Having recently covered the best upcoming PS3 exclusives, I thought I’d turn my attention to those on the way for the Xbox 360. Although I acknowledge that there have been a few notable exceptions (including the flawed but excellent Alan Wake), there has been a lack of high quality exclusives on the console for some time. But with the launch of Kinect last year, as well as the return of some of the 360’s most popular franchises, the future release schedules look very strong indeed.
Here’s a list of the upcoming 360 exclusives I’m most excited about…
XCOM (Console exclusive, also available on PC)
This reboot of the revered strategy franchise sounds like a winner to me. Looking to add layers of tactics, suspense and intrigue to the FPS genre, XCOM finds players taking control of an FBI agent on the hunt of a faceless enemy in an alternate 1950s.
From the trailer, it looks like a lot of running around and shooting is involved, but it promises to deliver an in-depth and compelling narrative alongside excellent action.
The Secret World (Console exclusive, also available on PC)
Fans of MMORPGs look to be in for a treat here with this EA/Funcom release. It’s set on modern day Earth, albeit one with a slight twist, as monsters roam the landscape and the use of magic is commonplace.
A set release date isn’t available at the time of writing, but the screenshots and videos currently available look very good indeed.
Nuclear Dawn (Console exclusive, also available on PC)
Another FPS, but this time introducing RTS elements, Nuclear Dawn also supports 32 player online combat, as players take control of their exo-armoured soldiers in a battle of supremacy in a post apocalyptic landscape.
This isn’t set to be a balls-to-the-wall shooter, however – as the trailer below suggests, stealth and strategy is very much the key here. A set release date isn’t available as yet, but it’s expected before the year is out.
Few details on this Crytek-created exclusive are currently available, beyond the fact that it’s a medieval, action-based game, which will mark a departure from the studio’s usual output of sci-fi shooters.
The game promises to push the console to its limits, so that, coupled with the game’s setting, make this a very promising release. A set release date has yet to be announced.
A Kinect-enabled game from a new studio about battling dragons – sounds ace to me.
Reported similarities between this title and the Panzer Dragoon series (Yukio Futatsugi worked on both) bode well for Project Draco, and the potential for the title is huge, given his involvement. Obviously, its success will largely depend on how well the Kinect controls are implemented – hopefully it’ll fare better than the PS3’s dragon catastrophe that was Lair.
Steel Battalion Heavy Armor
Steel Battalion release on the original Xbox was generally well received, so the fact that the franchise is making its 360 debut will no doubt be welcome news to many fans. Using a cross between Kinect and controller, players will take charge of a hulking tank on two legs.
Not ones to shy away from controversy, Heavy Armor’s developer will have some of the action taking place in the year 2082, where New York has been occupied by the Chinese military.
“Punch, kick, it’s all in the mind…” Parappa The Rapper was an ace PlayStation game, and its creator, Masaya Matsuura, has decided to treat 360 owners by creating a spooky haunted mansion game. Smashing! Players will control the action using Kinect as they move around the mansion illuminating various spooky characters with their flashlight. It looks much darker than Parappa (not hard I know). In fact, Haunt looks pretty damn creepy – see for yourself below:
Rise Of Nightmares
Another spooky Kinect offering, here. Rise Of Nightmares seems to have a House Of The Dead kind of feel from the footage available at present. Developers appear to like the idea of scaring the shit out of people while using the Kinect, which sounds like a great idea to me. Survival horror is a genre of games that is enduringly popular, and the likes of Haunt and Rise Of Nightmares could set the standard, in terms of Kinect integration, for established franchises to follow.
Another title where details available are limited, but as it’s from the team behind No More Heroes, it’s safe to expect it to bring the madness and violence we’d expect, using Kinect to place players in the action with numerous eccentrically attired characters. Another one where a solid release isn’t available, thought we can expect it to be available sometime in 2011.
Star Wars Kinect
This has to be great, doesn’t it? What’s not to love about the prospect of controlling a Jedi indulging in some light sabre action? Nothing, that’s what! A collaboration between LucasArts and Microsoft, this will no doubt be a big hit given Star Wars’ fan base, and the fact that it’ll enable them to live out their childhood fantasies like never before will only add to the attraction. The gameplay footage available currently looks far from perfect, though it does look like a lot of fun, nevertheless.
Another title using Kinect, Forza 4 will require players to hold their arms out as if using an imaginary steering wheel. It’s meant to feature some of the best and most responsive implementation of the technology yet seen, so coupled with the fact that this is one of the finest current-generation racing franchises, we’ve high hopes that this instalment will prove to be a classic.
Gears Of War 3
Set to conclude one of the strongest game series of this generation, Gears Of War 3 will no doubt be at the top of many 360 owners’ to buy list. Marcus Fenix’s adventures continue, as he fights to survive following the fall of Jacinto at the hands of the Locust. With the collapse of the final remaining human city, it’s a last ditch stand to save what’s left of humanity.
The game will feature four-player co-op, will see the introduction of four new playable characters, and will also feature a revamped multiplayer mode, which will enable players to take control of the Locust.
Server issues that affected Gears Of War 2 will be addressed to enable a better gaming experience for those who take part. The game is expected in autumn 2011.
In planning but not 100% confirmed: Project Gotham 5, Perfect Dark sequel, Mech Warrior (also on PC) and the rumoured Halo 4 / Halo Combat Evolved reboot.
I apologise for the omission of Get Fit With Mel B, but if there are any other titles that you feel should have been included please comment below.
Follow Den Of Geek on Twitter right here.