TR Member Perks!

Raptor Picks 2014 – Xbox One

Don Parsons / January 14, 2015 at 11:00 AM / Gaming, Opinions

2014 was the Xbox One’s first year, and it was a rocky one for the console to start with. Throughout the year, much of the stories were about how much worse it was doing than the PlayStation 4, or complaints about how the ‘next-gen’ graphics weren’t really ‘next-gen’. Still the Xbox One soldiered through, hampered somewhat by a hefty price tag, some bad press from pre-launch, and a lack of exclusives.  Though the system really began to come into its own in the fourth quarter of 2015 with the launch of a couple big name exclusives, as well as the holiday price cut down to $350.

It will be interesting to see where Microsoft goes from here after raising the price back up, but the Xbox One got its toe in the door. If you were one of those who picked it up over the holidays, here are the games we picked out for it from 2014! — Don Parsons

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare
Call of Duty Advanced Warfare had one job: shake things up. After years of practically the same formula (for better or worse), and the abysmal Ghosts, Advanced Warfare delivered on the promise of a new Call of Duty experience. The Exo-suit manages to breathe in enough fresh air to wash away most of the stale atmosphere. It is fun. It is fast. It is exactly what the franchise needed.

The additional features to multiplayer are also welcome. Being able to opt out of kill streaks is a godsend for those who could not stand them, and the character customization and loot system will make the rpg player inside you giddy. Is it flawless? No. The campaign falls flat and continues to prove that Call of Duty has not had a genuinely engaging narrative since at least Black Ops 2. Regardless, this is one of the best multiplayer titles to come out this year. If you loved games like Unreal Tournament, Advanced Warfare should be on your must play list. — Nader Hobballah

Currently Available on: Amazon (Physical)

Titanfall

titanfall

Welcome to the next level of multiplayer shooters as the titans fall around you. Titanfall was released early 2014 and changed the way that multiplayer first person shooters would be made. Titanfall added two new elements to first person shooters, one of which is the inclusion of the titans, allowing you to change from being a single man on the battleground to riding in and commanding a large suit of mech armor. The other element, and the only way to challenge an opponent’s mech armor, is the level of verticality in the gameplay via the use of jetpacks.

The game added some single player elements by including narration during multiplayer matches. Later on during the year even more content was added to the game as a horde mode was included. This type of gameplay has since been emulated in other games like Call of Duty and even in the upcoming Halo 5. — Andrew Stretch

Currently Available on: Amazon (Physical)

Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein The New Order

After the somewhat lackluster remake of Wolfenstein in 2009, I didn’t have particularly high hopes for this one… until I played it. Wolfenstein: The New Order blew the old game away and turned out to be one of the best shooters of the year. Not only does it boast nice graphics, it has an interesting story, and amazing gameplay to back it up.

One of the things I really enjoyed was the fact that the developers didn’t make everything a single hallway; there were always multiple paths to every level, and they all felt different. Some paths would land you new weapons or items, while others would lead you into a really tough fight. The controls were very responsive, and everything feels very precise even on a controller.

Of course, the Nazi content of the game may offend some, and will certainly turn the stomach of people who can’t take gore but if those things don’t bother you then there’s no reason NOT to check this one out. — Tanis Pallagi

Currently Available on: Amazon (Physical), and Gamestop (Digital and Physical)

Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation is the game that fans of the Alien franchise have been waiting for. After many failed attempts, Isolation is a game that provides the fear and suspense of the original movies while retaining their original style. From the very beginning of the game you can see the old designs and DOS inspired computer systems drawing you into the environment.

You play as Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley, as you search for the flight recorder of the Nostromo. In this game you face real fear as both the androids and the Alien are indestructible, forcing you to hide from all foes as you traverse the Sevastopol. This game also has added Kinect functionality where Amanda’s head will track with yours as you peek out behind corners and the more noise you make in real life may attract unwanted attention in game. — Andrew Stretch

Currently Available on: Amazon (Physical)

Runner Up: Halo: Master Chief Collection

Halo Master Chief Collection

The Master Chief is reliving all of his greatest adventures in the Master Chief Collection as fans now have a way to relive Halo: Combat Evolved through Halo 4 without having to pull out their Xbox 360 game discs again. The Master Chief Collection allows players to access every level from all of the Halo main series of games without having to leave the environment. On top of that there are also playlists that allow you to play select levels from across the series. And the collection includes all the maps from all of the games – including DLC.

Even with all of the multiplayer technical issues that have plagued this game we still feel that this game deserves its position as a Raptor Pick. — Andrew Stretch

Currently Available on: Amazon (Physical)

Top Pick: Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive Logo
Welcome to the awesomepocalypse and so right they were. Sunset Overdrive is the latest game by Insomniac allowing players to explore a large open world while using the simple to learn free running system to scale to incredible heights. This game never takes itself too seriously and is instead a fun platformer to spend an afternoon or two playing. Comedy extends throughout this game not only in the dialogue but also in smaller details, such as weapons and even in the respawn animations.

This is a game that fights against a trend that a lot of AAA games have seemed to be headed towards by instead having fun with visuals unique to gaming rather than becoming too serious or being dark and gritty. — Andrew Stretch

Currently Available on: Amazon (Physical)


That was how we saw the Xbox One’s first full year in existence. It was shooter heavy, but still had some exceptions of note. Two Xbox exclusives (with Sunset Overdrive being an Xbox One exclusive) helped give the console some unique content that you couldn’t get elsewhere.

What were your thoughts on the Xbox One’s line up last year? Do you agree, or disagree with our picks? Tell us in the comments below!


Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.