Feel like I need to chime in...because that was a rough showing, and maybe one of the weakest PlayStation Showcases on the first party side of things. I tuned in with some friends in a party to share the hype and there was so little to get hyped about that one of my friends was saying he'll probably just pass on streaming the next Showcase after this and the last one were pretty poor (but at least the last one had more pertinent first party releases).
Cool to start seeing stuff from PlayStation's acquired studios, but man, they weren't fantastic showings. I'm sorry Haven, but Fairgame$ (terrible name) looks destined to be dead within a year of its launch based on the CG trailer – it just looks so bland. Helldivers 2 looks like it could be dumb fun, nice to see some actual gameplay here, and fighting big Monster Hunter-style aliens with guns seems inherently like a good time, but that also just doesn't seem destined for long-term success. I'm already down and out on PlayStation's new objective of focusing on GaaS - as if I was ever onboard to begin with - but man, this is too much talent to waste on games seemingly destined to be buried in 12-18 months. To jump ahead, Concord, Firewalk's game, got a 45 second CG teaser which showed nothing but sci-fi and maybe inferred a Guardians of the Galaxy vibe...but is slated to be releasing next year? Seriously? Urgh.
Immortals of Aveum was already announced, still looks pretty stupid. Ghostrunner II...eh.
Phantom Blade Zero probably stole the show for me, I'm a bit nervous about having never heard of the devs before and the scale isn't so clear, but the combat looks fun as heck, as does the samurai steampunk vibe. Very, very into that.
Sword of the Sea straight up stole the archway bridge from Shadow of the Colossus and one of the colossi designs and merged it with Abzu and Journey (same artist). Neat enough, piqued my interest.
The Talos Principle II got a decent trailer, but honestly, I'm hard out on most first-person games unless they're shooters, because they seem to want to give me headaches, so...yeah, probably pass on this also first-person laser puzzles, nah I'm good
Neva, by the creators of Gris, looks lovely...if a little on the depressing side, if this trailer is anything to go by. Also the wolf hilariously just takes all it can from Princess Mononoke, it's basically the designs of Moro and the Forest Spirit fused
Cat Quest: Pirates of the Purribean piqued my interest as someone who knows of but hasn't played the earlier Cat Quest games, might need to look into doing so as I didn't realise they were so charming!
Foamstars - Splatoon by Square Enix with the traditionally generic F2P character designs - looks like it'll be another GaaS dead within a year.
Alright, The Plucky Squire still looks delightful.
Teardown on PS5? Cool. Seen plenty of talk about it back when it release on PC. Not really for me.
MGS Delta: Snake Eater was probably the most hyped I got the entire show, I joked that it was a first-person ant game but as soon as the bird picked up that dead frog and flew away, then landed on that mangrove-looking plant, I was going to my friends "oh there about to be a snake up in here and it's going to eat that bird, this is 1000% Snake Eater!", and surely enough, it was the much leaked and talked about Snake Eater remake. What a damn flat as hell trailer that was, especially for a remake of a game of this calibre, and made even worse by the fact that we all knew it was coming! Nice to hear the song again but I genuinely think a remake of the Snake Eater intro would have been better than this, it just didn't do anything to convince those of us who already love the original by now showing anything, and did absolutely nothing to sell new players on the game either...so who the heck was that for? I now face an uphill battle in convincing my friends to be excited for a game I genuinely think they'd enjoy, but how can I say that with confidence when I know nothing about the remake?
The MGS: Master Collection Vol. 1 with MGS, MGS2 and MGS3 is awesome, coming in Autumn and I'll pick that up like the Suikoden collection to show my support. Should've shown some footage imo, but I felt that way about most of the games in the Showcase.
Towers of Aghasba...eh.
Final launch trailer for Final Fantasy XVI was cool. Super unnecessary because I feel like we've still somehow seen too much and too little of that game, but less than a month to go, so that was hype, and one of my friends told me he's downloaded Final Fantasy VII Remake after I recommended it for the insane anime BS and music while watching this and half-convinced my other friend to check it out, so that was cool.
Alan Wake II getting Keanu Reeves was pretty funny, especially with how much they seemingly wanted to throw him into cyberpunk-looking shots.
Assassin's Creed Mirage looks more like old AC than it does new AC, so that's good I guess.
Revenant Hill looks charming, still need to check out Night in the Woods but this might be a prequel or something I'm guessing?
Granblue Fantasy Relink finally got a release window (Winter) for this year! Been waiting a loooooooong time for this, so I'm excited, but also half expecting a delay to early 2024!
Street Fighter 6 I checked out on a bit, always super curious about fighting games but they just never seem to keep me as interested as the first trailer manages to.
Ultros has a neat art style, not really interested. Tower of Fantasy is clearly an answer to Genshin that I'm sure will be hot for a minute, find it's gacha crowd, and then go dead quiet.
We finally got to see Dragon's Dogma II in action, which was pretty cool! I am actually half interested in this, so let's see how it turns out.
Fully checked out for VR2 stuff, nothing super interesting there, but just want to acknowledge how cool RE4 looks in VR.
Marathon looks like a GaaS that isn't destined to flop immediately but does have an absolutely atrocious name.
Project Q could be cool if you could download games to it and transfer saves between console and handheld, but with it being streaming-only, eh, I can do that on my Steam Deck, so unless we hear that it's somehow flawless, I'll probably pass. Think this will be a flop if it comes in at any more than £200 with how the Switch and Series S are priced. The earbuds though? I'm fully in for those, the Pulse headset gets way too warm after a couple of hours and I love my XM4 earbuds, so give me that level of comfort in the foam tips, decent enough battery life for a long gaming session, and a half decent mic, and I'll be over the moon that my ears aren't burning - hoping this isn't crazy expensive and comes in at no more than £150, hopefully closer to £100 tbh.
Lastly, Spider-Man 2 started off by trying to look like Wolverine (bad move imo) before having us worry that we were only getting a Kraven intro (another bad move imo) before then finally getting to some gameplay which, well...looked like more Spider-Man, but somehow a bit worse? Idk if it was the UI but it just didn't feel like a great showing, obviously there's a lot of compression with the stream but the symbiote suit didn't look great, and unlike the gameplay reveal we got for Miles which gave us a whole new vibe and showed us awesome new abilities...this just felt like more Spider-Man, and did a bad job for me of trying to justify being PS5 exclusive? I'm not quite seeing it. Do hope the symbiote suit adds extra attacks to your chain that you don't input as Peter loses sense of things, though, that'd be neat. Still expect to love the game, but yeah, just didn't feel like it sold me on anything new, and I was already in anyways. No release date though? That hurt. I know they've done it before where they've given a window and then just put out a date in the PS Blog, but not giving a date - not even a month? - when it's coming out sometime between the start of September and end of November this year is really odd, especially with it surely being attached to the SpiderVerse ads next week.
So let's count this out.
I'm in Day 1 for Snake Eater, MGS Collection, Final Fantasy XVI, Granblue Fantasy Relink, Spider-Man 2, and the earbuds. All of which I knew about to some extent - 3 of these were already announced and the other 3 were heavily rumoured in the last few months - going into this, so, I mean, no surprises there.
I'm super interested in Phantom Blade Zero and it would be Day 1, but I just don't know enough a about the studio to have that level of confidence that it'll turn out great – but if it's even a 7/10, I'm there, because it's my vibe.
I'm half interested in Helldivers 2 - that depends almost entirely on its model, is it F2P, premium, mid-priced? No idea - because it looks like it could be some fun with friends, but I otherwise have ZERO interest in PlayStation's games from their other acquired studios making their own big announcements. Also half interested in Neva, The Plucky Squire, Sword of the Sea, Cat Quest: Pirates of the Purribean and Dragon's Dogma II, but that just really depends on how busy I am with other games when they release, the state of their release, and how well they show off in future showings prior to release.
Again: big letdown for me this showing, and I'm already seeing people talking about a Showcase in September. Yes, there are games I'm interested in, but I knew about most of them going in already, so Phantom Blade Zero was the big surprise for me here. Look, I'm seeing people disappointed by a lack of GTA VI and Bloodborne anything - to which I say, well, you did that to yourself - but I'm really disappointed by the first party showing here.
I don't even think I was expecting anything too crazy. We got told to expect TLOU Factions news this year, so why not here, one last chance at striking while the metaphorical TLOU is dead hot? We haven't seen anything from Asobi or Bluepoint since the PS5 launched, and we're now over 2½ years removed from that and have no idea what they're up to. There are plenty of other studios with other things in the works, sure, but that first party was limited to Spider-Man 2, THREE GaaS announcements by acquired studios, and, I'm going to be honest, a complete waste of time 45 second CGI announcement trailer for Firewalk's new game? I'm interested in 1½ of the 5 games the showed (I'm going to do them a kindness and not quite count Destiny in this, otherwise it'd be 6).
Urgh, I haven't even mentioned that they brought a trailer for the Gran Turismo trailer to this thing...
I wasn't going to score this, because I'm watching fewer game events these days (there are too many and, outside of Nintendo, too varied in quality) so it feels a bit redundant, but I feel it needs to be done for how poor a showing it was: 3.5/10. PlayStation have clearly forgotten how to put on a show.
Yeah, said it when it was announced, said it in this post already, but I'll say it again: hoo boy is PlayStation's GaaS-focused approach already looking to hurt so much of the goodwill built with the PS4's single player catalog. We're coming up on 3 years of the PS5 and it doesn't seem like anyone has really got going over there outside of what was originally announced with the console back in 2020, and I'm not saying that's the case, but that's what they make it seem like.
They could come back in September or some other time and blow it out of the water - we already know that there's a bunch being worked on, so it's not crazy to think that there's stuff to show, even if it's a while out - but, for now, I'm scratching my head and asking myself why on earth they chose to go first?
With no Nintendo Direct seemingly planned for this Not-E3 season, in terms of the big events (so not a smaller Square Enix thing like we had last year), it's looking like a battle of mediocrity between Xbox and Summer Game Fest for who "wins" (spoiler: with a bad PlayStation showing and seemingly no Nintendo showing coming up, we've already lost) this summer, and Xbox surely wins by default anyways purely because they aren't going to be filling their show with a stupid number of ads like SGF will. I guess the trade-off is that at least SGF has the potential to end on a banger of a reveal, whereas Xbox is pretty backed up in terms of announcements, so...
Like I said: we've already lost, and the worst part is, I think we all know it. Now to start counting down to next year, I guess, because at least Nintendo might have a new console and a slew of new games to throw our way, and maybe PlayStation can do us all a favour and sack Jim Ryan? Please? I miss Shawn and the boys