Graphics, design, technology, platforms and consoles all change - but the desire for gaming never fades, and similarly the interest in new releases continues unabated. There are many reasons as to why the PS4 is branded as the best console, however, one main reason is the vast amount of quality exclusives.
Let’s look ahead to some of the exclusive PS4 releases which are still (rumoured) to come this year.
Alienation: In a nutshell, as Earth is overrun by alien invaders grab friends and firepower to start the fightback. It is a four-player action game with drop-in drop-out multiplayer from developer Housmarque Games, and will feature cooperative, single player, and player-versus-player modes. It is a sequel of sorts to Dead Nation, but instead of fighting zombies, this time it’s aliens. The gameplay is similar, in that it’s viewed from a slightly-slanted top down viewpoint, and there looks likely to be monstrous aliens galore in an action-packed alien-invasion fest. The release date is still TBA.
“Two heroes on a daring adventure”; “A messenger with a unique delivery”; and, perhaps best of all, “An all-powerful You”… “What will your message be”? So ask Tearaway Unfolded developers Media Molecule in their intriguing trailer for the follow-up to the three-time BAFTA winner, Tearaway. Unfolded is an expanded retelling of the original story and Media Molecule tell us on their website that the adventure has been reimagined as a world inside your TV with bigger and better ways to explore and all-new ways to play. Additions include the power of wind, with which players can blow obstacles out of the way, unfold rippling bridges, or send enemies tumbling off cliffs. The graphics are fun and the premise is sure to appeal to the many rather than the few. From the current information available, Tearaway Unfolded is set to (paper)cut its way straight through its rivals.
From makers Naughty Dog, Nathan Drake returns in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, three years after the events of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. The retired fortune hunter is forced back into the world of thieves when his older brother Sam, who is long assumed dead, suddenly requires Drake’s help. This time, therefore, the stakes are much more personal as he embarks on a world journey to save the one he loves. The most intriguing aspect of the game’s trailer is arguably the Latin sentence written next to the drawing of a skull: ‘Hodie mecum eris in paradiso; in other words, ‘Today thou shalt be with me in paradise’.
The trailer for Suda 51’s next game, Let It Die, has left many dying to know (sorry) just how violent the finished product will be. Containing a series of grim combat sequences with different weapons including spiked bats, hatchets, and flamethrowers, it looks set to be brutal and will satisfy the bloodlust within. While many details are still unknown, including the date it will be released, it’s safe to say with some conviction that this looks set to be one strictly for those of a strong disposition.
If you love a good horror, then Until Dawn is surely topping your current wish list. After all, the game is expected to explore new terrorotity within the horror genre. This exciting upcoming title is expected to have a lengthy play through. The storyline and theme will follow similar to that of a typical horror movie: a bunch of mates are in the middle of know where, they are taking a break in a log cabin, and the surroundings are lonely, cold and snowy. Add to the mix a serial killer and you've got the ingredients for a spooky horror game.
Exploration, survival and vulnerability are three words to sum up the next release. No Man’s Sky is set in an infinite procedurally generated universe. This universe is yours for the taking, though beware your vulnerabilities. Where there is wonder, there is also danger and every encounter will test your skills to the limit. Preparation is key, and in a world where other players will be exploring the same universe in parallel, perhaps you will make your mark on their worlds as well as your own. Suit up, train up, stock up and get ready to unleash yourself into the vast unknown.
According to the Sony Playstation blog, The Tomorrow Children will enable you, “For the glory of all, [to] work together, [and] conquer the impossible”. After an experiment goes disastrously wrong, and all of humanity (except you, of course) has melted into a dismal mass known as the Void, it is down to you to journey into that self-same Void and recover what you can to rebuild the human race. No pressure, then. The visuals in the available screenshots look stunning, and certainly worthy of such a grand mission.
The release of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is edging ever closer, as a recent announcement informed us that it has now entered its beta stage. Not a lot is known about this game, yet it is still successfully generating a lot of hype. Featuring a backdrop of a small, quaint English village – complete with requisite thatched cottages, pub and corner shop – there appears to be an attempt to lure the game-player into a false sense of security. It certainly doesn’t lend itself, at first glance at least, to the situation against which to set the scenario of an unknown disaster which has brought about the end of the world. Creative Director, Dan Pinchbeck, has said of the game: ‘In Rapture, your relationship – who you are, what you are in the world, what you’re doing there, and who you have become – is central to the story’. This really does sound like a game to watch; it’s easy to imagine it taking the gaming world by storm on its release.
Still in the early stages of development, WiLD is a new game from a new studio (Wild Sheep Studio, co-founded by Rayman creator Michael Ancel). The world of WiLD is the size of Europe, with dynamic weather and seasons, and is filled with endless interactive opportunities. Set 10,000 years ago, players have the chance to choose what kind of character they play as – whether wolf, sheep, horse, even trout. All creatures are playable, so when you set that opportunity against the vast backdrop of the game’s setting, it is easy to see why the release of WiLD into the, ahem, wilds of the retail market, is attracting some excited attention.
Michael Amburst, creator of VizionEck, has described his creation as a first person shooter like no other, and from what I can see, this is an apt description. For starters, you play as a cube; a solid white outline means you’re in perfect health but if you’re wounded you’ll be practically invisible. Apart from the characterisation, there is else nothing black and white in this game (so to speak), and the multiple scenarios can each be approached in multiple ways. Intriguingly, Amburst has also written, ‘Even self-destruction has positive outcomes depending on the player’s circumstances’. This is yet another example of Sony taking a punt on an indie outfit, and it looks set to pay off once again. The art-style is innovative and exciting and the interpretations look set to be mind-blowing.
Another violent number is up next, this time one which attempts to find a balance between beauty and brutality. Interestingly, it is also a reboot of the 1989 Amiga side-scroller, which will attempt to stay faithful to the unique art style of the original. Shadow of the Beast is a violent adventure into the world of Aarbron, a human who is seeking revenge for his monstrous transformation, as he was forged by the evil Maletoth as a living weapon. The developers Heavy Spectrum are a small team, and that they are working with Sony has reignited the discussion as to whether Sony is and/or should be the company of choice for such indie outfits. The game’s principal designer, Matt Birch, is certainly in favour, saying, “Sony is one of the companies that are still trying to make games better”.
Another indie outfit, Tequila Works have centred their new game Rime around the tale of a lost boy who is stranded on a mysterious island with a dreadful curse; with your help, he must use his wits and ingenuity to survive. The focus in this game goes against the grain somewhat, in that the focus is not on killing, more on surviving loneliness, exploration and solving numerous puzzles. It sounds beautiful, it looks beautiful, and it is likely to appeal to a large number of gamers looking for something slightly different.
The names Ratchet and Clank will be comforting and familiar to many PlayStation stalwarts, given that its first incarnation was released around 13 years ago, in 2002. Ratchet and Clank for 2015 is a reimagining of that first game in the series and gives creators Insomniac Games a fantastic opportunity to work with the characters in two media as a CG-animated Ratchet and Clank feature film is also being released this year. As far as the game goes, there will be updated gameplay and completely new visuals. As this year progresses, expect to hear those two familiar names mentioned with increasing regularity.
Single-player, sci-fi exploration game, Alone With You, gives you the chance to play as the last surviving member of a failed terraforming project. Your character’s only companion on their distant planet is an AI and together you must collaborate to solve clues to escape. Toronto-based game developer Benjamin Rivers reckons that how well you communicate with your AI companion will determine your success or failure in the game – the two characters may even fall in love. This is another intriguing concept from yet another indie outfit.
I know, I know, the name Fat Princess Adventures was controversial back in 2009, and it will be just as controversial when the follow-up is released later this year. Anyway, moving away from the discussion topic that is the title, this game, as mentioned, is a follow-up to the 2009 original, and will feature dozens of new enemy types as well as classic character types that can be upgraded with items and spells. Similar to the original, players will be able to switch between character classes, but unlike the 2009 release, this time the princesses can fight alongside you. Fighting princesses? Now that does sound like fun.
Talking about names of games, which, admittedly, we weren’t, how about Salt and Sanctuary for a captivating title? It’s not initially obvious where the ‘salt’ aspect comes from, although you are cast as a sailor who is shipwrecked, so perhaps we’re being referred to an abundance of salty water. Sanctuary references are clearer to fathom, however. Being shipwrecked on a strange, purgatorial island, the only refuges or places of hope can be found in the Sanctuaries – protected dwellings where explorers connect together under common creeds to take cover from the outside world. The creators, Ska Studios, have been inspired by old classics such as Castlevania DS and ‘new classics’ like the Souls series.
There is clearly much left to anticipate in 2015, despite us being almost halfway through the year. Come on now Sony, let’s have ‘em!