With the launch of Xbox One and the dawn of a new generation of consoles drawing closer, Microsoft has taken to the road to let gamers get a glimpse of the new console before release in it’s Xbox One Tour. We visited the london leg of the tour, which has currently set up shop in Shoreditch, just around the corner from Game’s exclusive Xbox store.
The Xbox’s family tree adorned one of the walls showcasing the history of Microsoft’s gaming console brand. The original Xbox which started it all in 2001 was accompanied by the 2005 1st gen Xbox 360, the Elite and the Xbox 360 S which came later in 2010, before the Xbox One coming later this year. The Xbox 360 E, the latest revision to the Xbox 360’s hardware lineup was noticeably absent from the timeline. It would have been a nice touch to include the various Xbox controllers as well since they’ve come a long way from the beefy Xbox ‘Duke’ controller.
Forza Motorsport 5
Being one of the bigger games in the Xbox One’s launch line up, Forza Motorsport was featured right near the front of the venue, with several demo units for racing fans to try out the game on the famous Laguna Seca track. Forza was one of the few titles to feature a working demonstration of the Xbox One’s new ‘impulse triggers’ which add localised force feedback to each of the rear triggers on the controller. The level of detail on the cars and track looked amazing, with the game running at a full 1080p and 60 frames per second. The impulse triggers definitely gave a new level of immersion to the game, allowing you to feel things like how your tyres are reacting with the road.
Almost hidden away with only a single unit to play on, Zoo Tycoon was completely overshadowed by the adjacent titles and seemed to get ignored by many people passing by, even when it was empty and ready for someone to pick up the controller and start playing. After playing the demo for a while and completing the objectives, I found Zoo tycoon to be quite an interesting management game, but still a little rough around the edges. The main objectives give you a clear goal to work towards while exploring the different options you can use to make your park more popular and keep the visitors and animals happy. Sometimes, the frame rate would fluctuate wildly when walking around as your zoo keeper in the park and while in the bird’s eye view looking at your zoo from above. Hopefully that can be remedied by the time the game officially launches with the Xbox One console.
Dead Rising 3
Downstairs, in the over 18s area, Dead Rising 3 brought more of the series’ zombie slaying action to the Xbox One in a new open world setting. The initial reveal for DR3 earlier in the year made it look like Capcom were taking the series in a more serious direction than the previous two games, aiming for the call of duty gamer demographic. The demo showed that there is still definitely some silliness carried over from Dead Rising 1 & 2 in the variety of absurd weapons you can find and combine. Making combo weapons has been streamlined to the point that a workbench is no longer needed and you can combine them from the weapon select wheel. One of the first things I made was a chest beam from a laptop and a saw, which I then used to fry countless zombies swarming a building. A staggering amount of enemies can be onscreen at any time, sometimes hundreds of them were amassed in the streets, with no major framerate problems, a marked improvement from some of the earlier demo builds of the game shown. Things like weaponized teddy bears, steamrollers and electrified claw-gloves give you many different ways to cut a path through any zombies you encounter.
Here’s a video of some of the Zombie slaying chaos:
The revival of the Killer Instinct series from Double-Helix was a popular game throughout the event, attracting crowds of fans lining up to get their teeth into the Xbox One exclusive fighter. The multiplayer-only demo gave people a chance to face off with each other, sometimes prompting an arcade-style winner-stays-on format for gamers to challenge the previous match winner.
Crytek’s visceral action game set within the Roman Empire was being demoed in the Multiplayer arena combat mode set in the Roman Colosseum. As your gladiator, you fight multiple enemies in several waves, each with different, randomly selected objectives. One wave may require you to destroy the bunkers that the enemies are coming out of, or another may need you to take out a few catapults lining the arena to stop them from bombarding you with bombs. The combat feels quite similar to other ‘character action’ games like the batman Arkham series where you use melee and weapon attacks on enemies surrounding you, while dodging and countering to wait for an opening to inflict more damage. Special ‘god powers’ selected at the start of the match imbue you with a special ability you can use to help get out of a tight spot. After getting an enemy fighter down to there last few hits, special execution moves and be preformed to take them out in a colour-coded quite time event sequence.
As well as these exclusive titles, games like Battlefield 4, Fifa 13 and Kinect Sports Rivals were also on show, along with an in depth demonstration of the new kinect’s features and abilities. The Xbox One tour is currently in London until Sunday 10th and will be in Manchester from November 28 – December 4th . More info about the tour, as well as registration applications can be found on the Xbox One tour website.