A reader suggests that the PS5 reveal was less impressive than it first seemed and worries about the lack of new IP and poor launch line-up.
If you’re like me I imagine you finished watching the PlayStation 5 ‘Future of Gaming Show’ feeling pretty satisfied and impressed. There weren’t any big surprises but there sure were a lot of games, across a wide variety of genres. And, boy, that Bugsnax theme tune sure was catchy.
But it didn’t take long for the cracks to start appearing in Sony’s presentation. First it was the fact that they’d lied about what Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Technically they didn’t say it was Spider-Man 2 but that was clearly what it was implied to be and no-one had any idea it was anything else until a Sony exec said it was actually a remaster. Then he turned out he was wrong and it was actually some kind of mid-budget spin-off like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.
The it turns out that the Demon’s Souls remake forces you to make a choice between better graphics or higher frame rate, you can’t have both. Exactly the opposite of what you want to hear when you’re contemplating a new console and something which immediately makes you suspicious that the PlayStation 5 is less powerful than the Xbox Series X.
Next you begin to realise that there were virtually no new IPs. The indie games were all new, as you’d expect but the only new franchise from Sony was Destruction All Stars – what looks like a low budget riff on Twisted Metal that I’m going to guess is not top of anyone’s most anticipated PlayStation 5 games. (You could be generous and also add Returnal to the list, but Sony are only publishing that and don’t seem to have had anything to do with making it.)
If I’d gone a year without saying anything about my new next gen console I like to think I’d have come up with something a bit more appealing than a LittleBigPlanet spin-off that looks like a PlayStation 3 game and the 20th Ratchet & Clank game that nobody’s going to care about. Even Horizon Forbidden West managed not to impress, with the only memorable moments being a scene brazenly stolen from Return of the King and what looks like a cyborg Venusaur.
There was no iconic imagery at all for Horizon, or any of the games, and in any case I really don’t think Horizon is as beloved as Sony is banking on. It was quite good, and very pretty, but it was very generic and predictable. I saw nothing to make me think the sequel would be any different and if Sony was going to hype up sequels I would much rather have seen something of God Of War 2.
What the reveal needed was at least one or two brand new, big budget Ips that were dedicated to showing off exactly why you need the PlayStation 5 and why it’s the best console ever. Show off what the SSD can do, show graphics on par with the Unreal Engine 5 demo, and show something that’s not just another third person open world game in a post-apocalyptic world.
Sony showed off a lot of games but I’d much rather have seen that number cut by two-thirds in favour of something jaw-dropping and inspirational. They’ve done it before, with the infamous Killzone trailer and others, but this time I’m not even sure what the most impressive game was supposed to be? Horizon? Ratchet & Clank? Personally I found Resident Evil 8 the most interesting and that was multiformat.
But the biggest problem, the point at which you realise how much of a mistake Sony has made, is when you work out which of these games are launch titles. The answer is: almost none of them. The only exclusive, ignoring the Playroom tech demo, is Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which isn’t a full game and reuses assets and the game world from a PlayStation 4 game. Truly a launch classic to go down in history with Super Mario 64 and Halo…
From there you’re immediately down to relying on multiformat games (admittedly Bethesda’s Deathloop does look good) and indie games, with the only other console exclusive being Godfall, which looks completely meh.
Launch line-ups are often bad, especially PlayStation ones, but I think this has the potential to be the worst ever, especially in terms of first party games. What has Sony been doing all these years that this is the best they could come up with? Even if all the game’s they announced came out at launch it’d still be disappointing, but with only Spider-Man it’s a travesty.
By reader Purple Ranger
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