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2016 looks to be another excellent year for the PS4. Following a year of outstanding gaming performances by Bloodborne, Rocket League (I know, not exclusive, but SO FUN), Until Dawn, and plenty more, how will developers keep us rooted to our seats for another 12 months?
I’m going to show exactly what to look out for in 2016, covering exclusives, ports, some indies, and if warranted, crossovers too.
No Man’s Sky
I have to start with one of the most anticipated games of 2016. It’s topped my list for some time, and I’m sure it is at the top of many of yours, too. The procedurally-generated space epic looks sublime – sprawling planets dotted with trading outposts reminiscent of Star Wars, towering dinosaur style beasts roaming the plains and jungles, and enough contrast in colors, shapes, and foe to give each system a distinct feel.
No Man’s Sky is coming to the PC and PS4, though is exclusive to the latter, so you can take rectitude in warping through the light years with your PC brethren.
Horizon Zero Dawn
A big game, with a fitting title. You enter the world a skilled hunter, relying on your deft speed, your astute agility, and devious cunning to remain alive in a world overrun by hulking, monolithic machines. Yes, it is a massive open-world. Yes, you’re on a quest. But from what I’ve seen, there are serious RPG elements hiding behind the open-ended feeling, and you won’t just be hacking and slashing your way through nameless beasts and machines.
Be sure to check out the verging-on-ridiculous Thunderjaw in the linked video – it’s quite something!
Rime brings us the story of lone-boy, stranded on an island, using his wit and ingenuity to survive. There is no combat; the action comes from exploration, discovery, trials, and of course, puzzles. It looks sublime, and creative director Raúl Rubio has cited Princess Mononoke, Jason and the Argonauts, Joaquin Sorolla, Salvador Dalí, and Giorgio de Chirico as artistic influences.
We can’t wait to discover Rime‘s island of puzzles. Or was that islands? We shall see.
The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian has adventures, puzzles, crumbling ruins, manipulation, friendship, and trust. Sounds great, right? Oh, and a colossal cat-dog-bird hybrid named Trico that you’ll befriend to complete your quest. The Last Guardian introduces a strong element of teamwork as your character – a young boy – seeks to use the hybrid beast to outmaneuver the puzzles of the ancient ruins. Just as with a real animal, your relationship with the chimera develops overtime, from hostile to best friends.
This looks to be a really interesting game dynamic, and one we don’t see very often. The Last Guardian is sure to be popular with anyone familiar with director Fumito Ueda’s other titles, such as Ico or Shadow of the Colossus.
Abzû is a third-person exploration game, set underwater, in a world that just keeps on giving. It really does look beautiful: enormous jellyfish, huge turtles (and manta rays!) you can catch a ride on, schools of fish in thousands, with each animal reacting to your diver in their midst. Abzû delivers a sense of wonder we lose as we grow old and jaded, presenting you with a truly awesome journey to the bottom of sea.
With no emphasis on oxygen, and evolving relationships with the animals around you, you’ll be submerged for days.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Does any self-respecting PS4 owner even need to be reminded of Uncharted 4? I’m sure many of you are beside yourself with waiting, with the Uncharted 4 release date being pushed back not once, but twice. Set several years after the events of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, you’ll be ruthlessly dragged from retirement and thrust back into Drake’s old life. Despite the ongoing delays, Uncharted 4 promises to be big, action-packed, immersive, and more destructive (and destructible) than ever before.
Uncharted 4 is definitely coming in April. I mean, it has too, right? Until that time, sit back, put a brew on, and play through Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.
I know PS4 gamers are crying out for a dedicated rally game that matches the performance of their console. Sparkling lakes, lush Finnish forests, deathly slippery mountains around Monaco, and a truly unforgiving terrain await the keenest of potential ralliers.
It isn’t an exclusive, but if it’s anything like the PC version, it’ll be so worth the wait.
What Remains of Edith Finch?
I must admit, I’d heard of What Remains of Edith Finch, but other than watching the trailer, hadn’t really looked into it before writing this article. What Remains of Edith Finch? looks like a really interesting take on the storytelling/narrative/episodic exploration game-style, all based around the theme of death. Morphing in and out of dreams, horrors, fantasies, and more, you progress through the house (or levels) understanding more about the family, the house, and the happenings.
It’s slightly surreal, big on narrative, and something a little different that should hold your interest.
You could jump on the growing anti-Ubisoft bandwagon. Or, you could wait, and have a look at For Honor. I’m not sure if we’ve ever had this much control over our swords and character fighting style in the traditional hack ‘n’ slash genre.
Personally, I think it looks fantastic, the multiplayer looks engaging and actually involves playing as a team, and it reminds me of one of my old favorites, Pirates, Vikings and Knights in offering serious gameplay that can be wonderfully silly at times.
Ratchet and Clank
A game that makes me want to shout “Yeeaaaahhhah!” with enthusiasm, and certainly a title that tickles the nostalgia glands, Ratchet and Clank are coming back to our controllers and to the big silver screen. While Ratchet and Clank will be reliving their initial adventure, developers Insomniac Games are throwing in some new weapons, such as The Pixelizer, as well as keeping some of the features from later games, such as strafing.
If you remember the 2002 original, and the follow ups, then you should be waiting with baited breath for this PS4 exclusive.
I don’t have enough space to keep going with the plethora of games coming to PS4 this year, but it really is going to be a big one. Updated versions of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, Street Fighter V, Far Cry Primal, The Division, Mirrors Edge: Catalyst, and Final Fantasy XV to name but a few should keep you engrossed, and that is without considering titles that have already appeared between the new year and now.
Whatever your preferred gaming genre, you will absolutely find something worth playing on your PS4.
What have we missed? What would you have included? What are you desperate to play? Let us know below!