5 Games You Haven't Heard of but Should Save Up For

Not a day too soon, PMI looks at what games from E3 2015 that most excited for the next year of (console) gaming.

1) Elite Dangerous
Frontier DevelopmentsSO WHAT IS IT?
A realistic-looking space action adventure game on an astronomical scale, Elite Dangerous is the ambitious brainchild of Frontier Developments, who claim this may be the largest game ever created.

Well least in terms of playable map size it's the largest game created so far. Supposedly, that map is on a 1:1 scale of the actual Milky Way galaxy, including it's estimated 400 billion star systems waiting to be discovered (and named) by you. Within these systems are warring fleets of star ships to fight with, cargo ships to pirate, and other players to blast to bits in team based skirmishes.

Basically, it's Grand Theft Auto in space in that there's a lot of varied content and gameplay styles to keep you busy. If that premise isn't enough to rustle your jimmies, this game looks beautiful on the Xbox One. It's highly detailed, realistic visuals have taken my breath away more than once, which is hard to do because I do a lot of breathing to support a lot of talking. Screenshots don't do it justice, so definitely watch a couple of minutes o the gameplay video embedded below.

IGN News

Frontier Development

The growing pains of Elite Dangerous's transplant from the PC reveal themselves as confusing menu navigation and poor controls. Well, that was my take during my one hour demo on the Xbox One through the Xbox Game Preview program. I'd tell you more, but I spent most of my time tailoring the control scheme that never felt comfortable even after an hour of fiddling.

The only other concern is Elite becoming an insanely large adventure game with, proportionally, not a lot of things to actually do. But the fact that Frontier Development is hinting at future updates that may include new lifeforms, lore, extravehicular planetary exploration, space FPS combat, and dinosaurs (Dinosaurs!) quells some fears. Sure the game was released in December of 2014 unfinished and buying it now requires a lot of faith that such updates will continue, but I definitely trust this one to be awesome even if I disagree with the practice of selling video games that are promised to be finished at a later date.

Elite Dangerous is currently available exclusively on Xbox One and on Windows PC.

2) No Man's Sky
Hello Games
As a procedurally generating space exploration survival game, No Man's Sky is the more colorful, youthful cousin to Elite Dangerous. Your ultimate goal as an explorer is to make it to the center of the this game's galactic, gooey center by constantly upgrading your ship to travel further and faster through a cycle of planetary discovery and purchasing better ships.

The same qualities about Elite Dangerous that excite the nerd deep inside of me are present here: astonishing visuals, an insanely large play area, space battles, on foot combat, space combat, lore, trading, and of course dinosaurs. Where the two games differ is that No Man's Sky has more focus on exploration, survival, and on foot combat, and all of these things are actually in the game already. That's a good quality to have.

Further teasing my nerd hunger for this title is that each planet generated, along with its landscapes, and lifeforms (fish, plants, dinosaurs, robots, etc) is unique. Whether or not you decide to destroy or to chart these things is up to you. 

No Man's Sky also runs the risk of providing a too large universe with too few things to do just like Elite Dangerous. Thankfully, there are ways to rectify this (See Minecraft) however method Hello Games goes about doing so, we think No Man's Sky's outta this world ambitions makes it's worth our future dollars.

No Man's Sky's sky will be released for the PlayStation 4 and the PC at some time in the future. Maybe there will be an Xbox One version, but no man is saying much on that.

3) ReCore
Who goddamned knows. There isn't much known about ReCore other than it's intriguing announcement trailer.

Clearly, we are looking at a post-apocalyptic world in which the player is accompanied by a robot companion who's form can change depending on what sort of shell it's glowing core is placed into. A cinematic action adventure, developers Comcept and Armature Studio are promising an emotionally driven, cinematic adventure.

Besides the tasty art design shown off in the video, it's the impressive name dropping going surrounding it's development that truly impresses. The Texas based development company, Armature Studio, are the creators of the awesome Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, The Unfinished Swan, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, and they've diddled in the PlayStation Vita version of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.

So that's fucking cool.

But if you were paying attention earlier, another development company, Comcept Inc., is also in the mix. This Japan based developer was founded by Keiji Inafune, creator of Dead Rising and the Lost Planet series. At this point, I could tell you Keiji is also the creator of Mega Man and you'd believe me. And you should because that statement is true. Seriously, and I don't ask this as a set up, but would could possibly go wrong with so much incredible talent at the helm?

Didn't I just say-- Fine, subtitle, I'll play by your rules. I guess the lack of gameplay videos or much of any concrete information about ReCore is enough to give pause when games, like the one in our next entry, are also releasing next Spring but appear more complete (And much, much more fun by extension).

ReCore will be released exclusively on the Xbox One in the spring of 2016.

4) Horizon Zero Dawn
Do you remember the anime Zoids that you never heard of until now? Why of course you do. Horizon Zero Dawn is totally not that at all, but is instead an action adventure RPG starring giant robot animals roaming a future devoid of modern life.

Not only is it slap-your-granny-gorgeous, you'll get to hunt robot dinosaurs as a woman, of all creatures! Name one other AAA game with a female protagonist (I won't wait). Word is still out on whether or not Katniss Everdeen (Or Aloy, as the developers insist is her name) is ginger or auburn haired, but we'll be sure to report on it as soon as we find out more damn skippy.

Sony Computer Entertainment
Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment

Guerrilla Games promises a story driven, lore rich world filling the gap between the action heavy GTA and the snooze (RPG) heavy Skyrim. You can read more of their interview with Polygon here. That all sounds great, but let's be real here and point out that we want this game mostly because you can hunt and kill robot dinosaurs.

Oh, right, of course it can't be the perfect emotional, scifi adventure game of my dreams. After all it's PlayStation 4 exclusivity is worrisome considering how shitty PS3/PS4 exclusives are of a group, to put it nicely. One would hope PlayStation 4 exclusives would reverse the trend but that hasn't happened yet. Naughty Dog Clause notwithstanding.

Then again, Guerrilla Games have made a slew of good games before, and this one, at least visually, sparks guanine interest. While it's not a game that will sell many PS4s just yet, it definitely has the potential to do so. Until then, let's go back to oogling at it.

Horizon Zero Dawn will be release exclusively on the PS4 spring 2016.

Have you ever wanted to feel lost in space with only Sandra Bullock between you and the cold vacuum of space? Cool, go watch the movie Gravity. Also, the frustratingly named UK developer Three One Zero (Can you tell they're an indie developer?) is offering a "first person experience" where you must struggle to survive amongst the wreckage of a space station in hopes of returning to Earth.

Did you know that you could probably survive for 90 seconds in the near vacuum of space? I sure didn't know that. Anyway, Adr1ft looks like a fun but for a different reason than the others on this list. Its designed as a more personal, immersive scifi experience that there frankly isn't enough of. In fact, with the exception of Portal and a couple of indie games, there aren't any experiences like this at all for console gamers.

Also unlike the other games on this list, this game has more potential to have a great story due to it's more personal size. Like how a mom and pop balloon restaurant will always have tastier TV dinners than a supermarket, so goes the development of Adr1f's focused, single player experience when compared to something like No Man's Sky. Furthermore, its exciting as there's a higher chance of playing as George Clooney which is something you cannot say about any game ever.

Well the fact that no one is calling this a survival game, even though it looks like one, might turn some of you off. And if you are still turned on, you creep, remember that while Adr1ft supports the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for PC, there's no word of virtual reality headset support for PS4 or XBONE (To be fair though, Microsoft hasn't been clear on which games will support virtual reality in the future).

But who cares? It's awesome that this type of game, untested and unproven, is being made in the first place in an industry stuffed with trashy, microtransaction riddled indie games and garbage AAA titles. For that reason and more, Three One Zero, I thank you.

Adr1ft will debut on PS4, XBONE, and Windows PC on September 2015.


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