Exclusive games aren’t exactly the Xbox 360’s strong point, but in 2011 we did at least get two of the biggest ones; Gears of War 3 and Forza 4. However, 2012 isn’t looking very promising for Xbox 360 exclusives, with just six measly games making up the list of currently known exclusive titles, and two of those aren’t even technically exclusive to our beloved console. Still, it’s early days and there’s still plenty of time for more games to be announced. Until then, here’s the ones we currently know about:
Despite the shiny number four at the end of its name, the new Halo game, which will be the start of a brand new trilogy, is actually the 7th title in the famous franchise and is easily the biggest name in this list of exclusives coming out in 2012. It’s the first Halo game to be developed by 343 Studios since they took over the series from Bungie and will continue the story of Master Chief and Cortana. The announcement of another trilogy is, if I’m honest, quite worrying as it’s starting to push Halo into the territory of an over-milked franchise, but hopefully 343 will show that they know how to make a Halo game with their own unique flavour. Regardless, Halo 4 will be leading the meagre charge of exclusives for 2012.
Fable: The Journey
The fourth game in the Fable series is a stand-alone title, meaning it’s separate from the main games, and will be for Kinect only. In a radical change for the series, Fable: The Journey will be using the Unreal 3 engine to power its magic based gameplay which lets players use their hands to manipulate magic, mostly by ‘drawing’ items to conjure them up and using them to defeat enemies. Using this magic you can create spears, shields, hammers, fishing rods and more. The game’s story will focus on Theresa and a Dweller as they try to reach the Spire, all the while trying to avoid th Corruption which is chasing them down. Following the first demo for the game, the public were hardly impressed with fans of the series criticizing the games “on-rails” gameplay, but Lionhead have since stated that much of the games features, such as the navigation system, were removed from the demo to ensure that it all went smoothly during the public showing, and that Fable: The Journey will actually be more open and accessible than any game previously seen in the series, and that it will likely be bigger as well. Should Peter Molyneux’s claims actually be accurate for a change, The Journey could be the biggest Kinect exclusive yet.
Kinect Star Wars
Another exclusive title for Kinect, and this one also happens to be sporting a name that is bound to immediately net it big sales when it releases in 2012. The name of the game literally explains everything you need to know; you’ll use Kinect to fight enemies with a lightsaber, fling droids around with the Force and generally live out all of your Jedi fantasies without having to do all that training malarky and risking getting a limb chopped off by a bloke who wears far too much black and could really do with stopping smoking.
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare
The third game on this list of exclusives isn’t even a full retail title, but rather an Xbox Live Arcade sequel to Alan Wake, which while received well by critics didn’t sell that well. But having said that, American Nightmare does look like it’s set to really show us what Arcade titles are capable of. The game also seems to be more action orientated than it’s predecessor, which is slightly disappointing, but other than that we don’t really know too much about this title.
Minecraft is the first of two games on this list which isn’t exactly exclusive to Xbox 360, but rather to Microsoft. As you doubtless know Minecraft is currently available on the 360’s big brother for download, but in 2012 the famous indie game will be arriving on console along with Kinect support. Despite the fact that Minecraft isn’t coming from a developer with a name like Infinity Ward, Epic or Bungie, Minecraft is possibly one of the most anticipated games of 2012, which is a bit baffling because you can just go play the bloody thing right now. Hell, even ancient computers can usually run it! But of course the appeal on consoles is being able to easily play with your friends and brag about how you just spent hundreds of hours crafting a replica of Moya or Serenity (sci-fi geek reference. For everyone else, replace, ‘Moya’ and, ‘Serenity’ with Enterprise from Star Trek).
The Witcher: Assassin’s of Kings
Assassin’s of Kings is the second game on this list that isn’t exactly an exclusive; it’s already available on PC. But in 2012 it’ll be coming to consoles, which is a relief because it requires quite a chunky PC to run it. While Halo 4 might be getting all the attention, to me The Witcher is the most exciting exclusive for 2012 that we currently know of, bringing an epic RPG with great combat, a beautiful world and interesting characters. The big challenge will actually be getting Assassin’s of Kings to work on consoles without something blowing up or catching fire.
So there we have it, a list of just six games that will be exclusive to the Xbox 360 in 2012. It’s clear from this that Microsoft need to grab their wallet and hunt down some new games to add to their library. Ah well, there’s still plenty of awesome multiplatform games to look forward to in the coming year.