And then, there was One. One next-generation console remaining. One final piece of high-tech hardware to make its debut on the gaming scene. With Nintendo and Sony having make their grand entrances, all eyes were on the door, and gamers waiting for the Xbox One to come walking through those doors.
And oh, did it ever. A grand launch in countries spanning the globe. Over a million units sold to consumers in just 24 hours. A diverse roster of launch games ready to go from day one. While Microsoft may have stumbled earlier in the year due to its misguided DRM efforts, it quickly worked to right itself and refocus its efforts in time for November 22nd.
With so many options to now choose from on this third Xbox platform, where should you start? What should you play, and what would be best to avoid? You may still not know that—but we do. We’ve played the games. We’ve experienced the experiences. We can tell you which games to dive head-first into, and which may leave you with a nasty rash after exposure.
So, here is a rundown of our reviews, primed for your perusal.
“I enjoy a good hack-n-slash adventure, and Ryse provides enough visceral entertainment that I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had. But the game suffers from a lack of depth, repetitive gameplay, and a fairly short length. While Ryse’s foundation is solid, its flaws keep it from being the killer app the Xbox One so sorely needed at launch.”
Ryse: Son of Rome
“Forza Motorsport 5 feels like the extended demo of an incomplete game. It looks great, it sounds great, the cars all handle wonderfully, and the physics are absolutely phenomenal. But after a couple of hours, I realized there weren’t nearly as many cars as previous years and barely a dozen tracks, which got very old very quickly.”
Forza Motorsport 5
“When so many of this generation’s launch titles feel like glorified tech demos, I’m inclined to applaud the fact that Dead Rising 3 is much more impressive to play than it is to look at. Would I love to have it both ways? Sure. But I’d gladly trade more polygons for more zombies, more weapons, more laughs, and more.”
Dead Rising 3
“Putting the argument of core gameplay concepts aside for a moment, Double Helix has done a bang-up job in attempting to make Killer Instinct relevant again. This also goes for the cast of fighters, who—Jago aside—look nicely modern, updated, and interesting.”
“No aspect of LocoCycle’s gameplay requires any sort of skill beyond staying awake and paying attention. It asks only that you pay attention, which I suppose is the challenge, since it’s always so exhaustingly dull that you can’t help but be lured away by any distraction that might present itself.”
“Unlike some games in the genre, Zoo Tycoon is actually enjoyable to play on a moment-to-moment basis, precisely because you’re never struggling against cumbersome or obfuscated interfaces to keep up with all of your duties.”
“It almost feels like this was a game meant for the motion-tracking technology of the original Kinect, but because nothing was in the pipeline for the Xbox One’s launch window to show off what its new sensor can do beyond dancing and workout games, the project was shuffled from one platform to the other.”
“There’s so much to do out on the open seas that it’s easy to become lost in the search for buried treasure, hunting sharks, laying waste to smuggler coves, and violently seizing military forts—and you forget there’s actually a story tying all this together.”
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
“When compared to the Call of Duty games that have come before it, Ghosts has a few problems, primarily in regards to innovation and moving the franchise forward. There’s no denying this. There’s also no denying, however, that the game’s still really damn fun to play.”
Call of Duty: Ghosts
“Once Battlefield 4 gets into its groove, it’s a force to be reckoned with. When your team starts working together, when you discover the perfect loadout, when you’re on a level that’s perfectly paired to its game type, everything comes together in an incredibly rewarding, almost majestic symphony of systemic complexity.”
“If AllDrive is indeed the future of the Need for Speed franchise, then Ghost will need to do some earnest thinking about how to solve some of the serious design challenges it presents. While this initial effort enables some wonderful emergent moments that greatly enhance the experience, it too often throws out the baby with the bathwater.”
Need for Speed Rivals