When I first got my hands on the shiny new PlayStation 5 three months ago I couldn’t wait to write a review on it. Well it doesn’t take more than a quick site or YouTube search to find that review never happened, mostly down to the fact that I don’t think it’s completely fair to fully review a console until after giving it time to really know what it’s like to use on a daily basis and see how it holds up to general wear and tear. After playing it nearly every day for the past few months, I can now say hand on heart that the PS5 is a wonderful console with a truly next-gen defining control pad. However the console is far from faultless, and those who are lucky enough to get their hands on one would probably agree.
As always you can check out the video version of this review in the link below if you prefer..
First up let’s talk about the most important part of any console and that is of course the games! I still stand by my original statement just before the PS5’s release that this was the strongest launch lineup for a PlayStation console to date. I’ve been lucky enough to swing through the stunning streets of New York City with Miles Morales, feel like a kid again and be blown away by Astro’s Playroom and sink more than 100 hours into Ubisoft’s massive and stunning open world – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Admittedly there is a frustration that games such as the PS5 exclusive Returnal has already been delayed and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is now scheduled for June despite originally being told it was a ‘launch window title’. But the truth of the matter is I’ve never been stuck for something to play. Between the games I’ve mentioned already as well as the free PS5 upgrades to games like FIFA 21 and the PS5 games we’ve had free with PS Plus, I’m already building up an exciting backlog that I now have time to catch up on. At the time of writing, I still have Bugsnax, Control Ultimate Edition, Spider-Man Remastered and Maneater to catch up on. So yeah, the whole argument of there being nothing to play on PS5 is null and void to me.
These games play near perfectly on PS5. Both Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Spider-Man: Remastered are two titles in particular that show off what the PS5 is truly capable of, even this early into its lifecycle. At launch I was blown away by both the 60fps performance mode and the ray-tracing filled fidelity mode found in both games. However since then Insomniac have done what felt like the impossible and both games now have the option to run both 60fps and ray-tracing at the same time with very little sacrifice and it’s a true feast for the eyes. Although the Spidey games are definitely the most impressive games I’ve played, I’m still impressed by how fantastic Assassin’s Creed Valhalla looks every time I turn it on. The 60fps performance mode on that game is as smooth as butter and has led to be likely never wanting to play a game below that ever again. Then there’s my old trusty friend FIFA. The PS5 version of FIFA 21 is an absolute joy, especially as it was free to players who owned the PS4 version. Player faces look way more closer to real life with hair physics that still makes me drool, while the use of the haptic feedback giving me resistance on the R2 trigger while I try to sprint with a tired player is a novelty that is still yet to wear off.
Speaking of haptic feedback, the Dualsense has been a massive highlight of why I love my PS5. It’s far from a hot take to say that Astro’s Playroom is still the best PS5 game to show off what the controller can do but other games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and the recently added PS Plus freebie Destruction AllStars have all shown off how impressive it can be. My biggest fear for the Dualsense was always that it might feel like a gimmick that is quickly ditched. Yes we’re still in the early days but as of now it’s still something that I love and it’s far from getting old. The impression this controller has left on me is never more evident than the few times I’ve gone back to a Dualshock only to notice how lightweight and outdated it already feels in comparison. The Dualsense is genuinely the best control pad I have ever used and honestly, nothing else comes close. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows with the PS5 though and sticking with the Dualsense is where I have my first issue..
Yes, as I’ve already mentioned I play the PS5 almost on a daily basis but that shouldn’t mean I’m already seeing issues with wear and tear on the controller. Luckily I haven’t had any issues that have taken my Dualsense completely out of action like some have (I’ve seen major drifting issues and the triggers breaking entirely) but I have already started to feel a bit less resistance on the right trigger compared to the left. Given that the right trigger is used far more, this isn’t a total surprise and it does still work. My main complaint though is how hard it is to enquire about a replacement. After getting in contact with one of Sony’s support teams I was directed to their site where I had to fill out a form to explain what needed repairing. That was 4 weeks ago and I am still yet to get a response and whenever I reach out I’m just redirected elsewhere. It’s a frustrating backdrop to what is otherwise a mightily impressive piece of kit. By the way if you know a quicker way to resolve this here in the UK then make sure to drop a comment below to let me know, thanks!
Most of my other issues have been minor but it’s only fair I bring them up. WiFi connectivity is becoming a real issue which I’m convinced is fixable with an update that just never seems to come. Given that the PS5 is still nearly impossible to get hold of, a lot of my friends are still playing on PS4 meaning I’m playing PS4 games on my PS5 online with them. It should work fine but sadly I get continuas lag and signal drops which I’m convinced is a PS5 issue as when I then play the exact same game with the exact same friend on PS4, it’s 100% flawless, and yes the two consoles are sat side by side.
There’s also the obvious issue of storage. The PS5 comes with 825GB of which only about 667GB is actually free to use. It still baffles me that this is a step down from the 1TB I was getting with my PS4 pro but I’ve managed to roll with the punches, especially as I’m lucky enough to have pretty fast WiFi at home with no data caps so redownloading games isn’t too much of a problem. I am fully aware though that I am one of the lucky ones and a lot of people are really struggling with this, especially as expandable storage for PS5 games just isn’t an option right now. You can however play your PS4 games straight off a USB Hard Drive so that does help stop your PS4 games taking up all the space, of which they will due to half your friends still being on PS4 thanks to those stock shortages. Yes as you can tell I’m really fed up of having two copies of FIFA taking up space in my already small storage..
Elsewhere I’m still scared to put the console into rest mode in fear of it bricking given that this is apparently still an issue for a lot of people. I will say however that the famous hard crash after booting up from rest mode has only ever happened once to me and the database was rebuilt quickly enough and I was able to jump straight back into my game. I did continue to use rest mode for a while after but since falling down a rabbit hole of horror stories recently, I’ve gone back to just shutting the console down after every use just to be safe. Until this bug is definitively patched once and for all I will continue to do this, but this really isn’t bothering me too much to be honest due to the PS5’s insanely fast load times. Even when booting the console up from power off, you can expect to be back in your game in next to no time, especially if it’s a PlayStation exclusive. I actually timed it on Miles Morales once and was able to go from power off to swinging through New York in less than 30 seconds which is insane for a guy who still remembers having to blow into cartridges to get them to work.
Finally I want to touch on a really annoying bug where PS Plus cloud saves seem to have a real hard time uploading and will always litter my home screen with error messages every time I boot up the system. This was only ever a real problem though when I tried to go in and fix it, which resulted in the system wiping my Miles Morales saved data.. Needless to say I’m happy to just deal with the notifications from now on or turn them off entirely until this is patched. It’s a fair trade off in my opinion though given what we’re currently getting with PS Plus. The PS Plus collection is still available and features some of the best PS4 games of all time at no extra cost which is amazing value for money. What makes this even better is how many developers have pushed out updates over the past couple of months to make those PS4 games run even better on PS5. Games like God of War and Days Gone have both recently received 60fps upgrades that make them well worth jumping back into on PS5!
To summarise, yes there is a long list of issues on the PS5 and that’s without even getting into the stock shortages and people not being able to actually buy the console right now. These issues though are all fixable and will hopefully be patched by Sony sooner rather than later, until then I’m working round the majority of them with nearly no problem at all. More importantly though is how the games play and they play fantastically. Whether its ray-tracing, performance modes or dualsense features, each PS5 game has managed to blow my mind in one way or another. The dualsense controller is the best pad I have ever used even if it is slightly less durable than I had hoped, but fingers crossed newer pads will be more resistant to wear and tear as we move forward, and it’s a teething process I’m happy to deal with for such a brilliant controller. I haven’t even had time to mention the UI but that is something I wasn’t overly keen on at first but has grown on me over time, with a few more updates to return features such as folders, it’ll be a real winner. I think it’s a bit weird to give a review score to an actual console but hey ho I’m about to do it anyway. Once the PS5 is fully patched and working to its full potential, there’s no reason I wouldn’t go full ten out of ten here, but unfortunately I have to take the current faults into consideration so right now as of February 2021 I give the PS5 an