Host, Xbox's Major Nelson
Gears Tactics on Xbox Series X|S
Larry Hyrb: Hi, it's Larry Hyrb, Xbox Live's Major Nelson. Welcome to the show. We're getting ready to do the podcast again, another week, another great show, and another chance for me to hit the magic button and bring Jeff in. There you go. Hi, Jeff.
Jeff Rubenstein: Look, don't make promises you can't keep, it's not a great show until the end and we look back and go, "That was average at best."
Larry Hyrb: I want to say it's... I want to set the bar. I want to set the bar.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's good.
Larry Hyrb: But it's good to see you.
Jeff Rubenstein: We're going to fake it till we make it.
Larry Hyrb: I haven't seen you in a week. I got a haircut.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, you did?
Larry Hyrb: Yeah, so-
Jeff Rubenstein: It was... you needed it. You needed it.
Larry Hyrb: I know. Everybody, my entire house, my wife and daughter are like, "Yeah. You go get a haircut. [crosstalk 00:00:39]."
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, that's good. I hope you were safe and did... oh, did you do it at home? Did you do a home haircut?
Larry Hyrb: No, no, no, no. I went to a hair place that my barber has a hairstyle or whatever they call them now. I had the mask. They had the mask. They had this-
Jeff Rubenstein: It's still called a barber, Larry.
Larry Hyrb: The face covering [crosstalk 00:00:52] the whole face.
Jeff Rubenstein: The salon.
Larry Hyrb: So, it was, yeah. Anyway, hi.
Jeff Rubenstein: Hi. What's going on? I'm shut in a room. There's thunder and lightning, which never happens here. I've got a light in my face. I'm a little lost here.
Larry Hyrb: You got me in your computer, which we don't have.
Jeff Rubenstein: There we go.
Larry Hyrb: You and I talk frequently, but we don't do video calls all the time. You're very standoffish about that.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. Well, it's because usually I'm like eating on the call or I'm like drifting, it's like have a short attention span, like in-person meetings, I can focus in on you, but doing like Skype and Zoom calls and teams calls all day, it's just you know, I tend to drift. A lot of times you're stretching. I'm doing like touching my toes or...
Larry Hyrb: Really?
Jeff Rubenstein: ... skipping around in the room. Oh, yeah. I'm like bouncing around and nobody needs to see that. I look like an idiot.
Larry Hyrb: Okay. All right.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hyrb: Well, should we do-
Jeff Rubenstein: That's why the camera's off.
Larry Hyrb: Should we do like workouts? Maybe, like do our jumping jacks, something.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. I got a ring fit back here and I'm like doing the thing. Look at me, look at me. What a COVID body this is.
Larry Hyrb: Just be careful of what you're doing and make sure you know when the cameras on and when it's not. That's all I'm asking.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's lessons, lessons that many people seem to continue to be learning.
Larry Hyrb: By the way, I see what you have in the back. What do you have? What are you playing in the back there?
Jeff Rubenstein: That was the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, longest name for a title.
Larry Hyrb: Right. Yep.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's okay. Beta that wrapped up. I don't think I can go past the title screen right now because the Beta wrapped up.
Larry Hyrb: Right.
Jeff Rubenstein: But I'm not the biggest Call of Duty devotee. I play at campaigns and I love the campaigns. I don't think I've really gotten into like a multiplayer suite of and they provide you a ton of stuff.
Larry Hyrb: Right.
Jeff Rubenstein: I sampled them all. I play two matches each year and then I'm like, "I'm terrible at this," and I move on. For whatever reason, I fired up the Cold War Beta. They beta open to everybody. I had cross play and all kinds of stuff, and I was playing with a buddy of mine on PC. You know Clam down in San Francisco?
Larry Hyrb: I do, I do.
Jeff Rubenstein: And he walked me through it. Had a heck of a time. I really, really liked it. And I think that I'm just... whether it's been honing my reflexes on apex or whatever, I think I'm going to play a bunch of this.
Larry Hyrb: We played the other night. It was you, me, Will and somebody, I thought it was somebody else, too?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, there was somebody else. I don't remember who, but it doesn't matter.
Larry Hyrb: But here we are. But we had fun.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hyrb: We had fun. There's all sorts of different modes to check out, so looking forward to check that out.
Jeff Rubenstein: For a Beta they threw a ton at you.
Larry Hyrb: Yeah. There was a lot going on.
Jeff Rubenstein: Like there was Kill Confirmed. There was a mode that was kind of like a Mini Battle Royale called the Fallout or Dirty Bomb.
Larry Hyrb: Dirty Bomb.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. There was Team Deathmatch. There was the Territory's King of the Hill, whatever it's called. There's a lot here and some modes, we didn't do so well in and in some modes, we did pretty darn good in.
Larry Hyrb: Yeah, yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: And so, kudos to them. The campaign does look really interesting with like sort of that '80s Iran Contra stuff going on. Stuff that was happening when I was a kid and didn't know what it meant. I guess I'm going to learn through the Call of Duty. Look, we're all learning in interesting ways, so why not learn '80s American history through a first person shooter, I'm fine with it.
Larry Hyrb: Well, you're learning '80s American history, which I studied and frankly lived because I'm just a little bit older than you, but one thing that I am studying that I haven't really had a chance to flex is my farmer muscle.
Jeff Rubenstein: But you have agrarian roots, Larry. So, let's talk about this game because we've both been playing it.
Larry Hyrb: So, what I'm talking about is it's a game called Shotgun Farmer, and what happened was, let me back up a little bit because I need to do this. Can I set it up?
Jeff Rubenstein: Please. This is you. Let's do it.
Larry Hyrb: Okay. So, last Saturday, I'm ready to play. Jeff and I usually play Apex. It's kind of our go-to, kind of relaxing.
Jeff Rubenstein: Got our win last night, but yes, not to derail.
Larry Hyrb: [crosstalk 00:04:48]. So we're all... I'm all ready to go and I say, "Oh, okay, let me join your party." I join your party. And you're like, "Okay. Oh, we're just finishing up. Everyone's joining me. I'll catch up with you." Two hours later, still has [crosstalk 00:05:04].
Jeff Rubenstein: You're really going to... you're really... oh, I didn't realize we were going to do this setup?
Larry Hyrb: So, I realized I'm like, "Okay, well maybe he's not, maybe he's not coming." So, I was looking. And I was reading about this game called Shotgun Farmers and I was like, "Okay, I'll check it out." And I download it and start... I did the tutorial because there's some bots and I was like, "Okay, this is actually a lot of fun." So, I was tweeting about it. I told you, I'm like, "Jeff, if you want to play with me again, we should try Shotgun Farmers."
Jeff Rubenstein: Ever.
Larry Hyrb: Ever. And he's like, "What are you talking about?" And I kind of, I sent you a link to the game and so, why don't you tell your side of the story?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, I was like, "I guess." And this game, it kind of looks like Garden Warfare, but with like stick figures. Like your gun is... your default gun that you spawn it with is a corn shotgun that shoots corn kernels.
Larry Hyrb: Right.
Jeff Rubenstein: And every shot that you miss, the corn kernels go into the ground, it could be scooped up as ammo. It's like... it is... it's-
Larry Hyrb: I mean, look, look.
Jeff Rubenstein: There's... yeah, there you go. You're planning. So, you're beating your swords into Ploughshares, Larry.
Larry Hyrb: And look, and what's interesting, you can actually harvest the shotgun.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hyrb: And but what's interesting, but the problem is this. Here's the tip that you told me. Go ahead and tell the audience.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, so like as the match goes on, the plant gets bigger and bigger, and the bigger it is, the more ammo you have in it, so you sort of a tradeoff, do I let this thing continue to grow to get multiple shots? Because you can't switch weapons. You get what you have.
Larry Hyrb: Right. It's one weapon [crosstalk 00:06:45].
Jeff Rubenstein: And/or you take the chance that someone else might pick it up.
Larry Hyrb: And a shovel.
Jeff Rubenstein: Exactly. And a shovel and the shovel is actually lethal. We ended up, we must have played this game for two hours. The achievements were rolling in. We were pretty darn good at it. And isn't this game like, just like pretty darn and expensive, right? I have to look at that.
Larry Hyrb: I'd have to look at the watermelon gun.
Jeff Rubenstein: So, yeah. There's an asparagus sniper rifle.
Larry Hyrb: So, I don't know, I don't know.
Jeff Rubenstein: Logic has no place in this conversation. The reality is though, it's a surprisingly fun game.
Larry Hyrb: And there was Deathmatch.
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm just picking at the price.
Larry Hyrb: There was the hold the chicken. Is that what it was called?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, yeah. It was like a capture the flag.
Larry Hyrb: Right.
Jeff Rubenstein: But you capture the... no, you had to capture the pig.
Larry Hyrb: Capture the pig.
Jeff Rubenstein: And then you guide the pig back to-
Larry Hyrb: Very slowly back to your base.
Jeff Rubenstein: And then this run, which was like Grifball or something where you had to hold a chicken and the chicken squawking at you and you're just running and trying not to be, you know?
Larry Hyrb: Oh, there was the base.
Jeff Rubenstein: Look, this is a game that the whole time you kind of want to make fun of it, but you're laughing and you're having a good time.
Larry Hyrb: And you know what? It's okay, because it makes fun of itself.
Jeff Rubenstein: It's $9.99, I can't tell you what time to getting into a match was super quick. We were matching immediately. I think it's 4v4, maybe 5v, yeah, up to 5v5, depending on the mode. You know what? Kind of fun. It's something interesting to try out on a weekend with some friends and for your 10, I felt like I got my $10 investment back in spades.
Larry Hyrb: This is... I mean, I'm looking at it right now. It's been available on Steam for quite some time. It just came to Xbox about a month ago, so it's multiplayer competitive shooter that's farm themed and just fun, so that's all I'm going to say.
Jeff Rubenstein: There. I was pleasantly surprised, because we just kept saying, "You want to get another one?" And it was like, because I felt like we were going to jump into something else. Well, actually, we might have jumped back into the Cold War Beta.
Larry Hyrb: I could tell, I could tell you were humoring me, right? I could tell.
Jeff Rubenstein: At the start, I was like, "You know what, Larry, for you? Because I sold you out." [crosstalk 00:08:58].
Larry Hyrb: Because you blew me off on Saturday night, I'll play this with you.
Jeff Rubenstein: I'll play this game. And then it was just like, "You want to get another one?" I will do one more. I will do one more. And we just-
Larry Hyrb: One more, one more. That's the sign of a great game, right? One more round.
Jeff Rubenstein: Indeed.
Larry Hyrb: Anyway, so Shotgun Farmer, I mean, playing that Apex. I don't know what else I'm playing. I think that's pretty much it. I mean, it's been a busy week. We are as of... we're almost just a little bit over two weeks, two and a half weeks almost launching Xbox.
Jeff Rubenstein: Can you believe it?
Larry Hyrb: Do I have it here?
Jeff Rubenstein: It felt like just yesterday we revealed the Series X at the Game Awards, and somehow we're closer, much closer to the next game. It was practically [crosstalk 00:09:36].
Larry Hyrb: Was that the last time publicly that you were in like a big event at the awards?
Jeff Rubenstein: I didn't go.
Larry Hyrb: Okay.
Jeff Rubenstein: I was going to go and I ended up at the last minute staying home. I can't remember why and watching from home and of course, it was fun to watch from home. but it would have been great to be in the room.
Larry Hyrb: I think you have been watching rom-com with your wife or something, right?
Jeff Rubenstein: I mean, maybe. It was Saturday night. I can't spend every night Saturday night in December with Geoff Keighley.
Larry Hyrb: That 48-hour fiancé thing or whatever it was.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, the 90-Day Fiancé?
Larry Hyrb: That's it, that's it.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's on Sundays, Larry. Come on, get with the program. What else? I'm just trying to see, what else. Oh, I beat Halo ODST this weekend.
Larry Hyrb: Well done.
Jeff Rubenstein: I'd never done it and then immediately found out that the Halo team announced that 343, that they're going to be enhancing the Master Chief Collection, optimizing it for Series X. So, but look, ODST came out 10 years ago. I was way behind having not finished it. It was one of two games I had not completed. I finished Reach, which Reach is still I think my favorite now. But I hadn't played through it, so then I'll just go play through it and I beat it and I still have Halo 4, that's my last one, but now that I know that the team is going to be optimizing it by the end of this year, I think was the date, then I will hold off and I'll finish Halo 4 over Christmas and I think that will be good.
Larry Hyrb: I'm okay with that.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, why not?
Larry Hyrb: I'm okay with that. So, we talked about Xbox Series X and X, X and S going on sale like with a little bit over two weeks, but there's a lot of titles that are coming out, that are you know going to be available at launch optimized. Do you have that list? I am kind of setting you up here.
Jeff Rubenstein: I can bring that up. So, there's 30 games that we'd announced on a blog post that will be available.
Larry Hyrb: By the way, let's be clear. This is in addition to the hundreds, nay thousands...
Jeff Rubenstein: Thousands, thousands, Larry.
Larry Hyrb: ... available for backwards compatibility, so you've got a lot to play at launch and let's be clear, all your saved games that you played on Xbox 1 or Xbox 360 or even perhaps even, well, not the original Xbox, that go far back, they're going to come with you. You don't have to do anything. You don't have to look at a list to go, "Gee, does this one work?" or go to the community, go to Reddit and go, "Gee, does this work?" We test them all for you to give you the optimal cleanest experience and that's our backup team is second to none. I will put them up against anybody in the world.
Jeff Rubenstein: I think they're kind of running unopposed in a way, but yes.
Larry Hyrb: Anyway, do you have that list available?
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm getting there.
Larry Hyrb: All right.
Jeff Rubenstein: We have too many posts by the way that we put up there. All right. Is this it? Nope, it's not. You put me on, you put me on the spot here, Larry.
Larry Hyrb: I'm sorry. I'm kind of putting you on the spot, exactly as I said because this is something that's really interesting in that we've got all these titles coming up. We've got Assassin's Creed coming up.
Jeff Rubenstein: I got it.
Larry Hyrb: We've got Watch... why don't you quickly tick through the list because if you can.
Jeff Rubenstein: Sure.
Larry Hyrb: Maybe it's not even quickly [crosstalk 00:12:38].
Jeff Rubenstein: Let me drag that over here, so you don't have to see the side of my head. So, this is a combination. These are the Day 1 Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S optimized titles. Some of these games, you can play them now and they will be optimized. Some of these games are coming out that day. Assassin's Creed Valhalla is a great example of that, but Bright Memory 1.0, Dirt 5. Let's see. Gears Tactics. We're going to have an interview with Gears Tactics later today. Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Tetris Effect: Connected. Those are games that are coming out on Day 1 that will be brand new games.
However, you may own certain other games that you're going to find look better than ever. Borderlands 3 is a good example. Dead by Daylight. Let's see. Forza Horizon 4, which, let me tell you, I've seen it running on Xbox Series X and it blew my mind.
Larry Hyrb: As I have.
Jeff Rubenstein: Gears 5. Manifold Garden This is a game that I've been really enjoying. I've been playing through it. If you liked The Witness. I know I've talked about it before. Definitely take a look at this. If you start playing it now on Xbox 1. If and when you graduate to an Xbox Series S or an Xbox Series X, it comes with you and it will be enhanced. It will load faster than ever. It will look better than ever. Let's see. World Rally Championship 9. Warhammer: Chaosbane. The Tourist. There's 30 games here. Sea of Thieves. I really want to see what Sea of Thieves look like in optimized for Xbox Series X.
NBA 2K21, we've seen footage of this. Mind blowing and the NBA 2K series I feel like on the 360 generation then moving on to the Xbox 1. And now, that's always like the first game I pop in there to blow people's mind. If people come over that aren't hardcore gamers, but they've been hearing about it, I'm like "Why don't you take a look at this?" So, I cannot wait to be able to play that one at home. And there's other games coming down the line. I know FIFA is going to be optimizing for Xbox Series X as well. I don't know the date on it, but I do know that I love FIFA and I can't wait to see what that looks like.
Larry Hyrb: Are you playing with your brother by the way? You usually play it with your brother.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, yeah. If I go online, I'm just going to get my butt kicked or wait, he kicks my butt, too, so I don't know, maybe I should be doing that, but yeah. It's we always... that's sort of our couch coop and I punch him when he scores. That's my [crosstalk 00:15:04].
Larry Hyrb: Did I tell you that I've got these pho consoles that we sent some people?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, yeah.
Larry Hyrb: [crosstalk 00:15:08] this and the Xbox Series, the S one. I've got both of them here. And these are not real. These are just the plastic shells. What's funny. Some neighborhood kids of mine, that obviously are living around here. They watched the podcast and they're like, "Hey, can we see it?" So, I had to bring these out to the front porch, and I kind of let them look at these. And they were like, "Oh, this is so cool." They're looking at the plastic. It was just this bizarre, this bizarre moment where the neighborhood kids wanted to take a look at the new consoles. One guy, "Can I borrow it? I want to go see if it's going to fit in my entertainment center." And I'm like, "Well, just actually, you just need to go to xbox.com, they have a paper version you can cut out and build it yourself."
Jeff Rubenstein: Either that, and I think, I feel like I've seen an augmented reality one you can look at on your phone and sort of position it there.
Larry Hyrb: Right. Yeah. You use your phone to position there. So anyway, these are the pho ones and as you can see, it says "Prototype, not for sale."
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes. Well, I mean, you can't plug anything in there. It's covered up, but anyway. Now, you know what it looks like. You don't have to wait too much longer and-
Larry Hyrb: Less than two weeks or less than, well, it's just a little bit, just about two weeks wait, a little bit more.
Jeff Rubenstein: A little more than two weeks.
Larry Hyrb: Yeah. So, we're waiting for that. Now, see, you were here, you started in 2013, right before, the week before the launch of Xbox 1.
Jeff Rubenstein: Two weeks before launch, so this would have been somewhere, there's someone at Microsoft that's going to start on Monday. It's going to be their first day and I will know, I will know where they're at because that was me.
Larry Hyrb: Well, it's also very different because we are traveling to New York to do a launch and it's-
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, that's true.
Larry Hyrb: This is different for a virtual plus-
Jeff Rubenstein: Immediately on my first day, you were like, "Okay, you got to book a flight to New York right now." And I was like, "I don't know how to do that." And that was-
Larry Hyrb: Look at you now.
Jeff Rubenstein: Look at me. I'm not booking flights anywhere either. I miss New York. I haven't been in New York in years now. Years, Larry.
Larry Hyrb: I miss New York so much. I mean, you and I spend... we've had a lot of good times in New York. Well, we have had a lot of good times everywhere.
Jeff Rubenstein: We've had a lot of good sandwiches in New York. You know how long it's been since I've had a proper pastrami sandwich with like a good pickle?
Larry Hyrb: That's the problem. I can't find one around here in Seattle.
Jeff Rubenstein: There is a place it's pretty good. It's not it's not on the level of like Canter's in L.A. or I'm trying to think of the name of the really awesome place in New York on-
Larry Hyrb: Katz's?
Jeff Rubenstein: Katz's. Thank you. Yeah.
Larry Hyrb: [crosstalk 00:17:18].
Jeff Rubenstein: Katz on Houston Street, East Houston.
Larry Hyrb: How could you forget Katz's?
Jeff Rubenstein: How can forget? I'm allergic to cats? I don't know. But, yeah, I miss Katz's. It's been too long.
Larry Hyrb: A couple of things.
Jeff Rubenstein: We just, we got to stop doing this podcast recording right before lunch.
Larry Hyrb: I know.
Jeff Rubenstein: We just end up talking about food.
Larry Hyrb: This is terrible. Hey, should we stop and do the... you did an interview with someone from the coalition? Should we stop and do that? And maybe we'll talk about that, so let me key you up for furniture.
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, let's do that.
Larry Hyrb: So, Jeff had the chance. Gears Tactics is coming to Xbox Series X and S. It's enhanced. It's coming to console. They've done some really great work with it. And Jeff had a chance to talk to somebody from the Coalition about it. We're going to show you some gameplay. Jeff's going to go deep, so take a look.
Jeff Rubenstein: We are living in a golden age of turn-based strategy games right now. We're talking X-COM and Phoenix Point, Wasteland 3 and Mutant Years Zero, even Mario + Rabbids, totally great game, and I got to say I love it. But this year, we had a new entrant into the world of strategy and a very familiar one, the world of Gears of War with Gears Tactics. And guess what? That game is now coming to Xbox consoles on November 10th. So now, I would love to introduce from the Coalition, Tyler Bielman. Tyler, how you doing?
Tyler Bielman: Hey, Jeff, how's it going? Great. Fantastic.
Jeff Rubenstein: Look, I love turn-based strategy games. I'm doing great. This is, like I said, a golden age and I got to say, I played through Gears Tactics on PC this spring, definitely in my top five favorite games of the year, really super enjoyed it. But why don't we talk about for those who maybe didn't get a chance to play it, that don't have a gaming PC and are looking forward to playing a new Gears experience on their console next month? How do you mix Gears and Tactics and have it come out like feeling so natural?
Tyler Bielman: Yeah, I mean, we're super excited with the response that we got on PC. And I'm thrilled that the console players will get their hands on it, November 10th, alongside the release of the new hardware, but also the game, of course will be available on Xbox 1 as well. When we set out to do this, it was very important to me that we bring the intensity and the style of Gears of War and mesh that with a turn-based game and it wasn't clear from the beginning that we could do it. We had to do a lot of prototyping and some initial even paper prototyping, like made a little board game out of it. And one of my key goals was to make sure that it was fast. As a strategy player, I'm always frustrated with how much downtime there were in these games and so, it was really important to me that we speed it up.
We wanted to tell a really interesting and personal sort of story, because a lot of turn-based games have a more abstracted narrative and we felt like if we could land those things, it would feel like Gears along with some signature moments like the Chainsaw and the executions and stuff. But we felt like if we could really speed it up, add a cool story that made sense in the universe, we could really make the gears combat come to life in a turn-based way. There is a very tactical game at the center of Gears combat, the core sort of console game that people play, the third person over the shoulder cover based combat is really at its core, a tactical experience. And so, we were able to break that down and reconstruct it in a turn-based way. Here you're seeing-
Jeff Rubenstein: [crosstalk 00:20:49] I thought it was really-
Tyler Bielman: Yeah, just [crosstalk 00:20:49] a little game footage. Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, I think [inaudible 00:20:53] as a longtime Gears fan, who's reflexes on the Nasher, maybe not as fast as I used to be, I kind of really enjoyed the ability to see Gears from a new perspective, but the story really jumped out at me. There was when interesting things happen, whether it's a lancer to the face of an enemy or fully like voiced and model cut scenes, it really does get up close and there is even like a moment in the story that I gasped. And so, I feel like this was a real differentiator between a lot of turn-based strategy games, even games that I love. Story really come second, if at all.
Tyler Bielman: Yeah. To be Gears, we really wanted to make sure that the hero felt like a Gears hero, but also it's sort of a new and thoughtful hero for Gears. Gabe is an interesting character with his own backstory. He finds these new partnerships with Sid and Mikayla along the way on his journey. It was also really important for us to feel like a Gears game to have a big bad, so the antagonist Ukkon is a key figure in Locust history. He's the monster that makes the monsters. He's responsible for Brumaks and Corpsers, so there's a really important antagonist.
Gabe's connection, being the father of Kait, who's the protagonist in Gears 5, and the story itself is actually has a lot to do with where the Locusts come from. That is sort of a big component of the plot. So, we wanted to tell that kind of Gear story. We wanted to do it with Triple A cinematics, so when you sit down and play, you're sort of blown away by the story that accompanies this sort of deep strategy experience.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. It even ties into events that aren't fresh in your mind after playing Gears 5, which I thought was a really nice touch. So, let's talk about the game coming from PC into consoles. There's so many differences between console gaming and PC gaming, how close you sit to the screen, your input method, so can you talk about how you're adapting Gears Tactics to work great on Xbox consoles?
Tyler Bielman: Yeah, when, from the beginning, we wanted to make a game that felt incredibly satisfying on PC with a keyboard and mouse and we knew that to take that and bring it to the console, we needed extra time, so we took the extra time to release in a different window and we spent those intervening months focused on a couple of key areas. The first one, which you mentioned is the controls. It has to feel fantastic with the sticks in your hand and we did it. We we basically threw out the control scheme entirely and rebuilt it from the ground up for the controller, so as you're playing with a controller, whether that be on PC or on your console, we've added a suite of different controls that you might not have on the keyboard and mouse.
So, for example, on the left trigger, we have a precision targeting mode, so that it will slow down the reticle, so you could put it exactly where you want it on the screen. Because Gears Tactics doesn't have a grid, which also makes it different from other tactics games, it's really important that you'd be able to put that grenade exactly where you wanted to put that area of effect right where you want it and on a big screen with sticks, it can feel a little sloppy, so we allow you to at will slow that down. You can also go right into the settings and change the degree of the speed of that mode. On the right trigger, we've got a zoom, so you can zoom in to the battlefield nice and tight to see exactly what's going on, put things where you want it.
We did a variety of things with ability selection, so it's easier to pick your weapon, easier to pick your abilities. When you pick certain contextual abilities like an execute or reviving, we snap the cursor right to the unit, so that you don't have to move there with your stick. So, we did a ton of things around the controls to make sure it feels awesome. We also refactored the front end in the convoy where you customize your units, and where you choose your missions to make sure that that worked really easily and quickly with the controller. We also improved that for the keyboard and mouse players as well.
And it's also worth noting that if you want to play with keyboard and mouse, you can plug a keyboard or mouse into your console and play that way and you'll get the right interface for that input method or you can put a controller into your PC and you'll get the control scheme for that. So, the game is about giving you a lot of freedom, a lot of flexibility in the way you want to play, the way you want to win. And now, you can play on whatever screen you want with whatever controls you want. So, we're super happy with the controls. I mentioned the UI, which we're seeing here, like we've updated that to work better with controls.
And then the third and final thing was just, we added a lot more content, so whether you've finished the game on PC or you're coming to it brand new on the console, there's a whole new mode of campaign where you get Jack, who we're seeing here, and Jack is an incredible addition to the game. Jack goes with you on every mission, and really changes and amplifies the powers of your squad. So, lots of cool stuff coming with the November 10th version of the game.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, let's talk about that. I played through the entire game this spring. Again, top fiver for me this year for sure, and I love that as someone who has that that game saved on PC, I know that that transfers over to console, which is really cool. But there's more than just Jack, there's like a whole separate mode with achievements and then even some new enemies. And what's this about supreme weapons? Is this like a new...
Tyler Bielman: Yeah, sure, yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... [crosstalk 00:26:41] brands?
Tyler Bielman: Yeah, I'll give you kind of the lowdown. So, we knew that we wanted to give people another reason to come back as well as something exciting if you've never played before, and Jack was the biggest solution. We couldn't just add a few new skills or a couple of superficial things. We wanted to add something spectacular, and Jack brings a whole host of abilities to the battlefield. Notably, he has a set of capsule abilities, we call them, so he can create areas of effect on the board that will de-buff your enemies or create more firing opportunities for you.
He has a really cool ability called hijack where you can take control of an enemy for a limited period of time. They get added to your squad. You can control them, use their weapons, which is awesome. He has a series of auras and buffs that make your team better. All of that combines up to really amplify the way that you want to win and the squad you want to build. So, Jack is the player side, the toy that you get.
Well to counter that, we brought in a new set of enemies called the Deviant enemies, and Deviants are stronger, tougher variants. They're kind of like captains of the enemy squads. Each of them has a unique skill that the enemies haven't had before. So for example, there's an alpha retch and the retch, the Deviant retch has a pack ability that makes all the other retches harder to hit. [inaudible 00:28:08] those retches get in close, they will knock you out of cover and then the drones will shoot you. Well, if you see that Deviant retch on the battlefield, you have to really change your targeting priorities. So, there's five different deviant enemies that each have unique skills and create a more dynamic encounter for the game.
And then last, but not least, is supreme equipment. We can't challenge you without giving you some reward, so towards the back half of the game, we've added a power level of tier of weapons. Oh, there's a Deviant getting executed right there. We've added a tier of weapons called Supreme. They're weapon mods and we've added one for each mod slot for each class weapon. So, for example, with the long shot that goes with the sniper class, if you collect all four supreme weapon mods for that long shot, it really turns that weapon into a crit machine. Your crits will be devastating. You will get lots of abilities that will process when you hit a crit, so it's kind of like the ultimate version of the weapon if you collect it. Oh, there's our deviant disciple, who will throw out...
Jeff Rubenstein: Hey, I don't want to mess with him.
Tyler Bielman: ... poisonous mines. No, he's really bad. And the mines that he throws out, again, sort of counters your ability with Jack to put out areas of effect. So, lots of fun, new challenges, lots of fun, new tools with Jack and the Supreme equipment. And yeah, so we're really excited. We can't wait for everybody get their hands on it and play. And all of this content, again, is available for every version of the game that's out there, so.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's just great. I'm definitely going to be new game plus-sing it. Just looking at that stuff and I'm thinking Jack will help out in those missions where you need to send part of your party one direction and part and the other, well, maybe this [crosstalk 00:30:04].
Tyler Bielman: You're totally right. And Jack can open rescue pods, Jack could pick up equipment cases, so some of those errands that you would use to have to send a soldier that might rather shoot with that soldier or push a flank, now, you can use Jack for a bit of those things. And Jack also has a cloak. So, you can get him into some spaces and cloak him, and then he won't necessarily take fire because he turns invisible as we see here. Now, that's a temporary effect, so you got to be very tactical with it and it costs an action like everything else, so it's not a freebie, but it will help you and allow you to use Jack for those sort of flexible battlefield conditions.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh-
Tyler Bielman: One of Jack's other sort of first level... yeah, go ahead.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, I was just going to ask you, Jack doesn't take the place of a squad member? It's looking like [crosstalk 00:30:55].
Tyler Bielman: No. Jack, every mission after he gets added, I believe in Act One, Chapter Three, and any point after that, he's automatically on missions, so he's constant companion on the battlefield, so you don't have to trade off. We didn't want to force you to trade off offensive capability for Jack. We want Jack to be an addition and a buff to your squad all the time. And speaking of buffs, Jack has an ability called Wingman. Wingman is one of his early abilities and that as a stackable buff that allows you to improve the accuracy and damage of one of your other units. So, there's always something for Jack to be doing that can advance your battle plan.
Jeff Rubenstein: This is very cool. I'm just loving what I'm seeing here because for those who have played through the game like that adds like a tremendous extra dimension to the game. And I'm sure as we start to see these deviant enemies, I'm sure they're really hard and you will need...
Tyler Bielman: You'll need it.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... Jack to succeed.
Tyler Bielman: Yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Tyler Bielman: Yeah, you will.
Jeff Rubenstein: So, this game is-
Tyler Bielman: Yeah, it's exciting.
Jeff Rubenstein: So, Gears Tactics is debuted on console on the launch day for Xbox Series X and Series S. What's it like working on next gen console, next gen hardware and what were you able to do with it that maybe you wouldn't have been able to do previously?
Tyler Bielman: Yeah. It's an incredible opportunity to put out a console exclusive on a launch day and we were really excited that we were able to... it didn't affect our development, it sort of lined up perfectly. It's serendipity wise that our console release could be day in date with the new hardware. Our engineering team has been able to leverage the power of the console to not only make sure that just the visuals are more spectacular, coming from a PC game, where you sort of have ultra-high specs. We're able to target exactly the Xbox Series S and the Xbox Series X hardware specs, so that you get the best version of the game for that hardware.
Additionally, just with the speed that you get from the new hardware, it actually fits perfectly with one of our goals for the game, which is to make a faster, more intense experience, so the enemy turn calculations, the amount of time that the enemy takes to use their turns, how fast you can get from cut scenes in the game, all of that sort of loading and processing time is reduced dramatically. So, it's a very seamless experience on that hardware, which is one of the goals we had from the absolute beginning before we really even knew that that new hardware was coming four or five years ago when we started the process of making Gears Tactic, so it's great.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right. Last question here for you, Tyler, this is a core...
Tyler Bielman: Sure.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... question here, but do you have a favorite ability in the game? Because when you're building out your skill trees, this is not a game where you're going to be filling out the entire tree. You have to make some really tough decisions though on how you're going to be spending those points, so what's like a must have ability that you want to make sure this is what you need to be doing?
Tyler Bielman: Yeah. I think I'll fall back to something I mentioned earlier. If you're not going towards hijack in the skill tree for Jack, then you're missing out on an incredible opportunity because being able to temporarily take control of an enemy unit, push them up into the center of the enemies, use them to destroy enemies, and then make sure that they get taken out before they go back to the enemy team is great and that is a portion of the skill tree that's very exciting for Jack. I'm also personally a fan of the execution mechanic in the game.
One of the ways that our game feels really intense and lets you keep moving forward is if you pull off an execution, we give the rest of your squad an extra action. So, anytime you can get that execution it's really important, so the scout is sort of the execution master, so there are lots of places in the skill tree. Anything that says execution as a skill, you should definitely take a look at it and prioritize it. And the Supreme equipment for the scout is all execution based, too, just as a quickie. So, that turns that scout into an action generating machine.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. That's a really good point. I think-
Tyler Bielman: So, I didn't give you one, but that's an overview.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, that's fine. These are good. I didn't even realize Jack was going to have its own skill tree, so that's a great piece of info, and I think-
Tyler Bielman: Oh, yeah, Jack has the full, yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: Go on, go on.
Tyler Bielman: Oh, yeah. He's got a full unique skill tree of his own skills unlike anything else in any of the other classes, so plenty to explore there. And every once in a while, we give you a skill reset token that allows you to go ahead and re-spec, so while you can't fill out the whole tree, at any point, you have lots of opportunities to try a different build if you want to by spending the tokens and then when you beat the campaign, and you get into veteran mode, we call it, where we're just sort of giving you a lot of different, a variety of missions, we let you re-spec for free any unit you want, so you can just keep trying different builds, and different combinations with different weapon mods. So, once you reach veteran mode, the game is really open to you to play the way you want.
Jeff Rubenstein: All right, Tyler, [crosstalk 00:36:07], man.
Tyler Bielman: There's Jack's skill tree.
Jeff Rubenstein: Thank you so much.
Tyler Bielman: Right there. We just saw it.
Jeff Rubenstein: It's also a good timing.
Tyler Bielman: Absolutely, yeah, Jeff, I appreciate it. Yeah, we couldn't be more thrilled like everybody, we just can't wait for people to play.
Jeff Rubenstein: And they don't have to wait too long because Gears Tactics is coming to consoles on November 10th and that new content is coming to PC on the same day. And if you're a Gears fan, who thought "I've never really played strategy. Strategy might not be for me," it's part of Xbox game pass. I'm telling you from...
Tyler Bielman: Yeah, absolutely.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... a veteran in this genre, this is not a sit back and patient and wait for things to come to you, you're constantly driving forward is the most offensive minded, yet really intelligent and strategic strategy game that I've ever played and I really enjoy the way it captures that Gears feeling, even though it's not something that is totally reflex-based, so and by the way, if you do play the game, with game pass before December 4th, you get an old friends, Cole, Thrashball Cole is a playable character thing.
Tyler Bielman: Thrashball Cole.
Jeff Rubenstein: You'll be able to put it in the game and he's fully voiced, which is great, so you get to hear him, "Woo." And like a lot of the other things you would expect Cole to say, you get to hear him through the game. So, you'll want to play that and November 10th is the date, so thanks so much, Tyler.
Tyler Bielman: Absolutely. It was a pleasure, Jeff. And thank you for the kind words. The team couldn't be more excited, so thanks a lot.
Jeff Rubenstein: Me, too. Thank you.
Larry Hyrb: There you go. Gears Tactics. Jeff, great job on that interview. I know you played. You mentioned that during the interview. You played the game, you finished the game and now, you're going to go back and play it again?
Jeff Rubenstein: When we wrapped up the interview, Tyler was like, "You did meet those things, right?" And he was like, "You're being very nice." I was like, "Check my achievements." I played. I love this game. It's absolutely one of my top five favorite games this year.
Larry Hyrb: Legit.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, so that's great.
Larry Hyrb: We got some news, we got to talk about right?
Jeff Rubenstein: We always do, Larry, we always do.
Larry Hyrb: We always discuss. We've got a bunch of stuff going on here. We've got... well, actually, we should talk about the Xbox.
Jeff Rubenstein: The app?
Larry Hyrb: Should we talk about that?
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, let's go ahead and do that.
Larry Hyrb: Go for it. We've got for those of you who don't know for Android and iOS, we have an app now that... let me, I'm going to see if I can open it up here on my phone that it's been updated and it's got a bunch of really cool new stuff in it in that you can, it's much easier to social share some of your screenshots on social. You can kind of see what's going on. There's Jeff on the bottom there.
Jeff Rubenstein: Hey, look at me.
Larry Hyrb: You could take a look at that, what do you see? It says Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
Jeff Rubenstein: [crosstalk 00:38:39]. Yeah, Beta. Yeah, it works.
Larry Hyrb: You can also... you've got all your captures in here, so you can kind of take a look at that. You can share them on social. Let me show you this one. This is one from Apex Legends, so like, "Oh, okay, let me do that." You click share. I mean, it's worth it. You'll get the update. You can also control your... do some stuff with your console, and that's better managing your console. You can delete things off your console. So, when you remote download, you kind of do some storage management.
Jeff Rubenstein: Reconfiguring.
Larry Hyrb: Storage management, as it were.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes.
Larry Hyrb: So.
Jeff Rubenstein: Where it's best, and if you're planning on getting a new console...
Larry Hyrb: Do tell, do tell.
Jeff Rubenstein: If you're getting a Series X or Series S this holiday, make sure you download it because it allows you to have like a streamlined setup process. This is when you first get your Xbox Series X, Series S and you plug it in, it's going to take the newest update. I will tell you-
Larry Hyrb: Just like modern electronic connected device.
Jeff Rubenstein: Anything yeah.
Larry Hyrb: No.
Jeff Rubenstein: I will tell you it's a significantly faster and smoother process than in the past, but especially if you use the app to set it up. We've been testing this out and basically, having that like type in your password with the controller, especially if you've got like a safe long password. You should be using long passwords with two factor authentication and all that stuff. If you do it through the phone, you're like doo, doo, doo, doo, you're done. And it does, it walks you through all the setup and then even the questions that while it's downloading that update, it will ask you about your power saving, "Do you want to have that mode on? Who do you want to have signed in?" All that type of stuff. You can go through that process, be more efficient, get through that process, put it in the rear view and start playing right away.
Larry Hyrb: Yeah, so what you're going to want to do is you get the app here and in the upper right hand corner, you can kind of see this over here, this little, there's a little icon next to the bell, you can see your consoles and just click Set Up a Console. If you haven't one already set up, you can go through it. You can click Set Up New Console, and it's going to kind of walk you through. You can kind of see unfortunately, the reflection.
Jeff Rubenstein: The glare.
Larry Hyrb: Yeah, but it's going to kind of go through adding existing console, set up a new console, go through it. And as Jeff said, you're going to put in your password, "Hey, is this you? Do you want to do energy saving or quick resume?" And it sets all those up, and then it let's you-
Jeff Rubenstein: It's over before you know it.
Larry Hyrb: And what you can do is you can let it go and you can go in the other room and get a sandwich or whatever and if you bring your phone with you, it will pop up and say-
Jeff Rubenstein: Did you really just do the sandwich thing, Larry? Bringing those back like 12 years on that one.
Larry Hyrb: And then, yes.
Jeff Rubenstein: You don't always have enough time, depending on your internet, to make a sandwich. I can tell you that, maybe.
Larry Hyrb: And I'm telling you these consoles reboot fast.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. You were seeing me do that where... because right before we started recording, that fuse lost power because we were having a lightning storm, and you could see it rebooting. It was like, "That was fast."
Larry Hyrb: Yeah. Crazy fast.
Jeff Rubenstein: I can't wait for y'all to have that, to feel that speed. It has to be felt.
Larry Hyrb: Feel the speed. Anyway, let's go. Are we continuing on with the news, Jeffrey?
Jeff Rubenstein: [crosstalk 00:41:36]. Yeah, well, let's even start. So, coming this week, we always, Game Pass, the gift that keeps on giving and coming soon to Xbox Game Pass for console and streamable via your Android devices, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. This is a game that tens of millions of people play. It's made by Ubisoft and it is like one of the most popular eSports and they've added so much. The game has been out. When did it first come out? 2016, maybe?
Larry Hyrb: Yeah, I think so, yeah.
Jeff Rubenstein: I remember us playing when it first came out and it has really... they've put so much into it. There's new content. It's evolved. The meta has changed repeatedly. There's always... there's some great stuff to like on ramp for it and if you're just now playing for the first time through Xbox Game Pass, you can feel safe and secure, that many other people are just now starting. And so, it is a good time to join and you will not be the only... you won't be only just picked on by people, who've been playing for years.
Doom Eternal, another Xbox Game Pass, a new entrant. Let's say, you've somehow gone through, you've already beaten the campaign. Well, there is new content here. The Ancient Gods Part 1, that is an additional purchase, but if you've already got the game, then it is actually also currently on sale, actually, now that I'm looking for $17.99 here in that, in this initial launch period. More Bethesda news here. Fallout 76 is celebrating its Bombs Drop Day.
Larry Hyrb: The headlines are a little bit ahead of you, scrolling along the bottom here if you've noticed.
Jeff Rubenstein: Ah, are they? Yeah. I'm sorry. I'm reading it off of the blog, but our free play week, there's sales, there's in game events, so up until October 26, all Xbox Live Gold members gets to hop into Fallout 76 and play the game for free. This is another game that has seen significant support, post launch and updates and the game is not where it was when it started. It's much further along and much better.
There's just a lot. There's a ton of new content. They've added really just a whole lot of stuff into this. So, there's also a lot of Fallout, other Fallout stuff that is on sale like the Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition, 70% off the original edition, 70% off. Season Pass is 60% off. So, there's just a ton there if you want to traipse around. Post-Apocalyptic Boston, he hadn't done that yet.
Larry Hyrb: I love that.
Jeff Rubenstein: I know.
Larry Hyrb: What did you name your character?
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, my God, I'd have to look. I haven't even played-
Larry Hyrb: The only reason I know is because when I did the interview with Phil and Todd and Pete, I had my Fallout pit boy up on the screen, and I didn't know, nobody noticed my... I don't know if maybe you couldn't read it, but at the bottom. I was like, when I'm making my character, I usually, I named her Barbara, but instead of Barbara, it was Barbra because you're in Boston.
Jeff Rubenstein: Barbra. [crosstalk 00:44:28]. Mine might have been Havidyad or something. I don't recall. Well, it's just, it's pretty Apocalypto. So, another piece here. We've been talking about for some time now on Xbox Wire. We have a recurring feature-
Larry Hyrb: Wait a minute, what's meta? The podcast is in the news section. I'm just looking at the scroll the bottom.
Jeff Rubenstein: We've come full circle here.
Larry Hyrb: Wow. Sorry.
Jeff Rubenstein: So, we have a series called Inside Xbox Series X Optimized. So, for these 30 titles that we talked about that are being optimized on day one, what are they doing to optimize? How are they taking advantage of the velocity architecture of all these...
Larry Hyrb: What are they doing?
Jeff Rubenstein: ... video RAM and all they said that the 12 teraflops and everything else that they're doing dynamic, refresh rates and everything else. Well, this is where we give the developers a chance to tell you, so we have a new one up there for Yakuza: Like a Dragon. And the reason I call this out is one-
Larry Hyrb: Because you're a Yakuza fan.
Jeff Rubenstein: I was the [crosstalk 00:45:28] for this team. And I'm a Yakuza fan. They released a really great trailer. It's like one minute that sort of talks about optimizations. It's very tongue in cheek, it's very funny, and it's not a dry, technical chat, so take a look-
Larry Hyrb: Can you send me that link and I'll put it in the show notes?
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, yeah, for sure. I'll put that aside.
Larry Hyrb: When you get a chance.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. You have to watch the trailer. It's very funny. We also heard from the team at Ubisoft about Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Actually, Will Tuttle who's our editor and friends at Xbox Wire, if we were office...
Larry Hyrb: An all-round good egg.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... we'd all be sitting together. Let's not go too far. He got to play six hours of Assassin's Creed Valhalla a couple of days ago.
Larry Hyrb: Which if it's anything like any Assassin's Creed, it's like that much.
Jeff Rubenstein: Barely said anything.
Larry Hyrb: Right.
Jeff Rubenstein: But what he did is, and I really liked the angle he took, so they've really changed the way like the map looks like where there'd usually just be like a bunch of stuff. Where you'd be like "Okay, I got to collect these and I got to, this is a side mission and all that." There's a bunch of different things called like mysteries and there's 11 different types of them. And so, he went through all 11 of these different types and modes. He tried them all and he wrote about them and what they are and a lot of these are just like different, some of them are puzzles, some of them are-
Larry Hyrb: That must have taken forever.
Jeff Rubenstein: Six hours apparently.
Larry Hyrb: Okay, touché.
Jeff Rubenstein: Some of them sound actually like a lot of the sort of sub stories that you play in Yakuza where it's a serious story, but then there's like something ridiculous where you end up being in a video game or a music video or they get really strange. So, there are stuff like that that offers some levity into the game. There's like sort of like these like sort of tough optional boss battles and when you do certain things, you get like really cool weapons or points to put into your skill tree. There's just a lot of interesting stuff here to take on. There's apparently one that where you go get into medieval rap battles. Sure. Sounds good.
Larry Hyrb: Sure. Why not?
Jeff Rubenstein: Why not? So, anyway, it's an article worth checking out and then there's going to be something that we started to see at first in, I think the first time we saw this was in Odyssey or might have been even in the DLC for Origins, where you start to see some like sort of like mystical animals or beast, legendary beasts.
Larry Hyrb: Yeah, the legendary beasts.
Jeff Rubenstein: And apparently, yeah, one of them this like large shaggy wolf that called the Black Shark that is like a legend of English history is in it, and/or Fenrir rather, so yeah. Anyway, there's apparently some like animals to take down and beasts to take down, so and there's a skill shot, a skill shot.
Larry Hyrb: There's work to be done.
Jeff Rubenstein: There's just going to be a lot to do, there's going to be a lot to do and I'm looking forward to it and just the videos I've seen, this game looks beautiful, so.
Larry Hyrb: Well, this is also, it gets back to what we were saying before we started recording, is it's not just a lot to do in the game, but there's a lot of games coming out a lot, a lot you know.
Jeff Rubenstein: There's an awful lot of games.
Larry Hyrb: Think about all the backlog you already have and bringing that forward to Xbox Series X and S and then all the new games are going to be optimized. I mean, you've got... it's quite a bounty, I shall say that.
Jeff Rubenstein: It takes discipline. It takes discipline. I felt good about my backlog...
Larry Hyrb: Focus, focus.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... reduction plan that I've been undertaking all summer, so I am ready for really, the first fall game is or like holiday game, I think is Watch Dogs: Legion. Like if you don't count like FIFA and sort of the recurring games, like story-based.
Larry Hyrb: So, you've got the backlog reduction plan. Are we doing anything about the facial hair reduction plan?
Jeff Rubenstein: No.
Larry Hyrb: Okay. Yeah, I noticed that.
Jeff Rubenstein: We're not going do it. We're not going to do that. Anyway, so coming up on Halloween, which, look, I don't know how Halloween is going to play out. I have a feeling it's not going to be the most fun Halloween from a trick or treating perspective.
Larry Hyrb: Are you going to let people banging on your door?
Jeff Rubenstein: So, we usually go out. I have an 11-year-old daughter and so, we usually trick or treat and this year-
Larry Hyrb: What's the plan this year?
Jeff Rubenstein: I don't think we are.
Larry Hyrb: Okay.
Jeff Rubenstein: We're just trying to gauge. Well, certainly, we haven't done any work on a costume, so we're just sort of trying to gauge like, "What's going on?" We may walk around the neighborhood. Some of the houses like super get into it, and they are doing that, so maybe walk around and maybe I'll buy her some candy or something like that, but I just don't know that a crowd of kids lined up at the door of a stranger's house is necessarily the smartest thing to do and-
Larry Hyrb: Well, I've always said that, even not in COVID, I've always said that. So, I was right, Jeff, just say it.
Jeff Rubenstein: Maybe. I mean, we've never had an issue previously, but-
Larry Hyrb: We're doing over here in the suburbs, we've got a little, in our neighborhood, my wife and daughter are making little bags for each child and we're going to deliver them the day of Halloween.
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, that's nice, that's nice.
Larry Hyrb: Right, so that way [crosstalk 00:50:15].
Jeff Rubenstein: You have my SRS.
Larry Hyrb: Yeah, I do. I drop by frequently, randomly on a weekend. You'll just see me-
Jeff Rubenstein: It does happen. Yeah.
Larry Hyrb: Jeff, are you there? Hello. Hello.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah.
Larry Hyrb: Anyway.
Jeff Rubenstein: The drop in, it's a dying art. So anyways, that being said-
Larry Hyrb: I'm bringing it back.
Jeff Rubenstein: Trick or treating, yeah, maybe it never died. Well, Halloween may not be like your traditional Halloween, a lot of games are getting into the act. They do, typically. We've seen this with Apex. We've seen this with Call of Duty, Modern Warfare. Actually, I played that mode last night, the sort of zombie mode where when you die, you come back as a zombie and it's good. It's really fun.
Larry Hyrb: It's fun.
Jeff Rubenstein: But a couple of other games, I just wanted to call out. Fortnite is doing something called Fortnitemares: Midas' Revenge and there's like some cool-looking skins and there's even some stuff with like musicians, like J. Balvin is doing like a performance, who's a four-time Latin Grammy winner and so, he's going to be debuting a song. Like it's sort of like a Halloween party, like a virtual Halloween party. I think that's really cool. Rocket League is doing their haunted Halloween and it is with the Ghostbusters, so I think that's really cool. There's a Slimer car and a stay Puft Marshmallow Man car and of course, The Ecto-1 is in the game.
And so, just be safe this Halloween and maybe, eat the candy yourself and play some Halloween spooky video games. I think that's probably-
Larry Hyrb: Be safe. That's the most important thing.
Jeff Rubenstein: That's [crosstalk 00:51:49].
Larry Hyrb: That's the most important thing.
Jeff Rubenstein: Last thing is it's getting pretty cold, Larry. It's going to be in the 30s tonight, which is kind of-
Larry Hyrb: We're supposed to get snow in Seattle this week.
Jeff Rubenstein: Which is crazy, but it is getting cold. I haven't turned on the heat yet. However, there is a cuddle up and get and cozy game sale on ID at Xbox for some cozy games. Games that sort of make you feel good. A couple of examples here. Ooblets. Golf With Your Friends. I know you like that one. Slime Rancher. We know-
Larry Hyrb: Yeah, also a good one.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes. Sort of games to like kind of chill out. These games are on sale. Ooblets is 20% off. Totally reliable delivery service. My daughter and I had a fun time with that one at 30% off Slime Rancher.
Larry Hyrb: [crosstalk 00:52:31], I was bummed it wasn't tied into Kiki's Delivery Service.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yes.
Larry Hyrb: Right? I was like, "Oh, is this? Oh no, it's not."
Jeff Rubenstein: There's not a Kiki's Delivery Service game, is there?
Larry Hyrb: There isn't. It feels like there's a missed opportunity there.
Jeff Rubenstein: No. You would think. Slime Rancher is 65% off. Laura was a big fan of that game as I recall. And there's a few other ones that are just kind of just chill, cozy games and those, that sale goes on until October 26, and that-
Larry Hyrb: Head over to my blog at majornelson.com and that will give you all the details. We've got all the sales. We'll give completely cut it over there, so-
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. That's what we do.
Larry Hyrb: What's more to say?
Jeff Rubenstein: What's more to say, other than I really want a pastrami sandwich right now and I can't have it and I'm not-
Larry Hyrb: I do, too.
Jeff Rubenstein: I'm coping well with it, Larry.
Larry Hyrb: Hey, we've got a lot to talk about in the next coming weeks. We've got... I'll be talking to the guys from LG about the OLED, which I've been using, which is phenomenal for gaming.
Jeff Rubenstein: Life's good.
Larry Hyrb: Life is good. The other, I actually upgraded. You haven't noticed, Jeffrey, but there is an upgrade that you may or may not notice in the screen, which I'm really excited about.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah. It looks like you have like a new hinge or like a mic stand. It looks like cybernetic. Has that always been there? Did I did it wrong?
Larry Hyrb: It's always been there. No. I'm talking about-
Jeff Rubenstein: Duh.
Larry Hyrb: I'm talking about and I don't know if I could be able to show it, but I've upgraded my chair and you can't really see too much.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, I know which one this is.
Larry Hyrb: This is the... and yeah, this is the guys at Herman Miller. The Herman Miller-
Jeff Rubenstein: It's got the thing... can you turn it around? Because it looks like, it looks like the dead space armor. It looks like Isaac's armor in the back.
Larry Hyrb: Let me move my microphone, so you can kind of see. Yeah, you can't really see it. Here, let me lift it up.
Jeff Rubenstein: Lift it up. You're strong. Look at that. Look, doesn't it look like Isaac. That's your health bar up the middle.
Larry Hyrb: Right, right, right.
Jeff Rubenstein: How much oxygen you have left.
Larry Hyrb: So, yeah, we're going to talk about... let me bring my microphone back here. We'll talk to those guys. We're going to have a seating expert on from Herman Miller and this is a company that you may or may not be aware of. They make some of the greatest chairs and some furniture, very stylish, but I'm going to have them on to talk about how did they make a great gaming chair? What did they do? I mean, we've seen so many people in this space, but what can they do different and you would be surprised at what they're able to do. So, we're going to talk about that one.
Jeff Rubenstein: How do you feel? How's your back feel right now, Larry?
Larry Hyrb: Well, it's interesting is it doesn't have the kind of like the rest.
Jeff Rubenstein: Yeah, like this one.
Larry Hyrb: And they're very clear in their FAQ on their site like "Hey, we don't need it, because it just feels so good." It just feels so good, so-
Jeff Rubenstein: Well, the traditional Herman Miller chair doesn't go up that high either.
Larry Hyrb: [crosstalk 00:55:08].
Jeff Rubenstein: It's not like a throne. Yeah.
Larry Hyrb: Yeah. So, but we'll talk we'll talk to those guys. I'm really excited. I've never talked to somebody from like a chair designer. I don't even know what that is. Let's talk about that. Stay tuned.
Jeff Rubenstein: I don't. I don't know. A lot of sitting, a lot of sitting happens. We won't talk about my standing desk.
Larry Hyrb: Yeah, that's right, totally. We both have standing desks and I tend to see you sitting more than standing and likewise, I tend to do the same thing.
Jeff Rubenstein: It's for the angles. There's like a huge mess, so I sit during the show, otherwise...
Larry Hyrb: All for the show.
Jeff Rubenstein: ... like I'm standing, I walk around, like-
Larry Hyrb: All for the show. Anyway, well, listen, we'll let you go. We kind of got, we muddled through this week. We did it again, Jeffrey.
Jeff Rubenstein: Wow. You said it was going to be a great show.
Larry Hyrb: And congratulations to you, dear listener, you've wasted another hour or so.
Jeff Rubenstein: Oh, man. It's another hour closer to Xbox Series X launch. I mean, I do want to thank our guest Tyler Bielman. That I think was the best part of the show.
Larry Hyrb: Yeah, Tyler was great, Tyler was great.
Jeff Rubenstein: And Gears Tactics is coming out November 10th for console and then a huge update for PC and of course, Xbox Game Pass, so we've got many ways to acquire it.
Larry Hyrb: If you have any questions, you know how to find me. You can find me on social @majornelson. Of course, you can find Jeffrey right over there. You can see @jeffrubenstein, that's the complaint desk.
Jeff Rubenstein: Always. Let me have them and you know what? People do and sometimes...
Larry Hyrb: And if you need-
Jeff Rubenstein: ... I can't help them.
Larry Hyrb: If you need any tips for bubble tea, that's the guy.
Jeff Rubenstein: No, there's some good ones. There's some really good. Oh, I had a pumpkin spice one this weekend with cheese foam.
Larry Hyrb: I saw, I saw-
Jeff Rubenstein: ... sounds gross.
Larry Hyrb: I was at Costco the other day and they had pumpkin spiced dip. I couldn't push my cart fast.
Jeff Rubenstein: No, that's too far. No, no.
Larry Hyrb: I was like, "No, runaway, runaway."
Jeff Rubenstein: Certain things should be pumpkin spiced, certain things, most things I would venture should not be.
Larry Hyrb: Yes.
Jeff Rubenstein: When it's done, a beverage. Pumpkin spice a beverage, maybe a muffin.
Larry Hyrb: All right, we're talking about food, which means it's time for us to break.
Jeff Rubenstein: Hey, I have to go. I'm hungry.
Larry Hyrb: All right, gang. We'll talk to you guys next week. Jeff, if you have time to join us next week. I'd love to have you back.
Jeff Rubenstein: I would love to be here.
Larry Hyrb: And for everybody else out there, stay safe, have fun. Listen, just almost, just a little bit about two weeks left before Xbox Series X and S launch, so we're looking forward to that. Also, make sure you follow me on Twitter @majornelson. I'll have all the details. I got some free code Friday stuff. I may be giving away console soon, so that's a real console, not one of these, not one of the just the plastic ship.
Jeff Rubenstein: Not that, yeah. That goes to your neighbors.
Larry Hyrb: This is in eBay where you're just, where you're bidding on a shell, right? You're getting the real deal, so. All right, gang. We'll talk to you guys next time. Bye-bye, everybody.