This Week In Games: X Marks The Box

Image: Alex Walker/Kotaku

It's all about the hardware this week: the launch of the Xbox One X. It all coincides with Melbourne Cup Day, which is kind of convenient since your bosses probably won't mind you skipping out an hour or two early if festivities kick on a little long.

But as far as the games go, it's a bit of a mixed bag genre wise. I'm never quite sure how to properly describe Hand of Fate 2, which hits PC and PS4 this week. Horizon gets its long-awaited expansion, and Need for Speed returns too. And for Team Green? There's a cutesy platformer exclusive in the form of Super Lucky's Tale.

Oh and: DOOM's coming to the Switch this week.

Sonic Forces (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)

What is it? The latest 3D action platformer in the Sonic franchise.
Should you care? Buy Sonic Mania instead.

Hand of Fate 2 (PC, PS4)

What is it? The sequel to the Aussie made Hand of Fate, mixing deckbuilding, roguelike elements and some third-person combat.
Should you care? The Xbox One version has been delayed by a bit, but PC and PS4 users can still get it this week. I'll have more to say on HOF2 this week, but it's fun.

Deer Hunter Reloaded (PS4, XBO)

What is it? It's that game you play in bars but it's actually in your home, on a console.
Should you care? There's a reason Deer Hunter is played in bars, and not at home.

Need For Speed: Payback (PC, PS4, XBO)

What is it? The Need for Speed franchise goes all Fast and the Furious.
Should you care? It's nice that Need for Speed is back. I kind of wish they'd remaster the older ones though. Like Underground.

DOOM (Switch)

What is it? A lot of putting your foot into demon hellspawn and watching blood splatter everywhere.
Should you care? I mean, obviously, but I'm really cautious as to how well the Switch hardware handles a game like this. That said, DOOM is possibly the most well-optimised game of the last few years.

Ben 10 (PS4)

What is it? A third person action-adventure set in the Ben 10 universe.
Should you care? If you have little ones who love this series, sure. I remember one of the DS games actually being kinda good.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds (PS4)

What is it? The follow-up expansion to Horizon: Zero Dawn.
Should you care? Undoubtedly.

Super Lucky's Tale (PC, XBO)

What is it? A cutesy platformer starring an adorable fox.
Should you care? Yes if you liked Yooka-Laylee, not so much if you never grew up on collectathons.

Nioh: Complete Edition (PC)

What is it? Think Bloodborne meets hell samurai.
Should you care? Wait to see if it's not completely broken, and if it's not, hell yes.

Farming Simulator (Switch)

What is it? You can drive a tractor.
Should you care? I mean, there's other things you can do. It's Farming Simulator. You should know pretty quickly whether that's your thing or not. Most people would prefer to play Stardew Valley.

Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers (Switch)

What is it? Cartoon Network characters get crossed with Castle Crashers.
Should you care? Could be a fun for a party game night.

Snipperclips Plus (Switch)

What is it? A re-release of the co-op puzzler, where players work together to create certain shapes and overcome challenges.
Should you care? It's an uncannily cute game. If you've got the original you can get this as DLC.

So that's pretty much it for this week as far as main releases go. DOOM is a big note for me, as is the Horizon expansion. Nioh is a underrated gem from this year too.

But that's all a bit of a bummer, because usually when a new console comes out there's a major launch title to be excited for - but it's really more a multiplat box at this stage.

Are you picking anything up this week?


    I’m on the fence about the x is was considering trading in my switch to get it cause I barely use my switch but I’m still not sure if it’s worth it.

      I'd wait until next year: the Switch has more to play right now that you can't play on the Xbox, and the Xbox One X still doesn't have a lot of updates for games that would take advantage of its hardware.

    I'm picking up the X... and I've been holding off on a few games for its release.
    But, you're right to describe it as a multiplatform box... which has largely come to define Microsoft's strategy of late, unfortunately.

      Same here, looking forward to getting it. I think MS are banking on the system gaining popularity by being a (hopefully?) better system for multiplatform titles and thus luring developers back.

      Exclusives need to die though.

        I don't know man... if anything I think MS should have more exclusives, a lot more.

        Exclusives drive console sales... and they're good because they can innovate in ways that suit that console best (Naughty Dog knowing exactly how to make the PS3 cell processors sing comes to mind, as does Bungee giving away the controller 'stickiness' settings from the 1st Halo).
        No one is looking at Nintendo and suggesting they need to make fewer exclusives.

          Nintendo are a special case though, because it's their brand.

          I'm saying that platform exclusives aren't good for gamers - if you wanted to play different exclusives you need to end up buying different platforms that play many of the same games. It's great for their business and helps push their product, but it's ultimately bad for us as consumers.

          Part of the problem is that MS keep trying to make exclusives but they either don't pan out (eg Scalebound, Quantum Break) or no one actually cares (Gears of War 4, Sunset Overdrive)

    I played Doom at PAX on the Switch in docked mode and WOW it ran fast, but boy did it look dog ugly. Would have loved to have seen it on tablet mode to see if the down scaling helped any.

    All ready for my Xbox One X. All games and settings transferred to HDD and all ready to trade in the S while still keeping my day one console in the Man Cave

    I wonder if Hand of Fate 2 is delayed because it still needs to be classified by the ACB?

    I'm guessing that's why Ben 10 (which I saw listed on Major Nelson's blog last week) is also PS4 only because Microsoft Australia keep playing by rules that nobody else cares about - so why do they do it?

    It's only costing them customers - I'd love some sort investigation.

      It sounded like they hit some kind of technical snag, not ratings-related.

      Also Hand of Fate 2 is rated in Australia (M, "Fantasy themes and violence")

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