With this console generation approaching its conclusion, it’s remarkable to consider the sheer depth, breadth and variety of video games heading to PlayStation 4 in 2019. It’s no wonder why; with a massive installed userbase that exceeds any other current gen console, releasing a game on PS4 allows publishers and developers the chance to sell their product to a vast audience.
It all means that even as PS4 prepares to head off into the sunset, there’s plenty of exclusives to look forward to. From remakes of beloved classics, to reinterpretations of a fan favourite franchise and not one, but two, third person survival action games set in a post-apocalyptic world, there’s something here for everyone.
Platform: PS4 – Release: 26th April 2019
Is Days Gone just the Last of Us with a different skin? There’re definitely clear comparisons to be made. Set in a post- apocalyptic world and played from a third person perspective, Days Gone follows its bounty hunter protagonist as he uses stealth or full action to overcome violent encounters. Then there’s the fact that a global pandemic has wiped out most of the world’s population and turned the survivors into zombies. So far, so The Last of Us.
But that’s to do Days Gone a disservice, as there’s some major changes to the Last of Us formula to be found here. Most obvious is that Days Gone takes place within an open world setting with a dynamic weather system and day and night cycles. You also have a motorbike to traverse the environment, and we all know that the inclusion of motorbikes makes everything 16.5% better. Interestingly, the power of the zombie-like creatures will vary depending on it being day or night – creating some intriguing gameplay possibilities. Will Days Gone step out of the shadow of the Last of Us and discover its own identity? We’ll find out in April.
Judgement (Judge Eyes)
Platform: PS4 – Release Date: Summer 2019
When discussing Judgement, it’s easy to focus on its similarities to the game’s big brother, Yakuza. But Judgement – or Judge Eyes as it is known in Japan – has a fresh approach, taking the Yakuza style of game we know and love and putting a private detective in the role of protagonist. It’s a simple change, but one that has startling consequences on the game’s mechanics. Not so much in the fighting, which sees a similar system to that used in Yakuza 0, but certainly in its Investigation mode.
Takayuki Yagami, ex-lawyer and now private detective, is tracking down a serial killer through the streets of Kamurocho – yes, the iconic district of Tokyo that’s found in all the Yakuza titles. Yagami will investigate crime scenes by identifying objects of importance or potential witnesses, don disguises to follow suspects, conduct surveillance, and gather and present evidence. He’ll also kick a lot of people in the face, after all, this wouldn’t be a Ryu ga Gotoku Studio game without plentiful examples of boots smacking chins.
Platform: PS4 – Release Date: Q1/Q2 2019
Concrete Genie is a fascinating prospect, allowing the player to create ‘living paintings’ in a dank, derelict city. Thanks to the young painter Ash and his magic paintbrush, each landscape he paints onto a wall is magically and vibrantly brought to life; strawberry pink trees sway in the breeze, bright auroras twinkle and gleam, and bizarre creatures leap from wall to wall. This is a gorgeous, and visually very original, game.
There’s a loose story that see’s Ash retrieving the stolen pages of his notebook from some bullies whilst traversing the fictional town of Denska. This leads to some light puzzling, utilising the creatures within your paintings to open a gate for example, but this is primarily a game about free-style painting and experimentation. Using a twin-stick system, painting looks fast, seamless and I can’t wait to experience Concrete Genie for myself.
Platform: PS4 – Release Date: 2019
Dreams looks like Media Molecule’s most ambitious game to date and when their previous work includes the LittleBigPlanet series, that’s certainly saying something! With Dreams, Media Molecule and promising to create a space in which players can create and share your own dreams, be they games, art, media, music or anything in-between.
Players control an imp, the equivalent of a mouse, with which they can interact with the game world, creating new characters and objects and then manipulating these elements to traverse the environment and the puzzles within them. Players are free to play and then to create and share their own levels with the community, just as in LBP. Media Molecule are intending to fuse these three elements together into one complete experience, meaning that players will be able to create together in co-op multiplayer. It all sounds ridiculously ambitious and should be well worthy of your attention upon release.
The game’s currently in closed beta, with a wider beta opening on 8th January and running until the 21st. After that, we’ve still no idea when Mm plan on actually releasing the game…
Platform: PS4 – Release Date: 2019
With the success that has greeted the remakes of both Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, it was pretty obvious that Sony would want some of that sweet, sweet retro dollar by revisiting its own classics from yesteryear. After initial confusion as to what MediEvil would actually be – remake, remaster or brand-new entry – it turns out that it’s a straight up remake.
This is probably a good thing, considering this twenty-year-old third person platformer may well need more than a spit and polish to belong in 2019. Hopefully the slapstick tone will be maintained, as this was the standout feature of perennial coward Sir Daniel Fortesque and his quest to defeat evil sorcerer Zarok. A release date is still only loosely in 2019, but just in time for Halloween would make sense from a promotional point of view.
The Last of Us Part II
Platform: PS4 – Release Date: 2019
This is the big one. Upon its release in 2013, The Last of Us won almost every game of the year award going and cemented Naughty Dog as one of the most influential developers around. It also set fan expectations sky high for a sequel, expectations that have only grown in the six years it will have taken for the eventual follow-up to be realised. Set five years on from the events of The Last of Us, Part II picks up the story with an older and far more violent Ellie.
With a level of character animation that is ridiculously details and varied, TLOU 2 certainly looks the part of a AAA game. That being said, despite the sheen, at this stage what we’ve seen is mostly the same old stealth and combat, just with extra gore. The excessive violence has certainly raised a few eyebrows, but if this can be balanced with the moral ambiguity and phenomenal fusion of storytelling and gameplay seen in the original, then even more game of the year awards will be adorning Naughty Dog’s office shelf.
And that’s our list. What are you looking forward to playing only on PS4? Be sure to let us know in the comments. And check back tomorrow when we’ll be announcing the ultimate game of the year as well as identifying 2018’s biggest video game dissapointments.