My thoughts on State Of Play (02-23-2023)
Sony has finally gotten around to showcasing what they have planned for the next few months as the first State Of Play has aired. Most of what was shown off to me didn’t seem all that interesting and there was a very unnecessary abundance of Suicide Squad that took the majority of the video. Here are some of the highlights, and my thoughts.
I love VR, but I have zero desire to buy a dedicated VR headset for the PS5 when I have 99% of the VR titles available on an untethered PC. So PSVR2 will just never interest me. It did launch yesterday, so I guess it would be wise for them to dedicate some of their video to hyping people to get it. From the first few minutes it showcased a few games that seem like it’s going to be more of what was already available for PC and original PSVR just with better headtracking and controllers as they finally have gotten away from the awful 2010 hardware of the Move controllers no one wanted 13 years ago.
Having a little sizzle reel showing off a couple games, like March’s free games Battlefield 2042 and even adding Ghostwire Tokyo is interesting enough to justify me looking into it when they show up. I already have the subscription so might as well treat these as free rentals. There really should be a better name and way to describe these things though.
From the Dev team that made Tetris Effect and Rez Infinite. A puzzle game that seems to be part Echochrome, part lemmings and part battle simulator. It’s got a striking visual style to it that makes me curious to try it out. But the level editor and creating and sharing creations and puzzles is something I’ll never touch. These types of games are something I’ll play for a bit but never complete, which is kinda a shame.
Street Fighter 6
I like Capcom rolling out these character showcases, and this one featured 3 fighters. Zangief, Lilly (who I am not sure is new or not, I’m betting new) and Cammy. They all look phenomenal and it makes me wish I was better at fighting games. I would love to see these produced as smaller shorts or heck even a CGI show or movie instead of a game. There is something about fighting games that just never really interested me, and the way fighting games are made now is a focus on the core fighting game community instead of making a game that people like to play. It’s just something that has always bugged me about modern fighting games. But man, Street Fighter 6 sure does look really nice.
Resident Evil 4 REmake
Capcom knocked it out of the park with REmake of Resident Evil 2 and sadly dropped the ball with 3. But 4 is their golden goose. There is no way they aren’t putting everything they have into making this the ultimate version of this game and I still haven’t finished Resident Evil 4 in VR, so maybe this will get me to finally play through Resident Evil 4 for the first time. Either way, I’m sold on this game no matter what.
Suicide Squad (I’m not typing out the whole name because it’s stupid, it should just be called “Suicide Squad”)
About 17 minutes were devoted to showing off this game. It’s Rocksteady and they have the pedigree to give them the benefit of the doubt. However, this basically unsold me on the game. I first took note when I heard them describe the game as a “3rd person action shooter” and watching some of the gameplay… yup, it’s a shooter. Who was asking for a Batman universe shooter? Rocksteady is masters in creating an environment that players want to live in and explore. Shooters really don’t allow for that as the action is constantly revolving around the mechanics of the gameplay and not the environmental story telling.
I have to be honest, I was originally set on just watching this, even though I normally don’t want to see anything about a game I already know I’m going to get. But something compelled me to watch. Then I saw that they were just playing cutscenes and I’d much rather experience them for myself, so I skipped through until gameplay showed up. I watched for maybe 15 seconds before I felt really uneasy about the way the game looked. Just too much jumping and shooting that felt I was watching a Halo multiplayer match more than a Batman “Arkham-verse” game.
Then more cutscenes, and then developer blogs. Where they started breaking down loot and customizable this or that and my eye glazed over and I pulled out my phone. I quickly scrubbed to the end and hear “Battle Pass” and this confirmed the rumors that have been swirling around for the past couple months. This is a Live Service game where it’s going to be hammering players to pony up cash to get customizable gear with higher numbers and blah blah blah. We’ve all heard it before, have seen countless games try this and it always fails.
It’s a shame. While even with the initial announcement of it being a Suicide Squad game left me feeling bummed out, Rocksteady are great at what they do, so I still held out hope. For nearly 3 years. And now the other shoe has dropped and it’s a live service game in the same vein as Avengers, and we all know how that turned out. I’m 100% unsold on the game and won’t be trying it out unless this all gets undone. Doubtful, but we all said that about the Xbox One too.
Sony has never been a company that I’ve loved, and while I do think they have some amazing games and franchises, I’ve just always leaned to a PC/Xbox style. This showcase didn’t show me enough to justify my PS5 purchase and it feels like a relatively weak showing for the first half of the year. This would be different if I didn’t have a PC and only played consoles, as I think VR is a hugely massive draw for gaming, and if I only played consoles, I’d drop the cash on VR in an instant since Microsoft doesn’t offer it. But only going by exclusives, it just wasn’t enough to sell me on owning or buying a PS5, which is already over two years old. Most of these games are multiplatform. Honestly the only thing I came away from this showcase was “oh yeah that remake of Resident Evil 4 seems cool”. And in the end, is a remake of a game really the best they can do?