The past week above all else brought some amazing gameplay showcases for both highly expected games and some which fell off the radar for a long time. Along with that, we got some exciting news on future installments of huge franchises, one next-gen success story and some sad news for nostalgia-inducing franchises we grew up with.
The Last of Us Part 3 is written but isn’t in development
The Last of Us: Part II was a smashing success both commercially and critically so it’s no wonder that Part III is in the works at least in some shape or form. In a recent Script Apart podcast, the creative director of both Last of Us entries and co-president of Naughty Dog – Neil Druckmann revealed that The Last of Us Part 3 has a rough story outline written but nothing that’s development-worthy yet. He will continue to flesh out the story as Sony will definitely want to keep the ball rolling. However, Druckmann did share some concerns in making the third game in the franchise as there’s clearly a pattern of what The Last of Us is as a game.
This creates expectations that need to be met in order to appeal to long-time fans which can be limiting for a developer who wants to try out new and bold things. Nothing is solidified yet and Naughty Dog keeps exploring new ideas that could either become the next Last of Us or something completely new. To find out what else Neil Druckmann had to say about Naughty Dog and the potential future of the TLOU franchise, check out our original news coverage.
Returnal debuts with great success
“Rouge-like”, “bullet-hell”, “third-person”, “story-driven”, “alien-inspired” can all be used to describe what exactly the sci-fi PS5 title Returnal is. The game itself tells the story of Selene, who must fight for her survival after she finds herself stranded on an alien planet. Many say that it’s the first true next-gen game on the PlayStation 5 that isn’t a remake or a remaster. Over on Metacritic, a popular review aggregator, the game debuted with a score of 86 with many reviews praising the excellent Dual Sense implementation, the amazing visuals, and great integration of rouge-like structure with a meaningful story.
Many critics had a hard time with how difficult the game is and how unforgiving its save system is and some called the game somewhat grindy and repetitive toward the tail end of the experience. Nevertheless, almost everyone agrees that it’s a title that definitely has a spot in your PS5 library. For more on what the critics say as well as more information on Returnal, check out our original news coverage.
Amazing new gameplay for Ratchet & Clank: A Rift in Time showcased
PlayStation dropped a supersized gameplay video for the new Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart in a recent State of Play. The demo offered a deep dive into the game’s combat and exploration. The first half focused mainly on Ratchet, while the latter portion emphasized Rivet – the recently-named female Lombax who plays quite similarly to Ratchet but is shown to handle a few more of the game’s new weapons.
Besides once again being praised for some amazing visuals and attention to detail, the demo garnered attention for showcasing how the Dualsense’s adaptive triggers will allow weapons to fire differently depending on how hard the player is pulling on them. Definitely some exciting stuff for the owners of the PlayStation 5 that won’t have to wait a lot longer for the game to fully release. To see the demo in action and find out more about everything showcased, check out our original news coverage.
Lost Soul Aside showcases stunning action and visuals
Originally announced for the PlayStation 4, Lost Soul Aside has dropped from the face of the Earth, only to recently make a triumphant comeback with a PS5 release announcement. The game is a fast-action RPG created by UltiZero Games, a Chinese development studio and they were kind enough to grace us with an impressive 18-minute gameplay showcase. It follows Kazer – the main playable protagonist as he traverses some stunning and epically large environments in which he also fights some truly unique and epic enemies.
The first boss was particularly impressive as he seems to be a cool amalgamation of Byakuya from Bleach and Gilgamesh from Fate/Stay. The combat looks fast, snappy, and envokes the right Devil May Cry vibes that just might make this game a huge hit once it releases. To check out more information and the full gameplay trailer, check out our original news coverage.
Toys For Bob shifted to work on the Call of Duty franchise
Toys For Bob is best known for the recent and highly successful Spyro, Crash Bandicoot remastered trilogies, and Crash 4. Given the success of those games, many were expecting to see sequels or at least announcements of some to be released further down the line. Unfortunately, it seems Activision has other plans and those plans entail the financial juggernaut that is the Call of Duty franchise.
Specifically, Toys For Bob has been shifted to work on the third season of Call of Duty: Warzone which also means that now, every company under the Activision umbrella works on Call of Duty in some capacity. The shift also entailed some layoffs and team members leaving the company, calling the entire situation “end of an era”. For more info on what’s happening at Activision, check out our original news coverage.
Konami is skipping this year’s E3
Despite an announcement from the ESA stating otherwise, the Japanese publisher Konami has announced that they will not be attending the digital E3 2021 after all. While that by itself is sad news, Konami used the same announcement to reassure us that updates will arrive in the “coming months” for a “number of key projects” which they explicitly cite as being in “deep development”. Outside of the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise, Konami’s last noteworthy release was 2018’s Metal Gear Survive so it will definitely be exciting to see how they handle their prize franchises or potential new IPs.
When Konami will deem the projects ready to show, and whether they will do so through their own event or somewhere else, remains unknown besides the vague “coming months” timeframe. Perhaps Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest or during Gamescom seems likely. For more information check out our original news coverage.