The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
The Xbox One and the Playstation 4 are nearly a year old.
Following the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo. Evolve came away with the
"Best In Show" and the accompanying buzz as the fall 2014 "it" game that will
usher in "next generation" gaming as it releases only on the Xbox One,
Playstation 4, and PC. The field is largely clear for Evolve this fall because
the other anticipated Xbox One/Playstation 4 games - Batman: Arkham Knight, The
Elder Scrolls Online, Dying Light, and The Division - are now delayed.
One of the most anticipated games is a cross generation release. It may not look as pretty but its playable on the old console generation.
But not only are cross generation games continuing to
release into the fall 2014 but so are games only for the last console
generation. What is the current state of console gaming? Are we (console
gamers) playing the latest technology or are we largely sticking with our
well-beloved consoles? For all of the talk about the most amazing games coming
to the Xbox One and Playstation 4, the continued support for the last console generation
helps us delay that $400-$500 console upgrade for at least one more fall rush.
The Borderlands Franchise
Want to keep up with the Borderlands series? Keep your Xbox 360 or Playstation 3.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel launches this fall a year after
the Xbox One and Playstation 4 but the game, an AAA title, is an Xbox 360 and
Playstation 3 (plus PC) game only. Additionally, the frantic shooter is
receiving the storytelling treatment by Telltale Games in Tales From The
Borderlands and again the game is Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (plus iOS and PC) only.
Tales From The Borderlands is slated to release sometime in 2014 (or beyond
given Telltale Games' history with deadlines).
In fact, Randy Pitchford of Gearbox was explicit in his
explanation that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was a last generation only game if
only solely based on mathematics. He quotes 150 million installed Playstation
3's and Xbox 360's whereas the installation base of the Playstation 4 and Xbox
One is less than the copies sold of Borderlands 2. Therefore, Gearbox is
focused on making a last generation game albeit with recently reported
consideration on a current generation port in the future.
The story is canon and not announced for the Xbox One or Playstation 4.
Meanwhile, Telltale Games' take on the chaotic co-op shooter
is an interesting new way to explore a game's lore outside of the base game.
Similar to the books, comics, and movies for popular games that may or may not be
known for the narrative such as Halo and Gears of War.
I am curious at how a game known for its co-op shooting translates into a story driven game.
The screenshots released so far of Tales From The
Borderlands is indicative of Telltale Games' now expected gameplay. Screens
show cell shaded art with conversational options that includes a timer. Game
Informer's latest preview in issue 255 mentions more action based gameplay than
past Telltale Games' titles but such content is an unknown as Telltale Games'
last foray into shooting in The Walking Dead, Season 1 was arguably the worst
content of the game.
Additionally, the story will be canon. My Telltale Games
save files kept me glad of my Xbox 360 for continuing my original journey in
The Walking Dead. Thus far, the only games announced for the Xbox One and
Playstation 4 are both seasons of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us.
Despite any future port of the Borderlands franchise to the
Xbox One or Playstation 4 in the fall 2014 the series continues and expands on
the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 giving Borderlands fans a reason to not trade in
their consoles just yet.
Dark Souls 2 DLC
If you thought that you beat Dark Souls 2, think again.
Dark Souls 2 is a March 2014 release of a game exclusive to
the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 (plus PC). The game launched to much critical
and commercial acclaim as well as left more than a few gamers (including my
brother) saddened that Xbox 360's and Playstation 3's were already traded in
for their console upgrade.
March may be an eternity ago in gaming time as the fall
approaches but From Software knows how to retain relevance. A three part DLC series,
"The Lost Crowns," for Dark Souls 2 will release one by one over three
consecutive months - in July (The Crown of the Sunken King), August (The Crown
of the Old Iron King), and September (The Crown of the Ivory King). The DLC
launching individually for three months with content that's assumingly
difficult to complete provides a competitive reason to keep the last generation
plugged in for Dark Souls 2 fans. At $9.99 each or $24.99 for the season pass
even the cost is competitive and affordable.
Reinvigorating a previously released game is the purpose of
DLC. A game that only months ago that was at the center of attention and was
forgotten within the buzz of newer games. Now leading up to the year's hottest
releases Dark Souls 2 gives its players a reason to return for three
A Playstation 4 is needed to keep up with the spiritual successor to Dark Souls which in turn is a spiritual successor to Demon's Souls.
Time may be limited for Dark Souls 2 fans to play on the
Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 because From Software's Bloodborne, a spiritual
successor to the Dark Souls series that is a Playstation 4 exclusive, is slated
for a 2015 release. But 2014 belongs to Dark Souls 2 which is playable only on the
last console generation.
Titanfall and Destiny
Giant Titans, parkour and AI bots are also available on the Xbox 360.
Titanfall and Destiny are games with backstories as
interesting as the games. Titanfall by Respawn is built by the original
creators of the Call of Duty franchise who left the series under less than
friendly circumstances. Only to resurface after a legal battle that spanned years
with a new first person shooter that combines the FPS genre with parkour while using
Microsoft's famed Azure servers for cutting edge matchmaking and AI bots added
to each match.
Destiny is by the designers of Halo, an Xbox flagship
franchise that has strong Sony ties giving the Playstation brand exclusive and
timed content. Destiny is a space adventure by the developers who defined gaming
in space while combining the MMO and FPS genres and bringing the experience to
the consoles without even a PC option (yet).
The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 can also handle Destiny. Do you think the old console generation editions will be delayed as per Titanfall's launch?
For Titanfall and Destiny, the studios' narratives
contributed to a buzz around the studios' first released game that rivals the
buzz around any other game. The games are making headlines and are heralded as
the next best thing in video game innovation. Does the growing frenzy around
Destiny's beta feel familiar? I distinctly remember beta key giveaways for
Titanfall taking over Twitter until the beta became open. Destiny's beta just
opened a little more from a beta only available for preordered copies with 3
beta keys provided per code to allow players to bring along their friends
without beta access.
Both games are cross generation releases. The much hyped
features of the "next generation" are playable on the older consoles. If we
want in on day one for the game experiences of the year, we don't have to
upgrade our consoles. In fact, Destiny has publicly spoken to its commitment
for porting characters between the console generations (the feature doesn't
These controllers aren't particularly needed for one more gaming fall.
So far this fall, the majority of the acclaimed games are
cross generation releases - Madden NFL 15, Destiny, NHL 15, FIFA 15, Alien:
Isolation, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, NBA 2K15,
Battlefield Hardline, The Evil Within, WWE 2K15, Call of Duty: Advanced
Warfare, and Far Cry 4. The Xbox One and Playstation 4 only games who are
battling for establishing the threshold of next generation gaming are - Evolve,
Driveclub, Assassin's Creed Unity, Sunset Overdrive, and The Crew.
The only cross generation game I would definitively avoid is
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor given the announcement that its much discussed
Nemesis system will be heavily scaled down on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3
port. But a similar difference in features hasn't been in previous cross
generation games or announced for upcoming games.
Looking at the fall schedule, with a handful of the upcoming
games current generation only and the majority being cross generation games with mostly identical
features, only a coat of paint difference, holding onto my Xbox 360 isn't
keeping me from the latest games (for now).
Have you upgraded your
console? If not, are you purposefully waiting? If so, are you happy with the upgrade?
Do you buy cross
generation console games for the "old" generation?
What game are you most
looking forward to this fall?