After months of silence, bar a few mostly underwhelming State of Play streams, Sony finally lifted the lid on a multitude of PS5 games during the much-anticipated PlayStation Showcase 2021.
The live-streamed event gave us just over 40 minutes of gaming goodness with some incredible reveals to chew over. From the Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic Remake reveal to a brief tease of Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2, which had social media in near-meltdown after the reveal of Venom. It was an excellent showcase of why going to the effort of hunting down a PS5 restock is very much worthwhile.
As a self-confessed PlayStation superfan, the showcase had me audible exclaiming at several points. And I’ll even admit during the surprise announcement of Marvel’s Wolverine I physically jumped up in excitement much to my partner’s confusion.
Yet, as the show drew to a close with the first glorious snippets of God of War 2: Ragnarok gameplay, I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed. Despite the glut of well-edited reveal trailers and next-gen-looking titles, there was a distinct lack of original PS5 games on show. And that sucks.
We’ve seen this one before
During the PlayStation Showcase 2021, 18 games were featured. These ranged from open-world action games to co-op shooters. The show certainly wasn’t lacking genre variety. If you enjoy video games, odds are there was at least one title in the dozen and a half that caught your attention.
Here’s the rub: of those 18 games showcased, only five were original games rather than a sequel or based on a pre-existing franchise. To make matters worse of that five, only one was actually announced at the PlayStation Showcase 2021.
Cartoonish adventure game Tchia was the single new game shown off. The other original titles on display such as Deathloop, Ghostwire: Tokyo, and Forspoken have already had showings at other events previously.
This is even more disappointing when you consider that in May of this year PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst claimed that Sony has 25 exclusives in the works and that “almost half of these are new IP.” Where were these original games during the PlayStation Showcase 2021?
I enjoy a great sequel to a beloved game as much as anyone, but new IP is the lifeblood of any platform. It’s how we get to explore new worlds, meet new characters and experience new stories. At the end of the generation, I don’t want the best PS5 games to be sequels, remakes, and reboots.
To illustrate my point, the current frontrunner for my own personal game of the year isn’t Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart (the 17th game in the series) it’s Returnal, a completely new IP. While I certainly enjoyed once again stepping into the gravity boots of everybody’s favorite Lombax, Returnal offered me an experience that felt completely original.
There’s still plenty to play
I feel I should reiterate, I still very much enjoyed the PlayStation Showcase 2021 overall. Even announcements that could be considered smaller in scale like Alan Wake: Remastered had me grinning with excitement.
The future of the PS5 looks very healthy indeed. With a rafter of hotly anticipated games due over the next few years, it’s a good time to be an owner of Sony’s hugely in-demand next-gen console.
I’m just hoping that next time Sony holds a PlayStation Showcase we’re treated to a few games we’ve never heard of before, as ultimately those can turn out to be the best surprises of all.