Photo: Screenshot by Darby Hallman

4 of the best games available on your PS4 now

In the nearly three years that the PS4 has been on the market, we have seen a variety of different games, some incredible and ground-breaking, some broken and miserable. With the incredibly large number of new releases every year and the responsibilities of college, chances are you might have missed some of the great games that have come to your console. Here are four of the best games that you should be playing.

"Life Is Strange"

In recent years, especially since Telltale’s “The Walking Dead,” there has been a rise in games that focus primarily on telling a story and while putting gameplay in a lesser spot. This doesn’t always pan out, but sometimes a game tells a story so compelling that the lack of focus on minute-to-minute gameplay doesn’t detract from the game's enjoyment — like “Life Is Strange.” This episodic drama game follows Max Caufield, an 18-year-old girl who returns to the town she grew up in, Arcadia Bay, to attend a prestigious school for photography. Shortly after arriving, Max’s awkward and shy life becomes more interesting when, after receiving strange visions and witnessing a tragedy, she learns she has the ability to rewind time. The game revolves around this mechanic of allowing the player to rewind time in nearly every dialogue section they encounter in an attempt to get the best outcome. However, each path has its share of pros and cons, some of which won’t be realized until it’s far too late. “Life Is Strange” puts the player in a unique perspective that isn't often used in gaming (that of a high school girl), and its writing and story make it an interesting character study and a moving experience.

“Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End”

Since the first game in 2007, Naughty Dog’s “Uncharted” series has consistently been regarded as some of the most iconic modern games and they are masterful in offering gamers cinematic experiences and engaging stories. Eight and a half years later, Naughty Dog reaffirmed its superstar status in the gaming industry with “Uncharted 4.” This latest adventure with Nathan Drake, the game’s Indiana Jones-like protagonist, is filled to the brim with charming and impressive voice acting, an impressive script, fun third-person shooter gameplay and graphics that push the PS4 to previously untapped limits. While the stories of the “Uncharted” games do connect and players won’t have the full effect without going back to the previous three installments, “Uncharted 4” can also suit just fine as an entry point for newcomers. For those who do want to go back, the PS4 also has “The Nathan Drake Collection,” which contains remastered versions  of the first three games, meaning that you have no excuse for missing out on one of gaming’s greatest.

“Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”

“Witcher 3,” made by Polish studio CD Projekt RED, came out last summer and blew away expectations with its impossibly huge open world, thrilling gameplay, interesting story and sheer amount of content. “Witcher 3” takes place in the world created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski in his “Witcher” fantasy series, a brutal yet beautiful setting with picturesque landscapes around every corner, each of them filled with deadly creatures. The story follows Geralt of Rivia, who is a special monster hunter with super-human abilities known as a witcher. While the main quest line is incredibly lengthy and engaging, it’s through the side quests that the game truly shines. Where most games put considerably less effort into its ancillary quest lines than its mandatory ones, “Witcher 3” uses each quest to tell full-fledged stories with twists and turns and many times an actual impact on the world around you. In a year when the gaming industry was drowning in a sea of lengthy open-world RPGs, “Witcher 3” still managed to stand out as a truly revolutionary experience that is already being considered by many as one of the best games of this console generation.

“Inside”

After the success of its 2010 puzzle-platformer “Limbo,” many wondered how developer Playdead would follow it up, and if its next project would live up to its predecessor. Earlier this year, we finally got “Inside,” and it was far from a let-down. “Inside” is a puzzle-platformer like “Limbo” was, but where “Limbo” was a highly memorable experience with thoughtful puzzles, “Inside” was flawless. The game drops you into a dark and grim world without much direction or explanation. You control a boy who must navigate the black and gray dystopian environment while avoiding mysterious men who try to capture him. The game is dark and incredibly strange, and its subtle storytelling gives you just enough to always be eager to progress further and hopefully find answers. Gameplay-wise, Playdead approached every single puzzle in a deliberate and careful manner, making a game where every single section and space serves a purpose. “Inside” is arguably the best game released this year and a must-play for all gamers, especially fans of the puzzle-platformer genre.



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