The PS4 has seen many releases this year, some exclusive, some not. But, as expected from Sony, they didn’t leave us without a handful that we just can’t stop playing. These are exclusive only to PS4. Not Xbox One. Not PlayStation Vita. Not PC. No, these are exclusively on PS4 and PS4 alone. Now it is time to reflect on some of the better exclusive games from 2016.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is undeniably one of the best games of the year. The graphics and cinematics on this much-awaited follow-up has us in awe.
Nathan Drake has finally settled down and leads a peaceful life. That is, until his long-lost brother returns with a debt to pay. This lets the past surface and we get a deeper look into Drake’s character. He becomes all too human as we see his regrets, insecurities, and deep emotions.
As for gameplay, it is relatively the same as the previous Uncharted games as far as combat. Interactive parkour, and puzzles go. Although in the fourth installation, you are allowed to avoid combat by sneaking around enemies.
After the story, you can play in multiplayer mode. There are four gam types: Team Deathmatch, Plunder, Command, and Ranked Team Deathmatch. They all offer different aspects of Uncharted as well as your typical multiplayer game.
The real winner of Uncharted 4 is the detail. The storyline, the depth of the characters, the enhanced cut scenes, and the meticulously crafted world all make this game one that will be the new standard for PS4.
The Last Guardian has been called the best PS4 game of the year, and in some cases, the best new game across all platforms.
A classic story of a young boy in a new land who develops a relationship with a strange creature is sure to make its way into our hearts. Remember the PS2 game Ico? Full of puzzles, dungeons, hags and civilization building? Well, this is an installment following the sequel (Shadow of the Colossus) to that game. Fans of this sweet, heart-warming franchise love the third in the series.
Some complain about camera controls and shallow gameplay. But the story and realistic bonding takes the cake as it easily makes up for its flaws. You get to watch Trico, your newfound friend, grow up. Meeting him as an innocent, though frightened pup, you will follow him to a loyal guardian. You may take longer than the intended game time due to your fascination with Trico, as the player (out of game) also develops a strong bond with this fictional character.
Exploring the world also takes time as you experiment with Trico. What can he climb or attack? Some puzzles require great cooperation from Trico, which can be frustrating, but you will love guiding him across this land and doing life together.
Despite bugs and camera problems, the bond between these two is unbreakable, the world is gorgeous, and the story in itself is captivating enough to make The Last Guardian one of the greatest games of the year.
Oh, how we love the classics. Ratchet and Clank has been around since 2002 and quickly became a PlayStation hit. We were thrilled to hear that Sony was re-imagining one of our favorites.
The story is nearly identical to the 2002 version, but offers much more. As before, you control Ratchet for the most part as you travel though different settings using a large variety of gadgets. Clank, his good pal, even acts as a glider, propeller, water diver, and jetpack. You journey to various planets and solve puzzles to move on more often than actual combat. The game is packed full of switches, buttons, magnets, and hacking. Mini-games (such as hacking) and racing on hover boards and spacecraft add to the appeal of this joyous presentation.
Combat is not always present, but there are bosses at the end of some levels that require tricks to defeat, such as using the weapon system which allows upgrading through use and mastery.
If you finish the game too soon and want more, then you can enter it again in challenge mode where the difficulty is raised.
The relatable characters and humor make Ratchet and Clank unlike any other. To prove their dedication to the game’s resurfacing, Insomniac created a movie in 2016. This lets you get to know the story and the characters in a more on-depth way. Even if it wasn’t as great as it obviously is, our nostalgia would surely overcome judgment as we clear the shelves on a mission to get our hands-on Ratchet and Clank.
VR is HUGE this year! So, it is no surprise that a Batman VR game is such a hit. If it weren’t for the absence of physical touch, Batman Arkham VR would make you feel like you truly were the Dark Knight. This short campaign will bring out the detective in you as you collect clues and solve mysteries. The intimacy of VR will also bring the characters to life.
The story is completed in one day and I can’t say much about it without giving something away. DC fans, and especially those of the Arkham series, will still wish to play through this campaign and likely enjoy the role-playing more than the actual gameplay.
You get to interact with gadgets (Batarang, scanners, and such), but not people. This takes away from the experience but is expected so early on in the VR industry.
Although not the best game independently, it is a threshold for VR games and gives us a look at the future of Virtual Reality.
This game has been in the works for longer than most. Despite its simple gameplay and graphics, it has topped the charts due to specialization for the VR.
Travel through the digital world as a hacker hired to jumpstart the AI that has succumbed to a chronic unawareness and disconnection.
In an almost mobile indie game way, Rez Infinite is up for hours of gameplay by using quick fingers and sometimes scientific strategy to shoot down enemies at weak points with master precision suing your head to aim. The head tracking is ahead of its time and shows us what is in store for us very shortly. You can also take it easy and freefall while relaxing to in-game music. You will no doubt be dazzled by this unadorned game and play it over and over or develop the urge to share with friends. The game may be average in itself, but the PlayStation VR takes it above the others as we are mesmerized by its simplicity.
These games just seemed to reach something beyond us. There are things about these PS4 exclusives that will keep us talking for years to come. The games that will no doubt make it to our 2016 throwbacks in the future. The ones from this year all PlayStation fans must have! We can hardly wait for next year!
Emily Medlock is an avid gamer whose passions not only include video games of all kinds, but anime, music, movies, and reading.