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Microsoft Game Studios

State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition Review | Rough Diamond, Tough Love

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Games reviews, Microsoft Game Studios, PC games, State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition, Survival games, Undead Labs, Xbox One Games

State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition Review | Rough Diamond, Tough Love

State Of Decay is one of the all-time great zombie games.

This isn't just a generic sandbox with zombies sprinkled in. It's an astonishing simulation that models a group of survivors who band together in the face of the Zed apocalypse; exploring, scavenging, recruiting, creating a new home and permanently dying in an experience that's never the same twice or for any two players.

From random personality clashes to ravening zombie hordes, food shortages and illness, you'll face problems large and small in your attempts to keep your people safe, sane and brains firmly intact. More surprising still, though, it's also fun thanks to satisfying arcadey controls and plenty of action.

State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition Review | Rough Diamond, Tough Love

Which you'll probably already know seeing as I reviewed State Of Decay back in 2013, praising its gameplay but criticising its horrendously rough visuals. Two years on and Undead Labs have returned with the Year-One Survival Edition, including new high definition assets, all the DLC content and save file transfer functionality. So this review has to answer two important questions: is the Year-One Survival Edition worth buying for those who never experienced State Of Decay the first time around? And it is worth buying again for those who did?

Spoiler alert: "definitely" and "maybe, but probably not."

Click here to read more...

ScreamRide Review | Yawn If You Want To Go Faster

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Casual Games, Frontier Developments, Microsoft Game Studios, ScreamRide, Simulations, Xbox One Games

ScreamRide Review | Yawn If You Want To Go Faster

ScreamRide is an odd little game. As Nintendo and Sony bring out new hardware and big exclusives, Microsoft's answer is a trio of roller-coaster themed minigames from the developers of Rollercoaster Tycoon.

You'll cling on for dear life as we hare through ridiculous loops and corkscrews, design your own monstrous creations using a robust 3D CAD suite and destroy some buildings with a catapult in glorious slow motion because why the heck not, effectively playing three separate games in one package. It's left-field, out there and exactly the refreshing change of pace we love to see from console manufacturers in off season.

ScreamRide Review | Yawn If You Want To Go Faster

But that's not why ScreamRide feels like such an odd proposition. A game about creating, riding and annihilating awesome roller-coasters should be bags of fun by all rights... and yet screams turn into yawns after just a handful of hours.

To find out why we'll need to discuss ScreamRide's three gameplay modes in turn: ScreamRiding, Demolitions Training and Engineering. As an employee of a somewhat shady testing company with limitless resources and a mandate for testing human endurance, we're free to pick our career path and work through the standalone campaigns through six shared thematic zones.

Click here to read more...

So What The Heck Is ScreamRide? | Hands-On With The Forgotten Xbox Exclusive

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Casual Games, Frontier Developments, Microsoft Game Studios, ScreamRide, Simulations, Xbox One Games

So What The Heck Is ScreamRide? | Hands-On With The Forgotten Xbox Exclusive

So ScreamRide is out next month.

I know, I'd forgotten all about it too. Of all the Xbox One exclusives announced thus far, ScreamRide is certainly the most difficult to explain and definitely the most unlikely. Frontier Developments, the studio behind Kinectimals and Elite of all things, revealed this odd roller-coaster 'em up at E3 last year to a chorus of 'erms' and 'okay thens,' showing us a trailer of crazy rides and gravity-defying jumps before retreating into a near-total media blackout.

But now, mere weeks before launch, ScreamRide is suddenly back on our radar with a free Xbox One demo, which we've tested to destruction for your convenience and pleasure. And, if we're honest, to find out what the heck it actually is.

So What The Heck Is ScreamRide? | Hands-On With The Forgotten Xbox Exclusive

Now we know. Effectively ScreamRide is three games in one: a rail-racer, crazy Angry Birds-style city destruction simulator and a 3D roller-coaster design suite all bound together by a Sci-Fi setting with some vaguely menacing undertones. There's something for everyone, and a lot of ridiculously satisfying demolition porn, but will there be enough of everything?

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Sunset Overdrive Tips & Tricks: How To Rock The Apocalypse! | Top Ten Tuesdays

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Insomniac Games, Microsoft Game Studios, Sunset Overdrive, Survival Guide, Top Ten Tuesdays, Xbox One Games

Sunset Overdrive Tips & Tricks: How To Rock The Apocalypse! | Top Ten Tuesdays

Sunset Overdrive is out this week -- today Stateside -- and it brings the fun to Xbox One. Sunset City is your playground to traverse, grind, shoot, bounce and generally rampage around, but this anarchic and vibrant experience contains an unexpected amount of depth to get stuck into.

Have you read our in-depth review? Good. Now it's time for me to share my expertise in a spoiler-free rundown of how to make the most of Sunset Overdrive and how to thrive in the colourful punk rock apocalypse. Punk arockalypse. Pu-rock-alypse?

Let's do this.

10: Keep it moving!

Sunset Overdrive Tips & Tricks: How To Rock The Apocalypse! | Top Ten Tuesdays

Sunset Overdrive is designed around mobility and verticality. Every horizontal surface is grindable, every wall is a potential platform, every car is a trampoline and the entire city is a high-velocity playground. However, you'll also be punished by hordes of enemies that will mob you, dial in your position and otherwise brutalise you if you ever slow down. Or worse, spent more than a few seconds on the floor.

So as a basic piece of starting advice, keep moving! You should always know where your next grind rail or bounce pad is, thinking one step ahead, and if you ever find yourself falling to the ground your first thought should be getting airborne as soon as possible. Remember that instantly reversing direction during a grind can buy you extra time, avoid incoming projeciles or allow you to finish off any stragglers.

A simple point, but one that will serve you well. Keep it moving. Keep it moving. Keep it moving. Learn and repeat it as a mantra.

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Halo: Combat Evolved Annivesary | £11.95 | The Game Collection | Xbox 360

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
343 Industries, FPS games, Microsoft Game Studios, Xbox 360 games

Halo: Combat Evolved Annivesary | £11.95 | The Game Collection | Xbox 360

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary | The Game Collection | £11.95 (Save £3)
Xbox 360 price comparison | Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Review

Not the cheapest we’ve seen this, but it’s worth a look if you want to relive the Chief’s first adventure. Thanks to NuBlue @ HUKD!

Kinect Sports Ultimate Collection | £19.85 | ShopTo | Xbox 360

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Kinect games, Microsoft Game Studios, Rare Studios, Xbox 360 games

Kinect Sports Ultimate Collection | £19.85 | ShopTo | Xbox 360

If, for some reason, you own a Kinect for your 360 and don’t have Kinect Sports, this deal from ShopTo is a fantastic chance to experience all of its mini-game glory. It beats the next best deal elsewhere by almost £18.

Containing both the original release and the Season 2 sequel, there is a huge amount of flailing fun to be had for the price here. Sure, Kinect as a whole may not have set the world on fire as it was intending to, but Kinect Sports was certainly a highlight in the peripheral’s software line-up. Thanks to gerrymig @ HUKD!

Halo 4 | £20.25 | Amazon | Xbox 360

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
343 Industries, FPS games, Microsoft Game Studios, Xbox 360 games

Halo 4 | £20.25 | Amazon | Xbox 360

If you missed the recent offer from Argos we highlighted, here’s another chance to get hold of the latest Halo game for £20. The current saving over the next best deal from ShopTo current stands at over £3.50.

In the end 343 Industries proved they were the right people to take the reins of the franchise, as Halo 4 delivers yet another epic instalment of the Master Chief’s adventures. With usual high standard of multiplayer, including the Spartan Ops mode for Co-op shenanigans, it should keep Halo fans busy in the months to come.

Halo 4 | £19.99 | Argos | Xbox 360

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
343 Industries, FPS games, Microsoft Game Studios, Xbox 360 games

Halo 4 | £19.99 | Argos | Xbox 360

[UPDATE] Shortly after we posted the ShopTo deal, we were made aware of an even better offer from Argos. It beats our previous highlight by almost £4 and breaks the £20 price mark. Thanks to Cepaltura on HUKD for the find!

[ORIGINAL] It has managed to retain its high price point rather well, but this deal from ShopTo provides one of our first sub-£25 offers for Halo 4. The reduction means that there is currently a saving of £4 over the next best deal, and this listing also comes with an exclusive Assassin Emblem to put on your Spartan during the online modes.

In the end 343 Industries proved they were the right people to take the reins of the franchise, as Halo 4 delivers yet another epic instalment of the Master Chief’s adventures. With usual high standard of multiplayer, including the Spartan Ops mode for weekly Co-op shenanigans, it should keep Halo fans busy in the months to come. Thanks to stevos9 @ HUKD!

Happy Wars Offers Free Premium Currency To All Players

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Free to play, Happy Wars, Microsoft Game Studios, Toylogic, XBLA, Xbox 360 games

Happy Wars Offers Free Premium Currency To All Players

If you've yet to try out Happy Wars, the fun and colourful free-to-play team brawler on Xbox Live, you've now got two more compelling reasons to take the plunge. Anyone who signs in before 20th January gets 40 Happy Tickets (funbucks) that can be used to purchase premium items, and the netcode has also been substantially improved since launch.

Happy Wars also happens to be pretty damn fun. If you're a Gold Member, you might as well give it a go.

Halo 4 | £24.99 | GAME / Amazon | Xbox 360

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
343 Industries, FPS games, Microsoft Game Studios, Xbox 360 games

Halo 4 | £24.99 | GAME / Amazon | Xbox 360

Looks like this price war is just got a little warmer. GAME originally had this deal a little higher, but reduced the price to the £25 mark this morning to stay in the mix. However, Amazon have decided to try and mix things up by price matching, giving you a choice where to make your saving of around a tenner. Which is nice.

Our November Game Of The Month proved that 343 Industries are the right people to take the reins of the franchise, as Halo 4 delivers yet another epic instalment of the Master Chief’s adventures. With usual high standard of multiplayer, including the Spartan Ops mode for weekly Co-op shenanigans, it should keep Halo fans busy in the months to come. Thanks to adm182 @ HUKD!

Alan Wake | £8.99 | Play | Xbox 360

Author:
Tom Silkstone
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Games deals, Microsoft Game Studios, Psychological horror games, Remedy Entertainment, Xbox 360 games

Alan Wake | £8.99 | Play | Xbox 360

The story behind Alan Wake is great and the game builds up bucket loads of tension as you travel around Bright Falls looking for Alan's missing wife during the day and avoiding "The Taken" at night. Unfortunately, at times it can be a little bit repetitive and you don't really get a chance to explore. Play are parting with Xbox 360 copies of the game for £8.99, which should save you almost £2 on the next best offer coming in from ShopTo. Thanks to Syzable @ HUKD.

Halo Reach, Gears Of War 2 & Fable 3 (Full Download Codes) | £13.99 | 365 Games | Xbox 360

Author:
Tom Silkstone
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Action Games, Bungie, Epic Games, Games deals, Lionhead Studios, Microsoft Game Studios, Xbox 360 games

Halo Reach, Gears Of War 2 & Fable 3 (Full Download Codes) | £13.99 | 365 Games | Xbox 360

If you've got plenty of time on your hands at the moment then you might want to think about taking advantage of this one because it'll drop three exceptional games into your lap for a very reasonable price that'll easily save you over £13. Halo 3 and Gears of War 2 are both action packed romps, whereas Fable 3's got a star studded cast. Thanks to Silhouette @ HUKD.

Kinect Sports | £9.95 | The Hut & Zavvi | Xbox 360

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Kinect games, Microsoft Game Studios, rare, Xbox 360 games
Discuss:
Kinect Sports | Xbox 360
Kinect Sports | £9.95 | The Hut & Zavvi | Xbox 360

Yes, it's a minigame collection. No, there isn't any lag. And yes, it's actually really good. If you still haven't bought Kinect Sports over the last year, Zavvi are touting a £14.95 price point and a £4 saving compared to the next best offer from Simply Games.

It's a gutting shame that Kinect still hasn't fulfilled its true potential as a revolutionary peripheral, but hey, if you love minigame collections, this is a good one at a great price. Thanks to the legendary goonertillidie at HUKD.

Alan Wake | £14.85 | Simply Games | PC

Author:
Tom Silkstone
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Games deals, Horror games, Microsoft Game Studios, PC games, Remedy Entertainment, Survival Horror Games

Alan Wake | £14.85 | Simply Games | PC

Alan travels to the town of Bright Falls in an attempt to get rid of his writer's block but things take a turn for the worse when his wife mysteriously disappears, which starts him off on an investigation. Walking around during the day isn't too perilous a task, but at night you'll need to avoid the "Taken" who are more than happy to harm you at any given opportunity. Simply Games are parting with PC copies of the game for £14.85, which'll save you over £7.50 on the next best offer coming in from Amazon. Thanks to Arcturas @ HUKD.

Kinect Joy Ride | £9.95 | Zavvi | Xbox 360

Author:
Tom Silkstone
Category:
Deals
Tags:
BigPark, Games deals, Microsoft Game Studios, Racing Games, Xbox 360 games

Kinect Joy Ride | £9.95 | Zavvi | Xbox 360

Chances are this one's likely to irritate you beyond belief if you pick up a copy because the controls are awful and'll have you screaming at your screen a few seconds after you start a race. You've got a couple of moves up your sleeve to give you an advantage over your fellow racers provided you can actually activate them at a crucial time which isn't quite as easy as you'd think. Zavvi are currently selling Kinect Joy Ride for £9.95, which should save you £3 on the next best offer coming in from The Hut. Thanks to andywedge @ HUKD.

Former Sony Exec Snapped Up By Microsoft

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Gaikai, Microsoft, Microsoft Game Studios, Phil Harrison, Sony

Former Sony Exec Snapped Up By Microsoft

Phil Harrison, who resigned as head of Sony Worldwide Studios in 2008, will be joining Microsoft's leadership team to oversee the company's European Game Studios.

Reported early, originally by GI.biz, Microsoft have now formally announced the appointment. Harrison will form part of the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) leadership team as corporate vice president "with an emphasis on growing the division's European business".

Click here to read more...

Kinect Sports | £14.95 | The Hut | Xbox 360

Author:
Tom Silkstone
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Games deals, Kinect, Microsoft Game Studios, rare, Sports Games, Xbox 360 games
Discuss:
Kinect Sports | Xbox 360

Kinect Sports | £14.95 | The Hut | Xbox 360

Well this one's exactly what it says on the tin! Personally, I'm fed up with the whole motion controls thing and as clever as Kinect is I don't miss it whatsoever, but if you're still into all that then you might want to add this game to your collection. There are plenty of events to take part in such as bowling, tennis, and beach volleyball, which should keep you and your friends amused for a while. The Hut are parting with copies of the game for £14.95, which'll save you almost £4 on the next best offer. Zavvi are also still in stock at the same price. Thanks to nerd 187 @ HUKD.

Fable III | £7.99 | Zavvi | Xbox 360

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Lionhead Studios, Microsoft Game Studios, RPGs, Xbox 360 games
Discuss:
Fable III | Xbox 360

Fable III | £7.99 | Zavvi | Xbox 360

This latest offer from Zavvi brings the latest instalment of the Fable series to under £8, which will save you a few quid over the next best alternative retailers.

The third adventure in Albion felt like a shorter affair (as well as a little lacklustre) and the one-button combat felt rather clunky at times (especially ranged combat.) However, the addictive nature of the gameplay, graphical polish of the wonderful art-style, and the return of usual Lionhead charm make it an enjoyable experience at under a tenner, especially for fans of the series who have yet to give it a go. Thanks to djmetsandy @ HUKD!

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary | £19.99 | Gamestation | Xbox 360

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
343 Industries, FPS games, Microsoft Game Studios, Xbox 360 games
Discuss:
Halo Combat Evolved Anniver... | Xbox 360

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary | £19.99 | Gamestation | Xbox 360

Those looking to relive the Master Chief’s debut on the cheap will want to pay attention to this once. Gamestation’s daily deal as part of the festive season means you can get hold of the remake for £20, saving you almost £3 over the next best price at Amazon.

343 Industries have done a good job bringing the original Halo in glorious HD, showing that the game that proved FPS’s could work on consoles is still as enjoyable today as it was a decade ago. The multiplayer may be a little lacking, but at £20 this is a superb bargain. Thanks to p4tel @ HUKD!