I hadn’t truly comprehended just how huge Xbox One’s 2016 is before I researched this list. Arguably Microsoft had a stronger 2015 than Sony’s 30 million selling PlayStation 4, but its 2016 line-up has managed to be heaps better. There’s a ton of exclusives I’ve had to leave off, so this is limited to just the biggest and best due in the next twelve months.
Perhaps most exciting for those sick to death of sequels is that three of these are brand new IPs. Considering how many Forzas and Halos we’ve been subjected to over the last year this is a total breath of fresh air, and a sign Microsoft isn’t afraid of diversifying its range of exclusives.
Max Payne maestros Remedy have been working on Quantum Break for years, but 2016 is finally the year in which this bizarre cross-media shooter becomes a reality. Cross-media because it’s both an episodic live-action show and a game, with your actions and choices within the game affecting the outcome of the show. An ambitious premise, and one that’s nearly impossible to live up to, but at the very least Quantum Break looks like an awesome time-warping third-person shooter.
Everybody loves destruction. I can’t have been the only one who spends hours just destroying things in games, bit by bit. Just Cause 3 did it with some aplomb last month, but destruction was largely limited to pre-ordained Chaos objects. Take one look at the Gamescom demo on Crackdown 3 and you’ll see its carnage is anything but limited. Making use of Microsoft’s much-touted power of the cloud, Crackdown 3 offers an unprecedented level of procedural destruction, with buildings crumbling brick by brick across an entire cityscape.
Platinum Games keeps churning out games at an alarming rate, and Scalebound is one of three due in 2016. It’s got Wii U exclusive Star Fox Zero, PS4 exclusive Nier: Automata, and of course Xbox One exclusive Scalebound. If Platinum knows one thing it’s that everybody loves dragons, and Scalebound has you fighting alongside one of the scaly beasts. It looks like your standard Platinum beat-em-up, made even more epic by your team-mate, who you can call on to dispense fiery justice.
Microsoft has been eerily quiet of ReCore, but it most definitely one of the standout games during the Xbox One’s E3 showing this year. With Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune pulling the strings, and a number of Metroid Prime devs on board, ReCore has quality stamped all over it. From the looks of protagonist Jewel has a robot companion with a modular core that can be slotted into other robots to make use of their unique abilities. In a way the concept kind of reminds me of Space Station: Silicon Valley, and it looks as if it’s going to be an integral component to several puzzles.
Well, what else would it be? Microsoft’s long-running meat-headed series is back, pumped full of more alien-slaying testosterone spewing bedlam. By now you know the formula, but Microsoft and new developer The Coalition are attempting to mix things up with a greater lore detail and more of a change of pace. So you know, you’ll occasionally take a break from slaying locusts to drive a car somewhere. Something evocative and deeply emotional like that, as a contrast to chainsawing someone’s face off.