Looking back on the year, there have been so many games that have brought about incredible new concepts and a number of studios have given us something fresh and original to play. In this latest GOTY retrospective, we reminisce about our top five new IPs from 2019 and briefly explore what made them so great.
5. A Plague Tale: Innocence by Asobo Studio - Stepping into 1300s France was a first for Asobo Studio. A Plague Tale saw players take control of Amicia, a young girl whose life is torn apart due to the Inquisition, and to make matters worse she is being pursued by hoards of plague-ridden rats that are trying to kill her and her younger brother, Hugo. This game requires patience, timing and finesse as you venture through medieval France trying to reunite yourself with your family and stop the evil powers at large. With a powerful story and a beautiful bond between the characters, A Plague Tale made an impact on nearly everyone who played it. Here's hoping those rumours of a sequel turn out to be true.
4. Death Stranding by Kojima Productions - Following Kojima's split from Konami back in 2015, it seemed like an eternity before his new studio released its first game, but at long last, the gaming world has been graced with Death Stranding. Set in the United States after 'Death Stranding' caused destructive monsters to start roaming the Earth, the game sees players take control of Sam Porter Bridges, a courier who must venture through this dangerous landscape to deliver packages to various colonies located around the game-world. Death Stranding not only looks beautiful, it also stars some serious Hollywood talent, with Norman Reedus and other a-listers such as Mads Mikkelsen involved. With big names like that on the case, who'd want to bet against a sequel?
3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice by FromSoftware - From's latest release, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, took the company down a different but similar road to its best-known franchise, Dark Souls. Gone are the days of adventuring in Lordran; this new IP saw players take control of a shinobi during the Sengoku period in Japan, although the historical era has been twisted thanks to the addition of enemies inspired by Japanese folklore. Similar to the Souls titles, Sekiro is brutal from the get-go, and you will most likely have to battle bosses numerous times before claiming victory as you learn their moves. However, an emphasis on stealth brought about a whole new play-style when compared to the studio's past works. A very successful year even saw Sekiro being crowned Game of the Year for 2019 at The Game Awards, and with Dark Souls on ice, at least for the time being, we imagine that there's plenty of appetite for more Sekiro.
2. Control - Remedy's latest project, Control, revolves around the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC), a subsector in the US government that studies those who use and violate the laws of reality. Players take control of Jesse Faden, the Bureau's new director, and as she explores The Oldest House you will have to take advantage of strange powers to take down a deadly enemy known as The Hiss, using so-called 'objects of power' to battle the supernatural forces that are working against you. We debated whether or not Control counts as a new IP given the hints to links with Alan Wake and the throughline that joins Remedy's games, but ultimately we decided to let that loose association slide. Remedy isn't known for making too many sequels so it's unknown whether or not we will see more from the FBC (beyond the two expansions that have already been confirmed for the game), but we live in hope.
1. The Outer Worlds by Obsidian Entertainment - The Outer Worlds is the latest in a long history of high-quality RPGs by Obsidian. Awoken from cryosleep by a mad scientist called Phineas Welles, the player is given free rein to explore an expansive story that differs depending on your character's choices and the different alliances that you make. Combat can differ depending on what sort of build you create, so whether you prefer to run and gun or take the silent approach, the game can be tailored to suit your needs. Indeed, cause and effect have been baked to all parts of the game, and your actions can have far-reaching consequences in this tongue-in-cheek world. Obsidian veined humour and parody through all aspects of its design, from the irreverent dialogue options through to the quirky art style, and The Outer Worlds stands tall thanks to the boldness of its setting. There's a rich and engaging universe just waiting to be explored in future games, and that's why The Outer Worlds is our best new IP on 2019.
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