The prospect of a new console can be a worrying one for gamers. Sure, we all knew it was coming, but it still hurts. Suddenly your console seems more dated than ever and its sell-on value has fallen through the floor. With PS4's reveal, you might be asking the question on everybody's lips, the one nobody dares utter...
Is my console dead?
Fear not. PlayStation 3 is still very much alive and there's plenty to look forward to. Here's the big guns still to blaze onto your console in the months to come...
The long running franchise returns, only this time it's different. It's the first time developer Crystal Dynamics have been allowed to break away from the established mechanics and they're going for it in a big way. Tomb Raider aims to combine traditional gameplay with more emphasis on survival, stealth, and combat; both melee and ranged. Gorgeous graphics, cinematic gameplay and expertly mo-capped animations pool together to make Tomb Raider look more realistic than ever. A lot of work has gone into reinventing gaming icon Lara Croft - here's hoping it can propel her back to the top.
God of War: Ascension
SCE Santa Monica
Greek deities everywhere should be quaking in their boots. Kratos is back. God of War: Ascension sees players slicing and dicing through the Spartan antihero's origins. Players can expect better visuals than ever as they sever heads and chop limbs through sickeningly beautiful environments. New elements such as time manipulation change the formula slightly but the emphasis is as much on destroying colossal foes as it always has been. Challenging combat and tight controls are staples of God of War and new moves should make gameplay even better. The addition of 8-person multiplayer battles is also an enticing proposition. Ascension promises to be blood-thirst quenchingly awesome.
Irrational Games / 2K Marin
We've been hearing that Bioshock Infinite will be like nothing we've ever experienced before for months now. We're convinced, and can't wait for this fps that combines politics and religion with pant-wettingly tense action and awesome cinematics. It was delayed, not because of problems, but because the devs wanted to make it even better. From everything we've seen it looks outstanding. In the boots of Booker DeWitt players navigate a dangerous city in the sky in pursuit of the intriguing Elizabeth. Impeccably detailed and laden with unique visual content, this disturbing dystopia in late 19th century American exceptionalism, is a pleasure to look at. New gameplay elements and innovative enemy designs are welcome additions to a promising narrative and incredible combat. This could be a real game changer.
The Last of Us
The developer behind Crash Bandicoot, Jax and Daxter, and Uncharted has strayed a little from the spectacular and explosive gameplay they usually give us. Turning their game making minds towards a more mature and distressing place they've created The Last of Us, an intense and emotional survival story. As Joel, the objective is to protect 14 year-old Ellie, who has fallen under your wing. Set ten years after an apocalyptic event, players must sneak through hellish environments to avoid attracting the hordes of Ĺinfected' that will tear Joel and Ellie to pieces should they become aware of them. Gameplay is more stealth based than previous Naughty Dog efforts. You distract, sneak and kill from darkness. It's tense and it's terrifying. The Last of Us is a promising blend of survival and action in very capable hands.
Having worked on both the Far Cry and Assassin's Creed franchises, Ubisoft Montreal has a good development pedigree. Their latest offering, Watch Dogs, is an intriguing action game. The surprise hit at E3 2012, it's an open-world action adventure that gives players unique abilities to take down the corruption that surrounds them. Armed with a handy pocket sized hacking tool it's possible manipulate any number of electrical devices including phones and traffic lights. Gameplay involves cunning sneaking, tactical planning and tense cover-based shooting. Boasting clever mechanics, great visuals and bucket loads of possibilities, Watch Dogs could blow our minds.
Grand Theft Auto V
Expect Rockstar to present another fantastic combination of driving, walking, running, climbing, jumping and shooting. With environments ranging from suburbs to mountains and underwater sections hinted at, this is unquestionably the biggest GTA ever. The game world is huge, bigger than GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption combined. Players will cause carnage in the sleazy city of Los Santos and its surrounding area as they seek fame and fortune the criminal way. With three protagonists for the player to switch between, it looks like the familiar game mechanics may be changing. We trust that any change Rockstar make will be for the better and we're confident that GTA V will be hours of crime-filled fun framed by a first class story. Rockstar have always been bar-setters and with GTA 5 they're likely to take the sandbox adventure to a whole new level.
Beyond: Two Souls
This psychological action thriller from the team that brought us Heavy Rain follows Jodie Holmes, a young woman with a psychic link to an invisible entity. Actress Ellen Page has performed mo-cap and full voice work for Jodie in a game that could push the boundaries of interactive storytelling to new places. Experiencing 15 years of Jodie's life, players make decisions and commit actions that determine how the story progresses. One player can potentially have an entirely different playthrough than another. Quantic Dream deliver games that demonstrate how effective gaming as a storytelling medium can be. More action packed than its predecessor, Beyond: Two Souls should provide an experience like no other.
Codemasters are notorious for making great racing games; five years ago they released GRID, a fun and exciting racer loved by fans and critics alike. This year they are releasing GRID 2 and fans everywhere are dying to know one thing. What took so long? With new locations, exquisitely rendered graphics and a stylish presentation it's looking worth the wait. It won't be the most accurate simulation but an exhilarating ride packed with physics effects, arcade-style challenges, tight handling and competitive multiplayer is guaranteed. Pick up this one if you're looking for something you won't be able to put down.
Although we've heard nothing official yet we can be pretty certain that at least one more instalment of the ever evolving football series will come to current generation consoles. With a new FIFA comes new innovations, we anticipate improvements to AI, ball control and physical play and a few more defensive tweaks. New multiplayer modes will probably accompany the return of favourites and an updated player database is assured. Football fans everywhere won't want to miss it.
Killer is Dead
Grasshopper Manufacture's follow up to lollipop chainsaw has a unique visual style and ludicrously entertaining gameplay. An upgradable left arm that transforms into a weapon of destruction is probably going to be one of the less random quirks to be found here. The hack-and-slash action sees players wielding swords, guns and drills to annihilate evil robots. Fans of chaotic action, hilarious off-beat story, and comic art visuals will want to keep an eye out for this title.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Despite some recent legal wrangling about who owns the property, South Park: The Stick of Truth is due for release and has a lot going for it. Having given us Knights of The Old Republic 2 and more recently Fallout: New Vegas, the development team at Obsidian are no strangers to making great RPGs. With South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker on writing and voice duties expectations are getting cautiously high. In The Stick of Truth the player becomes The New Kid, arriving just in time for an epic adventure of South Park proportions. The opportunity to team up with Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny on quests around South Park will be irresistible to some, for others the classic RPG style and potential hilarity might just draw them in.
Capcom / DONTNOD Entertainment
Hacking into people's minds is the inventive mechanic at the core of Remember Me. Walk through NeoParis as Nilin, an elite memory hunter as she tries to recover her own past and understand why someone would erase her mind to begin with. This third person sci-fi action adventure has great graphics, a distinctive cyberpunk setting and head spinning combat. Capcom's output has been criticised lately but we think this could be the project that redeems them.