After 2020’s E3 show was a no-go thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the event is back with a (muted) bang in 2021. Several major gaming companies brought out their big hitters this year, and while Sony was once again conspicuous by its absence, we had no shortage of upcoming PS5 games to gawk at. Capcom, Square Enix, and Bandai Namco all promised that their slate would contain at least a few gems for the PS5, and there’s sure to be more to come throughout the year as Sony reveals some of the surprises it inevitably has up its sleeve. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best the E3 2021 show had to offer when it came to PS5.
“Finally!” Such was almost certainly the word uttered by gamers the world over when Bandai Namco revealed the first gameplay for From Software’s upcoming dark fantasy RPG Elden Ring. Originally announced two years ago at E3 2019, Elden Ring had been depressingly quiet in the interim, leading many to suggest it was stuck in development hell. Such does not appear to be the case, however, and Elden Ring’s mixture of open-world exploration and trademark From Software combat is sure to be a massive hit when it lands this January.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
Pre-show rumours turned out to be true as Square Enix and Team Ninja (Nioh, Ninja Gaiden) unveiled a Final Fantasy action game that looks suspiciously similar to the Souls series. Final Fantasy Origin pits grizzled-looking heroes against the franchise’s bestiary, and while there were just a few too many mentions of “Chaos” for our liking, this rather strange-looking take on Final Fantasy mythology definitely has our attention. The PS5-exclusive demo has run into some teething woes, but the game itself looks very promising indeed.
After Square Enix’s dalliance with live-service Marvel heroics fell somewhat flat with Marvel’s Avengers, the publisher, along with developer Eidos Montreal, is going back to basics with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a third-person story-driven action game that will feature absolutely no live-service elements or microtransactions, instead choosing to tell a simple, old-fashioned story about Peter Quill and his dysfunctional family. We’re far more excited about this one than we ever were for Avengers, and we’re hyped to see how it pans out when it launches this October.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
The Avatar franchise is a rather odd duck. Despite huge box office numbers, an entire section of Disneyland dedicated to it, and reasonably strong critical reviews, Avatar doesn’t feel like a blockbuster franchise, likely because there’s only one movie and nothing else for fans to get their teeth into. That’s about to change with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, a first-person action game set in the Avatar universe. We don’t know too much about this one yet, but it’s launching next year for PS5, so hopefully we’ll learn more in the coming months.
Warner Bros’ spiritual successor to the Left 4 Dead series is looking solid. We got a look at the asymmetrical PvP multiplayer element of the game, in which teams will swap between playing as survivors and wreaking havoc as “Ridden” (that’s zombies to you and me). Back 4 Blood is hitting PlayStation 5 on October 21st, so if you were a huge fan of Left 4 Dead and you’re looking for the chance to replicate that experience on your PlayStation, this’ll be your game. We’ll learn more about this one as time goes on, so stay tuned.
We don’t know a huge amount about the upcoming extended edition of Hideo Kojima’s divisive “walking simulator” other than it’s coming to PS5. The trailer, which was rather amusing in its relentless Metal Gear fan-baiting, showed some areas we’ve never seen in the base Death Stranding, so expect some extra content when the game does eventually arrive on Sony’s newest console. You can also likely look forward to substantial visual and performance upgrades, and if the game doesn’t utilise the features of the new DualSense controller, we’ll be very surprised indeed.
Jurassic World Evolution 2
Everyone’s favourite dinosaur-rearing management sim returns for a second instalment. Introduced memorably by Jeff Goldblum during the pre-E3 Summer Games Fest, Jurassic World Evolution 2 will bring new species, new environmental features, and plenty more, plus lots of the classic simulation gameplay you’ve come to know and love from the first instalment. We’re mainly including this one on our list because we love Jeff Goldblum and would very much like him to be involved in the gaming industry on a regular basis. If you’re reading this, Jeff, the doors are always open.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
Technically, this one isn’t launching on PS5; it’ll be a PS4 game, but the PS5 will be able to play it via backwards compatibility. We never thought The Great Ace Attorney would grace Western shores; it’s a spinoff of the classic Phoenix Wright series, but its narrative and world are so chock-full of uniquely Japanese references that it seemed impossible to translate. Capcom showed it off at its E3 2021 presentation, though, and it’s looking good, with a gorgeous Victorian-inspired art style and plenty of new twists on the investigation-interrogation gameplay loop.