Posts Tagged ‘FIFA 14’

Spillexpo 2013: PlayStation 4 Hands-On Impressions

Games, PlayStation 4 | Posted by Pesico
Nov 10 2013

For the 2nd annual time, Spillexpo was held in Lillestrøm, Norway, and it was my first opportunity to try the PlayStation 4. I’ve been looking forward to this machine since Sony announced it in New York this last February. On Friday and Saturday, I got some time with #DriveClub, Knack, FIFA 14 and Killzone: Shadow Fall, and maybe more importantly, time to get a feel for the Dual Shock 4. Here are my impressions of it all.

PlayStation 4
I’ve seen hundreds of photos and some videos of the PlayStation 4, but it ain’t the same thing as seeing it live, with your own eyes. The first thing that strikes me is how small it is. Compared to the 1st Phat PS3, it’s really small. It very much compares in size to the 1st PS3 Slim when it comes to size. It’s amazing to see that they have crammed so much tech into such a small box. It’s almost like they’re starting out with the PS4 Slim. It’s also a very nice looking machine with the line of light going across the middle of the box.

Dual Shock 4
As much fun it is to play games, the most important thing when you look at the big picture is the controller you’re going to use for the next 6-10 years. Over the years, Sony have only slightly iterated the controllers for their PlayStation consoles. The Dual Shock 4 however is the biggest thing since Sony added dual analog sticks and rumble. While it’s still easy to see that Dual Shock 4 is a continuation of past PlayStation controllers, there’s a lot of new stuff. Yes it has a touch pad, and I like it, but the biggest and most improved features of the Dual Shock 4 isn’t the stuff that you can see clearly. Most importantly, there’s the L2 and R2 triggers. They really are triggers this time, and they feel amazing. On PS3, most shooters used L1 and R1 for aim and shoot. You will definitely see L2 and R2 become the standard for aim and shoot on PS4. With their outward curve and tightness when you press them has a really good feel to it. This comes to life in shooters, but it also feels great in racing games as well.

The analog sticks have also been improved. This isn’t a huge thing for me as I’ve been happy with the analog sticks of the past. They now have a hole in them to firmly put your thumbs, and it’s less likely you’ll lose grip, making for a more comfortable experience. More importantly to me at least, is that they are more firm and they don’t move as far as the sticks on Dual Shock 3.

The D-pad and the X, Square, Triangle and Circle buttons also feel very nice. I didn’t get to test the touch pad to much. The only use I found was to switch cars in #Driveclub. It was responsive. The touch pad can also be clicked down, making it for a button that can replace the function of either select or start. In stead of Select and Start button, it’s now Share and Options, which means it’s nice to have the touch pad be a button as well.

#DriveClub

This is the game I tried the most, and this game alone will make me get the PlayStation Camera. The 2 lap short demo starts with team selection. In the final version you’ll be able to start your own team, or join a friends team of up to 12 players. Here, there were two teams and you could select one of them. After I selected the Aston Martin, it was picture time, before I could finally start playing the game and get a feel for how it is to play PlayStation 4 for the first time.

The handling in #Driveclub feels solid. It’s not a sim-racer like Gran Turismo, but I wouldn’t call it to arcadey either. Drifting is fairly easy to pull off as well. What makes #DriveClub what it really is, a social racer, is the small competitions during the race, and it’s here the PlayStation Camera comes in as a great addition. It’s not just the lap time that counts, but also these small competitions during the race. In the first part of the lap it’s all about speed during a section of chicanes. You’re pitted against a random racer and while you builde up speed, you see your own speed alongside your own picture, and on the right side, there’s the competitors speed alongside the picture of him or her. Your competitor isn’t driving at the same time as you however. In the middle of the lap it was a cornering competition where you’re supposed to hold the racing line during a section of turns. Toward the end, there was a drifting competition. At the end of the race, your lap time and the points you’ve gained is all summed up and you get your placing. All that is being made much better by seeing the pictures of the ones your competing with. That also leads me to wish that Sony would have added the PlayStation Camera in every PS4, even if the prize would have been higher.

All in all, #Driveclub felt great. The handling was great, and I think I’m gonna love the social aspects with it. Graphic wise, it’s a beautiful game. Just don’t expect the same difference on PS3 to PS4 as it was from PS2 to PS3. It’s just not realistic. I can’t wait to get deeper into #Driveclub when it releases early next year.

Summary
I also got to briefly test Knack, FIFA 14 and Killzone Shadow Fall. I didn’t get the feel for Knack as I would have gotten from Jak & Daxter. The few chapters I got to play really was on-rails. Not quite, as you walk the walk yourself, but there’s not much choice here. FIFA 14 felt really good. The presentation is much better than previously, and it’s also nice to see the crowd being part of the game as well, and not just in cutscenes. Killzone Shadow Fall looked great, but I have never been a fan of the series.

The big things I take away from my experiences with PlayStation 4 this weekend is that Dual Shock 4 is a big improvement over the Dual Shock 3. Especially the L2/R2 buttons, but also the analog sticks. It just feels right. I thought the Dual Shock 3 was the best controller in the world, but that was only because the Dual Shock 4 didn’t exist yet.

Graphics wise, you can’t expect the same difference between PS3 and PS4 as it was between PS2 and PS3. PS4 does however look much better still, and it’s better than any video you can do justice. PlayStation 4 is out on November 29th here in Europe. North America gets will get it this Friday November 15th. I just can’t wait for next-gen. I have tried it, and now I want my own!