TECH
18/11/2013 09:02 GMT | Updated 18/11/2013 10:56 GMT

Xbox One Digital Games: Killer Instinct, Lococycle, Powerstar Gold, Crimson Dragon Review

Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct, Lococycle, Powerstar Gold and Crimson Dragon will be released for Xbox One on 22 November.

The launch line-up of the Xbox One is dominated by the big exclusive titles, from Dead Rising 3 and Zoo Tycoon (which we've already reviewed) to Forza Motorsport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome (which we'll look at in more detail later this week).

But as with the PS4's slate of titles, some of the most entertaining experiences can be found in the murkier waters of digital releases, which often offer a more 'arcadey' experience for a lower cost, and can be a nice way to test the limits of the new machine without dropping a full £40-50 on another boxed game.

We've taken a look at four of the digital releases on offer at launch: Crimson Dragon, Lococycle, Powerstar Golf and Killer Instinct.

Here's what we've made of the digital line-up for Xbox One so far…

Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct is a full HD remake of the classic beat-em-up game, which keeps things very much as you know (and if you're downloading this, probably love). It's a straightforward side-to-side fighting game, with all the perfect-timing combos, finishing moves and surprisingly deep strategic combat you'd expect, with a visual refresh than brings a new level of spectacular animation and effects to the series.

It's probably not going to win over a huge amount of new players, but those who loved the original should be hooked - as long as they buy the Ultra Edition, which also comes with the old game as a bonus.

The game is available as a free demo, with one character included, and additional characters can either be bought individually for £3.99 or in two packs - a 'Combo Breaker' pack with eight characters or an 'Ultra Edition' with eight fighters, their accessories and costumes, plus the original game, for £34.99.

Lococycle

Lococycle is pitched as an "immersive combat motorcycle racing game", and we suppose that technically that description holds true. Except for the immersive bit. You play as the sentient bike IRIS, who has to travel along various roads, highways, factories and other madcap locations while fighting enemies (including other bizarre motorbikes) with your fold-out robotic arms. All the while you're dragging your mechanic Pablo behind you, who constantly makes quips of the "this is going to hurt!" variety. It's not hugely engaging, looks a bit ropey and probably won't distract you from the bigger launch games.

Powerstar Golf

Essentially 'Everybody's Golf' with a bigger variety of characters, gear and courses, this is a pretty solid and nice looking social golf game. It's nothing remarkable - it looks very pretty, but in mechanics it's not much more than you'd expect from a decent iOS golf game. But if you can stand the prompts for in-app-purchases, it's good enough for a few fun rounds.

Crimson Dragon

Crimson Dragon is a fast and old-fashioned on-rails shooter, in which you fly atop six different dragons in a last-ditch fight against some truly enormous and powerful enemies. Graphically it's very solid - fast and sharp, and with enough visual effects to recall the best arcade games of this genre from back in the day. There are more than 90 skills to level up your dragons with, and you can also use the Kinect camera to dodge enemies and talk to your dragon. It's clearly a genre title, and as such is fairly limited - you can't really control the direction of flight, just where you dragon is on the screen, and the second-stick shooting controls are a bit hard to grasp at first. But it's fun and focused, and provides a fair bit of fun for the relatively low cost.