The PlayStation 4 console is now available worldwide, and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has worked hard with third-party publishers to ensure that UK gamers have plenty of high quality videogame experiences to play right from day one. Two weeks after launch, here’s Electronic Theatre’s picks for the cream of the PlayStation 4’s launch line-up.
The first and most immediate issue to discuss is that of the highly anticipated Killzone: Shadow Fall. Sadly, the PlayStation 4’s premier first-person shooter (FPS) was an uninspired case of form over function, looking pretty but lacking any opportunities for progressive or engrossing gameplay. Conversely, the mediocre looking Knack makes elegant use of some of the PlayStation 4 console’s unique features. These and most of the other PlayStation 4 videogames listed below are available now at online retailers such as Argos, and can still be purchased in time for that all-important Christmas Day present.
10. Injustice: Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition
A re-release of this year’s most popular beat-‘em-up videogame revamped specially for the PlayStation 4, Injustice: Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition may not stand-up to the Xbox One’s mighty Killer Instinct, but for fans of the genre there is little in the way of an alternative. DC heroes and villains engaged in direct combat is about as good as it gets for comic book fans. That is, of course, until we get to LEGO Marvel Super Heroes…
9. Angry Birds: Star Wars
It’s true that Angry Birds is about as far from demanding to the PlayStation 4’s hardware as you can get, but there’s no denying that even after all this time it remains an addictive experience. The Angry Birds: Star Wars experience has rejuvenated the formula in a manner that very few could have predicted, and despite the near ridiculous asking price of the PlayStation 4 version it remains a very compelling product.
8. FIFA 14
FIFA 14 doesn’t rewrite the virtual football rulebook on the new generation of consoles, but it does one thing that’s very important: offer a complete experience. Far too often early adopters have been offered nothing more than a lukewarm cash-in at launch, but here on PlayStation 4 FIFA 14 is just as competent an experience as the PlayStation 3 edition, and even featuring a slight cosmetic improvement.
7. Call of Duty: Ghosts
Many gamers will be surprised to see Call of Duty: Ghosts sitting so low on the line-up, but it’s simply not the videogame it should be. Call of Duty: Ghosts is the first time that Infinity Ward’s renditions of the Call of Duty franchise could easily be labelled as ‘bandwagon jumpers,’ as it’s simply very far from the epically entertaining productions gamers are used to. The fact that the videogame’s middling co-operative mode, Extinction, is the undeniable highlight is telling of a franchise in trouble critically, if not commercially.
6. Just Dance 2014
Yes, Just Dance 2014 is a better videogame than Call of Duty: Ghosts. It certainly won’t appeal to everyone but then neither will Activision and Infinity Ward’s take on modern combat with fictional warmongers and middle-eastern terrorism. Just Dance 2014 is more immediate, more engrossing and more accurately representative of its source material. You just can’t say fairer than that.
5. Battlefield 4
The Battlefield versus Call of Duty war rages on between fanboys, but in reality it’s the core gaming demographic that win here. Battlefield 4 is the superior product but suffers heavily from Electronic Arts’ seemingly unforgiving monetisation demands, with downloadable content (DLC) required for near-anything outside of a basic deathmatch and single-player modes. Thankfully this core is far more enjoyable than that of Call of Duty: Ghosts, so gamers will likely be more willing to open their wallets yet again.
4. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
And here we are, another fantastic LEGO videogame title from TT Games. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment seem entirely against letting TT Games move onto something else and letting their LEGO experiences fall by the wayside, but when the quality of each new instalment is so consistently high and the commercial success unwavering, who can blame them? LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a wonderful addition to the PlayStation 4’s launch line-up and a perfect family entertainment title for the holiday season.
3. NBA 2K14
Much like FIFA 14, NBA 2K14 doesn’t push the envelope for the virtual rendition of its host sport on videogame consoles. However, NBA 2K14 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 was a fantastic and engrossing basketball experience and here on PlayStation 4 it comes packaged with near-astounding graphical fidelity. It’s a high benchmark for future basketball titles to compete with and already rivals are falling by the wayside, as can be seen with EA SPORTS’ underachieving NBA LIVE 14.
Knack is the unsung hero of the PlayStation 4’s launch line-up. Throughout it’s time in the public eye – from announcement to release – the PlayStation 4 has had one title to showcase it’s capabilities in earnest: visual achievement, touchpad, light bar, online functionality, Share button and so on. All of these features and more have been presented elegantly in Knack. The videogame’s director Mark Cerny famously stated that Knack would be most gamer’s ‘second purchase’ for PlayStation 4, and what a back-up title that would be.
A scrolling shoot-‘em-up designed by the unwaveringly inventive Housemarque, Resogun is yet another digital-only classic that players on established genre convention and yet feels wholly new. Electronic Theatre has frequently suggested that Resogun will likely be held in the esteem of being this generation’s Geometry Wars, and the popularity of the adrenaline-rush score challenge is evident on social media already. What’s more, Resogun is currently offered as a free title for PlayStation 4 gamers who subscribe to the PlayStation Plus service. Who could ask for more?