Now that both the PS4 and Xbox One are available to purchase, which one has the better games?
As someone who does not own either new consoles and hasn’t played any of the launch titles, I am going to go ahead and review the entire launch line-up to make a definitive decision.
Before we begin, I’m not going to even bother with reviewing the sports games. FIFA 14, NBA 2K14, and Madden NFL 25 were released on both the PS4 and the Xbox One. I have literally zero interest in playing, looking, or hearing about any sports games. I’m sure they are fine and great for “fans of the genre”, but I don’t care. Those games are getting ignored.
Battlefield 3 was actually just given away for free with a Playstation Plus membership the other month, and I have been enjoying playing that. No need to spend hundreds of dollars on a new console to play this game. Battlefield 4 has great visuals and better destructible environments but suffers from a mediocre single-player campaign.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Some are saying that this is the best Assassin’s Creed game since the second one. Others are saying that they have lost interest and couldn’t care about another Assassin’s Creed game if their life depended on it. Personally, I have been a fan of the series since the first one and have played every installment except Revelations. The use of pirates and ships in Black Flag seem like a fresh idea, but the series is trapped in an aging gameplay shell. I’m not really interested in playing the game of Assassin’s Creed 2 again; I have already done that twice with Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed 3. I want to play this eventually, but will probably wait for it to go on sale. The series needs more than a pirate coat of paint to make it seem fresh.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
There is a dog but the dog is only used for a couple levels, you can lean, and dolphin dive from Black Ops 2 has been replaced with a slide. My interest in the Call of Duty franchise has been fatigued since the first Black Ops and Ghosts just isn’t doing anything new for me.
Need for Speed: Rivals
I haven’t played a lot of racing games and don’t have too much interest in cars or racing. I’m sure this is a fine game, but I’m not interested.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes
I actually really like Lego games. I played the very first Lego game (Lego Island) in 1997 and have really liked the Traveler’s Tales series of Lego games starting with Lego Star Wars in 2005 and ending with Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, which is not only the best in the series but a fantastic game all-around. Now Lego Marvel looks like a Marvel universe version of Lego Batman 2, which makes me happy. I just want to swing around as Lego Spider-Man.
Well that was all the multi-platform launch titles. Mostly just repeats of early franchises that I have waning interest in. Looking at the rest of the list, we are left with just four games for PS4 (two retail and two downloadable) and eight games for the Xbox One (four retail and and four downloadable).
Xbox One Exclusives
Forza Motorsport 5
Like Need for Speed: Rivals, I have zero interest in playing Forza 5. I’m just simply not interested in cars or racing. There has been some controversy surrounding the graphics however.
Dead Rising 3
This is probably the title I am most excited about out of all the launch titles for both systems, but that isn’t saying a whole lot. I bought and played a good amount of both Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2, but I never grew to love the series despite how much I wanted to. The controls were not responsive enough, I never liked fighting the psychos, and the time constraints made both of the games just simply unplayable. In this third installment however, I can finally say that there is an option to not have the time constraints of the previous two games and it has the crafting system of the second game but allows you to do it anywhere instead of just at workbenches. Those two facts alone make me want to play Dead Rising 3. However, Dead Rising 3 comes off as blander and more dull than previous installments. The location doesn’t seem as interesting as the shopping mall or casino from the first two games. I couldn’t even tell you where Dead Rising 3 takes place. The main character of Dead Rising 3 is also as equally boring and uninteresting. Do you know the name of the main character of Dead Rising 3? It is Nick Ramos, a mechanic. I had to look that up on Wikipedia. I have never even heard that name before. That is a complete joke compared to the Chuck Green and the great Frank West (he’s covered wars, you know).
Ryse: Son of Rome
This was supposed to be a Kinect game for Xbox 360 developed by Crytech. Now it is this weird third-person roman gladiator game that actually looks pretty impressive with the combat mechanics from Batman: Arkham Asylum combined with quick-time events that don’t matter if you succeed or fail. This is probably my most disappointing game. It just looks really good and I can imagine a world where there is a roman gladiator game that looks just like this but is really fun to play and has inventive mechanics. This isn’t that game however.
A zoo simulator with impressive graphics that seems like it could be fun and creative, but ends up being boring and hampered by user interface issues. The detail on the animals is very impressive and shows off the power of the next generation of console hardware, but there is a lack of activities to do with them. I want more animals, more things to do with animals, and more creativity when building your park.
Crimson Dragon looks like a mediocre to bad on rails shooter. No thank you.
LocoCycle looks awful in everyway. ‘Splosion Man was a fun game and showed promise in the developer Twisted Pixel, but they have honestly but putting out extremely poor playing games since then. Comic Jumper was awful, Ms. Splosion Man was not as good as the original, and the GunStringer was almost unplayable. With that said, LocoCycle looks to be Twisted Pixel’s worse game yet.
Killer Instinct looks like an alright fighting game, but the new visual style isn’t as pleasing as I would want and definitely doesn’t compare to the original.
Fighter Within is a kinect-controlled 2D fighting game. That sounds awful. There is no way in hell that could work and even if it does there is no way that is a good way to control a game like that. Stop making games like this.
Powerstar Golf is a golf game I have never heard of before. It seems alright.
PS4 Console Exclusives
Dark Souls for kids. You read that sentence correct. This is being described as kiddy Dark Souls. It is punishingly difficult and any enemy you encounter can kill you in a couple hits, but the combat is very satisfying and completing something in-game reaps huge personal satisfaction. When it was announced it looked stupid, when we first saw gameplay it looked bad, and now that it is released…most people don’t like it and think it is too hard, which is probably true. However, some reviewers have really grown to like this game.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
This is getting some mediocre reviews. It looks visually impressive, but apparently the story is bland and some gameplay sections are uninspired and last for too long. Another first person shooter that fails to wow its audience.
Interesting to note that both Resogun and Contrast are given to PS Plus members for free.
Resogun looks like old-school arcade gameplay and design with fancy graphics overlayed on top. Nothing fantastic, but probably fun for a few plays.
Warframe looks like a mediocre third-person shooter with fancy-enough graphics. However, it looks like the gameplay of Vanquish with the main character of Dark Sector. It is free-to-play but I don’t know if I even want to give it my time.
Contrast is a puzzle platformer set in 1920’s Paris. You switch between controlling a young girl in third person and her 2D shadow that is cast from light sources in the environment. Charm, creativity, and uniqueness just oozes off this title. However, I have heard it doesn’t quite go all the way with
its execution and suffers from some minor gameplay faults.
Arcade game about digging that doesn’t have impressive graphics or gameplay. I’ll pass.
And the winner is…
Well, I don’t know. That is not the strongest line-up of games.