Black, the first-person shooter from Burnout studio Criterion, is now available as part of the EA Access games vault. If you're an EA Access subscriber on Xbox One you can now download and play the 2006 shooter at no extra charge. (Black was never released for PC, just PS2 and Xbox, so don't expect to see it on the PC service Origin Access.) What is Black? "It's just shooting and buildings falling down," Aoife, who played it very recently, told me. "But it's great." In fact, you can watch Aoife and Ian play the game together just below:
Full Metal Furies, a new "action RPG with a twist" from Rogue Legacy developer Cellar Door Games, has launched on Xbox One and PC. The vaguely greek-mythology-themed Full Metal Furies is the first game to come from Cellar Door since its wonderful, Castlevania-esque procedurally generated platformer Rogue Legacy, which released all the way back in 2013. Full Metal Furies is (and also "an abstruse allegorical action adventure about atonement, allusions, and alliteration awaits all at an alternate age around Athens' ashes") in which up to four players can fight co-operatively in a bid to "defend the free world from tyrannical titans".
FoxNext Games, the interactive arm of entertainment giant 20th Century Fox, has acquired developer Cold Iron Studios, which will soon begin work on a new Alien shooter. Although there's little in the way of concrete information regarding the studio's new Alien project, intended for release on PC and consoles, it will apparently "explore areas of the universe that fans haven't gotten to experience". If you're unfamiliar with Cold Iron Studios, that's likely because the studio has yet to release a game under its own moniker. It does, however, have a strong pedigree; it was established in 2015 by a number of ex-Cryptic Studios veterans (responsible for the likes of City of Heroes and Star Trek Online), and has slowly amassed development talent with experience working on BioShock Infinite, Doom, Borderlands, and Metroid Prime 3, among other games.
Driver San Francsico, one of the greatest racing games of all time, is now available to play on Xbox One via the system's backwards compatibility service. It sounds like hyperbole, but I've never been able to play or enjoy another racing game quite as much, since. And, as Eurogamer petrolhead Martin Robinson just said to me: "It's probably the only racing game that asks you to finish first and second in the same race." True that.
A new version of Microsoft's expensive Xbox Elite controller appears to have been outed online. Photos showing the upgraded Xbox Elite pad first appeared on Chinese site and were then independently verified by , which also noted how the photos backed up Microsoft patents filed at the end of last year. A separate photo from reddit user then appeared, which showed off the controller in full:
CD Projekt Red has been at pains to keep the conversation away from Cyberpunk 2077 in recent years. The Polish developer announced the game very early in order to attract talent to the studio, but then stopped discussing Cyberpunk 2077 entirely while The Witcher: Wild Hunt launched. This secrecy only intensified after the enormous success of The Witcher 3, as expectations rose dramatically about what the studio would be able to achieve next. That the Cyberpunk 2077 Twitter account would reactivate earlier this month after a four-year silence - if only to say "*beep*" - should be considered significant, then. And that CD Projekt Red didn't deny a report about Cyberpunk 2077 being at E3 2018 but opted for a tight-lipped 'no comment' may be significant too. "We do not comment on rumours and speculations," CDPR told me.
A note from the editor: is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.
Those of you who may have made a slightly impulsive but, all in all, not regrettable 4K television purchase over the holiday discount period may just be the same kind of people who might be after an Xbox One X console to get the most out of it. Not that I'm talking from experience or anything, of course. If you still have a bit of a budget left this month after that unexpectedly pricey purchase, you can head over to Tesco Direct and pick up one of the .
Overwatch's new Blizzard World theme park map finally has a release date: 23rd January 2018 - this coming Tuesday. That's on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Patches typically roll out early evening in the UK. It's not clear if there will be hero balance changes in the update but we do expect new loot box items, including at least eight new skins. Among them are Mei and Reinhardt skins taken from their origin animations; a StarCraft Nova skin for Widowmaker; a barbarian skin for Zarya; and some World of Warcraft-inspired skins for Torbjorn and Doomfist . Game director Jeff Kaplan said a week ago he predicted balance changes would come a little after this patch.
Work is underway on a brand new, big-budget Fable game, Eurogamer can reveal. Fable franchise owner Microsoft has tasked UK developer Playground, which makes the Forza Horizon racing games for Xbox and PC, with creating this new Fable, sources close to the project have told Eurogamer. Microsoft said in a statement it does not comment on rumour or speculation. We've heard the new Fable is planned as a story and character-focussed open-world action RPG. A significant investment in its development is also planned, with some 200 people set to work on the game at Playground's newly-established second office in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.
Ubisoft has laid out its full timetable of expansions for Assassin's Creed Origins, which are due to launch over the next few months. First up is The Hidden Ones, a 10-years-later story epilogue to Origins' main campaign set in a new region, the Roman-occupied Sinai. It arrives next Tuesday, 23rd January. Next will be the Discovery Tour, Origins' educational "living museum" mode, which will be available to explore for free from 20th February.
Lego games themed around Pixar's The Incredibles 2 and DC's roster of comic book villains are both in development at TT Games. Word of the titles first broke yesterday on . Eurogamer has subsequently heard from its own sources that the report is accurate. Both games are expected to arrive this year, which will of course also see the release of The Incredibles 2 in June. Physical Lego sets for The Incredibles 2 are due to launch around the same time.
Forza Horizon 3 gets an enhanced Xbox One X patch this week, adding a 4K presentation plus other extras to an already visually arresting title. Developer Playground Games has justifiable confidence in this update - to the point that we were invited to its Leamington Spa office for a rundown of the benefits, and handed footage ahead of time. This X patch won't satisfy those looking for a 60fps version of the game - the lock remains at 30fps - but what it does bring to the table in terms of 4K support does impress. What you get with Horizon 3 on Xbox One X is a true 3840x2160 rendition of the game with no dynamic scaling or checkerboarding in play. Fixing it to 4K is an incredible feat in itself: a quadrupling of pixels rendered compared to a base Xbox One's 1080p, in effect mirroring the efforts Turn 10 made with Forza Motorsport 7. The good news continues when it comes to how that 4K image is presented. Surprisingly, there's enough GPU overhead to retain the taxing, 4x multi-sample anti-aliasing we had on the regular Xbox One, running in tandem with that 4K resolution. The final image quality when combined with motion blur is superb, and really it's hard to criticise a graphics engine firing on all cylinders in this way. Even so, PC running at 4K and max settings does highlights a few interesting contrasts. In that case you have the option of FXAA on top of the 4x MSAA - which can refine the stair-steps even further compared to Xbox One X. However, on the whole it's only a marginal change, and Microsoft's console pushes a beautifully crisp and clear frame that's a near pixel-match for PC at 4K. It's a phenomenal effort, and the only console title we've seen this generation to apply 4x MSAA to such a high resolution image. For anyone buying an ultra HD TV today, Forza Horizon 3 has immediately become great showcase material.
UPDATE 16/1/17: Scribblenauts Showdown has popped up a second time, this time via a listing on the ESRB - the US ratings board. As spotted by , the listing describes the new Scribblenauts game as a "party/puzzle-platformer" with competitive mini-games for multiple players. "Players engage in a variety of tasks and mini-games using a selection of words/actions/modifiers/characters," the listing states. "Mini-games include fishing, racing, and using drones to deliver items. Players can type in random nouns and adjectives to create different word combinations that trigger comical scenarios. Some games/tasks prompt players to use 'cartoony' weapons (e.g., bazookas, bombs, swords) to deplete the health meters of other characters.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been patched - the game's first update of 2018. The headline features are a new map for Blast mode - on the eye-catching red/salt planet of Crait - and a new Hero ship for Starfighter Assault in the form of Iden Versio's modified TIE fighter. . The Blast on Crait map takes place in the mines among machinery and crystals. Iden Versio's TIE fighter, which costs 5000 credits to unlock, comes with the Afterburner, Laser Barrage, Dual Proton Torpedos and Inferno Leader abilities - the latter uncovering all enemies within a radius and increasing the damage they take.
Final Fantasy 15 is getting an all-new Royal Edition which bundles together all of the pre-existing DLC as well as introducing a bevvy of new features - and it releases on PC at the same time as on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, marking the debut of Final Fantasy 15's Windows edition. An all-new dungeon in Insomnia City Ruins is introduced, as well as first-person mode and the ability to control the Royal Vessel, Final Fantasy 15's boat that takes players from Cape Caem to Atlissia. Perhaps the best addition, however, is the introduction of all-new Yoshitaka Amano artwork for Final Fantasy 15 Royal Edition's cover, which is making me seriously consider buying an all-new physical copy (it's worth noting that if you already own Final Fantasy 15 you can access all the features introduced in Royal Edition as DLC - although with those extras coming in at $19.99, it's a fairly pricey add-on if you've already invested in the base game and the season pass).
What does the future feel like? Forget what it looks like: how do you grasp it? What does it feel like in the palm of your hand, in the tips of your fingers. Think about switches, dials, and keyboards made of nothing but light. Forget the horizons, think about the UI of tomorrow. I have come close to this future, I think. I encounter it most mornings when I'm scrolling Instagram and I come across . You know Instagram: mine's mostly the artful crumbs, foams and airs of modern food, along with sweet natured, gormless doggoes and the occasional brutal intrusion by Mrs_Angemi, a pathologist from New Jersey who likes to take pictures of the awful, beautiful, vivid things she encounters at work in order to educate her followers. Michael Murdock's a bit different: His Circular Logic Board offers a lime-coloured cube that appears to have the consistency of jelly, making the pins set within it shimmy back and forth on the stiff tides. His Primary Cortex Buffer is something you might hold in your hand. Maybe you would grasp the glowing trackball at the bottom and see the gradients shift on the landscape pane above it as you scanned alien worlds. I'm not sure what you'd do with his Quantum Resonance Module, a globe that radiates sharp little arrows, but I do know you wouldn't want to sit on it. Most days it is like this, anyway. No cakes or cute animals from this guy: instead Murdock gifts me a magical thing that looks useful while also suggesting that it might be, like, completely radioactive.
Stardew Valley creator Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone has offered another tantalising glimpse at the game's upcoming, very-long-awaited online . Multiplayer mode was first touted prior to Stardew Valley's release in 2016. However, Barone was clear that it wouldn't arrive until after the farming sim had launched as a single-player game. Skip forward to 2018, and work on the co-operative mode continues apace. According , significant progress has now been made on multiplayer. "It still needs some work", he said, "but the underlying network code is solid." It sounds like it's shaping up well too: "Being in the same room and yelling at each other about what to do next, or if anyone has any stone, is great fun. Can't wait to share this".
Assassin's Creed Origins will get its big January patch tomorrow, which will pave the way for its upcoming expansion The Hidden Ones. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners get a 3GB download. On Uplay the game weighs in at 2.6GB. On Steam, it's 1.2GB. The Hidden Ones, Ubisoft's upcoming Roman-centric expansion, is set a decade after Origins' finale in two new regions: Sinai and the Valley of the Kings.
A number of ex-Driveclub and Motorstorm staff have reformed under a new Liverpool label: Wushu Studios. It's a refreshed name and vision for Secret Sorcery, the small indie team previously behind PlayStation VR god game Tethered. Wushu has added new talent as well, however. Former Mass Effect 3 concept artist Dave Figini has been brought aboard, along with a certain internet-famous Mass Effect fan and industry insider: Nate Najda, who you may better know as NeoGAF and now ResetEra tipster shinobi. Together, the studio is developing a sci-fi game based around on a new IP and built using Unreal Engine 4. Work began on a prototype back in September last year.
Fortnite Battle Royale is getting a big map update this week and some important technical changes under the hood as it celebrates yet more record player numbers. , Epic's sandbox take on the Battle Royale genre passed the 30 million players milestone, with 1.3 million people playing concurrently. Just one month later, Fortnite Battle Royale has now passed the 40 million players milestone, and last weekend recorded its highest ever peak of more than two million people playing concurrently.