The months following a console launch are often a defining period in the life cycle of a console, and there's one thing that every platform owner dreads – the game drought. Nintendo's Wii U suffered from a lack of quality software in the months following its release, as did the PlayStation 3 before it. Luckily, things don't look so bleak for Sony and Microsoft's new platforms, with a wealth of new titles hitting current (last?) and next (current?) gen systems alike.
Unlike last year's dire Alien Colonial Marines, developer Creative Assembly's Isolation is primarily a survival horror title, and it's exactly what fans of the franchise have been waiting for.
The game puts players on an eerie, giant and near-deserted ship with nothing but a motion sensor and their wits to defend them. It's clear that the developer has Ridley Scott's original in mind, with the majority of the story featuring only a single Xenomorph, and there being absolutely no weapons to help you fight it.
Visually, the title looks solid and Creative Assembly seems to have nailed the trademark Alien aesthetic. With so many big-budget first person shooters hitting the market late this year, Isolation looks set to provide a different sort of experience, but one that's every bit as compelling.
The third installment in the critically acclaimed Witcher series will see the franchise's first-ever open world setting. A next-gen only title (we count the ever-evolving PC platform as next-gen), the title features stunning visuals and the same stellar production values we've come to expect of the series.
Developer CD Projekt Red has stated that the title offers over 100 hours of gameplay, and features a non-linear storyline and free-roam gameplay. The title also looks to hold onto the darker aesthetic that set previous series entries apart from the competition.
Like a lot of the games in this list, the Metal Gear Solid franchise is going open world for its full next-gen debut. The Phantom Pain, which takes place 10 years after the events of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, will star series staple character Big Boss, and features the same third person stealth gameplay. From what we've seen so far, the title looks great on both PS4 and Xbox One, and seems to offer more gameplay options than previous titles.
It's worth noting that another Metal Gear title, known as Ground Zeros, will be released in March, and will act as a prologue to the full title. The game won't be a full-price title, and it's unclear how integral it will be to the story of The Phantom Pain. Developer Konami has previously stated that The Phantom Pain is “much larger” than its prequel, with the earlier game acting as a sort of tutorial for the main title.
As a first person shooter from the creators of Halo, Destiny has a lot to live up to. Set in a vivid sci-fi imagining of Earth's future, the title is an online shooter with RPG and team-focused mechanics, and it looks like a whole lot of fun.
Visually speaking, it ticks all of the next-gen boxes with advanced lighting, detailed textures and impressive particle effects. The influence of Halo is apparent, with weapon and vehicle design being particularly reminiscent of the visual style of the game's spiritual predecessor.
Destiny is beautiful, epic and mysterious, and given the developer's accomplished track record, we'd bet big on the title living up to the hype.
The Division is one of the most visually potent next-gen titles we've seen so far. A next-gen-only game from Ubisoft Massive, the title is an open world, online RPG shooter played from a third person perspective.
Taking place in a post-pandemic New York City, the game puts players in the shoes of a highly trained crisis response team tasked with protecting what remains of the city, and attempting to cure what ails it. This is classic post-apocalyptic fiction, but presented with a perhaps a little more flair than the norm.
The Division is easily one of the prettiest next-gen titles we've seen so far, and employs some slick presentation tricks designed to make the game more immersive. The world map is accessed through a menu on the character's wrist and is shown in holographic 3D right there in the environment. The user interface hovers discretely beside the character, a significant improvement over other clunky user interface designs.
The title looks beautiful, has a great setting and slick, immersive presentation – definitely one to look out for. There are tentative rumors suggesting The Division may be delayed until 2015, but we're still holding out hope for a Q4 2014 release.
The above represent merely a handful of the plethora of quality titles set to hit the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and other platforms in 2014. Noteworthy titles include the graphically upscaled re-release of last-year's excellent Tomb Raider reboot, next-gen MMO The Elder Scrolls Online, co-operative racer The Crew, the reboot of the Star Wars Battlefront franchise, Thief, Watch Dogs, Dying Light ... the list goes on.
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