Player 2 Vs PlayStation State Of Play February 2023
Following on from Xbox’s recent Developer_Direct and Nintendo’s first Nintendo Direct for the year, PlayStation have returned serve with their first offering of State Of Play for 2023, which was outlined to highlight 5 new and upcoming PS VR2 games, a range of titles from indie and third party partners, as well as a large spotlight on Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League. With the event now concluded, join Player 2 editor Paul James, and Editor-In-Chief Matt Hewson as the pair dissect all that was shown.
Paul: The opening salvo in the PS VR2 section was a strong one with The Foglands. Tonally it was hard-hitting, and the FPS gameplay looks pretty solid. It’s definitely one that I’m keen to see and learn more about, but with it slated for 2023, I suspect I won’t have to wait that much longer.
Matt: The first of many FPS games coming to the PSVR 2 from this show. It looks fun and I dig the aesthetic. It certainly smells of a rouge-like though which can be a blessing or a curse and as always with these sort of VR titles it will depend greatly on how accurate you can be in aiming.
Green Hell VR
Paul: I’d never heard of Green Hell before, but I think I’ll be passing on this one. Typically survival games need to be hitting on some particular beats to resonate with me, and Green Hell VR, despite the appeal of the VR element, wasn’t really doing that for me.
Matt: Green Hell is a hardcore survival game that has a niche crowd but is generally too much for most. Seeing this converted into VR will be interesting at least, there are quite the set of systems there that need translating, but I am not sure it will be a big seller unless the game’s hardcore sensibility is toned down a little for this new format.
Paul: nDreams have done some cool stuff before, from Far Cry VR, to Fracked, the team hasn’t missed yet, and so combine that track record with a truly fascinating visual style, and you’ve got me hooked. Another one slated for 2023 and so I’m keen to check it out further, while my VR fever is high
Matt: Visually, the most striking game from the VR presentation. I loved the look of this and it comes from a very talented team of VR developers. Should be a winner and is probably my VR pick from the show.
Journey To Foundation
Paul: I wasn’t across the source material for this one at all, but it wasn’t that that proved to be the obstacle for me, it’s just that Journey To Foundation didn’t seem to be an engaging playing experience. They try to show off a few diverse systems, but the game doesn’t seem to make any of those systems engaging. I dunno, maybe it just needs to be demoed better next time?
Matt: A seemingly slower paced entry in the VR FPS market, this one explores the classic Assimov setting of the same name. It seems a bit more along the lines of Half Life: Alyx which could be a great thing, something that has a bit more depth than what we expect from a traditional VR experience.
Beyond Your Eyes
Paul: I’m really into Behind Your Eyes, but I have been for a year now, and so I’m thrilled that it is coming to PS VR2. The eye-tracking of the VR headset is really going to come to the fore with this one and so it’s going to be a fascinating experience when it launches in just a few short weeks.
Matt: Hard to say about this one. It seems like an interesting concept but hard to say if the VR headset actually adds anything to it at all. I like the idea for sure though and it could be a very cool indie.
Destiny 2: Lightfall
Paul: Look, I’ve long fallen off Destiny 2. The live service model isn’t something that I’m capable of sticking with, and so I’m unaware of basically everything that happened in Destiny 2 post the first six months of the game. I wish I could carve out the time to reingratiate myself, but despite how good Lightfall is looking, I just can’t give Bungie my time here – I need a Destiny 3 to reboot myself.
Matt: From what I am hearing, this is almost a bit of a reboot of Destiny 2 in alot of ways, which it frankly needs. For everyone outside of those that play every day it is such a tough slog to get back into the game after being away for a while. That said, I always make the effort for each new Destiny expansion, so regardless of how tough it is to get in, I will be certainly checking it out.
Paul: Tchia is certainly endearing, but I duon’t know that it will have much legs once we’re going hands on with it. It presents like a Breath Of The Wild in terms of player agency, creative choice, and style, but I cannot help but feel like it’s trying to bite off wayyyyyyy too much.
Matt: I am still not sold on this one. It looks like it will be a great looking game but I am just not sure it has an meat on the bones so to speak. I do want it to be a winner though so I am watching closely.
March PS+ Update
Paul: PlayStation have locked down Tchia as a PS+ Extra tier exclusive much like they did with Stray, indicating an enormous level of belief that I can’t yet get around, but beyond Tchia, it was nice to see Sony beat the leaks to the punch this month. The Essential tier offerings are solid with Battlefield 2042, Minecraft Dungeons, and Code Vein, but the Extra tier adds some great titles from Ubisoft including Rainbow Six: Extraction, and Immortals Fenyx Rising, while there’s never a bad time for an Uncharted collection, and Ghostwire Tokyo slips in ahead of its inevitable Xbox launch in weeks. None of the premium tier offerings were on show yet, but considering the triple treat we just got, I’m fine if they’re holding off for a bit longer.
Matt: I had to have a giggle at Minecraft Dungeons being included. I mean for all the bluster and chest beating wankery going on between Sony and MS HQ at the moment, it seems they can still hash a deal out, even if it is just a small one like this. Otherwise I feel like it is a weaker month for the PS+ freebies.
Paul: There are weird games that work for me, and then there are games like Humanity which just don’t jive with me at all. The Play, Create, Share model is something that I’ve been longing to see again, but this isn’t it for me.
Matt: Great studio, unique design, sure to be a winner. Not sure that trailer is doing it justice though.
Goodbye Volcano High
Paul: This is going to sound harsh, but I’m thrilled that the release date is out there now, because after June 15 I’ll be happy when the buzz just ceases with this one because it’s out and people can just play it. I’m not opposed to narrative adventures but this isn’t the sort that stands a chance of getting my time. I deal with too much mopey teenage drama on a professional level currently, I certainly don’t need this as well.
Matt: This really isn’t a game for me. I absolutely know there is a crowd for it, but I just can’t muster any enthusiasm for something like this.
Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections
Paul: Get this weeby rubbish out of here!
Matt: A big old pass for me. These games are mediocre at best, terrible at worst.
Baldur’s Gate 3
Paul: I was into Baldur’s Gate 3 before, but I certainly had to curb my enthusiasm somewhat because I find it hard to sit down and PC game these days. A day and date console release however, has my interest well-and-truly piqued. I’ve unfortunately not given Larian titles their flowers in recent years, but that’s quite likely to change now!
Matt: I am very excited for Baldur’s Gate 3 but I worry that playing on a controller is going to be a nightmare. A PC experience for me. But if they get the controls right it means that a whole group of new players will get a chance to play what I think will be a fantastic CRPG experience.
Paul: I love the studio behind Wayfinder. Airship Syndicate are the OG Darksiders developers, and have done exceptional things since that point with Battlechasers: Nightwar, Darksiders Genesis, and The Ruined King all under their belt, but I’m really not sure about Wayfinder. The style is there, maybe even the tone of their games that I enjoy as well, but I’m doubtful about the gameplay loop and whether it can hook me. I guess we’ll see how they go, but I’m sending them my best wishes because I love this team.
Matt: There is nothing about this that stands out for me, it looks like a host of other games and no matter how good the moment-to-moment gameplay is, I worry that it is going to just get lost in the crowd.
Street Fighter 6
Paul: I’ve never been a fighting game guy, and so Street Fighter 6 continues to fall flat with me, though I’ll admit, collaborations with Monster Hunter and Resident Evil are certainly quite cool!
Matt: I am very excited for Street Fighter 6. It is looking fantastic and it seems that Capcom really have learned some hard lessons from SF5. Zangief and Cammy’s return are welcome and the new character Lily looks like she could be a lot of fun to play. I must say Cammy’s new design is great, certainly better than the old green leotard.
Resident Evil 4 Remake
Paul: Yep, my old Resident Evil fears that plagued me when I was younger have been alleviated thanks to the other guy here forcing them upon me for review, so when RE4 lands, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be there looking to atone for some gaming sins of the past
Matt: RE4 is one of those gaps in my gaming history that I need to fill and this remake is making that task a mighty enticing one. Easily my most anticipated game for next month I feel.
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League
Paul: The moment to moment action of Suicide Squad is exactly what I have wanted and expected it to be – I’d expect nothing less of Rocksteady, but it’s the meta stuff that is driving me mad as it plagues this and countless other games. I love RPGs, I was born and bred on them, and so I’m fairly comfortable with stats in my games, but the gear level stuff that plagues so many AAA games today is just getting ridiculous now. Perhaps Rocksteady, even with Sefton Hill and co now walking out the door, can pull it all together and prove me wrong – please, please prove me wrong.
Matt: We needed this presentation. We really did. I now know what to expect and look, I am excited but have some worries. The moment-to-moment stuff looks fantastic but my eyes almost immediately glazed over when they started diving into gear scores and customisation. I got just a little too much of a Gotham Knights vibe from that. That said, I am still excited about diving in and checking it out, Rocksteady have earned my faith that they will succeed where others have failed. The May release date was also a nice cherry on top.
Paul: It is a good thing that PlayStation had set our expectations early otherwise I could see many being disappointed in this showing, but knowing that the big guns from PlayStation including Spider-Man 2 weren’t going to show allowed me to be open minded to the partnerships they were forming, and to see what is stemming from those, and overall, things look promising. I’m sad that we didn’t get the stealth drop that we’ve seen from both Xbox and Nintendo so far, but a largely strong hand of games for both PS VR2 and the core audience have me satiated. That said, I’m desperately awaiting a big showcase where PlayStation can knock us over with the next big wave of first party titles. You can feel that dam wall creaking and cracking, but when is it going to burst with wave 2 of the first party launches?
Matt: This was hardly a the heart pumping show that Sony has been known to drop in recent times, but I think going in we knew that. At this stage at least, Sony’s first party lineup outside of VR is a little empty for the first half of the year so I think it was wise to get out in front of any potential grumbles with this sort of “don’t worry we still have stuff” show. There was nothing ground breaking here and if I am honest, Suicide Squad disappointed a little so it kind of left me feeling a little flat about it all. I think Sony’s mid-year show needs to be stronger, especially on the first party side, if they want to have another banging year.