Just got home from the London event - Warning: Positive Xbox One impressions forthcoming.
Shot a ton of video (some of which is still rendering/uploading, so bear with!), and grabbed a few pics, so without further ado...
Xbox One Tour - London
The event was pretty well organised (and not so rammed that it was frustrating), so I'll cover some of the information I gleaned from the staff on site, and how the event worked, then I'll cover what I thought of the controller, then Kinect, then the games themselves.
Important information to note:
All of the TV's were 720p. Some had so much processing on them it was awful, some were calibrated a little better. None of the TV's present were 1080p. So, please bear that in mind when you see the off-screen video/pictures etc.
The event was organised over 2 floors - all the family friendly stuff on the top floor - Kinect Sports Rivals, FIFA 14, Forza 5, Zoo Tycon and on the bottom floor we had 8 v 8 BF4, Killer Instinct, Ryse and Dead Rising 3.
Xbox One, Kinect, and the new controller.
I really, really like the controller. I filmed a quick video
to show everyone what I percieve to be a lot of fuss over the bumpers - they are fine, IF you hold the pad like I do. Other users may struggle - for those that hate "loose" sticks, I wouldn't worry - I found the sticks to feel great. They are much less resistant to being moved, but calling them loose is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. The triggers were great, the d-pad is fantastic, and the overall weight and feel of the pad in hand left me feeling very pleased with my preorder.
Some picture of the console (it's really not that massive) and controller below.
Video of Controller
On to the games, so Family Friendly stuff first!
Kinect Sports Rivals
Played on a horribly calibrated TV.
Grpahically, the game is gorgeous, full of colour and vibrancy. You can navigate the menu, which is "The Island" by hitting either the left or right trigger to spin it around. Obviously, went straight to Waverace.
The Kinect response was pretty good - it successfully detected as to whether I had my hand open or closed for acceleration, and you had to actually lean your body to turn left or right, rather than just twisting your arms like imaginary handle bars. The Water was totally amazing and the course was littered with interesting jumps, shortcuts and obstacles, such as water mines.
Pleasantly surprised to find you can control the game with the controller too, which is just as responsive as you'd expect any controller based game to be. Definitely not just added controller support as an afterthought. You can also use this is conjunction with Kinect - leaning my body while turning with the pad seemed to result in tighter turns in general. I had a lot of fun with it.
I also, after pestering the Rep on the station, persuaded them to let me play around the with Avatar Creation tool. Which was fantastic to go through - considering it was an old build (but stable) it saw me perfectly (despite the terrible lighting in the venue). This was the result. It successfully detected the beard, but not the mohawk, which I added later (Although to be fair to Kinect, mine isn't quite as pronounced).
Overall, really enjoyed Kinect Sports, and look forward to picking it up on release.
I am not a racing game fan (unless it's something super arcadey, like Burnout) so don't expect much here.
It was pretty, smooth (60FPS). Drove the Mclaren - the rumble on the triggers is indeed awesome, and feeling the car through your fingers was really unique. To me personally, the game felt slow - I did not get an impression of speed, despite what the speedometer was telling me. But I guess if you like Forza, or racing games in general, you're not going to hate this.
I also don't play football games. My mate that came along said it felt pretty good though. And it was indeed very pretty...moving swiftly on...
Sooo good. The D-pad is brilliant
, may the 360 controller d-pad rot in hell. Game was very responsive, looked great and seemed to hide quite a lot of depth - Whilst I button mashed like an amateur, my friend soon got the hang of a few moves, and was swiftly kicking my arse.
Ryse: Son of Rome
Good news Ryse lovers! I think this going to be a thoroughly enjoyable game. The combat...is NOT a QTE fest. So, as some have already suggested, it's pretty similar to Batman - the combat flows pretty well. You have a light attack on X, heavy on Y, special move on RB (depending on which God you ally yourself with) roll on B, Parry on A, wow the crowd on LB, and the infamous "execute" button on right trigger.
So how does the combat actually work? So bad guys rush you, you kick/slice/stab them about with X or Y, avoid them with B, or parry with A. There were NO prompts as to when they are going to attack (like Batman) rather you have to pay attention to their animations. So where oh where are these QTE's?
When you have fucked an enemy up enough, an icon appears above there head, or if you can time it right and have multiple enemies in this state, heads. Then you hit right trigger, which pushes you into the finish move set, where the enemy with flash with the colour of the relevant button - time it right, and you'll perform a grisly finishing move, with slow mo, on one or multiple bad guys. The slow mo is in no way annoying or frustrating, and it's nice and showy, and consequently, makes you feel totally bad-ass.
The game chucks more and more at you, with objectives like destroying catapults, capturing and defending areas, and some of the bigger bad guys require more technique to take out, combat rolls being particularly effective to get behind them and fuck em-up.
The animation was also pretty smooth - admittedly not as flowing as Batman, but perfectly fine. The rep confirmed the Ryse build was newer than the Gamescom build previously seen. Graphically, it was gorgeous. This game went from a "should be alright to have fun with" to a "I really can't wait to play this through". Co-op horde arena is going to be fun.
Here's a gameplay video (my mate is playing, and he wasn't great, but you should get the idea!)
Delicious 60FPS. I can confirm the game felt wonderfully smooth compared to BF3, but as all the sets were only 720p, I have no idea what the game will render at - but I have a funny feeling it's going to be 720p. I asked the tech guy on hand, and as soon as I asked that question, I got the "I won't get into that debate" response. So take that as you will.
Still, it seemed to play great, and we had a lot of fun with it. During respawn, you can see the view of other players in the bottom right of the screen, which was pretty cool.
Also grabbed a shot of the Kinect settings for the game:
Some pretty cool stuff there. Nothing too intrusive, just some nice addons I think. Didn't get to try out the head leaning feature, mostly due to sitting a foot from the Kinect, which was at chest height.
Oh, and as someone asked earlier - rumble on the pad was NOT active during gameplay for BF4.
Here's some gameplay.
Apologies for my appauling camera work.
Dead Rising 3
My favourite game of the day. Plays great, no shitty framerate issues that I experienced, the number of Zombies on screen is bananas. Really can't wait for this.
Why does LCD monitor + Football = Laser Sword?! I don't know, but I fucking loved it.
So there you go GAF, anything you want to know but I haven't covered, just ask. I wanted to post as much as I could while it was fresh in my mind.