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greatest xbox sports games Best sports sims from Fight Night to FIFA
see page 46
hands-on with the post-apocalyptic mmorpg ■
Exclusive access! ■ Gameplay secrets revealed!
FORZA HORIZON 4
FIFA 19 vs pes 19
Is Playground’s racer the greatest Xbox One game yet?
OXM’s verdict on this year’s best soccer sim
Latest hands-on gameplay with the survival horror FPS
No need to Fallout over it
ISSUE 170 december 2018 Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA Tel 01225 442244 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.gamesradar.com/oxm Editorial Editor Chris Burke burkey13a email@example.com Senior Art Editor Warren Brown wozbrown Deputy Editor Daniella Lucas CelShadedDreams Production Editor Russell Lewin FloatedRelic264 Staff Writer Adam Bryant Firebreedpunk Our Man Down Under Paul Taylor Paulus McT
Contributors Writing Stephen Ashby, Kimberley Ballard, Steve Hogarty, Martin Kitts, Dave Meikleham, Alex Nelson, Alex Spencer, Paul Taylor, Justin Towell, Ben Wilson, Robert Zak Art Cliff Newman All copyrights and trademarks are recognised and respected Advertising Tel: 01225 442244 Media packs are available on request Commercial Director Clare Dove, firstname.lastname@example.org Account Director Jeff Jones, email@example.com Account Manager Kevin Stoddart, firstname.lastname@example.org International Official Xbox Magazine is available for licensing. Contact the International department to discuss partnership opportunities International Licensing Director Matt Ellis email@example.com Print Subscriptions & back issues Web www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 0344 848 2852 International +44 (0) 344 848 2852 Online orders & enquiries www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Head of subscriptions Sharon Todd Circulation Head of Newstrade Tim Mathers Head of Production Mark Constance Production Project Manager Clare Scott Advertising Production Manager Joanne Crosby Digital Editions Controller Jason Hudson Production Manager Nola Cokely Management Commercial Finance Director Dan Jotcham Editorial Director Paul Newman Brand Director, Games Tony Mott Group Senior Art Editor Warren Brown
Chris Burke Editor This month Chris headed off to West Virginia to play cover game Fallout 76 in an actual Cold War nuclear fallout shelter. Since then he’s been doing all his work under his desk in case the Great War starts early…
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When Bethesda invited OXM to West Virginia to play Fallout 76, we were not expecting to be doing it in an actual fallout shelter. The Greenbrier bunker was the Cold War shelter built for members of Congress in the event of nuclear war, and it’s eerily cool. But what of the game? Is Fallout 76 another great entry in the post-apocalyptic franchise? Does it work as an MMO? And where’s Dogmeat? We have all the answers from page 48 this month. Elsewhere, we took a tour of Aardman Studios and found out more about their intriguing-looking 11-11: Memories Retold, and we have fresh news on Metro Exodus, Battlefield V, Devil May Cry 5 and more. The big game releases have begun this month too, and we deliver our verdicts on Shadow Of The Tomb Raider and Forza 4, Life Is Strange 2 and footie games PES 19 and FIFA 19. Enjoy!
t e a m
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Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Non-executive chairman Richard Huntingford Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244
Daniella Lucas Deputy editor Dani was so impressed by the voice control of a trolley in Supermarket Shriek (see p16) that since then she’s been shouting at everyone to make us work harder.
M ore Xbox ne w s a t ga m esradar.co m/oxm
Adam Bryant Staff writer Adam visited Aardman to find out about 11-11: Memories Retold. He was Early Man and wearing completely the Wrong Trousers, but he did have a Grand Day Out.
Warren Brown Senior art editor Foxes have recently taken up residence in Woz’s garden, and he’s learned the hard way that they’re not as cute in real life as Starfox, Tails or the fox from Tunic.
Russell Lewin Production editor Russ went to Malta this month, and returned with odd chocolate-filled banana sweets for the team, and a joke: “How do you make a Maltese Cross? Steal his crisps.”
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contents Everything you can look forward to over the next 100 or so pages
insider 008 The Big Story: telltale games 012 alan wake on tv 014 capcom 016 the big picture: supermarket shriek 018 hot topic: final fantasy 020 opinions
subscribe now on page 046
026 metro exodus 030 battlefield V 032 anthem 034 metal wolf chaos xd 035 streets of rage 4 036 devil may cry 5 038 biomutant 039 dying light: bad blood 040 twin mirror 042 resident evil 2 045 ooblets 045 gwent: the witcher card game
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045 tales of vesperia 045 jump force 045 the one we found 045 this is pool
features 048 fallout 76 056 the big interview: aardman studios 062 the oxm sporting hall of fame
reviews 074 shadow of the tomb raider 078 fifa 19 080 forza horizon 4 083 nhl 19 084 the talos principle 086 pes 19 088 v rally 089 dayz 090 life is strange 2 092 playerunknown’s battlegrounds 094 bad north
extra 098 Now Playing: the hunter: call of the wild 100 gears of war 2 101 sea of thieves 102 retrospective: thief deadly shadows 106 wHY i love… superhot’s replays 108 10 best diseases in xbox history 112 Directories 114 disc Slot: William Barr
have something to say? why not write to team oxm at email@example.com M ore Xbox ne w s a t ga m esradar.co m/oxm
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insider This month has been a bit of an odd one, full of sad goodbyes but also excitement for the future. First up is news of Telltale Games’ unfortunate closure on p8. Famous for The Walking Dead episodic series and others, it’s come as a huge shock to the games industry, especially as the studio had some big projects on the horizon, such as a Stranger Things game. We have a full rundown of the situation and what it means for Telltale’s unfinished series. Elsewhere, Remedy’s excellent Alan Wake (p12) is being adapted for TV by Legion’s Peter Calloway. Its episodic horror vibe is perfect for TV, so we’ve got high hopes. There’s also been another studio closure, this time Capcom’s Vancouver office – the people behind Dead Rising (p14). It’s been a huge part of Xbox’s history, so we’re incredibly sad about it, but here’s hoping we won’t be able to kill these particular zombies off completely. Last we look at the huge collection of Final Fantasy games coming to Xbox One’s library on p18. While recent entries have made it to Xbox, you’ll also get the chance to play the classic FFVII on the world’s best console.
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t e l lta l e
A sad tale of our times Telltale Games’ releases are in doubt following the shock news that it is shedding most of its staff with immediate effect
Strange surprise Clips of what is believed to be footage of Telltale’s Stranger Things game turned up on Reddit by an anonymous poster. Peeking behind the curtain of development, these clips depict characters from the Netflix TV series. It hasn’t been (and probably won’t be) confirmed as official, but it looks far too complete to be anything else.
Over the past few years we’ve witnessed a fair share of developer tragedies, with major studios closing their doors and mass lay-offs putting hundreds of talented people out of work. However, it seems like these incidents are becoming more frequent and brutal in their impact. One of the latest casualties of the industry is Telltale Games, which on 21 September announced via a statement on its official Twitter feed that it would “begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges”. This sent a wave of shock that reverberated throughout the gaming community and raised many questions, once again, about the state of the industry and its ability, or lack thereof, to protect the people that help make these games possible. The statement went on to say, “A majority of the company’s employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfil the company’s obligation to its board and partners.” It continued to include a statement directly from Telltale Games CEO Pete Hawley. “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but
ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.” This news came as a complete surprise to many, including Telltale’s staff who, earlier that same morning, were happy to share new gifs of the game on their Twitter feed. The studio has been developing games since 2005 but it was the release of their adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead in 2012 that won them critical acclaim and a multitude of awards. This put Telltale on the map as pioneers of episodic narrative games. The company then acquired licences for huge franchises such as Borderlands, Game Of Thrones, Batman and Minecraft, to name a few. There were previous signs of worry in November of last year when the studio laid off 90 members of staff and reports started to surface of overworked staff. But from an outside perspective it was business as usual, with several games very much in the works including the final season of The Walking Dead and reportedly a Stranger Things game.
Following the lay-offs several Telltale staff turned to Twitter to shed light on the situation. Narrative designer Emily Grace Buck explained that “around the official xbox magazine 009
Above It’s sad Clem’s story may never be fully told, but the situation with Telltale staff is sadder.
t e l lta l e
250 people are jobless” and added that employees did not get any kind of severance and that their healthcare would only last for one more week. She went on to state that some of the staff had only started as little as a week before the decision to relieve the studio of its staff. Melissa Hutchison, the voice actor for Clementine in Telltale’s The Walking Dead also made a heartfelt statement regarding the closure of the studio. A second statement from Telltale arrived four days after its initial one explaining that, “Multiple potential partners have stepped forward to express interest in helping to see the The Final Season through to completion. While we can’t make any promises today, we are actively working towards a solution that will allow Episodes 3 and 4 to be completed and released in some form. In the meantime, Episode 2 will release tomorrow across all platforms as planned.”
OXM SAYS Chris Burke
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It’s never nice to hear of a studio closure, especially one that has such a rich history and unique style. We wish all those talented staff affected by the closure the very best of luck and hope they will be able to continue to make great videogames.
“Telltale’s statement caused a backlash on social media”
with finishing the last couple of Walking Dead episodes.
Right behind you
The most surprising thing about this statement is that it makes no mention of the 250 staff that were laid off, or how they are going to support them. Instead it would appear to focus on appealing to the fandom of the game as opposed to the obligation to its former staff. This caused something of a backlash on social media with many, including developers from other studios, calling the company out asking for the staff to be paid the appropriate respect and to receive some form of severance before it moves forward
News of Telltale’s woes has brought forth an outpouring of support from both the fans of the studio and developers alike. Many of the Telltale staff are now using Twitter to look for work and under #TelltaleJobs, a campaign has sprung up to help those affected. Companies both big and small have since reached out with a range of different positions that they have available, from top senior artists and designers all the way through to the administration and social media teams. This has resulted in some of the developers landing on their feet but there will be a large amount of people still without work. The announcement has also had a fall-on effect with the games under its publishing wing. Stranded Deep, an open world survival game from Beam Team Games, has now had its console
The abruptness of this situation is the saddest part. Everything seemed fine on the outside so it was a real surprise that it crumbled so quickly with no protection for the staff. I hope their talent will be realised in other studios.
This is such a sad story but it’s becoming too common an occurrence in the industry. For a studio that’s actively creating superb content to suffer this kind of loss is truly worrying. I hope that everyone affected lands on their feet.
A legacy to remember A short history of the best games from Telltale
The Walking Dead
The first real big success story for the studio. With completely new characters and an original story from a well-established franchise, it pulled at the heartstrings of everyone who played it. This is the game that set Telltale on course for a successful future.
release postponed. The developer has said that they are currently unsure what will happen to the game and are awaiting information as to the date of its release. Fans raised concerns about the future of previously announced games like The Wolf Among Us 2 and Stranger Things. The former, it can be safely assumed, has been cancelled, while a sliver of hope remains for Stranger Things. In a statement, Netflix clarified that the remaining staff will continue development on Minecraft: Story Mode and that they “are in the process of evaluating other options for bringing the Stranger Things universe to life in an interactive medium”.
The Wolf Among Us
Based on the Fable comic book series by Bill Willingham. A prequel to the comics, you follow protagonist Bigby Wolf on a murder investigation in a neon-tinged noir detective story. A sequel was in development but has since been cancelled.
Minecraft: Story Mode
Another success for Telltale that went on for two series. Based on the sandbox videogame Minecraft, it’s the first official story set in that universe. It continued their staple choice-andconsequence format but with a tone more suited to children.
Batman: The Telltale Series
Clean up the streets as Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne. Although based on the character of Batman this isn’t connected to any previous stories from the comics, TV or films. Instead it establishes its own unique narrative and takes a few creative liberties.
right Netflix seem eager to continue with development of Minecraft: Story Mode for its streaming service.
A class action lawsuit has now been filed against Telltale Games by one of the ex members of staff, Vernie Roberts Jr, on behalf of himself and other ex-Telltale members. The lawsuit claims that Telltale Games violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN) which states that an employer must give at least 60 days’ advance written notice of termination. The hope, in part, is for those who have been laid off to recover 60 days wages and benefits.
It’s a shame that we are seeing so many stories such as this one, despite the future of Xbox and gaming looking so healthy. The success of the videogames industry has come off the backs of talented individuals who work harder and longer as games become increasingly complex, and surely more needs to be done to protect their employment rights. ■ As of writing the final season of TWD has been removed from the Xbox Marketplace at the studio’s request.
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wa k e
Wakey wakey, rise and shine Alan Wake makes its way to the small screen with its own TV series Remedy Entertainment’s Sam Lake has always been vocal about his aspirations to continue the story of Alan Wake, setting firmly in people’s minds the idea that a sequel to the critically acclaimed supernatural thriller would one day emerge. But as the years went by the studio worked on other games and although a short Alan Wake spin-off called American Nightmare surfaced, a full sequel never arrived. Eight years later and a shining torch light pierces the darkness as it was announced to Variety recently that Remedy would be joining forces with film and television production company Contradiction Films to develop a television series based on the franchise. Not only that but writer and producer Peter Calloway, who has worked on TV series Cloak & Dagger and Legion, has been signed on as the series showrunner and writer, while Remedy’s very own Sam Lake will take the role of executive producer. Combine this with the fact that Contradiction Films has prior experience when it comes to adapting based on games for TV and it seems we may be on to a winner. Everything else is currently in the early stages so details are light on the ground. There’s been no mention
of cast just yet, but the company will begin circulating Calloway’s pitch to studios this month.
Alan Wake was originally released on the Xbox 360 in 2010. You play as the titular character, a bestselling thriller author suffering from writer’s block. To try and get the creative juices flowing Alan’s wife, Alice, plans a trip for the both of them to the sleepy town of
“It seems an Alan Wake TV series wasn’t really a matter of if, but when” Bright Falls. Strange things begin to happen and Alice is kidnapped. What started as an innocent trip turns into a rescue mission. The game has always been described as a mix of different influences, including Stephen King and Twin Peaks, so a TV series feels natural for the franchise. Remedy is no stranger to using liveaction within its games. Max Payne’s cutscenes were created using Sam Lake’s likeness for the main character, Alan Wake was structured like a television show, and Quantum Break
Boing said Remedy Last year Remedy made the difficult decision to remove Alan Wake from both the Xbox Marketplace and retail stores. This was due to expiring music licences. It would have cost the company far too much time and money to replace the said tracks so they chose to put the game to bed. It didn’t totally kill off the game as anyone who previously purchased or downloaded it would be able to re-download it anytime they wish.
Above Why did a successful writer get caught up in this mess? right Light was vital for taking out the Taken, supernatural beings living in the darkness.
actually included live-action episodes after each of the five acts in the game. It seems an Alan Wake TV series wasn’t really a matter of if, but when. But this isn’t the first time a TV series has been developed for the game. A six-part prequel miniseries aired online, leading up to the release of Alan Wake, called Bright Falls. Each live-action episode ran between five and ten minutes and centred on a reporter, Jake Fischer, who goes to Bright Falls to conduct an interview with a psychiatrist about his new book but gets caught up in bizarre events. We’re seeing more TV series being made for existing videogames franchises. There’s Halo, The Witcher and now this. The history of videogame adaptations is shaky at the best of times so we’ve got our fingers crossed that everyone involved can pull this off. ■
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