This week saw the return of State of Play, Sony’s digital showcase of trailers to tempt us to finally pick up a PS5 (if they were in stock at least).
A few notable absences from games we’ve seen were Horizon Forbidden West and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, with no sign of God of War: Ragnarok either, but we did get more from a few interesting titles. Here are a few of our favourites. Leave yours in the comments.
Just remember: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge.
Like the recent Nintendo Direct, Sony’s latest State of Play had very few surprises. That isn’t inherently bad, but, if the YouTube live chat is anything to go by, it wasn’t received well on either occasion. There were updates on several promising games here, however.
It was great to finally get a proper look at Returnal from Housemarque (Nex Machina), what with it set to launch next month and all. It looks to maintain the studio’s trademark addictive, arcade-style gameplay while upping the production value and injecting an intriguing story.
Oddworld: Soulstorm is coming to PlayStation Plus on PS5 at launch, which is a nice surprise that should provide some potent nostalgia come April. Deathloop will follow in May, though, as great as the gameplay looks, I don’t really jive with the psychedelic aesthetic. Methinks I’ll probably wait on the inevitable Xbox Game Pass release. Probably…
As someone that isn’t generally a JRPG fan, surprisingly, I enjoyed Final Fantasy VII Remake a lot. DLC and a free PS5 upgrade in June will do nicely, though its arrival on the eve of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (sadly absent from the showcase) is somewhat questionable.
Returnal's gameplay was one of the highlights of the show.
While Returnal also piqued my interest, the game I could see myself playing, and, crucially, finishing, from the showcase was Solar Ash.
The focus on movement is particularly interesting. Moving continuously while navigating the usual ebbs and flows of a boss battle is a particularly interesting challenge. The gameplay we’ve seen so far has a few similarities to games like Sunset Overdrive and even Devil May Cry, as well as rhythm-based classics like Jet Set Radio.
While only their second game, studio Heart Machine has an impressive track record thanks to the well-received Hyperlight Drifter, and the backing of publisher Annapurna Interactive should let the scope of Solar Ash extend beyond their indie debut.
The death mechanic in Sifu, seems interesting - whenever your character dies they return older and slightly more skilled - though given my action game skills, there’s every chance the character might die of old age before I complete it.
Elsewhere in recurring death mechanics, Deathloop continues to intrigue with a James Bond-inspired presentation. Whether it will move past the tried-and-tested gameplay formula Arkane is known for remains to be seen, since a lot of what’s been shown could definitely have been from a riff on their previous work.
Here's a screenshot of James' character after completing Sifu's tutorial.
What was your highlight from the State of Play? Let us know below.