As we covered earlier this week, Sony's next big thing has been officially released to the masses. So now that you've got the PlayStation 4, what are you going to play? Luckily for you, we have a run-down of nearly every title hitting the stores alongside the new hardware:
Killzone: Shadow Fall
The fourth console entry of the Sony exclusive first person shooter shows off the powerful next-gen machine in a fierce spray of bullets! Guerilla Games' science fiction shooter takes place decades after a devastating interplanetary war between two separate factions: the Vektan, and the Helghast. After an uneasy truce, the defeated Helghast were granted asylum on the Vektan homeworld separated by a massive Berlin Wall-like structure. As a top Vektan agent called the Shadow Marshall, it's your job to undertake covert operations over the wall in an effort to thwart the imperialistic Helghast from restarting the war.
For The Casual Gamer: This is Sony's primetime shooter and Guerilla puts the PS4 through its paces with a big bump to visuals.
For The Hardcore Gamer: Following up from "Killzone 3," the latest entry takes a slightly different approach with optional objectives and more open level design offers a bit more variety with how you tackle missions. The weighty controls from previous entries make way for faster, more responsive shooting. Multiplayer is also a huge draw with a mixture of small squad based shootouts and team objective types.
Our Recommendation: BUY IT! "Shadow Fall" shows what the PS4 is capable of and should satisfy fans of the FPS genre with punchy controls and intense firefights.
Another Sony exclusive game, "Resogun" is a throwback to arcade side-scrolling shooter classics like "Defender." You control a speedy spaceship along a cylindrical level, firing upon wave after wave of enemy crafts while dodging incoming bullets. After a number of enemy waves have been blown apart, a single human appears on the stage and you have to pick him up and return to home base.
Power-ups can be collected to make the battle a little easier and you can even charge up a massive "overdrive" attack to send all those nasty aliens into the cold vacuum of space! Each level ends with a massive boss that puts your skills to the test.
For The Casual Gamer: Simple controls and a very basic concept make "Resogun" a perfect entry to the world of video games. Impressive visuals and a bright, hyper-saturated palette will bring a smile on your face.
For The Hard-Core Gamer: The veteran fan, as well as older Arcade rats will love the calls to older "Bullet Hell" shooters and the leaderboard will have you climbing the ladder to prove you're the best!
Our Recommendation: BUY IT! Er, actually don't ... because "Resogun" is totally free with a PS+ membership, and a 30 day trial is included with every PS4!
Sony's other big exclusive is an action/platformer title set in a cartoony world featuring a very shallow plot involving a war between humans and goblins ... with a twist. You play as Knack, a sentient creature who uses the powers of mysterious Relics to gain power and solve puzzles. You have to jump, dodge, and punch your way through several different environments and a horde of enemies. Beyond your basic attacks, you'll gain single use screen-clearing moves like a giant shockwave and homing shots. There are also a number of hidden items used to create various power ups to boost Knack's abilities.
For The Casual Gamer: The cartoony, Pixar-esque graphics will appeal to younger games while the controls are straight forward enough making the learning curve shallow.
For The Hardcore Gamer: Graphically speaking, "Knack" pops with brilliant color and beautiful textures. The simple gameplay will remind seasoned players of "Crash Bandicoot."
Our Recommendation: SKIP IT! Kids will love the visual and the pick-up-and-play controls are easy to use; however, the simplicity of the game covers a deceptive difficulty that will frustrate newcomers.
Compulsion Games' puzzle/platformer places you in the role of Dawn, an imaginary friend to a troubled young girl named Didi. Dawn has the power to shift into the shadow world — provided there's a bright enough light source. In this Shadowscape, Dawn can interact with shadows cast along the wall and use them to reach new areas and solve puzzles (think shadow puppets). The acrobatic, Dawn can also run around in the 3-D world finding various collectables. The '20s French noir ascetics paint a wonderfully dark and charming world is a great fit for the story.
For The Casual Gamer: The noir-ish visuals and plot might interest the casual gamer. The neat shadow puzzle elements will keep the challenge steady as you follow Didi's story about her broken family.
For The Hard-Core Gamer: Sony is making great strides by cultivating the Indie dev scene and "Contrast" is a nice example of what a small studio can do. The game is actually pretty short but the puzzles and story should keep you interested from start to finish.
Our Recommendation: BUY IT! As with "Resogun," "Contrast" is included with PS+ membership so you should at least give this one a look!
Need For Speed Rivals
EA's resident racing series takes a few cues from past entries with "Need for Speed Rivals." With two paths to choose, Racer and Cop, you can either take place in fierce illegal street races or attempt to thwart any and all speed demons. "Rivals" dumps you in a huge open world where speed is the name of the game.
Racing events can take place anywhere by challenging AI cars or players online. As a Cop it's your task to take down those reckless drivers Tokyo drifting all over the place. At your disposal are numerous upgradable special powers, like EMP blasts and Road Spikes to take out the trash or skirt the boys in blue.
For The Casual Gamer: If you're a big fan of cars, you'll probably love this game. There's a garage full of unlockable cars and the reality-defying physics couple with the over the top action makes this really fun.
For The Hard-Core Gamer: Have you played "NFS: Hot Pursuit?" Yes? Then you have a pretty good idea of what you're getting with "Rivals." Developer Ghost does an admirable job of capturing the pavement-peeling street racing and white-knuckle police chases that there's never a dull moment.
Our Recommendation: BUY IT! There's always a challenger around the corner and going undercover as a cop online is one hell of a power trip!
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
When two super popular things combine into one mega IP, it's hard to miss. "LEGO Marvel Super Heroes" absolutely hits the mark. You and a friend assume the LEGO-ized versions of most of the Marvel Universe as you hop and bop enemies and solve puzzles. Wrapped around a story involving powerful Cosmic bricks, the Avengers and friends must stop the villains around the world as a terrible looming threat sets its sights on earth. There's tons of collectables to keep you busy and the story is enjoyable enough as a fun, classic comic. Unlocking cheat codes and discovering every Golden Brick will have you coming back for more!
For The Casual Gamer: "LEGO Marvel Super Heroes" is a perfect gateway into mid-tier gaming. It's simple to understand but adds enough variety and difficulty to keep newcomers on their toes.
For The Hard-Core Gamer: LEGO titles are squarely aimed at two types of people, children and the adult LEGO enthusiast. That said, "Marvel Super Heroes" adds devoted comic fans into the mix, and even for hardcore gamers the depth and breadth of gameplay is nothing to scoff at.
Our Recommendation: BUY IT! Simple controls, a vast world, and dozens upon dozens of Marvel heroes gives so much variety that fans of all ages will love this! As a bonus, kids might want to explore more with Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload."
We've previously covered EA and DICE's immersive first person shooter so for a deeper look go here. "Battlefield 4" shines best in multiplayer, where you and bunch of other team up in small squads in order to destroy the competition. With an arsenal of weapons and bunker full of vehicles, every explosive tool is at your fingertips to blow away the enemy.
For The Casual Gamer: Casuals looking for more of a challenge will find plenty in "Battlefield 4," though we strongly suggest playing with people you know in real life.
For The Hardcore Gamer: There's a single player story that's pretty much hit or miss. So if multiplayer ain't your thing you should probably skip altogether.
Our Recommendation: WAIT FOR IT! While "Battlefield 4" is an excellent game, recent server issues have been a hair in the soup for DICE, often times dropping connection with jittery servers. Give it a few weeks for a patch and then jump in.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Ubisoft's series about the secret world of assassin gets a swashbuckling coat of paint. You can dive deeper with our review here. The basic story sets you up in the boots of Edward Kenway, a scurvy privateer who finds himself mixed up in the cloak and dagger exploits of the Assassin's and Templars, their eternal foes. Sailing the Caribbean, Edward meets and greets notorious pirates, plunders hidden treasures, and learns the secrets of the Assassin's. Gameplay takes you from stealth missions focused on information and assassinations to ship on ship battles with intense cannonball shootouts!
For The Casual Gamer: There are many sequels to the "Assassin Creed" franchise with so many confusing plot twists that will make your head spin. That said, "Black Flag" offers enough fun with a straight forward plot to keep you interested. There's a ton of history with this franchise but this is a great time to try.
For The Hardcore Gamer: Ubisoft makes many smart changes after stumbling from last year's "Assassin's Creed 3." The pirate theme and naval battles are spectacular and fun while the meta-story takes a slight backseat in favor of better story and characters.
Our Recommendation: BUY IT! With better story, more engaging fights, and beautiful next-gen graphics you shouldn't pass on it.
The most famous football video game franchise is 25 years old! EA Sports offers an immense full feature, football experience for mega fans. From Franchise Mode, where you develop and cultivate your personalized team, to VS, compete online head to head or locally, there's so much to take in it's nuts. Diehard fans will get into fine tuning the perfect running game while the casual can act out there Super Bowl fantasy. Instant replays, color commentary, and simulated physics makes "Madden 25" a must have for sports fans.
For The Casual Gamer: Fair-weather football fans might want to steer clear of "Madden 25." This is a simulation game and takes many hours to get into the theory of football. With enough perseverance, you'll ultimately be rewarded but know that it takes practice and dedication.
For The Hard-Core Gamer: We won't run down all the minute changes that occur year over year, but Madden fans will fall in love all over again if they haven't played in a while. Taking all the ups and downs over 25 years, EA Sports has probably made one of the most realistic football games to date with a complete package for the ultimate fan!
Our Recommendation: WAIT FOR IT! "Madden" is an extremely difficult game to judge. We say not yet because this type of game depends solely on your love of the sport. If you've always dreamed of throwing down on the Gridiron you'll have a grand time with "Madden 25."
The Playstation 4, and all of the games reviewed above are available in stores now!