Hereafter: Two Years into the PS4

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It’s weird. The PS4 has been out for two years already to the day. It’s doesn’t seem like that long ago when I was on my way to Gamestop to pick up my system. This is our Hereafter PS4 review of what the last two years have been like in terms of games, system, and what is to come for the this generation.

The Games:

It’s been a fun two years with the PS4. There have been a lot of games I have played on the PS4, some have been stand out gems, others are just time killers, and some have been duds. In this section I only want to highlight the exclusives because these are things that make the system standout versus is Microsoft counter part. These are my top 3 exclusive PS4 games that have stood out over the past two years.

#3. MLB: The Show

Courtesy Sony
Courtesy Sony

MLB: The Show is a sports game that is in a league of it’s own (Pun intended). The show offers something that no other sports game has to offer, exclusivity. This is the only sports game that is exclusive to one console and it is the dominant breed when it comes to baseball games, but also sports games in general. The Show experience is better than both madden and the NBA 2k series. MLB wins in the legitimacy of mechanics compared to it’s real life counterpart. Both Madden and 2k allow for too much of video game numbers to come through whereas when playing MLB if you have to have a tremendous amount of skill in order to actually succeed. I’ve been on board with The Show since 2006 and the series has only gotten better, especially graphically. Only NBA 2K matches the graphically likeness of it’s players that MLB has. MLB makes sure every player is spot on both in the way they look and the way they play. This is where NBA fails. If I try to play like Steph Curry in 2K, i’m not going to do well. NBA just cannot account for how dominant some players are in real life so they essentially nerf Curry’s ability. In MLB if I have a player like Mike Trout, i’m almost guaranteed to get at least one hit in the game that I play because in real life Trout is just that good. Now I’m aware that this just seems to be a comparison of sports games but my final remark is just a reminder that in order to play The Show you have to go out and buy a PS4 and that’s not changing anytime soon.

#2. BloodBorne

Courtesy Sony
Courtesy Sony

BloodBorne is easily the most frustrating game I have ever played. I love it and hate it so much but it is truly a phenomenal game. Bloodborne is one of my favorites. It has everything that a veteran gamer could ask for. It’s hard, it has an intricate story, and it is a artistic masterpiece. Bloodborne is a standout game because it is so vastly different from the other games that were out at the time. Yes it draws inspiration from the dark souls games but the game is different enough for it to stand separate from that series. Bloodborne will make you cringe, it will make cry, and it will define how you view success in a video game and that’s why it is our number two game for the PS4.

#1. The Order: 1886

Courtesy Sony
Courtesy Sony

I freaking loved playing this game. This is gaming at it’s most basic. Some may view that as a bad thing but it far from it. The Order is a simple story of good versus evil, shady government control and supernatural forces at play all packed into one meaty campaign. Screw the complaints that the game was too short. You wouldn’t complain if you watched a brilliant movie and it was only 88 minutes long. Just because something is longer doesn’t mean it is all good. The Order is compact and packs one hell of punch from game play to scenery to overall story. It is an absolute must have when it comes to owning a PS4 and possibly could have been a defining series to the system if people were able to get past the game only have an 8 or so hour campaign. If you have a PS4 get this game and put it at the top of your queue and if don’t have a PS4 go out and buy one and play this game first. It is definitely worth it.

The System:

The PS4 system has gone through a few iterations and now it’s fourth console it has come quite a long way. The PS4 is primed with specs that make it rival your brand new laptop and the scary thing is,  with each update the system only runs smoother. I remember when the PS4 first came out.

Courtesy Sony
Courtesy Sony

It was simple nothing more that a few boxes  spread across the screen, similar to the way apps work on your phone. The PS4 didn’t provide much more at the time. It did have it’s new built in gameplay recording capabilities. The PS4 also provided players with a slew of new gameplay streaming services that has been quite the difference maker. If you ever wondered about a game you can boot up your system head to playstation live and watch the game you want to watch to see if it’s worth getting. A rather important function to have. By having the video game streaming service PS4 also built a community right into the system itself. Gamers are linked via their system more so than the individual game that they play. You can watch your favorite game win big DriveClub and follow him/her to, let’s say, Destiny if that’s what they choose to play next. So the system itself has really turn into a good community game. I think the development of twitch can be thanked for that as well.

PS4 is very aware of the community aspect and as the system continues to push out updates that becomes more apparent. The 3.00 update gave users the ability to post gameplay clips to twitter! If that isn’t a commitment to social I don’t know what is. Also YouTube Live was added in this update which is just YouTube’s response to push gamers to stream their gameplay via YouTube. If this is the beginning of the streaming war the users win ten times out of ten in this situation. If Twitch is going to battle YouTube for the gaming streaming world that mean both companies will strive and push to make their services the best quality they can be.

Also in 3.00 PS4 added community events. This allows gamers to join events posted by their favorite games and join the micro community the was inevitably created by the individual games. Reddit also supports the micro community of the games with each AAA title release getting it’s own sub Reddit. So the events are cool because it gives another level of involvement with your go to games. The immersability is amazing and it’s this sort of stuff which is helping gaming compete with other forms of media in the battle for the couch.

Some Personal Preferences:

Here I’d just like to say a few things that I really enjoy using my PS4 for. Netflix, HBO GO, YouTube and Blu Rays. I love using my system for video services. Everything works so smoothly for me. Also the apps like Netflix and HBO GO get their video game system updates first because most of their subscribers are using a system for their service. Smart TV’s are starting to break into that territory since most TV’s available are Smart but I think the gaming systems will be safe for a while.

I also like to use my PS4 for to play my indie games. I think that Sony has provided a great platform for developers to post their games and make them available for sale. I love picking up a great indie game and the PS4 always serves my needs for that. Also for those interested in one excellent indie pick up Outlast. The game is phenomenal and terrifying.

Multiplayer games also have me leaning towards PS4. I really like playing online in the Sonyverse because the servers always treat me well. It is a very surprising flip from when the Xbox 360 online was leagues better than PS3 online. When I’m in Gamestop I usually lean towards the Playstation Plus Subscription over Xbox Live. It’s just better for the users, plain and simple.

The Next Two Years: 

Playstation has set the bar pretty high in the first two years. With the system being as social as it is already and with the continued development of community centric games where will we be in two year from now? This is purely speculation just to be clear. I wouldn’t be surprised if the with the new games coming out PS4 continues to bolster it’s user connection to the individual games allowing for multi platform connectivity. By multi platform I mean phone, computer, and TV. Microsoft and Sony aren’t going to be playing ball anytime soon. The problem with user connectivity is that it will put the pressure on the developers to build their games with the community in mind. It will be easier for the big titles like Call of Duty to sustain but how about those small release niche games that cannot afford to support a community? Expect more of those small games to charge a service fee to play. In the next two years expect to see our first AAA title that has a paid service to play beyond the online subscription. Console games have already started with micro transactions it’s just a matter of time now.

Expect a new system announcement at the next E3. I think sony is developing the PS5 and new consoles will start come out regularly, the way cellphones come out. The way it will be done however won’t force players to have to get the new system every year but it will get to the point where your current console needs to be replaced for the upgraded version, like all technology.

Final Thoughts:

My final thoughts on the PS4 are that this is easily the better of the two console systems, sorry Wii U just cannot be compared. PS4 provides a better user experience and makes it the easier of the two systems to just pick up if you have never played on a video game console before. The intuitive design mixed with the buzzing community of the system help it best it’s Microsoft counter part. Also the price tag makes the PS4 the favorable option. Although Microsoft has been making affordable Xbox One options to match Sony. If I could only get one system I would take the PS4 over the Xbox One right now with out a second thought.

Thanks for reading and happy second birthday Playstation.

Nick Negri on Twitter
Nick Negri
Producer
I like games, I like movies and I work on a TV show. If I have something to say i'll write it here. Stick around the site if you like what you read.

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