Not too long ago, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 5 with an hour-long stream, finally showcasing the console itself, a bunch of accessories and a glut of upcoming titles that we can look forward to this year and next. Here are our highlights from The Future of Gaming.
Soulstorm is looking slightly more chaotic than the original.
While not nearly as down on the event as Chris, I can echo that the DualSense gamepad is ugly and DEATHLOOP was underwhelming. Bethesda stablemate GhostWire: Tokyo was too, which is especially disappointing with Shinji Mikami at the helm.
Probably the most impressive reveal was Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which really showcased what the PS5’s SSD can do. Players are able to instantly transition between several completely different levels without so much as a whiff of a loading screen. That likely wouldn’t be possible on PS4, and most certainly wouldn’t be possible while also boasting a level of visual polish akin to the Ratchet & Clank feature film.
While I’ll definitely be playing Rift Apart and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the exclusive game that really has me excited is the Demon’s Souls remake. The most appealing PS5 game being a PS3 game might not bode well, but my undying love of Dark Souls is well known and exploring its main point of origin (complete with online functionality, since the original servers have been shut down) is a hugely enticing prospect.
Horizon Forbidden West as the grand finale didn’t do much for me, since the original’s reliance on the repetitive Ubisoft formula landed it in the middle of the road. Resident Evil: Village would’ve occupied the prestigious slot more comfortably, appearing to be an excellent mix of old and new.
And still just as creepy as ever.
I love cats, so my favourite part of the event was the Stray trailer, in which a ginger cat with a little backpack explored a rather intriguing neon city. I’ve always thought animal sims/protagonists were a good idea (people did seem to enjoy Untitled Goose Game) and I look forward to catching robot mice and pooping in a box as well as playing detective.
My biggest disappointment from the show was the lack of any PS VR 2 news. I have an unused PS VR bundle just waiting for a shiny new PlayStation to enjoy it on, but if there’s an upgraded headset on the way, I’d rather keep it all boxed up for maximum trade-in value (although with StarWars: Squadrons out this winter, I could be tempted to break the seal).
As for the PS5 itself, I don’t think it looks terrible. Ideally I’d like to own both of the new consoles one day, but with space for only one machine under my TV (literally, if the sizing specs are to be believed) it might have to be the PS5 – the mini obelisk that is the Series X would stand out less sitting next to the set, after all.
Let's hope the customisation options are up to scratch.
Having been off the PlayStation train since the 90s, I gave the event itself a miss – a stark contrast to the E3 season events I would have undoubtedly been glued to in previous years, and different times.
The game to drag me back to Sony most recently was Marvel's Spider-Man, which I thoroughly enjoyed despite being late to the party.
An outing for fan-favourite Spidey, Miles Morales, was a nice showcase, and given the push for next-to-no loading from this hardware, it's likely to be reflective of the final experience.
Putting a new suit on the world's favourite web-slinger isn't quite enough to fork out £500 or more by itself though, so it's fortunate for Sony they have spent this generating a suite of series ripe for sequel treatment.
Horizon Zero Dawn broke records for new IP on the PS4 and God of War was no slouch either. More Horizon was announced and it's extremely likely that Kratos and other colourful characters are already being rendered at the newly rebranded PlayStation Studios. The biggest question left, besides the exact price, will be how long I hold off playing this time.
More Spidey can never be a bad thing.
Catch up with the full stream below and let us know what you think about The Future of Gaming.
After a seven year wait, The Last of Us Part 2 is tantalisingly close, though several plot points have already been leaked online ahead of the game's release. We thought it pertinent to discuss our feelings on the subject of spoilers but don't worry, TLoU fans, we've carefully plotted our course through this minefield to tiptoe around any potential spoilers.
It's a bit of a tear-jerker.
While fortunately I've generally managed to avoid story spoilers, the effect they could have had on several games would have undoubtedly turned me off.
Whether it's the plot twist in the likes of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare or BioShock, the impact is similar – to know what's going to happen lessens its impact and, for some it will damage the overall experience.
Of course, most leaks are far from a blow-by-blow of a story, and there's a huge amount to be gained from context in storytelling. In other words, hearing about something isn't the same as experiencing it for yourself.
For example, when I finished both BioShock and its sequel Infinite, the climax of both stories were hugely satisfying to experience myself, even though with the former I at least knew something unexpected was coming at the end. Admittedly, to go into Infinite's finale cold felt far better as I didn't feel late to the party.
When it comes to The Last Of Us, as a series it's hugely revered and respected for its cinematic storytelling, so potentially it has more to lose by being spoiled. Does that mean it won't be worth playing? For even those who are hugely invested, it's always worth letting developer Naughty Dog tell their own story before making up your mind.
With Bioshock, there's something unexpected around every corner.
While spoilers might completely dissuade me from watching a film, TV series, or sporting event the same can’t be said for games. Though there’s undoubtedly more to all of those visual mediums than the end result, much of the joy is sapped out of the viewing experience when you do happen to know the outcome in advance.
While I certainly don’t appreciate game spoilers, they relate to an interactive form of entertainment where much of the joy remains intact. In my opinion, gameplay is the most important factor in gaming - like EA Sports, it’s in the name!
I actually might’ve seen the TLoU 2 ending spoilers, though I’m in no rush to check whether what I read was legit or fabricated. Finding out for myself later this month will be part of the fun, and it hasn’t prompted me to cancel my pre-order.
If it does turn out to be true, the gameplay experience won’t have suffered any and I’ll get to learn the context surrounding that outcome. In the end, I don’t see myself as emerging much worse off.
If you're unsure of whether something is a spoiler, does it still count as a spoiler?
Most of the big releases where I’ve been heavily invested in the narrative, I either powered through before other people could spoil things for me (Modern Warfare 2) or I ended up experiencing them years after they were in the limelight (Mass Effect and ME2) when most people had already moved on and the danger was significantly reduced.
These days I find I’m more likely to spoil things for myself, like when an innocuous internet search for Animal Crossing: New Horizons tips (spoiler, it’s my GOTY) sends me down a rabbit hole of information that reveals exactly what’s awaiting me in the coming days and weeks as I continue to upgrade my island.
For me, knowing that a wealth of information is readily at hand to look up whenever I please is probably worse than having a story or big moment revealed prematurely. In the old pre-internet times whenever I got stuck in a game, I had to knuckle down and figure it out, but nowadays the temptation to just google the solution can be hard to resist, and quite often I end up robbing myself of the satisfaction of overcoming a tough challenge through my own skill or brainpower.
Take Liam's story as a warning, if you're playing Animal Crossing.
Let us know how you feel about story spoilers.
We recently had the chance to chat with Bruno and Ricardo Cesteiro, the founders of independent development studio Camel 101, about their latest release. Set in an eerie town with dark secrets, Those Who Remain is a psychological horror title focused on the interplay between light and shadow.
Edward Turner is not a hero, in fact, he travelled to Dormont in order to end an illicit love affair. Was it a challenge to create such a flawed character and still have players invested in his story?
It was very interesting to create Edward. I personally think it’s more interesting to play with a character with whom we can relate too, instead of a golden hero that does everything right and never hurts anyone.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that illicit love affairs are a regular thing. What I mean is that we’re all flawed, we’ve all done things we regret. And sometimes we’re trying to do the right thing, and we end up hurting someone we love. That’s because life is not black and white, reality deals in shades of grey.
I think Edward being flawed and feeling human is one of the things that draws players in when they first start the game. They want to know what’s going on, why he’s meeting his lover in a motel and why he feels so bad about it.
We've seen a host of demons in trailers and gameplay videos. Is light our only weapon or will we have other tools at our disposal?
The shadow people that stand in the dark will disappear by using any kind of light source. That’s the only way to fight them. There are creatures that can walk in the dark and in the light. In these cases, the only options are running and hiding.
You've mentioned in interviews that choice and consequence are big themes; can we expect multiple endings which encourage repeat playthroughs?
The main premise of the game is choices and consequences. Not just the things that Edward’s done, but the things that he will do. And so, we want players to feel the weight of their actions too, meaning that there are three different endings based on the player’s choices. So yes, there’s always room for more playthroughs.
We Were Here Together makes its console debut this week; join us on an expedition to the Antarctic for some cooperative puzzle solving on Xbox One.
I enjoy a good brain teaser; will I find the puzzles too easy?
Puzzles start off fairly intuitive, but there’s a sudden spike in difficulty after the first hour or so that sees things get a lot tougher. We also enjoy a challenge, but too often it felt like we were relying on trial and error rather than our grey matter, with some solutions proving to be fiendishly difficult. More than a few times we had to resort to referencing outside guides after drawing a blank trying to find patterns or clues for puzzles that seemingly had none.
Would you recommend it?
Those who prefer a good amount of guidance with their games might want to steer clear, but if you’re a fan of the previous titles, or affordable puzzle games that don’t hold your hand, then at £10.74 We Were Here Together is worth a go.