PlayStation State of Play: All the Big Announcements Ranked
How does PlayStation's spring and summer release road map stack up? My full impressions on the event and upcoming games.
During the recent State of Play Sony revealed new titles, offered fresh looks at hotly anticipated games and dropped key release dates into the spring and summer. Below I have ranked my most anticipated titles, from top to bottom Sony has an exciting road map for the spring / summer release window and beyond. Let’s take a look at the full lineup:
1. Kena: Bridge of Spirits New Gameplay
Release Date: August 24, 2021
The hotly anticipated title was on full display with its stunning visuals and a fresh look at gameplay. As you can see from the trailer below Bridge of Spirts continues to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing titles on PlayStation’s horizon. The big news out the State of Play was the game’s release date; it will arrive on the PS4 and PS5 on August 24th, 2021.
2. Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Intergrade
Release Date: June 10th, 2021
In a very close tie for my top highlight from the State of Play was Final Fantasy VII Remake making its way to the PlayStation 5. The game will arrive on the platform June 10th, 2021 sporting visual enhancements, gameplay improvements and a brand-new episode featuring Yuffie as the main character. It was also announced that Final Fantasy VII Remake will join the PS Plus lineup this March, so there’s no excuse not to jump into one of the best RPGs of all time.
3. Returnal takes an unexpected twist in a new gameplay trailer
Release Date: April 30, 2021
The upcoming third-person shooter doubled down on psychological horror elements in its latest trailer. For the uninitiated, Returnal has you play as Selene, a space pilot marooned on an alien world where you are stuck in a nightmarish time loop. The latest on the game not only showed off more rogue-like elements and enemies but ended with hints at Selene’s mysterious past. The final moments of the demo end with quite a twist. Check out the latest gameplay look below:
4. Some Déjà Vu from Deathloop
Release Date: May 21st, 2021
Arkane Studios, the developer best known for Dishonored 1 + 2 and Prey is at it again with its newest game Deathloop. The latest peek during State of Play was its best yet, shedding more light on characters, weapons and time bending mechanics. The new trailer titled, “Déjà Vu” doubled down on the 70s spy aesthetic and I am all here for it. The time bending experience is an interesting one – it’s an FPS that unfolds like a giant game of Clue, every time you die the game hits reset and you must learn from your mistakes.
Check out the latest gameplay trailer here.
5. Throwdown with Sifu
Release Date: TBD 2021
If you are looking for more Kung-Fu action in your life, Sifu will have you on the path to becoming a virtual martial arts master. The new game is from developer Sloclap, the independent studio that brought us the critically acclaimed Absolver. During the State of Play the world got its first glimpse of the game and its fluid hand-to-hand combat. So far, I’m a fan of the game’s minimalistic graphics and authentic looking fighting techniques.
6. Oddworld: Soulstorm Free with PS Plus in April
Release Date: April 6th, 2021
The classic series is making its return to the PlayStation platform on April 6th launching simultaneously on the PS4 and PS5. Big news for PS5 owners, Soulstorm will be free to PlayStation Plus subscribers on the next-gen console. The offbeat adventure looks super sharp in 4K in 60fps mixed in with Hollywood style cutscenes.
Industry stalwart and creative director at Oddworld Inhabitants Lorne Lanning explained some of the features coming to the PS5 version: “We really wanted to bring this world to life with what we call 2.9D platforming, which adds much more depth and immersion for the player. This sense of connection is also reinforced through the use of the dual senses haptic feedback as you'll now be able to feel Abe's heartbeat in high alert and suspenseful situations.” I’ve been playing the Oddworld games since the original PlayStation, I can’t wait to continue the adventure on the PS5. Check out the full trailer below for the latest look at the game:
7.Solar Ash’s big time otherworldly appeal
Release Date: TBD 2021
Very few games come right out of the gate dripping so much style and character like Solar Ash. The title comes from indie developer Heart Machine, known for the brilliant Hyper Light Drifter. During the State of Playthe game’s creative director Alx Preston revealed first looks at gameplay showing off mysterious worlds, interstellar landscapes and massive enemy encounters. Are you ready to step into the void?
8. Crash Bandicoot 4 spins onto the PS5
Release Date: March 12th, 2021 (PS5)
The beloved Crash 4 reboot, (don’t call it a comeback!) is coming to the PlayStation 5 with a bevvy of improvements. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time will arrive with 4K visuals, target 60 FPS, include improved 3D audio and faster load times. The next gen update will also support the DualSense’s adaptive triggers, and haptic feedback to further immerse players in the game. Good news is this upgrade is completely free if you purchased the original game on the PS4, and it will also transfer your save data PS5 and not miss a beat.
PlayStation’s promising short-term release roadmap
In the midst of a global pandemic that has grinded many creative sectors to a halt, Sony still delivered a strong lineup during the State of Play. The event not only will keep thumbs moving late into the summer, but there are likely more announcements on the horizon for the fall and winter slate. As of writing here is a quick look at the next few months of PlayStation gaming:
Crash Bandicoot 4 - March 12th, 2021
Oddworld: Soulstorm - April 6, 2021
MLB: The Show 21 – April 20th, 2021
Returnal - April 30th, 2021
Resident Evil Village - May 7th, 2021
Deathloop - May 21st, 2021
Ratchet & Clank - June 11th, 2021
Kena - August 24th, 2021
GhostWire: Tokyo - October 2021
Solar Ash - 2021
Horizon Zero Dawn: Forbidden West - 2021
Fingers crossed this slate remains intact, but there is a lot to look forward to in the coming months.