Xbox One Review Embargo Lifted, Reviews Incoming
Wave two of next-gen fever hits this week as Microsoft's Xbox One console launches Friday, November 22nd. This morning, the review embargo was lifted and the gaming press has been putting up early reviews.
One game I particularly had my eye on is getting some very unfavorable reviews. Lococycle is currently sitting on a Metacritic score of 53 right now. Many reviews are complaining that the game has sloppy controls, dull/repetitive gameplay, and the visuals are not next-gen at all. I see this as a very rare miss for the game's developer Twisted Pixel, but I have a feeling the game might have been rushed to release to make it as a Xbox One launch title.
Another rushed Xbox One launch title seems to be fairing much better. Killer Instinct is sitting on a healthy Metacritic score of 73. It's no secret the game is being rushed to launch with only 6 fighters, with the rest of the modes and characters coming by March 2014. It seems what is available now is a very solid fighting game that stays true to the original Rare classic. It is somewhat head-scratching that, since the game is online match focused (we don't get arcade mode until next year), it lacks an online lobby... a feature that's become very standard in online fighting games.
The scores have been a scatter-shot so far, hitting lows in the 50's with Crimson Dragon, and Dead Rising 3 currently breaking into the 80's.
The real surprise of the morning is how well Dead Rising 3 is reviewing. The original Dead Rising was a Xbox 360 launch title, so it was a fitting choice for Microsoft. What comes as a surprise though is that Dead Rising 3 is currently sitting on a higher score than any of Sony's PS4 exclusives.
Much like how the original showcased the horsepower of the Xbox 360, Dead Rising 3 is a technology showcase in how many on-screen enemies it can display, along with large open environments with no loading. Welcome additions to the series include the ability to craft weapons without having to find a workbench and the ability to manually save at any time. The only real complaint I've seen so far is the tone is noticeably darker than the earlier titles... and the humor that is present seems like an added afterthought.
So despite having some serious public image problems, it looks like Microsoft's new console is off to a very strong start. Maybe the world is just ready for multiple titles with Hispanic mechanics as lead characters.