With the next-gen launch season out of the way, it's time to look forward to what 2014 holds for the new systems. Microsoft produced some solid exclusives at launch in the form of Dead Rising 3 and Forza Motorsport 5, and will be looking to continue that success as the system's first year progresses. Read on as we take a look at the most promising next-gen titles coming to Xbox One in 2014.
First up is the system's flagship shooter. Respawn Entertainment's multiplayer-only title offers a twist on the tried-and-tested first person shooter formula, with players able to take control of a variety of mechs, known as Titans.
While this leaves room for some interesting new gameplay mechanics, there is some concern over the title's 6 vs 6 player count. However, the trepidation is largely unfounded, as matches will be bolstered by AI soldiers, boosting the combatant count to a healthy 48 per match.
It's worth noting that the title will also be available on Xbox 360 and PC, but in the absence of a PS4 port, we feel it still falls within the “next-gen exclusive” bracket.
Project Spark is the first of a number of unusual exclusives heading to the Xbox One in 2014. The title puts a digital canvas in the hands of the player, letting them create their own worlds, games and experiences. Players can create entire game worlds of their own, populating them with objects and characters, and dictating how everything and everyone behaves within them.
The concept might be a harder sell than some of the other titles in this list, and there are some concerns over how intuitive the final product will be to use, but the title is sure to spawn a dedicated community, providing near unlimited content for the price of entry.
While recent installments of the Fable franchise have lost some of the magic of earlier titles, Legends aims to bring the series back to form, while making some significant changes to the established formula. This time around, up to four players will be able to co-operatively explore Albion, while a fifth player acts as the villain, controlling the enemies from a top-down perspective.
There are minor concerns with the title, including some speculation over how putting the game's enemies in control of another player may effect balance and pacing. It also remains to be seen how the co-op centric design philosophy will translate into solo play. That said, it looks to be an extremely ambitious and promising addition to Microsoft's lineup.
Another ambitious title in the Xbox One's arsenal, Quantum Break is a third-person shooter from Remedy Entertainment that aims to blur the line between TV and games. The title will be accompanied by a television show, similar to last year's Defiance from Trion Worlds, though hopefully with more compelling results.
The game will ship with the live action show included, splicing in 30-minute episodes of the show at pre-determined points in the game. Factor in the next-gen looks and the protagonist's time-control abilities and Quantum Break starts to look like one of the most ambitious next-gen titles on any system.
Like Mario Kart for Nintendo and the Uncharted series for Sony, Halo is Microsoft's killer app. For a lot of Xbox One owners, the next Halo (presumably Halo 5) will be their most anticipated game, and for those who are waiting for a reason to take the plunge on the new console, this may well be where they dive in.
However, as significant as the franchise is to Microsoft's platform, we currently know nothing about the project beyond its existence. After the critically successful Halo 4, it's clear that the series has made the jump from original developer Bungie, to its new helmsman 343 Industries without a hitch, so the quality here is certain to be high. With only a brief teaser trailer to go by, it's difficult to know where the developer will take the popular franchise.
The above is far from an exhaustive list of what's to come on Xbox One this year, with other titles such as the D4, Below and Sunset Overdrive showing a lot of promise. Furthermore, there's an absolute wealth of multiplatform titles coming to the system this year, with most major studios working on next-gen titles.
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