They’re simultaneously the source of all our gaming glory and woes, our light as well as darkness……we’re speaking of course about exclusive releases. Regardless of the fact that we now have very powerful gaming consoles available with all sorts of cross-platform AAA-tiered releases, the truth is that exclusives still drive the market.
Companies like Sony and Microsoft are always looking for ways to set themselves apart from the competition out there, and really what better way is there than having a bunch of excellent titles lined up which will only be found on your home team’s console? Heck, you’ve probably purchased one or more consoles yourself in the past simply because they had “that one amazing game” which ended up being a must-buy.
Well, let’s be honest – every brand out there has a few of those, the real question is what upcoming 8th generation exclusives are worth getting excited about? …read on to find out.
The PlayStation 4
The Order: 1886
Victorian era steam-punk gritty monster hunting drama set amid an alternate history subplot, where higher technology rests alongside somewhat antiquated surroundings. Well, that’s a technical rundown of some aspects of the new IP, which looks amazing in terms of visuals as well as gameplay.
Basically, Bloodborne is a spiritual successor to the Dark Souls franchise, which has become a bona-fide cult smash of sorts. It takes a familiar RPG setup and gameplay and updates everything with 8th gen graphics and more. Lots of people are going to love this.
Apparently going by the handle of “Everybody’s Golf” and taking the title of “Hotshots Golf” in the US, this upcoming PS4 game is (according to certain reports) apt to make better use of the console’s power and features. Expect the same sort of fun-filled and cutesy experience that we’ve come to expect from the series (basically making golf enjoyable for most everyone).
The Persona series has long been associated with Sony consoles, but with Persona 5 we find them taking the art of the modernist RPG to a new height. Yes, all of the criticisms and revealing tendencies of the franchise to demonstrate what’s wrong with modern society are still there, only now it is with incredibly slick art and amazing graphics, not to mention more thoughtful gameplay and deep storytelling.
Meanwhile, legendary developer Frictional Games has been hard at work on its next sci-fi survival horror (sure-to-be) masterpiece, “SOMA”. Whether or not the title loosely references the prevalent societal-calming drug of the same name from Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” is unclear, of course, but we do know that distorted perceptions of reality and “machinery that begins to take on human characteristics” will play a central role here. Needless to say, this is a pretty important release for the company; this is the group that gave us the Penumbra series as well as the exalted Amnesia franchise. No doubt a slew of gamers will be eager to get their hands on this when it is finally made available.
Street Fighter V
In certain video gaming circles, the Street Fighter franchise is pretty important, so when it was finally revealed that a new installment was on the way, fans were stoked. Instead of going out across a variety of platforms however, it is being relegated to the PS4 and Windows, which makes this something of an 8th generation console exclusive (and not a true exclusive, so just deal with it). However, it will support cross-platform play, so there’s that and the improved graphics and gameplay to look forward to.
“Until Dawn” is a dramatic narrative turned interactive adventure which leans heavily on horror themes and its plot, which features 8 teens in a cabin celebrating the untimely passing of one of their friends. Well, in true B horror movie fashion (which is a good thing in this instance) they are being hunted by a crazed serial killer. It’s going to feature a branching storyline as well, which promises different pathways and multiple endings too.
The Xbox One
Halo 5: Guardians
Those waiting for an evolution of Xbox’s long-running Halo series might get their wish as soon as August this year. Halo 5: Guardians is set to place you in yet another interplanetary war scenario with galaxy-level threats implied. However, this time Master Chief is missing and dispatches have been sent out to search for him as everyone races against the clock to solve a mystery with far reaching consequences. On the technical side, 343 Industries has put together a new engine for this game as well, something much more technically evolved than what was found in Halo 4, apparently. Also, Steven Spielberg is apparently co-creating a television series alongside the release of this game, so there’s that…
Aside from presenting players with a dark, 3rd person action / adventure experience replete with great-looking graphics, time travel and cover-based combat, “Quantum Break” will also feature a player-led story which sees digital “episodes” playing in between gameplay segments. In short, this will allow you to craft a storyline while directly influencing game progression as you play.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Returning once again with another installment of the newly rebooted Tomb Raider series, Crystal Dynamics sets us in Siberia this time around, with an emboldened Lara setting off in search of a new lost city. While you can most certainly expect the game to look very nice indeed, it will also feature various gameplay upgrades as well, like a weather system, swimming mechanics, and a new crafting system in addition to improved scavenging mechanics.
“Fable Legends” will be the fifth game in the series and will feature a new level of cooperative play. The use of 4 standard characters as well as a 5th who assumes the role of the villain is a pretty inspired bit of the game’s design too, naturally, with A.I. picking up the slack wherever it might be needed.
And new, untitled “Gears of War” game
Lastly, we have a new and as yet untitled “Gears of War” game being developed even as we speak. We don’t know much about it in terms of specifics but according to inside sources it will be all about a return to basics and the roots of the series itself, but don’t expect any type of reboot.