Ones To Watch In 2019 – Xbox One Games

Scraping the bottom

While the last few years have seen Microsoft righting a lot of Xbox One wrongs, they’re still having a bit of a hard time getting exclusives onto the thing. Sure, we’ve seen the traditional arrival of a Forza game – and yes Horizon 4 was one of the best games of the year – as well as some fun but flawed multiplayer shenanigans in State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves, but really it’s been the Xbox One infrastructure that’s been the star of the show.

Game Pass is easily the best value, most consumer friendly ‘rental’ service out there, bringing Netflix style ease to gaming with a few tasty brand-new treats. When you add the continued growth of backwards compatibility, Xbox One X proving the best place to play this year’s cross-platform console games, and Microsoft buying up a bunch of great studios, there’s been some excellent groundwork laid for next year. Of course, they still have to get those games to actually come out.


Crackdown 3

Platfroms: Xbox One, Windows 10 – Release: 15/02/19

“What year is this?” you could well cry, and consulting the oracle (the search function at the top of the page) shows that we’ve been writing the word Crackdown in this Ones To Watch section since 2015! Still, Microsoft seem very keen on actually getting it out in 2019, not least because there’s only so many times they can squeeze Terry Crews buns into that plastic armour before they’ll have to pony up for some more.

Who knows quite why it’s been delayed so many times, but the problem will likely be that it’s much the same game we’ve seen twice before, and even with whatever “cloud-based destruction processing” brings to the table, we’ll all spend most of our time trying to jump to the top of a skyscraper. Then again, maybe that’s just what we – and Terry – need?


Gears 5

Platfroms: Xbox One, Windows 10 – Release: 2019

For better or worse, the original Gears of War defined a whole console generation. There’s little chance of that happening again, but even with its sci-fi space marine action being less ubiquitous than it once was, there’s always going to be room for more from the Fenix family. Maybe they’ll add a strimmer to a shotgun? Or ride into battle on a missile-toting electric lawnmower? Whatever gardening utensils they choose to meld to shoot-y explode-y things, you can be sure that The Coalition will be trying their damnedest to make the series truly their own, while doubling down on Gears’ trademark third person action.


Ori & The Will Of The Wisps

Platfroms: Xbox One, Windows 10 – Release: 2019

Ori and the Blind Forest was a lovely surprise when it appeared a few years ago, combining beautiful artwork with an emotional tale and challenging platforming, and Will of the Wisps looks to continue that with bells on. While the 80s child in me wants to write ‘Willo The Wisp’ – maybe Evil Edna the television will be a surprise boss character?! – we don’t really know all that much about the new game.

The latest trailer shows Ori and an owl pal leaving the forest and heading off on a new adventure, with the second character perhaps indicating that there’ll be some co-op opportunities along the way. You can be sure everyone’s going to be playing it though thanks to Game Pass.


Halo Infinite

Platfroms: Xbox One, Windows 10 – Release:  TBC

So what do we know so far about Halo Infinite? Well, it’s using the Slipspace Engine – which they’ve used in the announcement trailer – and 343 Industries have used it to make a herd of impressive space rhino and a very shiny Master Chief helmet. Besides that, there’s definitely a Halo in it, and you get to drive around in a Warthog which everyone knows is the best space car – sorry Mako, it’s true.

Beyond that, erm, not much. We’re probably hoping for a bit too much to see a Halo game and a Gears game in the next year, but there’s every chance we’ll see more of it at E3 2019, especially if Microsoft choose to reveal whatever Anaconda is.


Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course DLC

Platfroms: Xbox One, Windows 10 – Release: 2019

Are we scraping the bottom of the Xbox Exclusive barrel by including Cuphead’s DLC? Well, yes and no. Given how much of a success Cuphead proved to – finally – be, any more of it is bound to be brilliant, and utterly rock hard. There’s a third playable character in the shape of Ms. Chalice, along with a new isle, new levels and new weapons, and it’s all dressed up in that amazing art style. Did I mention it’s going to be rock hard?

So, there’s a somewhat disappointing and muted year ahead for Xbox gamers looking out for exclusives, but what of the other platforms and third parties?

Written by
TSA's Reviews Editor - a hoarder of headsets who regularly argues that the Sega Saturn was the best console ever released.

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