Alongside our staff-voted Game of the Year awards, each of our writers have crafted their own personal lists, covering their top five PlayStation 4 titles of 2019. Today, it's the turn of editor Sammy Barker.
I’m willing to bet that you haven’t played Lonely Mountains: Downhill, and I understand why. We live in an era of excess, and few have got time for a cycling game with an ethereal backdrop. Remember how the Trials titles one took the world by storm, though? This buccaneering biking debut builds on the same sensibilities, as precision and finesse are the order of the day. All you have to do is conquer a series of increasingly tough off-road pursuits – good luck with that.
Resident Evil 2 is the perfect crowd pleaser – there’s very little to actually criticise. Playing as either floppy-haired rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy or the daring sibling Claire Redfield, this survival horror remake is meticulously designed. After the disastrous Resident Evil 6, publisher Capcom has worked miracles to get Biohazard back on track, and this remake has just the right blend of fist-pumping action, resource management, and exploration. It’s really good.
Sony sometimes gets criticised for applying the same “cinematic” formula to its tentpole titles, but I was eager to see how it would achieve that in PlayStation VR. London Studio provided the answer with Blood & Truth, a Getaway-inspired cockney crime caper only possible with virtual reality goggles. The gunplay is fast-paced and frantic, like a modern incarnation of a classic lightgun arcade game. But what I really liked about this game are the moments where it turns the intensity down; exploring art galleries and walking through airport security are weirdly compelling with PSVR.
2. Days Gone
It’s been months since I reviewed Days Gone, and I still can’t actually tell you why I like it so much. This is, unquestionably, a derivative open world game; it borrows liberally from the genre’s best, and aside from its setting and horde technology it does little to improve upon the titles that already exist. But there’s something about its gameplay loop that I feel gives it a rugged kind of appeal; it’s a contemporary adventure in every regard, and yet it invokes a kind of PS2 nostalgia in me that I find extremely appealing.
1. Shenmue III
I’ve waited over half my adult life for the continuation of Ryo Hazuki’s tale of revenge, but dare I say it was worth the wait? Shenmue III feels like it’s stepped out of a time capsule, which is testament to the strength of director Yu Suzuki’s original vision. Objectively, I know this is not the best game of 2019, but its background alone elevates it far above its peers for me. This is a title that should have released in 2002; that it exists in 2019 on the PS4 is nothing short of remarkable.
Do you agree with Sammy's personal Game of the Year picks? Whatever your opinion, feed us your thoughts in the comments section below.