The PlayStation Showcase evening was quite a night to behold, but some worthy announcements flew under the radar. Luckily, we picked them up and put them in a neat little list for you.
In the wake of a gaming convention or announcement-heavy period, it is easy to focus only on the immediately gratifying gaming releases, meaning that several games that are absolutely worthy of our attention often go without. The PlayStation showcase was an absolutely glorious evening for the world of gaming; we have already selected our stand-out games in a previous article, but today we focus on the games that fully deserve a time to shine.
Gran Turismo 7
The beloved racing game comes back eight years later to offer us a renewed racing experience, Gran Turismo 7 is a game that takes full advantage of its hosting technology, allowing for extensive car customisation both in superficial liveries and internal performance tweaking, intense races supplemented by the outstanding design of famous racetracks, and visual-enhancement features like raytracing to boot as well. Gran Turismo brings some of the best graphics seen in a sports title to date, alongside the sundry developments made in the automotive industry in the past decade or so – some of the cars featured in the cinematic trailer don’t even look real! Though other racing games released this year are exhilarating enough, games like the official race-day F1 2021, the majestic and eccentric Forza Horizon 5, Gran Turismo 7 now offers a sophisticated, practiced approach to zooming around a track. The game looks to arrive in pole position on March 4th 2022, so hold your horse power and keep your handbrake on for now!
It is good to see so many upcoming releases, like Square Enix and Luminous’ new title, Forspoken, shining a light on female hero protagonists. Forspoken, an open-world RPG set to release in Spring 2022, acquaints us with a normal girl named Frey who has had enough of the cities’ vice life, finding herself somehow thrown straight into the fray as she encounters a portal. Frey ends up in a world that looks straight out of Lord of the Rings, a planet named Athia not exempt from gigantic prehistoric monsters or political power struggles; she has to shape up, and fast; quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, bargaining and battling with a matriarchal tyranny comprised of members of the Tanta. Forspoken takes place on a planet with a completely different evolution to Earth; Frey has the chance to employ various weapon types no human has yet used, telekinetic powers and magical casting being two such examples. Forspoken documents a young woman’s journey as she evolves from a flannel and jean wearing teenager, to a fine warrior capable of liberating a land from evil forces, scaling various terrains in a way not dissimilar to Assassin’s Creed titles whilst going head-to-head with deadly creatures, and she does all of this while accompanied by a soundtrack orchestrated by God of War’s Bear McCreary! It doesn’t get much better than that!
Rainbow Six Extraction
So far, Team Rainbow the planet from certain death right at the last minute, and they have done so numerous times – Team Rainbow is pretty important. Today, we call upon the SWAT team again as a new threat sheds its skin and becomes sentient: Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Extraction is a game where modern civilisation is becoming quickly overrun by extra-terrestrial life forces named the Archaeans – our job is to wipe them out before they hegemonise or murder the Human race. A small meteor randomly hits the planet and Panspermia goes wrong; a bunch of aliens emerge from the dust – a far cry from previous Tom Clancy Rainbow Six titles. Using the latest in weapon technology, Rainbow Six Extraction is designed to be played as a co-op multiplayer title too, featuring 1-3 player modes. Each of the eighteen operators has their own respective gadgets and skills which they use to achieve objectives assigned to the team as a whole, with the overall aim of containing and quarantining the alien threat as we make our way through a dozen different ‘incursion zones’. If you are a fan of shooter titles, Rainbow Six has a long history of residing among the top rungs of the genre; the extra-terrestrial invasion of Rainbow Six Extraction begins in January 2022, so get your hazmat suits at the ready ASAP!
Alan Wake Remastered
It seems to be the year of remakes, bringing older titles that went down in gaming history to the ninth generation – because once you go to 4k and 60FPS you just cannot go back. We are reunited with the 2010 horror classic that is Alan Wake, a game that already holds up pretty well all things considered, but looks fantastic in its sepia-tinged remaster. The gloomy supernatural survival game comes full circle on the 5th of October, depicting the story of a writer who is plunged into a terrifying story he wrote whilst in a psychotic episode. We as Alan Wake have to battle the denizens of Bright Falls who have succumbed to a demonic presence, and we use only the iconic flashlight as means to keep them at bay. More, we have to stay alive in order to find our wife, Alice, who is nowhere to be found – what happened to her? Why? Where is she now? The remastered Alan Wake automatically runs not only in up to 4k and 60FPS, but it also includes the game’s lore-some original DLC packages, the Signal and the Writer episodes, as part of the complete package – playing this game is really a no brainer.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Occasionally, fans are just treated to a cross-over of their dreams; the talent and reverence of two companies or franchises merge to create a masterpiece – is this the way Marvel and Square Enix’s RPG Guardians of the Galaxy is headed? A comic-book fan’s dream, GotG allows users to take the helm of the unlikely band of cosmic nomads as Peter Quill, or Star Lord depending on who’s asking. In the aftermath of a vicious intergalactic war, the Guardians travel from planet to planet, fighting to secure top-spot – this is the journey we tag along on in Guardians of the Galaxy. Adopting the same entertaining manner that the films deploy, the GotG game is full of charm and allows each character’s persona to shine through, though they aren’t playable – the brutal honesty of Drax, the ever-vexed Rocket and the impulsive Quill – of course, the cinematography and writing doesn’t quite match the film, but it wouldn’t, would it? GotG is a game, not a multi-million-dollar blockbuster film! That said, Guardians of the Galaxy excels in many an area, in soundtrack, in world design and in combat, where gamers encounter an assortment of alien enemy types who we battle using a team-based approach, with menus that allow Quill to delegate responsibility for various enemies to members of the motley crew, decisions we make while shooting the Quad Blaster and dodging enemy attacks by jetpacking and weaving around. Guardians of the Galaxy won’t be a universally marvellous play – that would depend on your own opinions and preferences, which in the MCU fan-base are never in short supply. Either way, GotG is set to tick many boxes as it releases on October 26th, and we can’t wait to get stuck into it.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands
I won’t lie, I felt like I was hallucinating as I watched a gigantic orc-looking fella rock out on a lute. What game is assured enough to tell me there wasn’t any end-credits because it wasn’t a super-duper hero movie? Truthfully, there’s only one answer to this question: Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, a spin-off from the treasured Borderlands series. Well, who’s ready to riggidy role play? Spoiler, it’s you baby. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands follows of course the effusive and unpredictable, but adored, Tiny Tina as we travel alongside her in our customisable character, comprised of various appearances and classes, exploring a myriad of locations from cities, to castles and forests. Spells, melee and guns - lots of guns - feature in this RPG shooter-looter – it’s a typical Borderlands game, only it has been subjected to the fantasy treatment and is the product of the whimsical Tiny Tina. What could be better than that?
Fast cars, deadly aliens, possessed villages, cosmic adventures and portals leading to alternative realities that contain dragons and mean women, what didn’t the PlayStation showcase include? From remaster to film adaptation to a continuation of well-admired series, PlayStation users know they won’t be short of refreshed content any time soon. Better still, there are games we haven’t yet mentioned: an Epic Games creation named Kid A Mnesia designed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band Radiohead, a GTA V generation nine reboot and a heavily animated game with Lion King and Moana vibes called Tchia, it’s safe to say that we are well and truly set for the next year of gaming!