Up until yesterday, it had been over one and a half years since the last big PlayStation Showcase (9.9.21).
Since then, we’ve seen some PlayStation State of Plays focused on new game announcements, upcoming Indies, and a few first-party/exclusive deep dives. Yesterday, we finally got our first big PlayStation showcase, and it was fine. The showcase was packed with trailers and content, but it did not come near or surpass the level of quality we have seen and now expect from past PlayStation Showcases.
Since the last PlayStation Showcase in 2021, we’ve had the chance to play most of the games revealed. There are still a few games we’ve yet to see more of — Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake, Marvel’s Wolverine, and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 — one of which we now know more after yesterday’s showcase.
Side Quest: Every single day new games flood the digital gaming storefronts, but we still get so excited
about new game trailers and world premieres, no matter how far away their release date. Even when I start
a brand new game, and love it, I’m still anticipating whatever‘s next. For instance, I’ve been playing Star
Wars Jedi Survivor since it released a few weeks ago, and I’m loving so much of it. Still, I just picked up my
Collector’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and it makes me want to reach the end of Star Wars
Jedi Survivor, so I can return to this new Hyrule — after finally finishing Breath of the Wild just two weeks ago.
Sure, I can play both games at the same time, they are on different consoles, but I feel both of these
games require my full attention.
Let’s go over some of the big announcements from yesterday’s hour-long PlayStation Showcase. This time, instead of picking my Top Five games, I’m going to go over the Top Five topics seen during the Showcase:
Before I begin with the topics I want to talk about the opening. The Showcase opened with a PlayStation sexy symbols sizzle reel, and it continued to return between every few games. We had a total of about ten sexy symbol sizzles between game announcements, featuring lights, sounds, and more.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s go over the five main categories of the PlayStation Showcase:
1 | Indies
PlayStation usually features upcoming Indie games through blog posts and shorter State of Play presentations. It’s nice when these games get some attention at one of these big shows. Every year I play a couple of memorable AAA titles, but I spend so much more time playing smaller indie games — and some bigger ones too.
From this list I’m most excited about The Plucky Squire, and I have been since we first saw the reveal in 2022. We also know that this game is releasing later this year. This is an extremely bold project since the game takes place as a 2D hand-drawn game on the pages of a children’s book, and expands into the outside world when characters leave the pages and become 3D models of themselves. The outside world art style is a bit like that of the Link’s Awakening remake for Nintendo Switch — which I am a big fan of.
There were a few indie games from studios who had worked on previous critically acclaimed indie titles, such as Neva (Gris, Nomada Studio) and Sword of the Sea . Developed by Giant Squid, creators of the visually stunning Abzû and The Pathless. There is also the added benefit of surfing through these breathtaking, sandy landscapes on a sword.
There are currently two Cat Quest games on the market — Cat Quest (2017) and Cat Quest II (2019). I was immediately drawn to this game due to the theming and silly cat puns, Pirates of the Purribean. I have also seen the previous titles on sale on the Nintendo Switch eShop at times and thought of Purr-chasing them (Ha! A cat pun of my own. See what I did there?). If this game features co-op play, it may be a great one for my cat-loving girlfriend and myself.
2 | Sequels
Another big category during these big showcases is Sequels. We are always prepared for some brand new titles, featuring new stories, characters, and worlds, but it’s always safe to continue expanding on existing worlds that players love. Why do you think we’re on Final Fantasy XVI, and still going. By the way, FFXVI was one of the sequel game trailers, but we just got a whole deep dive on that recently.
Ok, I included that one. What’s next?
This is one sequel that we knew was coming, but it’s still an exciting announcement because the original game came out so long ago (2010), and it just received the remake treatment. I started my journey playing the original Alan Wake a few years ago on PC (not the remake) and hope to finish it before this one come out. Although this trailer looks a little too spooky for me.
This was the “one more thing” moment at the very end. They even teased us with a short cinematic trailer showcasing Kraven the Hunter. After the Kraven moment, I thought that was all we were getting. This game must still be a long ways out. Then three words came across the blank screen, “Six Months Later.” Boom! Ten minutes of gameplay footage from the nearly finished Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, coming out Fall 2023!
There were plenty more sequels unveiled yesterday, including Street Fighter 6, a new Assassin’s Creed, Helldivers II, Ghostrunner 2, The Talos Principle 2, Dragon’s Dogma II, and more. Taking notes during the showcase made me realize how many reveals are sequels — that way fans of the franchise can lose their minds during the opening of these trailers.
3 | Something New
The Something New category is a mix of gameplay reveals, cinematic trailers, and some quick teasers that basically show us the name of the game while not revealing much at all. We saw a few of each of these. Some of these are created for big studios to say, We’re working on something new.
I can think of a few quick, no-info reveals from the past of games that I’m not sure even ended up existing. One comes to mind where there was a record playing and the camera goes from item to item around some garage. Did that game ever come out? And what was it called?
This first new game trailer, featured gameplay and everything. It was over three and a half minutes long. Over the past few years, I’ve had great experiences with Samurai-themed games (Ghost of Tsushima and Trek to Yomi). While those two were more grounded in history, Phantom Blade Zero seems to focus on a more fantasy and mythical world.
This Concord teaser falls under the category of beautiful teasers that tell you nothing about the game. I’m guessing this game will take place in space or on a spaceship, a dirty spaceship. Concord is the first game from new studio Firewalk, a PlayStation studio that we’ve been waiting to learn more about what they are working on.
We now know that this game is called Concord and has a very cool teaser. Also, it may be a multiplayer game according to Firewalk’s mission statement:
“Firewalk Studios is a new game development studio whose mission is to spark incredible multiplayer–from Firewalk Studios website
experiences that inspire memorable moments. We believe the brightest memories in gaming often
come from playing and sharing experiences with each other.”
Foamstars looks to be Square Enix’s answer to the Splatoon franchise on Nintendo. As a lover of Splatoon, I’m open to seeing what exactly this game is. I’m sure the gameplay will look and feel very different from Nintendo’s Splatoon, but until we see more I will think of this game as “Bubble Splatoon.”
Some other cinematic trailers were for Marathon from Bungie and Fairgame$ from Haven. Two studios that I fully believe in. These cinematic trailers always end up looking amazing, however they don’t show much of the game itself. In fact, some of these trailers may have completely different art styles from the gameplay. Coming from Bungie, I believe that Marathon‘s gameplay will look something like this trailer.
4 | Fantasy & JRPGs
Sony being a Japanese company means we’re going to see a few JRPGs within these showcases. We also saw a great deal of fantasy-themed games, and a few that fall under both of these. First off, Final Fantasy XVI which I mentioned earlier. I have played a few Final Fantasy games recently, but I will report more on those in a later post.
Immortals of Aveum is fantasy meets magic and it’s coming out very soon, July 20, 2023. From the trailer this looks to be a mix of Call of Duty meets Destiny, but with less firearms and more magic hands.
Here’s another one of those nice-looking JRPGs. This one reminds me of a mix between Monster Hunter and Dragon Quest. In recent years, I’ve given a few JRPGs a shot, and some I’ve enjoyed, others not so much. A lot of these games have way too much going on for me. My goal will be to follow at least one or two JRPGs up until release and really give them my attention. I’ve always wanted to get into them, I just end up falling off pretty quickly for some other game.
Tower of Fantasy is another JRPG with a great art style. In fact, the art style reminds me a bit of Hi-Fi Rush in many ways, but in a completely different world. I’m a fan of Mechs in games, and the fact that you can find your way submerged in underwater cities shows how vast this world can be.
5 | PS VR2
I don’t own a PS VR2 yet, and I don’t plan on purchasing one soon. The main reason I would want to try out PS VR2 right now is with driving games, like Gran Turismo 7. I do think that VR in gaming is at a whole new level, like 3D in the movie theater.
In the early years, 3D movies and VR in gaming were about using the technology in gimmicky ways. Today, I think the mindset behind both 3D and VR projects has changed to creating a truly immersive experience, which is why many of these games are at a higher quality today. We still have many bad seeds in VR, but isn’t that the case with all game markets? There are plenty of not-so-great games trying to sneak their way into the digital storefronts each week.
The first example of a VR experience we saw during the showcase was the “VR Mode” being added to a previously released game. In the world of Resident Evil, VR has excelled. It makes the whole scary experience that much more scary. It’s something that I admire, but would not enjoy myself.
At first, I was thinking this was a Beat Saber sequel. After considering it, I think Beat Saber is a game that’s better to expand on with new music, rather than create a sequel. I have not played any Beat Saber, but I know how the game works and I have heard great things. I know this game is or has been used as a daily VR workout for some.
This last VR game is one that looks like a truly unique experience. This truly looks like the developer was thinking, How can we make this a fully immersive story. I’m still not that excited about VR games for myself. However, if we start to see more of these types of experiences on PS VR2, I may think about picking one up sooner rather than later.
If you missed the PlayStation Showcase, you can catch it in its entirety right here:
One last thing!
We also got a fresh look at some new upcoming accessories, including a new PS5 cloud streaming device and some PS5 earbuds.
I hope you enjoyed this recap. Let us know your top announcements from the PlayStation Showcase in the comments.