Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What does Arsis think of the PS4?

So, it's been roughly a month and a half since the Playstation 4 was released, and I've put in a lot of time with it so far. Since it's release, the main games I've played have been Battlefield 4, Knack, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Fifa 14, Killzone: Shadow Fall, of course Contrast, and Resogun, and now Madden 25. Unfortunately Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was not a part of this list, since I didn't want to wait the 2 weeks for the PS4 release. It is my favorite series after all, what did you expect?

My initial impressions of the system was more or less what I expected. A much more structured layout than the PS3 offered, being able to go from game to PSN Store without having to close applications, and of course very useful apps, like YuppTV(Sarcasm). All joking aside, most of the apps on there, although very useful, and very entertaining, cost a monthly fee, and NO YOUTUBE. That's what really blew my mind here. Had they launched with no Youtube, but gave a ball park figure on when we can expect it, or explained why we are not going to have it on the PS4, that may have been different. Crunchy Roll is an app I've yet to really delve into, as I am an anime fan, but no where near the level of most people that call themselves fans. I have my moments where I'll spend an entire day watching something, but months may pass before I do it again. Hulu, and Netflix, of course are the basic Hulu and Netflix, nothing to mention really. The IGN app is decent at best, I'll probably do a write up on that one alone, as I have my gripes with IGN as a company and their practices(Disqus anyone?) NBA/NHL apps? Not really a basketball fan myself, and I'd rather not pay a monthly free for information I can find on the internet I already pay for. Music Unlimited is the one that blew me away. My entire life has been about music, and video games, and for Sony to offer a service like this, I was a bit skeptical, until they gave me a free 30 day trial. I was thoroughly impressed with the music selection it offered, and the price wasn't too bad either. What I did find wrong was, it loves to shut down, and have playback errors regularly. Some may want to argue that it must be my internet, but no, it unfortunately is not. I play enough online games, and watch enough Netflix to know that it is in fact, their service. All in all, the apps section of the system is a 7/10. Had there been Youtube, Music Unlimited not felt like a beta, and it not filled with adds requiring payment, it might have scored a bit higher.

Onto the games, because this is the real reason everyone bought the system, right? Let's start with Resogun. I'm not a huge fan of games like R-Type, Galaga, and other Shoot 'Em Ups, or Shmups, if you will. But I will say this game was pretty damn solid, and it captured my attention for a few hours, even with Battlefield 4 sitting next to me waiting to be played. While it is currently free on the PSN, for Plus members, I still see it selling as a $14.99 title with no problem. Contrast is up next, this was the indie game being offered for free that really had me interested, once I figured out what it actually was. I've yet to finish the game, but I will say this, it's a unique experience, and was worthy of a launch title for the PS4. I've yet to see an indie game look so stunning, and move so fluid the way Contrast does. The story is a bit silly, but the mechanics were like nothing I've experience before. I'm not saying this is something you've never seen before, but it's not something you'd see often, and definitely not done this well. The shadow mechanic takes a bit getting used to while trying to get to new areas of the level with pits waiting for you to fall into, but once you learn to time your jumps with merging into the shadows, the games gets better and better.

Now that the indie side is covered, let's talk about the main titles everyone was waiting for. The first game I had the pleasure of playing was Battlefield 4, which I had previously played on the PS3 several weeks before. I was impressed at the level design, control of the weapons, the entire setup was a huge step up from BF3, and the graphics, well the graphics didn't stray too far from BF3, and then I played the PS4 version the night it launched. In comparison, the PS3 version felt like nothing more than a tech demo for what was to come. The graphics took a huge leap in quality, much more than I had anticipated, new gen or not, this was very unexpected to me. Battlefield 4 has not received any praise that it was not worthy of, this game was exactly what gamers expected, and deserved. Of course it may be glitchy, and having its issues, but it's a massive game, and was a huge undertaking. especially to have it ready by launch day.

Call of Duty: Ghosts, another game I checked out on the PS3 before jumping to the PS4 version. This game seems to be what I've played more than anything, not that its the best, or "better than BF4" but I personally enjoyed the more fast paced style over the more "tactical" side that Battlefield offers. Ghosts had a lot to live up to compared to Black Ops II, and it sadly, fell short of those standards. Black Ops II, in my opinion was the best CoD game to date(yes I played them all, including the first to MW games, and yes, extensively) and I was expecting it to top what BOII had to offer, as currently, each new CoD game has topped the previous title.Ghosts isn't garbage, by any means, and it's actually quiet fun and entertaining, but it will never live up to previous CoD games, even if they did some slight overhauls to the game. Graphically, this game is far inferior to any other game I've played, and looks like a mid gen PS3 title, which, in it's own right isn't bad looking, but this is the new gen, and I would have expected a bit more out of a company like Activision.

That aside, let's talk about Knack. This was a pretty awesome game from the start, regardless of it's "child like" art style. This game, even on Normal, still has it's share of difficulty, and you'll find yourself dying more than you'd like, it's like the Ninja Gaiden/Dark/Demon's Souls of platformers. Ok, maybe not that bad, but I've never played a platformer that caused me so many deaths before. The way this game plays out is really interesting. You start out as this little creature made from relics, and throughout each level you collect more and more, and you grow each time, until you've become this massive relic monster, that destroys everything in it's path. As you advance to later levels, you'll start to collect other types of materials that make Knack grow into a large, over powering beast. Each material has a different effect on Knack, and allows him to survive, but also hinder him in each level, such as metal. The level that you use metal to grow, there are magnets that try to trap you, and take the metal out of you, and if it is successful, you'll be reduced to the small, standard size Knack from the beginning of the game. Overall, I think Knack was a perfect launch title, even if it didn't live up to the expectations of graphics, and art style people expected from the PS4.

Next up, Killzone. Killzone: Shadow Fall is the game I have played the least of, including Single Player, and Multiplayer. These upcoming weeks I will explore much more of this title, but until then, all I really have to go off of is, the game looks amazing visually. There is so much detail, the art style is incredible, and overall a very enjoyable experience to look at. As for the multiplayer, so far, seems a little more fast paced than BF4, but slowed down compared to Ghosts, and it offers a unique FPS experience in the sense that, you don't feel like you're playing a BF or CoD clone. The menu set up isn't as fluid as other games I've played, yet still manageable if you don't mind spending a few minutes tinkering around with it, and exploring what everything is.

I'm gonna gloss over the sports games here, since each year nothing too drastic changes, not that CoD has drastic changes, but these seem to feel a lot more like previous games than anything else. I will say, I'm having a blast playing both Madden 25, and FIFA 14, and they did a hell of a job bringing these into the new gen, but much like last year, and the few years before that, the menus are clunky, and a pain to navigate through unless you've spent a lot of time playing. Are they worthy of being called "next gen"? of course they are, they're as worthy as any sports title can get.

That's about it in terms of my experience with the PS4. I personally feel that it is more than worth the $399 price tag, it has a lot to offer for a casual gamer, and a good amount for a hardcore gamer, but it still does feel like games are stretched out a bit too far for future releases. Sony did promise there will not be a gaming drought, but it looks like the next title to be released until around February(Drive Club), and then into March after that. 2 games in 3 months is a bit of a slow start, but let's hope the wait is worth it. I am also not including games such as Injustice, and Tomb Raider, since they are ports of PS3 titles, including new stuff or not, we've already been given the core of the game earlier this year.

Hope you enjoyed my opinion on the PS4, if you have any questions, feel free to post a comment.

- Arsis
Full Post

No comments:

Post a Comment