If you’re like us, you’re very excited for the next generation of gaming. Even if you’re a PC gamer, you’ll see a knock on effect from developers finally able to level up. In this and the next State Of Play, we’ll guide you through the exclusives titles for Xbox One and PS4 – the titles that’ll be fighting for your hard-earned in just 3 months time…
Ryse: Son Of Rome (Launch)
Like practically everything else to do with the Xbox One, Microsoft have done a poor job at telling us just what Ryse: Son Of Rome is all about. Revealed at this years E3, first impressions were mixed. While undeniably visually striking (this IS the next-gen after all!), the Big M decided to show a pared down version of its fighting system, relying heavily on QTE’s. Unfairly, many in the industry decided to focus on the history of the title (it was previously a Kinect-only current gen title) instead of talking about its present.
Here’s what we do know. History buffs will find a lot to like here. A passion project for Crytek, Ryse sees you battle through the glory days of the Roman Empire. The fighting system is akin to the Arkham Batman titles and the story branches like Mass Effect. You can still use Kinect, but instead of waving your arms around like a running Pheobe from Friends you can bark orders at your comrades on the battlefield. An 18 rated game, Ryse is bloody and brutal and will surely show your mates what your new Xbox One can do.
Quantum Break (2014)
A new Remedy game is always cause for celebration, and Quantum Break looks like it could be a bit special. Taking what the Finnish studio have learned from Max Payne and Alan Wake, QB mixes high-octane set pieces and story driven gameplay with a twist; there’s a TV show involved.
Coming on the disc is Season 1 of the Quantum Break TV show – and it could be a different TV show to the one that your friend watches. After you make certain decisions in the game, an episode of the TV show will automatically play (supposedly they last around 14 minutes each) and each episode will be based on your own scenario – giving you hints on what’s to come and revealing the larger world of Quantum Break. It’s risky and could be terrible, but it’s just a little bit exciting.
Oh, Swery and your undeniable genius. The creator of Low Fat Gaming favourite Deadly Premonition is back and this time he’s got the backing of Microsoft and a larger budget. D4 certainly stands out from the crowd – a cel shaded, supernatural detective game with action sequences and Swery’s signature style – D4 finds you using time travel to solve, and prevent, your wife’s murder.
Deadly Premonition wasn’t for everyone but this is a bit of a coup for Microsoft. Swery has a cult following in the gaming world, and getting him and his new game onside is a plus for the Xbox One.
Project Spark (Launch)
Spearheading Microsoft’s next generation foray into “Free To Play” is this create ’em up. Similar to Sony’s Little Big Planet, Project Spark gives you the tools to create the type of game you want to play. Utilising the Xbox One controller, Kinect voice recognition and Smartglass, in theory, the sky is the limit.
So far, Microsoft have shown us myriad of different genres being created – sprawling RPGs, beat em up’s, platformers and twin-stick shooters to name a few. Project Spark’s true potential will only be seen once the community get stuck into it though. File this one under curious.
Killer Instinct (Launch)
The cult classic is back. After being MIA since the N64 days, Rare fan-favourite Killer Instinct is back for the Xbox One launch… and it’s ‘Free To Play’. You get one fighter to play with, with the free fighter changing on a regular basis, and you can pay to unlock the rest of the fighters if you wish.
Beat ’em ups struggle to sell these days, so this model is a logical way to go. So far, Killer Instinct has been the poster boy for the Xbox One’s DVR capabilities, but how’s it going to play? Rare are only supervising the project, which is a worry, but after investing so much time and PR into the game, you can’t see Microsoft releasing a dud. We’re hopeful.
Kinect Sports Rivals (2014)
There’s really not much to say about this one. Not much has been shown as Microsoft are still keeping Kinect 2.0 largely under-wraps, possibly after learning the lesson of showing the original Kinect too early.
A lot is riding on this game though. It’s Microsoft first-party and it NEEDS to show how much Kinect 2.0 has improved over its predecessor. If it doesn’t, it’s game over man.
Forza 5 (Launch)
Microsoft’s ‘killer-app’ at launch, no doubt about it. Forza 5 takes advantage of every new trick the Xbox One can do and has been built from the ground up for the system. Developers Turn 10 have made the driving-sim genre their own and they’ll being hoping for that to continue.
Hands-on previews have been overwhelmingly positive. Expect to see plenty of Forza in the coming months – it’s the Xbox One’s big boy and Microsoft will have it front and center of their PR campaign.
Dead Rising 3 (Launch)
Zombies are big news. You’d think people would be tired of them by now, but the continuing success of The Walking Dead franchise, State Of Decay and World War Z say otherwise. Enter Dead Rising 3. Boasting a gaming world larger than Dead Rising 1 and 2 combined, and with no loading times, DR3 is going to be a popular launch title for the Xbox One.
Initially, and standard for the knee-jerk gaming press, there were concerns of the seemingly more serious tone of DR3 compared to its predecessors. Don’t worry. Even though it wasn’t shown in the gameplay reveal, the series trademark humour is there in spades – you can dress in Lycra and bash zombies with plastic light-sabres to your heart’s content.
Sunset Overdrive (2014)
We’re hoping for a return to form from developers Insomniac on this one. Xbox exclusivity is a first for them and after multi-format flop Fuse, the Ratchet and Clank makers have gone back to what they know with a colourful, stylised, weapon heavy, open-world romp. Phew.
Not due out until next year, Sunset Overdrive takes advantage of the Xbox One’s cloud technology, delivering emergent gameplay scenarios and evolving worlds. Exciting stuff. We look forward to seeing some gameplay footage though.
Crimson Dragon (2014)
First announced years ago as an Xbox 360 title, Crimson Dragon made an unexpected (and botched) return at E3 2013. We’re a bit exciting about it. You see, it’s the spiritual successor to the SEGA Saturn’s Panzer Dragoon series (though sadly not Saga).
Playing like a mix between Panzer Dragoon and Kinect title Child Of Eden, Crimson Dragon sees you, unsurprisingly, take your crimson coloured dragon to the skies in what promises to be a pure-action blastathon. We can’t see this as a full retail release though, so look out for it on digital download.
Halo Something (2014)
As well as a TV series, a new Halo has been confirmed for Xbox One. So far, so normal. What isn’t normal is how reluctant 343 are at confirming it as Halo 5. Rather, it’s been called Halo for Xbox One. Hmmm…
So what is it? For one, it’s Microsoft’s flagship. Halo sells. Even the spin-offs like ODST and Reach. While we expect a Halo 2: Anniversary at some point, we doubt this is it. If we had to guess, we’d say this is Halo 5 in all but name; it’ll further the ‘Reclaimer Saga’ but will do away with the numbers – Microsoft don’t want to be advertising Halo 7 in 4 years time. Look out for simply Halo or Halo: Reclaimer in November 2014.
Titanfall is coming to PC but is a console exclusive for the Xbox One. Which is big news after winning more Best Of E3 games this year than anything else.
The original CoD creators are moving to the next-gen in a big way, and Titanfall looks set to go up against Destiny in the battle of the FPS/MMO emergent, open-world hodgepodge genre. EA will be hoping to capitalise on the success and popularity of CoDs online mode and gamers at large will hope the gameplay is as fast, frantic and varied as it seems.
Honourable mentions: Below (look for a full preview soon), LocoCycle, MineCraft Xbox One, Fantasia, Zoo Tycoon, Powestar Golf, Max: The Curse Of the Brotherhood and Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare.
At our count that’s 20 exclusive titles you’ve got to look forward to on the Xbox One, with more promised for reveal at the upcoming GamesCom conference. Join us tomorrow as we guide you through what the PS4 has to offer.
– Dave Green. He’s on Twitter @davidpgreen83
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