Prey, the "not a remake" of an 11-year-old shooter reinvented by the makers of Dishonored, has a strong BioShock meets Portal vibe. Or maybe it's something else, but the game's attempts to gaslight you from the start have instant appeal.

I honestly don't know where this is going but with mods and power trees aplenty to light up, I'm interested to find out:

 

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We LOVED Dishonored. Maybe not a first glance - our first meeting at PAX was confused and fumbled. But GrrlGotGame and I both committed to finishing the game, and we're glad we did. So when the Black Friday sale offered the three games for $40 (the remastered Xbox One edition, which we'll gladly best again, plus Dishonored 2 and the latest Death of the Outsider), we were all in.

The start of Dishonored 2 presents a big choice - will you play dad or daughter? See which I chose and how those first few kills went down (also a quick tutorial if you're in need a moves refresher):

 

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Life Is Strange: Before The Storm is the prequel to Life is Strange. I rather liked the original though haven't finished it yet. This one, so far, is better and shouldn't spoil anything as the events predate the first game.

Episodes 1 and 2 are in now, with the third on the way. In just the first half hour, I get into a late night concert in an abandoned steel mill, deal with some unpleasant hoods, and start piecing together what else happened while confronted by what will no doubt be a lecture from mom:

 

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I love good storytelling, and What Remains Of Edith Finch from our new favorite indie publisher Annapurna Interactive promises this and a lot more.

In the first 30 minutes, you play as a person, a cat chasing a bird across moonlit treetops, a shark rolling down a hill in search of water, and a snake monster who is - in truth - a bit hard to control. It is also - in truth - quite awesome:

 

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The pitch for Lego City Undercover is great: Grand Theft Auto with Legos. I originally tried to play through this open brick world on Wii U but as Wii U failed to captivate me as a gaming system, I didn't get too far. Just far enough to know I loved it.

So here I am trying again with the Xbox One release, which I nabbed for $20 in the Black Friday pre-sale. It's fun, it's funny, and this time I'm going to really try to finish it:

 

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Batman: The Enemy Within is the follow-up to the most excellent Batman: The Telltale Series, which took the Batman mythology and seemingly put it into a blender. The action was good, there was detective work for those - like me - who enjoy some exploration in their games, and story twists aplenty to keep you guessing.

This is more of the same with a fresh Riddler story and some tweaks to the already superb action mechanics. If you liked the first, you'll probably love this well-polished sequel - but, hey, look for youtself:

 

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I didn't expect to love Minecraft: Story Mode. I don't play much Minecraft and, even after trying the game in Telltale's booth at PAX back when it debuted (interview), I didn't feel much of a draw.

I'm so glad I gave in. The first season and bonus episodes are amazing once you get past the prologue. Part of it is no doubt playing as a Patton Oswalt-voiced hero (if you pick the male). That never seems to gets old.

So here we are at the start of Season Two (warning, some minor Season One spoilers if you didn't play, though outcomes can vary a bit depending on your specific choices):

 

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Thimbleweed Park is a point-and-click adventure game. There are even words and stuff you need to select to take actions. If that's not your thing, you can skip this. But if you enjoy crazy comedic adventures such as Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island, you'll want to bite down on this murder mystery now.

Creators Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick are known for their LucasArts classics including the games mentioned above. Get a taste of their witty game writing in the start of the game with no spoilers as to what might be farther down the road:

 

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So Doodle God is a pretty dumb game. You match "elements" (which are occasionally real elements but more often than not things, creatures or concepts) to unlock new "elements," and success delivers more materials to choose from and a pithy quote.

It's basically a guessing game with a story-like framework and little quests and bonuses to unlock. Is it great? No. But is it fun to play when your brain isn't up for a more involved game? Sure.

And it's certainly worth the $4 pricetag in this year's Black Friday sale on Xbox One (and possibly other places). But, hey judge for yourself:

 

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At PAX this year, I did pretty well at Super Lucky's Tale on Xbox One (also on Windows 10). But you wouldn't know it by watching this video. I spend the first 20 minutes dying in stupid ways.

Learn from my mistakes, and see how I turn it around to complete the game's first portal and start the even more dastardly second:

 

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Trackmania Turbo is the first Games with Gold title unlocked for Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One this November. As a racing game fan, I jumped right in. It's very arcade-y and pretty fun to play but the gem seems to be user-created content.

I had a blast trying some of the downloadable levels though the main campaign mode is solid and a bit wacky too

 

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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was one of our highlights of PAX West 2017. And it wasn't just for the strawberry shakes they handed us at the Bethesda booth for completing the demo. The gameplay is seriously solid.

Alas, the demo at PAX was simple compared to what's at the start of the final game, even at the easiest difficulty. So expect a few failures along the way. And a sadomasochistic, fat-shaming, murderous Nazi fraulein. Yes, this video is seriously M for Mature.

So grab your shake of choice and watch the first 30 minutes of the game, plus a bit extra to make up for all of the cut scenes and barely interactive sequences at the start:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

You know I can't pass up an Artifex Mundi hidden object game on my console. Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden is a new franchise (at least for me) that just launched on Xbox One. It's sort of like if BioShock were a hidden object puzzler. Would you kindly find all of the items on this list, or alternatively play a round of dominos?

You can see by watching the video that the game won't let you proceed unless you try the dominos option once but as soon as you do, you can switch back to hidden objects and pick up where you left off. A bit annoying but easy to get past:

 

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South Park: The Fractured But Whole unlocked a little early for some reason, and I could not wait to jump right in. I loved the The Stick of Truth and this seems like more of the same, but with a superhero bent.

You might recall that we recorded the full PAX West developer panel on this game, and it's pretty great. Give it a listen in the Busy Gamer Nation podcast feed.

Here you can watch the prologue, see how combat works, and check out some of the character class and customization choices. There's not too much in the way of spoilers as there is so much more to explore.

No surprise if you watch the show, this game earns its Mature rating - this video is recommended for adults only:

 

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The Turing Test is the second title in this month's Xbox One Games with Gold. It seems a little Portal-y but the difficulty ramps quickly (or maybe I'm just dumb). Perhaps you can figure out what I missed? Don't tell me, I want to figure it out. Normally when I play puzzle games, if I sleep on it I'll work it out.

Anyway, if you're on the fence, this ought to help you figure out if you want to play:

 

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Danger Zone caught my eye when I noticed it was from the makers of Dangerous Golf, a game we quite liked. But then I learned it was made by the former Criterion Games' Burnout developers, a fact that is unmistakable as the gameplay almost perfectly matches that of Burnout 3's breakout Crash Mode - which entertained us for many hours back in the day.

Playing Danger Zone is just like Crash Mode, only harder. I found the challenge ramped quickly even though I felt my Crashbreaker instincts kicking back in almost immediately. The game unexpectedly crashed (no pun intended) about 15 minutes in, so the stream ends abruptly and then picks up with my next try.

The game does add one new wrinkle, a "deresolution" that ends your turn instantly if you leave the road and land in a TRON-style grid that lies beneath the roads:

 

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So Forza games are my racing jam. More Horizon than Motorsport but I usually do pretty well at Motorsport. I even killed it with the Forza Motorsport 7 demo at PAX West.

So why do I suck so bad at the full game of Forza Motorsport 7 Ultimate Edition on Xbox One? From the first 30 minutes, you really can't tell I've got much game. Perhaps it's intended to make you recognize the challenges that face you on the road to the winner's podium. All I know is that I will probably need to post another 30 minutes once I have a decent garage filled with tuned vehicles and some races I can win.

For now, enjoy the start of the game, the preliminary 1-lap teaser races, the assists menu and other UI, and the first full race where every car is tuned exactly the same:

 

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I honestly had no idea what to expect from Oxenfree, one of this month's Games with Gold titles on Xbox One. I recall watching the trailer and being intrigued but playing it is something else. There's walking and talking, packed with innuendo and subtext. And there's a radio that can tune in otherworlsly portals or whatever.

It feels very Twin Peaks. I hope to find some damn fine coffee and cherry pie but so far they've eluded me. Where will it go next? I have no idea - but I want to see it through.

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

After streaming the Destiny 2 beta back in July, I thought I'd take a crack at the final released game.

I beat the prologue here in just a bit more than 30 minutes (much better than the beta, which took 48) and then descided to stream the next 30 so you can peek and see what happens next:

 

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.

Eventide 2: The Sorcerer's Mirror is the latest Artifex Mundi hidden object title ported to console. Normally I jump right on these - I may have a problem! - but it snuck in while we were preparing for PAX West.

The reviews are mixed. Some say the puzzles are too easy and there's no mini-bonus adventure (something every other title so far has had, at least on Xbox One). But the gameplay seemed good and the story interesting so we'll let you check it out and decide for yourself:

 

For more like this, follow my Mixer channel and find archived streams in my YouTube channel.




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