A year has passed since the official reveal of the Xbox One, and by now the “all in one entertainment system” talk seems laughable. If you bought an Xbox One it’s because you wanted the best gaming experience that the next generation of consoles could offer. Sure, voice commands are nice, but none of my friends that own an Xbox One have told me how much they love saying “Xbox on!”. What they do tell me about is the games they’re playing. That’s why I brought you this list: to tell you about the games you should look forward to, whether or not you already have bought the One.
From the studio that brought you Spyro and Resistance, comes their latest game, Sunset Overdrive. The game’s plot is refreshingly simple: based in the year 2027 a super corporation called Fizz Co. sells a very popular energy drink, Overcharge Delirum XT, but it has side effects that eventually turn the people that drink them into mutants. You play as one of those non-energy drinkers and your job is to merely, survive.
The weapons of Sunset Overdrive alone might be enough to make it not suck, with guns like the AK Fuck You Up, a mini helicopter with a pistol attached to it, the TNTeddy – a grenade launcher that lets you shoot out teddy bears with TNT stuck to them that explode on impact, and High Fidelity, which shoots out razor sharp vinyl records. Sunset Overdrive isn’t just a shooter though. In order to be successful in this game you need to run, jump, climb, and grind your way around the city. Not only does shooting from a wall run look like a blast, it’s also an essential part of the game because you can’t take cover and you certainly can’t hide from the mutants A.K.A the OD. The release date is TBA sometime 2014, and it’s an Xbox One exclusive.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Speaking of sandbox games… Kingdom Come: Deliverence is a Medieval based open world RPG where you play as a blacksmith who finds himself down on his luck after a costly war. You decide to avenge your father but somehow get wrapped up into trying to rescue your kidnapped king (I guess no one told him family comes first). After that you can roam the world and fight as a knight, a bard, or a rogue.
Warhorse Studios are championing their game as realistic, calling it Dungeons & No Dragons. No need for any silly magic or terrifying, fire-breathing dragons stuff. If we wanted any of that we’d play Skyrim or watch some more Game of Thrones. The realism is exemplified from the revolutionary sword fighting mechanics all the way down to every day inconveniences of finding enough food or getting proper sleep – something people who can afford these games can relate to.
Despite Microsoft’s best efforts to keep this one under wraps, the most important game of our generation is possibly being developed right now. In April, Microsoft filed a trademark application for a new game called Screamride. This caught the attention of resident sleuths at GameSpot who immediately called them out on it. The response from Microsoft was coy, and oddly in third person (I thought corporations were people?).
“Microsoft often acquires various trademarks as part of its ongoing business strategy, but beyond that we have no comment.”
Sure you do,Microsoft, sure you do.
Will this be the next horror/theme park game we’ve all been waiting for? We can only hope.
The survival horror genre goes back nearly as far as video games do themselves. One of the first ever games to fill gamers with terror was Haunted House (1982). You play as a floating pair of eyeballs which attempt to enter through dark passageways while avoiding ghosts, bats… and ghost-bats. The genre has come along way since then, with franchises like Resident Evil, Dead Space, Silent Hill, and recently the critically acclaimed The Last of Us all gaining widespread popularity.
Survival horror is at its best when the game puts you in the shoes of its hero, who is usually ill-equipped to handle his/her enemies and often has just enough to get by at any moment. The protagonist does his/her best to avoid conflict, unlike the Left 4 Dead franchise and Dead Space which are far more combat oriented, if not less scary.
Sega is aiming closer to the genre’s roots with Alien: Isolation. Setup as a direct sequel of the movie Alien, your character is Amanda Ripley (which could be an accomplishment in itself since you won’t find too many women as the main character of a video game) who sets off to investigate the disappearance of her mother Ellen Ripley. There’s only one problem: the alien never left.
Unlike James Cameron’s Alien, you won’t have any highly powered pulse rifles at your disposal. In fact, from the looks of it, you won’t have any guns at all. Instead of shooting your way out of trouble, you will have to craft, hack, and hide your way around the unpredictable and deadly alien. If there’s anything we can expect from Alien: Isolation I think we can safely say that it will indeed be very, very scary. I felt my pulse quicken even as I was just watching the announcement trailer. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Ubisoft has been busy. Sequels for Ubisoft favorites Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are well on their way, the new Watch Dogs IP saw a successful launch, they’ve got two movies in the works, and now they’re developing The Crew, an open world racing game attempting to be at least slightly better than another memorable Ubisoft racer, Batman: Gotham City Racing (Sorry, Ubisoft, but people don’t forget!).
With all these projects in motion, the one I’m most excited for is Tom Clancy’s The Division. Maybe it’s the cold and dreary New York City aesthetic, or the innovative map function that presents itself on the floor beneath your feet, or maybe I just can’t stop thinking about how cool Chris looks controlling a drone on his iPad likely at an underground coffee place in Wicker Park…
It’s clear that The Division has a lot to offer next-gen users, including fans of Watch Dogs, with a premise that is similar, but no too similar to that game given it’s near-future, sci-fi context. The key difference is in the online co-op showcased from the get-go in every gameplay trailer. The combat is very team-oriented, and it looks like Ubisoft intends for you to take back New York City with your buddies all miked up.
We’ve known about The Division for a while now, but how much more do we know about this game now than we did last year? The two (well now actually three) gameplay demos we’ve seen are essentially the same. We still don’t have a sense of just how big or how navigable The Division‘s NYC really is.