The Xbox One has had an okay first half of 2017, relying primarily on multiplatform titles and some third-party partnerships to keep things going. The second half is looking to step things up a bit, though, with a brand new hardware iteration, the Xbox One X, as well as a couple of big exclusives. But there are also some multiplatform titles that will look amazing on the upcoming console upgrade and are just great games to look forward to for all gamers.
Tacoma – Aug. 2 Fullbright got the gaming community talking when they released Gone Home, a game that focused on a deep meaningful narrative involving a family rather than on action set-pieces. The studio looks to do it again, this time taking the experience into space for Tacoma, which leaves players exploring the eponymous space which has nothing but recordings and holograms left to uncover. The only other person is a voice coming through your headset as you try to figure out just what happened aboard Tacoma.
Agents of Mayhem – Aug. 15 While we won’t be getting a new Saints Row game just yet, we will have a chance to explore an alternate universe that contains everyone’s favorite gang turned corporation thanks to Agents of Mayhem. Players take control of teams of three heroes each equipped with unique weapons and powers as they use a futuristic Seoul as their playground. It’s quite different from what the developer is known for, but once the explosions start and you get hooked by the tons of options you’ll feel right at home.
Sonic Mania – Aug. 15 The Blue Blur is back and it’s looking like he’s finally able to break the depressing cycle that the Sonic franchise has been thrust into over the past decade. Sonic Mania is bringing back the classic experience with all of the fast-pace platforming, 16-bit action, and that amazing soundtrack. Best part? You’ll be able to enjoy it all right from your Xbox One. Gotta go fast!
Life Is Strange: Before the Storm – Aug. 31 Life Is Strange became far bigger than anyone expected and that’ due to the impeccable writing, solid soundtrack, and amazing characters that pulled us in for the ride. Deck Nine is looking to recapture Dontnod Entertainment’s magic by foregoing time travel and focusing on the life of Chloe Price before her whole time changing adventure with Max. Memorable characters are once again at the forefront and it looks to be just as heart-wrenching as the first game.
Destiny 2 – Sept. 6 Vanilla Destiny has had one heck of a run for three years now. After coming out with a few missteps, Bungie worked month in and month out to bring the game much closer to that original progress, and now millions of Guardians have cemented their legends, but it isn’t over. A new threat looms over humanity, and its name is Ghaul (or Gary… we still aren’t sure). Destiny 2 promises larger, more open worlds, side quests, more secrets, and bigger weapons as well as some fancy new powers. Prepare yourselves, Guardians.
Cuphead – Sept. 29 Cuphead is a highly anticipated Xbox One console exclusive from StudioMDHR Entertainment that drops players in a fully hand drawn experience in the style of 1930 cartoon. Let the nostalgia of classic animation and retro difficulty (this game is not for the faint of heart) wash over you as you as you find yourself falling into more and more trouble. This run and gun title will have you facing tons of bosses and avoiding a whole lot of obstacles. We recommend bringing a friend for some co-op because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Forza Motorpsort 7 – Oct 3. It was already expected that Microsoft would release Forza Motorsport 7 in 2017 after Forza Horizon 3 held down the fort during the second half of 2016. What wasn’t known was how much better it would look. The latest entry will have a fully dynamic weather system which will affect visuals and races, a garage of over 700 vehicles, over 200 different tracks, and the prettiest visuals in a racer period. And for those looking to pick up an Xbox One X later in the year, Forza 7 will be taking full advantage offering native 4K, HDR, and all the other bells and whistles. It’s looking like the best racer of the year will be landing on Xbox One in 2017.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War – Oct. 10 Shadow of Mordor was an instant game of the year contender when it released back in 2014 thanks to its gripping combat and game-changing nemesis system. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is doubling down on all the best aspects of its acclaimed predecessor by expanding the nemesis system (you can now bring Orcs as body guards and even build a full army), giving Talion new combat abilities, and even making the world feel more alive letting the player see changes based on decisions you make during the game. If you liked the first game, you just may end up loving this sequel.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole – Oct. 13 South Park: The Stick of Truth showed that you could take the hilarious crew from the beloved animated series and make a top-notch fantasy RPG with ease. Ubisoft is looking to bring another RPG to fans, but switching up the formula by having a more strategic setup and trading in robes and magic for capes, gadgets, and super powers. Expect tons of laughs and some deep RPG gameplay when this title hits Xbox One later this year.
The Evil Within 2 – Oct. 18 Shinji Mikami saw the plight of the survival horror genre, one that he helped popularize with Resident Evil, so he knew he had to do something, which led to The Evil Within, an experience that toyed with the minds of players and made them question everything they were seeing. While it was a bit rough around the edges, it was terrifying and challenging, something we hadn’t seen in a long time. Mikami is back to continue what he started, this time doubling down on the weird, psychological elements as Sebastian, the first game’s protagonist, once again finds himself facing off against his very nightmares brought to life.
Assassin’s Creed Origins – Oct. 27 After taking a much-needed break in 2016, Assassin’s Creed is back and looking like the refreshing change of pace that players have been asking for. Assassin’s Creed Origins is embracing the action-RPG elements of the series wholeheartedly, offering a large skill tree, crafting, changes to combat, and increased difficulty. You’ll be able to build the assassin you want to be as you journey through a beautifully realized Egypt that’s full of mystery and injustice.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – Oct. 27 Wolfenstein: The New Order was pure, unadulterated fun. Sure there was an interesting story to be experience, but let’s be real, we just all wanted to dual-wield heavy machine guns as we brought the fight to the Nazi armies. The New Colossus looks to be more of the same, and that’s far from a bad thing. Now if we can only find out if we’ll all see cartoons flying around the screen during the game…
Call of Duty: WWII – Nov. 3 Call of Duty has hit a bit of a rough patch in recent years as the series was thrust further into the future, which happened to be the exact opposite of what players were asking for. Yet Sledgehammer Games is set to correct the franchise’s course a they bring fans back to the last great war with brutal realism and a story that shows all facets of the harrowing experience. It’s boots to the ground one again, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Crackdown 3 – Nov. 7 Nov. 7 will finally see the release of the highly anticipated Xbox One X, but of course Microsoft also needs a big exclusive to usher in the new hardware and that’s where Crackdown 3 steps in. After a long stretch of silence players finally have a date to set their eyes on for when they can step into the augment boots of a high-powered agent of the law. Jump over buildings, flip trucks, take out crime syndicates, and get ready to topple entire cities in multiplayer. The Xbox One is finally getting some needed big exclusives for fans.
Star Wars Battlefront II – Nov. 17 The first Star Wars Battlefront did have its fun moments but there’s no denying that it was lacking in the content department. EA DICE has learned its lesson and now the anticipated sequel is heading to the Xbox One later this year with a full single-player component, more characters, and even bigger battles. It’s time to start practicing your light saber skills because things are more intense this time around.