So you managed to snag a preorder on the Xbox One X before they sold out. Fantastic effort, great job! But what the hell are you going to play on it, and which games will allow you to take advantage of all that raw power? Xbox Australia invited us to a hands on event in Sydney recently to give us a bit of an idea. Here’s everything we got to try.
Forza Motorsport 7
Beautiful, deep and with a silky smooth frame rate, Forza Motorsport 7 has been built from the ground up to be the Xbox One X’s showcase title. It’s more of what die-hard fans of the series have come to expect — nuanced, competitive racing with a deep vehicle roster, a wide variety of tracks and a huge emphasis on those gorgeous, next-to-photo-realistic visuals. We’ve actually gone into more depth on our time with Forza 7 in our preview piece and you can read that right here.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
Our time with Assassin’s Creed Origins was brief and spent with the same demo code that Ubisoft premiered at Gamescom 2017 late last month. Allowed to explore a sprawling city as the game’s Egyptian protagonist Bayek, the Xbox One X allowed the game’s HDR colour palette to really pop as you moved from brightly lit desert sands into colourful bazaars and deeper into the shade of tall city buildings, all interspersed with patches of green as palm trees and ferns pierce the harsh desert landscape. We look forward to bringing you more on this title in the near future!
Oh, Cuphead. Wherefore art though, Cuphead? Veteran of several consecutive PAX Aus Expo Hall appearances, Cuphead was one of the bigger draws of the Xbox One X Showcase due its long period spent in development. It lived up to its reputation for punishing difficulty. Some crafty combination of a bullet-hell shmup and Dark Souls itself, Cuphead rewards experimentation, particularly in its two-player co-operative mode. While not exactly pushing the Xbox One X hardware to its limit visually, it must be said that Cuphead‘s look, reminiscent of Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies animations from the 1930’s, is extremely striking and memorable.
Much has been made of the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut that is PUBG, most recently the semantic argument over exactly what Microsoft means when they say the game’s Xbox debut constitutes an “exclusive.” No answers were forthcoming during the showcase on that score, but what was clear was that PUBG felt quite at home on the Xbox One X. The game’s scrappy design and control scheme felt like it translated well to the Xbox One controller and using a controller meant fewer deaths to hyper-accurate snipers taking your noodle off from a kilometre away.
Super Lucky’s Tale
Super Lucky’s Tale is about as close as you can get to a platforming experience similar to the ones you grew up with in the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 era. While perhaps not quite challenging enough to keep adults interested, younger kids will absolutely love this bright and endlessly positive little platformer about a stoked little fox.
Returning favourites, enhanced:
Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2 returns in 2017 with a new expansion called Awakening the Nightmare, and we’re quite keen to spend a bit more time with it. The enhanced resolution and HDR lighting on the Xbox One X made Halo Wars 2 feel a little clearer, and it certainly felt as though it was running more smoothly when the screen became crowded with units.
By all accounts, an already good looking game, Quantum Break was one of the few games that didn’t necessarily feel as thought the grunt of the Xbox One X had had a measurable effect. The mo-cap and facial animations, along with the wider visuals, are a little crisper thanks to the 4K resolution and the game still plays the same as it did when we reviewed it last year.
Gears of War 4
Microsoft’s other favourite franchise about shooting aliens returns to the Xbox One X with upgraded res, lighting and visuals. The Xbox One X makes a great case for taking The Coalition’s first foray into a near Gears era (Gear-a? I’ll show myself out) for another spin.
The fighting game that flatly refuses to die. Killer Instinct has been one of Microsoft’s favourite projects, on the platform since the launch of the Xbox One in 2013. Prepped and ready for the Xbox One, KI is back with a boosted res, HDR lighting and an ongoing roster of updates and DLC.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
We were surprised to find Lara Croft’s most adventure, originally a timed Xbox One exclusive, running on a machine in a corner of the room. Another title that feels like it can be the best version of itself with the extra grunt provided by the Xbox One X’s hardware, we’ll be very excited to revist Rise of the Tomb Raider in November.
Path of Exile
The game that Diablo fans, unsatisfied with Diablo III, can’t seem to stop raving about. Recently released on the Xbox One with a full overhaul of its controls and UI, Path of Exile is being upgraded for the Xbox One X. High rez, nicer lighting and the ability to feature larger mobs onscreen without any slow down — this might be the best way to play Path of Exile this side of the PC.
The Xbox One X launches in Australia on November 7. It will retail for $649.95 AUD.