Scalebound has been canceled by Microsoft. There are a lot of rumors flying around about why the game was canceled and the state the game was in order to warrant cancellation, but I don’t want to delve into that with this article.

Instead, I want to focus on the history that Microsoft has behind doing this to their third-party developers who are working on exclusives for them. Sometimes, it ends up being stand-up studios that are severely impacted by these decisions.

  • 2012: Microsoft hires Obsidian Entertainment to work on an Xbox One exclusive called Stormlands. Microsoft later cancels the project with very little notification to the developers, leaving them in a very bad state. Once source describes “Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart called a company meeting shortly afterwards and, choking up, announced that they’d be laying off 30 employees.” Obsidian took to Kickstarter with the project and turned Stormlands into Tyranny.
  • 2015: Indie developer Darkside Games is working on a Phantom Dust reboot for the Xbox One. Microsoft has given them a budget of $5 million, but the developers know that won’t cut it. After a terse meeting where the three top employees begged for a larger budget, Microsoft canned the project. The E3 trailer that was showcased at 2014 wasn’t even done by Darkside Games, but another studio Microsoft outsourced to do the work. As a result, Darkside Games goes out of business.
  • 2016: This is probably the most high-profile closure on the list. Lionhead Studios wanted to make Fable 4, but Microsoft wanted to capitalize on the popularity of MOBAs and online arena games. Instead, they made Lionhead create Fable Legends. When the game didn’t test well at two different E3 events and costs started running through the rough, Microsoft canceled the project and tried to sell Lionhead. When no one was interested without the Fable IP, Lionhead Studios was shut down.
  • 2017: Microsoft is back at it again with Scalebound. Rumors are flying about this one, but what we know so far is that Microsoft likely set milestones for the game that Platinum Games wasn’t comfortable with. Hideki Kamiya has been wanting to create Scalebound since 2006 and the first E3 trailer doesn’t indicate a four player co-op game. The last one does.

These four different instances of games being canceled seems to hint that Microsoft expects too much for too little from its third-party developers, while also asking them to create projects beyond the initial scope of the developer’s original vision. I’m not surprised by these cancellations and frankly, I’m surprised to see Sunset Overdrive and Insomniac Games managed to skate by.

Facebook post and let fans know that they’re looking for the culprit who made off with the two laptops.

“I’ve just been informed that two of our prototypes were stolen from our booth at CES today.

We have filed the necessary reports and are currently working with the show management as well as law enforcement to address this issue.

At Razer, we play hard and we play fair. Our teams worked months on end to conceptualize and develop these units and we pride ourselves in pushing the envelope to deliver the latest and greatest.

We treat theft/larceny, and if relevant to this case, industrial espionage, very seriously – it is cheating, and cheating doesn’t sit well with us. Penalties for such crimes are grievous and anyone who would do this clearly isn’t very smart.

We were on hand at CES this year to check out what Razer was showcasing and it was unbelievable to see the prototypes up close. You’ll notice those screens are pretty thin and while the base of the laptop is mostly just a Razer Blade, when the laptop is actually folded in on itself it’s not that much thicker than older laptops. Check out our gallery of pics from CES.

getting our hands on VR, but neither of the major three headsets could be considered affordable. The HTC Vive costs $800 out of the box and offers the most features for your money, while the Oculus Rift follows at $600, but without some of the bells and whistles found in the HTC Vive. PlayStation VR is arguably the most affordable option this year at $399, but that’s if you don’t could the necessary $299 machine to use it.

Now that we’ve seen what the industry is capable of in the high-end, this year several manufacturers will throw their hats into the ring with cheaper offerings. Lenovo is one of the first, revealing a sub-$400 headset at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year.

While not a lot of details were reveals about the new headset, Lenovo says it will weigh about 350g which is about 100g lighter than the HTC Vive. The new headset will be equipped with a higher resolution display than both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, with two 1440×1440 OLED panels.

All of that sounds amazing, but it should be mentioned that the prototype Lenovo brought to the show was a non-working prototype. It remains to be seen if such a device can be produced for under $400, but if Lenovo pulls it off we’ll probably see new generations of Rift and Vive that attempt to price match these headsets from “third-party” manufacturers.

Darkest Dungeon debuted earlier this year as a successful Kickstarter project that puts you in charge of an unlikely band of adventurers who must wander through the depths of madness and despair in order to prevail. Unlike most games, the setting of Darkest Dungeon is bleak and uninviting, but that only adds to your terror as you explore.

At its heart, Darkest Dungeon is a roguelike with plenty of difficulty settings for you to tailor your experience. The game is available for $12.49 during this sale and it’s worth every penny, as it has been actively updated all year with still more content planned. The soundtrack is pretty great, too.

Owlboy

We’ve been patiently awaiting the release of Owlboy for more than nine years now and it’s finally available. It just released last month, but it’s already 20% off during this Winter Sale.

For fans of pixel art platformers that were the height of gaming in the NES/SNES days, Owlboy is a love letter to gaming designed especially for you. There are plenty of hidden secrets to find and some of them still haven’t been figured out by the community.

The boss fights are plentiful and well thought out and even though the discount on this one is only $5, it’s definitely worth it if you’re a fan of pixel art adventures that have a lot of heart and feature challenging bosses to defeat.

Stardew Valley

Fans of Harvest Moon and games like it should immediately pick up Stardew Valley, which is available for only $9.99 and features an entire village of people waiting to get to know you as you work on your farm, growing crops, exploring the mines, and fishing until your heart’s content.

The game is a farming simulator at its core, but it’s also got some light RPG elements that come into play as you begin interacting with people in town. Just like Harvest Moon, there are certain characters you can woo with gifts and then marry to have them work on your farm with you as your husband or wife.

Starbound

While Starbound didn’t release this year, it’s continued updates and improvements make it a great title to pick up for people who want to explore space and procedurally generated planets. The game is a must for anyone who was interested in No Man’s Sky, as it certainly addresses the problem of having nothing to do in a galaxy as you planet hop.

The most recent update just debuted yesterday, bringing Ancient Vaults and procedurally generated bosses for you to explore and fight. Elemental damage and new legendary weapons were also added, bringing plenty of new content for old players as well. The game is only $9.99 during this sale, so it’s a must for disappointed fans of No Man’s Sky.

Shadow Warrior 2

Love over the top 80s action movies? Then Shadow Warrior 2 will be right up your alley. The game’s humor is enough to mark it as one to play, but the deep combat and fun weapons you can wield more than make up for this. The first Shadow Warrior was a lackluster shooter, but Flying Wild Hog has more than made up for it with the sequel.

The best part about the game is that it’s playable with up to four people co-op, so you can bring a friend along for the crazy wild ride you’ll experience in Shadow Warrior 2. The game debuted in October so it hasn’t been out that long, which is why it’s only available for 25% off.

Black Mesa

It’s been more than 10 years since Valve released the original Half-Life, but Black Mesa is a loving fan recreation that brings the game into the era of modern day graphics. Half-Life is a story that shouldn’t be missed and this is the perfect way for fans of first-person shooters to grab an old game that you otherwise wouldn’t bother playing.

The best part is the developers of this game have Valve’s blessing to re-create it, so for only $7.99 you can experience the game that made Valve what they are today.

Necropolis: Brutal Edition

Fans of Dark Souls and Souls-like games will find a lot to live in Harebrained Schemes’ Necropolis: Brutal Edition. Don’t be put off by some of the negative reviews you’ll see on Steam as the game released in a buggy and incomplete condition that caused community review scores to drop.

Despite that, Harebrained Schemes has been working on the game and taking community feedback into consideration while developing this procedurally generated Souls-like. There’s even a new playable character called The Brute for you to try. There’s a co-op mode for you to play with friends and the game has continued to receive content updates since it released.

Astroneer is an early access title, but already the game appears to have more going for it than the trainwreck that is No Man’s Sky. It contains some of the same base building promises, but it’s built around drop-in and drop-out co-op play, so you can invite your friends along for the ride. That’s still something that No Man’s Sky is incapable of doing, despite Sean Murray refusing to call No Man’s Sky the single-player game it truly is.

In Astroneer, you can also reshape the terrain to your liking and every other player near you can see the changes you make. You can create your own custom vehicles and modules by snapping components together so you can travel to new planets and moons. This game seems promising and even in this early access mode it has more features than No Man’s Sky did at launch.

Osiris: New Dawn

Out of all the games on this list, Osiris: New Dawn comes closest to what Hello Games wanted to achieve with No Man’s Sky. Players join together to survive on harsh planets as they explore the galaxy and build bases to keep themselves alive to survive and build another day. The resource management system in the game is pretty realistic and while some of the building blueprints take a lot of resources to build, they also grant some pretty big rewards.

The only bad thing the game has going for it is the combat system is a bit clunky, but the two person dev team has been responsive since debuting the game on Steam and they’re continuing to update the game based on player feedback.

Subnautica

You don’t have to leave the planet to find alien life you’ve never encountered before! The world’s oceans are teeming with life we’ve yet to lay eyes on, which is exactly what makes Subnautica so great. It takes place below the waves and players are tasked with surviving in a hostile environment that hasn’t been explored before.

You’ll plunge to the depths of the ocean to gather materials to keep your meager research base sustained and as you continue to build, you’ll be able to acquire new vehicles to help you explore further from your base.

There’s nothing quite so terrifying as not knowing what’s in the water with you as you explore, which is why Subnautica is a must for anyone who loves the survival base-building experience.

sneak peek of the calendar images.

Dark Souls – Artorias of the Abyss

Aussie cosplayer Yeliz went the extra mile with his Artorias of the Abyss costume this year. In fact, I’d wager to say that if you showed someone the pictures and said they were promotional materials from a Dark Souls game, they’d agree with you and say they’re awesome. Yeliz has done an amazing job with all of his cosplays in the past, so if you’re interested in seeing more of his work, be sure to check out his YouTube channel for more.

Final Fantasy XV – Gladiolus

Italian cosplayer Leon Chiro brought Gladiolus Amicitia of Final Fantasy XV to life recently and there’s not a cosplay on this list that has done a better job capturing the essence of the character. While all of the costume accessories and props are spot on matches to the original outfit, it’s Leon’s dedication to replicating Gladiolus’ amazing set of abs that should be given props.

ESO – The Lusty Argonian Maid

The Lusty Argonian maid is a series of innuendo-filled books that you can find scattered around the world of The Elder Scrolls. Fans of games like Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim have been joking on internet forums and reddit for years about the semi-raunchy life of the Argonian Maid, but now cosplayer Jenna Lynn Meowri has brought her to life.

Overwatch – Mercy

Overwatch has certainly taken the cosplay world by storm this year, with a whole host of new characters for gamers to love. Mercy is a popular choice because of her healing abilities, but her outfit presents some unique challenges for cosplayers who want to get it just right. That’s why when you find a Mercy that’s as well as Shappi’s, you admit hands down its the best this year.

Horizon Zero Dawn

It’s a bit odd seeing such a well-done cosplay before the main game is even out, but IbelinnCosplay has pulled off this spectacular look at Aloy. If you’re not familiar with this character, she’s the protagonist of the upcoming PS4 exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn. As for the costume itself, the Norweigan cosplayer admits that it took nearly three months to complete the outfit, with the detailing around the skirt taking 40 hours by itself.

Resident Evil 2 – Stage 1 Transformation

This Resident Evil 2 cosplay from Gai is one of the best we’ve seen for that series. The outfit is the stage 1 transformation of Dr. William Birkin, who served as the head of the G virus research and eventually became a victim to his own virus development. The gruesome detail on the arm is everything we could hope for in a modern remake of Resident Evil 2, so kudos to Gai for getting it so horribly right.

We said we “got our feet wet” because we’re far from done with this mode. We’ve only just completed it on Light (easy) and now are going for a run on Moderate. From our time with Survival, it’s become very apparent that this mode isn’t designed for a single playthrough. The harder difficulties are certainly doable with a good enough party and tons of time, but, again, not everyone has the time for that.

What’s important to take away from this mode is that you’ll want to level up your character, get better boosters, weapons, and player buffs before you tackle the higher difficulties. Nobody’s going to laugh at you for playing Survival on easy, especially if you don’t struggle nearly as much as they might when you crank the dial up to Crushing.

4. Save mysticals and power weapons for bosses

Every other stage has a boss battle. These guys are no joke as they can either teleport, send El Dorados coming your way, or throw out a quick Indra’s Eternity. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure you have a good game plan as well as some heavy-hitting weapons. Leading up to the boss battle within a stage, you’ll kill a lot of grunts with heavy weapons. Don’t touch those. Leave them on the ground until the boss battle starts, then grab them, unload, and rinse and repeat. This ensures that you have more money for important things like revives, mysticals, or ammo for your guns.

Mysticals are very important too. As tempting as it may be, you definitely don’t want to waste these before a boss battle. Save them. Your El Dorado will be far more useful against a boss than it is a group of enemies that are currently giving you some trouble.

3. Lock & Load booster

This is our favorite booster to use in multiplayer. In PvP, rolling over ammunition with Lock & Load equipped deposits the ammo directly to your clip, instead of requiring you to reload first. We can’t count the amount of times that has saved us. Lock & Load functions a little differently in Survival though. Essentially, it gives you ammo directly to your clip with each headshot. If you’re accurate enough, this could mean near-infinite ammo for you.

2. Designate roles

If you have a team of three (or even two) competent players, it’s probably best to dish out some roles. It doesn’t matter who does what, as long as they know what they’re doing, and stick to it. Figure out what everyone’s strengths are and play to them. Maybe one guy is better at reviving, while the other has impeccable aiming skills. This is even more important on rounds that require you to collect treasures.

During these moments, you’ll probably want to have someone picking off enemies while another person runs around the map, grabbing treasures. If you have three people, then get two people to grab the treasures. Either way you divide it, as long as someone’s taking care of the enemies, this will make clearing that round and getting more stars a simpler task.

1. Practice headshots

Headshots in just about any gun-based game are important, but while playing Uncharted 4’s Survival mode, they’re almost paramount to your progression. In addition to providing a small cash bonus with each headshot kill, you’ll do far more damage than you do with regular body shots. For brutes, armored foes, and bosses, every damage you can get counts. There are even modifiers that negate body shots, making headshots all the more valuable.

Bonus: Pray

If you’re lucky like we were, then the final boss will get stuck. We still don’t know how this happened and we’re not complaining either!