This holiday season, you will have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to your gaming purchases. With software libraries finally growing for both the PS4 and Xbox One, consumers finally have the opportunity to pick and choose from a variety of genres and franchises.
Square Enix is one of the industry’s publishers that has taken a dive into the new-generation of gaming with no fear. Leading off the year in 2014, Square Enix released the new-generation version of the massively popular game, Tomb Raider. The Definitive Edition packed together all of the game’s DLC and provided some incredibly stunning visuals.
Next up, Square launched the reboot iteration for the beloved Thief franchise. This game was released back in February of this year and marked the publisher’s first new-generation game that was not an HD remake.
With a new-generation of consoles always comes new franchises and IP. Square Enix took a risk with the mystery game Murdered: Soul Suspect and ended up with one of the most unique games of the year. The fourth game we are going to take a look at today is Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition. This game was arguably one of the best we saw in all of 2012 and Square decided to remaster it for the new-generation of gaming.
The last game we’ll shine a light on is the yet to be released sequel called Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. The first installment in the series was Guardian of Light and it provided such a fresh take on one of gaming’s richest and most important franchises. We will finally see the sequel to this game launch this coming Dec. 9.
The newest-generation of gaming is now done with its first year and here are five phenomenal offerings that you should consider for your PS4 and Xbox One this holiday season.
‘Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition’
Tomb Raider is arguably one of the most historical gaming franchises in the industry. Spanning the course of a number of generations, the series has amassed one of the most enthusiastic fans bases period. Square Enix sought to give Lara Croft a rebirth of sorts when it released the 2013 hit Tomb Raider.
It only seemed fitting to bring what was one of the best games of 2013 to the new-generation of consoles on PS4 and Xbox One. Square did just that this past January and when it brought Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, to a very thin PS4 and Xbox One library.
The world of Tomb Raider is vast, detailed, gorgeous and treacherous. The verticality of the game is marvelous and really creates an immersive sense of danger at every turn. Players will almost be relieved they’ve entered into a cold, dark, grimy cave just to be able to say they can’t see a 100 drop of death.
Lara has a wide range of abilities that players can upgrade through acquired salvage and experience points that are earned. These elements really allow players to express their play style through how they upgrade Lara’s skills. From weapons, to new abilities, there is plenty of ground for players to cover.
The world of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is almost a character in and of itself. Its cliffs and wildlife are almost as dangerous as the psychotic enemies that occupy its space. Crystal Dynamics did a fabulous job of creating a place that cradles players at every turn.
When you think about the best games you can find on the PS4 and Xbox One this holiday season, you can’t avoid thinking about Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition. Even though it was released back in 2013, it’s the perfect compliment to any complete gaming collection.
It had been years since we saw an installment in the Thief series. This past year, Square Enix finally brought back one of the most infamous stealth franchises in gaming history.
Delivering a fantastic new take on the long-running series, Thief does a magnificent job of implementing innovative, new stealth features that help embellish the feeling of needing to be careful. Carelessness is not rewarded throughout your time in Thief, and it’s crucial to mind your surroundings.
With a variety of weapons and equipment to choose from, Thief allows players the chance to truly express themselves through their gameplay choices. Exploration is a key part of Thief and the game does a great job of rewarding players for their sense of adventure. Look and wander, you will be glad you did, but make sure you are not found out.
The world in which Thief is set in has a certain charm to it. The lack of bright, diverse colors enhances the already evident feel of exploring a dim, dark world. The tone of it all is set very well and players will truly be able to appreciate its mood from start to finish.
When we look at Thief, sure there are some places the game could be better, but it is still an exceptional stealth experience and one that many players should consider this holiday season. Thief is available on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
‘Murdered: Soul Suspect’
Murdered: Soul Suspect was released this past June by Square Enix. It was developed by Airtight Games and while it wasn’t met with widespread critical acclaim, it still does some revolutionary things for the mystery genre. Set in Salem, Oregon, Murdered: Soul Suspect puts players in the shoes of Detective Ronan O’Connor.
As fate has it, O’Connor is flung out of a window, sending him crashing down to the pavement below, which is where his eventual killer ends his life. The journey does not end for O’Connor and for players though, he is revived as a ghost and players are tasked with finding out the truth behind his own murder.
Airtight employed a number of interesting systems in the game, with the investigating being at the forefront of that. Players are forced to think and choose on an intimate level, creating an enjoyable, yet trying experience.
Although Salem isn’t the biggest world for players to explore, it is dense with rich content at every turn. Side content helps players uncover new details about the game’s story and background, making for a stronger feeling of immersion. As much as the characters help bring the world of Salem alive, the city itself does a fine job of embellishing everything players experience. You’ll notice this especially as you explore the town.
Murdered: Soul Suspect is available now for PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. You should check out your nearest gaming retailer to see what Black Friday offerings they have. Murdered: Soul Suspect would be a great, diverse addition to any gaming collection.
‘Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition’
Back in 2012, Square Enix released what was easily the best open-world game of the year. In fact, it could’ve been said that the game was one of the best to release in all of 2012, genre not-withstanding. The title we are referring to is of course Sleeping Dogs.
For nearly two years, however, the industry heard nothing about what happened with this series until Square Enix broke the silence. The publisher announced Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition for the new-generation of consoles, which was quite fitting.
Fans may be crossing their fingers for a Sleeping Dogs sequel, but the Definitive Edition of the game is certainly something great to tide you over in the meantime. The world of Hong Kong has been completely remastered and it looks stunning, especially in the rain. The city is far more dense and does a fine job of creating a groggy, foggy atmosphere.
There is also all of the original game’s DLC to be enjoyed as well. Nightmare in North Point is probably the best piece of DLC and it is available with the Definitive Edition.
The combat that was found in the original 2012 release is still as incredible as it was then. Sleeping Dogs brought some of the most brutal environmental attacks we’ve seen in years, but developers implemented them in a very entertaining way.
Side content is endless and gives hours and hours of other fun objectives for players to complete. When we think about the plot of the story, Wei Shen and his supporting cast of characters are all brilliant. It’s probably one of the best open-world plots we’ve enjoyed in a while.
Open-world games are always fantastic ways to add games to your library that bring value. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is one of the best open-world games you can find on the new-generation of consoles.
‘Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris’
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was originally introduced back in 2010. It was met with critical acclaim and fan adoration, but it will be now four years after before we get our next dose of Lara Croft.
In what sounds like Crystal Dynamics’ appetizer before Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris will be launching this coming Dec. 9. It will also be closing out the year in a very fun way.
If you had the chance to play the first game in the series, then you know about the wildly fun and somewhat competitive co-op gameplay. Players with other friends on your couch is a luxury that should be enjoyed more in this industry, and Lara Croft will be bringing us our next helping.
Back in September of this year, zoomdune.com had the opportunity to catch up with Crystal Dynamics’ Scott Amos to discuss what it means to be able to bring a new installment in this series.
“We thought about how do we make sure people understand Tomb Raider vs. Lara Croft. Certainly, there’s that excuse to go off in that crazy land of arcade, giant scary beatles and everything else we do in Lara Croft that we want to keep in that world versus the Tomb Raider side. It’s a long-winded answer of saying fans wanted it, the team wanted it and it’s one of those things that is a labor of love for us,” Executive Producer Scot Amos said.
While Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris won’t be around until Dec. 9th, you should absolutely still keep your eye on this gem. It could be the most fun you have playing a game all year.