Earlier this week I had my first experience with the PS4’s Share Play functionality and I was sort of blown away. I had no idea how well it would work (turns out, pretty well) or how much I would like it (turns out, quite a lot). What I really wasn’t expecting was the potential experiences it could open me up to, gaming-wise.
I live in a place where I don’t have gaming friends locally. I had really wanted to force myself out of my gaming comfort zone and try Bloodborne, but I felt intimidated and didn’t know how to proceed.
Insert a friend with great familiarity with From Software games (Grunts!) and the Share Play feature.
He offered to coach me through the game online and join me via co-op if I really needed help with some of the bosses. I jumped at the chance and on Monday, we dove in.
Now, to be clear, the only form of Share Play we used was where he simply watched what I was doing. I have no desire to turn the controls of any game over to another person. I see no issue with that, but for me, I want to complete a game with my hands on the controller from start to finish.
Share Play (for anyone out there unfamiliar) is a feature on the PS4 that allows someone else to view what you are playing in real-time, or, if you choose, to take control of your game remotely to play it for you.
This seems like such a simple thing in theory, but in reality, for me, it was amazing. I felt like Grunts was sitting there with me (which, in a way, he was) and being my Bloodborne sensei. He offered up the perfect balance of advice and encouragement, and I absolutely credit my initial success to his careful guidance. At any moment I was freaking out (which were numerous in frequency), he could let me know which way to go, or how to proceed. He offered up advice on enemies and shortcuts, and he helped guide me on how best to level my character and weapons. I valued every bit of input.
My experience would not have been the same without this feature and his presence. I still marvel at the fact that someone in another country, several time zones away, could watch what I was doing in real-time and guide me through with his sage wisdom. It was an entirely new gaming experience, and one I can’t praise enough. I can only hope I get to use Share Play in the future to facilitate other types of gaming experiences.
Today, we are diving in for round two of the Bloodborne experience via Share Play and I am terribly excited. I feel so much more confident with his knowledge in my corner and his company via my ears. I know one of the most difficult parts of the game is coming up today (Father Gascoigne, boo), and it gives me video game courage to know that Grunts will be watching and providing insight throughout.
I mean, how neat is that?
So with that, off I go to fight potentially the most difficult boss in any game I’ve played. I’m intimidated, but hopeful.
All thanks to Grunts and Share Play.
Have you used the Share Play feature on the PS4? If so, what did you think?