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While watching Thursday’s PS5 showcase, I was optimistic that something would blow me away and display the power of the next console generation. Ultimately, I found the PS5 event disappointing as what I saw was a couple of fun looking titles and Bugsnax.
Perhaps it’s because most of the games that were shown didn’t interest me that I feel this way. I’ve tried for years to get into Dark Souls, but the only Souls game I’ve enjoyed is Bloodborne, so I felt nothing when seeing the Demon’s Souls remake. I’m only just getting into Resident Evil, so I wasn’t excited to see Village. The new Sackboy game might not have a level maker and Ratchet and Clank looks like any other Ratchet and Clank title. Horizon looks great, but I haven’t played the first game, so again, it wasn’t that exciting. I’m always happy with a new Spider Man game though, so Miles Morales did put a smile on my face. While my personal preferences led to the otherwise general feeling of apathy towards the sequels shown, the same can’t be said of the new IPs, which also left a lot to be desired.
The New IPs
Regarding new games, there were two Groundhog-Day styled shooters, Deathloop and Returnal. These made me feel like I was in a loop. The former looks stylish and fun, but I feel Returnal would’ve worked better as a surreal survival horror/mystery game instead of the bullet hell the end of the trailer showed, but it could still be great given time. Project Athia didn’t leave much of an impact either, as nothing about it felt all that unique. It looked nice, but that’s all there is to say. I’m normally a sucker for Square Enix games, but this didn’t excite me. Pragmata and Ghostwire have potential but Godfall looks forgettable. The indie side, however, looks a lot more interesting. Stray looks cute, and I loved the style of Little Devil Inside. However, I don’t even know what to say about Bugsnax. Overall it felt like none of the games were an evolution from the PS4’s capabilities.
A New Generation?
With the visually stunning The Last of Us 2 and Ghost of Tsushima on the horizon, a lot of the games shown in the event looked like they could just as easily be on PS4. Upon further inspection, I’ve found that Solar Ash, Little Devil Inside, Stray, Oddworld: Soulstorm, Bugsnax, Goodbye Volcano High, JETT and even Hitman 3 are all going to be on PS4 as well. Because of this, it’s only really the big AAA games that didn’t particularly impact me in the way that the smaller, actually exclusive games did, Out of these, I only really liked the looks of Spider Man and the charming Kena: Bridge of Spirits. Launch titles have always been infamously bad in my opinion, but even so I was disappointed by the event. For some comparison, I found myself looking to other PlayStation console announcements to see what was done differently.
When comparing this to the PS4 reveal event, I found that the PS5 didn’t have as many interesting ideas. What I mean by this is that the PS4 event showed glimpses into games that were leagues ahead of other generations. Announcements such as Dreams and Watch_Dogs led the pack, which despite the reality of the latter, looked very cool at the time. These announcements showed what the console could do. On the other hand is the infamous PS3 reveal, which was boring, awkward and confused, it didn’t showcase the console’s power against its competition and had a terrible price to top it off. I feel that what made the PS5 event disappointing to me is that regardless of the games shown, there was nothing unique about it, placing it uncomfortably between the PS4 and PS3 reveal events in terms of quality.
I suppose topping it all off is the console itself. To put it bluntly – I have no idea where to put the thing! The digital edition feels like a way to stop people buying pre-owned games, which is something I do a lot, and force them to pay full price or be at the mercy of often terrible sale prices. It comes with a remote for some reason and the controller feels like they packed in a bunch of gimmicks so they could make it all the more expensive. That said, the headset’s inclusion is actually a great idea. Frustratingly, the price wasn’t revealed in the event, which leads me to believe that it’s not going to be cheap and that Sony wants to avoid another PS3 disaster scenario.
What I’m getting at here is that the PS5 is going to cost a lot of money and I don’t know if the showcase justified that. The games shown looked good but there weren’t any breathtaking or unique enough exclusives that aren’t also going to be on PS4. Overall, I’m just not sure if it was enough to make me excited about it, let alone buy it at launch. Let me know your thoughts regarding the event in the comments below.
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