I am buying and Xbox One. There I said it, go ahead, laugh. I don’t mind. I’m going to be enjoying plenty of games come next generation, I look forward to it. However, I am not trading/selling/pawning or destroying my Xbox 360. Why? Well, first of all, it’s a Limited Edition Halo 4 Xbox 360, so it’s a bit on the rare side and there’s more than a little bit of sentimental value there. Second, I have PLENTY to look forward to playing on my current gen system. The following are highlights of some of the more interesting titles I can see coming to my Xbox 360 in the near future.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons from Starbreeze Studios (Darkness, The Chronicles of Riddick) is an incredibly unique experience coming to Xbox Live Arcade this Summer. In this digital title, you get to experience the befuddling concept of playing a co-op game controlling two different characters in a single player game. That’s right “Single Player Co-Op” is now a thing. Take that for what it’s worth. The story is about two brothers who go on a journey solving puzzles, exploring, and fighting monsters. You control each brother with a thumbstick. Oddity aside, the game looks beautiful, and by all reports I’ve heard so far, is actually playable and fun. The art style reminds me of Fable but with more imagination and the concept sounds really intriguing.
Saints Row IV from Volition almost didn’t have a home when THQ went under, luckily Deep Silver came in and saved the day, like a superhero. Speaking of, did you know that in this game you can run faster than any vehicle in Saints Row The Third? No? Well, how about that! Now you know something. You’re welcome. SRIV looks like the kind of fun I’ve been missing since Prototype first came out. No, since before that, since Crackdown. No, scratch that, since The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction came out on the Original Xbox (that’s what you call it now)! The feeling of being and ultimate badass jumping over buildings and punching dudes into next week is so awesome in an open world beat-em-up like Ultimate Destruction. However, that game doesn’t age well, neither does Crackdown, nor Prototype. Not to mention, their sequels were disappointing as well… so what am I to play when I want to get my fix? Ta-daaa! In flies Saints Row IV, with it’s ludicrous story, Jersey Shore Super Hero cast, and fantastic array of toys to play with in the sandbox that is Steelport, I can’t WAIT to level it’s lovely citizens with my new Dub-Step gun!
Grand Theft Auto V is looking like the biggest, baddest, best game to ever grace the Xbox 360. Rockstar has taken what they’ve learned from this entire generation and combined it into one sprawling, massive, beautiful game. If the screenshot above doesn’t impress you, maybe some numbers will. The area of GTA V is three times the size of Red Dead Redemption. In fact GTA V is bigger than GTA: San Andreas, Red Dead Redemption, and GTA IV combined. You can go hiking, skiing, scuba diving, skydiving, and more. However, that’s just the side stuff. The real magic comes in the campaign(s) where you control one of three (extremely) different characters at any given time throughout the game. You can switch between them on the fly to harness their different characteristics and experience their vastly different stories and personalities. Set up heists, plan robberies, deal with personal issues like Michael’s estranged son. The variety of experiences available in this game is staggering. I can’t hide my excitement for this game even if I tried. This could be the game that defines this generation of hardware. Rockstar’s finest.
Batman: Arkham Origins is NOT being made by Rocksteady, the developers of the previous two incredible Arkham titles. However, this could be a good thing. It’s my opinion that Arkham Origins has two big things going for it. From what I can tell so far, they haven’t screwed up the gameplay, they haven’t exactly revolutionized it, but they haven’t left it exactly as it was before either. Instead, they did a smart thing and just added a little bit to it, so that it feels like the same old ride you loved before, but with a fresh coat of paint on it. Hopefully that’s the case. Second, this game already feels like it has more of a solid plot to it. Looking back at Akham Asylum and Arkham City, the story seems blurry and muddy in my mind. I recall something about Joker escaping and then taking over the prison, with a plan, and Poison Ivy, and the Riddler… but then the ending came to mind, that God awful ending.
The similarities between how convoluted the overall story became with both games is clearly in relation to how many characters Rocksteady decided to try and stuff into both games. Don’t get me wrong, both games are some of the best fan-service I’ve ever seen, they nailed it, truly. However, I feel like the strength of the narrative and character development suffered for it. Origins has the potential to avoid these traps by making each encounter with each character a self-contained situation that leads towards the overall conclusion and confrontation with Black Mask at the end. Here’s hoping WB Montreal delivers.
I never played the original Fable. I know, I’m a sickening individual, I’m sorry. I did play Fable 2 and enjoyed it for what it was. Personally, my tastes are more into the Skyrim side of the world, however the unique style and charm Lionhead Studios puts into these games is all its own. I know Fable 3 wasn’t very well received, but it’s free right now, so why not? Fable Anniversary is an HD remaster of OG Fable and I would love to check it out to see how well the developers have translated it to this platform. If this is a new trend that starts to pick up steam, I’d love to see the same treatment for other old titles like Halo 2 or Knight of the Old Republic. I’ve played Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault On Dark Athena, it’s cool to see the difference between the original and the current versions, but will this pay off in the end? I don’t think Doom 3: BFG Edition did anything for Id and I don’t see Fable Anniversary making any waves for anyone other than Fable fans or people who missed the original. So I’m wondering if this trend will find a place on next gen. We’ll see I guess.
And there you have it. My pick of a few upcoming current gen titles that will definitely satiate anyone who winds up keeping their console for the next few months/years. I’m sure there’s more to come, but these are just the ones that are on my mind currently. I hope this encourages players to consider keeping their trusty current gen systems a little longer so they don’t miss out on some fantastic experiences while gearing up for the leap to next gen. Either way, it’s an exciting time to be a gamer and I’m just happy to be able to share my thoughts with you guys as we experience this journey together!