There have been a lot of releases onto Stadia since it’s 2019 launch from many different publishers. While the support has been pretty decent (and growing) there are still some glaring omissions and a lack of representation for certain genres. I realised this as I was looking through the list of games for Stadia and decided to compile a list of the ten games I want to see on Stadia.
Final Fantasy 7 (2020)
The (until recently) PlayStation exclusive remake of the 1997 classic is an example of a reimagining, not a remake. This game can be divisive using a similar combat system to FF15 and making changes to the story. The combat is a hybrid between active melee combat and traditional menu based play. You also have the ability to switch between your party members at any time.
The game begins with Cloud Strife, an ex Soldier hired by a eco-terrorist group for an attack on a powerplant. As the game progresses you will explore the city of Midgar and fight against the forces of Shinra to save the planet. You will meet a colourful cast of characters, some memorable villains and of course you will meet the legendary Sephiroth. I don’t really want to say much more about the story, I don’t want to spoil it.
Square/Enix had an exclusivity deal with Sony which now appears to be completed. The PC port was announced at the 2021 Game Awards and it’s releasing on the 16th of December. Annoyingly there’s nothing but rumour for an Xbox, Switch or Stadia port. Square/Enix were secretive about the details of the PlayStation exclusive. The PC port was also announced very abruptly with a trailer and release date. They have a decent track record of Stadia releases though I would assume FF7 remake will come to Stadia eventually.
Resident Evil 2 (2019)
A Resident Evil game was always going to make it onto this list. Village and 7, while being very good, are only scratching the surface of the series. This game successfully brings the classic survival horror genre of the 1998 original into the modern era. There is exploration, puzzles, good combat, inventory management and it’s all presented with atmosphere and a decent story.
You play as either Leon Kennedy (a rookie cop) or Claire Redfield (Chris’s sister). A viral outbreak has occurred after the events of the original game and spread throughout Raccoon City. You must survive and escape from the city while discovering information about the people and organizations who are responsible for this disaster.
There are multiple difficulties, both characters have two campaigns which change item locations and the order you explore things. Extra game modes such as Ghost Survivors and 4th Survivor also add extra value. The best part for me is the unlockables and ranking system, your speed completing the game and how many saves you use will determine this rank. Unlocking everything will keep you coming back for more!
RE7 and Village are both already on Stadia bodes well for this title, all three games being built with the RE engine. These games really helped revitalise the series after RE5/6 lost it’s horror identity, leaning more into atmosphere instead of absurd action set-pieces. This is a game I’d urge anyone to buy if it came to Stadia, it’s worth every penny!
Grand Theft Auto V
GTA V has been possibly the most successful and profitable game of the modern era. The game has been re-released on two consecutive console generations since it’s original PS3/360 release. It’s campaign is widely regarded as the best in GTA history with memorable characters and a great story. The real big hitter is GTA online which has been getting regular updates for going on 8 years now.
In the campaign you play as multiple characters with the ability to switch at any time with the press of a button. Each time you switch, the game will have the characters in different places and doing different things. Trevor (my favourite character) has some of the best and strangest transitions, making me laugh just wondering what the hell he gets up to when I’m playing Mike or Franklin!
GTA online though is the real reason this game has lasted three console generations. It has multiple updates a year that contain new vehicles, buildings, missions, locations and game modes. Heists, missions, races and businesses are all ways to generate money. Money can be spent on clothes, vehicles, houses, buying new businesses as well as weapons and ammunition. There is an XP like leveling system which allows access to higher quality weapons and higher level vehicle upgrades.
I really don’t know why Stadia hasn’t seen a port yet. GTA online is still running on PS3 and 360 until the end of this year so it can’t be lack of players. Red Dead Redemption 2 came out as soon as the PS4 exclusive was done which makes it even less understandable. The only possible reason I can think of is GTA 6 being announced and even that seems unlikely.
The upcoming FromSoft game, written by George RR Martin and created by the team that brought you Dark Souls. This is an open world game with a Souls-like combat system and RPG mechanics. I saw the latest trailer at the 2021 Game Awards and was genuinely shocked that Stadia wasn’t getting a port.
Soulsbourne games are for a more hardcore and niche audience but have in time become more mainstream. They aren’t actually that hard but do require focus, calm and an analytic mind to succeed. While many modern game hold your hands Soulsbourne games do not, requiring a lot of trial and error to progress. Some people (myself included) relish that challenge but they aren’t for everybody and certainly are challenging.
Difficulty and a smaller audience may well be why it hasn’t been announced for Stadia. It’s likely Sekiro was a litmus test and unfortunately it didn’t do well enough to warrant porting Elden Ring. Tough games, especially ones catered to a hardcore audience tend not to sell huge volumes. Stadia, being a young and growing platform, likely means there just aren’t enough hardcore players on it yet.
Devil May Cry V
Originally a rejected concept for Resident Evil 4 the original Devil May Cry released on the PS2 in 2001. The series follows Danté, a half-demon on his adventures stopping the forces of Hell from destroying the world. Danté is joined by Trish, Lady, Nero and newcomers Nico and V in the latest entry to the series. The game lets you play as V, Nero or Danté as they try and stop this invasion. The characters working together, going through different routes and this was even used for a quite cool online integration.
The gameplay a hybrid of a beat ‘em up and a melee brawler, with unique combos for each weapon as well as mobility and defensive abilities. Progression is through red orbs which are used to unlock new combos, abilities or buy items. You earn orbs by smashing up the scenery or from combat. Combat has a ranking system, determined by combo length, move variation, not being hit and switching weapons. You will get a rank from D to SSS after each combat section. At the end of the level you get an overall rank which also includes time to clear and number of retries.
Missing a majority of the story may well be the reason it wasn’t ported to Stadia. To be honest I sort of understand but the important plot points from previous games are recapped throughout. Even a summary FMV of the story (similar to Shenmue on Xbox) would be more than enough. Capcom could then release the rest of the games if DMC V did well.
Wolfenstein the New Order
Machine Games’ 2014 reboot of ID software’s original first person shooter was a breath of fresh air to a stale genre. This game pretty much came out of nowhere, being the first ID IP published under Bethesda’s banner. CoD and Battlefield were in the middle of slumps with CoD Ghosts flopping and Battlefield 4 being buggy and unplayable. Setting it apart was the choice to be single player only, focusing on gameplay and narrative.
The story begins in WW2 but after the first level you are in an alternative 1960s where the Nazi’s won the war. You are playing as BJ Blazzkowitcz, joining up with old comrades, new allies and forming a resistance. Mick Gordon (of Doom fame) was chosen as the composer for this, lending his powerful compositions to the title. You can clearly tell it’s the same composer but while there are guitars and synths like Doom it creates a different atmosphere.
Gameplay is first person shooting with weapon upgrades and an excellent stealth system that is very rewarding. The levels are varied and will range from a prison, a moonbase or even the catacombs bellow Berlin! Enemies are quite varied, there are the normal soldiers but also science fiction elements like cyborg soldiers and death robots! Bosses are quite varied to and the difficulty curve is decently balanced, even on Über it’s hardest setting.
I think this hasn’t come to Stadia because Machine Games are rumoured to be currently working on Wolfenstein 3. This would make sense with Youngblood having a frosty reception and it’s last update being released in November 2019. My feeling is they’ll release New Order and New Collosus a few months before Wolfenstein 3 launches to fuel hype.
Iron Gate Studio’s surprise early access hit Valheim is a fantastic single or multiplayer co-op survival experience. There are the usual staples of crafting, cooking, combat, exploration, building and resource gathering in all survival games. Where Valheim differs is the heavy use of sailing, Norse mythology, a unique graphical style and boss defined progression.
The world is split up into biomes, easiest being the meadows which is the biome you will spawn into. There will be a special stone circle near spawn to place boss trophies will give you access to special abilities. You will then have to explore the biome, looking for stone markers that will mark a spot on the map to summon that biomes boss. Killing said boss will unlock the ability to farm the next tier of resources to craft better gear and progress.
Sailing is by far my favourite aspect, the mechanics are relatively simple and once you get used to it sailing is the fastest way to travel. There are 3 boats currently, ranging from a raft to a mighty longboat. Bigger boats have more health and a larger cargo hold as well as bigger sails so move faster. Boats can hold a lot of people if you don’t sit down but rough weather could cause anyone standing up to take a swim!
I really do hope this releases on Stadia because even solo it’s a fun game, adding more people just enhances the experience. Currently the game is only out on PC so the likelyhood of a Stadia version isn’t that high currently. I would assume though once the planned content is finished it will be ported. People just need to be patient, Iron Gate are a very small studio, the original team being 5 members!
Divinity Original Sin 2
If you are a fan of classic RPGs such as Pillars of Eternity, Neverwinter Nights or Knights of the old Republic this is a game for you! It’s got a suitably epic story, interesting characters and a beautiful world to explore. You start off as a prisoner on a boat, which gets attacked during the prologue and you use this dirstaction to escape.
The depth of the RPG mechanics is absolutely crazy, it’s not just level and base stats. Your first choose your class, this will mainly determine what abilities you start with. Once you actually begin to level you get multiple types of points to spend. These will either be for increasing base stats, a passive talent, improving or gaining a spell or a utility ability. The variation between characters and point spending mean most characters will be unique, there are of course helpful build guides online.
Combat is almost entirely tactical and turn based. AP is your movement and action currency with the regeneration rate and total being determined by your stats and attributes. There are also status effects to monitor and you can do combos like igniting poison clouds with fire spells for extra damage. Casting rain for example causes the wet status effect, putting out fire but making you vulnerable to lightning attacks. Keeping track of status effects and character position are vital skills you will have to learn quickly!
I put this on the list because Stadia really is lacking those classic style epic RPGs we grew up on in the late 90s/early 2000s. Divinity Original Sin 2 is one of the best, modern examples of this genre. Voice acting really helps this game, preventing walls of text between player and the story, a common complaint with older CRPGs.
God of War
The 2018 PlayStation exclusive got announced for PC, following the footsteps of Horizon Zero Dawn. While I’m not sure on Sony’s policy towards Stadia, shifting attitudes towards PC is a good sign. Hopefully realising total units sold is better than trying to convince people to buy their hardware when they have a powerful PC.
God of War is a surprisingly emotional ride compared to the previous games. It tells the tale of Kratos, an Olympian who is cremating his recently deceased wife at the start of the game. His son Atreus is very upset and scared and Kratos is lost as he left parenting mainly to his wife. His wife’s dying wish was to have her ashes scattered from the peak of the highest mountain in the nine realms. Kratos decides to give Atreus some training to help with the journey and ends up in conflict with the Æsir after one ambushes Kratos at his house.
Gameplay is melee combat with a more weighty feel to it than previous entries. Combos especially feel a lot more deliberate than the free-form system of the older games (which was very beat ’em up feeling). You will be mainly using your Axe which has a very useful throw/catch ability (think Thor’s hammer in the MCU). You can also use a bow for ranged attacks (specifically you order Atreus to shoot). There is also Spartan rage which is a steroid and can use the less damaging but high staggering punches. There is another weapon but I can’t say what it is without spoiling one of the best moments in the game.
This game releasing on Stadia is 100% down to the whims of Sony and if they feel it’s going to damage their potential console sales. Hopefully they will consider it but don’t forget this is the same company that dragged their feet over cross-play. It literally took months of Xbox and Switch poking fun at them on Twitter to get Sony on board!