The PlayStation 4 has been a meteoric success with it selling over 50 million copies to date going on its fourth year on the market. The rollout for the PS4 was masterful. PlayStation knew exactly what gamers wanted and that was, quite frankly, games. They made it perfectly clear that this console was made for gamers and everything else about the console was secondary. By making smart relationships with developers, boasting a more powerful machine than its Microsoft counterpart, and perfect messaging has paid dividends for the company.
With all of the success of the PS4, there is something missing from all its glory and that are first-party titles. They have all but conquered the indie game scene but big triple A titles have been few and far between in its life cycle so far. PlayStation has had successes like Bloodborne and Uncharted 4, but games that were supposed to break the mold for the company like The Order 1886 and No Man’s Sky failed to realize their potential. In 2017, gamers who have been clamoring for more PS4 exclusives will get their wish this year. After multiple delays, games that have been promised for years now are going to see the light of day. Will the influx of exclusives propel the PS4 to even greater heights? Let’s take a look.
The first title to kick off PS4’s run in 2017 was Gravity Rush 2. Now if you have played the first Gravity Rush, then you know how fun and addicting the gameplay is. The story was meh but the gameplay and the protagonist, Kat, were more than enough to keep you satisfied if you wanted to take a chance. I haven’t had the pleasure of playing Gravity Rush 2 yet but from all the chatter around the game, it is a fantastic title and a proper follow-up to its gravity-defying predecessor. Now players can choose between 3 gravity styles allowing for more varied gameplay. A new city and more missions make the game more lively and robust as well. Gravity Rush 2 has started off PlayStation’s year off on the right foot.
January 24 is another big day for PlayStation with releases from frequent Japanese collaborators Bandai Namco and Sega. Bandai Namco is bringing the latest installment in the Tales series, Tales of Berseria, to PS4. I have never played a Tales game but I have done research and I must say I am intrigued by the game. This JRPG brings us the story of Velvet who has been transformed into a demon and is hell-bent on revenge for being wrongly imprisoned. According to an IGN review, this is the most emotionally-charged title in the series. The reviewer, Meghan Sullivan, said she is a huge fan and this was the best game in the series. As someone who isn’t familiar with the series, I am inclined to follow her lead. If you’re unlike me and know all about the series, it seems to be a very good entry in the series.
Sega finally has released Yakuza 0 worldwide for western audiences to enjoy. If you have never played a Yakuza game, then this is the one to jump into as this is a prequel to the entire series. The story of Yakuza 0 follows the series protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, in the beginnings of his Yakuza career. The latest game brings innovations to the series like providing Kazuma with different fighting styles that can be changed seamlessly during battle. A reviewer from Kotaku said that this was the first great game of 2017 so that’s saying something about its quality. If you are searching for an action game to start your year off right, then this may be the title for you.
I have spoken a little about PS4 exclusives that have already released but what about the games that have yet to get into the hands of gamers? That’s where the questions remain.
Nioh is the next big title PS4 exclusive scheduled for release on February 7. I have already waxed poetic about this game and how I believe it will be amazing. One can still reasonably ask how successful will the game be? Will it be able to set itself apart from its contemporaries or will it just be heralded as another Dark Souls clone? The game has a lot going for it including being developed by a studio with a rich heritage of making challenging but high-quality action games. I am excited for the release as this could be the start of something special.
The game that PlayStation fans have been salivating for since its unveiling, Horizon: Zero Dawn, is finally getting released on February 28. I included this game on my most anticipated games of 2017 list and I feel this is PlayStation’s biggest title for the first quarter of the year. This game has to be great, right? Giant mechanical beasts roaming the Earth while humans have returned to living in tribes. The environment is a marriage of nature and technology. How did the world get like this? Where are all the humans? Is there any other organic life besides humans and plant life? So many questions that I hope are revealed once the game finally releases. Will it be the next big franchise that PlayStation is touting it to be? All signs point to yes but gamers have been burned before so we won’t truly know until it’s in our hands. Still, with few reservations, this title should be amazing.
The original Nier was released in 2010. It didn’t speak to me but then sequel definitely looks like a game I need to play. The game beings after the events of the first game but the original Nier featured multiple endings. The specific ending you need in Nier to naturally flow into Nier: Automata is pretty convoluted so if this is your first experience with the series you should be fine jumping in here. The story of Nier: Automata begins with the Earth being invaded by beings from another and the ensuing conflict with the machine-like beings forced humanity to retreat to the moon. In order to reclaim the Earth, humanity has built androids to combat this foreign threat in order to come back home. The protagonist of the game is an android named 2B, along with her companions 9S and A2. The original Nier was a good, not great game so will this entry bring in a new audience? The combat looks vastly improved and that alone is worth interest.
PlayStation has more games that are scheduled to come this year but has yet to be officially dated. Uncharted: Lost Legacy is a standalone DLC expansion for Uncharted 4 that features a team-up between Nadine and Chloe. Not much is known about the game as of yet except for the gameplay trailer shown at PSX last year. Judging from the trailer, the expansion will be different in tone and gameplay will be more intimate than previous titles. More Uncharted is always welcomed, though.
Remasters of classic PlayStation games like Crash Bandicoot, PaRappa the Rapper, Patapon, LocoRoco, are supposed to release this year which should have PlayStation fans new and old excited. You already know about my feelings on the Crash remaster but I’m also very excited about the PaRappa the Rapper, even though from the looks of it, it seems not much has changed. (Also since we’re getting all these remasters how about we get a remaster for the first 3 Spyro the Dragon games as well).
PlayStation has a slew of games that should still be releasing in the coming year. The year has started off pretty strong for the company so far but will they stay consistent? If some of these titles don’t pan out will that affect PS4 sales? 2017 is already shaping up to an exciting year for gamers. What games coming exclusively to the PS4 are you excited for? What games do you hope are released this year? Let me know in the comments. As always, subscribe and share.