Ever since the first PlayStation arrived in 1995, I’ve been a huge fan of Sony’s most well-known and profitable product. The final weeks before the launch window of each generation’s newest iteration are usually awash with an excitement that seems to increase year on year. This year is no exception; in fact, given the current state of world affairs in respect to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s a most welcome distraction.
On November 17th (12th in North America), the PS5 will be in our collective hands. It’s striking, abstract Roman numeral aesthetic and massive proportions have led to many a feverish online discourse, but we didn’t know much else about it until very recently. Influencers and reviewers are right now enjoying the benefits of early access to the console hardware and some of the system’s games, and we now have a steady stream of information to pore over; a stark contrast the scarcity of information released in the months previous. Whispers of the console’s impressive performance, features, and capabilities have turned into full-on klaxon calls, confirming that the hype surrounding the new hardware was justified and is very real.
Of course, you can have all the bells and whistles you wish, but the machine is built to play games and that is exactly how it will be judged. The proposed launch title list has been decimated somewhat due to delays and other factors (likely a knock-on effect of the pandemic), but nonetheless, there’s still plenty to get our teeth into. The list of games heading to the system in the coming months is seriously impressive.
So, with that said, below is a list of the top five games I’m personally looking forward to playing on PS5.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
The titles released at a console’s launch are pivotal to initial sales, and thus, the surrounding buzz that lures consumers into parting with their money. For that reason, this game is hugely important, given it has become one of the most talked about and anticipated titles in recent memory. It was imperative that Insomniac Games delivered in time for launch, and thankfully, it’s bang on time and ready to go.
A companion piece to the critically acclaimed and universally adored “Marvel’s Spider-Man” on PS4, the game expands the universe created by its predecessor, allowing players to control the Spider-Man of Earth 1610, Miles Morales. Visually, the game looks simply incredible, featuring real time ray-tracing in its cinematic 4K 30fps mode, to create realistic lighting, shadows, and reflections. The lightning-fast performance of the SSD means almost zero loading times and impressive draw distances, too, meaning we’ll see much more of New York’s glory as the character swings and flips his way through the city.
Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart
The latest installment of the of the beloved Ratchet and Clank franchise was one of the main titles highlighted in Sony’s September presentation. Once again, the power of the console’s ultra-high-speed proprietary SSD is in effect, as we see the lovable Lombax and his robotic sidekick instantaneously shift from one dense, richly detailed environment to another without the interruption of loading screens.
It truly is a sight to behold, especially given the outstanding quality of the visuals, which appear on a par with Pixar levels of fidelity. Seamless transitions between pre-rendered cut scenes and actual gameplay were another impressive characteristic, creating a sense of immersion that can truly be labelled “next-gen”.
From Software’s Souls games have become almost as legendary as the characters that stalk the disturbing environs of their game-worlds. First arriving on the PS3, the punishing difficulty levels, uniquely realistic combat mechanics, and deep RPG elements truly set the games apart, and their influence can be acutely felt in many titles released subsequently.
This remake has been crafted from the ground up specifically for the new hardware, rather than releasing simple re-texture and upscale. Developer Bluepoint Games is the perfect studio for the task, given their sterling work on the Shadow of the Colossus remake for PS4. The hauntingly familiar locales of Boletaria and its murderous denizens have each been faithfully recreated. It is a wonderfully detailed visual package overall, the crowning glory of which is the jaw-dropping scale and effects used in bringing the game’s notorious guardian bosses to horrifying life.
(PS4 Video shown above) CD Project Red’s much anticipated title has been delayed a number of times during the course of its development, but thankfully, it will appear on shelves during the console’s initial release window. Much of the buzz surrounding the game is, of course, about its dystopian, Blade Runner-esque open-world, and themes of transhumanism in development of your character, but the appearance of Johnny Silverhand, played by Keanu Reeves, has elevated hype levels to fever-pitch.
A recent gameplay demo featuring the vehicles available to control in game, gave us an idea of just how glorious Cyberpunk’s futuristic, neo-noir aesthetic truly is. Everything about this game screams instant classic, and it looks set to claim the “open-world crown” currently worn by GTAV, given Rockstar won’t be releasing a new title in that series for the foreseeable future.
The final game on this list is one that fans of the Batman Arkham series had been clamoring for. WB Games Montreal (who previously released the excellent Arkham Origins game. Remaster, please!), teased the presence of The League of Assassins and the shadowy Court of Owls as far back as last year, and their appearance was finally confirmed at the PlayStation 5 showcase in September. As a lifelong fan of DC comics, this is the game I’m most looking forward to playing, although its actual release is still some way off.
Beginning with the apparent death of Bruce Wayne, the game diverges from the events of Arkham Knight, bringing members of Bat-Family into focus, each with their own unique combat and traversal style. Of course, we’ve previously had a taste of playing with these characters thanks to some of the previous games’ fantastic DLC, but to play a full game as either Dick, Babs, Tim, or Jason is incredibly exciting, especially given the inherent co-op possibilities.
There are, of course, a plethora of third-party and Indie titles that pique the interest, too. Notable mentions include, Housemarque’s Returnal, Bethesda’s Deathloop, Luminous Productions’ Project Athia, and Capcom’s Resident Evil Village.
Let me know which games you’re most looking forward to in the comments.
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