At the start of the year, Microsoft fired the first salvo for the 2023 in declaring video game supremacy. They had their Xbox and Bethesda Developer Direct, focusing more on quality rather than quantity. A couple of weeks ago, Nintendo followed suit with the first Nintendo Direct of the year. Like Microsoft, Nintendo put their best foot forward and wowed gamers with some of their announcements.
That only left Sony without something to show for and, last week, they did their first State of Play for the year. This is supposed to whet our appetite with what Sony has in store for PlayStation fans in 2023. It was their chance to steal the show and make everyone forget what Microsoft and Nintendo showed off with some fantastic quality games to be excited for.
Too bad the first State of Play was pretty much a colossal bore! I don’t say that lightly as, even though I love Sony and the PlayStation brand, I have to call it the way I see it. The most recent State of Play only showed me a couple of things to look forward to. The rest of the stuff they presented? One huge “meh”, in my opinion.
To be fair, there were a couple of things I did like from the most recent Sony State of Play. And when I say “a couple”, I really mean just two things. And they just so happen to be both from Capcom. First, there’s Street Fighter 6. It does look like Capcom is really investing a lot of time and money into the game. So far, all I’ve heard is praise from the beta tests, so Street Fighter 6 is shaping up to be an exceptional fighting game. Add to the fact, Capcom is going to award a cool million dollars to the winner of the upcoming Capcom Cup tournament, you can tell they’re getting serious.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that Capcom also showed off the final batch of launch characters for Street Fighter 6 during the State of Play. A lot of people were excited to see them and, after seeing what Zangief, Lily and Cammy can do, I’m doubly excited for the game. June can’t come sooner!
The second game State of Play showed off that I’m super interested in is Capcom’s upcoming Resident Evil 4 Remake. Saying this is sort of a bitter pill to swallow because, just a couple of years ago, I did think remaking Resident Evil 4 would’ve been a terrible idea. I just think Resident Evil 4 isn’t a game that needed to be tinkered with and Capcom would be trying to fix something that didn’t need to be fixed.
Resident Evil 4 Remake hasn’t been released yet so I can’t really attest to its quality. But the most recent State of Play showed off a lot of new stuff and it’s stuff I didn’t expect as, although my fear of Capcom messing around with Resident Evil 4 is evident in the showcase, I’m interested in seeing how it works. It doesn’t hurt that the game looks phenomenal and the gameplay does look really tight. They announced a demo but didn’t reveal when. Hopefully, it’ll be sometime this week. Please, Capcom?
After the two Capcom games, however, the State of Play had very little of interest for me. Right at the start, I immediately felt this wave of disappointed with Sony touting their new PlayStation VR doohickie and five games its going to have. I’m sorry but VR just isn’t for me. It just feels like a novelty, much like 3D movies and motion controls. It also feels like developers have to limit themselves as all they do when they make VR games is make a first-person shooter or a walking simulator. I know it’s probably the easiest but do something different, like make a real-time strategy game but using VR controls like how Tony Stark designs his stuff in the Marvel movies! Besides, those VR things are hella expensive! I have enough trouble with buying the games!
Speaking of first-person shooters, there’s Destiny 2. That was one of the supposed main showcases for this State of Play and, simply speaking, I didn’t care all that much for the Lightfall expansion pack because I never got into Destiny in the first place. I’m not here to yuck on anyone’s yum but I just don’t care for it. I guess I’m happy for fans of the game as they get a new expansion for their favorite game. But for me, pass.
Then there were a whole bunch of more games I didn’t care for. First, there’s Tchia, some weird open-world game where you possess creatures, which was already done in Super Mario Odyssey, and traverse the world on a glider or raft, which was also already done in previous Legend of Zelda games. There’s also the Naruto compilation and, since I’m one of the rare geeks who don’t really care for Naruto, I can’t really get hyped for a compilation of old Naruto games. The most biggest one to avoid for me is Goodbye, Volcano High. The only way I can describe the game is it’s a game featuring emo teenagers who are about to graduate high school and they’re in a band. Oh, and they’re all dinosaurs. Why are they dinosaurs and does it work into the game? Well, I will never be able to tell you because I’m not the least bit interested in even saying hello to Goodbye, Volcano High.
There was one games beside the Capcom ones which I had some hope for but that quickly fizzled out. That game is Humanity, which does look like a Lemmings clone but in 3D. Well, I liked Lemmings so I did raise an eyebrow when I figured out what the game was like. I also was intrigued by the ability for players to design their own levels and share them with others. The problem with Humanity is I still haven’t gotten a complete grasp of what it’s all about. I would’ve liked if they showed a little more but, at the same time, doing so would remove all the mystery.
Sony’s State of Play also showcased a couple of brand new RPGs. The first was Baldur’s Gate III and, sad to say, it didn’t grab my attention like I hoped. I actually liked the first Baldur’s Gate but that was so long ago! The gameplay footage they showed made it kind of look like a mobile game to me. The second was Wayfinder, which looks like a World of Warcraft clone, right down to the art style. Since I’m already burnt out with MMORPGs, I can’t say I’ll be trying out Wayfinder.
Finally, we get to the other headliner of the State of Play: Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. I was cautiously optimistic with this game as the idea of using a squad of different supervillains could be good. The problem I have is, well, the Suicide Squad don’t really look all that unique from each other. Deadshot flies around with a jetpack and shoots stuff. King Shark jumps around with a jetpack and shoots stuff. Captain Boomerang zooms around, not with a jetpack, but with some fancy Speed Force gauntlet and shoots things instead of, you know, throwing boomerangs. We then have Harley Quinn who zooms around by swinging around with a hover thingie and shoots stuff. They all don’t feel very different from each other! Heck, they all can carry the same type of guns so what’s the use of having different members when they all can equip any gun they want?
The Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League showcase during the State of Play really killed the vibe for me. I was hoping Rocksteady could do something with these group of villains. While I will say the concept of controlling the Suicide Squad with the goal of killing the Justice League is really, really good, if it’s not going to be accompanied with gameplay that just “shoot everything with the character who basically plays the same as everyone else,” then I’m going to have a pass. It’s a shame, really. I was rooting for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League to close out the State of Play with a bang.
The first ever State of Play for 2023 was pretty much a bummer. Besides Street Fighter 6 and Resident Evil 4 Remake, I just couldn’t get hyped for anything they showed. Heck, I was even de-hyped for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League because of how generic it looked! Sony, you better get your act together for the next State of Play.
What were your thoughts for Sony’s first State of Play for the year? Did any of the games pique your interest? Let me know in the comments section below!