Connect with us

Editorial

Single-Player Suggestions for November 2017

Published

 on

November

After the excesses of October, November is much more relaxed in terms of new game releases. Few true exclusives are launching this month, but that just means the treasures are shared more equally. Nevertheless, each platform has at least one game certain to excite fans above all else.

PlayStation

The Inpatient

The only exclusive to make this month’s list, The Inpatient is the latest project from Supermassive Games, a developer with a growing reputation for inventive and intriguing titles. Perhaps best known for 2015’s horror-centric interactive drama Until Dawn, the team has returned to the setting of that game for this PSVR prequel.

The Inpatient has players checking in to the Blackwood Sanatorium with amnesia, which sets in motion a series of events that promise to provide a chilling psychological-horror experience. The first-person viewpoint is essential to immersion, and the developers are enhancing the atmosphere through binaural audio, which was used to great effect earlier this year in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Furthermore, NPCs will respond to voice prompts from the player, with the intention of generating a sense of realism.

Alongside this range of innovations, The Inpatient will adopt the same choice-driven narrative style displayed in Until Dawn, as well as the development team’s more recent thriller Hidden Agenda. After Until Dawn: Rush of Blood departed from the original game’s formula for a rollercoaster horror/shooter, The Inpatient should be an intriguing return to form for the series and a brilliant new addition to the controversial interactive drama genre.

The Inpatient is scheduled for release on PlayStation VR on November 21.

Xbox

Star Wars: Battlefront II

Two years ago, EA and DICE released the Star Wars: Battlefront reboot and suffered considerable criticism for the lack of a single-player campaign. The developers and publishers appear to have listened to that feedback, ensuring that the upcoming sequel will have a full campaign that promises to delve deeply into a previously unseen part of the Star Wars story (at least according to Disney’s canon). Whether the new release will include the bot-based single-player arena modes from the previous game has not yet been made clear.

Star Wars: Battlefront II picks up immediately after the destruction of the second Death Star, casting players as Iden Versio, an elite Imperial soldier dedicated to fulfilling Emperor Palpatine’s orders. Few details about her journey have been revealed, but the story will span approximately 30 years, ending with the destruction of the Starkiller Base from The Force Awakens. Alongside providing a rarely-seen perspective, the campaign will also allow players to step into the shoes of iconic characters from the Star Wars franchise, with Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren having been name-dropped in the past.

Although DICE is billed as the primary developer, the campaign is reportedly being led by Motive Studios, a team founded in 2015 by former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond. Unlike DICE, Motive Studios is previously untested, but has spent the last two years building a talented team.  Additional work is being provided by Burnout developer Criterion Games, though the extent of its involvement has not been clarified.

The recent closure of Visceral Games has caused controversy and cast a cloud over Battlefront II, but the narrative and gameplay should be strong enough to overcome the concerns of some, at least. With the Frostbite engine being an industry leader in terms of sheer fidelity, the Xbox One X version is almost guaranteed to be a visual revelation, but the title will also be available on PC and PlayStation 4 from November 17.

PC

Black Mirror

The Black Mirror franchise has flown under the radar since its inception in 2003, but THQ Nordic is attempting to give it new life with this unexpected reboot. Although drawing inspiration from the previous incarnations in its gameplay and psychological-horror themes, Black Mirror will tell a standalone story to invite new players into its unsettling world.

Black Mirror is set in Scotland during the interwar period and features a man named David Gordon visiting his family home for the first time. The journey is inspired by the recent suicide of David’s father, an event soaked in mystery and madness. Although featuring horror themes, Black Mirror is expected to eschew the monsters and visceral terrors usually associated with the genre in favour of psychological unease similar to that found in the works of Edgar Allan Poe. These themes will emerge through classic point-and-click-style gameplay, with players also able to interact with ghostly apparitions at certain points.

Announced in August this year, Black Mirror lacks the marketing hype of the other games on this list, but that fact should not discount its potential. Publisher THQ Nordic has recently been making waves with products including Battle Chasers: Nightwar, Elex, and the upcoming Biomutant, while developer KING Art has been responsible for the positively-received The Book of Unwritten Tales series. The pedigree is not enough to eclipse the likes of Star Wars or Call of Duty, but Black Mirror should be able to occupy a comfortable, mid-tier niche.

The classic gameplay is unlikely to appeal to a large segment of the modern audience, but for players looking for a slightly more relaxed experience this month, Black Mirror will be hard to pass up when it releases on PC, as well as PS4 and Xbox One on November 28.

Nintendo

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim is a gift that simply never stops giving. Originally released in 2011 to rapturous acclaim, the game was re-released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last year and now makes its long-awaited arrival on Nintendo hardware.

For most, Skyrim will need no introduction, but for anyone living under a rock, players assume the role of a legendary hero as an ancient evil descends on the world of Tamriel. Since its initial release, the game has been vaunted for its freedom and almost unique ability to immerse the player in its world. The Switch launch brings the full experience to a handheld platform, but the real draw is an exclusive outfit that allows the Dovahkiin to dress up as The Legend of Zelda’s Link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7980ZPK8Dg

While the other platforms on this list are relatively short on new releases this month, November is a blockbuster for the Switch, which will also receive 2016’s Doom, Batman: The Telltale Series, L.A. Noire, Rime, and Resident Evil: Revelations 1 and 2. Those releases will be spread out across the month, though Skyrim will be available on November 17.


 

Of course, these selections are based on our opinions and yours may be different. If so, why not let us know what you are most looking forward to in November?

Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

Editorial

Three Single-Player Games to Watch Out for in May 2019

Published

 on

May

May offers no respite from the big, bold games that have released so far in 2019, bringing with it a host of games almost certain to appeal to gamers of every stripe.

Close to the Sun

Release Date: May 2, 2019
Platforms: PC, consoles later in the year

May’s first major release may also be its most intriguing. Close to the Sun has regularly attracted comparisons to BioShock for its art style and premise, though the relationship between the two titles is, at best, spiritual.

Players take the role of journalist Rose Archer as she steps aboard Nikola Tesla’s ship, the Helios in 1897. Like Andrew Ryan before him (or after him, depending on perspective), Tesla has created a microcosm in which scientific freedom is unrestricted, with disastrous outcomes. Rose’s first impression is of a quarantine sign at the entrance to a still, dead ship, but she presses on regardless in search of her lost sister.

With Close to the Sun, developer Storm in a Teacup aims to provide an intense horror experience. The Helios holds none of BioShock’s shotguns or Plasmids. Instead, players have no means to defend themselves, with gameplay focusing on hiding from and escaping the threats on board.

Check out OnlySP’s final review of the game here.

RAGE 2

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

For anyone to whom the slow, meditative approach does not appeal, Bethesda is busting out the big guns with the long-awaited, little-expected sequel, RAGE 2.

This time around, id Software has tapped Just Cause and Mad Max developer Avalanche Studios for assistance in developing an open-world game. The result, if the trailers are any indication, is a breakneck, neon-fuelled experience that focuses on insanity and ramps up all the unique aspects of the earlier game.

One focal point of development has been ensuring the interconnectedness of the game’s structure, and the teams have promised a greater focus on narrative this time around. Perhaps in keeping with that, RAGE 2 is being distanced from its predecessor, taking place 30 years later with a new protagonist and a whole new story, though some callbacks will be present.

Although id’s legendary first-person gunplay is a driving force throughout the game, it will be supplemented by some light RPG elements, robust vehicular combat, and post launch challenges and support (though the developers deny that RAGE 2 is designed with a games-as-a-service model in mind).

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Out on the same day as RAGE 2 is the vastly different A Plague Tale: Innocence. A historical adventure, the game challenges players with overcoming obstacles with brains rather than brawn.

Players become Amicia, an orphan girl struggling to survive in a plague-infested medieval France while also keeping her younger brother safe. With the landscape rife with rats and members of The Inquisition, one of the core tenets of gameplay is reportedly the need to use these threats against each other. As such, though Amicia has a sling to use, the gameplay is designed more as survival puzzles than combat ones.

Developer Asobo Studio is not a household name, though it has a lengthy history of adaptations and support on major titles, including Quantum Break and The Crew 2. Furthermore, even though A Plague Tale is yet to release, publisher Focus Home Interactive has displayed remarkable confidence in the project by extending its partnership with Asobo.

Honourable Mentions

Although RAGE 2 is the incontestable action-blockbuster of the month, gamers in search of another kind of frenetic may want to wait until May 21, when Curve Digital drops American Fugitive, which has a more than passing resemblance to the earliest Grand Theft Auto games. Alternatively, PlayStation VR owners may want to look into Blood and Truth come May 28.

Sega also shines this month, dropping Team Sonic Racing on May 21 and Total War: Three Kingdoms two days later.

Anyone looking for an RPG has indie’s answer to The Outer Worlds, Within the Cosmos, to look out for on May 30, while those looking for slower stories get the latest episode of Life is Strange 2 on May 9, Observation on May 21, and the fjord-noir Draugen at a yet unspecified date.

Have we forgotten anything that you’re excited for? Let us know down below or on our Discord server.

Continue Reading