This year's State of Play from Sony highlighted updates for the games showcased from its last outing in June 2020, but was lacking in announcements for newer titles with only less than a handful revealed.
However, in true "one more thing" fashion, the show ended with a big reveal of a fan favorite character, making her presence known in a beloved RPG remake.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
Continuing the story from Crash Bandicoot: Warped, we find evil masterminds Neo Cortex and Doctor N. Tropy escaping their inter-dimensional prison to wreak havoc upon Crash and the gang once more.
The game is out right now on the PlayStation 4, with an option to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version available.
Crash 4 has always been a very colorful and color-saturated game, but the visuals on the PS5 running in native 4K at 60fps have been taken up to the next vibrant level. The game will be taking advantage of the DualSense 5's adaptive triggers, letting you feel every gun blast and hook shot.
Fast load times—courtesy of the PS5's SSD—and immersive 3D audio round out what gamers can expect when Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time launches on the PS5 on March 12, 2021.
Housemarque offered a sneak peak of Returnal which was first announced last year. This extended look featured more of the action gameplay as well as some story elements that clue us in on the story of protagonist Selene, who crash lands—and tries to escape—a shape-shifting sci-fi world.
Returnal will feature rogue-like elements, with a changing environment every time Selene dies and is brought back to life to continue her progress.
The gameplay bears some similarity to Platinum Games' Vanquish, featuring fast-paced third-person shooting and slow motion action elements. Returnal is set for release on Apr. 30, 2021.
A team-based multiplayer action game, Knockout City for the PS4 has a graphical style similar to Jet Set Radio, but that's where all similarities end.
The game lets you and your team battle it out with a dodgeball-like game mechanic across sprawling multi-leveled maps. You can use trick shots to lob a ball at an opponent hiding behind corners, catch balls that are thrown at you, fake a throw, and dodge to avoid getting hit.
Players can help the development team with the cross-play beta over at www.knockoutcity.com. Knockout City will be out on May 21, 2021.
Coming to the PS4 and PS5 this year is Sifu, a martial arts combat game from Sloclap.
The third person action game featurs intense hand-to-hand combat, and places you in control of a young Kung-Fu student on a path of revenge throughout the city.
The intense and precise fight moves are reminiscent of hallway fight action sequences from movies such as Oldboy and The Raid: Redemption. There's a certain thrill to clearing out a room with wave after wave of enemies descending upon your lonesome self, and Sifu is bound to touch on those emotions when it releases sometime this year.
From the team that brought you Hyper Light Drifter comes another stylized and fast-paced platforming adventure game based on speed, movement, and fluidity.
The world of Solar Ash is set within a giant black hole where you control Rey, a void runner who has decided to venture into this world in order to save her homeworld. The combat system, which you'll need to defend yourself against the world's creatures, is simple and encourages gameplay that flows—a match to the way you navigate the world, running and swinging from point to point.
Solar Ash comes to the PS4 and PS5 later in 2021.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach
Part of the Five Nights franchise, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach is a horror game set around a kid's restaurant with murderous animatronic mascots. Sounds fun.
The game takes place inside a large shopping mall featuring different stores (or environments). There's a pizza place, mini-golf course, playground, etc.
Unlock the mysteries of Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach later in 2021.
In Oddworld: Soulstorm, reprise the role of Abe—the accidental hero of an emerging revolution.
The long-running platformer franchise is ready for next-gen consoles, featuring a 2.9D perspectie and haptic controls which connects you with Abe's world unlike anything in previous games.
Through the DualSense controller, you'll be able to feel Abe's heartbeat and how he fares in different situations. You'll need this in order to effectively save over a thousand Mudokons who will help you solve environmental puzzles and provide you the tools you need to fight enemies.
Oddworld: Soulstorm comes to PS4 and PS5 on Apr. 6, 2021. Active PS Plus subscribers will get the PS5 version at no extra cost from Apr. 6 to May 3.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
One of the most eagerly-anticipated titles from last year's State of Play was Kena: Bridge of Spirits. This year, we get a brand new update with more gameplay footage of the title's adorable visuals.
You play as Kena, a young spirit guide who uses magic to help dead people move on from the physical to the spirit world. Kena's primary weapon is her staff which she uses against enemies in the beautifully-detailed nature environments. Along the way, collect spirit companions known as the Rot, who will help you with tasks and enemy encounters.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits will be available for the PS4 and PS5 on Aug. 24, 2021.
Stylish first-person shooter Deathloop has you playing as Colt, a killer with amnesia using every day that "loops" back in time to set forth and escape the island of Blackreef.
In it's latest "Deja Vu" trailer, Colt has set his sights into finding the Visionary, "Ramblin" Frank Spicer.
Deathloop's 1970s aesthetic is like a cross between James Bond and Groundhog Day. You have 24 hours to kill eight targets, and one really motivated assassin.
Expect Deathloop to release on May, 2021.
Just as everyone thought the show was over, Sony was able to pull another rabbit from out of the hat. There was absolutely no way that the first State of Play of the year wouldn't be bringing in the big guns at the very end—and it completely delivered.
Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade
There was never any doubt that Square Enix would make a PS5 upgrade of last year's mega-hit, Final Fantasy VII Remake. The critically-acclaimed RPG which gaming fans have been praising from the get-go already had some of the best visuals that a base PS4 could chug out, and having a PS5 upgrade would only make it better in every respect, from the visuals to performance.
But the developers just had to take it one step further.
"Your girl finally made it to Midgar."
The surprise of the entire show was the appearance of FFVII fan favorite character, Yuffie, in her very own side story available only on the PS5 version of the game called Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade.
Integrade is a visually enhanced edition of FFVIIR, with a brand new episode featuring Yuffie as the main character, along with a slew of gameplay additions. With improved textures, lighting and atmospheric fog, Midgar has never looked better. Switch between a "Graphics mode" which prioritises 4K high-res graphics, or a "Performance mode" which emphasizes smooth action at 60 fps.
In this new episode to the game, play as ninja Yuffie Kisaragi as she infiltrates the Shinra corporation to steal a powerful Materia and restore glory to her homeland. New characters will accompany Yuffie on her adventure, and expanded gameplay with multiple new combat and gameplay additions will make it worth playing on a PS5.
Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade is a paid add-on to FFVIIR and comes to the PS5 on Jun. 10, 2021.