is the xbox one the one?

by Declan J Kent

Having spent just over a week with Microsoft’s Xbox One, I feel confident that I am in a position to discuss the many aspects that help and hinder the Xbox One experience.

I will begin by getting the bad stuff out of the way. It hasn’t come as a shock to the vast majority that the Xbox One has had some bad press recently, and this due to Microsoft’s very ‘TV focused’ conference. The conference took about an hour and a half and largely discussed TV, sports and of course, the now infamous ‘Call of Duty dog’. Another issue is the DRM policies; the idea that you have to go online once every twenty four hours or your console would become dormant. The fact that you could resell of lend your games made gamers everywhere cry out in anger, taking to the forums and comment sections in an uproar of hatred for this once loved gaming publisher.

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The entire bundle – console, controller, HMDI cable, headset, power brick and Kinect 2.0 – came to £430; reasonable depending on your opinion of games consoles in general.

Of course, Microsoft change this policy – partly due to Sony’s amazing conference where they outshone Microsoft by a mile. But that’s for another review.

Now, for the actual console. The console uses a very sophisticated camera, the Kinect, which has been upgraded for the Xbox One. With this device, you can control everything ranging from changing TV channels to playing games. It all sounds excellent, but of course that’s not to say that it works all of the time. If not set up correctly, the Kinect will end up making you very irate, making you repeat things continuously and just generally making a fool out of yourself. However, if it is set up right then it becomes as helpful as the controller, which by the way, works like a dream.

But what about the games? The games I have tried have tried to utilise the Xbox One’s power and uniqueness to its full potential. Killer Instinct, created by Double Helix Games (the makers of games such as Silent Hill Homecoming) brings a very fast paced and intense fighting game. The special thing about this game is its use of combos – it controls differently from any other fighting game and I was worried that it would be strange at first, yet, remembering back to the original Killer Instinct in the arcade I soon remembered the satisfaction of defeating my friends with a game changing “C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER!” I would give this game an 8/10.

Other games such as Forza Motorsport 5, which is a very in-depth driving simulator game, it is in my opinion the most stunning game on the console to date. The sun reflecting off the bonnet on the car and the roar of some of the most amazing cars you will ever see, it is hard not to become mesmerised by this game. Also, the team from Top Gear make for a very educational and witty additional. I give this game a 9/10.

Lastly from the Xbox exclusives I have had the chance to play: Dead Rising 3. Dead Rising and I have had a very strange relationship in the past; the original Dead Rising on the Xbox 360 was one of the first games that I ever played on the system, but I soon became very bored of it. Sure, there are zombies to kill, but once your kill counter reads 27,900 you begin to feel a sense of repetition. However, I do know there are fans of the series out there so I went into this game as a standalone experience and tried not to compare it to the original. Let’s get one thing straight, if you were expecting a very serious ‘Walking Dead’ style game, you will be disappointed. Dead Rising has always had a peculiar sense of humour but this one tones down the comedy a bit but allows you to make the game funny – like wearing a man thong into a cut scene where your best friend is being eaten. It’s kind of like you’re ‘photo bombing’ the game. The combo weapons are a tonne of fun and kept making me come back to this epic zombie game. Despite this, it is my least favourite game of the three and I give it 7.8 out of ten, due to its 30 frames per second and it’s not too ‘next gen’ graphics.

The Xbox One is the ultimate living room entertainment. The functions work seamlessly once set-up correctly. It controls your TV, allowing you to things you would never think possible, such as turning on your TV by simply saying ‘Xbox turn TV on’. You feel silly using the Kinect for a while, and talking to my TV has never been a pass time of mine either, but you get used to it and eventually appreciate the benefits.

I am going to be spending this week getting to grips with my new PS4, and I will be publishing my review on the console and a selection of games next week.

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