What happened at the Sony PlayStation 5 reveal event: games, trailers and more highlights

God of War: Ragnarok

If you’re feeling confused in the aftermath of Sony’s PlayStation 5 reveal, don’t worry, I was too. The conference was a true roller coaster of emotions, but let’s clear a few things up.

After a salvo of heavy-hitting gameplay, the show ended with the reveal that the PS5 is launching on November 12. The standard edition of the console will cost US$499.99/£449.99 and the digital, disc-less edition will cost US$399.99/£359.99. Pre-orders open on September 17, with some already live as of writing.

At first, it seemed like there were no exclusive launch titles on offer until Canadian video game journalist Geoff Keighley came in with the supplementary tweets, confirming that both the Demon’s Souls remake and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales would arrive with the console in November. Shortly after, we got the full console launch lineup once the showcase had ended, which also includes Astro’s Playroom, Sackboy: A Big Adventure and Destruction AllStars.

The confusion for me stemmed from the fact that Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls were shown during the conference – and they looked stunning – but we didn’t get release date confirmation for either of them until after the event. Most likely, this was due to Sony wanting to preserve the big console launch date reveal for the end of the show. My god, the gameplay though, where do we start.

Let’s kick off with Final Fantasy XVI, the first mainline entry in the series to be a PlayStation exclusive since 2006’s Final Fantasy XII. Helmed by The Last Remnant’s Hiroshi Takai and produced by Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida, the Awakening trailer showed off a game that looked like a mish-mash of the best combat we’ve seen this generation.

It gave me Devil May Cry, Monster Hunter and Dark Souls vibes all wrapped up in a British medieval bow. A rumour circulating on Twitter suggests that the combat is the work of Ryota Suzuki, who has worked on Devil May Cry 5 and Dragon’s Dogma. By the looks of the gameplay in the trailer, this would make a lot of sense, and confirmation would only develop my mighty need for this gorgeous looking game.

But that’s a ways off, by the looks of things. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, on the other hand, is just around the corner, swinging in on launch day. It looks really impressive, like a totally different game in tone to its predecessor, despite the shared DNA. It’s got a bit more grit by the looks of the gameplay demo, which showed Morales saving a collapsed bridge from enemy forces, coursing through goons with fluid ease. Given the writing talent in the game, I’m excited to see where this story is headed.

I even got a rise out of the campaign gameplay for Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which offered a haptic-looking glimpse into one of the game’s manic missions, where the squad chase down a cargo plane that’s about to take off. What I wasn’t expecting was the Toy Story crescendo, where an RC-XD started chasing down the cargo doors.

The PS5 timed-exclusive Deathloop came next, which may well be my favourite. My Arkane Studios bias is showing, but the developer only makes really special games and Deathloop looks no different. I’m not quite sure what exactly I’ll be up to when it launches in Q2 2021, but the shooter’s art style is super ’70s chic and I am all about it. After hearing that the DualSense controller will lock the triggers when your gun jams in-game, that’s all I’ve been able to think about for weeks, so sign me up!

We did get a tease for the next God Of War game, but the show really ended with Demon’s Souls, a confirmed PS5 launch exclusive which looks absolutely immaculate. Even on a buffering Twitch stream on my iPad, my jaw unhinged at the sight of the game’s remarkable graphics.

I’m praying that Bluepoint Games has included an option to turn off the HUD permanently because the footage certainly made a case for it. The animations look fluid, the combat like a dance, the meticulous recreation of the original’s murky environments and set pieces bowled me over.

Looking at the console launches side by side, it’s clear to me what both parties are offering. Microsoft has its library of games for a monthly fee, a value option with the Xbox Series S and an attractive cloud gaming service in xCloud. However, Sony has some serious exclusives coming in the launch window that Microsoft just can’t match.

Launch titles aside, personally I’m very intrigued by the PS5’s 3D Audio and DualSense features, which have still yet to be truly fleshed out. If Sony’s intent is to evolve the console experience with these systems in a way that I just can’t access on PC, they’ve certainly got my attention. But regardless of your disposition, it’s safe to say that the next-gen console launch just got even spicier now that everything is out on the table. November is going to be a busy month!

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