In the war between Microsoft and Sony nothing speaks louder to gamers than exclusives. It's not enough these days to have a stranglehold on JRPGs or platforming games, one must constantly work to keep a good range of franchises under thumb. Enter Sony in 2014, their first big year with PS4 and amidst a wave of multiplatforms begins a list of games that is difficult not to be impressed with.
To say that Sony has their hand in a little bit of everything is an understatement, and though there are a few titles on this list that haven't quite confirmed their presence within the year it's safe to say almost all of em will solidify some kind of release date very soon. Either way it's a lot to get excited over if you've already made the move to own a PS4, and if you haven't been convinced into getting into next gen then this may be something for you to take into consideration.
A racing game slightly apart from the realistic Forza or Gran Turismo series, Driveclub differs from most other titles in the genre in the way it looks to join teams of players together as opposed to the typical solo racing experience. Players will be able to organize their teams, share videos, and manage cars via Playstation Plus; and will likely be able to share their progress on the tracks as well, although how in-demand the market for videos of other players racing is may be a little suspect.
Either way Driveclub looks to be a rather bold step for multiplayer racing, one that PS Plus subscribers will be able to enjoy for free as a 'limited version' of the game is launched for PS4 owners who subscribe to the service. It should include all the same mechanics though have limited access to cars and tracks. In other parts of the world we would call this a demo, but it's ok to get caught up in the marketing buzz now and then.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
So the apocalypse has happened and you're just sitting around telling everyone else around you how great things were before it all went to hell. That's the game in theory anyway, a narrative that's meant to be in many ways the spiritual sucessor to Dear Esther, which despite much debate over whether or not the latter title is a game or a visual storybook has earned praise for its graphical approach to narrative direction.
Regardless of all the debate Sony appears to have decided The Chinese Room is a game developer as they've seen fit to snag the title as a PS4 exclusive. Not even the PC will be seeing any Rapture action here, which should be great news for anyone who is looking for a good story to wrap themselves in.
A top down shooter that combines deadly aliens with overpowered space weaponry Helldivers looks as though it's prime to deliver a bit of top-down arcade action on every Sony platform. Not too much has been revealed about the game so far, but to be honest the concept is pretty straightforawrd. Get guns, point your character in a direction and blast away anything that isn't you. Or a friend, hopefully, but nothing of any possible team related betrayal has been announced. Yet.
Another artistic title in Sony's 2014 arsenal, Hohokum is a game that's meant to relax and unwind more than it is something gamers will look to simply 'beat' or perfect. Simplistic controls navigated via the touch screen will let players navigate the giant colorful snake Long Mover whose only goal is to move his long self across a variety of worlds.
Some worlds will be about collecting fish, others may about gathering triggering lights or gliding through rings in a very Knights like manner (for those of us who remember the Dreamcast game). It's a soothing experience accompanied by an appropriate soundtrack that will function somewhat like an extended remix that players manipulate (somewhat) as they progress.
Sounds pretty unique, and though it may not appeal to anyone looking to slay some dragons or pop some skulls Hohokum seems poised to deliver a truly unique visual and auditory experience that should not be missed.
inFamous Second Son
There are few franchises known for parkour, super powers, morality systems and an intriguing story with memorable characters; mostly because it's difficult enough to deliver on any one of those things, but to include them all? Somehow inFamous does it, and Second Son is looking to not only pick up where inFamous 2 left off but to stretch far beyond the realm of what we thought the franchise was capable of.
A new main character, Delsin Rowe, picks things up years after the first game left off from the 'good' ending of inFamous 2. Able to steal/copy/absorb the powers of other conduits Delsin will fight alongside friends and family to do something likely related to a morality wheel. Really, we don't know much about the plot of the game other than he'll be struggling against a government that fears his kind but given the things players generally do in these games who can blame em?
There's been no official limit to the skillset Delsin will be able to aquire in game, although turning into/manipulating smoke and shooting bursts of energy have been revealed thusfar. He's also fight with a chain, which if fire powers ever become involved could be the closest that gamers ever come to genuinely pretending to be Ghost Rider.
The Order 1886
It's an alternate world past where monster-humanoid hybrids have ravaged the population for years, prompting King Arthur to eventually form a group of knights in order to strike back once and for all. It doesn't go so great, although he is able to discover some magical healing water that makes his knights extra durable, and flash forward to the industrial revolution and you'll be all caught up to what The Order 1886 is all about.
Apparently the game has been in development since 2010, which is either a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. They've had over three plus years to refine the concept, develop their characters and kick out something incredible and from the brief trailer we've been privy to so far the action looks as though it'll be fast and fierce.
Hopefully you haven't had enough of artsy puzzle games on the PS4, because Rime is yet another one. Thankfully though it's just as colorful and unique as the others, focusing on more puzzle and perhaps less narrative than the previous titles we've encountered so far.
Following the story of a young boy with a curse trying to escape an island filled with danger players will navigate the from a third person perspective as they attempt to escape; solving puzzles, exploring, and platforming when appropriate. Based on the sources of inspiration for the game (Spirited Away, Jason and the Argonauts) we only hope that the experience gives plenty of evocative moments of discovery and untamed wilds.
Shadow of the Beast
To fill Sony's slot for ultra violent 1980's game remake is Shadow of the Beast, a title that looks as though it'll have everything anyone who enjoyed God of War could ever want. A short teaser trailer shows us the somewhat inhuman main character slicing off limbs, separating torsos and summoning up shadowy versions of himself to slay his opponents but we're sure that won't likely be the last of your brutal finishers.
Give how little we know about SotB so far the only real question is what direction Heavy Spectrum is looking to take with the remake's gore, as most titles featuring dismemberment tend to go the way of the quick time event. Finding a way to bridge the gap between fast paced limb removal and free flowing action would guarantee SotB a spot in the hearts of gamers, and would be a nice bit of homage to the original game that made its own waves when it first launched back in the day.
What is there to say here really? If you enjoyed the last three then Uncharted 4 is bound to be a treat, but given Naughty Dog's huge leap in dramatic storytelling via The Last of Us we can only hope that the Uncharted series decides to push in a very similar direction. Graphically we've come to expect a lot from Naughty Dog as well, and it may very well be Uncharted 4 for us to finally see what the PS4 is capable of in both environment and character detail. Either way with such an experienced developer it's fair to say that expectations run fairly high.
Though we know very little about the story and development of the sequel expect more to be released sooner than later, as Sony will no doubt want to have the franchise manning the helm as to why gamers should be putting aside time in their lives to get a PS4.