Unsure which next-gen launch game deserves your time? Here are the games that have TRG excited for November.
We are less than one month away from the launch of the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 and next-gen excitement in gaming circles is palpable! Despite the delay of Halo: Infinite, there are still plenty of awesome games coming to both systems at launch. So whether you’ve already snagged your fancy pants pre-order, or are planning on camping out for launch day, here are the games that have us at TRG pumped to play. While there are many more games coming in the “launch window”, we’ll only focus on the launch day highlights for each system in this article.
PlayStation 5 Exclusives
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Insomniac Games made grown men weep two years ago when they launched Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4. The industry veterans absolutely nailed the feel of Spider-Man and now they’re back; and they brought Miles with them. This abbreviated adventure promises a scope similar to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy… not quite a full length game, but packed with the Insomniac quality that we’ve come to expect. This time Miles Morales’ version of Spider-Man takes center stage and the combat aims to exemplify that. Players can expect to use Miles’ bio-electric venom strike as well as his camouflage ability to help take down enemies. With Spider-Man 2 sure to be on the horizon soon, this game should serve as a great story check-in before the big sequel.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
Developed by Sumo Digital, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a 1-4 player 3D platforming experience that veers off from the traditional Little Big Planet path. Gameplay appears to be much more direct and simple compared to it’s predecessors with clear inspiration derived from some of Nintendo’s best platforming work. Promised PS5 features include 3D audio and haptic controller feedback from when Sackboy runs across certain material types. As long as quality holds up, this one will be an easy recommendation for the entire family.
The “Masters of the Remaster”, Bluepoint Games, are at it again with yet another beautiful rendition of a beloved classic. Much like Shadow of the Colossus before it, Demon’s Souls tasks Bluepoint with a full visual remake that stands head and shoulders over the original’s graphics. If you’ve only recently discovered From Software’s “Souls” offerings, then you owe it to yourself to go back to where it all began with Demon’s Souls. This game is a perfect candidate for a modern upgrade since the original was not known for it’s technical achievements. Hallmark gameplay mechanics such as PvP combat and cooperative summons make their return as players new and old venture through the land of Boletaria.
From the creators of ABZÛ, The Pathless immediately grabbed me as a game to keep an eye on. Set on a mystical island, you control an archer who must forge a connection with your eagle companion to hunt corrupted spirits. Much like ABZÛ, (and it’s spiritual predecessor, Journey) players will solve puzzles and explore rich and serine environments. Unlike those two games, however, The Pathless will introduce epic battles which will also test your skills. Given Giant Squid’s pedigree and the return of Grammy nominated composer, Austin Wintory, The Pathless certainly belongs on your radar.
Xbox Series X/S Exclusives
Developed by a single man, Tomas Sala, The Falconeer aims to mix up the classic air combat formula. Players assume the role of an airborne warrior known as a Falconeer and dispatching a myriad of unique enemies will be the norm in this beautiful, 3rd-person action game. Boasting gorgeous ocean-based vistas and an open-world design, The Falconeer let’s you explore various factions and their settlements which will respond based on your actions. Toss in upgradable gear and mounts and The Falconeer might just hold your attention longer than expected.
Tetris Effect: Connected
While Tetris is no stranger to any seasoned gamer, Xbox fans might not be as familiar with this fantastic entry into the franchise. Developed by two Japanese studios, Monstars and Resonair, Tetris Effect attempts to place players deeper into the experience. What experience, you ask? Certainly Tetris requires no further refinement or perfection… and you would be correct. The “experience” is an audio/visual one. Unlike past Tetris games, which might have their own spin on traditional rules, Tetris Effect wants to drown you in what ends up being additive dimensions of musical and visual cues. What Tetris Effect: Connected offers, is everything mentioned above, plus all new multiplayer and an optimized single player experience. As long as servers are stable and populated, this game deserves plenty of play time on your new Xbox.
The Ascent is a solo or co-op action RPG set in a cyberpunk world and it might just be the perfect launch game. It looks to scratch a similar itch as the PS4 launch game, Resogun, albeit via a different genre. The mega-corporation, The Ascent Group, has fallen and it’s up to the player to discover the truth of what happened. Exploring any of the numerous vibrant districts can yield loot and customizable upgrades for your character. If developer Neon Giant can make the combat enjoyable and rewarding, then The Ascent might be the dark horse for best next-gen launch game.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Sega has already released Yakuza: Like A Dragon on PS4 in Japan, but Xbox gets the timed exclusivity for next-gen systems. Following new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, Yakuza: Like A Dragon also mixes up the combat formula. It swaps out the traditional real-time beat ’em up style with a turn-based, RPG style complete with it’s own job system. Long time fans should expect the usual Yakuza storytelling antics to be present and accounted for here. With recent Yakuza titles landing on Game Pass, Xbox players can prime themselves for what looks like a wacky take on the Yakuza series.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
While there’s admittedly some trepidation with this one, given we’ve not seen a whole lot of gameplay for it yet, we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt considering how good Origins and Odyssey were. Ubisoft seems to be on an Assassin’s Creed roll and the viking backdrop is a great space to explore for the franchise. Another reason for hope is that Ubisoft Montreal, their primary development house, is leading development on this entry. Expect lots of brutal combat, a wide array of enemy archetypes and even some settlement building packed into the latest entry in the AC series.
Developer Codemasters has gone to great lengths to push the boundaries of the next-gen hardware and all of it’s processing power. For those with the right TV/monitor, a 120fps option will be available on both consoles. A 4 player split-screen mode and an all new Playgrounds mode pepper the usual Dirt offerings. An enhanced Career mode featuring the voice talents of Troy Baker and Nolan North will also be packed into the game. The Dirt series has always been hailed for it’s quality, but it’s staring down a great opportunity to win over new fans since it’s essentially the only next-gen racing game at launch.
Watch Dogs: Legion
From Ubisoft Toronto comes Watch Dogs: Legion, Ubisoft’s third stab at the Watch Dogs franchise. This time corruption is rising in a near future London and players can expect to build a resistance to fight back against private military and the organized criminal underground. Readers may remember the fantastic first impression Watch Dogs: Legion had at E3 2019 when Ubisoft showed off gameplay of players taking on the role of an elderly woman who packed a taser and plenty of sass! We’ll keep on eye on how this game reviews at launch, but if you’ve got an open-world itch, Watch Dogs: Legion might just satisfy that.
These are just some of the games we’re excited for here at TRG. Let us know, Deer Reader, which next-gen games have you smashing the pre-order button?