The Xbox One launches today, and while the mighty console has many applications beyond gaming, you’re gonna want some new games. MTV News spent the last week furiously running through the launch titles (a tough job, we know) and here’s everything we you’ll need to know to get started playing:
Ryse: Son of Rome
Every new console needs that one game: the one that proves its system leagues ahead of the last-gen. Crytek aims to please with “Ryse: Son of Rome.” A visual masterpiece, “Ryse” tells the story of a Roman legionnaire who climbs the ranks to save Rome for a barbarian army. Most of the gameplay is loose, with lots of hacking and slashing: you can chain combos together and perform gruesome execution moves that might turn the heads of squeamish players. But the bold-hearted will find a fun, if repetitive game coupled with gorgeous graphics.
For The Casual Gamer: The learning curve isn’t too steep and while there are some more complicated moves, you’ll begin to effortlessly disembowel barbarians in no time.
For The Hardcore Gamer: “Ryse” might remind some gamers of the “Arkham” Batman games with the focus on combos and skill moves. It’s fun if pretty basic.
Our Recommendation: GET IT! This is the best looking game on the Xbox One.
Dead Rising 3
Capcom’s “Dead Rising” series debuted first for the Xbox 360 and in some ways “Dead Rising 3″ invokes feelings of déjà vu. As the first game impressed early adopters with its massive zombie horde and open world gameplay, the third main entry is poised to do all that again… But bigger, bloodier, and bolder! You and a group of survivors must find a way out of an infested city before it’s nuked to the Stone Age. Along the way you’ll meet psychotic gang members, conspiracy theorists, and hapless citizens. In your way are thousands of zombies that need a good brain bashing. You can build bizarre, sometimes absurdly wacko weapons and vehicles to thin the infestation as you race all against the clock.
For The Casual Gamer: A simple but fun story gives way to unabashedly thrilling ways to mutilate and slaughter zombies.
For The Hardcore Gamer: While the time restraints from the previous games are toned down, veteran slayers should dive right into Nightmare mode with super tough zombies and stricter timeline.
Our Recommendation: GET IT! “Dead Rising 3″ is pure, maniacal-laughing fun. It’s stupid and gross and just a blast to play!
Forza Motorsport 5
The Xbox One revs up with the latest racing simulator in the “Forza” series. Racing games are often a great test to see what a new system is capable of and here the Xbox One shines. With slick car designs from dozens of manufacturers, “Forza 5″ is a car lover’s dream. On top of this are audio tracks and voice work from the fine folks at BBC’s “Top Gear,” which adds another layer for the mega-enthusiast. Smooth frame-rates, realistic physics, and brilliant visuals from start to finish makes this one a keeper.
For The Casual Gamer: This is a racing sim through and through. What this means is that you’ll need to put in your dues to become the very best.
For The Hardcore Gamer: There’s tons to love about “Forza.” With dozens of cars, classic tracks, customizations to unlock you’ll have plenty to keep busy trying to stay ahead of the pack.
Our Recommendation: SKIP IT! Though “Forza 5″ takes you on an intense career mode as well as head-to-head races, and it’s a great looking game, this is a car lovers game only. So if you’re a car lover? Ignore our recommendation.
Returning from a decade long hiatus, the “Killer Instinct” fighting franchise is back exclusively for Xbox Live Arcade. As a free demo, you only have access to one character; but can pick and purchase additional characters for a modest fee. Or you can buy the whole downloadable game with one big purchase, though updated characters will roll out later. The fantastical character and level designs burst with flare and color while the fast-paced melee ensues on the screen.
For The Casual Gamer: Fighting games can be a bit intimidating for newcomers as there’s such a rich history and knowledge that surrounds the genre. However, everyone has to begin somewhere and “Killer Instinct” is a wonderful introduction.
For The Hardcore Gamer: Fans have been waiting years for a new “Killer Instinct.” 2013’s model retains all the classic feel and look of the original while pushing forward into the next-gen.
Our Recommendation: GET IT! The demo is free, so there’s no reason not to try his one out.
We’re not sure where to begin with “LocoCycle.” The story centers around a sentient super motorcycle that gets stuck by lightning and given a new “personality” à la “Short Circuit.” With plans to attend a fair in the US, the cycle takes off with its unlucky mechanic accidentally hooked to it, being dragged from behind. You guide the cycle in short levels as a Nicaragua mafia try to wreck you. Got that? No? Whatever, it doesn’t matter.
For The Casual Gamer: “LocoCycle”’s gameplay is very simplistic with most moves resulting in button mashing. The story, while insane, might appeal to someone out there, possibly, maybe.
For The Hardcore Gamer: It seems that “LocoCycle” is aimed at a younger crowd but many of the jokes(?) are more mature. Overly simplistic features offer nothing of real substance.
Our Recommendation: SKIP IT! “LocoCycle” doesn’t know what it’s going for. WTF humor, boring gameplay, and odd cameos from cult movies.
After a hard day’s work of chopping up zombies and barbarians, it’s nice to sit back and relax with a colorful and fun game about animals. “Zoo Tycoon” allows you to create and manage a zoo in a simple but engaging simulation. As with many management games you’ll be expected to make sure your zoo runs efficiently and attracts lots of guest to add to your coffers. Spend and upgrade wisely and complete requests to increases attendance. As you progress new animals, attractions, and exhibits will be available. Kinect features, vibrant colors, and light-hearted themes make “Zoo Tycoon” fun for everyone.
For The Casual Gamer: Younger gamers will love interacting with animals using the Kinect and the laidback nature of the gameplay is addictive.
For The Hardcore Gamer: While “Zoo Tycoon” isn’t super deep, it has plenty to offer with unlockables and challenges that will appeal to the naturist inside.
Our Recommendation: GET IT! “Zoo Tycoon” is a brilliant, good natured game for a laid back afternoon.
The final Xbox One launch exclusive is an on-rails shooter taking place in a fantastical world where humans control mythical fire-breathing dragons. As a dragon rider, you go on missions to take on a variety of evil dragon types and discover a cure for a vicious ailment.
For The Casual Gamer: Part time gamers will have fun flying their pet dragon and blasting baddies out of the air.
For The Hardcore Gamer: Older gamers will instantly recognize the pedigree behind “Cimson Dragon.” In a way, this game is a spiritual successor to the “Panzer Dragoon” series of yesteryear, playing nearly identical to that series.
Our Recommendation: SKIP IT! While “Crimson Dragon” is okay to look at and the gameplay can be fun, it’s not quite there.
Need For Speed Rivals
We could re-review “Need For Speed Rivals” verbatim from our PlayStation 4 round up… So we’ll do exactly that (hey, we don’t usually cut corners but if you want to beat the law, you gotta do what you gotta do).
EA’s resident racing series takes a few cues from past entries with “Need for Speed Rivals.” With two paths to choose, Racer and Cop, you can either take place in fierce illegal street races or attempt to thwart any and all speed demons. “Rivals” dumps you in a huge open world where speed is the name of the game.
Racing events can take place anywhere by challenging AI cars or players online. As a Cop it’s your task to take down those reckless drivers Tokyo drifting all over the place. At your disposal are numerous upgradable special powers, like EMP blasts and Road Spikes to take out the trash or skirt the boys in blue.
For The Casual Gamer: If you’re a big fan of cars, you’ll probably love this game. There’s a garage full of unlockable cars and the reality-defying physics couple with the over the top action makes this really fun.
For The Hard-Core Gamer: Have you played “NFS: Hot Pursuit?” Yes? Then you have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting with “Rivals.” Developer Ghost does an admirable job of capturing the pavement-peeling street racing and white-knuckle police chases that there’s never a dull moment.
Our Recommendation: BUY IT! There’s always a challenger around the corner and going undercover as a cop online is one hell of a power trip!
The Xbox One, and all of the games reviewed above are available in stores now!