Seasons greetings and welcome back to Playstation Base!
It has been just over a year since the dawn of the new generation of gaming and we have seen many ups and downs and even a few uglies. I’ve owned a PS4 for the majority of the 1st year and so far I would say that I’m absolutely loving it!
As you know, I have spent many hours playing Battlefield 4, but occasionally I have strayed to other games, some of which I have thoroughly enjoyed, others not so much. I thought I would break down the year into categories for simplicity.
Starting with the hardware, because without it we would have nothing else, I am extremely impressed. The Playstation itself has amazingly raw power and as we know, it is more capable than its rival, Xbox One. Over the course of the year, I haven’t had a single error pop up, or problems with the software whatsoever and my experiences have been pretty plain sailing. I love how quickly you can switch between a game and Netflix and then back again. It really is seamless!
The controllers however took me a little while to get used to. They are noticeably bigger to hold and the analog sticks are a little rigid for my liking and after an hour or so, the edges tend to dig dents into the sides of my thumbs which is something I didn’t get with the PS3. I’ve also already had a dysfunctional Square button that didn’t respond upon pressing, which resulted in me buying a new one, and the thumb grips wear down fairly quickly. I have read online that the controllers aren’t living up to a few gamers’ standards too, so maybe this will be something Sony may address in the future. I think it is also safe to say that the battery life can be a little suspect and as a result, I have spent a good few hours of my year sitting on the floor whilst the controller is charging.
Playstation Plus, Minus, Divide and Multiply
The Playstation Plus offerings this year have left a lot to be desired. Admittedly some of the PS3 titles have been fairly good, but I haven’t even switched it on since around April time so they have been wasted on me. Obviously we couldn’t expect any huge announcements for the PS4 this year as there wouldn’t have been a great deal to give away so early within its cycle, but barring Decembers gift in Injustice: Gods Among Us, we haven’t received a single AAA title, and even then, I’m not sure we could class Injustice as AAA. We were promised a PS Plus version of Driveclub back in October, but due to serious issues with the title and its servers means that it has been delayed indefinitely and we haven’t even got an estimated date, which is a massive disappointment. I think, as compensation, or a ‘good will gesture’, maybe Sony should have granted us a First Party title such as Killzone or Knack, which will eventually come I would expect, just not yet and not as a good will gesture either.
The Best Games I’ve played this year.
It hasn’t all been doom and gloom over the past year. As I said earlier, I’ve actually played some great games so far and I have written about each and every one of them! Infamous: Second Son for example was absolutely brilliant, it was fast paced and open world and with a good variety of abilities. Shadow of Mordor was also one of the greats from the year, Monolith Studios really pulled out the stops for this one with a unique enemy system which forever changed and evolved and the games level of detail twinned with smooth fighting sequences made the refreshing title that the Lord of the Rings franchise needed. Hands down though, from what I have played, FarCry 4 is the greatest marvel to hit my screen so far this year. It received my Game Of The Year stamp and did for so many reasons. Make sure you click the links to each game for my full reviews!
The Worst Game I’ve Played This Year
Ok, so apart from a string of almost awful Indie games (and there have been some) that have been free on Playstation Plus, there has been a couple of games that have been heavily disappointing. I haven’t played a huge amount of PS4 titles this year, at least as much as I would have liked anyway, but I definitely have enough to say!
The start of the PS4 was also the start of a very bright future in gaming. Some of the ideas that we saw during the preceding E3 were extremely oversold, especially within Watchdogs. Watchdogs was pitched to us as this dynamic open world that would rival GTAV, it was very ambitious as a title and the whole world anticipated it greatly. I was there on Day 1, ready to purchase my special edition copy; the excitement to play it was overwhelming as I do love any kind of open world, car jacking, pedestrian shooting type game, but Watchdogs just didn’t live up to standard. The hacking ability was too easy and didn’t offer anything at all in the form of skill-based play and the mechanics behind it was literally just pressing Square. The driving was like racing around on ice and the fact that I found it hard to locate even a single gun to equip meant that my will to play this game started to fail fairly quickly. I guess ultimately, it is a stealth game, which I have voiced my dislike of for a while now, so maybe I was a little naive in thinking this game would be more action based, but even still, the game did not deliver for me. As a result, I struggled to even bring myself to play it after the first visit and after 4 hours of play, I traded it in.
The Biggest Disappointment.
I was going to mention this in the ‘worst games this year,’ but actually, it was such a big disappointment, I think it deserves a category of its own.
Destiny was probably one of the most anticipated games of all time. It’s ambition and values were universally accepted as one of the best things to hit consoles of the new generation. We were expecting a great story based MMO with an open world that offered awesome RPG elements, especially a great looting system, but it is safe to say that Destiny missed out on each of those.
The internet has been alive with criticism of the game, despite it being the biggest launch for a new IP in history. On top of that, it was only awarded an average of 7.7 across all major game sites and there are countless reasons as to why. The story was completely non-existent. In fact, I got to the end of the game without even knowing what the game was about– something about destroying a Dark Garden? Anyway, needless to say, with a huge lack of cut scenes and narrative, we now have 10 million players that aren’t exactly sure why the Fallen dislike Hive, or do they? Anyway, the game wasn’t just missing a storyline, the RPG elements were very loose, with you levelling up without a great deal of change until you pass level 20, which ultimately became a slow grind from then on trying to find weapons and armour with a Light attribute. The Multiplayer was mainly a frenzy of people sprinting and double jumping around with an overpowered shotgun and again, not very rewarding at all. The looting system was limited and trying to find a high-end item was even more of a challenge than staying awake, especially as you would always, without fail, be ripped off upon trading in a purple engram. There was huge speculation across the Game-verse that Destiny was actually released with missing content and I would be inclined to agree. Destiny is now long gone for me, I haven’t played it in quite a long time and I doubt that I will ever revisit it. Bungie have voiced a 10 year plan for Destiny, but personally I think that’s based on the length of time it will take you to find a purple engram!
Next year is a very promising year, with Dying Light kicking off the gaming escapades towards the end of January, which I think looks amazing! Soon after we have games like The Order to keep us entertained and I’m willing to bet my life that it will be a hit. But don’t forget, with Uncharted rumoured for release July 15th (and this is a very loose rumour) and other great titles due out such as Dead Island 2 in April, year 2 will surely set a more realistic precedent as to what this generation will mean to us, what it will bring and how it will evolve from there.
What have been your highlights for the year? Is there anything that disappointed you so much that you wanted to write a White Chicks style letter to the developers? Are you still playing Destiny? Whatever it is, let me know how your 2014 has been!
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