As you are now aware, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a PS4 on launch night. And while I had a brief 45 minute play once I had it home, I had to limit my time due to having work 5 hours later.
The Friday at work seemed to be double the duration of a normal working day. On my lunch break I popped into GAME and picked up NBA2k14 as promised. All the tools were in place for a weekend of getting to grips with my new console.
But let’s rewind and start from the actual start of my PS4 escapades. From having the PS4 on launch night, the first thing I did that night like everyone who had the new console was set it up, perform a brief system upgrade, set up my PSN and install my first game.
The initial set up of the console was very quick and easy. What country are you in, your local time, do you have the camera, and entering internet details. Once that was done it then prompted me to perform the system update which again didn’t take me any time at all really. I should note that one thing I noticed was that the console seemed loud, in comparison to my Xbox360 which I was used to the sound of this seemed louder. So I was slightly concerned but then assumed that was to be expected while downloading and installing an update.
A few minutes later and the system is up to date. I’m connected to PSN. So I put the Killzone disk into the console. Again the console gets very loud while the game is installing, but again it has to be said that the install time is very quick. I click killzone from the dashboard and it loads up the white Killzone splash screen. Another moment of panic as it appears frozen and nothing is happening just a white screen with the Killzone logo. I press the home button on controller, press options on killzone and close the application. I start it up again and this time it goes to the screen again but gives the option of campaign, multiplayer and options. Feeling relieved that my console is working and doesn’t appear to suffer any launch glitches I have a brief go on Killzone. I start the campaign and I’m instantly stunned by the visuals on display. As mentioned the facial animations of Michael as he’s reassuring Lucas is something else. Once you get out and are on the run so to speak I’m just panning around looking at the world around you and it looks stunning. I should also mention that the weather effect is tremendous. As for the console itself at this point it’s settled and isn’t noisy, and I can’t see what the fuss is about the blue light shining on the screen? I had no interference or ‘blue glow’ on the screen from where I was sat.
Friday night after work I’ve arrived home with my copy of NBA2k14. Now I have to admit I’m really really excited about this. I move the PS4 into the bedroom with the bigger TV and in proximity of the bed so I can get comfortable. I know I won’t be moving till Saturday morning.
I insert NBA2k14 and begin the install; within a few seconds it lets me play a game while the install takes place. It’s a standard exhibition game and I’m playing as Miami Heat. Well I’m apparently not very good giving away fouls constantly. I have to admit this game took a lot longer to install I got through 3 quarters of the game, so around 15 minutes. It feels weird playing a sports game with no commentary just music in the background, but once the install completed the commentary kicks in and the music stops. You can continue playing this introduction game but I choose to quit. On the main menu now is an array of game modes. I delve into the MyGM mode after reading a lot about it. I choose my team the New York Knicks and declare to the owner of the team I’ll make the play offs, win the division and win the championship. He loves my enthusiasm.
The first game is about to start, I decide I’ll watch everything to absorb the atmosphere. Well here we go. I witness an awesome introduction showing in game match of Knicks vs Cavillers, JR Smith owning, Felton making assists and Shumpert hitting 3’s. Commentary kicks in and I’m treated to all the build-up, seeing the players stretching, the starting line-up. Then we’re off the tip off. I win it with Tyson Chandler and go on through the quarter. The replays are amazing and show facial expressions of the players delight at scoring or assisting. Tyson Chandler’s enthusiasm in getting the crowd going after a basket is awesome. First quarter ends and then what’s this? To make the game more authentic I’m witnessing an advert for a game coming up in a few days between 2 teams irrelevant to me. It’s not a special match, but just more attention to detail on what you’d expect during a sports event on TV. 2nd quarter down and the commentary seems to be on par with what’s going on, making sure to comment on Melo’s excellent first half. I’m now treated to the ‘Sprint half time report’… seriously this is insane, I get a half time show on a game of basketball I’m playing. Showing highlights of both teams and commenting on who’s been on or off form during the first half. And then I get an interview from the opposing teams coach on courtside… seriously I’m blown away by the detail. I assume this is part and parcel of the NBA2k games, but I’ll just say it now, this is my first 2k Sports title, so I wasn’t expecting this much detail.
I get through the 2nd half, win the game. And the players appear to be happy. Again more replays that shows incredible detailed facial expressions while the game took place. And one final surprise the player of the match, a nice highlight reel of Melo throughout the match with some music in the background and a re-cap of his stats.
I’m currently 40+ games through my ‘MyGM’ mode now, and looking comfortable for all my targets. It doesn’t look like Melo will get MVP though this season as he sits behind Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose, but still 40ish games to go, so that could change.
I like how much detail there is the GM mode, from adjusting hot dog vendor prices to stadium upgrades. I unfortunately skipped a few games which resulted in me not collecting maximum vc after 40 games, so haven’t got many managerial upgrades yet, 8 out of 70, but this is a marathon not a sprint.
Saturday I thought I’d give NBA a rest and popped back onto Killzone. I know this game has received a varied array of review scores so wasn’t sure if my initial excitement from launch night was purely down the mind blowing graphics. Well first mission in I’m through the forest to a crash site. I like how it’s quite a large place, there is only one route to the crash site, but it’s not as linear route as Call of Duty, you can go the long way there via numerous enemies or try to stealth it up. This was also the introduction to ‘Owl’ and the first foray to touch controls. It seems a little sensitive at first, I assume it’s meant to be swipe to command, but in fact you can just touch the action you’d like owl to commit. I opt to keep him with me during this mission to start with as I want to stealthily make it to the site. I won’t go full detail of this level and head on to the next one now. Which reminded me very much of Dead Space. I’ll openly admit that his time I used Owl a lot mainly for safety. I sent him into rooms first as I was genuinely a little scared of the dark rooms and corridors. Oh and it looked fantastic I must add. The dust and particle effects in light looked brilliant. Another complaint I read is that there are rooms that are irrelevant on this level, there is a direct path to go, but you’ll also find you’ll get lost… really? I got through the level fairly simply. A bit of confusion in regards to the reactors you have to move and replace, but nothing that I needed to look up online. Now I’ve noticed that there is a speaker on the PS4 controller, but yet to actually hear anything from it. The first time I picked up an audio file I shit myself. A clear and loud conversation starts playing through my controller. I genuinely had to catch my breath as I was that spooked by it. Another great feature implemented into the controller.
I played this through to I believe chapter 6 (just blown a train off the rails that was fast approaching a busy train station) and then called it quits. I took a quick 10 minute go on the Bot multiplayer mode and played a few team death matches. Seems like it could quite fun on actual online, but I’m yet to sign up to PS+ so won’t find out for a while.
I’m going to sound rather like a newbie now, but I wasn’t expecting to have to install full games to the hard drive. 500gb or in the case of the ps4 400gb as 100 is allocated apparently will not last that long, especially when the likes of NBA is 49G and Killzone just shy of 40G. I’ve seen the videos to upgrade PS4 capacity so perhaps will try a little later down the road.
For now I’ve got to say I’m very happy with the console. The Dashboard is smooth and fast, the switch from game play to dash back to game play is quick. There are some rather lengthy loading times on NBA I’ll admit. Doesn’t appear to be noisy during play just the initial install of the games that make the noise.
So yes, that’s my first weekend with the PS4. Apart from a scary 30 seconds after Killzone Install no problems, no crashes, just a lot of fun and disbelief at stunning visuals.
Impressed so far, here’s to another weekend with it!