This is the second installment of Review Revue, a new series on ZoKnowsGaming where we review multiple games at once. We review them in such a way that you know exactly what the game is, and we review them in such a way that you know exactly how good we think a game is — with none of the fluff. Although we’ll do this from time to time, this series was created for games that we think are specifically suited for a concise review. These can include games that are focused around one very specific idea, smaller games with interesting premises not often seen in gaming today, and games folks may have missed that we want to recommend in an effective manner. In this installment, we’re reviewing the PS4 versions of Call of Duty: Ghosts and Skylanders: Swap Force.
Call Of Duty: Ghosts (PS4)
On PS4, Call of Duty: Ghosts is nearly identical to the PS3 version. The content and features are entirely identical, but what separates the PS4 version is an occasionally faulty frame-rate and substantially crisper graphics. The frame-rate drops don’t get too bad, but they are occasionally noticeable. For the many of you that enjoy Call of Duty online, I should note that there are far fewer players participating on PS4 than on PS3. I didn’t have too much trouble finding a game, but I still suspect the PlayStation 3 version will offer a multiplayer mode that survives longer and will probably have more of your friends playing it. I can’t criticize the game directly for this, but anyone who wants the best multiplayer experience possible should still keep this in mind.
Because the dips aren’t too bad and the game looks so much better than current-gen versions, I would recommend the PS4 version over the PS3 version just a bit. However, if my original review is anything to go by, I think you should exercise caution before deciding to purchase either.
PS4 review copy provided by Activision. Call of Duty: Ghosts is available now on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, and Wii U.
Skylanders: Swap Force (PS4)
As millions of you know, Skylanders is a kid-friendly action-platformer-RPG franchise involving the purchase of physical toys that come to life when you put them on a USB “portal” included with each game. Swap Force is a third main game in the franchise as well as the first on PS4, and while I was uneasy going in, I ended up really appreciating the experience by the time the credits rolled.
If I had to describe the experience, I would describe it as a LEGO game better than the LEGO games. The gameplay consists of very basic platforming, Diablo-esque combat, and puzzle-solving using your array of Skylanders. Every single Skylander you buy moves differently, has different attacks, and upgrades differently as well. Because many Skylanders carry different elements and alignments in the same way different Pokémon have different types, there are certain challenges and level sections that require variants of Skylanders that don’t come packaged with your starter pack. This might sound like a full-priced free-to-play experience, but the three Skylanders included are easily sufficient to access 80-85% of the massive amounts of content the game has to offer. Swap Force also introduces Skylander toys that can have their tops and bottoms swapped to become a new fused character. These aren’t quite ancillary additions to the Skylanders experience, but they do shake up the formula a bit.
As for the visuals, the PS4 version I played looked very smooth and beyond what a modern console would be capable of, but the style is very cartoonish and the game still doesn’t quite stack up visually to Ryse or Killzone: Shadow Fall. It looks nice, but it is by no means impressive.
More importantly, the main campaign is impressive. Though the story is generally a cookie-cutter Cartoon Network-level affair, the level design found in the campaign is varied and fun. The platforming is tight and the action is smooth, but I can only fully appreciate these game aspects thanks to varied levels that feature a myriad of secrets to discover and design that is occasionally challenging without being too frustrating. The levels are quite long and the auto-saving is neither frequent enough nor obvious enough, so you should anticipate putting in at least 45 minutes per play-session if not longer.
Completing the story should take a bit over 10 hours, and doing everything, including challenges, the Arena mode, and discovering all of the secrets to find will take dozens more. I would recommend Skylanders: Swap Force to children before I would to adults because of its occasionally repetitious nature and usually low difficulty, but Swap Force is a very well-made game by any standard.
PS4 review copy provided by Activision. Skylanders: Swap Force is available now on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, 3DS, Wii, and Wii U.