Let’s be honest, after Scalebound had stolen gamers hearts for years since its announcement at E3 2014, the Xbox gaming community was in quite a shock when they heard that this ambitious MMO hack and slash from Platinum Games was canceled. Since then I’ve seen much skepticism about exclusive AAA content from Microsoft, afraid that they could possibly piggyback off the successful reboots of Halo and the Gears of War sagas. As gamers, though, we want more from our experiences! While the novelty of beloved franchises coming back shows great promise and nostalgia through its superior graphic and story depth to their predecessors, I’ve sat here wondering “what game is going to be the next exclusive that made me feel how I felt when I first played Gears of War?”
Overcome with deep sorrow towards the topic, I chose to put that negativity to use and ask my colleagues here at The Game Fanatics to tell me what THEY are excited for. With a new year comes new hope, so here are our collective Top 5 Xbox One Games We’re Looking Forward To In 2017.
Top 5 Xbox One Games We’re Looking Forward to in 2017
Halo Wars 2
Release Date: February 21, 2017.
Creative Assembly and 343 Industries took a big gamble creating a sequel to the mixed reviewed RTS Halo Wars, but that didn’t stop Microsoft Studios from stepping in to promote this new introduction to the Halo lore. Switching from the first-person to a birds-eye view, players take control of the UNSC or a new alien faction known as The Banished by commanding an arsenal of troops in this battle of attrition however they see fit.
Set 28 years after the events of Halo Wars and shortly after the events of Halo 5: Guardians, the UNSC will be tasked with fighting against The Banished, an extremist group that broke away from the Covenant, led by the infamous brute Atriox. Apart from previous Halo entries, Halo Wars is all about building resources, ordering troops whether they be infantry, ground units, or aerial units, and holding frontlines with the endgame result of pushing to the opposing players home base and blowing it sky high.
You might be thinking to yourself, why would I play Halo when I can’t even control my character? As an avid Halo fan, I advise that you haven’t seen anything until you’ve ordered a squad of ODST’s to drop right on top of your enemies troops while you kick back and watch the grunts do the dirty work.
Apart from the original, the campaign mode consisting of thirteen story missions and beautifully rendered cutscenes will support cooperative gameplay. In addition, multiplayer modes including the newly revamped Blitz are available, which follows a card system to summon troops and capture points like seen in FPS Domination modes.
Real-time strategy games haven’t been present in a number of years, last one I could remember being Command & Conquer as well as Starcraft. In a market where RTS’ aren’t on the front lines of sales, it’ll be refreshing to get behind the eyes of Captain Cutter or Atriox when Halo Wars 2 drops on February 21, 2017.
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Release Date: Q4 2017
If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to be a supercop that can leap tall buildings, transform cars, and stop a car chase on foot, then this is the game for you. Announced at Gamescon in 2015 as an Xbox exclusive, Crackdown 3 is said to feature real-time destruction by using cloud computing. Now that the Xbox One isn’t forced to always be online, we’re not quite sure what this means for this new processing power through the cloud, but who really understands the full scale of cloud computing anyways.
Regardless, Reagent Games & Microsoft Studios are determined to bring A1 quality to the Crackdown franchise. No story details have yet to be released but if it’s any reassurance, Phil Spencer tried it out and stated via twitter how it is “the best CD exp I’ve had. Agent control, world is very alive, diverse enemies, really fun”. That’s enough reassurance for us.
Crackdown 3 is what happens when you take Grand Theft Auto V’s open world, mush it together with a Borderlands-esque art design, and top it off with a Just Cause 3 level of destruction. It’s pure madness, and we cannot wait till it comes out Q4 of 2017.
Release Date: Spring 2017
Tacoma is the latest game from Fullbright, the studio that brought you Gone Home. Tacoma takes players into the mystery of Lunar Transfer Station Tacoma, 200,000 miles from earth.
Not many story details are revealed, for the mystery of what is planned to follow combined with creepy aesthetic touches to the Lunar Station serve as the driving force for players to take a walk on this narrative experience.
It’s games like this that really push players fears and desires to discover what lies around every turn in Tacoma. If Gone Home was any indication of the capability of Fullbright’s story telling, you can be assured that you’re in for one unique journey.
Tacoma is scheduled to release this Spring on Xbox One
Sea of Thieves
Release Date: TBD 2017
Who doesn’t want to be a pirate? From the creative minds at Rare, creators of classics such as Banjo Kazooie, and Conkers Bad Fur Day, prepare to set sail alone or with friends in this ambitious pirating epic.
Revealed at E3 2015, players get to take a first person perspective into the bright and colorful open world multiplayer environment generated via the Unreal Engine 4 and live out their pirate fantasies. The game will feature user-generated content which allows plenty of custom stories to be developed using in-game tools that let you customize just how you want your pirating adventure to take place.
I think it’s safe to say that since the Sea of Thieves reveal, we here at The Game Fanatics have already begun taking sides as to whose going to be on what crew (mutiny is in the air).
Sea of Thieves is being released sometime in 2017 and until then our skills of patience are being tested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7ueT7WiH1U
Release Date: TBD 2017
Oh Cuphead. You scream nostalgia with your quirky cartoon nature, 2D side-scrolling action, and Contra level style of difficulty…It’s really not even a surprise why we want you in our lives.
From Studio MDHR, Cuphead is what happens when Microsoft Studios gets behind an indie company and says this game is going to be a concoction of zany cartoon violence, have an art style to accompany that, and be so difficult that people will not be able to stop playing. Inspired by the work of 1930’s cartoons, the game literally combines 21st-century innovation with 20th-century foundations.
Through an overworld style RPG map, you (and/or another player taking on the role as Mugman) will spend day and night attempting to repay a debt you made with the Devil himself by enduring continuous boss fights with your infinite lives and incredible reaction time.
While not an AAA game, we can all agree that a beautiful 2D sidescroller is just what you need to grab a couple friends and try to knock this out in one run. Announced at E3 in 2014, we have had nights staring at our ceilings trying to fathom why Cuphead has been taking so long but finally, it’s 2017, the promised year that gamers around the world will be graced with Cuphead.
Honorable Mention: Gigantic
Gigantic, from developer Motiga, has been free-to-play for quite some time now through the Xbox One Preview Program. This MOBA brings colorful environments, unique characters, and a wide variety of abilities to ensure your team’s victory.
The final product will most likely feature some more game modes & characters but if you’ve got nothing to do, it’s free, and it’s pretty damn good. I’d say that warrants giving it a shot.
We know. We feel your undying pain and lack of faith in Microsoft after the unsettling news about Scalebound but fear not. Your friendly Game Fanatics are here to remind you that Xbox still has some good games to come in 2017… and it’s not even E3 yet (cough Halo 6).
What’d you guys think of our list? What games are you excited for in 2017? Be sure to let us know in the comments below and follow us on Twitter & Facebook @TheGameFanatics!