Archive - Mike Channell
Mike is co-editor at Outside Xbox. His favourite thing about making videos is adding unnecessary special effects. He has heard all of your 'channel' jokes.
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The Crew is probably the most ambitious driving game yet attempted. Ubisoft and Ivory Tower are attempting to compress the entire Continental US into a playable sandbox, and our time spent with the PC beta suggests they have been entirely successful. There's a real sense of the scenery and landscape changing as you traverse the country. This is the great American road trip in videogame form and knocks pale imitations like Need For Speed: The Run into a cocked hat. So with a console beta arriving in September, here are the places you should be sticking in your GPS.
Different story, different developer, no actual island - you'd be forgiven for wondering why this game is called Dead Island 2. And don't get us started on the fact there has already been a direct sequel to Dead Island in the shape of Dead Island Riptide. Nevertheless, we give Yager and Deep Silver a chance to explain how this game fits snugly into the Dead Island canon.
The Mad Catz Racing Wheel is a new force feedback steering wheel peripheral for the Xbox One, and it's time to take it for a spin. And we mean spin. Sure, we could test the wheel with a modest family hatchback, but to really discover the limits of the hardware you have to pick the most extreme cars in the game: Grand Prix machinery from the 2010s and the 1960s. So is this £350 piece of metal, plastic and machinery really better than a controller? Take a watch.
Continuing its trend of fixing things we didn't realise were horribly broken until having them pointed out to us, FIFA 15 has set its sights on the 'unsung hero' of the football team: the goalkeeper. Through a combination of new animations and increased intelligence, FIFA 15's goalies look and behave like they do in real life - that is, drastically different from every other player in the team. We discussed that and more with senior producer Nick Channon.
Previous gameplay sessions with Alien Isolation have been brief, terrifying snatches of the most intense sections of the game. For our most recent appointment with the Alien, we had much more time to roam the corridors of Sevastopol Station - a good three hours from early in the story. We got to play with the crafting options, which allow you to build tools to distract or divert the Alien, and we also got to experience what happens when the creature learns and adapts to those tools.
The overwhelming feeling when we're playing Titanfall's second DLC pack, Frontier's Edge, isn't that we're wowed by it being particularly new or different. It's more us wondering why we ever stopped playing Titanfall in the first place. Respawn's kinetic brand of futuristic combat on foot and in robot is just as intoxicating as it was when we were playing the game first time around. The question is, do the mad skills we developed in the beta and around launch still stand up?
Say what you like about Call of Duty Ghosts as a game, but this season of DLC has been a revelation as far as CoD is concerned. Infinity Ward lobbed out the rulebook, parachuting in recognisable characters including the Predator and Michael Myers and generally being a bit more playful with the serious business of Call of Duty multiplayer. So what treats do we have in store in DLC 4? Hey, that rhymed.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel might be a 2K Australia joint, rather than a Gearbox Software one, but based on the segment we played, it's just as anarchic and entertaining as a full fat Borderlands. In this portion, which we played on an early PC version of the game, we're stuck on a moon with a limited oxygen supply and a selection of extremely narked baddies. Hit the jump to see how we get on.
Strategy games get a bad rap. Say the words real-time strategy and most console gamers fall immediately into a deep slumber. There does appear to be a simple solution though, which is just to add some shooting into the mix. Free-to-play Xbox 360 title Airmech Arena appears to have landed on this answer as well. That's why it has the handling of a twin-stick shooter but the brains of an RTS. Does it all fit together? We thought we'd apply our rigorous Let's Play process to find out.
While we're usually shining paragons of law-abiding virtue here on Outside Xbox, very occasionally we do enjoy the thrill of a police chase. Naturally we opt for the most disproportionately punished crime in GTA - backing up to the gates of Fort Zancudo for three wanted stars - to initiate the Grand Theft Sporto Wanted Level Challenge. Longest survivor wins and direct interference with other competitors is strictly forbidden. Not that it's ever stopped us before.
Decades from now in Videogame University, Professors of Videogames will point to Battlefield 4 as an example of how not to launch your game. It was a buggy, laggy mess, made all the more painful by the fact that there was a great game hidden under the strata of performance problems. Now that the netcode has been given a once over in a recent patch, EA and DICE were able to release this latest DLC, Dragon's Teeth, without the usual sheepish grin. We thought we'd dust off our (non existent) Battlefield skills and dive in.
You can't talk great games of the last generation without including Skyrim. The previous Elder Scrolls game, Oblivion, might have proved you can squeeze a huge, involving world onto an Xbox 360, but Skyrim demonstrated that it could be beautiful and atmospheric too. What better way to pay tribute to the depth and sophistication of Bethesda's masterpiece than by sprinting nude down a mountain? We couldn't think of anything, so we did that.
Forza Horizon wasn't exactly a surprise hit, because letting veterans from Codemasters Racing Studio loose with Turn 10's technology was always going to result in something special. Forza Horizon 2 whisks the Horizon festival off to Europe and makes some big changes that have us itching to get back in the driving seat. We talk to creative director Ralph Fulton about the five most exciting improvements.
We've discussed the physical reaction we have to Alien Isolation: the clammy palms, trembling hands and pounding heart. It's time to use actual science to determine how scary the game is. I strapped on a heart rate monitor and played the nerve-shredding E3 demo, which added synthetic humans and a flamethrower to the mix. I begin with a pulse of around 70bpm and the only way is up.
Whether you're a fan of Superman's relentlessly noble superheroics or find him a superdull goody-goody, you will notice he sorely lacks a quality videogame. We're yet to get a game that does for him what the Arkham series did for Batman: capture the spirit of the character in an entertaining, challenging way. But Supes may be forever doomed to toil in dreadful games, and here's why.
If you keep a keen eye on videogame rumours, you may have been surprised when Forza Horizon 2 broke cover with a resolutely European setting. A few weeks before the announcement, two pieces of concept art surfaced, purporting to be from a game called Forza Deep South. The Louisiana bayou and moonshine running appeared to be the inspiration, which sounded cool to us. So what actually happened to Forza Deep South?
Sniper Elite 3 has given us a crash course in anatomy. When we take out a dastardly Nazi, we're often treated to a painstaking slow-motion demonstration of what happens inside the human body when hit with a high velocity .30 cal Springfield round. Spoiler alert: it's like a firecracker going off in a carrier bag full of offal. But Sniper Elite is far from the inventor of the gross-out X-ray mode; Show of the Week has the proof, with the five most stomach-churning X-ray modes in gaming.
E3 was all fun and (literal) games until we came to the alarming realisation much of the stuff we're most excited for is scheduled for 2015, which is ages away. Up to a year and a half away, in fact. So which games are actually coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014? What shall we sneak off to play while everyone else is digesting Christmas dinner? Watch on and find out in Show of the Week.
It's easy to assume every single game in production gets its moment in the limelight during E3, but that's not always the case. There are notable absences every year and while that doesn't necessarily mean the game itself is in development trouble, it does make you wonder why we didn't get to see some tasty gameplay. What might surprise you is that some of these games are scheduled for release this year. Watch on to find out who bunked off E3 2014.
Mortal Kombat's recent revival was a perfect homage to the original Mortal Kombat games. If the newly announced Mortal Kombat X has taught us anything, though, it's that a fresh stable of characters, plus some phenomenally gross X-ray moves is the appropriate follow-up. We had the fan service in the previous game, so find out exactly what's new after the jump.
We feel a little misled. When we first played Alien: Isolation there were no guns. There were certainly no flamethrowers. Now we've played it again and this time there were both. But do you want to know a secret? We completed the demo and didn't use either of them because we were too terrified. Find out why after the jump.
We can't get enough of Sniper Elite 3's ridiculously gory killcams. Every time we think we've seen it all, the game finds another obscure part of the human anatomy to blast out the back of a Nazi. We're not convinced it's ever going to get old, as our hooting and chortling in this video makes clear. So if, like us, you're grimly fascinated by the game's lack of squeamishness, then you can't miss this Let's Play.
Watch Dogs gives you a whole Chicago full of citizens to wind up in a variety of ways. With that in mind, we set out to become the biggest troll in town using Aiden Pearce's hacking abilities, his driving skills and his general zero-effs-given attitude. Here are the 12 silliest things we got up to in Watch Dogs' city of Chicago.
We're long-time fans of animated super spy Archer, so imagine our delight when we discovered Aisha Tyler, the voice of Lana from the show, on the streets of Chicago in Watch Dogs. That's the kind of thing you discover when you're given a good eight hours to run around the game. To discover the other six things you ought to try for yourself, check out the video after the jump.
Let's try to explain Super Time Force in a way that won't turn your brain into a grey matter smoothie. At its core, Super Time Force is a side-scrolling shooter, a la Metal Slug or Gunstar Heroes. The wrinkle is you have a certain number of opportunities to rewind and the game and play alongside replays of yourself. Add to that different characters, each with their own special abilities, and you have a game as intriguing as it is confusing. Watch us attempt to wrap our heads around it in Super Time Force gameplay after the jump.
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