Playstation 5 Launch

In the wake of E3 being cancelled, Sony opted for an online livestream to reveal their installment in next generation consoles and the games that will accompany it. Five days and twelve and a half million views later, here are my thoughts on what to and not to look forward to.

Duds:

Grand Theft Auto VRockstar Games

When I played GTA V over five years ago I was blown away by the expansiveness of the setting and agency provided to the characters. The previous games seemed claustrophobic when compared to the vast amount of characters to interact with and places to explore, and future games would have lofty standards to live up to. Seven years later Rockstar may be confirming that it may never satisfy the expectations of fans after announcing they’re simply expanding Grand Theft Auto 5 for the PS5. Online opinion was extremely negative, with fans decrying how Rockstar has opted for micro transactions over producing a full length game evident in the drought since Grand Theft Auto IV, a span of time which previously saw the release of four prior installments. Only time will tell if and how public opinion will change studios strategy in developing and releasing games.

Destruction AllstarsLucid Games

Online multiplayer gaming has seen exponential increases with games like Rocket League, Fortnite, and traditional first person shooters like Call of Duty embracing the platform. The battle royale format has become especially popular, and Lucid Games seeks to cash in with their Destruction Allstars. While the tone and style seems reminiscent of Fortnite, Sunset Overdrive, and Rocket League, it’s hard to determine how this is nothing but a next gen version of Twisted Metal.

Console Appearance

Admittedly this is a shallow criticism, but the curved white flat panels make the PS5 look like a futuristic household appliance. People criticized Microsoft for their over simplistic design but this feels like a move too far in the opposite direction.

Studs:

Spider-Man: Miles MoralesInsomniac Games

Regardless of valid criticisms over whether or not this exists as a full stand alone game (a potential example of devaluation of minority stories and perspectives) I still look forward to a continuation in the web slinging saga. Marvel showed us it’s answer to the Arkham series with an immersive dive into the world of Peter Parker, which I found nothing short of breathtaking. It will be curious how the game takes into consideration the additional innate abilities of miles, (bio-electricity and invisibility), and what effect his recent feature length film will have on shaping the tone and feel of the game.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift ApartInsomniac Games

A classic platforming title for Sony, the Ratchet & Clank demo seemed to be everything one can want from the franchise: heavy cartoon influence and design along with innovative new mechanics like the dimension shifting make it seem like it will be one helluva joyride.

ReturnalHousemarque

Hyper realistic animation and stellar voice acting peaked my interest, but the premise of a stranded astronaut who’s world keeps changing around her is what roped me in. Foreboding setting and enemy design along with dynamic combat might make this the space-horror game that people were hoping for in Death Stranding.

Kena: Bridge of SpiritsEmber Lab

As technology has gotten better we’ve seen the rise of video games as not just a different narrative medium, but art itself. Kena seems to be in this tradition as it marries beauty with combat; footage seems to imply that areas are revived after defeating enemies. This and it’s gorgeous aesthetic makes it likely to be a solid adventure game. It is not a PS5 exclusive, but the luscious scenery may be worth waiting until the PS5 to take advantage of the machines elevated capabilities.

Goodbye Volcano HighKO_OP

Speaking of narrative, I love me a good narrative and story based game, and Goodbye Volcano High looks to be promising in that department. Everything from the animation style to the soundtrack to the setting points to what I’m sure will be a classic adolescent coming of age tale…except, you know, with, uh dinosaur teenagers.

Astro’s PlayroomSIE Japan Studio

Quirky lighthearted platformers may be a market cornered by Italian plumbers who are brothers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a little competition now and then. With bright colors and an Eve from Wall-E like aesthetic, Astro’s Playroom seems like it will be a fun, joyful romp.

BugsnaxYoung Horses

Listen, there’s nothing I can say to describe this. Just watch the trailer.

DeathloopArkane Studios

There are some dramatic differences between the E3 trailer from last year and the gameplay trailer revealed this year, but they are changes I heartily welcome. Abandoning the hyper realistic graphics and adopting a more stylized, almost cell shaded aesthetic makes the game look like a Tarantino joint. Steampunk first person shooters have been high successful with titles like Bioshock and Dishonored, and this one seems destined to continue that trend.

Resident Evil 8: Village – Capcom

The latest installment and final chapter in the Ethan Winters story of the Resident Evil franchise seems to combine some of the best aspects from it’s most revolutionary titles, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Resident Evil 4. The first person perspective proved highly effective in emphasizing the horror and survival aspects of the previous release, so it’s gladly welcomed back for the next game. But the Baker compound in the swamps of Louisiana, while terrifying, grew weary after a while. It seems like the next game will have Ethan exploring far more diverse settings filled with more dramatic and extravagant characters, much like in Resident Evil 4. A wider setting with more characters might have been the only thing missing from RE7, and here’s to hoping it elevates the game to levels previous not reached by the survival horror genre.


Watch the entire stream below.

Follow me on Twitter @anotherRahulJ.

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