Hackers, Superheroes, and Dragons Are Coming to June’s Games with Gold

Summer is almost here and we can’t wait to spend some quality time indoors with the latest batch of Games with Gold titles for June. In addition to the two Xbox One and two Xbox 360 games that can be play through Backward Compatibility, Xbox Live Gold members will also get free DLC for Phantom Dust in June.

Now for the games! On Xbox One we’ll have the competitive racing game Speedrunners available from June 1 – 30 followed by the open-world hacking adventure of Watch Dogs from June 16 – July 15. On Xbox 360, and on Xbox One through Backward Compatibility, explore the American frontier in Assassin’s Creed III from June 1 – 15 followed BioWare’s classic fantasy RPG Dragon Age: Origins on June 16 – 30.

All games will be available for a limited time only as part of Games with Gold, so get Xbox Live Gold today to get in on the action!

  • Speedrunners ($14.99 ERP): Available June 1-30 on Xbox One
  • Watch_Dogs ($29.99 ERP): Available June 16-July 15 on Xbox One
  • Assassin’s Creed III ($19.99 ERP): Available June 1-15 on Xbox 360 & Xbox One
  • Dragon Age: Origins ($14.99 ERP): Available June 16-30 on Xbox 360 & Xbox One
  • DLC for Phantom Dust ($14.99 ERP): Available June 1-30 on Xbox One

In a city filled with superheroes, getting to the bad guys becomes a competition all its own. On June 1, the highly competitive racing game Speedrunners will makes its debut on Xbox One. You’ll have to run, jump, swing, fire rockets, and knock your opponent’s off the screen to prove you’re the hero the city needs.

Then on June 16, be the ultimate hacker in the ambitious open world game Watch Dogs. Play as the criminal Aiden Pearce, seeking revenge to those who have done you wrong by manipulating the city networks, which connects you to everything. Steal private records, destroy traffic, and use the power of technology against your foes.

On Xbox 360, and Xbox One through Backward Combability on June 1, the American Revolution meets open-world stealth action in Assassin’s Creed III. Play as Connor, a Native American who uncovers the secrets of the Assassins and is caught up in a deadly conspiracy. With a new approach to free-running and a variety of new combat styles, explore a more varied environment than any previous Assassin’s Creed game.

And then, in Dragon Age: Origins, you’re a Grey Warden, one of the last of a legendary order of guardians. With the return of an ancient foe and the kingdom engulfed in civil war, you have been chosen by fate to unite the shattered lands and slay the archdemon once and for all.

Additionally, there’s a special gift for you to celebrate the new release of Phantom Dust. Gold members get a free multiplayer content DLC pack staring June 1, a $14.99 value, which includes a variety of valuable skills and abilities to help you defeat your enemies in the re-release of the original Xbox classic.

And don’t forget that as an Xbox Live Gold member, you have exclusive access to be among the first to play over a hundred great games with Xbox Game Pass. Check out xbox.com/game-pass for more details and stay tuned to Xbox Wire for additional information about Game Pass, Games with Gold, and more!

See the rest of the story on Xbox Wire

Related:
How About a Round of Gwent? Public Beta Now Live on Xbox One
Stealth Horror Game Hello Neighbor Wants You to Spy on Your Neighbor
Take a Weekend Trip to the Commonwealth for Free This Weekend with Xbox Live Gold

How About a Round of Gwent? Public Beta Now Live on Xbox One

I’m here to invite you to a game of Gwent. As some of you may know, the original Gwent is a mini-game in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that you could enjoy during breaks from questing, slaying monsters, and saving the world. After The Witcher 3 launched, we received a lot of messages from gamers all around the world asking us to create a standalone version of Gwent so they could play with their friends. A lot of hard work later and here we are with the public beta of Gwent: The Witcher Card Game.

The core rules are simple — you collect cards, build armies, and battle it out on a battlefield divided into three rows: melee, ranged, and siege. Every round is a test of skill and strategy — fight to gather more points than your opponent and you must win two out of three rounds. While the goal is clear cut, how you get there is up to you — and this is what truly makes Gwent a different card game.

For example, you can tackle your opponent head on using your most-powerful units — there are no resources apart from the cards themselves to stop you. Or, if you want, you can start by summoning several high value units and have the opponent play catch-up. You can even choose to tactically sacrifice a round to gain an advantage — after all, Gwent is a three-round affair. There are no wrong ways to go about winning if you make every card count. That’s because, apart from the 10 cards you draw at the beginning of a match, you’re only guaranteed a very limited number of additional ones throughout the game.

With Gwent becoming its own, fully-realized competitive card game, it has allowed us to supercharge it with dozens of new cards, mechanics, and a complete overhaul of its visuals. One thing we’re particularly proud of is that every card in the game now has its own animated version, each with a miniature work of art, brought to life as an actual animation making the battles more cinematic.

The most important addition, however, has got to be multiplayer. Unlike the mini-game, which was a fun single-player experience, the standalone version has been built from the ground up with multiplayer in mind. We’ve spent a lot of time working on balance to make sure it’s fair and fun when you play with your friends or challenge players from around the world.

Gwent recently entered public beta, it’s free, and everyone’s invited to download it right now from the Xbox Store. For more news and updates about Gwent, follow us on Twitter and stay tuned to Xbox Wire.

See the rest of the story on Xbox Wire

Related:
Stealth Horror Game Hello Neighbor Wants You to Spy on Your Neighbor
Take a Weekend Trip to the Commonwealth for Free This Weekend with Xbox Live Gold
Xbox Game Pass Launches June 1 with 100+ Games; Early Access for Gold Members Starts Today

Stealth Horror Game Hello Neighbor Wants You to Spy on Your Neighbor

From my early childhood, I looked for games to play like Hello Neighbor. I wanted to peak behind the curtain of game development: How’s the game world created? What does the non-player character do when he’s not being watched? Then as a teenager, I spent dozens of hours no-clipping through games, trying to understand how they work and searching for Easter Eggs. Now that I’m making games, it was important to me to have Hello Neighbor players experience the magic, a sense of wonder, to discover something you’re not supposed to.

It’s mind-bending to imagine that a small idea I wrote down would become something so many people are interested in today. The concept of playing against an artificial intelligence that counters your moves, combined with the concept that you can “break” the fourth wall between the game world and your own, is what drove Hello Neighbor’s design.

Hello Neighbor is a stealth horror game with vivid cartoony graphics where you play against an advanced, learning AI. You play as someone who recently moved to the suburbs from the city and notice a suspicious neighbor trying to keep people away from their basement — naturally the only logical thing to do is break in and find out what he’s hiding. As you play, the neighbor learns from your actions and counters them.

It was important to embrace the community of gamers that like to go the extra step in uncovering Easter Eggs, like speed runners who find ways to beat 10-hour games in less than 10 minutes. If that opens a deeper level for players, and we as the game’s development team are aware of it, those types of players may find something special waiting for them.

As we continue to develop the game, we’ve released a few alpha builds for people to see. This is where the fourth wall breaking of Hello Neighbor comes in where numerous conspiracy theories have spawned, ushering waves of speculation on what the game is truly about. For those answers, you’ll have to wait until August 29 when Hello Neighbor launches on Xbox One.

See the rest of the story on Xbox Wire

Related:
How About a Round of Gwent? Public Beta Now Live on Xbox One
Take a Weekend Trip to the Commonwealth for Free This Weekend with Xbox Live Gold
Xbox Game Pass Launches June 1 with 100+ Games; Early Access for Gold Members Starts Today

Sgt. Johnson Fights Again in Halo Wars 2 on Xbox One and Windows 10

“This is it, baby. Hold me.” The newest leader for Halo Wars 2 is none other than Sergeant Johnson himself and this time he’s brought his “Green Machine” with him. Read on to learn more about the new units, abilities and tactics that ol’ Sarge will bring – available for Xbox Play Anywhere title Halo Wars 2 as part of the Season Pass or purchasable for $5.99 on Xbox One and Windows 10!

From the halls of Installation 04 to the shores of Harvest, Sergeant Johnson represented the UNSC with distinction and honor his entire life, and is remembered as a hero in death. However, in a twist of fate (and poor records-keeping), the UNSC Marine Corps accidentally assigned the life-challenged veteran to a position on board the long-lost Spirit of Fire. Even with the small handicap of being dead, Johnson isn’t one to disobey a direct order from his beloved Corps and he’s sprung back to “life,” ready to kick all butts that need kicking. The subsequent story of how he arrived at his new duty station is still classified, but trust us, it’s a good one.

Sergeant Johnson favors a strong defense backed by heavy bipedal killing machines: Siege Turret Drop and Bunker Drop extend his fortifications, while EMP MAC Blast and Mech Overcharge give his combat walkers an upper hand in critical battles. But that’s not all, the Corps has seen fit to issue Sergeant Johnson the Digging In Deep advanced power, letting him construct all structures on existing bases (excluding turrets) for free. Oh, and he can also get up close and personal with the Banished by leading from the front lines in the Green Machine, his personalized HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL MARK I[J] Armor Defense System.

A new game update launched in conjunction with the Sergeant Johnson content that brings a few new features and a variety of fixes and improvements to Halo Wars 2. This game update is free for everyone and is not tied to the DLC itself. The full patch note details can be found here and brought new features such as HDR support on Xbox One S and new themes for the Proving Grounds map in Blitz mode.

New Halo Wars 2 content will continue to come in the months ahead with four more leaders on tap as well as two new campaign missions. Follow @Halo and stay tuned to Halo Waypoint and Xbox Wire for the latest news and details!

See the rest of the story on Xbox Wire

Related:
Xbox Savings in Time for Spring
Halo Wars: Definitive Edition Available Today for Xbox, Windows and Steam
Kinsano Brings the Heat to Halo Wars 2 on Xbox One and Windows 10 Today

Xbox Game Pass Launches June 1 with 100+ Games; Early Access for Gold Members Starts Today

Earlier this year, we announced Xbox Game Pass, a new digital gaming subscription service that gives you unlimited access to over 100 Xbox One and Backward Compatible Xbox 360 games for $9.99 USD per month. To ensure Xbox Game Pass provides the best experience possible for gamers, we rolled the service out first to the Xbox Insider Program, with a limited number of titles to test the features. Thanks to the positive feedback we received from the community, we’re thrilled to launch Xbox Game Pass broadly to the Xbox community in 31 markets and share the entire catalog of over 100 great games.

Beginning today, May 24, all Xbox Live Gold members will get exclusive Early Access to Xbox Game Pass, and can start their 14-day free trial before anyone else. This is our way of saying thank you to our valued Gold members for their continued support.

On Thursday, June 1, Xbox Game Pass will be available for all users. That means anyone with an Xbox Live account can start their 14-day free trial and play over 100 games. Subscriptions will be available for purchase online at xbox.com/game-pass, with a retail offering expected later this year.

We know that a gaming subscription service is only as good as its catalog of titles, so we’re also excited to share the full lineup of Xbox One and Backward Compatible Xbox 360 games that will be available through Xbox Game Pass. At launch and beyond, our goal is to make sure there are great games to play for all gamers.

When Xbox Game Pass launches, you can download and play a broad range of games in full fidelity on your Xbox One or Xbox One S console, including blockbusters like Halo 5: Guardians, NBA 2K16 and Payday 2; fun for the whole family in LEGO Batman, Banjo-Kazooie and Viva Pinata; retro and classic games like Mega Man Legacy Collection, Streets of Rage and Pac-Man Championship Edition; and of course, Xbox Game Pass has a number of great first-person and third-person shooter games, including all three titles in the amazing Bioshock franchise, Gears of War 1-3, Gears Ultimate, Perfect Dark Zero, Borderlands and more.

But the Xbox Game Pass experience doesn’t stop there. At launch, members can also explore classic Xbox hits and community favorites like Saints Row IV: Re-Elected, The Golf Club, Terraria, Resident Evil 0, XCOM: Enemy Within, Mad Max, Knight Squad and many, many more games.

Our commitment to an exciting catalog goes well beyond launch – each month, Xbox Game Pass will add a new set of games to the catalog so there is always something new to play across a diversity of experiences, genres, ratings and more. For gamers, this means endless play of full-fidelity gaming experiences without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues. For a complete list of all games offered through Xbox Game Pass, visit xbox.com/game-pass. And be sure to check back in each month to see the newest additions to the catalog.

As an added benefit, Xbox Game Pass members can purchase all Xbox One games in the catalog – and related add-ons – at an exclusive discount, allowing you to dive deeper into the Xbox Game Pass titles you love most, and make them part of your permanent library.

Xbox Game Pass reflects our continuing aspiration and commitment to offer gamers the best product for the most value, and joins the diverse experiences only available on Xbox One such as Xbox One Backward Compatibility and Xbox Play Anywhere. With one low monthly price for unlimited access to tons of games, along with exclusive discounts, Xbox Game Pass is a tremendous opportunity to better meet the needs of all gamers.

All of us at Team Xbox have been incredibly excited by the positive reception toward Xbox Game Pass so far, and we’re really eager for the entire Xbox community to get their ticket to endless play in the coming days. We hope you love it as much as the gamers on our team who helped create it!

See the rest of the story on Xbox Wire

Related:
Destiny 2 Hands-on: Hunting the Cabal in Bungie’s Ambitious Shooter Sequel
Xbox Savings in Time for Spring
Next Week on Xbox: Upcoming Games, May 22 – 28

Destiny 2 Hands-on: Hunting the Cabal in Bungie’s Ambitious Shooter Sequel

As soon as we dove into our hands-on demo of Destiny 2‘s story-driven campaign, our Warlock Guardian’s Ghost asked, “What are the Cabal doing to the Traveler?” The artificial intelligence companion was referring to an enormous enemy craft that’d attached itself, Facehugger-like, to the mysterious, moon-like entity central to Destiny’s mythology.

It was a disturbing image, especially for fans who spent much of their time in the original Destiny socializing beneath this sacred sphere. As that faithful following knows, the Traveler isn’t just one of the series’ most iconic symbols, but also the keeper of the Light, the powerful gift granted to the Guardians. Desecrating the Traveler was a bold move, but it’s only the first sacred cow Bungie sacrifices in the sci-fi sequel’s opening moments.

Destiny 2 Trailer Screenshot

As we quickly discover, the Tower is also under attack and “Earth’s last safe city” is about to be burned to the ground. A surprise assault by a new Cabal threat, dubbed the “Red Legion”, has returning Titan Vanguard Zavala calling for an emergency evacuation of all citizens. There’s no saving the city at this point. It’s already lost. The only thing we can do is defend ourselves and attempt to make some sense of the chaos.

While the Cabal — led by brand new baddie Commander Ghaul — has seemingly taken everything we hold dear within the campaign’s first few minutes, Destiny 2‘s not about to let players embark on this epic journey empty handed. New sub-classes for Hunters, Titans, and Warlocks come equipped with a fresh set of supers. For our Dawnblade Warlock, this means wielding a flaming sword capable of spitting explosive blasts and shooting long, spreading streams of flame. We don’t get to test them in our preview, but sub-classes for the Titan and Hunter promise equally awesome supers; the former can toss an enemy-belting shield in a fashion that’d get Captain America’s attention, while the latter wields a foe-frying lightning staff.

Destiny 2 Trailer Screenshot

Class-specific abilities are also new to the Guardian arsenal. Working off a cool-down meter, similar to grenades and melee moves, these introduce an additional strategic layer to combat encounters. In our case, we’re able to trigger rifts that either boosts our health or damage output, depending on how we assign the ability. On top of unleashing hell from behind more traditional weapons, we utilized these new tricks to wipe out three waves of Cabal rampaging from crashing drops-pods at an alarming rate.

These grunts look like grade-school bullies, however, compared to some of the new threats we face. Ghaul, who feels entitled to the Traveler’s powers, has apparently recruited the universe’s best and biggest uglies to help him wipe out humanity. This opening mission sees the debut of both Incendiors and Gladiators, a pair of new unit types hellbent on making our lives miserable. The former wields a flamethrower with explosive powers to rival our fiery new super, while the latter charges us with a pair of over-sized cleavers.

Destiny 2 Trailer Screenshot

Eliminating the fresh foes is a challenge, but one we welcome thanks to the return of the series’ spot-on gun-play. As anyone’s who’s ever killed Covenant scum from behind Master Chief’s MD6 Magnum pistol will attest, Bungie’s been satisfying itchy-trigger fingers for quite some time. Based on each weighty, reactive, impactful blast we fired though, it seems they’ve upped their game. We expect this to translate to new weapons as well, such as heavier hand-cannons like grenade launchers. Destiny 2 also aims to inject the combat with more freedom and flexibility by forgoing its predecessor’s primary, secondary, and heavy slots for new kinetic, energy, and power classifications.

When not littering the Tower’s scarred landscape with Cabal corpses, we took in the game’s cinema-rivaling presentation. Ample explosive effects yielded stunning displays of smoke, fire, and debris, while whipping winds and torrential rains provided some of the most realistic weather we’ve ever seen in a game. More than pretty effects though, these immersion-cranking elements also informed our strategy; while traversing up a ramp on a Cabal command ship, for example, we had to rely on our sniper rifle’s scope for accuracy, as the driving rain crippled our ability to see clearly.

Destiny 2 Trailer Screenshot

If this opening mission is any indication, it seems Destiny 2 will also support its renewed narrative focus with highly produced, character-driven cutscenes. During our play-through, the seat-of-the-pants pacing was supported by a scene of Warlock Vanguard Ikora single-handedly crushing a group of Cabal, before mounting the exterior of their ship with cinematic style to spare. We also traveled from the destroyed Tower to the enemy craft via a transport flown by fan-favorite pilot Amanda Holliday.

The most stirring — and unsettling — scene came at the close of our demo, though. In the bowels of the Cabal’s ship, we were about to complete our objective by disabling its shield generator when a menacing presence partially emerged from the darkness. Chuckling at our Guardian, the towering, fearless figure, assumed to be Ghaul, says “Your journey ends here.”

We had no choice but to swallow the antagonist’s statement for now, but based on our pulse-pounding time in the game’s visually-stunning, story-driven campaign, we can’t wait to finish this fight when Destiny 2 pulls us back in on September 8 on Xbox One.

See the rest of the story on Xbox Wire

Related:
Xbox Savings in Time for Spring
Next Week on Xbox: Upcoming Games, May 22 – 28
This Week on Xbox: May 19