Weekend Hot Topic: Best looking games of the PS4 era

Readers discuss the most visually impressive games of the previous generation, from Red Dead Redemption 2 to Uncharted 4.

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was inspired by reader Grackle and asked which game from the previous generation of consoles (Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch) do you feel had the best graphics, from either a technical or artistic perspective?

The clear winners were Red Dead Redemption 2 and Naughty Dog’s various games, with first party Sony games in general all earning plenty of praise.

Art before tech
I’m going to go a bit left field here and say Cuphead. It’s not the sort of graphical powerhouse that I suspect will ‘win’ this Hot Topic but it’s the game that’s impressed me the most with its visuals. The cartoon style they use is so well done it’s incredible. It’s literally perfect to what they were going for, in terms of mimicking the old timey animation.

It helps that the game itself is good as well, taking an equally old school approach to 2D shooter action, which allows them to come up with some over-the-top bosses that show off the animation even better.

A particular shoutout should go to the DLC, which turns everything up to 11. An amazing achievement and while I’m sure it did take some technical prowess to pull off it’s the artistry of it all that sticks in your mind, not the tech.

Maximum exploitation
Horizon Forbidden West is a stunning looking game and looks so good on PlayStation 4 it’s basically the reason I’m not going to bother getting a PlayStation 5 until next year. With it and God Of War Ragnarök being on PlayStation 4 there really doesn’t seem to be any need at the moment as they both look fantastic on the ‘old’ console.

Besides, I like seeing how much developers can ring out of a console right at the end of its life and these are certainly all the proof you need that the PlayStation 4 was a powerful and versatile bit of kit. I think they’re definitely not games that would be possible on the PlayStation 3, which I think is a good sign that this has been a successful generation.

It’s certainly enough to convince me to stick with the PlayStation brand and I hope the PlayStation 5 can also throw up some games that use it to the max as well.

Good Dog
Naughty Dog’s games on the PlayStation 3 were all beautiful games but Uncharted 4 on the PlayStation 4 was a big step up graphically. Bigger environments but still packed full of details, making Nate’s adventures so immersive, virtual tourism at its finest – well apart from all the gun-toting mercenaries!

Over the course of the four games on PlayStation 3 (three Uncharteds and The Last Of Us) the character models and animations also kept improving. Again, on the PlayStation 4 the characters were even more impressive – Nate was more gorgeous than ever!

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Virtual reality
I’m going with Red Dead Redemption 2 as the game that made the greatest impression. For me it stands out amongst many good-looking games that have spectacular scale and visuals, including Death Stranding and Control. More than just graphical details, animation and physics, Red Dead has this incredible sense of believability, it just felt real. I’m old, though not 1890 old, but I fully bought into the concept that it’s historical fiction.

The more I played it the more I became impressed with the small details. The behaviour of characters, down to subtle gestures and animations. The amazing weather and atmospheric effects. Even the shadows – nothing felt out of place.

I found the wildlife particularly mind boggling. I spent hours hunting, sometimes just watching the diverse variety of animals move and interacting with other creatures. Everything feels like it’s actually alive, not artificial, and would be doing its thing whether you were there or not. I’ve never ridden a horse, but it felt so naturalistic.

As a result, I became completely immersed in travelling round the word, just for the sake of it rather than just to compete a quest. No other game has given me that feeling so Red Dead gets my vote.
David ‘Daley’ Thompson

Historical achievement
The best looking game of last generation for me has to be Red Dead Redemption 2. Even going back to it now, it looks stunning. I think this is mostly due to the environments, as I still feel like the character faces in Rockstar games aren’t as good as some other games in the same generation whether in or out of cut scenes (I think the Yakuza games have that down best from last gen) but the environments are consistently jaw dropping in Red Dead 2.

They just always nail the atmosphere and weather effects for whichever biome you are in. Whether it’s the misty forest on a crisp morning or the hazy heat of the desert, it looks fantastic. Many a time I would just stop to take a screenshot at a scene and quite often the hairs on the back of my neck would stand up at what I was looking at. I also distinctly remember the reflections in the muddy puddles during a rainstorm, so much detail.

Red Dead 2 was going for realism so another I wanted to shout out for artistic vision is Doom 2016 and Eternal. I loved how imaginative, detailed, and colourful they made the environments in those games. The enemies too were really detailed models with great animations. The buttery smooth frame rate only enhanced the graphical experience.
Angry_Kurt (Twitter)
Now playing: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox Series X) and GRID Legends (PS5)

Forceful impression
I’ve always felt Star Wars Battlefront 1 and 2 were very underrated in terms of their graphics. They were virtually flawless as far as I was concerned, with some of the most realistic looking terrain I’ve ever seen in a game, which is not what you really expect from a multiplayer Star Wars game.

They should’ve made more of it really, as I don’t think many people played the story campaign in the second one. It was pretty good though and did help to show off the graphics while you had the time to stop and admire them.

The first choice
The Last Of Us may have been a PlayStation 3 original release but I’ll say that it was graphically one of the best on the PlayStation 4, with Uncharted 4 probably proving to be the ultimate winner.

In terms of the environment it was way past what I had previously experienced. The story was definitely well scripted for a video game and the characters were definitely people you’d compare to in a pretty good TV series or film.

The voice acting was top rate and that’s for mostly every character in the game. Like I said, graphically the character models and the interactions with the local environments were jaw dropping to look at and this matched the amazing control mechanics. Yes, it’s very Uncharted-like in look and feel, but with the more focused sneaking and stealth killing it was a little more realistic without huge amounts of gunfights.

The soundtrack was just right, with the emotional punch needed to help bring touching and frantic moments to the gameplay and cut scenes. But ultimately the pacing of the game was just right, from fear inducing dark and dangerous areas, to fast paced action moments and then heart felt conversational pieces between the protagonists. All this kept the game ticking to just the right pace so gamers will never get too overwhelmed or maybe slightly bored at moments.

So definitely a groundbreaking moment in film/TV styles merging with games. Maybe there are better examples out there but does the gameplay and perfect game length match like in this game? Storyline mysteries with a thrilling action ride through an apocalyptic world, which looks and feels like it could actually happen!

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Source: Read Full Article