Featured Reviews

A MONTH WITH PLAYSTATION 5

New Beginnings

Can you believe that already in Europe its been a month since the PlayStation 5 launched. This Next Gen console launch however was unlike any other with the COVID 19 Pandemic looming a large shadow over the affair. Most orders were fulfilled by online shopping means as midnight launches and most in store pickups which are common for a new generation were cancelled. However this didn’t stop gamers like myself from getting our hands on a console. Even though scalpers have tried to put a stop on the fun with astronomical price hikes. Here are my thoughts and feelings of Sony’s Next Gen attempt after a month of play.

DuelSense Controller

Lets start with the new controller the “DuelSense” which trust me is appropriately named here. I’m going to attempt to tell you how incredible this controller is and why its the main stand out of the entire PlayStation 5 package but trust me when I say you need to use this thing to truly understand what I’m talking about. The general design is slightly larger than the PlayStation 4’s “Duel Shock 4.” The “DuelSense” always sits comfortably in my large hands and has a good weight to it making it feel like a well built premium product. The real stand out features on the controller are the “haptic feedback” and the “adaptive triggers” which are game changers for an immersive console experiences.

Haptic Feedback

Haptic feedback on the “DuelSense” is unlike any kind of rumble / vibration feature I’ve ever experienced on a gaming console. Even beating out the “Nintendo Switch’s” already impressive “3D Rumble.” Every single texture you walk on be it Sand, Grass, Ice, Concrete and everything else in-between creates a different strength of vibration traveling through the controller. Even more impressively the controller boasts directional haptic feedback. An example of this is the wind blowing in Astro’s Playroom depending on Astro’s and the wind’s position the vibration will either travel horizontally or vertically through the controller.

Adaptive Triggers

When you hear the words “Adaptive Triggers” you think straight away of triggers that can be tailored to your personal experience. This is not the case with the “DuelSense” as its the developers themselves that do the adapt programming. What does that do? I hear you ask.. Well it gives you the most realistic experience I’ve ever had firing a gun in a video game. Apart from Time Crisis! Seriously bring that back for PSVR… In Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War. Each gun has a different trigger tension point. Both for looking down the sights and firing the weapon.

This means that a LMG and a Shotgun finally actually feel different to fire physically. Each requires a unique pressure to be applied to the resisting triggers to aim and shoot that particular gun. The same triggers can also simulate tension on a bow like in Immortals Fenyx Rising and the slight pressure of opening a door in Observer System Redux. This technology simply leaves me jaw dropped every time I experience a new implication of it a developer has installed into their game.

PlayStation 5 Disc and Digital consoles

Under the hood the PlayStation 5 has some impressive specs. These include a custom GPU (AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine) With Ray Tracing acceleration (more on that later) Full 4K game rendering, PS4 Backwards Compatibility (Most games.. looking at you Bridge Crew) 120fps gaming with a 120hrz output (Some games not all support this) HDR 10 (High Dynamic Range) Tempest 3D Audio tech and most impressively an Ultrafast SSD with integrated I/O. This means that games load faster, run quicker and look incredible on the PlayStation 5. When I say load quicker I mean it. Its less than 20 Seconds from boot to get into a game of “Spider-Man Miles Morales” running at full fat 4K with Ray Tracing enabled. This is simply astonishing and really shows the power of Sony’s tech.

Spider-Man Miles Morales

Quicker load times makes switching games easier and less of a hassle. However I wish it had the Xbox Series X / S “Quick Resume” feature (Well done Microsoft) The only downside to the PlayStation 5s tech and probably the most disappointing feature is its lack of storage space. With only an 825GB SSD and only 667.2GB of that as free usable storage. This is a lot less than even my past PlayStation 4 Pro however that isn’t SSD storage. This means I’ve been able to Install a total of 11 Games (with a few cutbacks) on my PlayStation 5 with a total of 90GB of free SSD storage left. These games are Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War (Only Multiplayer and Zombies) Spider-Man Miles Morales, Spider-Man Remastered, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watchdogs Legion, Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition, Astro’s Playroom, Observer System Redux, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Demons Souls and CYBERPUNK 2077 (PS4 Backwards Compatible). The User Interface (UI) experience on the PlayStation 5 is clean and easy to navigate. You can always find what you are looking for without hassle.

PlayStation 5 UI

The aesthetic of the console itself has bought about much discussion and criticism. Many comparing it to a WIFI signal router. Or in some hilarious turns the “Eye Of Sauron” from the “Lord Of The Rings” movies. Personally I think its a pleasing futuristic look that stands comfortably next to my TV. I have my console in vertical position because horizontal it looks like a melting Ice-cream sandwich. However be warned the way you would presume you put a disc into the PlayStation 5 when its vertical is wrong. The image on the disc itself needs to be on the left side of the disc when you insert it which at first feels strange as its opposite to inserting a disc with the PlayStation 4 in its vertical position.

Remember picture on the disc to the left when you insert…

Its all about the games right? Well PlayStation 5 delivers! With exclusives at launch such as Spider-Man Miles Morales and Demons Souls and others. As you read from above I have 11 games installed on my PlayStation 5 and before we get into my final thoughts on this amazing console here are a few first impression opinions about some of next gen games I’ve played so far.

Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition… Look its Vergil!

Starting with Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition. What a showcase for the PlayStation 5’s power and SSD (I said we would return to this later) I have never seen lighting used like I have in Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition. With light particles and reflections bouncing from every surface and puddles in real time thanks to the PlayStation 5s Ray Tracing capability. Not to mention the fluid fast 60fps (Or 120fps if you have the TV) and the inclusion of Legendary Dark Knight and Turbo Modes and of course Vergil. This really is the definitive experience of the game. Not to mention the feeling of force from the Adaptive Triggers when charging Nero’s Sword! For me its a must own and a must play for fans of Devil May Cry and action games.

Did someone say Zombies!?

Zombies… Next Gen Zombies!? I’m sold… and so far (apart from a few glitches) its flawless. I’ve spent hours playing with my friends shooting the undead (Shout out to Kate, Steve, Dan, Carl and Simon) and with Ray Traced shadows, 4K rendering and textures its never looked so good. Also the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback of the DuelSense Controller really help you feel the impact your guns make as undead brains splatter everywhere. Not to mention it has a solid campaign which as you expect has a truly engaging story full of twists and turns and the pick up and play fun multiplayer you expect from a Call Of Duty title. This game does not disappoint and you need to play it on the PlayStation 5… JUST FOR THE ADAPTIVE TRIGGERS THEY ARE AMAZING!!!!

Look at those ray traced reflections!

What seemed like an easy Next Gen cash in when it was first announced has become one of my most played games on the PlayStation 5. This really is a full remaster of 2018s amazing (see what I did there) Spider-Man PS4. With full 4K Render and textures, real time Ray Traced reflections and lighting and so much more this game has never looked and played so good. It nearly looks on par with Spider-Man Miles Morales and that’s saying something. Also like Mile Morales this game has a 60fps mode and a 60fps RT mode which includes 60fps and Ray Tracing at a lower Resolution. But trust me when I say this is such an amazing (Ok ill stop now) experience to come back to and revisit with its new bells and whistles. Also swinging with those Adaptive Triggers… NEED I SAY MORE!?

Backwards Compatible with a few perks

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8… No I’m not counting into this first impressions of Cyberpunk 2077. Thats the amount of crashes I’ve had so far (and more) while playing this masterpiece on the PlayStation 5. Now Ok its not perfect but oh man is it fun! Night City is a huge place to behold and I’ve gotten lost in exploring it. Not to mention it plays at a near stable 60fps frame rate on the PlayStation 5. Shooting things and expanding your penis size has never been so much fun. Even with all its bugs and glitches its a blast to play! I cant wait to see what the next gen patch brings next year.

“Oh Death”

Yeah so I’ve played it.. I died.. I died again.. I threw my controller.. (Onto a pillow I’m not breaking my DuelSense it has Adaptive Triggers) I cried in the bath.. I played it again.. I died.. I cried in the shower. This game is HARD for a Souls Noob like me. but oh my is it BEAUTIFUL and fluid to play. I’m in the favor Performance mode and that runs at 1440p 60fps and is stunning. Maybe I’m getting my ass kicked so much because I’m too busy staring at some of the most detailed graphics I’ve ever seen. Don’t worry readers and Josh I’m going to “git gud”! This is a MUST PLAY for people who like to rage.

The first thing we all saw all those years ago..

Ok so after spending a full month playing the PlayStation 5 I can honestly say its one of the best console experience’s I’ve ever had. Sony has knocked it out the park with this one. The DuelSense controller and its incredible adaptive triggers and haptic feedback are something else. Thats not to mention (as I forgot above) the controller even has a built in mic and speaker. You don’t even need to buy a headset! Playing games has never been so quick and graphically stunning on a console. Sony has delivered a Powerhouse for the ages and truly a special experience. One that I keep coming back to time and time again.

If I was to score the PlayStation 5 after a month I would give it a 9.5/10 Nearly full marks but it needed a larger SSD for storage. Remember this is my personal opinion but seriously this console is so good.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for reading

P.S I’m still waiting for my backer rewards Troy…

MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL!

– Chris Josty

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