With Sony being the clear winner in this past years battle of the consoles, they are keeping with the momentum. By securing exclusivity rights, strategically timed releases and pouring money into their homegrown franchises , Sony is set to ride their proverbial gravy train as the leader of the current console scene. Lets take a look at some upcoming titles for the new year.
The Last Guardian
After seeing a troubled development cycle that has lasted nearly 10 years, The Last Guardian will finally be released to yearning fans this year. Originally slated to be a PS3 title, the game was hampered during development due to hardware issues (leading to its PS4 upgrade) and the departure of key people from the developer, Team Ico. Thankfully the original developers were kept on as consultants, and the game was re-hyped at last years E3. The game centers around a young boy who is trying to escape a massive, ruined castle and is aided by griffin-like creature named Trico. At first glance, the title seems to be a long overdue mashup of the PS2’s Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, retaining the “1 player, 2 characters” element of the former and the massive scale of the latter. The boy can use Trico to traverse the castle, and Trico runs primarily on its own instinct leaving the boy to guide him along. The game already looks like it will be the PS4’s next killer app, by far.
Street Fighter V
In a move that surprised all fans of the series, casual and hardcore, Capcom’s next installment of the revitalized fighting series will be a PS4 exclusive. Though the game will also be released on the PC (complete with cross-platform gameplay), Sony will have a firm hand on what is currently the most popular and profitable fighting game on the market, as evidenced by the huge exposure the series has had since Street Fighter IV’s release in 2009. The game has been through a few beta testing phases, I have had a chance to enjoy myself. Needless to say, this is a new direction the series is taking, making it less reliant on negative edge and option selects and more on technical gameplay and using the characters moves effectively. In essence, in order to learn SFV you must unlearn SFIV. While that sounds daunting for those who have enjoyed the previous title for the past six years, it’s a sign that the game has a lot more to offer than more of the same. Street Fighter V should be on everyone’s list, as it is definitely the fighter to beat.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Guerrila Games, known previously for creating the highly successful Killzone franchise, is taking a step back from its longstanding focus on the FPS genre and pushing forward into the ever-popular theme of an open world. Horizon places you in the boots of Aloy, an exiled tribeswoman roaming the Earth 1,000 years after the fall of civilization. Her primary adversaries are gigantic bio-mechanical beasts that roam the wilderness, who are quite hostile and pose a constant threat. Guerrila has been touting the game’s deep and rich story, something to expect from a game set so long after the fall of the world we currently live in. In addition, the game is being created by developers who worked on several successful franchises, which include such The Elder Scrolls and The Witcher.
No Mans Sky
NMS is a bit of a unique title, as it gives us open-galactic space exploration with an emphasis on discovery above survival and gathering. At it’s core, NMS allows you to dogfight with hostile ships in a small, agile spaceship that provides all your planetary travel and defensive capabilities. It also gives you a visual readout of what resources and minerals can be mined from the planets you encounter. The games attention-netter is the dynamic worlds you can visit. Each and every planet has different flora, fauna and creatures that populate the surface and interact with you. The scenery itself is rather vibrant and very much alive, taking a cue from another exploration based game, Proteus, adding a more detailed feel and larger sense of scale. NMS looks to be a hybrid game, sort of an action/exploration title with a huge world to immerse yourself in. If you’re looking for the next level in space-faring games yet want a more alternative approach to the genre, you should definitely check this out.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Poised to dethrone MGSV: Then Phantom Pain as the PS4’s killer app, Uncharted 4 sets to raise the bar even further with the series, a fear many considered impossible after the near-perfect presentation of Uncharted 3 on the PS3. If it is any hint that the game was able to get ad placement on the premier of The Force Awakens, you can assume this game will be a huge deal. The climax of the tale of Nathan Drake, the game will feature the end to his perilous, Indiana Jones-esqe exploits but not an end to the action that the series is known for. Similar to how God of War: Ascension kept the story going even after it’s conclusion in the God of War III, the game that follows Uncharted 4 will most likely follow a new set of characters in new locales. The single player has been mum on the word, but the multiplayer beta was a huge success, players giving rave reviews on what will most likely be the focus of players upon release and thereafter.
Dark Souls 3
If you could not get enough of the stellar gameplay and soul-crushing difficulty of previous two Dark Souls games, get ready for the current-gen sequel that hardcore gamers have been clamoring for. The series original director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, has returned from his stint of supervising the development of the 2015 hit Bloodborne and will be bringing the series back to form. Given that he only took a supervisory role for Dark Souls II, it is rather exciting that we will get to play a game that will be featuring all of Miyazaki’s efforts. The game will feature an even larger world to explore, which is impressive given how massive the previous games were in terms of sheer scale. With the added bonus of 6-player online multiplayer, we may have the to beat for the year.
Ratchet & Clank
That’s right, Sony still hasn’t forgotten it’s quasi-mascot on the PS4. The star of some stellar adventure games on the PS2 and PS3, Ratchet & Clank have been the star of some quirky, animated and cinematic platformers that rewarded exploration, combat and the drive to search every nook and cranny of the worlds they visited. Though platformers have been seeing as a dying genre (still held afloat by the stellar LEGO games), series such as this one have stayed true to form, delivering an experience akin to an interactive Pixar film. Paired up with an upcoming movie, this game will not be a sequel but a remake of the duo’s original debut in 2002 on the PS2. Being that the game was already quite large for it’s time and graphically impressive, we’re excited to see what Insomniac will do with the gameplay, cinematic presentation and overall graphical face-lift. Don’t count this genre out yet, lets see what it has to offer on the PS4.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Set in a Post- Apocalyptic New York, Tom Clancy’s: The Division, players can team up and shoot it out with both computer and player controlled characters. In the vein of the current trend of en of world scenarios, players must battle through the game as advanced sleeper agents, to discover the cause of a mysterious pandemic. In the world of MMOs it will have still competition but from what we have seen it stands on its own. Looks like Ubisoft has outdone itself with this shooter.