Delayed Reactions: the PS4

My PS4 arrived yesterday afternoon, and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t as giddy as a small child on Christmas morning when it finally showed up.

And after getting it all set up (which took almost no time at all, surprisingly enough), and then downloading Resogun and playing around an hour’s worth of Assassin’s Creed 4 (again), I come away feeling two very specific emotions:  (a) relief that I’ve finally entered the new console generation, and (b) some disappointment that there’s not quite anything new and dazzling to play just yet.  Indeed, the next big title that I’m looking forward to is… the super-deluxe-pretty Tomb Raider release, which is a game that I do in fact like quite a bit but have already beaten twice.

It’s OK, though.  I can wait.  At least the console’s in place, set up and ready to go.

Getting back to that setting up – man, Sony’s really picked up the pace with the PS4’s download speeds!  The Day One patch (which I think was up to version 1.52 when I got to it last night) was somewhere around 300-400MB, and it downloaded and installed everything within 5 minutes.  (Whereas on the PS3, it might still be downloading.)  Netflix and Amazon both downloaded and installed seamlessly, too – and without the need for a verification/validation code, which I believe I needed for both the PS3 and the 360 apps.   I’m not telling you anything that you might already know – I’m just saying, it was shocking to see how fast everything was happening.

And along those same lines, playing/installing Assassin’s Creed 4 off the disc took almost no time at all, either.

I don’t really know what to say about AC4 at this point; I’m not really sure how much of it I plan on playing, being that I just finished spending 60+ hours with it.  It’s basically a time-filler until Tomb Raider and/or Battlefield 4 arrive from Gamefly.  That being said, it’s immediately clear to me that this is the ideal way of experiencing it; the frame rate is perfectly smooth, the graphics are simply astonishing (colors are vibrant (that water!), draw distance is vastly improved, textures are sharp and detailed, and don’t get me started on the foliage), and the difference between the PS4 version and my shitty PC version is night and day.  Playing through that first Abstergo sequence sealed the deal; those sequences nearly broke my PC in half, for whatever reason, and playing them filled me with dread; yet on the PS4, they were smooth as silk, rock-solid frame rate, everything working the way it’s supposed to.

Moreover, the PS4 controller really is quite good.  I’m still very accustomed to the 360 controller, of course, but the PS4 controller fixes pretty much every problem I had with the PS3 controller; it feels really good to hold, all the buttons are in the right place, the d-pad is absolutely perfect (at least as far as entering text is concerned; I suspect it may be trickier when it comes to, say, fighting games).  More to the point, a game like AC4 requires near-constant controller manipulation (i.e., the simple act of running requires two simultaneous button presses), and not once did my hands cramp up.  (This was a constant problem for me with the PS3.)

So, yeah; I’m a happy camper.  Now I just need new games.

(I haven’t forgotten about Broken Age, by the way; I just need more time with it.  I played the first 20 minutes of Shay’s story on Tuesday night, and obviously last night was devoted to the PS4.  I hear it’s around 4 hours or so; I’ll be aiming to finish it over the weekend, and I’ll write something up on Tuesday.  Not sure if I’m going to address the whole “embargo” kerfuffle, especially as DoubleFine themselves ended up backtracking on it.  I’ll do my best to keep my write-up spoiler-free, at any rate.)

Author: Jeremy Voss

Musician, wanna-be writer, suburban husband and father. I'll occasionally tweet from @couchshouts. You can find me on XBL, PSN and Steam as JervoNYC.

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