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PlayStation 4 Launch Lineup – First Impressions

We here at Free For All try to do all we can to bring you the latest coverage of all your favorite games. Sadly though, we all rock full-time gigs and run this wonderful site as a passion project on the side (side note: feel free to click every ad on the page 10,000 times if you’d like us to do this full-time!). That being said, we wanted to let you know what we thought about many of the day one games that the newly released PlayStation 4 had to offer. So below are quick thoughts from myself as well as Josh Barnett and Chuck Nalley. Make sure you also check out our upcoming podcast next Wednesday, Nov 27, when we’ll be talking all sorts of next-gen and also look out for a similar piece for the Xbox One launch in the very near future!

 

 

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Resogun

Trey Elliott: Resogun was a complete and total shock to me last Friday as I bounced around from game to game. I started it up not really knowing hat I should expect, and got what I believe is the best game currently on the PS4. The folks over at Housemarque have really outdone themselves with incredibly smooth gameplay, gorgeous visuals, and a design that makes you completely addicted going back time and time again for a higher score. They even threw in online co-op to make things really crazy! Do yourself a favor and go play Resogun right now… we’ll wait…. still waiting… how was it?! Right!? Glad you agree!

Josh Barnett: Resogun is the best game on PS4 and is making a strong case for being in consideration for my game of the year. It takes the twin stick shooter genre that became incredibly popular and addictive in the last generation, and adds ridiculous graphic fidelity, a steady frame rate and a great challenge. Just as fun in single player as it is with co-op, I look forward to figuring out how to max my score and get on the leaderboard for the next few months.

Chuck Nalley: Probably one of the best PS+ downloadable games I’ve ever played, Resogun is a blast to play. It is pretty tough, but the difficulty spikes appropriately. I will say that sometimes the graphics get a little too “busy” and it got me killed more than once. Since you must have PS+ to play online games anyway, there’s no reason not to play this awesome game.

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Contrast

Josh Barnett: A whimsical fairy tale with a decidedly noir feel. Contrast is a good foot to put forward with Sony’s indie-focused model of the PS4. Blocked by some bulky controls, but made up for with great puzzle designs, an interesting narrative and a cool shadow-traversing game mechanic, this was a great replacement for Playstation Plus players while we wait for our free DriveClub.

Chuck Nalley: Even though the “phasing into other iterations” thing has been done before, Contrast manages to keep it somewhat fresh with becoming a shadow to solve its fairly easy puzzles. The story is not very compelling, but I find myself drawn into its world. I like it… I’m just not sure why.

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Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Trey Elliott: I own every single Assassin’s Creed game though I have never completed a single one, and yet every year I keep on buying them. Ubisoft does an incredible job of making the game always seem fresh and innovative. This year might be the first year that the title has lived up to the hype, with more focus on naval combat, improved hand to hand combat, and a stealth game that finally feels like you can successfully be stealthy. The story is even somewhat interesting, which is a huge step up in my opinion. Check this one out whether you’re a long time fan or a newcomer to the series.

Josh Barnett: I have only played Black Flag for a scant few hours but already the leaps this series has taken are clear. Movement and story progression feels far more fluid than ever, and exploring the city of Havana has provided me with plenty of enjoyable distractions while on my way to each story mission. Probably the closest to current generation graphics that I’ve experienced so far , though, it makes me really wonder what this series will look like when the next generation becomes the lead development platform.

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NBA 2k14

Josh Barnett: 2K Sports has taken its tried and true formula to the next generation with stellar results. The core basketball processes in NBA 2K14 are all present and feel equally capable compared to its well established current generation counterpart, and the photo-realism of the player models and arenas cannot be understated. This game is gorgeous. The My Career game mode is a fun iteration on player creation, even if some of the story elements make it feel too scripted for what is still at its core a sports simulation.

Chuck Nalley: 2K Sports is a great game franchise and has been since the days of the Dreamcast. The graphics on this game are fantastic (for the most part; some character models look very strange) and the overall gameplay, even though pretty challenging with using the right analog stick to shoot, is pretty solid… on offense. Defense is a different story, however, due to its over sensitive controls and its unfortunate knack to do button presses when I don’t press the button. My Career is a blast, though, and I can’t stop playing.

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Knack

Trey Elliott: Knack is a simple game, and while that is not by any means a bad thing in and of itself, here it seems to work against the game. Having played throughout just a small portion of Knack thus far, I can say already that I want the game to be more charming, to make me care about these characters in the very least, and it doesn’t. Poor voice acting makes all the characters seem bland and uninteresting, and while gameplay is well executed, it becomes repetitive almost immediately. I’m not sure I could recommend Knack as a $60 purchase to anyone.

Chuck Nalley: I have one word for this game: Meh (note the capital “M”). This game feels like it wants to be that must have game for kids on a next-gen platform. Although, it probably is that in the long run, it’s still just not that good in a very shallow pool of contenders. Not that pretty, bad controls and not very fun; if you need to spend $60 on a PS4 game, look elsewhere.

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Need for Speed: Rivals

Trey Elliott: Need for Speed might be the most hit or miss franchise in gaming’s history. Rivals luckily, is a hit for both EA and Ghost as it makes its next-gen showing something to remember. The game looks unbelievably good even next to most other PS4 games, the progression system is new and innovative, and most importantly — it’s damn fun to play!

Josh Barnett: Some games are best when the player is left to their own devices and not hindered by too much story or objective. Need for Speed Rivals is one of those games, and the developer knows it. The missions are simple enough and there is no true story to speak of. The game is just plain fun to jump into and drive around, trying to beat the times and scores of your friends, or when competing with the many players that are also active in your persistently online game at any time. The social aspects of NFS Rivals are probably the games strongest offering.

Chuck Nalley: I will admit, I was totally surprised by how much I loved this game. This is the fun, hectic racing game that I like — beautiful graphics, tight racing and balls out fun. The online integration is a welcomed addition and is just as easy as turning on your system and being connected to the internet. I also love the dual storyline of being either a racer or a cop and you can bounce between the two whenever you feel the need… even though I like being the fuzz better. I really just want to go play some more, so I’ll end here.

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Madden 25

Trey Elliott: I am notorious for not being a big sports guy, but in a quest to try everything I played a short bit of Madden 25. No word yet on Ultimate Team or even the career mode, but having played a few exhibition games, I can say two things – this doesn’t feel like any great leap forward and if you’re looking for next-gen graphics, go play FIFA 14.

Chuck Nalley: It’s Madden. You know exactly what you’re going to get with this and not much more. Yes, there are added features and the Ultimate Team is pretty fun… but it’s Madden.

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Battlefield 4

Chuck Nalley: No doubt about it, this game is GORGEOUS! From the very minute I saw the intro, I knew this is what next-gen gaming was supposed to be. In typical Battlefield fashion, the gunplay is tight and the action is nonstop. Destructible environments are better than ever and the dynamic environments are fantastic. Multiplayer is, of course, stellar but I was shocked to find myself engrossed in the single player campaign as well. However, the enemy A.I. is as dumb as ever and constantly seek cover that has been blown to shreds. Otherwise, the game is great and will bring the battle lines between Battlefield and CoD ever closer.

That’s it for now guys, stay tuned for updates to this page as we play more and more of what the PlayStation 4 has to offer. Also let us know what you think of the PS4 launch in the comments below!

About Trey Elliott

Trey Elliott
Trey is a video game enthusiast, movie junkie, and cultivator of one fantastic beard. He loves to write original Gregorian chants, play the spoon harp, and speak of whatever comes to mind on the Free For All podcast.