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Wolfenstein: The New OrderWhile publishers seem intent on cramming multiplayer into every game to make it more appealing to consumers, Wolfenstein: The New Order is a strong reminder that single-player games can still be fun.
The New Order doesn't offer so much as a deathmatch mode. It puts the players' full attention on its single-player campaign, set in an alternate history in which Nazis won World War 2. The fact that Machine Games was willing to ship the game without any sort of online mode shows serious confidence in their product.
This confidence was justified, too. Wolfenstein: The New Order makes Nazis more monstrous than they've ever been in a video game and makes the once-mute B.J. Blazkowicz more human and likable than he ever was in past Wolfenstein chapters. Blazkowicz's arsenal in New Order, meanwhile, is as diverse and impressive as ever. The result's a great first-person shooter that every fan of the genre should try.
ResogunSony spent the months leading up to the PS4's launch touting the console's graphical capabilities and various online features. It's odd, then, that the best launch title - and one of the best PS4 games today - is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up inspired by a 1980 arcade game.
Resogun modernizes the classic gameplay of Defender: players fight off waves of aliens while saving humans caught in the middle of the battle. You have to weigh your own survival against saving as many innocents as possible and thereby maximizing your score. It's a simple but engrossing formula.
The game's only gotten better since its release, too. Housemarque recently released a free update that adds local co-op. It also included a toolset so players could construct a ship with custom attributes and visual details.
Finding games to play on a new console can be hard. Thanks to Resogun, though, PS4 owners had something worth playing since Day One.
Assassin's Creed 4: Black FlagAssassin's Creed was one of the biggest new franchises from last generation. If Assassin's Creed 4 is any indication, the series will survive long into this generation too.
AC4 is like a new-gen remake of Sid Meier's Pirates. Players freely explore the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy, attacking ships and forts to maintain control of the sea. They can then use their plunder to strengthen their ship, preparing them to take on even bigger targets.
The traditional Assassin's Creed gameplay is still there, though. At any time you can hop off your ship and engage in your old habits: assassinating targets, scrambling across rooftops, and picking swordfights with way too many guards.
There are some weak spots in the game. Ubisoft seems to think that sneaking in a ship is much more fun than it is. Still, it's the kind of immersive pirate game that we've been wanting since we were kids.
inFamous: Second SonThe inFamous series allows players to be a superhero. The premise has almost unlimited potential and inFamous: Second Son makes the most of that promise.
Second Son hero Delsin Rowe has the most diverse set of superpowers yet. He can manipulate neon, smoke and even concrete. It's like he's several superheroes crammed into one body. Roaming Seattle with that much power at your fingertips gives you the sort of thrill you expect from a new console.
There's still some untapped potential. Second Son's open-world feels a bit vacant at times and the side-missions are repetitive. However, there's players entertained and excited for the inevitable sequel.
TowerFall: AscensionTowerFall: Ascension makes us do something we haven't done since GoldenEye 007 or Mario Kart: invite friends over for as four-player battle royale.
The 2D archer battles of TowerFall: Ascension are fun in success or failure. Snipe an enemy in mid-air and you'll feel like a pro. If you miss and fall to your death, though, at least you've got a funny replay to watch.
The PS4 version of TowerFall greatly improves on the original Ouya edition with smart additions. A new Quest mode lets players compete against A.I. enemies alone or with a friend. New Arenas and power-ups spice up the already stellar 4-player battles.
Would TowerFall be better with online multiplayer? Probably. Still, I'm glad the game forces us to play together locally. It's a reminder of just how much fun that can be.
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