Sony’s PlayStation 4 is the unquestionable victor of this generation of consoles as a created first and foremost to cater towards gaming. But what’s a remarkable system without any games to play? Fret not as Sony have absolutely obliterated the competition when it comes to PlayStation 4 exclusives with a rich and diverse library of games. For many owners, these exclusive titles were without a doubt pivotal in swaying them towards the console in the first place. Guilty as charged, I bought a PlayStation 4 specifically to play the first game on our list of the 5 best PlayStation 4 exclusives.
1. Horizon Zero Dawn
At it most basic, Horizon Zero Dawn is an post-apocalyptic action-RPG about a young orphan named Alloy on a search to decipher her mother’s mysterious past. Dig a little deeper and Horizon is a story of survival in a futuristic land where the ancient and the new clash in a stunningly constructed world rich with unique characters, breathtaking vistas, redoubtable enemies, and unique factions with their own belief systems, histories, and cultures. Depth is a byword for Horizon Zero Dawn, be it in terms of the combat system which sees the player forced to strategize and plan every encounter with a veritable stockpile of tactics and weapons including the ability to utilize the colossal robots that roam the land to their advantage. Or, the refined narrative that not only gives us a unique view into a female protagonist’s search for identity, but her role in a historical legacy that both dumbfounds and humbles by its sheer grandeur.
2. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
At times Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End feels more like a blockbuster movie than a video game. The graphical quality puts other titles from this generation to shame and is a testament to how powerful the PS4 truly can be in the right hands. The believable facial expressions, landscapes, combat movement, and atmospheric subtleties are incomparably refined. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has found the ideal balance between an action-packed treasure hunting adventure and the raw sentimentality of the human condition with a compelling set of characters – notably the endearing Nathan Drake – and a fitting end to a franchise that has successfully striven to better itself with every release.
If a Gaelic Samurai battling hordes of embittered otherworldly entities in Edo Japan sounds like your cup of tea, then we present Nioh. Though a brutally difficult game where every fault is severely reprimanded, Nioh remains a deeply enjoyable game. There’s something becomingly Dark Souls-ish about the sombre atmosphere and the flow of game play. The protagonist with his bizarre origins, the supernatural elements, epic fights, and a rich Japanese landscape all seem to work flawlessly. Initially announced over 14 years ago, aren’t we glad Nioh turned out so damn good.
Bloodborne is very much the faster paced younger brother to Dark Souls; an attempt by Sony to make up for the quick sell of the unexpectedly successful series. A Gothic-inspired horror journey through a universe packed to the brim with unimaginable dangers, ethereal beasts, and monsters. Picturesque and stylish in its art style, Bloodborne is a game of difficulty with just enough fear of what is around the next corner to make for a thrilling experience. With a combat system that encourages self-expression, yet remains restrictive enough to be systematically enjoyable, the developers were able to create a world rich with Lovecraft-ian winks and references to tempt not only Dark Souls devotees, but PS4 owners in general.
5. The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian succeeds in marrying the sweet, yet irrational relationship between a young boy and a monstrously large guardian, with a world seemingly intent on their demise. The union between the two is at the crux of what makes the game so compelling, notably Trico’s mischievousness and tendency to ignore orders, yet leap in to save the day when it really matters. Domesticating him isn’t straightforward, requiring patience and resolve, very much like any real life relationship. Yet, when it works, the results are a masterpiece of gaming ingenuity. His believable comportment weaves perfectly with a strong set of puzzles that test the player’s intellect, and frames a stunning world of crumbling ruins, riddled myths, and a desire for freedom. The Last Guardian is charming, yet grave, serious, yet playful. A perfectly tuned balancing act.
Bonus – God of War
Yes, don’t sigh, it is indeed God of War, again. Gorgeous, intense, a plentiful and compelling narrative, mythological trolls trying to crush Kratos out of existence. What more do you want?