align so perfectly, this together, and you’ve got the basis on the shoulder buttons, and a cursor
you can almost hear atoms for the finest exercise in living room you can expand by holding a face
screeching under the strain. generalling since Alexander the Great button. Halo Wars also slims down
Creative Assembly signing on to had Napoleon the conventions
develop a sequel to Ensemble’s Halo
Wars is one of these occasions.
Bonaparte over for
a round of Twister. //EnsEmblE’s of base-building
– you still get to
New to Halo Wars? It’s one of the
few genuinely playable real-time
CA has said that
HW2 won’t be a
takE on consolE choose between
research and
strategy games on console, a cunning
alloy of Ensemble’s Age of Empires
reskinned Total War
– it’ll be “Halo Wars
stratEgy has yEt unit production
facilities, but
series and the unit relationships of
the numbered Halo games. CA, of
taken to the next
stage”. What this
to bE EclipsEd// everything slots
into a preset base
course, is the developer of the Total amounts to remains to be seen, but it template, so there’s no need to worry
War series – the armchair tactician’s strikes the right note. Total War’s micro- about niceties of placement. If CA can
Call of Duty – and Alien: Isolation, management would be a nightmare improve on that formula – perhaps in
a game that demonstrates both a on a pad, and Ensemble’s take on the the form of a proper Covenant campaign
mastery of Xbox One’s innards and console RTS has yet to be eclipsed. – it’ll have a classic on its hands.

you’re fIred! > Quotes of the month > blAh blAh > he sAId whAt? > yAddA
“the energy inside Xbox “dinklage was awesome to “we don’t use any other game
right now, is incredibly work with but we needed in the same sentence as
high. we feel, ‘okay, the someone who is more Grand theft Auto. It is the
foundation is in place, let’s available. nolan north is a industry’s standard-bearer.
surprise people in ways that pro, this is his thing.” It’s not up for comparison.”
aren’t just fixing things.’” Bungie explains the decision to re-record all Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick ‘gently rebuts’
Phil Spencer on Xbox One’s current fortunes. of Peter Dinklage’s Ghost dialogue in Destiny. comparisons between Mafia III and GTA V.


DRawn to ScaLe

DRagon DRagon
ReboRn meet
Don’t fret, Platinum towards the end
fans: those famous of the demo we see a
flashy skirmishes aren’t tease for four-player
completely absent. Store up co-op, with multiple
Drew’s energy meter and you Drews, each accompanied by
morph into a half-dragon a very different thuban,
form – at which point he descending on a hydra.
goes berserk while the but Platinum is keeping
Prodigy blares over schtum on the finer
his headphones. details for now.

youR DRagon
experience points
can be used to customise
thuban’s appearance and
armour. this affects how
he fights. a heavy weapon
affixed to his tail packs a
punch, but also weighs him
down and slows his moves.
elemental moves can
also be added.

on a Limb
For reasons (as
yet) unknown, Drew
has a single dragon arm,
which can be used to scan
enemies for their elemental
weaknesses. it also changes
colour when your dragon is
near death – your cue to
get healing. if thuban
dies, Drew dies.

while thuban is
endlessly customisable,
levelling up leaves Drew
relatively unchanged, bar a
few stat buffs. makes sense;
he’s the brains of the outfit
to thuban’s brawn, and he’s
best kept at a distance,
offering support with
ranged attacks.

18 / the official xbox magazine

Dinklage’s Ghost is toast
got star Peter Dinklage is being retconned out of Destiny. He

Rumour &
voiced robo-orb ghost, but due to scheduling issues, nolan north
has taken over for year two and will be re-doing all dialogue.

//thuban is thE Five of the
biggest bits
battLEfiELd of Xbox gossip
wiLdcard, but a this month
tamEabLE onE//

master chief
unmasks in
5 to show
he was… Locke
all along?!
ExcitEmEnt: 10/10
LikELihood: 3/10

2 Rise of the
tomb Raider’s
last level, a
british seaside
town, sees Lara
swarmed by
giant seagulls.
ExcitEmEnt: 3/10
LikELihood: 8/10

Epic scalE! 3gears

not to be
outdone by
, FiFa 16
how to explain your dragon: hideki Kamiya will ship with
gives us a five-minute runthrough of xbox one’s digital copies
scalebound – a Platinum game like no other of every FiFa
game ever.

ame of Thrones fans know all too smoothly enough. drew commands thuban in ExcitEmEnt: 4/10
well that no matter how strong the direction of an enemy base; in one swipe,
the bond between human and the rebellious reptilian totals the structure LikELihood: 6/10
dragon, those surly serpentines in seconds. other times, thuban won’t be
are notoriously hot-headed (and,
more to the point, hot-mouthed), and would
just as soon char you to a crisp as help you
in battle. that’s really what Scalebound, an
so accommodating. he’s the battlefield’s
wildcard, but a tameable one – as the story
progresses and trust builds, thuban’s
mood will soften and more elaborate team
sees the uS
Korea patch
open-world rPg from Platinumgames is all
about. co-stars drew (a headphone-sporting
manoeuvres will unlock.
Scalebound comes with an incredible
things up.
dude with a very punchable turn of phrase) pedigree – director hideki Kamiya has ExcitEmEnt: 8/10
and thuban (an ai-controlled dragon, the spearheaded some of the most incredible LikELihood: 1/10
last of his kind in the world) are bound to action games of recent times, such as
each other by a magical force called the Bayonetta and Devil May Cry. this is a stylistic
Pulse; if one dies, the other perishes, too.
so human and dragon will have to learn to
coexist if they want to survive.
in combat you control drew directly, and
departure, however; instead of being about
chaining together flashy combos, this is
more about managing space around you,
and knowing when to back out of the fight
5 in year
Destiny’s ghost
can boss the lumbering thuban about in
broad strokes by directing him to a location.
and allow your dragon to take centre stage,
with drew reverting to a support role on the
will be voiced
but in the beginning, at least, what he does edges of the action. Kamiya hasn’t made a by Hulk Hogan.
when he gets there is up to him. during dud yet – but then, he’s also never made a ExcitEmEnt: 10/10
the gamescom demo, things seem to go game quite like this.
LikELihood: 0/10

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 19

quantum thEoRy

Enemies killed in a
stutter don’t hit the
dirt but slow down in their
moment of death, cluttering
the battlefield with corpses Casio?
contorting in pain and
floating cadavers leaving smashio!
bloody vapour trails. Joyce meets his
it’s really quite the match in enemies armed
looker. also: with stutter-resistant
horrible. suits. shooting their magic
backpacks or, even better,
tearing them off with your
bare hands forces the saps
inside the fancy duds to
get violently pulled
back into normal

Remedy’s knack for
lovably daft dialogue
continues. Favourite
line from the demo?
“time’s ending and you’re
having a fucking party?!”
Coincidentally, this is
exactly what matthew said
to the team on oXm’s
last deadline.

20 / the official xbox magazine

I’ll be back (no, not you, Hogan)
WWE has played host to clowns, trash collectors and now…
How To
cyborgs? pre-order WWE 2k16 and you’ll unlock arnie’s spECial!
terminator. Foul-mouthed hulk hogan has been removed, however.

lanCE your guide to
haRmstRong translating those
the trio of leads is
joined by other stars of interview gems
the (mostly small) screen,
notably lance Reddick, best
known for his stick-up-the- thE
ass commanding officers in haRD sEll “We’re glad to
the Wire and Fringe. here Ever wondered what a
he gets to hit people microsoft-produced tV be back in
with said stick, as show would look like? For Europe – it’s our
the villainous mr one, the villains all use
hatch. surface pads. okay, showing a favourite market!”
hostage threatening pics of mostly because you
her family isn’t an ideal suckers are willing
product placement, but
snaps do look great on to pay $80 for a
that screen. six-hour video-game.
you’re putting my kids
through college! and
also my dog.

“We’re fully
optimising our
product for our
European fans.”

THe TeST of TIme We’re thinking we

might not just get
it running by adding
time waits for no man as big thick borders and
Quantum break reveals all-new slowing the action
cast and an easter release down by 10% this time.

ity the Jack Joyce of the seconds they decrumple and ”We’re super-
2014, not so much clamber up shipping containers
a man trapped in before they rewind back into
excited about
disintegrating time as a place. it’s gorgeous – fracturing facing the unique
man erased from it. the like an ice cube dunked into warm challenges this
slightly generic dude from last water – if slightly hand-holdy. region presents.”
year’s gamescom is now shawn You’ll go hands-off entirely for
‘iceman from x-men’ ashmore, remedy’s weirdest innovation:
how many bloody
part of a spate of digital body- a filmed tV show that interrupts languages has this
snatching that sees the entire the action to show these events continent got? We’re
cast given a hollywood overhaul. from the villain’s perspective. going to have to
aiden gillen (Game of Throne’s intriguingly, moral decisions remove level two just
littlefinger) is the villain out to made in the show will later reveal
exploit fracturing time; dominic their repercussions in-game.
to make room for our
‘lost’ monaghan the scientist we’re shown a bound activist Estonian dialogue.
who broke time in the first place. who can either be executed,
this is what happens when you let sparking a protest encountered “Being here, in
actors play with time machines. in a later level, or setting her
face transplants aside, this free to one day partner up with
the beautiful
year’s demo gives Joyce’s time Joyce. it’s impossible to know city of Cologne,
powers a better airing in a larger how jarring the transitions will gives us plenty of
battle. he runs circles around be without sitting down with
slowed foes, fires entire clips the finished game, but it hints
inspiration for
into frozen bodies and avoids a at a welcome step away from future projects.”
similar fate by sucking up bullets remedy’s linear shooters of old. What if our next game
in a protective time bubble. the of course, Game of Thrones was a shooter set
arrival of a looping time ‘stutter’ fans are only interested in one in post-apocalyptic
puts those same powers to use in branching path: where the hell
light platforming. as a transport will aiden gillen’s accent go
Cologne? and what if
frigate collapses and rebuilds on next? find out when Quantum Cologne was new york?
repeat you dart through pipes in Break releases 5 april next year.

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 21

updates – NeW iNfO ON tHe big games

Publisher 2K GAMES / DeveloPer HANGAR 13 / Format XBOX ONE / eta 2016

maFia iii
Or ‘The Joy of Feeding People to Alligators: The Game’
so it’s back to the so how did mafia ii’s vito lieutenants? i prefer sounds good to me, as torturing someone in our
1930s for more italian scaletta end up in the to work alone. long as things don’t get car? easy, i’ll just stick
mafia shenanigans? big easy? Jazz fan? Then you’ll miss out on too violent. on some skrillex.
Mafia III’s actually set in Possibly, though he’s some of the game’s smart Oh boy. Mafia III is brutal. The sixties were blessedly
1968 New Orleans, and not the lead this time. new spins on the crime The announcement trailer free of that abomination.
has an excellent sense of Mafia III’s protagonist is sandbox. When you’re showed a man being fed You actually drive
time and place. Driving by Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam trying to evade cops, you to an alligator, and an recklessly until he decides
jazz clubs, seeing people veteran who’s out for can use payphones to call early nightclub encounter to talk, then you can
being wrongly harassed revenge. Clay’s friends in favours from lieutenants. has Clay getting past a choose to let him go or
by over- eager cops, and were killed by the Italian They might bribe the cops bodyguard via a whole lot shoot him in the head. It’s
people in flares wrongly mafia, so he’s killing them into leaving you alone, of face-stabbing. a brutal world, one that
not being harassed by right back. Clay’ll have or lend you some extra There are multiple ways to may not have the scale
cops. We’re promised an help along the way from firepower. You earn these enter a mob den, Hitman- of GTA’s Los Santos, but
actual open-world this three of his ‘lieutenants’ by giving your lieutenants style, and a variety of has style in spades. And
time. If the level of detail – one of whom is Vito the establishments (e.g. options when it comes to we’re not just saying that
we saw is consistent Scaletta, presumably nightclubs) that you ‘dealing’ with people. Like because the publisher
throughout, this’ll feel like switching sides after the snatch from the Italian when Clay tortures a drug threatened to feed us to
slipping back in time. events of Mafia II. mob’s grasp. dealer in his car. the alligators. Oh God.


Lacking firepower? You

can ring a friend for
backup.We’ll just take
out our mobile phooOH NO
it’s 1968.


a future where everyone
looks vaguely like Channing
tatum. that doesn’t sound
dystopian to us.

back in the sixties,

most roads were on
fire. apparently.


Publisher ACTIVISION / DeveloPer TREYARCH /

Format XBOX ONE, XBOX 360 / eta 6 NOV

Call oF DutY:
blaCK oPs 3
The future is hell. Unless you like
fun games. Then the future’s lovely
so what kind of weapons What if i don’t want
do we have in 2065? they ai help?
invented magic yet? You can play through the
Not quite, but we have the whole campaign in co-op
next best thing. The Spike with a regular flesh-and-
Launcher lets you blast blood human. All levels are
cannonballs into enemies. accessible from the start,
Spiked ones, perfect for so if your friends are further
sticking to targets. Then ahead, you can just skip
you can remotely detonate to that part of the game.
them. So if the spikes/ Unlocked weapons can be
cannonballs to the shared between players, so
noggin don’t get you, the no one feels left behind.
explosions will.
i’m more a lover than a
so no magic then? i can’t fighter. anywhere i can
point at a droid and scream hide like a coward?
Do as i CommaND? Well you do get your own
Actually, yes. Cyber cores safe house. Here you can
are hacking powers that let choose your loadout and
you take over robots. You appearance, practise in
can either keep them around training simulations – either
as a helpful ally, or send alone or with a friend - and
them on suicide runs into even spend currency you
groups of robots. Drones, earn in-game to build new
tanks and other vehicles weapons. With plenty of
can also be hacked, customisation options, this
meaning more options on could potentially be a series
the battlefield than ever. game-changer.

in 2065, the world is consumed by conflict.

still, at least the weather’s still nice.


updates – new info on the big games

there are 148 different

update racing surfaces in
the game. this one, we
guess, is tarmac?

publisher MicroSofT STudioS / Developer Turn 10 STudioS / ForMat XboX one / eta 18 Sep

Forza Motorsport 6
The rain in Spain makes you mainly aquaplane
it never rains but it Can’t imagine all that hmm, sounds like it’s tell me more about Night time? spooky!
pours, huh? wet stuff does much for gone a bit ‘scientific’. these so-called ‘tracks’. What’s that like?
You could say that. our the handling, either… You’d be right, Turn This is a beefier offering Who said that? oh, it’s you.
windscreen wipers got a nope. racing drivers call 10 has poured a large than Forza 5, with 26 Listen: night-time racing
decent work out in Forza rain ‘the great leveller’, chunk of its research and tracks in total – ten of is a complete nightmare.
Horizon 2: Storm Island, and you can see why. development budget into which are new to the With visibility reduced
but this is inclement Tear into a corner at exploring ‘porosity’ – that series, including brands to near-zero, you have
weather on a whole other inappropriate speeds, or is to say, the rate at which Hatch, daytona, Monza to rely on your instincts
level. Torrential rain thuds brake too soon or too late, rainwater is absorbed and the circuit of the and knowledge of the
down the windscreen and it’s all too easy to by the race track. 148 Americas. indianapolis track to make it round in
while a thick mist hangs glide off into the shubbery. different surface types has also been rejigged, one piece. it’s a nerve-
in the air, obscuring your rain adds a new spin on have been simulated, with mirroring its real-world wracking ordeal, even on
view; this is some of the old tracks, literally. And puddles pooling on tracks redesign. And, of course, tracks you know like the
most realistic weather the rain will settle just as as they would in their real- you can race ‘em at back of your hand, such as
we’ve seen in a racer. it does on real tracks. world equivalents. night time as well. the nürburgring, which is
appearing in its 10,000th
consecutive racing game.
Turn 10 Studios tells us
rain and night racing have
long been Forza fans’ two
most requested features,
but it didn’t want to
include them until it was
sure the tech could do
its vision justice. now,
finally with Xbox one, the
studio has been given the
tools to create a racer
there are 450 fully modelled cars on show. at the home straight isn’t so bad – it’s out in that definitely isn’t for
£5 a pop, carwash trips could get pricey. the wilderness that the night-frights kick in. fairweather fans.

24 / THe officiAL XboX MAgAzine WWW.gAMeSrAdAr.coM/oXM

S Av e t h e D At e S
the guIde
Septe m ber is her e! A nd w ith it, the ninth m onth
of the year brings a nonet of ga ming goodies …

28th Aug 1St Sep

the road,

Settle those pub debates After the triumph of Fury

about what would happen Road, our hopes for petrol-
if Darth Vader got into a crazed post-apocalyptic
fight with Mickey, as Disney tie-in Mad Max are as high
Infinity 3.0 brings Star Wars as the blokes swinging
to the toybox. about on those huge poles.

1St Sep 17-20th Sep 18th Sep

01 fInally, v IS comIng to 04land 05euro-nly

of the
rISIng fun lIve once
Lovers of serpents, authority figures and myriad
There may be no Microsoft Pro Evolution Soccer 2016
adjectives rejoice! After agonising months of suspense,
booth at Tokyo Game Show, emerges from tunnel today.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain lands on Xbox
but you can still expect Konami has bagged the
One and Xbox 360. Expect supreme open-world stealth,
buckets of new info on a licence for the Euro 2016
idiosyncratic narrative and more exclamation marks than
bunch of third-party titles tournament, but it won’t be
you can shake a cardboard box at. For our verdict on the
to wet your whistle.. ready to play at launch
series’ sandbox swansong, see page 68.

18th Sep 24th Sep 29th Sep 2ND OCt

06It’S all forza

you, baby 07PuttIng
boot In
the ball
09Start a baIl-
out fund
It’s pedal to the metal in It’s not just updated teams Wish you were a little If you know your kickflips
Forza Motorsport’s biggest and kits in FIFA 16, you bit taller? Wish you were from your Christ Air, you
entry yet. Want to crash know – there are whole a baller? NBA 2K16 will clearly spent your teenage
the latest Ford GT months teams of female players, definitely be able to help years playing Tony Hawk
before those real-life too. We only have two you out on at least one games. Let’s just hope 5
plebs? Of course you do. words: about time. of these fronts. is more ‘rad’ than ‘Ride’.

@Oxm the OffiCiAl xbOx mAgAziNe / 25

love letters, death threats,
and some stuff about
games… your comments
on the mag and on xbox
OXM, 5 Pinesway Industrial Estate, Ivo Peters Road, Bath

CONTACT US f t @oxm e w

eems like the thing that’s
got the majority of your
knickers in a twist this
month is the prospect of
backwards compatibility available
on your Xbox One. Old games, new
games – frankly we’re just glad
that our various games collections
are on the verge of playing nice
all together. Some of you feel
differently, however…
Replay or repay? Most Xbox 360 games are sold pre-owned

Star Letter
I am stoked about backwards now, so people buying classics isn’t going
compatibility for Xbox One. Enlisted to boost Microsoft’s sales. We don’t think
in the Preview Programme, I am prices will shoot up either – a quick look
already enjoying Geometry Wars and around still shows rock-bottom costs. £2
Prize: Rare Replay Viva Piñata once again. However, I for Gears of War 3! We handed over £40 for
The best piece of correspondence am concerned that the catalogue may that. Our wallets weep at the memories…
wins a game from Matthew’s goody bag be restricted by shrewd publishers. I
never completed Dishonored on the OXM: Skitchin’ Edition
360, but would love to return to it on Just wanted to let you know I am
NX-BOX ONE? the One. But with a definitive edition looking forward to your 140-page
Nintendo is only being kept alive by the fact everyone being released on Xbox One, do you ‘bumper issue’. What is a bumper
loves Pokémon and the Nintendo 3DS. If it weren’t for think it likely that the publisher will issue, anyway? Is it like a bumper
that, good ol’ Bill Gates could get his wallet out and prevent the release of the backwards- sticker? Am I going to have to pry it
buy Nintendo outright. Imagine, Super Mario Kart on compatible version? from the back of a fast-moving vehicle
Xbox, the whole system base of the handhelds to get Nigel Witney like some sort of Skitchin’ mini-game?
achievements on the… er, Xbox 3DS? Well, I can dream. I Perhaps I’ll have to fend off other eager
think it’d be amazing to get achievements on The Legend If you bought Dishonored on Xbox 360, readers to claim my prize? Because I’m
of Zelda, and a massive backlog of Nintendo games that you get the Xbox One version half price. fine with that.
could be bunged on the Marketplace. Ideally, we’d be able to just stick the Adam Austin
I’ve also included a piece of art that I drew. It’s Link original into our beloved big black box,
with an Xbox controller – can’t fault that! but it really is up to the publisher. Proud as we are of the premium issue we
Tony Curtis Ziemianski put out last month, we kind of wish we’d
What a con(spiracy theory) gone with Adam’s idea. Maybe next year.
Oddly enough, thanks At E3 Microsoft finally announced
to Rare Replay, you backwards compatibility. YAY! Too many/no games!
can now get more Everything’s good, everyone’s happy, It’s that awful time of year again to be
N64 games on Xbox right? Wrong! Because of the absence a young gamer. It’s just so expensive
One than you can on of backwards compatibility at launch, nowadays, and all the great games are
Wii U. Weird, huh? everyone decided to sell their huge coming out now! I think this season
Microsoft actually collection of Xbox 360 games. With where all the triple-A games are being
contemplated buying everyone’s old games gone, Microsoft released needs to stop – all the games
Nintendo around put its plan into action and announced come out as I’m going back to school,
2000, but the planets backwards compatibility, so now so I won’t have time for them. And
sadly never aligned. everyone has to buy the classics again. why don’t we have an indie season?
Disappointing, but at You better start buying the games Jay Swagdon
least we’ll never have cheap now, because come December
to play Mario Party the old games will cost more money. Summer has proven to not be a great
Kinect. Thanks for Well done, Microsoft; you have finally sales period for big releases. Something
the picture, though. made everyone poor. to do with people wanting to go…
Kai (last name withheld) ‘outside’? Ugh, sounds awful.

26 / The official xbox Magazine www.gaMesradar.coM/oxM

YoUr which was The besT
xbox one exclUsiVe Hot topic
VOTE shown aT gaMescoM? gears of war: Ultimate
edition will include all the
SCALEBOUND A deserving winner. previous games. hooray?
A game from the creator This superhero
of Bayonetta that has a sandbox was always a
flyable dragon in it? No cult favourite and now iTs coMPleTelY oVer
offence, democracy, but it’s a jaw-dropping now!! They just dropped
this should have got 100%. showcase for what a hydrogen bomb for the
Xbox One can do. gaming world on xbox one.
Dorian Bumpas

i am listening to the Gears of

War soundtrack and i open
face book to find this? i
think i’m in love.
Noah Rutland

will there be a Gears of War

edition xbox one? i had the
crackdown – 39% Gears 3 xbox 360 and would
loVe an xbox one with a
qUanTUM break – 29% Gears theme.
scaleboUnd – 26% Kimberly Wolfe

halo wars 2 – 6% i teared up a little bit

reading this.
Brandon Wright

don’t mind me. Just air

thrusting to the great news.
Juan Aguirre

Gears is love. Gears is life.

My life’s been over playing
Gears everyday and now i’m
gunna be rotting even more.
sounds good to me! leT’s
Excellent time-manipulation gameplay, Megan Parrish
Hollywood actors and an actual release
date. We reckon Quantum Break would’ve The Gears of War
scored even higher had you not been
community is going to
forced to wait so damn long for it.
expand like never before!!
Dustin P Goodell

The Annotated… Star Wars Battlefront – Blast mode More like the Gears of War
Your response to the new 10v10 team deathmatch mode trilogy and a Call of Duty
game in disguise.
Benjamin Hughes
10v10?! This is
next-gen gaming,
so it’s like Halo: The
Star Wars: Master Chief Collection.
and that’s all they
Battlefield Edition.
Devan Lawrance
can do. i’ll stick with Gears of War: The Delta
Planetside 2.
Scott Chambers
Team Collection.
Billy Tran

it’s not only the Gears

collection but the fact we
looks like get a true remaster of the
fun to me. even
i’m excited and if it has a couple of first game is awesome.
can’t wait for this Battlefield Isaac Vasquez
release. don’t care mechanics in it,
about the haters. i won’t care.
Joshua Almond Matthew Birdzell so will you be able to get
these achievements again
or no? i know everybody
i hope it can be played dice is ruining my wants to get seriously and
offline with bots. childhood… seriously 2.0 again.
Alexander Ruotimaa John Vasquez
Masson Smith

@oxM The official xbox Magazine / 27

fe at ure

28 / the official xbox magazine

fa llou t 4

fallout 4 doesn’t just develop old rPg templates – it
razes them to the ground and builds something bigger,
better and brighter in their place. exclusive access to the
most explosive – and expansive – game of the year!
Words: David Houghton

here’s more than one way to go a granular, holistic upgrade that makes the
new-gen. it’s not just about entire Fallout experience greater in every way
presenting your ideas via the that matters, while quietly – but deliberately –
medium of graphics that – as they addressing the specific flaws of its predecessor.
are wont to do every five years or war, some have said, never changes. but the world
so – stun their incredulous left behind by war? that can change quite a lot.
witnesses into crying witchcraft, You’ll notice it most immediately in the
wizardry and general dark magic. look and fabric of Fallout 4’s boston-centred
all of that works of course. it’s the guaranteed, commonwealth wasteland. this isn’t the same
immediate way to be clear that the new iteration washed-out, dust-encrusted wreck we know from
of your series is indeed new, if not necessarily before; it’s not Fallout 3’s ramshackle heap of
improved. but it’s immediate because, by its roughly hammered constructions, grave-robbed
very nature, that’s the surface-level way of from the desiccated corpse of the old world. it’s
doing things. true evolutions – the games that hardly metropolis, that’s for sure, but at the same
stick around as landmarks long after the flashy, time, it isn’t a place mourning what it used to be.
forgettable, year-one tech demos have had it isn’t a tombstone for civilisation, an epilogue
their moment of vapid glory – are often subtler to humanity. it’s the here and now. it’s a place
than that. they’re not simply products of one big of colour, and life, and vibrancy, whose people
aesthetic flourish, but of many quieter, smarter, are not scrabbling around in the dirt, praying for
deeper ideas that give a more tangible sense of a saviour, but just, well, getting on with living
progress. that’s how you make a game that will their lives. there are cities among the wilderness.
continue to resonate and continue to engross. technology is rising again – surely only fitting in
as such, it’s a great approach for, say, an epic, an apocalypse founded on the scientific optimism
open-ended rPg with a defiant lack of level-cap. of the 1950s – as airships and high-rise buildings
that’s where we come to Fallout 4. bethesda’s provide visual accompaniment.
first toe-dip into the xbox one gaming pool looks no one is begging for non-lethal drinking water.
increasingly akin to a multi-limbed plunge into the wet stuff is everywhere, flooding in from the
deeper waters. this isn’t Fallout 3: Extra Pretty sea, sitting deep in the swamps, and feeding the
Edition. it isn’t Fallout 3: Super Big Edition. it’s returning trees, grassland, and maybe even a

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 29

fe at ure Start your day as you
would any other: building
your face in the bathroom
mirror. We opt for stud
with a hint of hulk.

few resurgent farms, dutifully tended but whatever the philosophical tangible connection to the previously
by dilapidated farm-bots. Yes, the reasoning, the end result is obvious. mythologised world-gone-by currently
world as a whole was knocked down this is a Fallout you’ll want to explore. looks not to draw post-apocalyptic
by the bomb, but the commonwealth while Fallout 3’s wit, humour, even boston as aftermath, but as continuity.
represents the parts that got back up. outright goofiness, could often be while bethesda is hiding most
a nuke can destroy a target, and many masked behind a blasted, bleak, details of Fallout 4’s story, we do
nukes can change a way of life, but resolutely uninviting countenance know how you’ll interact with it. and
nothing can stop life itself. – many players tragically never ‘interact’ is now a very apt word – this
discovered the warmth of the game’s time around, your character won’t
Rising from the Fallout personality after being put off by the remain a meaningless shell for your
as Pete hines, bethesda’s VP of Pr and coldness of its look – Fallout 4’s intent real-world input, a roving camera
marketing tells me when we discuss is to create a world that’s enjoyable stuffed full of stats. this time, you’ll
Fallout’s healthier looking new future, to simply be in, whether or not you’re have real presence, a powerful change
the attitude of Fallout’s society has currently hooked by investigating that effected by a million small details.
changed since we last dropped in. latest intriguing thing on the horizon. the biggest and most striking is the
“there’s this notion: ‘this is our home. not that this is a Fallout that has gift of a voice. no longer will your
this is where we live. it doesn’t matter forgotten its past. far from it, in fact. apocalyptic avatar interact silently, by
what it used to be like before. we’re for once, the game actually starts way of text box selections directed at
not going to rebuild the world like it before the nuke, when chrome-plated static, staring mannequin-men. every
used to be. this is just what life is like convenience and pastel-coloured conversation is fully performed, and
now. this is my house now. i’m not ever bliss reigned supreme. You’ll initially every chat is an engaging, dynamic
going back to the saturday morning wake up not in a deep, subterranean scene, whether you choose to play it
with the nicely mowed lawn and the shelter, but in a ‘50s-style home in an out in first or third-person.
white picket fence. that world is gone, idyllic ‘50s-style neighbourhood, coffee not that you’ll even be forced to
this is what life is like now.’ and so poured at the perfect temperature by take part at all. forget those eerie
there is a bit of a vibe that you get from a flawlessly gleaming mr handy robot encounters of old. meeting and
the game, more a sense of normalcy. butler, and your partner present as greeting in Fallout 4 is less a dialogue-
this is now what normal looks like. this you customise your character while infused stare-out contest, and much
is now what life looks like. whereas in cleaning your teeth in the bathroom more akin to downtime in a modern
Fallout 3 you had a little bit of the bleak mirror. it’s not long before all of that fPs. get bored, and you’re free to
and the feeling of hopelessness, and goes away – though you’ll run into a wander off. get annoyed, and you
the main quest had to do with trying to less pristine handy a long, long time can happily cut the talk short with an
restore some hope to it. this game has later, on a much less chipper version impromptu bullet to the other party’s
gone past that, and it’s levelled out.” of your street – but this actual, face. Fallout has always been a

t h e Sto rY S o fa r …

alternate hiStorY the enD of the WorlD DucK anD coVer

fallout is set in a universe We probably should have mentioned the uS Government built Vaults
where america never discovered that fossil fuels are running out, to protect american citizens.
rock and roll, and the scientific which has culminated in a worldwide But almost all these vaults were
breakthroughs promised in the 1950s resource war. china and america actually social experiments to
were 100% accurate. So while we’ll finally clash over the alaskan oil test people’s behaviour as they
still be doing the charleston in fields and on october 23, 2077, the adjusted to vault life. earth burns
2077, we will be doing it with our war goes nuclear. our wind turbines in nuclear fire, while many of the
robot butlers. Sounds good to us. don’t look so silly now, eh? vaults fail to keep people alive.

30 / the official xbox magazine

fa llou t 4

po W er a r M ou r

ah, memories
of that first-
uniform photo
your mum kindly
insisted on.

pitiful arMour real Steel

When you first leave Vault in previous games, power armour was
111, you’ll be lucky if the just an outfit you equipped. one that
blue jumpsuit you’re wearing offered great defence and took up a lot
protects you from a radroach of inventory space, but not much beyond
bite. there’s all sorts of that. this time it’s a mechanical iron
protective equipment and Man-style suit you step inside of.
clothing to be found in the Better yet, the separate parts can be
wastes, but serious survivors mixed and matched with other power
will want to invest in some armour models to your heart’s content,
power armour. and modified for extra perks.

the SKY’S the liMi… oh

the jetpack is by far the best mod we
saw. is there a videogame, or indeed
a single part of everyday life, that
isn’t improved with one? any concerns
we had about this not being a truly
new-gen fallout game shattered when we
saw this mechanical beast take to the
skies. Stuff that wearable pip-Boy, why
wasn’t this getup a pre-order bonus?

the effects of the bomb

reign over all, but life
is starting to move on.

leaVinG the Vault

luckily, you’re the sole survivor
of Vault 111. Sure, you lost your
family, child and everyone/thing “this is a
fallout you’ll
you’ve ever loved, but you can’t
have everything. emerging from the
vault 200 years after the bombs
drop, how you survived and why you
didn’t age remains to be seen... want to explore”
@oxm the official xbox magazine / 31
fe at ure

game concerned above all else with

t h e co M pa nionS accommodating any way you want to
play, but now that provision works on the
level of intimate, moment-to-moment
interactions as well as the big stuff.
in fact, those worried that a more
explicit in-game personality might lead
to a loss of control from time to time
can relax. according to hines, not even
a character detail as fundamental as
your gender will steer things for you,
despite your in-game representative’s
now overt verbal presence.
coDSWorth “there are some slight differences,
“You’re two centuries late for dinner! ha ha!” but as far as the basic experience of
Your robot butler before the Great War, still playing the game, we wanted it more
hanging around town when you leave the vault to be a part of who you want to be,
200 years later. though it’ll be nice to have
as opposed to locking you into this
a cheerful companion - and capable cook - in
the harsh wastes, it’s a shame he’s missing his or locking you into that because you
flamethrower attachment in 2277. Wait, why did decide to play as male or female.
our butler have a flamethrower again? whether that be who you can have a
relationship with, or the choices you
can make. we want that to be pretty
open-ended so that the player is more
in charge of who they are, as opposed
to the designer making a decision that
the player wasn’t involved in.”
and when it comes to nuanced
interaction, none is as important – or
seemingly as improved – as Fallout 4’s
new combat model. the Vats system
– that time-stopping, target-picking
purveyor of pornographic headshots
and dismemberment – returns, but
“Bark! Bark!” like everything else in Fallout 4, is
Man’s best friend and the namesake of a redesigned to maintain a more dynamic
fallout 3 favourite, Dogmeat is found at the
connection with the world around you.
red rocket gas station. like all companions,
Dogmeat is immortal this time. he’s also a lot rather than freezing time, it simply
more helpful than he first appears, capable slows it, maintaining urgency and a
of taking commands from the player, including certain sense of reality, while also
searching fresh corpses for loot. Good boy! demanding that you keep track of a
strategically evolving situation rather
than survey a static tableau.
piper not that you should need to use
“i’ve an idea for an article you’d be great for.” Vats half as much as before. Fallout
piper’s a journalist running her own newspaper, 4’s real-time shooting has been vastly
popular occurrences. here at oXM, we’re upgraded, by way of a little help from
relieved print journalism has survived another bethesda’s very qualified friends.
few centuries. Much as we like the idea of piper
much has changed at the house of
writing about our wasteland adventures, we’re
hoping there’s nothing about what we did to dragonborn since 2008, after all.
Megaton in fallout 3 in the paper’s archives… fPs pioneer id software, creator of
Doom and almost all of gaming’s most

preSton GarVeY
“Man, i don’t know who you are, but your
timing’s impeccable.”
the future’s not all robot butlers and dogs.
preston Garvey, leader of the commonwealth
Minutemen, is still fighting to keep humanity
alive. that’s not going too well when you meet
him. he’s holed up in the Museum of freedom,
where raiders have already killed 15 of his men.

32 / the official xbox magazine

fa llou t 4

even better, Fallout’s environmental

design seems to have taken a major
shot in the arm in order to accommodate
the upgraded action. the quality of
your guns is, after all, only half the
story of making a good fPs. choke-
points, smartly-placed cover and new
tactical opportunities look to be rife.
and, of course, there are exploding
barrels. every combat scenario seen so
far – whether in the cramped, winding
environs of Fallout 4’s picturesquely
cluttered residential wrecks, or played
out as part of a roaring, multi-layered,
open-air stand-off with snipers, ghouls
and gunships – has felt exhilarating,
unpredictable and truly dynamic.
much more than before, there’s a
real sense of possibility to Fallout 4’s
violence, now that the shackles of
stiff aiming and lumpy control seem to
be off. this isn’t the whirling battle of
Halo transposed to a crumpled, post-
protectrons nuclear wasteland. not by any means.
return in and of course stealth, crunching melee
fallout 4. hits and non-violence are still entirely
viable. but when things do kick off –
should you choose to play that way
– the more immediate-looking control
opens up a vast wealth of accessible
diversity. hand-cranked laser muskets,
the return of the fat man mini-nuke
launcher, chainsaw-modded daggers,
long-range rifles, hackable robots… all
these and many more can be thrown in
to create genuinely emergent, rapidly
escalating, and often blackly hilarious,
limb-bursting carnage.

Top dog
and of course, there are always the
loyal teeth of trusty old dogmeat, your
canine wingman. modelled on and
mo-capped from river, one of the devs’
own dogs – and entirely indestructible
this time around – he brings another,
the fat Man’s very personal level of ambient
back, but connection to the world, whether
foes like the scrabbling around in the background
Behemoth will for supplies as you pick a lock, or biting
challenge it. through a bandit’s shin ready for you
to drop the killing blow. You’ll feel
a much greater sense of your own
satisfying shotguns, has joined the family, presence in Fallout 4 as a matter of

“it may be a viable as has machinegames, the zesty young

upstart responsible for Wolfenstein: The
course, but dogmeat will extend that
presence and connection yet further.

shooter now, but New Order and The Old Blood. both studios
have helped shape Fallout 4’s combat,
not that he’ll be your only friend.
not at all. the commonwealth seems

it’s still 100% rpg”

and it immediately shows in practice. a greatly more populated place than
more feral enemies, such as ghouls, we’re used to – organic, multi-faction
still have a habit of getting right up into fights seem par for the course,
your face, but retaliation is no longer bringing as much sense of life as
a case of frantically backpedalling strategic diversity – but that goes
while hoping for the best. with smooth, for the friendlies just as much as
precise, flowing aim, it now looks more the aggressors. Fallout 4 will have
feasible to duck, weave and improvise 12 potential companions, including
to one’s heart’s content, though of dogmeat and a mr handy, and in a major
course levels, stats, probabilities change for the series, all of the human
and gear quality will still underpin the allies will be open to romance. again,
whole affair. Fallout 4 may be a viable gender irrelevant. it’s not yet clear
shooter now, but it’s still 100% rPg. how that will be initiated, or what the

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 33

fe at ure

t h e W e a ponS

plaSMa WeaponS JunK Jet

Most beam weapons in games can feel disappointingly running out of bullets but rich in tin cans? invest in
weak, like we’re actually playing a harmless game of the Junk Jet, which happily fires random objects in
laser tag in a war zone. not so in fallout, where a your inventory. We’re not sure how much control we have
critical hit is able to melt your victims. fallout 4 over what gets launched, although we do like the idea of
also lets you construct a plasma sniper rifle. shooting a shotgun into someone.

BaSeBall Bat fat Man

a favourite of raiders everywhere, gleefully running up We can’t think of a better way of saying ‘i’ve learnt
to us even when we’re clearly holding a shotgun. a pretty nothing’ than firing a mini-nuke launcher in the
nasty melee weapon, with modifications including razors, radioactive wastelands. this is one of the game’s most
nails, chains and saw blades. We predict the most popular powerful weapons – just please think before you start
decoration will be raider brains. firing it at close-range.

MiniGun pipe piStol

Subtlety is dead, and so is anyone foolish enough to stand constructed from springs, rusty metal pipes and other
in your way when this is equipped. heavy, bound to take worthless tat that we’d never have let dirty our fallout
up a lot of inventory space, and not the best choice if 3 pockets. this gun has a tendency to look weak, but it
you’re trying to come across as a diplomat – but it’s hard can be upgraded into a variation of more formidable pipe
to care when you’re packing this much firepower. rifles. Better get looting.

34 / the official xbox magazine

fa llou t 4

“the levelling
system has had its
roof blown off”

repercussions will be – some evolution you want to play. the main story will You’ll get destruction and domestic bliss. now,
of Skyrim’s food and income perks just be one of the hundreds you’ll be to hear your your endless wanderer can truly have
would be a good starting bet – but able to create for yourself along the character’s somewhere to lay their battered,
given the more intricate, resonant look way, and finishing it will have no effect voice for the slightly scorched hat, and rather than
first time.
of Fallout 4’s world, perhaps expect on your ability to continue on your an adopted shack, it will be a home
the actual relationships to play a more endless adventure. entirely of your own making. or, for that
overt part in the story, mission events, matter, a fortress. or a weaponised
and maybe even your options for future Power of choice chicken farm. or a deathtrap labyrinth,
character development. and endless it might well be. You see, or any one of a multitude of inevitably
our favourite companion so far? has while the levelling system has had its penis-shaped structures you dare
to be Piper. first met trying to break roof resolutely blown off, it has also dream up. finally, you can put that
into a locked-down diamond city – the filled out. and once again, it’s all to the plethora of discarded junk to good
teeming town-within-a-town fortified end of giving you more options. You’ll use, as Fallout has gone the way of
within boston’s fenway Park baseball still level up via xP, and each level Minecraft and developed an entirely
stadium – she’s the firebrand editor increase will still give you a point to new system of crafting and building.
of the local newspaper and a giant, spend on a perk, but now those perks everything from architecture to
rad-mutated thorn in the mayor’s side. have varying xP levels of their own. it’s furniture to decoration is totally
she’s sneaky, witty, and referred to perk-ception, essentially, and means customisable once you find the right
by her critics as a “devious, rabble- that, should you theoretically play plot of land to work with, by way of
rousing slanderer”. there’s every long enough to max out every tier of an incredibly robust and versatile set
chance that marriage is on the cards. every single one – gaining untold buffs of tools. the inclusion of building in
speaking of character progression, and no doubt all kinds of horrendous Fallout 4 is no mere half-measure, like
Fallout 4 is set to liberate you in that real-world illnesses in the process Skyrim’s underwhelming Hearthfire
area, too. as previously mentioned, it – you’ll top off with a total of 275. expansion. this is the real deal. build
has been confirmed that there will be completionists, thine nemesis, and a what you want, out of whatever you
no level cap. whatsoever. not only that, comfy hospital bed, awaits. want, and then live in it. or trade from
but following the entirely justifiable that said, there are going to be tricksy it. or invite new shopkeepers to join
backlash to the way Fallout 3’s last comforts of sorts available in-game Deathclaws you, and evolve into a bona fide trading
mission locked down the game, this as well. Fallout 4’s grandest grasp for can kill you post. and set up brahmin caravan
one will stay wide open for as long as connection goes beyond dogs, details, instantly. trains to link up with other settlements.
fortify it. defend it. make it yours.
fortify because that’s what Fallout is all
your land to about, really. an experience that’s truly
protect from yours. and it’s something that, with its
raiders. themes of resurgence and reclamation,
and finding comfort in the new world,
Fallout 4 couldn’t be clearer about.
not only is its world more open, more
nuanced, more welcoming, responsive,
and rewarding to your presence, but
it’s now offering up a part of itself to
reclaim and rebuild entirely as you wish.
Fallout 4. welcome home indeed. ■

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 35


Scamper up to higher ground and

Lara can pounce on the unknowing
goons below. A survivor is born?
Nah, a ruddy psychopath is born.

36 / the official xbox magazine


Rise of the
Publisher microsoft studios / DeveloPer crystal dynamics / Format xbox 360, xbox one

Tomb Raider
Lara rediscovers her roots in a tomb with a view

s Lara seeks absent in 2013’s reboot. Back in Bluffer’s
the secret to January, Crystal Dynamic’s creative Guide
immortality in a director, Noah Hughes, talked us
if Tomb raider
sandy Syrian tomb, through the fundamentals of building
was the Batman
others pursue ancient architecture: the need for Begins of the
treasures of the dramatic reveals, dwarfing scale and, series, this
earthly realm. crucially, the sense of ‘how the hell do is The Dark
“It’s a dollar a I get from here to there?’. Syria’s Tomb Knight: bigger,
death!” hoots our of the Prophet nails the first criteria as smarter,
Crystal Dynamics guide as his co-host Lara edges along canyon walls by her darker. And
mistimes a grab cue and sends Croft fingertips only to find a majestic front hey, there’s
crunching into the valley below. We door carved into the stone. It brings to even a slightly
freaky baddie
wonder if this is one of those ‘look, the mind the sandstone wonders of Petra,
with scars on
demo’s live!’ tricks that developers are switching us into archaeologist mode his face. wow,
becoming increasingly keen on, until better than Yamatai’s bunkers ever did. this metaphor
we take over the controls minutes later Inside – just past the one-dollar really came
and discover that yes, it is indeed live death dive – lie further nods to Lara’s into its own at
and yes, it is easy to mistime the grabs. more studious side. Eyeing up detailed the end, there.
Our personal grab fail is more violently murals delivers handy gobbets of scene-
punished, mind, as failing to scrabble setting history as well as improving
away from collapsing floor tiles drops Croft’s proficiency in Ancient Greek
Lara onto a bed of Punji sticks. It’ll – one of those hilariously daft game
take more than a dollar to fix that. contrivances you’re just going to have
Spike pits are just one of many to roll with. Filling Lara’s head with
threats awaiting us in Rise of the Tomb Greek knowledge-yoghurt allows her
Raider’s first real tomb, a return to to decipher tablets and learn about
the proper death-trap design largely hidden tombs. It’s basically red key/

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 37

Syria appears to serve as the intro
to the game. when you finally reach
Siberia expect the game to open up
into the more familiar hub areas.

Big piles of bug-filled skeletons

hints at a pulpier tone, bringing
the reboot’s often dour events in
line with Lara’s earlier quests.

The glow stick is more an excuse

to show off lighting and shadow
work than a necessary tool.

even in the more linear climbs

you’ll find crannies that hide
bonus chests and collectibles.

38 / the official xbox magazine


red door with a bachelor of arts degree,

but it feeds neatly into the idea of these
being Croft’s formative years, and is
preferable to the seemingly endless
supply of GPS caches we thanklessly
hoovered up throughout the last game.
It’s here in the dingy catacombs
that you appreciate the stunning array
of visual tricks. Lara’s hair hogs the
spotlight with its flopping TressFX
theatrics, but it’s the light itself that
catches our eye. Lighting a glow stick
to illuminate a crawl space bathes
//It’s fun to see Indiana Jones- Few Xbox One
games look as
good as this.
skeletons of past explorers in an
unnatural pallor while simultaneously style matinee jolts break up the we stopped
to gawp at so
picking out the glistening skin of oily
scorpions swarming on the walls. A
later glow stick malfunction sets up
parade of relative misery// much scenary
they should
rename it
the cheapest of jump scares involving galore to those that can combine ropes, same time. Who needs gymnastics Tomb Gazer.
those scuttling cads, but it’s fun to see pulleys, two platforms and a sudden when you’ve got bombs, right? Having
Indiana Jones-style matinee jolts break burst of Lara-drenching water into a spent 15 minutes showcasing how
up the parade of relative misery. As viable fence-scaling device. It’s what tombs have been built up Crystal
Lara kicks her way out, more of that the team refers to as a nested puzzle, Dynamics spends one minute proving
glorious light comes flooding in - a a mean conundrum embedded how easy it is to knock them down.
visual reward for enduring the murk. more organically into the o… poorly with Trinity,
Pushing deeper gives a distinct whiff around it. There are only so g a quick exit from the
of Tomb Raider’s more scripted thrills. many different combinations now-collapsing monument.
Spike traps swing out and slow time you can actually try with eTA It’s classic reboot stuff:
to a crawl as you try to land one lucky said ingredients, but the jumping between crumbling
shot in their arming mechanisms. way it layers tricks you’ve 10 noV platforms, obvious routes
Hammering the Y button by a moist accrued to that point into a falling away, split-second
crack in the wall pries it into a gushing more taxing solution shows changes of plans and, of course,
flow and floats a wooden platform, how far Crystal Dynamics’ puzzle the obligatory slow-motion leap
with Lara on it, to freedom. The most design has evolved since 2013. of faith. Or, in our case, the obligatory
thrilling scene sees an elaborate trap Our hard work turns out to be for slow-motion leap into the pit of death.
ensnare our heroine’s ankle and begin nothing as Lara’s enemies, the Trinity Having come to terms with, and
to flood the room with liquid death. organisation, breach the tomb at the really enjoyed, the reboot’s love of
Fail to hammer B to paddle faster as blockbuster thrills, these surprise set-
you swim, and gulps turn to gargling pieces don’t sit uncomfortably with us.
death among the collection of decaying Whether the re-introduction of subtler
limbs that hang lifelessly in the water. FIx ThIs… puzzling and exploration may widen
Emerge from this watery turmoil that tonal gulf is yet to be seen, but
and Hughes’ second criteria is soon there are no obvious warning lights
ticked off. The circular antechamber yet. Well, apart from the one as we
is a vast space, its walls studded with Lara gets a helping hand during dive into that second pit. That’s two
graves, overlooking a shimmering longer leaps, as the game auto- dollars in the death jar: 58 more and
pond. Already this feels grander and steers her towards ledges. it’s a we’ll have enough to cover a pre-order.
deadlier than Yamatai’s catacombs, trick repeated from the reboot, but From what we’ve played here, it’s well
here it can feel heavy-handed, as if
even if the use of paint-daubed timbers she were lifted by the hand of god. worth the sacrifice.
to highlight climbable ledges does Matthew Castle
feel too user-friendly for a thousand-
year-old tomb. Saying that, raising the
water level to reach the lower rungs
is a puzzle in itself and, once up there,
The violent cartographer
Bringing a knife to a gunfight
you have to navigate tangled grips.
If Lara is perhaps still too fond of Lara’s appearance in Microsoft’s Gamescom
auto-climbing to conjure the tension briefing showcased some murderous new moves
that we had no need for in our temple run. Diving
of Underworld or Anniversary, this is
from a rooftop and using gravity’s pull to drive
only the first level – Hughes promises
a knife through a man’s neck elicited a rightful
tougher acrobatics off the beaten path.
‘yeesh’ from the gathered audience, as did the
The final discipline of our holy thuggish application of hard glass bottle to soft
tomb trinity – ‘how the hell do I get man’s face. That said, as grim as it all was, it was
from here to there?’ – is captured in a cool to see how a larger area could be cleared
later puzzle. A glistening dome peeks without engaging in a massive gunfight.
over a spiked fence, offering treasures

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 39


When everyone wears black, how

do you know who the bad guys are?
Moral: never wear anything.


Rainbow Six Siege

Hands on with Terrohunt, in the tactical shooter’s new-gen comeback

f you lived inside the Bluffer’s lucky to have half a second to choose like. Waves of AI terrorists are on their
average multiplayer Guide between being shooter or victim. It way, but the question is: from where?
shooter, you’d never diet. The first
captures the horror-game tension of Guard all the exits you like – you’re
Who cares about long- proper Rainbow searching for an enemy you’re not sure still never 100% sure what’s coming.
term health? Life is cheap Six game since you really want to find. The joy of Siege, in either
in FPS land. Take a bullet 2008’s Vegas Playing as the terrorists, mode, is watching your
to the head in the average deathmatch
and you’re practically respawned
2. Expect a
protecting your bomb/
hostage/pride is even more ETA winning strategy collapse
as the tables are effortlessly
before your virtual corpse has hit the
floor. Ubisoft knows we’ve grown soft multiplayer-
tense. After setting up your
defences – barricading 13 OCT turned against you.
Guarding exits might work
and Rainbow Six Siege isn’t having it. focused windows, sealing off doorways, this time, but what’s stopping
Permadeath is back. One kill shooter
shooting out those godawful terrorists coming in through
and you’re done, doomed to watch where gadgets surveillance drones that are happily the windows? Or shooting through
the rest of the round from smarter and gunplay tracking your location – it’s time to the floor/ceiling? Or maybe they’re
players’ perspectives. It soon inspired are only as wait. And wait. And check you’re already here, but just so damn quiet.
a strategy we hadn’t used for years important still breathing. It’s rare you’ll wait There’s less reliance on gadgets
– think before you shoot. Go in all as keeping longer than 20 seconds, but those in Terrohunt, with AI foes a little
guns blazing during a terrorists vs yourself will feel like an eternity. Destructible more predictable than real people.
counter-terrorists match and the alive. environments, multiple entry points, All the weapons we tried handled
opposing players will love you. Noise gadgets that could so easily slip past well and felt appropriately powerful,
alone is enough to give you away. Using your defences – the knowledge that particularly that hammer. But we were
Sledge’s mighty hammer to smash absolutely nowhere is safe makes playing on one of the harder difficulty
down walls may feel awesome, but dying almost a relief. Almost. settings – and while it makes sense for
death comes quick to those who don’t We were keen to see how all these enemies to take more bullets, a few AI
keep quiet. The sooner you learn this, elements worked in the player v AI foes seemed capable of taking blasts
the sooner you’ll see a whole round. Terrohunt mode. A co-op multiplayer without a blink. We hope difficulty
This makes creeping through the assault on a terrorist-occupied French hasn’t been lazily raised by arbitrarily
compound the terrorists have taken Embassy had us on a mission to defuse making your shots feel weaker.
over heart-stoppingly tense. See an several bombs. Protecting the defuser, Still, Terrohunt is fun, and
opposing team member, and you’ll be of course, takes a lot longer than you’d randomised terrorist layouts should



Wait, isn’t this a

screen from our dream game,
When Beekeepers Go Bad?
Hard to tell.

Gas is a great way to flush

out terrorists/unwanted
dinner-party guests.

A building
//The knowledge that absolutely like this
means we’re
the way (this is why none of them are
speaking to us any more).

nowhere is safe makes dying

spoilt for Longevity will rely on the depth of
choice with tactics and options available. We’ve
entry points. seen gadgets such as seeker drones
almost a relief. Almost// And exit ones
to be blasted
out of.
and heartbeat sensors before. What’s
refreshing is seeing how well
keep the experience feeling fresh. going to change your plan next time. they’ve been balanced against each
Currently, though, it’s player vs player We could crouch on the stairwell, other. Each round felt like coming
that we still see being the main draw then shoot under the door barricades up with a new plan with new ideas,
(still no sign of that elusive single- (this worked). We could shoot at the with over-reliance on old strategies
player mode). The tension of high- walls, hoping we hit someone on the punished. If Siege can keep that up
stakes hide-and-seek-with-assault- other side (this didn’t). We could lob over sustained play, we’ll have the
rifles feels like a completely different grenades continuously, and hope our tensest tactical shooter on Xbox.
game. Like the best multiplayer, as team use psychic intuition to get out of Tom Stone
soon as you bite the bullet you’re
already contemplating what you
should have done, and how you’re Fighting for free-dom
Metadata Buy Siege and Ubisoft will give you two
beST bIT… free trips to Vegas! Sort of!
Not to be outdone by bethesda’s promise of a
free copy of Fallout 3 to those who pre-order
Fallout 4, buying Rainbow Six Siege on Xbox One
will nab you free copies of both Rainbow Six
Being the one who takes out the
final terrorist/counter-terrorist
Vegas and Vegas 2. So that’s three games for the
and winning the round. Games get so price of one. If Xbox 360 backwards compatibility
tense, it’s easy to miss just out means these old game bundles with new games
of disbelief that you actually are becoming the standard for Xbox One players,
found someone. we’re definitely not complaining.


In future Philly, even
stepping out for a late
night cheesesteak is
fraught with danger.

Hmm, at least they’ve done

up the ECW Arena a bit.

Publisher Deep Silver / DeveloPer Deep Silver DambuSter / Format XboX one

Homefront: The Revolution

A very literal take on the armchair revolutionary

Bluffer’s irtual tourism is a key Dambuster Studios, a developer off the tap. Escaping on motorbike
Guide pull of the open-world built from the remnants of Free becomes a far safer bet.
game, be it the historical Radical Design, is rejecting the The concept of botched hit-and-
takes re-enactments of sandbox power fantasy of unlimited runs escalating into hectic street fights
Homefront’s Assassin’s Creed, or the freedom in favour of something is cool, but it doesn’t feel right at the
‘Korea invades verdant paradises of Far much harder earned. In this world of moment. The guns lack that important
the USA’ idea Cry or Just Cause 3. guerrilla fighters, combat is down and snarl – although the real-time gun
and drags its Amid this lot, a trip to Korean- dirty – more about chipping away at customisation is nicely handled – and
guerrilla occupied Philadelphia is a harder sell, the enemy’s advantage with raids and the wide open area design allows
warfare into especially to the battle-scarred ‘Red sabotage. Tasked with stopping o spread out too far, losing
an open world. Zone’ that hosts Gamescom’s demo. a nearby patrol, for example, any intensity. Most of the time
And adds r/c
cars strapped
with C4. As
Here, in amongst the shells of bombed-
out warehouses, the war has already
we choose to hunker down
on a nearby balcony and ETA we couldn’t find soldiers to
shoot, instead spending half
you do. been lost. Drones pick over the rubble,
scanning for any US citizen dumb
use a ramp to roll flaming
oil drums into the path of a 2016 the demo fleeing a comically
persistent searchlight from
enough to try scavenging for goods and jeep. Later, we craft a hacking the reinforcement’s airship.
calling down the might of the Korean device to turn an attack probe As we sat in an old, rusty bus
People’s Army when they do. There are against its human masters. Out-and- watching a drone failing to squeeze
no wing suits or tigers here. Jason Brody out combat is a viable option, but through the door we felt less like
would last a minute before getting a once the Korean reinforcements start Rambo, more like Dumbo. It is with
bullet to the head. So it’s not all bad. flowing it seems impossible to turn good reason that the game has been
pushed back into 2016.
//We sit in an old, rusty bus feeling And we hope Dambuster does
tighten it up, as there are ambitious

less like Rambo, more like Dumbo// ideas at work here. Your fellow
revolutionaries are free agents, going
about private missions and getting
into trouble that you can choose to
Guerrillas in our mitts help with or ignore. None of it is
scripted, but emerges naturally. At
Homefront’s revolutionary tools
one point two comrades run into a
Your GTK, that’s Guerrilla Tool Kit, contains the sniper – enemies are also procedurally
ingredients of a revolution. Firecrackers distract placed – and call for help on the radio.
smaller patrols, while hacking devices convert
Sneaking into the sniper’s nest and
larger vehicles to your cause for a few chaotic
stabbing him doesn’t offer any tangible
seconds. The IEDs show a pleasing versatility in
reward, but the radioed thanks and the
the way they can be thrown as grenades, placed
on surfaces and remote detonated or even knowledge that there are two more
attached to a remote-controlled car and steered bodies for a future scuffle does hint at
into the target. We’d expect nothing less from a bigger vision for the game. We hope
the studio that rose from TimeSplitters’ ashes. the studio can pull it off.
Matthew Castle

42 / the official XboX magazine

TIE fighters get an added
Press the D-pad and speed boost mapped to the
you’ll perform sharp left trigger; X-wings get
loop-the-loops that to use a temporary shield.
would make even Han Both get their own version
barf up his dinner. of a homing missile. Tasty.

Publisher EA / DeveloPer DICE / Format XboX onE

Star Wars Battlefront

Now, witness the power of this fully operational battle station

Bluffer’s urs is not a job that gives allies and rivals rendered as distant easier to do when you lock on with
Guide you many tales to tell coloured dots shrouded by ash. Punch the left trigger, though doing so will
X-wings and
the grandchildren. Hell, through the smog and the fight comes inform the target of your presence.
TIE fighters it’s such a nerdy career into startling definition: ships scream Being on the receiving end of the same
race to 200 choice that it drastically by; blat-blatting red and green lasers alert tells you to get your ass in gear,
points. You reduces the probability criss-cross the sky; and molten red taking sharp turns or dive-bombing
get a few of reproducing in the death floods the planet’s surface. Our towards the canyons between Sullust’s
points for first place. But should the planets eyes want to sit there and gawp, but industrial plants below. This deadlier
splatting align and our progeny one day walk the fingers have other plans, setting lower ground hides various power-
an AI rival, the earth, we’ll certainly regale them us on the tail of a passing X ging from shields to
medium points with the time we almost shot down Piloting is far easier compared faster ability cooldown – along
for a human
and big points
for a supply
the Millennium Falcon. It occurred
above the volcanic plains of Sullust in
to DICE’s Battlefield vehicles
– you steer with the right ETA with torpedoes the TIE
fighter gets a screeching
ship – protect
your team’s
Battlefront’s Fighter Squadron mode,
a ten on ten X-wing versus TIE fighter
stick, set speed with the
left and tap the D-pad for 20 nov speed boost – to hero tokens
that transform you into
at all costs. dogfight, with an extra 20 NPC ships evasive manoeuvres. something a little more iconic.
thrown in for that full cinematic spread. Watching the original trilogy Though we never get the
Even before the arrival of Mr Solo is all the flight school you need. chance to pilot the Imperials’ hero
the scene delivers big on Battlefront’s It’s about sticking to someone’s tail vehicle, Boba Fett’s Slave 1, we do
‘be in the movie’ power fantasy. You and peppering them with lasers or meet the ship that made the Kessel
spawn outside a plume of smoke, your launching a proton torpedo. Both are Run in less than 12 parsecs. When
that dinner plate of a machine blasts
//Our eyes want to sit and gawp, through the clouds we sense a great
disturbance in the force, as if ten voices

but the fingers have other plans// suddenly cry out in awe and the other
ten cry out in terror. Our TIE fighter
suddenly feels a lot weedier than it
did before, even in cockpit view with
Skywalker Sound all the sound effects roaring direct in
our ears. It’s here in the driver’s seat
How audio brings the battle to life
that we manage to glance a shot off the
Much has been written about DICE’s Falcon, earning a few condescending
photogrammetry – processing still images into pity points for making the tiniest of
a high res 3D mesh for authentic 3D modelling
dents. It’s nothing compared to the
– but it’s the sound that gives Fighter Squadron
laser pummelling we receive in return.
such, ahem, force. The eerie whine of the TIE
OXM shoots first, but Han shoots
fighter; the blat-blat of a laser; the fiery pop of
an exploding cockpit – it’s perfect. The nerdy with bigger guns. Here’s hoping Lucas
highlight? Make your first kill as a TIE fighter and can resist retconning one of our most
you’re rewarded with a blast of the Imperial March. thrilling gaming memories of recent
Being a baddie has never sounded so good. months. This is something special.
Matthew Castle

@oXm thE offICIAl XboX mAgAzInE / 43


Looks like somebody didn’t

get the memo about capes
being non-optional attire…

Publisher Warner BroS InteractIve entertaInment / DeveloPer tt GameS / Format XBoX 360, XBoX one

Lego Dimensions
The toys-to-life category gets a Minifig makeover

ego’s blocky take on the Bluffer’s breaking, minikit-collecting action, but based on, the Aperture Science section
toys-to-life genre is all Guide the Toy Pad brings a number of new is packed with tricky head-scratchers,
about the fan-pleasing Like
elements to the proceedings. most of which involve some sort of
property mash-ups. Skylanders We first get a taste of this more interaction with the game’s various
Combining 14 universes, and Disney interactive approach when pieces.
from Doctor Who to DC Infinity, our demo, beginning on The We won’t spoil the specific
Comics, Dimensions lets you pilot the
Batmobile as Gandalf or trade Marty
but with
more tactile
Wizard of Oz’s yellow brick
road, finds us unable to move ETA puzzle setups or solutions
here, but we will reveal
McFly’s DeLorean for the TARDIS.
Based on our recent hands-on, and a lineup
amid a field of sleep-inducing
poppies. After Batman and 29 Sep that we had to complete a
variety of activities that not
however, those creative pop-culture of universes Lego Movie leading lady only asked us to position our
that includes
collisions are just the beginning. everything
Wyldstyle are incapacitated by Minifigs in specific spots on the
According to producer Doug Heder, from Back to the poisonous plants, Heder informs pad, but also keep an eye on the plastic
the game isn’t simply relying on its the Future to us Gandalf will suffer a similar fate peripheral for new colour-coded and
cast of iconic characters, but also Ghostbusters. if we continue down the same path. light-based cues. For example, when a
innovating Skylanders’ frequently It’s at this point he suggests placing series of Valve’s iconic portals open up,
cloned template. “We want to bring the Batmobile – which comes handily placing characters on Pad sections with
something new and interesting bundled with the game’s starter pack – corresponding colours teleports them to
with the hardware itself. Players on the Toy Pad and driving it in-game the swirling, in-game vortex. Spending
will interact with the Toy Pad in a over the obstacle. more time with the physical parts makes
meaningful way in the game, and make Putting the white-bearded wizard those purchases much easier to justify.
the toys something they actually play behind the wheel of Batman’s sweet As we saw during said Portal level,
with in the experience.” ride to solve a simple puzzle shows off many of Dimensions’ puzzles are tied
The Toy Pad separates itself from the hardware’s tactile integration on to five core abilities – Scale, Chroma,
the rest of the pack by continuing to be a small scale. As we learn in the next, Locate, Shift and Elemental – which
an integral part of the experience long Portal-themed level, however, your involve using combinations of the
after you’ve positioned your plastic new toy is something you’ll always base, characters, vehicles and gadgets.
protagonist on it. Fans of previous Lego want positioned within arm’s reach, Scale, for example, enables characters
games can still plan on participating in lest you fancy fiddling with it every to shrink or grow depending on where
plenty of comfortably familiar brick- few minutes. Like the franchise it’s you place their corresponding figures

44 / the offIcIal XBoX maGazIne


Lego-game puzzles get an

upgrade thanks to more
complex interactions with
Dimensions’ physical pieces.

Some elements of Dimensions

play out in similar fashion
to previous Lego games.


Lego Dimensions’ focus on proper,

physical interaction with its Toy
Pad and figures means fans will
occasionally need to put down
their pads to actually play with
the plastic bricks.

both its storytelling and its gameplay.

A highlight of our demo sees Batman
confusing the brainless scarecrow
from The Wizard of Oz with Gotham’s
same-named supervillain. Needless to
Torches can say, an argument breaks out between

//Batman confuses the brainless stop dinos?

the Dark Knight and Dorothy when
the former demands, “You’re coming

scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz

really ought with me, Scarecrow!”
to have told Thanks to its amazing lineup of
the guys in fan-servicing properties, Dimensions
with the same-named villain// Jurassic Park. already had our attention. The fact
that it’s also attempting to introduce
on the Pad, while Shift turns those to reveal a grappling point for Batman innovative ideas to both the long-
same segments into teleportation within a haunted Scooby Doo-themed running Lego formula and the
zones. The possibilities for each ability suburb, and you get the mad extent increasingly crowded intersection
are impressive. Having to combine them Dimensions is going to with this whole between toys and games, though, will
or call on them successively opens up ‘colliding worlds’ thing. hopefully make it more than just a
creative objectives that go far beyond Just as previous Lego titles would clever opportunity to see the Caped
Lego’s usual ‘trash the world’ remit. have you expect, Dimensions also does Crusader fight alongside Peter Capaldi.
Dimensions also introduces actual a great job of injecting humour into Matt Cabral
brick-building to the Lego games.
Gadgets and vehicles are upgraded
when you reassemble your pieces
into a new, more powerful form. As
Plastic with personality
It’s not just beautiful bricks
we discovered while rebuilding our
Batmobile into the Batblaster, on- Despite Doctor Who, Portal, The Simpsons and 11
screen instructions helpfully emulate other brands getting a makeover in Dimensions,
a real-life Lego instruction booklet. each world is being injected with plenty of
property-specific charm and personality. “Every
The Toy Pad’s integration doesn’t
world is trying to be as faithful to the source
just bring building and some promising
material as possible,” says Heder. “Even though
mechanics, but also character-specific they’re still Lego, we do some interesting
personality – such as lighting Gandalf’s things.” We were sold during the Scooby-Doo
staff by placing his figure on a lit level, where a cel-shaded animated look
portion of the base. Toss in the fact delivered an authentic ’70s cartoon vibe.
that said illuminated staff is then used

@oXm the offIcIal XBoX maGazIne / 45


Dedicated adventurers can

grow their arsenals from
slingshots and bows to rocket
launchers and turrets.

Publisher Studio Wildcard / DeveloPer Studio Wildcard / Format XboX one

ARK: Survival Evolved

A survival game that trades zombie-slaying for T-Rex taming

Bluffer’s ur first demo of ARK: resource management and character explains that we can regain the poor
Guide Survival Evolved doesn’t progression. Unlike all those games bird’s trust by feeding and caring for
A survival-
kick off with a grand, that have players fighting, building it. Eventually, the process will lead to
focused Spielberg-rivalling set and gathering through the zombie the dodo laying eggs for us. Pursuing
open-world piece, but rather by apocalypse, though, this has dinosaurs. this bird-punching path could also pay
adventure that leisurely exploring the More specifically, the ability to tame off with a whole den of egg-producing
elevates the lush landscape atop a the prehistoric beasts like puppies. dodos, rather than extinction.
expected genre parasaur. Co-creative director Jesse We get a taste of dino domesticating In addition to putting your tribe on
trappings Rapczak guarantees there’s plenty of when Rapczak suggests we slug a a permanent omelette diet, dinos can
– combat, action, but the game’s pulse-pounding passing dodo in the face. Taking as transportation, pack
crafting, moments only make up one part of its his advice literally, we hop mules, resource gatherers
– with the
Jurassic-sized adventure.
Dubbed an “open-world multiplayer
from our mount and sucker
punch the clueless creature ETA and attackers. Riding tamed
creatures also gives you
ability to
train and ride
first-person survival adventure”, ARK
has a DNA mix to rival Jurassic World’s
right in the beak. In addition
to being an amusing – albeit 2016 control of their abilities, so
those who enjoy chomping
dinosaurs with Indominus rex. It’s primarily a survival extremely guilty – pleasure, it on their enemies will want
your friends. game, but a well-balanced mix of other turns out the unwarranted act of to train the biggest carnivore
elements have already earned it a large violence is also the first step in taming they can find. Taming bigger beasts
fanbase on Steam Early Access. this easy target. obviously requires more than a slap to
Similar to other survival-focused While we don’t get to enjoy the the skull; medium-sized dinosaurs can
entries, it features combat, crafting, full cycle during our demo, Rapczak be felled with a slingshot, while larger
creatures need to be tranquillised with
//We hop from our mount and a specially crafted arrow.
When not teaching your T-rex new

sucker punch a clueless dodo// tricks, you’ll explore ARK’s vast world.
On top of the sprawling plains, you’ll
find an entire underwater ecosystem,
as well as underground caverns, caves
Jurassic arc and a stretching skyscape. Of course,
those who wish to explore the clouds
Prehistoric beasts meet sci-fi stories
will need to tame a pterodactyl first.
ARK offers a very freeform experience, but Our time with Survival Evolved is
Rapczak promises it won’t be short on narrative. brief, but based on our quick peek
The story includes a sci-fi element, which
at its potential-packed universe, we
heavily revolves around a trio of mysterious
look forward to returning to what
towers. There’s also plenty of lore and backstory
promises to be, at the very least, the
to discover via messages left behind by the
previous population. While Rapczak encourages only Xbox One game that lets you keep
playing with others in PvP and PvE, he also a velociraptor as a pet. We will get to
promises a fulfilling solo experience for lone try more when it hits the Xbox Game
survivalists craving an engaging adventure. Preview programme, later in the year.
Matt Cabral

46 / the official XboX magazine


Combat feels This is fellow runner

faster and more Icarus – he’s your new
ferocious – companion in Catalyst, but
there’s a real to be honest, he can be a
martial arts bit of an A-hole.
film vibe.

Publisher EA / DeveloPer DicE / Format XboX onE

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst

Faith’s first outing includes no guns, but more fun

Bluffer’s he most amazing thing Mirror’s Edge was pretty one-way. orders. While you could simply climb
Guide about playing the new Catalyst’s open world immediately up the sculpture-covered walls, we see
Taking the
Mirror’s Edge is quite feels like an improvement. Even while returning lead, Faith, jumping between
original simply how similar it playing set challenges – take down suspended office pods, effortlessly
game’s concept feels to the original. The a squadron of security guards, or vaulting walkways and eventually
and, ahem, fluidity of movement, race to a specific point – the game’s clinging onto the bottom of a moving
running with the moment-perfect handing off control to you. It creates elevator like a lithe Daniel Craig. It’s
it, Catalyst finger gymnastics needed to keep your a world where every single edge and not because you’ll necessarily unlock
is an open- parkour flow at top speed, the glorious surface is interactive and could be more or find secrets this way, it’s
world prequel interplay of bright white architecture useful to you in some way. because it’s more fun.
that tasks cut through with red Runner lines. Runner lines are now a The same goes for combat,
you with
parkour in a
The entire problem with the first game
was that DICE got so much right, and
suggestion of how to proceed,
not an optimum path. In a eTA the other much-needed
improvement. With access
then layered in a couple of elements
that didn’t quite work. This prequel
hands-off demo showing
one of the game’s main 23 FEb to firearms now forbidden,
Faith is forced to disarm
future-city. already feels like it has stripped back missions – climbing the floors guards up-close and personal.
those weaker elements, leaving that of an out-of-hours office block That can be done by simply
still-fresh feeling to bloom. to steal corporate data – the game’s jogging up to them and pressing X to
For a game that touted its free designers show us how there are far play out a short, whirling animation,
expression of movement and a more inventive ways to approach but it’s far more interesting to leap
broadness of approach to its levels, objectives than simply following onto one from a full storey above,
perform a combat roll, then wall run
//With guns forbidden, Faith’s forced into a colleague’s solar plexus. It’s
faster, too – every action performed on

to get up-close and personal// the move keeps you travelling at full
pelt, so don’t be surprised to see some
violent time trials coming your way.
It feels as though the game’s quietly
Green means stop urging you to try new things, to push
Faith to her limits, even if it means
When Faith has to stop running,
seeing those horrific moments where
the game changes you get ‘falling dream’ drops to the
In its more directed moments, Catalyst seems concrete when you fail. Whether that
to be moving for a slightly more puzzling vibe. can be married to a story mode that still
Like the last game, when an area swaps its red wants to push you in a single direction
highlights for green, you’re more than likely is yet to be seen, but Catalyst already
being tasked with finding a way out, as opposed feels like a realisation of the promise of
to simply running through. Faith’s not gained the original. Among the wealth of new
too many new moves, but the new Mag Rope (a ideas coming in 2016, this old one still
limited-use grappling hook) could make these
feels one of the most modern.
sections far bigger. We can’t wait to find out.
Joe Skrebels

@oXm thE oFFiciAl XboX mAgAzinE / 47


Agent 47 has gotten spry

since Absolution – he can
now shimmy up buildings to
aid breaking and entering.
Publisher Square enix / DeveloPer io interactive / Format xbox one

You are cordially invited to kill some very bad people

ave you ever tried using Bluffer’s As you pilot Agent 47 around (in a meaning (a non-lethal instrument,
a memory palace? That Guide a rare bit of luck, he’s actually been distraction tool, something to poison)
peculiar idea that if you The big, bald
invited to this party), you’ll notice and fit it, coglike into your plans.
visualise a location, and daddy of the waiting staff carrying trays of food, Of course, this is nothing new
assign a fact, name or stealth genre crowbars left by packing crates, Hitman – the series has
attribute to the objects returns in drainpipes, crowds of party always thrived on open-
in that imaginary place, you can walk
between them freely, never forgetting
classic form,
asking you
guests, open windows and
mechanical controls. You’ll ETA ended executions – but that
seems to be the point. IO is
to execute
the ideas you’ve stored away? IO’s
created its own palace to show off this targets in
have the option to interact
with all of it, a jumble of 8 Dec exploiting new-gen tech by
filling that palace with more
back-to-basics new Hitman – a gaudy any way you information that you need of everything.
see fit.
Parisian museum dreamed into the to collate, sequence and, most The Paris demo is enormous
middle of the Seine, in whose walls you importantly, remember. IO, in effect, – it takes studio head Hannes Seifert
have to find and eliminate two targets has crafted a game out of memory a good ten minutes just to fly around
putting on a fashion show. palaces – you spot an item, ascribe it the level showing us its key locations.
Then there are the 300-odd NPC
characters filling it (Absolution
Levels, upped managed around 60 max), all with
procedural, reactive AI and many
Baldly going where no dev has before
with specific and varied roles. Every
Hitman’s notable for adopting a Witcher 3-style window and door of the museum can
free updates philosophy, but pushing it further be opened, meaning every room of its
– the game’s single-player will update over three floors is fully modelled. There
months. Seifert’s keen to point out that this is
is stuff everywhere, from the banal
because the game will be well-stocked: “We
(boxes to hide weapons in) to the
already know that when the game is complete,
it will be bigger than Blood Money, regarding the ornate (a coin-operated battlefield
single-player. Then when the game starts, we exhibit that can be used to give a
will have weekly updates. We think that, when flighty fashion director a little fright).
we’re done, it will be by far the biggest Hitman.” This is its beauty – any approach is
rewarded with things to do, buttons

48 / the official xbox magazine


Your enemies are all awful,

but some are worse than
others. viktor Novikov here
is a patsy for higher powers.

As ever, newspapers reveal

how your hits are being
reported to the public.

There are
//Hide a bomb in a reporter’s multiple
points of
concurrently, meaning your timing is
as important as creating gas leaks.

camera, detonating it when they

escape from And, of course, it all makes
the Paris replayability a key element. Seifert
level - says that pre-alpha players have been
go to interview your target// stealing your
target’s own
spending four-to-five hours on a
single run of the Paris level, but the
to fiddle with, and experimentation is result of the hundreds of mingling is the most final game will reward you for playing
key. Seifert grins as he shows me how, processes at work, not a set-piece. stylish. multiple times. “You always get a
by placing a bomb behind a security You could walk in front of a news reward when you play,” he explains.
guard and turning him around by reporter’s camera enough times that “When you find items… you have them
flicking a coin at his heels, the goon they give up reporting while you’re in your inventory, you can bring them
will find and disarm the explosive, around. Then, when the cameraman’s to the level the next time around.”
then carry it away to an armoury – not looking, hide your bomb in the That should be most interesting in
inadvertently showing you where camera, detonating it when they go the returning Contracts mode, which
it is, and smuggling a bomb into the to interview your target. Or upgrade allows you to pick any NPC and – as
museum for you. It’s a neat trick, but your bomb so it can’t be disarmed, long as you kill them unseen – lets
Seifert is keen to explain that it’s a turning any guard who collects it into a you set that action as a challenge to
walking weapon. Seifert’s key metric is any other player who cares to try.
“potential deathtraps per square metre” It makes for some interesting level
THe predicTion – it appears to have increased a lot. design – certain characters have been
Learning how these places function specifically placed in incredibly hard-
is paramount, because there are now to-reach spots, and creative kills will
more ways to be caught than ever. be even harder to replicate.
Eyebrows have been raised at the Disguises are more dangerous, with That we emerged from the demo
incremental release, with new levels costume-specific Enforcers able to see already formulating our own horrible
appearing well after the initial that you’re actually an angry-looking plans says it all – Hitman’s a memory
digital release, but on the strength man with a screwdriver. Non-violent palace we want to spend more than a
of this demo, exhausting all options
before moving on seems welcome. NPCs summon violent ones if they see little time getting to know intimately.
you acting shady. The entire level runs Joe Skrebels

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 49

Nine new stadiums include
Dynamic Crossing sees your player arc his run to strike the homes of Borussia
the ball rather than hit it all awkwardly, like. Mönchengladbach, Norwich
City, Olympique de
Marseille and Watford.
There are 50 in all.

Publisher EA SPORTS / DeveloPer EA CANADA / Format XBOX 360, XBOX ONE

Let’s talk about FUT baby, let’s talk about you and Messi

Bluffer’s here’s an advert doing Draft is Ultimate Team’s biggest Draft is a good way to test rare
Guide the rounds of everyone’s addition since FUT’s inception in superstars (you’ve less than 1 in 75,000
EA performs
favourite bickering FIFA 13. Here you’re given five top, of finding a Ronaldo card usually), and
a balancing Sky Sports pundits, top players to choose from in each argue with mates, even if your house is
act worthy Gary Neville and Jamie position before selecting a formation dingier than the Carragher-Neville’s.
of Cirque Carragher, sitting on a and a manager, and then playing four How has FIFA 16 improved since
du Soleil by couch picking players matches against other drafters online. our last hands-on though? In a word:
introducing for their Draft team. “I never look at The more you win, the better your balance. Defenders plug gaps better,
subtle Mascherano,” says Carragher, in that prize. We only manage a single victory but power passes can exploit space
improvements weird tense footballers use. “I look at but take home a Silver, Jumbo Tacklers have a swing
without Varane,” says Neville, slotting him into Silver, and Gold pack to keep, step to prevent being too easily
toppling the
whole act
over in a
their shared squad. It’s a cheesy but
effective demonstration of the mode’s
which is more than enough
impetus to try again. “Quite ETA turned, but dribblers can now
perform off-the-ball body
clownish mess. pub chat brilliance, its ability to spark
controller-snatching debate.
often [games] have this
tail-off period where you do 24 SEP feints. Defenders can tackle
the ball at awkward shin
“There’s this whole conversational it for a while then stop,” says height, but fresh animations
culture that blurs the line between Shaikh. “But we spent a lot of let attackers more naturally take
real football discussion and football time making sure people could play for it from any angle. Intelligent keepers
games,” says Adam Shaikh, FIFA the whole year if they wanted to.” more ably save troublesome shots, but
Ultimate Team Creative Director. You’ll have to pay an entrance fee, this doesn’t kill the satisfaction of the
“We’re taking exciting, interesting mind, but at 7,500 coins/300 points strike. A series of smart checks and
game mechanics then tying it back to (about £2.50), that’s the same as a balances keeps FIFA 16 engaging.
something that people have a deep premium Gold pack, so it’s a fair price. Although it’s easy to be dismissive
passion and strong opinions about.” In both single-player and multiplayer, of FIFA 16’s lack of game-changing
features, subtle improvements have
//Draft is Ultimate Team’s biggest taken root, and the results are flowering
across the pitch. What first seemed

addition since FUT’s inception// like an off year is, in fact, very much on.
Ben Griffin


With a whopping 94 Another Manchester Former Barcelona Rhino man Gattuso,
dribbling, George United golden boy, and Chelsea man formerly of
Best also happens nippy midfield Deco is rated AC Milan, is a
to be the best new catalyst Ryan 89 for passing, gladiator with a 92
Legend. Is that a Giggs has 90 pace renowned for his physical rating.
coincidence, or...magic? and very thick chest hair creativity, vision, and He once fought Tottenham’s
Answer: coincidence. There that we here at OXM often ability to fully rotate assistant manager, so
is no magic in this world. think about. his head like an owl. you’d better watch it.

50 / ThE OffiCiAl XBOX mAgAziNE www.gAmESRADAR.COm/OXm

It’s always a good idea
He’s got chills, to keep chaps with knives
they’re multiplying… safely at arm’s – or
indeed leg’s – distance.

Publisher Ubisoft / DeveloPer Ubisoft QUebec / Format XboX one

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Lock, stock and two smoking hay bales

Bluffer’s p until Gamescom, All this malice is in aid of reaching nearby Templar spies. Stalking a target
Guide the most horrendous one bad apple, Templar Lucy Thorne, across the rooftops is made easier with
Pair of twins
crime committed in the who’s holed up in the central White Evie’s Chameleon skill, the power to
take back Tower of London was Tower. Grappling up to a vantage point flop a hood over her face and vanish
London one the pricing of its gift triggers a cinematic pass of the area, when crouching still. Watching a lady
borough at a shop chocolate (closely highlighting potential approaches: a turn invisible on the spot is massively
time. He’s followed by those two guard with jangling keys, rebel soldiers contrived, but it isn’t the game-breaker
a bloodied murdered princes). But in 15 minutes in a nearby prison and a double agent you might fear. She can’t disappear in
brawler; in our hands-on as lady Assassin Evie infiltrating the Beefeaters’ ranks. Bet an enemy’s line of sight, for one, and
she can turn Frye – the sneakier of Syndicate’s twin he doesn’t even eat beef, the t move. It’s best used to
see-through. protagonists – we do enough horrible cad. It conjures a Hitman-ish scope out places where Evie
Christmas at
their house
must be a
things to make even the legendary
ravens get the hell out of the vicinity.
sense of freedom; something
hinted at in a few of Unity’s eTA can’t move freely, letting us
spot a dangling barrel (that’s
laugh riot. We pull Beefeaters off turrets, stab
them behind manicured bushes and
branching killings, but
never as clearly explained 23 oct Templar number one dead)
and two towers ripe for a
pounce on them from Evie’s handy or executed as it is here. The zipline (that’d be his friend).
grappling-hook zipline. One royal level’s designer tells us we can With the coast cleared, Evie
guard even gets a barrel dropped on expect a greater focus on these stages - can now pose as the double agent’s
his head – doubly painful when you they call them ‘black box’ levels - too. prisoner and transport herself to an
consider that big, silly hat he has to We opt for the double agent method, audience with Thorne. Eagle-eyed
wear getting compacted into his skull. first having to earn his trust by offing Templar agents can see through the
ruse if you wander too close or too fast
//Turning invisible on the spot isn’t – your sphere of fakery is represented
by a stealth circle beneath your feet –

as game-breaking as we feared// so climbing the tower requires gentle

easing of the analogue stick and no
sudden movements. Gaining access
to Thorne’s chamber triggers some
Zippy and bungled dramatic scoffing from our target; a
Is the grappling hook a killer, er, hook? quick-time event puts a stop to that,
and her, for good. This is what the
The rope launcher is a hybrid of Batman’s grapnel
game calls a ‘unique kill’ – a more
and line launcher. Like the latter, it lets you link
cinematic event that feels like the
level vantage points with a zipline, creating new
‘canonical’ version to us.
aerial assassination opportunities. But it’s a poor
imitation of the former: grappling is worryingly hit All this is pretty solid, recognisable
or miss this late on in development. The grapple stuff, lent an endearingly cartoonish
cue often wouldn’t appear where we needed it, sheen by the setting. Whether killing
and its range is never quite clear. There’s nothing Beefeaters can carry the whole game is
worse than staring helplessly at a distant gutter yet to be seen. For today, at least, it’s as
while guards fill your body with musket balls. sweet as overpriced gift shop chocolate.
Matthew Castle

@oXm the official XboX magazine / 51


on the A few jabs with

something sharp

should wipe that
creepy smile
off his face.

Publisher Compulsion Games / develoPer Compulsion Games / Format XboX one

The other games

you should know We Happy Few
about this month

poken word nursery rhyme? Creepy of its crowdfunding campaign, and despite a few
music box backing? We Happy Few’s rough edges it’s got plenty of promise. stealth is
latest trailer deploys some well-worn relatively forgiving. suspicious townsfolk will get
horror tropes, but does so expertly, aggressive when they feel threatened by your
conjuring an ambiance that instantly presence, but they aren’t especially persistent,
tells us bad stuff’s about to go down in a usually run from trouble. Flight
BioShock-meets-The Prisoner way. is often the more sensible option given
This survival horror adventure ETA that death is permanent, and hand-
takes place in an alternate-reality to-hand combat is rather inelegant –
post-war british town where most 2016 though things take a turn for the better
of the population walks around in a once you’ve located a weapon.
state of medicated delusion, trying to The systems need some fine-tuning,
forget the atrocities of the conflict. You must but already this is a richly atmospheric survival
either attempt to blend in, or sneak around game. as an added bonus, you’ll get to try this
undetected by the paranoia-ridden townsfolk. unsettling adventure before the end of the year,
The alpha version has been released to backers as part of the Game preview programme.

Publisher aCTivision / develoPer Robomodo, Publisher mojanG / develoPer oXeYe Game Publisher FullbRiGhT /
disRupTive Games / Format XboX one, XboX 360 sTudio, FaTshaRk / Format XboX one, XboX 360 develoPer FullbRiGhT / Format XboX one

Tony Hawk’s Cobalt Tacoma

Pro Skater 5 hat’s right: the folks what make one Home was rightly lauded for

fter ill-fated experiments Ride and T Minecraft are publishing a game from
a third-party dev, whose members G switching up genres on you when you
least expected it. We’re hoping its
A Shred, the Tony Hawk series is returning
to its roots. Pro Skater 5 is intended to
include one jens bergensten, also known as
the man who took charge of Minecraft when
follow-up surprises us by doing no such thing.
playing with the microgravity of an abandoned
look and feel like the fondly remembered early notch decided to give it all up to live in a space station, Fullbright continues to focus
games, only with a few contemporary twists. giant house filled with jellybeans. nepotism! on environmental storytelling – letting you see
The Xbox one version will support up to 20 luckily, Cobalt’s looking very good indeed: it’s the minutiae of living in space – but matches it
players online and shareable skate parks of your a side-scrolling action-platformer that’s been with what seems like a greater focus on puzzle-
own making. These are good ideas; we’re rather refined over several years, with particular focus solving. jumping between floor and ceiling to
less convinced by the inclusion of power-ups on its four-person multiplayer. There’s sliding, get to maintenance and restart the station’s
and the ability to shoot projectiles. slow motion, sliding in slow motion and lots ai made up the bulk of our demo, but it was
perhaps stung by (understandable) criticisms of jumping and rolling. Rolling is particularly punctuated with miniature interludes, as creepy
of its graphics, activision decided to reveal important, as it allows you to not only dodge primary-coloured aR recordings of the lost crew
a new art style less than two months ahead incoming projectiles, but to deflect them back chatted away. once we saw a corrupted ghostly
of launch – which hardly inspires at whoever fired. Controls are refined version performing nefarious deeds, we
confidence. Wikipedia currently has and responsive, and the action, dare began to believe this could be a full-
ETA a ‘series decline’ section covering ETA we say it, is reminiscent at times ETA on horror. expect far more under the
oCT Robomodo’s three entries to date; oCT of a 2d multiplayer Vanquish. We’re 2016 surface, but don’t even try to guess
will this be four flops in a row? quite excited by this one. what it might be.

52 / The oFFiCial XboX maGazine WWW.GamesRadaR.Com/oXm


Publisher supeRhoT Team / develoPer supeRhoT Publisher Team 17 / develoPer Team 17 / Publisher paRadoX inTeRaCTive /
Team / Format XboX one Format XboX one develoPer Colossal oRdeR / Format XboX one

Superhot Worms WMD Cities: Skylines

emember bullet-time? it was everywhere n shocking news that has rocked the ities: Skylines’ Finnish developer
R after The Matrix was released. some game
designers managed to use it better than I games industry to its very foundations,
Team 17 has announced that it is C was a tiny studio with a big dream
– but expanding its transportation-
others, but rarely was it employed particularly making a new Worms game. by our reckoning, focused business simulation Cities in Motion
creatively. it might have looked cool, but the this is the 246th entry in the series, assuming wasn’t really on the cards while SimCity
novelty quickly wore off. Superhot, an expanded it comes out before the mobile Worms game held domain over the genre. but with maxis
version of a browser game, uses it brilliantly. Team 17 is also working on. in case you’ve just widely considered to have royally stuffed up
Time only advances when you move, and so woken from a 20-year coma, Worms is a 2d turn- the latest entry in the series, Colossal order
what looks like a stylishly minimalist Fps is based action-strategy game in which teams of saw its chance to capitalise, and publisher
actually more of a strategy or a puzzle game: annelids with the kind of unrestricted access paradox gave it the nod to try and outdo ea’s
you look around as you enter a room and plot to dangerous ordnance that would make ban behemoth. it tried, and almost everyone agreed
the most efficient path through it while dodging ki-moon soil his strides compete to blow one it succeeded, trumping maxis in scale and
incoming bullets and firing off your own – or another into teeny-tiny chunks. The twist this scope. it wasn’t merely a critical hit, either, with
running opponents through with a katana, if time is that there are two twists. Firstly, you can many players shifting allegiances from SimCity,
you’re feeling particularly brave. Formulating a use vehicles – such as a tank that rattles off helping Cities: Skylines sell a million copies
ight take a minute or two, ots in a single turn. secondly, within a month. now it’s about to make
but the whole thing is technically you can enter buildings for cover. its console debut on Xbox one, with
ETA over in seconds. irresistibly cool, ETA That, so far, is all we’ve got. it’s ETA a planned launch at some point
WinTeR this could be the slickest indie 2016 Worms, only a bit more explode-y. 2016 within the next 12 months. Whoever
hit of the year. it’ll probably be quite fun? said dreams can’t come true?

Publisher TeRRible ToYboX / develoPer TeRRible ToYboX / Format XboX one

Thimbleweed Park
se nostalgia on backers: it’s no real 80. a fresh corpse soon turns up, with a male and
shock that a new point-and-click female detective asked to investigate. elsewhere,
adventure presented in the style of there’s a brewing family feud, an amnesiac ghost
an old point-and-click adventure, and a cursed clown. The pitch is “an undiscovered
from two of the genre’s pioneers, lucasarts adventure game you’ve never played
was a crowdfunding success. as the d it certainly looks the part.
Publisher eleCTRoniC aRTs / develoPer ColdWood
game’s co-directors Gary Winnick and one mild concern is that Gilbert has
inTeRaCTive / Format XboX one
Ron Gilbert reminisced about their time ETA promised to satirise True Detective,

Unravel at lucasarts, Winnick suggested that

the two should team up again and
make a new adventure in a similar style.
which could be a challenge given the
second season’s regular lapses into self-
parody. still, with Gilbert on script duties,
second glimpse of one of e3’s best little is known about the story so far at least we’re certain to get better dialogue
A surprises gives us a chance to
appreciate how ColdWood’s charming
beyond its setup. several plot threads will
intertwine, but central to it all is a murder in the
than the Tv show’s infamous “it’s like blue
balls in your heart.” That the teaser closes with an
platformer actually plays. Woollen protagonist town of Thimbleweed park, a sleepy backwater attempt to use a balloon animal WiTh the corpse
Yarny has to make it to the end before he runs settlement with just 81 inhabitants. make that suggests there’ll be lols, and plenty of them.
out of yarn; as a coastal stage progresses, we
see him getting ever thinner, until he finds a
fresh supply of red thread. some of these extra
yarn balls will be left in seemingly unreachable
spots; happily, Yarny can tie knots to two objects
to form a bridge, which doubles as a trampoline
to bounce to higher platforms. This is used to
transport a buoyant boat fender over obstacles,
so Yarny can negotiate the waves that flow
from background to foreground without getting
washed away. it’s dangerously close to
being a little too twee, but as Yarny
ETA tenderly clutches a fish made from
2016 felt, we think Unravel is on the right
side of the aww/ugh divide.
Maniac Mansion was
one inspiration.
@oXm The oFFiCial XboX maGazine / 53
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@OXM the official xbox magazine / 55

fe aT ure

The Cyberdemon
was Doom 3’s
most powerful
monster –
it’s safe to
say he’s not
looking any
easier this
time around.

We dive into DOOM’s lightning-
quick Team Deathmatch mode
and discuss the game’s other
fast-paced offerings with id
Software’s Marty Stratton
Writer: Matt Cabral

nter the phrase “Bruce Lee with a
shotgun on a skateboard” into your
search engine of choice and you’ll
quickly discover it’s the favoured
description id Software’s executive
producer Marty Stratton likes to use
to sum up DOOM’s aggressively paced
gameplay. While the colourful catchphrase’s
implications should please loyal but sceptical fans let down
by Doom 3’s slower, survival horror-inspired style, we were Satisfied with – and a bit frightened by – Stratton’s giddy
determined to dig a bit deeper into the imaginative analogy. clarification, we jump into a six-minute, six-versus-six match
Before diving into our demo of DOOM’s blistering new Team (yep, that’s 666) on the game’s Heatwave map. Featuring a
Deathmatch mode, we ask Stratton – who prefers to refer to heavy industrial vibe and lots of hot liquid magma, the arena-
the upcoming title as a “new start” rather than a reboot – to style area should feel comfortably familiar to anyone who’s
elaborate on his infamous elevator pitch. “It’s really the way ever thwarted an otherworldly threat against an atmospheric
our combat feels,” he begins. “Areas feel like skate parks, backdrop of coughing machinery and spitting lava pits.
and the way you move, the speed at which you move, the
fact enemies shoot projectiles at you and, in many cases, Hands-on in hell
you’re actually faster than them and you’re weaving back Of course, pausing to soak up the immersive surroundings
and forth between them and choosing between every gun in for more than a second or so isn’t an option. Soon after,
your arsenal... it’s all of these things working together. It’s Stratton warns, “If you stop, you die”. We do exactly that. It
just freaking really, really fun.” takes two more unceremonious deaths before we realise



In the decade since we’ve had a new
Doom title, fPS franchises such as
Call of Duty and Battlefield have
dominated and defined the genre. But
executive producer Marty Stratton
believes that DOOM will please
seasoned demon-slayers and new
recruits alike. “for people who play
DOOM, it will feel familiar, but
I think for people who just, say,
bought an Xbox One and it’s their
first time playing anything related
to DOOM, they will find it super-
fun, super-fresh, and it will be
a new bar for them on how they
expect other games to feel.”
fe aT ure

DOOM has essentially rewritten the is now, according to Stratton, “the

definition of ‘Hit the ground running’. ultimate player power-up”. During this
Following a few quick re-spawns, we particular variation of TDM, players
shelve our meandering sightseeing of can swipe a randomly spawned demon
the id Tech 6-fuelled environments in rune to transform themselves into this
favour of double-jumping, mantling and table-turning terror. Snatching up the
generally not staying still long enough pentagram-like power-up not only
for anyone to get a bead on us. grants the gift of flight and rocket-
Armed with a Super Shotgun, Static propelled grenades, but also gives its
Cannon and Frag grenades, we run lucky bearer twice the life of their foes.
like hell and frantically spray hot lead Our few encounters with a rival
at anyone who crosses our path. As Revenant leave us horizontal on
fun as this is, Stratton suggests we Heatwave’s catwalks, but Stratton
swap from the punch-packing Super ensures all hope isn’t lost when this
Shotgun to the Static Cannon for a true hell-spawn is unleashed. In addition to
taste of DOOM’s need for speed. “This utilising quad-damage and invisibility
gun actually gets better the more you power-ups, players can even the
move,” he says excitedly. “It charges odds with the gauss Rifle. Appearing
up as you run through the environment. as randomly as the rune, the super
If you stop, it will de-charge, so it’s weapon, which Stratton says can
kind of like a rail-gun that gets more “wreck enemies”, takes down human
powerful as you move.”
Swiftly navigating the map’s
vertically inclined layout while
wielding the motion-powered
hand-cannon proves an
effective strategy...
until the Revenant
joins the fray.
equipped with a
jet-pack and
shouldering a
pair of rocket
the classic

not good; it’s just not good going to go in a different

enough. we’re capable of much direction than John was going
more and we think we can make because we think this makes
this an even better game.’ So… our game better.’ They were
they demanded better. a bit freed up from that
standpoint, because John
OXM: what’s been improved over wasn’t around to sort of
that earlier version? dictate where they were going
and what they were doing. It
The single-player, they pushed was kind of left to the rest
a lot on the multiplayer, and of them, and they seized the
they came up with SnapMap, opportunity instead of burying
which was them coming up with their heads in the sand.
DOOMED TO BE this idea and concepting it,
and working on it, and making OXM: are id excited about the
BETTER it a reality. It’s something prospect of re-introducing the
BeTheSDa SOfTwOrkS’ VP Of that’s very true to id, world to DOOM?
Pr anD MarkeTIng PeTe hIneS but still something that’s
DISCuSSeS DeVelOPIng DOOM fresh for the industry… not They’re hungry to prove
In a POST-CarMaCk wOrlD something a lot of other they’re legit and that they
folks are doing. still have the chops, and that
OXM: Can you talk a bit they’re really good at what
about DOOM’s protracted OXM: was there additional they do. This is a big deal
development cycle? pressure on the team to prove and they want to be spoken
themselves after John Carmack about amongst the best of the
Part of the reason DOOM is departed in 2013? best first-person shooter
where it is in development franchises. If anybody’s
is because id Software, a absolutely. But they really talking about the best
long-standing, well-known took advantage of that first-person shooters
studio, looked at the early situation. id Tech 6 was born out there and the studios
version and said: ‘This isn’t entirely out of his departure making them, they want to be
good enough. not to say it’s and the tech team said: ‘we’re in that conversation.



DOOM: the home of

ultraviolence and jazz
hands. It’s 18-rated
for a reason.


In its day, 2005’s Doom 3 was considered
one of the prettiest games to ever appear
on Microsoft’s original big black box. id
Software aims to earn similar accolades on
Xbox One with its id Tech 6-powered reboot.
featuring id Tech 5-shaming dynamic lighting
and shadows, eye-popping effects, and an
unmatched level of atmospheric immersion,
DOOM’s as pretty as a postcard... sent
straight from the depths of hell.

adversaries with a single shot and announced Freeze Tag and Clan Arena
Classic puts a Volkswagen-sized dent in most modes – as well as some yet-to-be-
monsters like demons’ health meters. As we witness revealed goodies – makes up just a
the Cacodemon
during the lightning-fast round, the third of the game’s total offerings.
return to the
fray – albeit appearance of both the Revenant and In fact, according to the 15-year id
with a few more the only weapon capable of quickly veteran, the final package will feature
pixels than sending him back to Hades injects a tasty trio of fully-fleshed, content-
their 1993 the familiar TDM formula with a fresh, packed components: “We really
counterparts. frantic dynamic, while the seat-of-the- are approaching the game as three
pants pacing packs plenty of thrills into pillars. equally important to us as the
Stop for just a second and the moment-to-moment gunplay. single-player campaign experience, is
you’ll die. we guess this the multiplayer and SnapMap. none of
guy didn’t get the memo. Three ways to play these should feel lacking to the player.
Our six minutes in hell is sadly all too I would hope that people sit down and
brief, but Stratton says this pre-alpha play all of them and enjoy all of them,
slice barely scratches the hot molten but if they just choose to play one,
surface of what’s to come. DOOM’s that’s £50 worth of entertainment.”
dedicated multiplayer component, Those betting all their hard-earned
which also includes the previously bones on DOOM’s single-player
campaign can plan on their investment

“we run like hell

paying them back in more blood and
guts than they can shake a chainsaw
at. If you’ve spied any of the previous
and spray hot lead peeks of the game’s story mode, you’re
well aware DOOM’s wearing its 18-rating

at every monster” like a blood-drenched badge of honour.

That said, its over-the-top violence

@OxM THe OFFICIAL xBOx MAgAzIne / 59

fe aT ure
id Tech 5 wowed us in games like
wolfenstein: The new Order and
The evil within, but id Tech 6
is something else entirely.

isn’t just about shock value. Sure,

having a big, scary hell-spawn beat
you to death with your own graphically
detached limbs might provide fodder for
future nightmares, but the horrific act is
all in the service of storytelling. Sort of.
Stratton isn’t oblivious to the fact
people play DOOM because it’s one of
the few games that allows them to
halve hell’s monsters with chainsaws,
but he also feels there’s room for some
meaningful narrative to be delivered
through that primal filter. “We know
players are coming to the game to kill
demons and we’ve tried to apply that
to how we approach the story. A nod
to some of the things we’re doing is
when a demon smashes a guy into a
console and you later find that guy and
have to tear his arm off to get access
to an area. That’s certainly not the
extent of our story, but we try to do it
in interesting and clever ways that stay
out of the way of somebody who just
wants to blow stuff up and kill demons.”
Whether you’re following the story

“the over-the-top
or simply slaying baddies, DOOM’s That cohesive package is also
campaign, like its multiplayer, rewards complemented by some design
those who don’t stop to smell the decisions that could initially leave the
cooked flesh. Calling it “way faster” than
Doom 3, Stratton elaborates on how the
Call of Duty crowd wondering where all
the conveniently-placed waist-high violence isn’t just
next instalment is “widely” different
than its slower-paced predecessor.
“From a game development perspective,
cover points are. As Stratton explains,
though, DOOM’s steeper, more nuanced
difficulty isn’t about frustrating players,
about shock value”
you’re always learning from what you did but promoting adrenaline-fuelled fun. trigger, I want an amazing, explosive
in the past. When we started this, it was “We love combat where you dive in and experience. Reloading does not fit into
about figuring out the quintessential attack the enemy. Does regenerative that, because when I’m out of ammo
essence of DOOM. We hit on some really health fit into that? Hell no. Taking and I pull that trigger and hear ‘click’,
good things and it boils down to the cover? nope, that doesn’t fit either.” that’s the worst feeling ever.”
way the guns feel, the way the enemies When queried about DOOM’s strict On top of never running dry, DOOM’s
feel and, yes, the movement and how no-reloading rule, Stratton is equally death-dealers have been fine-tuned for
that works together as a package.” enthusiastic: “every time I pull the optimal enemy-eviscerating fun. The
arsenal, which Stratton calls “Varied,
The Mancubus distinct and responsive,” includes
needs to lose
a few pounds,
plenty of unique options, all with very
but his vast specific purposes. In addition to the
gut doesn’t aforementioned ass-kickers, fans can
prevent the plan on blowing bad guys’ faces off
brute from with various shotgun types, plasma
unleashing rifles, heavy assault weapons, and
XXXl-sized chain-guns. Complementing the ability
drubbings. to reduce hell’s hordes to hamburger


DOOM’s enemies’ fireballs are just as unpredictable as one of the hardcore granddaddies
as bullets. according to Marty Stratton, the prolific of the first-person shooter genre,
use of the fiery projectiles adds a different dynamic DOOM doesn’t hold your hand or
to DOOM’s slickly-paced combat. “In lots of games you regenerate your low health. Its
are fighting soldiers carrying guns, so bullets are attacking demon hordes, however, will
hitting you. But DOOM is very much about enemies that often drop health bonuses upon hitting
throw fireballs; when you see the fireball coming the floor in a bloody heap. In fact,
through the air at you and you’re making these really some of the game’s most adrenaline-
fast, split-second decisions... well, your movement spiking moments come from scoring a
is just so key in your ability to evade that stuff.” life-saving health pick-up just as
expect to find OXM in a melted pile in the corner. you’re about to gasp your last breath.



from behind a BFg of your choice, is a experienced modders with its breadth Cacodemons are what looks cool, fire it up, and let the
new gun-swapping mechanic; utilising of options, but also introduce budding what happens demon-demolishing action begin.
a weapon wheel that holds as many game designers to a new world just when a space Combined with a brimming slate
guns as you can find, players are begging to ignite their creative sparks hopper turns of online multiplayer content and a
bad. eliminate
treated to a slick slo-mo effect that’s (and, in its lava pits, their frail bodies). lengthy solo campaign for lone wolves,
with extreme
as strategic as it is cinematic. Those who’d rather cut a bloody swath prejudice. SnapMap essentially brings infinite
Of course, those craving the most through the existing levels rather than replayablity to DOOM or, as Stratton
graphic kills will want to cosy-up to create brand new ones can, of course, more modestly puts it: “Anybody who
their targets before triggering melee still reap the benefits of others’ hard spends their money on the game is
finishers capable of covering the walls work. Surfing for and accessing fresh getting something that, literally, you
in bloody bits and pieces. Whether user-generated content is a quick and could spend years with.” While not
curb-stomping Satan’s minions, painless process that gives all players every mode will pack the same appeal
feeding them their own feet, removing access to a bottomless pool of new for each player, at least one of DOOM’s
their mandibles with extreme prejudice, experiences. Additionally, because three dedicated components should
or simply punching their ugly mugs into everyone has the same core assets hook any gamer suffering from an itchy
a crimson-coloured mist, unleashing and components on their systems, trigger finger. And at the absolute
up-close kills is never anything less there are no lengthy downloads or minimum, we can’t imagine anyone
than a stomach-churning affair. complicated steps involved in sampling who’s ever clutched a gamepad not
these shared creations; being a little curious to discover what
DIY DOOM simply browse the it feels like to bury a buzzing chainsaw
DOOM’s advanced sci-fi arsenal may content hub, see blade between a Cyberdemon’s horns. ■
splatter the spotlight, but it’s SnapMap
that’s id’s most ambitious feature. An It’s always a
intuitive user-generated content tool, mystery to us
it’s aiming to bring modding – previously how a rotting
the domain of PC gamers – to console. skeleton can
Stratton says it “puts the power of still have fully
creation in players’ hands,” allowing functioning
anyone with an xbox One and a copy eyeballs.
of DOOM to carve out their own levels,
scenarios, missions and play modes.
Citing his personal inexperience with
modding as an example, Stratton tells
us just how user-friendly it is: “I made
an escort mission that I was playing
for two hours; I’ve made combat
races where two players go off on a
symmetrical map and race through
it, setting traps for each other, and
sending bosses into the other person’s
encounter... it’s so accessible.”
Calling it “deep, yet easy to use”,
Stratton believes SnapMap will please

@OxM THe OFFICIAL xBOx MAgAzIne / 61



OXM answers 15 of your frequently asked
questions about the Ha-lore surrounding
Master Chief’s latest outing

ven though 2015 is 15>
leaving us spoilt for WHO IS MASTER CHIEF?
choice when it comes Seriously? John-117, better known
to great new games, as the Master Chief, is a SPARTAN- 15>
Halo 5: Guardians is II, a super-soldier working for the
still our most United Nations Space Council (UNSC).
anticipated Xbox One Trained since the age of six to be the
exclusive. But for a ultimate soldier, John-117’s body was
newcomer trying to get into the series, augmented, improving his reflexes,
four games’ worth of backstory can be strength and eyesight, as well as
pretty intimidating. Especially if you giving him near-unbreakable bones.
then start including the spin-off Despite a description worthy of the
games, tie-in novels, TV series, Terminator, John’s no robot – he’s… So we’ve compiled incredibly protective of humanity and
this list, giving you everything you need his other Spartans. He’s a loyal soldier
to know to be prepared for Master and a hero, one who’s saved the
Chief’s latest adventure. universe many times. But in



Halo 5, Master Chief has gone AWOL. legendary Spartans who will be familiar
It’s the game’s first grand mystery: to fans of Halo lore outside of the
why would the UNSC’s best soldier games themselves. It means all four
abandon his post? players will have their own individual
FurthEr Playing: The Master Chief character in co-op, and we hope their
Collection will bring you up to speed backstories will be fleshed out. The
on the main series thus far – and it’ll three other members of Guardians’
do so on your Xbox One, to boot. Blue Team – Fred-104, Linda-058 and
Kelly-087 – were abducted at age six
14> for the SPARTAN-II programme, and
WHO IS CORTANA? have known John-117 all their lives.
Being a Spartan gets all sorts of lonely, Interestingly, for co-op to work, Blue
which is why Master Chief grew so very Team will have to vanish along with
attached to Cortana – his AI partner him. What could be so vital that four
and closest confidant. She’s a bit like Spartans are willing to risk their reps?
the voices in your head that tell you FurthEr rEading: Halo: The Fall of
to shoot things, but somehow not as Reach is the first tie-in novel, and
worrying. This digital companion who marks Blue Team’s first appearance.
helped out the Chief was with him for
(most of) the first four games. 11>
But not anymore. During Halo 4’s WHO IS FRED-104?
ending, Cortana tragically dies, but Fred’s not an elitist. He’s never liked
not before delivering an emotional the special treatment Spartans get
farewell that doesn’t so much tug from humans, and doesn’t consider
at the heartstrings as rip your heart himself above baseline troops. While
out of your chest completely. Such that’s a nice sentiment… come on,
a downbeat ending left Chief more Fred. You’re widely regarded as
emotionally drained than we’ve ever arguably a better marksman than
seen him, a state some speculate Master Chief. Those lesser troops aren’t
could have motivated him to go AWOL. fit to lick the mud from your boots.
FurthEr Playing: The perfect excuse Fred’s skills in combat, strong
to blitz through Halo 4 again. leadership and second-to-only-one-
at-most shooting make him worthy
<14 13> of his own series of games. But Fred
WHAT IS THE doesn’t compete with Chief, and is
SPARTAN-II PROGRAMME? happy for John to take the Blue Team’s
<12 The original UNSC super-solider lead. All those skills, and he’s still
programme sought out children with gracious? We’re starting to hate Fred.
extraordinary physical or mental gifts FurthEr rEading: Novel Halo: Last
(John-117 had both, naturally). Then Light has Fred-104 in a starring role,
the UNSC abducted those children, and is out in September.
replaced them with clones so that no
one would know, and put them through 10>
vigorous training until they could barely WHO IS LINDA-117?
remember their former lives. Ouch. If you want the best sniper, look no
And we thought not getting Halo 2 for further than Linda. She’s the quietest
Christmas all those years ago meant we member of the team – who wants a
had the bad childhood. loud sniper? – but underestimate her
Benjamin Giraud is a journalist who’s at your peril. She once took down two
interviewed several people who knew assailants so fast, Master Chief himself
Master Chief. His hunt for the truth has couldn’t tell which she’d shot first.
revealed some of the more horrifying Often she’s referred to as the ‘lone
aspects of the SPARTAN-II program, wolf’ with regard to her habit of taking
including said cloning and abduction of her own path and watching the team’s
children. Those who want to know more back from afar. Basically, if you have a
would be best to start with his work. back, and would like someone to watch
FurthEr listEning: Giraud’s nosey it there’s none better.
investigations are all chronicled on FurthEr rEading: The Halo: Fall of
the Hunt the Truth podcast. Reach comic adaptation Boot Camp
shows the childhoods of John-117,
12> Kelly and Linda. They had it rough.
Cortana may be gone, but Master 09>
Chief won’t be fighting alone. For WHO IS KELLY-087?
<11 the first time in a Halo game, he’ll Kelly was always quick, but then
be fighting alongside Blue Team, she got augmented. Now she’s the




fastest Spartan, which makes her 07>

easily the fastest person in the world WHAT IS SANGHELIOS?
(take that, Usain Bolt). Her speed The Covenant, a religious and
gives her a natural advantage on the militaristic order determined to wipe
battlefield, but she excels in other out the human race, were the main
areas of combat, too. Notably, she’s antagonists of the original Halo
shown an incredible tolerance for pain, trilogy. They had to start somewhere –
successfully recovering after several Sanghelios, legendary home world of
critical wounds. Kelly also has a very the Sangheili race, the origins of the
cynical sense of humour – justified Covenant and the planet we probably
when all you’ve known is war, we associate with peace the least. It
suppose. Should help spice up Halo was mentioned way back in Halo 3,
5’s writing. Cortana’s relationship with but Guardians will be the first time we
Master Chief helped humanise him in get to visit the planet. Being the first
the previous Halo games. We expect new-gen Halo, which we’re promised
the presence of his trusted chums to will be the biggest yet, we’re expecting
have the same effect here. a world of incredible scale. But
FurthEr rEading: Again, the Halo: Fall considering his history with its people,
of Reach comic is best if you want to we don’t expect the Chief to receive
learn more about these Spartans and the warmest of welcomes.
their gruelling training regimes. FurthEr rEading: Sanghelios features
heavily in the novel Halo: Glasslands.
You’re not just playing from Master WHO IS THE ARBITER?
Chief’s perspective in Halo 5; you’ll also Thel ’Vadam, probably better known
step into the role of the Spartan tasked as the Arbiter, has had his differences
with hunting down the universe’s with Master Chief (to say the least). But
toughest soldier. Jameson Locke is one these former adversaries buried the
of the best field operatives that the hatchet during the events of Halo 3,
ONI (Office of Naval Intelligence) ever as the Arbiter learned the truth about
produced – He’s cautious, logical, a the Covenant’s plans. In the years
man who can handle himself in a fight
but prefers to resolve conflict through
negotiation. Hey, Deus Ex called – it
wants its protagonist back.
Locke’s distrusting nature and non-
confrontational approach contrasts
with John-117’s all-guns-blazing
methods. Although it’ll feel odd playing
as your opponent, he’s fixing to be a
worthy adversary for the Chief. And hey,
maybe they’ll be pals by the end.
FurthEr watching: Locke is the lead
in the Halo: Nightfall TV series. You can
watch it on the Halo channel in The 08> 07>
Master Chief Collection.



since, the Arbiter has been off touring awesomeness. More than just a cool
the states of Sanghelios, making the name, Vale is a diplomat, completely
difficult case for permanent peace fluent in Sangheili. She prides herself
between the Sangheili and humanity. on her ability to form interspecies
That’s a pretty noble, non-violent relationships. When an adversary
goal – so just why is the Arbiter seen threatened to activate the Halo array
chatting with Spartan Locke about his in a previous adventure, she was
mission to track down Master Chief? If willing to sacrifice herself to save
the Arbiter believes he must be taken Earth – always a good trait to have in a
down, it’s hard to know who we can Spartan. Olympia’s more verbal abilities
trust any more. are an interesting contrast to the
FurthEr Playing: Halo 2 and 3 are just speed-power-sniping prowess of Blue
as much the story of Thel ’Vadam as Team. You can see why Locke would
they are John-117. want someone of her skills on Fireteam
Osiris, especially with their first stop
05> being Sanghelios.
WHO ARE FIRETEAM OSIRIS? FurthEr Playing: The novel Halo:
Locke’s assembled Fireteam Osiris Hunters in the Dark should be enough
from a whole new pool of Spartans, to convince anyone of her credentials.
some recognisable to diehard fans
of the series. Most familiar is Buck, 02>
<06 a fan favourite after his standout WHAT ARE THE GuARDIANS?
role in Halo 3: ODST, making a long- They’re legendary Covenant technology,
awaited return here. We’ve already apparently back to begin an ‘Age of
seen him provide some welcome comic Reclamation’. Destroying the universe
relief in what was running the risk of to start anew? Yeah, that sounds like a
being the most sombre and serious threat worthy of a new Halo game.
Halo yet. Interestingly, Buck held off We’d seen a Guardian in the reveal
becoming a Spartan for several years trailer, but we didn’t expect to see one
because he didn’t want to abandon in the E3 demo, bursting out of the sea
his battle-hardened crew. We wouldn’t to take the whole Fireteam by surprise.
be surprised to find ‘LOYALTY’ tattooed Nowhere is safe. Guardians are capable
across this guy’s biceps. of concealing themselves underwater,
FurthEr Playing: Halo 3: ODST is under lava, and can produce mighty
an underrated gem and the perfect shockwaves that make short work of
introduction to Spartan Buck. It’s also buildings and Covenant aircraft. They’re
<03 just been released as an addition to colossal in size too, all 1.4 kilometres
The Master Chief Collection. of them. The kind of big bad most
games would save for a final boss?
04> That’s how Halo 5 introduces itself.
WHO IS HOLLY TANAKA? FurthEr watching: You can watch the
The remaining members of Team whole E3 demo – and the initial
Osiris may not be as recognisable, reveal trailer where we first saw a
but they’re more than worthy of their towering Guardian – online.
posts. Holly Tanaka’s homeworld
was destroyed when she was a 01>
child, meaning she had to grow up WHAT IS HALO 5?
fast. Forced to adapt quickly, Holly Ah, the big question. It’s a sci-fi first-
developed a wide range of skills to help person shooter. Single-player or up to
her fellow survivors, but also learnt how four-player in co-op, showing every
to take on – and beat – a superior foe. other game in its genre how this should
Basically, she got her whole SPARTAN- be done. It’s a shooter where every
IV training before the programme had weapon has a purpose and everything
<02 even heard of her. Tanaka has shown a is perfectly balanced. It’s a hugely
nobility in saving others and refusing to popular PvP multiplayer series, that’s
leave survivors behind. Not hard to see also yet to have a truly bad single-
why that kind of loyalty would appeal to player campaign to its name. It’s the
Spartan Locke and friends. same 30 seconds of fun, over and
FurthEr rEading: Halo: Escalation over, but now with new-gen power and
issues 17 and 18. The ‘Glass Horizon’ scale behind it. Get reading/watching/
storyline covers Tanaka’s origins. listening/playing, because the Xbox
One’s next essential exclusive is just
03> around the corner.
WHO IS OLYMPIA VALE? FurthEr Playing: Halo 5: Guardians.
Note to self: call future daughter If you have a copy lying around, mind
‘Olympia Vale’ to guarantee offspring letting us borrow it?


RE VIE W SThe most important Xbox releases rated

IN facTS
The horrors of war
children being attacked
Religious fundamentalism
Perfect Dark Zero

Matthew Tom

25 0

Alex Emma

30 18

Metal Gear Solid 6:
Escape from Konami
Can you find our hidden review Penguin adventure 2

of Kojima’s stealth blockbuster? Xbox One-exclusive

Silent Hills:
(Hint: try turning this page) We can Dream Edition


Almost dehydrated p68 Nearly drowned p74 Pretended to be royalty p80 Blinded the helpless p86 Helped the blind p87

@oxm the offiCial xbox magazine / 67

Yep, some of these faces definitely look friendlier than
review others… Ol’ Skull Face is near the bottom of that list.

68 / the official xbox magazine

PuBlisher Konami / DeveloPer Kojima Productions
Format xbox 360, xbox one (reviewed) / release Date 1 seP

metal Gear
soliD v: the
Phantom Pain
“A strong man doesn’t need to read
the future. He makes his own.”

ig boss has spent his entire missed – extraditing the commander and
life as the pawn of shadowy the inspector, for example – and watching
puppet masters. there are our fellow reviewers reveals many colourful
the obvious villains of the interpretations. expert marksmen land that
earlier games, those who difficult sniping shot, braver souls go into
manipulated him into killing full-on Heat mode and storm the runway
his mentor and who later with assault rifles. another interrogates a
tried to seize his private lowly goon to learn the planned inspection
army. failing to get their way, route and laces the road with
they dunked his whole operation c-4. one smart cookie goes
into the ocean at the end of even further, identifying the
The Phantom Pain’s standalone car the pair will later drive and
prologue, Ground Zeroes. but the booby-trapping that while it
conspiracy goes all the way to reviewer sits innocuously in the parking
the top, to a game director that matthew Castle lot. and this is only one mission
has led our legendary soldier live oxm Pesto with one set of equipment. as
down some notoriously linear big boss’ war machine powers
paths on his perpetual fight for the knowleDGe up and tech trees come into
freedom. now it’s time for our what is it?
bloom, the potential solutions
hero to step into an open world the tale of a one- only branch out further. in what
and show everyone who’s boss. armed man becoming is arguably a Metal Gear Solid
take this mission: kill the a one-man army. first, you are the true author of
commanding officer of an airport what’s it like? your own action spectacle.
during his routine inspection. Metal Gear’s laser- and this is the most
the obvious solution, sniping focused stealth remarkable thing about hideo
him from the other end of the transplanted to a Kojima’s final Metal Gear: how
runway, proves a repeat bust huge open world. little hideo Kojima there is in
– he moves fast and our errant who’s it For? it. here is a director known for
bullets scare him into hiding stealth fans and his cinematic aspirations and
inside an enemy-filled admin those who found the playtime-dwarfing cutscenes;
building. next time we bring older Metal Gears who, when he finally does
along a legendary crack-shot far too chatty. hand over control, riddles his
to handle sniping duties, ordering her up tactical espionage action with so many
a nearby radio tower to fire on our say. hideosyncracies that it feels like you’re
again, lines of sight refuse to play ball and wrestling the guy for the pad. but his
chaos erupts. of course, by now we have phantom digits are far from The Phantom
some understanding of the commander’s Pain. Yes, a barely interactive prologue
behaviour, noting that in the two minutes indulges Kojima’s maddest excess – an
it takes the airport inspector to arrive by explosion of foreshadowed boss fights and
helicopter, our man relaxes in the lounge slow-mo posturing – but it also exhausts
downstairs. this time we book it, hugging it. when our legendary soldier steps into
the perimeter and diving behind crates afghanistan it’s just him, the soviet army
to avoid tiny bipedal mechs that stomp and a toolbox to upset them with.
across the tarmac. hearts pounding, we if anything, it’s such a shift that you
enter the lounge, seize our mark and slit find yourself searching for Kojima’s guiding
his throat. now to wander out of arrivals hand – yet another phantom limb. left to
like a happy, bloodstained holidaygoer. your own devices, how does one liberate a
this is by no means the ‘right’ solution. comrade from a hillside prison or sabotage
a list of bonus criteria appear after the a platoon of mechs? come back, Koj; all is
mission to hint at smarter methods we forgiven. a pair of magic enemy-marking

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 69


binoculars superimposes a modicum of and ran circles around clear ai routines. Fight the just a case of sneaky man versus
order on the daunting landscape, but it in TPP, trouble bubbles to the surface, urge to forgo suspicious man. day/night cycles
remains a dangerously organic world, forcing thrilling improvisation. alerting the guns mess with fields of view and soviet
far removed from the boxy arenas of guards focuses those wandering minds completely: shift rotations; sandstorms blow in and
Metal Gear’s facilities of old. in Kabul’s into a viciously efficient force, as they they’re blind; rain masks footsteps; prisoner
knobbly terrain, a sudden dip is just as flank and dart between cover. crucially, fantastic. transportation offers brief windows
likely to steer you under prying eyes they display none of the supernatural for liberation; bears arrive, and do not
as a rubble pile might pop your head prescience that makes escape next discriminate between east and west.
above a parapet for a fatal second. to impossible in poorer stealth games. Perhaps the most ambitious idea is
the orange triangle above a marked breaking line of sight offers a chance how enemy forces operate as a region-
guard says nothing of his psychology, for evasion or, even better, using the wide army. do you let the threat of a
whether he’ll skittishly glance and unfolding chaos to push deeper into sudden supply truck or the tangible
glimpse you bellyflopping into a nearby (now) unguarded territory. we actually presence of nearby reinforcements
bush, and whether he’ll then succumb took to rigging peripheral watchtowers deter you, or do you use that structure
to curiosity or radio for a hand to hold. with c-4 in case we later wanted to to pull the afghan rug out from under
we’d once have balked at such shake up an outpost’s patrol patterns them? attach a postage label to your
unknowns; the beauty of Metal Gear with a surprise demolition. cardboard box and trucks can deliver
Solid 1 and 2 was the precision with but this vast sandbox is layered you into the heart of a base; clear out
which solid snake evaded sight cones with so many variables that it’s rarely surrounding outposts and there’ll be no

MiSSiOn COntrOl
No two Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
are ever the
same, but
here are the
rough beats
tend to
follow… pick a buddy: speedy horse, pick a deployment time. Are Fly to the landing zone,
sneaky sniper, guard- you a brazen sunshine boss staring into your buddy’s
spotting dog or giant ’bot. or a creature of the night? eyes/slobbering tongue.

70 / the official xbox magazine

there’s plenty of sneaking to be done – and
avoiding lines of sight is far from predictable. review

Mech tours that death carries a worthy penalty,

– the new instilling a will to live that heightens

“Strategic potential is staggering, Segway for

the fear of capture that lies at the
heart of every great stealth game.

if the enemy doesn’t use it first”

riders. this sense of risk, that actions
actually matter, is echoed by Kojima
Productions’ refusal to fill its world with
backup to call on. sabotage the comms Metal Gear. big boss is more action- meaningless trinkets. side ops offer up
dish and you’ll strangle soviet cries for capable than before, yes, but he can blueprints or the specialists required to
help outright. the strategic potential is be torn down by bullets in seconds and build them, while resources – be they
staggering, as long as you don’t let the what bombastic assistance he can call diamonds, minerals, man or beast (the
enemy use it against you first. on – an attack helicopter and airstrikes latter two yanked from the battlefield
teasing opportunities from threats – takes an age to arrive until you invest by balloon) – all feed into a revived
is what separates The Phantom Pain in the support team behind the scenes. mother base. an improved base means
from common sandbox games. where and until you fund helicopter research, more staff and increased advantages
Just Cause or Saint’s Row humour you you can expect to see said chopper in the field, but more than this, the
with power on tap, Kojima Productions repeatedly tumble from the sky like offshore platform acts as a physical
works hard to prevent its larger canvas a flaming sycamore seed. to top it manifestation of your progress. think
diluting the intensity we expect from off, checkpoints are far enough apart of Assassin’s Creed II’s monteriggioni

Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7

Curse the fact lZ is a mile Skirt around the perimeter reward dog for barking out Body of juicy guard
away from the objective. marking goons. the dog will positions by giving him a alerts fellow juicy
regret not bringing horse. also bark out positions. nice juicy guard to chew on. guards. time to leg it!

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 71

You can snipe foes yourself, but why do that like
review a chump when you can order Quiet to do it for you?

it’s probably just Halloween

or something, right? right?
[Checks calendar frantically…]

there were a few kinks in the

initial testing runs that
required a bit of ironing out…

A quick rundown of the
freaks and geeks you’ll
meet along the way
KAz MilleR RevOlveR OcelOT D-DOg D-WAlKeR
even having bits cut off his Years before an evil hand The cycloptic cutie grows Huey emmerich can build six-
body won’t stop him from took over his body, he helps into a monster that prefers metre-tall Metal gears; you
spewing forth exposition. Big Boss save the world. human throats to Bonio. get this mini mech.

Do try to enlist the legendary Did the writers have a toke When these guys and gals Does exactly what he says Teach this creep why sinking
sniper – her story is some of of whatever he’s smoking? arrive, Big Boss tends to on the tin. You’ll never a legendary soldier’s oil rig
the best in the game. Weirdness abounds. depart. The earth, that is. guess how to beat him… is never a good idea.

to find avenues cut off for no reason.

at the same time, there are linear

“Fighting a grizzly while listening to story missions that serve as perfect

reminders why we’ve spent the past 20

Revolver Ocelot? That’s Koj as hell” years letting Kojima have his way. Your
first encounter with Quiet and a later
four-way sniper battle in a misty jungle
writ large; a snaking network of struts going loud in its mission rankings. for feel like classic Metal Gear moments;
and towers so large it requires a jeep starters, the guns are so tactile it’d one musical interlude even channels
to traverse. it engenders a sense of do your thumbs a disservice not to the spirit of Snake Eater’s infamously
ownership that brilliantly pays off as try them out. more importantly, come barmy ladder climb. hey, who can
mother base becomes more integral to the game’s few action-heavy boss complain about three minutes of
the plot in the story’s later, darker acts. encounters, you’ll be thankful you did, indulgence in a game that serves up a
how nerdy you get with base as we discovered as we desperately good 50 hours – and those are Codec-
management is up to you. letting airdropped in rocket launchers while free hours – of stealth brilliance?
the auto-assign function handle sprinting from four mutated assassins. we’ve heard some colleagues gripe
conscriptions keeps things in good that particular encounter, and a few about TPP’s lack of indulgence. there
health, but we enjoyed tailoring units repeat visits from the same quartet, are many Kojima acolytes who hunger
to fit our playstyle – and tinkering can sticks out as one of the few moments for that singular vision: the half-hour
push you further into the tech tree the Kojima of old does rear his head. cutscenes, the wild codec tangents,
than you thought possible. on that not just in its paranormal silliness, but the fourth wall-breaking jokes, the
topic, you might question the sense in in the more prescribed manner of the ludicrous boss fights and a mythology
researching hundreds of gun variations mission. after hours spent devising so tangled it has longer wikipedia
when the game actively frowns on and executing your own plans, it’s odd entries than most real-world historical

72 / the official xbox magazine

Also available in ‘glowing gecko’
and ‘agitated parrot’ colourways. review

events. i’d argue that The Phantom attention to detail. in a world this large, through unusual play styles and new
Pain still delivers this, only without it’s no mean feat how every potential So many parts to unlock for customisable logos.
sacrificing its newfound agency in interaction is accounted for, from the people to early missions reappear in hardcore
the process. cutscenes mix bullet- way horse poop causes cars to skid to neutralise, remixes where every guard carries a
time badassery and grandstanding the simple joy of performing a running so many ways bazooka, or in terrifying ‘subsistence’
speeches (and occasional perviness), dive into a cardboard box and sliding it to do it… runs that strip big boss of equipment
but are far punchier for their scarcity. down a hill. or the moment you realise and challenge him to source tools in
when a mission’s opening credits read you can glue c-4 to unknowing guards, the field. then there’s the simple fact
‘written by hideo Kojima’ you can still letting them carry bombs towards an that every combination of weapons,
anticipate something a bit weird. that out-of-reach target. or how cheery equipment and support buddy – and
missions have opening credits reminds ’80s pop, pilfered from boomboxes, can there are hundreds – results in an
you that this is not a vanilla effort. and be pumped out of helicopter speakers entirely different experience.
Kojima’s hand is definitely felt in the to scare guards during an attack run. it’s this freedom that elevates The
villain’s james bond-ish scheming and making a daring escape to hall & oates’ Phantom Pain over previous Metal
optional taped conversations that pipe Maneater is a scene unlikely to be Gear Solids. what it maybe lacks in
hours of Metal Gear Solid lore straight bettered in 2015. that it is a set-piece the sheer audacity of earlier entries,
into big boss’s ears. fighting a grizzly entirely of your own devising shows it makes up for in being the better
bear while you listen to revolver ocelot how far Metal Gear Solid has come. game; mechanics honed over 20 years
reminisce about the Philosopher’s and after a solid week of play, we’re interlocking into the most excitingly
legacy? that’s Kojima as hell. not even close to exhausting its depths. emergent stealth game ever made. the
Kojima’s weirder side is there if you there’s still a zoo’s worth of animals to tale of big boss is the tale of a man
go looking for it, in other words; it’s his airlift, each beast’s scream raising a fighting the superpowers that would
better habits that rise more naturally to smirk and the question of how exactly exploit him. finally, there is a game
the surface: visual polish, world-class the team recorded it. there are higher that allows him to soldier freely and
sound design and a near microscopic rankings to pursue, codenames to earn make his dream a reality. oXm

the OXM verdict

Better tHAn… tHe DiFFerenCe On… wHAt HAppenS OverAll
XBOX 360 neXt?

GrounD zeroes We’re yet to try the 360 Metal gear
long-term fans might feel
camp Omega laid the version – full verdict next Online will sad that Kojima doesn’t go
groundwork for TPP’s vast month – but if ground go live with out in a hail of meta-bullets,
plains, but the bleak story zeroes is anything to its tactical but his restraint lets those
takes sweet characters to an go by, expect the same deathmatch play. magnificent ideas breathe,
unnecessarily grubby place. game with half the expect a review of
Thankfully, TPP rediscovers framerate (30 fps) and the online features
resulting in one of the finest
much of the series’ levity. considerable pop-in. next month. stealth games ever made.

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 73

review A sad sight for theme park-lovers, but
an eye-pleasing one for the rest of us.

Don’t hold
your breath
too tightly:
there’s no way
even a clumsy
oaf like you
will fall off.

PuBLisher UPPerCUT GAMeS / deveLOPer UPPerCUT GAMeS / fOrMAt XboX one / reLeAse dAte oUT now

Thankfully, there are plenty more fish in the sea

Jenny BAker
Live Private post-apocalyptic exploration city’s natural waterways, because and even the ‘destroyed beauty’ grows
@jennybaker23 title set in the colourful ruins that’s the highlight of the game. monotonous. The storyline itself is
of a flooded city, Submerged The crates you need are located on disappointingly flat, as almost identical
the knOwLedge is perhaps best described top of architectural landmarks. To reach cutscenes and dialogue patterns are
whAt is it? as a gentle videogame yoga them you just have to ascend each used over and over and over again,
An open-world tale
session. You’re encouraged to stretch building Lara Croft-style. Climbable while the game’s breaking and mending
about a young
girl’s quest to heal
your virtual muscles in a large open walls are garishly labelled with red theme never truly finds its flippers.
her brother. space, clear your mind and listen to flowers, while user-friendly ledges are In short, it feels like this title was
the soothing sound of whales. It’s fine practically scalable signposts. This is released from captivity before it found
whAt’s it Like?
Sail, climb, cutscene,
if you want to wind down and let your a simple game with simple mechanics, its true porpoise – sorry, purpose.
sail, climb, cutscene, mind draw blanks for a couple of hours. so really it’s all about that sea view. Submerged is a hot and cold affair.
sail – ooh, a dolphin! Playing the part of a young girl You don’t have to open the crates in a At best, it’s a meditative experience
whO’s it fOr?
named Miku, you are responsible for set order to get the next item, and you with some touching story panels and a
Virtual-nature lovers taking care of your wounded brother, can’t even lose your balance, let alone solid piece of real estate on the island
who value setting Taku. In order to help him you have to your life – it’s an adventure game with of potential. At worst, it’s so mind-
over story. find crates containing survival items, training wheels, and gutless for it. numbingly repetitive that you won’t be
such as food and water, using such The biggest problem is the lack of able to look at another dolphin without
tools as a map, a fishing boat and a variety. There are no ups and downs, no weeping. A non-combat title is a great
telescope. My advice: treasure those twists and turns – scaling one building concept, but this largely sinks without
first few minutes cruising through the is no different to scaling its neighbour, a trace. A real shame. OXM

The OXM verdict

The besT biT The wOrsT biT DiD yOu OverAll

The character Colourful post-apocalyptic
of Miku exploration with a soothing
was partly soundtrack, sadly let down
inspired by by a lacklustre story and
the heroines of repetitive gameplay. This is
Studio Ghibli and
Boosting your boat’s speed and surfing those Climbing from one identical ledge to the next Arya Stark from more disappointing than a
waves like an absolute pro. – so this is how déjà vu feels. Game of Thrones. pearl-less oyster.

74 / The offICIAL XboX MAGAzIne www.GAMeSrAdAr.CoM/oXM

The world’s most sci-fi museum is not a place review
you’d want to get stuck in overnight…

This is what
happens if you
take a wrong
turn in a soft-
play area.

Publisher GRIP DIGITAl / DevelOPer TOxIC GAMES / fOrMAT xBOx OnE / releAse DATe OuT nOW

Q.u.b.e: DirecTOr’s cuT
Or ‘Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion’, if you prefer

AleX DAle
live ChocoboOfDoom his doesn’t just invite and troughs; gently introducing a new But it never quite does. I’m not sure
@SporadicDaler comparisons with Valve’s concept before rapidly turning the if it’s by design, but Q.U.B.E’s puzzles
Portal – it rolls out the red screw. The first puzzles involve zapping are just taxing enough to make you
The knOwleDge carpet. Stop me if any of this coloured panels in the wall to make feel clever, but seldom fiendish enough
whAT is iT? sounds familiar: you wake them protrude indecently. By the end to have you scurrying to YouTube
up alone in a sterile, white chamber of the chapter, facile navigational walkthroughs (which are plentiful,
with no memory of who you are or how puzzles quickly escalate into hellish, as this is a port of a four-year-old PC
light-reflecting you got there. Your only connection Mouse Trap-esque feats of planning game). It’s more an interactive morale
physics puzzler. to the outside world is a one-way as you attempt to shunt tumbling balls boost than anything else; albeit one
whAT’s iT like?
radio through which an unknown onto switchpads by frantically running with fussy controls. Most of the time
Well-paced, with woman, apparently situated on the ISS, around, raising blocks out of the it’s a petty annoyance, but it can make
plenty of variety in its attempts to bumpstart your memory. ground like something out of Fantasia. puzzles that require reflexes pad-
identikit corridors. You’re trapped in the bowels of a giant Then it’s on to the next mechanic; gnashingly frustrating.
whO’s iT fOr? alien structure that’s on a collision switches that rotate rooms; toggle- And that’s why Q.U.B.E’s feeble
People who prefer course with Earth, you learn. Only you able magnets that pin anything not attempt to stretch its longevity – ‘Beat
wordsearches to can prevent the planet’s destruction, nailed down to the wall. And just when the Qlock’ time trials – falls flat. This
Sudoku. by – you guessed it! – solving a you think you’ve got things sussed, is a pleasantly mild brain-tickler with
succession of physics puzzles. a mechanic from earlier gets blended a fantastic twist at the end, but it’s
Rather than getting progressively in. The result is a puzzler that always difficult to recommend a game that
harder, Q.U.B.E. is a gauntlet of peaks seems on the cusp of overwhelming. falls so far from its true potential. OXM

The OXM verdict

The besT biT The wOrsT biT COMPleTiON Overall

The puzzles have that
‘eureka!’ moment, but

3 you’re never under pressure

and there’s a sense that,
hOuRS four years after initial
Encountering another voice that plants One chapter switches out the lights. It’s an release, the premise could
doubts about whether you’re even in space. annoyance that adds nothing bar busywork. have been taken further.

@OxM ThE OffICIAl xBOx MAGAzInE / 75

Let’s make each one of these captions a mini-
review, shall we? That’ll be fun. Let’s do this!

Atic Atac is a stressful, confusing yet

surprisingly playable maze game. 7/10

Killer Instinct is a deceptively deep

fighter with strong fundamentals. 7/10

76 / the official xbox magazine

PubLisher microsoft studios / DeveLoPer rare
Format xbox one / reLease Date out now

rare rePLay
Ultimate (Re)play the Game

et’s begin by addressing the all cutesy platformers and googly eyes;
elephant in the room – or Rare Replay shatters that illusion into 30
rather, the elephant that isn’t individually fascinating little pieces.
in the room. You won’t find that’s not to say there aren’t some
taj, the culturally insensitive big hitters among the ranks. the n64
elephantine host of Diddy cupboard is depleted but far from bare
Kong Racing, anywhere – Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-
in Rare Replay’s hallowed Tooie, Jet Force Gemini, Blast Corps
galleries – his game is just one of dozens and Conker’s Bad Fur Day giving a broad
of high-profile titles that are notable by overview of rare’s output at the height of
their absence in this celebration of 30+ its creative powers. classics of their time,
years of rare games. they still hold up today, but only if you’re
sadly, licensing issues mean prepared to rewire your brain
this was always destined to be – these were released before
an incomplete collection. the dual analogue sticks became
barest exhibit hall of all is also industry standard, and the
the biggest draw: rare’s heyday button configurations can be
as a nintendo affiliate in the a little – how shall we put it? –
aLex DaLe
1990s. anything that makes use ‘idiosyncratic’. Jet Force Gemini
Live chocoboofdoom
of ninty’s characters, such as @sporadicdaler in particular is near-unplayable
the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, in its current state, although an
is absent. elsewhere, usage the knowLeDge update (which should be with
rights also deny us n64 classic what is it? you by the time you read this)
GoldenEye 007 – arguably the collection of 30 titles aims to retool the controls for
greatest rare game of all. from rare’s history – modern sensibilities.
these exclusions should from Jetpac (1983) to as for the quality of the ports,
be terminal; instead, i think it Nuts & Bolts (2008). well, that brings us to one of
makes Rare Replay all the more what’s it Like? the more unusual things about
enticing a proposition. without wildly variable, Rare Replay. Perfect Dark and
the same old overexposed glory- obviously, but very the two Banjo games actually
hounds hogging the spotlight, few are out-and-
aren’t included in the initial
out duds.
this 30-game compilation has 11.4gb install – instead, we
space to focus on some of who’s it For? get the xbla versions, which,
retro fanatics,
rare’s success stories that like the compilation’s xbox
obviously, but also
are less often told; tales of anyone looking to
360 contingent, are installed
pilgrimages through gaudy, try something a little separately. if nothing else, it
8-bit jungles; of top-down more offbeat. fills out your games tab nicely.
racers and speedboat shooters; i was put out at first when
of pioneering isometric adventure games i found out Rare Replay’s content is
that basically paved the way for western split over around a dozen downloads/
rPgs such as Skyrim and The Witcher. installs – after all, what is a compilation
there’s this fallacy that has been allowed for if not convenience? but in practice,
to build up over time that rare games are this system is infinitely preferable to

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 77

early Xbox 360 title Jetpac refuelled rejuvenates
revIew the 1983 original in stylish fashion. 9/10

lumbering owners with a mandatory starved old-timers look a bit ropey An adventure to look suitably naff, however, you can
50gb+ install, allowing you to conserve blown up on modern tVs. it makes it ahead of its remove the borders and glaze over the
precious hard drive space by only all the more galling – or should that time, Knight action with a grainy crt filter.
installing the games you want to be ghouling? – that the solitary xbox Lore isn’t exactly half of the 30 games on show
play. You don’t even need the base 1 game in the package, sub-par beat- for those who are drafted in from the primitive 8-bit
like their
compilation installed to play the xbla/ ’em-up Grabbed by the Ghoulies, has era – eight are from the nes, nintendo’s
hands held.
xbox 360 titles. the only downside to been given a hd spruce-up. 8/10 original home console, and, even more
them being the original versions is that, terrifyingly, seven are ports from the zx
well, they’re the original versions. if you making an entrance spectrum – a 1982-vintage rubber-
already own them, you’ll find you’ve that said, eyes can adapt to even the keyed home computer famed for its
already unlocked some (or all) of the most textureless of environments given garish visuals. typically in compilations
achievements, which detracts from the time, and in any case there’s no way such as this, the really old entries are
‘box fresh’ feel of the package. you could call this a lazy compilation; little more than makeweights; curios
on the plus side, the workaround each game, no matter how old, to be fiddled with for five minutes, and
gives us a glimpse of what we can decrepit or obscure, is given its own then discarded. Rare Replay seems
expect from backwards compatibility lavish splash screen on the game- aware that it needs to bully players
going forwards – and minor framerate select menu, complete with pop-up into trying out the really obscure
wobbles aside, it’s very impressive, animations that dart around in time to a stuff – it chucks out achievements
with none of the graphical or audio jazzy remix of the original theme. like sweets just for booting up games
freak-outs that often marred xbox older games designed for 4:3 for the first time. like most games
1 compatibility on xbox 360. indeed, aspect-ratio screens get colourful from the 1980s/1990s, although to a
revisiting them makes us wish the border graphics to disguise the ugly lesser degree than most, rare’s older
native n64 games received the same black strips at either side of the stuff is brutally unforgiving, and we’ve
upscaling treatment, as the polygon- screen. if you prefer your golden oldies learned from previous retro collections
that chucking in a quicksave option
Oh snap only mitigates this to a point. rare’s
solution: mapping a real-time ‘rewind’
Disappointingly, the older games’ to the left trigger, is an elegant fix that
Achievements mostly test brute enables you to engage and experiment
endurance. This is made up for by
with the deceptively deep mechanics
the Snapshots gallery, which offers
of these ancient games without having
bite-sized challenges. Atic Atac locks
you in a room with a demon; RC-Pro AM
to muddle around with save files.
transforms tracks into collect-'em-up with frustration stripped from the
challenges. It’s a definite highlight. equation, the older games, for my
money, offer tighter and more focused

78 / the official xbox magazine

Making its console debut, Battletoads
Arcade is a typical 1990s scrapper. 6/10 revIew

Nuts & Bolts quickly evolves into a hellish project-

is what you management sim where you lurch from

“It’s when you dig deep that you get get if you
merge Banjo-
Kazooie with
crisis to crisis in a vain attempt to
keep your plot’s ecosystem thriving.

the full picture of Rare’s versatility” Scraphead

meanwhile the newest game in the
collection, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts,
is something of a forgotten classic – a
experiences than some of rare’s more haunted mansion; Jetpac, an puzzle-platform-racer hybrid where you
heralded efforts (the Banjo-Kazooie enthralling fusion of platforming have the freedom to design your own
games, for instance, are often more and shooting. more than just googly vehicles from scratch, allowing you
concerned with showing off how big eyes, indeed. to devise ingenious workarounds to
the environments are, than they are revisiting the past allows us to straightforward challenges.
presenting fiendish platforming make sense of rare’s later works. it this is an impossibly generous
challenges). it’s also when you dig might have kicked off the xbox 360 compilation that, without the luxury of
deepest into rare’s vaults that you get era with a whimper (Perfect Dark Zero being able to wheel out some of rare’s
the full picture of the studio’s and Kameo were launch titles so limp safest games, instead decides to revel
versatility. there’s the RC-Pro AM and generic, their damaging effects in the diversity of its lesser-seen back
games, fearsomely playable top-down to the rare brand are still felt today), catalogue. the result is an unmissable
racers; Cobra Triangle, a watercraft but it followed up with a couple of tour through gaming history. from
combat game that’s constantly packing underrated games that are every bit zx spectrum to xbox 360, there’s
in new twists and turns on what seems as creative and original as its earlier something here for everyone’s tastes,
a very basic formula; Digger T Rock, an stuff. Viva Piñata is a gardening and something here that’ll give you a
early precursor to Spelunky; Atic Atac, sim of sorts that seems so sweet it taste for things you’d never imagine
a panic-stricken jaunt through a mazy could make your kidneys pack up; it you could stomach. oxm

The OXM verdict


Rare began
A Rare collection without
life as GoldenEye is like the Louvre
Ultimate Play without the Mona Lisa,
the Game true, but it gives us room to
(hence the pun on appreciate the Raphaels,
the prior page) in
Our fave game changes on a daily basis. Lunar Jetman is rubbish, but doesn’t crush 1982 and has made
Michelangelos and, er, just
Currently it’s 2007’s Jetpac Refuelled. your spirit like Perfect Dark Zero does. around 150 games. pick this up, okay?

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 79

review Pro tip: always approach dragons with
caution. They don’t tend to play nice.

none of your
choices are
subject to


king’s QuEst:
Live OXM Emma
A knight tO rEMEMbEr
It’ll be all right on the knight

thE knOwLEDgE
whAt is it? n ageing gent regaling his under a dragon’s fire-sniffling nose and signposted especially clearly. We
A reboot of a 30- grandchild with tales of clinch yourself a place on the throne. understand that working all this out
year-old adventure- a weedy-yet-whip-smart It’s a neat way of turning the tutorial is part of the mental gymnastics, but
game series. chancer in search of knightly into a nod to the game’s heritage, sometimes it’s frustratingly obtuse
whAt’s it LikE? glory? No, this isn’t The bringing you up to speed with both – and we imagine that effect will be
Twee in looks, tricky Princess Bride – although it’s clearly story and the environmental puzzle- magnified in younger players.
by nature. taken a rather large dash of inspiration solving expected of you. In addition to That’s not to say that this isn’t
whO’s it fOr? from the classic movie. Turns out that puzzles involving levers, there’s also rewarding. It’s packed with brilliantly
Anyone who enjoys the gent in question (voiced by the QTE-based combat and racing, and silly moments (such as catching a feral
kids’ films from the dulcet tones of Christopher ‘Doc Brown’ even a full-on game of laser chess badger with raw meat, then setting it
‘80s and ‘90s.
Lloyd) is King Graham, star of the ’80s in addition to the classic point-and- on squirrels terrorising an allotment)
King’s Quest games, reliving his past click combining of unlikely objects to and inventive twists. Although this
glories. The series helped to establish achieve even more unlikely events. It’s is the first of an episodic series, it’s
the adventure-game genre, and has varied, wrapped up in plenty of family- also far chunkier than the instalments
been rebooted in a more modern, friendly puns, and visually resembles we’re used to seeing from the likes of
graphically gorgeous fashion. a glorious hybrid of Borderlands and Telltale, and has its own self-contained
The game starts out with a retake Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. story arc. This feels like the kind of
of a climactic scene from the 1983 It is, however, also rather tricky in film you’d curl up with on TV on a rainy
original, Quest for the Crown, in which parts. There’s a fair amount of to-ing Sunday – warm-hearted, whimsical and
you steal an enchanted mirror from and fro-ing, with new areas not always thoroughly charming. OXM

The OXM verdict

The besT biT COOlesT CharaCTer DiD yOu Overall

triuMPh The final A substantial chunk of
Your noble game in adventure with plenty of
steed resembles the original variety in its gameplay,
nothing so much King’s Quest A Knight to Remember
as an overgrown series, Mask of feels like a properly
capybara. And Eternity, was
Winning a race on the back of two guards capybaras are released in 1998 – modern reimagining of the
is pure Monty Python silliness. seriously cool. 17 years ago. influential ‘80s series.


pro m otion

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revIeW The way to a man’s heart: wine. always wine.
Unless he’s Joffrey, of course. But still: wine.

“Just wait; this massive

boat will show all of those
dastards who wronged me…”


gaME Of thrOnEs: EPisODE

EMMa DaviEs
Live OXM Emma
5 – a nEst Of viPErs
How to fake friends and influence people
thE knOwLEDgE

what is it?
The episode where ity the poor fool who gets on to fight for his family, so it’s off to the contributing to the Forrester effort, but
the pace finally starts the wrong side of Ramsay fighting pits to hire some sellswords it’s been so long that this mysterious
to properly gather. Bolton. Early on in this instead. Oh, and to impress them, he’ll locale was introduced that even the
what’s it LikE? episode, we see everyone’s need to get down and dirty in there – new (and pretty vague) info we receive
Sometimes a bit least-favourite Notherner the ensuing, frantic combat is among this episode wasn’t quite enough to
gory, often a bit disembowel a hapless pawn – who the highlights here. pique our interest.
tense, as it picks up just so happens to be a Forrester Down in King’s Landing, Mira goes up One of our main criticisms of the
momentum. bannerman. Lovely. Pity even more against both Cersei and Tyrion – with series thus far – ill-chosen art style
whO’s it fOr? the poor lord who just so happens to Lena Headey on brilliantly icy form. aside – is that your decisions don’t
People who’ve be courting said pawn’s sister. Talk It genuinely feels like you’re walking seem to have a tangible impact upon
either played the about an awkward situation to have a dangerous tightrope of deceit matters. That changes here, with one
past episodes or are to discuss over Sunday lunch with the between the two, trying to discern choice in particular that you’ll both
willing to. in-laws, and frankly that’s among the which answers are the ones that agonise over and have to live with in
least of Rodrik Forrester’s worries. will prevent the latter from rumbling the final instalment. There are a few
While Rodders may indeed have your true intentions and appease the lesser moments, too, where it feels
drawn the shortest straw in this former enough that she might wield like past decisions are coming back
episode, he’s by no means the only her considerable power to aid your to haunt you. It’s a welcome change,
one in a sticky situation. Exiled brother house’s plight. Out beyond the Wall, albeit one we’d have liked sooner,
Asher has seen the Khaleesi renege on Gared is still searching for the North and makes this finally feel more like a
her promise of an army of Second Sons Grove – ostensibly also as a means of ‘proper’ entry in the Telltale canon. OXM

The OXM verdict


? ?
CErsEi War, Ramsay We’re still waiting and
is just as devious apparently. Bolton actor hoping for the grand payoff,
and manipulative
as she is in the
HBO version.
What with
that plus the
other plot threads,
Iwan Rheon
was actually
the second choice
2 but – just like winter – it
appears that it might finally
Proceed with we’re not sure how after Kit Harington HOuRS be coming. The strongest
extreme caution Telltale will tie it all to play Jon Snow in episode of this patchy
in encounters. up in time. the TV series. series to date.


Max isn’t much of a partier, but the vortex Club revIew
bash does feature the episode’s biggest laugh.

There’s even a neat physics

puzzle to contend with, as
you’re taken to new places

publisher SquARe enIx / develOper DonTnoD enTeRTAInMenT / fOrMaT xBox 360, xBox one (ReVIeWeD) / release daTe ouT noW

life is sTrange
Chris sChilling
live Rockin Stroll
episOde 4: dark rOOM
Is the penultimate chapter fully developed or over-exposed?

The knOwledge
whaT is iT? he horrifying climax of Episode let’s just say we’ve never been quite so are laid out, and you’re invited to pull
Fittingly, the darkest 3 always seemed like a relieved to see cash in the cookie jar. out the key pieces of evidence to
episode of Dontnod’s
double-edged sword. Dontnod Thereafter, we return to the central work out how everything ties together.
time-twisting drama
to date. left us with a doozy of a plot, with Max and Chloe tugging There’s some much-needed levity,
cliffhanger, but had clearly at the various threads connecting too, including a line that can be read
whaT’s iT like?
A downbeat,
wandered into a narrative cul-de-sac. the Prescotts with Rachel Amber, as a light-hearted jab at critics or a
occasionally It’s no surprise, then, that it takes the the Vortex Club, and the seemingly wonderful moment of self-awareness.
meandering episode, most obvious escape route. And yet pre-apocalyptic happenings around It’s not all good news. After Chaos
but one studded it’s far from the cop-out it sounds: Arcadia Bay. What follows is a series Theory, the pacing seems rather
with surprises. 45 minutes or so of golden-hour of pleasant surprises: players who uneven. The script may have improved,
whO’s iT fOr? melancholia establishes a motivation experienced a successful resolution to but Max’s puritanical party-pooper act
Wannabe detectives for Max’s forthcoming actions, while an earlier sub-plot will enjoy a touching isn’t entirely convincing, either. And yet
with the fortitude to deepening her relationship with Chloe. reunion, while a return visit to volatile it more than compensates elsewhere.
make tough choices. It all culminates in a particularly dealer Frank has an alarming array of The tone turns decidedly darker as our
wrenching decision. It raises an possible outcomes, contingent not only curious pair get close to unearthing the
important question that isn’t answered on the dialogue choices you make, but truth, leading to some truly shocking
for the rest of the episode, but may on decisions made in past episodes. plot developments and the most
yet have wider consequences in the Then there’s a simple but enjoyable disturbing cliffhanger to date; let’s
season finale. As you can probably tell, bit of detective work, as all the clues hope we don’t wait long for what looks
we’re having to tread carefully here: Max and Chloe have been assembling like a chilling season finale. OXM

The OXM verdict

COOlesT CharaCTer PrO TIP COMPleTION Overall

Not quite as lean as
Episode 3, but Dark Room

4 is bookended by two
outstanding sequences.
houRS All Dontnod needs to do
Ashly Burch demonstrates serious range as now is stick the landing.
There’s more than one way to get into the
Chloe, and she’s more than up to the task. Vortex Club’s VIP entrance. No pressure…

@oxM The oFFICIAl xBox MAgAzIne / 83

rEviEw Enemies are disgustingly imaginative, spewing out
barrages of blood and even giant attacking worms.

PuBlisheR NICALIS / develOPeR NICALIS / fORmaT XBOX ONE / Release daTe OuT NOW

The Binding Of
lOuise Blain
live Shinydemon991
isaac: ReBiRTh
Cry ’til you laugh in this roguelike of Biblical proportions
The knOwledge

whaT is iT?
A procedurally es, it’s taken its time getting stick shooter like you’ve never seen it Initially, the game has five floors of
generated here, but this roguelike before. Throw in three starter hearts rooms – each has its own prize room,
permadeath-packed from Super Meat Boy creator of health, randomised trinkets placed with a unique item, and an end boss
roguelike set in a Edmund McMillen is finally throughout the dungeon and a slew that rewards you a shiny power-up. It’s
world of horrors. on Xbox One and it’s hellishly of monsters that deliver Silent Hill-like these items that make or break your
whaT’s iT like? glorious. You don’t know it yet, but horrors in a Chibi style, and The Binding run, and mean you’ll never have the
Insanely addictive your new favourite game might just of Isaac is disturbingly unique. same game twice. Perhaps you’ll find
and ready to give you be chock full of faeces, nightmarish The setup is simple. Isaac enters a Fire Mind to give you flaming tears,
RSIsaac as you play Christian imagery and screaming procedurally generated room, murders or maybe a hypodermic of hormones
long past bedtime. monstrosities. But, yeah, mostly the nasties within – be they scuttling that’ll up your speed and damage, or
whO’s iT fOR? faeces. And death. All the death. spiders, blood-spewing skeletons even Pay To Play that’ll let you spend
Masochists who Poor Isaac is the unfortunate son of or one of the four horsemen of the coins to harm enemies. The item list
want a genuine a God-fearing Christian single mother apocalypse – and the door opens to is deliciously long, with each new find
sense of madness who has apparently been instructed let you proceed to the next. Lose all layering on top of the others like a
with their deathfests.
by the heavenly father to kill her only of your shiny red hearts and it’s all stat-boosting cake of grimness. Got
child. (We told you he was unfortunate.) the way back to the beginning for you. poison tears and pick up the Inner
Thus, you must steer him through his Permadeath is swift and, while initially Eye? That’ll be three nasty projectiles
basement, taking on the monsters frustrating, delivers an almost euphoric instead of one. But be warned; while
that dwell there with the only weapon sense of achievement when you take some items work in perfect synergy,
Isaac has: his tears. This is a twin- on your own personal nemesis and win. others can turn a good run sour in the
seconds it would have taken to look
Ending story them up on the game’s essential wiki.
While you can play on for hours, there
is a story nestling in there amongst the
Tears for fears
Yet it’s this very risk that makes each
madness – 16 different endings await
playthrough unique. The juggling of
you, in fact. Completing each of the
keys to get through locked doors,
final bosses will let you see Isaac’s
spending coins in shops, collecting
fate, but you’ll need to get all the way
to Mega Satan and win for the last bombs to blow up rocks or access
cutscene to reveal itself. stone chests. It all adds up to make
each floor a puzzle – and ruthlessly


Pickups are, er, key. Coins, bombs and keys must rEviEw
be juggled to get the most out of each floor.

This is a sight you’ll get

horribly used to. Each time
you die you’ll see just how.

Things start only remotely detonated bombs. Add in

off simple. other characters to play as in place of

“Soak Spelunky in tears, give it Just killing

tiny, happy
piles of poo.
Isaac, and there’s a terrifying amount
of game here that constantly requires

cheese for supper and you get this” Then there’s

the running
you to rearrange your play style.
Somehow, the attractive, retro
pixellated style does nothing to
and the
addictive in the process. Add in secret version of Isaac or Satan five times screaming. prevent the horror from creeping in.
rooms to be found, beggars who might before to collect the pieces of a family Blood seeps down walls and enemies
just yield some kind of tasty pickup if photograph. Nothing screams ‘game!’ get progressively more offensive
you sacrifice your precious gear, and more than the relentless grinding you and disgusting, despite only having
rooms that will damage you on the way need to do to reach each boss – blow so many pixels to work with. From
in and out and The Binding of Isaac up two angel statues to build a key enormous, furious poos to blood- and
reveals itself to be far smarter than the to open a door, you say? – but there’s spider-puking giant spiders, Isaac
twin-stick shooter it first appears. a mastery in The Binding of Isaac’s has your nightmares covered with its
And yes, we did say ‘initially’ five design that will keep you coming back perfect horror design. The soundtrack,
floors. While Mom is the first end boss, for more whether you like it or not. too, is equally disturbing – if not quite
Rebirth actually has 16 unlockable Soak Spelunky in tears, give it cheese as dramatic as the original Danny
endings after a series of gradually for supper and this is the addictive Baranowsky PC score.
more hellish floors and bosses. The five nightmare that you would create. The Binding of Isaac might not be
levels that take you to Mom become If the game itself wasn’t enough, for everyone. If you value your sanity
seven to the bullet hell of Mom’s Heart, 20 unlockable challenges open up to – and other games – then this infinite
and a host of other floors open up if put your thumbs to the test. The art offering that we’ve sunk hundreds of
you can simply survive long enough. of steering Isaac becomes even more hours into might not be for you. But as
The hilariously named Mega Satan is advanced as you’re suddenly tasked a test of gaming mettle, you won’t ever
the final target, but to reach him you with beating Mom using no tears and find a more challenging or satisfying
need to have beaten an alternate only orbiting attack flies, or perhaps roguelike. Sweet dreams. OXm

The OXM verdict


The BiBle “The first time you kill Mom On the surface this might
Arming Isaac is just the first unlocking of look like just another
with the holy
book is a cheaty
way to beat Mom
the game – and I designed
[The Binding of Isaac:
Rebirth] in a way that
∞ pixellated roguelike, but
enter the nightmarish
and later boss meant it would keep unfolding HOuRS rabbit hole and you’ll find a
Mom’s Heart with the more and more you play.” mastery of the genre that is
one use. edmund mcmillen, cReaTOR relentlessly addictive.


revIeW Does this look heroic to you?
If so, please never help us.

Graffiti is disgusting
vandalism, so we’re chucking
it away. You’re welcome.


Live OXM Tom Stone
BiOhaZard BuNdLE
Or how to port to Xbox One with a super-zero amount of care

whaT iS iT?
A lazy port of two wo superhero games for the you’re not. You restore health by was an early Xbox 360 game – and
pretty good Xbox 360 price of one? Why, it almost literally eating people. boy, does it show. New York City is grey
sandbox games. sounds too good to be true. Moral murkiness aside, though, and generic-looking, blander than
whaT’S iT LikE? Prototype 1 and 2 are sandbox these are flawed but enjoyable, power- a bread sandwich, and any attempt
Playing GTA with a games that drop you in an fantasies. The original is shallower to improve visuals was lost on us. It
five-star wanted infected New York City and give you than an especially vain puddle, with its runs an impressive amount of carnage
level and all the incredible, murder-packed powers. vaguely interesting plot just an excuse onscreen, but what impressed on Xbox
cheats on. Both Alex Mercer and James Heller for every mission to be centred around 360, looks dated here.
whO’S iT fOr? can run up walls, float through the air, wrecking everything in sight. Fun, but Prototype 2 fares better, with
People who missed have superhuman strength and can it gets repetitive – even when you’re detailed buildings and NPCs filling a
these the first time turn their hands into deadly claws that punching helicopters and blasting more convincing take on a quarantined
around, or don’t own even Wolverine would describe as ‘a mutants apart with tanks. The sequel NYC. Shame, then, that the visual
an Xbox 360. bit much’. Slashing through soldiers, is much better paced, with superior boost seems to have come at the cost
stealing tanks and chucking cars at stealth sections and some smart of a decent framerate. It chugs when
helicopters to blow them out of the sky extensions of the first game’s abilities you’re on the ground and stutters
makes for dumb, delightful destruction. – shooting out your tendrils to cause horribly when you’re airborne. The
They’re both fun, in a morally gruesome chaos is a guilty pleasure same machine that runs Arkham Knight
bankrupt sort of way. Which makes it we’re happy to re-indulge in. shouldn’t be struggling here. There are
all the weirder that both attempt to But it’s shocking how poorly they’ve good games in this bundle, just don’t
portray you as a hero. Spoiler alert: been ported to Xbox One. Prototype expect to see them at their finest. OXM

The OXM verdict

The besT bIT WOrse Than… COMPleTIOn Overall

SaiNTS rOw iv Two above-average games
Okay, so Saints Row IV receive a sadly below-
ripped off the powers
from these games, but it
did them better. A more
21 average port. Newcomers
might enjoy smashing up
entertaining game that – HOUrS the city, and can stick on an
Tendril Black Hole lets you crush multiple crucially – never dares to extra point if they’re able to
enemies in a cluster of blood and tentacles. take itself seriously. look past technical issues.


looks can be deceiving – until she gets up close, the review
watercolour depicts only what rae thinks she’s hearing.

PuBlisher TeAm 17 / develOPer TIGeR & SquID / fOrMAt XBOX ONe / releAse dAte OuT NOW

BeyOnd eyes
Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes

Alice Bell
live BabyGotBell eyond Eyes’ heroine isn’t painted in watercolour as Rae moves moments the whole world becomes
@BabyGotBell your usual kind of videogame slowly forwards. Individual sounds and tinged with grey and black, reminding
protagonist. Rae is a young smells cause new areas to blossom you that the entire game is filtered
the knOwledge girl who was blinded in an and die: birds, for example, only exist through Rae’s interpretations.
whAt is it? accident as a toddler, and the for as long as their chirping lasts. This realisation helps offset any
A gentle walking
story begins when she finds she has to This mechanic serves to make the frustration you might have at Rae. She
simulator with
a thoroughly
leave the safety of her garden in order world disorientating. You will hear a moves agonisingly slowly compared to
original concept. to find her missing best friend – a fat river but not know the bridge is there a standard run-and-gun space marine,
ginger tomcat who goes by the name until you step out onto it. When it rains but then of course she does. If you spin
whAt’s it like?
Walking through a
of Nani. It’s impossible for someone the game shrinks to just the island the camera you can see that her arms
watercolour painting with sight to understand how a blind of colour around Rae as the pitter- are open and her face is lifted, ready
of the French person experiences the world, but if patter of the raindrops drown out the for the unknown world.
countryside. the journey you take in Beyond Eyes ambient noise of the world around her. If Beyond Eyes has a flaw it’s that it
whO’s it fOr? is anything to go by, it can be surreal, Other deceptions are much crueller: doesn’t do enough with the concept
Those interested in beautiful, confusing and frightening – what first appears to be washing it is built around. There are many
experiencing things and sometimes all of those at once. flapping on a line becomes, as you get touching moments that open a window
from a different The world you walk through is close enough to touch it, a looming to a world most of us will never know,
point of view. constructed entirely through Rae’s scarecrow host to cawing crows. but yet Rae encounters only a few
memories and remaining senses, in a Sounds like these – aggressive birds; moments of genuine emotional tension
natural way that makes the concept a growling dog; a busy road – frighten over the course of her journey. It makes
abundantly clear. The game starts as a and confuse Rae, and she must find you hope for a sequel, if only to see the
blank white canvas that blushes as if another way around. During these boundaries pushed a little further. OXM

The OXM verdict

prO Tip key inFluenCeS DiD yOu Overall

The Probably one of those things
prototype you’d describe as more of
47 43 10 for Beyond an experience than a game,
Eyes was the Beyond Eyes is a beautiful,
graduation project innovative bit of stuff that
47% Painting tutorial of lead developer
Leave no stone unturned – Beyond Eyes 43% Bedtime story Sherida Halatoe, just needed to push a little
has tons of secret Achievements. 10% Cat enthusiasm way back in 2011. harder to truly open our eyes.

@OXm The OFFIcIAl XBOX mAGAzINe / 87

online reviews

Yikes. if we lived
somewhere grim
as this place,
we’d want to be
blown up, too.

PubLiSheR / DeveLOPeR / FORmAT xbox one / ORigiNAL ScORe 7/10

At last! Batmobile Stealth Sections: The Game!
RevieWeR We SAiD leaving cover in the hopes of of your cash. the huge variety of
Tom Stone “The exact antithesis of Titanfall.” crippling the other tank. Patience tanks can all be upgraded, but
Live OXM Tom Stone is vital, but 15 vs 15 means you’re great balancing means everyone
@TheTomStrange never too far from an opponent. has their own advantage on the

Permadeath multiplayer keeps battlefield, regardless of rank.
e’ll be honest. go into this expecting Burnout tensions high. but when you finding a game is fast, loading
given the with cannons and you’ll be perish, you can join another game one less so. frustration creeps
choice, we’d disappointed. even the fastest instantly and you’ll still get any xP in when you wait ages for a
rather drive tanks are slower than installing or rewards you earned from that round to start, only to be blown
our car into all of Rare Replay, so you have initial match when it concludes. to smithereens in the first two
the ocean than to play stealthily to survive. it’s a great touch that helps with minutes. it encourages the
be forced to drive a tank. slow, camouflage yourself against the considerable grind required cautious, stealthier approach
cumbersome oblongs with all bushes and obstacles on the to buy new tanks and upgrades essential to mastering the game,
the steering grace of a drunk battlefield, and make sure you in this free-to-play game. it’s to but watching a loading screen is a
shopping trolley. no wonder spot the opposing tanks before World of Tanks’ credit that you pretty lousy way to learn a lesson.
there’s a cannon on top – it’s they spot you. then go for sniper- can unlock almost everything Visually, it’s a decent step up,
for the inevitable breakdown of style precise shots, or quick without having to remortgage with improved textures, lighting
the chump trapped inside. but bursts of cannon fire, risking your home, or even hand over any and tank models making up for knows the flaws the occasional bit of pop-in. Plus,
and strengths of its vehicle, and if you’ve sunk a lot of hours into
has embraced those limitations
to make a fun, surprisingly
“Go into this expecting Burnout with the game on xbox 360, all your
progress carries over onto xbox
stealthy multiplayer shooter. cannons and you’ll be disappointed” one. superior xbox one heroes

ARe We hAviNg FuN yeT? Our first hour rendered as a wavy line…
Death. This And Winning shot! times starting
EnjoyABlE This definitely
is stupid. this one? to grate.
Victory! This happened.
AnnoyinG Hang on, haven’t
is easy.
we done this
RAGE QuiT map before?

minutes 0 10 20 30 40 50 60

88 / the official xbox magazine

it looks great, but a visual upgrade review
wasn’t worth losing 20 players.

what did that poor house

do to anyone? That tank
should be ashamed.

Busy screens scared our

book-hating eyes, but
it’s all surprisingly
easy to pick up. PubLiSheR ea sPorts / DeveLOPeR ea tibUron / FORmAT xbox one / ORigiNAL ScORe 6/10


Finishes on a disappointing four over par
RevieWeR We SAiD country clubs were a new
Tom Stone “Plays as great a game of golf feature added in PGA Tour 13,
Live OXM Tom Stone as ever, but there’s just too central hubs for you and your
@TheTomStrange much missing.” friends to earn points and

arrange tournaments in. a nice
can even play against their t’s a beautiful day for a round modes. this sprightly new-gen idea, greatly expanded for PGA
weaker xbox 360 brethren (no of golf. the sun is shining, pretender has smacked it right Tour 14. so what’s the country
offence). the biggest issue the the winds are blowing and into the rough, with online club update this year? burning
xbox one version has is missing the sky is completely clear. capped at just four golfers. them down, apparently, as
stuff. deep customisation Unfortunately, the courses each hole has a set time they’re nowhere to be found.
options impress, but can’t hide are also clear. clear of music, limit, with everyone playing that’s not so much burying a shot
that there are fewer maps here clear of fun commentary, clear independently without having in the bunker as it is forgetting
than in the xbox 360 version. of applause or booing from to wait for other players to take to bring any clubs at all. the
World of tanks? there’s barely the vanished crowds. the their turn. while it’s nice not to golf club lets you share created
enough here for a village. the only sounds you’ll hear are have to pretend we’re patient, courses online. this doesn’t
action starts feeling repetitive a the occasional swing of your it does make for a much more even have a course creator.
lot sooner when we’re battling in club and the whoosh of the isolated experience. often it the core game is still fun, and
the same locales over and over. wind. listen closely and maybe feels like an offline round, just daily and weekly tournament
the missing maps are getting you’ll even hear tumbleweeds occasionally seeing the odd leaderboards provide a decent
a visual overhaul for xbox one, bouncing along the fairway. golfing ghost playing, too. this challenge for those who feel
so expect them to drop as You could always plug in your wasn’t such a problem when they’ve mastered the main
regular updates in the coming headset, but then you’ll just end there were 24 players competing game. but bar the lack of loading
months. we’re confident that up hearing people mourning the on a course. but with four or between holes, this is a pale
this will eventually be the best features that have disappeared fewer, it’s easy to forget you’re imitation of what an online PGA
console version of World of from what was once the king playing multiplayer at all. it’s the Tour is capable of. hopefully Rory
Tanks. Until then, you might of golf games. two years ago loneliest online experience we’ve McIlroy 2017 will remember to
want to stick to xbox 360 for the on xbox 360, PGA Tour 14 was had since no one responded to include what made this series
fuller experience. OXm capable of 24-player online our profile. great again. OXm

The oXM verdict The oXM verdict

7 4
Missing maps So heavily
hold back a fun compromised,
multiplayer PGA Tour 14
shooter. players might
But this is wonder if
great value without a virtual crowd cheering us on, they’re playing
for money. what’s the point of being alive? a demo.

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 89

on the download rELEAsED
latest add-ons and indie games rated From best to worst,
the latest additions to
Xbox Live Marketplace
we love it, but has anyone been following the
actual plot of this exo Zombies storyline?

Everyone’s 1,576th favourite
superhero gets his own pinball table.
Makes sense, being that he can shrink
himself to pinball size.
Price: £2.39


Play as a more futuristic Batman
with this new skin. We’re still waiting
PUBLISHER activision / DEvELOPER sledgehammer games / FORMAT xbox 360, xbox one /
REvIEWER martin Kitts / PRICE £11.59 for that neckless Ben Affleck DLC.
Price: £0.79


Zombie Malkovich rounds off the DLC season in style

illing those final weeks benefit from a much higher increase the chance of running 3 THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT –
before Call of Duty fans player count than the game headlong into another player. NEW FINISHER ANIMATIONS
migrate towards Black allows. at launch there’s a from there it’s just a question Tired of the same old decapitations?
Ops III’s slightly different frequently exploited glitch of who’s got the fastest trigger Geralt’s latest free DLC aims to put the
interpretation of robo- area where it’s possible for finger/best internet connection. spark back into the slaughter.
enhanced fighting, Advanced one player to occupy a narrow the exo zombies storyline Price: FRee
Warfare gets neatly wrapped up ledge outside the main map also reaches its conclusion here.
in this farewell dlc. and inflate his kill count by last time saw the addition of
Reckoning is a typically annihilating anyone who tries to bruce campbell, at the expense
glossy bundle of four multiplayer follow. with any luck that will be of a summarily executed John
maps that offer at least a change patched out. malkovich. it
of scenery, if not a change of next up, //turns out it turns out it
pace. fracture, a level set around
an arctic research outpost, is
the verticality
of swarm
takes more than takes more than
a headshot to
probably the pick of the bunch. provides an a headshot to put put malkovich 4 PROJECT SPARK – BUILDER
the wide open spaces and excellent malkovich down// down, and he PACK: BIOME MUSIC
stylishly coloured scenery make playground returns as a sort If plinky-plonky lift muzak is ruining
for an easily memorable layout, for exo-suit acrobatics, while of glow-eyed zombie overlord. your wondrous creations, this pack
and there’s a special event that offering indoor havens for the finale is an assault on of new tunes and backing tracks may
makes part of the level crumble escaping the deadly swarm of malkovich’s lair and, well, we’ve be worth a listen.
into the sea, tightening the focus drones that occasionally renders seen Resident Evil films with more Price: £3.19
for the remainder of the round. the outside a no-go area. sensible plots. most importantly,
overload is another visually Quarantine is the weakest though, it’s great fun and a
appealing map, although one link, with the action being fitting send-off for the most
whose size means it would funnelled through corridors that original CoD in many a year. OXM

the oXM Verdict

Nothing to write
home about,
but the maps
are solid and PONY DLC
the Zombies The tedium of monopoly meets the joy of
Set in a Korean suburb, Swarm takes episode is the ponies. Will you be trotting around Hayfair,
the fight inside as well as out. best yet. or destined for Old Kent’s Glue Factory?
Price: £2.39

90 / the official xbox magazine

that’s one of the weirder Pac-Man cameos did the earth move for us?
we’ve seen in a game, we’ll give it that. a bit, we suppose. ReView

FORMAT xbox one / REvIEWER tom stone / PRICE £5.59 FORMAT xbox one / REvIEWER alex dale / PRICE £3.99


hy is she called ‘batgirl’ but having to do more to take fter crossing over into further live up to his name with
not ‘batwoman’? we down foes brings back a welcome hollywood mainstream with his ground Pulse technique – an
wouldn’t dare call the sense of vulnerability. dual the likes of Jason voorhees unblockable move that sends
dark Knight ‘batboy’ to his face combat bashes with a sidekick, and Predator, Mortal Kombat X’s shockwaves through the ground.
and expect to keep our teeth. an underused highlight of Arkham five-pack of additional fighters but the catch is that it’ll only hurt
Juvenile naming aside, this is a Knight, are also great here. concludes with a treat for your opponent if they’re on terra
prequel to Arkham Asylum that the theme park itself is an hardcore Mortal Kombat X buffs: firma at the critical moment.
has batgirl saving her father excellent setting. a creaking, tremor, a hulking man-mountain even tremor’s fatalities are
from the clutches of Joker and neon wreck, it includes an out of who has made brief cameos in crazy about gravel – in one,
harley Quinn in an abandoned control ferris wheel and a merry- previous Mortal Kombat games, he crushes his vanquished foe
theme park. that’s a recipe for a go-round of beasts that would no but has somehow eluded being a between two slabs of granite,
fantastic game if there ever was doubt traumatise any child. the fully playable character. Until now. and in another, our personal
one, and for its park’s best parts in case favourite, he
first hour, A Matter are suffocatingly you haven’t summons three
of Family almost //batgirl makes claustrophobic gathered by his //tremor really, stalagmites
lives up to it. for a great lead, and bring back name, dusky really likes rocks. that spring from
Problem is, that’s and she deserved that Asylum colourations he likes them the ground and
also its only hour.
those hoping better than this// magic of having
no choice but to
and what
appears to be likes them// puncture the
victim in three
for new gadgets continue on into a terminal case key areas: head,
or ideas will be disappointed. an enemy’s trap. much as we loved of greyscale, tremor really, chest and, er, lower chest.
batgirl is limited to a few of the open world of Knight, this is a really likes rocks. he likes them if we have a problem with
Asylum’s toys, her only unique great reminder of what made bats’ likes them. in fact, he’s into tremor it’s that his three
feature being some more hacking original adventure so special. rocks so much that he’s built variations aren’t really all that
options for taking out goons. it’s just a shame that reminder an entire moveset around them. different. however, he’s a rangy
batgirl’s also slightly weaker had to be so brief. batgirl specifically, he is able to summon combatant who manages to offer
than batman, but that isn’t such makes for a great lead, and she rocks from thin-air and hurl something genuinely different
a bad move. by the end of Arkham deserved better. this feels like a them at his opponent – either to the rest of the cast, and
Knight, we felt near-invincible. great start to a longer game that singularly or, in its strengthened rounds off Mortal Kombat X’s dlc
batgirl is still a skilled fighter, we’re never going to get. OXM form, as a shower. tremor can offering nicely. OXM
the oXM Verdict the oXM Verdict

6 7
What’s here is Not the most,
good, but doesn’t ahem, ground-
justify the price breaking of
when you’re not fighters, but
even getting for the price
an hour of he adds a new
gameplay. dimension.

Indie roundup - Animal special / A themed look at hidden gems and DIY disasters

Escape, survive and rush make Two unicorns making out, backed sick of your child’s love of Average platformer held back by From robot shepherds, on a sheep-
this three games in one. All of by sexual groaning. Now we know ponies? 60 seconds of this hideous serpent lead. Made us only planet. A good cause, let
them complete trash. Drown it. what hell looks like. should do the trick. want to burn down a reptile house. down by fiddly controls.
***** ***** ***** ***** *****

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 91

fe at ure


We speak to the franchise’s creators

plus the developers of Battlefield, Saints
Row and Alien: Isolation about how the
original Gears of War changed the
industry, and why now is the perfect
time to revisit this classic
Writer: Edwin Evans-Thirlwell

92 / ThE offIcIAl xBox mAGAzInE

Ge a rS of w a r

Gears soon proved

to be much more than
just “graphics and
production values”.

pLayers pLay
How DiD GearS evolve in
reSponSe to feeDbaCk, anD
wHat CoulD epiC Have Done
better? we aSkeD bitmonSter
Co-founDer anD former GearS
DeSiGner lee perry
from a design perspective
there were huge shifts in
our attitudes internally
as the trilogy went on. the
most obvious was how the

role of cover and lethality
ometime in 2005, evolved after we launched.
Gary napper – being in cover, playing
latterly lead slowly and tactically – that
designer on Alien: was our intended play style.
Isolation – was after launch though, so many
walking through players got great at hauling
the offices of EA ass around the levels,
sliding into cover only long
Bright light when
enough to vault away from
he noticed a group of colleagues it, and running around like
crowding around a desk, ‘mesmerised’ shotgun samurai. we tried to
by something on a screen. “The steer gameplay back towards
designers had huge smiles of wonder the initial vision, but
on their faces,” he recalls. “The artists eventually realised that
all had looks of dread. Some were these tactics were valid
shaking their heads, others had their A major exclusive for the emerging Creative and needed to be factored
arms folded with stern expressions. xbox 360, Epic’s new shooter would director into the bigger picture.
adrian that experience was
This was my first ever look at Gears of prove no less electric in the hands,
Chmielarz powerful, seeing systems
War. It was gameplay footage, however familiar its mixture of cover- wanted used in unintended ways, and
pre-release, and showed a world in the hugging and peek-shooting may have Judgment to recognising it’s the player’s
dark with rain drenching every surface, sounded on paper. “The moment- be more of a game, not the designer’s.
as chunky armoured soldiers ran in a to-moment feel of the game was so Gears: Dark if i had any regret, it’s
low crouch while lightning flashed new and unexpected,” muses napper. Souls edition. not pushing the individual
around them. I was astounded.” “The chunkiness to the weapons and games to be different enough.
Ten years later, it’s easy to forget the feedback of the environment we were on tight timelines
the impact Gears of War’s graphical made the world feel alive.” Adrian with small teams, but i would
have loved for each title to
technology and aesthetic had on other chmielarz, creative director at The
have added one new strong
studios – the tortured photorealism Astronauts and one of the minds mechanic that’s truly central
of its landscapes, the muscular heft behind the seminal Bulletstorm, was to how the game is played.
of its characters. “I heard the artists similarly taken aback. “I thought it we just didn’t have the time
talking and it was quickly established was going to be just graphics and to push those new ‘verbs’
that this was the visual quality we production values. I wasn’t entirely for the player, but we
had to beat,” napper goes on. EA convinced about the gameplay. once I were also overly
Bright light’s project at the time, actually did play it? oh my God.” Even cautious perhaps
an adaptation of Harry Potter and those who didn’t warm to the game’s about betraying
expectations. if
the Order of the Phoenix, underwent tone and universe were impressed
there’s anything
“huge changes” to make the grade. by it. “It’s not a series I had any i wish for the
new Gears games,

“The designeRs had huge it’s that they

find a way to
make the gameplay

smiles of wondeR, buT The new and fresh, while

still having the flavour

aRTisTs had looks of dRead”

of the originals.

@oxm ThE offIcIAl xBox mAGAzInE / 93

fe at ure

GearS of war: JuDGment
waS tHe firSt proper GearS
Spin-off – anD tHe firSt
GearS Game to be DevelopeD
moStly outSiDe epiC.
we aSkeD former Creative
DireCtor aDrian CHmielarz
about How it went
i was ecstatic to have the
opportunity to lead Gears
of war: Judgment for almost
two years – so many great
memories of the screams and So much war, but the team
the guts spilled. my only still found the time for
regret is that the game perfectly crafted facial hair.
as released and the game
i had in mind are quite
different. we knew Judgment grace with which it unifies the efforts
was a one-off, so i wanted of different development disciplines.
to use that opportunity to “character art, animation, audio
take some risks. i wanted design, voice direction, systems
Gears: Dark Souls edition, a design, and even small touches like
really hard, nerve-racking,
well-timed camera shakes – when
‘blood, sweat and tears’
kind of game in which you all these disparate pieces came
felt exhausted after a together, the vision came to life,”
battle. there was also one says Volition’s Greg donovan, lead
crucial innovative gameplay producer on Saints Row: The Third.
mechanic removed from the “This was the first time for me that so
final release, and a few many disciplines had come together
other mechanics and design to sell characters so well.”
points that were altered to There were also flashes of real
be somewhat safer. Dark and grey great affinity for,” confesses dan innovation amid the muck and thunder
as an example, Judgment it may be,
reveals new enemy types in marshall, creator of recent xbox one of the gunfights. Take Active Reload,
but Gears
a typical way: a cutscene hit The Swindle. “It’s a dank grey slog whereby you can hit a button to
kicks in and the monster all round. through depressing environments accelerate the reloading animation and
presents itself and does and hard-work firefights. It’s sci-fi increase damage per round. mistime
something that explains its trenchfoot and hopelessness. But it the press, however, and you’ll have to
powers or abilities. then we did those things brilliantly.” sweat while your character struggles
return to gameplay, knowing In terms of its handling, Gears of to fit a magazine into the breach. “It
what we’re dealing with. it’s War is hardly a true-blue original. took an input that was almost standard
a good solution, but i wanted
many of the game’s inspirations were in games of that time and turned it into
the initial confusion. the
player was to be surprised obvious from the beginning: an emotional experience,” says napper.
and unsure about how capcom’s Resident Evil 4, “There was a huge feeling of risk
to deal with the cult favourite Kill.Switch and reward – excitement and panic
enemy. but i and Epic’s flagship Unreal within a moment of gameplay that had
don’t know if series. But Gears become almost routine.”
my version was shines, first of all, in looking at the fabric of the
better. it was the confidence and campaign as a whole, chmielarz feels
just different. people
say they want innovation,
but what they often really
want is the same, just with “The momenT-To-momenT
feel of The game was new
a fresh wrapper. So maybe
epic was right to change
Judgment to be more like
Gears 3.5. who knows?
and unexpecTed”
94 / ThE offIcIAl xBox mAGAzInE
Ge a rS of w a r

the rivaL’s take

you may reCall tHe
outSiDerS’ DaviD GolDfarb
from HiS work on payDay 2
anD tHe battlefielD SerieS.
at tHe time of GearS’
releaSe He waS workinG on
killzone 2, playStation
2’S muCH-touteD exCluSive
SHooter. How DiD it feel
to play tHe oppoSition’S
offerinG for tHe firSt time?
for me, the impact was
limited to “well this is
how those guys solved these
problems”. there was a lot
to admire and examine in
terms of level design and
mechanics while we were
working on killzone 2. i
there’s still plenty to learn from Gears’ my career I was basically an artist, originally remember being struck by
pacing. “The opening segment is modelling things, trying to come up intended to the fact that it was very
probably still the best opening of all with systems for how they would fit be slow and much a game with a distinct
time when it comes to teaching the together. I was firmly in the back seat, tactical, personality, even if it
Gears’ players wasn’t one i immediately
rules of play without being obnoxious hoping the people at the wheel were took matters engaged with. you’d never
about it,” he says. donovan agrees. taking the projects somewhere cool. into their
“The devs introduced enemies in a once Kismet landed, my job became mistake it for anything else
own hands. and it felt honest in a way
manner that prevented stagnation making playable prototypes for that a lot of other titles
while ramping up difficulty,” he reflects. creatures, weapons and systems.” didn’t at the time.
“By the end it felt like I was fighting External developers were able to the desaturated palette
against ten-plus distinct enemy types, use the tool by licensing the Unreal definitely found its way
which is a crazy amount of content Engine. napper was among those into a million titles
to take on and do well, and there’s who felt the benefits. Years after afterwards. i can’t remember
probably more than ten. But I also felt seeing Gears for the first time, he met if Gears was the first game
like I had the tools to be competitive Epic’s legendary design director cliff to really lean into that
against them. The final levels were Bleszinski at an event and thanked whole ‘gritty-dark’ trope,
since in reality it was
a nice balance between having a him not just for Gears itself, but for neither, but it took an
challenge and feeling powerful, and raising the profile of designers within important step in terms of
that’s difficult to pull off.” the industry. “I remember a time when ramping up
the challenge people’s perception of what
Gears of War’s impact on the only producers and marketing people ‘gritty’ looked like.
while keeping
xbox 360’s early fortunes has been were allowed to talk to press about that feeling the move to co-op was also
exhaustively rehearsed. Relatively the games we were working on, and of power big at a time where there
little understood, perhaps, is how then all of a sudden, here was this proved an weren’t many co-op games
it reshaped the role of the game designer, openly talking about his irresistible at all. i remember thinking
designer within studios. “Gears love of the game.” ■ combination. that it was a ballsy move,
given the performance of
changed so much about what our
multiplayer titles back
jobs actually meant,” comments the then. Gears also came along
independent developer lee Perry, at a time where there were
lead designer at Epic from 2001 to no real alternatives to Halo
2012. “We had this awesome new on xbox, and it brought a few
tool, Kismet. It was like Photoshop, new mechanical things that
for bringing playable ideas to life. no one had done quite that
We didn’t have to try to convince way before. there was the
programmers and producers to let cover shooting, obviously,
but the innovation inside
us try different things, we could reloading was a neat little
just open the editor up and make rhythmic micro-mechanic
things work on our own. that a lot more developers
“for me, that changed everything should have stolen!
about my job. for the first decade of

@oxm ThE offIcIAl xBox mAGAzInE / 95

33 rd




Best Original Game?
Game of the Year?
Gaming Platform of the Year?

Let us know what you’ve loved

from this great year of games.


Sponsored by:
Squeezing more from your machine every month



98 OXM Investigates
Halo 5’s Guardians are an incredible 1.4
kilometres tall. Got us a-wondering how
the rest of the Xbox gang measure up.

100 Now Playing:

Martin Kitts breaks the habit of a lifetime and
attempts to go a day without killing anyone.

102 Now Playing:

Dark Souls
The much-ballyhooed player vs player mode just
doesn’t cut it for our Tom.

104 OXM Investigates

A guide to the best audio options on the market
today – they’ll bust your eardrums, not the bank.

106 OXM Replay

This month we revisit the weird, forgotten
cousin of the Fallout family – New Vegas.

108 Live Spotlight

Minecraft goes Greek; The Evil Within gets some

page swanky borders; The Witcher 3 gets bigger.

Why discretion is the worst part of valour. 114 Rare Replay games that
didn’t make the cut
Think Conker’s edgy? Check out Oogity Boogity.

page page page

103 106 114

xbox ExTrA

The Long and

The shorT oF iT
From Claptrap to The Chief – we put Xbox’s greatest
heroes against the wall, draw little lines above their
heads in biro and see how they measure up...

ecently, Microsoft released a to-scale
Halo 5 size comparison chart, mostly as an
excuse to show off the awesome size of the 10
series’ latest antagonists – the 4,635-feet-
tall Guardians. But the chart also threw up some
other interesting statistics. The Master Chief, for
instance, stands at a tape measurer-groaning 6’7”.
This put us in the mood to measure every iconic
Xbox star we could get our 18.6cm hands on. To our
eternal chagrin, we were unable to find accurate
heights for Viva Piñata’s Horsetachio or Kazooie
from Banjo-Kazooie, but the ones we could
track down offered a few surprises...


the other side of
Xbox gaming

4 7


1) Claptrap 2) Lara Croft 3) Marcus Fenix 4) Batman 5) Master Chief

11” 5’9” 6’1” 6”2 6’7”
It’s difficult to get a Tomb Raider’s lithe ledge- This surprised us, as Bruce Wayne is truly an And that’s without his
handle on just how tall leaper is a whopping six everyone in the Gears inspiration to us all. He’s Super Spartan armour. Once
Borderlands’ talkative inches taller than the of War universe looks proof that anyone can be strapped in, according
rustbucket is – the average British woman, short and squat, as if the a superhero: all they need to novel Halo: The Flood,
official literature ain’t according to a BBC planet Sera has ten times is genius-level intellect, Chief stands to the tune
saying. So we’re basing website that we Googled the gravity of Earth, or unfathomable access to of seven feet. But before
this measurement on just this second. Handy something. But nope – Mr wealth and resources, and you swoon, consider this;
the model that comes for grabbing hard-to- Surly is actually a very above-average height. Oh, the same novel claims MC
in the ‘Claptrap-in-a- reach platforms, and respectable 6’1”. oh and, indeed, oh. has skin whiter than 1,000
box’ special edition uppercutting uppity bears. Milkybars (paraphrasing),
of Borderlands: The as he almost never
Handsome Collection. takes his suit off.


xbox ExTrA

11) guardian
Somehow, ‘enormous’
doesn’t seem to do Halo’s
Guardian justice. These unfathomably
mammoth segmented beings rise from
the depths of alien worlds, where they conceal
themselves in deep waters and underground
lava pits. They’re so hulking they’ve broken
our scale – we’re going to need more than a
battle rifle and three grenades to send these
suckers back from whence they came.

6) Big daddy 7) Battletoads 8) Titan 9) aT-aT 10) scarab

7’2” 6’3”, 6’8”, 7’4” 21’0” 73.8’ 127’0”
According to a life- As stated in their respawn community This is the height of the Until now, these vast,
sized statue produced Battletoads Arcade profiles, manager Abbie Heppe Star Wars universe’s crab-like attack vehicles
by promotional figurine rash, zitz and Pimple stand gladly answered a fan’s gargantuan armoured were the big boys of
maestro Studio Oxmox, a at 6’3”, 6’8” and 7’4”. So question on how tall transport vehicles, the the Halo universe. At
typical Big daddy stands Pimple is taller than a Big Titanfall’s Titans stand cover star of our June 127 feet high (Halo 3
at a monstrous 7’2”. That’s daddy. There’s no rationale during a Q&A session with 2015 issue. You won’t measurement), they are
more than double the for the height discrepancy Major nelson. According to be able to ride them in nearly as tall as they are
height of the little Sister, between toads, except Heppe, they’re as high as the upcoming Star Wars: long (159 feet).
who comes in at just 3’6”. perhaps that the profiles three and a half six-foot Battlefront, presumably
The fibreglass statue was were written by someone pilots. 21 feet! because your character’s
sold in 2013 for the bargain who doesn’t understand feet won’t be able to
price of $6,490 (£4,151.47). how height works. reach the peddles.


xbox extra

C’mon, does this

now really look like
the face of a non-
p l ay i n g killer to you?

the games we’re

still going back
to, and why

100 / the official xbox magazine

xbox extra

Martin Kitts is playing…

beCaUSe… “it’s the thinking man’s stealth game. right?”
Loving the surprisingly high-end voice cast. Hating blinking when i actually wanted to summon a swarm of rats.

ishonored is unique among to ensure that the game wasn’t banned DetaiLS be somewhat self-lethal, so you’d best
assassination games in in germany, which is the usual fate for save the game beforehand. there’s no
that you don’t actually have anything that might get the teutonic Released rat bomber achievement, unfortunately,
to assassinate anyone. it was pulse racing – but it’s a hell of a way to oct 2012 but the sheer amount of other awards
widely celebrated as such miss the point. Dev for random acts of ultraviolence (make
before its original launch on for connoisseurs of this sort of thing enemies kill themselves/their friends,
xbox 360 – a sandbox with boundaries (anyone?) Dishonored has some of the Studios murder unsuspecting guards with every
so pliable that it was possible to invent smoothest, most satisfying kills in any last one of the various gizmos at your
your own path through the entire thing game. it’s so slick, so fast, so effortless. Pub disposal, kill four people in under a
without shedding a drop of blood. a there’s stealth, sure, but it’s incredibly bethesda second with a crossbow) leads me to
couple of achievements even encourage forgiving – most enemies won’t pay Format xbox 360 believe this is the true way to approach
you to play it that way. any attention until you’re right on top the world of Dishonored. boil a man to
Score 9/10
it’s just as well i’ve never been much of them, by which time the only thing death in his sauna? nice one – here,
of a completionist when it comes to my you’ve got to worry about is which of a Recap have 10g for your trouble.
gamerscore, because that clean hands dozen power combinations you’re going teleport your for me, the holy grail of assassinations
achievement is basically never going to to use to dispatch them. way around is one i’ve been thinking about for a
happen for me. i’ve tried more than once, every character is a one-shot finish, the plague- while, where i slow time, possess and
but 100g doesn’t seem like a fair swap so you might as well make it stylish. or, infected city quickly exit the enemy (which causes
for having the bare minimum of fun while you could simply attach a proximity of Dunwall him to be spectacularly ill) and then
as a magic
playing. well done – you forced yourself mine to a nearby rat, possess said rat lop off his head while it’s still spraying
assassin who
to ignore the best part of the game for and then scamper merrily into a crowd of has the area’s sick everywhere. it might actually be
14 straight hours. clean hands helped helpless people. actually, that one can rats at his impossible, as i’m having no end of
disposal. trouble removing the head while the
//the sheer amount of awards for victim is doubled over, blowing chunks.
if anyone does manage to pull it off,
ultraviolence leads me to believe this please stick it on Youtube and i’ll award
you an honorary 1,000g achievement
is the true way to approach the game// called, simply, awesome. ■

amazingly enough, the

windblast ability is
nowhere near as crude
as it sounds.

@oxm the official xbox magazine / 101


Master magic and the
P l Ay I N G game becomes… still
harder than titanium
bullets. Aww.

Tom Stone is playing…

Dark Souls:
Prepare to Die Edition
BECAUSE… “It really captures the fun of dying alone”
Loving Figuring it out on my own. Hating Realising I’m an idiot and can’t figure it out on my own.

or me, it is currently that 360 still requires a magic internet cable DEtaiLS never catch me getting trapped in a
magical time in every to go online. This has to be connected barrel like those idiotic NPCs. Where is
gamer’s life where Dark Souls to the console by hand. Desperate to Released this mysterious enemy who’s apparently
addiction takes over. Little make sure I was getting the best version Aug 2012 trying to pickle everyone, anyway?
things like ‘eating’, ‘going of Dark Souls, I plugged the cable in. A Dev I’m terrified whenever I enter a new
to work’ and ‘attending my couple of hours later, I’d yanked it back From Software area, but also excited for the challenge
wedding’ take a backseat to battling out. Never darken my Xbox 360 again, Pub
to come. Whatever’s out there, I just
through Lordran. For the three people you grey, bitter worm. know it’s going to destroy me. But it’ll be
Namco Bandai
who don’t know it, Dark Souls is an Play online and you’ll see orange worth it for that sweet, sweet, fleeting
action-RPG. Punishingly difficult, yet markings everywhere. These are Format Xbox 360 moment of success. A floor full of orange
ridiculously rewarding. It’s the rush of notes from other players, ranging from Score 9/10 scratchings ruins that. When I’m late for
exploration mixed with the fear of the the useless ('Praise the Sun!') to the Recap work, I barely have time to leave a note
unknown – the closest thing to a Silent incredibly useful ('Hidden wall ahead'). The RPG reminding my housemates that I will skin
Hill RPG you’ll ever play. So this is what A nice idea, but I feel it detracts from phenomenon them alive if they ever eat my Coco Pops
true love feels like. what makes Dark Souls so engaging. that taught again. Seeing notes in-game just makes
But some say I haven’t been getting Narcissist that I am, I enjoy travelling us all to me feel like the youngest sibling, a child
the full experience. I’ve been playing through Lordran feeling like the only fall back in stumbling after the big kids. “Finishing
offline. Not because I’m an antisocial mildly competent adventurer there. Sure, love with Dark Souls? Pfft, we did that years ago
hermit, but because my ancient Xbox I’ve died thousands of times, but you’d difficult and it was easy. Here are some hints to
games again. help you catch up, you big stupid baby.”
//Narcissist that I am, I enjoy travelling Kills you
every chance
I’m sticking to offline. It’ll be a
tougher, lonelier experience, but that’s
through Lordran feeling like the only it gets.
exactly what Dark Souls should be.
Praise the Sun? I’ll stick to praising the
mildly competent adventurer there// haunting isolation, thanks. ■


Jenny Baker is playing…

Child of Light
BECAUSE… “It’s the fairest in all the land”
LOving The heroine’s magical transformation. HaTing The absence of a true fairytale ending.

nce upon a time in the faraway It’s refreshing to witness a character
kingdom of Ubisoft, there evolve without a drop of blood, bead of
was a beautiful videogame sweat or disintegrating outfit.
princess named Aurora. One of my favourite things about the
Her flame-like hair inspired visuals is that they’re both light and dark
jealousy throughout the land, and even – flowers and storms alike bleed ink-rich
TressFX couldn’t rival her storybook beauty. And yet it masks a storyline with
good looks – okay, I have a confession as many miscalculated moments as
to make: I have been bewitched by Hansel and Gretel have breadcrumbs.
Child of Light’s artwork. It might not be Akin to a half-baked gingerbread house,
realistic, but it packs a prettier punch it lures you in with sugary stained-glass
than a poisoned candy apple. cutscenes, only to squish expectations
Child of Light uses the finest tale-as- of warm milk and a plate of cookies on DeTaiLS with a doughy, fruitless ending.
old-as-time ingredients – a magic mirror, standby. Lemuria is a lost continent Of course, while Child of Light
a wicked stepmother, a pipe-smoking brought to life, but that’s not all. might not have a Grimm-worthy plot,
dwarf – but they’re nothing next to its When you fulfil certain requirements, Apr 2014 its artwork is spellbinding. Aurora’s
epic watercolour landscapes. Inspired by Aurora gains wings and transforms into Dev Ubisoft Cinderella-like transformation and
19th-Century fairy tale illustrations and a queen – like a fairy-type Pokémon with Montreal Lemuria’s fluid backdrops are proof
the paintings of Yoshitaka Amano, the three evolutionary states, each more Pub Ubisoft that a modern game doesn’t have to be
fantasy realm of Lemuria is an ethereal radiant than the last. Her crown turns Format Xbox One realistic to be a knockout. After all, who
wonderland. Every time I enter a new from gold to glass, her dress primrose to Score 8/10 wants gritty realism when you can have
region, I feel like I should have a glass ivory, her hair ruby-red to sunset-pink. a kaleidoscopic dream world? Not me. ■

Alex Dale is playing…

Rayman Legends
BECAUSE… “There’s always something new to do”
LOving The Teenies’ saucy dance when they’re saved… HaTing …which gets a little old after, like, the 650th time.

here’s always going to be But actually, I’m beginning to wonder DeTaiLS you see a crossroads, you can bet your
room for Rayman Legends if there isn’t a little bit too much to do. I bottom Lum that turning left rather than
in that weird little library know how mad that must sound – who right will lead you to a Teeny. Similarly,
of squares on my Xbox One wants less game for their money, right? Feb 2014 where a narrow gap leads off the top
Dashboard. The end credits But hear me out for a second. Dev Ubisoft of the screen, there is, predictably, an
rolled long ago, but there’s still so Let’s begin by throwing some numbers Paris opportunity to wall-jump up to a secret
much left for me chip away at when I at you. Most of levels have ten Teenies Pub Ubisoft doorway. The accompanying ‘ooooh!’
fancy a snack-sized break between to rescue – eight dotted around the Format Xbox One sounds almost sarcastic.
Witcher contracts – Lums to collect, landscape and two hidden behind secret Score 9/10 See what I’m getting at? Is having to
lottery tickets to scratch, creatures doors. Additionally, you’ll be wanting collect 500 Lums really more exciting
to uncover, Teenies to save, Heroes to to collect as many Lums as possible to than finding 300? Or 100? Or even ten?
unlock. That’s to speak nothing of the earn lottery tickets, which are the only It just means levels don’t have room to
ever-refreshing daily challenges. way to unlock the Origins levels and breathe – with so many collectibles, you
add creatures to your collection. 500 is never get the sense that you’ve actually
enough to bag a gold medal. found anything worth of celebrating.
Can you see the problem yet? Rayman New Super Mario Bros, the genre’s
Legends’ levels aren’t the biggest, benchmark, limited collectibles to three
and yet they’ve got to squeeze ten golden coins per level and is all the more
Teenies and (at least) 500 Lums into engaging for it. Like all other warm-
their framework. This means they’re blooded animals, I love Rayman Legends
absolutely caked with secrets, to the to pieces – but if ever there was a poster
point that it strips them of any wonder. If child for ‘less is more’, this is it. ■


xbox extra

Sound inveStmentS?
Want to hear games as they’re meant to be heard?
OXM puts Xbox One’s sound solutions to the test…

he pursuit of ever sleeker TV frames has left in-built
speakers in a shocking state, parping out thin, tinny
sound for weaponry and engines that should be shaking
the house to the ground. A decent surround sound
system can cost more than two Xbox Ones combined, so we’ve
gone in search of more modest solutions, looking for the best
balance of performance and price. With the recent Xbox One
controller redesign incorporating a stereo jack (older controllers
are still reliant on the Stereo Adaptor), there’s never been a
better time invest in decent pair of headphones, while those
after a good room-rattling might want to try sound bars instead.

//In-built speakers leave weaponry and

engines sounding thin and tinny. We want 4
them to shake the house to the ground//

1 3

turtle Beach Stealth Kingston HyperX turtle Beach elite Polk n1 Gaming
500X (£200) Cloud (£55) 800X (£250) Surroundbar (£181)
Xbox One’s first wireless Cast into the shadows by These are the daddies, loud Don’t want to deface your
1 headset also debuted Turtle 2 the newer Cloud II model 3 where they need to be, but 4 living room in the name of
Beach’s DTS 7.1 Surround Sound, and its 7.1 virtual surround sound subtle in design (why do so many 5.1 sound? Enter the soundbar. It
justifying the jump in price with – a feature only compatible with premium headsets look like also frees you from the anti-social
the competitive advantage it PC – the Cloud headset becomes something from bad ‘80s sci-fi?). confines of a headset, sharing all
might bestow. Plugging it into CoD: an inadvertent steal for Xbox One. Sound-wise it builds on the that deafening gunfire with your
Advanced Warfare better places For £55 you get a sturdy medal 500X’s 7.1 and presets with a whole family. But what gunfire!
gunshots and footsteps, certainly, band, large ear-nuzzling cups and superhuman mode to draw out Polk worked with Microsoft on
but we found the tech could make stereo oomph to rival most models distant sounds and a ‘footstep shooter and racing modes,
some single-player sound mixes on this page. Just as happy focus’ that amplifies smaller signified by Halo and Forza logos,
sound thin. Connecting to a PC delivering the dainty folk of The foreground noises. Switch on the and they do the job, drawing out
lets you download presets Witcher 3 as it is the militaristic added noise cancellation and the minutiae of foreground effects
optimised for other games, though bass of Battlefield Hardline’s gats, there’s no threat of mistaking – engine sounds, Master Chief’s
we were happy pumping them this is a sublime pick for the price your dog-walking neighbour for an crunching joints – far better than
through the 500X’s meaty stereo (even with the required Stereo incoming shanking. All its features the simulated surround sound of
mode. That said, a great mic and Adaptor). Only online pros need make it a bit fussy to handle, but many headsets. Now to find a TV
pristine comfort clearly mark this hold back – the slightly feeble for £250 you’re likely looking for a stand wide enough to take all 39”
out as more pro-gaming choice. mic is less than ideal. more tailored experience. of it. What a hog!


6 xbox extra


the other side of
Xbox gaming


turtle Beach Stealth official Xbox one Polk Audio magniFi

420X (£150) Stereo Headset (£40) (£400) Gioteck HC-5 (£55)
Turtle Beach’s latest Microsoft’s no frills design is While not intended for The hC-5 offers two very
5 headset ditches the 7.1 6 comfortable to wear and 7 gaming, lacking the 8 different experiences
tech for a more affordable unfussy to use, with none of the dedicated modes of the N1, the depending on your TV. If you have
wireless stereo headset. preset tweaking seen in flashier MagniFi’s pricier tag does get you Audio Out sockets, you can use
Considering how often we’d switch models. Instead it arrives well an external subwoofer and Polk’s the wireless functions. Powered
the 500X to stereo mode it’s a balanced out the box, with crisp Voice Adjust tech. The former by rechargeable battery you get
great offering: loud volumes, beefy music and voice work in Sunset adds a rumbling roar to explosions amplified sound and access to a
bass, and cups that’ll adjust to Overdrive and enough bass to and engines that N1 simply can’t bass boost – both solid for the
even the knobbliest of heads. Not give Forza 5’s engines and match. The latter’s more subtle, price, even if the batteries ran out
being able to pick out the precise clanking Titanfall mechs their allowing you to emphasise in about four hours. Without Audio
angle of a bullet’s trajectory required heft. They hold up less mid-range frequencies, drawing Out you’re reliant on the Stereo
makes them less useful to online well with other media – music can out dialogue that can get lost in a Adaptor to power the headset,
players than the 500X/800X, but if begin to distort at higher volumes busy sound mix. It’s particularly removing the amplified sound.
you just want to flood your ears – but as one of the cheapest noticeable in The Witcher, where Okay, you don’t have to recharge
with GTA radio stations or the headsets around it holds up the often busy environmental them, but they are weedier for it.
orchestral sweep of Ori and the remarkably well. As an added sound can drown out a good Neither setup entirely satisfies.
Blind Forest, this gets the job bonus, it comes with the headset natter. Is freedom from subtitles For the same price, hyperX Cloud
done in uncluttered fashion. adaptor required to use it. worth £400? You be the judge. is the way to go.


xbox extra Weapons get progressively
weirder, escalating from
bladed gauntlets and
boxing gloves to a machine
gun powered by the brain
of a dog.

the oxm
r e p l ay

Revisiting the

Fallout: New Vegas

Ben Griffin wanders back into Obsidian’s bizarre wasteland

rankly, Fallout: New Vegas was someone you can talk to, steal from flesh pie, drug the wine to render
kind of a mess, a sprawling RPG or kill. Fortunately, any technical everyone unconscious, break out the
held together by duct tape and inconsistencies simply add another son and lead another human sacrifice
Wonderglue. You’re walking strain of unintentional humour to a into the freezer, or frame the father by
along and BAM! A burned-out game already bursting with it. collecting blood samples from his son
car randomly springs you 35m in the air. That’s the series’ legacy – a post- and planting them in his room.
Details Or, mid-conversation, someone’s head apocalyptic apple-pie America made Missions such as this effectively
Dev Obsidian rotates 360º. There’s even the recent markedly less bleak by talking trees demonstrate the network of systems
Entertainment revelation uncovered by hobbyist and pneumatic fists – and New Vegas working furiously under New Vegas’
Pub Bethesda coders that, because its predecessor takes the concept to miles of Mojave surface. Karma determines how others
Softworks lacked functioning vehicles, Fallout Wasteland full of extraordinary sights react to you, whether with warmth,
Released 3’s Presidential Metro Train section and sounds. Quests are a series high, furrowed brows or all-out violence,
Oct 2010
involved slyly affixing a giant piece of both in terms of player choice and based on previous actions. Factions
scored 9/10
carriage-shaped armour to the player sheer off-colour comedy. Examples record your prior interactions with
and fooling them into thinking they include Elvis impersonators The Kings them, and will reward or punish you
were riding it. asking you to find a replacement brain (kill members of Caesar’s Legion and
This, it happens, is the necessary for their cyberdog, gathering a group he’ll greet you with hostility). Dialogue
price of near limitless freedom, of escorts (cowboy ghoul, sex bot) for also varies according to what choices
because while other open-world games a wealthy client with unusual tastes, you’ve made, what you’re wearing and
of the time such as Batman: Arkham recruiting entertainers for the Tops who your companion is. Show up to The
Asylum, Just Cause 2 and Assassin’s casino, whipping a gang of unruly NCR Kings’ School of Impersonation with
Creed Revelations were arguably more soldiers into shape, stealing eggs from Cass and members might say, “Hellooo,
polished experiences, none matched Mojave wildlife (easier said than done cowgirl! You mind if talk to your lady
New Vegas’ dizzying scope. Every with roaming irradiated scorpions and friend instead of you?”
item is a physical entity you can pick fire geckos), and either preparing or And that’s without getting into the
up and put down, every person is sabotaging a rocket launch. 13 character skills. You can talk your
All quests have multiple solutions. way out of most anything, or barter for
//Any technical Beyond the Beef, for instance, sees
you preventing the son of a rancher
an important item instead of battling
over it. With a high enough Sneak
inconsistencies simply add becoming the main course of a
cannibalistic society’s banquet. You
ability you can find a peaceful solution,
and with advanced Lockpick or Science
more unintentional humour// can steal the recipe for an imitation- talents you’re able to uncover alternate


xbox extra

Securitrons patrol the mojave like beat
cops, occasionally quoting Daleks,
robocop and Dirty harry. Every month, OxM dips into
its Games Cupboard of Doom
and plucks out a random
game from xbox history. Will
it be a classic or a howler?
Let the balls decide…
this moNth…
sega mega DRiVe:
ultimate ColleCtioN

ancy that! In the same mouth-watering snapshot of Sega’s
month that we review Rare first-party output from the period.
Replay, we randomly pluck The Mega Drive was Sega’s most
xbox 360’s greatest retro successful console, and it saw its
compilation out of the sack. internal teams at the height of its
What are the odds, eh? creative powers – from platformers
Compiled by emulation expert (Sonic the Hedgehog) to beat-’em-
iNFlueNCeD by… iNFlueNCe oN…
Backbone Entertainment, ups (Streets of Rage II) to somewhat
Fallout 3 Skyrim
presentation-wise this is more more esoteric offerings (Ecco the
Similarly offbeat humour Bethesda got even more
like Barebones Dolphin), there’s
in a vastly bigger world. from the ageing engine.
Entertainment. //The front end is no- something here
There is a
little museum
frills like supermarket- for everyone.
paths. New Vegas is like a school test section, with brand rice cakes// for the time,
where every single question is multiple boxart and trivia they’ve
choice, but also you get to shoot mini and the like, and some basic aged well – lacking much of the
nukes at people. visual-smoothing options, but the punishing difficulty that plagued
Today, the Wasteland feels a rest of the front end is as no- other games in the late 1990s.
little mechanical, what with robotic thrills as supermarket-brand rice The only downer in revisiting this
animations coupled with an outdated cakes. No matter. The games are games is that the rigid D-pad
conversation system that freezes time the stars; everything else is just controls seem stiff in today’s
suddenly as your silent protagonist window-dressing – and the Ultimate analogue stick-dominated age
strikes up a chat. Famously, you can Collection comes on strong with – something that relegates the
punch a sleeping person, have him 49 (count ‘em!) near-perfect ports compilation’s lesser offerings,
calmly sit upright, then proceed to that span the console’s entire such as Altered Beast, to one-
chase you out of the house. It’s almost lifespan. What’s more, it offers a shot curios.
as if someone digging into the sand of
Bethesda’s Mojave would eventually hit
the rusty cogs keeping it turning.
But stilted as it is today, New Vegas
should be lauded for its ambition –
a quality this year’s Fallout 4 looks
to surpass. There’s something
oddly fitting about walking into the
unpredictable, sometimes inadvertently
irregular desert as your Pip-Boy’s
antenna picks up Bing Crosby’s crackly
crooning, “Something’s gotta give.” For
better or worse, some things did. ■

What haPPeNeD Next

Fallout 4 promised to boost your
options, with base-building and
a voiced protagonist.


xbox exTra

The Sun’s
striking new
is consistent
LIve with its
S p o T- in Greek art.
Reports from
Xbox’s biggest

Acropolis Now: why it’s time to Troy out the Greek Mythology Mash-Up pack
Details Dev Mojang / Pub Microsoft Studios / Reporter Chris Schilling a mythological twist, from cycloptic

Endermen to Hadean Ghasts and
et’s be honest: not all Creepers patterned with Greek frets.
Minecraft Mash-Up packs are on the cLock Villagers all wear togas, some horses
created equal. You can tell the How we spent our sport Pegasus-like wings and spawn
contractual obligations from time in the game eggs are now Grecian urns. Hang a
the ones Mojang was actually painting, meanwhile, and you’ll get
excited to make. Unless a randomly rendered work of art,
Marvel’s planning an unexpected remake showcasing Xiphoses, shields, marble
of Jason and the Argonauts this winter, busts and ornamental pots.
We built this! Honest. It this is very much a passion project – and There are 39 new skins, too, featuring
really wasn’t here before… it shows in one of the most inventive and classic characters from Greek myth.
just plain fun mash-ups to date. In a tough field, Zeus just about wins
It turns out the formalised approach 40% Pitting the prize for best beard, though the
of most ancient Greek architecture mythical beasts in blue-skinned Poseidon runs him close,
suits Minecraft to a tee. It’s all temples, a fight to the death while Achilles permanently has an arrow
giant statues and open-air theatres, (Cerberus won) protruding from his heel. We’re expecting
each looking authentically simple yet 30% Trying (and a few complaints about Medusa, mind:
striking in their blocky form. Mojang’s failing) to get a switch to the third-person camera and
own creations are almost too good – winged horse to fly you’ll turn to stone if you stare too long.
so imposingly brilliant that they put 20% Getting lost Sure, its mechanical impact is
most player-crafted efforts to shame. in a classic Greek negligible, but it’s not aiming to be a
Naturally, there are plenty of hollowed- game-changer. Instead, this is possibly
10% Making
out equine constructions. What was that the most consistently delightful skin
ill-advised ‘arrow
they said about geeks bearing gifts? to the heel’ jokes we’ve seen, its ancient artistry giving
Beyond that, it’s just a joy to see about Achilles Minecraft one of the freshest licks of
existing blocks and creatures given paint it’s had in ages. Isn’t that Ionic? ■

//It’s great to see If you Do one thIng In MInecRaft

There’s some lovely new

existing creatures given thIs Month, Make It… Spawning
skeletons and recreating the battle
choral music for building to. a mythological twist// from Jason and the Argonauts.


xbox exTra

Cheer up, Geralt.

The framerate
isn’t that bad.

No abattoir is
complete without
a gramophone.

the Witcher 3: the evil Within

Wild hunt More pixels, more problems: why removing
the borders neuters Mikami’s horror
Update 1.07 fixes inventory issues, then Dev Tango Gameworks / Pub bethesda / Reporter Chris Schilling

gives the game some new ones…
f late, post-launch patches have become the norm rather
Dev CD projekt reD / Pub CD projekt reD/ Reporter Tom Stone than the exception. Games are frequently updated, often more

than once: features are added, bugs squashed, technical
wo tedious words have turned many a wary gamer off even adjustments made. It’s annoying, but in some cases it’s a
the most accessible RPGs: inventory management. Who necessary evil. The latest patch for The Evil Within, however,
cares if this game lets you be a monster-slaying stud? feels rather less so: you lose 5GB of precious hard-drive space simply to
There’s nothing fun about packing a suitcase. The Witcher gain the option to remove the black borders surrounding the action.
3’s inventory wasn’t the worst we’ve seen, but had plenty It’s a decision taken seemingly as a result of player feedback: many
of horrid niggles, leaving us tempted to just play naked. complained about the letterboxing without considering what the game
Previously, the book interface was so unintuitive, we assumed might lose in fullscreen. Rumours suggested the borders were present
it had been designed by someone who hated reading. Books were because the framerate would suffer without them, but in our experience
kept in the worryingly ambiguous ‘usable items’ tab, forced to share the difference is at best negligible. Yet switch them off and the game
space with food and drink. They contain vital info and recipes, loses its edge: your very first escape from the chainsaw-wielding Sadist
but there was no way is much less fraught given
//once library-burningly of telling which ones //films often use that you no longer need to
infuriating, now as you’d previously read.
Now they not only have
unusual aspect ratios peek over scenery to see
where he is. Similarly, the
easy as ABC// their own inventory tab, for similar reasons// claustrophobic Chapter 10
but the game greys is nowhere near as tense
out the ones you’ve looked at. once library-burningly infuriating, with a larger field of view. Mikami knows the most potent horror lies in the
now easy as ABC. Alchemy ingredients no longer weigh anything, unseen: when we hear groans and scraping nearby but can’t pinpoint their
either. Naysayers might call that a blow for realism, but these are location. Now, more often than not, we know exactly what’s coming.
ingredients for magic. We thought it unrealistic for them not to be film directors often choose unusual aspect ratios for similar reasons:
magically weightless in the first place. Xavier dolan shot Mommy in an unusually intimate 1:1 ratio, while John
Alas, the update does come with some unwelcome new baggage. Maclean’s Slow West used 1.66:1 to focus attention on the characters
Pop-in seems a lot more common and the framerate chugs in some rather than their surroundings. In each case, these aesthetic choices
areas. Nothing game-ruining, but it’s disappointing to see fixing are part of the film’s identity. By removing the borders, we’re suggesting
what was broken coming at the cost of breaking what was already Mikami’s vision doesn’t deserve to be similarly respected; that we’d rather
fixed. Cd Projekt Red has an impressive track record with dlC, so all games be presented the same way. You might think it’s just an option,
hopefully this will be addressed in the inevitable update 1.08. ■ but this is a troubling precedent to set. ■

If you Do one thIng In the WItcheR 3 thIs Month, Make It… If you Do one thIng In the evIL WIthIn thIs Month, Make It…
Pretending to have read all the books you’ve stashed. Learning a new language while the patch downloads. There’s time!


XBoX EXtra c u lt u r E

A Girl Walks cornEr

amirpour has
written a back Home Alone
at Night
story for the
girl in comic-
book form.
Starring Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi

Price £4.49 (HD to rent)

na Lily Amirpour’s feature debut is Mass EffEct – thE

the best black-and-white Iranian PostEr collEction
vampire western ever made. Lest you
What is it?
think we’re damning the film with a book of 20 Mass
faint praise, it’s so good you’ll forget Effect posters, for
Twilight ever happened to vampires. sprucing up those
Set in the fictional Middle-Eastern backwater boring walls.
town of Bad City, it’s about the blossoming
romance between The Girl and James Dean Why’s it good?
wannabe Arash. He’s the drug-dealing coolest Mass Effect is ace,
kid in town, she’s a centuries-old bloodsucker and now you’ll
never have to stare
who stalks the streets on a skateboard while her
at a flat surface
chador billows in the wind. You know, the usual. again without the
Shot in striking monochrome, and with a killer normandy crew
soundtrack, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night reminding you there
could only be cooler if each copy came with a are better things
free Fab lolly. It’s got atmosphere in abundance, than the soul-
MoViEs and in The Girl crafts a stripy-topped, animé-eyed sapping mundanity
on your icon. The pace could generously be described as of everyday life.
‘sluggish’, but that’s all part of the film’s seductive
XBoX rhythms. Essential viewing. ■
Will it MakE
ME sEEM sMartEr
and/or coolEr?
This month in
uninteractive //So good you’ll forget dish out posters
to pals and watch
entertainment Twilight ever happened your popularity
to vampires//

Fast and Furious 7 White God Defiance Season 3 Dead Rising:

Starring Vin diesel, Paul Starring Zsófia Psotta, Starring grant Bowler, Watchtower
Walker, Jason statham Body (the dog) stephanie leonidas Starring Jesse Metcalfe,
Price £14.99 (hd to buy) Price £4.49 (hd to rent) Price £24.99 (hd to buy) Meghan ory
Price £4.49 (hd to rent)
Not only is the latest F&F This remarkable Hungarian thriller Remember Defiance? The
explode-a-thon the fifth highest- starts as a dour drama about a ambitious but ultimately pants This risible game adaptation is
grossing film ever, it’s also the pooch forced into the fighting MMO shooter is a forgotten relic so bad it’ll leave you yearning for
series’ best entry. Fantastically pits, but turns into Planet of the on Xbox 360, but the tie-in show the days of Uwe Boll. The ‘story’
stupid it may be, but few films Apes as the pup leads a canine is still going strong. Better yet, takes place between Dead Rising
do glamour and spectacle better, revolution. Created without a the third season is its best, with 2 and 3, but is generic zombie
and none have the heart to go shred of CGI, the sight of 250 some impressively unpredictable fare. Where are the psychos? And
with it. The last five minutes will mongrels terrorising a city is storytelling. At least something the screen-cluttering hordes of
leave you a sobbing mess. ■ worth the price alone. ■ good came from it all, eh? ■ zomboids? Shoot on sight. ■

oXM Pic k s: classic car chasEs

Bullitt The French Connection Mad Max 2: The Raid 2 The Blues Brothers
Microsoft Movies & TV Microsoft Movies & TV The Road Warrior Microsoft Movies & TV Microsoft Movies & TV
Steve McQueen’s loose- Few car chases feel as Microsoft Movies & TV The ultraviolent martial arts The sharp-suited brothers
cannon cop sets a heart- dangerous as this, in which Fury Road’s 1981 sequel not only features a destroy a shopping mall in
stoppingly tense standard a cop pursues an elevated predecessor is still brutal fight inside a car - it this comedy classic. Would
few have achieved since. train… into traffic. thrillingly kinetic. all happens mid-chase. be a great Blast Corps level.


next month
ISSUE 129 / OCtOBER 2015
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@OXM the official xbox magazine / 111

xbox extra

XboX one essentials

Our shortlist of the finest games currently available

Yours for £10 HALO 4

Discount games Can’t afford The Master Chief Collection?
worth getting You have our sympathies. Or, for sub-£10
you could grab this instead. Much better.
Score 9/10 Buy it £8.15

7 drAGOn AGe: inquiSiTiOn

PuBLiSHer: eA
Enormous, handsome and in love
with the subtleties of world design,
storytelling and combat. One of the
1 best RPGs on Xbox One so far.

GrAnd THefT AuTO V 8 fOrzA HOrizOn 2

PuBLiSHer: rOckSTAr PuBLiSHer: MicrOSOfT STudiOS
What was already an excellent, brutal and beautiful open- Arcadified Forza fun for those that
world game is made even more so on Xbox One with a visual can’t tell their exhaust from their
tidy-up, a glut of new content and the addition of first- elbow. Tearing up the Mediterranean
person pedestrian-beating. brings a tear to our eye.

2 kALiMBA 9 fAr cry 4

PuBLiSHer: MicrOSOfT STudiOS PuBLiSHer: uBiSOfT
Steer two totem-pole stumps It’s like a zoo, but with explosives
through a dastardly platforming and guns and dictators and
gauntlet in the puzzler that’ll tie gyrocopters and homicidal tapirs.
your fingers up like Flumps. Top-notch open-world shooting.

3 ALien: iSOLATiOn 10 Ori & THe BLind fOreST

PuBLiSHer: SeGA PuBLiSHer: MicrOSOfT STudiOS
Pop a Valium and buy some brown Imagine a lavish, beautiful
trousers, because this tense storybook world… that slams
masterpiece will trick you into shut on your stupid, bleeding
thinking you’re safe. You’re not. fingers for seven brutal hours.

4 HALO: THe MASTer 11 ASSASSin’S creed iV:

cHief cOLLecTiOn BLAck fLAG
PuBLiSHer: MicrOSOfT STudiOS PuBLiSHer: uBiSOfT
Buffed-up, revarnished and back in Forget those landlubbers: this
the shop window, leaving us to pirate-’em-up proves the parkour’s
wonder if it always looked so lovely. better down where it’s wetter.

5 THe WiTcHer 3: WiLd HunT

PuBLiSHer: nAMOc BAndAi
One of the most immersive RPGs
Why you should buy…
ever, with side quests deeper than THe WiTcHer 3: WiLd HunT
most main campaigns. Beautiful, If this list ranked games by how much you
rewarding and essential. get on the disc, Geralt of Rivia and Trevor of
Los Santos would be sword-fighting for the
tom stone top spot right now. Sadly, that battle only exists
6 BATMAn: ArkHAM kniGHT @TheTomStrange in my fan fiction, but there’s still more than
PuBLiSHer: WArner BrOS. enough to do in The Witcher 3. Monster hunting, exploring,
Rocksteady finishes its Arkham treasure hunts, bandit raids and even something called the
trilogy on a high. Take the Batmobile ‘main quest’ – someday, we’ll get around to that bit. Say
for a spin and you’ll wonder how you farewell to your free time and get this.
ever explored Gotham without it.

112 / The OffiCial xbOx Magazine www.gaMeSradar.COM/OxM

xbox extra

12 MiddLe-eArTH: baD but GooD

PuBLiSHer: WArner BrOS
we shoulDn’t
like it, But we
XboX 360 benchmarks
Every Orc NPC can become your fully
fledged nemesis (until you shank
really Do The best in show from the xbox
the life out of them, that is). 360’s ten-year catalogue
best shooter cALL Of duTy 4
13 TiTAnfALL PuBLiSHer: AcTiViSiOn
PuBLiSHer: eA The game that strapped a rocket
The team that brought you Call of to the series and made it a
Duty 4 takes online multiplayer a cultural icon is also still the
large step forwards – and upwards crackdown 2’s one best, with a unique intensity.
– with skyscraper-clearing mechs. new idea is ‘stick
zombies in it’. yet
even a sequel this best rPg dArk SOuLS
14 MinecrAfT lazy can’t suck PuBLiSHer: BAndAi nAMcO
PuBLiSHer: MicrOSOfT STudiOS the fun out of Punishing but rewarding open-
want to go hiking? explore the being a super- world affair, where the limits of
depths of hell? recreate powered your exploration are defined by
Buckingham Palace? go ahead – crime-stopper. skill rather than by numbers.
all possibilities are open to you. Only play it if
you’ve exhausted
the outstanding best oPen-worlD red deAd redeMPTiOn
15 deSTiny original, mind. PuBLiSHer: rOckSTAr
PuBLiSHer: AcTiViSiOn £9.95 This emotional tale of the Wild
An insanely addictive MMO West’s dying days takes place in
spaceshooter that’s got some a landscape so authentic, you
of the nicest skies you’ll see this can taste the tumbleweed.
side of your front door.

best Puzzler POrTAL 2

PuBLiSHer: yAcHT cLuB GAMeS Takes the original’s central
Brutal platformer that’s as fun as it conceit of portal-spewing
is punishing (read: very). Packed guns and expands it in brilliant,
with ideas and lets you smack mind-melting ways.
people with a shovel. Sublime.

best action BATMAn: ArkHAM ASyLuM

17 reSidenT eViL reVeLATiOnS 2 PuBLiSHer: WArner BrOS
PuBLiSHer: cAPcOM Tighter and more focused than
Two’s company in this episodic City, this trawl through a prison
survival horror, which pairs weakling made us feel so Batman-y our
with bruiser. We came out with a voices dropped an octave.
whole new respect for torches.

best fighter uLTrA STreeT fiGHTer iV

18 WOLfenSTein: THe neW Order PuBLiSHer: cAPcOM
PuBLiSHer: BeTHeSdA Street Fighter II’s poise and
Just because we want to dual- balance, refreshed and remixed
wield shotguns doesn’t mean we with the technology of today.
don’t also appreciate a good story. Also: mad alternative costumes.
The New Order has it all.

best Platformer SPeLunky

PuBLiSHer: BeTHeSdA Randomised levels aren’t
Resi creator Shinji Mikami is back, usually classics. But Spelunky’s
and he’s more unforgiving than tightly-governed stages put
ever. This is gory, terrifying and custom designs to shame.
wholly worthy of its legacy.

best racer fOrzA MOTOrSPOrT 4

20 cALL Of duTy: PuBLiSHer: MicrOSOfT STudiOS
AdVAnced WArfAre With more cars and tracks and
PuBLiSHer: AcTiViSiOn less emphasis on draining your
Jetpacks, homing grenades and wallet, Forza 4 is still the serious
other sci-fi gadgetry bring the tired racing sim pace-setter.
template into the (mid) 21st Century.

@OxM The OffiCial xbOx Magazine / 113

the final countdown

12 rare games too edgy

to make the replay cut
Rare has a proud legacy of fun, cute and quirky games, but its cheeky, irreverent characters and
crude humour have often landed the British developer in hot water. Each of the games in this list
was overlooked for inclusion in the Rare Replay compilation for highly controversial reasons…

game about a horse, in which

your only means of interaction
was to smash it about the flanks
with a bit of pipe. The game
didn’t sell well, though the idea
was developed further, eventually
becoming Viva Piñata.

01 Oogity Boogity 2
A colourful
05 Sky Flower Dream Breeze
A touching interactive tale
caveman caper about a sunflower who is
in which you, the titular granted a wish: to be able to fly
Oogity, must collect bones and soar among the clouds.
and avoid spikes. This Quite why the flower’s second
wish is to become MRSA and
sequel was refused entry
due to Oogity’s bizarre
spread itself throughout NHS
hospitals remains a mystery
08 Pavlova Panic
Absolutely everybody adored this classic N64
and offensive 15-minute that the developer, to this day, game about a wisecracking, meringue-based
rant on the thorny refuses to explain. dessert on a mission to be eaten by a hungry crow, but it will
issue of immigration. likely never see re-release, as everything from level three on
Truly prehistoric. 06 Maths Mania: Ages 5-8 is just John Hurt reading Mein Kampf in its entirety.
An educational title for
the original Xbox that sought to
02 Brian’s Bonkers teach fundamental maths skills innocuous enough until the in which Woofers fatally
Birdhouse to young children, the loading game’s finale, in which the mauls Kitty in a primal canine
A laugh-a-minute cartoon screens of Maths Mania were camera pans all the way out to rage, ultimately meant it was
adventure featuring a cast of inexplicably filled with terrible reveal that the platforms you’ve unsuitable for inclusion.
hilarious pigeons, this puzzle legal advice such as, “It’s fine to been navigating spell out the
platformer was not included due drive about 15mph over the speed sweariest word there is. Banned! 11 GoldenEye 007
to an incongruous scene in which limit” and “Shoplifting is alright”. Although Rare claims
a sparrow turns to the camera 09 Woofers and Kitty: that complex licensing issues
and says, “If you tell anyone 07 Moo Moo Cuckoo Crime Detectives with Nintendo prevent them
where I hid the bodies, I swear to Boopity Boo One of gaming’s most unlikely from including this classic FPS as
God you’ll be joining them.” This cheerful platformer stars pairings, this starred a cat and part of the collection, it’s actually
a fun-loving cow on a mission a dog working together to solve due to the infamous scene in
03 Frooby McTooby to collect a thousand hovering crimes. A shocking scene two- which James Bond drives his car
In this harrowing, golden udders – and seems thirds of the way in, however, right into an orphanage before
brutal and unflinchingly saying, “I meant to do that; I’m

realistic platformer, you play Otter Petter glad this happened.”
as an international warcrimes A precursor to stroke-
investigator for the United
’em-up Kinectimals, Otter 12 Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Nations, who struggles to earn A cute and colourful
the respect of his peers because Petter was quickly removed from platform adventure starring a
of his adorable name, high- sale after complaints that the otter, binge-drinking, foul-mouthed
pitched voice and giant fluffy tail. who would grow to five times his squirrel and a cast of Nazi teddy
natural size and flash every colour bears and poop-obsessed
04 Horse Smasher 5000X of the rainbow when stroked, was Scouser dung beetles, this… oh
A strange, needlessly wait. Hold on. This one made it
causing seizures in children.
violent and ultimately pointless in. Our mistake.

next issue of oxm onsale 25 sep. subscribe and save money: see page 54 for details

114 / the official xbox magazine