As the next-generation looms, both launch line-ups leave me underwhelmed, and I’m not personally seeing anything truly interesting in AAA games. Sure they have a lot of third-party support from Ubisoft, and both consoles have their share of first-party exclusives in the retail department. But I find myself just not feeling any of the games that’ll be available other than those on the downloadable space.
Titles like Resogun and Crimson Dragon are vying more for my attention than some of the bigwig titles like Assassin’s Creed 4 or even Watch_Dogs to a degree. Mostly because they have interesting mechanics and just look out of the norm rather than the typical retail space.
Now granted, Watch_Dogs is something unique, but it also just looks like Assassin’s Creed but futuristic and with hacking. Ubisoft even believes so much in this brand that they’re already fast-tracking a film based on the property.
In terms of exclusive retail titles, nothing is screaming out to me with the Xbox One. Ryse looks slightly generic and will likely be forgotten a year from now, found only in bargain bins. Dead Rising 3 does look interesting but I’ve never really cared for the series, so that leaves Forza. As a racing game it’s radical, but I don’t know if that game’s enough to warrant a $500 system.
Peggle 2 looks like the only Xbox One launch title I’d want besides Lococycle and Crimson Dragon. While it’s a sequel, it’s also a sequel to one of the best puzzle games ever from Popcap. And we know they’re focusing on the Xbox One currently, but they’ve already mentioned it’s coming to other platforms later.
That’s not to say the PlayStation 4 doesn’t have the same downsides going for it. Killzone: Shadow Fall seems like a launch title FPS in that sure, it’ll probably be good, maybe great and at least better than Perfect Dark Zero. But is Killzone even a big enough brand to carry a new system? Infamous: Second Son could do that and it won’t even be out until next year.
Knack also suffers the same fate where it looks interesting but again, is the audience there? I like the direction and I trust Mark Cerny since he’s made everything from Spyro to Ratchet & Clank work superbly well. But on the other side of the spectrum, I just don’t think it screams ‘must-buy.’
But the PlayStation 4 has really interesting exclusives such as Resogun and Hohokum, and by the end of the year we’ll hopefully see N++ and Mercenary Kings. Granted, some of these independents could come to Steam later on, which is awesome. I just don’t have a platform to play those titles on since I’m one of those plebes with a Mac and Mac gaming is kind of a joke. It’s picked up in the past couple of years with independents releasing on both PC and Mac at the same time, but equality is still a future goal.
Will I be picking up a next-gen system? Perhaps. The Xbox One is a hundred dollars more than a PS4, which is a hundred dollars more than a Wii U. But personally, after obtaining a Vita this summer, I’ve pretty much future-proofed myself for the upcoming PlayStation 4. With tons of games going cross-buy and the availability of remote play, it just seems like the clear choice to me.
The promise of the PlayStation 4, with upcoming independent games like Volume or Vlambeer’s Wasteland Kings, shows me that I can still get those odd games that feel akin to the earlier days, going back to the PlayStation 1 and 2. Having a system that’s capable of giving me a hardcore shooter but also a weird oddity is definitely something that feels worth my money.