Tagged "PS4"

Jun 06
By Jake In Reviews No Comments

Can a game be too well designed? After playing Rime, I reckon so.

It was about half way through that I realised that I didn’t need to think. I stopped worrying about where to go, because I realised that Rime is precision engineered to guide the player in the right direction. It’s really, really impressive. Honestly, as a design exercise, it’s exquisite. But that makes it – as a game – a little… bit… boring.

I don’t like thinking that, because so much about Rime is so appealing. The beautiful, enigmatic adventure of a young child on a strange island – sounds interesting, right? Well, let’s pick that apart.

Rime

It’s unquestionably beautiful, the art style falling somewhere between Ico, Journey and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It’s equally appealing in motion, the soundtrack is wonderful, and the controls are intuitively simple. Really, there’s nothing not to like: it’s a joy to be in the game’s world.

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Mar 29
By Jake In Reviews No Comments

Be anything. Pushing the definition of what we call a game. Narration by a dead philosopher. Playing itself if you let it. Everything about Everything is positively ripe for analysis, aching for discussion, gagging for scrutiny. But I don’t want to.

Since playing Everything, I’ve found myself thinking about whether I found it deep, whether I identified with its themes, whether it’s art. You know, like an absolute wazzer. But that’s not what I was thinking about while actually playing it.

Then I was thinking about how some of the wonky animation reminded me of French animation A Town Called Panic; thinking that the snatches of dialogue things have to share with you at one point started to sound like a particularly bleak edition of Your News on BBC Radio 4’s iPM programme.

Those are, I realise, also the thoughts of an absolute wazzer, but the point is they were much more satisfying and entertaining thoughts.

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Feb 25
By Jake In Reviews No Comments

In 1999, MX Nitro would have been published by Midway. It’s that sort of game. A bit brash, a bit dumb, but plenty of fun with it. Think Hydro Thunder. But in futuristic 2017, it’s from Miniclip, purveyors of web and mobile games, and Saber Interactive, who have worked on everything from Halo to casino games. The modern world, eh?

It’s not particularly helpful to know that it’s based on a browser game, because MX Nitro is a much more complete package than that might suggest. It’s not wildly original, though: this is motocross, and it adopts an approach familiar from the likes of Trials Fusion – a roughly side-on view, and no need for steering, you just take care of shifting the balance of the bike.

It’s also a much better looking game than it’s origins might suggest. The actual style of presentation, however, comes from another altogether gnarlier time. The bosses – and actually the fact that there are bosses in a racing game at all – are the most jarring, with their trash talk every time you line up alongside them. It’s more quaint than annoying though.

MX Nitro

The career mode offers a surprising amount of variety. The majority of events are races of one form or another, but your competitors are largely irrelevant: there’s no interaction with them, and they perform so consistently that really it’s you against the course and the clock. It’s rare to complete a track to a decent standard and not hit the required result.

That isn’t a problem though, because the courses present a sufficiently interesting challenge. There’s a lot of focus on tricks even in races, since they yield nitro boost as well as points. The task boils down to learning the course, working out how much nitro you need at any given point, and how much risk you need to take in performing tricks to earn that nitro. On the best courses it’s a completely satisfying puzzle, revealing itself over repeated failed attempts.

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Jun 10
By Adam Philbin In Blog No Comments

With last year’s E3 conferences all about the new consoles, this year the games were the centrepiece. Sony were keen on showing us quite a lot of them.

If E3 was a fight – and it sort of is, let’s face it – Sony once again stepped it up. Microsoft’s Xbox conference was an improvement on last year’s disaster, but with few particularly stand out titles. Sony’s show on the other hand, was more or less a non-stop stream of games to make the audience go “I want that!”. Although in both cases, new IP was a little lacking.

Sony’s core message was “look, games!”, with a strong focus on “Jesus, that’s very good looking”. Where to start…

Oh yes, Grim Fandango!

grim-fandango

Yes, that’s right. Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions are pulling LucasArts’ classic into the modern age as Grim Fandango Remastered, initially for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. That will probably go down as the most unexpected announcement of E3.

In terms of brilliant but non-exclusive titles, Activision’s Destiny, Ubisoft’s Far Cry 4 and Deep Silver’s Dead Island 2 all looked kind of brilliant, with Far Cry 4 in particular looking really stunning. The gameplay sequence on show highlighted the freeform gameplay, wrapped up in brilliant little cinematic moments.

Remastering seems to be a theme at this year’s E3. Grim Fandango aside (and Microsoft’s Halo), Sony also presented The Last Of Us Remastered, now due for an August 1st 2014 release, and GTA V for PS4 (as well as Xbox One and PC) due this autumn. Oh, let us not forget Ratchet & Clank Remastered – don’t all rush out and buy it at once!

The big new IP unveiling came in the form of Bloodborne, from Dark Souls developer From Software. It looked pretty gruesome. The trailer seemed to involve a dark character lurking in the shadows, slicing apart zombie-like corpses and hounds. Probably not exactly the type of game that’s lacking in the world, but the developers have a good track record and Sony seemed excited so we won’t be too harsh.

Another original, PlayStation exclusive game on show was The Order: 1886, again. Last year we saw the trailer, this year some gameplay of a moustached man walking in the shadows. It’s due for release in February 2015.

In a rather casual manner, Media Molecule came on stage to show off LittleBigPlanet 3. Needless to say, that can only be a good thing. Whilst it looks very similar to previous games in the series, new characters have been introduced with a bunch of special abilities. You won’t have to wait too long to play it, as it’ll be coming to both PS3 and PS4 in November.

BROFORCE  PS4Once again, indie titles were a big part of Sony’s offering. There are frankly too many to mention, but we’re glad to see BROFORCE (a retro-style side-scrolling shooter where you play as 80s action heroes smashing through destructable terrain – there’s a prototype online that’s worth a play) and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number coming to PS4 and PS Vita.

Journey developers Giant Squid are also working on something new – the mildly pretentious sounding Abzû. We’re not sure what the game involves (although it’s mostly set underwater), but it looks very pretty. Expect hipster gaming sites to fawn over that one for awhile.

Guildford-based four man development studio Hello Games (of Joe Danger fame) properly unveiled No Man’s Sky. Whilst shown as part of the indie gaming section, that might be doing it a disservice – it’s genuinely one of the highlights of the show, and one of the most interesting games we’ve seen in a long time. Getting over the fact that this Triple A worthy title is being made by just four men, the concept itself – exploring an online infinite universe full of randomly generated planets, packed with alien life and space battles – is just amazing. Look, here’s the gameplay trailer below. Look at it. Look at it! Does that not have the potential to be the best thing ever?

Landing back on Earth, Sony announced that the PlayStation TV (released in Japan last November) would be coming to the US and Europe soon, for £99. It’s essentially a PS Vita chipset that you plug into your TV and control with a Dualshock pad. It plays PS Vita games natively, and also allows for remote play of PS4 and PS3 titles, as well as eventually playing streamed PS Now titles, once the PS Now game streaming service comes to Europe (it’s coming to the US and Canada this summer, but no mention about a release over here yet).

uncharted4

Sony closed the show with a sneak peak at Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The footage, whilst running on a PS4, didn’t tell us too much, other than the fact that it looks very pretty. It’s Naughty Dog though, so we’re confident it will be amazing, when we finally get to play it next year.
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Dec 02
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

With one million consoles shifted at launch the Xbox One got off to a strong start, but unless we’re mistaken no records were broken.

Sony’s release of the PlayStation 4 last week has however succeeded in doing so – it has become the fastest-selling console in UK history, beating the record set by the PSP way back in 2005.

Over 185,000 PS4s were sold in the UK. UPDATE: A colossal 250,000 consoles were in fact sold, reports MCV.

The console’s release helps Call of Duty: Ghosts retake the top spot in the UK top 40, pushing previous #1 FIFA 14 down to #2.

Battlefield 4 holds in at #3, and then at #4 it’s the first PS4-exclusive in the chart – Killzone: Shadow Fall.

The rest of the UK top 10 looks like this: Assassin’s Creed IV at #5, followed by LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, GTA V, Need for Speed Rivals – which is up five places this week – Just Dance 2014 and Batman: Arkham Origins at #10.

Knack is the next PS4-exclusive in the chart after Killzone, entering at #13. That’s, somewhat sadly, higher than Super Mario 3D World which débuts at #14. Nintendo shouldn’t feel too down about this as it can likely be attributed to retailers pushing the Knack PS4 bundle.

The next new arrival in the chart is NBA 2K14 at #16 thanks to the PS4 version proving curiously popular.

Then all the way down at #38 it’s Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition.

The Xbox One launch titles remain in the top 40, but they’ve dropped by considerable amounts. Forza 5 falls from #5 to #15, Dead Rising 3 shuffles from #7 to #18 and Ryse fails to live up to its name by falling from #10 to #24.

Marvellous handheld duo Zelda: A Link Between World and Tearway have likewise dropped heavily this week – Zelda is down from #9 to #17 while Tearaway crafts its way from #26 to #37.

Nov 27
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

American gamers have had their beloved PlayStation 4 consoles for a few weeks now, thus giving those living outside the US an early heads-up about to what expect from the launch titles.

Shadowfall

Killzone: Shadow Fall follows suits from the rest of the games in the series – oh so pretty, but lacking any true innovation.

As such reviews have been mixed – everything from 5.0 from Polygon to 9/10 from Destuctoid. Most critics agree though it’s a good showcase for the PS4. As launch titles tend to go, we don’t think you could ask for much more.

Don’t expect much from Knack and you won’t be disappointed either. This is intended to be a family friendly title, likened to Crash Bandicoot by more than a few. Some reviewers found solace in its simplistic platforming ways, but others felt it was beyond dated. Again, scores were mixed. You can probably bank on this one dropping in price quickly, should that help your purchasing decision.

Skylanders Swap Force

Did the PS4 really need a family friendly title when it already has LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and Skylanders Swap Force? Perhaps – these two don’t quite show off the system in the way that Knack does. Regardless, they’re safe launch-day purchases.

Rest easy knowing that you won’t be disappointed with taking any of the following home either – Need For Speed Rivals, Assassin’s Creed IV, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, FIFA 14, NBA 2K14 and Madden NFL 25. All of these have proven to be great on other formats, although we didn’t quite enjoy the latest Call of Duty as much as we first envisioned.

As we reported on Monday, NBA Live 14 and Angry Birds Star Wars were the worst selling Xbox One launch titles. We expect that’ll be the case on PlayStation 4.

PinballArcade

Putty Squad is another of questionable quality – a HD remake of an unreleased Amiga game from 1994. The £13.99 PSN price tag – compared to the £21.99 asking price on Amazon for the retail version – might save it from slipping into further obscurity.

System 3 are also releasing Pinball Arcade, which IGN really enjoyed. To quote: “The first table’s free, so there’s no excuse; this is a must to download”

Stylish shooter Resogun is another must have, not to mention currently the highest rated PS4 title on Metacritic. If you’re a PlayStation Plus member it’s available for free, along with the 1920’s Parisian adventure Contrast which has been well received.

Warframe

WWII fight-sim shooter War Thunder, Warframe – from the developer of The Darkness II and Dark Sector – and DC Universe Online are also free-to-play on PSN and confirmed for launch. They will soon be joined by Blacklight: Retribution.

Hopefully the servers will be able to cope with the influx of people buying a PS4 this weekend.

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Nov 13
By Matt Gander In Blog 2 Comments

First-party PlayStation 4 game reviews went up earlier this afternoon, lighting up the likes of Twitter with some heated discussion.

The main reason for this is that review scores have been, somewhat predictably, mixed. Killzone: Shadow Fall has been noted as being pretty but vacuous by many critics, while not every reviewer found solace in Knack’s purposely simplistic nature.

Indie shooter Resogun has got off to a resounding start though, highlighting that gaping Geometry Wars-shaped hole in the Xbox One’s launch line-up.

Incidentally, reviews of fellow indie PS4 title Constrast from Compulsion Games went live today too. Like Resogun, this will be available for free to PS Plus subscribers at launch. Kotaku quite liked it, but Polygon did not.

Here are some of the scores Sony’s first-party games have been awarded so far, along with some select quotes:

Killzone: Shadow Fall

Shadowfall

9/10 – Destructoid: “A stunner. Killzone: Shadow Fall is the game that will make you happy to own a PS4. This needs to be on your PS4 launch game list”

7/10 – Eurogamer: “There’s a lack of confidence here that contrasts starkly with Guerrilla’s dazzling, sure-footed command of the new hardware”

5.0/10 – Polygon: “For all the next-gen bluster of its visuals and the repeated blunt-force attempts to ram a message home, Guerrilla’s first shot on the PS4 retreads shooter cliches, and poorly”

8.0/10 – IGN: “There’s never been a better time for everyone to be paying attention to the Killzone franchise, because Shadow Fall is a step in an all-new, very welcome direction”

8/10 – OPM: “A mix of familiar gunplay and just enough new ideas, gorgeous looks and sheer technical wow to make you feel like you’re stepping into a shiny new future”

8/10 – GameReactor: “Killzone: Shadow Fall ends up being a nice side attraction that, despite a few frustrating elements, shows what PlayStation 4 is capable of”

7/10 – GameSpot: “It’s too bad that where Killzone 3 packed its maps with exciting action sequences, Shadow Fall’s campaign forgot to bring the thrills”

“No” – Kotaku: “Killzone Shadow Fall succeeds as an example of how amazing a PS4 game can look but feels mysteriously devoid of the secret ingredient that takes games from great-looking to great-feeling”

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Jun 11
By Adam Philbin In Blog No Comments

On the console front, Sony clearly gave Microsoft a bloody nose last night. However, both the PS4 and Xbox One were slightly lacking in amazing new first party titles, so it was left to Ubisoft to come up with one of the most impressive new titles of the show.

Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division is an online open-world co-operative shooter/RPG, set in a future New York after a deadly pandemic. The Swedish Ubisoft Massive are at the healm, having previously worked on World in Conflict, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Far Cry 3.

The gameplay combines cover and shoot style mechanics with an MMO style party system, with groups of players shooting both AI bad guys and opposing human teams. Visually it looks rather stunning, with an incredible attention to detail. Watch the video below for the full presentation of the game. Who’d have thought a Tom Clancy game would be a contender for best of show.

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