Ones To Watch In 2016: Xbox One Exclusives, Part Two

Picking up where we left off yesterday, we find a second wave of exclusive titles for the Xbox One. Whilst slightly more left-field than the previous line-up, with a number of indie titles in the mix, these are no less integral to Microsoft’s continuing resurgence in the face of an immensely challenging marketplace. While much is made of the competition, the only true winners are the general public.


To say that ReCore has talent behind it would be the understatement of the year. Produced by Keiji Inafune whose previous work has included the Onimusha, Lost Planet and Dead Rising series, he is joined by key members of the team behind the Metroid Prime series, which gives ReCore more than a fighting chance at being in the running for a Game of the Year award in twelve months time.

Little is really known about the game at this stage, apart from that there seems to be a female lead character, seemingly one of the last human beings, who can use cores found throughout the game to power her robotic companion, as well as upgrade them, or even put them into a wholly different body. With the game currently due to arrive in the second quarter of 2016, we fortunately don’t have too long to wait before we can find out more.


Cuphead was one of the highlights of this year’s EGX conference for me, sporting an aesthetic that’s simply incredible, looking like a classic 1930’s cartoon which really has to be seen to be believed. Taking the form of a run and gun platformer, one of the things I took away from my hands-on was that it was reassuringly tough, readily carrying the spirit of the titans of the genre such as Contra.

The first game from Studio MDHR, Cuphead is the work of brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer who grew up watching 1930’s cartoons such as those from Disney and, more importantly, Fleischer Studios who the brothers have cited as a major influence. With a broad release date of 2016, it’s hard to know quite when the game will arrive, but fans of the genre, and classic cartoons would do well to keep an eye on it.


A pixel art Dark Souls with an amazing soundtrack is a great elevator pitch, and this is Below in a nutshell. Developed by Capybara Games, a team that’s quietly been putting together some fantastic indie titles in recent years, Below is a roguelike adventure game with a punishing difficulty level.

Emphasis is being placed on tough but fair combat, whilst you explore a mysterious world with the constant threat of perma-death hanging over your head at every moment. The art style is fantastic, and with Jim Guthrie on soundtrack duties, this is bound to be one of the best sounding titles of 2016 as well.


Gigantic is currently in closed beta on PC and Xbox One so there’s a chance you may have already experienced it. It’s a free-to-play MOBA shooter, with a brilliantly chunky art-style that many AAA games would kill for. Teams of five heroes battle alongside a massive guardian – hence Gigantic – in a bid for supremacy.

Featuring a raft of heroes to choose from, including Tyto the Swift, a speedy hawkman who is a deadly melee fighter, through to Griselma, a stumpy summoner that conjures portal beasts to the battlefield, it’s the five storey tall Guardians that will dominate the landscape as they attempt to lead their team to victory. For those looking for a new MOBA experience, particularly on Xbox One, this could be one of the break-out hits of the year. Finding out will be free at least!


Tacoma is the new game coming from Gone Home developers Fullbright, with you seemingly finding yourself on a space-station that’s missing its crew. Given their previous game’s focus on exploration and mystery it seems likely that they’ll be part of the core experience here as well.

Taking control of Amy Ferrier as she searches the Lunar Transfer Station Tacoma some 200,000 miles above Earth, it’s clear that something is likely very wrong. The trailer immediately gave me a Doctor Who mixed with Bioshock vibe, so it’ll be interesting to see how the finished product turns out when it releases this coming year.


Cobalt is clearly the most indie-like title in this line-up, with its side-scrolling 2D multiplayer looking like swift and immediate fun. Coming from Oxeye Game Studio, the game has been in public alpha since 2013 on PC and OS X, with a Linux beta looking to arrive before the Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions.

The multiplayer flavoured action features a range of traditional game-types, from capture the flag to team deathmatch, while the finished game will also include a singleplayer adventure mode, and the ability to create and share your own maps.


  1. I love the fleisher-style cartoon art of Cuphead but i just know the gameplay would kill me.

  2. Waiting for the salutations of an unhappy vegetable, shills ;p

    • BUY THE X1, PEOPLE! It is the true console for gods amongst men. Your manly cards become god cards. Your womanly cards become goddess cards! You will become a god for playing and owning the X1! It does what Nintendo Don’t and does more then 64 bits! P.S. Sony are willy heads. Nenenenenenenene!

      I feel really ashamed for even parodying this. If anyone needs me, i’ll be comfort baconing.

      • I dread to ask what comfort baconing is!?!
        Is it what David Cameron got upto at uni?

      • HEY! I am a southerner but that doesn’t mean we all do what David Cameron does!

        Er… i mean, Comfort Baconing is the act of binge eating and getting filled to the brim with bacon whenever comfort is needed.

        Plus, that was a pig. Bacon is not a pig and the only way to do what he did would be…… dar… nice try but i ain’t revealing the… i mean, that is just silly!

      • “filled to the brim with bacon” as opposed to what Cameron calls “brimming the pig, balls-deep “

      • I think that in these days of austerity, students would probably roll up a slice of Gammon rather than splash out on a pig for the ritual. Cameron had it easy :P
        Dear god these people are sick!

  3. Cuphead is the only one that stands out for me, but I really don’t like hard as nails shoot em ups…

  4. Never heard of any of these so thanks for the heads up. I’ll have to check them out later and see if there’s anything for me.

  5. You’ve put the Tacoma banner up twice :)

    But thanks for bringing the game to my attention, I hadn’t heard of it before, and it seems interesting.

    The others aren’t doing anything for me though.

Comments are now closed for this post.