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Best PlayStation 4 Exclusive
Winner: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)
The inFamous series is a great reason to own a PlayStation 3, and it's looking like a great reason to own a PS4 with inFamous: Second Son. This third entry in Sucker Punch's series isn't quite a direct sequel but more of a continuation of the events from inFamous 2. Second Son is set in the city of Seattle, Washington, seven years after the end of inFamous 2 and it's just one of many cities where Conduit activity is monitored. One day, Delsin Rowe, a 24-year-old graffitti artist, witnesses a bus crash, and when he goes to see what he can do to help, comes into contact with a Conduit. That contact awakens Rowe's own dormant Conduit abilities, with his being more smoke-based at first. However, Rowe has the ability to absorb other the abilities of Conduits, and so far it looks like he has access to some wicked fire ones taken from an unlucky fellow. That fire can then be transferred to the chains Rowe keeps on his arm, forming a fire whip that just looks so sweet.
InFamous: Second Son has a Karma system like the past two games, and Rowe still has to recharge his abilities like Cole has to. However, Cole's ability is electric-based, and electricity is far more common than smoke, so you may need to really be careful when using Rowe's abilities. The DualShock 4's touch pad comes into play for absorbing smoke, as players simply have to press with both thumbs on it to absorb. I have a feeling staying around fires may be a good idea in Second Son, as the smoke generated would be a good way to recharge.
Visually, inFamous: Second Son looks amazing. The game isn't set to arrive until early next year, but it's already looking incredibly detailed, with smoke that actually looks and behaves like smoke. Fabric moves realistically, the grass and trees move with the wind, and facial animations that accurately mimic real life movements. I guess the only real downside is we have to wait a few months or so after the PS4 arrives before we can play inFamous: Second Son, but really, it'll be worth the wait.
Runners-Up: Knack (PS4), The Order: 1886 (PS4)
When you look at Knack, you may see some similarities to Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, and with good reason. Mark Cerny worked on both those classic platformers and he's the director of Knack. He's also the lead architect of the PlayStation 4, so he knows what the new console is capable of. In Knack, players take on the title creature who discovers he has the unique ability (a knack) to take on elements like ice and metal in order to battle the Goblins. Knack is trying to help the humans defeat the Goblins in order to bring peace to the world, and it certainly sounds like an adventure people will want to experience.
There are these things called Relics that Knack has to collect, which not only determine his size but also help keep him alive. Health is a precious thing in Knack, and he needs to collect as many Relics as possible in order to keep ticking. I mentioned Knack's size and that's because he can grow or shrink in the game. However, the larger Knack becomes, the larger his foes become; so while you may start off fighting more human-sized enemies, get too big and you'll be squaring off against Goblin tanks and helicopters. There could also be swarms of Goblins to defeat, which is where the other type of collectible, a rarer one, comes into play. Those collectibles give Knack the ability to execute special moves that are very useful for clearing swarms, and should be particularly satisfying to pull off and see the screen nice and clear again.
While Knack may not look super amazing compared to some of the other next-gen titles, it looks like a ton of fun. It also seems to be a game for everyone, from little kids to adults, from seasoned gamers to ones who may not really play any. It's a throwback to the likes of Crash and Spyro, while also being a fantastic example of how to get everyone gaming.
Just a couple pages ago I mentioned The Order: 1886, and here it is once again. If you hadn't guessed, The Order is a game I'm very much looking forward to. The blend of fantastic technology and Victorian Era London looks like something I want to play, and the fact you're going up against some kind of creatures should make for an exciting adventure. Yes it's a linear game, but really, no one took any knocks at God of War for being linear, and Ready at Dawn seems to know a thing or two about that particular series. I have high faith in the studio's ability to deliver a winner, especially one in a new world. I just wish we knew when to expect The Order: 1886, but regardless it's definitely one that should be on your radar if you're getting a PS4.
Winner: Knack (PS4)
While the PlayStation 4 has plenty of games to be excited about, Knack is the one I wish I could play the most. Knack is part brawler, part 3D platformer. It's Crash Bandicoot meets God of War meets Katamari Damacy, with a Pixar-like coat of paint. As a fan of Crash since the original PlayStation, when I first saw the Knack trailer, it brought back memories. Knack takes the 3D platforming gameplay of Crash and combines it with the growth aspect of Katamari Damacy and the combat of God of War (though not as brutal).
In Knack, goblins have invaded humany territories and picked up rather sophisticated weaponry along the way, such as tanks and planes. A doctor discovered how to bind together ancient relics and give them sentient consciousness – and thus Knack was born. As Knack, your task is to find out where the goblins came from and how to stop them. While you start out at a mere three-feet in height, you can absorb other relics throughout the world and become a thirty-foot tall war machine. Knack also has the ability to incorporate various objects and substances into his body, granting him new skills. The three substances shown during E3 were sun crystals, icicles, and the ability to become transparent. The latter brings you back down to your diminutive three-foot size, but grants you the ability to sneak past security lasers.
While Knack may not seem to show off the power of the PS4 like inFamous: Second Son, it's a game that is deceptively deep and will appeal to gamers of all ages.
Runner-Up: The Order: 1886 (PS4)
While Knack has my heart, The Order: 1886 may be the most intriguing exclusive on any console. The Order: 1886 is a third-person action-adventure game that takes place in an alternate history version of 19th century England. "The Order" refers to a group of individuals tasked with protecting humanity from mysterious and deadly creatures. Thankfully for The Order, the Industrial Revolution has brought about a variety of new weapons to deal with the threat – in the trailer, we got a glimpse of what seems to be a Tesla weapon. As a result, the game has a rather anachronistic feel, featuring high-tech weapons amid horse-drawn carriages – though it doesn't quite push it far enough to feel like steampunk.
While the enemies toward the end of the trailer were mere blurs – or maybe because of it – I was left itching to learn more. And although it was a cinematic trailer, it was captured entirely in-engine, which is very promising for the visuals we'll ultimately see in the game. The game takes place entirely in England, but if the game's a success, expect to see sequels in other parts of the world, as The Order is a global organization. And while it's currently a PS4-exclusive, developer Ready at Dawn stated that its technology runs on the Vita, so it's quite possible a spin-off finds its way to that platform as well.