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Editorial

Top 5 Single Player Games to Look Out For in May

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It’s another month, and that means it’s time for the list of the Top 5 Single Player Games to Look Out For in May. It’s still the “slow” time of year for video game releases, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few big titles in this list. As a matter of fact, at least one of these Top 5 Single Player Games titles will keep some gamers busy for months. I usually try to use these late spring and early summer months to catch up on my backlog, but it always seems like there’s at least one new game I have to squeeze in.

Maybe it’s because it’s almost summer, but it does seem like there are a lot of big multiplayer games coming out this month. As a matter of fact, many of the games on this Top 5 Single Player Games list have a significant multiplayer element too but while there might not be a lot of big single-player games coming out in May, there is a wide assortment. From a first-person shooter to a turn-based strategy game, there really is something for almost everybody this month. Speaking of first person shooters, I’m starting this list off with an iconic reboot.

Top 5, single player, Doom

Doom

(May 13 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC)

Doom is an iconic franchise, and the original game is considered by many as the first modern shooter. Originally released for MS-Dos in 1993, this game was the birthplace of the original space marine. As I mentioned previously, the new game is a reboot of the original and features a similar narrative. This time, the Union Aerospace Corporation’s massive research facility on Mars has been overwhelmed by demons, and you’re the only person that stands between their world and ours. Of course it’s your job to kill them all.

Doom’s narrative might not be complex and nuanced, but the developers have promised a lengthy campaign mode. Unlike many first-person shooters, Doom doesn’t want players to cautiously move between cover points. The new game will feature a “push forward combat” mechanic that will encourage a more aggressive play style. Remember, Doom is the birthplace of the BFG after all. To support that emphasis on momentum and speed, a melee system has also been added. For the fearless, the campaign will also include an “Ultra-Nightmare” difficulty level with permadeath.

Top 5, single player, Total War, Warhammer

Total War: Warhammer

(May 24 for PC)

Just because Total War: Warhammer is the tenth title in Sega’s Total War series doesn’t mean there’s nothing new here. The long-running strategy game series typically highlights historical events with its combination of real-time tactical control, resource management, and turn-based strategy mechanics. Total War: Warhammer marks the series’ first step into the fantasy world and does it in a big way with the inclusion of characters from the well-known Warhammer universe. Player-controlled characters from the Empire, the Greenskins, the Dwarfs, or the Vampire Counts can be either monsters, warriors, or heroes.

Total War: Warhammer should be a fantasy strategy game of legendary proportions. For the first time in a Total War game, players will be able to harness storms of magical power and take to the skies with wyverns, griffons, and even dragons. Crafted from a twisted magical landscape and populated with an incredible array of awesome and deadly creatures, Total War: Warhammer is your chance to experience fantasy strategy on a scale as yet unimagined. This game will provide literally hundreds of hours of gameplay – and by the way, it’s just the first chapter of a planned trilogy.

Top 5, single player, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan

(May 24 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC)

It’s easy to be hesitant about another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, but Mutants in Manhattan has the chance to be something really great. In addition to having been developed by Platinum Games, it also features an original story written by Tom Waltz, the IDW comic writer and editor, and its art style is based on long time TMNT comic artist Mateus Santolouco. In case you forgot, Platinum Games is the same company that developed the action-packed Bayonetta, and I can’t think of a better team to handle a game like this.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan will let players take the role of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael, with the remaining three being A.I. controlled. That can be switched, on the fly, in case you need a change or to utilize one of the other turtle’s various special abilities. There is also an RPG element where “Battle Points” can be spent to upgrade each of those turtles’ abilities. The overall, cell-shaded presentation is really reminiscent of the old cartoons, but it’s also heavily inspired by the newer Nickelodeon cartoon and comics. It looks like it could be just the right mix of old and new.

Top 5, single player, Mighty no 9

Mighty No. 9 – Now releasing June 21st (5/2/2016)

(May 31 for Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One)

It seems like I’ve been hearing about the crowdsourced Mighty No. 9 for forever now. Well, the retro side-scroller is finally coming out, at least for the home video game consoles. The Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PC versions are still in development. Created by Keiji Inafune and an all-star team of veteran Mega Man developers, Mighty No. 9 is essentially a modern and more polished take on the retro games that Inafune-san has been making all along.

In Mighty No. 9, players will take control of Beck, the ninth in a line of powerful robots, in a world where a computer virus has caused all technology to go berserk. You’ll run, jump, and blast from level to level, and gain enemies’ powers by stealing their weapons and abilities. Despite your console preference, you should seriously consider opting for the PlayStation 4 version of Mighty No. 9. It is a cross-buy title, which means the PS4 copies will include a voucher for downloadable versions of both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions of title when they are available.

Top 5, single player, Uncharted 4, A Thief's End

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

(May 10 for PlayStation 4)

 The final title on this list will actually be released first and is the one I’m personally looking forward to the most. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is set several years after the last game with a now retired Nathan Drake. Of course, PlayStation’s iconic fortune hunter is forced back into action into what will be his final and greatest adventure. The action-adventure game’s mechanics have all been overhauled for a more powerful platform in the PlayStation 4, and there are even dialogue options this time around. The cinematic adventure will also run natively at 1080p.

It is worth noting that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has a new creative director, in The Last of Us’ Neil Druckman. This will undoubtedly change the series’ tone, at least somewhat. As it is, much of the pre-release talk has been about the narrative, and its more personal tone. With such a focus on inner conflict and growth, I think it’s safe to assume the game will have a slightly more mature tone. All in all, the improved gameplay and more mature narrative really have me optimistic about Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

Even though I referred to May as a somewhat slow month, I did still have a few additional notable titles that I was unable to include in my Top 5 Single Player Games list. Also due out this month are a couple of remasters. The Dead Island: Definitive Edition will be released at the end of the month and will include fully remastered versions of the original Dead Island, Dead Island: Riptide, and the 16bit-styled Dead Island: Retro Revenge. If Japanese, tactical role-playing games are more your speed, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered will be out on May 17. Sega’s World War II inspired PS3 game will run at 60 frames-per-second in full 1080p on the new PlayStation 4 version.

Getting closer to the summer, it does seem like the bigger releases are multiplayer. Highly anticipated, both Gearbox’s Battleborn, and Blizzard’s Overwatch drop this month and will likely suck up much of the gaming press air. Of course, that’s the point of our list, to help you cut through all of the hype and get information on the games that really matter to you.

 

What are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to follow us on Twitter (@Official_OnlySP) and Facebook where you can also sound off your opinions.

The opinions in this editorial are the author’s and do not represent OnlySP as an organization.

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Editorial

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

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Three Single Player Games (July 2019) - Sea of Solitude, Fire Emblem Three Houses, Wolfenstein Youngblood

July, the middle of winter down here in Australia. Even in the bizarre New South Wales climate, the biting cold makes for a great excuse to stay inside and play games. 

Weirdly for single players, quite a few prestige games this month include additional co-op modes. With acclaimed designers behind them, such games will hopefully avoid the pitfalls of accommodating multiple players, as too many games have done in the past.

Sea of Solitude

Release Date: July 5, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

At first blush, Sea of Solitude looks like yet another story of a young adult struggling with questions of identity and mental health while exploring a beautiful but harsh fantasy world.

Actually, that’s what it is. ‘Quirky, life affirming indie adventure’ is a whole cottage industry these days, but the fact that such games are now more prevalent should never dismay.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a masterpiece of refined design and storytelling, and Sea of Solitude appears be something similar—this time dealing with a fantastical vision of depression that turns ordinary people into literal monsters.

Players take charge of Kay, who has sought out the eponymous Sea—or rather, a flooded city based on Berlin—in the hope that there is a cure for monstrosity. However, despite its name, she is not the only person in the Sea. Avoiding the other monsters of the Sea seems to be a major part of the gameplay. These tense encounters are likely to provide rhythm and variety to the adventure and keep it from being a just walking simulator. (Not that being a walking simulator is inherently a problem.)

Although published by EA Originals, one would do well to remember that EA the company does not actually profit off the Originals that they publish. With a focused story and themes that still are not often explored in bigger games, Sea of Solitude should be of great interest to single player fans in a month otherwise dominated by multiplayer titles.

 

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platform: Nintendo Switch

Almost certainly the biggest single player release of the month, and tied with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 as another massive Switch exclusive, Fire Emblem: Three Houses might be exactly what single players need right now.

Lately the Fire Emblem franchise has exploded in both its popular profile and sales success, buoyed by a hunger for both deep anime RPGs and polished tactics games. Three Houses seems to have doubled down on exciting trends and features in both genres: particularly a Persona/Harry Potter inspired magic school setting and an even deeper tactical battle system that ditches the rock-paper-scissors for more nuanced character progression options. As with many Japanese RPGs, the story is also a major focus and hinges upon a time-jump.

The early part casts the player as a teacher at the Officer’s Academy, situated in the center of the game world and attended by students from the three most powerful nations. Five years later, the second and likely larger part concerns the drama between the player’s teacher and their former students, whose nations are now locked in a massive three-way conflict.

As is to be expected for a series finally coming back to consoles after a long time on the 3DS, Three Houses is a massive technical leap over its predecessors. The game boasts better realised battlefields, more detailed armies, and a slick animated style that appears much more consistent compared with the three or four different art styles on the 3DS.

With such improvements, as well as the overall pedigree of the Fire Emblem brand, Three Houses should have no trouble satisfying single player fans looking for a meaty middle-of-the-year RPG.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

The recent Wolfenstein revival series is such a remarkable achievement in traditional shooter design and great, if goofy, sci-fi worldbuilding that the co-op focus of this latest instalment is somewhat disappointing.

Yes, as with F.E.A.R. 3 and Dead Space 3, following a well-received second chapter the Wolfenstein series now pivots to a co-operative focused chapter. Though the game is not a mandatory multiplayer experience, combat encounters and puzzles have been redesigned to accommodate the two player mode, giving single players an AI-controlled partner and bullet sponge enemies.

However, all hope is not lost for Wolfenstein: why else would it be the third game on the list? The narrative has been pushed forward in time, as B.J.’s twin daughters are now in their adolescence, now giving players a glimpse at the 1980s of Wolfenstein‘s skewed universe. Additionally, the level design itself is more freeform thanks to development assistance from Arkane, the developers of the Dishonored series.

Will Wolfenstein: Youngblood successfully deliver more of the series’s goofy charm and crazy alternate reality? Almost certainly. On the other hand, will the game be as fun to play alone as in multiplayer? That remains to be seen. Last month’s E3 demo that raised such concerns was naturally only a snapshot of a game in development, so MachineGames and Arkane have had plenty of time to resolve these potential downsides to a co-op focused game.

Those are our three big single player games to look out for this month. Other interesting titles coming soon include Stranger Things 3 on July 4 and Attack on Titan 2 on July 5, both games hitting Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

On July 12 we will see the sequel to an almost-fantastic Minecraft-like RPG spinoff, Dragon Quest Builders 2 on Switch and PlayStation 4, as well as the Switch port of “anime Monster Hunter”, God Eater 3

The week after, July 19 brings us Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, and at an undetermined time during the month Klei Entertainment’s anticipated survival-sim Oxygen Not Included will finally leave early access on PC.

Have we missed anything that you’re looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below and be sure bookmark OnlySP and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also join the discussion in our community Discord server.

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