With apologies to the Wii U, the next generation of videogame consoles begins with the PS4, and the launch of a new console means launch games to go with it!
All in all, the launch lineup is a mixed bag. It’s heavy with games that are available on other platforms, and it’s missing both ‘Watch Dogs’ and ‘DriveClub’, which have been delayed until spring. Still, we’ve got shooters, action games, sports games, family games and indies. I have about a half-dozen PS4 games in my possession already, so I’m ready to get to
Not only does the launch include more than a dozen retail releases, another half dozen titles are digital-only, including ‘DC Universe Online’, ‘Blacklight: Retribution’, and ‘Warframe’ – as well as two PlayStation Plus titles: ‘Resogun’ and ‘Contrast’.
There are also PS4 versions of past downloadable PS3 titles: ‘Flower’, ‘Sound Shapes’ and ‘Trine 2′. That leaves my favorite downloadable, which happens to be all-new, ‘Super Motherload’.
Here’s a list of every PS4 game that you’re likely to find at retail:
Angry Birds: Star Wars
‘Angry Birds: Star Wars‘ is two things. It’s ‘Angry Birds’, which means flinging stuff, combined with the ‘Star Wars’ license. Simple as that.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
‘Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag‘ is set to be one of the few next-gen standouts despite being a cross-gen title. The PlayStation exclusive content is only exclusive for a limited time and can even be had on the PC version when that launches. Even so, it still seems like the PS4 version is the one to get.
DICE and EA seem to have set aside the trappings of platform parity with ‘Battlefield 4‘, but it’s still a guess at this point how well the online co-op will work on the PS4. In my opinion, it still needs mouse and keyboard support to really stand above the PC version.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Like ‘Battlefield 4′, ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts‘ seems technically better on the PS4, but the online play is a big question mark, and mouse and keyboard support is an annoying omission. The PC version, however, is also full of detracting factors like the forced 6GB RAM requirement.
‘FIFA’ fans are hardcore, and the PS4 version of ‘FIFA 14‘ offers a bump in production value that – while full of sales-speak – is likely way better than sports launch games of yesteryear.
Injustice: Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition
While no Xbox One version has been announced, the PC version this game is only $45 and will support fightsticks. The PS4 version of ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us – Ultimate Edition‘ may support fightsticks. If so, that would make this the one to have. It’s unlikely that online play could be a problem for this old game ported to a new platform.
Just Dance 2014
These games must be popular. Ubisoft acts like they’re huge and insists that a new version must be made for the launch of every major new platform. That seems just as true with ‘Just Dance 2014‘.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
Unless you hate the ‘Killzone’ franchise or are completely disinterested in shooters, ‘Killzone: Shadow Fall‘ is an exclusive, demo-worthy title that stands above the rest of the launch lineup. Be prepared, however, to expect the typical ‘Killzone’ drudgery, as the series is quick to kill slow moving players.
‘Knack‘ is family fun that promises to be a very challenging 3D action/platformer if users turn up the difficulty setting. Visually, it seems like the game’s budget was blown rendering all of Knack’s little pieces, which are quite technically impressive.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes
Also family fun, this one is loaded with Marvel Comics characters that rarely come together to this degree due to licensing issues. Still, it’s hard to imagine what the PS4 version of ‘Lego Marvel Super Heroes‘ will offer beyond the PS3 version, apart from a bump in resolution. I suppose a tacit feature addition is possible.
Madden NFL 25
While it’s hard to believe that anyone waited this long to play ‘Madden NFL 25‘, the next-gen edition will likely add in features that have been missed in last-gen versions. While the visual upgrade won’t be staggering, the improved physics should be noticeable.
2K Sports really seems to have put serious work into the PS4 version of ‘NBA 2K14‘ with the OMG visuals, remade systems and new modes. The PS4 version is a must-buy for b-ball fans on the PS4.
Need for Speed Rivals
With the delay of Sony’s ‘DriveClub’, EA has nailed the timing of the latest ‘Need For Speed’, called ‘Need for Speed Rivals‘. The seamless multiplayer model also seems ideal for next-gen systems. Hopefully, the game will offer support for PS3 wheels, but that isn’t a certainty.
Skylanders SWAP Force
Along with ‘Knack’ and ‘Lego Marvel Superheroes’, ‘Skylanders SWAP Force‘ is a good choice for children playing the PS4 – but if you already own ‘SWAP Force’ on the PS3 or 360, a whole new starter kit seems excessive.
That’s it for the launch. Now, who’s buying which games and when?