Kratos in silhouette in God of War
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Credit: Santa Monica Studio / Sony Interactive Entertainment

From God of War to Harry Potter: The biggest trailers & takeaways from Sony’s PS5 event

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Sep 18, 2020, 8:08 AM EDT (Updated)

Where do we even start? Industry insiders had been hinting all week that Sony still had some hidden aces up its sleeve ahead of Wednesday’s PlayStation 5 game showcase. But few fans were ready for the deluge of new game info that cascaded, one big name after another, for nearly an hour as Sony showed off a deeper-than-expected bullpen of upcoming PS5 games.

From the opening moments, when the Square Enix logo (and all that it signified) flickered to life onscreen, to the closer that revealed the PS5’s long-awaited price and release date, Sony brought the surprises during its all-digital event. In the process, we got first-ever confirmation of all-new games like Final Fantasy XVI and the followup to 2018’s God of War, plus killer deep dives that showed off gameplay from previously announced titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Resident Evil Village.

Along the way, Sony even sweetened the incentive to buy into its vision for the next generation of gaming, revealing a new way to tap into its deep trove of PlayStation 4 favorites, as well as hop on board the subscription-based PlayStation Plus bandwagon. Even a familiar face like Fortnite showed up with a fresh layer of paint, looking spiffier than ever under Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 treatment for next-generation consoles.

It’s a lot of ground to cover, but then again, fans have been bursting at the seams for the PS5 info floodgates to open for real. More than 1 million concurrent viewers tuned in live just for Sony’s English-language YouTube stream alone, with tons more taking in the showcase via other platforms. So without any more fanfare, let’s take a look at all the biggest trailers and announcements that took flight during Sony’s big event — and then start counting down the days until the PS5’s Nov. 12 arrival.

God of War

We know, we know — there’s no gameplay here, not even so much as a smidge of cinematic footage to get us in an immortal state of mind. But when the deity you’re dealing with is Kratos, all that’s needed to get the godly hype train rolling is a tease that points God of War fans in the general direction of where Sony Santa Monica’s iconic franchise is heading. And for anyone who’s been hooked since Thor darkened Kratos’ door to put an ominous post-game cutscene coda on the previous title, it’s heading right where we wanna go: Ragnarök.

Featuring nothing more than a Kratos voiceover and some cool graphics, an unnamed listener (we’ll assume it’s Atreus, Kratos’ son from the previous game) gets briefed for the battle to come: “You must prepare yourself,” growls Kratos with grim determination as the words appear onscreen to drive home the sharp-edged point: “Ragnarök is coming.” So far, Sony hasn’t divulged the sequel’s true title, and is teasing only a 2021 release. But when the Ragnarök-themed PS5 sequel to God of War arrives, it’ll take the fight to the Norse pantheon as a PlayStation exclusive.

Final Fantasy XVI

PlayStation on YouTube

This was the wild card, the announcement that divided fans ahead of time into two camps over whether Square Enix, awash in the success of this year’s newly hatched, multi-game Final Fantasy VII Remake series, would take the next step so soon in continuing its hallowed JRPG franchise. Turns out the “they will” camp was right: The 16th numbered installment in Final Fantasy history was announced as a PlayStation console exclusive, showing up with a lengthy trailer that appears to trade the series’ recent sci-fi focus for a more medieval, high-fantasy setting.

Every time a new Final Fantasy is announced, Square Enix is essentially hitting the reset button on recreating the franchise’s evergreen hallmarks (think chocobos, crystals, and cactuars) with a new story world that’ll serve as a long-term playground for endless iteration — all while becoming a permanent part of FF lore. We have thoughts — lots of them — on all the little details and story hints that the announcement trailer showed off, and we’ll dive into those further in the days ahead. But for now, take a step back and bask in the glory of a magic-filled trailer that seems to split the difference between action-focused combat and traditional JRPG … and add another poster-worthy logo from legendary artist Yoshitaka Amano to the Final Fantasy hall of fame.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales

PlayStation on YouTube

We’d seen from the game’s announcement trailer that Spider-Man: Miles Morales would elevate the heights that Sony’s new console could allow our hero to reach. But this week’s new trailer gave us our first good look at actual gameplay, revealing Miles to be an electrifyingly capable Spidey hero — all while maintaining the friendly neighborhood vibes that make him one of the good guys. Walking the streets of Harlem with his friend Ganke Lee, Miles springs into action in the trailer when a tech-savvy organized crime outfit called the Underground stages a bridge hit on a convoy carrying NuForm — a dangerous but highly sought-after resource made by energy company Roxxon. It’s up to Spidey to interrupt the Underground’s plan while saving civilians as the bridge begins to collapse, in the process showing off some Miles-specific web-slinging skills … and some truly impressive bicep strength.

Developer Insomniac revealed that more than one version of Miles Morales will be available, with an Ultimate PS5 edition that’ll bundle in a code for a remastered copy of Marvel’s 2018 Spider-Man blockbuster (including all the post-launch DLC) for the PlayStation 4. And it looks like Miles is releasing as a cross-gen game, too: PS4 players are also getting their own version, with Insomniac pledging that “the game comes with you” when you’re ready to spring for the PlayStation 5. Spider-Man: Miles Morales releases on Nov. 12, making it a day-one launch game for the PS5.

Hogwarts Legacy

Hogwarts Legacy on YouTube

Warner Bros. Games waved its wand over the PS5 showcase by unveiling Hogwarts Legacy, a full-scale action-RPG also heading to Xbox consoles and PC that’s set in a Harry Potter-themed open world. More specifically, you’ll be attending Hogwarts in the 1800s as a promising magician who discovers “an unusual ability to perceive and master Ancient Magic.” WB Games and developer Avalanche tease that wielding all that power confronts you with a choice: “Only you can decide if you will protect this secret for the good of all, or yield to the temptation of more sinister magic.”

Adding to the RPG vibe are character progression and crafting features that’ll let you concoct potions, tweak your innate abilities, and “become the wizard you want to be” — all while exploring Harry Potter locations both familiar and new. There’s no early word on a release date, but WB Games teased that Hogwarts Legacy will be ready to play for the Muggling masses sometime next year.

Resident Evil Village

PlayStation on YouTube

Capcom showed up with a second trailer for the upcoming Resident Evil Village, teasing Ethan Winters’ next chapter as he’s yanked back into the infested world he thought he'd left behind in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. The eighth main entry in the storied survival horror franchise, Resident Evil Village is set to arrive next year as a true next-gen game for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

Demon’s Souls

PlayStation on YouTube

Man, does Boletaria look gorgeous … and deadly. The hugely hyped PS5 remaster for the FromSoftware game that launched the entire Souls subgenre back in 2009 got an extended gameplay trailer at Sony’s PS5 event, and remaster studio Bluepoint Games has obviously burnished Demon’s Souls to a shine that just wasn’t possible back in the PlayStation 3 era. Demon’s Souls will be a Nov. 12 launch-day exclusive for the PlayStation 5. 

Fortnite

PlayStation on YouTube

If you’re among the Fortnite fans who prefers to drop in on a giant TV rather than inside the tiny confines of a mobile screen, Epic Games’ battle royale is about to serve up a significant visual upgrade. Sony showed off what Fortnite will look like on PlayStation 5 using Epic’s Unreal Engine 4, and the graphically boosted PS5 version will be available from day one — with all your previous progress and in-game purchases completely transferrable to the PS5. 

Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition

PlayStation on YouTube

Devil May Cry 5 just came out last year, but already it’s bound for the PS5 in a revamped form that adds new gameplay features including a sped-up Turbo Mode, a chaotic Legendary Dark Knight difficulty, and — best of all, Vergil as a playable character. Sporting boosted graphics that take full advantage of the PS5’s ray-tracing power, lightning-fast load times, immersive audio, and enhanced feedback from the DualSense controller, Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition will hit Sony’s new console as a day-one digital download.

Oddworld: Soulstorm

PlayStation on YouTube

We didn’t get a long-awaited release date for Oddworld: Soulstorm, but we did get a new PS5-enhanced look at Abe’s next journey. Developer Oddworld Inhabitants teases that the new console’s built-in processing power will “bring out Oddworld: Soulstorm’s stunning graphic fidelity,” along with “mind-blowing 3D audio” and haptic feedback from the new DualSense controller that’ll even allow you to feel when Abe’s heart is racing. Also slated to arrive for Xbox consoles and PC, Oddworld: Soulstorm is definitely looking good — we're just waiting for that release date.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach

PlayStation on YouTube

Details are still light, but the trailer does all the talking in Steel Wool Studios and ScottGames’ next chapter in the Five Nights at Freddy’s universe. Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach promises to harness the PS5’s next-gen tech to ramp up the fear factor “beyond what’s been possible before” — and that’s saying something. No release date was announced, so keep that flashlight handy.

Playstation Plus on PS5

Sony also announced a new perk for PlayStation Plus subscribers in the form of the PlayStation Plus Collection — a curated treasure trove of PS4 hits that’ll be ready to play from the moment you unbox your PlayStation 5. It’s a big list; one that includes Batman Arkham Knight, Bloodborne, Fallout 4, Final Fantasy XV, God of War, Monster Hunter: World, Persona 5, The Last of Us Remastered, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and many more. Best of all, the PS Plus Collection won’t add anything to the cost of a current PS Plus subscription. 

Launch lineup

Tons and tons of games — but which ones will you be able to play when the PS5 arrives this holiday season? Sony's launch lineup is sure to grow in the days ahead. For now, though, here's a list of everything we know (in addition to all those PlayStation Plus PS4 titles mentioned above):

Astro's Playroom
Demon's Souls
Destruction All Stars
Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition
Godfall
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Both editions of the PlayStation 5 — the disc-equipped Standard Edition and the disc-free Digital Edition — will release on Nov. 12. The disc-less version will retail for $399, and the full version with a disc drive will cost $499.

 

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