Initial Xbox One thoughts

Dan O’Neill 2013-11-15 4 min read

So I managed to get an invite to the Xbox One tour event in Dublin’s Ambassador theatre. I’ve been to a few other Microsoft events over the years and they tend to be well setup and pretty friendly. This was no exception!

Small queue outside when we arrived, and managed to get through the door pretty quickly. Straight upstairs to the cloackroom and noticed very quickly the setup that was going to play host to us for teh next couple of hours.

The upstairs room had two walls with Xbox Ones set up - Killer Elite on one wall and Fifa 14 on the other. There was the obvious big crowd around the Fifa section so we grabbed a couple of rounds in with Killer Elite.

This was my first look at the Xbox in real life and I have to say it looked pretty good - definitely going to fit in well with the rest of my black boxes underneath the TV. I was surprised at the size of the new Kinect device - to my eyes it looked too big but maybe that’s a reaction to being so close to it. I’d never even heard of Killer Elite before, but it was fun to play. It was set up with huge arcade style controllers that I was definitely not used to - and they were not entirely my cup of tea. Ended up doing a tonne of button mashing.

From there we headed over to the Fifa 14 section when the initial crowd died down a bit. First chance to play around with the new controller. Thankfully it isn’t too much of a departure from the Xbox 360 controller that I love. Nicer trigger design though, and better bigger shoulder buttons. The Dpad though was the one noticeable change - it’s definitely not as pronounced as it was on the 360 controller - more out of the way. I liked it. I was specifically asked about the rumbly triggers so I’ll get to that a bit later as Fifa 14 didn’t appear to make use of them - or maybe it did, but more later.

Downstairs though was where the real action was. 16 Battlefield 4 Xbox Ones on one wall - 16 set up for Call of Duty on the the other. In the middle, arrayed in sets of four with bean bags and everything, were machines setup up with Ryse, Forza 5, Dead Rising 3, and a couple of other games I didn’t recognise.

the images of my careening around a city - in an excavator - mowing down Zombies are going to stick with me for a while!

Dead Rising 3 was on a demo loop but it was fun to play if a little repetitive. Still, the images of my careening around a city - in an excavator - mowing down Zombies are going to stick with me for a while! Ryse was also locked down to an arena-like game mode. It was very nice to look at but so hard to play that it wasn’t long before I gave up on it. I’m sure it will be better once the initial learning curve is done with.

Forza was another game that looked amazing, and was stuck to a one lap demo. There was a couple of car classes to choose from though so still a bit of choice. The game made the -best- most obvious use of the rumbly triggers of all the games I played that night. It was a nice touch. The game itself though has always struck me as lifeless and clinical. One example - going in to a corner too fast results in a loss of grip but on the screen it just looks like your sliding on ice. This might be a more realistic representation of real life but too sterile looking for me.

Battlefield 4 from

The best game on show though from the night was Battlefield 4. It was a 8 vs 8 game in a capture the flag match. Gameplay was a lot of fun, graphics stood out, but it was the sound that really won me over. I can’t really explain it but it was one of the most immersive gaming experiences I’ve ever had. The controller was responsive, and although I’m sure the rumbly triggers did something, it all felt part of the game. A really good experience.

So after the event - I’m still excited about getting my hands on an Xbox One in the near future, though Battlefield 4 is definitely the number 1 game on the list to buy.