Staff Editorials

PlayStation 4 Games Verdict
Posted: 01.03.2013 09:25 by PRBot Comments: 1
At the recent PlayStation Meeting in New York, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4, much to nobody's surprise. While much of the meeting focused on talking, whether it was about livestreaming content, social connectivity, fancy new controllers or simplified underlying architecture, the publisher did manage to show off a fair number of games, ranging from new IPs to sequels of established franchises. We're sure to be drip-fed a diet of new information in the coming months, but for now, here's our initial thoughts about every title that's so-far been announced by Sony.

Knack


Sony made the rather odd choice of showing off Knack first. After lots of talking and boasting, of how amazing this new PlayStation 4 console would be, they showed off a game that looked like it would have been possible this generation in terms of animation, and that did little to inspire. It looks nifty - a fun and quirky action/platformer game - but not within the same league as, say, Ratchet & Clank or Jak & Daxter, and will probably a middling title, doing little to generate excitement now or when itís released.

Killzone: Shadowfall


Killzone: Shadowfall was another Killzone game. Thatís all you really need to know: either the idea of yet more futuristic military warfare set in the Killzone universe excites you, then fantastic, if it doesnít, then nothing Sony show off about it is like to change your mind. There was a zone - a rather colourful and beautiful looking one, full of fancy lighting and dust effects - and there was men killing other men within it. It was the most underwhelming game of the show, a worrying sign that Sonyís vision of the future is actually just more of the past.

Driveclub


Evolution Studios, who achieved fame and positive vibes through the Motorstorm racing franchise, are sticking to what they know best, and bringing a new driving IP to the PlayStation 4. It was first conceptualised over 10 years ago, and during that period, there was apparently nobody on hand to point out just how bland and plain stupid the name Driveclub is.

As for the game itself, itís an ultra-realistic racer with detailed in-car animations and most of the video shown at the conference seemed to paint the game as an interactive advertisement for major car brands. It looks like it could be Sonyís replacement for Gran Turismo, which made no appearance.

Infamous: Second Son


Sucker Punch win the award for strangest introduction to a game in conference history. An emotional, slightly baffling, prologue accompanied the game, providing a personal anecdote about police abusing their powers, setting the tone for the next entry in the inFamous series.

Cole McGrath was nowhere to be seen, as inFamous: Second Son introduces us to a world under surveillance, a world where those with powers are seemingly on the wrong side of the law, and you play a new hero determined to restore balance by introducing chaos. Of all the new games shown off, this was the one that looked most exciting.

Deep Down


Last yearís Dragonís Dogma was mightly impressive, blending both western and eastern RPG styles, so giving Capcom the keys to a new fantasy world complete with dragons - and next-gen dragons to boot, so presumably theyíve got even more firepower under their scales - is a very welcome move.

Deep Downís been built on a new engine, and like a lot of the other games shown, boasted some incredible looking environments and effects, without showing much about what the game will actually entail. If itís anything like Dragonís Dogma, though, we could be in for another treat.

Watch Dogs


Itís perhaps worrying for Sony that one of the games to trigger the most excitement was a multiplatform title that was announced for current generation consoles last year, meaning Watch Dogs is unlikely to be a title thatíll help sell consoles at launch.

It looked as impressive as when first shown, though, and the open-world looks fantastic - promising to give you proper freedom within it and not just channelling you down set paths as you hack your way through the technological city. With themes very similar to InFamous: Second Son, the irony of promoting games that critique the always-connected ways of modern society while boasting of the always-connected ways of PlayStation 4 was apparently lost on Sony.

The Witness


We already knew plenty about The Witness so thereís not too much that needs adding, except for the fact PlayStation 4ís brags of exclusivity for the new Jonathon Blow game only extend to the console world, so itís perhaps not as much of a coup as they tried to make out. Itíll be coming to PC as well, but it highlights that Sony will be continuing to support innovative indie titles going forward, alongside the more blockbuster titles.


Final Fantasy


If Killzone was met with a chorus of Ďmehí, Square Enixís announcement of a new Final Fantasy game was met with absolute silence. Itís a big franchise name, but were Sony really expecting people to get excited about the exact same trailer that they saw last year at E3? As seems to be a running theme, it looked great, but was ultimately shallow, and doesnít do a great job of showcasing Sonyís commitment to new and exciting prospects.

Media Moleculeís unnamed title


Media Moleculeís time on stage was more tech demo than game, but what they showed off will likely form the backbone of whatever they bring to PlayStation 4. Theyíve finally figured out a use for the Move controller - their worlds, not mine - and itís as a 3D sculpting tool, allowing you to manipulate a lump of virtual clay and create whatever you can imagine.

It would obviously be able to fit into LittleBigPlanet 3 (if such a thing is going to come to exist, and I expect it will), but perhaps theyíve got a whole new creation game up their sleeve. They also showed off a different implementation of Move, combining it with some nifty puppet effects to control a rock band and put on a rather confusing, but nonetheless impressive, virtual rock concert. ††

Destiny


Destiny isnít a PlayStation 4 exclusive, but Sony will still be feeling rather smug that the next-generation will get started with Microsoftís previous favourite child Bungie bringing a new game to their console. Details about the game are still thin on the ground, but so far it looks like a more multiplayer focused Halo: Bungie are planting their feet firmly in their established comfort zone, but for fans of the developer, that probably won't be of much concern.

Diablo III


Diablo III on consoles was rumoured, denied, confirmed, rumoured, confirmed, denied about a thousand times over the past five or so years. Weíve finally got our confirmation, and itíll be coming to both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, giving Blizzard the chance to spread their online RPG empire into the console space. It may have split the core fan base, with many Diablo II fans deriding the latest entry, but bringing the franchise to PlayStation is a big deal for Sony.

It's currently a mixed-bag, and Sony's plans to wow people with a mix of new IP and established franchise names may not have been as successful as they'd have hoped. InFamous and Deep Down were the most exciting new reveals, while a new Killzone and Driveclub look to be as bland and unoriginal as their names. This should just be the tip of the iceberg, though, and with Sony promising that PlayStation 4 will have the best launch line-up of any console they've released, they'll need to add some much needed excitement when E3 and Gamescomm roll around.


Witten by Jamie Donnelly.

Comments

By The_Tingler (SI Core) on Mar 02, 2013
The_Tingler
I'm glad you're calling out Killzone for being uninspired, as every other website seems to be praising it (mostly for the graphics, which after playing Crysis 3 I am now even more firmly committed to the idea that great looks do not a good game make).

Infamous' appearance surprised me since Sony sent Infamous 2 out to die during E3 with little fanfare last time, but then that's Sony for you - all excited during the initial showing (Sly Cooper 4! Sorcery! The Last Guardian!) but either sod-all marketing, no information, or just outright making the game disappear.

That Final Fantasy bit was a joke. "There's a new FF game! Goodbye!" Didn't even have the balls to call it Final Fantasy XV. Great... and nobody would care anyway.

That all said, the system itself looks promising. Let's hope the price doesn't counteract this good will.