As we cross the threshold into the 2nd half of the PlayStation 5’s lifecycle, I’ve been thinking back to the incredible showcases and E3 conferences that Sony was once known for. The insanity that was the 2016 E3 presentation or even some of the early PlayStation showcases that welcomed us into the next generation of hardware seem to be a distant memory these days as “State of Plays” come and go with barely a whimper. On May 30, 2024, Sony released their latest “State of Play” presentation which aims to give players a look at games coming to the platform in a Nintendo Direct style video. Before the presentation, Sony confirmed it would highlight a total of 14 upcoming titles slated for PS5 and PSVR2. Of those 14 titles, I want to highlight what stood out the most to me, good or bad, from what was a fairly middling presentation due to pacing and repeated genres that Sony is becoming known for. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into Sony’s May State of Play 2024.

A Recap of the 14 Games Shown:

ConcordBehemothPath Of Exile 2
God of War Ragnarök (PC)Alien Rogue IncursionSilent Hill 2
Dynasty Warriors OriginsMarvel RivalsMonster Hunter: Wilds
Infinity NikkiWhere Winds MeetAstrobot
Ballad Of AntaraUntil Dawn
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The State of Play opened with an extended cinematic trailer for Sony’s latest Multiplayer “Live Service” game in Concord, a Guardians of the Galaxy meets Overwatch 5v5 arena shooter, and boy howdy is this game trying to cash in on Guardians of the Galaxy over half a decade too late. Now, to not be so overly negative to start, based on the limited gameplay we saw of the game, Concord looks like it could, at the very least, be decent multiplayer experience with potential to be great if the gameplay is done right so I don’t want to discount the possibility. That said, for a studio that was made from the ground up in Firewalk and purchased by Sony before even releasing a game, it already, conceptionally, feels dated and chasing old trends. We’re not far enough away from either Guardians of the Galaxy or Overwatch to feel nostalgic for them so Concord comes off as a cheap imitation immedidately so the team really needs to sell the moment-to-moment mechanics mixed with uniqueness of the characters if they hope for this game to see a faction of the runaway success that Helldivers 2 did on the PlayStation ecosystem. To that end, it sounds like Concord may incorporate unique, multi-round lasting obstacles that players can deploy which could be an intersting twist. I’m not going to play Concord when it releases some time in 2024 as it’s not my cup of tea, regardless, but my expectations after this first showing are extremely mixed due to the dated trends it seems to be chasing mixed with a, frankly, cringey tone.

Path of Exile 2

Apart from the initial shock I experienced from the Infinity Nikki trailer, Path of Exile 2, the 11th of the 14 games shown, was the first game that had me really feeling something positive. It’s been many years since I’ve played the original Path of Exile but it’s well known to be an excellent ARPG in the vein of Diablo and the primary series to rivals, if not exceed, its core inspiration. As with many “live”, ever updating games, there can be a feeling that you’ve missed out or have to much to catch up on, something I often struggle with, so the original announcement of a fresh start in Path of Exile 2 has been something I’ve been eagerly anticipating that was made even better with it coming to PS5. Honestly, I have no idea what major changes Grinding Gear Games is implementing to justify Path of Exile 2 but I’m also not their core audience so I’m willing to go along for the ride this time. Path of Exile has proven itself to me in the past I have no reason to believe the newest entry will be any different.

Silent Hill 2

Of the Silent Hill 2’s showings, I would say this was Bloober Team’s best attempt to sell what many have already written off as a “low effort” remake of an inconic PS2 game. That said, I’m not a fan of Silent Hill, having never played an entry, so you can take my word with a grain of salt but I felt the latest trailer at least showcased something more akin to a modern day Survival Horror game you can expect from a non-Capcom developer. Visually, the game looks improved and less “stiff” from the previous trailer but not by much. The atmosphere and tone seems to be there from what little I know of Silent Hill 2 but I wouldn’t expect it to hit the highs that a true Resident Evil 4-like remake could do for the series, which feels like a wasted opportunity for both dedicated fans and new players to get a modern recreation of one of the industry’s most loved psychological horror series. At this point, there’s not much more that can be said of Silent Hill 2 that hasn’t been already so it’ll be up to the game to do the talking and prove us wrong when it releases on October 8th, 2024.

Monster Hunter Wilds

And now with trailer #13, we get to the real video games. Unveiled at the Game Awards 2023, we were treated to the first gameplay trailer of Capcom’s latest entry in their most successful franchise, Monster Hunter Wilds, the primary successor to Monster Hunter World. Monster Hunter has always been a very specific franchise that I’ve had trouble breaking into as I never understood the appeal even while completed MH: World. It wasn’t until Monster Hunter Rise released on Nintendo Switch with a number of really important changes that it finally clicked with me and now, well, I’m hooked. Based on our glimpse from the newest trailer, Wilds looks to be a truly stunning game that sets to be the series’ biggest, most expansive entry yet. A big focus we can see is the inclusion of mounts, introduced in Monster Hunter Rise, that aim to vastly improve the game’s mobility as the environments get larger and the ecosystem more temming with life. Capcom continues to impress with each new entry from their storied franchises and Monster Hunter, their biggest series, is no exception. With my renewed excitement in Monster Hunter thanks to this trailer, I felt there was no better time to replay Monster Hunter Rise, this time on PS5, and dive into the Sunbreak Expansion for the first time so, wish me luck on my hunt and I’ll see you all in 2025.

Astro Bot

Closing out the May 2024 State of Play was the saving grace the show, Astro Bot. If you haven’t noticed, but I don’t know how you couldn’t if you’ve gotten this far, I’ve been pretty down on this State of Play. While not every game showcased needs to appeal to every individual to be successful, the overall pacing of the show mixed with the questionable choices in presentation, really made one of the more disappointing shows. That said, while Sony may not have brought their heavy hitters this time around, there is no doubt in my mind that may have shown what will be one of their highest quality titles we’ll see this generation in Astro Bot, a single player, full length entry in one of the few 3D platformers to rival Nintendo and Mario. For the uninitiated, the first entry of Astro Bot was originally a PS VR game in Astro Bot Rescue Mission that then had a small pack-in game with the PlayStation 5 in Astro’s Playroom, an incredible showcase for the PS5’s DualSense controller and an overall excellent bite-sized game. With this newest entry, Astro Bot aims to be a full standalone, dedicated PS5 entry that looks to be in the style of Super Mario Galaxy in terms of gameplay and level design but with a strong focus on celebrating PlayStation’s storied history. Astro Bot looks genuinely fun and is the type of game that Sony has strayed so heavily away from in the PS4 and PS5 generations that it’s a treat to see one so heavily supported. I can’t wait for Astro Bot to releases this fall on September 6th, 2024.

And there you have it. After a long wait since the last State of Play or PlayStation Showcase, I would say this one was an, overall, subpar presentation of games coming to the console. It did its job, somewhat, by showing us a number of additional new Souls-like games among other 3rd party multiplatform entries and two new Sony 1st Party titles. Well, unless you’re excited about Infinity Nikki, of course. All in all, the console doesn’t need these presentations to succeed at this point but it would be nice to have a better idea of what the future has in store for Sony 1st Party games instead of trickling out information on one to two games a years. Alas those times of E3 2016 are long gone so I’ll just count down the days until Astro Bot releases and forget all about this State of Play by then.