State of Play: March event frustrates with key absences, no flagship titles

Sony’s March State of Play event has come and gone, and it managed to do so without delivering any news on Final Fantasy XVI, God of War Ragnarok, Silent Hill, or even a Bloodborne PC release

State of Play events are just like Christmas (at least at my house). You never know what you’re going to get, and there’s always a decent chance you’ll end up disappointed. Still, each time another one comes around, you can’t help but hope this one will be different.

Ok. So first things first: Sony was pretty forthright that the State of Play March event would focus on their upcoming Japanese titles. In hindsight, this was likely to mitigate expectations, at least regarding God of War Ragnarok (there’s still no release date).

state of play march
Image: Trek to Yomi / Leonard Menchiari, Flying Wild Hog

All this did though is whip fans into a frenzy about every Japanese title they’d love to see re-emerge from the darkness. Sony may have thought they could use this State of Play event as a breather, as many gamers are still entangled in the worlds of Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West.

Gamers, however, have no chill. And if the live chat was anything to go by, they fit firmly into the ‘well what have you done for me lately’ category of gift receivers.

A few hits despite some notable misses

Did you give us a sparkly new JRPG by Square Enix (Valkerie Elysium)? Thanks, but what about Final Fantasy XVI…Come on; you don’t want me to cry, do you State of Play? I swear I’ll buy a fucking Xbox tomorrow. I will.

All jokes aside, the State of Play March event was lacklustre only in terms of what wasn’t there. If you look at what was on show, there’s plenty to look forward to.

Sure, I’d have lost my shit if a Silent Hill reboot or remake was announced; but Ghostwire: Tokyo is shaping up to be an intriguing mix of horror and spectacle in its own right.

Yes, Bloodborne being announced for PC (or PS5) would have been fantastic. But at least Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy might offer a similar…actually no. Just no.

Our pick of State of Play

The biggest and most exciting surprise at State of Play was the samurai side-scrolling adventure Trek to Yomi. Taking inspiration from the classic samurai films of Akira Kurosawa (Ikiru, Seven Samurai) and the recent success of Ghost of Tsushima, it looks to be a sleeper hit in the making.

The art direction is something, and I was equally in awe of the majestic combat as the sweeping environmental design.

So while we might not have gotten a fresh look at any flagship titles, as gamers, we still shouldn’t spit on collective dummies. State of Play is to build hype for games, not deliver them at the end of the day. And I wouldn’t bet against one of this current crop of games delivering big time on release.

Sony, as they say, has a stellar track record of doing just this.