Playstation 4 – Hands On

PS4HandsOn Main

So I was fortunate enough to get some hands on time with a PS4 and some of Sony’s upcoming titles yesterday.

I had gone from ‘getting one at some stage’ pre-February reveal to ‘saving for one to get it as soon as possible’ post E3. However I still had some concerns – mainly regarding what other games would be coming for it in the first year but also on the redesigned controller.

I’ll need to wait to find out more info about new games as the titles on display were the same ones from E3, however I can confirm that the controller is great.



PS4HandsOn Pad

I had no issue with the new thumbsticks or the new triggers. I used L1/R1 for shooting in the Killzone demo so not sure if I’d prefer to use the triggers on an FPS going forward. For driving the triggers felt great.

The pad itself seemed a bit heavier than a PS3 controller, but certainly not a massive difference. The touchpad was responsive but I think will take some time to get used to.

Ok, moving on to the games.



PS4HandsOn DriveClub

Drive Club was first up and whilst there didn’t seem to be any massive innovations in terms of the actual driving, the game has an interesting focus on social challenges that are integrated into the main game. As you’re driving it gives you little challenges versus your friends, like ‘stick to the driving line’ or ‘best average speed’. They last about 10 seconds but it gives Drive Club legs beyond just racing around the track. Although I’m guessing you can turn those off if you want to stick to pure racing.



PS4HandsOn Knack

Next up I played Knack, which was actually pretty cool. This is one for the Jak/Ratchet fans, not usually my kind of game but I suspect kids, and more casual gamers, will love it. You play as Knack, a creature made up of hundreds of small parts. You start off small but can grow by picking up other bits, usually gained by smashing things. It was good fun and actually reminded me a bit of God Of War (you even use the right stick to dodge), although certainly it was a lot less complex. Funnily enough I probably would play that genre of game on the Vita, so maybe I’ll pick it up for remote play.



Infamous: Second Son was hands off. The poor guy showing me it was frazzled, he’d been doing the demo almost every day since E3! The video above is the same as what was shown to me. He was glad I’d played the other two games in the series so he could talk about some more interesting bits rather than the basics. It looks fantastic. Truly next gen. When it switches from cut scene to gameplay it is seamless. I haven’t seen that before in an open world game. The demo is essentially a side mission (which gives a sense of the scale of the overall game) and he was causing all sorts of havoc showing off how the game plays. He was pretty candid and said the aim on this game was ‘just make it awesome-er’ πŸ™‚ Looks like they are well on the way to achieving their goal. Second Son isn’t a launch title though, looks set to be coming around February/March time in 2014.



PS4HandsOn KZShadowFall

Ah Killzone: Shadow Fall 😎 This was a pretty long demo, I got to play for about 15 minutes. Firstly, the graphics are wonderful. Lots of colour and some great lighting left me impressed. After watching a few others running round kamikaze-style and dying, I stepped up to the plate. Took it a lot slower and was pleasantly surprised with how it played out differently to the other guys before me. I cleared out a few areas fairly stealthily, before hitting a few tough firefights. The game controls really well – it still has that nice ‘heft’ to the character, which makes for a more realistic movement.

You also have a robot with you (like the medical droid in previous games) that you can send out to help. Swipe the touchpad to set the mode (zipline or shock or attack etc) then tap L2 to activate it. This works well but alongside using the d-pad to activate things, its a lot to get to grips with. I’m sure it’ll be fine when we know our way around the pad better. One thing that was pointed out is that rather than using the touchpad you can also hold L2 to select the droid’s mode from a radial wheel, like more traditional titles. It’s nice they aren’t forcing the touchpad onto people but I found it fine to use.

Another cool feature is that you get a few seconds of ‘slo-mo’ when you use a health pack. It’s perfect, as that is the time you might need a cheeky little time slow down advantage the most. I didn’t have a chance to explore much beyond that as the developer talking me through it was on hand and there was literally only one TV for Killzone Shadow Fall, so there was a queue behind me! As an interesting aside I mentioned Mercenary (the Killzone Vita game) and he was raving about it, even though he hasn’t worked on it directly.


So there you have it! Now I’m looking forward to Gamescom in August, when we should get even more information about the new consoles.

Have you guys made your mind up yet on next gen? Will you be jumping in straight away? If so are you going Sony or Microsoft – why?


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