Doubtless to say blockbuster releases like Halo 5, Gears of War 4 and Fallout 4 all currently have your attention. However, there are many exciting titles coming from less esteemed franchises, with far less coverage.

Here’s the pick of the bunch. You’re welcome.

We Happy Few

Based in a re-imagined version of London, this quirky first person survival game looks to be a refreshing addition to anyone’s game library. Short but sweet, this campaign will force gamers to use a combination of stealth, blending and occasionally force to see their way through the 2 hour (approx) experience.

The premise of the story is that London (1964) is inhabited entirely by drug-fuelled people, living in cheerful denial. Intoxicated on ‘joy’ this society thrives. You however, will experience what happens when one refuses to abide by this custom. Narrative director Alex Epstein describes it as “surviving long enough and well enough to get out,” without “irritating” the inhabitants.

Although the running time is pretty short, this game has plenty of replay value. Each environment is procedurally generated; meaning the objective will always be the same, but the world surrounding the objective will change with every re-spawn. Trial and error is simply not an option and this adds to the mounting feeling of unease.

This unique experience will force the player to collect resources and  improvise to survive. Compulsion Games are the developers and publishers behind this arcade game and it will run on the ever-reliable Unreal Engine 4.

 

Doom


Developers id Software are rebooting the series for 2016 under publishers Bethesda and ZeniMax Media. The game was unveiled at E3 2015 and the crowd was left cheering at the results of the gameplay on display. The game looks incredibly fast paced; almost like an arcade game. The 2004 instalment was renowned for this unrelenting pace and many are glad to see it return.
It’s been a while coming in the FPS genre.

The game is very much focused on the ‘clear the room, proceed’ type formula, with a few arduous boss battles tied in. This is now considered to be relatively out dated, however, in this case, that’s what makes this game so endearing. By focusing entirely on core mechanics, id Software has created a game that knows what it is, but does extremely well without attempting to compete with neighbours of the genre in other elements.

Looking at the gameplay, we can see that Doom relies heavily on depth in weapons, enemy types and an array of brutal executions to keep the gamer grinding away. As a result, what we are left with is a fun, fast and attractively revolting game, which refreshes our memories on what the genre is all about.

Until Dawn


Interactive drama games have one specific draw back ; they’re usually episodic releases. This means development occurs between each episode, leaving fans
waiting months for their next instalment.

Until Dawn however is the first to break this formula in interactive drama, with a whole experience available upon purchase. Developed by Supermassive Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, Until Dawn provides a fresh take on the otherwise over populated genre of survival horror.

The story is very much that cliched one, where 8 teens; consisting of buff jocks and loose snappy girls venture to a desolate mountain retreat, where they are inevitably picked off one by one by an unknown assailant.
However with this knowledge the game becomes increasingly entertaining, as the player assists these sickly characters in making decisions that will ultimately end in in their gruesome demise.

It’s fun to play instigator and provoke the teen girls into arguments and to play scare pranks on intoxicated friends out in the wilderness. On top of all of this, there are some serious scares along the way, no matter who you save and who dies.

If you want a genuinely frightening experience with quick-fire decision making and seriously amusing characters, you shouldn’t miss out on this PS4 exclusive.

SOMA


If you’re into horror games then this is a massive deal. SOMA has been developed and published by Frictional Games… ring any bells? Yes, the same developers of the critically acclaimed survival horror series Amnesia.
The series has become notorious for possessing some of the most terrifying moments in gaming and it’s been an awful long time coming for their next project.

Frictional Games’ new baby is here and from what we’ve seen, it’s clear that they’ve struck gold again, creating another terrifying survival game that will stand the test of time.

You play as Simon; a man stranded in a network of research bases in the depths of the ocean. You are forced to explore eroded corridors, abandoned laboratories and expansive areas of the murky seabed in order to discover the secrets behind your predicament and ultimately to escape. 3D artist Aaron Clifford describes the under water setting as being “kind of like space, in that no human should be there.”

Everything in the environment seems tainted by some form of festering gunge, or an invading mass of black metal veins. These very surroundings, as well as the claustrophobic atmosphere make this experience an incredibly memorable one. Not to mention the bio-luminous creatures stalking the darkness.

This PC and PS4 exclusive is one you shouldn’t miss out on. The setting and general concept are both incredibly unique and people will probably be talking about this one for years to come.

For Honor


It’s been a while since the last hack-and-slash game was released, but Ubisoft Montreal are seeing to that.

For Honor is a historical hand-to-hand combat game, in which the gamers will embody soldiers such as medieval knights, Samurais and Vikings. The combat system put in place is known as “The Art of Battle.” When employed the player will enter a duelling mode with the selected assailant. From this position the player can choose to attack one of three areas, while deciding on the power of the strike. This allows the gamer to pinpoint specific weak areas with satisfying visceral impact.

Creative director Jason Vandenberghe describes it as “hard to explain, because nothing compares,” while assuring that us that it’s “really easy to play.” The developers have focused mainly on competitive multiplayer aspects. Using axes and swords, a team of eight “heroes” combine with intelligent AI; who assist in battle tactics and point accumulation to defeat the opposition factions.

When a team accumulates enough points through kill-count and specific objectives they can attain special abilities, such as arrow barrage or a catapult attack. These are known as “feats.” With a variety of interesting game modes to fill the majority of time, Ubisoft Montreal have revealed little regarding the single player experience to date. It is incredibly rare for a hack-and-slash game to focus on multiplayer elements and the results could be incredibly satisfying. The prospect of flanking a ground battalion and slashing your way to one of many feats, to win a multiplayer match by a narrow margin is incredibly exciting and if pulled off correctly this game could be a trail blazer.

For Honor is set to be released in 2016 on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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