Dr. Cliff from Death Stranding
Dr. Cliff from Death Stranding

The PlayStation 5 Needs More Than Walking Simulators

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The PlayStation 5 Needs More Than Walking Simulators

It seems that with the next-gen consoles coming to the market in 2020 from Microsoft and Sony, there will be a heavy focus on extreme hardware capable of playing the highest quality games the industry has ever seen.With games like God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man already running well on their current platform, there’s no telling what kind of games we’ll be seeing from Sony’s consoles in 2020 and beyond. Although God of War and Spider-Man are incredible games, it seems like the PS4 has been flooded with many games that don’t focus too much on the gameplay. Specifically we’re talking about walking simulators. Now we’re not talking about your typical indie walking simulator such as, Firewatch, or Gone Home, we’re talking about the overly-cinematic take on games such as Uncharted and The Order 1886.

Let me explain, in games such as Halo, or Gears of War, you play as an action character. Master Chief is made to shoot the Covenant throughout the game and Marcus Fenix is a soldier who shoots the locusts through several action set-pieces. Of course the games have a story which are generally told in a cutscene before your level or mission starts and when the level actually starts there’s action. No just walking around or traveling, just straight into the action. More importanlty, look at Sea of Thieves, that game is all gameplay and no story. You can get a crew, get loot and sail ships without seeing a single cutscene. It’s basically an all-gameplay game which is something that Sony doesn’t have.

Usually the gameplay for more straightforward games like Uncharted or Last of Us involve quite a bit of moving around with nothing happening before the action starts. It seems like that PlayStation is used to the cinematic interactive movie-like style of games. A good example of what we can expect in the future is Marvel’s Spiderman. The game both looks good, plays well, and has a great story. Very rarely do you have to get out of your suit to just walk a block in New York doing nothing other than just walking in a mandatory “no fighting” scene. The world is big, something is always going on while traveling, and you feel like you gain things for yourself while fighting.

In contrast look at Order 1886, that game is almost all cinematic and no real fun gameplay. In fact the game overall fails in comparison to Spider Man as there isn’t a whole lot to do in 1886. Sure you can “explore” some houses and pick up clues to what’s going on, but game obviously just goes through the cinematic story of just looking good, while the gameplay itself feels clunky, and doesn’t do anything for me as the player other than just watching things happen. While these types of cinematic games may be more popular than they have been in the past, I believe that with Sony’s next generation of hardware we can do more for the “gameplay” part of things.

As previously mentioned, the title of “walking simulator” is considered to be a compliment by some and a sarcastic criticism by others. While the term started mainly as a diss, though, it seems to be accepted more and more as a simple category of games that people enjoy. Unfortunately though, many games that should be more intense on player control often fall short and earn this title by the game forcing them through a more cinematic experience than one the consumer feels truly involved in. So although walking sims can often be desirable by gamers, the heavy lineup the PS4 has seen of this genre will hopefully not be the type of launch lineup that is seen with the PlayStation 5.  I have no doubt that Sony is working on games that have plenty to do in them and it’s likely that they will have to focus a lot more on gameplay with these major releases.

The PS5 will reportedly be released in the company of games such as Horizon Zero Dawn 2 and Predator Hunting Grounds. If Sony makes sure to support major titles like these, and there’s little doubt they won’t, there’s sure to be a great amount of support for their new system. Alongside these games there will certainly be many indie titles that will cover many genres that gamers look for. Hopefully, major titles will feel less like walking simulators, and more like interactive and dynamic worlds. It truly does seem that this will be the case with the rumors and announcements we’ve seen so far, and hopefully Sony will deliver some fierce competition with their newest console.

So then, with a little bit of shade thrown at games that haven’t performed quite as we would have liked, and some light shed on an up-and-coming genre, hopefully this article provided some information to you about where we think Sony will take the PlayStation 5 as far as its games lineup. While we can’t be certain that the PS5 will lean towards major AAA titles that feature rich, action gameplay, there seems to be a lot of evidence to support this theory. Ultimately, we’ll only know for sure in 2020 when Sony unveils their games on the PS5’s release.

While we shared a lot of personal opinions and theories in this article, be sure to let us know what games you’re looking to see on the PlayStation 5 in the comments below!

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