QR Code contains TinyURL of this article.This Old Geezer Joined the PlayStation Generation

Sony PlayStation 4

I’ve written before that I’m not much of a gamer. Although the promise of Elite Dangerous tweaked my gaming gene somewhat, I never did follow up on that with an actual purchase. The last proper games console I owned was the near legendary Nintendo N‍64 which, like others I suspect, I bought so that I could play the critically acclaimed GoldenEye 007… that was almost two decades ago! So how did I come to buy Sony’s latest and greatest gaming console?

It all started with the Apple TV 41 and its for-the-first-time provision for games. I bought the ATV‍4 as soon as it came out because I used my previous generation ATV almost daily. Naturally I visited the ATV app store and bought a (small) selection of games: Asphalt 8: Airborne; Jetpack Joyride and the infuriatingly addictive Crossy Road. Then, before you could say “gaming controller,” I’d added a SteelSeries Nimbus to the ATV. This was getting serious…

I do have a handful of games on my MacBook:

There’s Apple’s Chess too, but that hardly counts since it’s pre-installed.

In the office, I casually mentioned how much I was enjoying gaming on the ATV and my colleagues almost unanimously recommended I get a PS4… a couple of clicks on Amazon later and a little black box, packed with sophisticated gaming hardware, was on its way to me.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Of course, I had to start a games collection too. What use would the PS4 be to me without games?3  The console came bundled with Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III and I quickly added the following titles to my nascent library:

stylised image from the video game Call of Duty

My first week with the PS4 has given me both enjoyment and frustration in equal measure. Call of Duty has shown me that there are a million ways to die and that my reaction times are nothing like they once were. The graphics in the game are breathtaking: I often find my attention drawn to a reflection, light and shadow, a flame or a water effect simply because I can’t believe the realism and attention to detail (these momentary distractions inevitably result in yet another untimely virtual death). The game is fast, furious, addictive and challenging. I really enjoy it.

screen capture from the video game Grand Theft Auto V

Then there’s GTA V. What’s not to love about this game? My favourite mode is to play outside of the missions, where GTA becomes a free-play environment. It is here where the real fun is to be had. Wandering or, more frequently, driving the streets (in a stolen car of course). Mowing down pedestrians and smashing through the street furniture. It’s pure, unadulterated escapism. I find it to a be therapeutic juxtaposition to the stresses of the day.5

screen capture from the video game Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

My favourite so far, by far, is Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, the first of the “Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection” trilogy.

As soon as I started playing I knew I was going to enjoy Drake’s Fortune. The game reminds me of those of the Tomb Raider franchise. There’s problem solving aplenty, there’s combat, there’s abundant interaction with the physical environment and there are the beautifully rendered cut-scenes, unveiling a clever and intricate plot along the way.

I’ve already put a considerable number of hours into Uncharted and I expect I’ll invest more as I work through the trilogy. Then there’s A Thief’s End to look forward to. This series of games alone could probably sustain my interest for months.

All in all I’m pleased with my new PS4. The console has seriously changed my perception of computer games and made gaming a “thing” in my clutch of hobbies.

I’m happy to be back!

  1. Apple TV 4… PS4… Coincidence? Maybe. Or perhaps a global conspiracy to get me into gaming? ↩︎

  2. What The Fuck is happening? Who The Fuck am I? Where The Fuck am I? Why The Fuck doesn’t this lever do anything? Why The Fuck did I buy this bloody game? Don’t get me wrong, Myst is gorgeous and atmospheric… but seriously, WTF↩︎

  3. Well there’s the media player for one plus — bonus — Amazon Prime player, so I can finally enjoy the Prime video content I’ve been paying for, but not benefitting from. ↩︎

  4. Every games collection should have at least one version of Grand Theft Auto… even I know that! 😃 ↩︎

  5. Yeah, it turns out I’m a pretty fucked-up fella. ↩︎