GamesCom 2013 was the first public exhibition where anyone could get their hands on the forthcoming Xbox One and some of the biggest and most popular titles available. Some of these were familiar – the next Call of Duty title, for example – and some were not. Titanfall springs to mind.
Like it or loathe it, the Xbox One is impressive. It’s quieter, faster and more powerful than its predecessor the Xbox 360. On top of that is an improved Kinect system that wouldn’t look out of place on the film Minority Report. But despite the obvious and typical technological advances, it’s the controller that is the most interesting aspect of the next generations of gaming. And this leads me on to Forza 5, an Xbox One exclusive, due for release, on the 22nd of November this year – just in time for Christmas.
Forza is and always has been synonymous with realistic racing. And each iteration of the series improves upon this by providing visually pleasing cars, equally beautiful and accurate tracks, and digital cars that respond and handle like their real-world counterparts. Forza 5, though, takes this a step further by not only improving on previous Forza titles but by drastically improving on the level of feedback the player feels when racing. Gear changes and cornering are channelled through small, bespoke vibrations in the controller, and the same happens when you brake or accelerate as well. If that doesn’t persuade you, though, the graphics are truly amazing, and Top Gear also returns – all three of them: Jeremy, James and Richard, who will each add their own distinctive, invaluable and entertaining viewpoint.
If you prefer shooting things in the face, however, then look no further than Titanfall, a first-person shooter from the original creators of the Modern Warfare series. Titanfall places you in an environment where you can leap onto buildings and scale walls in style. But also included are ‘Titans’, large mech-like vehicles that allow you to spearhead attacks or go toe to toe with other titans, each of which have their own unique, distinctive flavours when it comes to weaponry and the art of war. Titanfall is a refreshing escape from your typical shooter but familiar enough to satisfy almost any fan of Call of Duty or anything else similar. It is perhaps the main competitor in this next generation of gaming and the future flagship title of the next generation.
On the back of these were other titles as well. Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Ryse, Watch Dogs, Project Spark and Bungie’s new take on science fiction, Destiny. All provide something new and interesting – beyond the typical improvement in graphics. But for me, the real stand out competitors were Forza 5 and Titanfall.