Sony’s having a lot of misfires in terms of its public perception, thanks to some boneheaded business strategies that border on self sabotage and result in totally self inflicted wounds, but the PS5’s momentum cannot be stopped. And for good reason – when it comes down to it, the reason these gaming systems manage to sell like they do or generate the loyalty among their fans that they do is because of the games they play host to. Sony, for all their other failings, are now at a point where they are routinely delivering industry defining games. Even the PS5’s launch year, a period which is traditionally dry for exciting new games, has seen Sony deliver Demon’s Souls, Spider-Man Miles Morales, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Returnal, and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart.
And now, Sony is about to show us the next wave of PS5 software. For far too long, PlayStation fans have complained about Sony’s silence, and how the company won’t share what’s in the pipeline for the $500 machines they have just bought on faith – the good thing is, now Sony is about to show us what’s behind the curtains, with their upcoming PlayStation event.
Obviously, it’s hard to know exactly what we can expect from this show, but there are some predictions we can make – based on rumours, educated guesses, precedence, and just plain old wishful thinking at times. Honestly, if even half this list shows up at Sony’s even, we’ll be satisfied – if they manage to pull through with all of them, we’ll be ecstatic. So, without further ado, here’s what we expect.
HORIZON: FORBIDDEN WEST
Horizon: Forbidden West got a huge State of Play back before E3, and it’s spent the last few weeks in the news cycle, with the confirmation of the official release, date, as well as pre-order details, and the snafus associated with Sony’s boneheaded cross-gen strategy. But what we haven’t gotten in a while is a new look at the game itself – which we probably will at Sony’s event. To be honest, we probably won’t see a lot of it, and Sony will presumably not want to linger on it too much, since it has been in the news cycle (and since Sony will probably want to talk about stuff we don’t have as much details on), but Horizon being there is a pretty safe bet. Hopefully we get to see more of a look at how Guerrilla plans on evolving their well-received, but flawed, first attempt at an open world action RPG.
THE LAST OF US REMAKE
From recent, well sourced reports, we know that Sony is supposed to be working on a remake of the seminal The Last of Us. Whether or not this is a considered decision is now water under the bridge – no matter what one thinks of whether the excellent 2013 game which still holds up needs a remake, it is, apparently, getting one. And if it is, we might get to see it at this event. It’ll be really interesting to see what changes, if any, the game has over the original – The Last of Us is one of the most beloved games of all time, and out single handedly defined Sony’s entire first party approach from there on. It also holds up remarkably well – so what will the remake bring to the table? Are we looking at it adopting Part 2‘s amazingly realized sandbox style encounters? Will there be any changes made to the story? We’re pretty excited to see what comes of The Last of Us‘s remake at this point, and we hope Sony brings the goods.
THE LAST OF US PART 2: FACTIONS
Of course, The Last of Us Remake will probably not be the only new entry in that franchise we see at this event. Sony and Naughty Dog have been teasing the multiplayer component to Part 2, which was expanded in scope to be a standalone product, for a while now, and we still haven’t seen anything of it. We’ve barely had official acknowledgement for it. So, the time has come – if this thing is still happening, this PS event is where Sony should take the curtains off and finally reveal how The Last of Us multiplayer will be evolving in the next generation. Personally, given how mechanically sublime The Last of Us Part 2 is, I can’t wait to see what a multiplayer game based off of it will be like.
Final Fantasy 16 is not going to be at this show – as much as I’d want it to be, Square Enix pretty much confirmed earlier this year that it’s unlikely to be shown off for the remainder of 2021. But we already know that Forspoken, the new game from the development team of Final Fantasy 15, is supposed to release before Final Fantasy 16 – so perhaps we get a new look at that? There are a lot of questions about this game, which is promising to deliver an open world action RPG unlike any Square Enix has ever attempted in the past – and maybe a deeper dive into what the game might deliver will help stoke the fires of hype.
GRAN TURISMO 7
This one is honestly a bit of a crapshoot as to whether or not it shows up at the event. Gran Turismo games are notorious for having protracted development cycles, something that 7 is probably especially struggling with given COVID-19 is still a thing, and that apparently the PS4 version for it was added later in development. Past GT games have often skipped showings at events until nearer release – depending on the state of the game right now, there’s a possibility that Gran Turismo 7 is a no-show here as well. However, presumably we will get something for the game here – a short trailer or a gameplay demo around one track, perhaps? Like I said, it’s hard to nail this one down. But Gran Turismo is Sony’s oldest active franchise – and I am sure there are many who would be delighted to see it.
Is Sony actually acquiring Bluepoint Games? Who knows anymore? When announcing the acquisition of Housemarque earlier this year, PlayStation Japan’s Twitter account accidentally also shared news indicating Bluepoint had been similarly acquired – but that was quickly deleted, and Bluepoint continues to be independent, with no official acknowledgement of that goof since. Was it a goof? Who knows? Maybe Sony announces Bluepoint joining the PlayStation Studios family at this event. Maybe there is no acquisition, but at the very least we get to see what game they are working on next – whether it be a remake of some other classic Sony property, or something new entirely.
NEW GAMES FROM SONY’S NEW PARTNERSHIPS
Over the last few months, Sony has been announcing new partnerships for exclusive games with newly set up studios, most prominently, Jade Raymond’s Haven Studios. We haven’t seen or heard anything from these new games these studios are supposed to be working on, even though we do know that Sony is apparently relying on their expertise with multiplayer games to compensate for the weakness of those styles of games in their own first party lineup. Once more, if these games are anywhere close to being shown, this Sony even is as good a place as any. Hopefully we see at least one of them soon.
People have been trying to will a Bloodborne remaster into existence for almost half a decade now (ever since the PS4 Pro in fact). They have good reason to – Bloodborne is an amazing game, but it suffers from being technically fairly, shall we say lacking. Framerate drops and frame pacing issues are the biggest problems the game suffers from, and a re-release that does literally nothing else except ironing those out will probably be able to charge a $70 premium and get away with it for its contingent of loyal and devoted fans. Bloodborne as a remaster – for PS5 and PC – has been rumoured variously for a while now, though to be fair, none of those rumours really seem to have much backing them. But again, if it’s true that this game is getting a remaster, or re-release, or update of any kind, we should hopefully see it next week. And if we don’t… well, sometimes it’s best to just make your peace with how things are.
NEW FROM SOFTWARE GAME
In the PS3 and PS4 eras, Sony partnered with From Software to deliver a generation defining game each time that would drive core gamers to their consoles – Demon’s Souls for PS3, Bloodborne for PS4. Recent reports indicate they are teaming with From Software again for a hat trick, which sounds extremely exciting – although a lot of questions remain about whether or not there is any veracity to this rumor. For starters, given that all of From has been pulled into trying to get Elden Ring out the door, who exactly is working on this new game? Secondly, given that Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls were both FromSoftware and Sony Japan co-productions (a fact that tends to often be forgotten), who exactly is working with From on this game? Sony Japan is closed now, because Sony in their infinite wisdom decided to shut down their oldest internal development studio. Is there even any truth to this rumor? I really hope so, because as I said, the last two times Sony and From joined forces delivered among the greatest games of all time. I’d love another one of those.
Something that somehow feels even unlikelier than a new From Software partnership is a new Wipeout game, and yet, a new Wipeout game was part of a lot of the same reports that reported on the new From title. Unlikely, why? After all, Wipeout was widely loved, and is Sony’s oldest IP. But the thing is, the genre it is in hasn’t delivered a hit in over two decades, the studio that made Wipeout (industry legends Pygnosis, acquired by Sony before the release of PS1, rebranded later) has been shut down, and there is no indication that Sony really has any other studio with the know-how to make a futuristic arcade racing game. Maybe Polyphony Digital could give it a go (and they would probably do it well), but they seem to be all wrapped up in Gran Turismo 7 right now, so… how can this game exist? Why would it even exist, given how poorly Wipeout has done since the late PS1 era? Those questions are not for me to answer, they’re for Sony to. And if this game is real, hopefully Sony answers those questions at this event, and reveals a new Wipeout game worthy of the moniker.
We literally got Miles Morales not even a year ago, and Insomniac delivered Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart just a couple months earlier this year – so it might seem foolish to expect the studio to reveal another new big budget tentpole game already, given how long games take to develop now, and that Miles is so new (and still selling so well); but Insomniac works really efficiently, and it’s actually not unrealistic to expect them to have a full-fledged Spider-Man sequel out by 2023. It’s also a game they have talked about a fair few times in the past. We are probably not going to get much of a detailed look at Spider-Man 2 at the PS event, if we get any look at all to begin with – but at the very least, I think we can expect an official announcement trailer.
GOD OF WAR
You knew we were going to save this for the end, because that’s probably what Sony is going to do as well. God of War 2018 was an incredible reimagining of a beloved franchise, and one of the most acclaimed games of last generation – and a direct follow up that builds on it and addresses its shortcomings is an exciting prospect by definition. Sony originally announced the game for a 2021 release for PS5 only – obviously, they weren’t being exactly truthful there, because the game is a cross-gen title, and it’s not coming this year, but neither of those things is really enough to dampen the hype at the prospect of a real, new God of War game running on the PS5. If we see nothing else at this show, we are guaranteed to see what happens in the story of Kratos and Atrues now that Ragnarok has been initiated – and how the sequel builds up on the tease at the very end of the 2018 game. We cannot wait, frankly, and a new look at God of War will be enough to make this event worth it all on its own.
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