Exclusives for 2017 Xbox vs. PS4

Exclusives for 2017 Xbox vs. PS4

As we lie on the cusp of a new year, and for the first time I wield both a PS4 and an Xbox One and I wanted to look at the horizon for the exclusives coming in 2017 and declare a presumed winner based on potential and my own whims.  There will likely be surprises and flops, like everyone expected so much more from No Man’s Sky, but this is my early judgment based on trailers and some of the tidbits that have been leaked.  My thoughts on Nintendo are well documented, but until they make a decent game system they don’t belong in the conversation even though any entry into the Zelda catalog has a chance to be the best game of its year.

Xbox One

Crackdown 3 – A surprise hit that didn’t appear in either previous release to be fully polished, but the gameplay was undeniably fun.  We can only hope that this third release is the biggest and baddest of the series.

Sea of Thieves – Rare makes some sweet games going all the way back to Pinbot and Battletoads.  This pirate game looks good and if the multiplayer populated world isn’t chaos it could be a strong contender for Xbox Exclusive of the year.  However, the reliance on multiplayer could also be its doom if players are scarce, annoying, or if the servers struggle with consistency. 

Halo Wars 2 – The RTS genre has largely retreated to PC but the ever popular Halo Franchise dips its toes again into these waters and introduces a new enemy faction – The Banished.  Maybe these baddies will be in Halo 6?

Cuphead – 1930’s Cartoon styling make this Platformer stand out in a glut of competition.  They seem to be taking their time finishing the game which I am hoping means the game will be tight and nuanced like the best of the genre.

Scalebound – An RPG with a Dragon Friend, it has potential.

State of Decay 2 – Another zombie game, but this game focuses on some of the minutiae of Zombie survival which helped earn it some fans.  The sequel hopes to double down and make its presence felt in a popular genre.

PS4

Spiderman – Sony owning the exclusive rights decided not to make a cross platform game as they have in the past and are dropping the popular wall crawler exclusively on the PS4.  I loved the PS2 games that came out in the Tobey Maguire Era, I want to swing among the buildings again in even greater resolution.

Horizon Zero Dawn – The makers of Killzone take us into another future where Robo-Dinosaurs roam and our protagonist needs to drop them with a bow and arrow and salvage their parts.  In all truth, this game made me buy a PS4.

Last of Us Part 2 – One of the better stories in the last decade came in the first game, and the expectations are high for the sequel.  While it might be hard to eclipse the previous game in story, I expect the gameplay to introduce some new twists to get everyone back involved and perhaps ruin your attempts to sleep at night.

God of War – This soft reboot moves from Greek/Roman lore to Norse Mythology, and has the aging Kratos teaching his son the ways of combat.  This series has languished for a few years since God of War 3 in 2010, this is rumored to be the return to the forefront of Playstation’s properties.

Death Stranding – The departure of Hideo Kojima from the Metal Gear series brings us a new property starring Norman Reedus and a dark mystery.  Kojima tends to get weird sometimes, and since he is on his own and not answering to Konami I have a feeling this game will be truly unique.  It might not be good, although I hope that it is, but it will be unique.

Final Fantasy VII Remake – For some this was their entry into RPGs and cinematics and the remake will likely be loved or hated.  Some may consider this blasphemy but I think FF7 is over-rated but a remake might polish the best parts, gloss over the weaknesses and deliver a powerful new version of the game.  Or it may be a flimsy redux that alienates classic fans.  Unfair expectations are probably the biggest threat to this game.

Detroit: Become Human – A Blade Runner inspired game with some Motion Capture acting from the creator of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls.  As a noir fan, and a Blade Runner enthusiast I am looking forward to this game and the potential of getting pulled into this world.

There are other exclusives coming but few that are likely to contend with the ones listed to represent their brand, and based on these lists, PS4 shames Xbox One this year.  In both quantity and likely quality PS4 takes the front seat.  I am historically an Xbox first guy, but I have to admit Microsoft didn’t put anything truly exciting on the table this year.  I am curious about Crackdown and Sea of Thieves, but in a top 5 list of exclusive games coming out in 2017, Xbox doesn’t make the list or at best gets my 5th position behind Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Last of Us 2, and Spiderman.  Playstation also serves some niche markets with MLB: The Show, Ace Combat 7, Persona 5, and Gravity Rush 2.  Microsoft, get your act together for 2018 because you are certainly losing this year.

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