Previously released buyer’s guides:
COG’s Christmas 2014 Wii U Buyer’s Guide, COG’s Christmas 2014 3DS & PS Vita Buyer’s Guide,
COG’s Christmas 2014 Multi-Platform Buyer’s Guide, COG’s Christmas 2014 PC Buyer’s Guide,
COG’s Christmas 2014 Family Games Buyer’s Guide, COG’s Christmas 2014 Accessories Buyer’s Guide,
COG’s Christmas 2014 PS4 Buyer’s Guide
With Christmas right around the corner, we here at COG have been putting some guides together for not only those late shoppers, but for those who may be getting a new console for themselves and putting it under the tree from Santa. The Xbox One has had a rocky road since its launch just over a year ago. That being said, if one looks at the library of first party and/or exclusive Xbox One games, there are some games that are pretty much a must buy for the system. After a strong showing over the Black Friday weekend it looks like the Xbox One console won’t be going down without a fight.
Developed by Respawn Entertainment, a group of former Infinity Ward staffers of COD fame, and published by EA, this Microsoft exclusive shooter was released in March of this year. It was what some people believed as the first must have game on the console. Sure, there are pundits of the game, but given the status of Titanfall to date it’s a pretty darn good game. It’s an online only title that offers up team play for up to six people to play against up to another six. The trick is that the game also puts in a large number of computer AI to fight along with you, and against you, making the battles feel that much larger. You also have the use of a Titan, which is basically a Mech. There are three different classes and there is no doubt that anyone can find one to match their gameplay style. As would be expected, there are a fair number of modes, including a recently added “horde” like mode, along with a fairly large number of maps included in the base game, 15 to be exact. There were nine more released since launch. There has been a lot of developer support in the form of updates as Respawn Entertainment has continued to refine the game since launch. If you shop wisely you can find the Titanfall Deluxe Edition with all the DLC bundled in.
For more information on Titanfall, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW
Halo: Master Chief Collection
Halo is synonymous with the Xbox brand, and this year brings about a celebration of Master Chief. For the price of a single game you get four Halo games (Halo: CE, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4) that feature that hulking super soldier himself. Two of the games, Halo: CE and Halo 2 are anniversary editions. Halo: CE was re-mastered for the Xbox 360 a couple of years ago and Halo 2, which celebrates 10 years this year, has been re-mastered for the Xbox One. The latter features new sound and cinematic trailers as well. As for all four games, they all benefit from the power of the Xbox One, from increased resolution and framerate to better lighting. Along with the single player campaigns in each game, the Master Chief Collection also features ALL the multiplayer maps from all four games, each in the form they were first played. For Halo 2 Anniversary there is also 6 newly designed maps based on maps from the original Halo 2. All in all there are over 100 multiplayer maps. There have been online issues since the game’s launch in early November, including no matches found and a lot of lag, but it seems to be getting much better as patches have been released. I have had quicker matchmaking times and no lag. There is a boatload of other features too, including a 10 part series called Halo Nightfall that links Halo 4 to next year’s Halo 5 Guardians. There is also access to the Halo 5 Guardians Multiplayer beta as well. Overall this compilation is feature rich and full of so much content.
For more information on Halo: The Master Chief Collection, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW
This Insomniac Games developed title is all about mutant killing, but with originality and design not associated with such games. It’s a third person shooter that has you traversing the wide-open area of Sunset City. The mutants are the result of an energy drink that seems to have some pretty nasty side effects. The game is fun, pure and simple. You’ll exterminate mutants and meet groups of survivors that are not your normal townsfolk, all the while completing missions as well as grinding, bouncing or flying through the air. It’s a game that needs a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of the controls you’ll be doing some pretty amazing things. And we can’t forget about the weapons, which are a star of the game in their own right. From launching teddy bears with TNT to using Roman Candles to make a weapon with machine gun/grenade lobbing like qualities, you’ll be amazed with your arsenal. There is also some enjoyable multiplayer too, with the focus on cooperative play. We must warn you though; the dialog is strictly mature content, so make sure to keep the little ones away from the TV room when you play.
For more information on Sunset Overdrive, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW
Forza Horizon 2
Fans looking for an open world style racing game can look right at Microsoft’s own Forza Horizon 2, developed by Playground Games. You’ll race through on the European roads from Côte d’Azur, also known as the French Riviera, to Città di Castello in Italy. It’s quite a journey and the view is incredible from whatever car you choose to drive in. Speaking of cars, there are well over 200 vehicles from supercars to regular commuters to off road behemoths. The selection of cars is impressive and continues to grow with monthly DLC packs. One of the main features of Forza Horizon 2 is the ability to pretty much go anywhere, and that includes off road. You can cut across fields, drive through vineyards, and even drive on a riverbed. Many of the races will take you off the beaten path, of course you can explore at your own pace as well. You’ll drive in the day, be it sunrise or sunset, you’ll also drive at night and in the rain as well; and it all looks great. There are a lot of other things to do too as Forza Horizon 2 allows for lots of vehicle customization (set-ups, liveries, tires, rims, etc.) as well as hunting for special items or cars, completing ‘bucket lists’, racing with your online club, and facing the rest of the world in tight competitive races over Xbox Live. This is a driving game that that should not be missed this year.
For more information on Forza Horizon 2, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW
Fantasia: Music Evolved
Looking for a game to show off the Kinect 2 that was bundled for quite sometime with the Xbox One? Well if this is true, or if you just want a neat music based game and you do indeed have a Kinect, you should consider Fantasia: Disney Evolved, a music rhythm game developed by those fine folk at Harmonix. You basically conduct the music that is included in the game’s 30 or so tracks, everything from classical to contemporary music. There is also DLC available for you music nuts too. That being said, there is no Disney specific music, which is quite strange as it’s a Disney title, but it’s far from a deal breaker. As you conduct the music you will find yourself, as our reviewer stated, to be “elegant” and “like a maestro” as you play. The game allows for up to two people to play, and sway, to the music. You should give this one a go if you are looking for something a little different.
For more information on Fantasia: Music Evolved, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW
Who said the Xbox One is all about just sitting on a couch and gaming? The Xbox Fitness App is not really a game; however, it is interactive experience and something that may help you gaming nuts who want to get into shape, or stay in shape, do it using the Xbox One and the Kinect. The best way to explain this app is that it is a series of workouts that you do right in your own home. With workouts from the likes of Tracey Anderson, Shaun T (Insanity), Jillian Michaels, Tony Horton (P90X) and more, there is a lot to make you get your “sweat on”. As you work out the Kinect can monitor your progress from such things as muscle mapping, pulse and even an energy meter. It’s pretty impressive stuff and I know that our reviewer, who happens to love his fitness routine, saw a lot of good in this as it “….succeeds in ‘gamifying’ its workouts like no fitness game before it”. If for no other reason than to burn off all those Christmas treats come January, take a look at the free app on the Xbox Marketplace and all its well-priced add on content.
For more information on Xbox Fitness, CHECK OUT OUR REVIEW