Unsurprisingly, the games that got our hearts racing while watching the PS5 reveal were the highly-anticipated next installments of Spider-Man and Horizon. These basically bookended the PS5 reveal lineup, so Sony clearly knows where the hype is at! Still, there were quite a few new titles that caught our eye as well. Rogues Portal editors Brooke Ali and Stephanie Pouliotte provide thoughts on their favorite picks from the PS5 reveal.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Representation matters, and the world needs Miles Morales as Spider-Man right now. There was a lot of screaming and cheering from my 6-year-olds when it became clear who the next Spider-Man in the games would be. The trailer looks promising: Miles looks really cool and the PS5 graphics really pop! It’s clear that they’ve given Miles his own moves and attacks, and it’s not just a Miles skin on the old Spider-Man. It looks like it will be a great game … except it’s not a full game. Although they didn’t dampen the excitement by revealing this in the trailer, this new release will be an expansion. Larger than a DLC, but smaller than a full game, it will be a sort of stand-alone adventure to expand the story and universe. My sincere hope is that we get a full game staring Miles (and let’s get Gwen Stacey in on the action, while we’re at it!).
Spider-Man: Miles Morales was the most surprising non-surprise. I think many didn’t expect to see it included in the PS5 reveal, but putting Miles front-and-center was a no-brainer (especially since Peter starts training Miles in the Spider-Man DLC). Sony has since clarified that this is an expansion to Spider-Man (2018) and will include major upgrades to the original game. In any case, if this game expansion feeds off the vibes of Into the Spider-Verse, it’s hard to see it disappointing. The suit looks dope and the fights we did see are fluid and tight. Hopefully it has a solid amount of story/gameplay for an expansion. As Brooke said, it’s obvious the world needs Miles Morales as Spider-Man, and I would have loved a full length game.
We didn’t get to see much of Stray in terms of plot, but I think the reveal perfectly conveyed the spirit of the game and did a lot of worldbuilding in such a short clip. I loved the cyberpunk aesthetic, and I think getting to explore this world from a different, four-pawed perspective will be quite interesting. I’m sure there will be lots of nooks and crannies to explore! I’m still unclear if you’ll be playing as a messenger of sorts, or simply backpacking through the alleyways, but Stray has certainly made me a curious cat!
One of the teasers that caught my attention was Stray. We’re given glimpses of a future world surprisingly like our own: homelessness, cramped housing, everyone is just trying to get by. Except this world is populated entirely by robots. Well … not entirely. Weaving in and out of the graffiti-adorned alleys (R.I.P Humans) and trash-strewn streets is a lone orange tabby cat. Why are these cats the only biological life we see? How have they survived? And why is one wearing a vest? An indie game with an intriguing story and impressive graphics already has my interest; make the player character a cat, and I’m all in!
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
We’re a Ratchet and Clank family, for sure! The adventures of the heroic Lombax and his best friend Clank — with the help of some of the most hilarious and creative weapons in video games — have been a delight since the very first PlayStation. It seems fitting that the PS5 installment of this long-running franchise would be a mashup of all the previous games. Insomniac Games uses the new technology of the next-gen console to have the player “rift” between the different installments in the series, without load screens or other lags. It feels like a love letter from the developers to this franchise that is so much a part of their history.
Returnal and DEATHLOOP
An endless respawn loop as a plot device isn’t new to video games, and they revealed not one, but two games based on this concept. Luckily, both appear to be completely different! Returnal is a disquieting horror that feels like an Alien spin-off, whereas DEATHLOOP is an action-stealth game that looks like BioShock and plays like Dishonored. Both have their appeal, even if their names aren’t the most, um … creative. Though DEATHLOOP kind of leans into it with its over-the-top gameworld. Returnal looks to be my kind of game, as I love the immersive horror genre, but the execution will be makes or breaks this game.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
I’ve played every Little Bit Planet game that Media Molecule has released, and I have a stuffed knit Sackboy on a shelf in my office. Having said that, I’ve always kind of wanted an LBP game that wasn’t tied to the side-scrolling platformer style. I want to make Sackboy run and jump in any direction! I want him to be free! That first gameplay shot in the trailer where Sackboy runs away from the camera (!!!) made me so happy! Instead of just another number in the franchise, MM is breaking their own mold and taking Sackboy in a new direction — all of them!
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a fantasy adventure game with the graphics of a top-tier animated film. You play as Kena, who wields a magical staff and is surrounded by adorable spirit creatures who aid in her quest (similar to the little Pikmin). This indie title looks absolutely enchanting and appears to be a mix of single-player adventuring and puzzle solving. This is my favorite genre to play, and hopefully we get news on a release date soon!
Goodbye Volcano High
Although I’m a few decades removed from my high school years, there’s a bittersweet nostalgia in stories about teenagers on the precipice of transition. Throw in beautiful graphic-novel-style animation and an indie studio with a story to tell, and you’ve got the makings of the new wave of story-driven indie games. I will definitely be watching for Goodbye Volcano High when it comes out.
Horizon: Forbidden West
My partner and I sunk a lot of time into Horizon: Zero Dawn. There was so much to explore, and the breathtaking environments truly showcased the capabilities of the PS4. I’m really excited to see what they’ll be able to accomplish in Horizon II: Forbidden West on the next gen console. So far, the in-game footage looks absolutely beautiful. The large scale landscapes, diverse biomes, and detailed creature models are incredibly impressive, especially if this truly comes through in the final game. They teased enough of the plot to get me eagerly thinking about the story again. An extinction event may be on the horizon for the new world, and Aloy is the only person who can stop it. I’m in!
I could watch this trailer over and over! Horizon: Zero Dawn is one of my favorite games I’ve ever played in over 30 years of gaming. The gripping story, the intricate world-building, the beautiful graphics all combined into an almost perfect gaming experience. If the PS4 game was beautiful, this PS5 game looks breathtaking! I’ve never really cared about all this talk of ray tracing before, but this game really shows off what it can do for the visuals of a game. I have no doubt that the story will be just as satisfying as the first; Guerrilla Games has already proved their ability on that front. I love the addition of swimming underwater, and the fact that Aloy seems to have gone around empowering communities with her machine-controlling technology. This announcement trailer was everything I could have hoped for and more! The only thing it lacked was a release date.
Did we miss something that caught your eye from the PS5 reveal? What games are you excited about after watching the live event? Let us know in the comments!