Spelunky 2, Hitman III, Crash Bandicoot 4 and Every Other Game in PlayStation’s State of Play

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<i>Spelunky 2</i>, <i>Hitman III</i>, <i>Crash Bandicoot 4</i> and Every Other Game in PlayStation&#8217;s State of Play

Sony held its latest PlayStation State of Play yesterday afternoon, and while you can watch the whole presentation here, here’s a recap of each announcement in case you missed it.

As previously announced, PlayStation didn’t show off any first-party titles, but there were a number of both AAA and independent games coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR and PlayStation 5 (and other, non-PlayStation systems as well, although they try to hide it).

Here are all the games!

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Developer: Toys 4 Bob
Publisher: Activision
Release date: Oct. 2

Previously announced during the Summer Games Fest, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time markets itself as the long-awaited sequel to the original Crash Bandicoot Trilogy by Naughty Dog. This time around, Skylanders and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy developer Toys 4 Bob is developing, taking the series to a new time-travelling adventure through various dimensions. You’ll be able to play as Crash’s sister, Coco, throughout any level the former can play, as well as control prior enemies such as Dr. Neo Cortex and other baddies.

They also showed off a new “mirror mode” that goes far beyond simply reversing the stage, as each world adds different modes that play with both the game’s visuals and mechanics. One stage adds color as you spin through the level, while another adds a Cuphead-esque old-timey filter while also speeding up obstacle and enemy movements.


Hitman III

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Stadia, PC
Developer / publisher: IO Interactive
Release window: January 2021

IO Interactive didn’t have much more to reveal about the upcoming capper to the modern Hitman trilogy, but they showed off a cool new feature: The entire game will be playable in VR! Hopefully this feature isn’t exclusive to PlayStation VR and it’ll be available through other VR platforms as well, but either way, getting to experience the already-immersive assassination simulator through a virtual lens is an attractive proposition.


Braid: Anniversary Edition

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Switch, Mac, Linux, PC
Developer / publisher: Number None
Release window: Q1 2021

Braid was one of the first modern independently developed games to receive widespread acclaim when it launched on Xbox 360’s Live Arcade in 2008, and its popularity has only grown since. And for good reason — although at first it may look like a low-budget take on Super Mario Bros., its time-reversal mechanic combined with a moving story and score cemented its place in the videogame sphere.

Jonathan Blow and the rest of Number None are working on not just remastering Braid with updated visuals, but adding what they claim is the most robust developer commentary in a videogame yet. Too many developers keep their secrets close to their chests, so this should be a fascinating look into how one primary person made such a well-received game.


The Pathless

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Apple Arcade (iOS, Mac, tvOS)
Developer: Giant Squid
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Release window: Holiday 2020

It’s interesting that the State of Play marketed The Pathless as a game that takes advantage of the PlayStation 5’s full power, as not only is the game coming to PlayStation 4, but mobile phones as well through Apple Arcade. Still, it does look gorgeous, which is to be expected from the developers of the breathtaking Abzu.

The Pathless looks to be a bit more involved than its former project, however, boasting a full open world wherein your player character travels alongside a hawk, shooting arrows at targets as she glides across grassy fields. There’s combat as well, with a fiery beast hunting you down.


Spelunky 2

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
Developer / publisher: Mossmouth
Release date: Sept. 15

Just like Braid, Spelunky was among the first widely beloved, independently made videogames on modern systems when it launched in 2008, and also like Braid, people haven’t stopped playing it since. Unlike Braid, however, Spelunky was given the remaster treatment a long time ago, so instead, developer Derek Yu and Mossmouth are finally making a full sequel!

Much of Spelunky’s appeal comes through the randomized nature of the game, as players delve deeper into the chasm to retrieve loot, knowing that death might be anywhere. Yu wants to make even more of those special moments for players in Spelunky 2, adding more advanced puzzles as part of its shops and even more devious traps.


Genshin Impact

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android, PC
Developer / publisher: miHoYo
Release window: Fall 2020

If Genshin Impact looks familiar to you, you’re not the only one: one “fan” found its similarities to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild so distasteful that he publicly smashed a PlayStation 4 to communicate his ire. For the rational ones among us, it certainly looks similar, but hey, if you’re going to copy something, you may as well copy one of the best games of all time.


Aeon Must Die!

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Developer: Limestone Games
Publisher: Focus Home Games
Release window: 2021

Aeon Must Die was a standout at State of Play, with its 2D brawling set against a unique art style that contrasted silhouettes of its characters with flashes of bright neon colors. That excitement was immediately tempered when a group of eight developers who left Limestone Games in June accused the studio of mistreating its staff through overwork and stealing the game’s intellectual property from its creators. It pretty much set a new land speed record for a PR cycle going from boom to bust.


ANNO: Mutationem

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
Developer: Thinking Stars
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release window: December 2020

You read that right. ANNO: Mutationem is part of Sony’s “China Hero Project,” which brings Chinese-developed games worldwide publishing. And much like Aeon Must Die, it has a really unique art style. All of the characters are 2D sprites, but the world is fully rendered in a voxel-like, 3D environment that really pops within the cyberpunk aesthetic. There’s ton of disturbing religious iconography overlaid across the high-tech world of the future, so it looks like ANNO might have a dark story to go along with its cool looks.


Bugsnax

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC
Developer/ publisher: Young Horses
Release window: Q4 2020

Woo-aaa-ooohhhhh, Bug, snax. Those words, along with a catchy tune courtesy of Kero Kero Bonito, have been stuck in the heads of everyone who watched the PlayStation 5 “Future of Gaming” event back in June. Now we know a bit more about what the game is about.

You play as a journalist covering the mythical island of Bugsnax, in which, lo and behold, you find a bunch of bugs which are also delicious snacks. Just like a real journalist, you’ll be spending most of your time laying down traps to catch and eat these adorable-yet-delectable creatures. Plus, someone tells you “you’re pretty good at stuff and nobody hates you yet,” which is pretty much a wet dream for anyone in this profession.


Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series

Platforms: Oculus Quest, PC (already released) PlayStation VR
Developer: ILMxLAB
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Release date: Aug. 25

Previously exclusive to Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR users will finally get to meet Vader in person, getting to swing lightsabers and shoot lightning out of your hands in the process. Especially at a time when Disney theme parks are open but probably shouldn’t be, this seems like the safest, most immersive way to get to experience a light story about the dark side.


Control: the AWE Expansion

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Publisher: 505 Games
Release date: Aug. 27

The final DLC expansion to 2019’s excellent Control, The AWE Expansion, seems to connect Remedy’s current hit with a previous one, Alan Wake. How that will happen very much remains a mystery, but then again, mysteries are kind of the whole point of Control’s Oldest House. Fortunately, PlayStation isn’t keeping the expansion as a timed exclusive like it did last time, so Xbox players will get to experience the conclusion to Jessie’s first story at the same time as everyone else in just a few weeks.


Auto Chess

Platforms: iOS, Android, PC (already released); PlayStation 4
Developer / publisher: Drodo Studio
Release date: Oct. 31

The latest craze in gaming, Auto Chess arose from a mod of Dota 2 and gained enough of a following to become its own game, spawning an entire new genre centered around careful planning and placement of resources and characters using chess-like strategies. It’s very complicated and I don’t really understand it, but you can read this great explainer to find out why you should be excited for its console debut.


The Pedestrian

Platforms: PC (already released), PlayStation 4
Developer / publisher: Skookum Arts
Release window: January 2021

We enjoyed The Pedestrian when it launched on PC earlier this year, and now PlayStation 4 owners will get the chance to experience it as well. Here’s Holly Green on why it connected with her:

”For something called The Pedestrian, studio Skookum Arts’s debut title is a novel little game. It imagines the regulatory signs of our daily lives, those we see at work, in a warehouse or on a busy city street, as a live 2D plane. Starring the little stick figure seen on the door of every public restroom, it presents a secret world where standardized symbols and pictograms come alive and interact to create a series of platforming puzzles. It’s exactly the sort of game you might conjure if you were very bored at work one day, staring at a wall, letting your imagination run away with you.”


Hood: Outlaws and Legends

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC
Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release window: 2021

Hood: Outlaws and Legends is described as a “multiplayer PvPvE heist game” where you “attempt to steal treasure from an oppressive government in a dark and violent, medieval world.” It didn’t show much in terms of actual gameplay, so we’ll have to wait and see what it’s all about when it releases next year.


Temtem

Platforms: PC (early access), PlayStation 5 (2021), Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 (TBA)
Developer: Crema
Publisher: Humble Bundle
Release window: 2021

Temtem is a new take on Pokémon, and developer Crema isn’t afraid to admit it. Fortunately, it’s a fresh take, as it borrows the concept of battling and trading cute and ferocious creatures and adds more advanced MMO mechanics on top of it.


Godfall

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PC
Developer: Counterplay Games
Publisher: Gearbox Studios
Release window: Holiday 2020

Known best as the first game officially announced for PlayStation 5, Counterplay Games describes Godfall as the first “melee looter,” as opposed to looter-shooters. As you may have guessed by the name, the primary difference here is the focus on melee combat as opposed to shooting, set in a vibrant-yet-violent fantasy world.

The rest of the State of Play goes really in-depth about the game’s mechanics, perhaps more than was necessary, but if you wanted to know how many button presses it takes to pull off a light attack combo in this game, then this is the place to find out.

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