Microsoft's Xbox Spring Showcase offered up a chance to get a taste of some of the games we'll being playing on the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs this year. From big-budget blockbusters to clever indie efforts, there's something for just about everyone this year. Here are my favorites.
In Quantum Break, time is on your side. When a time-travel experiment gone awry gives you the ability to bend time to your will, you'll need to use your abilities to defeat the soldiers who want you put down. The gunplay in this third-person shooter is phenomenal, as you'll use your newfound abilities to dodge past enemies or freeze them in their tracks, dispatching them before they've had time to react.
In Tom Clancy's The Division, it's up to you and your fellow elite operatives to fight back against a ravaging smallpox epidemic. Naturally, this mostly involves shooting at a lot of things. This third-person shooter has a healthy dose of RPG built in, and it's designed with co-operative play in mind; it could be a good fit for like-minded friends.
I've played a bit of Below, and I'm smitten. And also hopelessly lost, but that's good too. It's reminiscent of Nintendo's Zelda, mashed up with the PlayStation 3's minimalistic Journey. You'll wander mysterious randomly generated worlds, trading blows with beasts and struggling to keep hunger and thirst at bay. As you explore, you'll find a use for the seemingly random objects you come across, developing new tools to help you on your way.
Gears of War is a classic third-person shooter, and the Ultimate Edition reimagines the experience in high resolution. In March, the Ultimate Edition will be making its way to Windows 10. The PC version pushes things a tad further, with support for 4K resolutions that promise to make this trip through Gears of War the prettiest one yet.
Forza 6 is coming to Windows 10. Sort of. Forza Motorsport 6: Apex is a free version of Turn 10 Studios' popular racing simulator. Think of it as a taste of the full Forza experience: you'll get to play with a curated list of Forza vehicles across select tracks, and bring the full power of your gaming rig to bear with support for up to 4K resolution. The game will be a free download, available this spring.
Pit People is a turn-based strategy game by The Behemoth, the developers behind Castle Crashers. Expect madness: there are cupcake people with built-in catapults, and spider-ladies, and mascot-critters that just sort of...play music to cheer your fighters on. The game refuses to pick a genre or time period, so gladiators and robots will fight side by side as a charmingly megalomaniacal narrator prattles over the action. There's currently no word on a release date.
The ludicrously popular Minecraft should need no introduction. You'll explore a randomly generated world, fighting monsters and tunneling through caves in search of shiny loot, and supplies to build...whatever you'd like, really. The Oculus Rift offers a new perspective on the action. You'll still be playing the same game, but in virtual reality peering over a cliff edge or looking up a mountain suddenly feels a lot more daunting.