Wednesday 20 May 2020

Top 10 PS4 Hidden Gems

10. Valkyria Chronicles Remastered

If it passed you by completely the first time around, now is the perfect opportunity to try out Valkyria Chronicles. It’s an ingenious combination of turn-based strategy games and action shooters. Allowing you to make tactical army-wide choices that control the units on your team, but also get stuck into the action, lining up headshots in third-person shooter mode. With gorgeous anime-style graphics and a gripping story to boot, this has always been a treasure. 

9. Life is Strange: True Colors

True Colors, like other games in the Life, is Strange series, is described as an ‘interactive story’ - light on mechanics and heavy on plot. A shared theme across the series is protagonists who use unique abilities, not like blockbuster superheroes, but to deal with very real and human issues around them. Here you play as Alex Chen, who has empathic powers, which more deeply involve the player in the story and how it affects the characters involved.

8. Rise of the Tomb Raider

The first in the series of the modern Tomb Raider revamp got a lot of attention - but as the series went on, the buzz subsided. That’s an awful shame because this could be the best of the lot. Strong villains, immersive story, challenging tombs, this game has it all - and it’s satisfying to play as a Lara that has really caught her stride as a confident action hero. 

7. Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

There’s a strong argument to be made that 2012’s Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is one of the most underrated games of the modern era. Fortunately, it’s been given a second lease on life with Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. Offering a vibrant, massive open world, charming inhabitants and a nice variety of quests, it’s a wonder why it didn’t spawn a multi-game franchise like it was intended to do. Perhaps the second time’s the charm.

6. Mad Max

Like James Cameron’s Avatar, despite having relative financial and critical success Mad Max the Game vanished from popular culture as quickly as it came. Many know of it, somehow few have played it. A huge shame, because there is no greater way to immerse yourself in the crazy, feral, punk vehicle world of the Mad Max movie series. The maps, the graphics and the combat - all fantastically executed and worthy of putting this game on your bucket list. 

5. NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139

A game that is as complex as it is brilliant, NieR is an action RPG set in a dangerous world reclaimed by nature and populated by dangerous Shades. As Nier, it’s up to you to adventure across this world to save your sister. One of the most successful games series that nobody you ask seems to be playing, NieR has a loyal fanbase who constantly praise the game’s inventive storytelling and commentary on other gaming genres.

4. The Last Guardian

What’s so special about this fantasy action-adventure game is the relationship between the protagonist, and your big feathered monster companion Trico. I would literally die for Trico, and the time you spend with him finding your way through the beautifully told story of this game is something you’ll never forget. The Last Guardian shares a director with Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, so the same melancholy and isolation might feel familiar.

3. Aragami 2

Aragami 2 perfectly captures the idea we all have in our heads of what it’d be like to be a badass ninja assassin. It’s up to you to save your clan, using your shadow powers to sneak around enemy encampments to take out enemies before they even know you were there. Skip the stealth if you want, but it makes things much more difficult - which in turn, makes figuring out and pulling off a great stealth plan all the more rewarding.

2. Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba: The Hinokami Chronicles

Based on a popular anime series, Demon Slayer covers the story in enough detail to catch up any newcomers. Although the fighter roster is quite limited compared to what we’ve come to expect from anime fighting arena games like Dragonball Z, the gameplay mechanics are easy to pick up, but difficult to master - creating an addictive gameplay loop that gets you absolutely hooked on improving your skills. 

1. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin 

Part side-scrolling hack and slash, part farming simulator, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin dares to be different. You play the role of Princess Sakuna, a spoiled goddess who after getting in trouble with her mother, is banished to Hinoe Island, where she’s charged with eliminating the demon population while looking after the human residents. It takes established video games tropes that on paper shouldn’t work, and somehow manages to combine them into one of the most uniquely enjoyable games of the year.

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