The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


March 1, 2013

Joe Hadsall: Lot to like about Playstation 4, but not much to see

JOPLIN, Mo. — I've always had a rule when it comes to home video game consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox: Wait a year.

When a new piece of hardware comes out, wait a year. The price will have dropped, the technology inside will be more reliable and the game library will be bigger. It'll be a better experience all around.

And history has proven me right. They don't stop making games for old-and-busted systems when new hotness system comes out, after all. That seems like it runs counterintuitive to the geek lifestyle. But this geek ain't made of money, so I keep my geek-mode in check.

While I'm enchanted with the new PlayStation 4 system that was announced earlier this month, I won't be waiting in line to buy a system during its anticipated release at the end of this year.

That being said ... man, does the system look sweet.


Great games

With the exception of "Halo," and all the Mario games, Sony has always had the edge on exclusive titles and franchises. And it's no surprise that, according to IGN, Sony has all of its 12 main studios working on PS4 titles.

During an announcement last week, Sony officials announced the existence of the system and showed a controller (more about the lack of information later). They also showed trailers and gameplay footage for a few great-looking games, including:

  • "Knack," a cartoonish platformer with a Pixar-like feel. Gameplay involves a little Clank-like robot that can increase its polygons exponentially to fight an army of goblins. The environments have a great mix of vivid and muted hues, depending on the level.
  • "Killzone: Shadow Fall," the fourth in the first-person shooter franchise. The cloaking tech on the Helghast baddies looks pretty slick -- even though any cloaking tech that can be seen is, by definition, terrible.
  • "Driveclub," a racing game from the studio that developed the impressive "MotorStorm" -- that game's rugged tracks helped sell a few PS3 units. This one appears to have a unique cockpit view as well as painfully detailed models of actual cars surpassing "Gran Turismo" levels.
  • "Infamous: Second Son," one of the bigger attention-getters during the PS4 conference. This story line involves Conduits, the literally charged new race of humans, but currently has no sign of protagonist Cole MacGrath. While the trailer featured no gameplay, the darker, grittier story line looks promising, and Sucker Punch Studios did an awesome job with the first two games in the franchise.
  • "The Witness," a first-person puzzle platformer from the designer of "Braid." I have no idea what is going on with this game. From the footage, it appears to be spiritual kin with "Myst" and "Portal," in that your reward is getting to see more interesting stuff as you puzzle through.
  • "Deep Down," the working title of a fantasy dungeon adventure game. Again, the trailer didn't show much gameplay, but the gorgeous graphics of a dragon breathing fire directly in the face of a character made me look at "Skyrim" a little differently.

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