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Hier — 22 octobre 2021Windows Central - News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft.

Here's everything new in GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition

New features, graphics, and more await in this nostalgic compilation.

Ahead of the launch of GTA 5 for Xbox Series X|S and PS5 and many years before the eventual arrival of GTA 6, Rockstar Games is going back to its past with the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy Definitive Edition. Three classic Rockstar Games entries in the Grand Theft Auto franchise are being revisited, with a variety of improvements that help make these games feel more modern.

All of these changes add up, meaning that for fans and newcomers alike, this could be one of the best Xbox games available. We've rounded up everything new in GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition below.

What GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition content is new?

GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition consists of three games: Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. These games originally launched in 2001, 2002, and 2004 respectively. As part of the remaster process, the developers modernized the graphics, which you can see in the video above. This remaster is designed to make the games look better while retaining the stylized look of each game, instead of opting for the hyper-realism found in later Rockstar Games title like Red Dead Redemption 2.

Here's an overview of all the major changes to the trilogy outside of the visual design:

  • Improved controls. GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition now features a control setup described as being similar to GTA 5. This means you won't be playing with the same dated control schemes the original games used. Gunplay and targeting has been improved, as well as having better drive-by controls in San Andreas. The weapon and radio selection wheels are being updated, while navigation is also improved on the mini-maps. Nintendo Switch players will also benefit from gyro aiming.
  • Increased resolution/framerate. Players on Xbox Series X and PS5 get to play these games at 4K 60 FPS. There's no word on the resolution or framerate for other platforms yet. All versions are getting higher-resolution textures, increased draw distances, improved lighting and better weather effects.
  • Instant mission restart. No more long periods of waiting, you can instantly restart any failed mission in all three games.

Can I upgrade to GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition?

No, there are no upgrade options available. These are completely new remasters of games multiple generations old, meaning there's no discount or upgrade path to utilize.

What is GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition's price?

GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition is $60 at launch. With that said, if you want to try one of the games through a subscription service, you're in luck. At launch, the remaster of San Andreas will be available in Xbox Game Pass, while the remaster of GTA III is coming to PlayStation Now in December 2021. It's not the full game in either case, but it means subscribers of those services get to try part of the trilogy out and decide whether they want to buy the complete edition.

When is GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition's release date?

GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition is currently slated to launch on Nov. 11, 2021. Amusingly, this is the same day that Skyrim Anniversary Edition is also slated to launch.

GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition is coming to Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. Ports for mobile devices are slated to launch in 2022.

Three iconic titles

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition

$60 at Microsoft

Three games, better than ever

With Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition, players can revisit three games that helped shape Rockstar Games and the GTA franchise as a whole: GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas.

Blizzard renames Overwatch's McCree to Cole Cassidy

A new beginning for an iconic character.

What you need to know

  • Blizzard Entertainment previously announced plans to rename Overwatch hero McCree.
  • This decision was made due to McCree's namesake being fired from Blizzard Entertainment as a result of recent allegations.
  • McCree's new name is Cole Cassidy.
  • The developer's parent company Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit, alleging a sexist workplace environment.

Blizzard Entertainment announced on Friday that Overwatch's McCree has a new name: Cole Cassidy. This comes after the company announced a plan to rename the character back in August 2021. Cole Cassidy arrives in Overwatch as a full rework and part of a new story arc on Oct. 26, 2021.

Meet Cole Cassidy.

Rides into Overwatch October 26. pic.twitter.com/CT6PmaNXNs

— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) October 22, 2021

McCree's renaming comes about due to Jesse McCree, his namesake, being fired from Blizzard Entertainment in the wake of allegations following the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard. McCree is one of over 23 employees removed from the company in the past months, alongside the former game director of upcoming action role-playing game Diablo 4.

Developing...

Get some scares with the best Xbox horror games

Looking for a solid scare? You've come to the right place. Horror games aren't the biggest part of the video game industry, but the last several years have seen something of a resurgence, with several high-quality horror games from different publishers making up some of the best Xbox games available.

If you're not sure where to start though, don't fret. We've rounded up the best Xbox horror games, the cream of the crop titles that you really shouldn't miss, regardless of whether you're a horror veteran or a newcomer looking for where to start.

An overview of Xbox horror games in 2021

There's a couple of key players helping to ensure the health of horror games as a whole. Japan-based publisher Capcom in particular has seen a massive resurgence, with the Resident Evil games selling millions of copies while shifting back into horror and exploring different themes with a balance of survival and action, all without losing the focus on being scary.

Some of the other developers working on horror games include Tango Gameworks, part of Bethesda Softworks and one of the 23 first-party Xbox studios producing some of the best Xbox Game Pass games. Arkane Studios, another pair of studios at Bethesda, is exploring horror concepts in its titles, while Asobo, well known for its work on Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, has taken a dark, medieval approach to horror.

All in all, horror games still thrive in the indie scene, but the big budget titles can be and are successful. Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S owners should be able to look forward to even more big horror games in the upcoming years.

1. Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village takes the formula of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and applies it a European Gothic setting filled to the brim with creatures inspired by vampires, werewolves, and other horror icons. It retains a first-person perspective introduced in the prior title but gives protagonist Ethan Winters more of a voice. The story mode is made to be replayed, with tons of unlockable weapons and hidden secrets across the sprawling castle and titular village. In addition to the story, Resident Evil Village also marks the return of Mercenaries mode, with fun timed trials for players looking to test their skills.

It's also a visual and technological showcase for Capcom's proprietary RE Engine. Resident Evil Village shines on the Xbox Series X, with ray-traced shadows providing stellar image quality, all while the game runs at a solid 60 FPS and loads extremely quickly thanks to the SSDs in the latest lineup of consoles. Long story short, Tall Vampire Lady looks extremely good.

A multiplayer game called Resident Evil Re:Verse was supposed to launch with Resident Evil Village but has unfortunately been delayed to 2022, so don't go into this expecting to get a multiplayer experience for now.

Pros:

  • High replay value
  • Visually gorgeous
  • Great survival-horror gameplay

Cons:

  • Accompanying multiplayer mode delayed

Resident Evil Village (Xbox Series X)

$60 at Microsoft

Resident Evil Village shows that Capcom can build on what works with its pillar franchises, all while taking risk in setting and themes. There's plenty for horror fans and horror newbies to enjoy here.

2. The Evil Within 2

If Tango Gamework's first stab at horror with The Evil Within was a great homage to Resident Evil 4, then The Evil Within 2 might be the closest thing we get to a modern day Silent Hill 2. Following the events of the first game, detective Sebastian Castellanos is recruited to go deep into Union, a Matrix-esque world that has been infected and twisted into a place of horror, filled with horrifying creatures.

The art direction is genuinely unnerving, as the world of Union transforms and falls apart before your eyes. Gameplay takes a third-person, semi-open approach, with players having to carefully balance resources and choose which weapons to upgrade in order to survive. Meanwhile, the story is surprisingly touching, with the game taking time to explore Sebastian's trauma as he struggles to rescue his family.

Outside of trying a new difficulty however, there's not much replay value or any other modes outside of a first-person option, which is something to keep in mind.

Pros:

  • Superb body horror enemy designs
  • Compelling story and realistic protagonist

Cons:

  • Limited alternate gameplay modes

The Evil Within 2 (Xbox)

$40 at Microsoft

Sebastian Castellanos isn't free from the nightmares yet. The Evil Within 2 improves practically every aspect of the original game with a surprisingly heartfelt story. Welcome to Union.

3. Alien Isolation

While Creative Assembly is best known for its strategy titles such as the upcoming Total War: Warhammer 3, the team tried its hand at a first-person horror title in 2014, to great success. Alien: Isolation puts players in the shoes of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley from the Alien films. In this experience, players will have to cobble together meager resources as they navigate the malfunctioning Sevastapol station.

This might be Creative Assembly's first horror game, but it's one well worth playing. The Alien intelligently tracks and stalks the player throughout the many levels, while "Working Joe" androids are sure to set off your uncanny valley mental alarms. The station looks and sounds like it was ripped straight from the movies, with CRT-focused visuals that will always have you on edge.

Unfortunately, this game hasn't been boosted in any way for the latest consoles, so it's still a 1080p 30 FPS experience if you play it on Xbox.

Pros:

  • Incredible attention to detail
  • Legitimately scary Alien threat

Cons:

  • Locked to 1080p 30 FPS

Alien Isolation (Xbox)

$40 at Microsoft

Amanda is a talented engineer with her mother's wits. That's a good thing, because she'll need to stay resourceful to survive a dilapidated station with the perfect organism stalking throughout it.

4. Resident Evil 2

The 2019 title Resident Evil 2 is a remake of the original game. Shifting from tank controls and fixed camera angles to a third-person camera, players can experience the story of Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield on modern platforms. The gore is lovingly rendered with the RE Engine at 60 FPS, meaning you can quickly react to the overwhelming hordes of zombies and other monstrosities.

This is simply a wonderfully polished horror game, so there's a good reason it's sold over 8 million copies so far. If you're a veteran of the Resident Evil franchise, it's one well worth experiencing. If you aren't experienced with the franchise, it's a fantastic place to start. Once you go through the campaign as either Leon or Claire, you can go through it again, seeing a bit of the story that you didn't before.

It is worth noting that while these stories have some noticeable differences, the actual gameplay remains identical outside of some different weapons.

Pros:

  • Incredible visuals
  • Great performance capture

Cons:

  • Alternate routes don't diverge much

Resident Evil 2 (Xbox)

$40 at Microsoft

Experience the fall of Raccoon City Police Department, again or for the first time. Realistic visuals and tight gameplay make this one of the finest horror games of the last several years.

5. Dead Space 2

While the Dead Space remake from Motive Studios is on the way, you can go back and experience the original 2011 title right now through Xbox backward compatibility. Isaac Clarke is trying to recover from the trauma of his experience in the first game, when terror strikes the Sprawl. No longer confined to a sole ship, the action takes players across a huge station and into space with an even bigger arsenal. Dead Space 2 is one of the best-paced games of all time and well worth checking out even 10 years later.

If you enjoy the main game, there's also an additional mini-campaign called Severed, which tells an additional story during the early breakout of the Necromorph threat.

The game also benefits from Auto HDR, bringing out the colors of your armored suit and the neon lights around you in a way the original 360 game couldn't have possibly presented. Unfortunately, the game is still locked at 720p 30 FPS, so it might be a bit rough by modern standards.

Pros:

  • Excellent pacing and gameplay
  • Great use of Auto HDR

Cons:

  • Stuck at 720p 30 FPS

Dead Space 2 (Xbox)

$20 at Microsoft

"Isaac, we're all gonna burn for what we did to you." Those haunting words set the tone for the immediate danger you face in Dead Space 2. The Necromorphs are back, and Isaac is having a very, very bad day.

6. A Plague Tale: Innocence

Asobo Studio came in with a surprise hit in A Plague Tale: Innocence. It's something of a dark medieval horror game, juxtaposing the beautiful French countryside and two loving children with the horrifying threat of the Inquisition and an ancient conspiracy. Oh, and rats. Massive swarms of all-consuming rats.

Playing as Amicia de Rune, you'll struggle to care for your younger brother Hugo and navigate the dark world you've been thrust into. It's a legitimately gorgeous game, with an optional 120 FPS mode on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The gameplay is solid enough, though there is a bit of room for improvement. Fortunately, the studio will have the opportunity to do just that in the upcoming sequel, A Plague Tale: Requiem.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous visuals
  • Striking contrast between calm and horror
  • Solid story

Cons:

  • Gameplay could use some refinements

A Plague Tale: Innocence (Xbox Series X)

$40 at Microsoft $30 at Amazon

A Plague Tale: Innocence delivers an emotional story and gripping terror in equal measures. It'll take everything you have to survive and keep your brother safe in this dark medieval story.

7. Prey

Arkane Studios specializes in immersive sims, games that are truly unique and allow players to solve problems by manipulating their environment with realistic physics and an expansive toolset. With the 2017 Prey, Arkane also proved that it understands horror, with a dark story unfolding before Morgan Yu's eyes, as nothing is as simple as it appears to be. The game unfolds across the Talos 1 space station, an incredibly well-designed environment that feels believable and lived-in.

Prey is one of the titles that benefits from Xbox FPS Boost, so it runs at a smooth 60 FPS, allowing players to react even faster to the paranoia-inducing Mimics that can imitate practically any item in the game. Nowhere is safe and you can never be sure you've truly cleared a room. You can use Neuromods to boost your capabilities or give you unique powers, but you'll need to be careful: Grow beyond human potential too much, and you might lure in something even worse.

While it's an excellent story, the pacing does suffer towards the end, with quite a bit of backtracking, something that is alleviated on the latest consoles due to faster loading times on SSDs, but is still worth mentioning.

Pros:

  • Unique setting
  • Unnerving alien threat
  • Near-limitless possibilities for problem-solving

Cons:

  • Pacing is jarring towards the end

Prey

$30 at Microsoft

Morgan Yu isn't sure what just happened. What is certain: There's a shapeshifting alien menace taking over Talos 1, and it'll take everything you can muster to get out alive.

8. Alan Wake Remastered

Alan Wake Remastered is the best way to experience one of Remedy Entertainment's best games. It's a remaster, not a remake, so the controls haven't been touched, meaning the combat can feel a bit dated. There's also no HDR or ray tracing. Outside of that, players can look forward to a solid 4K 60 FPS experience, with new character models and improved textures over the original game.

Alan Wake Remastered is a great way for newcomers to experience a classic, as the story sees titular author Alan Wake on a retreat with his wife Alice. When a mysterious darkness starts spreading and infecting the town's inhabitants, Alice is kidnapped and Wake loses a week of his memory. It's some of Remedy's best writing, and it's a game that shouldn't be missed.

Pros:

  • Fantastic storytelling
  • Solid 4K 60 FPS

Cons:

  • Lack of HDR and ray tracing
  • Dated combat

Alan Wake Remastered (Xbox Series X)

$30 at Microsoft $30 at Amazon $30 at Best Buy

Dive back into Remedy Entertainment's classic horror story with Alan Wake Remastered. The dark is coming, and it'll take everything Alan can find to have a hope of driving it back.

Horror games are thriving on Xbox

Horror games remain a smaller genre but there's plenty to choose from. With big titles continuing to get sequels and publishers exploring high-quality remakes, it's never been a better time to catch up on the horror games you've missed, or if you're a newcomer, start exploring the concept of horror for the first time ever.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

Here's when you can start playing Age of Empires 4

Here's when you can choose your civilization and begin gathering resources.

At long last, Age of Empires 4 is on the way, soon to be in the hands of eager real-time strategy (RTS) fans everywhere. This game was developed by World's Edge and Relic Entertainment as a modern take on everything players loved about past games, especially Age of Empires 2. Depending on how the launch goes, it could even end up being one of the best PC games available.

Our interview with the developers of Age of Empires 4 revealed that the team is focused on history, wanting to make sure players understand the weight behind every faction, with plenty of in-game resources to aid in learning about who these famous heroes and tyrants were.

Age of Empires 4: Release date

Age of Empires 4 is scheduled to launch on Oct. 28, 2021. The game is coming exclusively to PC right now, though players can choose to go through Steam or Xbox Game Pass for PC in order to play it.

Age of Empires 4: Launch times

Age of Empires 4, like many games, has a single launch time around the world, as confirmed by the official Age of Empires Twitter account. Naturally, this means the exact time the game is available will depend on your region. We've rounded up what this looks like in major timezones across the world.

Region/time zone Time
Seattle (PT) 8:00 a.m, Oct. 28
Mexico City (CDT) 10:00 a.m, Oct. 28
New York (ET) 11:00 a.m, Oct. 28
São Paulo (BRT) 12:00 p.m, Oct. 28
London (BST) 4:00 p.m, Oct. 28
Berlin (CEST) 5:00 p.m, Oct. 28
Moscow (MSK) 6:00 p.m, Oct. 28
Mumbai (IST) 8:00 p.m, Oct. 28
Beijing (CST) 11:00 p.m, Oct. 28
Tokyo (JST) 12:00 a.m, Oct. 29
Sydney (AEDT) 2:00 a.m, Oct. 29
Auckland (NZDT) 4:00 a.m, Oct. 29

Age of Empires 4: Preload and download size

Age of Empires 4 requires 50 GB of free space on your computer, in line with the size of many modern games. Naturally, this will probably grow over time as the game evolves and more updates, DLC, and expansions are added in the coming months and years.

Age of Empires 4 does not appear to support preloading, at least right now. It's possible this could change closer to launch but for now, it doesn't appear to be possible for players to preload the game, which is especially unfortunate if you have a slower internet connection.

Before you buy the game, you'll naturally want to check the Age of Empires 4 PC requirements to make sure your system can handle it. With that said, Age of Empires 4 was developed to scale on a wide range of hardware, meaning most players probably don't have anything to worry about.

Epic historical battles

Age of Empires 4

A new era of warfare

Age of Empires 4 is a continuation of the legendary RTS series with a focus on historical accuracy, asymmetrical warfare, and deep strategy. Learn about history, then lead your faction to victory.

$60 at Microsoft

$54 at GMG

$60 at Steam

Just subscribe

Xbox Game Pass for PC

$25 at Amazon From $1/month at Microsoft

Expand your PC gaming library

Xbox Game Pass for PC is tailored specifically for PC users, giving a unique lineup of Game Pass games that has lot of crossover with the console list but with more PC-only games.

À partir d’avant-hierWindows Central - News, Forums, Reviews, Help for Windows 10 and all things Microsoft.

The Xbox October update brings a 4K dashboard on Xbox Series X

Players on Xbox Series X will get a big boost over the prior dashboard quality.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft detailed everything the Xbox October 2021 update is bringing for users to enjoy.
  • One of the biggest features being added is a 4K dashboard for Xbox Series X users.
  • Another huge addition is the Night Mode feature, which is placed under the accessibility options.

Microsoft shared everything coming in the Xbox October 2021 update on Thursday. Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Xbox One users will be getting a wide variety of new features to play around with. While perhaps not quite as big as the prior update, there's still a fair bit to go through.

Here's the three big features being added this month:

  • 4K dashboard on Xbox Series X. Xbox Series X players will be getting a 4K dashboard, a huge leap up from the current 1080p user interface the console uses. This means cleaner icons, less jagged edges on text and just a better image all around, especially for anyone currently using one of the best 4K TVs available.
  • Xbox Night Mode. All platforms will be enjoying a big new accessibility feature in the form of Xbox Night Mode. This isn't just an on-off switch but a whole collection of settings that can be individually tweaked, from the brightness of the screen to the light on your Xbox controller.
  • Quick Settings for accessibility. As part of Microsoft's committment to improving accessibility on Xbox, the previously announced Quick Settings feature is on the way. This allows players to change out or tweak accessibility options from the menu, rather than having to hunt through settings and abandon whatever game is currently being played.

More features are currently in testing and are likely to show up in future monthly updates. One big feature being tested right now is a tagging system for accessibility, which allows users to sort through games using verified tags, checking for particular features on a game or app.

A catalog of games

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

From $1/month at Microsoft $45 at Amazon (3-month subscription) $15 at Amazon (1-month subscription)

All your gaming needs, in one subscription.

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

Where to preorder the Seagate 512GB Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S

If you've been waiting for a smaller storage option, this is your chance. Here's where you can preorder the Seagate 512GB Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S.

Until recently, the Seagate 1TB Expansion Card SSD was the only way for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S players to expand their internal console storage, granting the ability to store more current generation games that are optimized for the latest consoles. That's changed now, as Seagate is bringing in new 512GB and 2TB models.

This announcement lines up with prior reports that indicated more options would be coming soon. Preorders for the 512GB Seagate Storage Expansion Card are now available, so if you've got the money, you can go ahead and grab one. It's a smaller card, which means you won't be able to store as many games as if you grabbed the 1TB or 2TB models, but it's also much cheaper, meaning it's likely more affordable for the average user.

This is important because more and more games are being made exclusively for current-generation consoles, including big first-party Xbox titles. If you want to natively play games like Bethesda Game Studios' Starfield or Arkane Austin's Redfall, you'll need to have plenty of space.

Another option

512GB Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S

$140 at Walmart (512GB)

A cheaper storage expansion

Microsoft and Seagate's custom NVMe SSD card is the only external storage capable of playing Xbox Series X and Series S titles. It's now available in a 512GB format at a much cheaper price, so you can store more games without breaking your wallet.

Xbox Series X|S Seagate 512GB Expansion Card: Price and where to buy

The 512GB Seagate Storage Expansion Card is $140, meaning it is the cheapest way to expand your Xbox Series X|S internal storage and play more of the latest games. Preorders are available exclusively at Walmart right now but we're expecting additional retailers to be added as time goes on. Preorders for the 2TB card are scheduled to go online in November.

The 1TB model, which has been available since the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, fluctuates in price a bit. Technically, the full retail price is $220 but you can often find it $20 to $30 cheaper if you look around. The 2TB model is easily the most expensive at $400, though it also grants the most expanded storage.

Xbox Series X|S Seagate 512GB Expansion Card: Release date

The 512GB Expansion Card is slated to launch at some point in mid-November 2021. There's no exact date right now, meaning it's possible some orders may ship at slightly different times. Meanwhile, the 2TB Expansion Card is currently scheduled to ship at some point in December 2021.

If you urgently need more storage space, we recommend going ahead and ordering the 1TB card instead.

Expand your Xbox

Seagate Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S

$220 at Microsoft $220 at Amazon

Powerful storage comes in a small package.

Microsoft and Seagate have teamed up on a compact expansion card for Xbox Series X and S consoles. It leverages the same custom SSD technology seen inside both devices, as the only expandable storage solution capable of playing next-generation games.

New Xbox Series X|S 512GB and 2TB SSDs are coming soon

More options for more space.

What you need to know

  • Seagate and Microsoft launched a 1TB Expansion Card SSD alongside the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
  • Seagate is now bringing two new models of this expansion card, with 512GB and 2TB offerings.
  • These cards are available for $140 and $400 respectively and are set to be available in November and December 2021.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S players looking for more storage options can rejoice. Microsoft announced on Thursday that the Seagate Expansion Card offerings are growing. While Seagate previously offered a lone 1TB card, which is the only way to expand storage for current-generation games on Microsoft's latest consoles, Seagate will soon offer 512GB and 2TB expansion cards.

As the 1TB card is still available at retail for around $200, the 512GB and 2TB cards are appropriately priced lower and higher, respectively. The 512GB expansion card is $140 and available at Walmart right now, with orders shipping in November 2021. The 2TB card is $400, with preorders opening in November and the orders shipping out in December 2021.

Right now, these cards are easily the best SSDs for Xbox Series X|S users, as the high speeds are the only way to expand the internal storage of the consoles in order to play current-generation games, which are built for ultra-fast SSDs. This will become even more important as time goes on, with 2022 bringing major upcoming Xbox exclusive games like Arkane Austin's Redfall and Bethesda Game Studios' Starfield.

Another option

Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S

$140 at Walmart (512GB)

The no-compromise SSD for Xbox Series X and S

Microsoft and Seagate's custom NVMe SSD card is the only external storage capable of playing Xbox Series X and Series S titles. It's now available in a 512GB format at a much cheaper price.

343 Industries says ray tracing is priority for Halo Infinite post-launch

A new visual upgrade coming sometime after launch.

What you need to know

  • Back in 2020, 343 Industries shared that Halo Infinite would be getting ray tracing at some point post-launch.
  • After the game's delay, there was no word on if ray tracing would still be happening.
  • As part of an update on the PC version of the game, 343i confirmed that ray tracing is still on deck for a future update.
  • Halo Infinite is scheduled to launch on Dec. 8, 2021.

Halo Infinite is getting closer to launch, with the developers at 343 Industries continuing to squash bugs reported in the latest technical flights for the game. The team also shared on Thursday via Xbox Wire that Halo Infinite is still getting ray tracing post-launch. 343i explains that the team is partnering with AMD to work on ray tracing and that adding it is one of the team's "top development priorities" for the game after launch.

This partnership with AMD also extends to making the PC version as good as it can possibly be, possibly joining the ranks of the best PC games available, alongside a special limited edition RX 6900 XT GPU. While this sleek graphics card won't be available for purchase, several are being given away in the near future.

Halo Infinite is currently slated to launch on Dec. 8, 2021 for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One and PC. Like all first-party Xbox titles, it'll be available in Xbox Game Pass day one.

A new journey awaits

Halo Infinite

$60 at Microsoft $60 at Amazon $60 at Best Buy $60 at Steam

The next big adventure

Halo Infinite will hopefully be an incredible game filled with wonder, adventure, and more. Based on the beta and what was seen at E3 2021 and Gamescom, it looks like Halo Infinite will be a blast.

WD 1TB Xbox Game Drive sees major discount ahead of Black Friday

Black Friday 2021 isn't here yet, but retailers like Best Buy are already starting to drop some big deals on consumer electronics. One particularly notable deal is for the WD 1TB Xbox Game Drive, an external SSD designed for use with Xbox One, but also perfectly compatible with Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

This external SSD is normally available from Best Buy for $210 but right now, you can get it for $70 off. At just $150, it's a great option for anyone that wants more storage on their Xbox but doesn't want to deal with slow loading times offered by external hard drives. The WD Gaming Drive for Xbox is rated at 400 MB/s, which isn't quite as fast as the internal storage in the latest consoles but is still a huge step up from an Xbox One hard drive or any external hard drives.

Easy expansion

WD Gaming Drive Accelerated for Xbox One 1TB

See at Best Buy

$219.99 $149.99 $70.00 off

If you're looking for an easy way to store backward compatible Xbox One games that won't take up dedicated storage for current-generation titles, the WD SSD for Xbox One is the way to go.

For anyone playing on the latest generation of consoles, this isn't quite the best Xbox SSD available right now. That title goes to the Seagate Storage Expansion Card, which allows users to enjoy native, current-generation versions of games just like if they were installed on the Xbox Series X|S's ultra-fast internal SSD. Still, the WD Gaming Drive is perfect for anyone who has backward compatible titles they want to play.

Expanding Xbox Series X|S storage is important and can be expensive, so it's important to keep as much of it clear of older games as possible. By installing the backward compatible Xbox, Xbox 360 or Xbox One games on the external SSD, you can keep your internal storage and Storage Expansion Card free for the latest games, which is especially important with massive games around the corner in 2022 like FromSoftware's Elden Ring and Bethesda Game Studios' Starfield.

Bethesda shares some of the history and lore of Starfield

A closer look at the history and tension in this portion of the galaxy.

What you need to know

  • Bethesda Game Studios is currently working on its next big role-playing game, Starfield.
  • A new lore video shares that Starfield is set in the year 2330, with multiple factions recovering from a vicious war.
  • Starfield is scheduled to launch on Nov. 11, 2022 as an Xbox and PC exclusive.

Bethesda Game Studios is hard at work on Starfield, its next big role-playing game. On Wednesday, Bethesda Game Studios shared an update on the world of Starfield, which is set in the year 2330 in a portion of the Milky Way Galaxy called the Settled Systems. 20 years prior to the game, two major factions called the United Colonies and Freestar Collective were engaged in a massive war.

Emil Pagliarulo, design director at Bethesda Game Studios, explains that while this war is over, there are still threats such as the Pirates of the Crimson Fleet and religious zealots roaming in space.

Bethesda Game Studios previously shared some concept art and lore videos on a few of the planets in Starfield, with various pleasure worlds and border colonies making up the regions that players will explore. Starfield, like Arkane Austin's Redfall, features full Japanese localization, part of Xbox's committment to expanding for Japanese players.

Starfield is scheduled to arrive on Nov. 11, 2022 for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox Cloud Gaming and PC. Like all Xbox first-party games, it'll also be available day one in Xbox Game Pass.

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Cyberpunk 2077 and Witcher 3 free upgrades delayed to 2022

These free upgrades are no longer coming in 2021.

What you need to know

  • CD Projekt Red previously announced free current-generation upgrades for Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
  • While these upgrades were scheduled to arrive in 2021, both have been delayed to 2022.
  • The upgrade for Cyberpunk 2077 is now slated for Q1 2022, while The Witcher 3's free upgrade is scheduled for Q2 2022.

According to CD Projekt Red's latest investor report, the free current-generation upgrades for Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are being delayed out of 2021. The upgrades are now slated for 2022, with the update for Cyberpunk 2077 coming first in Q1 2022, while the update to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is slated for Q2 2022.

CD Projekt Red previously indicated it wasn't sure these upgrades would arrive in 2021. The enhanced release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is also bringing extra DLC items brought about as a collaboration with the Witcher Netflix series.

Whenever exactly these free upgrades arrive, the updates are meant to bring an improved experience for players on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5.

While more patches, updates and bug fixes are still on the way for Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red has noted that it is "quite satisfied" with the overall level of performance in the game across all available platforms.

Silver and steel

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Find Ciri

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an epic quest that sees players take up the dual swords of Geralt of Rivia, The White Wolf. Kill monsters for coin and find a Child of Prophecy before the world is destroyed.

God of War heads to PC on Steam with January 2022 release date

It looks like PC players will explore Kratos' latest adventure early next year.

What you need to know

  • God of War (2018) first launched for PS4 back in April 2018.
  • God of War is coming to PC on January 14, 2022.
  • The game's sequel, God of War: Ragnarok, is headed to PS4 and PS5 at some point in 2022.

Sony Santa Monica's 2018 God of War is coming to PC on January 14, 2022. This news was shared by PlayStation via PlayStation Blog on Wednesday, with the team also noting that the game has sold over 19 million copies on PS4 so far.

The game supports 4K and unlocked framerates on PC, ultrawide monitors and even NVIDIA DLSS. In addition to mouse and keyboard, the game also supports the DualShock 4 and PS5 DualSense controllers, if any PC players are looking for a more console-like experience.

This game also has a sequel in the works called God of War: Ragnarok, which is slated to arrive on PS4 and PS5 sometime in 2022. If you're not familiar with the events of past games or you just need a refresher, we recommend consulting the God of War timeline and story so far.

Sony recently acquired Dutch team Nixxes, a porting studio that CEO Jim Ryan noted will improve the overall production pipeline of PlayStation Studios, as well as making it easier to port some games to PC.

Sony previously brought Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone to PC, with Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection also coming to PC sometime in early 2022.

Echoes of pain

God of War (2018)

$50 at Steam

A new world to explore

The 2018 God of War sees Kratos as a father, trying to hide his past while raising his son in the harsh world of Norse mythology. Now, you can play it on PC.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen's dungeons aren't included in the season passes

These two dungeons are not part of the season passes.

What you need to know

  • Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is the next big expansion for Bungie's ongoing first-person shooter.
  • Two new dungeons are included as part of the rollout for The Witch Queen in 2022.
  • These dungeons are not available in the season passes and are only included with the Digital Deluxe Edition of the game.
  • Anyone who buys the standard edition can upgrade to the Deluxe edition later on.

If you want to run the dungeons included in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, you'll need to buy the Deluxe Edition of the game. Alternatively, if you choose to just buy the standard edition of the expansion, then you'll need to upgrade at a later date in order to acquire the new dungeons.

"If you get the Digital Deluxe Edition of The Witch Queen you will receive the expansion, all four Seasons for the next year, and the two Dungeons. If you get the Standard Edition, you can still upgrade to the Deluxe Edition to get the dungeons later," Bungie's community manager explained on Reddit. "We will also be offering a separate way for you to purchase the Dungeons in the future, but they will not be included in the Season passes."

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is currently scheduled to arrive on Feb. 22, 2022 for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, PS5 and PS4.

Survive the Truth

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen

$40 at Microsoft (Xbox) $40 at Steam (PC) $40 at Bungie Store

Into the Hive

The upcoming Witch Queen expansion features the sinister Savathûn and her brood of Light-wielding Hive, which will undoubtedly prove to be the most challenging foes faced by Guardians yet. Players can expect tons of new loot, enemies, locations, and more.

Activision requests time to investigate alleged ethics violation by DFEH

If the allegations are proven true, it could have serious ramifications for the lawsuit.

What you need to know

  • Activision Blizzard is asking the courts to hold the DFEH lawsuit against the company.
  • Activision Blizzard wants to investigate claims by the EEOC that California lawyers committed ethical violations.
  • If the prior point is proven true, Activision Blizzard is also asking the entire lawsuit to be thrown out.

As found by Axios reporter Stephen Totilo, Activision Blizzard is requesting that the courts pause the ongoing lawsuit against the company in order to investigate claims of "alleged ethics violations" by California laywers. Activision Blizzard further states that if the allegations are true, the entire lawsuit should be disqualified.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is alleging that the Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH) lawyers committed a major ethics violation by having two former EEOC lawyers help head up the DFEH lawsuit, then objecting to Activision Blizzard's settlement with the EEOC. This settlement will see Activision Blizzard create an $18 million fund for "eligible claimants," with any money not claimed going to women's charities and raising awareness of workplace harassment.

Activision Blizzard and its leadership, including CEO Bobby Kotick, are currently being subpoenaed by the SEC. Several senior developers have been let go from Blizzard Entertainment, including the original game director on upcoming action-role playing game Diablo 4 and the namesake for Overwatch hero McCree.

The DFEH states that Activision Blizzard has not cooperated with the investigation, though Activision Blizzard maintains that it has complied with "every proper request." Activision Blizzard is also being charged with violating labor laws, with Tom Smith, national organizing director at the Communications Workers of America, stating that "...Activision Blizzard's response to righteous worker activity was surveillance, intimidation, and hiring notorious union busters."

Halo co-creator founds new studio with EA in Seattle

Electronic Arts expands its first-person offerings.

What you need to know

  • Marcus Lehto is the co-creator of the original Halo: Combat Evolved.
  • Lehto has joined Electronic Arts as a game director at a new studio in Seattle, Washington.
  • This studio is working on a first-person game of some kind.

Marcus Lehto, co-creator of Halo: Combat Evolved at Bungie, announced on Tuesday that he's now game director at a new Electronic Arts studio in Seattle, Washington, U.S. This studio will be working on a first-person game of some kind. Lehto formerly founded an independent studio called V1 Interactive. This teams's first game, Disinitegration, released to middling reviews and poor commercial results, which saw the studio close less than a year later.

"Hey everyone, I'm very excited to announce that I've joined @EA as a Game Director, building a new studio in the Seattle area working on first-person games," Lehto writes on Twitter. "I can't wait to share more about what we're creating!"

Publisher Electronic Arts already maintains strong first-person shooter offerings, with Respawn Entertainment responsible for the Titanfall franchise and Apex Legends. Meanwhile, DICE and several support teams are working on Battlefield 2042.

This also comes as Electronic Arts is continuing to invest in its existing franchises and grow, hiring for a new studio called Full Circle that is working on the next Skate game. Meanwhile, Motive Studios is working on Dead Space remake, reviving the survival horror franchise after the last entry, Dead Space 3 in 2013.

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Xbox Game Pass Ultimate 3 Month Subscription

Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold in one

Xbox Game Pass gives you access to over 200 games for one monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also adds Xbox Live Gold to the package so you can play online with your friends. You also get access to EA Play.

Sea of Thieves crosses 25 million players on Xbox and PC

More players than ever before are exploring the seas.

What you need to know

  • Rare confirms that Sea of Thieves crossed over 25 million players so far.
  • The last milestone for the game was at 20 million players back in March 2021.
  • As a thank you to the growing community, anyone who logs in by Oct. 26 will receive an in-game currency reward.

Rare's pirate adventure Sea of Thieves is continuing to grow, with more and more players flocking to explore the ocean, pillage and plunder. Rare announced on Tuesday via Xbox Wire that Sea of Thieves reached 25 million players, five million more than the prior milestone in March when the game reached 20 million players.

This news also comes after Rare confirmed June was the best month for Sea of Thieves yet, with 4.8 million active players in the month thanks to the launch of the A Pirate's Life expansion, a crossover with Pirates of the Caribbean.

In celebration of this news, Rare is giving away 25,000 Gold and 25 Doubloons to any players that log into Sea of Thieves by Oct. 26. One random player who turns in treasure by Oct. 26 is going to be selected to receive 25 million gold, so if you've been away from the game for a bit, this is a good time to hop back in.

Best of all worlds

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate 3 Month Subscription

Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold in one

Xbox Game Pass gives you access to over 200 games for one monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also adds Xbox Live Gold to the package so you can play online with your friends. You also get access to EA Play.

New Splinter Cell game reportedly in development at Ubisoft

The game is reportedly early in development, but could be announced in 2022.

What you need to know

  • Splinter Cell is a Ubisoft franchise of stealth-action games starring Sam Fisher.
  • The last mainline entry in the series launched back in 2013.
  • Ubisoft is reportedly working on a new Splinter Cell game that could be announced in 2022.

According to a report from Tom Henderson at VGC, Ubisoft is working on a new mainline entry in the Splinter Cell franchise, which stars agent Sam Fisher. While a VR game was already announced and a TV series is happening with Netflix, this would be the first major entry in the series since Splinter Cell: Blacklist in 2013.

That game notably underperformed against Ubisoft's expectations, selling around two million copies after three months. There's been no big games since then, though iconic Sam Fisher voice actor Michael Ironside has returned for crossover events in other Ubisoft games, such as Ghost Recon: Wildlands. The report indicates that this game is meant to be part of a plan for winning over fans and generating good PR, even as employees are still unhappy with management in the wake of ongoing sexual harassment claims.

The report also notes that the game is early in development, though it's possible that it could be revealed in 2022. It's also unknown exactly which studios are working on the new Splinter Cell but some sources think it's a team (or teams) outside of the Montreal hub.

Currently, Ubisoft has several major games coming up, mostly focused on multiplayer and games-as-a-service. In addition to Rainbow Six Extraction, which is slated for January 2022, the company is also working on titles like XDefiant and Assassin's Creed Infinity, the latter of which is early in development and is meant to be the next major evolution in the Assassin's Creed franchise.

More Xbox Series X Mini Fridge stock to come, Microsoft says

More stock is coming at the official launch.

What you need to know

  • Preorders for the Xbox Series X Mini Fridge have gone live in some territories.
  • As with preorders for any anticipated item these days, they instantly sold out.
  • Microsoft is offering assurances that more stock is on the way.

Preorders for the Xbox Series X Mini Fridge already went live in multiple regions. Like with practically any highly-anticipated item, preorders in these regions sold out practically instantly, with many users unable to finish the checkout process or event seeing the fridge in stock. Microsoft PR were quick to address this situation, stating that more stock will be on the way.

"Remember!!! Launch in December will be a great way to snag one, it's not a one-and-done day," wrote Xbox social media manager Stein via Twitter. Xbox GM of marketing Aaron Greenberg added that "most units" would be sold on day one, meaning the Xbox Series X Mini Fridge units allocated for preorders at various retailers were the minority of units produced for the first wave.

Regular consoles continue to be hard to get as well, especially the Xbox Series X and PS5. The general electronic chip shortage means stock may not be readily available until late into 2022, if not early 2023.

In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled, as it's not technically impossible you'll find a unit available for preorder depending on if someone else cancels their order. The Xbox Series X Mini Fridge is available in 10 regions for Holiday 2021, while Microsoft is exploring bringing the fridge to more countries at some point in 2022.

Icy gaming

Xbox Series X Mini Fridge

$100 at Target (US) £90 at GAME (UK)

Keep your drinks cool

The Xbox Series X Mini Fridge is a meme come to life. It has room for up to 10 drinks and some snacks, while an adapter means you can take it on a trip or set it up wherever you think is best.

The Golden Joystick Awards 2021 voting is now live

A special year for the awards and for all of gaming.

What you need to know

  • The Golden Joystick Awards are held every year by GamesRadar.
  • For the 2021 edition of the awards, GamesRadar is introducing two new categories, including "Ultimate Game of All Time."
  • You can vote in most of the categories right now.

GamesRadar is again holding the annual Golden Joystick Awards. This year, there's an extra couple of categoies in celebration of 50 years of gaming. This year's awards include games like Psychonauts 2 and Resident Evil Village. Voting is now open at the official website and will remain open until Nov 5, so you've got a couple of weeks from the announcement to make your selections.

"This year's Golden Joystick Awards is really special, since we'll be celebrating 50 Years of Games, and the launch of the world's first commercially available coin-op, Computer Space in November 1971," explains content director Daniel Dawkins. "You can look forward to a sweeping retrospective of the industry we love so much - including some of its most-loved games and faces - plus an evolution of our virtual-stage from last year's show. To cap it all, we'll be inviting people to vote for their Ultimate Game of All Time and Best Gaming Hardware of All Time - which I'm sure won't be contentious at all."

Here's all the different categories fans can choose from:

  • Best Storytelling
  • Best Multiplayer Game
  • Best Visual Design
  • Best Game Expansion
  • Best Audio
  • Best Performer
  • Best Indie Game
  • Still Playing
  • Studio of the Year
  • Best Gaming Community
  • PC Game of the Year
  • Best Gaming Hardware
  • Mobile Game of the Year
  • PlayStation Game of the Year
  • Xbox Game of the Year
  • Nintendo Game of the Year
  • Ultimate Game of the Year
  • Most Wanted Game

Additionally, there's two final categories that are new this year. Voting for these two awards opens on Nov. 8 at 7:00 a.m PT / 10 a.m. ET. These two awards are:

  • Ultimate Game of All Time
  • Best Gaming Hardware of All Time

Voting for these two awards will be available until Nov. 12 at 7:00 p.m ET. The winners from both voting sessions are being announced during the digital awards show on Nov. 23, 2021.

A catalog of games

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All your gaming needs, in one subscription.

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.

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