Exactly one year ago today Sony launched the PlayStation 4 with the promise that “greatness awaits.” Exactly 365 days later, we’re still waiting.
It’s not that the PS4 has no good games, because it does; I’ve got a list of them here. It just hasn’t had that one “WOW” game that makes it a must-buy system. And it certainly has had its fair share of duds — perhaps most surprising is most of them have come from Sony’s first-party studios. So while I’ve already celebrated the best games Sony has seen in its first year, I think it’s only fair to point out the not-so-good ones. Here are the five biggest duds in the PlayStation 4’s first year of existence.
Driveclub has been a total mess. From the initial delay to its horrendous launch, everything that could go wrong has pretty much gone wrong. Even now, over a month after release, Sony and Evolution Studios continue to struggle with server issues. And honestly, even when things are working, it’s just not that great of a game. It’s no Forza. It’s definitely no Gran Turismo. As a new IP, Driveclub had to make a splash. Unfortunately, the only headlines made since launch have been negative. Can we please just get Gran Turismo on PS4?
Except for its Pixar-like visuals, there was nothing “next-gen” about Knack. Sure, it had lots of polygons, but that’s about it. It was a generic platformer that didn’t do anything new for the genre. The best way to describe Knack is a glorified tech demo.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
Killzone: Shadow Fall wasn’t necessarily a bad game. It just wasn’t mind-blowingly good either. It was celery — just kinda there at the launch of the PS4 because gamers needed something to snack on. It was one of our first few options for a first-person shooter, and the first true next-gen shooter for PS4. Unfortunately, the only next-gen thing about it was its graphics. The story was forgettable and its gameplay and multiplayer were all pretty generic.
Again, not a horrible game, but certainly not next-gen. Bland level design, unbearable loading screens, and poor stealth mechanics — Thief was a poor man’s Dishonored. Thief was a third-party title and wasn’t exclusive to the PS4, so Sony isn’t to blame for this one, but it’s still one of the worst games the PS4 saw during its first year.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
This is another one of those games that we can’t blame Sony for. Two things work against The Amazing Spider-Man 2: it was also available on last-gen systems, and it was a game based on a Hollywood movie. It’s possible to recover from one of those, but The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the worst of all worlds.
Honorable Mention: Battlefield 4
Does it even work yet?
To be fair, these aren’t the worst games I’ve ever seen. But looking back on the PS4’s full first year in entirety, they are certainly at the lower end of the spectrum. The good news is, the PS4’s second year has some promising-looking games, including Bloodborne and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.