After some negative comparisons to Nintendo’s slick Direct livestreams, Sony’s third State of Play sported a brand new look and, more importantly, brought us some much-needed updates to Sony’s lineup after the company’s absence from the E3 stage.
Across the 20 minute-long show Sony and PlayStation didn’t mess around, with bumper-to-bumper announcements and little filler which makes a real change from that E3 2018 presentation.
If you missed out on the livestream itself, don’t fret because we’ve got a roundup of all the biggest announcements and trailer from PlayStation’s September State of Play right here for your to browse at your leisure.
The Last of Us: Part 2
The Last of Us 2 was the game that we had confirmation was going to appear and it was, as expected, the star of the stream and was used wrap things up. We weren’t entirely sure what to expect but Sony ended our collective agony and presented us with a cinematic trailer comprised of clips from the game showing Ellie and, crucially, Joel. You can watch this atmospheric trailer for yourself below.
Even more importantly, we finally got that release date. The Last of Us 2 will be releasing on February 21 2020. As was long suspected.
There’s been a lot of Death Stranding news recently; the game was a significant presence at Tokyo Games Show with more than an hour of game footage shown and Hideo Kojima has been dropping tidbits about what we can expect in interviews and on Twitter, so you’d be forgiven for thinking it might not make an appearance during this State of Play.
Then again, with the game releasing in November this is pretty much the last chance to push it to a large and captive PlayStation audience, so perhaps it’s not really that surprising that it appeared in some capacity.
Fortunately for those that are experiencing Death Stranding fatigue, no, it wasn’t new footage to contend with. Instead, it was the announcement that there will be a Limited Edition PS4 Pro bundle available on the game’s November 8 launch day. It's definitely not the worst limited edition bundle we've ever seen (you know how these things can be). In fact, dare we say it, that yellow controller is actually quite snazzy.
Things started off on a bit of a strange foot with a trailer for a 2020 release called Humanity from Enhance and Tha Ltd.
Depicting streams of people moving together and against one another, the trailer looked like drone footage of the final days of the Christmas shopping period.
First announced in 2018, Humanity has been described as a “crowd action game” and while we’re not entirely sure what that means we are still interested to see what it will involve when it launches on PS4 and PSVR in 2020. See if you can make sense of the trailer for yourself below:
From the creator of Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy, Keita Takahashi, comes a colorful and whimsical adventure called Wattam.
The game was first announced all the way back in 2015 but now we finally know that the solo and co-op adventure will launch in December 2019 and we were treated to a brand new gameplay trailer.
Wattam looks set to be another wacky and joyful adventure filled with unusual and likeable characters as well as fantastic music and surprising gameplay. Watch the trailer for it below:
From Night School Studio, the creators of Oxenfree, comes Afterparty, a new game starring Satan and two dead friends called Milo and Lola. This is a game that’s clearly got style and a sense of humor since it tasks you with outdrinking Satan in order to escape Hell regain entry to Earth. Something we’d all probably claim we could do without ever having to prove it. Now's our chance. The game will launch on PS4 on October 29 2019, just in time for Halloween.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty is a third-party cross-platform franchise but it’s always had close ties with Sony and PlayStation. It leaked before the show, sadly, but Activision used State of Play to debut Modern Warfare's story trailer. It was visually impressive trailer with some convincing facial animations and voice acting. It looks like the story mode could be a real action-packed highlight of the game.
It was also revealed that PlayStation players will get exclusive early access to Special Ops Survival Mode when Modern Warfare launches on October 25 and this access will last until October 1 2020.
Rockstar Games used the presentation to reveal that L. A. Noire The VR Case Files is available on PlayStation VR right now.
We also got a very quick look at some upcoming releases on the platform which include Espire 1: VR Operative coming in September 2019, Stardust Odyssey in winter 2019, After the Fall in 2020, and Space Channel 5 Autumn 2019.
It was a very brief overview and we didn’t get any news on the Iron Man VR release as it was widely rumored we would, but after Sony attracted some criticism for a PSVR-heavy State of Play previously we’re not surprised they kept things short this time.
It was confirmed that the PS Plus free games in October will be The Show 19 and, fittingly, The Last of Us Remastered. Perfect timing for those who haven't had the chance to play it but have had their interest piqued by the most recent trailer to The Last of Us 2.
It was also revealed that Sid Meier’s Civilisation VI will be launching on PlayStation 4 on November 22 2019 with expansions.
A small but intriguing title from the stream was Arise: A Simple Story. With its colorful visuals and swelling soundtrack, this trailer was an attention-grabber for a game that's about a character's emotional journey through limbo. Developer Piccolo Studio have called it a "deeply personal story" and the trailer seems to promise a touching tale of love and loss.
Any glaring omissions?
So it was a jam-packed 20 minutes from Sony but was there anything missing? Well, we already knew this would be the case since Sony made it perfectly clear in the blog post announcing the stream but there was no mention the next generation or the PlayStation 5. So for all of you hoping for a wily double bluff we’re afraid not.
As far as absent games are concerned, Ghost of Tsushima really lived up to its name. We’ve not heard about Sucker Punch’s next title in quite a while and this could have been a good opportunity for it to get a mention. However, with two big releases in the form of The Last of Us 2 and Death Stranding coming before Ghost of Tsushima we’re not surprised that Sony saw fit to keep its cards close to its chest for what’s potentially going to be a more substantial update at a later date.
This State of Play was a smooth, concise and well-balanced show from Sony with The Last of Us 2 looming large and bleak while Wattam gave us something a little more joyful to look forward to.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.