While we're still a month away from shifting into new consoles, already we can tell a few key things about what next gen will be all about. There will, for example, be lots of pretty weather effects. We will probably shoot lots of people in the face. Oh, and we'll probably play a ton games with and against each other too.
If multiplayer gaming was big this generation, it's going to be even huger next-gen. You can tell just by virtue of looking at some of the biggest upcoming games for both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One -- many of them have have some sort of multiplayer functionality from the get-go (or look like they do -- some titles are early enough in development that we might not find out if that's the case until months from now).
Let's take a look at some of the cooler multiplayer or co-op games we can all look forward to, shall we?
Ah, the first item on the list and it's not even technically confirmed for multiplayer. Judging from this bombastic teaser, though, Insomniac Games -- the developers behind the title -- is developing a post-apocalyptic title that eschews the aesthetics of most games of its ilk. Sure, you're shooting mutants at what (seems to be) the end of the world, but that doesn't mean everything has to be draped in greys and browns. That's a good thing, because the visuals here are damned striking.
Gameplay-wise -- assuming this teaser accurately represents the game at all -- it seems like we can look forward to a game that allows us lots of free movement (parkour, perhaps?), emphasis on verticality in the level-design, and yes, the ability to kill mutants with our friends. Excellent.
Tom Clancy's The Division
What is it with Ubisoft and the exploration of the bleak near-future lately? Heh. Well, if nothing else, The Division -- an online, open-world multiplayer shooter -- looks like it's going to be fantastic for those that love playing a game that requires teamwork and cooperation (like say, Battlefield). Even optional stuff, like its iPad integration, seems catered to teamwork-based play: you can tag and damage opponents, as well as buff your teammates.
The Division also seems worth keeping an eye on if you like your shooters to have RPG elements, or have any passing interest in Watch Dogs -- they're similar-looking games, no?
One of the coolest, most overlooked games from this E3 had to be Project Spark -- a a game editor of sorts which lets people create and share video games. And judging by the footage we've seen so far, it seems as if the number of things people can make will be huge. On this note...don't be surprised if one of the continuing trends in next gen, particularly multiplayer games, is the heavy emphasis on player creation. Lots of map and item creating that we can look forward to in the future, I'm sure.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Not a 'next-gen game' per se, but the somewhat disturbing roguelike by Edmund McMillen is included in this list because not only was it one of the best games of 2011, it's also getting a complete remake for the PlayStation 4. New engine, new items, new enemies, and you'll be able to play it with your friends locally. Excellent.
I mean, it sounds like it'll be chaotic -- Spelunky, another roguelike, allows for co-op and it's kind of a ridiculous, dangerous experience with other players -- but that's what makes this remake so exciting. I can't wait to dive deeper and deeper into my mum's basement while crying and collecting all sorts of random items and power-ups with my friends.
Mechs, jetpacks, and parkour make Titanfall one of the most impressive games we saw at this year's E3. Of particular note here -- aside from the fact that it's a game made by some of the folks previously behind Call of Duty -- is the interaction between pilots and mechs. You're not going to be in a mech all the time, and that's part of what makes this game so interesting.
Of course, these aren't the only exciting-looking multiplayer games dropping next gen -- these are just a few highlights out of many excellent-looking games! Perhaps you have something you're looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.
The Multiplayer is a weekly column that looks at how people crash into each other while playing games.