Feature

5 upcoming PS4 games that shouldn’t fly under your radar

We’re almost halfway through the year and the big guns of 2015 continue to gather hype momentum like an oiled up sumo wrestler hurtling down a wet hill. The Witcher 3 is fresh out of the games oven, Batman is lurking under a parasol in the June sun, The Phantom Pain is still clawing its way out of the dung heap of Konami business decisions to be ready for September and a slew of usual suspects (I will collectively call ‘’Assassin’s LEGO FIFA of Duty’)’ slides into view just after that. It’s no surprise then that other potentially great titles may slip your mind when having this much to contend with, so here we are to jog your memory with -or maybe even introduce you to- a selection of upcoming titles that deserve a bit more attention…

Volume -Summer 2015

Mike Bithell’s last title Thomas Was Alone was a cracking platformer with a well told story that manages to make you relate to what is essentially a literal set of blocks (the characters are simple shapes). A self-confessed fan of Metal Gear Solid, Bithell has moved on to making Volume, a stealth game that harks back to Kojima’s own V.R. Missions for that series, but adds in an intriguing modern take on the folklore of Robin Hood. He’s managed to put together an interesting voice cast for the game too, featuring the likes of acid-tongued video game critic Jim Sterling, Writer Danny Wallace and Ceasar/Gollum/King Kong/Lumpy the Cook himself; Andy Serkis. Another neat addition is a level creator that Bithell hopes will bring about some inspired user-created stealth goodness to go with the one he and his team have created.

 

Invisible Inc – TBA

Fresh out on PC in full-fat form after a successful run in Early Access last year, Don’t Starve and Mark of the Ninja creators Klei Entertainment’s Invisible Inc will be hitting PS4 later this year, and that’s fantastic news because it is ruddy brilliant.

Invisible Inc is a turned-based espionage game where you must do your damndest to avoid detection in each mission. The basic idea is get in, get what you came for and get out again, but the lure of extra intel, items and credits is ever-present, often meaning you finish the objective legging it from a large batch of guards and likely seeing your whole mission crumble as the operative you spent so long building up perish permanently with a well-time bullet to the face. You can try to keep a lid on the chaos by hacking cameras, fitting shockers to door handles, knocking out guards and other similarly sneaky ways. As I touched upon earlier, permadeath is present in Invisible Inc, giving more than a whiff of XCOM to the proceedings, a huge compliment as it invests you in your crack team of spies far more knowing they may not see the end with you.

 

Wasteland 2 – Late Summer 2015

A turn-based, squad-based RPG set in the apocalyptic wastes of the future? Sounds captivating right? Fallout meets XCOM in Wasteland 2 as your band of rangers traverse the decaying husk of the American Southwest. The Fallout comparison is apt as this games predecessor was a heavy influence on that series’ earlier isometric titles. In fact, some consider Wasteland 2 the true Fallout 3 as it shares the harsh, bleak outlook found in Fallout 2, giving you more narrative paths to head down and troubling moral quandaries to ponder. Hopefully this PS4 edition will address some of the technical hiccups of the PC version and find a way to make the controls fit comfortably on the DualShock 4. If so, we will have a rather good old-school RPG to fit into the diverse library of PS4 titles. Of course, there’s always room for another…

 

Divinity: Original Sin – TBA

Divinity: Original Sin -like Wasteland 2- is also an old-school turn-based isometric RPG channeling the greats of the 90’s PC-era. Divinity sits in the more traditional swords and monsters area of the genre and is quite frankly huge in scale. The sheer amount of interaction with the world is impressive enough,but factor in the lengthy play time being bolstered by the ability to create your own quests and a tonne of options to fiddle with and you have a colossal undertaking that could consume a sizeable chunk of your gaming time. Be warned though, Divinity is not to be treated lightly. It is an incredibly challenging game by modern standards, but surviving that challenge brings its own rewards. As with Wasteland 2, the success of it on PS4 may rest on how well the controls are adapted for consoles.


Rocket League – Summer 2015

The alpha and beta tests for Rocket League have been massively enjoyed by certain folk at PSU and it’s not hard to see why. A sequel to Psyonix’s 2008 PS3 title Super Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars, Rocket League is essentially football (soccer if you like) played with teams of backflipping turbo engine vehicles shunting the ball around domed arenas. It is already proving to be fantastic fun as a multiplayer game thanks to its simple yet joy-filled setup.

 

PS4 needs more fun party games that can be enjoyed with friends as you sup on a beer/milk on the sofa together, and thanks to its 4-player split-screen mode, Rocket League is shaping up to be a perfect advert for just that.