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november 2019

the magazine for all things xbox

y How maonu have y ? played


t s e t ea

g games s the definitive countdown of the best games to play today!

Preview Captain Price has a new voice actor: British actor Barry Sloane, who is taking over from Billy Murray

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Get ready to experience the ultimate online battlefield Adam Bryant PublisheR Activision Developer Infinity Ward ETA 25 October

Pet hate A report from Game Informer has revealed the ‘Tamagunchi’. This seemingly innocent digital pet, housed within the player’s watch, can be used in the multiplayer and co-op spec ops missions. This little pet has an incredible bloodlust, though, and can only survive on the lives of your enemies. For every kill you get, the Tamagunchi will happily shout “Yatta”. Fail to satiate its appetite and it will, according to art director Joel Emslie, “rot and die”.

Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is sacred among FPS enthusiasts, and this (even more) modern retelling is sure to draw sceptical looks from those that revere the original. You needn’t worry, though, because this is shaping up to be the biggest and most mature COD yet, and thanks to a recent, insanely generous fourand-a-half-hour stream from Infinity Ward, we’ve now got a better idea of what to expect from the game when it launches in October. If you are after big plot details, though, you’ll have to wait a little longer as the studio is being tightlipped about the story. That said, we do have bits and pieces of intel: we know Captain Price is making a return, and we will be switching between perspectives throughout the campaign, mainly through Sergeant Kyle Garrick, who’s enlisted the help of Price and a CIA operative stationed in the Middle East known only as Alex. As much as we’re interested in this new story, we can’t help but be excited about Modern Warfare’s multiplayer offering, and from what we’ve seen so far it looks set to blow everyone away. During the stream, Infinity Ward showcased a range of familiar game modes, like Team Deathmatch, Domination and Headquarters, with a variety of player

“Two teams will go up against each other using random weapon loadouts” 028 the official xbox magazine

counts. We saw 6v6, 10v10 and 20v20 matches, and the devs are promising even bigger battles that can feature over 100 players in Ground War mode. We’ve also been introduced to a new 2v2 mode called Gunfight. In this frantic showdown, two teams will go up against each other using random weapon loadouts every round. Although the weapons are randomised, each combatant has the same loadout. The switching of those loadouts will give you an opportunity to use weapons outside your comfort zone, and who knows… you could discover a new favourite. We also caught a glimpse of the night vision game mode in which players are expected to duke it out in almost pitch-black arenas, relying on their goggles to see. Combine this with the Realism mode, in which all UI elements are removed, and this looks to be an extremely exhilarating and tense experience. For the regular multiplayer offerings, there’s a new weapons customisation option, called Gunsmith, which will allow you to customise your firearms exactly the way you want them. Although there will be a multitude of attachments to pick from – 30 to 60 per weapon – you’ll only be able to use five at any time. These can, of course, be switched in and out, letting you tailor your weapon for any situation.

Better together

One thing we’re electrified about, and something that fans have requested for some time, is the cross-platform play feature. Infinity Ward has promised that Xbox One players will be able to play with others on PC and PlayStation 4. You needn’t worry about going up against a player using a keyboard and mouse, though, as Infinity Ward has got your back – the studio has ensured that matchmaking has been configured so only players with similar input devices will be playing against one another. With the brief, tantalising glimpses of the gritty campaign and robust upgrades to multiplayer, this reboot is shaping up to be the most exciting Call Of Duty we’ve experienced in a long time. We’re itching to polish off our MP5s, earn kill streaks and reunite with Captain Price… October just can’t come soon enough. ■

Above It’s all gone a bit Alien Isolation in this cave system. left You might want to avoid getting on the business side of this tank.

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Above The hero designs are more like ‘echoes’ of their MCU counterparts rather than recreations. right The greatest gadget man on the planet is playable, and great fun to whiz around the skies with.

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Preview Evil organisation AIM, Advanced Ideas Mechanics, has been in Marvel comics since the ’60s

and it feels satisfyingly weighty when it returns to Thor’s hand.

Marvel’s Avengers Crystal Dynamics has got a plan, Stan Chris Burke PublisheR Square Enix Developer Crystal Dynamics ETA 15 May 2020

BUYING IN HULK Customisation and cosmetics will be a big part of the Marvel’s Avengers experience, so yes that does mean items will be purchasable in the store for a quick fix, or earned through grinding in-game. As huge Marvel fans, what we hope this means is that if you particularly love a certain look from a specific story arc or period in your favourite hero’s comic book history, you’ll be able to kit them out accordingly. Excelsior!

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s successful decade transforming the genius of Stan Lee and co into an awesome series of movies has brought the Avengers into the mainstream like never before. But while we’ve had some decent Marvel games on Xbox, nothing has so far matched the MCU for vision and ambition. When we heard Crystal Dynamics was bringing the Avengers to Xbox in an online cooperative game, we practically wet our spandex cosplay tights. And then, um, that E3 2019 trailer cooled our ardour a little – if you’ve seen it you’ll understand why. But let us assure you, having gone hands-on at Gamescom, you’re in for something special. Our gameplay session begins with an attack on San Francisco by bad-guy organisation AIM, headed up by supervillain Taskmaster, which the Avengers team attempts to foil. We begin the battle as Thor, wielding Mjölnir to great effect, cracking heads and smashing bodies into the vehicles stacked up on a bridge. Standard light and heavy attacks are supplemented by lightning abilities and a powerful rush attack that can be used to bust up bits of bridge concrete that have trapped civilians, but best of all is the ability to throw Mjölnir with a tap of the trigger and then again to bring it back,

“The game will be serviced way beyond its initial launch period” M ore Xbox ne w s a t ga m m/oxm

We are Iron Man

As Tony Stark we hover, fly and wipe out foes with the Unibeam fired from his Iron Man suit’s chest. The flying feels pretty good, too, as we barrel roll through the battle before air-braking to a hover, blasting ground enemies from the palms of our hands. Hulk takes up the fight next, and as you’d expect he can leap high into the air before smashing back into the ground, and swipe puny enemies aside with ease. We also get a glimpse of his ‘ultimate’: when Hulk claps his huge green mitts together it creates a sonic blast. He can also, in a manner, wall run – if a surface is flat and scratched, Hulk can hang onto it, and we use this to traverse the crumbling bridge as it falls into the sea. Captain America’s shield is, of course, his primary power – and we can ricochet this off multiple enemies, withstand powerful barrages and so on. Black Widow’s skills are in her agility and pistol attacks, and it’s Widow who’s called into action for a boss battle against the jet pack-flying Taskmaster, and she leaps onto his back before forcing him into a thrilling one-on-one ground encounter. Crystal Dynamics’ vision for this game is ambitious, almost to the point of stretching believability. While the gameplay we’ve so far enjoyed is excellent, it’s from the game’s narrative set-up, and thus linear. What we’re promised, however, is an open world drop-in, drop-out online co-op game with a mix of story and replayable, fluid ‘Warzone’ missions. Crystal Dynamics’ studio head Scot Amos is keen to stress to us that when the team adds more Avengers to the roster, it will be much deeper than simply a reskin job: each hero will have a unique set of abilities, perks and character progression. Meanwhile, Amos promises that the game will be serviced way beyond its initial launch period, with more heroes added to the growing roster, for free on a regular basis. There are a lot of Avengers, so it seems like a far-reaching claim to add every possible hero into the game, but Amos claims Crystal Dynamics will add those heroes so long as the fans are asking for them. ■ the official xbox magazine 031

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g s games OXM picks its favourite games from three generations of xbox consoles that are playable today on xbox one words by Chris burke, Adam Bryant, dave Meikleham & Steve Boxer 048 the official xbox magazine

100 g r e a t e s t

ith the final batch of backwards-compatible games landing on Xbox One, and the promise of four generations of Xbox games being playable on the next-gen Project Scarlett, we felt it was the perfect time to sit back and look out over our domain of brilliant games. As you’ll see from the mere 100 games we’ve picked to be our Greatest Xbox Games, Microsoft’s console has a super rich legacy of titles that we’ve



Superhot Publisher Superhot Team developer Superhot Team release 2016 format Xbox one

It might appear as though you’re looking at an early development version of an FPS, but that’s all part of Superhot’s charm. Those polygonal heads are nonetheless satisfying to split apart with a headshot, and the gameplay itself is truly innovative. Time only moves when you do, enabling you to choreograph your gunfights with satisfying precision.



enjoyed in the 18 years since we first fell in love with that first, hefty black box. The best thing about this list is that you won’t need to dust off your old consoles to play any of these classics from all three generations of Xbox – via the magic of backwards compatibility, you can currently play them all on Xbox One. It wasn’t easy narrowing the list down, and there are so many great games that fell just outside our top 100, but we highly recommend all the games championed over the next few pages. So get stuck in!


Panzer Dragoon Orta Publisher Sega developer Smilebit release 2002 format Xbox

A flaming rollercoaster ride with spectacle. Introducing the Xbox to a breed of rail-shooter the console had never seen before, Orta helped Panzer Dragoon claw out of the shadows when it appeared the series had ended with the Dreamcast’s demise.


Elite Dangerous Publisher Frontier Developer Frontier release 2015 format Xbox One

Head out in your very own ship, with only a handful of credits and the solar winds behind your back, to explore the entire breadth of the galaxy. The sense of adventure and the freedom to do whatever you want makes for an unforgettable experience and shouldn’t be missed. Just watch out for the Thargoids.

far right Super Meat Boy helped put Xbox Live Arcade on the map. right Infinite’s atmosphere and sense of place is awe-inspiring.


BioShock Infinite


Jade Empire


Super Meat Boy

Publisher 2K Games developer Irrational Games release 2013 format Xbox 360

Publisher Microsoft developer BioWare release 2005 format Xbox

Publisher Team Meat developer Team Meat release 2010 format Xbox 360

Although the BioShock series is known for its cerebral stories, it’s also known for its enthralling settings. Infinite is bound to leave a lasting impression. As Booker DeWitt you venture into the sky city of Columbia on the verge of a revolution to kidnap one Elizabeth Comstock and “wipe away the debt”.

This kung-fu fantasy epic role-playing game stands out by being BioWare’s first original title, and one that demonstrated the studio’s ability to create completely unique and compelling stories. Inspired by Chinese mythology and folklore, you play as the last of the Spirit Monks who heads out on a daring mission to rescue their kidnapped martial arts master.

More like Super Hard As Nails Boy. This platformer’s learning curve is perfectly balanced, enabling you to build up your skill over time without feeling too frustrated. Look back on the first level you ever ran, and compare it with the ones in the latter part of the game – it’s crazy to see how far you’ve come.

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review Several live-action tapes play throughout the game and are performed by Matthew Porretta, aka Alan Wake

Publisher 505 Games / Developer Remedy Entertainment / release date Out now / cost £49.99/$59.99

editor’s choice

Control A Hiss Hiss bang banger of a shooter

Now this is one appropriate title. Remedy’s latest action adventure makes Xbox One’s peerless pad sing like few other games. Thanks to a brilliant set of abilities brought to life through a sumptuous set of animations, playing this gravitydefying shooter is like directing your own version of Inception… if Chris Nolan had spent less time obsessing over spinning tops and more on roomflipping firefights. Few other games are so dizzyingly empowering. Though it has issues with bad checkpointing and face-palming difficulty spikes, Control is one hell of an experience. We’ll get to the galling grievances in a bit, but in the meantime, just know this is one of the better titles to hit Xbox One in 2019. Hell, if it weren’t for some sadly regular, borderline infuriating fights in the last couple of chapters, you’d be

above The wild environments are a mind-bending pleasure to navigate. left Jesse Faden has to be the most satisfying hero to play as since Batman.

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Dave Meikleham

looking at one of the best videogames of the last few years. To go into granular story specifics may take away some of the inquisitive joy that comes from discovering Control’s disorientating setting and plot. So here are the base facts to ensure nothing is spoiled: you play Jesse Faden, the newly appointed, superpowered director of an ultra shady government bureau, and a hell-bent sibling in search of her long-lost brother. Confined to the bewildering, bewitching confines of The OIdest House – a vast building which constantly contorts – it’s your job to stop an otherworldly, zombielike presence known as The Hiss.

Hiss and hers

Jesse is a bit like Keanu Reeves’ Neo. Well, if you ditched all that confused existentialism. The Matrix actually offers up a key, bullet-bypassing comparison. Looking back at Remedy’s history, the studio helped establish

‘Bullet Time’ as a trendy mechanic in videogames. After the Wachowskis wowed the world with their sci-fi flick in 1999, Max Payne nailed slow-mo shootouts like almost no other game. Launching two years after Keanu’s kung-fu masterpiece, the shelldodging cop made an art out of virtual gunfights, and it’s a legacy Control confidently builds upon. That gratifying combat is nothing to be sniffed at. Look back at Alan Wake and Quantum Break, and you’ll see Remedy has often struggled to deliver hair-raising action. While the developer usually excels at confident scene-setting, poor old Al’s batterypowered shootouts, and That Ice Dude From X-Men’s reality-breaking fisticuffs, weren’t always a hoot. In contrast, Control’s encounters are rarely less than excellent. Built around a series of superbly executed powers and a brilliantly honed central weapon, fights are the reliable gift you never want to return. Strangling a dude the official xbox magazine 077





Before creating Oddworld Inhabitants, Lorne Lanning was asked by James Cameron to work for him, but he turned the director down

Lorne Lanning Inhabiting Oddworlds Oddworld Inhabitants has been creating games for over two decades, and on the studio’s 25th anniversary OXM sits down with cofounder Lorne Lanning to talk Abe, politics and the impact of videogames adam bryant Photography Bennie Terry III

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Official Xbox Magazine 182 (Sampler)  

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Official Xbox Magazine 182 (Sampler)  

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