Know Your Genres: First-Person Shooters
Just what do we really mean when we talk about “game genres,” anyway? Sure, you’ve probably seen that “fans of the genre will enjoy this” phrase in umpteen game reviews, but the truth is that the most durable game genres have walked some long, ever-evolving, and very interesting roads over the past several decades. In this weekly series, Xbox Wire’s editorial team will break down exactly what shaped your favorite genres, why they’re so timelessly awesome, and where they’re headed – while providing you with some expert advice on the past and modern classics that you should check out! This week, we’re covering the captain of the football team of video games’ high school: the first-person shooter. Beloved by everyone from e-sports fanatics to the geekiest modders to groups of friends just looking to get together and hunt each other for a while, the FPS has been a staple genre on both console and PC since the early days... and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. While the 1980s had a few first-person games, most of these were of the tank-simulator variety, the most famous being the iconic Battlezone. Other first-person vehicle sims were popular in arcades, and even home computers, in the 1980s... but it wasn’t until the early 1990s that ancestors of the FPS proper began to take shape. It was actually a role-playing game called Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss that was among the first to showcase the technologies that would become key to the underpinnings of the FPS: fast texture-mapping with a first-person perspective, “2.5D” graphics (that is, two-dimensional graphics displaying linear perspective to create the illusion of depth in front of the player’s face), and equipped weapons front and center in the foreground.
Greek Mythology Mashup Pack coming to Minecraft on Xbox
Athenian Minecraft players (and everyone else), rejoice! Your favorite historical figures from ancient Greek mythology are now available for Minecraft Console Editions for $3.99. Zeus, Poseidon, Athena and many more have descended from Mount Olympus to engage in all sorts of blocky adventures. Along with a custom texture set, new UI and 39 unique skins, the pack also has an original orchestral soundtrack composed by Gareth Coker. Build a pantheon fit for the gods, trap the Minotaur in an elaborate maze, or set sail for adventures across the sea – the world is your square oyster! The full list of Greek mythology skins includes:
Xbox Ultimate Game Sale Offers the Best Deals of the Summer
Xbox fans, we hear you. You want deals, we’ve got deals! The Xbox Store’s Ultimate Game Sale is one of the most anticipated sales of the year and starts today. Running for one-week only, from July 7-13, this sale offers the best prices of the summer season. There will be steep discounts up to 40%-50% on over 70 games across both Xbox One and Xbox 360. In order to give our Xbox Live Gold members even more, you save an up to 10% additional that will be already included just by being Gold. Enjoy these great games, all with the convenience of downloading them right from your living room to your Xbox.
Xbox at E3 2015: Everything You Need to Know
E3 2015 is almost here – and, as usual, Xbox will be at the annual video game trade show in full force. To kick things off, this year’s Xbox E3 2015 Briefing starts on Monday, June 15 at 12:30 p.m. EDT / 9:30 a.m. PDT. You’ll get in-depth looks at tons of upcoming games coming in 2015 and beyond. We’ll give you a solid rundown of the things you should be looking forward to in Xbox gaming for the foreseeable future. You can watch the Xbox E3 2015 Briefing live on Xbox One, Xbox.com, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone. You can also tune into Spike TV’s “Xbox: Game On” in the U.S. and Canada for the full live show. Regardless of how you catch the show, don’t forget: It all starts at 12:30 p.m. EDT / 9:30 a.m. PDT on Monday, June 15!
What You Need to Know About Destiny: House of Wolves
The eagerly awaited second expansion pack for Destiny, titled House of Wolves, hits Xbox One and Xbox 360 tomorrow. In anticipation of the launch, we’ve gone ahead and sussed out the biggest new features and additions coming to Bungie’s space opus. Of course, perhaps the most anticipated thing House of Wolves brings to the table is a slew of new missions. The story has the Queen calling upon Guardians to help hunt down the Fallen who once served her. The Fallen decided to rebel... and the results play out over the course of the story missions included with the new expansion.
Happy Birthday, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition! Celebrate with Free Birthday Skins on Xbox
Turn on your Xbox, load up Minecraft, then throw a freshly-baked cake at your television. It’s the most appropriate way to celebrate the birth* of Minecraft on Xbox. If Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition were a human it would be gaining independence and learning how to use zippers. To celebrate this monumental occasion** we’re giving players on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One a heap of colorful skins. From today until May 17, three packs will be available to download for free. There’s a brand-new bundle featuring veteran Mojangstas and a few cheeky extras, our 2nd Birthday Skin Pack from last year, and our 1st Skin Pack from two years back. Veteran 360 players might already have the older birthday packs, but this is the first time they've been available on Xbox One. Be sure to snap them up, early(ish) adopters! *Don’t actually throw anything anywhere. Cakes are for eatin’! **It’s actual birthday is on Saturday but we’re celebrating today because reasons.
Make Room for Three Great Games in May
It’s not quite time for summer vacation, but May is a time for sunny days, warm weather, and plenty of great gaming courtesy of Games with Gold. In May, Games with Gold is adding CastleStorm: Definitive Edition, an awesome tower-defense brawler mashup title, for free, as well as extending Pool Nation in Games with Gold for another month on Xbox One. On the Xbox 360 front, two great games are coming free in May: Mafia II, a third-person action game that immerses players in the dark and unforgiving world of the Mafia in the 1940’s and 50’s, and F1 2013, a realistic, open-wheel racing sim. As usual, all games are available only for a limited time*, as part of the ongoing Games with Gold program.