So I’m a total hypocrite….
This Christmas, the Lish surprised me with something I wasn’t really expecting. No, not a blumpkin. It was a PS4! I know I’ve said in previous posts that I was basically done with console gaming, and I truly thought I was since I had zero impetus to indulge in console gaming for the past year or so. I had some difficulty coming to terms with accepting such an amazing gift, and I almost returned it. My inner geek ended up powerbombing its emo opponent, and I wound up keeping this monolith of awesomeness. I’ve played with it for the past 2 weeks or so, and I only really have the few free games you get with PS+ and Battlefield 4. That being said, here is my sort-of-review of the PS4 as it currently is. I’ll keep this as short as possible to counteract the usual eye rolling and bored arrowing down people usually experience when reading these posts.
First, the look. It looks pretty cool. It kinda reminds me of the scale model of the T1000 chip on Dyson’s desk in T2. I unboxed it, and setup was simple. Usual tab A and slot B kinda shit. If you have difficulty setting it up, and you are a geek or gamer, punch yourself in the junk repeatedly until you realize your folly and resign as a member of the gaming culture. The initial setup is quick and easy, and in a few minutes I was online downloading some free shit. That right there, is a huge boon for me. Out of the box, you get a free 3 month subscription to PS+, which gets you free downloadable games from the PS store. This means that, even if you can’t afford a full price AAA title like BF4 or Killzone, you get some awesome free games to play on your new system. The games I got are Resogun and Contrast. I’ve played resogun, and it’s an awesomely fun shooter. Cool music and SFX, great visuals, and smooth gameplay. I haven’t played Contrast yet.
Quick note on the controller. This thing is great. Feels beter than my 360 and PS3 controllers, and is pretty straightforward. It’s kind of odd not having a Start button anymore, now we have Options, but whatever, it functions the same. The battery life on the controller is pretty meh, but at least it’s rechargable and can use my phone’s wall charger so I don’t have to sit near the console if I let it get too low. It has a speaker in it, though lord knows why. It’s a novel idea that they stole from the Wii, but I never got the point. One thing that it does have, which is fucking awesome, is a headphone jack in the controller. This is not only for the chat headset, you can also plug in headphones and run ALL game audio through the headset, which also mutes the TV volume. This feature is awesome, and I can’t wait to get some nice chat headphones to really utilize it. Apart from that, gaming with this controller is sweet, no doubt about it.
The menu system is relatively straightforward, though lots of shit is missing that is present on my PS3. If it’s in there somewhere, it’s not intuitive to locate. For example, save game management. I used to be able to copy saves to a USB stick to take with me. Now, not so much. I also didn’t see anywhere to configure syncing saves to the cloud. Hell, you can’t even SEE your saves, which is kinda stupid. Another thing missing is a music section, photo section, and video section. As of right now, it doesn’t support copying music or videos from my home media server to the local disk for playback, something I used my PS3 for. I also would copy photos locally from a multicard reader to view on the TV after vacations. This is also gone. If you’re looking for youtube, look in vain cuz you won’t find support for it here. Oh, and if you have a large library of games, I hope you like searching, cuz this doesn’t allow folders either. Everything is in one area, which is very counterintuitive to me. I hope they change this up in future updates, cuz right now the layout can be irritating.
Chat is awesome. I chat with a few buddies of mine pretty often, regardless of what we’re playing at the time, and it’s seamless. The sound quality is great, even with the earpiece they include with the PS4, and I haven’t had any echo or static issues. It’s very much like the 360 chat system, just with better sound quality. You can also send sound clips to each other as well as text and such. There is also a share button that allows you to take a screenshot or short video to upload to facebook or twitter. It also lets you stream your activity, whether it be playing a game or the feed from the PSEYE, to one of two different streaming sites. Other PS4 users can browse through current streams through a section in the dash and watch them in realtime, as well as comment on them. The user sharing can see the comments while he/she plays. Pretty cool stuff.
Now, the addiction factor. Like its predecessor, the PS4 has DC Universe Online as a free to play MMO. I jumped on, created a character, and have spent HOURS playing this shit. As much as it suffers from the usual MMO problem of virtually no driving main story, it has plenty of superhero fun to keep me interested. The world isn’t too big, and the missions are pretty fun. I’ve gone in with a few buddies to share missions and shit, and it was an absolute pisser! Sure, there are fucked up moments like when Bizarro showed up and wasted me with one hit, but even that wasn’t so bad. All in all, it’s great fun with lots of replay for me, and you can’t beat the pricetag! I also picked up BF4, a game which has reminded me just how horrible I am at FPS’s. I died about 9 times during the freaking intro mission! I attribute this to my CounterStrike style of FPS play, which is running and gunning. This game is more about taking cover and being strategic, which is more like how I play paintball. It’s a shift in gears I’m having trouble with, but the game itself is pretty awesome. Graphics and sound are great, environments are destructable and fun, and the multiplayer is a meat grinder of awesome!
So, to sum up for the TL:DR crowd, the PS4 is an awesome machine right now, but needs some serious software updates to really become a replacement for my PS3. For now, both will remain in the living room until Sony sorts out their shit, but I doubt it’ll take long. They really hit the mark well with this one.
Now for the hypocrisy. I know I’ve previously denounced the overcomplication and such with modern games, in favor of classic games in their punishingly difficult simplicity (I’m looking at you, Donkey Kong!), but as it turn out, I still enjoy a good game on a console. The good news is, I’m not feeling the sick urge to go out and buy more of the latest titles
yes I am. I’m really pleased that I’ve gotten past that point I haven’t, I’m just broke. I feel freed by this newfound responsible maturity I’ll debase myself for a copy of Killzone!. SHUT UP! …don’t listen to him, he lies!