This week, Zero Punctuation reviews a few of the next-gen exclusives.


My non-gaming friends often say to me, "Hey, we'd really like to play the best video games; which of the next-gen consoles do you think we should buy?", to which I reply "Why did you just make two completely unrelated statements? That was like saying "I want to join the Russian ballet; what colour should I paint my arse?", or "I'd like to visit Morocco; how many times should I stick my head in a Corby trouser press?""

You want to play the best video games, you buy a PC, or, at a pinch, borrow a PS2 from a time traveller. The best reason to buy a next-gen console would be if you're stuck in an overloaded elevator and the only way to get it to move is to subtract a substantial amount of weight from your wallet. But there is one thing that these two basically-identical, ring binder-impersonating, artificially-restricted PCs-in-boxes have to justify themselves and that's exclusives, as in "which individual games they have taken hostage." So let's pair them off into a series of vaguely-connected comparisons, and ultimately decide whether we're going to rescue Mary-Jane or the busload of schoolchildren.

[each round title is sung as a short, jaunty tune]

Round One: Open-World Sequelising Edit

You wouldn't rent out the Royal Albert Hall for a "who can spunk the furthest" contest, and you wouldn't make a console with the processing power of an autistic nuclear submarine without lining up some open-world games to show it off. Hence, a launch window that features Dead Rising 3 on the 'Bone, and inFamous: Second Son on the PiSser.

Now, inFamous 2, you'll recall, was one of my favourite games of that year, but a lot of my fondness for that game hinged on my understanding that it actually offered a decisive and satisfying ending for the series, rather than letting it eternally ride the sequel mill like some other games I could Assassin's Creed – I mean, mention!

But, on the other hand, Dead Rising 3 is a zombie game, and at this point I equate putting out a zombie game with presenting me a birthday gift wrapped in the paper from around a McDonald's cheeseburger: I don't even have to look inside to know that you're just not trying, are you? It also seems to have sucked out all the vibrant energy and turned an ugly shade of brown, like a crack whore covered in a thin film of cooking grease. So our first point goes to the PiSs Parade! (PS4: 1 / Xbone: 0)

Round Two: Historical Revisionism Edit

I remember saying in my E3 video that Ryse looks like what you'd get if you took the spunkgargleweewee attitude of modern shooters and set it in ancient Rome. But having thought about it, maybe a sense of historical distance is precisely what spunkgargleweewee needs. After all, the Romans were a bunch of imperialistic bastards who went around stomping all over inferior cultures, but no-one begrudges them for it anymore, 'cause they were spreading civilized society, and life under Roman subjugation tended to have more orgies than previously. Thanks for laying the foundations of classical Europe, Romans, feel free to stop crucifying me now!

On the other hand, we have The Order: 1886 on PS4, also set in a time of European imperialism, but one everyone's still kind of embarrassed about, because the civilization-spreading aspect got a bit lost in all the massive racism. Of course, The Order is less about imperialism and more about werewolves. I think; I kinda stopped paying attention when they brought out the steampunk standard FPS weapons, because my eyes started rolling like two frisbees in a front-loading washing machine. (PS4: 1 / Xbone: 1)

Round Three: Blatant Nostalgia Teasing Edit

The list of PS4 exclusives hints at an unnamed Uncharted sequel, whereas the Xbone's list boasts "unnamed Halo sequel." What a pair of teasers! You could almost picture their sultry eyes winking flirtatiously over their paper fans.

"Bet you're wondering what we're developing under these skirts, aren't you, big boy?"
"Is it something completely predictable, formulated in desperation from an utter absence of new ideas?"
"Uh... can we get back to you?"

I didn't realize that "TBA" stood for "Too Bloody Apathetic!" Might as well just give the point to the PS4, just because Uncharted hasn't sequelled its balls off to Halo's extent quite yet. It's got a bit of ball left, maybe, hanging morosely from its shredded crotch like a discarded mouthful of scotch egg. (PS4: 2 / Xbone: 1)

[Fourth round title is sung to the tune of the Dr. Who theme]

Round Four: Driving Aboot Edit

The moment videogames figured out how to make two things move along a path at varying speeds, racing gameplay had kind of come as far as it was ever going to. Well, games like Driver: San Francisco sometimes put a fresh spin on it, but realistic racing games, enjoyed by the kind of people whose pet tortoises die of boredom, can't really do anything to innovate except include larger and larger varieties of real-world cars and racetracks. With that in mind, Forza Motorsport 5 promises 200 cars and 14 circuits! Except, according to Wikipedia, Forza Motorsport 4 has 500 cars and 27 circuits. Now forgive me for flaunting my classical education here, but 200 is a smaller number than 500. You see, expecting next-gen consoles to evolve videogames any way other than graphically is like expecting the cat to guard your tuna sandwich. Oh, but wait, Forza 5 will release additional cars as paid DLC! Oh, well that's alright, then!

Yeah, I think Sony win; Driveclub might've been pushed back to next year, but at least it doesn't seem to be trying to screw us over so ineptly that you just wanna swat them off and shout "Forget it! I'll just punch myself in the balls!" (PS4: 3 / Xbone: 1)

Round Five: Shooters With "Fall" In The Name Edit

Killzone: Shadow Fall is about the evil Helghast people being really resentful of the heroes having blown up their planet and killed their entire race. Cor, just can't let anything go, can they? It's funny; if you read the backstory to Killzone, the running theme seems to be the Helghast getting fucked over a picket fence left-right-and-centre, but we're supposed to hate them for bearing a grudge! They could easily work as the heroes if they didn't have the image problem. Glowing red eyes and Nazi hats; yeah, they could probably garner more sympathy if they swapped those out for some star-shaped sunglasses and a fez.

Gameplay-wise, Killzone sadly seems to have few ambitions beyond "look at the thing and shoot at the thing", whereas Titanfall pledges to mix things up with free running and mech combat! Multiplayer-only, but with the apparent intention to work plot into the online matches somehow, an attitude I find always tends to pay off about as well as working a hedgehog into an egg slicing machine, but maybe – What's that? Titanfall is getting a PC release? Well, that undermines the whole cocking premise, doesn't it!? (PS4: 4 / Xbone: 1)

Conclusion Edit

So, at the end of that, the PS4 has the most points in this baseless-conjecture-on-games-I-haven't-played competition, and therefore has a slight edge in the upcoming grimy basement knife fight! But, viewer, there lies a world outside this grimy basement: the world of PC gaming! And all you have to do to experience it is come up the stairs and into the light, feel the rays of the sun and the cool breeze upon your skin, then go down some more stairs into the other grimy basement next door!

Addenda Edit

  • The third way: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw
  • I talk shit but I'm wrapping up these credits quickly because my preordered Xbone is ready for pickup
  • Won't get much station play if you haven't got a bone on


Zero Punctuation - 324 - Exclusives Showdown.mp4 snapshot 00.56 -2014.01.13 16.59.24-

So let's pair them off into a series of vaguely-connected comparisons, and ultimately decide whether we're going to rescue Mary-Jane or the busload of schoolchildren.

Zero Punctuation - 324 - Exclusives Showdown.mp4 snapshot 03.57 -2014.01.13 17.00.41-

Now forgive me for flaunting my classical education here, but 200 is a smaller number than 500.

Zero Punctuation - 324 - Exclusives Showdown.mp4 snapshot 05.11 -2014.01.13 17.01.07-

What's that? Titanfall's getting a PC release? Well, that undermines the whole cocking premise doesn't it!?

2007 - 2010
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells · Fifth Console Generation · The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles · Pyre · Splatoon 2 · Hellblade · Agents of Mayhem · Sonic Mania · Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle · Destiny 2 · Metroid: Samus Returns
Q4 Knack 2 and SteamWorld Dig 2 · Cuphead · Hob and A Hat in Time · Middle-earth: Shadow of War · The Evil Within 2 · Super Mario Odyssey · Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus · Assassin's Creed Origins

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