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Hey Poor Player Holiday Buyers Guide 2021 – PlayStation 5

A Whole New World

Holiday Buyers Guide

Welcome to the Hey Poor Player Holiday Gift Guide. From Monday, November 8th through Friday, November 19th, we’ll be bringing you a guide to all the games, accessories, systems, and other hot items players will be looking for this holiday season. With Black Friday and other Holiday sales set to start in the coming weeks, we thought now was the perfect time to help draw attention to just what you players should be looking for in the coming weeks. So whether you’re looking for a gift for someone else, or maybe something for yourself, we’ve got you covered. Please keep in mind that as we move into our individual game lists, we’ve limited each game to one list to help spread the word about more great titles released in 2021. So if a game you love shows up on a genre list but not on one for a system, it doesn’t mean we didn’t love it. It just means that let us showcase more great titles.

Today we’ll be looking at some great games for PS5. The platform’s first full year has been a bit up and down, but Sony has done a better job than their competitor of providing experiences you can only have on their new platform, even if it feels like the amount of those is about to slow a bit.

 

Deathloop

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Also On: PC (Our PS5 Review)

Price: $59.99

We’ve talked a lot about time loop games this year but none have hit quite like Deathloop. Featuring a pair of brilliant lead performances which anchor the entire game, one man’s quest to bring down a system run by some truly heinous people is refreshing, even if a bit more freedom at times might not have hurt. Right now the only console you can play it on is PS5, though considering Microsoft now owns the developer, we expect that to change as soon as the game’s exclusivity deal expires. Here’s what our Francis DiPersio had to say about the game:

“If you’ve been waiting for the PlayStation 5’s first true killer app, this is it. Deathloop is an innovative and satisfying take on the shooter genre that you can’t afford to miss. Developer Arkane Studios has managed to take Dishonored‘s rock-solid foundation and hone it to a razor’s edge. With a rewarding progression system and a gameplay loop that encourages experimentation and exploration, you can’t help but wonder why Colt would ever want to break this cycle. Sprawling, cerebral, and consistently exciting, Deathloop deserves a spot in every shooter fan’s PS5 library.”

 

Life is Strange: True Colors

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Also On: PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, Stadia (Coming Soon to Switch) (Our PS5 Review)

Price: $59.99

Alex Chen is my favorite new character of 2021. It actually isn’t even close. She’s relatable, kind, works to help people, yet still flawed and working on figuring it out. An outstanding vocal performance by Erika Mori really sells the whole performance and helps make this game something special. While the wrap up of her story may not have been perfect, its still a journey well worth your time, whether you’re new to the Life is Strange series or you’ve played them all. It was so good that I was willing to put up with the Kings of Leon! Here’s what I said about it earlier this year:

I might have liked more freedom to explore Haven Springs or a bit more mystery here and there, but none of that stops Alex’s journey from being an absolute joy. At times funny, exciting, mysterious, and heartbreaking, Life Is Strange: True Colors made me fall in love with this little town and all of those who live there. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Alex. A character this wonderful deserves many adventures to come.”

 

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Also On: None (Our PS5 Review)

Price: $69.99

Paying those next generation game prices can be rough (though holiday sales may help there) but few games make the case for them like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. An absolutely stunning game, it creates a beautiful world for you to mess around in. While not truly revolutionary for the series, there are moments like when you jump between worlds that feel like they could only work on the PS5. That you get to join Ratchet, Clank, and some new friends on a great journey along the way is icing on the cake. Here’s what I said about it:

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart doesn’t try to teach an old Lombax too many new tricks. The core of the series still works and is a ton of fun to play. The PS5 provides just enough to make it feel fresh while new friends provide new possibilities. I’m glad to say that the team at Insomniac has this iconic duo back on track. There’s no better game to show off the power of the PS5.”

 

Resident Evil Village

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Also On: PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC (Our PS5 Review)

Price: $59.99

After a rough entry to end the PS3/Xbox 360 era, Capcom righted the ship on their flagship horror franchise with Resident Evil VII. Village may not be quite the transition that title was, but it arrives in the next generation with plenty of horror, and a bit more action which should appear to certain fans. Here’s what our Francis DiPersio had to say about it:

Resident Evil Village is a worthwhile addition to Capcom’s survival horror franchise. It’s an explosive and brutal thrill ride that will surely please fans of Resident Evil 4 or those who enjoyed Resident Evil 7 but felt it could use a bit more action. While I don’t think I’d call it my personal favorite entry in the series (that honor goes to Resident Evil 2), I feel Capcom has done an admirable job of combining the strengths of two of the franchise’s most memorable titles to create something new and exciting. If you’re a fan of the series, then this is one game that absolutely deserves a spot in your PS5 library.”

 

Returnal

 

Returnal

Also On: None (Our PS5 Review)

Price: $69.99

I had more issues than Returnal than many did, simply due to not liking how its structure fit together with the roguelike elements the game introduced. Under those elements though sits one of the best shooters I’ve ever played, a game which is thrilling to play on a moment by moment basis. Updates since my review have helped to mitigate my issues with it too, providing options like a mid run save, which might not completely solve the issue but certainly helps. The team at Housemarque worked for years to keep arcade games alive before finally declaring them dead a few years ago. I love how their work here managed to keep at least some elements of arcade alive. Here’s what I said about it earlier this year:

“Just running around in these environments, shooting enemies, and trying to survive, is exhilarating. Returnal, at its core, is one of the most exciting action games I’ve played in years. It combines everything the development team does well with a more modern style. They hit most elements of it out of the park.”

 

Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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