Looks like it’s time to clear some space on your PlayStation 4 hard drive! Here’s our list of the must-play PS4 titles of 2015.
Final Fantasy XV
How long have we been waiting for this game? Nine years now?! Originally titled "Final Fantasy Versus XIII," we first caught wind of FFXV at E3 2006 as a part of the Fabula Nova Crystalis series. After a few reworks and a title change, I was finally able to lay my eyes on 10 whole minutes of gameplay at Pax East 2015… and oh man, is it going to be good.
“A fantasy based in reality,” the story is set in a world more similar to modern day earth than that of any Final Fantasy game before it. Although there are metropolitan cities filled with cars and even roads with toll plazas, somehow the game maintains that mythical feel that Final Fantasy fans know and love. You play the role of Noctis, the sole heir to the Kingdom Lucis. After Lucis is invaded by the state of Niflheim, Noctis and his comrades flee the city by car and embark on a cross-country road trip that leads to some real quality bonding time.
It’s an action RPG with a new battle system-type called Active Cross Battle. There will be no load times, and all battles will take place in real-time environments where the player can be expected to make full use of the surroundings. Not only will you be able to jump in-battle for the first time, you’ll also have the ability to dodge and block attacks. My favorite new trick is Noctis’s skill to flash-teleport to different areas in his environment. From a flawlessly rendered open world to a new dynamic and fast-paced battle system, Final Fantasy XV will give even the staunchest of RPG critics a good ole' time.
Read Mike William’s full preview of Final Fantasy XV, here.
When Bloodborne was announced, many of us asked, “Would it be possible for From Software to top the likes of Demon Souls, Dark Souls, and Dark Souls 2?” Well the answer is YES, and they managed to do it in remarkable fashion. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that gamers everywhere have been going crazy over the latest Souls game, which has sold over 1 million copies in its first month. The secret to its success? Aside from the allure of its aesthetic, it delivers a rewarding gameplay experience like no other in the Souls games.
A strategic action RPG, you’re able to select from a unique arsenal of weapons and armor – but, you need more than fancy gear to take down the agile and intelligent adversaries that guard this gothic city: skill and wits are necessary too. Initially perceived to be "Dark Souls-lite," Bloodborne will actually give even the toughest of Souls veterans a good challenge. So, prepare to die… again and again and again.
No Man's Sky
Who hasn’t dreamed of space exploration? From Star Wars to Star Trek, the sci-fi masterpieces that influenced my imagination as a child have left permanent stars in my eyes… and it seems also in the eyes of the developers at Hello Games responsible for the open-universe adventure game, “No Man’s Sky.”
Players take on the role of space explorer; traversing galaxies, discovering planets, and even engaging in combat with other forces in the universe. The craziest part? It’s all procedurally generated and guided by algorithms. Using a 64-bit seeding key, the developers have stated there are more than 18 quintillion possible planets. Once a planet is visited in the game, you can share your travels with fellow adventurers, making you a kind of interstellar cartographer. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to map the stars.
A metroidvania for the true retro fan, Axiom Verge is a perfect homage to 8-bit side-scroller classics. ‘Perfect’ may sound like an overstatement, but unlike many of the metroidvanias of late, Axiom Verge deeply understands what made the original action-adventure games like Metroid so incredible. It offers beautifully designed and diverse settings, challenging, yet rewarding gameplay, and a well-developed and compelling story.
With classic chiptunes matched to a new beat, the soundtrack is a seamless blend of old and new, much like rest of the game. Axiom Verge somehow evokes major nostalgia, all while keeping the genre fresh. Most incredibly, one man designed it all. Whether you’re a classic retro junkie, or new to the genre, Axiom Verge is absolutely terrific.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
An open-world storybook, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a game that doesn’t hold your hand with blatant directives or tactless instructions. It’s one that allows you to choose your own path. Unlike many choose-your-own adventure-type games, the narrative never stops. There are no breaks, no cut scenes, and no loading times, which allows for a seamless progression of the story in real-time.
Inspired by British post-apocalyptic science fiction of the 1960’s and 70’s, Everybody’s Gone to Rapture paints a different picture of the apocalypse than we’re used to. No war-torn or decayed city streets are to be found here. Instead the story takes place in the lush English countryside in a quaint, almost eerie, Shropshire village on June 6th, 1984. The world is beautifully rendered and designed, transporting you right back in time. It’s so immersive, it almost begs for Morpheus VR. With or without, I can’t wait to get lost in Shropshire.
Dragon Quest Heroes
Fans of the Dragon Quest and Dynasty Warriors games should rejoice, as Dynasty Quest Heroes is making its way west, this year! It’s all the hacking and slashing one can expect from a Dynasty Warriors game, but with all the familiar faces of the Dragon Quest characters we’ve come to know and love over the years. Set in the Kingdom of Erusaze, the once-peaceful relations between monster and mankind have been disrupted. It’s your party’s challenge to restore peace to Erusaze by collecting the missing hearts of the monsters that have been dispersed across the land.
The gameplay is simple, and should be familiar to those who have played other Warriors-styled games such as Hyrule Warriors and One Piece: Pirate Warriors. You smash your way through hundreds of enemies using a variety of flashy light, medium, and heavy attacks. Aside from pounding away through hordes of fiends, there are also objectives on the map that require protection, making this game one-part tower defense as well. Currently the best-selling game in Japan with over 1 million copies sold, we expect good things from this title.
Meet Darkest Dungeon: a grueling hybrid-genre game that blends elements of roguelikes and dungeon crawlers with the battle system of a turn-based RPG. This game is not for the faint of heart and can only thoroughly be appreciated by a true masochist. (I’m sort of kidding here.) If you like a challenge, this game will surely satiate your craving… and then some.
Beating Darkest Dungeon requires a good deal of strategic planning and attention to detail. There are environmental key elements to the gameplay, such as light. True to its name, it’s quite dark in these dungeons and the darker it gets, the more difficult your battles become. Stress management is a big part of the mechanics in the game as well. Your level of stress affects each character's endurance in battle differently. Even with utmost preparation, don’t think you’ll escape with your party unscathed. You are likely to die early, and then die again. The tears will be salty, but persevere, and your victory will be sweet.