We’re so close. In just a couple of weeks, the eighth gen will be complete, with the other two eighth gen consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, launching before the end of November.
The road to next-gen has been riddled with controversy. Of course, we all know about the Xbox One debacle that has plagued Microsoft ever since they revealed the system in May, and Sony has been very aggressive in its strategy to win the eighth generation, hoping to bounce back from the very slow start the PS3 had out of the gate.
At the end of the day, what matters most when it comes to the PS4 is the games, and what matters most when it comes to the Xbox One is the games. There are a few multi-platform games releasing for both systems at launch, but each system is also bringing to the table important exclusives that will be the biggest selling points for either platform this holiday season for gamers everywhere.
These 10 games vary from digital download releases to cross-gen titles to straight-up next-gen games. Keep an eye on the review scores and the talk around each of these games as we near the launch date to decide which titles will be the first that you play on your shiny new next-gen systems.
10. Lego Marvel Super Heroes (PS4/Xbox One)
The current-gen version of this game is already available to somewhat mixed reception. A couple of major publications such as IGN and Game Informer have reviewed the game with the high score of 9/10, though other publications have given a more average review score. There has been a surprising lack of reviews released for the game despite the fact that it released just a couple of days ago…Maybe the other publications busy playing the multitude of other games releasing this fall or maybe they’re simply waiting to give their final verdict on the next-gen version?
At any rate, Lego Marvel Super Heroes looks fantastic. It features a few new additions to the typical LEGO formula that we’ve seen done to death over the years, such as “big figs” in the form of characters such as the Incredible Hulk that add a whole new wrinkle to the gameplay. Stuffed with all the iconic Marvel heroes and villains, Lego Marvel Super Heroes is shaping up to be one of the best titles in the LEGO series in years.
09. Battlefield 4 (PS4/Xbox One)
I will admit that after playing the current-gen beta for Battlefield 4 on Xbox 360, my enthusiasm for the game has waned quite a bit. That being said, I was never really sold on the current-gen version anyway. I was always excited about the next-gen version, especially after EA’s E3 presentation that showed off the incredible 64 player multiplayer and the insane amount of destructibility that is at work in the game.
DICE truly has a good shot at overtaking Call of Duty this year. Maybe not in terms of sales, but definitely in terms of quality and critical reception. I recommend skipping the current-gen version that is releasing in a few days and instead focus on the next-gen version that is just over the horizon for your Battlefield 4 fix, though.
08. Crimson Dragon (Xbox One)
Panzer Dragoon is a cult classic video game series in which players control dragons for aerial combat purposes. Now the creator and composer of those games have moved on to work with Microsoft on Crimson Dragon, a brand new title for Xbox One that is sort of like a spiritual successor to the Panzer Dragoon games.
Crimson Dragon was originally revealed as an Xbox 360 title that required Kinect, but development has changed drastically since then. The game is now an Xbox One exclusive and uses a traditional controller set-up for input instead of requiring Kinect, though there will be some Kinect functionality maintained in the final version. Crimson Dragon will not have a retail release, but it is certainly one of the most talked about digital titles that will be available on Xbox One on day one.
07. Contrast (PS4)
Contrast has garnered even more attention than usual nowadays because it is a game that every PS4 player will have access to as soon as they get their system connected to the Internet…and assuming they are subscribed to PS Plus (which every Sony console owner SHOULD be — the service pays for itself!).
Originally, Sony was going to have two different PS4 titles available as a part of the Instant Game Collection on launch day. They were to be the twin-stick shooter Resogun as well as an edited version of DriveClub, a new racing title from the creators of MotorStorm. Unfortunately, Sony has had to delay DriveClub into 2014, and to make sure that two free games would still be available at launch, they have decided to make the very intriguing downloadable title Contrast that second game.
Contrast stars a female detective in a noir setting that can explores environments in both a 2D and 3D space. The main character, Dawn, is able to meld herself to her shadow, which in turn allows her to platform her way to areas she wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise as her 3D self. This mechanic will add a puzzle element to the gameplay as players manipulate the lighting in rooms in order to create better opportunities to use the shadows for platforming.
06. Knack (PS4)
Mark Cerny is a legend in the gaming industry. The man has had a hand in the creation and development of some of the most important title’s in Sony’s history, including the Crash Bandicoot franchise, the Ratchet & Clank games, Spyro, and more. He’s also the lead architect on the PS4, marking the first time in history a non-Japanese game designer was allowed to be the primary developer on a Sony system.
Cerny longs for the classic platformers like the ones listed above, and has decided to create his own homage to them as a launch title for PS4 called Knack. Knack is a classic platformer through and through, though it has a larger focus on brawling and puzzle elements than one would expect. Knack pays tribute to the classic platforming games that inspired it, and if one looks closely, the main character (the titular robot “Knack”) bears a striking resemblance to a certain Bandicoot…
05. Ryse: Son of Rome (Xbox One)
In my personal opinion, Microsoft kicked ass at E3 when it came down to the games. Xbox One simply has more and better exclusives right now, and that’s hard to deny. At any rate, Ryse: Son of Rome really impressed me with its insanely good visuals and Gears of War- meets-ancient-Rome feel.
The game certainly takes advantage of the hardware, featuring some of the best graphics we’ve ever seen on a console to date. The title also makes use of the Kinect with clever voice commands that hopefully add to the experience like the voice commands did for Mass Effect 3. Ryse is one of the games I am most excited to play come next month, and I hope it lives up to my expectations.
04. LocoCycle (Xbox One)
Before I say anything else, let me just clarify that I typically do not enjoy the games developed by Twisted Pixel. From ‘Splosion Man to Comic Jumper, there has just always felt like something was missing from the experience to really make it worth my while. I’ve always enjoyed their charm and humor, but the gameplay has consistently disappointed. That being said, LocoCycle looks like an absolute blast.
The concept of the game is ludicrous, just as are the concepts of most of Twisted Pixel’s titles. In LocoCycle, players control a sentient motorcycle with a person tied to it as the motorcycle does battle with various other vehicles on linear tracks. Inspired by games such as Spy Hunter, LocoCycle looks absolutely hilarious, mixing in shooting and melee combat to great effect. There may not be a whole lot of download-only games available day one on Xbox One, but LocoCycle is one of the most promising.
03. Killer Instinct (Xbox One)
The reboot of Killer Instinct is wrapped with almost as much controversy as the Xbox One, but after seeing the game in action and learning more about how Microsoft and Double Helix plan on approaching the game, I find myself more and more excited to finally play the final product.
This reboot of Killer Instinct is being directed by the man that was behind the other games in the series, and Rare is lending a helping hand to Double Helix for quality assurance. The game is being released with a multitude of different pricing models. Players have the choice to purchase a season pass that will allow them to access all the characters and skins right off the bat and as newer ones become available, or they can purchase each character individually. In addition, players don’t have to pay anything and can simply use one character, Jago, for their entire experience with the game.
Killer Instinct is meant to be one game that is expanded numerous times throughout the years with different “seasons”. The current idea is that there will be more multiple seasons of the game with new characters, features, and gameplay mechanics added in as the years go by so that the developers can tweak the game and add new content based on player feedback. This is an innovative, exciting, and completely original way to handle the release of a fighting game, and I am very interested to see if it pays off.
02. Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One)
Dead Rising 3 is the main reason why I am buying Xbox One. I’ve spoken at length about the title numerous times, so I am going to keep this one short and sweet. Dead Rising 3 looks amazing when it comes to the graphics. It uses the unique features of Xbox One such as Kinect and SmartGlass to great effect, and it manages to capture the Dead Rising vibe perfectly. I can’t wait to play it.
01. Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4)
Oh, Guerrilla Games, you’ve won me over. The premiere PS4 launch title is, without a doubt, Killzone: Shadow Fall. When it was first revealed, I will be the first to admit that I wasn’t completely blown away by the presentation. However, as development has gone on and we’ve seen more and more of the game, I find myself becoming more and more excited to finally be able to play it come November 15th.
The game is revamping the basics of the Killzone franchise. It fast forwards the franchise plot by decades and uses a new Cold War-inspired setting. The game will allow players to tackle the single player objectives in many different ways, which is a new approach to the franchise that I first saw in action with Killzone: Mercenary on Vita.
Not only that, but the multiplayer looks ridiculously fun. It seems to be more fast-paced than the multiplayer in other Killzone games, and it looks like it could replace Call of Duty as my go-to FPS franchise this fall.
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Which next-gen titles are you looking forward to most? Sound off in the comments below!