Now that E3 2015 is a wrap, we can all sit back and brace ourselves for the inevitable wallet-crushing release schedule that’s to come over the next few months. This year’s show was impressive for many reasons, and Sony’s press conference was, for many, the major event, with some announcement straight out of people’s dreams and wish lists. This has added even more important titles to the existing list of games we’re looking forward to, so we thought we’d try to bring a little order to the release schedule ruckus with our top 25 upcoming PS4 releases.
25. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
After the many issues a lot of gamers suffered with Assassin’s Creed Unity, and Ubisoft’s general trend of disappointing many of its fans last year, the next Assassin’s Creed isn’t as high on the list as the series might usually be. I sincerely hope Ubisoft has learned from past mistakes with the Assassin’s Creed franchise, as Syndicate has the potential to be the best Creed yet, with a rich and intriguing 1868 London setting, two playable characters, and a whole new set of tricks up its sleeve that could deliver the goods.
The new game will once again tweak the combat, and will add drivable vehicles such as horse and carriage. These will not simply serve as method of transport for quick travel, but will also be used in chases, with some high-speed pursuits and even fights atop said speeding transport. New tools include the rope launcher, basically a grappling hook for quick climbing that can also be used as a zip line, and two different styles of play for the protagonists. It’s definitely more interesting than Unity in terms of setting and plot, let’s just hope it’s also better in quality control.
24. Destiny: The Taken King
Okay, so it’s not a new game, per se, but regardless of your opinion of Bungie’s online shooter, Destiny is hugely popular, and with the additional DLC already added to the game, it’s grown quite a bit since launch. The Taken King, the third expansion, will be the largest yet, with a larger story, more strikes, a new raid and, importantly, new character classes for each of the three character types.
Along with all of the expected new missions, weapons, armour and so on comes some changes to the game, including a higher level cap, which has been spotted in Bungie’s own vidoc about the making of the new DLC. This shows players in multiplayer matches with light levels of 45 and 49, hinting at a new level cap of 50 for The Taken King. This further suggests that the expansion will be far larger than the previous additions, which have, thus far, only added four extra light levels to the game in total (up to level 34). Of course, Sony has done the exclusivity deals again, and The Taken King will feature timed PS4 exclusives, giving PS4 owners another year of special items and missions.
The Taken King will be released on September 15.
This one came out of nowhere really, being revealed in Sony’s press conference quite matter of factly, but as a fan of the series, I’m happy to see it return to our screen again. The initial announcement didn’t really give much away about the game, aside from he usual claims of it being the biggest, best and most advanced outing yet, but Square revealed more later on with a more informative showing.
Called simply Hitman, the game is going to be a much more open sandbox-style game than the recent, smaller-scale releases, and there’s going to be more freedom for players to plan and execute their assassination plans. It’ll feature an evolving world that’ll deliver new places and missions over time. Square says that some of these missions will be very limited and timed one-off targets, so there’s clearly going to be a big emphasis on community and online play. This will carry over to the ‘Contracts’ mode, which has been improved, and allows players to once again play, and share their own challenging assassinations with others.
22. Mass Effect Andromeda
The next Mass Effect, called Andromeda, is still a fair way away, and we know next to nothing about it, so it sits at 22 in our list for now. What’s clear, though, is the next adventure on the Mass Effect world looks eye-wateringly great, with BioWare stating that the scenes in the reveal trailer are taken from in-engine.
The game will be the start of a totally new Mass Effect adventure, and will leave the Milky Way behind for Andromeda, our closest galactic neighbour. From the looks of the reveal trailer, it’ll be a very frontier-style title, but some familiar elements will return, including a new and improved Mako, and a nod to Commander Shepard’s special ‘N7’ forces.
Games don’t come much stranger than Media Molecules next big thing. We’ve created our own worlds and games with Little Big Planet, interacted with a digital universe in Tearaway, and now the talented developer is going to let us share our dreams. Well, sort of.
The presentation was very vague, purposely so, and even after watching the reveal the crowd were scratching their heads. Using a method of painting items and objects into existence, Dreams will be a very unique creation tool that’ll let gamers create anything they can imagine, or dream, as the case may be. There appears to be no limits in terms of content, and although we may not fully understand what’s going on here, we can’t wait to find out more.
20. Tearaway Unfolded
The original Tearaway was arguably one of the most impressive and masterful uses of the PS Vita’s hardware capabilities, as it actually put the player into the cartoon world inside the game, utilising the touch pad and the Vita’s camera to impressive effect. It quickly became one of the best titles on the Vita (which Sony now seems to have all but given up on), so it’s no surprise to see the license arrive on the PS4.
Tearaway: Unfolded will bring the clever fourth wall-breaking interaction of the Vita game to the PS4, and will add new functionality to the mix, including the use of the PS4’s light bar to light up the game’s world like a torch, and new inputs using the DualShock 4’s touchpad. Of course, being a Media Molecule title, there’s a ton of creativity in there too, even making use of tablets as additional tools.
19. Horizon Zero Dawn
It’s cavemen (and women) with compound bows fighting massive robot dinosaurs. Do I really need to elaborate? Well, okay then. The next game from Killzone developer, Guerilla Games, is another odd one. Also appearing from left field, the game’s setting is a little different, pitting tribal man against strange robotic dinosaurs in what appears to some time far in the future after present day man has succumbed to some terrible, apocalyptic fate.
The game looks to mix stealth, ranged and melee combat into a third person action that takes place in large open worlds. The trailer shown at E3 focused on the game’s hunting combat, with a drawn out battle against a huge dinosaur, but it also painted a picture of a world divided into tribes and warring factions, so there’s bound to be much more than meets the eye. It’s one to watch out for, that’s for sure.
18. Rise Of The Tomb Raider
The reboot of Tomb Raider did remarkably well, and successfully brought Lara Croft back to the gaming mainstream, modernising both the character and the game. With such a great reboot, there are very high hopes for the second game, and Rise of the Tomb Raider is already looking good.
From what we’ve seen so far, the game looks much more like the Tomb Raider fans love, with more actual tomb raiding, and puzzling, something the reboot didn’t really focus on as much as it could have. Couple this with the solid combat and environmental navigation of the previous game, and this should be another stand out release for Ms Croft.
17. Mad Max
Now that the new movie has been such a huge hit, the revival of Aussie icon and 80s movie legend, Mad Max is set to continue with the upcoming game from Avalanche Studios, which should capture the brutal carnage of the apocalyptic setting in its open world sandbox.
Avalanche’s game will attempt to deliver the series’ over the top vehicular combat, making use of the kinds of craziness seen in the movies, such as grappling hooks, flame throwers, and explosive spears. Max will take on various gangs, taking out bases and convoys to weaken their respective warlords influence, so he can bring them down. When not behind the wheel, Max is still a dangerous foe, packing guns and melee weapons in order to bring his brand of wasteland justice to those who need to be taught a lesson. Will it live up to the fantastic Fury Road? We’ll have to wait and see.
Mad Max is released on September 1.
16. Star Wars Battlefront
We may have been spoiled by the likes of Battlefield, which has given us our fix of large scale warfare, but if there’s one thing that’s far better than running around with high powered weaponry and hooning around in vehicles, it’s running around with blasters and zipping around on Speeder Bikes, and that’s just what Star Wars: Battlefront will deliver.
Taking the beloved formula of the Pandemic classics, and giving it a modern day makeover in the process, DICE’s Battlefront is set to be quite the spectacular Star Wars title. Now that we’ve seen the gameplay on show at E3, we’re more excited for the return of the multiplayer title than ever before. It certainly looks and sounds the part, and if it can play as well as DICE’s usual modern day counterpart, we could have a truly great Star Wars title on the horizon. We’ll find out on November 17.
15. Transformers Devastation
Yep, it’s another title that’s come out of the ether without any notice. Leaked prior to E3, and then later confirmed, Platinum Games’ take on the Transformers is exactly the game every hardcore G1 fan has been waiting for. There’s no modernisation, no modern CG guff, this is classic, original Transformers having at it in cel-shaded combat, and it looks great. All we’ve seen is the teaser trailer so far, and going from that, Devastation will be a fast-paced fighter that utilises the Transformers’ various abilities in interesting ways. Oh, and it has Devastator in it. This is good.
The trailer puts the game in a fall release slot, so there’s not long to wait, and we can expect more news soon.
The new Doom has already been met with mixed reactions, and all manner of online bickering and critisicm. Yes, it looks slow when compared to the scrapped Doom remake and the original, and yes it doesn’t exactly look complex and full of clever features, but it’s Doom. Id and Bethesda have clearly taken to heart the original games’ simple but fun core mechanic, and have brought it into a new generation of hardware with the impressive id Tech 6.
The action on show was far closer to the original doom than the previous Doom 3, with lots of strafing, weapon switching, and massive demons strutting around, and the enemies are pretty groovy recreations of their past selves.
What’s more, the new SnapMap content creation suite, which will ship on both PC and console, looks excellent, extending far beyond a simple map maker, allowing players to craft new game intelligence in order to create new game modes and custom in-game events. Promising.
13. The Division
New online Tom Clancy title, The Division is taking its sweet time to arrive, but each time we see it, we can’t help but get re-enthused about it’s mix of third person shooting and online co-operative play.
The latest demonstration of the game showed us the ‘Dark Zone’, a special area in the middle of Manhattan that contains some of the best loot in the game, but also some of the most dangerous foes. These foes include other players, as this is one of the open multiplayer zones in the game where gamers can team up in larger groups, or fight each other, vying for the best gear drops. It also showed the rogue system, where players are hit with a large bounty if they attack other players.
All in all, The Division is looking better and better with each subsequent teaser, and on March 8, 2016, we’ll finally be able to give it a spin.
12. Just Cause 3
Surely the most hectic and downright crazy open world sandboxer around, Just Cause has become a huge fan favourite. The third game is going to continue the series’ knack for delivering the kind of action and explosions that would make Michael Bay cry volatile tears of joy into his semtex-lined handkerchief.
Rico Rodriguez returns to another tropical paradise in need of regime change, with 400 square miles to rampage through, and an improved grappling hook to help him along. The new hook can be used to scale large heights and distances, hijack vehicles, and can be used as a weapon to tether people, vehicles and items together. It’s more flexible than before, and can be used to create all sorts of mayhem. Rico also sports a new wing suit, which lets him glide through the air, and his parachute is now much more useful in combat. Oh, and he’s got unlimited C4, which is nice.
As well as the main story, Just Cause 3 has a host of side missions and collectibles, if you ever get bored of coming up with new, creative ways to blow stuff up. It arrives on December 1.
11. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
With all of the utter craziness surrounding Konami and Kojima, it can be easy to forget just how good the next, and possibly final Metal Gear Solid as we know it will be. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the first, real open world Metal Gear, and we’ve seen plenty of trailers showing off its large open world, flexible stealth mechanics, multiplayer, and HQ customisation. You know what? Where ready to play it now.
Ground Zeroes showed us what the new style of the game feels like, and with a world 200 times bigger than last year’s teaser, with a whole lot more to do within it, we’re hoping Kojima can go out with a bang, releasing his best Metal Gear title yet. We’ll get to play his sneaky swan song on September 1.
10. Shenmue III
It’s been a ridiculous 14 years since we last took on he role of Ryo on his epic search for Lan Di, his father’s killer. Sega’s ultra-realistic martial arts RPG is a cult classic, starting life on the Dreamcast, before drifting to the Xbox. Sadly, the second game never saw the planned sequel, that is, until now.
Thanks to Sony’s backing, and a campaign on Kickstarter, Shenmue III is now a reality, and it’s coming to PC and PS4. The initial funding target of $2 million was smashed in a day, and at the time of writing, the amount stands at $3.2 million, with 28 days still to go. Well, well, it looks like the gaming public did actually want it, after all.
As a huge fan of Shenmue, I can’t wait to finally carry on Ryo’s story using the power of today’s hardware. It’s early days, of course, as it has a 2017 release window.
9. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
The original Mirror’s Edge for the last generation of consoles wasn’t the hit EA may have wanted it to be, but it has a large army of fans nonetheless, so it was with glee that the news of a second game was met.
Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst isn’t going to be a sequel, but will instead tell the story of protagonist, Faith, depicting the events leading to her status as one of the most hunted rebels in the city. It’ll build upon the first person parkour and combat seen in the original, but promises to improve upon every element, including the previously poor gunplay. The clean, crisp aesthetic is back, and looks impressive, but we’ve yet to see some actual gameplay.
8. Dishonored 2
Arkane’s impressive Dishonored was a sleeper hit back in 2012, and was more like a classic Thief title than the recent reboot of the actual game. It’s mixture of stealth and melee combat, with the freedom to choose how you tackled each situation made it a instant classic, and now we’re going to get some more.
Dishonored II will see Corvo return once again, along with a second playable character, Emily Kaldwin (the little girl you rescued and played hide and seek with in the original). A new tyrant now has control of the empire, a new set of creepy BioShock-style robots on the prowl, and it’s your job to sneak around and stop them.
We’ve only seen the trailer so far, which shows no actual gameplay, but with such a strong pedigree, hopes are high that this will be another hit. A current gen remaster of the original game is also coming, and is due in the fall this year.
7. The Last Guardian
After worries that it was cancelled, being absent for a very long time, missing previous E3 and other trade shows, Sony finally gave us what we wanted and confirmed that The Last Guardian is alive. Not only that, but it’s new PS4 incarnation is looking superb, with the lovable Guardian looking even more adorable and feathery.
The demonstration was fairly short, only showing and relatively simple navigation puzzle, but it was enough to captivate those waiting to play the game, and it’s clear for all to see the characteristic design style we’ve come to expect from the studio that brought us Ico and Shadow of the Colossus is present and correct. The game just oozes charm and feeling, and is set to be another cult classic. I’ll put it out there now, though. If the Guardian dies, I’m going to riot.
6. No Man’s Sky
It was an uncharacteristically subdued Sean Murray that delivered a little more on No Man’s Sky this year, but that didn’t reduce our anticipation levels for the indie sci-fi explore ’em up. Sean showed us some actual gameplay from the title, including some space combat, which looked basic, but functional. Once on a planet, however, he showed us a little more of the actual mechanics, including the use of beacons to upload your discoveries to the rest of the world, and the ability to blow up and harvest the landscape. We also saw some enemies, in the form of robotic sentinels, and Sean gave us an idea of just how maddeningly huge the universe in the game is.
There’s still no release date for the game, but I’d guess that we’ll see it arrive within the next year, when it’ll begin it’s timed PS4 exclusivity.
5. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
The next Deus Ex instalment has had some gameplay footage revealed, and although you could argue it’s more of the same in many ways, it’s also clear that the development team have embraced all that made Human Revolution so good, and have improved upon the shortfalls.
Mankind Divided should feature the same, open approach as the previous games, with a major focus on stealth, but this time it’ll also feature much better shooting mechanics, with some augmentation that further enhance Adam Jensen’s combat abilities, including a new slo-mo focus mode, nano-blades, and Peps arm cannon. He’ll even have a protective shield to make him a true juggernaut. Boss confrontations are now going to be much more flexible, and your success in character interactions can also affect the game’s flow.
All of the other elements, such as the heavy story and beautifully designed world return to a game that looks stunning, and a worthy follow up to the excellent Human Revolution. It’ll be released sometime in 2016.
4. Dark Souls III
I don’t really need to say much about this one really. Dark Souls has become a massive AAA hit, despite coming from humble origins, and with PS4 exclusive, Bloodborne also performing excellently, there are very high hopes that Dark Souls III will be the best Souls game yet.
This time the game world is going to be larger than Dark Souls, and will include a host of new combat mechanics and online features, including new weapon arts that’ll add more attack options to each weapon, and enemies that can change form, depending on the world state, much like the world tendency from Demons Souls.
The environments are set to be much larger in scale than before, and overall character movement will be faster than Dark Souls or Dark Souls II, but slower than Bloodborne. Myazaki hasn’t officially confirmed it, but it’s believed that this will be a prequel to the original Dark Souls, and will contain many ties to the existing lore, something Dark Souls II never officially acknowledged.
3. Uncharted 4
With such an impressive top three, it’s hard to really slot these in any order, but given the sheer impact of the next two titles, even the Mighty Uncharted series has to take a hit. That said, Uncharted 4 could well be one of the best third person action games we’ve ever seen, and certainly one of the best looking.
The Naughty Dog series is known for wowing us with all sorts of amazing graphical tricks and incredible set pieces, but what we’ve seen of number four has trumped anything we’ve seen before. The E3 demo showcased the typically fluid cover-based combat, complete with realistic environmental destruction and enemy hit reactions, as well as the impressive AI. This then lead into a brilliant car chase sequence that ripped through a city, showing off just how flexible and impressive the game engine is. We end with Nathan embarking on one of his characteristic leaps of faith, as he used a grappling hook to jump towards a speeding vehicle.
It was an impressive demo, and unlike many other E3 reveals, this is one where we don’t have to worry about graphical downgrades, or less than truthful game portrayals. Each previous game has delivered exactly what it promised, and we have full faith in Naughty Dog to do it again.
2. Fallout 4
Without a doubt the biggest, and most anticipated reveal of the whole show for many, Bethesda’s Fallout 4 succeeded in so many ways with its debut at the studio’s first ever E3 presentation. The next game in the series look like it’s going to be a stunner, with a new, more colourful-looking wasteland, a look at the pre-nuke civilisation, and a huge crafting and creation element. Here you’ll be able to build and customise new weapons, and even build and defend your own settlements using the new dynamic word and easy creation tools.
All of this will be wrapped up in the usual mammoth world scale we’ve come to expect from Bethesda, along with refined and improves combat, and the return of the gore-friendly V.A.T.S. Aiming system.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the whole reveal, however, was the release date. Expecting a 2016 date at the earliest, gamers were stunned when it was revealed Fallout 4 will be out on November 10, this year. Woo hoo!
1. Final Fantasy VII
The only game that could pip both Fallout 4 and Uncharted 4 to the post for me, and one that fulfils the hopes and dreams of almost every RPG gamer out there. Sony pulled off a major coup when it announced that an actual, real remake of the mighty JRPG hit, Final Fantasy VII was in the works, and the crowd exploded with applause and cheers. First we had The Last Guardian, then Shenmue III, and now Final Fantasy VII! Yes, Sony did a good job.
The remake of Final Fantasy VII is clearly in early days, with only a CG teaser, and it’s unlikely to be an exact duplicate of the original, but it doesn’t matter. The simple fact that it’s finally happening is enough for myself, and the legions of Final Fantasy fans out there, and we can’t wait to see just what the remake will look like, and to relive one of the most important games ever made on modern hardware.
That tops off our top 25 games coming to PS4, and stay tuned to this list, as we’ll be updating it as and when news and updates are released. As always, feel free to share your thoughts below, and highlight some of your own favourites we may have missed off our list.