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What you missed in PlayStation’s July State of Play event

The folks at PlayStation were pretty upfront that July’s State of Play event wouldn’t contain any major updates on the new God of War game or Horizon Forbidden West. There were, however, some tasty morsels about a few upcoming titles, including Arkane’s anticipated Deathloop.

With recent updates on hugely hyped titles such as Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring still living in recent memory, PlayStation’s July State of Play event decided to give fans a chance to breathe. That isn’t to say there wasn’t anything to get excited about though.

Short trailers for upcoming indie games reigned supreme, although what will have everyone salivating the most is undoubtedly the long-delayed Deathloop. We watched the State of Play event live, waking up bright and early so you didn’t have to, and consequently have all the information you need. Here are all the juiciest details from July’s State of Play event.

state of play
Image: Death Stranding: Director’s Cut / Kojima Productions

Deathloop was the star of State of Play

Without question Deathloop was the highlight of the event, and it’s no surprise the organisers decided to save it for last. With the online crowd growing somewhat agitated in the live commentary section, Arkane’s Dinga Bakaba walked us through some exciting new gameplay footage, along with a few accompanying mechanics.

Possibly in an attempt to ease fears about the game’s difficulty (Returnal appears to have scarred more than a few of us) Bakaba pointed out that players will be able to utilise resurrection and rewind abilities, essentially giving each run of the game two ‘lives’.

This will likely be appreciated, as the rest of the gameplay trailer on show at State of Play demonstrated that Deathloop’s world is full of danger. With the game’s main antagonist Julianna taunting you incessantly, it quickly becomes apparent that pretty much everything in the game wants you dead.

I anticipate this relationship with Julianna, as well as the associated invasion mechanic, being a really strong feature of Deathloop. Other than that, the vibey music, wacky humour and inventive combat were on display, looking every bit as exciting as they have in the past.

Death Stranding: Directors Cut 

Considering that Death Stranding has been out for almost two years and, let’s be real, wasn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea on release, I’m surprised at how much I was drawn to the Director’s Cut. It looks so damn beautiful and hauntingly surreal that I almost forgot my mixed feelings of playing it when it first came out.

The graphics, which have been enhanced for the PS5, look phenomenal, bringing the right kind of attention to the stunning art direction.

I’m less convinced by the gameplay additions; it’s difficult to get excited about a ‘cargo catapult’ or a robot that just lifts you up and performs delivery missions for you. The promise of new story missions should appeal to fans though.

death stranding cargo catapult
Image: Death Stranding: Director’s Cut / Kojima Productions

Moss: Book 2 

The big virtual reality announcement of this State of Play event was Moss: Book 2. If you’ve ever dreamed about jumping into the shoes (or tiny paws?) of Ratatouille, this action adventure should appeal to you.

You are basically following around a mouse named Quill, which you can control, but the game itself is classed as first person because you aren’t actually the mouse. It’s an interesting take on a VR platformer that perhaps dodges some of the inherent problems with VR games. It will be interesting to see how it compares to its predecessor.

JETT: The Far Shore

I was left a little confused by JETT: The Far Shore. They drew me in with claims that the game was inspired by space, the wonder of staring at the night sky, and sci-fi. Ok, colour me interested – but in the actual gameplay footage outer space was conspicuously absent.

It looked more like you control a little landing ship that gets slingshot around the surface of alien planets, never hovering much more than a few dozen metres above ground; which isn’t what I would call the romance of sci-fi, or even flight really.

Closing thoughts on July’s State of Play

While it certainly wasn’t one of the more memorable video game events in recent history, July’s State of Play does shine a light on some of the less-publicised upcoming games. Everyone loves a sleeper hit, and it’s possible we’ve just gotten a sneak peek at a title that will surprise us all on release.

At the very least we know that the team behind Death Stranding are still cooking up innovative parcel delivery solutions… something that unfortunately could produce real-life benefits in the near future. You heard it here first: all hail the cargo catapult!