Can you smell that? That’s the smell of next generation gaming wafting into your nostrils. The Xbox One and PS4 will be hitting the shelves soon, and as the Xbox One lands first, releasing in Europe on November 22nd, let’s kick things off with our top 5 Xbox One launch titles.
5) Ryse: Son Of Rome
Ryse: Son Of Rome; The game which was doubtless inspired by one creative type having a night in with a bottle of wine and a certain Russell Crowe movie. Of course, something went seriously wrong along the way and now it looks nothing like A Beautiful Mind, but Ryse is jam-packed full of sword-slinging action and Roman shenanigans.
Despite receiving mixed reviews, Ryse: Son Of Rome certainly looks impressive and is one of Microsoft’s flagship titles for the Xbox One launch. Ryse follows the life of Marius Titus as he grows from a young boy to a Roman commander. Described as “an epic tale of revenge spanning an entire lifetime”, Ryse boasts impressive features, such as fifteen fully mo-capped hero level characters, a co-operative multiplayer arena mode and control of legion forces via Kinect voice commands. Let’s hope the new Kinect is as advanced as we’re given to believe, because if not… “Legions! Attack! What? No, not Blu-Tac. Why would I say Blu-Tac? WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?”
4) Forza Motorsport 5
Forza Motorsport 5 bagged our Eurogamer Expo “Racing Game Of The Show” award because it’s fast, fun and very, very pretty. The Forza series has been hugely successful since it first debuted in May 2005 and has maintained a steady level of excellence whilst continuing to improve upon previous incarnations. Forza 5 shows no signs of bucking the trend.
The exciting new change to this incarnation of the hit racer is the Drivatar system which, despite the buzzwordalicious name, is pretty impressive. Made possible by the power of the Xbox One cloud, the Drivatar system uses data uploaded from your console regarding your play style to develop learning AI opponents. Whenever you race against AI, you’re actually racing against the sum total of knowledge from racers all across the world. So, if your AI opponent crashes a lot and occasionally heads the wrong way, you’ll know I’ve picked up Forza 5. You’re welcome.
3) Zoo Tycoon
We’ve all had nights like it. Few beers, few friends, someone says “Hey, we should form a band! Or open a pub! Or start our own zoo!”. Now those drunken dreams can become reality with Zoo Tycoon! The Xbox One release of Zoo Tycoon marks the first time the series has come to console. The game features a 15 hour story campaign, as well as the traditional freeform mode and also includes the option to roam your created zoo as your Xbox avatar.
In a very interesting move, Microsoft have promised to donate money to assorted animal charities, based on community events. Jonny Watt’s, Chief Creative Officer for developer Frontier Developments, explains “Take for example the recent Rhino killings in Nairobi park – we could set a community based achievement asking players to save 10,000 rhinos, and when unlocked money would be given to the park or a related charity”
2) Dead Rising 3
Dead Rising is the series that says “there’s no such thing as too many bloodthirsty zombies,” and with the power of the next generation, there can be three times as many zombies as before on screen at any one time. That’s a lot of zombies. The third entry in the popular zombie survival series will also see the introduction of on-the-fly combo weapon crafting, with no need for a workbench, as well as the possibility of creating “combo vehicles”.
Another interesting feature is Kinect functionality, which adds a new level of pant-wetting terror to the game. Sneeze while playing and the zombies will hear you. Friend walks in and says hello, he could well trigger a rush of undead to your position. Dead Rising 3 also incorporates SmartGlass support, with players able to use their SmarGlass device as a kind of hand held map, to locate certain objects, set waypoints and more. Completing special SmartGlass missions will allow gamers to call in extra support via SmartGlass, including airstrikes. Watch them bodyparts fly!
1) Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct is a classic beat-em-up of yesteryear and an absolute favourite of mine, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to hear that not only will Killer Instinct be headed to Xbox One at launch, it won’t cost you a single penny. Stop drooling.
The new Killer Instinct title features six characters from the classic title, with two more to come within a four month window following launch. A “second season” of DLC is also planned, which will introduce brand new characters to the series. The classic Combo play returns, along with the Ultimate Combos, but there are a few new features thrown in as well, such as Instinct Mode. This mode, unlocked by filling a second bar, situated beneath the health bar, allows players to apply a short-term enhancement to one of their character’s abilities. It’s all sounding pretty exciting, but in all fairness, the simple fact that Sabrewulf is part of the roster was enough to have me squealing like a Belieber.
So, what’s tickling your fancy? Are you happy with the Xbox One launch line-up or are you a little disappointed with what’s on offer? Drop us a comment and have your say, or hit us up on Twitter and Facebook.