Xbox did the sudden this previous Wednesday: The corporate completely killed it with its Developer Direct convention, presenting gamers with an sincere, thrilling showcase targeted on gameplay. We noticed builders communicate on to us about their video games, and whereas it was targeted on giving us a have a look at stuff we already knew about, that was blatantly expressed beforehand, which meant we weren’t desperately clamoring for giant reveals.
And though we didn’t anticipate it (even after its leak), there was a shock. Nonetheless, merely lowering it to “a shock” is a little bit of an understatement. On this planet of online game bulletins, most surprises, particularly these performed by Xbox, quantity to nothing greater than a CGI trailer for a far-off venture. Fable, Excellent Darkish, Everwild, and Avowed are nice examples of this, as every had been proven again in 2019-2020, but we haven’t seen any of them performed as soon as.
As an alternative, Bethesda not solely revealed Tango Gameworks’ Hello-Fi RUSH with an thrilling gameplay demo, however the presentation ended with a surprising announcement that it might launch the identical day. For an organization like Xbox to go from its obsession with CGI trailers of initiatives which have barely began growth to launching a brand new sport just some hours after its reveal is an astounding enchancment.
As somebody who not too long ago lamented about Xbox’s lack of exclusives, I can admit that the gaming large is forcing me to eat my phrases. Sure, Hello-Fi Rush is only one sport, however the firm has as soon as once more confirmed what makes it particular when put next with Nintendo and PlayStation: its range in kinds and genres.
What makes Xbox particular
Each Nintendo and PlayStation boast specific kinds of sport. For Nintendo, the corporate’s hottest titles are cute, pleasant, colourful, and stuffed with charisma. Pokemon, Kirby, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Animal Crossing, and an countless variety of sport-adjacent titles all have a selected “really feel” to them that’s indescribably Nintendo.
PlayStation, alternatively, loves telling cinematic tales by video games performed in third-person, usually boasting a mixture of open-world and RPG components with action-focused fight. God of Battle, The Final of Us, Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank (the brand new ones, a minimum of), Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Daybreak, and Ghost of Tsushima all have a selected “really feel” to them that’s unmistakably PlayStation.
This isn’t to say that Nintendo doesn’t have distinctive moments with Bayonetta or PlayStation with Stray, it’s simply not the majority of what we perceive as these firm’s acquainted promoting factors.
However what about Xbox? What’s the firm’s stamp of recognition? Even simply attempting to check Halo and Gears, two of the its most prolific franchises, already runs us into bother. And when going past that, it turns into clear how range is the corporate’s best asset.
Obsidian, a developer who has made titles as large as Fallout: New Vegas and The Outer Worlds, crafted Pentiment final 12 months, a side-scrolling narrative-focused journey sport with a mode that calls upon medieval artwork. This group additionally launched Grounded in the identical 12 months, a first-person survival sport about thriving in an unlimited backyard with nasty bugs.
We will even shrink our focus right down to the 4 video games Microsoft mentioned this previous week. Redfall is an open-world co-op first-person shooter with a mixture of stealth and looter components that decision upon Arkane’s specialities. The Elder Scrolls On-line: Necrom is an MMO, Forza Motorsport is a simulation racing sport, and Minecraft Legends is a tactical technique sport with cooperative and PvP components. None of those video games are related.
And as of this previous week, we will embrace Hello-Fi RUSH to that listing. Tango Gameworks is an organization that’s identified for its entries in horror. The Evil Inside, its sequel and Ghostwire: Tokyo definitely make the most of various ranges of motion methods to intensify the thrill of gameplay, however they’re fueled by scares in the beginning.
Hello-Fi RUSH will not be a horror sport. It’s a level-based, combo-driven, hack-n-slash rhythm platformer with a western cartoon-inspired aesthetic and a goosebump-inducing soundtrack that can make you squeal with delight each time you retain up with the tempo.
Nothing about this sport screams “Xbox” to me as a result of the corporate doesn’t have a mode past its recognizable properties. The one issues I can say really feel fairly “Xbox” are Halo and Gears, however that’s as a result of we’ve had them for therefore lengthy and we affiliate them with the corporate.
Xbox must work on its prolificacy in releasing good video games all through a console era, however what makes the corporate particular and offers it an edge over PlayStation and Nintendo is its range.
Kirby and the Forgotten Lands reinvented what that franchise can do by shifting it right into a 3D area, but it’s clearly a Nintendo sport within the vein of their different 3D platformers; it’s no secret what console that artwork type and people environments belong to. Ghost of Tsushima was an epic enterprise into new territory for Sucker Punch, however the graphical constancy, cinematic story, open-world traversal and third-person motion fight scream “PlayStation” on the high of its lungs.
Once I picked up Hello-Fi RUSH this previous week, at no level did I feel “this screams Xbox.” And I think about once I soar into Redfall, Starfield, Minecraft Legends, and S.T.A.L.Okay.E.R 2, I nonetheless gained’t really feel that Xbox has discovered some kind of pattern to nestle itself inside and infrequently step outdoors of. If the corporate has a signature stamp, it’s range. Something past that I can’t fairly determine, which is what makes it particular.