It’s the summer of video games, the period of conferences, and you will see, Sony, through its PlayStation brand, has to show us things! This year more than ever, the Japanese giant has something to play for, and we’ll see it on video. Let’s go !
The following text is a transcript of the video above
The 2022 imperatives
Let’s start with what must imperatively mark the spirits this summer: the 2022 blockbusters. We will talk here about two games: God of War: Ragnarok and Forspoken. The first is the sequel to God of War (2018) of 2018, an incredible reimagined version of the beat ’em all that made the success of PlayStation 2. After 13 years of career, the franchise returned in 2018, with an unparalleled mastery of the subject. Revamped gameplay, full sequence shot, new cast and new atmosphere. Kratos, after having decimated the entirety of Olympus, attacks the Nordic deities. His son, Atreus, allows for a few twists in gameplay with a strong emphasis on the humanity of our favorite god of war. This sequel, which arrives more than 4 years after the first opus, will be released on PS4 and PS5. But we need some clarification. Will the PS5 version be able to free itself from the very correct, but already seen, rendering of the PS4 version? Will the gigantism of the clashes, with overpowered bosses, make a return for this version? Because it must be admitted, there was a lack of epic opponents in the 2018 game. God of Ragnarok is also logically the end of a narrative arc, and if we follow the mythological story , it involves a lot of grandiose battles. Suffice to say that the teams are under more pressure than ever. We hope not to be disappointed and regain control of the game of 2018, in an even more legendary setting.
Another communication imperative for Sony, Forspoken, developed by Square Enix. After a rather substantial postponement, the game, which was scheduled for May 24, will finally be released on October 11. The game has a small notoriety deficit that will have to be filled, and it is a project not to be missed for the Japanese publisher and for the manufacturer Sony. Indeed, the title is a PS5 exclusive and will therefore help to sell the machine at the end of the year, due to its aesthetics and its proposal. But it is precisely on these points, technical and artistic, that the game was a little weak in the December 2021 tests. Square Enix will therefore have to show us its mastery of the Luminous Engine, and let us know impress when using it. Fluidity and spectacle, in a world that we hope is more populated and varied than what we have seen so far: this is the bet that Forspoken must take. This summer season will be an opportunity to highlight the progress of the teams, and prepare more calmly for the release scheduled for the end of the year.
Second point on which PlayStation and Sony will have to communicate this summer: the big changes in terms of services. You’ve probably seen it, PlayStation’s flagship service, PlayStation Plus, will be changing this summer to offer more features. 3 formulas are arriving, the basic one, which does not change anything compared to the current formula. The Extra formula which includes a PS4 and PS5 on-demand game catalog, and the Premium formula which adds, in addition to cloud gaming, improved retro games, and 2-hour trial formulas on most major games. For Sony, this change is not nothing, and we will have to make it known to the general public. The commissioning in Europe is scheduled for the end of June, so you might as well take advantage of the summer of video games to insist, convince the last reluctant, and inform the curious. As you know, Sony is also a big player in entertainment, outside of video games, and we won’t say no to a few teasers concerning a possible mix of services.
Put a hint of Crunchyroll for anime lovers, eSport with the EVO, owned by Sony, or even the catalog of films and music. In short, a global offer, integrated into gaming subscriptions. And it’s not a fantasy, it’s already a reality since last year Sony tested the PlayStation Plus Video Pass in Poland, which allowed access to the Sony Pictures cinema catalog. A first attempt which we would like to have the feedback. The service and the catalog war is a super important area for PlayStation, and seeing the Japanese giant put a spotlight on this part of its strategy is therefore eagerly awaited for a forthcoming speech.
The little indie touch
Enough about blockbusters, let’s get to indie games. At Sony, there are two of which we are waiting for news. The first is Chia, a game from New Caledonia, inspired by the places and legends that have forged this little-known and fairly rare territory in video games. It’s colorful, it makes you travel, and we will follow a little girl, a confirmed adventurer. It can move, climb, glide, climb to the tops of trees to use them as a point of support. It looks very free and, little more undeniable, we can take possession of the animals and objects that surround us! Make a small glide at the controls of a parakeet, fly over an enemy camp, take possession of a lantern, send it on explosives and flutter around the show! We’re just waiting for the release date, for now set at some vague 2023.
The other highly anticipated indie game from Sony is Season. An incredibly art-directed game, every moment of the trailer is a veritable tableau, including gameplay moments with walking and bicycling. We do not yet know what form the final game will take, but the good point is that after an internal turmoil experienced last year by the Scavenger studio, the team still seems to be actively working on the game and communicates very often on his dedicated blog. We learn more about the level design and the stunning compositions of the sets that are presented. Now that we’re under the spell, it’s time to show us a little more on the gameplay side, and what better than the traditional summer period to enjoy it?
Holding a conference is also making an impression, and on this side, it is quite easy to identify two games at Sony which, by their mere presence, will give the event a global aura. It is Final Fantasy XVIand KOTOR Remake.
FFXIV is the most attractive Final Fantasy for a long time, for the simple and good reason that it is one of the few, for nearly 20 years, whose development is going as planned. This feat is due to the team of Naoki Yoshida, the strong man of Square Enix, who for 10 years has made FFXIV the engine of the company. While at the base, the game was a real fiasco, we refer you to our dedicated video if you want the whole story, it’s an exciting passage in the life of Square Enix. This man and his teams are now in charge of the next encrypted FF, the 16th, and after a reveal in 2020, we have nothing new. It is the wish of the team, we remind you, Yoshida wants to show the game at the end of production to raise the hype, and above all to avoid disappointments along the way because of broken promises. It must be said that FFXV has been there, and it was therefore important to review the production methodology from top to bottom. On the atmosphere side, we will be on medieval fantasy, with the magic of brothers in arms that everything opposes and gigantic incandescent creatures. On the combat side, it is the combat designer of Devil May Cry who is in charge, and that can be seen in the few seconds of confrontation, in real time and very vertical, that we could see in the very first trailer. The lights are green, all that remains is to show all this in detail with an exit period.
The other big hit of com’ awaited is KOTOR Remake, the resurrected version of the game Star Wars Knight of the Old Republic. Released in 2003 on Xbox and PC, the game is considered THE best Star Wars game ever released to date, so I might as well tell you that seeing it return as a temporary exclusive to Sony, rehabilitated, was quite a surprise. However, when it was announced, I had serious doubts about the result, for several reasons: already because an old turn-based RPG like KOTOR needs a huge facelift to be appreciable today. Then, because the studio behind, in charge of this big development is the Aspyr studio. If he doesn’t tell you anything, that’s normal. It’s a company with nearly 140 employees, doing console and PC ports for over 20 years. Problem, the ports in question are not always of quality. Seeing them redo a monument like KOTOR, from A to Z, with so few people is a risky exercise, but fortunately, we learned in mid-May that the Saber Interactive team was backing up the project.
The main lines of the future
Come on, we’re getting closer to the end of our expectations, and logically, Sony could put a small coin back in its collaborations with Marvel, by showing images of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2scheduled for 2023 as a PS5 exclusive, and its Marvel’s Wolverine, also 2023 on PS5. Why wait for these games? Like Forspoken, it’s a new-gen, PS5-only exclusive, and unlike KOTOR Remake, it’s an in-house development. Sony must therefore prove its mastery of the mysteries of its new machine, and who better than Insomniac Games to take off our retinas with its technical knowledge.
Let’s end with the surprises. Personally, apart from Death Stranding 2, which has just been formalized in an interview by Norman Reedus. Metal Gear Solid Remake, which we have been harping on for months and months, would also be welcome. We also have the return of Silent Hill, mentioned in recent weeks, which could well take advantage of the summer of video games to show itself, and we know how Konami licenses were once affiliated with the PlayStation brand. A conference is the perfect place to formalize the return of these two licenses. Ditto on the side of Capcom, which has often taken advantage of PlayStation conferences to unveil its new Resident Evil, and which could reveal Resident Evil 9 this summer on this occasion.