The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launched to a great deal of fanfare in November. Thousands of anxious consumers lined up at their local retailers at midnight to be among the first to experience the next generation of video games. Over 7 million consoles have already been sold, anticipation is at an all time high…but we haven’t had a great reason to turn on our new consoles in almost a month.
Things have been especially lacking for the PS4, which had a much smaller launch lineup than the Xbox One. A fantastic port of Don’t Starve has (appropriately) given PS4 owners something to play in the interim, but as January comes to a close, everyone is itching for some fresh next-gen titles.
We’ve rounded up five of our most anticipated games for the PS4 below, and plan to do the same with the Xbox One and the Wii U next week. Now that new game releases are finally in sight, which console is going to have the best year?
One of the staple franchises from the last generation is making its way to the PlayStation 4, and it looks more impressive than anything else we’ve seen on the system so far. After an adequate launch lineup, game releases slowed to a halt in January. Infamous: Second Son is not only an important piece of the PS4’s first-party puzzle, it’s also Sony’s first chance to reignite the pre-launch excitement that quickly dissipated over the holidays.
Infamous: Second Son is the third game in the franchise, and the first to follow a character other than Cole McGrath. This time around, players will take control of Delsin Rowe, a deadbeat who learns of his Conduit abilities after coming into contact with another surviving Conduit. Like the previous games, Second Son will be an open world platformer, allowing players to jump, glide and climb around Seattle, fighting the oppressive Department of Unified Protection who are hell-bent on wiping out the remaining Conduits.
Second Son made a memorable appearance at Sony’s PS4 reveal event (partially because of the paranoia-filled set-up), and should be the first must-have title on the new console.
We don’t know much about Deep Down, but much like the other games on this list, the trailer turned enough heads to keep this one on the radar. Originally revealed by Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono, producer of the Street Fighter IV games, Deep Down is an RPG that shares some DNA with Dark Souls, another dungeon crawler with a heavy emphasis on deliberate combat.
Unlike Dark Souls, Deep Down (the current working title for the game) will be free-to-play, making it the first free-to-play title developed specifically for the PS4. Deep Down was playable at the Tokyo Game Show, and those who went hands-on with it discovered that the dungeons will be randomly generated, making individual playthroughs unique for every player.
Other than that, we will remain relatively clueless until Capcom decides to unload more information or until the beta launches later this year.
With The Order: 1886, Sony has given Ready at Dawn its opportunity to become a stand-out developer for the next generation. Up until now, Ready at Dawn has been shackled to PSP development, primarily working on spin-off titles from popular franchises such as God of War and Jak & Daxter. After proving their mettle with those properties, the team is finally creating something original, and it shot to the top of a lot of most wanted lists after appearing at E3 last year.
The Order: 1886 is a third-person shooter set in an alternate history where humans have spent centuries fighting off half-bred monster men. In this timeline, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are the first to regain ground against the monsters, and their lineage continues to push back until the Industrial Revolution finally gives mankind the upper hand.
In-game footage has been almost non-existent, but this is a studio with a great deal of experience and a whole lot to prove. Expect something truly unique when The Order: 1886 releases this fall.
Looking back, it’s sometimes hard to remember than indie games weren’t always featured on every digital storefront alongside games made by teams of hundreds of designers, programmers and artists. The indie games renaissance doesn’t have an exact start date, but a few of the games that everyone always comes back to are Minecraft and Braid. Minecraft, with its limitless worlds and constant updates, has continued to dominate every platform imaginable, but Braid gradually, gracefully faded from view after setting the world aflame in 2008.
Six years later, it looks like Jonathan Blow’s second game might finally be nearing release. The Witness is a puzzle game at its core, but like Braid before it, there’s an intricate world lurking beneath the surface. The game takes place on a deserted island which is split into 10 sections, each filled with puzzles that will eventually lead players to the mountain at the center of the island. The Witness has very obviously taken some cues from Myst, but based on the footage released so far, Blow’s game is going to be a lot less passive that its spiritual predecessor.
The Witness is coming to the PlayStation 4 as a time-limited console exclusive, so although Xbox One owners will be getting their hands on this indie game eventually, the Sony crowd will have first dibs.
Supergiant Games took the world by storm with Bastion in 2011. The gorgeously animated, perfectly narrated top-down action-adventure title made it on to a lot of top 10 lists that year, and gamers have been anxiously awaiting the studio’s second game, Transistor, ever since.
At first glance, Transistor looks like a direct sequel to Bastion — it features the same top-down perspective, a similar art style and even a gruff-voiced narrator — but the titular weapon allows the protagonist, Red, to temporarily stop time and decide how best to approach any given battle or puzzle. Transistor looks to be a more deliberately paced game than its predecessor, requiring players to plan out a battle rather than rushing in head first, swinging with whatever they have equipped.
Transistor is coming to the PlayStation 4 as a console exclusive later this year.