Top 10 upcoming Xbox 360 exclusives

What are the 10 Xbox 360 exclusive games to get most excited about? Here are our suggestions...

Having looked at the upcoming exclusives coming out on the PS3, I thought I’d take a look at the upcoming exclusive releases of its closest competitor. The decision for this list was partly prompted by a comment left on the PS3 exclusives article listing a number of exclusive titles the 360 has coming out to rival those on offer for the PS3.

One thing I noticed whilst researching this article is that actual 360 exclusives seem to be thin on the ground. A lot of the titles that are being touted as 360 exclusives will also be available for PC owners. Whilst I’m sure this won’t detract from the quality of the titles, I thought it should be pointed out. So, some titles on the list will be console exclusives, but not necessarily exclusives to the 360. I’ll make this clear in the list.

Regardless over the authenticity of some of the claims of exclusivity, it was interesting to see the quality of the titles on offer and there are certainly a few games on the list that I’ll be trying. So here’s what I would consider the top 10 upcoming exclusives the 360 has to offer:

10. Tropico 3 (Console exclusive, will also be available on PC)

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Players will assume the role of a dictator (or El Presidente, if you prefer) who seizes control of a Caribbean island during the cold war in this ace looking strategy game. The emphasis is placed on city building and politics and will allow players the freedom to decide how they want to rule their island – whether that be a holiday hotspot or a police state. Players will be able to use intimidation tactics on political opponents and hold public speeches in order to help them stay in power. A campaign mode that includes 15 missions, as well as a sandbox mode, are available so replay value should be high. Tropico 3 will be available on 6 November 2009.

9. Prey 2(Console exclusive, will also be available on PC)

The first Prey was released in 2006 and offered something different to the majority of other first person shooters available at the time. The ability to walk on walls, manipulation of gravity, spirit walks and complex puzzles were all key features of the game.

The first game focussed on a Cherokee mechanic called Tommy, who, along with his tribe, is abducted to an alien mothership. Prey 2 will see the return of Tommy, who has embraced his role as a galactic savior. Beyond this brief snippet of information little is known of the game that’s expected to be released sometime in 2010.

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8. Fable III(360 exclusive)

The second installment of the Fable series to arrive on the 360 will be set approximately 50 years after the events of Fable II. Players will find the land under the rule of a tyrant in the midst of a revolution and set to lead a revolution to overthrow the tyrant.

Players will face a number decisions and will have to decide whether they’ll stick to their principals or be tempted by corruption to help them secure the crown of Albion and unite the people of the land. It’s rumored that players who have a completed Fable 2 saved file, will play as the child of their character. Fable 3 is expected in the final quarter of 2010.

7. Crackdown 2(360 exclusive)

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An exact release date for this sandbox shooter has yet to be set, although a 2010 release is expected. In Crackdown 2 players take control of a character known as Agent who works for an organisation known as Agency as you set out to bring peace to Pacific City however you see fit. Complicating matters slightly is the fact that, in the first game, the Agent’s actions meant the city was almost destroyed and an assault on a research facility has unleashed some mutants that are now running rampant in the city at night.

Crackdown 2 will support co-op multiplayer for up to 4 users and 16-player deathmatch.

6. Halo: Reach(360 exclusive)

Halo: Reach is believed to be the final game of the popular franchise developed by Bungie studios and is set to be released in autumn 2010. Few details are available for Halo: Reach at this point other than the fact that it will be set prior to the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and that it will be a first person shooter.

Given the success of the franchise so far, there’s no doubt this will be one of the most highly anticipated 360 releases next year.

5. Splinter Cell Conviction(Console exclusive, will also be available on PC)

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Sam Fisher’s back for his fifth outing in the Splinter Cell series, which is set for release on the 26th February.

Whilst investigating the death of his daughter, Fisher discovers that he’s been betrayed by his previous employers The Third Echelon. Without the support of his employers, Fisher is on his own on a mission to stop a terrorist plot and save millions of lives in the process.

Michael Leader had a hands on preview of the game recently – you can read about it here.

4. Mass Effect 2(Console exclusive, will also be available on PC)

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Due for European release on 29 January 2010, players will again take control of Commander Shepard in the highly anticipated sequel to 2007’s critically acclaimed RPG. Those of you who have played the first game will be able to transfer over your saved data, and decisions you’ve made in the first game will have influence in the sequel.

For those who haven’t played the first, you’ll start with a new character and will be caught up with the story so it won’t be too confusing.

In this installment, players will set out to recruit a squad to command on a suicide mission to discover why humans are vanishing from the galaxy. The decision on who you recruit will have an impact on the success of the mission as success depends on your recruits loyalty to the mission.

3. Project Natal(360 exclusive)

Project Natal is Microsoft’s attempt to introduce a gaming experience without the use of a controller. Instead, gamers will use a series of spoken commands and gestures to control or interact with whatever game they’re playing that Natal supports.

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The level of interactivity will surpass that seen on the Nintendo Wii and it’s certainly more appealing than the PS3 wand. Project Natal looks like an exciting prospect that’s full of potential. No solid release date is available yet, although late 2010 is when it’s expected.

2. Left 4 Dead 2(Console exclusive, will also be available on PC)

The sequel to last year’s highly successful and award winning first person survival horror game is released at the end of November. Emphasis will be on co-operative game play, with players controlling one of four survivors of a pandemic that turned fellow citizens into zombies.

I enjoyed the first game, unsurprisingly given the involvement of zombies, but was a little disappointed that the single player mode was a little short and lacked a story that linked together the missions. The sequel promises to deal with this by having a story arc and also exploring the history and the cause of the outbreak.

The cast from the first game has been replaced, as has the location. The game is now set in the southern states of the US with the survivors having to make their way from Savannah, Georgia to New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Not owning a 360, I ended up buying Left 4 Dead for my girlfriend’s younger brother last Christmas, mainly so I could play it. I intend to do the same with the sequel this Christmas.

1. Alan Wake(Console exclusive, will also be available on PC)

Just how good does this look?

Alan Wake is a best selling author who specialises in suspense novels. Sadly Alan’s been suffering from a pesky case of writer’s block for the past two years so he relocates to peaceful town of Bright Falls in Washington to get his creative juices flowing again.

Unfortunately, shortly after his arrival, Alan’s wife disappears, leaving Alan trying to unravel the mystery surrounding her disappearance. Whilst doing this he finds that a novel he apparently authored, but has no recollection of writing, is coming to life.

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The game will adopt an episodic format in a style similar to a TV show. Set in a sandbox world, players will be able to roam freely to uncover the mysteries of Bright Falls. Light plays a huge part in the game with the enemies being sensitive to the light only appearing at night, which will be where the high tension action section of the game will take place. The daytime sequences will act as a break from this aspect, where players will be able to interact with NPC’s to discover the secrets of Bright Falls.

Alan Wake is expected to be released in March 2010.