One year after the release of the PlayStation 4, and most early adopters seem pleased with Sony's powerful console. There a plenty of games to play with more to come. However, most of the titles released over the last 12 months were available on previous generation hardware. For the most part, people who chose to wait on the PS4 haven't missed much. All of this will change as we enter 2015. There are several exclusive and third party games coming to the PS4, but more importantly, there are fewer cross-generation games.
To put it bluntly, if you don't own a PlayStation 4 (or Xbox One) by the end of 2015, you'll have missed out on quite a few epic adventures. On that note, here’s a look at what PlayStation 4 owners can look forward to in the New Year.
Naughty Dog's upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive is arguably one of the most anticipated games that will ever grace Sony's platform. This time around, Nathan Drake is on a journey around the world in pursuit of a historical conspiracy behind a fabled pirate treasure. If the visuals on display at Sony's E3 2014 press conference are anything to go by, this will be one of the best looking PS4 titles to date. Add that to Naughty Dog's trademark storytelling skills, and it's hard to pass up on Nathan Drake's latest.
Demon's Souls and Dark Souls redefined what makes a game challenging. While Namco Bandai and From Software have yet to announce a next-generation sequel to that series, PlayStation 4 owners will see the release of Bloodborne in early 2015. The game is a spiritual successor to the Demon's Souls and Dark Souls games, with faster gameplay and a significant upgrade to the graphics, thanks to the power of the new hardware. Bloodborne is also much faster than Dark Souls. You'll still need to engage enemy encounters with a solid strategy, but the enemies move faster and your character moves faster. Agility has been improved as dodging and general evasion have also been sped up. If you're looking for an epic challenge, there's no better game than Bloodborne.
The spiritual successor to Dear Esther looks to be one of the more unique PlayStation 4 exclusives coming in 2015. Developed by The Chinese Room with assistance from Sony Santa Monica, Everybody's Gone to Rapture will be one of those gaming experiences that's hard to duplicate. This isn't another shooter or fighting game, but something fresh for gamers. Very few details are available, but the post-apocalyptic game is based around six characters telling their own story that's connected to landmarks around the world.
There are plenty of shooters (both first-person and third-person) that release every year. What separates The Order: 1886 is the mythos behind it. The game follows the descendants of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table as they battle against a lower class revolt and half-breed humans in an alternate universe inspired by historical London. Humans have a much longer lifespan and advanced weaponry to help fend off the numerous enemy types in the game. It's a unique take on an aging genre that should offer a fresh gaming experience for PS4 owners.
Batman: Arkham Origins wasn't developed by the original Arkham Asylum team at Rocksteady Studios. Rocksteady had to step away from Origins to begin work on Arkham Knight, and in 2015 we'll finally get the Batman game that fans have been waiting for. New Batmobile gameplay mechanics are a big part of the adventure. The vehicle plays an integral role in combat and has a special battle mode which equips it with various weapons, including a cannon, riot suppressor, vulcan gun, and missile barrage mounted on the top of the car. It's also more agile in battle mode, allowing for epic battles against enemies and vehicles. Arkham Knight looks to be the best Batman game yet.
Final Fantasy XV
What began as Final Fantasy Versus 13 evolved into Final Fantasy 15 and looks to take the aging series in a new direction. The visuals of Final Fantasy 15 are some of the best we've seen on the PlayStation 4, and the action will be much faster-paced than previous entries in the series. In fact, Final Fantasy 15 plays more like a cross between Final Fantasy 12 and Kingdom Hearts. It retains the AI-controlled party system of Final Fantasy 12 while adding the action-based combat system of Kingdom Hearts to create what could be one of the best Final Fantasy titles in recent memory.
Kingdom Hearts 3
Kingdom Hearts fans have been waiting a long time for the third installment in the main series, but the wait will be over in 2015. Sora is back as the main character with a story that picks up after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (3DS). Sora, Donald and Goofy attempt to search for seven Guardians of Light and the key to return hearts, while King Mickey and Riku search for previous keyblade wielders. All of this is to stop Master Xehanort's plan to balance the light and darkness.
No Man's Sky
No Man's Sky is probably the closest players will get to exploring the universe. It features a procedurally generated open universe, which means that there are literally 18 quintillion (yes, that's a real number) possible planets for players to explore in their custom ships. Each planet has a unique eco system, along with dangers and treasures to explore. It's arguably one of the most ambitious titles we’ve seen, and it will be a timed exclusive on the PlayStation 4, coming later to Windows platforms.