Xbox at Gamescom

Hundreds of thousands of gamers descended on Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany to see new games – and Xbox One. We recap the top announcements from the huge games event.

First up, the Xbox One launch line-up has been confirmed

Twenty-three games will launch with the Xbox One this November. They are:

  •   Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag (Ubisoft)
  •   Battlefield 4 (Electronic Arts) 
  •   Call of Duty: Ghosts (Activision)
  •   Crimson Dragon (Microsoft Studios)
  •   Dead Rising 3 (Microsoft)
  •   FIFA 14 (Electronic Arts)
  •   Fighter Within (Ubisoft)
  •   Forza Motorsport 5 (Microsoft Studios)
  •   Just Dance 2014 (Ubisoft)
  •   Killer Instinct (Microsoft Studios)
  •   LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (Warner Bros. Interactive) 
  •   Lococycle (Microsoft Studios)
  •   Madden NFL 25 (Electronic Arts)
  •   NBA 2K14 (2K Sports)
  •   NBA LIVE 14 (Electronic Arts)
  •   Need for Speed: Rivals (Electronic Arts) 
  •   Peggle 2 (Electronic Arts)
  •   Powerstar Golf (Microsoft Studios)
  •   Ryse: Son of Rome (Microsoft Studios)
  •   Skylanders: Swap Force (Activision)
  •   Watch Dogs (Ubisoft)
  •   Zoo Tycoon (Microsoft Studios)
  •   Zumba Fitness: World Party (Majesco)

Let's take a look at some of the key titles in more detail:

FIFA scores with Xbox

Two important FIFA signings were announced for Xbox One at Gamescom. Firstly, all those who pre-order the Xbox One Day One Edition in Europe will get FIFA 14 completely free. Launch packs will include a download code for the game. Elsewhere, Xbox One owners will also have access to FIFA Ultimate Team Legends, a special version of the popular online game that gives gamers access to classic players like Ruud Gullit, Dennis Bergkamp, Pelé, Patrick Vieira, Gary Lineker and Freddie Ljungberg for their Ultimate Team.

Bundle for Call of Duty: Ghosts

A special Call of Duty: Ghosts bundle will be available for Xbox One when the hardware launches. The bundle will come with a download code for the new FPS. Furthermore, Ghosts on Xbox One will feature dedicated servers supporting multiplayer, powered by the cloud. As previously announced, Call of Duty DLC launches first on Xbox One and Xbox 360.

More exclusives for Xbox

Microsoft announced more new titles and partnerships at Gamescom. EA Popcap’s Peggle 2 and Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare will launch with Xbox-first or exclusive content. Peggle 2 arrives this year, with PvZ due in 2014. Both add gesture control and other Kinect and SmartGlass features on Xbox One. Meanwhile, Ubisoft is working on Fighter Within, a new ‘total combat’ game that uses Kinect. Xbox is also working once more with Minecraft creator Mojang to bring its next project Cobalt to both Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Titanfall impresses GAMESCOM critics

Xbox One exclusive Titanfall – an original game launching in 2014 from some of the developers that created Call of Duty – won nine accolades at Gamescom. It was named Best Console Game and Best Next-Generation Console Game in the official Gamescom show awards, and it picked up a string of prizes from individual global games media outlets. Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall is a story-driven multiplayer first-person shooter, where players can summon and pilot giant mechs known as Titans.

New Fable game on the way

FABLE LEGENDS was also unveiled for Xbox One at Gamescom. The Lionhead title has been developed with Unreal Engine 4. Users can play through the title on their own with three AI controlled characters, or with three friends. Players can also play as the game’s villain, putting them in control of creatures, minions, traps and hazards that the heroes will have to defeat. They can even use SmartGlass as a separate gameplay screen, hiding their decisions from rivals as they play on the TV.

Indie STUDIOS get free Xbox One dev kits

Qualifying studios will get two free development kits from Xbox as part of its Independent Developers @ Xbox scheme. The new programme offers self-publishing without fees and is designed to build a key link between small teams and Xbox’s active online marketplace. ID@Xbox will begin in the autumn, and eventually Microsoft says it wants to make any Xbox One unit capable of being a dev kit for self-publishing indie games. That means anyone can be an Xbox One developer.