Despite being one of the best-selling consoles of all time, Sony’s PlayStation 4 is embarrassingly light on killer exclusive games. Where the PlayStation 3 boasted God of War 3, Journey, Resistance and Gran Turismo 5 — to name but a few — the PlayStation 4 doesn’t really feature anything that defines it. Yet. There are some PlayStation 4 exclusive games that show potential, here are 5 PlayStation 4 exclusive games that will dominate your gaming sessions throughout 2016 and beyond. Assuming none are delayed, anyway…
Ratchet and Clank
For long-time PlayStation fans, the upcoming Ratchet and Clank represents the return to glory for a bygone genre. The early PlayStation 1 days were dominated by bandicoots, apes and dragons, recognisable mascots that brought the family-friendly, feel-good gameplay that only 3D-platformers can provide.
While Ratchet and co. were dragged through the metaphorical grinder on the PS3 — thanks to a slew of games that just didn’t fit the franchise, like All 4 One — they shone in earlier entries, with A Crack In Time regarded by many as the best game in the Ratchet & co. series.
Ratchet and Clank 2016 is a return to that former glory, bringing everyone’s favourite Lombax back to what he does best — 3D platforming. Expect all the wacky weapons, crazy characters and lush scenery that Insomniac are known for, and get ready for an experience that will feel incredibly unique in this age of brown, multiplayer shooters.
The Last Guardian
Sony’s fledgeling PlayStation 4 exclusive game, The Last Guardian, is now the unabashed poster-child for the “reasons not to reveal a game too early” handbook. Formally announced at E3 2009 and planned for release two years later, the game encountered what can only be described as severe development hell, vanishing into video game legend only to finally resurface at E3 2015. As such, The Last Guardian is an incredibly curious effort. Will it be stylised in the vein of a late PS2/early PS3 title, as its initial announcement would indicate? Or will it adopt a more modern visage, the project literally growing and changing over the 7 years since its inception?
Whatever the outcome, PS4 owners should be in for a treat. The beautiful, angelic gameplay we have been presented with thus far hints at a deeply sophisticated tale of the bond between man and beast, with your furry partner-in-crime helping you across a variety of puzzles and obstacles.
However, perhaps the most exciting thing about The Last Guardian is the sheer length of its development cycle — surely, with almost ten years under their belt, Sony’s Japan Studio can hopefully produce something truly astonishing for the PlayStation 4.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Out of all the PS4 exclusive games heading our way in 2016, Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn seemingly has the most to prove. The Killzone developer has consistently produced great video game after great video game, without ever being elevated to Naughty Dog’s god-like status of first-party production. Fortunately, Horizon looks absolutely fantastic, and this could well be the game that not only pushes Guerrilla into that upper-echelon of video game developers but creates another huge franchise for Sony to notch on their belt.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is a role-playing action adventure game that allows you to explore a gorgeous, post-apocalyptic open world — complete with robotic dinosaurs. These mechanised beasts will roam the land, begging to be destroyed by your protagonist, Aloy — she can loot these creatures’ corpses, discovering useful resources that will further aid her murderous quest.
And that’s pretty much all we know about Horizon: Zero Dawn, the video game being shrouded in secrecy while simultaneously revealing minimal gameplay. Now, is this a tactical move to preserve narrative surprises or a lack of faith in the finished product? Who knows. What we do know, however, is that Guerrilla has a proven track record, and there’s no discernible reason this success won’t continue here.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is being lauded by many as one of the most ambitious games of the century — with good reason. From Guildford-based Hello Games — creators of the thoroughly enjoyable Joe Danger — the jump from their last project to this one is nothing short of astonishing.
No Man’s Sky is a living, breathing universe. You can travel from planet to planet, hunting creatures and farming minerals as you go. You can engage in space dogfights with enemy ships, or spend your time upgrading guns and equipment, building yourself a bigger, badder tomb raider that can capably overcome any challenge the universe will throw your way.
Obviously, with such a huge scope comes a great many questions. Sure, we can explore the universe and travel between planets — but how’s the loading time? Will planets be copies of each other, with only colour palettes and scenery differentiating the two? Is there a story, and how is it structured? Can I choose where to go?
No Man’s Sky looks spectacular, but there is a chance that all the pre-release footage is just too good to be true. However, it if can live up to those lofty expectations, this could be one of the PlayStation 4 exclusive games we’ll be talking about for generations and generations to come, and with the amount of content that’s purportedly included, it’s one we’ll be playing for a while too.
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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
It’s quite hard to quantify the many, many ways Uncharted 4 is such an eagerly awaited project. Perhaps it’s Naughty Dog’s previous stellar effort, The Last of Us, and the fact that the directors of that game are now tackling Nathan Drake’s story. Or maybe it’s just the excellent Nathan Drake collection trilogy that preceded this fourth entry, and the fine display of third-person wisecrack-spouting that each game provided.
Uncharted 4, on the other hand, places us in an entirely unfamiliar territory, with Nate holding down a steady office job and a stable relationship with blonde-bombshell Elena Fisher. Typically, he’s drawn out of retirement by the thrill of the chase, with him and his long lost brother Sam Drake attempting to solve the mystery of the mythic pirate colony Libertalia.
As is expected of Naughty Dog, A Thief’s End looks absolutely stunning, and will take players through dense cities and leafy jungles rendered in a glorious 1080p/30fps. However, for fans of the franchise, Uncharted 4 is much more than just a pretty face. It’s the culmination of a decade filled with laughter, adventure and amazing characters, games that will live long in both the heart and the mind.
Uncharted is the quintessential PlayStation experience, and with Uncharted 4 seemingly putting a nice bow on the series and providing us with a fast, fluid multiplayer arena that we can experience with fellow fortune hunters, there’s every reason to assume this will be the best PlayStation 4 exclusive game of 2016.
And, if the wait is proving just a little bit too difficult, you can check out our Uncharted 4 countdown, which should help you pass the time.
Even though choose just five, there’s an absolute tonne of promising PS4 exclusives coming over the next 10 months. From smaller indies to huge, blockbuster adventures, the goodness just keeps on coming — and you can read all about it, right here, on IGCritic.