Gran Turismo 7, Spider-Man 2, KOTOR remake lead PlayStation 5 showcase
Sony broke a months-long game of silence today with a wide-ranging PS5 showcase, announcing two new Marvel games from Insomniac, a remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and a March release date for Gran Turismo 7, among other news. This is the first significant update from the publisher since it opted to skip multiple major industry events throughout 2021. The industry behemoth is now offering first glimpses of several games in production from PlayStation Studios and third-party developers.
Leading the charge was news that a remake of BioWare’s classic 2003 RPG Knights of the Old Republic—which many players consider the best Star Wars game ever made—is in development as a PS5-and-PC exclusive, at least at launch. Though only the briefest clip of what looked like a Sith knight was shown, we already know this is a joint project between Lucasfilm, Sony, and Aspyr Media, a studio known for porting classic Star Wars games to modern hardware. Without a release date yet, we wonder whether BioWare’s Old Republic MMO will still be in operation by the time this remake launches.
PlayStation Studios galore
Sony also had some first-party news to share with actual, PS5-only releases. Insomniac is expanding its vision of the Marvelverse in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, due out 2023, and, unexpectedly, a new game starring Wolverine.
Spider-Man 2‘s in-game trailer had Peter Parker and Miles Morales teaming up or possibly fighting (or both) opposite fan-favorite Venom. The game is being led by creative director Bryan Intihar and director Ryan Smith from the staff of Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Marvel’s Wolverine is still early enough in production to skip showing gameplay. Instead, we only got a CG tease of the mutant unleashing his adamantium claws in a rundown bar. No release date here, but the creative team behind Spider-Man: Miles Morales aims to bring the same faithful-to-the-spirit-of-the-comics touch to this one.
As a welcome change given the franchise’s usual “it’ll be done when its done” approach, Gran Turismo 7 announced a March 4 launch on PS4 and PS5. The news was accompanied by an operatic montage trailer that was as polished as you’d expect from Kazunori Yamauchi’s detail-precise team at Polyphony Digital, highlighting the game’s arcade circuits, a complicated-looking photo mode, a livery editor, reams and reams of meteorological data used to create photo-real weather and lighting, and, finally, the return of campaign mode. Though a new numbered GT is always something to look forward to, bringing back a real campaign is a huge victory for fans after its absence in Gran Turismo Sport.
Winter comes to Midgard, with gameplay
After only a logo announcement last year, Santa Monica Studio gave a first look at God of War: Ragnarok, picking up with Kratos and Atreus some years after the events of the 2018 reboot. Despite being cross-gen, the game’s visuals looked stunning on PS5—Kratos using both his ax and Blades of Chaos against a number of mythological monsters. But more than combat was highlighted—there was also a lot of dialogue between the Spartan, his son, and other hardy-looking characters who served to show off the game’s very high-poly models. No release date for this one, either.
However, one big question still remains for Ragnarok and GT7 after today’s splashy event: how will these two tentpoles scale down their visual splendor to PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles? Unsurprisingly, no clarification was given.
Sony’s other top-shelf studio, Naughty Dog, made a quick appearance, though not related to any unannounced projects. Instead, the studio announced Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy are coming to the PC—and PS5—for the first time. Bundled together as the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection, the studio appears to be handling the PS5 remaster itself. Meanwhile, the PC release is being developed by former Sony VP Adam Boyes’ studio, Iron Galaxy. The collection will be out in early 2022, with the PC launch coming slightly after PS5’s.
And some third-party originals
And if you’re the kind of Sony fan who gets exhausted by sequels, this presentation had a few gems for you, as well. Particular standouts: Tchia, a cute-looking cross-gen indie that resembles Zelda with animal-shapeshifting powers that are based on the indigenous culture of New Catalonia; a closer look at Tango Gameworks’ bizarre, aesthetically compelling Yokai-combat first-person, uh, magicker Ghostwire: Tokyo; and, coming completely out of left field, Kid A Mnesia, a Radiohead interactive “exhibition” (whatever that means) in development with Epic.
Finally, Forspoken, a sweeping third-person adventure previously teased by Square Enix, got a long-awaited gameplay reveal that makes it look less Final Fantasy-derivative and more like a charismatic, magic-pumped breath of fresh gaming air. It’s co-written by games industry legend Amy Hennig, which Ars generally considers a good sign—and it gives her an opportunity for redemption after her fallout with EA and Star Wars.
Listing image by Sony