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Finger Guns Five – The Dark Horses of the PS5 Reveal

Here's 5 games we think are dark horses from the PS5 reveal that were lost in the shuffle but are set to be big successes.

It’s only been a few days since the PS5 reveal and this hype train has no brakes. We’ll be riding it all the way to launch in December. But here at Finger Guns we get sad thinking of the titles that get forgotten about in amongst the biggest news. So sure, twitter is abuzz with Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, and Horizon Forbidden West. Who wouldn’t be? Sure, people are both tearing apart the design of the PS5, and hailing it as sexier than their favourite celebrity crush. Even Sackboy, Astrobot, Demon’s Souls and Resident Evil 8 are getting headlines. But there were 26 titles in that reveal and we’re worried a few are getting left at the station.

So each of us have taken a title we thought looked incredible, but isn’t feeling the love yet. Here are five PS5 games we think are the dark horses getting overlooked during all the madness of the big reveal!

Toby’s Pick – Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a timed exclusive for Sony’s new system and has already been confirmed for PC as well, possible before 2020 is out. It’s the one everyone brushed over, with the little collection of wonderfully cute podgy pikmin-like spirits helping out a young girl in a beautiful lush saturated forest village. It was the first one on the reveal stream that made me think, yes, take my money, I’d buy a PS5 for that. Kena is said to be a story-driven, action-adventure combining exploration with fast-paced combat. As Kena, players will find and grow a team of charming spirit companions called the Rot, enhancing their abilities and creating ways to manipulate the environment.

Now the Rot, the little podgy guys, maintain balance in the forest by breaking down the bodies of the dead. They are the spirits Elton John is warbling about in Circle of Life. From what I’ve seen so far, you collect these guys on your travels, and form them into a team to help you fight the corruption that has taken over the forest. Sound familiar? Yeah, this corruption thing happens in a lot of the most nature-centric games these days. It’s clearly all over Horizon Forbidden West and Haven too. I wrote a whole piece on it, which you can read here.

Kena promises gorgeous visuals with Pixar-quality animation, a magical core narrative and some interesting looking magical weapons, combined with a pikmin-style mechanic where you have this team of Rot to help you. That should be enough that it’s top of everyone’s list. It looks amazing and was one of the standout titles I saw at the reveal. But do I see anyone talking about it? No.

Rossko’s Pick – Stray

I mean, I’m not gonna sit here and try to sell Stray to you. If you know which game I’m on about you already know if you’re going to buy it or not. It’s a video game where all the humans are dead and you play as a cat, living the feline life in the land of the robots. I mean, ain’t that enough?

OK fine. Around four years ago, when Stray was a mere kitten, it was known as the HK Project, and gifs and video clips surfaced of a video game set in Hong Kong with a cat roaming the streets. Cut to 2020 and slap bang in the biggest game event for years that kitten is a full-grown adult and it’s coming to next-gen exclusively as Stray. Pick of the litter, this one.

The game appears to have a strong focus on exploration but very little is known about its mechanics or gameplay focus thus far. I kinda want to try to lie down on the floor and see if I can get any belly rubs.

In the game, I mean. Yeah. Although…

Sean’s Pick – Destruction Allstars

The non-racing vehicle combat genre is one that I grew up on. Twisted Metal, Vigilante 8, Cel Damage & Carmageddon were favourites of teenage Sean. Then, all of a sudden, the genre just… disappeared. Sure, there’s the odd game released now and again – Hardware Rivals being the best recent example – but they’re all desperately trying to replicate what had come before. In my mind, they failed to evolve and other genres simply took what they did best and incorporated them into their own experience.

Destruction Allstars seems to understand that a vehicle combat game can’t be *just* a vehicle combat game any more. The team at Lucid working on this game should know that better than anyone. Some of them have worked on much beloved but now dead franchises like Blur, MotorStorm & WipeOut. That’s why it seemingly mixes what worked in the vehicle combat genre with Rocket League, Wreckfest, out of vehicle races and the personality of Fortnite.

The trailer shown during the PS5 reveal screamed one thing to me – Fun. Explosions, jumping over cars that are headed straight for you, rocket boosts, halfpipe walls, more explosions and a guy with a bag on his head. That certainly seems like a game that understands the vehicle combat genre needed to evolve to survive and is having a good time doing it. Of all the games we saw during the PS5 reveal, I want to hear more about this one the most. Destruction Allstars shows glimpses that it could be the Rocket League of the next generation, both thematically and in terms of success.

Paul’s Pick – Deathloop

Considering the pedigree of being an Arkane studios production and following in the silent footsteps of Dishonored, you’d think Deathloop would be getting more press, but hey, here we are.

Deathloop is the Groundhog Day or Edge of Tomorrow of the PS5’s lineup, and it looks awesome. On the Island of Blackreef an eternal struggle is played out between two extraordinary assassins. You play as Colt, trying desperately to put an end to a timeloop that he and the Island are trapped in. You need succeed in taking out eight targets before the day resets in order to break the loop for good. Except you are hunted by Julianna, a rival assassin, whose mission is to find and kill you, and keep the loop going.

In true Groundhog Day style, you need to learn from each playthrough, try new paths and approaches, just like in Dishonored. A roguelike shooter, and we think, probably the first of its kind. A multiplayer assassination experience, players can take control of Julianna and sneak into other players campaigns, and kill them, resetting their loop and the whole game. Sounds infuriating…and awesome. Thankfully Arkane have said the multiplayer part is completely optional.

Greg’s Pick – Hitman 3

Yes, it’s a sequel. Also yes, it’s a sequel in a rebooted franchise. But…

I don’t really care. I love Hitman, as a franchise, and I’m very excited to see what next generation tech can do for the series. In its early days, it was never the best looking game. It was all about the content, the massive variety of ways you can execute missions, and just the overall style it brought.

Then of course, Hitman 2016 brought that back and some top notch visuals, which have only improved by the sequel a couple of years later. So to see that Agent 47’s shiny dome is getting the new console makeover is a massive plus in my book. Not just in looks, but in content too, it can only be up for IO Interactive’s mainstay series.

My only worry is that it’ll still be riddled with its weird add on/season pass nonsense. It’s why I haven’t done a full deep-dive on Hitman 2 yet, I’m not a fan of racking up more onto a base game. Let’s hope the Square Enix greed model has been whacked by the time Hitman 3 rolls around.

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