With so many smaller titles hitting Xbox One every week, it’s difficult to cover them all. While they may not be blockbuster experiences with the marketing to boot, these games should pique the interest of people looking for short, unique titles. This week, I’ve round up my thoughts on Divinity: Original Sin II, NASCAR Heat 2 and Rayman Legends.
Divinity: Original Sin is one of the best games available on Xbox One. The visuals are gorgeous, the turn-based gameplay is satisfying, and even beginners can have an amazing time due to its accessibility and exploration-based mechanics. Divinity: Original Sin II will eventually make its way to consoles but we were given the chance to play it on PC during the development process and after release. All we can say is that Divinity: Original Sin II is an absolute masterpiece. Not only is the story more engaging and serious, it’s also one of the best-looking games around. The character models look like concept art. Unlike many other PC releases, Divinity: Original Sin II runs like an absolute dream and we had no issues maintaining 60 FPS on our Razer Blade. The best part of the game has to be the environments. While the environments in the first game were good, they sometimes felt too familiar. That’s not the case in Divinity: Original Sin II because each area feels unique and has countless secrets to uncover. Remember Pillars of Eternity? Well, it’s somewhat similar to that except it’s a modern-looking title. Unlike the first game which revolved around saving the entire cosmos from what it seemed, this game tells a more personal story. The game’s plot takes place centuries after the first game, in a time of war and religious persecution. Bishop Alexandar the Innocent declares all Sourcerers to be criminals, so a group of Sourcerers embark on a quest to defeat him. If you remember, in Divinity: Original Sin you played as Source Hunters on a quest to rid Rivellon of a forbidden magic known as Source. Now, the tables have turned and you are Sourcerers—powerful individuals whose abilities attract Voidwoken—monstrous creatures from the Void. You’ll have to recruit companions to help in your quest and build a dynamic relationship with them. There are also romance options this time around! All in all, Divinity: Original Sin II is a much better game than its predecessor and we never expected it to be this phenomenal. Be sure to pick it up on PC if you can’t wait or down the line on consoles.
NASCAR Heat 2 may not look as good or sound as good as Forza Motorsport 7, but it’s still a lot of fun. When we first started playing the game, we thought it would be a rather boring endeavor because its predecessor was somewhat bland. The developers have fixed almost all of our complains from the first game and made it worthwhile. The career mode as well as multiplayer offering are better but the real improvement has to be how each race feels. As stated earlier, NASCAR Heat Evolution felt bland because the races felt too easy. They went on and on without any real challenge. In NASCAR Heat 2, you constantly have to be vigilant and correct your vehicle because even the slightest slip can cost you the top position. We played NASCAR Heat 2 like we did NASCAR Heat Evolution for the first few matches and instantly got humiliated. Once we increased focus and made sure that we completely absorbed in the experience, our performance improved. This is a completely different beast and one of the most appealing racing games on the market today. If the developers are able to improve the visuals and sounds for the next title, then the NASCAR Heat franchise has the chance to take on the established behemoths. Yes, NASCAR Heat 2 is that much of a leap for the series!
Rayman Legends is quite possibly one of the best platformers ever made. It requires skill and has countless levels to master. Beginners can get through it easily but if you want to repeat the sections again and again there are rewards for doing that too. When we first played the game on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, we lost count of how many levels there were because it seemed endless. There were also mini-games like soccer. Despite how gimmicky that may seem, Rayman Legends’ biggest draw has to be the way it seamlessly blends music and gameplay. For example, you’ll be entranced by the Castle Rock level. You have to rely on the music in order to determine what obstacles are coming next and avoid them. The visuals are also a sight to behold because they look like a beautiful painting in motion. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful titles we’ve ever seen. If you love platformers or don’t really like them, Rayman Legends is for you. The ones who love them already will be thrilled at how good this game is. The ones who don’t love them will love this game. Many of us felt the same way before we played Rayman Legends all those years ago. The only real complaint is that content becomes locked towards the end of the game because many individuals don’t have the skill to rescue all the characters in each level. Aside from that, it’s just stellar.
Out of all of these games, Divinity: Original Sin II is the one we would recommend the most. Still, each of them has their own unique appeal and could be the perfect game for the right audience depending on what you are looking for. Give them all a chance.