A game is an opportunity to focus our energy, with relentless optimism, at something we’re good at (or getting better at) and enjoy. In other words, gameplay is the direct emotional opposite of depression. – Jane McGonigal
For those of you looking to pick up one console and one console only, your best bet is probably a PlayStation 4. I’d recommend getting the PlayStation 4 Pro. Buckle up because there are so many great games to play catch up on, many of which are exclusive to the PS4. Here are our favourites.
1. What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is a first-person exploration game. The player explores the Finch house and surrounding wilderness through a linear series of rooms, footpaths and secret crawlspaces. Players are guided through the house by expository voice narration from Edith Finch, her words visually displayed to the player as part of the scene to direct the player’s attention. Through the house they encounter a series of memorials to deceased relatives. Players make progress by interacting with these shrines and experiencing vignettes of the relative’s death. Each flashback varies in gameplay genre and visual style.
Inside is a puzzle platformer. The player character is an unnamed boy who explores a surreal and mostly monochromatic environment presented as a 2.5D platform game. The game is dark, with colour used sparingly to highlight both the player and certain parts of the environment. The game is also mostly silent, with the exception of occasional musical cues, the boy’s vocals, dogs barking, equipment and sound effects. The player controls the boy who walks, runs, swims, climbs, and uses objects to overcome obstacles and progress in the game.
3. The Last of Us
The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror game played from a third-person perspective. The player traverses across post-apocalyptic environments such as towns, buildings, forest and sewers to advance the story. The player can use firearms, improvised weapons, and stealth to defend against hostile humans and cannibalistic creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus. For most of the game, the player takes control of Joel, a man tasked with escorting a young girl, Ellie, across the United States.
Firewatch is an adventure game played from a first-person view that takes place in the American state of Wyoming in 1989. Players take on the role of Henry, a fire lookout who is assigned to his own tower in Shoshone National Forest. Through exploration of the surrounding area, Henry uncovers clues about mysterious occurrences in the vicinity that are related to the ransacking of his tower while out on a routine patrol and a shadowy figure that occasionally appears watching him from afar. Henry’s only means of communication is a walkie-talkie connecting him to his supervisor, Delilah. Players may choose from a number of dialog options to speak with her upon the discovery of new interactive objects or environments, or can refrain from communicating. The player’s choices will influence the tone of Henry’s relationship with Delilah. As the story progresses, new areas will be opened up for players. The game also features a day-night cycle. Objects found in the wilderness can be kept in the inventory for later use.
5. Heavy Rain
Heavy Rain is an interactive drama and action-adventure game in which the player controls four different characters from a third-person perspective. Each playable character may die depending on the player’s actions, which create a branching storyline; in these cases, the player is faced with quick time events. The game is divided into multiple scenes, each centring on one of the characters.
Uncharted is an action-adventure game series developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation consoles. The main series of games follows Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter who travels across the world to uncover various historical mysteries.
7. Detroit: Become Human
Detroit: Become Human is an adventure game played from a third-person view, which is subject to a set and controllable perspective. There are multiple playable characters who can die as the story continues without them; as a result, there is no “game over” message following a character’s death. The right analogue stick on the DualShock controller is used to interact with objects and observe one’s surroundings, the left is for movement, and R2 scans an environment for possible actions; the motion controls and touchpad are also employed.
8. Life is Strange
Life Is Strange is a graphic adventure played from a third-person view. The mechanic of rewinding time allows the player to redo almost any action that has been taken. The player can examine and interact with objects, which enables puzzle solving in the form of fetch quests and making changes to the environment. Items that are collected before time travelling will be kept in the inventory after the fact.
9. The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds is an action role-playing video game featuring a first-person perspective. In the early stages of the game, the player can create their own character and unlock a ship, which acts as the game’s central hub space. Though the player cannot control their ship directly, it serves as a fast travel point to access different areas in the game and acts as the player’s persistent inventory space. The player can encounter and recruit non-player characters as companions who have their own personal missions and stories. When accompanying the player, the companions act as an aid in combat. Each companion has its own individual skills and special attacks, and it can also develop its own skill specialization. When exploring, the player can bring up to two companions alongside them, while the rest stay on the ship. The player can make numerous dialogue decisions, which can influence the game’s branching story. They can also respond to NPCs in various ways, such as acting heroically, maniacally, or moronically.
10. Shadow of the Colossus
Progression through Shadow of the Colossus occurs in cycles. Beginning at a central point in an expansive landscape, the player seeks out and defeats a colossus, and is then returned to the central point to repeat the process. To find each colossus, Wander may raise his sword while in a sunlit area to reflect beams of light, which will converge when the sword is pointed in the right direction of the next encounter. The journey to a colossus is seldom a straightforward matter: stretches of varied terrain often require that a detour be taken along the way. Most colossi are located in remote areas, such as atop cliffs or within ancient structures. Once a colossus is found, the player must discover its weaknesses to defeat it. Each colossus dwells in a unique lair, and many colossi cannot be defeated without making use of the surrounding environment.