Last Weekend at rAge 2013, we here at the MAGE managed to get some hands on time with Microsofts unreleased Next-Gen Console, the Xbox One and I have to say, I was extremely impressed.
First off the Console is absolutely silent. We had a private showing of Dead Rising 3 and the when the lights went down and everyone went quiet there was absolutely no sound what-so-ever as the console ran, which is great as the Xbox one is supposed to be always on and it would have been a huge distraction if it sounded like a jet plane taking off like the Xbox 360.
I am also proud to say that the Xbox One Controller is still the most comfortable controller in the market, in my opinion. It has a good size so that it fits perfectly in the palm of your hands and the asymmetrical analogs are back and personally my favourite format.
The Haptic feedback in the triggers is absolutely awesome. At first when I heard about it, I thought it was just going to be glorified rumble, however, it really feels amazing especially after playing Forza 5. The Haptic feedback perfectly simulates the drag on the tires of the car your driving and when you turn, the feedback strengthens on one side and weakens on the other giving a legitimate feel for driving a car, I was thoroughly impressed with how amazing the Haptic feedback feels.
The D-pad is alo a huge Improvement over the Xbox 360 D-pad, since Microsoft have decided to go with a 4 directional pad instead of the 360 degree pad. So fighting game enthusiasts can look forward to a functional D-pad now.
Unfortunately, we were not able to test the new Kinect which is understandable. The games on display were not Kinect dependent, although they did have some awesome features for it, and the place was far too loud for the voice controls to be displayed properly.
I am confident, though that with the rest of the console being such high quality though, that Kinect 2.0 will be amazing.
Finally we get to the Games on Display:
At rAge 2013 we managed to get our Hands on Dead Rising 3, Forza 5 and Ryse.
Dead Rising 3 was shown off behind closed doors in a private show, that we were lucky enough to get into and we got to watch and play Some Brand new code of Dead rising 3 that was only 3 Days old.
The Game is absolutely amazing. It’s the first time in my life that I have seen so many Zombies on-screen at once, many times it seems like the street is just a grey ocean of head due to the amount of Zombies on-screen.
The game feels great and the new weapons shown are wacky and awesome from things like the jazz hands which are machine gun gloves where each finger is a gun barrel, to the Blam-Bow, fireworks on a crossbow which explode into a beautifully violent plethora of colours and guts.
New to the series, you can also now combine vehicles due to the main character, nick, skills as a mechanic. You can combine a car with a truck to create an armored vehicle with deployable blades or you can combine a motorbike with steamroller to create a Bike with the front wheel of a steam roller and Flamethrowers attached for burnt Zombie Pancakes.
Nick also has a plethora of bare handed finishes that were amazing and brutal to watch as he breaks a zombies neck so hard, the neck just shreds apart or when he suplexes a zombie and it’s head explodes.
The Game is also as silly as ever as you dress as women wearing a bull mask slicing up Zombies with a Light Sabre.
We discovered that you can also bring along previously rescued survivors to missions and they are a real treat to have around as they can fend for themselves and barely need looking after unless of course they get completely swarmed by the undead.
This will definitely be a system seller for the Xbox one.
Ryse: Son of Rome is a bit of A mixed bag.
The Demo we played placed you and a co-op partner as gladiators in a coliseum in which you go through several different environments doing missions, such as setting fire to a bandit camp, and racking up executions to keep the crowd entertained, if the crowd get’s bored you lose.
The game looks amazing with some of the most detailed character models I have ever seen. The executions were awesome to watch with the dual executions being the best of them all as you stab an enemy in the stomach as your partner decapitate them.
The Game play, however, felt very loose and unrefined. It often felt like you were simply whacking away at a ragdoll when it came to enemies, though this may just be due to it being a beta and there were many game play elements that were a lot of fun such as multi-exectutions, cutting arrows out of the sky and the co-op is a lot of fun with a friend.
I’m excited to see how the final product turns out.
Finally we have the newest iteration of whats often regarded as the Best Sim Racing franchise around, Forza 5.
Forza 5 is graphically one of the most impressive games I have ever seen. The cars look so real that I was questioning whether this was a game or a video that was playing. Every curve and dent in a car has excruciating detail put into it and it really makes them all look so beautiful. The track environments were also a spectacle to view and I was left thoroughly astounded by what the game and console has managed to pull off.
The gameplay is also what you would expect from Forza as Cars feel and handle extremely realistically and are an absolute joy to drive. Even though I’m terrible at racing games and lost every race, I had an absolute blast playing the game, which is a rare occurrence for me, being the sore loser that I am.
As previously mentioned, this is the game where the Haptic Feedback triggers really shine as you feel every shake and rumble of the car and gives you a real sense of what it’s like driving that Brand new Lamborghini.
I was thoroughly impressed by Forza 5, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
My hands on time with the Xbox One at rAge 2013, left me salivating at the mouth for more and I cannot wait for the consoles release in South Africa.
After the Xbox Ones shaky start, I can say without a doubt now that this console is definitely worth your time and money