After months of speculation, a handful of under-the-hood tech teases, a brief delay, and more good old-fashioned hype than you can shake a controller at, Sony finally opened the information floodgates on the PlayStation 5 today, unleashing first looks at upcoming next-gen games (including some big surprises) with its "Future of Gaming" online showcase.
The extended tour of Sony’s PS5 vision marked one of the year’s most heavily anticipated (and heavily viewed) gaming events, throwing out a rapid-fire wave of huge announcements and preview trailers for games and franchises that fans have been clamoring for for months — or, in some cases, even years. As the internet melts down in the immediate aftermath, we’re still sitting dumbstruck in a pile of confetti trying to make sense of it all. But we have some early takeaways, and we're ready to share. Here's a first-look breakdown of what Sony shared about its screaming fast next-gen machine ... and the games we'll be playing on it for years to come.
Horizon Forbidden West
It was inevitable that Horizon Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games’ breakout sci-fi IP on the PS4, was going to get a sequel. But Sony shared more than anyone expected with a meaty cinematic trailer for the next game, which will take players underwater (and tons more places) in Horizon Forbidden West. Zero Dawn racked up all kinds of game-of-the-year awards when it debuted as a PS4 exclusive back in 2017, and Forbidden West — now published under Sony’s new PlayStation Studios first-party banner with Guerrilla as an in-house studio — looks to advance the franchise’s high-concept story with killer next-gen graphics as a PS5 exclusive.
Both Aloy and the enigmatic Sylens (voiced in the first game by John Wick’s Lance Reddick) are back for Forbidden West, continuing Zero Dawn’s story in the post-apocalyptic American landscape that Aloy liberated from an AI-driven machine threat in the first game.
There’s no early word on a release date for Horizon Forbidden West.
Resident Evil Village
Now we know what Capcom was planning all along for Resident Evil’s eighth chapter. Dialing up the horror with killer graphics powered by Capcom’s RE Engine and a widely diverse art style that raises the bar for jump scares around every corner, today gave us our first glimpse at Resident Evil Village.
Hang on to your flashlights, this one's a creepfest:
Capcom teases Village as a continuation of Chris Redfield’s story from earlier RE titles. “Years after the tragic events of Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, Ethan Winters has started over with his wife Mia, finally living in peace and putting the past behind them. However, Chris Redfield, the legendary hero from previous Resident Evil games, suddenly disrupts their life, throwing a devastated Ethan into a new and twisted nightmare in search of answers.”
Village doesn’t have a firm release date yet either, but Capcom says the game will sneak up on us sometime in 2021. Resident Evil Village will be available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Peter Parker is handing the baton to Miles Morales for Marvel’s next Spidey adventure, which is heading to the PS5 sooner than either of the titles above. Sony opened its “Future of Gaming” presentation in full web-slinging mode, revealing Spider-Man: Miles Morales as the sequel to 2018’s Spider-Man. Like its acclaimed predecessor, this one’s a PlayStation exclusive as well.
Sony’s first Spidey game on the PS4 went on to sell more than 13 million copies worldwide, and Miles’ bright future on the big screen with an Into the Spider-Verse sequel in the works gives Marvel plenty of headroom to spin his evolving story both in the theater and in the living room. Look for Spider-Man: Miles Morales to swing onto PS5 consoles this holiday season.
While the blockbusters stole the show, Sony didn’t set aside more than an hour of playtime to bring just a handful of PS5 games. Here’s a quick peek at a few more upcoming titles that also caught our eye.
Though the presentation came and went with nary a mention of Final Fantasy XVI or the next installment in the Final Fantasy VII Remake series, Square Enix did show up with Project Athia, an all-new IP described as a "thrilling story-led, action-packed adventure” set in “a vast and detailed world filled with beauty and dismay.” In typical Square Enix fashion, it already looks gorgeous — even if it’ll be a while before we get any firm details on what SE and in-house developer Luminous Studio are really getting at. Check it out below:
Whoah — we have no idea what's going on in this trailer, but it sure looks purrrrty sweet. Annapurna Interactive and BlueTwelve Studio are tugging at our heartstrings (if not our tails) with their all-new game, Stray — and yep, you get to play as a cat. “Lost, alone, and separated from family, a stray cat must untangle an ancient mystery to escape a long-forgotten cybercity and find the way home,” the studios tease:
Oddworld Inhabitants has been working on Abe’s next chapter for a while now, and Sony’s event gave us a next-gen peek at how our unlikely working-class hero will look on the PS5. Oddworld Soulstorm appears to be a PS5 console exclusive, but there’s no early word on a release date:
Think of it as Groundhog Day in space … but the worst Groundhog Day you can possibly imagine. PlayStation Studios and Housemarque debuted an all-new PS5 exclusive titled Returnal, an alien-world adventure that “combines action with roguelike gameplay into a third-person shooter where players fight to survive a hostile planet that changes with every death.” First you’ll die … and then you’ll die again (and again):
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
Insomniac’s return to this PlayStation franchise classic may have caught some folks by surprise (after all, Insomniac also has its hands full with Spider-Man: Miles Morales) — but it's definitely a welcome addition. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart reunites two of our favorites in an all-new journey that cranks the graphics to another level:
Like many of the games Sony showed off, Rift Apart hasn’t been given a release date. At least we have a general idea of when Sony’s spaced-out, gleaming white console will appear on store shelves — the PS5 is expected to land in time for the holiday shopping season this year.