Best PS4 Games for 2022

From contemplative, dreamlike experiences to action-packed epics, the top PS4 games cover a wide range of genres. Whether you prefer intense single-player adventures, hectic multiplayer matches, or fun cooperative experiences, the PS4 has a game for you. Of course, it’s not hard to see why.

The PlayStation 4 has been out for seven years and has amassed a library of thousands of games over that time. Furthermore, because Sony has always been a way in exclusive games, the PS4 is the only way to experience new classics like God of War (2018), Spider-Man, and Bloodborne.

Of course, the PS4 isn’t going to stay forever, and the PS5 is already on its way to taking its place. Don’t worry, the vast majority of PS4 games are playable on Sony’s new console thanks to widespread backward compatibility. Whether you want to play these games right away or save them for later, you’ll be able to do so with the technology available.

Halo Infinite Review

Which PS4 games are the best?

The games on the PS4 are hard to quantify, as they are on any other platform. One person’s masterpiece is another person’s flop. Nonetheless, based on the types of games that players commonly enjoy, it is possible to make some broad recommendations.

God of War (2018), which casts players as Greek deity Kratos on an epic trek across the mythical Norselands, is hard to top for action-adventure games. The story is truly heartfelt and poignant, and the gameplay is tight and filled with customizing choices. This one comes highly recommended, especially if you’ve already completed the rest of the God of War series.

Fans of superheroes should see Spider-Man, which is one of the best adaptations of the original Marvel comic. Spider-Man for PS4 highlights Peter Parker’s New York background and his interesting supporting cast, unlike some previous films.

Spider-story Man’s is filled of three-dimensional renderings of characters we’ve come to know from the printed page, from Otto Octavius to Mary Jane Watson to Aunt May. Ratchet & Clank has always been known for producing some of the best platformers on the series, and Ratchet & Clank (2016) is no exception.

This game is a reboot that connects to the dreadful animated feature, but don’t worry: the video game adaption got the better part of the bargain. Ratchet & Clank combines challenging platforming, satisfying combat, and a hilarious story that will delight both children and adults. From RPGs like The Witcher III: Wild Hunt to fighting games like Mortal Kombat 11, the best games on the console are multiplatform titles.

Jurassic World Evolution 2 Review

1. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed Valhalla for Xbox One, PS4, PC & More | Ubisoft (US)

Assassin’s Creed is a video game developed by Ubisoft. Valhalla was one of the first games released for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox One. However, while the graphics are stunning, the gameplay is distinctly last-gen. You’ll once again take control of a warrior caught in the middle of a struggle between two secret societies at a critical point in history.

You’ll assassinate a few dozen high-profile targets and uncover a large conspiracy once more. And, once again, you’ll be immersed in a vast environment that begins intriguingly but quickly becomes monotonous as you go.

If this sounds ominous, it isn’t – at least not totally. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is still a fun game to play, and it’s a great way to get started with your new console this fall. (However, for those who aren’t quite ready to make the jump yet, it’s also accessible on current-gen PCs and runs just fine.)

The combat system is sophisticated and fun, the world is full of mysteries to discover, and the overall story is enjoyable – even if the Assassin’s Creed connection isn’t immediately obvious. If Assassin’s Creed Odyssey left you wondering if the formula will be shaken up again, Valhalla’s response is a satisfied shrug. Valhalla isn’t necessarily worse than the games that came before it, and there’s always something to be said for the franchise’s painstaking historical tourism.

The Viking Age is one of the locations in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla that fans have been asking for from the beginning of the series. You control Eivor, a prominent son (or daughter) of a noble Dane family.

He and his brother Sigurd set out to establish a settlement in England for the sake of pride and grandeur, as well as to separate themselves from King Harald of Norway. Eivor discovers an old religion that threatens England’s stability once he arrives, and it’s up to him (and his clan) to sneak, fight, explore, build, and raid his way to victory.

Combat, stealth, and exploration are the three core components of gameplay, as they have been in prior Assassin’s Creed games. Stealth, like in Origins and Odyssey, takes a secondary seat to the other two. In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, you’ll spend a lot of time riding your horse across the fields or piloting your longship through the waterways of medieval England.

The map is massive (though not nearly as massive as Odyssey’s), and the objectives are spaced out, so expect to see a lot of (quite beautiful) landscape along the way. Exploration has its appeal as well as its drawbacks. You’ll come across three types of side activities as you travel across the English countryside: artifacts (collectible trinkets), wealth (strong weapons or abilities), and mysteries.

The first two are rather simple, and collecting them becomes tedious early on. You can only raid so many camps or solve so many little environmental challenges until you start to wonder whether that legendary ax or Roman artifact is truly necessary.

Mysteries, on the other hand, showcases some of the greatest aspects of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. These aren’t the same fetch quests or combat challenges that appeared in Origins and Odyssey.

Instead, they may be anything from staging a fake raid by setting a cottage on fire, to consuming psychedelic mushrooms and solving brainteasers, to competing in Viking rap fights to prove your intellect. (This is a true story.) It’s known as “flyting,” and it’s the game’s greatest recurring side task.)

As a result, while a big lot of exploration is monotonous busywork, a significant portion of it consists of tough, imaginative quests. I’d often want to make to the mysteries in each new region, only to be reminded that Wealth and Artifact quests were also vital for gaining experience and equipment.

Combat takes center place in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, as one might expect from a game about Viking raiders. You can equip several weapons, ranging from battle axes to spears to bows, and then use your light, heavy, and ranged strikes to take on big groups of enemies.

Special abilities can be obtained through wealth subquests, passive abilities can be learned through experience, and you can prioritize your favorite types of skills and equipment as you level up. You can also dual-wield weapons for the first time in the series if you don’t want to use a shield – however, you’ll need to be highly sure in your parry timing.

Combat is similar to that of Origins and Odyssey, with a focus on quick attacks, parries, and dodges, especially when dealing with large groups of enemies. The camera pulls back a little further this time than previously, and enemies don’t have quite as much HP, making combat more manageable and streamlined.

I thought the game to be a little easier than the previous two (especially given if you do a lot of side content, you’ll nearly always be over-leveled for the main quest), but two elements make up for it. To begin with, your healing options are restricted, which means that a few early blunders can cost you the entire war.

Second, you have a limited amount of stamina (which you consume for both heavy attacks), therefore you can no longer avoid indefinitely. Parrying is more important than ever, which is why making the “dodge” cue red and the “parry” cue an extremely similar orange wasn’t such a great idea, but you’ll learn to discern them apart over time.

PS5 Review – Best For True Gamers

Combat is varied enough to keep things interesting, especially because you’ll come across a variety of enemy types, each with its strategy. However, mass combat is where the real fun is this time around. Valhalla, unlike Odyssey’s simple, repetitive Conquest Battles, requires you to raid camps and monasteries throughout England’s rivers.

Each raid delivers a unique challenge and dynamic experience because each raid target is unique and no two people save their wealth in the same place. The prizes are also critical: supplies to aid in the construction of your settlement.

Ravensthorpe: Your home settlement in England is another semi-new feature in Valhalla. You can improve your settlement by collecting materials and investing them in local companies (a fishery, a brewery, a tanner, and so on) to get access to new customization options and quests. It’s comparable to the way you built up your villa in Assassin’s Creed II, although the end aim is more varied than just making money.

If you thought a heart-pounding Viking warrior fantasy didn’t quite go with a calculated stealth game about surgically removing vital targets, you’ll be dismayed to realize that you were accurate. While stealth is still a big part of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, it’s been pushed aside in favor of open combat.

In reality, if you don’t want to use it, it’s nearly never essential — and once you’ve mastered open combat, stealth doesn’t save you all that much time or effort.

In terms of mechanics, there isn’t much to stealth. To avoid alerting enemies, squat; stay quiet and out of sight; sneak up on them from behind or above to assassinate them with the series’ signature hidden blade. Most enemies will be killed in one hit; a handful cannot be killed outright, but this is far less of a problem than it was in Odyssey.

A short-timed minigame may be required for more tough targets. It’s a possible way to play if you build Eivor with sneaky talents, but the game is built around open combat, whether it’s raiding a monastery with your crew or battling one of the game’s many difficult bosses.

Character development is a tad more interesting in this installment than it was in Origins or Odyssey. Instead of picking skills and getting more strong automatically, you’ll have to pick and choose whatever abilities and stat enhancements you desire.

Leveling up requires relatively little experience, and each level grants two “skill points,” which can be used to unlock various nodes on a massive board. These nodes can boost your melee resistance, stealth damage, or affinity for a specific piece of equipment, so there’s plenty of lot to tailor Eivor to your preferences.

Leveling up is constantly a tug-of-war between “This skill could be handy” and “I wonder what that skill could disclose,” as certain nodes will unlock new parts of the board. (If you’ve ever played Final Fantasy X, you’ll notice that the Sphere Grid looks a lot like it.) It’s a natural and enjoyable way to personalize a character. In the year 873 CE, the Danes are at their most powerful.

But, as the enthusiastic young King Harald of Norway points out when attempting to unify the warring clans, they’ve never been more divided. Instead of swearing homage to a king, Viking brothers Sigurd and Eivor gathered their townspeople and set sail for England. They intend to establish a Dane settlement among the warring Saxon kingdoms there.

It’s all intriguing stuff in terms of Eivor’s personal story. The friendship between Eivor, Sigurd, and Sigurd’s wife, Randvi, offers a powerful emotional core, and each new chapter introduces a new set of interesting side characters. The fight between the pagan Danes and the Christian Saxons is based on real-life events, and it’s interesting to see how well they get along — and how badly they don’t.

The single major flaw is that for a lengthy portion of the game, the connection to the ongoing Assassin’s Creed mythos is thin. Eivor is not an Assassin (or Hidden One, as the “Assassin” nickname is still a few hundred years away), and he has no desire to join their ranks. Sigurd only agrees to hunt the Order of Ancients (the proto-Templars) because he met a few Assassins during his travels.

As Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is shown, a game where stealth is secondary and the main character is only tangentially affiliated with the titular group may work. Black Flag, on the other hand, had a very rich and comprehensive ship combat system to fall back on; Valhalla is the normal gameplay cycle but without the clear Assassin connection.

There’s also a modern-day portion where you’ll play Layla, the Assassin who was also our protagonist in Origins and Odyssey. The sections themselves serve only to provide background for the historical story. The central mystery of Layla’s story is intriguing, but you won’t be thinking about it much between interludes.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is designed to show what the PS5 and Xbox Series X are capable of in games of cross-platform gaming. It’s certainly possible that the next-gen version of Valhalla looks amazing; however, because they weren’t available during the review time, I’ll have to judge based on a PS4 copy played on a PS5 via backward compatibility.

The good news is that the game is stunning in any way. The landscapes are rich and varied, ranging from the mountains of Norway to the rolling hills of England. You’ll travel through meadows, woodlands, marshlands, military camps, villages, churches, monasteries, and even more exotic, spoiler-filled sites before the way is finished.

The game pops thanks to its vibrant color palette and excellent graphics, especially when you make exploring a green location on a sunny day. (Because it’s still England, a lot of the game is played in drab, miserable weather, which is OK.)

Magnus Bruun and Cecilie Stenspil, Danish actors who voice the male and female versions of Eivor, respectively, deliver energetic performances in the sound design. Your crew will entertain you with stories or play Scandinavian tunes while you sail your longship around English waterways. Even the variety of accents in the game is excellent, ranging from Dane to Dane and Saxon to Saxon depending on your specific locale.

Are ThinkPads Good For Gaming?

2. Devil May Cry 5

Devil May Cry 5 | Xbox

The first Devil May Cry ignited my love in action games in general, but the series has maintained its place in my heart as it has progressed because it isn’t simply about killing every enemy in a room. They’re about how you used swords, firearms, and a lot of leap cancels to kill every enemy in a room in an almost beautiful and extremely technical dance.

Devil May Cry 5 is the new apex of this subsection of the genre, owing to a wonderfully paced campaign that incorporates three distinct playstyles, each with enough depth to carry a game on its own; a fun and rewarding plot; and, quite simply, one of the best combat systems in video games.

The tale of Devil May Cry 5 is unusual in that it begins with circumstances that would ordinarily feel like the climax: you’re put directly into a fight that you’re supposed to lose.

After Dante stays behind to help Nero and a new character named V flee from a super-powered demon king named Urizen, the story jumps around a couple of months, rotating through perspectives as it tells the present-day story of Dante, Nero, and V, as well as the circumstances that led to Urizen’s rise to power and V’s quest to overthrow him.

MSI VS ASUS | Which is Better

The unknown nature of both Urizen and V exudes a sense of mystique. I was never sure if I could trust V, and with every new piece of information that was supplied to me, I found myself forming theory after theory about his identity and purposes.

I still had some questions after playing for 10 to 12 hours, but the plot had me glued the entire end with rewarding revelations, a few answers that fit in some long-standing series plot gaps, and, of course, the off-the-wall action that only Devil May Cry can deliver.

The combat in Devil May Cry 5 is breathtaking. On the surface, it appears to be a straightforward system: one button for melee assaults, one for ranged attacks, and one for your Devil Breaker, style technique, or cane attack, depending on which character you’re controlling.

If that’s all you want to go, you may easily complete the campaign on regular difficulty without doing anything more. Even casual players may feel what it’s like to play at a higher technical level thanks to an “auto-assist” option that automatically executes cool and showy combos by simply tapping the attack button.

However, the depth, creative freedom, and variety of Devil May Cry 5’s battle are its three sets of tools. If you’re playing as Nero, your weapons include a revocable Red Queen sword, a charging Blue Rose handgun, a grapple that can pull enemies towards you, and an ever-growing armory of Devil Breakers, which are disposable mechanical arms that each provides Nero new skills and utility.

The punchline, my personal favorite, shoots an arm at an enemy and uses fast rocket punches to keep them in place. But the real fun begins when you hold down the Devil Breaker button while Punchline is active, allowing you to hop on top of it and ride it around like a hoverboard, throwing enemies into the air with flips, 360s, and other sick tricks.

Dante’s gameplay is by far the most familiar since he plays nearly identically to his Devil May Cry 4 counterpart, which is to say, he’s a Swiss army knife. On the fly, he may switch between four different techniques (Trickster, Royal Guard, Gunslinger, and Swordmaster), as well as four melee and four ranged weapons.

His armory is a terrific combination of old and new weaponry, with the old weapons remaining fresh thanks to new adjustments and methods, and the new weapons providing new dimensions to Dante’s battle that he’s never had before.

He even has a motorcycle that he can use to crash into enemies before transforming into two sluggish but powerful buzzsaw swords and back in a single combo. Finally, there’s V, who is unlike any other character in any Devil May Cry game because he scarcely does any of the fighting himself.

Instead, he summons three familiars to fight for him: Shadow, a black cat that can transform into various blades and creatures; Griffon, a bird that can fire a variety of electrical blasts from afar; and Nightmare, a monstrous beast that can only be summoned when V’s Devil Trigger meter reaches 100%. Nightmare fights totally on his own, and it’s a lot of fun to watch him burst through a wall or rain down from the skies and annihilate a swarm of enemies.

Because your familiars can’t kill anything, V must teleport about and use his cane to deliver the killing blow once an enemy has been prepared for the kill. This results in some extremely cool kill scenes in which V simply blinks from enemy to enemy, wiping them off one by one while your familiars fight on in the background.

Because you don’t have any directional control over Shadow or Griffon, using V effectively has a somewhat high learning curve, even by Devil May Cry standards. It can be difficult to get them to attack a specific enemy, and keeping track of where they are concerning the enemy can be difficult as well.

You can, however, utilize some of your Devil Trigger meters to have them attack their own, allowing you to concentrate on avoiding them. You may even read a book to restore some of that meter… or just play some violin to torment them if you feel safe. Despite this, V’s missions are the poorest of the three, owing to his limited movement compared to Dante and Nero.

That isn’t to suggest they aren’t good in any way. V’s unusual gameplay becomes pretty fun once you get a couple of upgrades for Shadow and Griffon under your belt and get used to the flow of combat, and it’s employed sparingly enough to never outstay its welcome.

Nero can equip eight Devil Breakers in the base game, but four more Devil Breakers are available as DLC (and are included in the $70 Deluxe Edition). The Pasta Breaker is an arm with a fork attached to the end that shoots out to continuously attack an enemy, push them away, and then return them to you;

The Mega Buster is a gun arm that’s a direct nod to Mega Man’s Mega Buster; The Gerbera GP01 is a modified version of the Gerbera Devil Breaker, and the Sweet Surrender is a health that can heal Nero moderately over time or be charged for a quick

Another piece of Deluxe Edition DLC is the Cavaliere R, which is nearly identical to the Cavaliere Dante receives naturally, but for a slick red paint job and one great skill that forces Dante to fly at high speed towards an enemy.

Except for Sweet Surrender, which felt like a waste of an inventory slot because its only purpose is to heal, none of them are necessary, but they’re all fairly fun to use. For $1, I could imagine getting the Pasta Breaker and Gerbera, but $3 for each of the others doesn’t seem worth it for what they add.

It should also be noted that Red Orbs, Devil May Cry 5’s main form of currency, may be purchased with actual money. That’s never a good look. Except for one special technique for each character that is there for high-level players to strive for, the Red Orb cost of just about every upgrade and technique feels appropriately priced, and I never felt the need or desire to spend real money on Red Orbs, nor did I feel obligated to farm them in-game.

Devil May Cry 5 looks and sounds fantastic. Whether it’s Nero’s insane engine-powered sword attacks that send him flying across the level, Dante’s sly mocking of the numerous bosses, or V’s subtle mannerisms that merely add to his mystique, every animation oozes style and personality.

In comparison to previous Devil May Cry games, level design is more linear and less puzzle-heavy, which I appreciated because it preserved the game’s rapid pace and put more emphasis on skill-based combat difficulties.

For example, there are a few where you must kill a swarm of enemies before the platform collapses, sealing off a hidden room filled with goods. However, the locations aren’t as diverse as they have been in the past, and you’ll find yourself wandering through a lot of similar demon-torn cityscapes and horrific underground chasms.

Though the Devil May Cry games have a reputation for being demanding, DMC5 isn’t very difficult in its normal settings. If all you want to do is get through the process, it’s extremely forgiving.

When you die, you can use a Gold Orb to instantly revive with all of your health and Devil Trigger meters replenished, and they’re easy to get by You can locate them off the usual road in levels, earn one per day as a daily login bonus, or have your performance judged highly in the strange cameo system, which records a ghost of your character while you play through specific levels and adds that ghost to another player’s game.

You can use the much more common Red Orbs to revive and purchase back health if you run out of Gold Orbs (I was swimming in them towards the end).

The challenge isn’t so much staying alive as it is staying alive. As I mentioned at the outset, what I like about the Devil May Cry series is that it’s not just about killing all the enemies in the room; it’s also about how you kill them. Attempting to obtain SSS ranks is a good challenge that compensates for the lack of difficulty at the start.

To that end, I jumped at any opportunity to purchase new techniques, which is exciting because Devil May Cry 5 is timed in such a way that you get new toys at almost every turn – whether it’s a new shape, weapon, or Devil Breaker – and each one comes with its own set of upgrades.

All three of my characters felt like all-powerful gods towards the end of the tale, with even more upgrades to be acquired for my next run in the unlockable Son of Sparda mode, which is effectively New Game+ and where the genuine challenge of Devil May Cry 5 begins to emerge.

Finally, a fantastic combat system is fun if the enemies aren’t entertaining to fight, but thankfully, Devil May Cry 5’s exceed the high standards set by prior games in the series.

There’s a good mix of common fodder enemies who let you do pretty much whatever you want to them to build combos, tanky enemies who require specific tactics to get past their defenses, and powerful support baddies who can deal a lot of damage from afar and can be very dangerous if not taken down quickly.

The same can be said for bosses, with a handful of the latter encounters being among the series’ most difficult. There are various tall and powerful beasts, as well as swift and elusive creatures, but the greatest is simply one-on-one duels with high-speed action that need quick reactions and a smart balance of assault and defense.

How To Use Laptop As Monitor For PS4 Gaming Console

3. Doom Eternal

Top 100 Best Laptops for DOOM Eternal

I’ll take any chance to feel like a demigod, even if it’s just in a video game, now more than ever. Doom Eternal provides plenty of power fantasy, but it’s always ready to smack your first-person-shooting ego in the face with a bigger, quicker, nastier creature from Hell around the next bend.

This improved sequel takes everything good about the 2016 reboot and proves it wasn’t a fluke. It has essentially destroyed the original game for me in retrospect because Eternal’s mid-air sprints make the game’s final thrill ride feel like wading through waist-high molasses by comparison.

Even multiplayer has been improved, with Eternal’s creative 2v1 Demons-vs.-Slayer Battlemode replacing 2016’s lackluster vanilla DeathMatch. From a design and technical standpoint, the entire package is flawless.

Doom Eternal is, simply put, one of the best first-person shooter campaigns I’ve played in years. As the second game of its sort, it has lost some of its originality, but not the thrill of its fast-paced combat. This superb improvement of the already excellent 2016 relaunch makes an unspoken deal with you: if you can stay up with it, it will keep up with you.

It constantly teaches you how to play faster, smarter, and more efficiently, with plenty of options to personalize fights to your preferred slaying style at every step of the way, and it’s a blast along the way. The fun of Battlemode is getting out there and discovering how to best put each Demon’s talents to work.

A fast Battlemode walkthrough intro and bare-bones lessons for each playable demon give you a glance at what each bad guy can accomplish in your hands.

While Battlemode may not allow you to put your skills to the ultimate test on a typical level playing field, it is a clever mode that is a lot of fun if you’re willing to give it a try and learn its complexities.

Overall, Doom Eternal is a fantastic follow-up to Doom (2016), but after playing the game’s 15-hour campaign, it’s amazing to see how much better Doom has gotten just four years later.

Eternal pays homage to Doom 2, while also expanding on what made the contemporary reboot such a breath of new air for the genre. Doom Eternal demands your attention whether you’ve been playing Doom for a few years or a few decades.

Best Gaming Mouse You Need To Buy

4. Tsushima’s Ghosts

Ghost of Tsushima, un sequel multiplayer? Il Director non lo esclude

There’s been a long-standing desire to see Assassin’s Creed take on feudal Japan since the open-world stealth-action series began leaping from ancient Jerusalem to Renaissance Italy to colonial America and beyond. With Ghost of Tsushima, you can scratch that itch once and for all.

Sucker Punch’s latest is an extremely stunning adventure set in one of history’s most stunningly magnificent locations, with one of the best blade-to-blade combat systems in the open-world action genre. There are a few hiccups in terms of stealth, enemy AI, and a few minor annoyances, but for every moment when Ghost of Tsushima falters, there is a slew of others where it flies.

The Ghost of Tsushima is a fictional story with fictional characters, yet it is based on the very real Mongol invasion of Japan in 1274, which began on Tsushima Island.

You play as Jin Sakai, played by Daisuke Tsuji from The Man in the High Castle, who begins as a samurai before learning that the honorable but limited ways of the samurai code may not be adequate to deal with this new and existential threat.

The central conflict in Ghost of Tsushima is between Jin’s formative teachings and his determination to rescue his homeland at all costs, and while it takes a while to get rolling, it’s a gripping struggle. Even if Jin isn’t the most compelling of heroes, his antagonist, Khotun Khan (played by Patrick Gallagher of Glee), is.

His quiet intensity is weirdly comforting despite his deadly aims, making him one of the most memorable game villains in recent memory. He’s crafty and always one step ahead, and his existence as the “Big Bad” is a big reason why Jin’s 40 to 50-hour retribution quest works so effectively.

However, as good as the English voice cast is, it’s a shame Sucker Punch couldn’t match the performance capture to the Japanese voice acting as well.

As a result, the fantastic Japanese audio track, which stars Kazuya Nakai as Jin, comes across as a fairly cheap dub with wildly misaligned lip flaps and facial expressions that don’t play the emotion in the voice.

It’s not a major flaw because the game is still well worth playing in Japanese – plus you can enable the lovely Kurosawa Mode, which applies a film grainy black-and-white filter on everything to mimic the style of the legendary Akira Kurosawa films to which Ghost of Tsushima so eloquently pays homage.

Are Gaming Laptops Worth It ? [Or a Waste of Money?]

I wouldn’t recommend playing the campaign in Kurosawa mode for the entire time because some quests require color identification, but it’s a cool visual effect to have on from time to time.

The music, on the other hand, is never a bummer. When swords start clashing, the dynamic score fluidly transforms from quiet and ambient shakuhachi flutes to thundering taiko drums; stressful interactions are made even more palpable thanks to progressively quick strums of biwas and shamisens.

Overall, regardless of what you’re doing, the music always fits and enhances whatever emotion the gameplay and cinematics are attempting to elicit.

The combat in Ghost of Tsushima is a witches’ brew combining elements from the Batman Arkham series, the pre-Origins Assassin’s Creeds, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and the whole Kurosawa film library. And, as is typical with witches’ concoctions, the result is magical.

On the surface, it’s easy to understand: there are light attacks to deal damage fast and beat out slower strikes, heavy attacks to deal more damage and break through enemy guards, a block button to guard against certain attacks, and a dodge button to avoid attacks that can’t be guarded against.

That probably seems similar, but the addition of postures you can switch between at the touch of a button is the glue that pulls this combat system together and keeps it fresh throughout. Jin will gain various sword stances as he completes certain tasks, each having its own set of movements and, more crucially, strengths versus a specific sort of weapon.

The Stone Stance is perfect for dealing with swordsmen since a single charged-up stab attack can sneak past their guard and kill them or deal massive damage. You’ll eventually master the Water Stance, which uses slower but more powerful strikes to break through shield-wielding adversaries’ defenses.

There are four total stances, and once you acquire them all, combat will challenge your ability to not only identify the largest threat at any given moment but also to deal with the best position for dealing with it, all while balancing the very real necessity to play defensively.

Combat in Ghost of Tsushima is fast, chaotic, and tactical when it’s at its best, and it’s true to the notion of being alone hyper-skilled yet outnumbered samurai. In addition to adding a bit of visual spectacle, the small details contribute greatly to the combat’s exquisite feel.

The on-screen HUD is minimal, and the camera is always tight so you can get a close look at the action; enemies have clear audio cues so you know when to dodge or block even if you can’t see them; fatal attacks frequently end with Jin spinning around to face the camera while your opponent stumbles around with blood spurting out before finally keeling over.

Even smaller, defeated enemies can occasionally crawl aimlessly on the ground, desperately attempting to escape you; you can clean the blood off your sword; you can bow to offer respect to your opponent, and the list continues on and on.

The finest feature is that no typical level-based stat advancement is used. When you gain strength in Ghost of Tsushima, it’s not because your invisible numbers increased and you now deal more damage and take less damage when hit; it’s because your methods improved and you now have new, better ways of dealing with harder enemies. It’s fulfilling.

You can spend a point to unlock the ability to block previously unblockable attacks from spear-wielding enemies, or you can choose to block arrows to better deal with circumstances where you’re surrounded by archers. Maybe if you execute a perfectly timed Sekiro-style parry, you’ll unlock the ability to make enemies flee in dread.

It’s excellent because it means you’ll never run into an area in Ghost of Tsushima where you’re suddenly getting one-hit killed by archers you’d previously ignored, or have to spend a week hacking away at the sword equivalent of a bullet sponge just because they’re several levels higher than you.

Importantly, this eliminates the problem of being obliged to grind sidequests to reach a particular level minimum to advance in the story, as is the case in several other games.

Despite the point that I was in the middle of the campaign, Ghosts of Tsushima’s difficulty always seemed acceptable. Enemies get harder, and you must upgrade your sword, armor, and charms to keep up with the difficulty curve, but the stat boosts from gear always seemed secondary to the skills you’d learn, and the challenge was always fair.

Even when I increased the difficulty to a hard level, which makes enemies more aggressive, my sword’s lethality remained unaffected.

There are also the different tools and gadgets that you earn throughout your trip to add to the mix. Jin’s combat talents grow considerably as he becomes more comfortable bending his samurai code and employing tools outside of his typical arsenal.

He can use kunai in the same way that Batman uses batarangs to interrupt or eliminate weakened enemies; he can throw sticky bombs to confuse a large crowd, or he can take out his trusty bow and land a headshot to bring down a heavily armored foe in one hit potentially ending the fight before it even begins. In Ghost of Tsushima, there are so many different ways to approach combat.

It’s a good thing Ghost of Tsushima’s blade-to-blade combat is so good, because Jin’s ninja-inspired stealth falls short of expectations.

It works in all the ways you’d expect it to on a very basic level: you can crouch-walk through fields of tall grass to sneak around enemy encampments invisibly, you can assassinate foes from above, and you can even buy upgrades that allow you to take out multiple enemies at once if they’re all foolishly clumped together.

The problem is what occurs after you’ve been discovered. Enemies have no idea how to deal with it. What if you climbed to the top of a building? They don’t pursue you, they don’t hunt you down; they just yell and throw shurikens at you.

What if you break line of sight and crouch into a neighboring flower patch, where they can still see you? They simply turn around and gaze around for a bit before blowing their little alarm horns. When you break stealth and do something other than fight, the AI throws up its hands and shrugs.

Jin’s stealth tools are also incredibly basic, allowing you no room for inventiveness, which would make stealth a little more exciting. They all do the same thing, but with different sorts of ammo. A wind chime can be used to distract a single attacker, while a firecracker can be used to distract a group of enemies.

There makes also your bow, which silently kills enemies, your longbow, which silently kills enemies wearing helmets, a dart that silently kills enemies and makes them puke blood, and another dart that causes enemies to try to kill each other.

There are a few necessary stealth segments as well, which simply entail locating the marked stealth route and employing distractions to clear enemies out of the way. The stealth gameplay lacks the same flexibility and versatility as melee combat.

Fortunately, Ghost of Tsushima shows that being noisy right away can be just as effective as sneaking up on a few enemies quietly, and it accomplishes so in the best conceivable way: by staying loyal to its samurai movie roots.

You can make a stand-off at the beginning of most combat situations, which allows you to target one of your enemies in a classic showdown where you must wait for them to attack before striking with one of your own to take them out in one hit.

When the brawl starts, you’ll have one less thing to deal with if you nail the time. But that’s only the beginning: by investing points in the stand-off technique and donning armor that allows you to link many stand-off streaks together, you can make these stand-offs a big element of your combat strategy. I was taking five enemies out at the start of every fight by the late game, and it felt fantastic every time.

Of course, there’s a downside to stand-offs: if you lose, the consequences can be terrible. Your health is nearly depleted, and you’ve put in a situation where you’re surrounded by all of the area’s still-alive enemies. Later on, as enemies begin to make in feints in an attempt to get you to swing early, the risk becomes larger.

It’s a fantastic mechanic that not only fits with the samurai theme but also takes the fun but the typically disadvantageous tactic of waltzing into an enemy encampment through the front gate and makes it potentially just as rewarding as silently going through an encampment and clearing out a bunch of guards.

e Tales are multi-part, character-specific sidequests that span the entirety of the campaign and help to give each key character their unique story arc. Sensei Ishikawa, a renowned samurai archer on the lookout for his missing student; Masako, a grieving mother seeking vengeance on those who slaughtered her family; or Yuna, the thief who saved your life at the start of the story and will go to any length to save her brother from the Mongols.

Each of these side stories depicts a different aspect of Jin’s journey, and it’s fascinating to observe how they progress and what impact they have on him. Some of the later ones, which I’m not permitted to discuss due to embargo, are particularly moving and deal with some fairly serious subject matter, with one, in particular, making excellent use of Ghost of Tsushima’s scouting system in a very brilliant and emotional way.

Tales of Tsushima usually reward you with charms that improve a certain aspect of your character, allowing you to specialize in different character builds such as stealth, tankiness, or a focus on critical hits, for example. These charms were a fantastic motivator to accomplish sidequests in the beginning, but once I got pretty much all of the charms needed, later on, these Tales of Tsushima sidequests lost a lot of their attractiveness in terms of reward.

I had lost interest in tracking them down. Last but not least, there are the Mythic Tales. These are big sidequests that have you searching down legendary techniques or pieces of gear, and you get them by listening to a musician recount the legend of whatever it is you’re looking for, which is depicted through some incredibly cool animated Sumi-e cutscenes.

From there, they branch out to epic quests that differ greatly in design but are all well worth completing. Especially because the rewards are among the best you can get, whether it’s the Heavenly Strike special move, which have you channeling your inner Kenshin Himura as you dash through an opponent with a lightning-fast sword strike, or a new piece of high-quality armor with powerful perks like stand-offs having a chance to terrify enemies and cause them to run.

These quests are still some of the best in all of Ghost of Tsushima, even without those incentives. My favorite aspect of exploration, and one I like even more as someone who isn’t a big fan of collectibles, is that every significant collectible comes with both a worthwhile reward and a fun minor challenge.

I was always excited to find additional Bamboo Strikes, not just because they gave me more resolve (which I needed to heal and utilize special attacks), but also because I enjoyed the small button-pressing minigame that went along with collecting them.

Shrines are even better because, in addition to being the only place to find major charms (which provide dramatic buffs and perks strong enough to design an entire character build around), they’re also the only place to find those signature Sucker Punch platforming sections from the Infamous or Sly series.

Minor collectibles such as Mongol artifacts, journal entries, Hashimoto banners, and pillars of honor are less exciting, offering just minor cosmetic objects or flavor text. However, they are plentiful enough to provide some added value for trophy hunters — and Ghost of Tsushima makes it incredibly easy to hunt them thanks to the ability to swiftly fast-travel to any uncovered point of interest on the globe.

I spent between 40 and 50 hours playing Ghost of Tsushima, which included completing all of the Mythic Tales, liberating Tsushima from Mongol domination, all of the multi-part supporting character sidequests, and most of the normal Tales of Tsushima.

After reaching the credits, I enthusiastically put in another 15 to 20 hours to complete the remaining sidequests (save one that appears to be bugged for me, but Sony claims will be resolved in a pre-release patch) and find all of the collectibles in the hopes that the ultimate reward would be worthwhile.

It wasn’t, which is a bummer because there’s not much else to do in the post-game – there’s no New Game+ and no unlocking difficulties for a second go. It’s a little frustrating that you can’t skip any of the cutscenes even if you play it again (in Kurosawa mode, for example).

Finally, can we take a moment to talk in photo mode? Because the photo mode in Ghost of Tsushima is one of the nicest I’ve ever seen. Partly because the world is so pretty that it lends itself well to being captured in all of its natural splendor, but also because of the unique features added by Sucker Punch, such as the ability to have animated background environments and a large selection of particles like leaves, fireflies, and even songbirds.

On top of all of the essential photo mode features like exposure sliders and filters that have become standard, you can modify the weather, change the time of day, add clouds, and design a camera flight path to produce short films.

My only fact is that the customizable emotions that you can put to Jin’s face might use a little more… well, emotion. Regardless, the photo mode in Ghost of Tsushima is a new high watermark.

Best Gaming Laptops under $1000

5. God of War 4

God of War™

Some of the best films of all time are those in which several strengths come together to form a cohesive, captivating whole. The Shining, The Social Network, and Jaws are all great examples of films that are made up of strong separate elements that work together to form a beautiful work of art.

That is certainly true in God of War: its musical score elevates story moments, which flow effortlessly into fantastic action gameplay, which promotes exploration and puzzles that reward you with a deeper understanding of the game’s characters and large and gorgeous world. God of War is a brilliant piece of interconnected art, meticulous in its design and foreshadowing, and it pays off in surprising ways in both gameplay and story.

God of War’s fish-out-of-water tale is a relentless maelstrom of emotions, set in a new, Norse mythology-inspired world and starring a recognizable but lovingly reinvented character. It’s all framed by a single continuous camera shot that never cuts away from the central theme: Kratos’ relationship with his infant son, Atreus.

However, the story features an unforgettable supporting character, a stunning world that is consistently rewarding to explore, and incredibly exciting combat. The plot of God of War is so simple that it works right away. Kratos and Atreus, who begin their journey as at best acquaintances, had just experienced the death of Kratos’ wife, with whom Atreus bonded considerably more than his father. To carry out her final desires, the two set out to the highest peak in all of the kingdoms.

The visual quality of the setup is Journey-like – I saw the mountain in the distance and knew I’d make it – but, as other stories have taught me, the path is never straight or easy. Beginning with the first big encounter in the opening hours, several natural and supernatural barriers stretch the trip to about 25 hours of horrific perils.

If you’ve played any of the earlier games in the series — there are seven total, including two PSP games and one mobile game – you’ll know that Kratos had a long life in ancient Greece filled with loss, victory, and lots of god-killing. While his past influences who he is now, the guy we meet here has begun a new chapter in his world, having found love, a family, and a big bushy beard in Norse mythology.

However, he is still a foreigner in this land, and he must rely on the son he barely knows to translate its languages and lead him when a swing of an ax or the imprint of his boot on an undead foe isn’t enough.

One of God of War’s most intriguing aspects is its relationship, and how it develops and changes throughout the story. Here are two persons with very distinct personalities, one youthful and innocent, the other elderly and bloody, both grieving over the same woman in different ways. Kratos adores his son, yet he is initially cold to him.

He refers to him as “Boy” and rarely makes eye or physical contact with him, seemingly displeased in his lack of combat skill and stomach. (Of course, he will unflinchingly beat anyone who threatens his son to life, as this appears to be the only way he knows how to show devotion.) It’s heartbreaking to watch Kratos struggle to relate to a youngster who he both wants to turn into a survivor and is afraid will turn out like him.

Throughout the story, their conflict is expressed in stirring, realistic scenes. The number of times I saw myself in Kratos’ and Atreus’ well-worn shoes astonished me. I’ve told key people in my life some of the things they say to each other, and I’ve thought (but been too afraid to say) many more, making God of War’s interactions feel real and cuttingly honest.

Other games have dealt with parent-child interactions, but I’m not aware of a father-son dynamic that has been so well created and utilized to ground a fantastical journey.

Kratos is transformed from the bland embodiment of the violent warrior cliche in earlier games into someone who can stand shoulder to shoulder with some of my favorite characters in recent media thanks to this new God of War’s depth and complexity.

Christopher Judge, the booming baritone from Stargate SG-1, now plays him, and he can communicate a lot with a single phrase or grunt. As he grapples with the needs of his son, his worries and pain, and, of course, the elements and monsters trying to stop him from attaining his goal, he lends the long-running character’s austere language both a scary gravitas and complexity you can hear.

The single-camera shot style of God of War – which never cuts once from the title screen to ending credits unless you die – is a subtle effect that I didn’t notice at first. However, as I explored and fought my way through the story, the power of some of the larger-scale monsters became apparent.

By never leaving Kratos’ side, I was able to maintain the perspective necessary to portray the ferocity of facing an opponent ten times his size. And, worry not, God of War delivers the franchise’s customary diversity of awe-inspiring locations, which are enhanced by the camera in the story’s quieter moments.

The camera never leaves Kratos’ mental state, even during some of the most difficult and sad scenes. You’re compelled to sit with him through every second of it, sometimes in quiet, in sorrow as a haunting choir echoes around him, and sometimes in relief.

That closeness makes the intensity of the emotions. It’s made Kratos so relatable that I’ve been caught on camera calling Atreus “my son” multiple times since the game’s release.

The importance of Atreus in the story and battle cannot be overstated. That’s a tremendous relief because, in the past, games that required you to stick with a companion for the duration of the game have been hit or miss.

Some games, such as The Last of Us, make clever use of this relationship by introducing gameplay twists late in the story. Others make those sidekicks a perpetual annoyance — an extra life bar ruled by a sometimes suicidal AI to constantly be concerned about in the heat of battle. Atreus resembles the former.

What’s particularly clever about this primary relationship is how God of War masterfully replicates it onto gameplay right from the start. Despite their estrangement, Atreus is still Kratos’ son, and as such, he follows your commands and acts as a nearly invulnerable extension of your combat abilities.

With a bow and an endless quiver of arrows, Atreus will automatically plink away at enemies or jump on them to stun them, and when directed with a tap of the square button, he’ll take a more powerful shot at whatever you’re looking at, creating a rhythm as you time your taps to match his recharge rate and employ his attacks effectively. His skill tree can also be upgraded to counteract Kratos’ more powerful strikes.

However, God of War assumes that Atreus is always at your disposal, and the weight of their relationship changes is skilfully weaved into your conflicts. And there are plenty of battles to be had. Even though Kratos now only murders for the sake of survival, he still does so brutally. The stun-kill animations can be very gruesome and bone-crunching.

(However, because there is only one of each opponent kind, they can grow tedious to watch.) While God of War is far more emotionally rich and layered than previous games in the series, its outstanding combat surely continues the series’ bloody history.

The Leviathan Axe is Kratos’ signature weapon this time around, and it’s one of the best weapons I’ve used in any modern game. It starts simple with light and heavy attacks, but it may be upgraded and given new abilities as you progress.

It’s a lot of fun to chop and slice through swarms of foes with, but I’ve never had more fun with a weapon than when the ax is flying through the air. The Leviathan’s biggest trick is that when thrown, it behaves exactly like Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, as seen in the Marvel films.

With a tap of the triangle button, the ax will lash back into your grasp, cutting any foes in its path, both coming and going. It’s also infused with a frost power that can freeze particular opponents while it’s embedded in them, allowing you to disable one while wreaking havoc on his comrades with Kratos’ nearly-lethal fists.

Throwing and recalling the Leviathan Axe feels so damn good. Satisfying. I learned how to do this the first time I hacked an enemy in half and then spent a good 10 minutes just hurling the ax and recalling it in the forest, noting and appreciating the minor variation in the time it takes to return from higher distances.

Even hundreds or thousands of throws later, the loud, rebounding twang noise it makes, combined with a precise rumble in the controller, makes the return smack into Kratos’ outstretched hand feel amazing.

Finding the correct mix of slicing, throwing, Atreus’ aid, and parrying with Kratos’ retractable shield turns each battle into a bloody dance of timing — and that’s before you unlock special attacks like an ice beam shooting from the ax or a Patronus-like wolf Atreus can summon for battle.

Even though I rapidly discovered my favorites, certain scenarios needed me to mix up my abilities by including enemies with different immunity and vulnerabilities.

Because options are restricted by what you can afford to acquire with XP in the early game, I passed out on some options, but by the second half of the game, I had more than enough XP to unlock pretty much about anything I wanted in time for the most grueling encounters.

I was inspired to try new things. I’d maxed almost every skill tree by the end, even Kratos’ resurrected Rage of the Gods ability, which grants you a short boost to damage via a flurry of flame fists. However, such improvements didn’t make combat any easier – I was still challenged to the very end, and beyond in my post-game activities.

Monitor vs TV Which for Console Gaming

Kratos and Atreus’ armor is a major factor in combat. Several Kratos’ characteristics, from strength and defense to runic magic and attack cooldown rates, can be altered by chest, wrist, and waist pieces, as well as various ax adjustments, and they can have a considerable impact on the way you fight.

I opted for my tried-and-true animal hide chest guards over full breastplates, sacrificing defense for strength, but I would add new armor – or equip it with my accumulated slottable runes – to imbue my gear with defenses against specific enemies or to enhance abilities like my ax’s freezing power.

I may have also made a few wardrobe decisions based on appearance since, while Kratos isn’t a fashion icon, I wanted him to keep true to my idea of this beleaguered man, even if he isn’t a fashion icon. (And my Kratos, for the most part, would never wear massive breastplates.)

I fought every battle with the tenacity to the conclusion, modifying my fighting and attire to the variety of enemies, which ranged from Kratos-sized to ten times larger. Early on, I ran against an ice monster who was impervious to my ax, requiring me to rely on my fists and Atreus’ bow.

And, because the horrible revenant witch monster moved far too swiftly for most of my ax swings to connect, I had to focus on stunning first. That adversary diversity made me feel like I was always learning, even while I was exploring some of the optional regions. Every time I thought the opponent variety was about to plateau, a new type or variant would appear to further complicate my journey.

The enormous foes put up a good fight, such as a giant troll with a huge club swat at you, but some of the best come from human-sized foes and provide a worthy struggle. Most notably, there is a couple of amazing bosses encounters that, although not particularly difficult, do an excellent job of showcasing Kratos’ god-level strength and conveying a sense of power.

After a few hours, God of War’s initially linear world opens up a bit, and it promotes exploration with its numerous awards and collectibles for completing extra puzzles and conflicts. However, you may occasionally come into a far more formidable opponent, as indicated by the purple color of their health meter, who can easily take you out in one or two hits.

I needed to be prepared when I ran into these scenarios since it seemed like I was encroaching on someone or something else’s turf. God of War never let me down when I was in the mood for a challenge.

The map never becomes really “open world” in the manner that games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Horizon Zero Dawn do; instead, it’s an interconnected series of various places, many of which are locked behind crucial story moments and collecting milestones until the very end.

With its quest chain, God of War’s limited nature shepherds you through specific regions, which occasionally leans on the cliche of a solution Kratos thought would work turning out to be missing one critical component, which you then have to go scour the land for.

But its world emerges from that story’s clever integration in a way that occasionally turned me into a cliche, too. Kratos’ journey was supposed to be simple and limited to the region I was shown at first. But then you can come across a collectible that takes Kratos’ journey to new heights. I’d leap out of my chair in such instances, where I’d find myself traveling further than I’d planned and in a wonderfully broad world, no less.

God of War delivers on my expectations for action, and it does so with ease. But I didn’t expect it to be a fascinating journey in which each element complements the others to form a masterpiece.

It’s a game in which Kratos, a previously one-note character, grows into a complex father, warrior, and monster, torn between how to treat his son on the battlefield and within his own heart; a game in which the world opens up and shifts, rewarding me with both gameplay and knowledge of its lore with each achievement.

By far the most stirring and memorable game in the series, thanks to the evident attention that went into designing its world, characters, and gameplay.

2 thoughts on “Best PS4 Games for 2022”

Leave a Comment