When blockbuster game releases receive as much marketing as they do, it can be easy to forget about everything else. In some cases, this isn’t a problem — who isn’t excited for
GTA V‘s re-release and remaster on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? Still, unstoppable hype can have a downside, and perfectly deserving games often get lost in the shuffle. Even worse, a console can begin to develop a temporary reputation for having “no games,” when in fact there are plenty of great titles to discuss, share, and enjoy.
Sony’s venture into the new console generation, then, has been very clearly split. The PS4’s sales numbers are a runaway success with little sign of slowing down, and yet recent
executional flubs like Driveclub or big-name releases that perhaps came up slightly short such as Infamous: Second Son are seen by many as below the expected bar of quality.
Also See: LittleBigPlanet 3 Hands-On Preview
The future is certainly bright, with surefire hits like
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Bloodborne on the agenda for next year. But surely there must be more to try on this shiny new box now, no? Well… of course there is! We’ve compiled a list of eight upcoming titles you ought to take into consideration this holiday and beyond, all of which promise quality gameplay and a rollicking good time. At the end of the day, isn’t that what really matters?
8 Upcoming PS4 Games
LittleBigPlanet 3 (November 2014)
LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule may have moved on, but that hardly means the latest entry in the adorable, skeuomorphic platforming series isn’t worth your time. New characters and substantially beefed-up creation tools promise to make the experience new again, as well as more exciting for newcomers.
Chief among the latest features are new playable sacks, including the dog-like Oddsock, Swoop the bird, and the lumbering Big Toggle. Each have unique abilities (BT is heavier and can use that to his advantage, for example), with fresh power-ups and even power-up creation tools that allow players to flex their creative muscles more than ever before. The game is coming to PS3 as well, but you know you want the definitive version.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth (November 2014)
Well-made games don’t get old easily, and the original
The Binding of Isaac is a superb example of that. Still, we’d all prefer to have our favorite titles available on the latest hardware when possible, and Rebirth aims to both satisfy that desire and provide new content for fans of the original game.
Rebirth is a full-on remake of the original title, includes said title’s expansion Wrath of the Lamb, and delivers new and yet-unplayed material as well. Additionally, substantial changes are afoot; the graphics have been changed to a 16-bit style, while new music will find its way onto Rebirth’s soundtrack. Co-op is present, as are returning roguelike and RPG elements. You also have the Vita version as an option, so choose wisely (sadly, it doesn’t appear as if cross-buy has been confirmed).
Guilty Gear Xrd (December 2014)
Guilty Gear developer Arc System Works sounds familiar to you, it should; they’re some of the same folks behind the Persona 4 Arena series of 2D anime-style fighters. Of course, Guilty Gear Xrd doesn’t quite fit that mold, as it’s been developed using Unreal Engine 3 and contains cel-shaded models instead of traditional 2D art. Though already released in arcades earlier this year, the game is coming to PS3 and PS4 in December.
Guilty Gear is known for its hectic and fast-paced action, and those traits seem positioned to continue here with the return of a familiar cast of fighters and the addition of Bedman and Elphelt as newcomers. There are also new bosses and challenges as well, so series veterans ought to be quite pleased. It can’t hurt to jump in with Xrd if you’re a newcomer, either.
The Witness (Late 2014)
It’s no secret that I enjoyed my time with
The Witness at E3 this past June, but when can we actually expect to get our hands on it? The official site states “mid-2014,” while Sony itself simply lists it as TBD (though it must be close). Regardless, The Witness is a unique and ambitious adventuring encounter, and one you should be itching to dive into if you’re not anticipating it already.
Much of my time spent playing the game revolved around its many tracing puzzles. Though clever in their own right, these eventually yielded far more interesting forces at play, with secrets penetrating nearly every nook and cranny of the abandoned island you find yourself on.
The Witness’s motivation for the player to continue is the best kind; unfettered curiosity and a desire to uncover the unknown. These are the sort of experiences you wish you could have in real life. Until virtual reality truly arrives, The Witness should make for a fine substitute.
Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age (Late 2014)
When a title is described as “a AAA co-op shooter that just happens to be free,” it’s difficult to not pay attention. Though multiplatform, PS4 owners should absolutely be keeping their eyes peeled for
Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age this Fall.
Hunt is set in the 19th century, and as its name suggests, elements of survival horror are prevalent throughout its many co-op missions and scares. What isn’t so obvious is that the title is actually a third-person shooter. Though originally described as the “spiritual successor to Darksiders,” development shifted from Crytek USA to Crytek Frankfurt in July of 2014. Though the effects of the change are not completely known, the project remains intriguing. It’s free, so it certainly can’t hurt to give it a try.
Axiom Verge (Early 2015)
Axiom Verge is clearly a labor of love, and sometimes it’s those very projects that shine the brightest when they’re finally released. The game is an action-adventure side-scroller in a similar vein to Metroid, and began in 2010 as the side project of Tiger Woods PGA Tour alum Tom Happ. The title is now slated for release on PS4 and Vita in early 2014, and from the looks of things, it’s not a title you’ll want to miss.
Featuring a stylized art style that draws from both modern and retro inspirations,
Axiom Verge tells the story of Trace, a man who finds himself in a technologically advanced, ancient civilization upon awakening from near-fatal injuries. Info on the game is surprisingly sparse considering its impending release, but there have been previews over the years as development has progressed. Regardless, you’ll want to check back early next year and try this could-be gem when it’s available.
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions (November 2014)
Geometry Wars was all the rage when it first debuted last generation, but its core mechanics all these years later are still incredibly sound. The latest release, Dimensions, is headed to PS4 and other platforms this month.
Aside from being the most visually stunning entry in the series to date,
Dimensions packs a few new tricks for returning players, including new modes, revamped co-op, and competitive online multiplayer. Leaderboards are part of the equation too, so comparing scores will continue to be as addictive as ever. Any game that keeps the culture of “one-upping” your friends alive and well is fine by me.
Teslagrad (Late 2014)
Teslagrad’s side-scrolling, puzzle-platforming ways have been known since it released on PC last year (and Wii U more recently), but PlayStation gamers were left out in the cold with regard to its lovely art style and ample indie charm. Though an exact release has not been confirmed, the title is making its way to PS4 in the near future, and I expect Sony’s console will be the definitive place to play it. It’s also cross-buy, including both PlayStation 3 and Vita editions.
Teslagrad’s main quirks are revealed in its name -- mainly, magnetism and elements of the electromagnetic supernatural weave their way in and out of gameplay like the coils invented by Tesla himself. The player avatar is a child who gets wrapped up in an ancient plot, involving all of these elements and more. Oh and the soundtrack is delightful too - a definite plus for potential players currently on the fence.