With E3 2013 fading into the dark and distant past, we now know the runners and riders that will be competing in the next-gen console war. The Wii U from Nintendo was first out the gate, but it’s struggling to repeat the mainstream success of its predecessor. The PlayStation 4 from Sony has already gained fans thanks to gamer-friendly policies. And the Xbox One from Microsoft is recovering from bad publicity to once again pique interest in the U.S. and beyond.
Matt Smith already revealed his five reasons for buying an Xbox One, and it’s now time for me to add to that weight of expectation by revealing five Xbox One exclusive titles due to be released within the first year of the console’s launch. These are the games the early adopters will be playing while the rest of the console gaming community are fighting over the PS3 and Xbox 360 scraps.
Halo on Xbox One
Halo on Xbox One is, at the time of writing, a bit of a mystery. The fact that the true title hasn’t been revealed says it all. This could be Halo 5, or it could be something else altogether. All we know is that it’s a new Halo game, it’s exclusive to the Xbox One, and it fits somewhere into the Reclaimers saga kicked off with Halo 4.
With so little information to go on we’re left hanging on to the notion that this is a Halo game, and they’re always of a certain quality. It’s also going to be great seeing Master Chief and his cohorts in their full next-gen glory. Here’s hoping for a strong single-player narrative and killer multiplayer modes.
Crimson Dragon is an on-rails shooter which is being lauded as the spiritual successor to the epic Panzer Dragoon series. This seems fitting as the game’s creator is Yukio Futatsugi, who directed the first three Panzer Dragoon games. This was originally destined for an Xbox 360 release, but it showed enough promise that Microsoft promoted it to be an Xbox One launch title.
Unsurprisingly, the game puts you in charge of a dragon, of which there are six different types to choose from. Crimson Dragon features some Kinect functionality and a promising online co-op mode. So if you’ve ever fancied flying dragons with your mates this could be the game for you. Let’s just hope it turns out better than early PS3 game Lair.
D4 (Dark Dreams Don’t Die) is an episodic game from Hidetaka Suehiro, best known for PS3 and Xbox 360 game, Deadly Premonition. The rather convoluted plot sees you playing a private investigator whose wife has been murdered. You cannot remember how or why, but the trauma you have suffered has left you able to travel through time. Because, well, why not?
The cell-shaded visuals give D4 a very unique look, while its reliance on Kinect controls mean it could blur the line between casual and core gamers. I’m thinking Heavy Rain meets Alan Wake, which isn’t a bad combination, especially when a heavy dose of Japanese bizarreness is sprinkled on top.
Quantum Break is another exclusive Xbox One game that dabbles with the notion of time travel. Except this title is a shooter featuring three main protagonists, all of whom possess different abilities when it comes to manipulating time. They gain these abilities when a university experiment goes wrong.
The game has been developed by Remedy Entertainment, best known for the Max Payne series and the Alan Wake series. One interesting point to note is the way Quantum Break the game will be intercut with Quantum Break the TV show, a crossover we have already seen attempted with Defiance. Expect there to be a wave of similar multimedia experiences from here on in.
Forza Motorsport 5
Forza Motorsport 5 will be an Xbox One launch game, and a title that could sell consoles on its own merit. The Forza series has become an important franchise for Microsoft, acting as a strong counter to the PlayStation-exclusive Gran Turismo series. And the fifth full title looks to have upped the ante considerably.
Expect hundreds of cars modelled in great detail racing on dozens of tracks again modeled in great detail. Solid single-player action and mean multiplayer madness are guaranteed. Alongside Driveclub on the PS4, Forza Motorsport 5 will be in the first wave of next-gen racers, and it will therefore set the benchmark for others to beat.
As an added bonus the video embedded above features the trailer for LocoCycle, which acts as a counterbalance to the great games featured here. I’m not saying LocoCycle is going to be bad, but the trailer leaves me cold. There’s also the fact that this Twisted Pixel Games title was originally being developed for the Xbox 360 before being switched to the Xbox One. Which rarely bodes well (with the possible exception of Crimson Dragon).
Still, this is the exception in a launch line-up that looks very strong indeed. Add in the other Xbox One exclusives, generational exclusives, and console exclusives (that will also appear on PC), and you have dozens of reasons to buy an Xbox One. There are, however, at least five strong exclusives being released on the PS4, so it’s not a one-horse race by any means.
What do you think of this list of Xbox One exclusive titles? Which one in particular has you excited about the capabilities of the next-gen hardware? Are there any others you think deserve extra publicity? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.