I came in late to the PS4 era. There wasn’t much there at the start, plus I have a PC that covers a seemingly infinite amount of games. I did come in for Horizon: Zero Dawn. And God of War. And Read Dead Redemption 2. And Spider-Man. And Monster Hunter World. Some good games in there, but at the aggregate, less worthwhile to spend $400 in order to have access to half a dozen games. Hell of a cover charge. It does make for a decent media server for my basement projector though.
I have a top notch gaming laptop – there’s very little that consoles can provide that I can’t get elsewhere. Having Horizons show on PC is an eyebrow raiser – I’d expect more of that down the road. Maybe as my kids get older they’ll find more things to do with consoles, but for now Minecraft and Stardew Valley keep them going. Until then, I still can replay the games on PS4.
Spider-Man was a quick jaunt. NG+ means you start off at full power and a mini-map of things has little value. The main storyline is at best 8 hours, and on a second play through, struggles to hit the same beats as the first time through. The Peter/Doc Ock relationship is still solid, but by plowing though the quests, you don’t get the time to digest the results of the previous one.
God of War is different in quite a few respects. The game includes a sidekick (your son) and uses the story as a backdrop for the challenge of a relationship between father and child. Even the side quests have story dialogue attached, and none of it feels procedurally generated. They aren’t just icons on the map, they have a purpose. It also helps that all of these side activities provide additional rewards, even in NG+. The best items in the game are only seen in NG+, to the point where even the basic currency (hacksilver) still has a TON of value.
Rewards aside, the story line continues to really be the standout. All the roles are well written and acted. The arcs are character driven rather than simple plot devices – you can look back after a time and see the dominos that led to a given conflict. It examines the concepts of duty and sacrifice, the ramifications of trying to protect someone without their understanding of why. And it looks amazing. Jormungandr is still a sight to behold.
So I’m giving it another go. It’s entire package is like a warm bowl of homemade soup, it just feels like it hits all the right spots. I could use some of that today.