No Man's Sky (PS4)
Action 09 August 2016
A science-fiction, sandbox action game with a focus on multiplayer mode. It was created by Hello Games, company known for the colorful arcade production Joe Danger. The game is set in the distant future in the yet uncharted parts of the cosmos, and the gameplay is presented in two forms. We explore the successive corners of the universe piloting a spacecraft, like we do in typical space-sim productions. Upon landing on a newly discovered planet, the game switches to first-person view. The authors emphasize the complete freedom given to the player during exploration. While visiting places featuring different animals, plants, or even varying composition of the planet's atmosphere, we can focus on exploration, acquisition of raw materials, or the combat against various predators. An important element of the game is the system of procedural generation of worlds, which creates their virtually every element, from the smallest features of the surface to the entire star systems and galaxies.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PS4)
Adventure 15 July 2015
A dark, first-person adventure game developed by The Astronauts - a Polish team led by Adrian Chmielarz, the co-founder of People Can Fly. The player is put in the shoes of Paul Prospero - a detective who has developed certain paranormal abilities. The protagonist tries to solve the mystery behind the vanishing of a young boy. The player traverses an extensive, open world - the game is non-linear and the player is free to explore and look for subsequent clues. The game offers many unique mechanics related to making links between different pieces of the puzzle. Walking around the grim areas of Red Creek Valley, the protagonist makes use of his extraordinary abilities, making contact with the dead, experiencing various visions and visiting alternative realities. Utilizing the Unreal Engine 3, the game stands out with its high-quality visuals supported by technologies allowing to convert photographs of real-existing places into digital pictures.
Robinson: The Journey (PS4)
Adventure 08 November 2016
A first-person adventure game focused on exploration. The game was developed by the German team at Crytek (famous for the best-selling Crysis series) and designed to support virtual reality technology. The story is set on an unknown distant planet combining tropical flora with prehistoric fauna embodied by powerful dinosaurs. The surface of the planet is littered with remnants of technologically advanced but now extinct civilization. The player takes control of a small boy, the sole survivor of a spaceship crash. He has to explore the mysterious land through his adventures and interactions with the environment. The game stands out with the latest generation of CryEngine ensuring high-quality visuals that put this game ahead of the majority of games supporting VR goggles.
Adventure 21 July 2015
Developed by the thatgamecompany studio, Journey is a remarkably unique exploration game, in which we embark on a journey through the desert sands. Our goal is to reach the summit of a great mountain, constantly visible on the horizon. A distinctive feature of Journey is the fact that we do not get a lot of exposure - the production lacks a classic narrative and does not have any dialogues; the nature of our protagonist and of the world we are in, which once harbored a mighty civilization, is all but unknown to us, a mystery, the true nature of which we can only speculate. The game consists of semi-open levels, which contain various puzzles and hidden locations. After passing through each of them we arrive at the next stage and the accompanying cut-scenes allow us to gradually discover and interpret the subsequent fragments of the plot. Journey also has one very intriguing curio - while playing the online mode we can encounter other players and at any time start playing in the co-op mode - but we still have to make do without verbal communication. All of the above is distinguished by an unusual, melancholic atmosphere and very artistic visuals, with focus on a minimalistic but incisive graphic style.
PlayStation VR Worlds (PS4)
Action 13 October 2016
A set of five varied games developed by Sony Computer Entertainment, created specifically for the PlayStation VR hardware and serving first and foremost to demonstrate the headgear's capabilities. The PlayStation VR Worlds set includes: the action game The London Heist, in which you play as a gangster trying to escape from the crime scene, a skateboard racing game VR Luge, set in the sunny California, the simulation game Into The Deep, in which you play as a deep sea scientist surveying the ocean in a special cage and avoiding the attacks of sea predators, the action game Scavenger's Odyssey, in which you play as a space treasure hunter, traveling on a futuristic mech-like vehicle, and a minimalistic sports game Danger Ball, in which you play against other players by deflecting a ball with your head and using many special abilities.
Arcade 26 May 2017
A third-person view adventure game developed by Tequila Works studio from Spain, which successfully debuted in 2012 with a post-apocalyptic platformer Deadlight. You assume the role of a boy who is trying to escape a mysterious island that conceals a sinister past. During the course of the game you will solve numerous puzzles, using a magical artifact that allows you to manipulate the environment and time. The title, despite being an action game also includes many platformer elements. The hero travels through an open world, climbs craggy cliffs, and jumps over chasms. Apart from being skilled, you also have to be perceptive, as light, sound, and touch (thanks to the technology offered by PS Vita and DUALSHOCK 4) play a vital role in Rime. The game features a 3D environment, colorful visuals, and a comic book-like visual style.
What Remains of Edith Finch (PS4)
Adventure 25 April 2017
What Remains of Edith Finch is a unique adventure game developed by Giant Sparrow, which focuses on the evanescence of life. The game tells a set of short stories about the fate of the members of a certain American family that has been cursed. The history told in those episodes takes place over a span of one hundred years in Washington state, a place filled with forests and mountains, a location that resembles a little the cult TV show Twin Peaks. In terms of gameplay mechanics, What Remains of Edith Finch is your typical first-person adventure game. The climate and gameplay mechanics change depending on which family member we are currently controlling. What connects every story told in the game is the fact that in each and every one of them our protagonist dies. Another common ground between them is the titular character of Edith, who tries to discover her family's dark secret and find out why she is the only surviving member.
Adventure 09 February 2016
An indie FPP adventure game and the debut production of the American Campo Santo studio. The team comprises of veteran developers, previously working on such titles as The Walking Dead, Mark of the Ninja, BioShock 2, and Brutal Legend. The story of Firewatch takes place in an enormous forest in the American state of Wyoming, where our hero is trying to escape his day-to-day problems by becoming a ranger. This seemingly calm profession turns into an extremely complicated one, when various unexplainable events take place in the area that our character is charged with patrolling. The incidents are directly connected to our hero’s boss – Delilah, with whom we constantly keep in touch via radio. Building up relations with our superior is one of the key aspects of the game, as she is the only NPC featured in the production. The gameplay revolves exclusively around the single player mode; the popular Unity engine powers the game’s visuals.
Dear Esther: Landmark Edition (PS4)
Adventure 20 September 2016
A remake of Dear Esther, a popular narrative exploration game from 2012 that started a whole new genre – the so-called walking simulators. It was developed by the independent studio The Chinese Room. Contrary to the base version of the game that was powered by the Source engine and released only on personal computers, this edition is powered by the Unity technology. This enabled the developers to release their game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well. The new version introduces completely new sounds, including the developers’ commentary that can be played during the game. In Dear Esther: Landmark Edition the player calmly travels through locations (the action is presented in a first-person perspective) and gradually discovers new pieces of the story. The plot is presented in the form of letters to the titular Esther, which are read by a mysterious male voice. Since the game lacks any interactions with the environment, it caused many discussions about whether it is still a video game or simply an interactive experience.
The Long Dark (PS4)
Action 01 August 2017
A first person survival sandbox game, developed by independent Canadian studio Hinterland. The team includes veteran game developers, who previously worked for Relic Entertainment, Volition, and BioWare. The game takes you into a post-apocalyptic world after a massive geomagnetic storm. With all electronic devices disabled and water and food supplies running low, the player has to struggle to survive the incoming winter. The game’s sandbox mechanics and its open-world structure give much freedom of gameplay, whose biggest challenges are survival and making difficult moral choices. The game features a compelling narrative written by Marianne Krawczyk, the author of scripts for such titles as God of War and L.A. Noire. The game’s unique character is emphasized by its unusual graphics, designed by Hokyo Lima (known for League of Legends).
Adventure 15 August 2017
First-person psychological horror from Polish development studio Bloober Team, known best for another horror game, entitled Layers of Fear. Observer is set in a cyberpunk universe, in Cracow of 2048. In the game you play as Daniel Lazarski (starred by Rutger Hauer, known from the film Blade Runner), a detective able to hack into people’s minds. The game’s story starts when the main hero gets a letter from his missing son, who turns out to be a high-ranking engineer working for a powerful corporation. The protagonist picks up an investigation that takes him to the slums of Cracow and forces him to relive dark memories and nightmares of both criminals and their victims. When it comes to gameplay, Observer is a first-person adventure game with survival horror mechanics. Most of the time the player explores grim locations and interacts with characters encountered on the way. An important aspect of gameplay are sequences in which the protagonist hacks into minds of suspects and becomes part of their worst nightmares.
Adventure 08 March 2016
A first-person survival horror game developed by Polish development studio IMGN.pro. The game's story is inspired by true events that took place in 1959 at the Dyatlov Pass in the Ural mountains, where the dead bodies of nine Russian hikers were found, and the cause of their death remained unclear. We only know that most of them died of hypothermia, and evidence indicates that they were forced to flee from an unknown danger. In the game we explore an open, icebound world, having only a map and a compass at our disposal. On our way to reach the goal, we have to deal with many dangers lurking in the mountains. There is no combat, and the only way to survive is by escaping. A special system called "fear manager" has been developed for the game. Depending on the player's actions, it adequately handles all the factors responsible for building an eerie atmosphere, which makes each new game a bit different.
The Witness (PS4)
Logic 26 January 2016
A first-person adventure game with logic puzzles, developed by the creator of Braid – Jonathan Blow and his independent studio Number None. The game takes you to a large, mysterious island, whose all inhabitants vanished without a trace. Gameplay has you explore this vast world, solve logic puzzles, and search for clues that will help you solve the mysteries of this place. Game mechanics resemble the cult Myst series. As you play, you have to display remarkable patience, observance, and the ability to connect different pieces of the story. Many things here have secret meanings, and the key symbols, hints, and markings were cleverly hidden within the game’s environment. The Witness features simple, but charming, 3D graphics and supports the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift.
EVEREST VR (PS4)
Simulation 04 October 2017
A simulation game designed for virtual reality sets, taking us to Himalayas where we conquer the summit of the highest mountain in the world. Production was developed by Icelandic Sólfar Studios collaborating with RVX team, responsible for special effects in the Baltasar Kormáruk movie, Everest. Project was supported financially by many Scandinavian institutions. EVEREST VR lets us experience the beauty of the journey while traveling through five iconic scenes: preparing our expedition at the basecamp, traversing the dangerous Khumbu Icefalls, spending the night in a transition camp, ascending the nearly vertical Hilary Step to finally reach the summit of Everest. Producers took special care to achieve a proper balance between pure simulation and enjoyable experience, making it attractive for a large group of recipients. Visuals were created by using dual imaging photogrammetry and the stunning photos taken while directing the Everest movie.
Chernobyl VR Project (PS4)
Simulation 29 September 2017
Chernobyl VR Project is an extraordinary exploration game, which utilizes virtual reality to take the players into the ruins of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, as well as the city of Pripyat. Chernobyl VR Project has been developed by The Farm 51 – the studio known for such games as Get Even, Deadfall Adventures, Painkiller: Hell & Damnation or the NecroVision series. This is an interactive story of the fate that befell the citizens of the city, and areas around the power plant, most severely affected with the disaster. Instead of fighting mutants, the player roams the desolate locations and examines encountered items, left behind by the inhabitants in 1986. Thanks to Virtual Reality technology, as well as other modern techniques, such as 3D scanning, Chernobyl VR Project offers extremely pretty graphics and moving experiences – especially since the developers have based their game on the account of eye-witnesses of the terrible event, as well as journalists (including the Nobel Prize laureate – Svetlana Alexievich) in order to produce a game as faithful to history as virtually possible.
Jupiter & Mars (PS4)
Adventure 30 June 2018
Jupiter & Mars is an underwater exploration game for PlayStation VR, developed by indie studio Tigertron. The game is set in the near future and you play as a Dolphin named Jupiter, traversing the ocean that has been devastated by the actions of man.
An unusual exploration game developed by Italian studio Storm in a Teacup. The plot of the game focuses on an Asian princess whose tears caused the world around her to lose its colors and start dying. The player assumes the role of a small lantern and is tasked with returning the life and colors to the realm by making everyone remember about the power of love. There are four areas to visit, each with different architecture and environment. The unusual protagonist is transported there by the wind. The lantern is able to turn other lanterns on, bring petrified animals back to life and activate various devices encountered on the way. The title features high quality three-dimensional graphics inspired by oriental aesthetics. The title supports virtual reality goggles, but the device isn’t mandatory for the game to work.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture (PS4)
Adventure 11 August 2015
An unusual FPP adventure game that lets you relive the last day of several characters facing impending apocalypse. The game was created by The Chinese Room, the developer known for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Dear Esther. The game is set in a small village in Britain. Each playthrough lasts 60 minutes and you have no clear objectives to follow. The open world is inhabited by 6 independent characters, each one having their own ideas on how to spend the last moments of life. Playing as one of them you get to freely explore the world and interact with other characters to influence their fate and behavior. The game was designed for multiple playthroughs, each time to discover something new and shape the story differently. The game’s world created with CryEngine 3 features high level of interactivity, as almost every object can be manipulated.
Adventure 29 August 2017
A first-person perspective adventure game with logic elements, developed by Cyan - the creators of the cult adventure game series, Myst. Obduction, created as a Myst’s spiritual successor, tells a story of a man who finds a bizarre organic artifact that fell from the sky and is taken by it into a strange world. In the game, our task is to figure out where are we, and then find a way back home. Similarly to the aforementioned Myst series, the key element of the gameplay is gradual uncovering of the game world and its laws and then using this knowledge to overcome the obstacles we encounter. Therefore, the game focuses mainly on exploration and solving subsequent logic puzzles of various difficulty level. The game does not offer any cutscenes, and most of its story is learned by means of exploration, environment analysis, and reading journals we find throughout the world.
ARK Park (PS4)
Adventure 22 March 2018
An exploration game designed exclusively for Virtual Reality headgear – ARK Park takes players to a futuristic Jurassic park. The action of the game includes references to the popular online survival game called ARK: Survival Evolved. In the game, one can observe the natural habitat of dinosaurs, and even ride the gigantic reptiles. The locations one gets to explore are much diversified – there is a tropical jungle, snow-capped mountain peaks, and even vast steppes. During his journey, a player can use a camera, solve relatively simple puzzles, and learn about over 100 dinosaur species – their genes serve as collectibles. Moreover, ARK Park introduces a zoo, in which one can play with the animals the genes of which he has acquired – this means stroking, feeding, and even painting them. The game is based on Unreal Engine 4, thus the visuals featured in the game are of high quality.
Among The Sleep (PS4)
Adventure 10 December 2015
A first-person horror adventure game. Our hero is a two years old child, with all the physical and mental traits of this age. He gets woken up from sleep by a mysterious sounds and realizes that his mother is missing, so he decides to search for her together with his teddy bear. The gameplay focuses on exploring the gloomy household distorted by the child's imagination, while solving simple puzzles and searching for a way to reach subsequent locations. Additionally, you have to avoid imaginary monsters and find family memories, which are the only way to tame our hero's imagination. Since you are playing as a little child, most of the time you will be crawling or walking slowly, only occasionally running, for short period of time.
Shape of the World (PS4)
Adventure 05 June 2018
An experimental, first-person adventure game created by Hollow Tree Games – an independent, Canadian developer. Shape of the World does not offer a plot as such; rather, it focuses on delivering a certain visual experience. The player takes on the role of a nameless traveler who introduces different changes to the world around along his way. The changes made are divided into two kinds: the passive (as the player follows the designated path) and the active. The latter requires the player to shape the surroundings, for example, by deciding how much vegetation is to grow in a particular area or giving different colors to it. The game world is dynamic, for it changes when the player roams it. Thus, places visited before can look completely different when the player goes back to revisit them. What is important however, is that the player is not forced to follow the designated path. Instead, the game rewards the player for wandering off the beaten path and thinking on their own.
Die Young (PS4)
An independent exploration game with survival elements from an in-house team of the Indie Gala company. We play as a heroine who found herself on a Mediterranean island, not knowing how, why, and by whom she was kidnapped. She must uncover the truth behind this event and escape. Die Young employs first-person perspective and focuses on exploration. Aside from that, the protagonist must fight for survival, gathering food, water and useful equipment. Because she can’t use any weapons, our heroine is forced to run from dangers and climb on her surroundings to avoid danger – otherwise, she will meet a horrible end at the hands of opponents, with decapitations with axe being common scenes. What makes Die Young stand out from other games from the genre are its high-quality visuals, with detailed, moved by wind plants.