Opening Day Lineup: A Run Down of the Launch Titles
Like an opening day for a sports team, the lineup for the launch of a console should be a display of what is to come; a first look, if you will. The lineup should be a solid, likeable group, complementing each other and helping put fans in the seats—or, in this case, consoles in living rooms. You've got your big star, your sleepers, and even some wily veterans in the mix. Does the Xbox 360 have these? Tough to say, but by the looks of it, it's looking mighty fine. This article will give a run down of each title, and help you in buying that extra game you can barely afford after the first of many attacks on your piggy bank for this gaming generation.
The Heavy Hitters
Perfect Dark Zero
Probably the game of the launch. PDZ, along with Kameo are Rare's babies, and without them, the 360's launch would have massive gaps in them when it comes to exclusive, which are a must for every console launch. The game itself looks solid and better be, considering that it's in just about every bundle and will be the main reason for getting Xbox Live until something called Halo 3 comes out. Visually, the game will be something to show off the power of the 360 to all your jealous friends.
Kameo: Elements of Power
The other half of Rare's one-two punch for the Xbox 360, Kameo has a broader appeal. The game has a creative vibe to it that is more akin to a Nintendo system title, which it was originally intended to be. Reviews are already coming in and they look great. Not as much a "killer-app" as PDZ but very enticing nonetheless. The graphics look brilliant; another one to use as a show-off game.
Project Gotham Racing 3
The third instalment of the critically acclaimed series is all sexy in the graphics department. Not to mention the single and multi-player modes, which were already straight bananas (thank you Stewart Scott), are further improved. Racing games just don't get better than this.
Call of Duty 2
Not to be mistaken for the slightly flawed "Big Red One" for Xbox, PS2 and Gamecube, this version is the PC Call of Duty 2, which is a good thing, as we know generally how good the game is. A solid campaign, smart AI, amazing sound and spectacular graphics will make this a good buy on the 22nd, even if the PC price is a tad bit lower. Its only drawbacks lie in the online multi-player, which is restricted to 8 players.
Condemned: Criminal Origins
This would be the horror game of the launch and let me assure you, there is plenty of scary to go around. The first couple of reviews look good and there were nothing but positives coming out of e3, and that was in May. This will be the game you probably get after launch or rent for there are concerns about replay value, however horror fans who are used to this should jump all over the game.
The second of the three racing games coming out at launch. The Ridge Racer series has a good reputation so it's a safe bet that this one will be great. If you put all the comparisons to PGR3 aside, you get a nice arcade racing package with pretty good graphics and a strong focus on slipping and sliding through the course. Will it be a show-off game? Probably not. But if you're not into all that Kudos stuff that PGR is all about, go for this one.
Starting off where Quake II finished, the single player campaign was solid in the PC version. Therefore it is safe to assume that the 360's is more of the same. This goes for the graphics as well, which were top-notch on the PC. However, as with Call of Duty, the online multi-player is up to eight players, a small amount considering that this is the next generation.
2K Sports Games
Early reviews indicate that the NBA game by 2K sports is much better than EA's due to its lack of depth. Showcasing the power of the Xbox 360 is simply not the kind of game people want to buy, especially when there are alternatives. NBA 2K6 looks and plays great, as does NHL 2K6. Amped 3 is going for that stylish look and seems to have that down, however, the series has never really gotten much praise.
EA Sports Games
As mentioned above, many features are absent in the titles that EA is releasing. All four games out at launch have features missing, many of which are what make EA's current generation's so fun. Honestly this is a total letdown: FIFA '06 has a grand total of three game modes, tournament, practice and Road to FIFA World Cup; the Tiger Woods game has less courses than it than its current-gen counterparts; EA has not, among other things, included an Owner mode, and you can't challenge plays; lastly, NBA Live is as shallow in content as a wading pool. Not to mention that these games cost $10 more than their current-gen brothers. Depressing to say the least...
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland
Now that I've let that out we go back to the good stuff. This game was released a month ago and featured a good story mode along to complement all the elements that make Tony Hawk games fun. While the graphics are not all that amazing, we'll have to wait and see before making judgements.
Need for Speed Underground
Another solid series that will look awfully pretty on the 360. Look for more high-speed hijinx and less blatant product placement. If you're a fan of the series, I wouldn't hesitate to pick this one up.
King Kong and Gun
Both these games will also be on the current-gen consoles but thankfully, nothing will be cut. King Kong looks and feels much better on the Xbox 360 than it does on the Xbox. The 360 Gun version however is just a bad port. May as well try it on the Xbox and save 10 bucks.
King Kong Preview
Well that's it for now. Expect this page to grow as more news comes in and make sure you are prepared for launch. Know the games you want beforehand. You don't want to be at the store for too long on Tuesday unless you like being trampled. We'll have more coverage as the big day nears, as well as reactions after the 22nd.
Article By: VGcore Staff