The rundown on Xbox One's 2016 exclusives
The Xbox One saw several exclusives at the time of its release in 2014. All manner of games were released, not just third person shooters, including Project Spark, Fantasia: Music Evolved, Ryse: Son of Rome, and several others.
It has been revealed that there will reportedly be fewer exclusive deals for third party content in the future according to Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division. Spencer's strategy will be centered more around first party titles. The amount of exclusives the Xbox One has this year seem to corroborate Spencer's statements.
Four months into 2016, the Xbox One has only two exclusives. One has been released at the time of this writing, another is set to be released by October. Two exclusives is a far cry from the amount the system got at the beginning of its lifespan. I'll be taking a look at both of them in this article.
1. Quantum Break
Genre: Action/Adventure Third-person Shooter
Released: April 5, 2016
Quantum Break was developed by Remedy Entertainment, a Finnish company famous for developing the Max Payne series, which among other things, was famous for making use of "bullet time," a slow motion effect made popular by the 1999 film The Matrix.
Set in a fictional town in Massachusetts, Quantum Break follows two men, the protagonist Jack Joyce, and Paul Serene, the antagonist. After a time travel experiment goes awry, the structure of time is thrown into chaos.
Playing as Joyce, players have a variety of time-based moves available to them, such as stopping and speeding up time, using time to reverse the direction of bullets. However, in a world where time is not constantly flowing in any one direction, nothing is absolute and everything can go wrong at any moment's notice.
Quantum Break released to positive reviews. On Metacritic, the game was given a metascore of 77. Visit the game's website for more information.
2. Gears of War 4
Genre: Third-person Shooter
Release: October 11, 2016
Gears of War 4 takes place 25 years after the Imulsion Countermeasure weapon wiped out Locust, Lambients and Imulsion alike. It's revealed that the weapon has also wiped out fossil fuels, forcing humanity to find ways to survive via other means.
To prevent the human population from declining, the reformed Coalition of Governments built walled communities to protect humanity from the dangers of the outside world and declared martial law to prevent anyone from traveling beyond the walls. Some survivors rejected the views of the CoG and formed a group called the Outsiders, who operate outside the jurisdiction of the CoG. Gears 4 follows JD Fenix, a member of the Outsiders and son of Marcus Fenix, as he and the others deal with a potential threat to humanity.
Fans of the Gears of War franchise were thrilled by what they have seen so far. Taking a look at the comments section on the gameplay trailer, one fan justified the purchase of an Xbox One for this game alone.
Steve Tilley of the Postmedia Network stated that the game is very much a return to form for the Gears franchise:
"In short, it feels very Gears of War. The Gnasher – the shotgun of the Gears universe – is still the go-to weapon, and the game remains a tense juggling of close-quarters combat and mid-range warfare using the classic Lancer and Hammerburst rifles."
Gears 4 marks Canadian developer The Coalition's first time making a continuation of the series after acquiring the franchise from Epic Games and releasing Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. The previous three games in the series were released to critical acclaim with its visuals, multiplayer, and combat sequences being especially praiseworthy. The Coalition is no doubt aware of the series' legacy. With Rod Fergusson, the former Director of Production at Epic Games, playing a key role at The Coalition in moving the franchise forward into the future, it certainly looks like they aim to please.
Find out more about Gears of War 4 and the Gears series as a whole on their website.