Given how aggressively Sony has targeted indie game developers, you would be forgiven for thinking the PS4 is the only place to play charming, downloadable indie titles. Since Gamescom, however, Microsoft has been scrabbling to regain territory and has announced a host of indie games for its ID@Xbox program. London games expo EGX 2014 was the perfect place to play these games and meet the developers, so we struck out in search of Xbox One indie games.
Survival horror archetypes abound in The Evil Within, in which zombie-like enemies shuffle along the corridors of a creepy mansion among deadly spike traps and arcane lock puzzles. But do tropes this familiar still have the power to scare us silly? Yes, is the answer we find at London games expo EGX 2014.
It must have been a tough decision to delay Battlefield into 2015 and miss all those vital Christmas sales. If the new Hotwire mode is anything to go by, however, that extra time for polish is being used well. Hotwire is best described as Conquest-style mode but with cars, where the control points are the vehicles themselves. The inevitable result is a series of pell-mell car chases around the map as each team attempts to grab as many of the crucial vehicles as possible. We played a full match at EGX 2014 and boy, do we have opinions.
Gang Beasts is a chaotic ragdoll brawler for two to eight players. Watch Mike and Andy play it at EGX 2014, scrapping across levels set around a ferris wheel, speeding lorry, subway train platform and fiery pit. As Andy notes, the action resembles a boozy scrap in a pub car park at closing time, but with more and greater environmental hazards.
At first glance Ubisoft's new driving game The Crew is your standard point-to-point racer, albeit one with Burnout-style takedowns (finally). According to the developers, though, The Crew is fundamentally an MMORPG with cars instead of mages, carburettors instead of gauntlets, and turbochargers instead of enchanted boots. We've played it, so hit the jump for Xbox One gameplay and five ways that we found make The Crew more MMORPG than straight-up racing game.
One of the most exciting things about any new Forza game is the selection of new vehicles that have never been seen in the series before. Forza Horizon 2 might be the spin-off series, but it still has a bunch of new models, many of them laser targeted for the easy-going festival vibe. That means cars that aren't necessarily the fastest, or the most planted, but that are plenty of fun to chuck around Southern Europe. Hit the jump to discover our five favourites.
D4 is an Xbox One-exclusive fever dream from auteur game designer Swery, creator of Deadly Premonition. There is toilet-based time travel, a mute cat-woman carrying a rat in her mouth and, look, you had better see for yourself.
Defense Grid 2 is a sci-fi tower defense game for Xbox One in which a conga line of aliens tries to steal your precious cores while you try to kill them with strategically placed weapon towers. Observe as we defend a space station and a spiral-shaped city from alien core raids, with varying success.
If there is one thing Metal Gear Solid fans love more than tactical espionage action, it's speculating about where the series is going next. We already know plenty about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain thanks to trailers, its prequel Ground Zeroes, and from it being set in the middle of the Metal Gear timeline. That's all fuel to the fire of fans predicting what mind-bending high drama Kojima is going to spring on us in the finished game. Here are six fan theories so bonkers they might just be true.
There is a lot to admire about Sunset Overdrive, the punky platform-shooter for Xbox One, not least its gender-bending character customisation. But, asks Andy, can Insomniac's "Tony Hawk with guns" pull off a trick combo of high-speed grinding plus satisfying gunplay? Ponder along with some Sunset Overdrive gameplay footage after the jump.
The Horizon festival around which open-world racer Forza Horizon 2 takes place is a Mediterranean paradise for music-loving petrolheads. If it turns out to be a literal paradise because you died in a car ferry accident on your way to Italy, I will be only half-surprised. How else to explain the festival PR, who has the voice and likeness of 90s pop heartthrob Sean Maguire and dishes out free supercars like promotional tote bags? Answer me that, Show of the Week.
Videogames are a multibillion dollar business these days and wherever that kind of money is sloshing around, lawsuits are sure to follow. Sega is being sued because Aliens: Colonial Marines was so awful, Oculus is being sued because John Carmack is so clever, and Rockstar is being sued because you can't create a parody of a Hollywood starlet without it being compared to Lindsay Lohan, even by Lohan herself. But this isn't a new thing; here are eight allegedly ridiculous lawsuits that allegedly didn't go according to plan. Allegedly.
Destiny is a game developer Bungie plans on supporting for years to come with new content, patches and updates. So listen up, Bungie, here's what we need first of all (a cantina in the Tower in which to dance is but one of our initial demands).
Outside Xbox faces off against bulky beastie Goliath in monster-hunting action on Distillery, Evolve's most recently revealed map. Harpoon traps are laid, mobile arenas are deployed, and everyone gets set on fire in this new Evolve gameplay. Let's watch.
You might remember Raymond 'T-Bone' Kenney from Watch Dogs; he's the Rob Zombie lookalike who introduces himself by throwing Aiden through a plate glass window. So we already like him, which is convenient because he is who you will play as in Bad Blood, Watch Dogs' first piece of DLC, which adds new story missions, unlimited co-op challenges and a remote control car.
Destiny arrived this week aboard a glorious hype train bedecked with newspaper stories about how it cost $500 million to make. Show of the Week puts Destiny in the dock to see if it lives up to its early promise, then takes on all-comers in the game's Crucible player-versus-player multiplayer mode.
The underdog story is ingrained in British culture. We can't help rooting for anyone punching above their weight. The other thing that's ingrained in British culture, at least in terms of videogames, is the racing game. Brits are pretty ruddy good at them, which is why we're rather excited for Project CARS: a game whose development is led first and foremost by the desires of racing game fans. It's set its sights on Forza's crown, but can it play with the simulation big boys?
When we screw up at work, the consequences for most of us are minimal. Maybe accounting doesn't get those TPS reports on time, or people on YouTube don't find out which hats are the seven best hats in videogames. For these characters however, the knock-on effect of being terrible at their jobs were far-reaching; without them and their uselessness, some of our favourite videogames would never have happened.
Far Cry 4's Shangri-La missions take you into Kyrati legend as a warrior who slows time with his bow and arrow, sics white tigers on demon enemies, and spins prayer wheels to restore peace and good times. See Mike play in mystical Shangri-La and snowy Kyrat in this new Far Cry 4 gameplay.
Lemmings was a 1991 Amiga game in which you had to keep marching horde of lemmings from killing themselves, rerouting your suicidal gang to a safe exit. Flockers is essentially that but with sheep, a dash of physics puzzling and more gore than Halloween at Eli Roth's house. Watch us shepherd these woolly idiots to safety in this Xbox One gameplay.
Don't look now, Xbox One owners who set their Kinects on fire, here is the first thoroughly good dedicated Kinect game on Xbox One: Dance Central Spotlight. Show of the Week ponders this pared-down Dance Central, Xbox One's beleaguered Kinect and the mysteries of the afterlife, in that order.
Sometimes the only way to get the job done is to put on a disguise that lets you blend in with your enemies and go where you shouldn't. The trouble is most game characters are terrible at disguises. Inspect the eight most laughably poor alternate identities in games.
Recall is a reprehensible Xbox 360 indie game in which you start on a space station shooting alien women on their way to a nightclub, then are teleported to a dungeon where you shoot similarly attired zombie women. This is all with the aim of unlocking your lost memories, but these memories are poor CG renders of women in lingerie, so it is really not worth the effort. Watch us play Recall so you don't have to?
Dead Kings is a first-person dungeon crawler that evokes both Dark Souls and a Chuck E. Cheese in the late 1980s, combining a gloomy 3D castle and arcade classics such as Breakout. The latter are accessed via painted portraits of deceased royalty because ghosts. Observe our surprise and amazement on finding an Asteroids clone hidden in this bizarre Xbox 360 indie game.
We're hungry for new games on the Xbox One at the moment, and Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate just about counts. Alright, it is technically an 'Ultimate' edition of a game that was released on Xbox 360 back in 2011, but regardless, it's been stuffed with extra characters and missions and gussied up for an Xbox One release. With little to no understanding of Warriors Orochi beyond the fact it involves huge battles and kill counts in the thousands, we lobbed ourselves into the fray.