Community Discussion: Blog by Xbit85 | Xbit85's ProfileDestructoid
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I grew up on NES, SNES, Genesis, Playstaton and N64. Wanting to try something new I made the Jump to Xbox after I saw it the 1st time at CES and played Halo for the first time, the culture and games reminded me for old school Sega for some reason and I was hooked. While I did still play my PS2 I had a special connection with my original Xbox. Then the 360 only cemented my connection further

These days, video game companies are bringing the in-game experience out of the television and into smartphones through engaging apps.

This trend is quickly gaining momentum due to the accompaniment of new features and added storylines. In some ways, a companion app is a direct extension of the video game itself. This allows dedicated gamers to stay fully immersed in the game during short lunch breaks or long commutes after work.

If you're wondering what all the buzz is about and how you can get in on the action, below is a compilation of the 5 best companion apps for AAA games.

5. MyNBA2K14

FPS and action games aren't the only ones equipped with companion apps. MyNBA2K14 is a complete app for users who can't get enough of the video game. Using their smartphones, players can seamlessly connect to both PC and video game consoles. Managing one's NBA 2K account in real-time is the highlight of the app, with access to leaderboards and multiplayer records. As an incentive, users can earn over 2,000 virtual currency points on a daily basis through MyGame mode.

4. Battlefield 4 Commander App

The Battlefield 4 Commander app brings in-game features to smartphones, allowing users to launch attacks and create complex strategies instantly. The free app puts players in the frontlines through a detailed map. From there, users can send out supplies, deploy missiles and plan for elaborate missions. Overall, the app adds hours of extended gameplay due to integration with both console and PC gamers.

Using remote joining, players have the choice of playing with a private group of friends. Alternatively, users can also join random servers to test their skills with other players around the globe. For added motivation, the app provides access to leaderboards and real-time stats. There is also a news section for updates, fixes and new releases.

3. Assassin's Creed IV® Black Flag Companion
Image via Flickr by BagoGames

One of the highlights of the Assassin's Creed companion app is how well it syncs with the actual game. Apart from basic tracking and monitoring features, the app lets users invite their friends to help them on missions. Through the interactive world map, players can get a clear overview of what's going on in the game. With the Kenway's Fleet feature, users have the advantage of looting consistently without using a console.

2. Call of Duty: Ghosts

The Call of Duty: Ghosts companion app brings an array of customization and clan management features to the video game. Users can watch battles and monitor live stats from their smartphone. Character customization is highly detailed, allowing players to virtually change everything from head to toe, including weapons. Most diehard Call of Duty fans use the app for tracking their in-game progress and checking how their friends are holding up in the virtual battlefield.

1. Watch Dogs ctOS

Image via Flickr by bagogames

Watch Dogs is one of the most breathtaking games of the year due to the gripping storyline and never-seen-before gameplay. The official companion app takes the game to a whole new level by incorporating new disruptive elements. Users of the app have the ability to wreak havoc using timely explosions and barricades. The objective of the app is to stop other Watch Dog players, by all means possible.

Equipped with a map generator, users can setup their own challenges for other Watch Dog players. The Quick Match Mode allows ctOS users to test their skills with random individuals through the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live Uplay. The app is available on major mobile platforms, including Android devices. Setting up a profile takes less than 5 minutes and will seriously enhance the experience

To conclude, app developers have barely scratched the surface when it comes to companion apps. Although already impressive in the early stages, there is still plenty of room for new features and creative video game integration. Based on the current release of companion apps, players may need to grind out extra hours on their smartphones to stay on top of their game. More energy drinks anyone?

Which companion apps do you have installed in your smartphone? Let us know what you think.

Now that Xbox One’s first major exclusive AAA game, Titanfall has arrived this week, what are Xbox One’s next most anticipated games for 2014? Here are my top 5:

Quantum Break
This upcoming third-person shooter game, developed by Remedy Studios, features a story that deals with time travel and science fiction. The game will blend live action sequences with regular gameplay. Quantum Break focuses on the idea that time as we know it could collapse. Through time slowing or time stopping, which occurs because a failed science experiment, the main characters manipulate time to solve challenges. The narrative promises to deliver an intense story-line with action-packed trials.

Sunset Overdrive
Insomniac Games' upcoming title promises to take advantage of Microsoft's cloud computing capability to create an ever-adapting open world environment. The premise of Sunset Overdrive is to battle mutants in a post apocalyptic world, but the actual gameplay is dictated by the whims of the individual player. Along with the open-ended gameplay, Sunset Overdrive has a tongue-in-cheek irreverence that's sure to appeal to those who enjoy games like Grand Theft Auto.

The Division
This multiplayer role playing game is the latest in the Tom Clancy video game franchise, where players undertake missions in a post-apocalyptic version of New York that has been turned into a ghost town following the release of a deadly virus. The open world format enables users to progress through missions at their own pace, provided they can always keep their characters supplied with plenty of food and water.

What makes this game unique is the introduction of a companion app that's played on an Android or iOS tablet device, enhancing the gameplay on the console while adding a new cooperative social aspect to the game experience. 

Watch Dogs
Slated for a release in the second quarter of 2014, Watch Dogs lets you play as a hacker on a mission in a fictionalized version of Chicago. This open world game provides you with a smartphone that's capable of hacking almost anything. For example, break into a bank account to steal funds or disable important aspects of the city's infrastructure. Set traffic lights to malfunction while evading police and civilians. There is a multi-player and a player-versus-player option.

Elder Scrolls Online
The latest incarnation of ZeniMax's popular franchise gives new meaning to massive multiplayer online games. The open-ended gameplay of ESO takes place in the fictional world of Tamriel, which is similar to the other games in The Elder Scrolls franchise. Because of this, the storyline will be indirectly connected with the other games. This game is set a millennium before The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and 800 years before The Elder Scrolls II: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Most of Tamriel will be playable, and players have the chance to join one of the three factions that are battling for the throne of the Emperor of Tamriel. 

Since this is a massively multi-player online role-playing video game, you'll need a fast and reliable Internet connection from a service provider like CenturyLink. That way you'll ensure that you never miss a beat (or lag). 

With a variety of content and intriguing storylines, Xbox One has an impressive library of games ready for a 2014 release. The ability to connect to more friends online through Xbox Live and collaborate on games will keep the content fresh and exciting.