Looking back, the PlayStation 4 launch titles were terrible (but pretty) games

SnatcherHunter

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
6,703
Killzone Shadowfall is so forgettable. I just remember thinking it lost the focus on busted, grimy, visceral future firefights. Killzone 2 was incredible. It had infamously heavy controls to make the camera a soldier of its own you were pulling with you, incredible hit reactions and blood from the enemies, and stellar motion blur and post processing for a signature CGI pre-rendered emulation style (pay no mind to that oopsie when the Sony team commented to the press that the target render done in CGI was actually what the game looks like for real). It had flashes of hot colors in the fire or ship lighting, with swathes of grey lost city territory. It felt like a war happened and you were wrestling to see it through.

Killzone 3 was ok but made less splash. It lost some of the pre-rendered look with its toned down effects and worse aliasing. It went to some more fantastical looking scenes with weird plants and icy locales. It tried very hard to call upon Nazi iconography.

Then we got Shadowfall. Largely set in a sparkling generic city of the future, it didn’t really look like the war focused predecessors on PS3. It was pretty and it’s darker atmosphere often just came from some more industrial stuff rather than any battlegrounds . It had a weird concept where we were to believe the enemy civilizations were just on opposite sides of a big wall if I recall? It was meh. We moved on.

We oddly got another spinoff from a PS3 giant in Infamous Second Son, technically coming a few months after PS4 itself. I remember the game had good global illumination, but a dreadful cast of edgy street hipsters in a cheesy comic book plot with some very bad writing. But worst of all it has the very worst AAA main character design I’ve ever seen after 6 years. Why did they take Troy Baker and give him a different complexion and darker hair and eyes and say he’s Native American??? I have to scream.

This is so horrible


And there was Knack! I didn’t play that after it bombed in reviews

To be fair, the Xbox One launch titles are largely forgotten too. A tragically low res Dead Rising sequel, a Forza entry, and Crytek’s dying showcase breath Ryse were the big three there. Ryse is quite pretty still.

Here’s to a better PS5 lineup.
You failed to mention KI. A huge reason why many got Xbox One.
 

2San

Member
Oct 28, 2017
416
Yeah, it was pretty dire for my tastes. 3rd parties carried the console.
 

Seahawk64

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,507
I thought NFS Rivals looked good at launch.

Killzone shadowfall, NFS, Battlefield, and Resogun were my launch pickups with PS4.

Killzone was okay, campaign was meh but mp was decent.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,772
Second Son is some of the most fun I’ve had on the PS4, every new power was a stunning display that I couldn’t wait to try out and power up. And it was an achievement to not only have a PoC as the main character, but a Native American too. How often does that happen? Why the fucking hate for this?

And Knack was a fun, unassuming B-level brawler. It’s an honest-to-god 3/5, but still fun. Christ, it infuriates me how demonized games that get less than an 8/10 are around here.
 

NotLiquid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,445
I didn't get a PS4 until late 2015 and outside of Bloodborne I still felt like I got the console about one year too early. Probably part of the reason the "gen" feels like it's ending early for me.
 

Windrunner

Straight Outta Nowhere
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
4,377
Probably the most underwhelming launch lineup of the modern era, I do not regret sitting this one out. Infamous SS was great but that came out 3 months later so it wasn't really part of the launch.
 

jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
386
KillZone's multiplayer was surprisingly good. I had a ton of fun with it. I thought the game was pretty underrated.
 

Poppy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,070
corvallis, OR
didnt infamous second son have the introduction from the guy who got pepper sprayed by cops and said how the system has failed us, then instantly pivoted to talking about super powered teenagers

i didnt play the game but it was worth it for that
 

Muitnorts

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
239
Second Son was a fantastic game. It just didn’t live up to its predecessors.
Resogun was great too. Killzone was shit I never even finished it.
 

Transistor

This is not going to go the way you think
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
12,042
Cloud City
didnt infamous second son have the introduction from the guy who got pepper sprayed by cops and said how the system has failed us, then instantly pivoted to talking about super powered teenagers

i didnt play the game but it was worth it for that
That was the reveal. It was crazy.
 

upinsmoke

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,583
I liked KZ SF. Story was forgettable but really enjoyed the gameplay and graphics were superb. Same for Infamous SS, they were just fun games to play, for me anyway, I had fun. Everyone said the same about PS3 haha, guess I was the only one enjoying Motorstorm and RFOM too
 

Ryuhza

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
6,983
San Diego County
Second Son was fun, but slight compared to Infamous 1 or 2. And I do feel uncomfortable about the main character and his brother being Native Americans, but being played by and largely modeled after two white guys.


 

TheZynster

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,654
infamous SS and Resogun were my first two platinums.

I loved Second Son...............still one of my favorite games this gen.
 

Belthazar90

Member
Jun 3, 2019
246
I think if you actually look at launch titles for consoles, they're actually more bad than good across all consoles this century. Sure you have exceptions like the Switch coming out with Odyssey and BOTW back to back or the Xbox launching with Halo and Dead or Alive, but more often, you get situations like the PS4 launch where you don't really have a killer app until Bloodborne. The PS3 obviously took forever to get there, but even launches that people look fondly back on like the 360 were actually rocky (I mean Condemned ruled but is anyone really revisiting KAMEO nowadays?)
Wasn't Odyssey released 7 months after the Switch launched tho? How was it released back to back with BOTW?
 

Thera

Member
Feb 28, 2019
1,983
All blend gameplay and blend story. Still some fun with Infamous but it gets old pretty quickly.
At least, SS doesn't cheat me like KZ. Killzone give you the awesome intrduction, then some oppening with the level in the forest. When you start to see the potential of the drone, the games goes back to the classic FPS campaign tunnel.
 

Kupo Kupopo

Member
Jul 6, 2019
401
count me in as a huge infamous second son (& first light) fan. sucker punch consistently delivers polished, solid games, but, for whatever reason, they never get the recognition/respect they deserve...
 

Toney J

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,635
I pretty much just played Resogun until Tomb T’aider Definitive Edition came out lol
 

sleepr

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,822
Loved infamous. KZ MP was fine, I kinda enjoyed it despite the gameplay being clunky.
 

jett

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,386
I paid five bucks too many for Infamous Second Son.
 

edgefusion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
973
Second Son was terrible? No, absolutely not. Fair enough if it's not for you, but to call it terrible is just straight up wrong.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,499
You're that guy that makes crazy hyperbolic statements in all your OPs.... lol

Infamous SS was a solid game, and Delsin was a great character. Resogun was also dope af.
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,723
At least the disappointing PS4 and Xbox One launches gave us the new phrase "Launch Window," because console wars need to be fought somehow.

 

trugs26

Member
Jan 6, 2018
1,535
Pretty sure I recall PS4 having a pretty average first year or two. But it sold well because people had confidence coming off ps3's strong finish. And PS4 looks like it's doing the same. Finishing stronger with games on the back half.
 

Paquete_PT

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,535
Infamous Second Son is a great launch title. And both Shadow Fall and SS could launch today and still look very good compared to the recent games
 

SkyMasterson

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,171
I didn’t have to look back to know Sony had a weak launch lineup for the PS4. I thought that was known back then. I enjoyed the Xbox One launch a lot more.
Most people were so hard for Sony back then because of the Xbox One reveal debacle that I guess it clouded their judgement. It took 18-24 months before PS4 starting getting the real good shit and hasn’t let up since. Whereas Xbox One has had a remarkably weak first party lineup after the initial launch.
 

dynamitejim

Member
Oct 25, 2017
387
Infamous was a great smaller scale open world game with no bloat, super fun traversal and combat, and the graphics still look good.

Knack had dog poop tier characters and story, but the core gameplay was pure old school action/adventure/brawler. I played it on the hardest difficulty and really enjoyed it.

I couldn’t get into Killzone, but then I’ve never been a fan of the series.
 

Violet

Member
Feb 7, 2019
2,844
dc
Wasn't Odyssey released 7 months after the Switch launched tho? How was it released back to back with BOTW?
Even with the other consoles I mentioned, I basically viewed the first year as your "launch window". So Odyssey or Super Mario Sunshine would count for me, but other notable "first" killer apps for other consoles like Bloodborne, MGS4, and Halo 3 wouldn't make the cut.
 

Iwao

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,126
Resogun is a standout game even today. Killzone Shadow Fall was a pretty good game. inFamous Second Son wasn’t a launch game and even though it wasn’t as good as previous inFamous games, was still pretty great imo. Knack is… well it’s Knack and it’s fun but not a great game.
 

VinylCassette64

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
1,221
it's so sad to see the constant hits put on knack. but thankfully knack can simply change size and avoid or deflect bullets with pure ease. did you know this is a special feature knack can perform during gameplay?

please buy knack and knack 2, both are available exclusively on playstation 4

I hated Knack, and didnt understand the memes about something so average being "great". Its usually the exact type of mediocre game you tell folks to avoid if they can.
you don't need to understand knack's brilliance to praise it. just join us. :D
 

CopperPuppy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,402
Second Son was awful. I'll never forget how the map was basically empty and how the NPCs milled around like ghosts.
 

Majik13

Member
Oct 27, 2017
745
I only bought it for BF4 launch title really. And yes it was cross gen, but on PS4 was the first time console games had the full large lobbies, not available on the previous gen versions. But yes Killzone was a snooze fest.
 

Inuhanyou

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
12,747
New Jersey
i actually liked infamous SS although not to the same degree as 2...and killzone SF as well although not to the same degree as 3 or 2. They were fun decent games. Not terrible, not the greatest thing ever

Yeah the opening months were pretty lackluster in terms of content(i remember playing resogun pretty much all day every day)

but that's why BC being a thing next gen is gonna be a gamechanger for both machines. no need for huge launch games out the gate when you can just continue your current library
 

AegonSnake

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,198
Second Son wasnt terrible. his character model was fine. he looked native enough. the powers were really fun but the missions lacked the urgency of the previous infamous games.

KZ Shadowfail and knack though. yes terrible games.

i remember going insane during the first few years with sony releasing one bomb after another. i liked driveclub but it was a disaster at launch and the order was somehow even worse than ryse which i consider to be the worst AAA game ever made. it wasnt until bloodborne in March 2015 did sony get its first true great exclusive. until dawn came out of nowhere later that year and then finally ratchet and uncharted 4 in 2016 started that great run of amazing sony exclusive.

but the first few years were rough. so rough sony was pretending to care about indies and shoving no mans sky down our throat in literally every conference. god those e3s before e3 2015 were awful.