Microsoft is pushing for greater synergy between Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. The Xbox app comes pre-installed with Microsoft’s latest operating system, granting access to the perks of Xbox Live, and games can be streamed from Xbox One to Windows 10-powered device. Given the reality that certain Xbox One exclusives have (Dead Rising 3) been ported or will be soon (Gears of War Ultimate Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider), here’s a list of the others that need to make the jump from the console to Windows 10 PC.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
It’s no secret that Halo: The Master Chief Collection had a nightmare launch on Xbox One, so much so that Microsoft gave away free copies of the remastered version of Halo 3: ODST. Fast-forward to today, and the near-comprehensive Halo anthology (minus Halo: Reach and Halo Wars) has been patched to a playable state, which leaves it ripe for a PC port. The original Halo was ported to PC by Gearbox Software, and Halo 2 was a Windows Vista exclusive, but PC enthusiasts haven’t had a chance to finish Master Chief’s fight with Halo 3, or continue it in the 343 Industries era with Halo 4. While we’re on the topic, Microsoft, how about a port of Halo Wars—the last game from Ensemble Studios before its closure—for PC before Halo Wars 2 hits Xbox One and Windows 10?
Halo 5: Guardians
Full disclosure: as a massive Halo fan, I wasn’t particularly impressed by Halo 5. The story is a mess, the campaign is short, friendly AI is woeful, and there’s only one true sandbox level before the credits roll. That being said, the multiplayer is mostly fantastic. Ignore the micro-transactions and faulty Requisition system, and the 24-player franchise-first PvPvE Warzone mode is fantastic. Arena mode is particularly addictive, with maps perfectly designed for 4v4 showdowns, and the custom maps are a tonne of fun. The biggest problem for me, an avid PC gamer, is that I find aiming on console incredibly frustrating, particularly when playing a fast-paced shooter experience. Porting Halo 5 to PC would offer fantastic multiplayer hijinks with the accuracy of the mouse and powered by Microsoft Azure dedicated servers.
Forza 6: Motorsports
In fairness, it doesn’t just have to be the latest iteration of the Forza franchise, but car nuts are sure to get a nitrous-fuelled kick out of a Forza 6: Motorsports PC port. This is the Xbox One-exclusive racing franchise that goes toe to toe with PlayStation’s Gran Turismo series. As a gamer who isn’t the biggest racing game enthusiast, I won’t get involved in that debate, but I can tell you that Motorsports looks fantastic on Xbox One, which always makes me wonder how much better it could look on a souped-up PC. With Microsoft really emphasising the whole 1080p/60fps thing as part of the PS4 vs XBO war, it’s hard not to imagine how moot that all is in light of the potential of 2160p/120+fps on a high-end PC.
As far as compilations go, it doesn’t get much better than this. Master developers Rare had an Xbox One-exclusive release called Rare Replay earlier this year that was packed with a whole lot of quality nostalgic gaming. The collection included 30 Rare-forged titles, including Battletoads, Killer Instinct Gold, Blast Corps, Banjo-Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Fury Day, and Perfect Dark. Given the popularity of old-school gaming experiences on Steam, it’s hard to imagine Rare Replay not getting a whole lot of love on PC. Oh, if you do port Rare Replay, Microsoft, please also throw in GoldenEye 007 and the Donkey Kong Country games, while you’re at it.
This perpetually delayed title finally has a release date: 5th of April, 2016. The problem is that’s an Xbox One release date, and as a massive fan of Remedy Entertainment games, I’d rather play the time-bending third-person shooter on PC. This is actually something of a possibility given that Remedy has a history of bringing Alan Wake—once an Xbox 360 exclusive—to PC. Granted, that was a couple of years after its initial console release, so we’d appreciate something a little closer to the Xbox One’s on-sale date. Quantum Break splices together episodic storytelling with live-action TV episodes between each mission, where there are consequences for player decisions. I’ll play it on Xbox One if that’s the only option, Microsoft, but I’d love to tackle it with a keyboard and mouse.
Gears of War 4
Even more than Quantum Break, it seems that a PC version of Gears of War 4 is incredibly likely. Rod Fergusson, head of The Coalition (developers of Gears of War 4), teased the possibility of a Windows 10 port of Gears of War 4 earlier this year at E3’s PC Gaming Conference (http://www.pcpowerplay.com.au/feature/e3-pc-gaming-show-highlights,405503). What was shown off of Gears of War 4 at E3 looked impressive for fans of the franchise (myself included), and it’s not like Gears of War has never been on PC (there was a PC port for the original). Gears of War 4 is slated for release on Xbox One at the end of next year, so fingers crossed there’s an announcement sometime in the new year that it’s also landing on PC at the same time.
It’s been five years since the last Crackdown game, but the third entry in the Xbox-exclusive series is slated for release in the latter half of 2016. Microsoft was showing off a hands-on demo earlier this year at gamescom, and it was damn impressive. Crackdown 3 leverages the power of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure to power insane levels of real-time in-game destruction. While this level of destructibility is limited to multiplayer on the Xbox One, there’s no reason why high-end PCs couldn’t handle a greater level of campaign destructibility in a Windows 10 port. Crackdown 3 is like a combination of Bad Company 2’s destruction with the super-powered open-world adventuring of the Prototype games. In short: sign me up.
Insomniac Games has had a long history of creating addictive console-exclusive experiences that tend towards high-energy platforming. Sunset Overdrive is a third-person open-world action title that liberally breaks the fourth wall during adrenaline-fuelled gameplay that’s kind of like Tony Hawk (the good games, mind you) meets Dead Rising. Players build up a combo meter as they embrace the forward-momentum motif of sprinting, jumping and grinding through the game world, destroying countless waves of enemies as they go. The unique bright colour palette is begging to be viewed on a crisp 4K screen, and eight-player cooperative multiplayer mode would be even more fun with the ability to build a higher combo thanks to the precision of mouse aiming.
City builders are all well and good for the kind of players who have the patience for that sort of thing, but Screamride offers a devilish mix of city building and Lemmings-like destruction of NPCs in a single package. The goal is to build the scariest theme-park rides that get the biggest screams from the riders. Creating is only half the fun, as the physics-based coaster creator also encourages you to toy around with destruction to up the fear factor. Building and destroying is only part of the game, as players can also compete for the best times as they take adrenaline-pumping coasters for a ride. What’s not to love?
When you’ve got the creators of Metroid Prime and the mind behind Mega Man and Dead Rising (Keiji Inafune) behind the scenes on a game, it’s bound to capture attention. And that’s exactly what ReCore has. It’s pitched as an action-adventure title, wherein one of Earth’s last survivors must survive a hostile world with the help of a variety of robot companions. Unlike the usual post-apocalyptic fare, ReCore is poised to have plenty of heart. Gameplay mechanics revolve around collecting power cores that are the heart of both enemies and the various robotic shells that can be activated and used as companions. It’s due out in the second half of 2016, and I reckon it’s worth a Windows 10 port based on curious concept alone.
Are there any exclusive titles on Xbox One (past, present or future) that you wish Microsoft would bring across to Windows 10?