Sony’s PlayStation: home of unique Japanese titles, interactive movies, hardcore action, and chart-topping games about orange marsupials. Here are the hottest PlayStation games for single players in August—and do not forget to check OnlySP’s other lists for multi-platform games not featured here.
Only two months after Housemarque’s glittering score-chaser, Nex Machina, the long-time PlayStation developer is back again, this time without voxels. Matterfall is still a twin-stick shooter with bullet-hell elements, but rather than the Asteroids-like Super Stardust, Matterfall plays as a run-and-gun adventure closer to Contra or Metal Slug.
Matterfall is no less explosively beautiful and action-packed than the developer’s other recent releases, with plenty of excessive special effects familiar to fans of its work. However, some gamers might be skeptical of the team’s ability to deliver a platforming adventure when most of Housemarque’s games have been about replaying levels for high scores. To that end, gamers with access to Steam, XBLA, or PlayStation 3 should check out the studio’s excellent 2011 game Outland.
This title is more than enough evidence that Housemarque can deliver quality side-scrolling platform levels. Although Matterfall is much more of a shooter and lacks the Metroid-esque backtracking of Outland, coverage during E3 shows off mechanical depth to rival anything the studio has produced, from flashy combat tactics and RPG-lite loadouts to being able to ‘generate’ matter to use as a shield or platform.
Will Matterfall make as much of a splash as Nex Machina? Tough to say. Without the star power of Eugene Jarvis, the game might get less attention out of the gate. On the other hand, Matterfall will hold significantly more appeal for single-player enthusiasts with its focus on traversal and character improvement.
Matterfall invades PlayStation 4 on August 15.
UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY
Sony has had a tough time convincing potential buyers that The Lost Legacy is a worthy new title in the Uncharted series. Following the success of Naughty Dog’s first ever story DLC (‘Left Behind’ for The Last of Us), what would eventually become The Lost Legacy was announced as a similar expansion for Uncharted 4. If that were not confusing enough, the game grew so much during development that—so say the developers at Naughty Dog—The Lost Legacy is, in fact, longer than the first core game in the series, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.
So really, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is as worthy of a place in the series as any other game, and the fact that it will release at budget price should be considered a bonus. As evidenced by the lack of a number, the game also presents as a stand-alone story about two characters whose antagonistic relationship seemed compelling from the instant it was revealed at PSX last December. Whether gamers have history with Uncharted or not, Naughty Dog’s track record suggests anyone with interest in action-adventure games should certainly give The Lost Legacy a look.
For fans, though, the game is not just more Uncharted. Central characters Chloe and Nadine were arguably the most interesting parts of their respective games (Uncharted 2 and 4) and their return promises to justify their occasionally underused roles. All the while, thanks to the game’s Indian setting, returning to the subcontinent promises more of the fascinating geographical and historical depth that advantaged Uncharted 2.
The game may be built on the bones of 2016’s Uncharted 4, but The Lost Legacy is fresh in every other way. Given the shorter running time and focus on a single country, the game may even outshine that slightly-overstuffed ‘Dadventure’.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy comes to PlayStation 4 on August 22.
Over the years, the Yakuza series in English-speaking countries has transformed from a quirky curio—sold with the mostly erroneous ‘Japanese Grand Theft Auto‘ branding—into a beloved cult series, then with the most recent entry a modest mainstream hit. English-speakers have finally embraced Yakuza for what it is: an excellent modern-day RPG (well, set within the last thirty years) with brawler combat and an unbelievable command of tone.
Less esoteric than Shenmue, and without the oft-irritating sarcastic machismo of GTA, Yakuza 0 represented the best of the series so far—and broke into the popular gaming imagination with its feeling of watching a well-told foreign crime drama. SEGA has even mentioned this appeal as justification for keeping the series subtitled from now on; and Yakuza Kiwami offers both a continuation of the story and an evolution of the series’s mechanics despite being a remake of a game from the PlayStation 2 era.
Unlike Square Enix’s remasters or even the “shot-for-shot” style of the rebuilt Crash trilogy, Yakuza Kiwami is a fresh version of the original tale with extra hooks (the “Majima Everywhere” system in particular, highlighted in the trailer below) and an improved cinematic presentation that aims to fix some of the more undercooked storylines of the original game.
For those who jumped on with Yakuza 0, this is the best way to keep up with the ongoing narrative. For those already converted to the series, Yakuza Kiwami will be a must-see for its massive list of improvements, even while it stays faithful to what counts: the story.
Yakuza Kiwami crosses the Pacific to PlayStation 4 on August 29.
Also in August, PlayStation gamers will be able to check out Life is Strange: Before the Storm‘s first episode (see the Xbox list later today) and the latest action game from the underappreciated masters at Ninja Theory, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (watch out for the PC list later in the week).
Other notable releases include the “single-player Saint’s Row” game, Agents of Mayhem, the well received city sim Cities: Skylines, and Sonic Mania, all on August 15. Come August 29, Ark: Survival Evolved finally releases, and the spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate, Pillars of Eternity, arrives after a long stint as a PC-exclusive. On that same day, the PlayStation 4 version of Everybody’s Golf arrives, bringing a surprisingly enduring golfing formula.
Were there any other games that excite you in August? Do not forget to check back on OnlySP’s other lists for more promising single-player games this month.