PS4 Launch Games: All The Details So Far
With Sony’s tentative (at least for Europe) PS4 launch of ‘Holiday 2013’ already pencilled in, we can already glean a pretty good idea what its launch line-up will look like.
Though it’s certainly safe to say that Sony will be ready to reveal more games at this year’s E3, not to mention all the third-party developers that will do the same, there are already a whole bunch of games worth getting excited about.
So what can we expect from the PS4’s launch?
Here’s a run down of every game we expect to be launched alongside the PS4…
Killzone: Shadow Fall
Launch game probability: 99%
Killzone: Shadow Fall was the visual standout game of the PS4 reveal and it’s an excellent showcase for Sony’s new console. It’s also presenting FPS action that’s (and we’re being a bit harsh here) looking very traditional.
No one expects Killzone to totally reinvent the FPS but if Guerrilla Games can produce a visually stunning world, create some intense and exciting setpieces as well as deliver a decent multiplayer, then Shadow Fall could be the perfect launch game for Sony’s new machine.
Every new console needs an explosive showpiece to wheel out when your mates come around, just as much as it needs a kid’s game to keep them quiet (hello, Knack), but this could also be a good opportunity for Killzone to win over some new fans.
Its cover-based FPS gameplay might have only enticed a dedicated audience, small in comparison to this gen’s big names, but there’s a good chance that Shadow Fall could reinvigorate the Killzone franchise after a decidedly weak third entry.
If Guerrilla can return to the second game’s tight gameplay, fuelled with the show-stopping PS4 graphics, this could be the launch game to get.
Launch game probability: 98%
Well, every new console needs a kid’s game to launch alongside it and the PS4’s is Knack. The Xbox 360 had Kameo: Elements Of Fate and the PS3 had Resistance: Fall Of Man… uhh, Sonic The Hedghog?
Anyway, it’s important to appeal to the younger demographic, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do it with the usual kid’s game rubbish that normally gets pushed out. Activision’s Skylanders series has proven that when it’s done right, the kid’s game can pull in an enormous audience.
Which it’s why it’s promising to see Knack at least approach game design in a thoughtful manner. Yes, it looks like a kid’s action game, but Knack himself is imbued with some interesting properties that essentially make the gameplay one big puzzle and Knack’s the answer.
As long as Knack finds a balance between the inevitable button-mashing action and the puzzles that utilise his abilities to suck up different materials, there’s every reason to expect that this could be a reasonable amount of fun.
At the very least Knack ticks the launch game box and will provide enough of distraction for those looking for PS4 games to play. They can look at the fancy new physics and say ‘look, see, I totally needed an expensive new console, you just can’t do those kinds of things on the PS3!’
InFamous: Second Son
Launch game probability: 85%
Though we weren’t expecting to see the InFamous brand returning (ever again) Second Son does look like an intriguing possibility. It’ll be the first chance many of us get to play around in a next-gen open world and though it’ll be easy to make a good impression on that basis alone, InFamous is another series that could really benefit from receiving launch title status.
It is a little condescending to say that InFamous can only really find an extended audience simply because there’s very little else to play, but the PS4’s launch give Sucker Punch a chance to return to the drawing board, use the new graphical power and return with something really interesting.
And that’s exactly what it seems to be doing. Second Son’s emphasis on Big Brother, super heroes all based in a modern city could give it the edge the series has been missing for so long. No one would deny that InFamous 2’s Southern setting wasn’t an inspired choice, it was just the characters, story and generally empty-feeling world (although it does appear full on first glance) that’s been holding it back.
Second Son could really turn out to be the sleeper hit of the PS4 launch.
Launch game probability: 80%
DriveClub follows the same launch rules as both Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack; you’ve got to have a racing game. In place of the obvious GT6, DriveClub looks like it could perfectly placed to fill the car-shaped hole that’s been left.
Its focus on ridiculous levels of detail, socially interacting with your friends and road (as apposed to track) racing all lend themselves well to the PS4’s new social focus and incredible graphics.
And it’s already looking like another visual powerhouse you’ll want you friends to see. Though the cars were impressive in DriveClubs initial reveal, it’s was the driver’s hands that had an eerie realism to them that’s exactly the sort of new details we’re expecting of the next-gen.
DriveClub is a good choice for a launch game and proof that Sony is thinking about the gamers with its new console and, though arguably being a bit too traditional, is sticking to what’s safe.
Launch game probability: 70%
Ubisoft has pretty much confirmed that Watch Dogs will launch on the PS4 and though much has been said about the last-gen versions (and the Wii U version) you can bet its impressive open-world gameplay will look far better on the PS4.
If any genre can benefit from the increased processing power it’s the open-world genre. InFamous: Second Son will be pushing the superhero spectacle side of things, but it’ll be Watch Dogs that presents a slightly more realistic open-world.
We say ‘slightly more realistic’ because we’ve already seen plenty of excellent action and Parkour theatrics. Ubisoft’s new game would give the PS4 an interesting alternative from the safer games already on this list and it’s almost what the PS4 really needs.
With games like Jonathan Blow’s The Witness unlikely to be ready for the PS4’s launch, Ubisoft’s brand of interesting and technically impressive titles would give Sony’s console a much needed second tier that would be useful for attracting players not totally won over by Killzone’s explosions or Knack’s kid-focused gameplay.
Launch game probability: 84%
Well, Blizzard’s Diablo 3 makes good sense for both a PS4 and PS3 launch and that’s exactly what it’s getting. It seems more than likely that Diablo 3 will be ready for launch, it has, obviously been available on PC for a while now. What will be interesting to see is if Blizzard does anything interesting with the game’s visuals and the new touch-pad enabled controls.
How the PS3 version of the game translates to the current-gen will also be interesting to see, but Diablo 3 is something a safe bet. An already proven and excellent game, reworked for consoles and co-op play that will give PS4 players the chance to have their friends over to experience the next-gen in style.
The Last Guardian
Launch game probability: 23%
Infuriatingly, we’re still no clearer if The Last Guardian is heading to PS3 or PS4 and whether or not it’s even coming out any time soon. Though Sony did issue an apology for its no-show at the PS4 reveal, there’s a lot of speculation that believes this could be heading to E3.
And at E3 Sony will confirm that The Last Guardian will be heading to the PS4 as a launch game. That’s the best-case scenario at least, as a launch title The Last Guardian would win over a huge amount of support from fans desperate to get their hands it.
It’s another game that would give the PS4 an eclectic and much-needed variety to its launch line-up giving Sony the console that many may begin calling the ‘gamer’s console’.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 4
Launch game probability: 76%
This is clearly speculation, but given the cyclical nature of Activision’s super-series, this isn’t hard to picture. If Sony releases the PS4 this ‘Holiday’ and if Microsoft’s competitor schedules its release for next year, having the only next-gen Call Of Duty would be a huge boon for Sony’s launch.
That’s a lot of ‘ifs’ though and it’s looking less likely that Microsoft will be inclined to give Sony and the PS4 a head start, but a new Call Of Duty is all but confirmed. Whether or not it takes advantage of the new hardware (or delivers a cross-gen experience) has yet to be seen.
Suffice to say, a new CoD would give the PS4 yet another ‘must-have’ experience that new consoles are always desperate for and if it did end up being a cross-gen experience, would show PS3 players exactly why the PS4 is worth investing in.
That doesn’t mean that it’ll be able to really evolve the CoD formula, but it would give the PS4 a solid multiplayer experience and, ignoring Killzone: Shadow Fall, the shooter space is looking decidedly empty on the PS4 right now.