PlayStation recap: Resident Evil 4 is back, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth gets unveiled
June was a big month for PlayStation with a big PS Plus revamp and new game announcements.
We were prepared for Not-E3 season to bring a ton of game announcements for PlayStation fans, and this June didn't disappoint. Though PlayStation didn't have a dedicated showcase of its own on the same scale that Xbox did, a State of Play and Summer Game Fest provided the goods.
Players finally got to see the long-rumored Resident Evil 4 remake along with the second chapter of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, officially titled Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. On top of that, Sony's planned PlayStation Plus overhaul went into effect for North America.
Missed anything from the last month? Take a look at all of the important news you'll want to know.
PlayStation Studios course correct in light of Roe v Wade decision
Remember last month when it came to light that PlayStation's Jim Ryan decided to talk about his cats' birthdays and essentially went "all opinions matter" after a leaked document indicated that the Supreme Court was looking to overturn Roe V. Wade? Yeah, that was last month. At the time, an internal email from Insomniac's Ted Price allegedly stated that Sony forbade its studios from speaking out on the subject, but the company appears to have changed its tune.
The Supreme Court did end up overturning Roe v. Wade because it's run by out-of-touch "pro-lifers" who don't actually care about life at all and lie under oath. Thankfully, Sony didn't remain silent this time. Many of its studios posted the same picture after the ruling came down, simply stating that "Reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy are human rights."
pic.twitter.com/Jl0MNKjt8pJune 24, 2022
Naughty Dog went further and said it would "actively support" employees who needed care. Co-president Neil Druckmann and vice president Arne Meyer even donated several thousand dollars to charities like the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, with PlayStation matching donations.
Bungie also reiterated its position in no uncertain terms. "The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade cuts off millions of Americans from that access and leaves open the possibility of even further restrictions on life-saving healthcare for all of us.
"Bungie is committed to ensuring that every one of our employees and their families have safe and affordable access to essential healthcare needs. As we continue to expand our digital-first workplace to more states, we will now be implementing a travel reimbursement program for any employee to use when they or a dependent cannot get access to the healthcare they need where they live."
Bungie, you're doing amazing, sweetie.
If you'd like to make a donation to support essential healthcare, you can donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds (local/regional lists available), Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Indigenous Women Rising, the Repro Legal Defense Fund, or any number of local and nationwide organizations and charities.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth finally takes center stage
It feels much longer than just two years since the first part of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake came out. Despite actually launching fairly recently, players have been expecting Square Enix to reveal the next entry almost since its release. That finally happened during a short showcase to celebrate the game's 25th anniversary.
Along with an announcement for a Crisis Core remaster coming later this year, the publisher revealed that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, the next part of the remake, will launch exclusively on PS5 next winter. Its teaser trailer showed off Cloud, Zack Fair, and Sephiroth, though it's unclear how much of the original game this part will adapt. It's also expected to be the second part of a planned trilogy.
"Rebirth is being designed so that people can enjoy this game whether they know the original game or not. In fact, new players might even enjoy starting their Final Fantasy 7 journey with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth," series director Tetsuya Nomura said.
This is fantastic news for me, a person who hasn't finished the first part and probably never will. (Editor's note: Definitely never will).
PlayStation Plus Premium makes a splash
Sony's planned PlayStation Plus overhaul was released in North America this month, bringing the service closer in line with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. PS Plus Essential still delivers everything it used to, but now PS Plus Extra and Premium offer a catalog of hundreds of games on-demand for a higher monthly fee.
I think PS Plus Extra will be more than enough for some people. All Premium brings to the table is streaming, a classic games catalog, and limited-time game trials. If you can live without some classic games, it's better to just save the money that Premium would cost. PS Plus Extra has it where it counts with over 400 PS4 and PS5 games.
What currently needs work is the UI. Navigation can be pretty messy at the moment and it can be difficult finding a particular game unless you search for its name specifically.
Resident Evil 4 remake reimagines the iconic horror title
Continuing Capcom's run of successful remakes, it's now Resident Evil 4's turn. The Resident Evil 4 remake debuted at Sony's State of Play, showing off a broody Leon Kennedy as he rushes to save the President's daughter from a mysterious cult. Because we all love a broody Leon Kennedy.
The graphics have been entirely reworked for modern consoles and early gameplay footage appears to show Leon moving while aiming his gun, a departure from the original gameplay. Interestingly, as far as the story goes, Capcom calls this a reimagining that keeps the "essence of its direction."
Will I play it? Absolutely not. Am I happy for Resident Evil fans? Sure am. Though the original Resident Evil 4 is still entirely playable and not nearly as dated as Resident Evil 2 or 3, it's regarded as one of the greatest games of all time.
The remake is set to release on March 24, 2023, for PS5, PC, and Xbox Series X|S.
Naughty Dog brings back The Last of Us Part 1
Speaking of games that probably don't need remakes but is getting one anyway, there's The Last of Us. Remember that game that came out all the way back in *checks calendar* 2013? Less than a decade ago? The game that was already remastered on PS4? The game that by all accounts still looks and plays wonderfully? Yeah, that one. Sony's remaking it. Because money. I fully admit I'm part of the problem because I will 100% buy it on PS5 and play it again.
Naughty Dog has been keen to show off its graphical prowess, giving fans a good look at changes to Joel, Ellie, and Tess' character models.
Tess' glow up ✨@Wersching9 years ago vs. September 2, 2022 -- #TheLastofUs Part I pic.twitter.com/jDoT9bMmL1June 14, 2022
Arguably the biggest change in The Last of Us Part 1 is its suite of expanded accessibility features. The Last of Us Part 2 was already praised for the extensive amount of accessibility options, and bringing even some of those over to the first game will make it easier for people to play it.
The Last of Us Part 1 comes to PS5 on Sept. 2, 2022 and is expected to hit PC at a later date. While I won't play the PC version, I am excited to see what modders can do with it.
Summer Game Fest was all about horror
Summer Game Fest clearly had a theme this year and it was all about horror — specifically sci-fi horror corridor shooters. Between The Callisto Protocol, Aliens: Dark Descent, Fort Solis, Routine, and Layers of Fears, there was no shortage of scary game trailers.
I'm happy to see the horror genre thriving even if I'll never play any of these games. We may never get Silent Hills (rest in pieces) and the rumored Silent Hill remake was nowhere to be seen (LOL) but maybe one day... someday... just not today. (Editor's note: How dare you.)
Lady Dimitrescu is heading to PS VR2 with Resident Evil Village
Lady Dimitrescu is coming to PS VR2 with Resident Evil Village and absolutely nothing could go wrong with this. It's not like modders have ever done anything weird in their lives. I have to imagine Capcom is playing into the internet memes too, because the press release says, "In PS VR2, you’ll feel the castle’s inhabitants’ presence all the more as they stalk you through its hallways, and be prepared to get overwhelmed by its owner, Lady D…" OK Capcom.
Anyway, Resident Evil Village in VR will take advantage of the PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers, which are meant to represent each hand in-world. This should hopefully make for some interesting combat situations dual-wielding weapons.
I'll repeat myself yet again: I'm still not going to play this. Not even for Lady D.
Horizon Call of the Mountain footage looks stunning
Horizon Call of the Mountain received some much-needed gameplay footage at June's State of Play, finally giving us a good look at what players can expect when it launches on PS VR2 at some point in the future. Eschewing the third-person perspective that Horizon is known for, Call of the Mountain brings the action to first-person, much like other VR titles. It's unclear how this will affect the feel or controls, but Sony looks to be putting in the work to make it great.
We also learned that Horizon Call of the Mountain will star a former Shadow Carja Warrior named Ryas, looking to redeem himself by subduing whatever threatens the clan.
This is something that I will probably end up playing. I love the Horizon series and PS VR2 looks to be the step forward that Sony needs to properly do virtual reality right.
Final Fantasy 16 reappears at Sony's State of Play
I have a confession: I know next to nothing about the Final Fantasy series or Final Fantasy 16, so any and all trailers for the game tend to just confuse me instead of giving me a greater understanding of the plot. But after 84 years, Square Enix unveiled a new trailer and release window for the anticipated title set to come to PS5 and PC sometime next summer.
Set in the world of Valisthea, Final Fantasy 16 follows Clive Rosfield and his brother Joshua Rosfield, the Dominant for the Eikon Phoenix and heir to the throne. Clive is caught up in a whirlwind adventure as a power struggle ensues across the land.
Putting the pressure on PlayStation
It's been a whirlwind of a year so far, and we're only just over the halfway point. As nice as it is to see new game announcements and hop into a game to escape reality for a little bit, at the end of the day, companies need to take a stand and do what's right in our current political climate. I'm glad PlayStation is finally getting that message.
– Jennifer Locke
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Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.