PlayStation 2021 Showcase was a presentation for the future of the PS5. Release dates and release windows were suspiciously vague at the PlayStation Showcase. Many of the games shown today are a long ways away from being ready for release dates. God of War: Ragnarok, Tchia, Project EVE, Forspoken and Tiny Tina’s Wonderland are the big things to look for next year. Director Eric Williams confirmed in a post-show interview that Santa Monica will be working on the next Santa Monica game.
Last week, Sony shook the gaming world with an E3 caliber PlayStation Showcase, showing summer still has some kick before Fall.
The presentation lasted 40 minutes, and games were announced in rapid succession. They embodied the adage, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” in their gameplan: weaving lesser promos between very heavy hitters and out-of-nowhere surprises.
Sony levied tons of information over the PlayStation Showcase duration and expanded on several games in post-show interviews.
Despite the treasure trove of games we now know are coming in Sony’s near(ish) future, there are still plenty of questions to ask. Here are my top 5 burning questions after Sony’s Playstation Showcase.
1. What Will Come Out in 2022?
Release dates were increasingly absent during the PlayStation Showcase and release windows were suspiciously vague. We know Horizon: Forbidden West is supposed to come out in February, but which of Sony’s first-party studios will follow suit? Showing off cinematic trailers sans gameplay is a sign to me that many of the games shown today are a long ways out.
Not to be cynical, but I really think God of War: Ragnarok has a good chance of being pushed into 2023. Which leaves, Tchia, Project EVE, Forspoken, and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands as the big things to look for next year.
The PlayStation 2021 Showcase was a presentation for the future of the PS5, and I think that future is a bit further away than gamers might be ready for.
2. Will the KOTOR Remake Be Worthy of the Original?
The team has helped port and remaster other Lucasfilm titles such as Star Wars: Republic Commando, and the Jedi Academy series to modern consoles. Aspyr has proven to Lucasfilm that they can be trusted with beloved IP, but will their skills translate into a ground-up remake?
After the presentation, Ryan Treadwell of Aspyr confirmed that this remake will in fact be rebuilding the game completely–alluding to a significant level of change from the original.
While we saw a stunning cinematic of Darth Revan that is sure to spark the hopes of any Star Wars fan, this tells us nothing about what the actual game will look like. I’m assuming the Knights of the Old Republic: Remake is at least a few years from being ready.
Much remains to be seen on how well Aspyr can riff on the classic.
3. What is Wolverine? And What Does This Mean for Insomniac?
Wolverine seems like a shoo-in for the studio that has made some of the best superhero games to date. This anti-hero is beloved by many and serves well for a fast-paced video game. As we saw in the film Logan, there is rich potential for a complex narrative.
That being said, Wolverine is vastly different from Insomniac’s past protagonists, Spiderman and Ratchet. Spiderman has gadgets, web moves, and some of the best traversing potential known to video games. Ratchet has, well, an unabashedly overstocked arsenal of guns to play with.
Wolverine has claws, a motorcycle, and a bad attitude. Don’t get me wrong, I love those character features, but Insomniac is going to have to get a bit more creative to pull off the same level of “fun” their past games achieved.
The diversity of character abilities is one of Insomniac’s strong suits. Do they give Wolverine more abilities and gadgets? Do they double down on making his claws feel extra satisfying to slash goons with? This character also poses a darker tone than Spidey, which isn’t typical for the family-friendly Insomniac. Do they lean into this more mature character, or shy away?
We’ll have to wait and see.
And, as for what’s next for Insomniac…
Are they the frickin’ kings of Marvel now or what? How many potential superheroes will Disney entrust them with, now they have proven they can knock almost anything out of the park? Will they have their own Insomniac-Marvel universe full of crossovers now?
Anything seems possible at this point. But, I’m losing my shit over the potential for some good X-Men games.
4. What’s Next for Sony Santa Monica?
I know I’m getting way ahead of myself. But, what will Sony Santa Monica be working on next?
Director Eric Williams confirmed in a post-show interview that God of War: Ragnarok will be the finale of Kratos’ crossover into Norse mythology. Does that mean the series reverts to Greece? Does this narrative take a turn into another cultural mythos? And, does the story continue with Kratos as the main protagonist, or will Atreus get his own game?
It’s telling that Williams said this will be the end of the Nordic tale for God of War, not necessarily the finale for the franchise. What is even more intriguing, is what his cohort didn’t say during the interview.
Cory Balrog (director of God of War 2018) was also interviewed. He is currently working on the Ragnarok team–Sony Santa Monica traditionally switches directors every game to get fresh eyes on projects. When asked what he was working on at the end of the interview, he alluded to…something…that is far too early to talk about. He promised more would be shared after the team can shift focus from shipping God of War: Ragnarok.
What the heck is Cory Balrog working on? Is it the next God of War game? Or — like Insomniac revealed in today’s Playstation Showcase — is it something completely new?
5. What About the Top Dog?
Naughty Dog just completed the Last of Us Part II and is allegedly working on a multiplayer experience in that universe, similar to the Factions mode included in the original Last of Us. Surprisingly, we didn’t see even a teaser for this incoming addition. Does this mean Last of Us Part II multiplayer is farther off? Or are the rumors off? We will have to wait and see.
However, much like we see with Insomniac, studios are often juggling a couple of projects. I would assume Naughty Dog has the capacity to work on another game in conjunction with their multiplayer endeavors. Could we see a DLC story to the Last of Us Part II like the Last of Us had Left Behind, which fleshed out more of Ellie’s story? C’mon Naughty Dog. Tell us more about Lev and Yara. Or the leader of the Wolves, Isaac, voiced by Jeffrey Wright.
There is a wealth of potential for more in this story– is this the real reason the multiplayer mode is being kept quiet? Because a story mode coming in tandem? I can dream, can’t I?
There’s also the Uncharted franchise that could be ready for a new installment… Seems like a good time with the live-action film coming soon starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, and the remasters of Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy coming to PlayStation 5.
One thing is for sure, Sony’s prize studio is surely scheming up something more than multiplayer. We’ll just have to wait to see what it is.
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