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PlayStation State of Play Roundup: September 13, 2022

This PlayStation showcase included some real gems. Here are some to watch.

On the same day as a big Nintendo Direct, by sheer coincidence, Sony held a presentation of their own. They call their show the PlayStation State of Play. This one wasn’t as long as the Direct – 23 minutes to the Direct’s 42 – but they had a few major announcements to make. Here’s everything that was in the September State of Play.

  • Tekken 8. This was a surprise: the fighting game community is mainly focused on Street Fighter 6 at the moment. It’s probably farther away than Streets, since the trailer was just a single cinematic fight between Jin and Kazuya with no further details, and the release date was listed as “stay tuned”. Still, noteworthy.
  • Star Wars: Tales From The Galaxy’s Edge Enhanced Edition. That title’s a bit of a mouthful for the series with the most straightforward name ever written. The original version released on the Oculus Quest in 2020, and this Enhanced Edition is for PlayStation VR 2, releasing in 2023. It’s a unique story in the Star War universe, and it must have been good enough to earn an Enhanced Edition. C-3PO is in the game.
  • Demeo. This is a VR tabletop game that won tons of awards. It’s currently on Steam and elsewhere, and the PlayStation State of Play confirms it’s “in development” for PlayStation VR 2. I guess if you can’t board game in person, this might be your next best option.

What’s this? A SEGA game… rebuilt from the ground up… set in 1867 Japan? Could it be? It sure is: this is the official release of Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin in the West for the first time! Its official title is Like A Dragon: Ishin! (Yes, including the exclamation point.) Over here, the series is best known as Yakuza, and this spinoff is a retelling of Japanese history, but with all the historical figures played by Yakuza characters. The draw is that every Yakuza game alternates rapidly between bloody drama and wacky funtime. I’ve heard good things about the chicken races in this one. Releasing February 2023.

  • Hogwarts Legacy. This game has been discussed extensively already, but the State of Play announcement is a console-specific quest about running a store in Hogsmeade. Running a shop makes for a nice, comfy game, which is a great atmosphere to distract the player from whatever awful thing Rowling has said most recently. That said, it’s not clear from the trailer whether the quest will actually be about running the shop, or whether it will devolve into monster shooting within five minutes. Releases February 10, 2023.
  • Pacific Drive. This is the classic sort of trailer with striking visuals and absolutely no indication of what the game is about. It’s “the debut game from Ironwood studio”, so we don’t even have anything to compare it to! It looks like it’s about a car that drives to a bad place. Maybe the Pacific? I don’t know. There are bugs and slime.

Next is a section about the loyalty program, PlayStation Stars. No relation to PlayStation All-Stars, though Polygon Man somehow features in both. The highlight is “digital collectibles”, which sound uncomfortably like NFTs. If it’s just a fun trophy collection, that’d be fine, but is that even valuable as a rewards program?

  • Synduality. Looks like an interesting robot-fighting game from Bandai Namco that mentions online multiplayer. Releases 2023.

September 13 PlayStation State of Play: Console Exclusives

“These next two intense action games are PS5 console exclusives,” says the VA. In other words, the rest of the games mentioned in the September PlayStation State of Play are not PS5 console exclusives. You learn to pick up on these messages, after a while. The two games are:

  • Stellar Blade. With a mechanical post-apocalypse, characters named “Adam” and “Eve”, and the light choral music, the whole trailer gives off a strong NieR vibe. But no, there’s no apparent relation. I guess this is just the “in” style these days. Releases 2023.
  • Rise of the Ronin. From Team NINJA, appropriately enough. It’s set in 1863 Japan – the same katana-and-gunfire time period as Like A Dragon: Ishin! from ten minutes ago. It feels gauche, like wearing the same dress as someone else at the party. There’s one major difference, though: the game’s scheduled for 2024.

“We’ve got one more update for you,” says the VA. That’s right, the final reveal in the September PlayStation State of Play is God of War: Ragnarok…’s limited edition controller.

Fortunately they have an update for the game as well. The new trailer includes a little bit of everything nice: violent action, mythical settings, drama with Boy, and voices telling Kratos what a bad person he is. Seriously, the humanization of Kratos was a big part of why the new God of War was so well-received, so it’ll be nice if they can continue the trend. There’s also an official release date: November 9, 2022.