DualShockers PlayStation 4 & Xbox One Buyer’s Guide: Next-Gen Launch Titles

DualShockers PlayStation 4 & Xbox One Buyer’s Guide: Next-Gen Launch Titles

Update: Thanks to the surprise announcement concerning Watch_Dogs‘ delay until 2014, I removed it from my Launch Title Buyer’s Guide for obvious reasons. You can now find the game’s entry in the Early 2014 Next-Gen Titles piece.

Update 2: It seems another game has been delayed until 2014, this time the PS4 only Driveclub. I removed the entry from this article as I did Watch_Dogs, but you can read up on it in the Early 2014 Next-Gen Titles article instead.

Picking which console to buy at launch can be a daunting task, to say the least. Even if you want all of them, finances might not allow that option. So now what? Well, first off, it helps your decision to know what games will be coming out at launch for each console.

So in order to make your choice an easier one this holiday season, here are the Day One launch and Holiday 2013 titles for PS4 and Xbox One. For reference, the PS4 is slated for a November 15th release date for North America and a November 29th release for Europe. The Xbox One will be released on November 22nd for North America and most of Europe.


PlayStation 4 Exclusives



DC Universe Online
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment/WB Games

The ambitious super-hero MMO, DC Universe Online, will be making a pit-stop on the next-gen train via the Playstation 4. It debuted with generally positive reviews but overall received a lukewarm reception. The game has great voice-acting, an intriguing premise, faithfully reproduced settings and easy to learn combat. Hopefully the PS4 release in November will lead to an even greater expansion of players.



Killzone: Shadow Fall
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: First-Person Shooter

Killzone: Shadow Fall is the sixth installment of the Killzone franchise and the first to come out for next-gen. An ambitious title with next-gen graphics, it is also stated to explore the series’ signature antagonists “The Helghast” like never before. Two veteran actors–David Harewood, who played deputy director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center in Homeland, and Jamie Gray Hyder, who plays the werewolf Danielle in True Blood–will be playing Vektan Security Agency Director Sinclair and Helghast intelligence operative Echo, respectively.



Developer: SCE Japan Studio
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre: Platformer/Action

Lead Architect of the PS4 and PS Vita, Mark Cerny, serves as the game director for this platformer/action. The protagonist Knack can absorb relics into his own body, turning him from a three-foot nothing into a hulking war machine. The gameplay is similar to old-style 3D platformers like Crash Bandicoot, as well as to action games like God of War (without the gore and non-existent morals of course).



Developer/Publisher: Digital Extremes
Genre: Third-Person Shooter

A free-to-play third-person with very impressive graphics. Up to four players work together in various types of missions. The characters are wearing a special type of suit called a Warframe (hence the title), with each one having unique abilities. So far the PC beta version has a 69 Metacritic score, but that’s of course only the beta. The launch of the PS4 version should hopefully be vastly improved.


War Thunder
Developer/Publisher: Gaijin Entertainment
Genre: MMO/Combat Flight Simulator

A MMO and flight simulator game that uses historic aircrafts, armored vehicles and ships spanning from pre-WWII era to Korean War era. Most maps in the game are also based off of historical settings from those same time periods. There are several modes including Arcade Battle, Historical Battle and Full Real Battle.


Xbox One Exclusives



Dead Rising 3
Developer: Capcom Vancouver
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Survival Horror

The third in the popular Dead Rising series. Like previous installments, you play as the protagonist (this time mechanic Nick Ramos) as he tries to survive a zombie apocalypse. The game takes place in an open world environment much larger than in 1 or 2 and three times the zombies can be rendered on-screen. Unlike the first two games, however, this one aims to be far more serious and gritty. The judge is out on whether the serious-turned plot will help or hinder Dead Rising 3.


Forza Motorsport 5 - Xbox Cloud

Forza Motorsport 5
Developer: Turn 10 Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Sim Racing

The fifth installment in the Forza Motorsport series. Motorsport 5 continues the racing-sim tradition of the franchise and includes 55 confirmed cars from over 30 manufactures. The game is a much more realistic take on racing games, with gameplay distinct from competitor PS4’s Driveclub.



Developer: Twisted Pixel Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Light Cycle Racing

LocoCycle is a completely different kind of racing game that stars a sentient motorcycle named I.R.I.S. Her antagonist is a motorbike named S.P.I.K.E. (totally not evil sounding). I.R.I.S. knows over 40 kinds of martial arts (used for melee) and if you’ve watched a gameplay trailer, drags along her poor mechanic, who can also help with combos. The motorcycles look very similar to the light cycles in Tron, which is a cool touch.



Killer Instinct
Developer: Double Helix Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Fighting

This new title in the long dead Killer Instinct franchise from the mid-90s looks to revamp the series while keeping true to the core mechanics. A free demo version will be available at launch with only the character Jago (pictured above on the right) playable–you can also download two other versions for a price, which includes eight other characters.



Ryse: Son of Rome
Developer: Crytek
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Action-Adventure

In Ryse, you play as a Roman general in command of an infantry. During the course of the game, you give them various battle commands depending on the situation, as well as take part in combat personally via quick time events. The game’s map is incredibly expansive and the graphics are impressive, to say the least.


Project Spark
Developer: Team Dakota
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Game Maker

Project Spark is one of the most unique titles to come out this holiday season. It’s a game maker software that uses the Kinect and Smartglass (a companion app) to allow the user to build and edit levels, essentially creating their own gaming experience. Project Spark is also compatible with Xbox 360 and Windows 8.


Crimson Dragon
Developer: Grounding, Inc./Land Ho! Co. Ltd.
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Genre: Rail Shooter

A spiritual successor to the Panzer Dragoon series, this game focuses on a large group of humans that have recently colonized a planet and learned how to ride and control the dragons living on it. The game features six types of dragons, over 100 skills and three-player online co-op.


Multi-platform Games


Assassin's Creed IV(2)

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action-Adventure/Stealth

Black Flag is the sixth major installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, a sequel to 2012’s Assassin’s Creed III modern story and a prequel to its historical storyline. This iteration takes place during the age of the pirates and will feature far more exploration than in previous titles. The game world is made up of various types of locales with a 60/40 split between land and ocean exploration.


Battlefield 4 - Inside Car

Battlefield 4
Developers: DICE
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First-Person Shooter

Battlefield 4‘s main draw is the gameplay mechanic of maps becoming greatly altered after certain events occur, which are called Levolutions. The famous scene of the skyscraper collapsing in the “Siege of Shanghai” section is a prime example of what a Levolution entails. Multiplayer maps also have many of these, as well as other new gameplay features.


Call of Duty: Ghosts - Box Art
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activision
Genre: First-Person Shooter

The tenth installment of the Call of Duty series looks to shake up the formula in a big way. This title will feature a more character-driven and emotional plotline. The single and multiplayer gameplay is also set to have significant changes as well, such as being more team-based, and of course the infamous addition of a squad dog named Riley.


Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA Sports
Genre: Sports

The new version of FIFA looks to improve both graphics and gameplay, as well as add new mechanics such as Pure Shot and Real Ball physics. The AI has also been improved in order to make players behave more like human soccer/football players.


Just Dance 2014
Developer/Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Rhythm

Just Dance 2014 continues where the previous titles left, featuring more songs and a new feature called On-Stage Mode. In this mode, one player takes the role as lead dancer and the other players must be the back-up dancers. The Wii U version gets its very own Party Master Mode, where one player uses the Wii U GamePad to change the game’s rules, current song and specific moves for up to four other players. Definitely a game for the whole family.


LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Developer: TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Action-Adventure

While gameplay is similar to previous Lego games, the real draw is being able to play as one of the many iconic Marvel superheroes. The plot is the usual non-serious and hilarious fare and, judging from previous entries, should still feature solid action and puzzle gameplay.


Madden NFL 25
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Genre: Sports

The next-gen console versions of Madden NFL 25 have several advantages over the current-gen counterparts, including a more accurate player-character foot tracking, the new IGNITE game engine, which can track all on-field players simultaneously in order to predict path collisions, and more player animations. The next-gen versions will also include exclusive features, such as improvements to pass blocking.


2K14 (2)
NBA 2K14
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Sports
Genre: Sports

2K14 comes back this year with LeBron James serving not only as the cover athlete but also the music curator for the game. 2K14 has newly updated shooting and dribbling mechanics and the popular Crew Mode makes a returns. Finally, Euroleague teams are in this year’s game, which is a series first.


NBA Live 14
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Genre: Sports

Live 14 will be the latest installment of the NBA Live series, which has not seen a series release since NBA Live 10 in 2009 and the canceled (for consoles) video game NBA Elite 11. It will feature the new IGNITE engine developed by EA for next-gen games, which is also being used for the next-gen version of Madden 25.


Skylanders: Swap Force
Skylanders: Swap Force
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Platformer

The third installment of the Skylanders franchise, featuring similar gameplay to previous titles. A new feature is the swappable model, in which the sixteen new characters have top and bottom halves that can be separated from each other and recombined with the halves from other characters, for a total of 256 combinations. Another new feature is that each half has one of eight distinct ways of moving. These different movement types are necessary to enter certain side areas in the game.