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The best games from PlayStation’s March 9 “State of Play” presentation


Promotional image for upcoming video game.
Enlarge / Exoprimal is a promising-looking new co-op battler from Capcom, and it’s not just coming to PlayStation consoles.

If you didn’t catch Sony’s latest State of Play video presentation, which concluded earlier today on YouTube, consider this a quick guide to the presentation’s best reveals of previously unknown games—along with mostly good news for enthusiasts outside the PlayStation console family, thanks to many cross-platform launch assurances.

Exoprimal gameplay reveal.

Exoprimal (PS5, PS4, XSX/S, XB1, PC) — “2023”

This brand-new series sees Capcom entering the class-based co-op shooter universe, and the results look like a cross between Overwatch and Earth Defense Force. In Exoprimal, Earth has been overrun by, er, dinosaur outbreaks—so much so that TV weather reports revolve around whether or not a mysterious floating orb might emerge and dump hundreds of ravenous dinosaurs onto cities on a given day. To drive this point home, the trailer begins with a ridiculous number of velociraptors falling from the sky and stomping through city streets. Other dinosaur species soon follow. (I’m going to call that a “high-pressure system.”)

Earth’s mightiest mech-suit warriors show up during dino outbreaks in four-player co-op teams, each emphasizing familiar co-op battling roles (tank, DPS, etc.) and having their own special abilities to contend with waves of dinosaurs. While I wish this was somehow connected to Capcom’s classic Dino Crisis series, the trailer didn’t leave any space to make such a connection. Still, should this game feel anywhere as good as Capcom’s better-every-year Monster Hunter series, it could be a welcome over-the-top co-op option.

TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection reveal.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection (PS5, PS4, XSX/S, XB1, Nintendo Switch, PC) — “2022”

Nearly every Ninja Turtles arcade and console video game released in the ’80s and ’90s is coming to this retro-minded collection. In even better news, the filled-to-bursting Cowabunga Collection won’t be locked to PlayStation consoles. The complete Game Boy, NES, SNES, Genesis, and arcade output of Ninja Turtles—including every cross-platform variant of titles like Tournament Fighters—will eventually land on PC, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, as well.

The Cowabunga Collection really does go to great lengths to include every TMNT game from the comic and cartoon series’ biggest pop-culture heyday. That means you can look forward to slamming your head against a wall while contending with the brutal difficulty of the series’ first NES game. (You can also look forward to using that game’s handy new instant-rewind feature.) Meanwhile, other games in the collection will be boosted by online versus and co-op modes when appropriate.

For completists, here’s the full list, confirmed shortly after the Sony event concluded:

• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (Arcade)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (NES)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (NES)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (Super Nintendo)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (Super Nintendo)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (Sega Genesis)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (Sega Genesis)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of The Foot Clan (Game Boy)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back From The Sewers (Game Boy)
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue (Game Boy)

Returnal Ascension expansion reveal.

Returnal: Ascension (PS5) — March 22

This unexpected expansion, arriving in two weeks as a free patch, offers two ways to, uh, re-return to Returnal. The first adds full-fledged online co-op to the game’s existing, procedurally generated campaign, which may very well help anyone who’s still contending with the game’s punishing-yet-satisfying difficulty. (As a fun exercise, go through my colleague Kyle Orland’s recent feature and map out how Returnal aligns with the Ars Difficulty Matrix™.)

The second part of the patch adds an entirely new, even-more-difficult chapter, available exclusively to players who’ve reached the “Icarian Grapnel” content in the normal campaign. The new chapter promises an increasingly insane amount of high-speed, alien-augmented combat for those who’ve mastered Returnal thus far. Considering how much I loved this game and how highly I placed it on Ars’ games of 2021 list, I have nothing but optimism about this entirely free update.

The DioField Chronicle reveal.

The DioField Chronicle (PS5, PS4, XSX/S, XB1, Nintendo Switch, PC) — “2022”

This is likely as close as Square Enix fans are going to get to a Final Fantasy Tactics sequel in the near future. The DioField Chronicle‘s use of stylized, pen-stroke drawings for its primary characters make this new game look much like FF‘s first game on PS1. But the teams behind DioField Chronicle have opted not to slap any FF branding on this hybrid of turn-based and real-time tactical combat. This decision was arguably made because DioField‘s mechanics stray significantly from the slower pace and three-quarters perspective of the FF spinoff.

Additionally, Platinum Games is on board as co-developer, and Square Enix may not be ready to let Platinum take the driver’s seat for its most well-known gaming series (which celebrates its 35th anniversary later this year).

Still, Platinum’s expertise with frantic action games may pump excitement and new ideas into the long-in-the-tooth JRPG tactics genre, and Platinum’s love of ridiculous visual bombast is on full display in today’s new trailer. The trailer teases a battle system that appears to generally make movement and basic attacks available on a regular basis while “special” attacks require spending character-specific points and waiting on cooldown timers. How exactly these mechanics will factor into the game’s flow of battle remains to be seen.

For the rest of the State of Play event’s reveals and game updates, including a long-awaited return to Square Enix’s Valkyrie Profile series, check out a brief recap below. Or you can click here for the longer version.

Sony State of Play wrap-up, March 2022.



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