Xbox One: First Week, Mini Game Reviews (Updated 16/12/13)

Here is my brief run down of a few of the games available on the Xbox One on day one with comments on their use of the Kinect functionality.

Killer Instinct

killerinThis is a free to play Beat’em up available from the Xbox Live store.  I downloaded this as it was free, I am not really a major beat’em up fan.  I have of course dabbled in the worlds of Street Fighter and more recently the Mortal Kombat update.  When I downloaded this I didn’t expect much, it was free with one character and the option to purchase more as time rolls on.  This game looks very clean, crisp and the frame rate is perfect.  It is extremely fast and from the little time I have had with it I think any beat’em up fans should definitely look into it.  With more characters coming as time goes on (for a fee) this may be the only beat’em up you need. 7/10

UPDATE: After having played this a lot more I feel that this game is very good however there does not seem to be a career mode so until all the characters are released I cannot see this game keeping anyone’s interest.

Kinect Sports Rivals: Preseason (Demo)

sportsI owned both the Kinect Sports games on the previous Xbox360 and they were probably the best Kinect games you can get, I was therefore very interested to see what the new Kinect could achieve with this edition of Kinect Sports.  The demo consists of just the wake racing (jet skis to you and I) and I have to say it is very impressive.  The Kinect controls are very responsive, it looks great in it’s amazing bright colours.  You also have to be very impressed with the tech, a simple clasp of the right hand accelerates with a pull of your right and left hands to turn, plus a lean to make a sharper turn.  If the other sports that will come with this release next year are anywhere near as fun and accurate with the Kinect, then this will be the Kinect title to own, with an avatar created from a quick scan of your body the future of this tech seems endless. 7/10

Ryse: Son of Rome

ryseThis Xbox exclusive game when seen in numerous gaming shows appeared to be a just a game full of quick time events.  Whilst there are quite a few quick time events, this is not a bad thing.  The game looks amazing, the fighting is smooth. quick and gory.  The quick time events are interactive and I feel are great.  The game also has a decent story.  If you are looking for a game to show off the graphical capabilities of next gen, then this is the game for you.  I have yet to try the multi-player aspect of this game but from reading numerous reviews I think this will raise my feelings of this game to an all new level, competing in massive roman colleseums against other online players sounds amazing.
Kinect:  This game has the choice of using voice commands along the way, there is nothing major being used here but it is a nice addition. 8/10

UPDATE: After having played almost all of the story mode I have to lower my original rating. The story mode is compelling and is one of the best stories I have played through, however the fighting is too repetitive.  The graphics and story I feel are just enough to keep you playing but if it wasn’t for the story you just would bore of the gameplay.  Therefore I am dropping my rating to 7/10.

FIFA 14

fifaNow this game was a surprise to me, having owned it on the Xbox360 I wasn’t expecting much, other than to continue my perhaps unhealthy addiction.  However upon first booting up this game I could not believe what I was seeing.  It felt like a completely different game.  The players look real, the stadiums look amazing.  The menus and loading is so much faster.  There are many new player animations all adding to the already great game.  The whole game just feels better, it is perhaps hard to explain exactly what is different, apart from the graphics of course, but the game just feels better.
Kinect: As with the 360 version you can use Kinect voice commands to make formation changes, substitutions, etc.  While not major it feels good to not have to exit to the menus every time you want to make a change and it is particularly useful whilst playing online when pauses are limited. 10/10

Forza 5

forzaI have always had an interest in driving games, but I have never been a fanatic or motor head.  Forza Horizon on the previous Xbox however got me to take an interest in this iteration of the Xbox exclusive franchise.  I was not a fan of Forza 4 as I felt whilst supposedly a simulator, it just wasn’t fun.  However in this generation the game feels amazing. from the vibrating triggers to the super shiny metal of the cars.  There is a lot to showcase the features of the new Xbox, from the utilisation of the cloud power, creating real drivers to race against based on the Xbox community (even when they are not online) to the head movement of Kinect.  This games just has the wow factor.  I can see this game getting the interest of non gamers interested in cars thanks to the realism and also the association with BBC’s Top Gear program.
Kinect: In Forza, Kinect can be used to get a better view to either side of you by simply turning your head to the left or right.  This can feel a little weird, looking forward whilst turning your head but once you get used to it, it is a nice little touch to an already very comprehensive game. 9/10

Call of Duty:Ghosts

codWell having owned this on the 360, and being a massive fan I was unsure how I would feel about this version of the game.  All I can really say is that if you like COD you won’t be disappointed, but if you are expecting anything particularly ground breaking, you will be disappointed.  I immediately jumped into the multiplayer as I always do these days and it does look much better than the previous gen, the level of detail of the characters, buildings and dogs is fantastic.  All helping to make this a great game.  The campaign also looks great and from what I have seen so far it is a standard COD affair with amazing set pieces and explosive moments.  However with all COD games the premise is starting to wear a little thin so I am unsure how this will sell.  The new gen version does have the advantage of dedicated servers, meaning no more lag due to others internet connections, or game migration as the host has quit, which is a definite benefit of moving to the new gen version, however apart from this there is no real difference from the last gen, but there was nothing wrong with that so you can’t complain. 7/10

UPDATE: I am inclined to drop my rating of COD due to the poor maps, they are all of a similar colour bar one and it just doesn’t feel as exciting as previous editions.  At this stage I have no desire to sign up to the season pass unless there are some signs that the new maps will introduce something that looks different from the other maps.  Also compared to BF4 this just feels like a substandard game, so with great disappointment I am lowering this score to 6/10.

Battlefield 4

bf4Now battlefield has always been a beautiful looking game and like COD there isn’t a huge difference between the current gen and last gen versions.  However the graphics are amazing, unlike COD there is such a look of realism it is astounding.  With the term ‘Levolution’ being used to describe the massive events that can occur during multiplayer games this is a game that will just astound, whether playing or watching.  The campaign has been criticised yet again, however I am enjoying what I have seen so far and just see it as another great feature of this game.  If you want a quick game I will always revert to COD but for when you have more time on your hands I will always revert to battlefield for a truly epic game.
Kinect: Kinect is used very well in this game, whilst not intrusive it provides some nice little touches for a more enjoyable experience.  Team commands can be said, which get spoken by the in game characters, and whilst aiming down your sight, a slight lean to the left or right will make the character lean, useful when looking around corners, overall these are nice little touches to this great game. 9/10

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