Sony showcases PS5 software future

Sony unveiled a new look at its slate of upcoming games for the PlayStation 5 during a PlayStation Showcase last week.

The 40-minute pre-recorded presentation was packed with a selection of first and third party titles hitting the hardware in the near-to-mid future. There were no huge, groundbreaking announcements, aside from perhaps Insomniac’s “Wolverine,” but the presentation gave fans a good look at what to expect soon — hopefully.

The video led off with an announcement of a remake of “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.” The classic title has long been rumored to be the basis for a remake for some time now, but those rumors have never been confirmed. Ironically, the remake, developed by Aspyr, will arrive exclusively on the PS5, for an undetermined amount of time before it will arrive on the Xbox Series S/X. It’s ironic considering “Knights of the Old Republic” was an Xbox exclusive when it released in 2003.

“Project Eve,” after originally being announced for the PlayStation 4 in 2019, reemerged from development hell with a fairly impressive trailer that showcased character-action gameplay combined with massive enemies and a screenful of combatants at all times. The Korean-based game looks like it takes some pages out of the “Bayonetta” playbook for what could be a great new character-action title for the early years of the PS5.

“Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands,” a spinoff of the “Borderlands” franchise starring Tiny Tina, looks better than it did during its debut earlier this year. The new trailer confirmed a March 22, 2022, release date, and showcased some interesting gameplay elements that will combine the magic of the game’s “Dungeons and Dragons” inspired setting with the franchise’s gunplay and RPG elements. “Borderlands 3” was disappointing in how stale the franchise has become, so perhaps this will reinvigorate it.

Square-Enix’s “Forspoken” looks impressive in a multitude of wans — chief among them its positioning of its black female protagonist front and center. In what is surely a win for representation in the industry, “Forspoken” looks to be one of the more impressive early generation titles. The trailer had its fair share of “Final Fantasy” elements, but it still looked fresh enough to be something different from a publisher and developer desperate for a new hit for a long time now.

“Alan Wake Remastered” was finally announced with a quick trailer. It’s hard to gauge how much of an improvement this new title will offer, but it will at least give series fans a way to show their appreciation in hopes of continuing the franchise in the future.

“Rainbow Six: Extraction” continues to exist as one of those games that no one wants. Somehow, taking the Tom Clancy tactical anti-terrorist team and sticking them in a co-op game with alien monsters was somehow a good idea. The game doesn’t look like it offers anything to extract happy “R6” players from “Rainbow Six Siege.”

In another, “who asked for this” moment, Rockstar Games debuted a new trailer for its “Grand Theft Auto V” release on next-generation hardware. None of the visuals in the trailer looked impressive. It honestly could have been straight PS4 footage and no one would believe otherwise.

Other third party announcements included a new trailer for “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which occupies that strange area between trying to be its own thing, but still trying to be familiar enough to attract Marvel Cinematic Universe fans. The result leaves something to be desired. “Bloodhunt,” a “Vampire Masquerade” battle royale, will come out later this year. Arkane’s amazing looking “Deathloop,” also received one last trailer before it released Tuesday.

From a first party perspective, Sony finally announced “Spider-Man 2,” which will bring in both Peter Parker and Miles Morales to fight Venom and other villains. The trailer didn’t reveal much, but looked extremely impressive. Insomniac said it was running entirely in-engine, so it looks as if “Spider-Man 2” will be an eye catcher in 2023.

Not content with “Spider-Man 2,” Insomniac also announced a “Wolverine” title. There’s not much to know, other than it’s being developed by the team that made “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” and will be a full-length title with a mature tone. Insomniac later confirmed “Wolverine” will be set in the same universe as its “Spider-Man” title for potential crossover opportunities.

“Gran Turismo 7” has a vague March 2022 release date. What was originally supposed to be a PS5 launch title has been pushed back multiple times, so it’s good to see a more solid release date.

The last surprise of the show was “God of War Ragnarok,” which was recently delayed into next year. The trailer showcased impressive gameplay, along with the first glimpses of Thor and other gods of Norse mythology that Kratos and Atreus (Loki) will have to fight. “God of War Ragnarok” may be a cross-gen title, but it still features the best visuals of a PS5 title.

The PlayStation Showcase was a great way for Sony to spotlight what’s coming in the near future. There was no footage of “Horizon: Forbidden West,” but it also just had its own showcase recently. Hopefully this puts to rest some of the speculation about Sony’s software offerings entering the second year of the PS5 lifespan.

Josh Rouse lives in Lawton and writes a weekly gaming column.