Now that the dust has (almost) settled on the PlayStation 4’s North America launch, it’s time to look back with a critical eye over the software line-up for Sony’s next-generation console and see what games truly delivered after months of hype and build-up. Looking back, the launch period wasn’t without its hiccups, though overall things went pretty smoothly -- though some titles took a surprising battering from critics. Those of you who haven’t yet purchased a PS4 or are waiting patiently for the European launch are probably stewing over the following: Was Killzone: Shadow Fall the quintessential next-gen launch title? Does Knack stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its contemporaries? Which third-party game ultimately shines on PS4 over any other version?
With this in mind, PSU.com has run through the PS4’s day-one offerings with a fine tooth comb to determine the system’s Top 5 launch games. Check them out below.
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Killzone: Shadow Fall
Sony’s flagship FPS series has consistently remained a visual showpiece for the PlayStation brand, and Killzone: Shadow Fall is no exception. If you want to show off the power of PS4 to your mates, then this is the game to get. Shadow Fall’s graphics are stunning, from the meticulously-crafted battlezones and particle effects to the silky-smooth character animation. Of course, it would be disingenuous of us to suggest that Shadow Fall is hands-down the best launch title on offer, as it isn’t; the level design is patchy, and there’s a few rough edges here and there. However, there’s still huge amounts of fun to be had with Killzone’s satisfying shooting mechanics which are as solid as ever, while the multiplayer will keep you entertainment for months.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Ubisoft’s pirate-themed adventure is a cracking Caribbean romp as PSU discovered in our review, and the fact you get exclusive content and added visual polish with the PS4 versions sweetens the deal. Edward Kenway’s nautical outing is one of the highlights of the third-party line-up for Sony’s next-generation console, packing a massive game world ripe with loot to plunder, hidden locations to explore and of course massive ships to conquer on the open seas. The game’s free-running is a smooth as ever, and the combat, while showing a few wrinkles, still packs a satisfying punch as you rake in the kills. The visuals are gorgeous, expanding on the already impressive-looking PS3 release with layers of extra touches that bring to life the evocative 18th century setting.
Call of Duty and Battlefield went head-to-head again this year, although having scrutinized both under our review microscope, we found Electronic Arts’ to be the far more competent shooter. Always the visual eye-opener, BF4 is easily the best-looking title available at launch for Sony’s box outside of Killzone: Shadow Fall. Not only that, but it’s one of the most visually-striking titles to arrive on home consoles this year, and makes Call of Duty: Ghosts look decidedly rough around the edges. On the gameplay front, the PS4 version has the advantage of packing a whopping 64 players under the hood, offering some of the most action-packed online experiences available on release day. The single-player is no slouch either, offering an adrenaline-pumping campaign filled with stunning set-pieces and satisfying gun battles. It may not be technically next-gen as the game is a cross-console effort, but this is as close as it gets for PS4 at launch for FPS fans. You don’t want to miss out.
Housemarque’s vibrant shoot-’em-up remains one of the highest-rated PS4 games to date, and for good reason. The spiritual successor to Super Stardust HD, Resogun offers the same deceptively simple gameplay as its PS3 stablemate, packing five missions filled with fast-paced action that rewards skill and dedication. While the single-player is a bit on the short side, Resogun offers near endless amounts of addictive shoot-’em-up antics via its multiplayer component, where you and a mate can team up for some online co-op action. Boasting huge amounts of replay value, a top-notch soundtrack and silky smooth gameplay, Resogun is easily one of the most entertaining games available for PS4 on day one.
Need for Speed: Rivals
As gaming’s equivalent of Fast and Furious (minus the muscle-bound Vin Diesel), Need for Speed is an obvious hit with petrol heads, and the latest entry Rivals doesn’t disappoint. Featuring a seamless integration between single-player and multiplayer elements, this cops vs racers romp packs the same blood-pumping spectacle you’d expect from this venerable franchise - now on its 20th installment - as you cruise the streets for supremacy or bust notorious street racers across a sprawling open-world highway. The PS4 version features stunning visuals, with dynamic weather and beautifully-rendered motors complementing action-packed gameplay that not only involves racing at blindingly fast speeds, but also tosses in some neat car combat to boot. Gran Turismo might not be here yet, but driving fans have reason to celebrate with the insanely addictive Need for Speed: Rivals.
What are your top 5 PS4 launch titles? Sound off in the comments section below and give us your reasons -- we’re eager to hear your thoughts!
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