Get hyped! We’re almost at the finish line everyone. I’m here to break down the day one shenanigans. So I’m gonna cover available games and apps, as well as give recommendations and tell you what’s FREE. Also as a bonus, I’m gonna hip you all to any deals on software I found along the way. I will mention that these lists are fluid, so if any info in this post changes before launch day I’ll do my best to update it. Hopefully that won’t be needed. Let’s get into it! Oh…..This is a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng post. Apologies in advance.
Games Available on Day 1
Angry Birds: Star Wars ($50) – I won’t waste time explaining what Angry Birds is. You probably know. If not, I doubt you know what a PS4 is. What I will mention is 50 DOLLARS WTF IS THIS? I mean, yeah there are 20 exclusive next gen-levels. Yeah it will be very pretty. There’s competitive and cooperative multiplayer. There are touch strip controls. But 50 BUCKS? I don’t know. Seems steep.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag ($60/$10 for Upgrade) – Edward Kenway’s saga is already available on current gen, but if you waited it will be waiting for you at the store. There isn’t much different here besides upgraded visuals, and roughly one hour of extra content. So whether or not this is worth the money depends on how you feel about the franchise at this point. I’ll pass personally.
Battlefield 4 ($60/$10 for Upgrade) – To be honest I’m skeptical of all these next-gen games that share a current gen relative. They are most likely held back by the current gen’s limitations, relatively speaking. So unless you’re a huge fan of Battlefield (which isn’t hard to believe) I would stay away. In any case, it will be available if you want it.
Call of Duty: Ghosts ($60/$10 for Upgrade) – It’s Call of Duty. You either love it or you hate it. Nothing I say will sway either side at this point. I happen to hate it. But if you DO love it, you can buy it day 1. Again, this game is also on current gen systems, which may affect how good it really is. So do some research, read some reviews, and then make your choice.
FIFA 14 ($60) – Sports games that are also on the current gen worry me less. So if you like FIFA, I would recommend the next-gen version with full confidence. It’s a simulation, so the experience isn’t dictated by the hardware like other genres would possibly be. With that said, expect a snazzier and smoother version of what you’re used to from the current gen. All the current gen modes made the leap, unlike past console launches where next gen games were barebones.
Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition ($60) – This DC brawler debuted in April of this year. The PS4 is getting a supercharged version with updated visuals and all previous DLC included. Anyone who was interested in the previous version would do well to purchase this version. It’s also the only day 1 fighting game, so fighting game enthusiasts might take that into consideration.
Just Dance 2014 ($50) – The multimillion selling franchise makes its way to PS4. Online multiplayer is finally introduced to the series, and the new Stage Mode lets one player dance (and sing if you want!) with 2 backup dancers. There are over 40 songs new and old to dance awkwardly to, so pick this up if you need a party game and don’t mind looking silly with friends.
Killzone: Shadow Fall ($60) – I feel like this is the shooter to watch, simply because it’s the only one built from the ground up for the PS4. Guerrilla Games didn’t have to worry about making sure the game can run on current gen systems, so logically it stands the best chance of truly feeling next-gen. The online sounds pretty awesome as well, but I won’t go too in depth. This is the shooter I’ll be buying, and I’d recommend it to you as well. Whether you listen or not is your choice. But you should.
Knack ($60) – This game was created by the father of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. That’s a great pedigree to have behind a platformer. Knack is small in stature, but he can grow exponentially in size to deal with more dangerous opposition. This looks to be one of the titles designed to attract the more casual gamer. I think I’ll wait for a price drop personally. But it will probably be more fun than it looks.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes ($60) – The latest entry in the Lego saga is shaping up to be pure fan service. There are over 150 Marvel characters included (among them is Stan Lee himself!) and multiple Marvel locales including Stark Tower and Liberty Island. Whether its worth 60 bucks or not is debatable, but if you’re looking for a kid friendly game it fits the bill.
Madden NFL 25 ($60) – Yeah, I used my favorite team. So what. Anyway, the next-gen Madden touts a couple of new features. Player Sense allows players to make adjustments on the fly based on their surroundings, and War In The Trenches represents dynamic offensive and defensive line play. Other than updated visuals and those AI additions, I believe it’s the same as the current gen versions. I’m not a huge Madden fan, but if you are I’m sure it’s worth the money.
NBA 2K14 ($60) – I’ve jokingly started calling this game the chosen one. Here to lead us into a new generation of gaming. It is EASILY the most impressive day 1 game on PS4. Just look at that screenshot! Brand new animation engine. MyGM mode that sounds insane. MyCareer mode with a FULL story arc complete with thousands of cutscenes (shout out to Sony’s NBA The Life mode.) This game is a must own. Just buy it. It totally justifies getting the system day 1. One more thing. If you got the current version thinking you’ll upgrade for 10 bucks, you’re hit. It’s not part of the program based on my research.
Need For Speed Rivals ($60) – With the delay of Drive Club, this is your only day 1 racing option. I’m sure that will push the long running franchise up a few spots on most PS4 shopping lists. It will probably be a nice visual showpiece, and racing games are pretty good for pick up and play sessions with friends. So I would place it high on the list for recommended buys. Probably around #3 behind Killzone and NBA2K14.
Skylanders Swap Force ($80 for Starter Pack) – My age may show here, but I have no idea what Skylanders are. The game itself seems to be a cutesy platformer of the Ratchet and Clank mold. From what I’ve read, you can mix and match the tops and bottoms of your characters to access various powers. If your kids have heard of Skylanders they’ll probably want this. Otherwise, I’d go with Knack or Lego Marvel.
Super Motherload ($15) – IT’S A DIGGING GAME! JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED! Seriously, this is pretty much a really advanced version of Dig Dug. It is 4 players, so that’s pretty cool. Actually, with the PS Vita second screen capabilities it’s actually 8 players. 15 bucks is cost efficient, but I’d like to give it a spin before buying. I recommend you do the same. It might be a sleeper.
Trine 2: The Complete Story (About $20) – This is a port of Trine 2 from this gen. It will include a secret level and previous expansion DLC. I finished the game myself and it was pretty fun. It’s a sidescrolling adventure with some puzzle elements. Rumors place the cost at about 20 bucks. That’s a good price for the game considering the added in DLC. I would say play a demo and decide if you should buy. I’ll skip since I played through once.
Free-To-Play Titles on Day 1
Blacklight Retribution (Free to Play) – The free-to-play FPS from Zombie Studios is now available for PS4. It’s a fast paced shooter built in the COD mold, but it adds enough customization options to make the game feel fresh. It’s a good alternative if you’re wary of COD/BF4 and have no interest in Killzone. And it’s free to try. So I’d say give it a shot and go from there.
DC Universe Online (Free to Play) – A MMO set in the DC universe sounds like a great idea on paper. Most people I know who tried it out say it’s really fun. The game will be largely unchanged besides the visuals. But the plus side to that is the PS3 and PS4 versions are compatible. I didn’t try this game out on PS3 due to space constraints, but I think I’ll give it a shot on PS4. Doesn’t cost anything, so why not!
Warframe (Free to Play) – This game didn’t catch my attention until I saw a trailer for it on the PSN Store. It looks to be a 4 player co-op shooter, but the characters also seem to each have individualized powers. I’m always up for a co-op game, so I’ll definitely be downloading this. Hopefully it’s as cool as the trailer makes it seem. Gave me a Mass Effect 3 multiplayer feel. Which is great.
Free Games on Day 1 (if previously owned)
Flower/Sound Shapes – These 2 games are free if you previously owned them on any platform. Both are pretty awesome games, and they are far different from the rest of the launch lineup. I’m not sure how much they cost if you didn’t own them, but I doubt either is more than 15 bucks. Both are definitely worth checking out though. Flower is freaking beautiful man. It was amazing to see on PS3, and all accounts state it looks and controls far better on PS4. Sound Shapes is beautiful in its own way. The marriage between gameplay and music is enough to get lost in, and there are plenty of licensed artists songs to groove to as you make your way through cleverly designed levels. These are 2 of the better PSN day 1 offerings, so lucky you if you already own them.
Free Games With PS Plus on Day 1
Contrast – This is the sort of game that the PSN has become known for in some ways. It’s an imaginative mix of 2D and 3D gameplay. As Dawn, you move through the film-noir-esque world as you would in most 3D platformers. When her shadow hits the wall, you can use it to move through the 2D backgrounds and reach otherwise inaccessible places. Games like this are always a joy to play for me. They remind me of when gaming was simply about well executed gameplay ideas. I’m confident this will be worth a purchase if you like games such as Limbo or Portal.
Resogun – Housemarque had one of the best early PSN titles with Super Stardust HD, and they look to replicate that feat with Resogun. Twin stick shooters are always a good time. They’re simple to play, yet addictive by nature. This one shouldn’t be any different. The 360 degree nature of the levels allows you to see the enemies coming, which is interesting. Otherwise it’s pretty much what you would expect from a twin stick shooter. It looks awesome though, and I will be buying it.
So to recap, there will be 23 games available. You have 16 games available for purchase, 3 free to play games available for download, 2 free games available for download (if previously owned), and 2 more free games available for download if you are a PS Plus member (every system comes with a free 30 day trial.) You also get a free 30 day Music Unlimited trial, and a 10 dollar credit towards PSN purchases. Whew. There you have it.
Apps Available on Day 1
I’m not gonna break down these apps since I’ve already typed so much, but most are on PS3 so they should be familiar. Any that aren’t can be looked up with relative ease, or explained on the PSN store.
- Amazon Instant Video
- Hulu Plus
- Music Umlimited
- NBA Game Time
- NHL GameCenter
- Redbox Instant
- Video Unlimited
Ok, let’s talk deals. And remember, some of these stores have games in stock already.
First up, Target has a buy 2 get 1 free promotion until the 16th on all games. So if you can make that happen you should. I’d aim for Killzone and 2K personally, with Need For Speed as the free game. But you know, everyone is different. I have heard that Best Buy will price match this, but others say they wont.
Amazon has the same deal, but its only on the 12th from 9am PST until 1pm. Or until they run out of supplies. Use the coupon code GR8TNESS at checkout. Here’s the Amazon list.
- Killzone: Shadow Fall
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
- Battlefield 4
- Madden NFL 25
- Need for Speed Rivals
- FIFA 14
- NBA 2K14
- Just Dance 2014
- Skylanders SWAP Force
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition
- Angry Birds Star Wars
Toys R Us has a buy 3 games, get $50 gift card promo until the 16th. Value isn’t as good as the first 2 deals, but if you’re buying 3 games and miss out on the other deals it’s worth looking into.
Last up is Best Buy. They dont have a deal like the others, but there is this. Their Gamers Club membership has been revamped. The newly branded Gamers Club Unlocked will cost 120 bucks, and allows you to save 20 percent on every new game you buy for 2 years. If you do the math, you would have to buy 10 games to break even, and every game after that puts you ahead. In 2 years, most of us will easily exceed that number so it’s a good value. Those who opt into the program will also receive double My Best Buy points for every dollar spent on games, accessories and DLC, as well as double points for every dollar received for trade-ins. Finally, they will also save 10 percent on pre-owned games, and earn 10 percent extra when they trade in.
Ok. If I missed anything I’m truly sorry. But I tried to include everything I thought you would need to know in order to make the most of PS4 launch day. So explore those deals, go get your games ASAP (don’t wait for Friday if your store has games already) and prosper. I hope everyone has a successful time shopping for launch, getting their PS4, and getting home safely. Stay with us all week as we break down other aspects of the PS4 in celebration of launch. And come back next week as we do it all over again for the XBox One. Happy gaming!