When we look back at the recent history of gaming, we tend to trace the modern era back to the mid-90s and the launch of the first PlayStation console. It’s been 25 years (or 26 depending on which region you lived in) since the console arrived, and it’s fair to say that the appetite of gamers has only increased in that time.
Indeed, the buzz swirling around the imminent release of the PlayStation 5 (it’s due to arrive in mid-November) would suggest that gaming is set to take another giant leap forward. The next-generation console will offer more immersive gaming, possibly backed up by advances in VR technology, and allow developers to get more ambitious than ever before.
A gaming platform is only as good as the titles released on it, however. And if early releases flop, then all the excitement around the PS5 will soon dissipate. That’s unlikely, though. At the time of writing, we know of around 40 games confirmed to be arriving for the new console. Below we pick five of the most intriguing that could shape the fortunes of the new console in the same manner that games like Tomb Raider and Metal Gear Solid revolutionised the early days of PlayStation in the 90s.
Gods and Monsters/Immortals Fenyx Rising
Greek, Norse and Egyptian mythologies tend to be among the most common themes for all types of gaming and media, and many of us have enjoyed slaying mythical foes with Assassins Creed, watching Thor battle Loki in Avengers, or taking a trip back to the time of the pharaohs with Cat Queen slot. With Immortals Fenyx Rising (the game was originally called Gods and Monsters before a controversial name change), it is another trip to Ancient Greece. Some might say that it has been done before, but perhaps not on this scale. What we like the most is that characters will be customisable – through the use of Aphrodite’s Chair – so we expect players to create their own avatars for the game.
The game that everyone has been talking about for the best part of a decade is finally arriving. Years in development often smacks of problems for a video game, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. It seems CD Projekt Red has spent the time crafting a dystopian paradise for gamers. Cyberpunk 2077 is based upon the role-playing games created by Mike Pondsmith in the 1980s, and fans have waited a long time to see Pondsmith’s vision brought to life in a big way. Trailers and demo versions of the game have suggested something spectacular. PS5 owners will have to wait until 2021 to play it on that the console, but Cyberpunk 2077 will be available on PS4, Stadia and other platforms in mid-November.
Just Dance 2021
A bit of a shift in tone here, but it’s worth remembering that a gaming console isn’t all about fighting gods and exploring dystopian cities. Just Dance, as you can tell by the title, is a dancing game and a very popular one at that. There are dozens of games in the Just Dance series, but, as a launch title for the PS5, we expect Ubisoft to go the extra mile here. Stars like Billie Elish, Dua Lipo and Lizzo provide the soundtrack for you to mimic the on-screen dance moves. It’s fun for all the family, and it’s the type of game that should prove that PS5 won’t be for serious gamers only.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
As one of the most recognisable video game series of the 21st century, the Call of Duty franchise needs little introduction for gamers. Indeed, it’s hard to believe that this will be the 17th COD game released. Like Immortals Fenyx Rising mentioned above, one of the interesting aspects about this is the level of customisation that is offered. Among other things, this looks to be a big part of gaming in the 2020s. Having that ability to design your own characters and worlds, and shaping the game to your liking. Elsewhere with Black Ops Cold War, you can expect to see plenty of action, stunning graphics of the Soviet-era locations and, of course, zombies.
We wanted to mention Godfall as it was the first game announced for the PS5. When the game’s trailer premiered at the 2019 Game Awards, the audience was mightly impressed; something that bodes well for publishers Gearbox in an increasingly congested market. Godfall is an action role-playing game set in a high-fantasy world. Players will assume the role of the Knight’s Order, fighting off various threats to avert disaster in the five realms. Again, there will be a chance for customisation with Godfall. But, from what we have seen so far, Godfall looks pretty perfect the way the developers have made it.