2016 was a huge year for video games, but more specifically it was a huge year for the PlayStation 4. From AAA shooters such as Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – to indie games like Hyper Light Drifter or Overcooked, there were tons of amazing games to play. Even bringing it all the way back to E3 2016 where Sony unveiled some jaw-dropping titles like Days Gone and Detroit: Become Human, a surprise Spider-Man game that actually looks good, and we got a closer look at Horizon Zero Dawn.
Top 5 2017 PS4 Exclusives We Can’t Wait to Play
2016 is now long gone, and what it’s left in its wake is a frenzy of anticipation as we look to PS4 devs to deliver on the promises of their remarkable announcements and trailers.
There are so many games that PlayStation 4 fans should forward to this year, and while it was a bit of a challenge to narrow them down to a list of five, we conducted a poll among our fellow writers. Here are The Game Fanatics’ top 5 most anticipated PlayStation exclusives of 2017.
Release Date: February 7, 2017
The only time I’ve ever had genuine fun with a demo is when I was playing the Nioh demo. I missed the Alpha and Beta so I decided to give the game a try with the Last Chance Trial, which was a pleasant sword slashing surprise. If you don’t know about Nioh, a lot of people are describing it as Bloodborne meets samurais, but it goes deeper than that. In my limited time with the game, I realized that it already eclipsed the small shred of enjoyment I got from any Dark Souls game, and it was weirdly addictive. I was knocked down countless times by samurais, ghouls, and demons, but I still kept getting back up. I guess that’s what Nioh does to you. It feels fair, and it made me want to (for once in my gaming career) get better.
The world seems rife with lore and environmental storytelling, so it doesn’t seem like I’d get bored playing it anytime soon. Keep an eye out when Nioh releases, it’s sure to get you with its seductive thrall of a true challenge.
Ni No Kuni 2
Release Date: TBA
The first Ni No Kuni was an emotional adventure for everyone who played it. It paired the beautiful, simple animations of Studio Ghibli with some in-depth RPG elements to create a meaningful journey of grief. The game started out as a sleeper hit on the PlayStation 3, with a tight-knit fan base admiring its remarkably unique gameplay and visuals. It eventually garnered the attention of the general public through people word of mouth, where people were praising it calling it the PS3’s hidden gem. It is a gem, and it still holds up today. A really special part of the series is that it’s accessible to a lot of different people because it’s a semi-cinematic experience. If you like anime, you’re probably going to dig this series. It also boasts a stellar combat system that allows real-time reactions to your opponent’s moves; it kind of feels like how the Pokémon anime.
Ni No Kuni 2 looks better than ever with its vibrant colors, gorgeous landscape, and intriguing story. The trailer below reveals the two main characters: Evan, the boy king, and Roland, a visitor from another world. An unlikely duo that embarks on an adventure together to defeat evil and rule the kingdom! It sounds like a slightly more upbeat tone than the first one, which looks cool. Dust off your PlayStation 3 and put some hours into the first Ni No Kuni while you wait for the second one to come out – it’s a long game and it’ll tide you over until the next anime adventure.
Release Date: February 23, 2017
All of the games on this list are quirky in their own ways, but NieR is seriously weird. I played through the whole demo and I’m still severely confused on:
- Who I am
- What I’m fighting
- Why I’m fighting
The craziest part is that I don’t even care that I don’t know stuff that would be crucial in another game, but because the fights are so exhilarating and fast-paced I’m pouring all of my focus into them.
NieR is an action-RPG, but it feels like playing a third-person bullet hell shoot ’em up game. You play as a cyborg, android, person? Who has a couple of comically large swords, and a robot companion that helps you take out various enemies. The combination lets you tackle situations in a wide variety of ways; using range, mobility, or close quarters combat. Each method of slicing up your foes is equally enjoyable, so it’s up to you to pick your favorite style.
It looks like a game that will allow you to pop in and out for some quick action, and I like that.
Release Date: TBA April
The Persona series is all about friendship, overcoming hardships, and killing some shadows. I just started with Persona 4: Golden a couple of months ago, and I can tell you confidently that it has a cult following for a good reason. I’ve never felt a series pull me in so quickly and so deeply. The focus on bonds and optimization is amazing, and it makes you think about each choice you make.
Persona 5 looks full of mystery. Containing a story that you’ll want to flesh out and figure out every single detail. You can check out the gameplay trailer here; it’s full of masked teens and funky music (two regular themes in the series). Other than the focus on relationships, I find that Persona does a really good job at creating a specific aesthetic for itself. Each game has a different tone, but they’re all extremely thought out and unique. They have a certain vibe to them that just makes you want to put on your detective’s cap and start cracking some unsolved cases. It’s full of hours and hours of fun, and if you haven’t taken a stab at the series yet, you should pick up Persona 4: Golden on PlayStation Vita. It’s a good test to see if you’ll like this very anime, cryptic series.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Horizon Zero Dawn is an amalgamation of a lot of strange concepts and it’s extremely intriguing. The best way that I can describe Horizon is Disney’s Brave mixed with dinosaurs and robots in a medieval setting; it looks sick as hell. It’s also being engineered by Guerrilla Games, the team that’s worked on games like RIGS: Mechanized Combat League and the Killzone series.
The plot follows a young woman called Aloy on her quest to figure out the mysteries of her robot infested Earth, and she’s not worried about breaking a circuit or two to get her answers. There are a few trailers showcasing how the game actually plays, and it has the most creative gameplay mechanics I’ve seen this year. Combining both prehistoric and futuristic technology, you’re able to fight off robot dinosaurs with bows, traps, and hacking. You’re also able to override some of the hostile bots and mount them to get around the world quickly, so you can have a cool robopet.
Fighting in this game looks like a rewarding and satisfying time because of the sheer size of each creature looks like a David and Goliath situation. It looks like you’ll have to be agile, adaptable, and thoughtful in every situation because if you don’t have a strategy it looks like you’re going to get screwed by some merciless AI.
Horizon Zero Dawn looks like it could be Sony’s next blockbuster franchise and I wouldn’t be upset if it was. Keep tabs on this title, it’s going places.
Honorable Mention – Detroit: Become Human
Release Date: TBA 2017
It’s great to watch developers grow, learn, and change, and you can see Quantic Dream has done all of those things in the trailer for Detroit: Become Human. The company has created some high-quality games, but there were always some very uncomfortable moments in them. The animation style in games like Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls were pseudo-realistic and approached an uncanny valley that turned a lot of players off. It looks like Detroit: Become Human is the perfect antidote for that issue: they introduced androids, which makes it a way less creepy experience. Looking at the gameplay, it just feels way more natural, and the semi-perfect details make sense because they’re robots designed to look like humans.
The gameplay also looks stunning. You play as several different android characters; one is Kara, who is trying to understand her newfound sentience; and another is Connor, an android tasked with hunting down deviant androids. Detroit: Become Human is pushing to make it a unique experience for each person that plays. Your choices matter (which you can see when Connor is negotiating a hostage situation), and the characters you play as can get killed off at any time.
It’s a custom adventure for everyone who plays, which is always fun. With those kind of games, you can compare and contrast your decisions with your friends kind of offering a bonus experience. And it looks like Detroit: Become Human might also be a darker, thought-provoking tale of sentience, but I guess we’ll find out sometime in 2017. I definitely recommend keeping up to date on this robot-centric game if you like the graphic-adventure genre that Heavy Rain pioneered.
2017 is shaping up to be a good year for the PlayStation 4
Well, there you have it! Our top 5 most anticipated PlayStation 4 exclusives of 2017 are looking fresh, innovative and fun. It’s going to be a hard task to contain that excitement for the months until some of these are released. Since this is a subjective list, based on the opinions of The Game Fanatics as a whole, it doesn’t mean that these are the only good games coming out! There are tons of fantastic looking titles lined up and we couldn’t fit all of them on this list, remember to sound off in the comments to let us know your personal favorite PS4 exclusives of 2017.