Sony’s PlayStation 4 is a runaway success, outpacing even the mighty PlayStation 2 in terms of hardware sales at this respective point in its lifespan. The most remarkable thing about the PS4’s success is that it has managed to sell despite offering little in the way of must-have software. Even the most diehard PlayStation fans have to admit that Sony’s lineup of exclusive PS4 titles has been lackluster so far, with incredible titles like Bloodborne and Until Dawn being few and far between. And if we’re being honest, the Xbox One and Wii U have had much stronger exclusives so far, which just goes to show that the PS4 brand isn’t really being negatively impacted by the system’s lack of truly excellent games. Still, people buy consoles to play games and while the PS4 has a ton of great games that make it worth owning, its also had its fair share of disappointments, with the following representing the system’s biggest missed opportunities.
10. Infamous: Second Son
Infamous: Second Son is a fantastic-looking game and from a gameplay standpoint, it’s the best entry in Sucker Punch’s superhero series. Unfortuantley, Second Son‘s story and characters leave much to be desired, to the point where the game feels like a curious step back from its predecessors. Infamous 2 made great strides in character development compared to the first game; protagonist Cole MacGrath was more well-rounded and even his best buddy Zeke was likable, a remarkable accomplishment considering how unbearable that character was in the original game. Second Son introduces a new protagonist in the form of Delsin Rowe, who despite being voiced by the talented Troy Baker, is an unlikable punk who never really grows on you. And as pretty as Second Son is to look at, it doesn’t really push the series ahead in any meaningful way; it’s just more Infamous, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we still expected more from a new entry in one of PlayStation’s biggest franchises.
9. P.T. (Or The Non-Existence Of Silent Hills)
We are in no way criticizing P.T. itself, which was an engrossing and entertaining horror experience that left us wanting more. That’s the disappointing part. A demo released by Konami, P.T.’s closing reveal of Silent Hills, a joint effort between legendary game designer Hideo Kojima, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, and actor Norman Reedus is one of the best, most satisfying gaming surprises in recent memory … which makes Konami’s cancellation of that project early last year all the more disheartening. It was bad enough when Konami shut the whole project down, but then they took the extra, completely unnecessary step of essentially erasing P.T. from existence by removing the download altogether. That takes some next-level gall and because of its huge wasted potential, we have to name P.T. as one of the PS4’s biggest disappointments; not for what it is, but for what it could have been.
8. Fallout 4
Fallout 4 is not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, but Bethesda’s latest open-world RPG opus didn’t quite deliver on what many wanted from a next-gen Fallout experience. Bethesda had a pretty terrible track record when it came to porting their games over to the PS3, so the fact that Fallout 4 runs decently on PS4 is a small miracle. Still, it’s hard not to feel a bit letdown by Fallout 4‘s rather shoddy showing on the console, especially when titles of similar scope and scale like The Witcher 3 look great and run well on the PS4. Of course, we’ve come to expect buggy experiences from Bethesda and Fallout 4‘s performance issues would be much easier to overlook if the game itself was better. While Fallout 4 gets a lot right — the controls are tighter than ever, the world is interesting and vibrant — it’s all just window dressing for a game that amounts to little more than just shooting everything you come across. That may be enough for some players, but we can’t help but feel that Fallout 4 could have been so much more.
7. Star Wars Battlefront
Star Wars Battlefront does get some important things right: the Star Wars look and feel is present and accounted for and the game is a technical marvel on PS4, standing as one of the console’s best-looking games. That being said, EA and DICE’s series revival will likely go down as one of this generation’s most disappointing games, a pretty package disguising a largely empty experience. A lack of compelling offline modes, unremarkable shooting mechanics, and an underserving of content out of the gate are just a few of the game’s many problems. Even if you ponied up the funds for Battlefront‘s expensive season pass, it’s hard to imagine that all of the upcoming extra content will fix what is at its core a lackluster experience. Sony bet heavily on Star Wars Battlefront from a marketing standpoint, branding EA’s multiplatform release as “Better on PlayStation” and even releasing a limited edition Darth Vader PS4 alongside it. Unfortunately, once the novelty of playing a new Star Wars game inevitably wears off, it doesn’t really matter which system you play Battlefront on because you’ll likely still be disappointed with the end result.
You’d be forgiven for not even realizing that a new Godzilla game was released last year, as it was for all intents and purposes an abysmal failure. Getting to lay waste to city skylines as the King of Monsters while fighting other giant creatures should make for a fun video game, but Godzilla is not that game. For starters, Godzilla is a terrible-looking game, looking more like a lost PS2 game than a PS4 exclusive, but the game’s shoddy visual presentation is the least of its problems. The controls are broken, the difficultly level jumps around from being embarrassingly easy to excruciatingly difficult, and even if you can get a handle on the combat system, it’s not very good anyway. It’s a shame really because this could have been the ultimate Godzilla gaming experience, but it’s just so poorly-executed that it’s probably best to just forget that it even exists.
5. Killzone Shadow Fall
As one of Sony’s flagship franchises, it made perfect sense to launch the PS4 with a new Killzone title. After all, Killzone 2 and 3 were two of the best first-person shooters of the PS3 era, so having a sequel ready on day one could only benefit the PS4’s chances. And while Killzone Shadow Fall was arguably the best PS4 launch game, that really isn’t saying much considering how weak that lineup was overall. Shadow Fall is a perfectly competent, but unremarkable shooter that falls into the unfortunate launch game trap of being a great tech demo, but not a great game. The campaign mode feels like a step back from previous entries in the series and their all-out war scenario,s and while the multiplayer mode stood out in the PS4’s early days, there’s little reason to go back to it now with so many better choices on the market. Guerrilla Games is currently busy working on the promising Horizon Zero Dawn, so it will be awhile before we see a new Killzone game, but if they do decide to make another one, hopefully it’s not as forgettable as Shadow Fall was.
Talk about wasted potential. The original Thief is a beloved cult classic, so when it was announced that the series was being rebooted — and on next-gen hardware no less — it was hard not to get excited. Thief also had the added benefit of coming out early in the PS4’s lifecycle when there was a dearth of new games to play. While Thief managed to get a few things right, most notably its stealth mechanics, it fell far short of expectations and was quickly forgotten about. A next-gen coat of paint couldn’t hide the fact that Thief‘s design felt archaic, especially in the wake of similar games such as Dishonored, which pretty much did everything Thief did but better. The story was a mess and the enemy AI left something to be desired, which is a problem for a game that revolves around you trying to outwit your enemies. Thief should have been an early must-have game on the PS4 but it ended up registering as a pass for most players.
As a mascot platformer and launch title, Knack didn’t have a lot going for it out of the gate, as those types of games haven’t sold consoles since the N64 era. Still, being a first-party Sony exclusive carries a certain set of expectations and while no one was expecting Knack to set the world on fire, it was surprising just how mundane and unremarkable it turned out to be. Knack had the look of a game from a bygone era re-purposed for the PS4, which could have made for a compelling experience but only served to highlight how outdated the game’s concept was. Even by launch game standards, Knack was a tough sell with its uninspired character design and shallow combat mechanics. There have been reports that a sequel is in the works, but we can’t for the life of us think of anyone who was actually asking for one.
One of the most bungled game launches in recent memory, Driveclub had such a rough time that even PlayStation’s UK box Fergal Gara called it a “disappointment.” Originally slated as a PS4 launch title, Driveclub suffered numerous delays before finally releasing in October 2014, but the extra year of development time didn’t stop it from becoming one of the console’s biggest disappointments. A racing game built from the ground up with online integration in mind, Driveclub suffered from server problems right out of the gate, as well as a host of missing features such as dynamic weather effects that were supposed to be in the game. Sony had planned to release a PS Plus edition of the game to coincide with its launch, but ended up delaying it until the following June because of how bad Driveclub‘s launch woes were. While Driveclub exists in a much more playable and finished state now thanks to numerous updates and fixes, it still stands as one of the PS4’s biggest missed opportunities for failing to meet its potential and not delivering on its promises.
1. The Order: 1886
The Order: 1886 should have been a system-seller, but ended up being a PS4 exclusive that everyone just wants to forget about, especially Sony. While The Order is undoubtedly one of the PS4’s best games from a visual standpoint, a tech demo does not a good game make. Victorian steampunk + werewolves should be a hard concept to screw-up, but somehow, developer Ready at Dawn dropped the ball in spectauclar fashion. The main problem with The Order is that it was woefully overpriced for what it offered: a campaign that could be cleared in under 5 hours, with little reason to go back once finished.
Of course, there’s no hard and fast rule saying that games need to be a certain length in order to be worthwhile experiences, but as a full-priced AAA game, The Order‘s extremely short campaign and cliffhanger ending were a tough sell even with its incredible graphics. It also didn’t help that The Order is a largely mediocre third-person shooter, meaning that it doesn’t even qualify as a “short but sweet” experience. As a console exclusive that failed to live up to its potential on almost every level, The Order: 1886 easily stands as the PS4’s most disappointing game to date.