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Looking back, the PlayStation 4 launch titles were terrible (but pretty) games


Oct 25, 2017
Killzone Shadowfall is so forgettable. I just remember thinking it lost the focus on busted, grimy, visceral future firefights. Killzone 2 was incredible. It had infamously heavy controls to make the camera a soldier of its own you were pulling with you, incredible hit reactions and blood from the enemies, and stellar motion blur and post processing for a signature CGI pre-rendered emulation style (pay no mind to that oopsie when the Sony team commented to the press that the target render done in CGI was actually what the game looks like for real). It had flashes of hot colors in the fire or ship lighting, with swathes of grey lost city territory. It felt like a war happened and you were wrestling to see it through.

Killzone 3 was ok but made less splash. It lost some of the pre-rendered look with its toned down effects and worse aliasing. It went to some more fantastical looking scenes with weird plants and icy locales. It tried very hard to call upon Nazi iconography.

Then we got Shadowfall. Largely set in a sparkling generic city of the future, it didn’t really look like the war focused predecessors on PS3. It was pretty and it’s darker atmosphere often just came from some more industrial stuff rather than any battlegrounds . It had a weird concept where we were to believe the enemy civilizations were just on opposite sides of a big wall if I recall? It was meh. We moved on.

We oddly got another spinoff from a PS3 giant in Infamous Second Son, technically coming a few months after PS4 itself. I remember the game had good global illumination, but a dreadful cast of edgy street hipsters in a cheesy comic book plot with some very bad writing. But worst of all it has the very worst AAA main character design I’ve ever seen after 6 years. Why did they take Troy Baker and give him a different complexion and darker hair and eyes and say he’s Native American??? I have to scream.

This is so horrible

And there was Knack! I didn’t play that after it bombed in reviews

To be fair, the Xbox One launch titles are largely forgotten too. A tragically low res Dead Rising sequel, a Forza entry, and Crytek’s dying showcase breath Ryse were the big three there. Ryse is quite pretty still.

Here’s to a better PS5 lineup.


Apr 25, 2018
Chicago, IL
very little substance from sony's first party offerings this gen, especially if you don't want to play as an angry dad with a weapon and shallow gameplay. hoping we see more weird stuff like parappa the rapper next gen.


Oct 29, 2017
For what it's worth, I thoroughly enjoyed Killzone: SF and Infamous: Second Son (which I'm not sure is really a launch title as it came out 4 months later). Even Knack is okay. They aren't amazing and we got a lot better later on, but terrible? I don't think so.


Crash() Void() Purge()
Oct 25, 2017
Second Son was great and Shadow Fall, while bland, wasn't near as bad as people make it out to be. Knack was enjoyable enough for an all-ages platformer.

In other words, it was a bog standard console launch lineup.


Oct 27, 2017
I really liked Infamous: Second Son. It's what made me buy the PS4; well that and Last of Us Remastered.

I want anther Infamous one day.

Sub Boss

Nov 14, 2017
The first years of PS4 were boring until Bloodborne and Arkham Knight imo, if you don't count cross gen ports.


Oct 26, 2017
Lake Titicaca
Resogun was great and Second Son (if it counts as a launch exclusive) was well worth playing. It just needed a bit more meat on its bones is all.

But yeah, Knack was trash and Shadow Fall didn't live up to the hype.

In Amber Clad

Aug 26, 2018
I'm not a fan of the Killzone series, but I appreciated Shadowfall more than the others because it actually looked like a sci-fi game, rather than a brown-grey WWII game with Jin Roh helmets and one lightning gun.
Oct 27, 2017
Shit was so awful I had to buy Battlefield as a launch game.

I eventually sold my launch PS4 and bought it again later.
Oct 31, 2017
Infamous Second Son was pretty good. it's only issue is the really really mute sound design. But it was a perfect showcase for the console at the time.
Killzone shadowfall had the same problem. The sound lacked any oomph or atmosphere. (Especially since killzone 2 and 3 sounded really good)


Oct 25, 2017
Knack and Killzone was whatever.

But Infamous: Second Son was a fun game, story was a bit of a letdown compared to the predecessors.


Oct 25, 2017
The first year of PS4 was pretty rough. I picked one up in September (2014) and still felt like I had nothing to pay for months.


The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
Funny, I'd say Killzone 2 was forgettable too. The whole series is really, outside of maybe the Vita game.

And Second Son was fucking great.


Feb 7, 2019
I think if you actually look at launch titles for consoles, they're actually more bad than good across all consoles this century. Sure you have exceptions like the Switch coming out with Odyssey and BOTW back to back or the Xbox launching with Halo and Dead or Alive, but more often, you get situations like the PS4 launch where you don't really have a killer app until Bloodborne. The PS3 obviously took forever to get there, but even launches that people look fondly back on like the 360 were actually rocky (I mean Condemned ruled but is anyone really revisiting KAMEO nowadays?)
Oct 27, 2017
Was given a PS4 for Christmas 2014 and didn’t play it until Bloodborne came out a few months later. It was an awful 1.5 years post-launch.


Oct 25, 2017
Killzone Shadow Fall was fine (it was better than Killzone 2). Battlefield was the star of the show for me.

Infamous was okay, would have been better if it wasn't just Infamous starring tanned Troy Baker.


Nov 1, 2017
I'll always disagree with people who say Shadowfall was bad. I had a great time with the campaign and loved that they continued with the story where KZ3 left off.

The story was interesting and it had some really cool setpieces and locations.

It's a better game than KZ2.


Oct 26, 2017
I don't want to say they were bad, but their last gen counterparts were better games. Infamous 1 and 2 were better than SS in my opinion, and Killzone 2 & 3 were miles better than SF. Graphically, they did great things, but as an overall game they were a step back. I enjoyed Knack for what it was, and I'm tempted to pick up the sequel since it's only $5. Resogun was the shit!


Oct 26, 2017
I hated Knack, and didnt understand the memes about something so average being "great". Its usually the exact type of mediocre game you tell folks to avoid if they can.

bbq of doom

Oct 25, 2017
The stories/overall experiences of Infamous and Shadowfall were forgettable for me, although I did like the rain effects in Shadowfall.


Oct 26, 2017
Second Sun was great imo. Still haven't played the DLC episode yet hmmm Killzone never grabbed me, but I heard it was good and I still have it on my shelf.
Nov 3, 2017
very little substance from sony's first party offerings this gen, especially if you don't want to play as an angry dad with a weapon and shallow gameplay. hoping we see more weird stuff like parappa the rapper next gen.
epic troll post bro

Second Sun was great imo. Still haven't played the DLC episode yet hmmm Killzone never grabbed me, but I heard it was good and I still have it on my shelf.
I preferred the DLC's story tbh it was a lot tighter


Zeboyd Games
Oct 26, 2017
I really liked Resogun & infamous. The NFS game was also decent. And Knack was a moderately amusing rental.


Feb 23, 2019
Loved Infamous and I actually enjoyed Killzone and and playing the multiplayer on it and seeing how smooth the frame rate on it really made me think "This is the next generation."


Oct 28, 2017
Sony gave a good reason to move on the next console by making great looking games. The actual quality is subjective but that's how you sell new hardware.


Oct 27, 2017
I really liked Infamous Second Son, I hope another studio has a swing at the franchise while Suckerpunch are making Tsushima. Feels like there is a lot of room for fresh ideas/powers given the right talent behind it I think.

Outside of meme status, Knack is actually a pretty decent platformer when all is said and done, especially on harder difficulties. While I might have played for jokes to begin with, I actually enjoyed my time with it and even stuck out the platinum.

I never did play Shadowfall, does it hold up? I think I picked it up digitally in a sale one year and never installed it.


Oct 29, 2017
inFamous SS wasn't a launch title, and it certainly wasn't terrible. Neon and video powers were incredible, only thing that was somewhat lacking was content but tbh can't really complain too much about it since I ended up playing the game twice with good/bad powers.


Feb 28, 2019
Second Son sucked because of the lack of missions and mission variety coming off of Infamous 2. Not for the reasons you mentioned.

Also, 6 years later and I'm STILL playing Warframe.