The Playstation 5 is here already? It feels like only 60 frames ago the Playstation 4 burst into our living rooms with a motherboard full of new graphical capabilities and immersive experiences. But as the new decade begins, so must a new era for gaming.
With a wealth of new games being developed for the Playstation 5 across the world, we’ve honed our list down to the top 5 releases coming out of Japan.
1. Pragmata (2022, Capcom)
Capcom have two titles already announced for the PS5. Their first, Pragmata, raises many more questions than it answers. In the preview we follow a clunky spaceman through a desolate Times Square, where he meets a young girl and the hologram of a cat with see-through skin (yes, you can see its brains). Of course, a satellite crashes into the air above them and the girl uses psychic powers to teleport them to the moon. It all happens very quickly.
Like Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding (Kojima Productions) announcement trailer in 2016, there’s no hope of knowing what this game is about, or what the gameplay will be like. But strangely, that’s not a bad thing. Intrigue fills the knowledge gaps: what was the spaceman was doing in New York? Why was a satellite attacking him and the girl? What was wrong with that cat?
2. Ghostwire: Tokyo (2021, Tango Gameworks)
Directed by Shinji Mikami (creator of Resident Evil) Ghostwire: Tokyo is a first-person action title charging through the haunted streets of Japan’s capital. The Playstation 5 announcement trailer shows the city’s 37.4 million residents vanishing into thin air, leaving normally bustling streets deathly silent and subway stations littered with office attire. We can only hope that wherever the well-dressed city-folk vanished to is warm enough for their birthday suits, because even their high heels were left to clink against the top of abandoned escalators.
The streets aren’t completely silent. Replacing the inhabitants (and sometimes wearing their clothes) are hordes of oni, yōkai and yūrei. The protagonist clearly got the memo, as his hoodstrings are pulled so tightly no underworld-summoning fiend could ever hope to pull his corporeal form from it. Wielding hands bursting with magic, it’s up to you to bring peace back to Tokyo, one trouser-thieving ghoul at a time. The gameplay trailer reveals stormy fight-scenes against classic Japanese monsters in urban areas and Shinto shrines.
3. Resident Evil Village (2021, Capcom)
Capcom’s 2nd announcement is the 8th instalment of gaming’s greatest zombie franchise. In a village that seems to have halted its development in the 19th century, a homely couple have their lives ruined by local werewolves, zombies and farmers. It resonates with the energy of one of the series favourites, Resident Evil IV, which took place in a secluded Spanish town overrun (or just inhabited) by reanimated agricultural workers and undead aristocracy.
Akin to other releases in this list, the graphics are astonishing. With every new generation, these consoles become more immersive. What better way to utilise full immersion than to scare the living hell out of our global community from the safety of our own homes, which virtual reality is getting very good at.
4. Gran Turismo 7 (TBA, Polyphony Digital)
Pulling the PS5 into 5th gear is brand new driving-sim action from the Gran Turismo series. Revisiting features from across the franchise, you can run your finger along the hoods of your favourite cars in the garage, tweak your ride in the tuning shop with Rupert, and visit real circuits from across the globe.
From the rising and falling sound of shifting gears to the creases on the driver’s gloves, the attention to detail is uncanny. Gran Turismo shows the potential of the next generation of consoles by reproducing the real world with pin-point accuracy, instead of whirling into realms of overblown fantasy.
5. Astro’s Playroom (2020, ASOBI Team)
Get back to basics with this kid-friendly 3D platformer. Pre-loaded into every console, this will no doubt be the first game experienced by many Playstation 5 purchasers. As Astro defeats mechanical palm trees and unscrews spring-loaded flowers to get to the next area, he scoops up classic platformer collectibles like floating Playstation-inscribed coins and boxes with question marks printed on them.
After so much violence, horror and cars, sometimes a jaunt through a friendly world inhabited (or overrun) by squealing, television-faced robots is all you need to feel normal again.