I finally got this bad boy fired up on Christmas Eve! I didn’t get much gaming done, mind – most of my time was spent downloading game updates, installing the games and redeeming my codes (Season Passes etc).
This isn’t a review per se – it’s more a run-down of my perceptions of the console (I haven’t tried everything out yet).
Despite the fact this is more powerful than its predecessor, it is significantly lighter than the original PS3 (Fat 6oGB). The almost alien look of it and cool strip light is a pretty suave, futuristic thing of beauty. The controller took a bit of getting used to – it feels familiar but at the same time, getting used to the lack of ‘START’ and ‘SELECT’ buttons is still a struggle.
The touch pad is a pretty cool feature and again, feels a bit unusual, but once the old creature comforts die out, the controller is a mean piece of kit!
So, my Christmas Eve on the console consisted of installing GTA V, Destiny, Lego Batman 3, Far Cry 4, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Injustice: Gods Among Us, The Last of Us Remastered and a few other PSN games I downloaded.
Then the games needed software updates.
One thing I do love is the fact that you can multi-task now – as a game is installing/updating, you can flick to another game or app and play it while you wait. No more boring black screen with a seemingly stationary progress bar.
I was torn as to which game to play first, but I settled with GTA V as I wanted to get online and claim the free items as part of the Festive event. I was fortunate enough to be able to sign into PSN after 2 or 3 attempts and had a quick go online.
I then decided to hit the story mode and enjoy a game I had spent hours on on my PS3 in a new light – this game looks even more fantastic than before! It took a bit of getting used to using the touch pad to change camera views and the first-person driving, whilst it looks lush, is just not my thing. I also tested out my Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60 headset and was amazed! I wasn’t sure if it’d work – my PS3 allowed voice chat but gameplay was still heard on the TV. I plugged this in and felt a bit deflated as I had seen a video on Youtube saying it worked but didn’t specify what (would it just be the same as on my PS3?). Googling turned up no info as to how it worked so I was glad that I finally got to test it myself and find that the PS4 has an option to send the audio to the headset as well.
On top of the awesome surround sound quality, I shortly discovered that my control pad also speaks to me. You can pick up police radio chatter and phone calls from GTA V on it and the light was having an epileptic fit of blue and red flashiness as I was being chased by the cops in the opening mission.
Impresssed was not the word.
So, Christmas Day hit and I was on the console off and on throughout the day. PSN seemed intermittent and I just assumed high levels of traffic due to other new users as well as folks getting Destiny and the like. Later in the evening, I discovered it was due to DDoS attacks. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it ruined my Christmas but it did piss me off – I was dying to get onto Destiny and see what the fuss was all about!
In the meantime, I made do with playing Injustice and the story mode on CoD for a bit as well as bouts of GTA V.
Boxing Day was much the same and then I was back in work the day after. After a few days, PSN was back and I still couldn’t get on but thanks to a post on Twitter that I spotted, it made mention of changing the MTU settings and voila! Back on.
A Far Cry
Having played Far Cry 2 (for some reason I never got round to getting number 3), I loved the game and Far Cry 4 seemed like a good buy. I wouldn’t say it’s shit but I’m just not…feeling it. Visually it’s lovely and there is so much scope for activities and so on and I think that’s why I feel so miffed by it. I see a fantastic game but I am becoming more and more apprehensive of vastly open worlds. I get a tad anxious as it’s daunting trying to figure out where to start and what to do. Plus, with the sheer abundance of side missions, easter eggs and collectibles games like this wind me up no end. I will play it properly and I will no doubt over come this hurdle – a similar hurdle that I have with Lego Batman 3. I know it is a rather linear game but there are large numbers of choices as well as the replayability freeplay gives you to go back with other characters to unlock new items and explore previously blocked areas.
The social features on the PS4 are pretty neat – uploading videos and screenshots to Youtube and Facebook respectively and of course live streaming on Twitch. This is something I plan on using a lot as part of the social and networking side of Nerdgazzum and tie that in to game reviews and so on.
Finally, I get to play Destiny the night I get my PSN back. Despite my previous comments about anxiety over large, open world games this wasn’t so bad. Again, it has its linear moments but the open world isn’t THAT open. Having played other MMOs (namely World of Warcraft), this felt immediately familiar and quite comfortable. Unlike WoW, though, I suck at PvP games so I think I’ll be spending my time levelling up and getting shit-hot gear before I tackle the Crucible events again.
The voice cast (Bill Nighy and Peter Dinklage for example) is awesome and the visuals are retina-scorchingly beautiful. Again, there are a few things that need getting used to (events and so on) but I am thoroughly enjoying it. One thing I’m finding odd, though is the number of players (or lack thereof). I know millions upon millions play it but, unlike WoW, when you go to the likes of The Tower (the game’s hub basically) there aren’t that many other players there. Trying to get folks to join a Fire Team is a chore and i just seems to dampen the experience for me at the moment as most missions are mainly tackled by myself.
So, in short – the PS4 is amazing. There are a plethora of features and apps and what-not that I have had a shot on and many more I haven’t tried yet. Add to that, the scope of possibility and other apps and abilities. One thing I really wanna try is the Game Share feature just to see how well it works.
Stay tuned for more reviews as the PS4 is going to play an integral role on this blog for gaming reviews, funny moments and possibly even walkthroughs at some stage.