EA's changing up its military shooter for a more cops-vs-robbers-themed affair. Set in Los Angeles Battlefield Hardline follows a SWAT operative trying to end a crime spree. Hardline's campaign has been kept under wraps so far, but we do know the game will ship with 9 maps and 7 match types and Battlefield 4's Levolution mechanic will come into play - that nifty set-piece in which toppling structures and wide scale damage completely change the layout of a map. Look out, LA, this is going to get messy.
Originally built for the PC, Superhot is an FPS with a time-control mechanic. Players stalk through crystaline corridors gunning down foes, but they can stop the flying lead fired at them by enemies by simply halting their movements. The developers have announced their intention to augment Superhot's action with the Oculus Rift gaming headset, so it's possible this game could also provide a showcase for the PS Morpheus on the PS4.
One of the most terrifying games of recent memory, Outlast was made available for free for PS Plus customers on the PS4 earlier this year. Set in a home for the criminally insane, its plot revolves around an intrepid reporter who follows up on a tip that human experiments are being conducted on inmates. After breaking into the asylum, things naturally go sideways. With enough jack-in-the-box scares, nail-biting sequences and disturbing subtexts to make Wes Craven flinch, Outlast is a must for survival horror fans.
And speaking of survival horror, fans of this genre rejoiced when they heard Sony announce that the next instalment in Konami's seminal horror series would be helmed by Metal Gear Solid creator, Hideo Kojima. Once again, very little is known about the plot for Kojima's outing in Silent Hill, but the demo is still on the PSN Store and believe us when we tell you, it's one of the most disturbing and outright horrifying experiences that players can have on a console this year. Play it in the dark with your headphones on. We dare you.
Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Activision's flagship military shooter will arrive packing more punch than ever before this November. Set 50 years in the future it imagines a world where Private Military Companies duke it out with terrorist movements across the globe at the behest of their paymasters. The guns pack a wallop as always, but developer Sledgehammer has also introduced jetpacks and perk tweaks into their shooter. Maps and environments now compliment the action on all axis.
Assassin's Creed: Unity
Ubisoft's open world historical adventure series has picked pre-Revoultion Paris as its new stamping ground. Players are let loose in the French capital in the late 1700s in a map that, at a scale of 1:1 with the real thing, is the biggest environment yet created in this series. Stealth plays a factor too as players stalk the dimly lit cobbles in search of prey. Packed to the rafters with missions, side-quests, collectibles and trinkets, Assassin's Creed: Unity might be worth booking off a work from week to play when it comes out.
Perhaps the first Alien title in a while to make proper use of HR Giger's nightmarish creation, Alien: Isolation has its feet planted firmly in survival horror territory. Players control Ellen Ripley's daughter as she investigates a massive space station in search of clues to what could have happened to her mother. An abosultely terrifying experience, made all the more tense since the titular creature can't be killed and the player's only recourse when spotted is to run and hide... and quite possibly pray.
The Last Of Us: Remastered
Naughty Dog's superb survival horror gets the next gen treatment. Set in a post apocalyptic world where a plague put paid to social order, The Last Of Us follows odd couple Joel and Ellie as they try to make their way across the US in search of a cure. Easily one of the best games of the last generation, The Last Of Us is storytelling in the gaming medium at its best. If you've never played this on a PS3, trust us when we tell you, it's essential to your PS4 library.
Indie darling Mike Bithell's latest offering has been kept under wraps thus far. Players take on the role of a kid named Robe who has to navigate different colourful rooms while avoiding detection from guards. It looks for all the world like a mish-mash of Metal Gear Solid's stealth game shot through with Bithell's sense of good humour and fun.
Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar's mind-bogglin open world title is about to land on the next generation. Set in a fictionalised Los Angeles, GTA V treads a path between The Sopranos, Heat and Breaking Bad as it follows three sociopathic individuals on the make. The map is huge, the variety of quests is staggering and once players blaze through a campaign that'll take them upwards of 27 hours to complete, there's the game's sprawling Online mode to get stuck into.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
As a graphical showcase for the PS4, Killzone Shadow Fall fulfils its aim admirably; as a hardcore multiplayer monster to get the next-gen servers buzzing, it could well service those with FPS in the blood and maps on the mind; as a big blockbuster launch title, this is as big and blockbusting as the PS4 gets right now.
Yet as a slab of next-gen interactive entertainment, Killzone Shadow Fall left us a bit cold. Unnecessarily fiddly controls, confusing signposting and a story that's becoming increasingly forgettable the more serious it takes itself contribute to a stylistically showy game that can be difficult to engage with.
Once multiplayer is live in the UK, we'll see how it stacks up further, but for now we found ourselves enjoying the gun-packed, visually sumptuous meat at the campaign's middle, but not so much the precariously structured, implausibly plotted, poorly flagged-up sandwich constructed around it.
Ubisoft's "invade everyone's privacy without them knowing" high concept gets better every time we see it. The new live demo at the PlayStation 4 reveal showed the sheer level of control you can have over the open-world city with just the press of a smartphone button. Halt runaway trains so you can leap aboard, trigger security cameras to surveil at will and hack a bloke's bank account while he's stood in front of you.
While it's a short, sharp blast and no mistake, Resogun is the kind of game that makes reviewing a joy. Its combination of simple pick-up-and-play controls and engrossing dynamics mean its quick to get a handle on but is under your skin so swiftly that by the time you're writing about, you just want to get back to playing the damn thing. This is a game that we'll be enjoying well into the new year.
For those who find it looks a tad too retro to show off a next-gen system, we'd argue its sharp, smooth visuals are highly impressive in their own right. For those who fear it lacks scope, the level of control here is as tactile and rewarding as anything else on the new consoles. And while it could do with more levels, we've replayed those available for days and are still trying to beat our own scores. Once out into the wild, we'll be trying to beat yours, too.
This team-based racer has apparently been 10 years in the making, but the "borderline insane" levels of detail (the words of Evolution Studios' Matt Southern, not ours) look to have paid off. Yet while it looks predictably stunning, there's some cleverer stuff under the hood. As well as real-time multiplayer, this taps into asymmetrical competition and Sony's huge new social focus, which has you setting challenges and reaping rewards from playing in groups, like squad-based first-person shooters.
Fifa has gone for strength to strength in recent years - and EA Sports' new Ignite engine is only set to help the franchise set up it's game. This year's list of improvements includes new ball physics and players that are more intelligent but also more accurate in their skillset - which means, if you're planning on playing silky, one-touch football whilst using Shrewsbury Town... that's probably not going to work out so well.
inFAMOUS: Second Son
A graphical update on Suck Punch's PlayStation-exclusive franchise – which again is PS4-only – looks lovely, if not particularly inspired on the story front. The culture of fear and world of security cameras schtick was surpassed by Watch Dog's delights, and it was only cut-scene slickness on display. Yet the 'everyday superheroes in a far from super world' still has potential, even if the likes of Prototype, Crackdown and two Infamouses have made that road fairly worn already.
It may have a next-gen sheen, but PS4's Knack plays like a game made more than a decade ago. Depending on your take on things, that could be damning or really quite appealing. For us, it's a perfectly enjoyable slice of platform fun that entertains without ever really surprising or amazing. Fusing a Pixar-like film with gaming definitely had us on board, but the functional script and slightly one-note action never quite lives up to the suitably swish visuals.
Perhaps Knack suffers by comparison in a month that Nintendo's Super Mario 3D World drops, or it could be that with the Skylanders and Rayman series strapping variety rockets to the child-friendly market of late that we just expect more. But Knack is a decent game with a rather unfortunate weight of a launch on its shoulders. While Knack the character could easily take the strain, we think his game may need a little hand.
Need for Speed: Rivals
Criterion Games' new cops and robbers racing franchise riffs of its successfully chaotic last instalment, Most Wanted, and in particular the rather excellent Wii U retooling, which showed the developers' ability to make the most of any tech at their disposal. Here, that's shown two-fold: the cloud and online capabilities of the next-gen system are pushing "persistent worlds" (the real buzz phrase of this year's E3), and Rivals' AllDrive tech means single-player, co-operative and competitive multiplayer all operate in one universe. It was also the best showing of SmartGlass yet, with a third player joining a pursuit on a tablet as a police helicopter to maintain surveillance from afar.
Tom Clancy's The Division
Inspired by rather terrifying research proving it would only take 5 days for social order to collapse after lengthy calamity, The Division tasks players with saving the world after a pandemic strikes. Players are sleeper cell operatives who have to restore order to a beleaguered New York armed with a gun and a bag of hi-tech gizmos such as body-heat-seaking grenades and remote controlled drones. Imagine a cross between I Am Alive and Splinter Cell: Blacklist and you’re starting to get the picture.
Star Wars Battlefront
After nearly eight years following the release of the last Battlefront, a new addition to the critically acclaimed series was looking increasingly unlikely. Very brief footage teasing a battle on Hoth at this years E3 therefore came as very exciting and welcome surprise. Although very little is known about the new instalment in terms of a release date or platform information, we do know that this game is being developed by DICE, and will run on Frostbite 3 - the successor to Battlefield 3's Frostbite 2 engine. With the might of both Lucasfilm and EA behind them, this game promises to reignite this franchise in spectacular fashion. Excited about this one, you should be.
Billed as the next evolutionary step in the open-world arcade racer, The Crew is basically Need For Speed: Most Wanted built to the size of World Of Warcraft. Players are let loose in a 5,000-sq-km map of the USA filled with huge cities, rural back-roads, mountain passes, arid deserts and woodland lanes. They can team up with mates and strangers on the fly, but essentially the draw here is to win races, rack up XP and unlock the game’s myriad automobile delights. This is a game that turns the USA into one giant racing circuit and its ambition is, quite frankly, astounding.
Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag
Ubisoft's stab-tastic adventure just keeps on rolling doesn't it? We're onto number faux number four - actual number six - which, for some of you will be far too many assassins. There's no doubt that Assassin's Creed has always been a stunning looking franchise, so if anything can breathe a bit of life into AC4, it's the promise of next-gen graphics. And the promise of piracy and high-seas swashbuckling will do nicely too.
The Order 1886
Steampunk-esque shooting amid airships and fog in Whitechapel? Colour us interested. Yet unfortunately this eerie, new, 1866-set romp didn't delve further at Sony's conference than a CG trailer. Yet the atmosphere created by God of War developer Santa Monica Studios was palpable, and the mix of cobbles, horse-drawn carriages and chain guns has piqued our interest.
It may have had a brief-as-hell CG trailer, but worth a mention purely because we're a bit obsessed with Mel Gibson's titular character. Here we see him seemingly sparing a man's life before running him over with the Road Warrior. The dusty setting and film history to draw from bode well, as does the stinking great gun on the front of your ride.
The Dark Sorcerer
Not strictly a game as yet, but that old bloke's head from the Quantic Dream demo back in February, now reunited with his body (and a Shrek-like sidekick called Maurice) for 12 minutes of magical messing about and knowing meta "we're in a film actually" dialogue. As an exemplar of the tech, it was very good indeed.
Final Fantasy XV
The game formerly known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII gets some and goes again in what must be the most confusingly titled franchise in history. With buildings disintegrating around you, Bayonetta-style, huge dragons to fight and the manipulation of waves a skill, this is Japanese gaming at its most delightfully OTT.
Supergiant Games' follow up to its cross-platform hit Bastion is set to debut on PS4 early next year and is definitely one to watch. Taking the familiar isometric viewpoint of its predecessor, Transistor has a bold, modernist Japanese art style, and focuses on sword combat and quick footwork. It's just one of an increasingly broad range of smaller developers attracted by the PS4's ability to self-publish.
Capcom's Dark Souls-esque dragon-hunter uses the new Panta Rhei graphics engine, which is a codename as unlikely as the game itself ('Deep Down' is, unsurprisingly, a working title and we'll eat our joypad if it's called anything like that). Some great lighting effects peppered the short reel of footage as a knight hid from dragon fire behind his shield, the over-the-shoulder angle reminiscent of Resident Evil 4, even if the what-could-easily-be-quick-time-event action was not.
Well, we'd already been shown this, but some more info on Halo creator Bungie's first "shared world shooter" was welcome. Except there wasn't loads more, just lots of stunning visuals. With its huge vistas, Destiny appears to sit somewhere between Halo (surprise) and Elder Scrolls, a co-operative FPS with customisable characters that's played online, and which, like many of the games unveiled for PS4, will also be coming to PS3, too.
Jonathan 'Braid' Blow's long-awaited follow-up is now confirmed on PS4, and for the launch window it's the only console it will be on, too. It currently looks a bit like The Crystal Maze if it was set on that island in Myst, with Blow promising 25 hours of unique-puzzle gameplay. "A lot of games try and pad their play times to make them feel longer," he said. "On this there's no filler."
Blizzard makes its long-awaited return to consoles with an optimised "one couch to rule them all" version of the PC dungeon-crawler. In layman's terms, this means there's a four-player co-op mode on full screen, but again, Blizzard's Chris Metzen said it's running "great" on PS3, so be interesting to see what added extras PS4 specifically brings to the party.
Nearly 10 years since Garrett's last outing in Thief: Deadly Shadows, the master thief will indeed be returning to our next-gen homes - thankfully not to rob you (though he might relieve your wallet of a good £50). Expect the usual dosage of thievery, skulduggery and shadow-lurking, as this promises to be a whole new story, but the same old vintage Thief gameplay.
Zombie Studios and Perfect World Entertainment combined to create this excellent free-to-play FPS around April last year. Now, Blacklight has been confirmed for PS4 too, and yes - it will still be free-to-play. Will PC and PS4 gamers will be able to run amok together? Will the PS4 version get a graphical update? We're hoping that Perfect World will reveal answers to these questions and more at E3.
Madden NFL 25
Madden is dropping the year moniker for it's 25th anniversary edition of everyone's favourite American Football sim. EA Sports showed a short trailer for the new Madden, which will be built on EA's brand new, next-gen Ignite engine. And who better to lead the charge than the electrifying Robert Griffin III.
It may have made for the most uncomfortable outburst of the day ("I don't care what colour you are, what country you're from, fighting's in our DNA and we like it," reckons UFC chief Dana White. Erm…) but it is undeniable how good this mixed-martial-arts sim is looking. See our exclusive peak here, but the newly announced 'MMAi' tech (so many made-up tech words, so little time) as part of the new Ignite engine allows you to improvise mid-fight in the same way you can mid-tackle in FIFA 14.
The Witcher 3
Blood, guts, sex and magic; The Witcher series sees its next installment land on Xbox One exclusively. According to developer CD Projeckt, The Witcher 3 will be a free-roaming game set in an open world and both Smartglass and Kinect will be optional gameplay extras. We’re not really bothered so long as The Witcher continues to be to gaming what Game Of Thrones is to TV: sword and sorcery at its most adult and compelling.
The Evil Within
It's a long-awaited return to survival horror for Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, and his dark Bethesda title is causing ripples in the gaming world with its chills and flagrant gore. In truth, it's not quite as "weird" as some would have you believe, the demo we saw – with Mikami in attendance – stealing set pieces rather liberally from a variety of horror sources including Silent Hill, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hostel, Ring, The Shining, Night of The Living Dead and, of course, the Resident Evil series itself. That said, it looks absolutely terrifying, and the use of audio to scare the bejesus out of you promises to be its calling card.
Mirror's Edge 2
Despite not selling that many, a return of Dice's futuristic dystopia of free-running and statement walls has been clamoured for hard, and EA is satisfying the demand. A reboot rather than a sequel – hence no number two at the end of the title and that star Faith seen getting her famous tattoos in the preview – it looks very similar to the original, but with nice, next-geny graphics. Beating up henchmen in design-classic interiors has never looked better.
Dragon Age III: Inquisition
As one of the highlights of this year’s E3, Dragon Age: Inquisition looks to expand on the series to deliver one of Bioware’s most ambitious titles to date. The Mass Effect 3 developers have promised greater emphasis on party members as well as a storyline that can be heavily influenced by player decisions. The title also hopes to vastly expand its in-game environments, making good use of the Frostbite 3 engine, and even allows fans to important their save files from the previous two instalments. Inquisition has been given a Fall 2014 release date, and will be available on both Xbox and Playstation platforms.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order is something of pleasant surprise. Far from being a lumbering FPS that feels both generically and artistically archaic, this game looks like it may offer players a serious challenge using hilariously fun weapons. The fact that it’s wrapped up in a compelling world with what looks like a decent plot is icing on the cake. And yes, there are tons of Nazis to shoot.
Just Dance 2014
Pinned for an October 2013 release date, the Just Dance series is back with a bang. Ubisoft promises new features such as online multiplayer, ‘on-stage mode’ and ‘Just Dance DJ’ where players can control the music with their body to deliver a virtual dance experience like no other. Wii U players can also nominate someone for the accomplished role of ‘party master’, who can control the tracks and routines remotely using the controller. Just Dance 2014 is available across all platforms, and will allow up to six players to knock things over in your living room simultaneously, to the sound of featured artists including David Guetta, Psy, Nicki Minaj and Robbie Williams.