Prior to the PlayStation 4’s announcement, many sceptics questioned what the system could possibly do better than existing machines. Titles such as The Last of Us already look absolutely incredible, so it’s a fair query – even if it has been answered emphatically by the likes of Killzone: Shadow Fall and inFAMOUS: Second Son. Despite the strides in visual fidelity, though, there are even bigger progressions taking place under the hood. It’s these advancements in networking, scale, and more that are poised to underline the impact of the next generation hardware. And these are the games that illustrate the improvements best...
There have been dozens of open world racing games on the PlayStation 3 – Burnout Paradise and Test Drive Unlimited 2 both spring to mind. Few, however, have boasted a world as big as The Crew. While the Ivory Tower racer will offer a condensed interpretation of North America, it will still take you a whopping ninety minutes to drive from one side of the game world to the other – and that’s in a high-performance sports car. Even more impressive is that you’ll be able to seamlessly unite with other players inside the sandbox, without the need for lobbies or loading screens. You’ll find us cruising down Sunset Boulevard in a 1969 Dodge Charger.
It may look like Borderlands with more brown, but Destiny laughs in the face of Gearbox’s paltry four-player adventure. Bungie’s first foray away from the famous protagonist who shall not be named fuses elements of first-person co-op with MMOs to create an enormous shared world shooter that will see you seamlessly matched with strangers during enormous public events. It sounds a bit like when you go on a camping holiday with four of your best mates, but end up drinking Tequila with some random hippies who happen to be sleeping in a VW camper van down the road. The only difference is that you’ll be blowing the heads off aliens rather than reciting the lyrics of Wonderwall.
For as much as developer Evolution Studios would probably like us to rev our engines regarding DriveClub’s team racing and social features, it’s the game’s lighting system that’s got our sporty headlights erect. Unlike most current generation games, the Runcorn-based developer is using a completely dynamic system that adapts depending on the time of day, cloud cover, and much, much more. That means that you’ll be able to race at any hour in a variety of unique conditions, and the visuals won't break. Still not impressed? Come back when you’ve drifted around Scotland by starlight.
It may be yet another racing game, but Need for Speed: Rivals is packing some serious horsepower under the hood. Much like The Crew, new developer Ghost Games is hoping to blur the lines between single player and multiplayer, creating completely organic online experiences on the fly. But in addition to that, it’s aiming to make the world feel alive by implementing one of the most dynamic weather systems ever seen in games. While you’re racing along open roads, you’ll be impaired by a variety of rain, snow, and storm effects. And let’s be honest – driving expensive sports cars always feels more exhilarating in a shower.
Arguably the nuttiest excursion to surface on any next generation platform to date, Young Horses’ aquatic adventure Octodad: Dadliest Catch sees you assume the role of an amphibious father who must deceive his human family of his octopi origins. While the pitch alone makes this worthy of its place on the list, the title’s condensed development schedule is what’s truly impressive. After half a decade of dodgy PS3 ports due to the cumbersome CELL architecture, it took game design graduate Phil Tibitowski just four weeks to port the indie title from its native PC to the PS4. And that’s all while working on the console version part-time – and trying to convince his closest relatives that he’s actually not a cephalopod.
A title that pretty much epitomises everything that is fresh about the PS4, PlanetSide 2 has been a no-brainer ever since developer Sony Online Entertainment revealed that DC Universe Online was actually more popular on the PS3 than on the PC. What makes it so special, though? Well, aside from being fuelled by a free-to-play model, the title will see you engage in battles boasting up to 2,000 players at once. If that’s piqued your interest, we’ve got one request: don’t tell MAG. The Zipper Interactive shooter’s servers are set to be shut off shortly, and we’d hate for its feelings to be hurt during its last couple of months of service.
Less a game and more of a technology demo, The Playroom is no less impressive because of its humble origins. The title acts as a proof of concept for the next generation console, giving all of its unique features and functions a taxing cardiovascular workout. But easily the most compelling component – aside from the little robot thing that sets your hair on fire – is the Pong minigame, which allows you to manipulate the game space by physically moving your controller up and down. It sounds simple on paper, but it’s destined to be responsible for more family arguments this Christmas than the TV remote.
Not content with settling on a single genre, Swedish studio Ubisoft Massive’s ambitious Tom Clancy’s The Division crosses several in one thick stroke. Technically a role-playing game, the title couldn’t stray further from the hit-points and outrageous hairstyles that have defined the genre in the past. Instead, the post-pandemic excursion will see you collaborating with friends in an urban environment, putting down computer-controller adversaries in the prettiest fire fights on PS4. The big twist is that you’ll never be alone, though, with other online players lusting for your blood (and loot) around every corner. You better make sure that your gun is bigger than theirs.
Are there any particular improvements that have caught your eye on the PS4? Which of the aforementioned titles are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments section below.
What technological advancements have got you excited for PS4? (68 votes)
I’m just looking forward to the eye candy
I can’t wait to explore even larger worlds
Seamless connectivity is making me dream
The ease of development has pleased me
Honestly, all of the above look pretty nice
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