The Good, The Bad and The “Meh” of Sony PlayStation’s Summer State of Play

We may not be getting E3 again this year but this certainly hasn’t stopped gaming companies from doing their own thing. In fact, Sony has been kind of doing this for the past couple of years now as, instead of going to E3, they’ve been doing their own thing with the State of Play videos. This isn’t anything new as Nintendo basically started the trend a while back but, because of this, Sony has always tried to make some blockbuster announcements during the State of Play that comes out during the E3 season. Which is basically what just happened recently.

This year’s State of Play did have a slew of announcements regarding what PlayStation fanboys can look forward to in the near future. Some of them were really exciting. Some of them weren’t all that hype. And some of them, well, were just there. So, let’s go look at Sony’s State of Play and check out what was good, what was bad and what was just plain ol’ meh.

The Good

Resident Evil 4 Remake looks incredible

I will be the first to admit I am still unsure about remaking Resident Evil 4. Yes, it’s almost a couple of decades old by now so you can say it’s old enough to get the “remaster” treatment. But I am worried regarding how Capcom would mess with the entire tone of Resident Evil 4. While the previous games were focused on the horror aspects, this game did a really crazy mix of an insane story, wacky characters and even cheesier one-liners that never took itself too seriously. I just knew if they were going to make it for modern gamers, Capcom would take it back to its survival-horror roots and possibly remove the more B-movie aspects.

They did show a teaser of the long rumored Resident Evil 4 Remake right at the start of the State of Play. I’m still wary about a possible tone change… but I can’t help but get excited because of how damn gorgeous everything looks!

Now, this is just a teaser of how Capcom envisions it’ll look and feel so we didn’t get to see any actual gameplay. All we saw are glimpses of what Resident Evil 4 Remake will supposedly look like. From what we’ve seen, though, I’m very impressed. While everything does look a little too serious now, I cannot deny how the RE Engine makes it work. The character models and the lighting is just superb. I am slightly disappointed that it’s only coming out on PlayStation 5 (as well as the Xbox Series X and S) as I won’t be able to play it (curse you, PlayStation 5 shortages!) when it comes out.

Street Fighter 6 is learning from Street Fighter 5’s mistakes

Capcom really pulled a one-two punch for Sony’s State of Play because, not only did they officially announce Resident Evil 4 Remake, but they also revealed Street Fighter 6 as well. Capcom probably remembers that a lot of fans were burned by how bare Street Fighter 5’s single player content was so it looks like they’re trying to overcompensate by doing some extremely expansive story mode where you get to explore Metro City with your very own character!

Oh, and it also looks like they’ll be bundling it with a really good fighting game as well! Go figure!

All jokes aside, Street Fighter 6 seems to be Capcom’s way of making it up to fans with how they botched Street Fighter 5’s launch and, well, a lot of its shortcomings. Besides the seemingly very expansive story, the fighting engine has been revamped to include a lot of stuff that fans loved in previous games. The trailer itself has hinted at things like the Parry system from Street Fighter III, Alpha Counters from Street Fighter Alpha/Zero and Focus Attacks from Street Fighter IV. The artstyle is also much more colorful and the character animations simply look sublime in motion. I’m also really happy since it’s coming out on PlayStation 4 alongside its PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC brethren so I’ll be able to play it when it comes out next year.

Spider-Man Remastered is coming out on PC

I’m not a PC gamer but I don’t like denying other gamers of a great gaming experience. So I’m actually incredibly happy that the formerly exclusive Spider-Man game that was released on PlayStation systems will be ported over to PC.

Despite how powerful the PlayStation 5 is, Sony’s latest console is simply no match for a super powerful PC. So, while I will never be able to play this upgraded version of a game I’ve already played before, I’m ecstatic that PC gamers will be able to play this game to its fullest potential. Oh, and I can’t wait for what crazy mods they’ll make for this game. Maybe they can bring back Peter Parker’s original face!

Still incredibly hyped for cat action in Stray

We have a lot of cats at home but I wouldn’t exactly call myself a cat person. I like them just fine. Despite this, I am still really excited for Stray… because you can play as a cat! It’s weird and kooky and just right up my alley!

The State of Play doesn’t really show much gameplay but it does show enough to give you the idea of how it’ll play. It’s going to be a mixture of 3D platforming along with stealth while probably solving puzzles and completing quests to move forward. It looks creative and being able to play as a cat will probably force you to think in a different way to traverse the world. I almost added this to the Bad category since we didn’t see much of anything but I couldn’t do that to Stray. It’s intriguing enough to get a pass.

Final Fantasy XVI is taking Summons to a whole new level

Despite me pining for one for the longest time, it can be very hard to justify my need to get a PlayStation 5. Right now, there doesn’t really seem to be that one console exclusive game that will make me get one at the soonest amount of time. Final Fantasy XVI is making me really consider it now. It’s not quite at that level but it’s very, very close.

Final Fantasy XVI does come off like a game that can only be played on Sony’s most high-tech system because of the grand opulence of the graphical fidelity. While the general combat looks okay, it’s when the gigantic Summons are brought into the fold that makes things look like it would be impossible for the PlayStation 4 to produce. The Summons don’t look pre-rendered as you can clearly see life bars and the like. So, yeah. If this game has to be a PlayStation 5, I totally get it. I may hate it because I can’t play it immediately. But I understand.

The Bad

All of the VR Stuff

This is mostly my personal bias but I just never got into the entire VR craze. I guess it’s supposed to be this really immersive experience, however, the mere fact that you have to pay up the nose to get the required equipment to do so feels ridiculous to me. I don’t hate on those who can afford the necessary fancy equipment to praise the VR experience. But it simply isn’t for me. It certainly doesn’t help that a lot of VR games, even the really good ones, come off as janky because of the floating hands. It just looks goofy to me.

So, yeah. The State of Play did go a little hard on it as they promoted three games, namely Resident Evil Village, Horizon VR: Call of the Mountain, No Man’s Sky and The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners gets a hard pass from me.

Horizon Forbidden West adds features it should’ve had from the start

Look, I loved Horizon: Forbidden West. I’m actually impressed with how well it runs on a PlayStation 4 especially with how beautiful and rich the graphics are. However, I did finish the game and completed practically everything that could be done. So when the State of Play said Guerrilla Games was making a huge update, I was expecting something grand. Instead, what we got is something that should’ve been in the game all along.

Honestly, I’m surprised the base version of Horizon: Forbidden West didn’t have some of these features. Things like New Game+, resetting your skills, an ultra hard difficulty and setting your armor with different abilities and buffs were added but, really, shouldn’t they have been there in the first place? Things like New Game+, skill resets and a super hard difficulty are standard features in a lot of other games. I guess the ability to switch armor buffs is neat. But why not allow full armor customizability or something like that? It’s a big update but nothing really mindblowing.

Eternights will allow you to live out your anime harem fantasy?

I normally don’t like to be too hard on a new property that’s being made by a new developer. But Eternights just doesn’t look all that good. It tries to combine a whole lot of things. It’s an anime game set in a post apocalyptic world and the main character has an energy arm which he can use to fight off enemies. Oh, and he can also date other girls. Cool?

Hopefully, the game is still early in development because it comes across as super generic. The combat looks very basic and, correct me if I’m wrong, but there are some moments wherein the “graphics” just look like moving GIF images. Now, if they showed off more of the main hook, the dating simulator, maybe I wouldn’t be too harsh on Eternights. But they have to show more than just the really boring combat and much more of the dating sim part to get me on board.

Season: A Letter to the Future is making me slee… zzzzzz

There always has to be that one game that makes me think why Sony or anyone compiling what to put in their version of State of Play would think this is hype worthy. It’s usually the filler or cooldown game right before the big climax of the show because of how dumb it looks. In this State of Play, it was Season: A Letter to the Future.

Season: A Letter to the Future does have some really nice looking cel-shaded graphics and it could be akin to something like Kino’s Journey, a Japanese light novel series and anime, wherein a girl named Kino travels to different locations all over the world just to explore the diversity of what the world has to offer. But I don’t see it. What I see is some person biking to different lands to take pictures and record sounds of the region. Not exactly riveting gameplay, is it?

Now, I don’t think all games have to be all about action and whatnot. However, Season: A Letter to the Future looks really boring and, to be honest, a little preachy at the same time. There’s going to be an audience for it but it’s definitely not my cup of tea.

The “Meh”

Tunic is cute but… kinda old

Tunic is finally coming to the both Sony’s consoles. That’s a good thing! Tunic has also been out on PC and Xbox X/S for quite some time now. That’s a… well, it’s not a bad thing. It’s just something I can’t really get excited for. It looks cute and the adventure does look fun. But it’s hard for me to get excited for something I didn’t exactly pine over when it was on other consoles. Yay, I guess?

The Callisto Protocol should’ve shown much, much more

It’s been a year since The Callisto Protocol, a game that’s seems to be the spiritual successor of the Dead Space series of games, was announced. The State of Play released a new trailer for it and, while it looks good, I still can’t really get all that excited for it. Maybe if they showed a little more instead of basically just doing another teaser trailer after a year of development, I would’ve been more hyped for it.

Rollerdome is colorful but plain looking at the same time

Sometimes, there’s a game that looks cool but still someone comes off as rather bland at the same time. Rollerdome fits that bill for me. The cel-shaded retro look mimicking a ’70s B-movie aesthetic is appealing but the animations look very stiff and robotic. This could be a fun game but it simply didn’t grab my attention.

Well, that’s basically it. Sony’s State of Play definitely has a lot of highlights, like Street Fighter 6, Final Fantasy XVI and Resident Evil 4 Remake but there were some lowlights, like Season: A Letter to the Future and Horizon: Forbidden West “big” update. It still was a really good show as the good stuff definitely overshadowed the bad and boring stuff. Good job this year, Sony!

What did you think of this year’s State of Play? Let me know in the comments section below!

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