PS4 games on release: we pick the seven best for Sony's new console
We look at the must-have games for Sony's eighth-generation console
Thursday 14 November 2013
Sony's PlayStation 4 will be hitting shelves in the US on 15th November before coming to the UK on 29th November. There will be 22 titles launching with the console, with two exclusives and a number of games shared with the Xbox One.
The PS4 costs £349 to the Xbox One's £429 and comes with superior hardware (a faster GPU and a better quality of RAM) but has less extensive multimedia capabilities. Sony are also offering a re-designed controller, the DualShock 4, which is slightly weighter than its predecessor, giving it a more solid feel in the hands.
Although there's been some early reports of faulty HDMI ports on review copies, the new PS4 is by all accounts a bit of masterful engineering: surprisingly slim and light, though it does heat up a fair bit (just as the launch version of the PS3 did). Still, what would you expect from all that fiery 1080p/60fps goodness? See below for a list of our favourite titles to launch with the PS4.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
One of the PS4's few exclusive launch titles from a series that has always brilliantly shown off the graphical power of Sony's consoles. This particular outing promises almost sandbox-style levels for the single player campaign and the same class-based multiplayer (you choose from scout, support and assault) of previous titles. Critics are praising its visual perfection but with the observation that looking pretty can sometimes take precedence over gameplay and narrative prowess.
This side-scrolling shooter has players taking on invading aliens with the fast pace and visual frenzy of the 'bullet hell' style of games. Judging by reviews this might be the best received of all the PS4's launch titles, with the only criticism aimed at its short play time. However, before you start to feel short-changed, we should also note that it's free for PlayStation Plus members.
This family-orientated platformer comes from the mind of Mark Cerny - a designer who worked on both Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon - and stars a magical creature named Knack, a sort of golem like figure who assembles his body from his surroundings. With the controls only allowing players to attack and dodge waves of marauding evil goblins, Knack might become a bit tiresome for adult gamers but younger players will likely be charmed by the game's imagination.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Set in the Caribbean in the early years of the 18th century, Black Flag sees the player take control of Edward Kenway in an old-fashioned swashbuckling tale of pirates, rogues and, um, a mystical crystal full of human blood (it wouldn't be an Assassin's Creed title without a kooky plot). Black Flag has received universal praise for its lush and atmospheric settings (you can explore everywhere from colonial outposts to ruined temples in the jungle) and innovative naval gameplay (expanding upon this from the previous title). A must play by all accounts.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
If the Call of Duty franchise has proved anything it's that first person shooters with well-tuned online play are the bread and butter of the console world. Ghosts has already been tested and vetted after its launch for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and the news is good (for the multiplayer at least). Deathmatches and free for alls remain gloriously addictive, urging you have to play just a little more to unlock that new scope, whilst a new alien-killing 'Extinction' mode offers more considered, tactical fare.
A world away from Hollywood-inspired blockbusters, Contrast instead chooses to hang out in the shadows, literally. In a dual-reality gameplay mechanic that seems inspired by Paper Mario you take the part of a Moulin Rouge-esque imaginary friend, switching back and forth between real life (a sort of pan-European city set somewhere in the jazzy 20s) and the world of shadows to help a little girl solve a family mystery. Expect Tim Schafer like puzzle action.
Like Ghosts and Assassin's Creed, this is another AAA title that will be appearing on both consoles - but that doesn't mean it won't be one of the best launch titles for the PS4. The latest entry in the franchise gives you all the expected upgrades to graphics, animation, commentary and kits, with the most significant change being to the physics engine. The ball is no longer clued to your feet quite so emphatically and you can't simply change direction mid-sprint. By all accounts this makes for a slower but more thoughtful game.
And some of the rest...
We haven't mentioned every title out there, and as well as the above there's also the likes of Lego Marvel Superheroes (extending Lego's action-adventure formula with comic book ad), Skylanders SWAP Force (a well-executed tie-in to the toy franchise) and Tiny Brains (a playful puzzle game with emphasis on same-room co-op play) are also available.
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