14 Games That I Am Happy I Got To Try At The Playstation Experience
Developer, Housemarque, (Super Stardust HD, Resogun) is working on Alienation, the “spiritual successor” to their smash hit, Dead Nation. When you first jump into Alienation, you instantly want to rush into battle, but you’ll quickly learn that’s a huge mistake. My three teammates and I were tasked with setting bombs in three different tunnels and then moving to evacuation point. Being the gamer that I am, I decided to go rogue and try to take on all of the alien scum by myself and was swiftly met with the slimy hand of E.T justice. This is due to the way the game scales when you have more people in your party. If you’re a solo gamer, Alienation will be much more manageable and provide you with a great experience.
If you’re a fan of top-down shooters, you’ll definitely want to keep your eye on Housemarque’s Alienation in 2016.
2. Dead Star
Trailers and videos can give you a good representation of a game, but there are certain games that you really need to play to get a full understanding. Armature Studio’s, Dead Star, was an incredible surprise that I wish I could have kept playing. The twin-stick style shooter puts you into 10v10 multiplayer battle in an area of space called “The Wastes.” Every match has procedurally generated maps that have outposts, hazards, and other secrets that you and your team must find in order to fight another day.
My favorite part of Dead Star was teaming up with a few of my team members to take down one of the larger ships. Our tiny ships trying to do damage to the large enemy shop felt like a boss battle. Eventually we were destroyed and the other team won, but that’s okay. It made me want to redeem myself, but there was a long line of people waiting for their chance to achieve interstellar dominance.
Dead Star is slated to come out early 2016 on PS4 and PC and I can’t wait for my chance to return to the fight.
When I first saw Cleaversoft’s runner, EarthNight, at E3 I was instantly hyped. I love the challenge of trying to exceed my highest distance run, while picking up collectibles and completing objectives. This however is not exactly what you will be doing in EarthNight. During the game you’ll be running down the back of a dragon using Stanley, a freelance photographer, or Sydney, a 14 year-old girl with a very useful double jump ability. The goal is to get to the head of the dragon where you will have to stab them in the head repeatedly using timed attacks. These timed attacks add an extra challenge to the game, because you can’t just mash until success.
Another critical feature to EarthNight is that you can speed up or slow down your character by pressing forward or backward on the directional pad. This gives you a little more flexibility while trying to jump on platforms that are in the air or when trying to kill/avoid an enemy. The ability to speed up and slow down can also get you in trouble because you may try to avoid an enemy just to be damaged by another.
EarthNight may seem like a traditional runner, but the little tweaks to this genre change the game enough to give you an enjoyable, yet challenging experience. EarthNight will be cross-buy for Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita hopefully by late 2016, early 2017.
Have you ever come across a game that appears so simple only to find that it’s incredibly challenging? Well, FutureGrind is exactly that. What should be an easy task of matching the specific color wheels to certain color tracks proves to be difficult for even the most seasoned gamer. There are times when you are speeding along, feeling pretty good about your last landed trick only to crash and burn on the next one. At every “death” you get a result screen that tells you just how far you made it. My average was about 60-65% before I inevitably died a fiery death. This simple, yet addicting and challenging game has the same difficulty of OlliOlli. Sure you could blast through the course barely getting any points, but it’s so much more fun to be a savage racking up some serious multipliers.
FutureGrind is being developed by Milkbag Games and is coming to Playstation 4 and Steam in 2016.
5. Ratchet & Clank
One line that was surprisingly short was Ratchet & Clank. I figured that gamers old and new would want a crack at the newest iteration of what was once a critical part of the Sony arsenal, even if it is a re-imagining of the first game in the series. As you may expect, you’ll find yourself blasting enemies with wildly creative guns while platforming your way through obstacle. Gamers that have played any of the R&C can rest easy knowing that this classic series has returned to it’s true form while gamers that have never played it can finally know what all the fuss is about.
Insomniac Games is planning on releasing the re-imagining of Ratchet & Clank in the spring of 2016.
Radial Games’, RocketsRocketsRockets may be one of the smoothest games I’ve played on the Playstation 4. I played a multiplayer game with one of my friends and was sort of disoriented at first by the speed and fluid movement, but after a few matches you really start to develop the necessary abilities to take out your opponent. The rockets also have three different attacks, each with their own strength and weaknesses. This adds a bit of strategy to the game and really makes you think about what you should do next.
According to the Radial Games website, RocketsRocketsRockets has a multiplayer, singleplayer, and Zen Mode “where Rockets learn to love.” I don’t know how in depth the singleplayer mode is, but my multiplayer experience is enough to buy the game when it comes out on the Playstation 4 sometime this year or early 2016. One quick note, if you can’t wait to get your hands on RocketsRocketsRockets, you can pick it up on Steam.
7. Shadow of the Beast
Heavy Spectrum Entertainment Labs’ Shadow of the Beast was definitely the bloodiest game I played at the Playstation Experience. In this side-scrolling beat em up you find yourself controlling the savage beast, Aarbron, who will literally rip apart anyone or anything who stands in his way. Besides the graphics and the smooth gameplay, I’d have to say the quick time style rage chains were the highlight of my experience.
Once you fill up your blood meter you can activate a combat mode that allows you to chain together attacks. The more you chain together, the quicker the QTE’s have to be. I know a lot of people hate these sort of button prompts, but if you fail one it’s no big deal.
You can expect Shadow of the Beast to be released in Q1 of 2016.
Double Fine has a lot going on these days with developing Psychonauts: In The Rhombus of Ruin, Psychonauts 2, remastering Day of the Tentacle and Full Throttle as well as publishing GNOG and Gang Beasts, it’s surprising that they have time to develop Headlander, but lucky for us gamers, they are. Headlander at first seems like it is going to be a slightly serious game, but within the first few minutes the Double Fine charm sets in. To solve puzzles you must launch your head off of your body and float around the level to find solutions. Your head also gains powerups such as a vacuum that can suck the heads off of the bodies of enemies. You can then land on those bodies and use them to help you progress. If you love Double Fine games, then Headlander is right up your alley!
Headlander is being published by Adult Swim Games and will be out in second half of 2016
9. Super Impossible Road
Super Impossible Road was another delightful surprise for me. What seems like a simple racing game has an incredible amount of strategy that adds intensity to every race. You start off racing against five other balls and to win you must fall off of the edge to the track below, but there’s a catch. You only have 5 seconds of free failing time to reach another portion of the track or else you are sent to the last checkpoint. One of the nicest features of Super Impossible Road is if you fall off of the track and don’t think you will make it to the next part within 5 seconds you can press a button to respawn and try again. This makes it so you aren’t committed to every move you make and allows you give it another go. I was racing against another player and was basically in last place the whole time, but once I got the hang of the game I finished in 3rd place, which was well ahead of my opponent. This just goes to show that no lead in Super Impossible Road is safe until you cross the finish line.
Super Impossible Road is being developed by Kevin Ng and is coming to the Playstation 4 hopefully sooner than later.
10. Trillion: God of Destruction
As an RPG fan, I feel that there have been a ton of strategy RPGs lately. This is especially true when it come to the Playstation Vita, so when I hear of another strategy RPG I tend to groan. Luckily the line for Trillion: God of Destruction was reasonable and I needed a rest. Trillion’s premise is that the final boss has 1,000,000,000,000 HP and you are chipping away at him as you progress through the game. The strategy of the game comes from it’s unique movement system. You get a certain amount of points that allow you to move/use special abilities. If you go into a battle with low points because you moved too much, you’ll struggle through the battle. This prevents users from just wandering around and makes you really think about your next move. This twist on strategy games was enough to keep me intrigued, because it’s not the same old style game I’ve been playing since Ogre Battle.
Trillion: God of Destruction will be out in the Spring of 2016.
11. Fallen Legion
One of the games that you heard a lot of people talking about around the show floor was Fallen Legion. The game was so popular that it was one of the few games that actually had one station set up on each floor at the Moscone Center. This action RPG has a shakes up the genre by adding a unique combo system. You queue up attacks for four characters using triangle, square, x, and circle. The twist is that you just can’t mash the buttons. You have to make quick decisions to ensure maximum damage. While all of this is going on you have to block your opponent’s devastating attacks. It may take gamers a few encounters to get comfortable, but for anyone who enjoys side scrolling beat em ups or have experience playing Dragon’s Crown will really enjoy Fallen Legion.
Fallen Legion is set to release the summer of 2016.
12. London Heist: The Getaway
The one word that comes to mind when talking about London Heist: The Getaway is “wow.” I knew VR was going to be pretty cool, but I never expected it to impress me as much as it did. In the London Heist demo you are sitting in the passenger seat of a van cruising down the highway. The small details like being able to change the radio dials, open and close the air vents, pick up soda cans, open the glove box, and even open the car door and lean out allowing you to look behind you gives the user an experience like no other. All of this is serious amazing, but I haven’t even got to the shooting yet.
Eventually enemies ambush you and your driver. The driver tosses you an Uzi and then it’s time to take care of business. One of the greatest features of the game which was made the entire experience feel much more realistic was the manual reload. As your gun empties the clip falls out and you have to pick up another one and place it in the bottom of the gun.
There is no release date on the Playstation VR which is fine because I just want the first version of the device to be as close to flawless as possible.
If you’re into puzzle games, look no further than Tumblestone. The goal is simple, match 3 like color squares and move on, but as time goes on this of course becomes more difficult. There are a lot of times where you find yourself stuck and you have to refresh the level. I say refresh instead of reload because you don’t have to start from scratch, you just have to reset the game board. I played a four player match with two other people and an AI and at first we all sat there thinking about our moves more than actually removing blocks. By the end of the session we found ourselves neck and neck in intense color matching battles. If you love games like Puyo Puyo Fever, Tetris, and Dr. Mario then Tumblestone is definitely something you want to check out.
The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild’s Tumblestone will be released on Steam, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, iOS, Android, Windows phones, Facebook, and Ouya in the summer of 2016.
14. Horizon Chase
As soon as I saw Horizon Chase I was reminded of being a kid playing Rad Racer. This throwback to old school racing games may not push any consoles to the limit, but the awesome update to the classics runs smooth looks great. None of the tracks that I played were too difficult, but the speed in which your car is moving can sometimes throw you off of your game. I don’t mean to say this as a knock on the game by any means and in fact it the intensity was a welcome change from the modern racing games that have been coming out lately.
The Horizon Chase that is currently out on iOS and Android has 72 tracks and I expect all of those tracks to make it over to the Playstation version when it comes out (hopefully) in 2016.
The 2016 Playstation Experience was an absolute hit. Gamers may have been disappointed with some of the announcements or lack of announcements at the keynote, but video games aren’t just about the multi-million dollar blockbusters. Most of my favorite games were the smaller titles with independent teams that were trying to make a name for themselves in an industry that is stacked with heavy hitters. It would be unreasonable to ask anyone to buy all of these games, but any of these games in this article are worth your time and money.
Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below in the comments section.