Bringing the mountain

So the day finally arrived. I am now the proud papa of a brand new Xbox One Elite bundle. I’ve crossed over (though I’m not sure which would really be the darkside…).

I have to say, it’s a cool system. Comparatively the interface is a lot less user friendly, and just looks wonky like Windows 8, but aside from that – pretty awesome.

It’s still new to me, and I’m ironing some things out. I don’t know if it’s from years of playing exclusively on a Sony platform but it just isn’t an intuitive system. Regardless, the hardware, the UI, these aren’t the things that make or break a console. It’s the games.

I actually got the console for free, well, sort of. I won it at work. Either way – the price was definitely right. I was lucky enough to walk in on Thursday and be met with congratulations and the great news that I’d be going home with a slick new machine.

Being that it’s only been a couple of days, I’m just starting to dip my toes into the water. I picked up Sunset Overdrive – the game that made me want the console in the first place. It felt odd playing something from Insomniac on a foreign machine. I felt…dirty. But like, the good kind of dirty I guess. The feeling you get when you’re getting away with something you know damn well you shouldn’t be doing. The game is great. Unlike my initial feelings regarding the console, the controls and play style of SO is definitely familiar. It’s second nature to anyone who has undertaken a Ratchet and Clank game or two. It feels like the older brother Ratchet and Clank never had. It’s every bit the colourful, fun and wacky game that you’d find over on the Playstation, but it’s a little more. Well, a little more crude I guess. The sense of humour, language and tone have evolved a little bit. Kind of like that kid you knew who found his first Playboy in the 7th grade and became the class hero for it.

While the play style is similar, it is also unique in a few quantifiable ways. The focus on crazy weapons is paramount, but once you get a few different weapons under your belt, the how changes dramatically. Rather than the smash and collect of Ratchet and Clank, this game is more about the how than the why or what. It’s all about finding fun ways to get combos, while playing smart. It’s basically everything I love about the R&C games combined with everything I loved about Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2.


My one criticism to an otherwise incredibly enjoyable game is: the customization suite. I know a lot of it is unlocked through gameplay. But the opening didn’t offer a lot in the way of personalisation. You’re choices are limited to gender, bulky or thin and then a smattering of hipster haircuts and “punk” garb. Fortunately it doesn’t impact anything beyond the cosmetic. So, it doesn’t really make a big difference.

Oh, and as a side note, it doesn’t look great. The colours pop with vibrancy and there is always a lot to draw the eyes. But there are some bad looking textures: things like the facial hair on the player character. But it’s really not a big deal. Graphics aren’t the be all and end all of games. Contextually, it was also a launch title, so some leeway must be granted.

I am going to try and burn through a couple of games, even if it isn’t to the end, just to try and get a grasp on what the system’s new IPs are like. The real test that I’m looking forward to will be putting the elite controller into some fairly advanced FPS game. Perhaps I’ll check out Halo at some point.

For now, consider me happy. It was much less disturbing to plug it in than I expected it to be. Still, viva PS4.

– The Ego



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