I was so excited for the PS4 announcement last week. While I play all consoles and handhelds, I definitely enjoy PlayStation the most. It is really about the games. And over the past two generations Sony has really had such a great group of series and developers. And because my opinion of systems is always shaped first by its games, I thought I’d take a look at what games were shown during the PlayStation 4 unveiling and what I thought about them.
Knack: Well it is always good to see a cartoony 3D platformer (or adventure if it leans more that way) game. The artstyle looked pretty charming even if it wasn’t really wowing me from a technical standpoint as a game on new hardware. I think the best thing about it is that Mark Cerny is directing it. He is not only the designer of the PS4, but also has a fantastic resume that includes working on some of my favorites games and franchises. Definitely worth keeping an eye on if not quite something that screamed it needed the new hardware to make happen.
Deep Down: It looked really good right. Not my kind of game, but it looked good. But it also clearly looked like what would be some pre-rendered video (even if it was in-engine) with a HUD thrown in. I hate to be a skeptic, but it will be interesting to see what this game actually looks like when we see it down the road.
Killzone: Shadow Fall: This was definitely the most graphically impressive gameplay they showed. I mean the gameplay itself didn’t impress me much, but it certainly looked like a decent jump up technically if not as wow-worthy as the jump made during the last generational leap. I have played two Killzone games and enjoyed both, but I just can’t be excited for another really. Guerrilla is working on a new IP which I would have much rather seen. So even know it looked shiny, this announcement fell flat for me.
The Witness: I am not a big fan of Jonathon Blow. Braid was one of those games that just didn’t live up to the hype for me and I think when I hear him talk about games (kind of similar to thatgamecompany) his thoughts just don’t mesh up with mine. I was a big fan of Myst when I was younger though and this looked like a successor to that in a way so that is interesting. It really isn’t a game that probably needed the PS4’s power though. Sony seemed to be trying to show off that they were still a good place for indie devs which is obviously a good thing.
Infamous Second Son: My first reaction to this was kind of similar to Killzone in that I was really hoping Sucker Punch was working on a new IP and not another Infamous game. But I do enjoy this series much more than Killzone and I love developer Sucker Punch, so after the initial disappointment I couldn’t help but be a little excited for this one. One thing I really like is that we have a new protagonist with new powers. I didn’t like any way they might continue Cole’s story after either of the second game’s endings, so a new hero was a must. It also allows for a totally new set of powers which is a good thing. I liked the idea it looked (possibly) a bit more melee-based as the PS3 Infamous games still kind of felt like a third-person shooter at heart and we have plenty of them.
Destiny: I mean Destiny wasn’t really revealed at this event, but it will be coming to PS4 and it sounds pretty great. It is just a lot of fun to see such a talented developer working on a new IP like this. And to me the world and art look much cooler than Halo’s at first glance at least. I like the more open nature too with quests and the like. I am not too big on random people jumping into my game. When I settle in to play with some friends, I usually want to just play with them. Nor do I want some pro just hopping into my game and taking all the fun away to be honest. But otherwise it looks really cool so far.
Watch Dogs: I guess this was my favorite game at the event. It isn’t really new, but it looked great. I had figured this was always going to be a cross-generational game since it was announced. It was being played on PC hardware and looked a bit too good for PS3 when I saw it at E3 last year. It was still being played on PC at this event I believe, but it will be coming to PS4. I am curious if the PS3 version will be inferior for more reasons than just graphical stuff or a few extra bells and whistles. As for the gameplay, I just love the idea of all this control like stopping the train or putting up those posts to stop that one car. I think that feature is really going to be a blast in a sandbox like this game presents.
Drive Club: I have only played bits and pieces of the Motorstorm games after the first one, but I think Evolution is a talented studio. I’m more of an arcade racer kind of guy though, so their move away from it a bit with Drive Club didn’t do a lot for me. We also didn’t get a real good look at the team-based racing ideas they were pitching. Still I am looking forward to seeing more on this in the future.
Some more notes on the conference:
- A big deal seemed to be made about not seeing the console, but it is not really an issue. Obviously they are still finalizing it. No biggie.
- I like the controller a lot. The triggers and d-pad look better than the PS3’s and the touchpad doesn’t seem too intrusive.
- I really like the ease of being able to record and upload video. I’ve always wanted to get into doing some videos (for this blog even), so this seems great.
- I never expected Backwards Compatibility with PS4 after they removed PS2 BC from the PS3 to cut costs. The streaming stuff seems very cool in general and a good way to replace BC in a way. I definitely like the idea of starting a game as it downloads or streaming a demo as well.
- Square Enix shouldn’t have even bothered showing up. An old tech demo and an announcement of announcement? Why bother.
- I love Media Molecule, but I wasn’t sure what to make of their demonstration.
- I kind of wanted a game to really say I absolutely needed the PS4. I mean I will undoubtably be getting one. And Sony will surely show that game over time, but I don’t think I saw that game at this press conference.
That will do it for my look at the PS4 conference. I will probably take a closer look at the hardware down the road, but for now I just wanted to check in with a little something about what was a big event. Did you have any thoughts on the PS4 announcement? What was your favorite game at the show? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!