Rime Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Rime RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The GameSkinny Community's 2017 Game of the Year Picks https://www.gameskinny.com/de4kj/the-gameskinny-communitys-2017-game-of-the-year-picks https://www.gameskinny.com/de4kj/the-gameskinny-communitys-2017-game-of-the-year-picks Tue, 26 Dec 2017 10:00:02 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

2016 was no slouch as far as gaming went, but 2017 was absolutely spectacular. From new systems, rebirths of old genres, and reimaginings of some of the best-known IPs, it'd be difficult for anyone to choose just one favorite game from this year. But that's what we did anyway. We asked our community writers what their top AAA, mid-tier (or AA, if you prefer), indie, and mobile games were this year, and here's what they had to say.

Thomas Wilde

As you'd expect after seeing his usual monthly catalog, freelancer Thomas Wilde chose from a broad range of games for his best-of-year picks.

Best AAA Game
Asking someone to make a choice like that in 2017 is like asking them to pick a favorite vital organ, and I haven't quite managed to play everything yet. It was even a good year for horror games. In a year where everything else about human existence seemed determined to suck, video games offered one of the best lineups of titles in maybe a decade or more, with surprisingly few outright disappointments.

My top three is some combination of Resident Evil 7, Tekken 7, and Prey, depending on the day. Tekken 7 has a disappointing set of features in its long-awaited home releases, but the gameplay there is solid and quintessentially Tekken in a way that keeps you playing for evenings on end; Prey wraps itself around you and doesn't quite let go, with a paranoid atmosphere that has you questioning your own possessions and a truly weird alternate history; and Resident Evil 7 proves less is a lot more by removing (most of) the action-movie spectacle of the franchise and getting genuine scares out of something so simple as an old man with a shovel.

Best Mid-Tier Game
I'd probably hand this one to Nier: Automata, simply for how it sticks with you. It's a deeply weird game in a way that you don't typically get out of any release, indie or not. It feels like a localized production from an alien race. Sure, at its heart, it's a simple, remarkably short shooter/brawler, but it has a lot to say about loneliness, sentience, and violence. Even in as crowded a year as 2017, it's a stand-out for how it utilizes the medium.

Best Indie Game
I got a lot out of RiME. It may flag a bit towards the end, but it's a simple, evocative, and, above all else, colorful game, with effective puzzles and a bizarre world that keeps you asking questions. It's a learning experience about atmosphere and minimalism.

Ty Arthur

Freelancer and guide writer Ty Arthur had the unenviable task of choosing from several contenders, but he managed to do so nonetheless.

There were some absolutely fabulous games this year, from the long-awaited PS4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn to a slew of Switch hits like Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. Both Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and Call Of Duty: WWII rocked it on the first-person, Nazi-killing fronts, and Friday The 13th was more fun than it had any right to be. We got some very unexpected gameplay changes from Nier: Automata and Resident Evil 7 that sort of rocked the gaming world, along with a crop of outstanding RPGs. While it doesn't quite match its predecessor,Torment: Tides Of Numenera is easy to sink a whole lot of hours into if you love classic computer RPGs, and of course Persona 5 dominated on the console front. Now onto the impossible task of actually picking the best of the best!

Best AAA Game: While any of the above-mentioned games could easily sit in this spot depending on personal preference, I'm going to have to go with Arkane's tweaking of the stealth action formula with the sci-fi/horror mashup Prey. It has everything that makes the Dishonored games great, but in a revamped setting that really messes with your head. I love the combination of RPG elements with stealth combat that rewards thinking outside the box, and just wandering around the station learning little details about the people who lived there before all hell broke loose was a pleasure, even outside the killer gameplay.

Best Mid-Tier Game: I suppose there's some wiggle room on what exactly constitutes “mid-tier” over indie, so this might be a bit controversial, but I'm going to solidly put Divinity: Original Sin 2 here in this category. That was a game that absolutely lived up to the hype, and not many titles do that. This is the sort of title that shows why crowdfunding needs to exist and that the practice actively enhances the gaming landscape. Hats off to Larian for keeping the gameplay recognizable while improving on the original game in every single way. There's a hundred different ways to approach any situation, with dozens of character builds, and I've yet to get tired of trying out different combos. If you love turn-based RPGs, be prepared to sink a hundred hours or so into this one.

 

Best Indie Game: For me, easily the best RPG of the year is a little indie excursion that came out of nowhere and absolutely bowled me over with its amazing combination of style, substance, and humor: West Of Loathing! I'm still sort of in awe over how a black and white game with stick figure graphics managed to grab me and never let go. Every element of the game is hilarious, and there's always more to discover, whether it involves demonic cows, ghost pickles, or even more absurd hijinks. Throw in a killer old-school overland map, with random encounters that easily match the best of the '90s PC RPGs, and you've got a rare gem on your hands here that delivers on all fronts. It's laugh out loud funny and keeps you hooked with solid, classic gameplay.

El Conquistadork

Freelance writer El Conquistadork's choices are equally as varied and go to show that you don't have to love everything about a game for it to be your favorite too.

Best AAA Game: Horizon: Zero Dawn. I just had so damn much fun playing this game. The setting is fascinating and unique, the protagonist is amazing, and it’s the most beautiful game I’ve seen in a long time. A close second would be Persona 5 for the simple reason that I don’t like anime, I’m lukewarm on JRPGs, and their save system caused me to lose so much progress that I would take month-long breaks between sessions just to counteract the frustration ... and yet I put more hours into it than I’m comfortable with relating. How does that even happen? And RE7 would be in there as well: strong as hell at the beginning of 2017, and still strong as hell at the end.

Best Mid-Tier GameWhat Remains of Edith Finch was the apotheosis of what walking sims have been attempting to become since Gone Home and Dear Esther. There’s a level of vast storytelling interacting beautifully with its wide varieties of gameplay and its stylistic decisions, and it left me gobsmacked.

Best Indie Game: I wasn’t completely sold on the final, horror-themed moments of Night In The Woods, but that still left it plenty of room for being the best indie game of 2017. Its artwork, soundtrack, and themes of growing up, loneliness, small-town water treading, and crimes just sucked me right into its world.

Best Mobile Game: With a game titled We Eat Blood, And All Our Friends Are Dead, you know I’m gonna have a look. Based in the classic RPG world of Vampire: The Masquerade (a personal favorite of mine), this is a spooky, text-based adventure where you play a youngling vampire trying to learn about himself without getting purged by his elders. A damn fun time.

Kieran Desmond

JTP Mentor and community writer Kieran Desmond pulled from a wide variety of genres for his GOTY picks, a reflection of just how much there was on offer this year.

Best AAA Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Like a bunch people this year, I really fell in love with Breath of the Wild. The way the open world was set up by giving you access to a few core mechanics -- remote bombs, Magnesis, Stasis, Cryonis, and the glider -- and then just setting you loose to explore Hyrule was a stroke of genius. The subtle score and beautiful visuals only add to the "open-air" atmosphere they were striving for. I'm still playing BotW, and after putting about 250 hours into it so far, I'm yet to encounter the final Divine Beast or enter Hyrule castle -- I never want it to end.

Best Mid-Tier Game: Absolver

Absolver was a game that I followed from its announcement, hoping that it would live up to the promise of being able to dynamically learn various combat styles and customize your style as you progress. And SloClap absolutely delivered. This unique open-world fighting game takes patience and a keen eye to master, just like many traditional fighting games. Studying your opponent in order to predict their next move is a huge part of the game that, when done correctly, creates an immensely satisfying experience.

Best Indie Game: Pyre

I was attracted to Pyre because of the beautiful artwork and music from its trailer. I was also curious about its odd mix of RPG, visual novel, and sports-centric gameplay, which turned out to be an innovative and really fun combination. Every character is endearing, the overworld map and the locations are stunningly designed, and the incredibly diverse score, composed by Darren Korb (who worked on Supergiant's previous games Bastion and Transistor) is just sensational. If I were to recommend a single game from 2017, it would be Pyre.

Auverin Morrow

Erstwhile senior editor (now with Hi-Rez) Auverin Morrow took the time to drop in and leave her thoughts too.

GOTY: Horizon: Zero Dawn, hands down.

Beautiful game, excellent combat, a truly unique environment (with awesome robo-dinos), and a badass female character who puts more emphasis on the badass part than the female part. What's not to love?

Joshua Broadwell

Your humble writer felt the need to add his choices too, because why not?

Best AAA Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Like Kieran and countless others, this one has to go to BotW, but it was a tough choice between it and Super Mario Odyssey. The latter is excellent in its own right, but with BotW, Nintendo managed to pull off a difficult task by creating a fantastic game that also happened to be a radical remaigining of a world-famous franchise. Despite being so different, it comes across as everything Zelda games always wanted to be. Hyrule is truly a living and breathing land, with areas that look and feel drastically different from each other and characters who are actually deeply connected to each other. The combat and weapon mechanics are spot-on, and there's always something to make exploration worthwhile, even if it's just standing on top of a mountain and admiring the gorgeous view. There is also a definite sense of progression, going from everything being a struggle to feeling capable of handling challenges like that Hinox that looked awfully intimidating when Link only had five hearts. Plus, it's one of the only games (other than Xenoblade Chronicles) where my cat sits on my shoulder and watches. And that has to count for something.

Best Mid-Tier Game:Yooka-Laylee

Yooka-Laylee didn't go over very well with many at first (although we did quite like it in our review). But even with the original issues -- issues quickly fixed by the Spin 'n' Polish update -- it managed to recapture everything that made gaming great over a decade ago: bright, colorful worlds, plenty of challenges and things to do, fun and quirky characters, tight platforming, and generally just being fun to play. Being the first major 3D platformer in forever, it carried a heavy burden, and it would have been easy for Playtonic to rely just on nostalgia and hope for the best. Luckily, they didn't, and the end result is a quality experience.

Best Indie Game: Yono and the Celestial Elephants

Yono is definitely indie, since it's the result of a one-man studio. On the surface, it's a cute adventure game about an elephant trying to solve people's problems, with some Zelda-esque puzzles and combat. But underneath that, there's quite a bit more going on about the nature of life and death, reality, and the relationship between everything alive -- and dead. It's not going to tax your brain or skills, but it's more than worth spending time with.

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And there you have it -- a host of games from across multiple genres, with enough quality and variety to satisfy almost anyone. But you, reader, are part of the community too, so sound off in the comments below and tell us what your GOTY picks are!

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14 Best Free Themes for PS4 https://www.gameskinny.com/qqxl9/14-best-free-themes-for-ps4 https://www.gameskinny.com/qqxl9/14-best-free-themes-for-ps4 Thu, 12 Oct 2017 10:15:49 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

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Dark Souls III: Transitory Lands

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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Here's on for the Dark Souls fan! Saying this theme is dynamic carries a double meaning, as it's probably the most dynamic of the lot. It features your hero walking across what looks like old linen (or maybe parchment). He comes across various environments as he progresses, all of which look like old engraved images, and their deep blackness throws their intricate details into sharp relief against the rest of the scenery. They vary, too, so it's almost entertainment in itself.

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When it comes to PS4 themes, it's definitely not true that you get what you pay for. There is a wide variety of free themes just waiting to find their new home on your console, whether you're a fan of RPGs, platformers, sci-fi, or fantasy.

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Let us know in the comments which ones you plan on downloading or which ones you'd like to see added to this list!

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The Witcher 3: Geralt and Ciri

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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How is it possible to capture the essence of an entire trilogy and its themes in just one image? Like this. The Ciri and Geralt theme from The Witcher 3 manages to convey the folklore and high-fantasy elements of the entire series through two of the game's most important characters. This particular image from the theme emphasizes Ciri's determination and independence, which, in turn, helps make the game itself stand out. That determination is yours to shape through your in-game choices, an ambitious undertaking on the developer's part that works oh-so-well in action.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/a/n/van-helsing-e043b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/a/n/van-helsing-e043b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"170876","description":"

Van Helsing

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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This Van Helsing theme's not just for fans of vampire lore. The game itself combined a wide variety of concepts in an ambitious attempt to merge folklore with science -- adding a touch of RPG goodness to round it all out. The theme conveys those concepts very well.

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Apart from the titular hero, you've got a rather bizarre, alien-looking creature and a sinister robot, while giant clockwork dominates the background. The parchment-themed icons add a nice touch too. It's another one that's especially suitable for a Halloween theme, but fans of what goes bump in the night and Diablo-style RPGs can enjoy it year-round.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/i/poi-e2c83.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/i/poi-e2c83.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"170909","description":"

Poi

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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Here's another one for explorers to check out. The Poi dynamic theme brings with it the bright colors and cheerful cartoon aesthetic of the game itself. Each screen depicts one of the principal characters in a characteristic pose, set against a bright backdrop. It's an excellent way to page homage not just to the game itself, but to the genre it represents, one that -- for many -- formed an important part of our early gaming years. If you're in need of a break from the grittier side of gaming, or just want to be reminded of your platforming days of yesteryear, you could do far worse than this.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/i/m/rime-9c2f2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/i/m/rime-9c2f2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"170875","description":"

RiME

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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That's not all on offer from Grey Box, though. The RiME dynamic theme comes close to one-upping its predecessor. It focuses on the beach from the game's opening scenes, but that's not all. You'll hear the sounds of the waves and gulls, along with being greeted by your ever-present, friendly fox guide. It does a fine job of transferring the game's sense of wonder and the urge to explore into just one scene, and you may be hard-pressed to actually navigate away from it to choose a game.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/e/dreadnought-639ac.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/e/dreadnought-639ac.jpg","type":"slide","id":"170873","description":"

Dreadnought: Sinley Bay

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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Here's another theme to satisfy the sci-fi lover in you -- Sinley Bay from the tactical space game Dreadnought. This, too, is a dynamic theme.

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Stare into the endless depths of space, and as you scroll through your menu options, you'll see ships cruising slowly by. Combined with the subtle space tones in the background, it really creates an atmosphere equal parts wonder and isolation. That feeling will resonate particularly well with fans of the game since Sinley Bay is where the war-weary renegades train their future leaders to ensure the solar system's freedom -- not a bad little motivator to get you started with whatever game you choose.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/star-wars-5564c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/star-wars-5564c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"170870","description":"

Star Wars Battlefront: Leia Organa

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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And one more Star Wars theme. We know it doesn't look like the "real" Leia Organa, but there's still quite a bit to love about this zooming dynamic theme. It forgoes the flashiness of the Jakku theme in favor of a toned-down approach that lets Leia's determination shine through. Plus, it hearkens back to one of the most memorable moments in the original Star Wars films, with the Imperial siege on Hoth.

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/k/jakku-77e05.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/k/jakku-77e05.jpg","type":"slide","id":"170845","description":"

Star Wars Battlefront: Battle of Jakku

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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Here's another one that's sure to please fantasy fans. It draws on the exclusive Battlefront packaging that explores the important lore behind The Force Awakens, connecting the original and new trilogies. Despite its connection to the latest films, it's got something for everyone to enjoy, from TIE Fighters and X-Wings for those faithful to the originals, to the raw fan appeal of such an awesome conflict between Empire and Republic that never could have happened in the first three films. (And, by far the best for some, there's nothing to connect it to the prequel trilogy).

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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Tolkien fans rejoice! The Hobbit still has a free theme on the PlayStation store. And it's a darn good one, too. Azog the Defiler takes center stage -- well, right-center if you want to be technical - -in the depiction of the slow, tense build to the film's climactic final battle. However, in the background, you're also treated to the sight of Esgaroth on fire, with Smaugh above. Sure, it's not the happiest of scenes -- but it looks amazing.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/f/x/ffxiv-a2be2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/f/x/ffxiv-a2be2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"170843","description":"

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensword

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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This Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensword theme offers up a more traditional look in more ways than one. As you can see, it focuses on a dragoon, which, apart from being an important class in FFXIV in general, is one of the series' oldest and most well-known character classes -- thanks in part to FFIV's Kain. More importantly, though, it gives you the chance to admire Akihiko Yoshida's fantastic artwork close up, bridging the gap between the olden days of Final Fantasy and the modern.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/y/o/k/yokaime-d5f37.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/y/o/k/yokaime-d5f37.jpg","type":"slide","id":"170957","description":"

Nioh Yokai Theme

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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This Nioh theme might just essentially be the game's boxart plus a monster. But it's pretty good art, nonetheless. That's because it manages to give you a distinct impression of what the game's all about. The gear and coloration leave no doubt as to combat's central role in the game -- if you had doubts, given that it's a Koei game -- and the otherworldly glaze of Nioh's eyes suggesting that something out of the ordinary will play a significant role in plot and characterization. It provides a bit of intensity for your background and proves the old saying that simple is often best.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/e/everybodys-golf-99d31.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/e/everybodys-golf-99d31.jpg","type":"slide","id":"170841","description":"

Everybody's Golf

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Download this theme on the PlayStation Store

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If you're looking for something a bit brighter, consider checking out this cheerful Everybody's Golf dynamic theme. It changes scenes depending on which menu you are working with at the time, from the primary one you see here -- complete with golf ball being driven right at you -- to a more urban scene, and a desert course as well. It's a good way to show off the game's cheerful colors and quirky characters juxtaposed in the realistic looking courses. Plus, it's just fun in general.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/s/rose-twilight-ps4theme-44a40.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/o/s/rose-twilight-ps4theme-44a40.jpg","type":"slide","id":"170840","description":"

A Rose in the Twilight

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Find this theme on the PlayStation Store

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This free PS4 theme might be static, but that doesn't keep it from being wonderful to look at. It perfectly captures A Rose in the Twilight's unique art style - -which is more than enough to recommend it. However, it also manages to convey the game's key themes as well, from the main character's general vulnerability and her giant companion's impressive strength to the narrative importance of the color red streaking through the mysterious castle. It's fitting for a Halloween theme, but definitely worthwhile year round.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/s/dishonored-08b94.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/i/s/dishonored-08b94.jpg","type":"slide","id":"170839","description":"

Dishonored 2: Karnaca

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Find this theme on the PlayStation Store

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This free dynamic PS4 theme showcases the natural beauty of Dishonored 2's main setting. It's not the view you normally see while playing, but it is one of the most iconic views of the game, nonetheless. Eschewing the touristy glitz of the main city, this theme focuses on the gently flowing water and the slowly turning windmills instead. It's a nice break from the intense action of the game itself, but the muted tones go far in setting a nice aura for whatever game you're about to play.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/5/e/15e99e516c74ad69e24a1ba73dce0a98da7f66ab-1003531-ef264.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/5/e/15e99e516c74ad69e24a1ba73dce0a98da7f66ab-1003531-ef264.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171089","description":"

Alongside its vast software library, the PlayStation 4 offers a huge variety of themes for you to choose from. But say you don't really want to shell out for a new theme after buying some of the games from that library. Never fear! We've put together a list of the 14 best free PS4 themes to help you out of just such a dilemma. They do a fair job of representing that variety too, from platformers and

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They do a fair job of representing the variety the platform has to offer, from platformers and exploration games to RPGs, sports, and otherworldly combat. You're sure to find something you like over the next several slides, so read on to discover your next favorite backdrop for your favorite console.

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2017's Best Sandbox Games So Far https://www.gameskinny.com/ckpvs/2017s-best-sandbox-games-so-far https://www.gameskinny.com/ckpvs/2017s-best-sandbox-games-so-far Mon, 28 Aug 2017 11:24:27 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Switch, Wii U
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Naturally, any list of best sandbox games so far this year has to include The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. One of the things that makes this game stand out as a sandbox game is the fact that it even is a sandbox game -- a tremendous departure from the formulaic, linear Zelda games of yesteryear.

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After completing a few required scenarios, players can immediately race to the game's final moments, scour the land for the best equipment possible, find and complete a multitude of shrine quests and uncover new abilities in the process, or delve into the game's story. Series fans would probably be as interested in the last option as anything else, but the game is still completely accessible for newcomers on account of it being set so far in the future from any events in any other Zelda game.

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Exploration and puzzle solving are no longer a "paint-by-numbers" affair either. As Nintendo frequently mentioned in the leadup to the game's launch, there are as many ways to solve a puzzle as there are players.

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---

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What have been your favorite sandbox games this year? If they aren't included in our list, leave a comment below and let us know! 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-cbc1a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-cbc1a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168039","description":"

Lego Worlds

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PS4, Xbox One, Steam
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Minecraft might be the most well-known sandbox video game, but Lego has definitely been letting people build their imaginations for a lot longer. And that's exactly what you do in Lego Worlds -- build anything you can imagine.

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In a combination of Minecraft and Scribblenauts, Lego Worlds unleashes you into a series of creative and bizarre worlds, all connected to each other somehow. You might start in a modern city setting, then end up in a haunted forest, only to leave the forest and head into an arid desert.

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Like Minecraft, you are free -- freer than any previous Lego game -- to create anything and everything you want. There's a tutorial mode to help get you started, or you can bypass this completely and play in sandbox mode. Like Scribblenauts, there is a story to be found in all of this -- but it's not anything too in-depth, and there are plenty of side missions to complete as well. As with any good sandbox game, it's up to you how to handle them.  You can work within the lines, or you can completely break the game with some creative creations and work your way around the lines.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-7ac6a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-7ac6a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168038","description":"

Slime Rancher

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Steam
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Slime Rancher combines a variety of different genres into one unique package. Playing as Beatrix LeBeau, you arrive at an abandoned ranch a thousand light years away from your home planet and must work to restore it to glory -- much like the setup in earlier Harvest Moon games (well, minus the space travel).

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However, you won't be taking care of your usual animals here. As the name suggests, this game is all about finding, taming, battling, and raising slimes. Slimes come in a huge variety of forms and colors, all with their own characteristics that require specific methods of care to thrive. Of course, that means scouring the world to find what you need for your ranch and slimes to grow and prosper, and Slime Rancher offers a wide, quite attractive world to explore using your handy vacpack -- a vacuum that also happens to be your backpack and can act a lot like Samus Aran's arm cannon too.

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There's not much story to be found here, which leaves you free to focus on making your ranch the best it can be using whatever methods work. (And with the help of our Slime Rancher guides, you're sure to get started on the right foot.)

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-08574.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-08574.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168037","description":"

Yonder: The Cloudcatcher Chronicles

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Steam
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Yonder: The Cloudcatcher Chronicles is an interesting game. Compared to most games, there's not a lot to do. It's almost impossible to die, there is no combat, and the story itself is rather thin -- involving a creeping darkness invading the islands of Gemea and the need to recover the Sprites that can repel it.

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However, you don't really need to pursue the story, if you don't want to. The real fun comes from exploring and interacting with the environment, along with using materials to craft items that help you explore further. There are plenty of side quests too, along with farming elements, that your crafting will help make easier.

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Yonder shows off a different side of gaming -- the more relaxed and comforting side that helps you unwind after a stressful day. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-eccd1.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-eccd1.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"168036","description":"

Gravity Rush 2

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PS4
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Gravity Rush 2 improves on its predecessor in almost every way. The world is more expansive, you have new abilities with which you can manipulate gravity, a multitude of quests has been added, and you can freely develop your own combat style.

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It's difficult to determine what is more rewarding in Gravity Rush 2. The missions themselves are quite varied, but flying around to explore the vast world and its unique aesthetic is a pleasure in itself. Fans of the first game will likely think the story is the best feature, though, since it ties up many of the loose ends left by the first.

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What makes this game special as a sandbox game is the fact that, despite having a definite overarching story, you are pretty much free to choose how you go about finding and completing the chapter missions. However, the combat is rather rewarding as well, since players can develop a variety of fighting styles -- all of which make excellent use of the key gravity manipulation mechanic -- to suit whatever situation comes their way.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-90e0e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-90e0e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168035","description":"

RiME

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PS4, Xbox One, Steam
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RiME is an atmospheric puzzle game that offers a great gameplay experience despite having no dialogue. The world itself is very open, and players are free to pursue or ignore important and optional quests as they please. It's fairly easy to ignore the optional ones, though most of the required puzzles do give the player a good deal of guidance in one form or another.

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However, puzzles are only part of the adventure here. The visual style makes exploring every inch of the island -- and trying to achieve the trophies -- as much fun as progressing through the game itself. Yet you will want to progress and see your adventure through to the end.

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One of the best things about RiME is actually the story -- which is interesting, considering the fact that it only really starts to become a focus towards the game's end. There won't be any spoilers here, but it certainly gives you a different perspective on the game and protagonist.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-013fa.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-013fa.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168034","description":"

Kingdoms and Castles

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Steam
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Kingdoms and Castles is a simulator that places you in the role of a ruler who must decide how best to build up their kingdom. It offers you plenty of options for doing so, along with plenty of challenges.

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Your most basic goal is keeping your people happy -- partly because that's what good rulers do, and partly so that you can tax them without fear of revolt. You're also responsible for keeping them fed and healthy, which means allocating resources to farming, to better buildings, and so on. But in return, you also attract new residents to exploit -- er, care for.

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There are other challenges too, including marauding Vikings and dragons that mercilessly sack your kingdom if you aren't militarily prepared for them. The biggest pleasure, though, comes from building and managing the layout of your kingdom itself, and the layout of things like towers and walls that change based on how you stack your tiles and choose to build.

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Ultimately, how and where you build your kingdom determines your success or demise. It may not have quite the depth of Civilization, but Civilization also doesn't have dragons…

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-082bd.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/n/sandbox-082bd.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"168033","description":"

Horizon: Zero Dawn

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PS4
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Horizon: Zero Dawn is one of the best-rated games of this year so far, let alone being among the best sandbox games. It's not difficult to see why, either -- it's a gorgeous-looking game with a lot to offer.

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Set in the distant future, where humans have reverted to living in tribes and machine monsters run wild, this game puts you in the role of Aloy -- a motherless outcast from a matriarchal society. You discover technology that you can harness to hunt and control the monsters you encounter as you traverse the world around you and attempt to unravel the many tangled threads of politics and warfare. 

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Or you can do none of that, because you're also free to pursue sidequests, wander the world, or master your combat techniques -- and it's the latter that makes Horizon Zero Dawn really shine. Combat in this game involves learning the patterns and behaviors of various machines in a way reminiscent of Xenoblade Chronicles, and Aloy has no shortage of weapons and abilities to help her on the way to victory.

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Of course, the combat is helped along quite a bit by the game's visuals. Dark, yet rich, they go a long way in pulling you into this world and making it believable -- and interested parties will also find a lot to enjoy in the game's themes of what it means to be human and the role of technology, among other things not often explored in video games. 

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For more information, read our review of Horizon Zero Dawn.

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Sandbox games are among some of the most inventive and engaging video games out there. They allow and encourage a great deal of creativity, helping the player be as much a part of what unfolds on screen as what the developers themselves intended. Be it progressing through a story at your own pace or exploring and shaping the game environment to your heart's content, sandbox games have something to appeal to almost everyone.

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2017 has been an especially good year for lovers of sandbox games, so we compiled a list of some of the best ones up to now to help you navigate your way to your next favorite game.

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Image via Bitcoin Magazine

"}]]]>
Former PS4 exclusive Rime resurfaces with new publisher https://www.gameskinny.com/vimp8/former-ps4-exclusive-rime-resurfaces-with-new-publisher https://www.gameskinny.com/vimp8/former-ps4-exclusive-rime-resurfaces-with-new-publisher Sat, 13 Aug 2016 05:37:37 -0400 Anne-Marie Coyle

Grey Box and Six Foot have announced they will partner with developer Tequila Works to publish the studio's long-awaited title Rime.

Unveiled at Sony's Gamescom press conference, the game stars a young boy shipwrecked on an island after a storm. However, it seems development since it's announcement back in 2013, has been less than smooth sailing.

Sony was originally on board to publish the title, but Tequila Works reacquired the rights to the IP earlier this year. It's unclear whether creative differences between the companies was to blame or whether the developer wanted the freedom to bring Rime to other platforms.

With its young male protagonist and vibrant cel-shaded world, Rime has drawn considerable comparisons to PlayStation exclusive ICO. Despite the lengthy development period, details on Rime are still pretty scarce, but Tequila Works has promised players "a meaningful journey filled with discovery".

Rime is slated for a release sometime in 2017. The change in publisher means it's unlikely to remain a PS4 exclusive. However, further details on platform availability won't be announced until the beginning of next year.

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Rime no longer being published by Sony https://www.gameskinny.com/t1k8g/rime-no-longer-being-published-by-sony https://www.gameskinny.com/t1k8g/rime-no-longer-being-published-by-sony Sat, 19 Mar 2016 06:25:45 -0400 Curtis Dillon

Rime, a PS4 exclusive that was revealed back at Gamescom 2013, is no longer being published by Sony as developer Tequila Works has "reacquired" the rights.

The news came as a surprise and, yet, is no so surprising. It was a beautiful game that Sony was publishing and people were excited for, but on the other hand, we've heard practically nothing about it since 2013. The good news is that the game is not dead, and Tequila Works is "working hard to realize its aspirations for it."

Following the announcement of Tequila Works reacquiring the rights to Rime, the dev took to Twitter to reassure fans that development is “going well and ending well”.

It's unclear whether Tequila Works simply wanted the rights and ability to publish the game on more platforms, or if Sony simply were not impressed with the way the game was coming along. However in a Twitter post the team says any speculations that the rights were reacquired because of a lack of progress, are "untrue". They also implied that lack of information on the game is more of a Sony issue, but that Tweet was deleted. The developer said it will share more about the breakdown between it and Sony soon.

What's interesting however is that Microsoft initially passed on Rime, a decision Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, admittedly regrets. 

"Part of job is living with mistakes," he said at the time. "Passed on Guitar Hero...I can list many misses regretfully. I try to focus on what we did ship."

Rime appeared quite well along in its development when it was unveiled at Gamescom almost 3 years ago. People were impressed with the its Zelda-esque art-style and gameplay.

Nothing has been seen since then however, so maybe the game has undergone significant changes in those years. Tequila Works did confirm that the development team has grown significantly over the past few years, which does suggest a bigger game. Thankfully it shouldn't be too long until we know more.

When do you think we will ever play Rime? And which consoles will it be on? Are you still interested in the game? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned to GameSkinny.

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The Most Anticipated Games of 2015 for XBOX One & PS4 https://www.gameskinny.com/b946t/the-most-anticipated-games-of-2015-for-xbox-one-ps4 https://www.gameskinny.com/b946t/the-most-anticipated-games-of-2015-for-xbox-one-ps4 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 04:20:31 -0500 fuodshfdshfdsjfk

Wondering what games are your best bet for console gaming this year?

And don't want to watch an hour-long, monotone top 50? 

Then today is your lucky day.

This 4-minute video covers all 50 of the most anticipated games for consoles coming out this year, with a little flashy something extra. 

All footage is provided by IGN.

Music playing within this video is a remix made by me uniquely for this video including elements from:

  • Ellie Goulding - "High For This"
  • Ellie Goulding - "High For This" (Ianborg Bootleg)
  • Ellie Goulding - "High For This Omega Dubstep Bootleg" (Gaming muziek)

All rights reserved for original copyright holder.

Video put together by me.

More content by me can be found here.

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12 Indie Reasons To Celebrate Next-Gen https://www.gameskinny.com/xmfnw/12-indie-reasons-to-celebrate-next-gen https://www.gameskinny.com/xmfnw/12-indie-reasons-to-celebrate-next-gen Sun, 03 Nov 2013 07:41:24 -0500 Coatedpolecat

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Another game that's already had a PC release, but will come to the PS4 at launch, is Rogue Legacy by Cellar Door Games.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/83afdd2328347fbfab90797313a08a3a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_83afdd2328347fbfab90797313a08a3a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"24118","description":"

A Hat In Time will find a release on WiiU, and is being made by Gears for Breakfast.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6d9e4bf4f19438297ba0d62963557dcd.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6d9e4bf4f19438297ba0d62963557dcd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"24117","description":"

A.N.N.E. is from Gamesbymo and will release on the WiiU.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a9064250359e82805979494f8e4dc224.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a9064250359e82805979494f8e4dc224.jpg","type":"slide","id":"24116","description":"

Primal Carnage: Genesis finds it's creative team to be Lukewarm Media and will be a PS4 title.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/fcbaaad5377aa10ef0085cc152009169.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_fcbaaad5377aa10ef0085cc152009169.png","type":"slide","id":"24115","description":"

Rime is another PS4 release being made by Tequila Works.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a7c478533da82ec68e2e6207b123f70c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a7c478533da82ec68e2e6207b123f70c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"24114","description":"

Secret Ponchos will be a PS4 title, developed by Switchblade Monkey.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/cf92b17c06606e6b16f104b4fa4c0c7d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_cf92b17c06606e6b16f104b4fa4c0c7d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"24113","description":"

Outlast, developed by Red Barrels, has already launched on PC but will also be available on the PS4.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/415dc35f2cd8c10ae7575b613e62819f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_415dc35f2cd8c10ae7575b613e62819f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"24112","description":"

Everyone's Gone to the Rapture is being created and developed by The Chinese Room and will be on the PS4.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a12aa802fd67dcde63be35d00c328c65.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_a12aa802fd67dcde63be35d00c328c65.jpg","type":"slide","id":"24110","description":"

Galak-Z from 17-Bit comes to the PS4.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4fd84608648f99a7c30bd3459cf3fd81.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4fd84608648f99a7c30bd3459cf3fd81.jpg","type":"slide","id":"24109","description":"

Don't Starve is a PS4 release from Klei Entertainment.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5f2260b914af2a4e4178c4c732253e6c.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_5f2260b914af2a4e4178c4c732253e6c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"24107","description":"

Contrast is a PS4 title that's in development by Compulsion Games.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e2bbba70108a14be171c4b38b23ae054.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e2bbba70108a14be171c4b38b23ae054.jpg","type":"slide","id":"24106","description":"

Basement Crawl is coming to PS4 by Bloober Team.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/496a532fadb48f5354118c2f6efca2c4.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_496a532fadb48f5354118c2f6efca2c4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"24127","description":"

In a couple weeks our two new consoles will release, and with some of the most innovative titles to grace any console.  I wanted to take the time and highlight some games I'm looking forward to.  A few of these will launch with the next-gen hardware, while others I'm just excited to play whenever they come out.  I chose these screenshots to encapsulate the genre, and the outstanding charm and artistic style of each game. Enjoy!

"}]]]>