Daily Reaction: Examining Every State of Play Announcement for May 2019

Daily Reaction was on hand with the last State of Play to gather all of the announcements into one handy place for you while analyzing each one, and we’re doing it again for this one. Even though the show was only about 10 minutes long, Sony was still able to pack it full of great reveals and announcements all in one place. I know you’re eager to see what Sony had in store, so without further ado, here’s every State of Play announcement and reveal from the May 9, 2019 PlayStation State of Play.

Every State of Play Announcement

Monster Hunter World Iceborne DLC Expansion

Sony started off the show with the upcoming snow-filled expansion to Monster Hunter World. Titled Iceborne, this massive expansion isn’t just a new zone and a couple new monsters. It’s practically a whole new game, with a brand new story, new combat mechanics, and a complete evolution of the Monster Hunter World game that we already know. Spending a long time with this trailer really helped to pitch the idea that this is a much bigger piece of content, and even has me getting the itch to go back a little bit.

Riverbond is Voxel-Based Dungeon Crawling

What an unfortunate State of Play to be a smaller game in. If you know what’s coming up later, you know what I am talking about. Honestly, as I am scrubbing through the State of Play video for this Daily Reaction, I have to admit that I forgot this one was even a part of it. I guess its a good thing they keep these things short then, because a lot more would fly under the radar if they tried to cram them in. Though on the other hand, just having some press release sent out would probably get even less eyes on it, so having it in State of Play is a great strategy to get some additional interest.

Riverbond will also have game crossover skins from popular indie titles, some of which aren’t even out yet. Characters from Knights and Bikes, Bastion, Guacamelee, Psychonauts, Shovel Knight, and more will appear. Overall it just looks like some fun frantic action with friends.

A New Evolve-like Predator Game

So stay with me on this one. There’s a PS4 exclusive Predator game with asymmetrical multiplayer (like Evolve), coming from the developers behind Friday the 13th. Everyone thought this one was Sony finally doing SOCOM, which may have been an intentional troll on their part. In fact, it might actually hint at SOCOM coming soon (my money’s on the PS5 launching with it, but take all of this speculation with a massive grain of salt).

The exciting thing here is that Sony has locked down a Predator game. While asymmetrical multiplayer games are all the rage lately, there are still notable failures like the high-profile Evolve which had to shut down. Friday the 13th had a dedicated fanbase though, so maybe the Predator license will be enough to carry this game through.

MediEvil Expanded Look… Sort Of

We already knew that we would be getting an expanded look at the MediEvil remake on PS4, and while the broadcast did show it, it was actually just a story trailer and a release date. I was expecting something like comparisons between the new and old versions or something a little more “extended,” but I think the Monster Hunter World portion of the show was longer than this was. It highlighted what’s really missing from State of Play and that’s having the show be more than a reel of trailers. I appreciate the brevity of the announcements, but this is a unique opportunity to focus attention on the creators and the details you don’t normally get in trailers.

Still, I’m excited for MediEvil, and finally having a release date of October is pretty exciting. It’s great to see the culture of remasters turning itno full on remakes that retain the spirit of the originals, and I can’t wait to play this 20+ year old game in high definition glory. Fortescue rises again!

Become the Animals in Away

Sony’s tried the whole “become an animal” thing before with games like Tokyo Jungle that found a niche audience, but didn’t really balloon in the way that the company might have hoped. Away The Survival Series looks to change that, letting you become animals in a remote paradise and try to survive natural disasters like a giant fire tornado. The game looks gorgeous and roaming around as animals seems like an entertaining proposition, but personally, I’m going to need something a bit more compelling about the game to sell the idea to me. Again, it’s what State of Play is missing, that further explanation that could take general interest in a trailer can capture attention with additional details that typical marketing materials gloss over.

Also the name? Is it one game? A series of games? A Bear Grylls reality show? I’m really not sure.

Days of Play Limited Edition PS4

This one had me sitting up. Sony’s limited edition consoles are often worth paying attention to. The Anniversary PS4. The 500 Million PS4. What could the Days of Play limited edition PS4 bring to the table? Could it match those two? The answer is no. While it’s a nice enough steel gray with the PlayStation symbols on top, it doesn’t have me itching to run out and replace my own PS4 right away, especially with the PS5 just around the corner. Also, the console shown was just the PS4 slim, not the PS4 Pro, which again, isn’t an investment I’d make right now. I’d say I wouldn’t mind that steel gray controller, but I recently got a premium controller that means I’ll never need to buy another DualShock 4 again, so that idea is out the window.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Returns

One of the most expected surprises of the day was seeing Final Fantasy VII Remake appear once again and giving us a pretty good look at how far the game has come along. Most of the trailer revolves around FFVII’s opening mission with Cloud and Avalanche blowing up a mako reactor in Midgar. We get a good look at how far the UI and the combat system have come, and some of the ridiculous enemies that the team fights. There’s also a quick glimpse of Sephiroth, but don’t expect him to play a massive role in the first part of the game. Square Enix announced that Final Fantasy VII Remake would be broken up into multiple “parts,” whatever that will end up meaning, but I’d guess that the first part won’t go much past where the team leaves Midgar.

More info in coming in June, and with Square Enix taking over Sony’s Monday night slot for its press conference, it’s  a good bet that we’ll see it there. Could we get a release date soon? Note that the end of this trailer says PS4, so the game hasn’t been pushed to next-gen, which has to put release either later this year or early next year.

The State of State of Play?

Overall I really enjoyed this episode of State of Play, even if I felt like it could have slowed down just a little bit and provided more context and information. Like I’ve said, I enjoyed the brevity and quickness of the announcements, as well as not bogging it down with so many things that you easily forget half of them, but when all eyes are on this particular outlet for gaming news, it’s an opportunity to tell better stories, rather than tossing marketing materials at people. Overall though, I loved the show (and not just because of FFVII, but maybe a lot because of that). I think Sony’s got a pretty good handle on how to talk to its audience in particular, and I can’t wait to see how the show continues to evolve.

Daily Reaction reacts daily to the video game industry. Have suggestions for the column or subjects you’d like us to react to? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to check out previous Daily Reactions for more dives beyond the headlines.