On Thursday, during Sony’s State of Play event, both series showed up to remind the world that PlayStation is still the go-to destination for these high-quality franchises. Capcom announced a remake of “Resident Evil 4,” the influential 2005 game that revolutionized third-person action games for the 21st century. The game is often cited as being among one of the best ever created, and Capcom has seen massive critical and commercial success remaking its earliest titles in the series. The game is scheduled for a March 2023 release.
Debate over whether “Resident Evil 4” needs a remake has raged for years, but the darker tone displayed in the trailer makes a strong argument for it. Key moments from the game, like mumbling priests in a castle, did stand for a more horror-tinged makeover versus the camp of the original game, and flashes of those moments promise dread. The trailer didn’t showcase the action the title was known for, but it’s a sure bet the fighting system of the original will see an overhaul too.
The series is also strengthening the lineup for PlayStation’s upcoming VR2 device: A “Resident Evil 8: Village” port was among the titles announced for the platform. “Resident Evil 7” garnered praise as one of the first successful console to VR ports, and the VR version of the original 2005 “Resident Evil 4” was also a hit among those who tried it.
Square Enix also gave an extended look at the highly-anticipated “Final Fantasy XVI,” a console exclusive to PlayStation 5. It’s the first mainline single-player entry in the series overseen by Naoki Yoshida, the celebrated director of MMO “Final Fantasy XIV.” Yoshida is famous for his ability to steer projects toward completion and success, talents that are needed for a series famous for development troubles.
The excitement for the sixteenth installment is heightened by the fact that the company seemed to have perfected action combat as evidenced by 2020′s “Final Fantasy Remake.” The studio creating the Final Fantasy series has experimented with stylish role-playing action for almost two decades. The remake of the seventh game saw the developer finally achieving this after years of iteration, and the prospect of a new game featuring similarly snappy and satisfying action has been tantalizing for longtime fans. The game is scheduled for release during the summer of 2023.
The fighting game community will also need to wait until 2023 for “Street Fighter VI,” likely a PlayStation console exclusive given the series’ history with Sony. The game may feature an online hub world featuring a 3D map to be navigated by the player, a new feature for the series.
“The Callisto Protocol,” launching December 2022, is created by Striking Distance Studios, a studio featuring the original creators of “Dead Space.” That game was famously influenced by “Resident Evil 4,” as the development on that game shifted from first-person to copying that game’s third-person perspective. “Callisto” looks to continue to explore gory horror in space, just as “Dead Space” did.
Thursday’s State of Play was also peppered with smaller indie releases, including the orange-cat puzzle platformer “Stray” launching on July 19, and an energetic, unique rollerblading arena shooter called “Rollerdrome,” launching Aug. 16.
The overarching narrative of 2022′s game release schedule has been pessimistic, with several titles big and small seeing delays to next year. But despite the wait until next year for many of these hotly anticipated titles, PlayStation’s event gave us a lot to look forward to, and showed that third-party releases will continue to strengthen the PlayStation brand well through the PlayStation 5′s life cycle.