Hands-on Xbox One Impressions

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Last night Microsoft hosted an exclusive event for the Xbox One at Challis Studios in Potts Point, Sydney. The VIP evening invited guests to see upcoming first party launch titles and the new Kinect 2.0, meet developers from Crytek and Capcom – interview with Dead Rising 3 producer Mike Jones here – and have some hands on time with the highly anticipated console. Members of the Capsule Computers crew each spent time playing the Xbox One to form the following impressions:

Ryse: Son of Rome: Gladiator mode was on offer, which is the multiplayer aspect of the game. It definitely has some good value and we can see it being a fun and competitive hack ‘n slash game. However, what’s holding Ryse: Son of Rome back generally is the lack of polish, especially on the presentation side of things (tightening up cameras and clipping specifically). Touches like having the spear pick-up actually appear on the character and maybe putting a bounding box around characters once they have engaged in an execution so others can’t get in the middle of it would be appreciated. These are all minor things that can be altered/fixed in the next month and a half. Oh, and it’s not all quick time events; there is a large element of timing and using the right attack for the right opponent.

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Forza Motorsport 5: The demo only consisted of one track with five cars to choose from (including the McLaren P1), so there isn’t much to say other than this was the first instance of feeling the rumble cores in the triggers and the feedback adds another layer to the driving experience. The left trigger rumbles on brakes and the right on acceleration, with 3 levels of intensity depending on your speed. If you slam the breaks at high speed, for example, the rumble gets quite powerful. And of course, graphically it looks great… shocking, right?

Dead Rising 3: The rebuilt engine allows for more zombies, more weapons, more map, more EVERYTHING. It will definitely be the Xbox One’s killer app when the console launches in November, and, well… motorcycle/steamroller combo vehicle with flamethrowers… need I say more? The framerate has already been tightened up and optimised since the Gamescom build too, so that was very encouraging to see.

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Killer Instinct: Button-mashing proved effective for the fast-paced gameplay, but that doesn’t translate to strong combos. Killer Instinct is much more technical and skill-based than most other fighters we have played, and there is interesting button mapping with the light, medium, heavies on X, Y, RB (punches) and A, B, RT (kicks). Each editor had their favourite character, although Sabrewulf was universally recognised as a fantastic starter choice.

Kinect Sports Rivals: The motion-controlled sport series is impressive and lives up to the hype Microsoft conveyed for Kinect 2.0 with the Xbox One release. Kinect 2.0 responds to multiple people and can accurately track even the slightest body movements and gestures, such as opening and closing your fist when mountain climbing.

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It should also be noted how comfortable the Xbox One controller feels. The thumbsticks are smaller but have that great grip texture around their edges, and the D-Pad, well, you don’t have to worry. The only concern we had was with the shoulder buttons not giving as much feedback as we’d expect, but then again with more use, we could get used to them. Don’t miss out on your chance to preview the Xbox One at EB Games Expo in October before the release November 22.

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