Developer- and Publisher-specific Articles: Microsoft Game Studios

The fight continues, Halo Wars 2 out for PC, Xbox One

Players are returning to the battlefield today twenty-eight years after the original Halo Wars. The real-time strategy game will find a crew awakening from cryosleep to answer a distress call that leads to a new round of warfare. Virtual commanders will find a single-player campaign as well as multiplayer that sports several modes, including Deathmatch and Stronghold. 343 Industries’ head of strategy games, Dan Ayoub, has released a final letter to thank fans and to give several others at the studio a chance to share their thoughts at launch. It’s posted below in its entirety.

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PC News, Xbox One News

Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition launches through early access

Gamers who purchased the Ultimate Edition of Halo Wars 2 can now play it via early access. The 343 Industries and Creative Assembly co-developed real-time strategy game follows the events of the original Halo Wars. Set 28 years later, players awake from cryosleep to answer a distress call that kicks off a new battle. As an Xbox Play Anywhere title, gamers can play the game on PC and Xbox One, as well as a swap data between the two, with a single digital purchase. To get a better look at the game in action, over an hour of gameplay has been released as an archive from a recent stream and can be found below.

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PC News, Xbox One News

Sea of Thieves alpha getting gravity, islands, more in next update

Microsoft has sent word that Rare will be expanding the alpha of their multiplayer-centric sea-faring action-adventure title Sea of Thieves this weekend with Update 0.1.1. Titled Taming New Seas, the patch will introduce several elements, including gravity, additional regions and islands, voyage system navigation, and among several other unnamed items, skeletons armed with machine guns. The studio is also taking the opportunity to invite more Sea of Thieves Insiders to try out the alpha. Players interested in becoming an inside can sign up on the official site.

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PC News, Xbox One News

Gears of War 4 gets maps, tweaks, Valentine’s event with update

Gears of War 4’s February update kicks off a week-long Valentine’s event today. The promotion adds new packs, maps (Impact Dark and War Machine), themed bounties, a Craftable Character, and additional improvements. The Torque Bow Tag also makes a return, but with a twist. Next month, players can look forward to a pre-game lobby setup for Core and Competitive playlists, weapon and playlist tuning based on feedback from fan surveys, and the first of “a steady flow” of Legacy Characters. This summer will also see some additions, including a new Inconceivable difficulty level for Campaign and Horde, IronMan Mode for Campaign and Horde, level 6 skills for all classes, more skills for all classes, and new achievements. Details on the two new maps and changes to Guardian can be found below.

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PC News, Xbox One News

Spartans to the front! Halo Wars 2 launch trailer posted

343 Industries has released the launch trailer for Halo Wars 2. The video was created by Blur, known for their ace cinematics. The sequel finds humanity struggling to recover after their victory in the first Halo Wars 28 years earlier. Captain Cutter and the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire wake up from cryosleep to find themselves orbiting a Forerunner artifact. The crew soon sets off to answer a distress call and engage in a new single-player campaign. In addition, the game will come with several multiplayer modes, including Deathmatch, Domination, and Strongholds.

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PC News, Xbox One News

Playseat Car Pack releasing tomorrow for Forza Horizon 3

Forza Horizon 3 will be getting a new set of downloadable rides tomorrow with the Playseat Car Pack. Seven vehicles will be added to the game’s ever-expanding garage: the 1990 Renault Alpine GTA Le Mans, 2016 Cadillac ATS-V, 2017 Aston Martin DB11, 2016 Vauxhall Corsa VXR, 1970 Honda S800, 2016 Honda Civic Type R, and Pete Brock’s 1985 HDT VK Commodore Group A. Screenshots and a trailer of the rides in action can be found below.

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PC News, Xbox One News

Halo Wars 2 livestream launch event announced for February 17

Microsoft has sent word about a recent announcement regarding an upcoming livestream launch event for Halo Wars 2. The game is scheduled to launch on February 21, but as Ultimate Edition owners will be able to play it on February 17, the event is set to kick off on February 16 at 6 p.m. (CST). Players can watch it on Facebook Live, Twitch, Xbox One, or Youtube. There will also be interviews with some of the development team and a few giveaways. The full notice can be found below.

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PC News, Xbox One News

Halo Wars 2 begins Blitz Multiplayer Beta for PC and Xbox One

Halo Wars 2’s Blitz multiplayer has gone live for PC and Xbox One. Any Windows 10 PC player and Xbox One owner with Live Gold can download it now, and play it until January 30. The beta features all of the units, with the mode’s twist that the player has their leader powers and army ready to go at the beginning of each match due to picking them out beforehand as a deck of a dozen cards. Everything has an associated energy cost, so players must balance the units they choose with the energy pool available to them. The beta is only for player versus player, but the final version will also allow for player versus environment while in Blitz. To get the nitty gritty on Blitz, head to Halo Waypoint’s 101 page, and to download it, PC owners can head here and Xbox One owners here.

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PC News, Xbox One News

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