How Was The PS4′s 2015?

How Was The PS4′s 2015?

The PS4 seems to be the closest of the two ‘next gen’ systems when it comes to shaping an identity. 2015 saw Sony’s latest system usher in a fair mixture of exclusive titles, one of which is arguably the best of the year. But how did this year treat the Playstation 4 in terms of video games? Was it all success stories? Not exactly.

It’s near impossible to look back at the PS4′s 2015 without mentioning The Order 1886. A major new IP, boasting some truly impressive visuals, but that was pretty much all it had. Suspicions over the game had long existed, the final release confirmed them. Shallow, generic and brief, The Order 1886 was not the game many hoped it would be. The wasted potential of the game’s universe and story left just as much of a bitter taste in the mouth.

People can criticize the PS4 of many things, but variety in it’s exclusives in 2015 is certainly not one of them. This year saw two narrative heavy exclusives release on the PS4, both radically different from each other. Everyone’s Gone To The Rapture gave consoles audiences something new to experience. Many people connected with it’s relaxed nature and shrouded story telling experience. Another notable entry in a similar vein was SOMA.

Until Dawn represented the narrative genre on the opposite scale. Fast paced, instantly engaging story telling, laced with modern meta horror film elements. After switching from a PS Move title for the PS3, Until Dawn’s redesign for the PS4 proved to be one of surprise hits of 2015. Some snazzy trailers and misdirection allowed Until Dawn to flourish.

Moving away from story driven titles, Rocket League was yet another success story. Initially given away as part of PSN Plus, Rocket League spawned it’s own sub culture. Football played with cars, easy to pick up, tricky to master, it’s exactly what this generation needed. The unpredictable nature of the game lent itself well to Youtube and Twitch, spawning a strong following.

Remasterings of past exclusives were released, mainly to capitalise on people jumping brands from last generation. The highly acclaimed journey reappeared in all it’s sandy glory. The Nathan Drake Collection (complete with Uncharted 4 multiplayer beta access) created a fantastic entry point into the franchise. God of War 3 Remastered was yet another Sony staple that reappeared during this year. All three remastered titles proved to be decent versions of the originals, giving the PS4 a few extra toys to offer it’s consumers.

Drive Club was Sony’s experiment with full retail games and variations of PSN Plus models of the same game. Things didn’t turn out quite as planned. Various bugs, glitches and frustrating game design hindered Drive Club for the longest time. It took a few months for the game to recover, currently finding itself a fairly decent state.

Sony’s biggest feather in their PS4 cap came in the shape of Bloodborne. Improving on the Dark Souls formula, while creating a whole new IP, Bloodborne was sheer brilliance. The perfect balance of risk and reward, success and failure, it’s a truly magnificent release. Given it’s harsh nature, it’s not a game that would normally appeal to everyone, but it should be played at least once by everyone. The only console exclusive of this generation (so far) that earns a must play label, the PS4′s sharpest weapon by a mile.

Away from the big hitters, a number of cult hits and niche exclusives hit the market. Disgaea 5, Dragon Quest Heroes and Tearaway all added a extra layer to the PS4 library. It all adds up to quite a varied library of titles. Sony have seemingly zoned in on what they want the PS4 to be about. Their ability to provide titles for almost anyone has been one of 2015′s most impressive elements.

 

Sean Halliday


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