Five Next Gen Launch Titles Poised to Rock Our Worlds

The five games that best make the case you'll need new consoles as soon as you can get them
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The promise of next generation consoles is manifold: better graphics, incredible levels of detail, and sprawling new worlds in which to immerse ourselves. But all that promise is just that, unfulfilled potential, until games are created that can properly harness all the raw power under the hood. So which of the “launch window” games are most likely to show off all that next gen horsepower and make us feel comfortable putting our 360s and PS3s permanently on the shelf?

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5. Battlefield 4

A hallmark of the Battlefield franchise has always been its massive playfields, populated by large teams of players and a kitchen sink approach to vehicles and weaponry. Battlefield 4 appears to be expanding on that tradition, promising “unprecedented scope and scale”, and the footage we’ve seen thus far showcases some massive environments densely packed with detail. Most exciting of all, huge portions of these gorgeous environments are highly destructable, adding a new element of chaos and strategy to a game already renowned for demanding smart, cooperative play.

4. Dead Rising 3

While “gritty, open-world zombie game” is familiar territory, Dead Rising 3 looks ready to perfect the formula. A more serious take than the previous two entries, Dead Rising 3 aims to put the zombies back into a starring role, a genuinely deadly threat in a beautifully rendered, massive playground. It retains the deeply satisfying weapon crafting from previous titles, but gives players the option to explore without the crushing time constraints Dead Rising is notorious for. Smartglass functions let the player offload some of those annoying survivor communications to an actual phone or tablet as well as call in airstrikes or drones, one of the first gimmicks from this second screen revolution that actually looks like it might be both entertaining and useful.

3. Infamous: Second Son

Infamous and Infamous 2 weren’t exactly marvels of presentation, but they were some of the best open world experiences on Playstation 3. Second Son promises to expand the hyper-kinetic combat and fluid traversal mechanics, all fueled by the protagonist’s suite of awesome super powers, but also up the ante with gorgeous next gen graphics; Seattle, even in ruins, has never looked so good. With a new arsenal of smoke based powers and a host of new foes from the semi-fascist Department of Unified Protection, Second Son looks like a hot blend of looks and smarts that will give us one of the first tastes of what next gen platforms are really capable of.

2. Titanfall

Titanfall is a massively ambitious project. It’s a single game that seeks to combine wall running, double jumping battlefield parkour with giant mechs, and it looks as though trying to take down the eponymous titans might be just as fun as piloting them. Then, of course, there’s the epic scale of actual titan on titan combat, and when two or more of these giant engines of war collide the results are appropriately spectacular. Titanfall was one of the first games we saw that looked impressive enough to distract us from all the console war bickering and remind us why we’re excited about new consoles in the first place.

1. Watch Dogs

While Watch Dogs will be available for practically every system on which you can play video games, we’re confident it will really shine on the Xbox One and PS4. The stunning, slightly dystopian future of Watch Dogs and its interlocking systems of fully hackable devices and databases makes for a compelling sandbox we can’t wait to play in. The possibilities for a gifted hacker in a connected world that’s naked to electronic manipulation are both exciting and a little terrifying, though whether Watch Dogs is a cautionary tale or a celebration of technology remains to be seen. Either way it’s one of the most exciting games we’ve seen in recent years, and will provide with a real opportunity to contrast the current gen consoles with their powerful successors.


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Alan Bradley
Getting played by video games since the '80s. Host of the Pictures Changing Podcast ( and notorious raconteur.