Most Underrated PlayStation 4 Exclusives You Should Play Right Now


You can’t say we didn’t see it coming. Since that very first day we laid eyes on it, Microsoft made a categorical, fundamental mistake with the Xbox One, releasing a TV and voice activation-focused system for a marketplace that just wanted more of the immaculate Xbox 360. Ease of use, array of attention-grabbing exclusives, smooth online services and lightning-quick system updates – all things that Sony couldn’t deliver on the PS3, but have subsequently nailed on the PS4.

Until Dawn

Whilst it’s totally played out across any number of franchises like Friday the 13th, Halloween, Scream etc. on the silver screen, Until Dawn proves that by putting you slap-bang in the middle of a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’-style teen horror – one positively reveling in the most enjoyable parts of the genre – there’s some majorly untapped potential worth indulging in.

Characters are all played by a variety of “Oh, I recognise them!” actors, ranging from Mr. Robot’s Rami Malek to Heroes’ Hayden Panettiere, though that’s just to get you invested. Until Dawn is just as much an indulgence of teen horror tropes as it is a slow-burn mystery. You’ll need to forge social allegiances and make butterfly effect life-or-death decisions every few minutes, whilst also dissecting optional evidence pickups and environmental clues as to who and/or what is stalking you through the night.

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Its art style connotes the icy isolation of The Thing and The Shining, whilst its beating heart is pure Final Destination, Jeepers Creepers or Scream. Although Telltale Games get all the glory for ‘perfecting’ the branching narrative design ethos, Supermassive Games deserve just as much – if not more – considering how immaculately interwoven all of Until Dawn’s various threads are.

The Last Guardian

Despite being on the cards for eight years – or precisely because of that – when The Last Guardian finally released, people were very quick to dismiss its charms, somewhat mislabelling a certain gameplay mechanic as a ‘broken feature’. Which is to say – the act of getting the bird-dog Trico to do what you want and listen to your commands is a modular process – one born from saying something, waiting to see how Trico interprets it, and then continuing.

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The whole point of The Last Guardian is to drop your unassuming, no-named boy into a pit alongside the beast, before the two of you decide to make a go of it and escape this bizarrely ancient structure you’re confined in. Like ICO and Shadow of the Colossus before, that means a lot of physics-based platforming, a lot of shadow-demon fighting, and a sense of scale literally no other developer even comes close to.

It’s precisely because of Trico’s initial reluctance to heed your commands that everything pays off when he does, or the elation and fist-punching sensation of “F**K yeah! Good boy!” when he bursts through a wall to come to your rescue. Moments like these and many more – which randomly happen based on Trico’s immaculate A.I. – help create the best video game creature there’s ever been.

Gravity Rush 2

Sometimes a game comes along that offers all manner of fancy new ways to play or experience an environment – only in Gravity Rush 2’s case, it dropped four days before Resident Evil 7, literally meaning people just didn’t have the cash to buy both.

And that’s a real shame, because Sony’s little physics-based action-adventure loves to wow you with a gorgeous art style, comic book cutscenes, and some of the most fun exploration since Spider-Man 2. Protagonist Kat can change the direction of gravity infinitely – and in any direction – meaning you’re free to ‘take off’ before fly-falling towards handfuls of other intricately designed floating islands nearby.

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Combat is straight up Platinum Games-style; a solid mix of light and heavy attacks mixed with the ability to fling any part of the environment at your opponent, before busting out an all-killing rage mode finisher. Now the dust has settled and we’ve all played through Resident Evil 7, how about going back and seeing what you totally missed last January?

Yakuza 0

From one fantastic franchise to another, Yakuza finally saw a decent effort put into advertising its latest instalment, as Sega realised there are a huge number of fans on western shores who’d like nothing more than to crush heads with vicious martial arts kicks, wander the streets of neon-soaked Japan, and indulge in some of their own old-school classic video games.

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Indeed, Yakuza 0 is a prequel to the standard series, making it the perfect place to jump in. You’ll play as both franchise-regular Kazama Kiryu alongside one Majima; a constantly allegiance-switching friend/enemy. Together, Yakuza’s story plays out with Metal Gear Solid’s most overblown plot twists, lots of anime-esque brutality in its fight scenes, and Dragon Ball Z-influenced ‘power-up scenes’ where characters yell to the heavens, before ripping off their shirts and unveiling intimidating back tattoos.

Think GTA mini-games and emulated Sega classics meets Tekken Force mode and you’re halfway there. Yakuza is as barmy as it is addictive, as well told as it is self-indulgent, and as loveable as some random martial arts flick you think nobody else will ever ‘get’ but you.

NieR: Automata

NieR is a special game – one that means all people like me (who’ve seen it through and know of it’s genuinely mind-blowing and thoroughly unique charms) can do, is sing its praises and hope, wish, pray more people will check it out.

Because Automata’s director, Taro Yoko, might be the next Hideo Kojima.

Not that he’s an all-new creative force in the industry or anything, but the way NieR: Automata (and 2010’s original NieR) plays with the medium of video games by acknowledging you as a player and delivering some profoundly memorable twists contingent on how we interact with machines both in-game and in the real world, is nothing short of genius.

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Remember when you realised the ‘radio frequency on the back of the CD case’ in Metal Gear related to the actual CD case? It’s that level of “Man, no one else thinks this way”, and it’s BRILLIANT.

The fact NieR actually requires three separate playthroughs for the full story is also very novel and utilised well, as you experience it from three distinct perspectives, all interwoven through a glorious mix of third-person hack n’ slash combat, side-scrolling shooting and top-down bullet hell arcade segments.

Trust me, NieR might end up taking Game of the Year. It’s the most medium-advancing work I’ve played this generation.

Source – Whatculture

#Most Underrated PlayStation 4 Exclusives You Should Play Right Now

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