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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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.
After what could reasonably be described as a lukewarm reception to Call of Duty: Ghosts from fans, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare hands the reins to Sledgehammer Games. That studio contributed to Modern Warfare 3, but Advanced Warfare will be the first game helmed by the studio. But can the game (with the help of Kevin Spacey's face) save the Call of Duty series? Does it need saving at all? We discuss that, plus our reactions to the trailer, after the jump.
It's easy to lose track of what's been added in the various versions of Street Fighter 4 over the last few years. We're not quite in the midst of mid-90s lunacy in terms of multiple versions of the same Street Fighter game, but we're not far off. For your convenience, we round up the big changes that arrive in Ultra Street Fighter 4, including brand new character Decapre, in this video.
There's little more rare and delicate in nature than the platonic love between two dudes. In the macho world of willy ownership, showing emotion of any sort can be construed as a sign of weakness. Yet in spite of this, these eight pairings aren't afraid to demonstrate mutual appreciation (not that kind of mutual appreciation). Watch on to discover the fragile beauty of gaming's most bromantic bromances of all time.
Ken Levine, Peter Molyneux, Hideo Kojima. They're all titans of the game development scene and have commanded huge, triple-A budgets and vast teams of people. Everyone has to start somewhere, though, so did you ever wonder how these (and other) 'celebrity' developers got started? What did they create without huge resources to bring to bear? And is there a glimpse of that genius in these early projects? Watch and to find out.
You know a place we haven't visited in a while? Los Santos. It's high time we returned to the state of San Andreas to have a poke around in GTA Online. After all, if rumours are to be believed, there could be a delicious next-gen version of Grand Theft Auto 5 waiting patiently in the wings, which would render our Xbox 360 copies completely obsolete. GTA 5 on Xbox One? Watch on while we weigh up the odds.
We're currently in a situation where Xbox One is the only major platform that doesn't have a virtual reality headset publicly in the works. The PC has the mighty Oculus Rift, which earned two million dollars on Kickstarter and then another billion or two that Facebook found down the back of the sofa. Playstation, on the other hand, recently announced Project Morpheus, Sony's own take on the technology. So is Microsoft prepping something big for E3 in just over a month's time?
If you're a long-time lurker, you'll remember I wasn't blown away by GRID 2. There was the germ of a great game in there, hobbled by a dreadful structure that made ploughing through its career mode a bit of a chore. In a rare moment of accountability, Codemasters have held their hands up and accepted GRID 2 wasn't the sequel to Race Driver GRID that fans were looking for. They're hoping GRID Autosport is that game. To find out what's changed, watch on.
With Outside Xbox only a year and a half old, and younger than Trials Evolution, you've probably not been exposed to our intense love of all things Trials. Rest assured, we're all very excited Trials Fusion has arrived on Xbox One and with it the return of just-one-more-go, no-I-can-definitely-do-it-this-time gaming. Seems the perfect opportunity to play a 'friendly' game of multiplayer, right?
As the member of the Outside Xbox team who is legendarily awful at stealth games, who better to play a full mission of a game that involves carefully scanning the environment, sneaking to a secure location and completing objectives with a minimum of fuss? Andy, obviously. But he was busy, so instead you've got me declaring war on all the Nazi testicles in Africa and Jane struggling to conceal her dismay. We think that works too.
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