Following hot on the heels of the Nintendo Direct, Sony decided to hold an impromptu PlayStation State of Play on 14 September with some fresh new looks at some of the biggest releases coming to PlayStation platforms.
The announcement of the stream did had us tempering our expectations, given that it was supposed to be updates on “previously announced games”, with a notable focus on third parties, indies, and VR titles, but when those third parties include Japan’s finest publishers Square Enix and Capcom, it’s worth sitting up and paying attention, while it also took an opportunity to share more details on Sony’s biggest first party release this autumn.
We’ve rounded up the biggest highlights and trailers for you below, though you can also watch the whole State of Play, coming just under 30 minutes, right here.
1) Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
The second part of the trilogy remake of Final Fantasy VII looks set to be even larger than the previous instalment, especially as it comes on two discs. This new explosive trailer shows that it’s going to be a spectacular exercise in fanservice as Rebirth takes Cloud and friends beyond Midgar to stunningly realised new locations including military facility Junon and the Gold Saucer.
Besides the companions made in the previous game, including teen ninja Yuffie who showed up in the PS5 expansion, you’ll also have some even more unusual party members including Cait Sith and a sneak peek at Vincent Valentine. Expect tons of mini-games too like Chocobo racing, though really it’s seeing Cloud get around Costa Del Sol on a Segway that’s really got our minds blown.
Release date: 29 February 2024
2) Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
With just over a month before its release, we get to have a good look of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and how you’ll be getting around its open world, which expands from the previous title to include the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens alongside Manhattan.
You’ll be able to fast-travel between these boroughs at lightning speed thanks to the PS5’s SSD, which will also be important given you’ll be switching between two Spider heroes, Peter Parker’s web slinger and Miles Morales.
There was also a separate trailer showing the digital deluxe edition of the game, which includes five unique suits for Peter and five unique suits for Miles, though there will be more than 60 outfits that can be unlocked in the final game.
Release date: 20 October
3) Resident Evil 4 – VR Mode and Separate Ways
Already one of the most impressive remakes release this year, Resident Evil 4 is getting more expansive, as we get a more substantial look at the upcoming VR mode, which comes as a free update for PSVR2 owners. The Quest version of the original Resident Evil 4 was already a riot so we have high hopes for this one, which will surely up the fear factor with the RE Engine’s visuals. We also look forward to using our own hands to parry with a knife.
Also announced is paid DLC for Separate Ways, a campaign that has you playing the events of the story through the perspective of Ada Wong. This will be released alongside a free update to the game’s superb Mercenaries Mode.
Release date: Winter 2023 (VR mode), 21 September (Separate Ways and Mercenaries update)
4) Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
Previously announced during the summer, we got a new story trailer for the first-person open world action adventure game of Avatar, which has its own original story from the James Cameron films.
While it does look a lot like it might just be cribbing the Far Cry and usual Ubisoft formula, there’s an intriguing premise as you play as a Na’vi who had been captured and trained as a soldier for the RDA for 15 years and must reconnect with their lost culture. Plus, you’ll get to fly on mountain banshees as you explore a previously unseen region of Pandora.
Release date: 7 December
5) Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord
Previously announced for Quest and now officially coming to PSVR2, you’ll get to join the Ghostbusters and team up with friends to hunt and trap ghosts all over San Francisco.
It’s arriving just in time for spooky season, with the PSVR2 version promising to be even more immersive in its use of eye-tracking, spooky head haptics when ghosts fly through you, while you’ll feel the resistance of the adaptive triggers when firing the signature Proton Wands.
Release date: 26th October
6) Everything else
Although it looks like a big Splatoon rip-off, there’s been a quiet bit of buzz building for Foamstars from people who managed to play this team (and foam) based competitive shooter. For those still unconvinced, there will be an open beta party available on PS5 and PS4 taking place later this month from 29 September to 1 October, letting you play as eight of the unique characters across two different modes.
We also got a new look at the hilariously bizarre indie game Baby Steps that’s a very literal kind of walking simulator as you grapple with its physics-based systems to get an unemployed loser to get off his bum and walk the earth. Grappling not included.
Already one of the biggest releases on mobile this year from the creators of Genshin Impact, Honkai Star Rail is also making its way to PS5 with a release date set for 11 October.
Fans of Japanese role-playing games not called Final Fantasy will also be pleased to learnt that Tales of Arise, which previously released in 2021, is getting a substantial expansion set after the events of the original story called Beyond the Dawn, and it’s coming on 9 November for both PS5 and PS4.
There was also a new look at Ghostrunner 2, sequel to the hard-as-nails first-person action platforming slasher where one hit means death. Masochists can already get a taste of its hardcore gameplay with a demo that’s available now ahead of its release on 26 October.
As for PS5 owners looking to change up the look of their console, we also got a look at some new colours that are part of the ‘Deep Earth Collection’. Coming with a sleek metallic finish, these three new colour schemes – Volcanic Red, Cobalt Blue, and Sterling Silver – are available for both the console’s face plates as well as DualSense controllers, and launch later this year.