After letting Nintendo take the lead last week, Sony finally kicked off 2021 with new game reveals, updates on games like Returnal and Crash Bandicoot 4, and release dates for some long-awaited titles.
Proceedings started with a straight rundown of Crash Bandicoot 4 and it’s upcoming PS5 update, which is targeting a native 4K/60 FPS. Loading times have been improved, while the DualSense’s adaptive triggers will also get a workout.
Interestingly, the game also mentioned that you’ll need a compatible headset for “Enhanced 3D Audio”.
The video also mentioned “upgrade options” are available for those who own the PS4 version of Crash Bandicoot 4. The PS5 version launches on March 12.
Next up was a fresh look at Returnal, the roguelike action-shooter from Housemarque. The trailer spoke about how the world and maps change every time the player dies, while showing off new weapons like the lightning gun and it’s AOE alternate fire.
The trailer also showed a house, indicating that protagonist Selene is actually reliving her memories somehow — so things might not be as alien as we first thought. We also got a look at a small cut-scene shot in first-person, the first time we’ve seen the game shift perspectives.
Returnal launches on April 30.
The next game up was Knockout City, which largely ran through the basics of gameplay. It didn’t cover anything new that wasn’t revealed in the official previews last week, although they did promote a “cross-play beta” via the Knockout City website.
The next game was a new title from Slocap, a stylised martial-arts brawler with a great, high-contrast look. It’s called Sifu, and it’ll be out for the PS5 and PS4 sometime this year.
Solar Ash — the game from the devs of Hyper Light Drifter — then returned with some gameplay. The game is set in a black hole, and functionally pans out like a super-fast 3D platformer.
The main objective is to take out certain sentinels — think oversized creatures like the colossi from Shadow of the Colossus. Solar Ash is launching on the PS4 and PS5 this year.
Next up was a trip to Creepy Town.
It’s Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach, which is taking place in what seems like an abandoned kid’s park. No release date for this one yet. That was followed by a gameplay introduction to Oddworld: Soulstorm, which was originally due out last year but delayed (like so many things). This time, however, Oddworld Soulstorm is launching on April 6.
We got a look at the first gameplay of Kena: Bridge of Spirits, which revealed a lot of boss fights against super-sized enemies (not unlike Solar Ash above, but with more magic).
There’s also a good chunk of dodging, elemental attacks and platforming to manage. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is scheduled for August 24, 2021.
More Deathloop gameplay followed, with a trailer that had a strong Bond feel.
We saw some new environments and places, but nothing that fundamentally changed what we understand about the core of Deathloop. Absolutely killer trailer, though.
The final thing announced was the long-awaited PS5 update for Final Fantasy 7 Remake. But it wasn’t just an update to the existing game: it was the first reveal of gameplay, new enemies, and new characters (Yuffie, Sonon) immediately after the events of Remake Part 1.
It’s being called Final Fantasy 7: Remake Intergrade, and it’ll be available globally on June 10, 2021. This is being pitched as a “new episode”, but it’s not a replacement for Remake Part 2 — that’s still in development.
Square also showed off some PS4 / PS5 comparisons for the existing Final Fantasy 7 Remake sections, with improved texturing, better lighting, dynamic fog, more sharpness and clarity, and improved draw distance.
The game would also get a “graphics” and “performance” optimisation modes, with the performance targeting 60 FPS and graphics targeting a native 4K resolution. A photo mode — finally — is being added with a customisable camera.
All users who own the PS4 version of Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be able to carry over their save data and upgrade for free, although you’ll need to have the disc in the drive if that’s how you owned it on PS4.
This story is being updated live.