Video games

Thoughts on Sony’s 2023 State of Play

So, we don’t have an E3 this year, but we have a lot of other things – starting off with Sony’s 2023 State of Play this week – and while I will do a video at the end of the… stuff – summing up my thoughts on the whole thing, I figure it would be reasonably appropriate to give some quick thoughts on the stuff showcased at this event.

The Good

  • Ghostrunner II: The first game looked really fun – and probably the main reason I haven’t played it before now is until recently I didn’t have a computer that could run it. This looks like it carries over a lot of what made the first game look neat, plus the addition of vehicle sequences.
  • Phantom Blade 0: This looks like a Wuxia inspired character action game – the color palette looks a little muted, but otherwise it’s got a lot of style.
  • Sword of the Sea: Looks atmospheric and like it could potentially be a lot of fun.
  • Foamstar: So – hear me out – what if Splatoon let you shape the terrain?
  • Teardown: Same as with Ghostrunner – I didn’t have a computer that I was confident could run this until recently – however I also have a PS5 and can just play it there.
  • Metal Gear Collection + Delta (Snake Eater): I played the first two, and wouldn’t mind playing them in a prettier form, and I never got around to Snake Eater.
  • Final Fantasy XVI: I’ve already decided to buy this.
  • Alan Wake II: I beat Alan Wake 1 and loved it – and I’m definitely looking forward to facing the Shadow again.
  • Granblue Fantasy Relink: It’d be nice to be able to play the Granblue story in a manner that doesn’t involve weirdness in terms of playing a mobile game in a browser window, in a region where it hasn’t officially been released.
  • Spider-Man 2: Kraven looks great, the change in attitude in Peter brought on by the symbiote sounds great, and so do some of the gadgets. Also, I like the larger world map (we have Queens now!). I even like the QTEs to protect ordinary people from Kraven’s reckless chase.

The Ehh

  • Fairgame$ looks interesting, though I’ve never gotten into the Payday-alike genre (due to not having a regular group to play with, and this looks like a game that would be a pain to play with Randos).
  • Helldivers II – On the one hand, I appreciate going with the satire of the Verhoven Starship Troopers film without dealing with the novel license. (My thoughts on the film in a nutshell – if you can’t be assed to read the novel, or you otherwise absolutely hate the novel so much you can’t be bothered to finish it, don’t adapt the novel. My thoughts on Verhoven – you don’t get to dismiss the utility of having an intimacy consultant or otherwise say you don’t need one because you’re European.)
  • Immortals of Avium: You know what would be cool? If someone tried to make a modern take on a Hexen with what we’ve learned from game design since then. I don’t know if this will be that, but I’m willing to keep an ear out for more on this game to see the final version.
  • Talos Principle II: Still need to play the first one.
  • Neva: Looks pretty, I haven’t heard good things about how Gris played (and possibly its story)
  • Towers of Agshaba: This feels like an attempt to decolonize the genre of the exploration-based town-builder, but that’s dependent on how the final version turns out.

The Disappointing

  • Cat Quest: Pirates of the Purribean: The title is great – the game looks rather dull.
  • Assassin’s Creed Mirage: The Assassin’s Creed games suffer (from my experience) from having a big open map that’s a pain to traverse across repeatedly, and this didn’t give me an idea of how this game might make that more pleasant.
  • Ultros: A Metroidvania with flashy-looking visuals, but we have a lot of those now, so you’ve got to give me something to make it stand out beyond that.
  • Tower of Fantasy: Perfect World made a Genshin.
  • Five Nights At Freddy’s: Help Wanted 2: Your reminder that the Five Nights at Freddy’s guy is an alt-right douchebag.
  • PS VR 2 Block: I get motion sick easily none of these games will be for me.
  • Marathon: Sigh… it’s an extraction shooter. Considering the very good things I’ve heard about the story of the classic Marathon series, I really wish they were doing something to retell that plot on modern platforms.
  • Concord: This presented a great vibe and then told me nothing about the game.
  • Project Q: The Wi-fi bit is a little iffy for me.