How Bungie pioneered the modern console shooter – with a strategy game built for PC


Famously, Halo: Combat Evolved – the game that changed the landscape of first-person shooters on console forever – began life neither as a first-person shooter, nor on console. I do not consider this a coincidence. But before we get into that, a brief history lesson. The world’s first glimpse of what would eventually evolve to become the Halo we know and love occurred in 1999, a year before Microsoft’s first Xbox console was even formally announced.

Revisiting the grainy VHS footage of its unveiling, it’s surprising just how many of the Haloverse’s iconic sights were established this early on in the life cycle. The trailer opens with a glimpse of the Master Chief’s big orange mug. UNSC soldiers cram themselves into a Warthog’s every last nook and cranny like clowns in a comedy car. As the trailer sweeps the other side of battlefield, we catch our first sighting of Elite soldiers brandishing Energy Swords. Classic, familiar scenes that are burned into our memories forever, and play out to the tune of something even more recognisable: Halo’s booming orchestral score, practically unchanged note for note from the version we still hum today.

Continue reading

E3 2018 games: Anthem and Battlefield are confirmed, but what else is on the way?

A photo illustration of potential E3 2018 games Red Dead Redemption 2 Cyberpunk 2077 and Anthem When the E3 2018 games start rolling out in a few months, it’ll feel like a blur. As always, E3 new game reveals will pour forth like sweet ambrosia, matched only in volume by E3 release date announcements for all the best new games of 2018 we can expect later this year. It’s bound to be an exciting time for anyone with even a passing interest in video games. You can make sure you don’t miss any of the biggest news by getting ready ahead of time – here are the details on what to expect from E3 2018.

Continue reading

Sith Luke? Jedi Leia? This Star Wars Battlefront 4 concept art is a treasure trove of ‘What if?’ designs

TODO alt text

The Star Wars universe is no stranger to the “what if” scenarios proposed by fans. What if the sides were flipped and Luke was a Sith? What if Leia had been the one to receive Jedi training instead of her brother? What if General Grievous wasn’t 99% metal? Well wonder no more, because new concept art from the long-ago cancelled Star Wars Battlefront 4 has surfaced, and it’s sure to scratch your alternate universe itch.

And no, that’s not a typo – this is allegedly concept art from Star Wars Battlefront 4, despite the fact that Star Wars Battlefront 3 never saw the light of day. How can that be? Pretty simple, really: as development on Battlefront 3 was coming to a close, teams were tasked with laying the groundwork for what was thought to be an inevitable sequel. That proved to be a fatal gamble when the shutdown of LucasArts put a damper on future plans, and developer Free Radical was closed shortly thereafter.

Continue reading

Xbox One Avatars will support wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, pregnancy, unicorns, and a lot more

TODO alt text

Remember Avatars, Xbox’s answer to the uber-popular Miis of yesteryear? Well, at E3 2017, Microsoft revealed that they’re coming back, and this time with a ton of expanded customization options. Revamped Avatars will launch on Xbox One this fall, and you can get a quick taste of what’s to come with a new trailer.

These are the Xbox Scorpio specs according to Microsoft

TODO alt textconsole specs (and there’s a direct Xbox Scorpio/PS4 Pro comparison here).

CPU – eight custom x86 cores clocked at 2.3GHz
GPU – 40 customised compute units clocked at 1172MHz
12GB of GDDR5 RAM with a memory bandwidth of 326GB/s
1TB 2.5-inch hard drive
UHD Blu-ray drive
Integrated power supply
Input/output options as per Xbox One S (
so HDMI out, HDMI in, USB 3.0 port x 2 IR out, S/PDIF, Networking port, Lock port).

Continue reading

The best Xbox One external hard drives to buy in 2017

You’ve run out of space again, haven’t you? That’s why you’re here. It’s ok. It happens to us all. Everyone eventually gets sick of hitting the delete button and wants more space. Well the good news is that there’s a solution and we’ve got a list of the very best xbox one external hard drives.

Unlike PS4 hard drives , the Xbox One can’t be easily gutted for the sake of hard drive swapping. Instead, helpfully, Microsoft lets you plug in external drives to store the overflow of games and gaming goodies and there’s plenty to choose from. The Xbox One’s USB 3.0 ports  mean you can plug in some pretty fast-moving drives, and you can always buy an enclosure and fill it with a loose drive. If you’re looking for more space, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s check out the best Xbox One external hard drives. Oh, and if you’re looking for more games to fill up your new purchase, check out our best Xbox One games.

1. Toshiba 1TB Canvio Basics

A no-brainer to double your original Xbox One HDD

Capacity: 1TB | Storage Type: HDD

Great price
Small and slick
Standard HDD speed

This slimline external drive is both a bit of a bargain and big enough to either double or triple your Xbox One’s storage capacity, depending on your console’s starting point. It will sit unobtrusively next to your Xbox One and deliver a full 1TB of extra game storage across the speedy USB 3.0 interface for a great price.

2. Western Digital 2TB My Passport Ultra

Heaps of storage at a great price

Capacity: 2TB | Storage Type: HDD

Loads of space
Great for budget
Again, HDD speed

Western Digital is probably the biggest name in traditional spinning platter hard drive storage, and its My Passport Ultra is a massive external drive in capacity only. Despite the fact you can get up to 3TB of storage the device itself is pleasingly diminutive and comes in a range of shades. Pro-tip: berry is the cheapest option. The 2TB drive though is probably the best-value version for Xbox One gamers.

3. Samsung SSD T3 500GB

Step up your speeds with a solid state drive

Capacity: 500GB | Storage Type: SSD

SSD means faster loading
Expensive for no extra storage

So, money’s no object for you, eh? Well, if you want the speediest external storage drive for your shiny Xbox One then Samsung has got the tiny box for you. Because it’s using solid state storage this is the smallest option on the list and also the fastest. It’s been designed so the footprint is about that of a credit card, though obviously a little thicker. And boy is it quick… You can grab the 500GB version for a reasonable price (for an SSD), but if you crave more storage there are seriously expensive 1TB and 2TB versions available.

4. Seagate Expansion 5TB

For when you never want to run out of space

Capacity: 5TB | Storage Type: HDD

Huge storage space
Great price
Needs plugged into the mains
Not exactly small

If you never want to worry about storage ever again, look no further than Seagate’s 5TB affair. With USB 3.0 it’s up to speed in terms of transfer rates and did we mention that it’s 5TB? It’s not going to win any awards in terms of style (it’s a big box that weighs 948g) and you’ll need to plug it in but it definitely gets the job done in terms of storage. You’re going to end up just downloading Games with Gold because you can.

5. Seagate 1TB SSHD

A speedy budget DIY option if you’re happy to buy a caddy

Capacity: 1TB | Storage Type: SSHD

Combination of SSD and HDD means faster loading times
You’ll need a caddy

There are a couple of options if you’re going for a do-it-yourself drive – this Seagate SSHD is a hybrid of traditional spinning platters and solid state storage giving you a large amount of space for a good price with a bit of a speed boost thanks to a small cache of SSD-like storage. You will though need either a USB 3.0 caddy to house it, if you want a neat finish, or a simple USB 3.0 to SATA adapter if you don’t mind the bare hardware aesthetic.

6. Samsung 500GB 850 EVO

The best DIY SSD solution

Capacity: 500GB | Storage Type: SSD

All the benefits of SSD
Again, you’ll need a caddy
Expensive to go bigger

The other option is to go for performance and use an SSD for your external storage. Samsung is the current king of the SSD world and its 850 EVO drive is a great example of the company’s ability to balance performance and price. You are sacrificing capacity for speed – though you can spend more on 1TB or 2TB options – but if game load times are currently getting you down an SSD will help. Remember you’ll also need a USB 3.0 caddy for this one too.

Introducing the Xbox Wireless Controller Tech Series

Xbox Wireless Controller Tech Series Hero Image

At Xbox, we’re committed to giving fans choices when it comes to games, services, and devices. Coming in holiday 2017, we’re bringing fans the most powerful console ever: Project Scorpio. Featuring 6 teraflops of graphical processing power, true 4K gaming, and compatibility with Xbox One games and accessories. Plus, later this spring, Xbox Game Pass will launch unlocking over 100 great games with endless play. Today, we’re excited to unveil the new Tech Series of Xbox Wireless Controllers. The first in the series is the Xbox Wireless Controller – Recon Tech Special Edition. This controller will be available for $69.99 USD and will start shipping to retailers worldwide starting April 25.


In developing this new controller series, the Xbox team was inspired by military technology and performance patterns, exploring concepts stemming from combat armor and sci-fi mechanical gear. Premium finishes like a laser etched texture, gold accents and insignia are on the front of the controller. The back of the controller features textured diamond rubberized grip for added control and comfort. This specialized controller also has the same features you know and love of the Xbox Wireless Controller, including improved wireless range and Bluetooth technology for gaming on Windows 10 devices or Samsung Gear VR. You can also take advantage of the custom button-mapping feature through the Xbox Accessories App, available for download from the Xbox Store or Windows Store.

Xbox Wireless Controller Tech Series Multiple Image

Xbox Wireless Controller Tech Series Outline Image
A great way to use this new controller on your Xbox One is with Copilot – a new console feature that allows any two Xbox Wireless Controllers act as if they were one. As part of our commitment to enhancing gaming for everyone, Copilot makes Xbox One more inviting and fun for new gamers or those needing assistance — whether it’s parents who want to help their kids play, experienced gamers looking to play with novice players, or gamers who need unique configurations to play (e.g. with hands apart, hand and chin, hand and foot, etc.). The Copilot feature will be available through the Creators Update later this year.

Continue reading

‘Pokémon GO’ Announces New Water Festival Event With Increased Gyarados, Lapras Spawns

Pokemon GO

Well it’s been about a month since Gen 2 was released, so that means it’s time for another event to get Pokémon GO players logging in again. Yesterday, the game was patched to make evolution items a guaranteed drop for weekly streaks (at long freaking last), and today Niantic has announced a new made-up event that does not correspond with an actual holiday.

Continue reading

PC Impressions: Zero Escape: The Nonary Games

The Zero Escape games saw an inauspicious start in 2009 with Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors—otherwise known as 999—a mystery slash sci-fi visual novel for the original DS. Coming after a wave of successful adventure game-meets-visual novel hybrids on DS, ranging from Phoenix Wright to Hotel Dusk, 999 became a cult hit, spawning a series that culminated in 2016’s Zero Time Dilemma. By now, you’ve probably heard Zero Escape fans talking about how cool the series is, and publisher Spike Chunsoft is working to ensure that word of mouth has someplace to go with Zero Escape: The Nonary Games, a compilation of the first two titles in the series.
The basic setup of 999 sees you working along with eight other people in the so-called Nonary Games. You’re trapped aboard a ship and challenged to escape by overcoming all sorts of traps, tricks, and challenges set forth by a mysterious masked figure called “Zero.” The stakes are life and death, and you probably already know how this goes—the nine characters of the game find themselves forming shifting alliances, and the nature of the game as well as its players slowly reveals itself over the course of the adventure. Continue reading

Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 PS4 Game Slated for May 26 in N. America

Aksys Games and Arc System Works announced this Thursday that Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 will launch in North America on May 26. The game will be available in both physical and digital versions for the PlayStation 4. Those who own Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator already on PS4 or PlayStation 3 will be able to pay a lower price to update their game to Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2.

This release of the game will include all of the DLC available for Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, and will include new story chapters for Jam Kuradoberi, Kum Haehyun, Raven, Dizzy, Answer, and Baiken.

Arc System Works plans to release the game in arcades this spring in Japan, and then for PS4 and PS3 on May 25. The company has also announced a release for PC via Steam. The Japanese home console version will also add a new scenario to the story mode.

The game will feature the new characters Answer (voiced by Tomokazu Seki) and Baiken (voiced by Mayumi Asano). The new game will also feature balance modifications such as new techniques for previous playable characters.

Arc System Works released the original Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- game in Japanese arcades in February 2014. The company then released the game for the PS3 and PS4 consoles in Japan in December 2014, and publisher Aksys Games released the game in North America later that month. Arc System Works released the game in Europe in June 2015, and released a PC version on Steam in December 2015.

Arc System Works then released the Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- game in arcades across Japan in August 2015, and then on the PS4 and PS3 in Japan in May 2016. Aksys Games released the game in North America on PS4 and PS3 in June 2016. Arc System Works released Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- on PC on December 14, 2016.