A console is made or broken by the strength of its game library. While you can’t deny the fact that the Xbox One X is the most powerful console in the world, that amounts to nothing without the presence of decent games to play on the damn thing. That’s also how the PlayStation 2 managed to beat out its significantly more powerful competitors at the time on the strength of its video game library. While the Xbox camp might have powerful hardware, it loses the game when it comes to decent exclusive as well as cross platform games.
For a more in-depth look into what I’m on about, check out this piece explaining why the Xbox One X won’t be able to tip the scales of the console war in the current generation. So now that we have established that you’re better off buying a PlayStation 4 console, largely because it’s practically impossible to purchase a PlayStation 4 Pro on India, let’s take a look at some of the must have exclusives on the console.
PlayStation 4 exclusive #1: Bloodborne
I don’t recommend Bloodborne just because it is made by the same people who gave us Dark Souls, or the fact that it singlehandedly sold tonnes of PlayStation 4 consoles, or because it masterfully blends HP Lovecraft with Bram Stoker into the core gameplay – no, I recommend Bloodborne because of this particular incident that underscores the efficacy of its underlying design that favours pure skill over the usual trite approach of levelling mechanics.
Earlier last year, I was playing a freshly-installed copy of Bloodborne on the office PS4 and a colleague remarked how it appears to be a difficult game. Mind you, this guy had watched me go from the character creation screen to slaying the first boss without dying even once, so he was naturally oblivious to the true nature of this unforgiving beast.
A quick chat later, I figured out that he had never played any RPG or hack-and-slash action game. So, after giving him a quick rundown of the controls, I handed the controller to him just so that he could experience the brutality first hand. Now, that’s a bit like giving your 6-year-old niece a toothpick and asking her to hunt a polar bear with it.
To make matters worse, his very first battle pitched him against the formidable Brick Troll assisted by three Carrion Crows. Most experienced Bloodborne players have difficulty taking on a single Brick Troll, let alone one working along with a mob, so I fully expected a crushing defeat.
However, my jaw hit the floor after he took out the crows one by one and then proceeded to dodge through all the troll’s attacks and cut him down right where he stood. He then proceeded to steamroll over four other members of the Hunter mob. All without dying even once.
To put this into perspective for those who haven’t played any Souls-borne game; that’s a bit like an Indian Army jawan asking a Kashmiri civilian if he has seen any enemy troops near the border, the said civilian going: “Bas ek minute. Jara dekh ke aata hoon sir”, and then the same guy calling back half an hour later to report that the enemy had opened fire so he engaged them, and now he has captured Karachi and awaiting further instructions.
PlayStation 4 exclusive #2: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
A veritable masterpiece from Naughty Dog, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End somehow manages top off the technical and narrative brilliance of the Uncharted series. Not only this game manages to show what the PlayStation 4 is capable of graphics wise, but it takes the nuanced character development and storytelling mastery displayed by Naughty Dog in its previous game, The Last of Us, and incorporates all that in Uncharted 4 with great success. This is the game to have if you own the PlayStation 4.
PlayStation 4 exclusive #3: Horizon: Zero Dawn
While it would be easy to dismiss this game as yet another game with a strong female lead and a cliched social message, Horizon: Zero Dawn is actually a well-made game in every aspect. From the brilliant open world setting to the engaging main and side quests, as well as the interesting cybernetic enemies that require some strategy to defeat.