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The 2016 Game Awards were filled with surprises, but I’m sure no one was shocked when Blizzard’s Overwatch walked away with the most statuettes last night, including the coveted “Game of the Year” prize. The popular online shooter also won the “Best Multiplayer” award, as well as the fan-voted “Best eSports Game” award. And Blizzard was honored for their development work on Overwatch with the “Best Game Direction” award.
Naughty Dog and id Software also had a good night with two wins apiece. The familial tale at the center of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End won “Best Narrative” and Nolan North won “Best Performance” for his final turn as Nathan Drake. Meanwhile, Doom blasted its way into the spotlight with wins in the “Best Music/Sound Design” and the “Best Action Game” categories.
Playdead’s Inside (“Best Art Direction” and “Best Independent Game”) and Pokemon Go (“Best Mobile/Handheld Game” and “Best Family Game”) also earned multiple awards last night at the Game Awards.
Congratulations to all the nominees, and the full list of winners can be found after the break. (more…)
Football season is in full swing, and the NBA season is getting ready to tip-off this weekend, so it’s a great time to check out this year’s newest sports simulations. Gamers definitely agreed, as four sports titles were at the top of September 2016’s sales report from The NPD Group.
2K’s NBA 2K17 was #1, and it was followed by three from EA Sports: Madden NFL 17 (#2), FIFA 17 (#3), and NHL 17 (#4). Shooters dominated the rest of the list with BioShock: The Collection rounding out the Top 5, and Destiny: The Collection (#6), Overwatch (#8), and Call of Duty: Black Ops III (#10) all in the Top 10.
Believe it or not, Minecraft failed to find a place in the Top 10 for the first time in nearly a year. Perhaps this is why hardware, software, and accessory sales totaled $838.2 million last month, which is down from September 2015’s $1.09 billion tally. But the NPD is pinning the blame on the PS4 Slim and Xbox One S.
“Spending on software, hardware, and accessories declined by 23% compared to this time last year,” NPD Analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz. “The release of the PS4 Slim and the second month of the Xbox One S was not enough to stimulate total hardware spending and this month’s new software releases could not compete with last year’s stronger slate of new games.”
The full Top 10 from September 2016 can be found after the break. (more…)
The Xbox Games Store is heading down under this week as Forza Horizon 3 is now available to download. Developed by Playground Games, Forza Horizon 3 brings the series to Australia for some coastal racing in more than 350 of the world’s snazziest cars. And players who purchase it through the Xbox Games Store will receive a digital copy of the game for the Xbox One and the PC.
Also available this week is FIFA 17, the latest soccer sim from EA Sports, for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. EA Sports has upgraded the game engine for FIFA 17, while also adding a story-focused career mode known as “The Journey.” Do you have what it takes to make it in the Premier League? Now’s your chance to find out.
Professional soccer players might seem like a completely separate species, but Xbox One owners will also be able to battle it out with actual extraterrestrials this week in XCOM 2, a tactical alien invasion simulation from 2K and Firaxis. XCOM 2 was previously released for the PC earlier this year, and this time around, players will fight to take back the Earth, which is under alien rule.
Elsewhere on the Xbox Games Store this week, Sierra Games will continue their rebooted King’s Quest adventure on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 with a brand new chapter, Snow Place Like Home. King Graham is still telling stories, and this time he spins a yarn about the time he rescued Prince Alexander from Queen Icebella’s Frozen Castle.
Finally this week, the Xbox Game Preview program grows by one with the release of Everspace, a space shooter with roguelike elements, from Rocketfish.
As usual, more information on all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)
Soccer players (excuse me, footballers), racecar drivers, invisible Japanese spirits, a sneaker-wearing hedgehog, bloodthirsty aliens, and even bloodthirstier zombies highlight this week’s new release roundup…
FIFA 17 will be available in stores this week for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. In addition to a series of graphical upgrades and gameplay tweaks, the latest soccer simulation from EA Sports adds “The Journey,” a story-based single-player mode where players take control a teenager trying to make it in the Premier League.
Also new this week is Microsoft’s latest racing sim, Forza Horizon 3. The PC and Xbox One game recreates Australia as a playground for open-world racing, which players can dive into with more than 350 cars.
Away from the fast cars and furious footballers, Nintendo and Level-5 will release Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Yo-Kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls. The creature-collecting games will include hundreds of new Yo-Kai, invisible spirits believed to exist out in the world. But with the game’s Yo-Kai Watch, players can see these supernatural creatures, and capture them.
Keeping with the otherworldly theme, 2K Games will bring XCOM 2 to the PS4 and Xbox One this week. After debuting on the PC earlier this year, the publisher is expanding the strategy game’s reach to new-generation consoles… and not a moment too soon. The alien invaders have enslaved humanity in the sequel and it’s up to players to guide the XCOM to victory against a foe that’s taken control of the Earth.
While the enemies of Dead Rising 2 are a bit dumber than a race of hyper-advanced aliens, they’re no less dangerous. Available this week for the PS4 and Xbox One, Dead Rising 2 was originally released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2010, but the re-release will still put a ravenous horde of undead between motocross racer Chuck Greene and the anti-zombie cure he needs for his daughter.
Hopefully, Chuck can avoid those zombies using Sonic-like speed, but a Blue Blur will be busy with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, which will be released this week for the 3DS.
Finally this week, Microsoft is cramming a free copy of Minecraft in with their newest Xbox One S 500GB Console Bundle. So if you’re interested in picking up an Xbox One S, and you love Minecraft, it’s a fairly good deal.
Forza Horizon 3’s Launch Trailer drifts into view
Microsoft is very proud of the accolades that Forza Horizon 3 received during this year’s E3 Expo. And that’s probably why developers Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios collected all 29 of them to help kick off the game’s Launch Trailer.
But if you’d prefer to try it out for yourself before you buy, a demo of Forza Horizon 3 is now available to download through the Xbox Games Store for the Xbox One.
Forza Horizon 3 will be released for the PC and Xbox One, as an Xbox Play Anywhere title, on September 27.
The Game Critics Awards has handed out their annual “Best of E3” honors for this year’s show, and unsurprisingly, Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was named “Best of Show.” The massive open-air game also took home awards for “Best Console Game” and “Best Action/Adventure Game.”
Even though Battlefield 1 secured the most nominations, only one other game was able to collect more than a single award, and that was Civilization VI, which was named “Best PC Game” and “Best Strategy Game.” This year’s “Special Commendation for Graphics” went to Sony’s God of War reboot.
All told, 13 games (and the PlayStation VR headset, which won for “Best Hardware”) were honored this year by the Game Critics Awards. The full list of winners can be found after the break. (more…)
Way back in 2003, Microsoft released Halo: Combat Evolved for the PC, and followed it up with a PC port for Halo 2 in 2007. Not counting the Spartan spinoff games, these are the only two titles in the Halo franchise to ever be released for the PC. But it looks like PC players might get to revisit the franchise again in the not-too-distant future.
Yusuf Mehdi, the Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, knows that fans want the franchise to continue on the PC, and he might just grant them their wish. In a new post on the Windows Blog, Mehdi has confirmed that all future Microsoft-published games will be released as part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program, meaning that purchasers will receive a copy of the game for the Xbox One and Windows 10.
With the Xbox Play Anywhere program, you can buy a game once and play on your Windows 10 PC and Xbox One with shared progress, shared game saves and shared achievements. Every new title published from Microsoft Studios will support Xbox Play Anywhere and will be easily accessible in the Windows Store.
Halo 6, the next mainline entry in the franchise, was announced in 2011 as part of a “new trilogy” alongside Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians. It’s unknown when it’ll be released (or even re-announced), but unless Microsoft exempts it from the Xbox Play Anywhere program, we now know it’ll be available for the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.
In the more immediate future, Microsoft has a number of Xbox Play Anywhere titles planned for the Fall including Gears of War 4, Dead Rising 4, Forza Horizon 3, and ReCore.
Battlefield 1 blows away the competition with five nominations from Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2016
The Game Critics Awards has announced their annual Best of E3 nominations, and DICE’s Battlefield 1 has asserted its greatness with five nominations, including one for “Best of Show.” Battlefield 1’s other nominations include “Best Console Game,” “Best PC Game,” “Best Action Game,” and “Best Online Multiplayer.”
Five other games will compete with the historical shooter for top honors including Dishonored 2, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Sea of Thieves, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Titanfall 2. With four nominations apiece, Dishonored 2 and Horizon: Zero Dawn will surely provide some stiff competition for Battlefield 1.
The Game Critics Awards will announce the winners for Best of E3 2016 next Tuesday, July 5. A complete list of this year nominees can be found after the break. (more…)