Developer- and Publisher-specific Articles: Microsoft Game Studios

Halo War 2 Blitz multiplayer kicking off Jan. 20, dev letter released

Halo War 2’s ‘Blitz’ multiplayer beta has been officially dated for January 20. To get players up to speed, the developers have released a letter on what they can expect during the period. Blitz is a card-based mode, and both PC and Xbox One players will get a chance to try it early. Player’s decks are described as one of their greatest resources, as they build them with cards based on air, ground, and ground units. None of the cards earned will carry over to the final game, but reward cards will be given to participants as a thank-you for their time. Head down for the letter to get all of the details.

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PC News, Xbox One News

Forza Horizon 3 – Rockstar Car Pack launches for PC, Xbox One

Turn 10 and Playground are ringing in the new year with a new set of rides for Forza Horizon 3. The seven-car Rockstar Car Pack includes the debut of the BMW i8 along with a wide range of additions from a Ford trophy truck to a Volve supercar. The seven include the 2015 BMW i8, 2015 Volvo V60 Polestar, 2015 Radical RXC Turbo, 1972 Ford Falcon XA GT-HO, 1987 Nissan Skyline GTS-R (R31), 2014 Ford #11 Rockstar F-150 Trophy Truck, and the 2016 Bentley Bentayga. All of the inclusions have been detailed below.

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DLC, PC News, Xbox One News

Killer Instinct adds a free costume, The Legend of Thunder

Iron Galaxy has released a free new costume for Killer Instinct’s Thunder. According to the announcement, the Nez Percés assisted the studio in coming up with Thunder’s original look, but the ties to nostalgia and the lead up to release led to them being unable “to get everything right.” Now that they’ve wrapped up season three, the team has returned to release a costume said to be 100% authentic to the cultural traditions of the Nez Percé.

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DLC, PC News, Xbox One News

343 begins rolling out Halo Wars: Definitive Edition early access keys

Halo Wars: Definitive Edition is now available for early access to everyone who has pre-ordered the digital version of Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition. 343 Industries notes that the game is still in development, and that the version players can download today isn’t complete, and that they can “expect to see more improvements come online” as they continue “putting the finishing touches on the game before launch.” The Definitive Edition features a new multiplayer session browser, which replaces the legacy matchmaking system, allowing players to create and join multiplayer, skirmish, and co-op campaign sessions. Note that players who didn’t pre-order by December 14 might not receive their code today, but they should shortly, as those are being rolled out over the next few weeks. Also, the code will work for Windows 10 PC and Xbox One.

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PC News, Xbox One News

(Xbox One Review) Dead Rising 4

“… brings back the addictive over-the-top action of its predecessors, but not all of the changes made to the open-world formula are positive.”

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Xbox One Reviews

Blizzard Mountain Expansion released for Forza Horizon 3

Blizzard Mountain Expansion has gone live for Forza Horizon 3. Blizzard Mountain adds a new high-terrain area to Australia, along with extra events, challenges, and a new campaign. For the first time, players have to contend with snow, heavy wind, and sunlight reflecting off of ice. Seven rides are included to tackle the new environment: 2016 Ford Gymkhana 9 Focus RS RX, 1965 Ford F-100 Flareside Abatti Racing Trophy Truck, 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Group 4, 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Group B, 2016 Nissan Titan Warrior Concept, 2016 RJ Anderson #37 Polaris RZR-Rockstar Energy Pro 2 Truck, and 2016 Subaru #199 WRX STI VT15r Rally Car. MS is hosting a day-long stream to celebrate the release at the official Forza Beam channel, with presenters showing off the latest additions and answering questions.

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DLC, PC News, Xbox One News

Dead Rising 4 now available for PC, Xbox One, plus a how-to video

Frank West returns to Willamette Mall today with the release of Dead Rising 4. To celebrate the zombie-slaying photographer’s homecoming, Microsoft has called in Cameron Carlson, a member of the Zombie Research Society, to discuss the key elements of surviving a zombie outbreak with Major Nelson. Topics covered include where to find food, how to find the best cover, and most appropriately, how to create makeshift weapons out of everyday products.

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PC News, Xbox One News

Halo Wars 2 trailer up, Halo Wars: Definitive Edition rolling out Dec. 20

343 Industries’ Dan Ayoub released new info about Halo Wars 2 at this year’s The Game Awards. The first bit is a new trailer that centers around Atriox, the leader of the Banished, which can be found below. The other is that everyone who pre-orders the digital version of the Ultimate Edition will receive early access to Halo Wars: Definitive Edition, an enhanced version of the original, along with its downloadable content, for PC and Xbox One. Codes for it will be sent out beginning December 20. A trailer was also released for the Definitive Edition.

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PC News, Xbox One News

Gears of War 4 December update to add PC split-screen, maps, more

Gears of War 4’s impending December Update has been detailed by The Coalition. Following last month’s release of Checkout and Drydock, two more maps will be added to the roster: Speyer, a pre-Locust War district offering close combat in its sanctuary and longer range combat in its academy, and Glory, a COG battery fortified with a mounted turret overlooking a courtyard. The update will also add vertical split-screen support for Windows 10, a daily rewards system, and other fixes, along with Gearsmas items. Season Pass holders get access to the maps at all times when they launch on December 13, while everyone else can play them while they are in rotation as part of public playlists. Players looking to grab the game can get it for 33% from December 1 to 28. Videos for both maps can be found below.

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DLC, PC News, Xbox One News

Forza Horizon 3 – Blizzard Mountain detailed, going live December 13

Playground has released new details about Forza Horizon 3’s first add-on, Blizzard Mountain Expansion. Scheduled to launch on December 13, the pack will introduce several elements to the series, including blizzards, ice, snow, and high-altitude courses. Players will compete in a 50-plus-event campaign set around Blizzard Mountain to be crowned King of the Mountain. Several of which will involve new race types, including Descent and Hill Climb, while series staples return, such as Blueprints, Bucket Lists, and Rivals. Seven new cars will also be added to the garage: the 2016 Ford Gymkhana 9 Focus RS RX, 1965 Ford F-100 Flareside Abatti Racing Trophy Truck, 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Group 4, 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Group B, 2016 Nissan Titan Warrior Concept, 2016 RJ Anderson #37 Polaris RZR-Rockstar Energy Pro 2 Truck, and 2016 Subaru #199 WRX STI VT15r Rally Car.

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DLC, PC News, Xbox One News