You know you are well into the dog days of summer gaming when you haven’t fired up your not even one year old consoles in over a week. I can’t recall this kind of a drought since probably last summer. With so many fantastic games on the horizon and all my buddies busy with other summertime shenanigans, gaming hasn’t exactly been a priority. Sure I could go back and tackle some titles I missed over the course of the past year or so but with Madden 15 and Destiny around the corner, I have little interest in jumping into a game I won’t be able to or want to finish. Of course, that’s just me. Maybe you are looking for a stop gap option or something you can really sink your teeth into as the summer winds down? Maybe the weather sucks and you need something good to play right now?
For those of you looking for that ‘under the radar’ game that may have slipped through the cracks, I’ve compiled this list of five games available on next generation systems that are sure to not disappoint. They may be games you have played already and that’s fine but I’m sure many of you haven’t. The best part about these games is they are all downloadable titles and affordable ones. So without further delay here are 5 fantastic games you should play while y’all try and get by with the summer time blues.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3)
Fellow COG writer Doug Mercer said it best when he described Valiant Hearts: The Great War like this: “Beautiful art, moving music and a compelling story that has a heart wrenching and unexpected ending with plenty of subtext for you to chew on, it was an absolute treat to play”. Valiant Hearts won’t be the most complex game you have played all year but that is what makes it a perfect summer time fling of a game. The reasonable $15.00 dollar (at time of writing) price tag isn’t bad and the little history lessons along the way is a treat. Sure its gut wrenching and will bring on the feels (OH GOD, SO MANY FEELS), but there is no question you can’t go wrong downloading this little gem from Ubisoft.
Super Time Force (Xbox one and Xbox 360)
If you are someone who loves a blast from the past and can always appreciate some of those old school retro shooter games then Super Time Force is for you. It sure as heck isn’t the prettiest of games. In fact much like an expensive scotch, Super Time Force is an acquired taste where at first you will be like, “WTF is this, yuck!” but undoubtedly you’ll come around and love your time with the game. It can be a bit punishing but so addictive that you can’t help but keep trying. Out of all the games on this list Super Time Force will be the most difficult one to put down. It’s an Indie game that will feel familiar but it’s innovative in its own way and just a blast to play.
Transistor (PS4 and PC)
Listen up Bastion fans, you will love this one. What it lacks in content it makes up for in spades with its compelling storyline, gorgeous art style and combat that just feels good. This affordably priced Indie game has been called one of the greatest Indie games of this decade. That is a rather bold statement but you know what, they are probably right. Transistor is that good. If you buy it for the narration and soundtrack alone, I would not fault you, like at all.
flower (PS4, PS3 and Vita)
Okay I’ll admit I don’t know many dude bros who are looking to play flower anytime soon. This isn’t the kind of game you will brag to your buddies about at your upcoming fantasy football draft. This isn’t exactly a new game either as it came out years ago on the PS3 but having recently played the refreshed version on the PS4 I am here to tell you all to play this game! Like a soothing glass of lemonade on a hot day, flower is a nice break from your typical Dark Souls grindfest. It’s a simplistic game that doesn’t take you too long to power through. Yet that calming and equality satisfying feeling you get when playing flower makes it easily one of the most memorable games you will play this year.
Outlast (Xbox One and PS4)
I know this game didn’t exactly get rave reviews but it didn’t get awful scores either. I can say without a shadow of a doubt this game made me crap my pants though! Yah, Outlast is crazy scary. You will jump out of you chair on more than a few occasions. Unlike ‘flower’ there is no relaxing or chilling out while you’re on this journey. It is a tense experience and right from the get go Outlast sucks you in. If you even remotely enjoy horror games, there is no question you will enjoy this one. Sure the game gets repetitive and is not without some technical flaws but Outlast is quite easily one of the scariest games available on next gen consoles and it should stay that way at least until ‘The Evil Within’ comes out in a few months. Of course if you happened to have jumped into the P.T. teaser on PSN this week you might be doing a load of soiled underpants in your laundry right now… that’s some scary ass shit.