BY ALEX WAKEFORD
Last week, Sony revealed the PlayStation 5 to the world along with a number of titles that we can look forward to over the next two years.
From old-school classics to brand new IPs, this generational handover is looking like the best one yet!It’s been really interesting to watch how Sony and Microsoft have emphasised different aspects of their next-generation consoles.
For the Xbox Series X, it’s been all about the hardware. Performance and functionality have been at the forefront of what’s being called the most powerful console ever, and the statistics certainly seem to back that up.
Microsoft has also emphasised their continued commitment to backwards compatibility as one of the Xbox’s core pillars, ensuring that thousands of games from your library across the entire lifespan of the Xbox generations will be ready and waiting for you in their most enhanced form yet.
On the other hand, Sony has been moving more towards putting the upcoming games front-and-centre, as we saw in last week’s hour-long presentation which showcased twenty-five upcoming titles.
Here are some of our favourite picks of what’s to come…
HORIZON: FORBIDDEN WEST
Horizon: Zero Dawn was the reason I got a PS4.
I had longed to jump back into Sony’s menagerie of amazing first-party exclusives, and when Horizon: Zero Dawn came along… well, it was no longer a question for me.
Guerrilla Games made what is one of the best open world titles of the generation, up there with The Witcher 3, and ever since I finished it I’ve been wondering about its sequel – what’s next for Aloy?
Ashly Burch and Lance Reddick will be reprising their roles as Aloy and Sylens respectively, with the action moving to a ‘post-post-apocalyptic’ California.
Several questions from the first game remain, such as who or what sent the mysterious signal that activated HADES – enacting a protocol which would destroy the millennia of terraforming that was meant to heal the Earth, unleashing the monstrous machines we spend much of our time fighting.
No release window has yet been given, but, in the meantime, Horizon: Zero Dawn will be releasing on PC later this summer with more information on that coming soon!
It’s like the world of Blade Runner… but you’re a cat.
What more do you need to know? If you’re not sold by the time the cat meows at the end of the trailer, nothing could possibly sway you!
Details are light here, but the Steam description is absolutely wild!
Lost, alone, and separated from family, a stray cat must untangle an ancient mystery to escape a long-forgotten city.
Stray is a third-person cat adventure game set amidst the detailed neon-lit alleys of a decaying cybercity and the murky environments of its seedy underbelly. Roam surroundings high and low, defend against unforeseen threats and solve the mysteries of this unwelcoming place inhabited by nothing but unassuming droids and dangerous creatures.
See the world through the eyes of a stray and interact with the environment in playful ways. Be stealthy, nimble, silly, and sometimes as annoying as possible with the strange inhabitants of this foreign world.
Along the way, the cat befriends a small flying drone, known only as B12. With the help of this newfound companion, the duo try to find a way out.
Stray is developed by BlueTwelve Studio, a small team from south of France mostly made of cats and a handful of humans.
Planned for release in 2021, you can wishlist the game on Steam here.
RATCHET & CLANK: RIFT APART
It’s been over four years since we last saw our favourite Lombax!
A flagship franchise for PlayStation since 2002, last week’s cinematic trailer and gameplay showcase revealed that Ratcher & Clank will be making a return for the next generation.
This gameplay reveal was a subtle way to show off the immense power of the PlayStation 5’s SSD, as the duo were shown to seamlessly transition between different dimensions in mere seconds – showing off exactly the kind of lush and vibrant worlds one would expect from the series, but in a very unexpected way.
Where the player would have to go to their ship to jump between worlds with a loading screen or two, instant-loading enables incredible new possibilities for Rift Apart.
And then there’s the raytracing and particle effects… it’s fair to say that we saw as much a tech demo for the capabilities of this new console as well as a gameplay reveal.
It looks like Dr Nefarious will be back (the gift that has just kept on giving since 2004!), and a new female Lombax character has been introduced – for whom an endless supply of fan art is sure to be made.
Arkane Studios has proven themselves time and again to be one of the most visionary developers out there.
From the Dishonored series, to Prey, and beyond, their continued expansion and refinement of the ‘immersive sim’ has taken up countless hours and and numerous replays over the last two generations.
You are an assassin named Colt, tasked with taking out eight targets before midnight. If you fail, if even one target survives, time will reset and you’ll have to start over.
Oh, and there’s an optional multiplayer component too. Another player can jump in as Julianna, an agent who is set against Colt to protect the time loop and can interfere with their efforts.
It sounds like it’s going to be one of Arkane’s most ambitious titles yet, and it’s due out later this year!
“From the creators of Hyper Light Drifter…”
That’s it. I’m sold.
That instantly-recognisable ambient synthwave from Disasterpeace, coupled with the uniquely familiar aesthetic – that’s all I need!
Heart Machine and Annapurna Interactive are going to take us on another surreal journey through their vivid and stylised worlds, this time through the lens of third-person action with an emphasis on high-speed traversal.
It’s coming in 2021 and we can’t wait to see more!
SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES
The next adventure in Marvel’s Spider-Man universe will be all about Miles Morales in a standalone, quasi-spin-off game (comparable to 2017’s Uncharted: The Lost Legacy).
While no mainline sequel has been announced to the smash-hit from 2018, hopes are high that this will be something of a bridge to a full Miles Morales game in the years to come, shifting him to be the main character of the franchise.
Conversations have also really gravitated towards the appearance and lighting of Miles, as this has been quite broadly in the public consciousness for some years now with regards to how lighting has privileged white actors while ignoring the differing needs of lighting Black actors (something covered in greater depth by Nadia Latif).
Not only is it tremendously fulfilling to see an Afro-Latino superhero in this leading role as the much-beloved Spider-Man, but he also looks and is lit for the part.
Much information about Spider-Man: Miles Morales has yet to be announced, but it’s confirmed to be a PlayStation 5 exclusive and is scheduled to release towards the end of the year.
This is just one-fifth of the titles showcased last week for the PlayStation 5, there are many more to come!
What games are you most looking forward to next-generation?
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