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The best Xbox One launch games

By CVG Staff on Wednesday 6th Nov 2013 at 2:36 PM UTC

There's nothing quite as treasured as console launch days; those once-a-decade events where gamers queue around blocks in feverish anticipation and proudly return home with a magical new box under their arm.

But in all the excitement, don't forget there's games to buy, and on Xbox One there's a total of 21 launch titles to pick, from Assassin's Creed to Zoo Tycoon. There's so many promising titles out there, but to give you a helping hand, CVG has hand-picked the five most promising Xbox One launch games for your consideration.

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Call of Duty: Ghosts

Now celebrating its tenth year, Call of Duty has gone from hopeful shooter to billion-dollar institution. And it was Infinity Ward, developers of this year's installment Call of Duty: Ghosts, who triggered the phenomenon with its generation-defining Modern Warfare series.

Xbox Live has consistently played host to the biggest group of Call of Duty gamers in the world, and Xbox One's enhanced multiplayer services means that fans will be well equipped when firing up Ghosts' killer multiplayer mode. Even better, all DLC and add-on content will appear first on Xbox One as timed exclusives.


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Assassin's Creed 4

The holiday season wouldn't be the same without a new edition of Ubisoft's quasi-historical stealth action series, but 2013 will be a special year in particular. Not only will gamers get more excuses to stalk through crowds sporting the world's coolest virtual hoodie, but on Xbox One the developers of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag finally have the horsepower to fulfill their ever-scaling ambitions.

Word is that nearly 900 developers have helped construct this piratical prequel starring Edward Kenway (the Grandfather of AC3's Conner), across a two-and-a-half-year period at multiple Ubisoft studios around the world. The results are showing tremendous promise; Assassin's Creed 4's open-world structure allows swashbuckling adventurers sail their ship around a beautifully rendered Caribbean sea, whilst those painstakingly detailed and adorned cities remain complex playgrounds for the perfect assassin to creep through shadows and clamber across rooftops. The next generation of Xbox will deliver scale and detail that fans have never seen before, and Assassin's Creed 4 is a fantastic sign of what's to come.


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Forza 5

After virtual petrolheads and Xbox fans declared Forza 4 the pinnacle racing simulator, it's no surprise that the 2012 follow-up Forza Horizon took the off-road route and went for more of an arcade-like approach. Now, with advanced next generation tech under the hood, developer Turn 10 is ready to directly challenge its personal best with Forza 5.

Aside from the obvious boost in visual fidelity (running at an uncompromisingly smooth 60 frames per second at a 1080p resolution), Forza 5 is built with online connectivity at its heart. Taking advantage of Microsoft's new army of 300,000 cloud servers, the racer features a unique 'Drivatar' AI system, which gradually learns gamers' habits and can begin to mimic their racing style, adding new levels of realism to the wide-eyed thrill of high speed racing.

The game is also a fantastic showcase for the Xbox One controller and its next-generation force feedback capabilities. When, for example, the right hand side of a car veers onto the bumpy path, the corresponding trigger will rumble independently, offering highly sophisticated feedback not seen before in any game, let alone a racer.


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Battlefield 4

Xbox Live has championed multiplayer on consoles for more than ten years, so a next-generation Battlefield game could be the ideal demonstration of Xbox One's advanced matchmaking systems, plentiful dedicated servers and reliably slick online service holding together monstrous 64-player online battles.

It's also looking distractingly beautiful, with the new Frostbite 3 engine demanding unprecedented performance from Microsoft's next-generation hardware. Rendering the collapse of a Shanghai skyscraper in real-time may be possible on Xbox 360, but on Xbox One it's awe-inspiring.

And if that's not enough reasons to opt for Battlefield 4 on Xbox One, EA has said the Second Assault multiplayer DLC package will be available on Microsoft's next-gen system before anywhere else.


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Dead Rising 3

This open-world zombie survival simulator is billed as Capcom's flagship 2013 game, and it's exclusive to Xbox One. The development team at Capcom Vancouver proved their mettle with Dead Rising 2 in 2010, but this time the team is harvesting Xbox One's vast reserves of RAM to create the biggest and most dynamic zombie-infested wasteland ever.

And just as you'd expect with any zombie sequel, the shuffling undead are smarter than ever, boasting shared-intelligence AI and new ways to outwit hero Nick Ramos as he seeks tries to flee the quarantined city of Los Perdidos.

Fortunately there's new tech on your side. Using the SmartGlass app on your phone or tablet, players can connect to the Zombie Defense and Control network and gain access to exclusive missions, new weapons, powerful military support features.


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Killer Instinct

Say if you were told twelve months ago that Killer Instinct, one of the most wanted games of Rare's back catalogue, was coming to Xbox One at launch, and that the game would be accessible for free, it's likely you wouldn't believe a word of it.

But here it is, as clear and beautiful as a bright summer's day, running on Xbox One after years upon years of requests from the community. Just watching this for the first time at E3 was a romantic, almost dream-like resurrection of a series many hardcore gamers hold dear.

But this isn't just a reimagining of that classic fighter, there's new ideas added here that are quite radical for consoles. Specifically, gamers are free to invest as much as they want to this game. On day one you can play as Jago completely free, and classic fighters such as Sabrewulf, Glacius, Chief Thunder and Black Orchid can be purchased individually. There are deals on various character packs and bundles, and Microsoft promises new characters will be added following the game's launch. Quit pinching yourself - Killer Instinct is back and you can start scrapping for free.