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Sony PlayStation State of Play: A Recap

State of Play
All Images Courtesy of Sony

Building off of June’s PlayStation 5 Showcase, Sony had a State of Play on Thursday, February 25 to showcase new updates and 10 games PlayStation players can expect to see in the coming months.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Sony started this year’s State of Play with an announcement that Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time was receiving updates as it transitions to PlayStation 5. Not only will Crash 4 have updated visuals such as native 4K resolution on 60 FPS, the game will also utilize the system’s Adaptive Triggers as well as having 3D audio available — only with a compatible headset. 

As per usual, Crash 4 will have faster load times and will allow the player to transfer over data from their PlayStation 4 to the 5. For players looking to reach the infamous “106%,” they can use the PlayStation 5’s activity cards to help them. Lastly, the next-gen version is set to release on March 12. 

Returnal

Developed by Finnish studio Housemarque, Returnal follows the journey of an astral scout on a mission to uncover dark secrets hidden underneath the alien planet she crash lands on. Along with a deep narrative filled with intrigue and mystery, especially as it begins to go deeper into the main characters’ psyche, the game also features relatively fast-paced action, with dashing and hovering around enemies paramount to the player’s survival. 

Every time the player dies, the world is randomly generated – with the map becoming different and the numbers and locations of enemies changing – making sure that no two experiences are alike. Players can also equip different “alt-fires,” each with their own specific usefulness and find altars of sorts that will augment their abilities. Returnal is releasing on PlayStation 5 on April 30. 

Knockout City

A futuristic, dodgeball game, Knockout City is a team-based multiplayer game for PlayStation 4. The premise is simple: either with a group or by yourself, eliminate the opposing team with a variety of different moves, ranging from catching a ball to power up a shot, faking opponents out, doing trickshots to get around obstacles and more. 

A few modes announced were: a 1v1 mode with a constantly shrinking map, and Team KO, a 3v3 mode. Players can also play with different balls such a “Sniper ball” – allowing for long-range hits – and being the balls themselves. Players can also charge up and unleash a large, instant-KO explosion as a ball. 

Additionally, each map has a special mechanic that can aid players, escape or sneak up on other players. Players can sign up for the cross-play beta on Velan Studios’ website and play on a new map called “Back Alley Brawl,” which features the aforementioned Sniper Ball. The full game will be released on May 21.

SIFU

Releasing later this year on both generations, SIFU appears to be a story of revenge, with the main character limbering up to fight numerous enemies in a hallway – akin to the scene in “Oldboy.” After he is defeated, the main character seemingly ages years, becoming more proficient in martial arts, as evidenced by his superior blocking and reversing techniques, and goes to different locations like a nightclub and hideout.

All while this is happening, the main character slowly ages until he is a grey-haired fighter. What is interesting to note is that the main character does not actually die — rather he ages and gets more skillful as a result. Lastly players will be able to choose their genders in-game. 

Solar Ash

A “huge, stylish” 3D platformer, Solar Ash is focused on the player’s speed, movement and fluidity. Set in the Ultra Void, players control the agile Rey, a Void Runner hoping to save her homeworld. During her journey, she will face off against creatures that increase in number the farther along she goes and can defeat them using fluid movements and attacks. 

Eventually, Rey will face the “Sentinels of the Void,” who are presumably bosses that “hold the key to her quest.” A beautifully colorful game, Solar Ash will release on both consoles later in the year. 

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach

One of the Stropse’s staff’s most anticipated games of 2021, the State of Play showed gameplay for what players can expect in Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach. Security Breach is much larger than previous iterations and features a larger slate of enemies to defend from. 

With a full-fledged story and the ability to explore an open space, Security Breach is looking to be another exciting edition to the series when it releases sometime in 2021. 

Oddworld: Soul Storm

Playing as accidental hero “Abe,” players can scavenge, loot and pickpocket items as they progress through the 2.9D platforming game. The Haptic Feedback allows players to feel Abe’s heartbeat, allowing for a deeper level of immersion, especially during suspenseful situations. Conversely, Abe can call on the help of any Mudokons he finds, helping players solve puzzles and fight along when needed. 

Additionally, players can play as a pacifist or an agent of chaos as well as controlling foes to gain access to paths ahead, with many different locales available. Finally, all in-game actions will decide what happens to Abe and those he helped liberate. Oddworld: Soulstorm is coming out on April 6 and active PS Plus members get the game for free on PlayStation 5. 

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Last seen during the June Showcase, this State of Play featured more gameplay of Kena: Bridge of Spirits on PlayStation 5. If there was one word to describe Kena, it would be “gorgeous” as the world is extremely rich regarding looks. 

Featuring different color palettes and styles, Kena allows players to harness different types of attacks in order to defeat enemies. From using magic to manipulate the environment around them or a bow and arrow, players can mix and match to choose which style works for them. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is set to release on August 24 and pre-orders are available now. 

Deathloop

Another one of the Stropse staff’s most anticipated games of 2021, Deathloop’s extended gameplay trailer during the State of Play was reminiscent of past James Bond films, particularly because of the song used in the trailer, the aptly-named “Deja Vu.” 

The trailer shows Deathloop’s main gameplay draw in full force: during a run, the player is seen being killed, only to be revived giving him another shot at taking out the targets. It is a very interesting mechanic and it will be fascinating to see how it will be implemented in game, once it releases later this year.  

Final Fantasy VII Remake 

The remake of one of the greatest games of all time is headed to PlayStation 5 this summer. Not only will Final Fantasy VII Remake be available for the next-gen PlayStation, a new episode featuring Yuffie Kisaragi will be available for those who upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version. There was also a bevy of information shared regarding the Remake’s performance on PlayStation 5 as well. 

The next-gen version of Final Fantasy VII Remake along with the new DLC episode featuring Yuffie is set to release on June 10. Players with a PlayStation 4 copy can upgrade to the next-gen version for free and will be able to carry over their saves. 

In all, this State of Play showcased more footage of games that were already known as well as showing other upcoming games that may not have been on PlayStation player’s radars. Regardless, expect 2021 to be a big year for Sony. 

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