It’s Monday and time for Ask Kotaku, the weekly feature in which Kotaku-ites deliberate on a single burning question. Then, we ask your take.
This week we Ask Kotaku: What PS5 or Xbox Series X game are you anticipating most?
I’ve often felt like the Gran Turismo games were a good way to kick the tires on Sony’s latest consoles. When I got a PlayStation 2, I got Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, which I liked a great deal. When I got the PS3, I got Gran Turismo 5. When I got the PS4, I did not get Gran Turismo Sport, but I certainly thought about it!
And now that another Gran Turismo is racing toward another PlayStation, I am more than thinking about buying this game. I have a huge amount of respect for GT creator Kazunori Yamauchi. Once, I asked him what kind of car I should buy that would be fun to drive and good for my family. He recommended getting a Mazda 3. I did not follow his advice! But, I thought it was a good rec.
But unlike with Sport (or that Mazda 3), this time, I will be proactive. I will buy this game and then play it. Everything I’ve seen so far looks very, very shiny! And the interiors, too, appear exceptionally good. The gameplay also appears on point. Plus, it’s cheaper than a Mazda 3. (And I can drive Mazdas in the game.) So, yes, I’m getting Gran Turismo 7. And yes, I’m excited!
Console generations start off full of promise. In the months running up to launch—and in the months immediately following it—you’ll see more amazing-looking games than you can keep track of. Of course, the industry being what it is, some of that promise is destined to let you down more than your most recent ex. Remember Scalebound? I’m still nursing the burn leftover from Scalebound’s seemingly boundless potential. So, yeah, it’s probably ill-advised to have high hopes for any game that doesn’t have a solid release date, hasn’t revealed any extended gameplay, and is being developed by a freshman studio.
I’m specifically thinking of Stray, the “cat adventure” game in the works at BlueTwelve Studio. Stray—which was one of a handful of smaller games shown during June’s PS5 reveal event—puts you in the paws of an orange tabby cat. You strut around a cyberpunk city. Everything’s soaked in neon, and all the bars have no more than six chairs, reminiscent of Shibuya backstreets. The cat sometimes visits said bars. That’s...all we really know. And yet, I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
Part of that is because any game that lets me play as a cat is an automatic win in my book. But another part, a bigger part, is the sheer potential at play here. Look at the sumptuous fiction BlueTwelve has already manifested. At first glance, sure, it all looks like typical cyberpunk fare. Then you realize all of the “people” are robots that look like thrift-store Apple IIs. A fluorescent advertisement urges readers to “enjoy the world’s safest city.” Beneath it, some to-the-point graffiti: “RUN.” All the while, cats (man’s best friend) appear to be just fine? All I’ve seen of this world are four screenshots and a two-minute trailer, and I already want to book a one-way flight to crack whatever mysteries clearly underscore this strange, beautiful place. Oh, and pet the cat while I’m there.
Stray is also, as mentioned, BlueTwelve’s first game. It’s always a delight to see a talented studio’s humble beginnings. Annapurna Interactive, the publisher, has as rock-solid a track record as any, what with Outer Wilds, Sayonara Wild Hearts, and Ashen (among other gems) gracing our screens in recent years. That Stray is also coming out in the wake of a new console launch means there’s an almost perfect storm of potential at play here. So maybe this is one next-gen promise in which hoping for the best isn’t the worst idea.
This new generation of consoles is strange. We’re getting these incredibly powerful machines, but (almost) no exclusive games. So my most anticipated next-gen game is one that many people will be playing on current-gen hardware, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The most recent Assassin’s Creed games have rekindled my love of the series, and this latest looks to be leaning more toward RPG-tinged open-world action, which sounds good to me. The Viking setting is also exciting as I feel like we just don’t have a lot of big, AAA Viking games. And I’m interested to see how this game runs on new hardware compared to old hardware.
It’s odd to be so excited about a next-gen game that really ain’t a next-gen game. But there just aren’t many true next-gen games to get excited about. Besides, if it looks better, runs better, and plays great, it might as well be a next-gen game. And if these cross-gen titles look really good at launch, I’m curious about how great actual next-gen games will look in the future.
It’s hard to know what actually is next-gen or not. I am excited about playing Horizon: Forbidden West next year on a PlayStation 5, but I could play it on a PS4, too. I’m also very interested in Rare’s Everwild, which I’m looking forward to playing on my Xbox Series S (or will I get an X for it? Don’t know!). In both cases, my enthusiasm is based on what the games’ respective studios have done before. Guerrilla stepped up with the first Horizon game. I’ve been a fan of Rare’s games since the Nintendo 64, and am looking forward to something new and colorful from it.
In the much nearer future, I’m looking forward to the Demon’s Souls remake. I’ve never gotten into From’s Souls series as much as other people, but I’ve always wanted to. This feels like a good chance to get a clean start.
Oh, but who am I kidding? I’m so behind on current-gen games that I’m going to be spending a lot of my Series S and PS5 playtime finally finishing Gears 5, Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part II.
It’s gotta be Demon’s Souls on PlayStation 5. While I only recently played the original, I’m a huge fan of the Soulsbornekiro genre and really anything that From Software puts out, so it’s super cool to have a “new” entry right at the launch of the PS5.
Demon’s Souls is also the one game between both upcoming consoles that truly looks next-gen to me. Maybe it’s because the original is pretty old at this point, but my jaw has been permanently attached to the floor with every new bit of footage we get. While in many ways the original Demon’s Souls feels like a precursor of what was to come, the fresh coat of paint really seems to set the remake apart from Dark Souls aesthetically.
But honestly, graphics aren’t everything. Hearing that the Demon’s Souls remake plays very close to the original has me much more excited than the addition of ray tracing and increased visual fidelity. Bluepoint has an incredible pedigree, and everything I’ve seen so far indicates it cares just as much about Demon’s Souls as the game’s most hardcore fans. I’m certain this is going to be something special.
I recently replayed Dishonored and remembered all over again how much I love Arkane Studios’ work. From the weighty moment-to-moment action and bespoke level designs to the little details strewn about that make its worlds feel unique and mysterious, I don’t think any other studio’s games have carried the BioShock-y promise of first-person exploration forward with such aplomb.
So obviously I’m looking forward to Deathloop the most. A spooky island, supernatural phenomena, and a violent menagerie of stealth and guns? Hell yea! Deathloop sounds like someone tried to make a Dishonored game out of the movie Groundhog Day, and while I’m usually a champion for studios trying something new, when you do something as well as Arkane does I’m content just to get more of it. And in the end I’m sort of relieved it was delayed until next year. That’s one less exclusive for the PS5 launch lineup but one more game I’ll be able to invest the proper amount of sleepless nights into come 2021.
Kotaku’s weighed in, but what’s your take? Have any “next-gen” games truly caught your eye yet, or are you still looking for something to yearn for? Have your say! We’ll be back next Monday to deliberate and debate on another nerdy issue. See you in the comments!