Sony’s next-generation powerhouse has been on the market for around five months or so, and in that time has attracted praise for its eye-pleasing aesthetics, superb UI and host of social media integration. Of course, its hardware capabilities – specifically its ability to pump out sumptuous visuals – have been scrutinized heavily, as the weight of expectation from gamers in bringing ‘next-gen’ gaming to the market is ever present. And, while it is typical for a new console to spend a few years finding its feet with developers, PS4 hasn’t been short of eyeball-popping titles right out of the gate; a trend that has continued fairly consistently ever since.
So, graphics aren’t everything, but we all love clocking some eye candy. As such, here’s five of PS4’s best-looking titles so far.
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KILLZONE: SHADOW FALL
Guerrilla Games’ FPS went from cult hit to tent pole franchise in the transition between PS2 and PS3, and has consistently remained a visual showpiece for Sony hardware ever since. Unsurprising, then, that Shadow Fall was on hand to flex the PS4’s technical muscles at its launch last November, effectively becoming the poster boy for Sony’s new console in terms of graphics during its early months. And it’s easy to see why. Featuring some stunning environments and some of the best lighting effects we’ve clapped eyes on, Shadow Fall is every bit the visual showstopper you’d expect from a developer of Guerrilla’s pedigree. More than a mere incremental upgrade over the already-great looking Killzone 3, the shooter also features some gorgeous particle effects, making for some stunning battlegrounds as bullets, rubble and blood decorate the scenery during action-packed set pieces. Sure, the gameplay may not have hit the same heights, but Shadow Fall easily steals the show as one of PS4’s greatest looking games to date.
An overlooked gem and sadly currently only available in Europe, Gaijin’s World War II flight sim may be free-to-play, but don’t assume that means it’s a budget effort. War Thunder is a visually-stunning effort from head to toe, so much so that you’ll find yourself scrutinizing every bullet hole and scratch on your war-torn aircraft to marvel at the meticulous attention to detail employed by the Russian studio. Coming off the back of the impressive IL-2 Sturmovick series, War Thunder features stunningly-realized planes and jaw-dropping landscapes, with battle damage that includes everything from bullet-riddled fuselages to wings sporting gaping holes. Historical buffs are in for a treat here too, with every detail each of the iconic planes – from the Spitfire to the Messerschmidt BF-109 – recreated for your viewing pleasure.
inFAMOUS: Second Son
Sucker Punch’s open world, superhero adventure is unequivocally the biggest game to hit PS4 so far this year, and a sumptuous showcase for Sony’s latest block of hardware. Delsin Rowe’s turbo-charged adventure was always a looker, right back from its initial unveiling in New York City last February. And, as pretty as the game looked in all those tasty screenshots we’ve been treated to, seeing it in action is the only way in which you can truly appreciate the beauty and immaculate attention to detail that Sucker Punch has put into this title. From jaw-dropping lighting and particle effects to some of the most impressive character models we’ve gawked at, inFAMOUS: Second Son oozes technical sophistication from every pore, and its silky-smooth frame rate only seeks to further complement the on-screen action.
TOMB RAIDER: DEFINITIVE EDITION
Lara Croft’s seminal reboot appeared on PS4 earlier this year, repackaged with all DLC and a fresh 1080p makeover. The game was already technically impressive on previous generation hardware, but the PS4’s added graphical muscle is more than just a quick touch-up; Croft has a brand new character model, and the game runs at an impressive 60fps and benefits from enhanced textures and lighting effects. The added visual polish adds layers of nuanced detail and effects, accentuating the overall experience and atmospheric value of this superb third-person adventure.
DICE’s military shooter franchise has remained a visual highlight for home consoles for a while now, and BF4 is a perpetuation of the series’ ability to pump out pure eye candy — it’s just a shame the game shipped with so many bugs. That aside, the PS4 version of the game is easily among the most graphically-impressive games that shipped last year, let alone for Sony’s next-generation console. This is as close to playing a PC-quality shooter on a home console as you are going to get, with the Frostbite engine really flexing its graphical muscle, whether it be the intricately-detailed environments or stunning set-pieces that see whole buildings crumble to dust. Furthermore, the PS4 release also runs at a slightly better resolution than its Xbox One counterpart — what more could you want for a console FPS?
What game(s) do you think flexes off the PS4’s visual muscles? Drop us a comment below.