After watching the PS5 reveal, a reader is convinced that next gen graphics will not be the great leap forward some have promised.
Whether you watched it all or not, by now anyone with any interest in gaming will have seen at least the basics of what Sony announced for the PlayStation 5.
You expect a certain amount of slick presentation from Sony and you got that, along with an absolute minimum of talking, and lots of real game footage – at least for their own first party games.
They obviously learned from previous events and from the mistakes Microsoft made with their ‘gameplay reveal’, plus you got the unexpected bonus of seeing what the console itself looked like.
The games were interesting too, at least in terms of the variety of different genres on offer. It wasn’t all just brown shooters or angry third person adventures, you had everything from cartoonish indie games to family friendly games like Ratchet & Clank, simulations like Gran Turismo 7, and weird sci-fi games like Returnal.
That was good but I wouldn’t say that there was any particular stand-out game. By going last Horizon Forbidden West was clearly meant to be it, but while it looked good there was no obvious wow moment and nothing in any of the graphics to make you think that it couldn’t be done at all on PlayStation 4.
This is something we will have to get used to.
Horizon Forbidden West was hardly the only example either. I don’t think there was a single game shown that if you saw in a vacuum you wouldn’t have just assumed was on PlayStation 4. That’s not to say they didn’t look good, they just didn’t look any different to what we have now.
And then to find out that even high profile first party games like Demon’s Souls have to offer either performance or high-end graphics as mutually exclusive options you realise that the next gen is not going to be any kind of leap over the current one, at least not to the degree that some are pretending.
The only game that seemed to show the unique properties of the PlayStation 5 was Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and even then it could easily be mistaken for a PlayStation 4 game by a casual observer. The portal thing was a neat trick, but the overall impression is of a game that still looks very similar to its current gen predecessor.
There was nothing that looked even close to as impressive as the Unreal Engine 5 demo, which is understandable as it is just a tech demo – not a game, but the immediate downgrade in expectations was… sobering.
And I’m not making this a PlayStation thing either, it’s just they’re the only ones that have shown any games so far. I’m sure there’ll be even less difference when it comes to the Xbox Series X, since it doesn’t even have any next gen exclusives.
That said, the few seconds they showed of Hellblade 2 last year is still more impressive than anything we saw out of Sony this week. Which we then learn is because it was using, or will use, Unreal Engine 5.
You immediately begin to wonder if maybe the whole generation shouldn’t have been delayed until Unreal Engine 5 was ready, especially given the chaos caused by the coronavirus. But it’s not and, as usual, it looks like we’re in store for another two years of mediocre looking games before the proper next gen titles arrive.
Same as it ever was.
By reader Baker
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