After Death Stranding, Here are 5 Games Apple Should Port to iPhone


Mobile gaming has taken a major leap in the last two months, as both Death Stranding and the Resident Evil 4 Remake have arrived on current-gen iOS devices—and in their full glory, no less, not as shoddy, compromising ports.

It’s particularly amazing to see Death Stranding running on the iPhone 15 Pro. This game originally launched on the PS4 just under 5 years ago and looked amazing, certainly beyond the scope of most smartphone games. Yet, now iPhone users can carry Norman Reedus in their pocket and dip into Hideo Kojima’s bizarre vision at just about any time.

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However, there are a few compromises. The game’s full install far overshadows just about any other on the platform, requiring a minimum of 13GB to play, or over 50GB for the entire package. The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max have considerable storage options, but anyone who opted for the bare minimum should be wary.

Not to mention, the iOS version of Death Stranding all but requires a controller to be truly appreciated. There’s a virtual touchscreen controller, but it’s inelegant at best, cramming a full PS4 DualShock’s worth of buttons onto the screen. This can especially be a hindrance with the unique cargo balancing mechanics.

(I’ve been saying this for a while: if you’re serious about playing console-level games on your phone, invest in a mobile controller. The Backbone One is still my favourite.)

Nonetheless, seeing this technical marvel from Kojima Productions working so smoothly on our iPhones is inspiring. Mobile gaming could use an infusion of console blockbusters to counteract all the gachas—and here are five of Death Stranding‘s PS4 contemporaries that we’d love to play on our iOS devices.

Persona 5 Royal

After Death Stranding, Here Are 5 Games Apple Should Port To IphoneAfter Death Stranding, Here Are 5 Games Apple Should Port To Iphone

Look, we get it, maybe some of us are developing Persona 5 fatigue, but if there was one more worthy place to experience the journey of Joker and the Phantom Thieves, it would be on an iPhone. It’s not as much of a technological marvel as Death Stranding, foregoing hyper-realistic Norman Reedus for anime-style 3D models and stylish UIs. It’s not much easier on storage space either.

What makes it appealing for a native iOS port, however, is the gameplay. Its combat exploration isn’t as tough on a virtual keyboard, if you can’t haul a controller around with you all day just to help pass the time in a waiting room, and turned-based combat is fundamentally well-suited to mobile gaming. If you’re going to be playing a console-quality game on your smartphone, it might as well be one of the most essential RPGs of last generation, if you somehow haven’t played one of its many ports yet. Plus, it would be interesting to see how the battle UI could be shifted to accomodate touch controls.

(I wouldn’t object to Persona 4 Golden getting the honour instead, but… I digress.)

God of War

After Death Stranding, Here Are 5 Games Apple Should Port To IphoneAfter Death Stranding, Here Are 5 Games Apple Should Port To Iphone

The unlikely comeback of Kratos in 2018’s God of War (and the more unlikely shift of his character from rageaholic to raging but loving father) was a defining moment in the PS4’s life cycle, right up there with the bizarre reveal of Death Stranding. A series that had once been the epitome of hyper-masculine violence and quick-time-event oversaturation was reborn as a thrilling adventure with genuine heart.

A hypothetical iOS port for God of War would match the high-profile, triple-A spectacle of Death Stranding and Resident Evil 4, but with a more forgiving control scheme for virtual controllers. The game itself would be satisfying in shorter bursts as well, fitting for long waits in public or a lunch break gaming session.

Stray

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Annapurna and Bluetwelve’s unique adventure Stray took the internet by storm upon its 2022 release because, well… kitty. Players step into the paws of a cat trying to navigate a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk city to return to its family, befriending robots and dodging alien facehuggers along the way.

Seeing Stray run on iOS devices would be pretty impressive in its own right, like Death Stranding, and has a more forgiving control scheme. Its story may not be a sprawling epic, but it’s also the kind of game that’s fun to replay, or just boot up and muck around in.

Plus, think about it: playing Stray on your iPhone while out on a trip downtown is a pretty perfect meta scenario. Bonus points if you bring your cat with you in the official Stray cat carrier too.

NieR: Automata

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Death Stranding was a PS4 exclusive created by a famous and eccentric Japanese game developer; NieR: Automata was a PS4 exclusive created by a famous and eccentric Japanese game developer. It’s right there, Apple.

Kojima and Taro jokes aside, NieR: Automata has a similar feel but a very different vision of a post-apocalyptic world. It’s both more complex and fulfilling than other smartphone games, while not presenting too much of a hassle to handle with either a virtual or mobile controller—a great niche that Apple should be looking to fill as they expand and legitimize the iPhone as a gaming destination.

NieR: Automata‘s action-RPG gameplay is another great fit for mobile gaming—partly proven by its excellent 2022 port for Nintendo Switch. If Square Enix could get it to run admirably on the Switch, it would be a marvel on Apple’s devices.

Hades

After Death Stranding, Here Are 5 Games Apple Should Port To IphoneAfter Death Stranding, Here Are 5 Games Apple Should Port To Iphone

The very first time I saw Hades, I might’ve thought it actually was a mobile game. Instead it took consoles by storm in 2020, earning many Game of the Year nods, including CGM’s.

As a roguelike, Hades would be a perfect fit for iOS devices. It covers all of the aspects we’ve talked about so far: it looks amazing (even if it’s stylized animation and not Death Stranding hyper-realistic); it’s thrilling in short bursts or long sessions alike, and therefore great for on-the-go play; it wouldn’t hog nearly as much storage space; and its control scheme works well on either virtual or proper controllers.

Few games can cover this much ground, and as such, it’s the next game we’d love to see on iOS after Death Stranding.



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