It’s fair to say that Sony’s PlayStation 4 catalog of exclusive games are killing it. So much so that they outshine anything on the Xbox One. It’s become pretty common at this point for gamers to say that Xbox One “has no games,” making for a worrisome statement. Even I’m guilty of making this assumption.
I personally blame Microsoft. Aside from a very bloated, tech-heavy reveal of Project Scorpio, everything is quite on the Xbox front. After doing some further digging, I’ve found a few gems from Microsoft that tells a different story about their exclusive lineup. Will it be enough to get fans excited?
Let’s start this list with an indie I’ve had my eye on for a while. Cuphead is every Steamboat Willie and old-timey cartoon fans dream come true. This sidescroller is almost surreal in its presentation. Not since Uncharted 2 have I questioned what I was seeing on screen. I still stare in awe at the gameplay, wondering how they have made the black and white aesthetic playable. It also doesn’t hurt that the action looks top notch.
I don’t have much experience with the Crackdown series. I’ve only played the original demo back on the Xbox 360. Still, I remember the game leaving an impression. I also remember the series being a fan favorite. However, it’s been a while since the last Crackdown came out. It faces living up to more recent games that are similar in style like Just Cause. I’m placing bets that this might be the sleeper hit Microsoft needs. Hopefully, I’m right.
If you are into what the gaming community has affectionately dubbed as “Walking Sims” (terrible genre name by the way), then Tacoma might be right up your alley. I tend to enjoy these games. Their sense of mystery and suspense tends to pull me in as I unravel the story. It also doesn’t hurt that this game is by the excellent developers who made Gone Home. This one takes place in space station miles away from earth. You’re tasked with finding out what happened to the missing crew members through an augmented reality system playing out their last moves.
Sea of Thieves
Every time I look at Sea of Thieves, I don’t know what to think. Rare is a completely different company than what it used to be. This game does seem right up their alley but looks overly ambitious. If you remember Project Spark, Microsoft doesn’t have a good track record with user-generated content games. This game also relies on multiplayer as it’s main focus. Time will tell if this seafaring adventure game will be a hit.
State of Decay 2
I’ve heard a lot about the State of Decay before but never really gave it a good look. It seems I’m missing out. If you are unfamiliar with this recent hit, it takes place in a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland. While not a wholly original concept for a video game, State of Decay makes up for it with its gameplay. It has an interesting spin that makes death meaningful. You’re part of a community and set out to explore for supplies and resources. However, once your character dies, you take the place of another from the community, losing everything you’ve collected and the relationships you’ve forged. Microsoft was quick to scoop up this gem and now a sequel is set to release this year.
Microsoft has had a bit of trouble getting Phantom Dust off the ground as it moved from full-on-remake to remaster. However, the development of the Xbox One version of the cult classic seems to be running smoothly. Microsoft recently confirmed that the card based gameplay and graphic are receiving some much-needed upgrades. This is another game that long-time Xbox fans are looking forward to. With Microsoft finally showing off some gameplay (In the video above), this might get me to blow the dust off of my Xbox One.