We’re not gonna sugar coat it: the 2024 gaming year has quite a cloud over it from copious and continuous layoffs in the gaming industry. Things are looking pretty dire. One of the first showcases of trailers for upcoming titles and future projects is Sony’s State of Play. If you missed it, you can watch the VOD of the show here, and we’ve got our recap and takes of varying flavors below.
It’s hard to argue that 2023 was a really strong year in terms of released games, with Baldur’s Gate 3 throwing a huge shadow over just about everything else released. A few big titles have already hit retail in the first month of 2024, with Tekken 8 and Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth among the two most notable, but in an industry that’s always looking forward to new and upcoming releases, Sony’s show is focused on giving sneak peeks towards games with fairly soon release dates, which at least makes some of the trailer hype exhaustion easier to digest when you know the game is releasing in the next 2 months.
Release Date: Feb 8
Platforms: PS5 and PC
Marcy: Helldivers II shows off, ostensibly, the gameplay loop one can expect while playing, which is mostly: shooting a lot of things and hopefully having a good time. The tone of the game is far less serious than it is silly, sort of a combination of Starship Troopers of 40k Astra Militarum but with less of a bleak tone. How good this actually in practice will remain to be seen, as the trailer focuses on the excitement and chaos of the game, but not how it actually plays. It does look like it could be a good time to play with friends, if a horde shooter style game is your cup of coffee.
Josh: A needed evolution of the Magicka style of gameplay. Helldivers was a great experience with the fun gimmick of ‘friendly fire is more fun with friend’ but it didn’t leave much room to innovate. Switching perspectives up like Risk of Rain 2 did will provide a lot more to the game experience I think. Big hype for airstriking bad bugs and good guys alike.
Developer: Shift Up
Release Date: April 26
Marcy: Stellar Blade’s trailer decided to lead with some of the tightest leather pants ever vacuum sealed to a petite woman’s ass I’ve seen in this generation of gaming, followed by some of the most egregious boob jiggle in a while; Stellar Blade’s Eve simply breathes and sends her Eves into perpetual motion. Through the rest of the trailer, viewers are treated to the extremely varied amount of sexy and fashionable outfits that Eve can be wrapped in, ranging from cyberpunk BDSM latex club to futuristic fashion week glams, and occasionally an outfit or two that made me actually have to rewind to figure out if she was just naked or not.
Oh yeah, and also, the game is an action-adventure game in the vein of Nioh, Nier Automata, or Lies of P. There’s a lot of huge bosses and interesting looking set pieces shown off in this trailer, and the game from what we see of it is quite pretty. It may seem like I’m being a bit of a hater, but I’m not; the fanservice is part of the package in this game, which is easier if you know the artist and studio founder, Blade and Soul’s Kim Hyung-tae. The world and gameplay seem fun, but it’s hard to ignore the egregious sexualization of the protagonist, especially since the camera is positioned on her ass constantly.
Josh: This entire segment was the most dry presentation of the entire showcase. A monotone voice just showcasing features with some absolutely mundane, copy-cut action-adventure schtick. I am absolutely a hater. I’m not impressed with open world, boss-focused games anymore, even if the main character has a cool sexy wardrobe.
Sonic X Shadow Generations
Release Date: Autumn 2024
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, Steam, Epic Game Store
Marcy: Do you think Shadow the Hedgehog is lame or are you a normal person?
Shadow is back, and I’m extremely excited to get my hands on Sonic X Shadow Generations. Generations itself was probably the best Sonic game in quite some time, and the addition of Shadow is only going to make it better, because Shadow the Hedgehog fucking rules.
Really suggest that you put safe search on if you’re going to search ‘Sonic X Shadow’, though. Or don’t. It’s been one of those weeks after all, pass the yaoi!
Josh: They are so brave for choosing this title. Sonic games were what I grew up playing, and its got a firm place in my heart until forever. Making the best Sonic Game even better with the second best Sonic character (Big the Cat is easily number 1) is a no-brainer.
Give Shadow his gun back, cowards.
Zenless Zone Zero
Release Date: 2024
Platforms: PC, Android, iOS, PS5
Marcy: Really nothing shown here but a flashy trailer, but Zenless Zone Zero is bringing MiHoYo’s now patented flair and style to an urban fantasy style game, moving away from the fantasy world of Genshin Impact and the futuristic sci-fi of Honkai Star Rail. It will remain to be seen if ZZZ can recreate the hit the other two games did, but frankly, both Genshin and Honkai are far better than most people give them credit for, and I’m curious to check out ZZZ.
Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: Feb 6
Platforms: PS4, PS5
Marcy: Square Enix is apparently tired of people comparing Foamstars to Splatoon, according to a recent interview. Anyway, in Foamstars, a Splatoon-like shooter, players are tasked with coating arenas with colored foam, but not to win a battle of area control, and instead to utilize better traversal methods. I might be taking the piss a little bit, but nothing about this game has struck me as being particularly noteworthy, so it will likely rely on word of mouth to beat the comparisons and stand on its own.
Josh: (It won’t stand on its own.)
Dave the Diver (and Godzilla)
Release Date: Out now, coming to PS4/5 in April, Godzilla in May
Platforms: Windows, MacOS, Nintendo Switch, Steam, Playstation 4 and 5 (April 2024)
Marcy: Dave the Diver is back again, this time debuting on Sony’s PS4 and PS5 platforms with a new friend: Godzilla! There really isn’t much to this announcement except a really sick rendition of the big lizard and the classic Godzilla theme, and the bigger news is that this indie darling is coming to the Sony family of platforms in a few months. Dave the Diver is great fun, and as someone who has severe thalassophobia, that’s saying a lot.
Josh: Dave the Diver is easily the best indie game of last year, and Godzilla is easily the best movie monster. Match-made in heaven, really. It’s really awesome to see official collaborations like this with indie projects. I reviewed Dave the Diver in an Indie Roundup, so you can read that for my thoughts on the game if you want. (it’s great.)
Developer: Stunlock Studios
Release Date: 2024 for PS5
Platforms: PC (released 2022), PS5
Marcy: A top-down survival style game, V Rising was fairly popular in 2022, but I really don’t recall hearing much about the game since then and kind of forgot all about it. Well, surprise! It’s back! On PS5! At… some point in 2024!
Silent Hill: The Short Message
Release Date: Out Now!
Marcy: Perhaps the most surprising thing in the showcase, Silent Hill: The Short Message is a first person horror title and the newest entry in the SH franchise. Setting the protagonist at a far younger age than most SH games, and with themes bullying, abuse, suicide, and more, the Short Message does not seem to be particularly pulling punches with the dark themes. The game is free, so if you have a PS5 and like horror titles, you can give it a shot; and if you don’t have a PS5, I’m sure there will be full long plays up by the time this article goes out.
Josh: I was surprised as well. I hadn’t even expected an attempt at a new Silent Hill, let alone an entirely free-to-play experience. I feel like they’re trying to capture the essence of PT but I almost fear it’s too late too. The mystique of it has gone. Other games already accomplished it and did it well. (I think Resident Evil 7’s entire demo & intro did it amazingly so.)
I’m hopeful it’s good but I don’t hold my breath. Konami’s great at fumbling the bag.
Silent Hill 2 Remake
Developer: Konami (Developed by Bloober Team)
Release: “In development”
Platforms: PS5, probably more.
Marcy: Maybe a lukewarm take but I am not a big Bloober Team fan. That aside, I also am not a big Silent Hill 2 sacred cow person. I liked it fine, played it a few times, and vastly prefer Silent Hill 1 and 3 (or even the Room for just being weird) over 2. I have to say, though, this trailer did not spark joy in me, because if you’re going to lead your Silent Hill 2 trailer with ‘look at James beat the shit out of things’, I am not super interested in that. I don’t play Silent Hill to play Resident Evil: Rural Pennsylvania Edition, I play Silent Hill for the weird vibes. There are times in this trailer James looks like RE4R Leon, and that’s Not Super Inspiring. But, the game is still quite a ways away, so who can say.
Josh: Just an absolutely misjudged trailer. I cannot tell who it’s for. I do not believe for a second that there is a guy out there who would only be convinced to play a Silent Hill 2 remake is if he saw a trailer specifically dedicated to showing off the combat complete with a distorted guitar playing over it with sharp action cuts that sync with the gunshots.
I’m not fundamentally opposed to the idea of making combat a more engaging, less deliberately awkward part of the experience. Remakes are for trying these sorts of things. You want to bring it in line with modern design, to a degree. You just can’t pretend this isn’t a huge wrong foot forward in showing off what, otherwise, looks like a decent remake.
I think the visuals looked really great but they showcased it incredibly poorly. You don’t want your redone monster designs first appearance to an audience be getting absolutely floored by a lead pipe.
The guns also sounded ridiculously puny and muffled. I don’t know what was up with that but it’s a massive gripe of mine.
Developer: Ghost Story
Release Date: TBA
Platforms: Epic Games, Steam, PS5, Xbox Series X|S
Marcy: Ken Levine is BACK, baby, with another game that’s… basically just Bioshock. From the scant gameplay shown, the character carries a weapon in one hand and has some sort of supernatural powers in the other, and is exploring a slightly retro-futuristic styled world. There is not much else to go off of from this, such as what the plot actually is, but honestly Bioshock’s gameplay loop was always fun, even if the political narratives of the game always fell flat and felt tonedeaf (especially Infinite). I don’t have a lot of hope for Levine as an ‘auteur’ director to give me something that isn’t mid, but if the gameplay calls back to the fun of Bioshock’s higher points, I’ll consider giving it a whirl.
Josh: Oh boy. Ken Levine has read a new surface-level political theory book, and it’s time he made a game about it!
No, seriously though, I am excited for another Bioshock-type game. As much as I’ll be grudgingly disappointed if there’s no real game play innovations beyond what Infinite introduced, I’ll still play it and feel pretty damn satisfied. I’m weary of the trailers though. Infinite’s trailers were absolutely mad with what they showed off and promised.
Metro Awakening VR
Developer: Deep Silver and Vertigo Games
Release Date: 2024
Platform: Playstation VR2
Marcy: Metro but in VR. The trailer looks like it could be cool, if you enjoy VR. Sadly, I do not enjoy VR at all, so I can’t opine about whether or not this will be cool or fun or not, but if you’re into VR and like the idea of a FPS stealth shooter like Metro, you may want to keep an eye out for this one.
Josh: I, on the other hand, love VR. I own an Index, and whilst I’ve never dabbled in PS:VR, I do support it for making VR experiences more accessible to a general audience (even if it isn’t the best experience it could be.) Metro makes an excellent setting to base a straight-forward VR game in. Shooting, looting, and moving are the most intuitive actions people can get their head around when trying VR. (More the first two than the latter, really.)
Besides, Metro rocks. I love it to bits. Exploring the setting from this perspective will be awesome with all the tricks they can pull with anomalies and the like.
Legendary Tales VR
Developer: Urban Wolf Games
Release Date: Feb 8
Platform: Playstation VR2
Marcy: As I said above, I don’t play VR games, but if I were going to, “game whose trailer featured footage of a person beating a skeleton’s head against the ground over and over again for no reason” would be a top contender for making me want to try it. Unfortunately, the trailer alone gave me a lot of the visual headaches and eye problems I have with these types of games, so it’ll be a skip for me. Maybe someone will stream it.
Josh: Melee combat is one of those things you think would be a natural fit for VR but it’s a surprisingly difficult thing to get to feel ‘right’. This game feels like it looked at Blade & Sorcery and went “yeah, we could do that, and add multiplayer and skeletons.”
I hope it’s good. Fantasy sword and boarding does feel great in VR when it feels right but it’s a nefariously easy thing to screw up.
Dragon’s Dogma II
Release Date: NOT SOON ENOUGH (March 22)
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Steam
Marcy: DRAGON’S DOGMA II BABY WOOOOO!!!
Come closer. I am a normal woman and can be trusted to talk to you about Dragon’s Dogma II. Did you know there’s a Sphinx, and she has unique mechanics, and the pawn system is back, and–
Dragon’s Dogma II is going to be so cool. I cannot wait.
Look. Dragon’s Dogma was, no, is, one of the best games ever made. It didn’t get the stellar release a lot of other titles got because the game is weird and strange, and many people didn’t give it a chance until the re-worked DLC version Dark Arisen. What I can tell you is that Dragon’s Dogma is probably the best high fantasy action game out there. The game truly is one of those games where “can I do that?” is answered with YES, and features a game world that is so bizarrely alive that you can’t believe things when they happen sometimes. Dragon’s Dogma II has basically promised to just be that and more, and everything shown so far sees that. The game is a delight and a wonder, and I promise you are going to have a good time. If you want to try out what you might experience, go grab Dark Arisen before Dragon’s Dogma II releases. You won’t regret it. The scope of exploration, gameplay choices available for how you want to play your character, the way you can select friend’s pawns to suit your playstyle, the absolutely epic combat scenes that play out… Dragon’s Dogma is really, truly something unique.
Josh: It was pretty cool.
Rise of the Ronin
Developer: Sony Interactive Entertainment (Developed by Team Ninja)
Release Date: March 22
Platform: Playstation 5
Marcy: Made by the team behind Nioh and Ninja Gaiden, Rise of the Ronin looks like a combination of Nioh and an open world concept, where players can explore Bakumatsu Japan (end if the 19th Century), in which Japan was rapidly modernizing as Western influence began to seep into the country following it’s reopening. This is a period that doesn’t get a ton of games, so I’m excited to see that from a historical perspective and see how it is represented, and the Nioh games were always a ton of fun, so Team Ninja might have a big PS5 exclusive hit on their hands here.
Josh: A lot of influence in this game, from their own work and beyond. I know next to nothing about this time period but it looks like a super interesting place to base a game. Eager to get this one. I wasn’t a massive fan of Nioh, I bounced off it hard for some reason, but I never really knocked it.
Until Dawn Remake
Developer: Ballistic Moon
Release Date: 2024
Platform: PS5 and PC
Marcy: Until Dawn is back! And that’s kind of all we know. If you never got to experience it the first time, you get a chance to do so now on PS5, although one might hope that the game has some new updates or slight changes to make it a little worth the while to double dip.
Josh: No notes. Until Dawn was great.
Death Stranding 2
Developer: Kojima Productions
Release Date: 2025
Marcy: Sam Porter Bridges is back, and so is the wild world of Death Stranding. Death Stranding is a game that means a lot to me. Playing it was an emotional experience and one of my favorite gaming experiences of all time, and in some ways, poignant: during the pandemic, Death Stranding started to become a little bit more interesting to me as a concept. From a player standpoint, Death Stranding was the last game I was able to play for long periods of time holding a controller; I’ve since grown to have a harder and harder time playing games off a mouse and keyboard.
What we see in Death Stranding 2 is a new collection of weirdos coming into Sam’s path, including the return of Death Stranding 1’s villain Higgs who seems to be even more over the top this time around (my twitter oomfies are going a little feral for him). There’s some hints at the story of Death Stranding 2 dropped here, such as the supposed death of Lou, what became of America, UCA, and the wider global state of things after the first game, so if you loved Death Stranding, Death Stranding 2 is going to be worth it. Didn’t like it? Well. I don’t know if this is going to change your mind. I know I’m strapped in for another long walk.
Keep on Keepin’ On.
Publisher: Kojima Productions
Release Date: ?
Marcy: There wasn’t anything shown here, but the tease here is that Physint is a secret new project from Kojima that sees him returning to action espionage games. In classic Kojima style, he talked a lot about how Sony does a lot of things other than games–movies, and music–and how this game would also be “a game, and also like a movie”, so. Guess we will find out when we find out!
Josh: I understand a lot of people will want this to just be Metal Gear but Not, but I’m not sure if I do. I can’t say I’d be happy if it was simply more of his Ultra Soap Opera Espionage storytelling but with an entirely new cast and setting. Then again, I underestimate how much people love Kojima and his brand of Dudes Rock.
All I want is that the game better have multiplayer because the MGS5 multiplayer was some of the most fun I ever had online.
And that’s it! While there wasn’t a huge amount of titles here, I will say that Sony has a decent slate of exclusives that might help keep up steam for the PS5. The systems seem to be far more available these days, which means it really is time for the system to start making some sort of name for itself. The next State of Play will be February 6th, focusing on the Final Fantasy VII remake, so we’ll see you then for another recap!