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The Best Xbox One Exclusive of 2017

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It’s award season here at Twinfinite! Let’s look back at the best exclusive Xbox One games from 2017 (PC excluded). Voted on by our editors, these were the exclusive games that our team felt made the biggest impact on current, and potential, Xbox One owners. Let’s start with some honorable mentions, and then our top vote getting runner-ups, and finally, of course, our overall winner!

Honorable Mention: Tacoma

Best Xbox One Exclusive of 2017


Tacoma leaves the eerie confines of the family house from developer Fullbright’s previous title, Gone Home, and takes the storytelling to the far stretches of space. As Amy Ferrier, players will explore the abandoned space station (also called Tacoma) in order to complete an AI transfer process for her employer. With the help of tech known as ARDware – Augmented Reality hardware that allows Amy to watch AR recordings of the crew members – you’ll see how the crew lived and worked, and uncover the station’s dark secrets.

Once again, Fullbright manages to combine a thought-provoking and interesting story (with plenty of sub-stories and plots you can dive into if you explore hard enough) with an immersive and interactive world that just implores you to uncover its secrets. Fancy playing some pool before moving onto the next data transfer point? Feel free. Want to watch nuts and bolts float aimlessly through space? Go nuts and hurl them around zero-G sections of the station.

Tacoma is more of an experience than a game, and a darn good one at that. Its story is multifaceted, its world immersive with just about everything inside it being something you can interact with in some way. A visit to the Tacoma space station may only take you a few hours to see most of what it has to offer, but it’s absolutely worth the trip.

Second Runner-Up: Halo Wars 2

Best Xbox One Exclusive of 2017

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The first Halo Wars was a fascinating experience, taking the iconic FPS series in a new direction with a simplified RTS title. Halo Wars 2 is mostly in that same vein, expanding on what the first game did while providing a brand-new story that takes place after Halo 5 in the timeline. The game opens with the crew of the Spirit of Fire awakening from Cryo Sleep to find themselves on a mysterious installation known as The Ark. There, they come face to face with a massive Brute named Atriox, and his army of zealots that have splintered off from the Covenant.

While Halo Wars 2’s campaign is short, it’s definitely enjoyable mostly because of some smart mission design that keeps things varied, all presented with gorgeous cutscenes. Halo Wars 2 plays mostly like its predecessor, although things were streamlined in the control scheme and how leaders play into the game. There’s also a huge multiplayer suite on offer in Halo Wars 2, and the strongest addition to this is Blitz mode which combines elements of RTS with collectible card games for a fast and furious versus mode.

Halo Wars 2 isn’t a massive step up from the first game, more of an iteration on it. This is a simplified RTS experience to what you’d find on PC, but its quick gameplay focused on rushing works well and makes it a good offering for any strategy fan.

First Runner-Up: Cuphead

Best Xbox One Exclusive of 2017

I have a love-hate relationship with Cuphead. Its 1930’s cartoon visuals and charming soundtrack simply ooze style and almost lull you into a false sense of security. That’s right before a giant carrot tries to obliterate your last remaining life with some kind of hypno-vision and sends you to the equally stylish Game Over screen. You’ll see this screen all too often during your time with the game.

Cuphead is all about guiding the charming cup-headed protagonist through a range of run and gun levels and boss battles in order to pay off a debt to the devil. This is a punishing gauntlet more than a game, requiring you to give it every ounce of video game skill you’ve got if you want to succeed. By the end, you’ll be zipping around screens literally filled with projectiles, obstacles, and enemies wondering how the hell you’ve survived this long. And that’s where all that style catches you out. Take a second to appreciate the visuals and you’ll probably lose a life for doing so.

Cuphead isn’t for everyone, but for those willing to persevere or can appreciate hard-as-nails platforming and boss battles, there simply isn’t anything as good-looking or fiendishly compelling as this on the Xbox One right now.

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