My midnight launch had been irritating, with the sales associates telling everyone who had preordered that unless they picked up a Playstation Plus subscription they wouldn't be playing online when they got home. While it’s true that the console needs a PS+ subscription to experience online multiplayer, every Playstation sold that night came with 14 days of free Playstation Plus to sink your teeth into. Even when I questioned the young lady selling me the console she didn't seem to agree or acknowledge this fact, and I spent the rest of the wait listening to other punters getting spun the same lie. Luckily enough when the bell tolled 12, I was out in a matter of minutes and marching through the drizzle on my way home.
I had also preordered a copy of Battlefield 4 with my Playstation. I’ve been playing Battlefield games on consoles for the last four years and was excited to experience the games updated graphics and larger server sizes. Battlefield looked incredible, and at 60 frames per second runs smoother than any Battlefield game previously available on console. But it was really broken. Matches constantly dropped out and I was left staring at blank screens far too many times. Since then DICE have attempted to patch the title, but the game is better but far from good.
With my Battlefield experience being so poor, I needed something else to play. Luckily enough I had downloaded War Thunder, a free-to-play PC title that had been announced earlier in the year as a Playstation 4 console exclusive. If you can forgive the menu system that were clearly taken from the PC version, War Thunder’s in game graphics, lighting and sounds are incredible. I’ve spent hours zooming through valleys and dog fighting. But there’s still some major imperfections with the game. As well as the user interface and menu system that I mentioned, there is no way to join friends mid-battle. With team play being a major part of War Thunder, having a wingman I know and trust can make all the difference, and leaving this out was a huge disappointment.
When I noticed I couldn't join my friends in the sky, I headed back to Battlefield to find out how DICE handles teaming up with friends. In-game they haven’t implemented anything worth while, and leave you guessing at which one of your friends is playing which map. The only way I found of making sense of this is to click on the Battlelog button (the touchpad on the Dualshock 4) and see who’s playing which map, then returning to the server selection and choosing the map name that you see. But what happens when three of your mates are on the same map in different servers. Not hugely annoying, but a really horrible way to handle team play. The only way to actual join a friend directly is through the friends list on the Playstation's own operating system, something that War Thunder doesn’t implement.
I really like the Playstation 4 hardware. The console itself runs like a dream, and the controller fits like a glove, but what's lacking from the machine is the heart, the software. I remember feeling the same way when I bought my PS3. At the time the shelves were lined with Haze and Lair and I had nothing to sink my teeth into until I picked up a copy of Fallout 3. It was only a matter of time before the developers caught up and before I knew it I was waist deep in games. The Playstations time will come, it’s might just not be now.