With the end of 2014 sailing past the proverbial TSA bus, it’s time to squint at the horizon as we take a look at what’s coming in 2015 for the Xbox One.
Despite an impressive recovery towards the end of the year spurred by huge price cuts and the removal of the Kinect from some Xbox bundles, it was a largely forgettable year for the XBO in comparison to the kind of success the PS4 had. Although there was a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the brand in the media due to the success of Sony’s new hardware juggernaut, the reality is that the Xbox One is still the second fastest-selling console of all time and will likely only pick up momentum as we move into the new year.
So let’s have a look at the games we can look forward to, shall we?
We know for certain that another Crackdown game is on its way to Microsoft’s newest platform but that’s almost where the information stops, as this game has gone completely dark since its original announcement six months ago at E3.
What we do know about the game is that you’ll again be playing as an ‘agent’ who utilizes both finesse and heavy weaponry to clean up the streets. Microsoft also announced that the destruction in Crackdown will be handled by their cloud servers, just as the AI bots were in Titanfall.
No firm release date has been announced yet, nor do we know for sure which studio is even behind the development, but Microsoft did note that Dave Jones – the Director on the original game – is back on board in that same role for the reboot.
Fable Legends is a game we know a little more about, since Microsoft haven’t been shy about showing it off during gaming events and the like. The game revolves around a four player co-op system that sees players take on a ‘villain’ that can also be controlled by a human player. This creates an interesting format that almost resembles that of the 4-on-1 system in Evolved, but in Fable Legends the player fighting alone has many traps at his disposal and plays more of a tower defense style of game.
As with previous Fable games, Lionhead Studios is again taking on development but this time without Peter Molyneux. Beyond that, we know the game is being made with the Unreal Engine, had a very limited closed beta in Autumn of this year, and is slated to release sometime in 2015.
On to what is probably Microsoft’s biggest gun in 2015, Halo 5. Much has been said about the development of the game and the direction it’s taking the franchise, but perhaps nothing is more currently relevant than the multiplayer beta that just started earlier this month. Included in the beta is an impressive seven maps and three game modes, and we expect the beta to have an end date of January 18th.
Outside of the multiplayer, the single-player campaign will pick up shortly after the events of Halo 4, and there have been whispers that players may get to take control of Agent Jameson Locke, a character introduced in the Halo Nightfall television series released by Showtime, which ties the events of Halo 4 and Halo 5 together.
We don’t have a firm release date for Halo 5 just yet but a small leak from a photo taken by a 343 team member clearly shows a countdown timer ticking towards November 10, 2015. Of course, Microsoft denied any truth to the photo but that time frame probably is at least in the same neighborhood of when we can expect it to hit store shelves.
A side-scrolling platformer being developed by Moon Studios, Ori and the Blind Forest sees players take control of a ‘guardian spirit’ and a rather large creature that seems to have adopted the spirit as its own, as they navigate a gorgeous terrain of foliage and areas of dark forest. Microsoft showed the entire prologue at TGS this year and it certainly looks like it’s shaping up to be a gorgeous game.
Though it originally looked like we might get our hands on Ori and the Blind Forest in the latter half of this year, the game’s release was eventually revealed as early 2015, where it still stands today. Although it’s also coming to PC and Xbox 360 in 2015 as well, Microsoft have really been pushing this as one of their bigger releases for Xbox One in the coming year.
In an industry that is constantly screaming for new IPs, particularly from the Microsoft camp, Quantum Break is a small breath of fresh air. Developed by Remedy, the studio behind Alan Wake, Quantum Break sees players take control of characters that can not only manipulate time in different ways, but must also deal with ‘tears’ in time that they can’t control. Back in October we got a very extensive look at Quantum Break, and it looks as though the game is very far along in development so hopefully we’ll get our hands on it in the early part of the year.
One interesting thing about Quantum Break is that it was supposed to launch alongside a television show that would tie in directly with the game. But since Microsoft’s Entertainment Studios division was completely shut down earlier this year, and because we’ve heard nothing about the show in a very long time, we’re thinking that portion of the release may have been canned completely.
We knew about the existence of Rise of the Tomb Raider very early in the year but we certainly didn’t foresee it being on our Xbox list heading into 2015. Microsoft dropped the bomb at Gamescom this year that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be coming exclusively to the Xbox One and PC in 2015. Crystal Dynamics is still the developer behind the game in collaboration with Square Enix, and although it appears the exclusive agreement does have an expiration date, Microsoft will be publishing the game for Xbox One which will likely keep it off the PS4 for at least a period of time.
Rise of the Tomb Raider will again see players take charge of Lara Croft in a sequel to the fantastic reboot Crystal put out in 2013. The announcement trailer shown at E3 sees Lara trying to cope with the stressful situations she often finds herself in, but in the end proclaims that she’s becoming the person she was meant to be.
Be sure to check back tomorrow as we’ll be discussing upcoming PS4 games in 2015