Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Five Best Exclusives of The Generation (So Far)

There was a time when a platform’s exclusive titles played a large role in swaying consumers toward one console or another. Back when exclusives weren’t solely produced as 1st or 2nd party titles, but instead came from multiple sources. As time moves forward, we are seeing fewer exclusive games. These days the parity between the two big consoles (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) is such that games are easily ported from one system to another. The financial stake have also never been higher, publisher no longer want to take the risk of limiting their games potential sales by locking an entire audience out.

That being said, the exclusives for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have been pretty strong so far. Here, we look at our five favorite exclusives of this generation of consoles so far. We haven’t included games remastered from the previous generation, whilst many are great, they’re not games that received their original release on PlayStaion 4 or Xobox One.

5. Forza Motorsport 6 (Xbox One)

Cars, man. Cars can look real pretty. This is often the reason why a consoles racing games are often used to really show the power of said console. Forza 6 does this brilliantly for the Xbox One, running at 1080p and 60 fps, the game looks, and plays fantastically. It was welcome return to form for series developer Turn 10. Forza 5 was an Xbox One launch title, and whilst boasting impressive visuals, many were disappointed with the game itself, especially the new found emphasis on micro-transactions.

Turn 10 stripped out the micro-transactions, and returned to what Forza always excelled at, racing lots of pretty cars, round lots of pretty tracks. Turn 10 and Microsoft are also able to nail the online side of racing games in a way few others can match. Matchmaking, playlists, and a rotating calendar of events are all present. The may sound basic, but they’re modes often overlooked by other racing games.

4. Infamous Second Son (PlayStation 4)

Infamous Second Son was probably the first game of the current console generation to really elicit that next-gen ‘wow’ response from those who saw it. Every generation has one, from Gears of War to Mario 64, there are some games that really signal the arrival of a new generation of hardware. Whilst the graphics of Second Son were easily able to draw that response, some felt the game itself was too similar to ones we had being playing for year on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360.

Whilst Infamous Second Son’s gameplay isn’t quite as jaw-dropping as its looks, it is a whole lot of fun. I spent countless hours inside Sucker Punch’s recreation of Seattle, completing side-quests, messing about with the morality system, and taking photos. I took a lot of photos… For those that found Delsin, the games protagonist a little grating, I would highly recommend the First Light DLC. Fetch makes for a far more likable lead.

3. Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One)

Are you one of the many, completely heartbroken at the current state of the Tony Hawk franchise? Need to get your crazy, level-spanning combo fix? You really ought to try Sunset Overdrive. Developed by Insomniac Games, Sunset Overdrive is one of, if not the most unashamedly fun games of the generation so far. Featuring the combo-building nature of a Tony Hawk game, the crazy weapons of Dead Rising, and a fantastically vibrant open-world in which to cause chaos, its an easy game to sit and lose hours too. Often overlooked, but perhaps key to the games enjoyment, are the instant re-spawns. As soon as you die, you’re spat back into the world instantly, with one of the various re-spawn animations. My favorite was always the coffin re-spawn.

Sure, its story is there purely as an excuse to get you to do a lot of cool shit, and the humour can be a little hit-or-miss, but you won’re really care by the end. Sunset Overdrive is just balls to the wall fun, and (spoilers for the final two games) my favorite Xbox One exclusive.

2. Until Dawn (PlayStation 4)

Where did this game even come from? Until Dawn went from being on nobodies radar, to being one of the most celebrated games of the year, a true ‘sleeper hit’. Its success is well deserved, Supermassive Games managed to take the Quantic Dream formula, and apply it to the teen-horror genre. In doing so they’ve created a far more fun experience than Quantic Dream have ever been able to produce. A lot of that comes down to the genre. Horror is easy to have fun with, so long as it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Its also a genre that features multiple points for the story to potentially branch. One player may finish the game wither everyone dead, while another may have managed to save everyone.

You feel like you’re decisions really make an impact on the story. The presence (or absence) of one character can create a domino effect, leading to multiple different outcomes. Released almost two years into the generation, it also stands as one of the best looking game on either console.

1. Bloodborne (PlayStation 4)

March 2015 saw the return of FromSoftware to console exclusivity, albeit for one title. Directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the brains behind both Demon Souls and Dark Souls, Bloodborne brings that same formula to the PlayStation 4, this time with a Gothic/Lovecraftian twist. Set in Yharnam, a very Gothic, Victorian type city, you are tasked with fighting your way through the vast world, encountering epic bosses as you go. My favorite aspect of Bloodborne, is the return of the inter-connected world, there are times (when you open up a shortcut and discovering it leads to a location from hours earlier) where the game feels like shortcut porn.

It’s a game that managed to get everything right, from the atmosphere, the aesthetic, the tight combat, and the setting Bloodborne excels at all of it, many people now hold it in higher regard than the original Dark Souls game, which is pretty high praise indeed. Word of warning: It’s still rock hard.
I hate to break it to people, but five is an odd number. This list was always going to have more games from one console, than the other. That their of 3 PlayStation 4 games on the list isn’t me say that the PlayStation 4 is the better system. It just happens to have featured more games I have enjoyed than the Xbox One. That being said, I am sure their are games missing from the list that you would include, Halo 5 being the obvious one (I’m just not a Halo guy), let me know in the comments what you would’ve included.


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