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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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.
Our favourite thing to do in Call of Duty: Ghosts' Devastation DLC is Predator Challenge: an improvised multiplayer mode in which we take turns being Predator to find out who is the most lethal extra-terrestrial hunter. Find out which of us makes the best Predator below the jump.
Regardless of your feelings for Call of Duty - and it gets a fair amount of hate these days - if you've any love for 80s action movies and/or the oeuvre of Arnold Schwarzenegger, you'll be pleased to see the Predator arrive in the latest Ghosts DLC. What's more, this new Field Order in the Ruin map is executed far better than Michael Myers was in the previous DLC. You'll see exactly why in the gameplay footage after the jump.
Almost the first thing the guys at Rocksteady Studios say about Batman: Arkham Knight when they present the first next-gen Batman game is that it is the 'end of the Arkham trilogy'. It's a loaded sentence for two reasons. First, it's a swift backhand to last year's Batman: Arkham Origins, developed not by Rocksteady but by Warner Montreal. It also implies that having worked for the better part of a decade on Batman games, they'll be turning their considerable talents to something new after Arkham Knight. We ask Rocksteady's Dax Ginn about about that and about how Arkham Knight will be a fitting end to the studio's tenure.
Spin-offs don't get much more bizarre than Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, in which ultra hardcore hack and slasher Ninja Gaiden now has a neon-lit, cel-shaded, zombie-infested cousin. We've already established Yaiba is a gross jerk, but it's time to fire up the game and see if it has any redeeming features. Join us on a voyage of discovery after the jump.
As the first 'proper' Kinect game for Xbox One (that is, not Fighter Within, Just Dance or a dreadful full-priced Angry Birds port) Kinect Sports Rivals has our keen interest. A keen interest that says 'my console was £80 more expensive and coincidentally came with a Kinect'. We've now sampled every single sport in the game and picked our favourites. Watch on to discover the winners and losers.
We knew that Wolfenstein: The New Order was planned as an old school shooter. Our concern was that it was old school to a fault. A crawl through grey corridors, murdering that most classic of videogame enemies, Nazis. We played it briefly at E3 and came away roundly unimpressed, but having now settled in to play the first two hours of the game we're much more confident about its prospects. Find out why in the video.
Another day, another Xbox Live Indie Game featuring zombies. But this one has a twist: you play as a survivalist hedge fund manager called Joe Wheeler, who pops out from the safety of his underground vault with 100,000 dollars in unmarked bills bulging out of his trousers. Will it help him survive in this cruel zombie apocalypse? Not if the ham-fisted Outside Xbox team have anything to do with it.
If you haven't seen The Lego Movie already, we would wholeheartedly recommend it. It's brilliantly written, very funny and looks absolutely stunning. And if that doesn't convince you, it has Batman in it. Whether or not you've seen the flick, you can still enjoy this Let's Play of the official game, which we've kept as light on spoilers as possible. Watch on for laser betrayal, Willy Shakes and discussion of 'lady spots'.
You might fancy yourself as handy with a sniper rifle, able to part an enemy's haircut from four miles away. You might be able to hold a racing car in a perfect drift. You might even have the virtual MMA skills of a Brazilian jiu-jitsu champ. It doesn't matter though, you aren't getting your hands on these achievements. Don't believe us? Watch and find out why.
We love Trials Evolution, from the 'just one more go' instant restarts, through the tough but ultimately fair physics-based controls, all the way to the hilarious, broken contortions our rider makes when we fluff a landing. It's deeply silly, but it's also serious business. Just ask James, who regularly tickles the top of the leaderboards. Needless to say, we were all keen to see the first proper gameplay from Trials Fusion on Xbox One.
The new Thief game from Eidos Montreal will be divisive. The factors in play include nostalgia for the original Thief games and some, often quite obvious, technical niggles. It ultimately comes down to what you expect the game to be. It's not Dishonored, but it's not quite the original Thief series either. To find out what it is, check our gameplay-stuffed review after the jump.
Titanfall seems designed to make you look cool. The wall-running, the jetpacks, the giant robot fisticuffs. It's difficult to go two minutes without something spectacular happening. But every so often, you do something head-slappingly dumb and, like a Darwin Award nominee, end up paying the ultimate price. With the beta now over, we take a whistle stop tour through the most humiliating ways to die in Titanfall.
Now the Titanfall beta has thrown the doors open to all, hopefully you've experienced Titanfall for yourself. If not, you're missing out on something very special indeed. Ignore the people who say it plays just like Call of Duty because, basically, they're playing it wrong. Titanfall fixes everything people complain about in Call of Duty, including the online insta-deaths and the difficulty less skilled players have with precise twitch shooting. Topping the Titanfall leaderboards involves mastering both the free-running pilot and the heavily armed titan plus finding a loadout for each that works for you. Watch the video and you'll see us get that plate spinning both very wrong and very right.
This whole free-to-play thing gets a bad rap. Within the first 10 minutes of launching World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition, we were trundling as a platoon towards the front line and our first victory in customised tanks. At no point did the game grind to a halt and refuse to move until we'd handed over our hard earned. What's more, it's surprisingly fun to play as well, as you attempt to wrestle five tons of diesel-powered pig iron into a tactically advantageous position. See how we managed after the jump.
Listening to Brian Hayes talk about the level of detail in EA Sports UFC's fighters is a mind-boggling experience. These guys are so realistic that as their weight shifts onto a foot, their toes deform slightly and spread out like on a real foot. If you zoom in on their eyeball, the entire arena is reflected in their cornea. Truly, we are in the next generation of realistic sweaty men.
Telltale Games' The Wolf Among Us Episode 2 has finally arrived after an excruciating four-month wait and picks up the story of a collection of fairytale characters hiding out in New York City. Based on the comic book series Fables, it has you play as hard-bitten detective Bigby Wolf (formerly the Big Bad Wolf) as he attempts to solve serial murders. Not your usual one heavily armed man versus a private military stuff, then, which is why we also look at some of the more unexpected, unconventional works that have been adapted into videogames.
Proper journalists have this thing called the 'news pyramid', where you lead your news story with the most important fact and all the rest comes later. You can see where our priorities lie based on the headline of this post. Sniper Elite III, just announced by 505 Games and Rebellion, has 1080p next-generation balls. Oh, and after the jump we've also got the first actual Sniper Elite III gameplay and some chat with the game's head of art, if you're interested.
Dark Souls is difficult. That's its whole deal. So when Namco Bandai and From Software announced there would be a move towards accessibility in Dark Souls 2, hardcore fans (are there any other kind?) got nervous. So having played the first couple of hours, we chat about whether Dark Souls 2 retains its merciless, lonely charm.
We've been hurt before. Even as Aliens: Colonial Marines came in to land, we were still convinced we'd get a decent take on one of the most beloved sci-fi universes in cinema. Then when it was finally released, we discovered that was very much not the case. So it's hardly surprising people are approaching the announcement of Alien: Isolation with caution. We've got eight reasons, though, you should give Sega's Alien: Isolation the benefit of the doubt once again.
Xbox One made its dramatic entrance in 2013, but it'll be this year when it really begins to flex its muscles. With 12 whole months of fresh gameplay, bigger worlds and better multiplayer, that pricey purchase you made is going to start justifying its substantial footprint under your TV. So what are our picks of the ripe videogame bunch here on Outside Xbox? Watch on to find out.
Swiss police officer Anton Jakob Zellner, protagonist of The Raven, is singularly the worst detective we've ever encountered in a videogame. He has terrible skills of observation and deduction, to the point where the nine-year-old boy in the game is more astute. You feel less like a player and more like a decreasingly patient chaperone to this bumbling wannabe Poirot. He's even got the same moustache as Agatha Christie's character, for pity's sake. Watch the video after the jump as Andy and I investigate what the devil is going on in the first hour of The Raven.
Sega has announced a new Alien game called Alien: Isolation and, unless you're suffering from some sort of traumatic amnesia, you won't have forgotten how badly that turned out last time. Fortunately, there are many, many reasons why Alien: Isolation is going to be a much better game. Hit the jump to see the very first gameplay footage and find out why this game will make you forget Colonial Marines ever existed.
Hey guys, look! It's Halo on the Xbox One, and a whole year before we were expecting it to arrive. Wait, why am I hovering several hundred feet above the action? For the answer to this and many, many more questions, why not watch us play through a couple of the co-op missions in Halo: Spartan Assault? It's a twin-stick shooter that is, somehow, Halo's Xbox One debut. Seeing is believing, so hit the jump for the video.
Happy 2014 all! This is it. The denouement, the finale. After Christmas Eve's deadlock between contestants Channell and Douglas, we had to look to the comments for a suitable tie-breaking challenge. ODSTSolider was the first to suggest a scooter ride up the daunting Mount Chiliad in GTA Online, so that's where we find ourselves for the decider. Surely just riding a scooter up a hill will be a piece of cake? Wrong. So, so wrong.
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