I must admit, all the buzz surrounding Bungie’s upcoming Destiny has gotten me pretty excited. In case you missed it, you can see my thoughts on the alpha right here. Although PlayStation has been synonymous with this title thanks to numerous timed exclusives, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners will enjoy a largely similar experience in the end. This is no different than Microsoft’s branding on the Call of Duty franchise, which promises map packs sooner than gamers who prefer the game on PlayStation. Ultimately, gameplay experiences end up the same in the end. As such, the word “exclusive” has been thrown around far too much lately.
Instead, I’d like to focus on real exclusives: exclusives you cannot get anywhere else (that includes the personal computer). Today, I’d like to focus on Microsoft.
Here’s my list of must-have console seller titles for the Xbox One, in no particular order:
Turn Ten Studio’s latest racing masterpiece, Forza 5, released as an Xbox One launch title. It delivered on everything Microsoft promised: high definition graphics (1080p and 60 frames per second, the “holy grail” of display these days), utilization of the cloud (Driveatars), and utilization of the new Xbox One controller’s multi-motored haptic feedback system. But aside from the new bells and whistles, this game promises a genuine racing experience that is as much simulation as it arcade racer, depending on how many driving assists you choose to utilize. The devil is in the details, and it’s a complete blast to build your dream car with numerous engine tweaks, aerodynamic modifications, and even photorealistic paint schemes. If you are a fan of racing, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be playing this game. But if you’d prefer a more open world racing area, in which random on-the-fly races with Driveatar powered AI is more your pace, then you’ll definitely want to check out the highly anticipated Forza Horizon 2.
DANCE CENTRAL SPOTLIGHT
Microsoft all but admitted that the Kinect 2.0 was not as critically acclaimed as they had hoped; so much so that they decided to sell a Kinectless Xbox One to match the PlayStation 4’s $399 price point. But for those who have stuck around with the Kinect, you’ll be pleased to know that the folks at Harmonix have tweaked the best dancing game on the market and have only made it better. Thanks to some of the advanced features of the Kinect, this game delivers the most accurate, realistic dance sessions around. Whether you prefer to take it easy with practice sessions (with complete voice control to let the DJ know if you need more time with a move, or would rather dance on to more complicated moves), or throw down with your friends in a “choose your own adventure” dance routine that gets harder (but only if you can keep up!), this is the place to be.
HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION
Although Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 is available on the personal computer, the amazing remastery of both editions is not. I’m not going to argue that the PC versions are graphically superior, but what 343 Studios has done with the original gameplay and maps is nothing short of amazing. Now, fans old and new will be able to have all of Master Chief’s adventures on a single disk, with custom playlists of key battles, full reign of all multiplayer maps, and promised guaranteed Halo 5 beta access. If you’re a fan of first person shooters, an iconic soundtrack, and an incredible tale of valor, then Halo is the definitive solution. This complete experience is only available on the Xbox One.
GAMES THAT DIDN’T REACH “MUST HAVE” STATUS:
Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely loving Titanfall… for my personal computer. It does make a great “console exclusive” but that title doesn’t carry much weight with me anymore. I would have argued this would have been the number one reason why people should own an Xbox One, but the PC version looks prettier and runs smoother.
RYSE: SON OF ROME
This game received lackluster reviews from the beginning. The limited Kinect functionality did little to add value to this title. Gameplay was very repetitive, and although many quick time events were removed from the initial debut to the full release, Ryse: Son of Rome lacked an overall sense of progression or purpose. It’s this generation’s Heavenly Sword, and for that, I can’t see this as a system seller.
DEAD RISING 3
I’m a huge fan of the Dead Rising series. Frank West’s initial adventure was exclusive on the Xbox 360, and the follow-up sequel dropped the console exclusivity. When Dead Rising 3 was announced again exclusively for Xbox One owners, I got pretty excited. Until I saw the Steam Summer Sale two weeks ago… bummer. Yet another “console exclusive” that gets removed from this list.
So there you have it. My thoughts on what makes the Xbox One sell. I didn’t include the hyped Sunset Overdrive because it isn’t out yet, and looks can be deceiving. When you really boil it down, it seems like the Xbox One firmly owns the driving, dancing, and first person shooting market. And while Killer Instinct looks fun, it is by no means a must-have system selling title.
What are your thoughts?