Xbox One Countdown: The Launch Line-Up

By Darryl Kaye on November 15, 2013, 6:11PM EDT

Xbox One marks the third step iteration of Microsoft's leap into the video game market and with huge inroads made with the Xbox 360, they are now looking to become a dominant market leader.

The Xbox One will be releasing on the 22nd of November in 13 markets around the world. This means gamers in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand will get to experience Microsoft's next-generation console on the same day. There are also plans to bring the Xbox One to other European countries in 2014 "“ these were held up due to voice packs and languages.

Anyway, enough about that. We are gathered here to delve into the host of games that will be accompanying the Xbox One when it launches. And with Microsoft wanting to hit the ground running, they have quite a strong first-party offering.

Forza 5
For many years Gran Turismo was the de facto driving simulator experience. That was, until Turn 10 Studios entered the scene with the Forza franchise. While debates still rage about which one is better, the mere fact that Turn 10 have forced these arguments is a testament to their accomplishments.

Performance has been a significant focus this time around, perhaps more than ever, with Turn 10 wanting it to be a very strong experience for gamers off the bat. This means that unlike Forza 4, where there were around 500 cars and 27 circuits, Forza 5 only features about 200 cars and 14 circuits.

Here's some in-game footage so you can appreciate the graphical prowess that Forza 5 will be demonstrating when it releases:

Dead Rising 3
Anyone who bought an Xbox 360 early on knows that Dead Rising was one of the best experiences. It took the whole zombie apocalypse genre by storm, offering you the chance to kill hundreds of zombies in creative ways, while also having you fight against time.

While Dead Rising 2 ventured over to the PS3, Microsoft have managed to secure Dead Rising 3 as an exclusive title for the Xbox One's launch, which can be seen as quite a coup.

In Dead Rising 3, you'll be facing an even larger horde of zombies, as you take control of Nick Ramos. You'll be able to craft new weapons on the fly and now, create zombie vehicles.

Killer Instinct
Fans have been waiting for a reimagined version of Killer Instinct ever since Microsoft purchased Rare. Well, they will now have the chance to experience it on Xbox One.

Developed by Double Helix, Killer Instinct will be a freemium game. This means you'll start off with one playable character and will have to spend money to play as more. Fans were initially unsure about this decision, but play testing has shown that gameplay has come across as solid, so concerns about quality were allayed.

You can check out a pulsing gameplay video below, featuring Orchid. Alternatively, check out our hands-on preview.

Crimson Dragon
Crimson Dragon can be seen as another coup for Microsoft, as there's a lot of love out there for the Panzer Dragoon series.

With this title, Microsoft are trying to do everything right. They've brought back Yukio Futatsugi, who directed the first three Panzer Dragoon games, and Saori Kobayashi also returns to compose the game's sountrack.

Crimson Dragon was intended to be a Kinect game on the Xbox 360, but it was delayed for an unspecified reason "“ we now know why. With its release on Xbox One, Crimson Dragon features full support for gamepads using dual analog sticks and this will be seen as a huge plus.

Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome has been something of a poster boy for the Xbox One, which is quite ironic as it was originally a poster boy for Kinect when it was announced back at E3 2010.

Now appearing on Xbox One, Ryse is still being developed by Crytek and is now focussed on being a core gamepad experience - Kinect will instead be used for things like squad commands.

Much has been made about Crytek's decision to decrease the amount of polygons featured in the game, but there's no denying that the game still looks gorgeous. This will be a crucial title for Microsoft when the system launches.

The Fighter Within
Ubisoft have become a familiar fixture with launch line-ups in recent history, but unlike the PS4, they have decided to grace the Xbox One with an exclusive title called The Fighter Within.

This is a Kinect focussed title, but very little has been done to promote it from Microsoft's side. This could end up like many of the ill-fated titles of a similar nature from the previous generation, but we could be wrong.

Powerstar Golf
Powerstar Golf allows Xbox One to get its sport on. Developed by British developer Zoe Mode, it brings a cartoon style to golf. There will be tons of different characters, and plenty of power-ups to keep things interesting.

Zoo Tycoon
Perhaps the most interesting of the launch titles, Zoo Tycoon is a Microsoft-exclusive title, with it also releasing on the Xbox 360. It's being developed by Frontier Developments and allows you to own your own zoo.

On Xbox One, Zoo Tycoon will feature the story campaign, but also challenge modes. There will also be Kinect-based mini-games and more animals. In short, Microsoft have made the Xbox One version of the game much more extensive.

Twisted Pixel Games made quite a name for themselves on the Xbox 360, producing high quality titles on Xbox Live such as "˜Splosion Man and Comic Jumper. On the Xbox One they're looking to continue this trend, as they release LocoCycle via Xbox Live.

The game is said to have a similar style to Tron, but in a rather more extreme fashion. If you watch the trailer below, you'll see what we mean:

Additional Third-Party Support
Alongside the aforementioned range of exclusive titles, the Xbox One will have a whole host of third-party titles that will also be available on the PS3, PS4, Nintendo Wii U, Xbox 360 and PC.

Here's a list of the titles that aren't exclusive, but are appearing at the Xbox One launch:

  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Battlefield 4
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts
  • FIFA 14
  • Just Dance 2014
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
  • Madden NFL 25
  • NBA 2K 14
  • NBA Live 14
  • Need for Speed: Rivals
  • Skylanders: Swap Force
  • Zumba Fitness: World Party

If you haven't got any of these games on any of those systems, you might want to consider adding them to your Xbox One software library.

Be sure to check back throughout the week, as we count down to the Xbox One here on Gaming Union.

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