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Concord’s first look doesn’t fill me with hope for the PS5 exclusive

Concord will open its servers to players this August, but I feel the PS5 exclusive isn’t doing enough to separate itself from the live-service pack.

Concord gameplay State of Play: a green-hued alien man next to a gameplay screenshot showing a crossbow being aimed at a player

A year after its vague reveal trailer, Sony’s State of Play finally coughed up the Concord goods, providing our first proper look at Firewalk’s upcoming 5v5 PvP shooter. It even has a beta coming this July ahead of its August 23 launch date. While the PS5 exclusive is certainly a glitzy-looking space romp, I couldn’t help but feel like I’d seen, well, all of it before.

I’m not sure if it’s the latest attempt to create the next great rag-tag team – it’s giving Defenders of the Milky Way – or the class designs that look like they’ve largely been pulled from genre-mates like Destiny 2 and Overwatch, but I’m so far seeing nothing in the multiplayer game that screams ‘please, play me over the quadrillions of other live-service shooters currently on the market.’ Firewalk’s ex-Bungie credentials are shining through, and it feels like the studio has opted to fan itself in the shade of some of the biggest intergalactic IPs out there, rather than truly trying to innovate.

The only thing I saw from a gameplay standpoint that could give it a bit of je ne sais quoi is the tactical layer, which looks more refined than some of the other hero-based FPS games out there. But at first glance, it’s trying to do a lot, without particularly excelling at anything.

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That’s not to say Concord doesn’t look like it’ll be a fun shooter – for example, the gunplay looked pretty snappy and the movement looked particularly slick. But it’s not doing enough to differentiate itself from its big triple-A competitors in the same way Arrowhead’s Helldivers 2 has been able to.

One original aspect that I must give Firewalk its flowers for is its promise to air weekly in-game cinematics, showcasing the crew’s life when they’re off the clock. Save for Destiny 2’s regular storytelling throughout its seasons, it’s a particularly unique brand of world-building that I feel lends itself perfectly to the live-service space. Though it doesn’t fill me with confidence elsewhere, this showcase of creative ideation gives me a slither of hope that I’ll warm to the crew of the North Star when I eventually get to meet them properly.

And despite my concerns, this is the big thing that’s stopping me from completely writing Concord off. I want to give it the benefit of the doubt – I’ve only seen a single gameplay trailer with a bit of dev commentary, after all. However, after this uninspiring first impression, the space game is going to have to do a lot of heavy lifting to convince me that it’s going to be able to hack the current multiplayer shooter landscape in the long run.

For more of the latest on the best PS5 games mentioned here, make sure you’re hunkered down in the spoiler bunker after Destiny 2’s The Final Shape expansion was briefly leaked. Additionally, check out how Helldivers 2 has managed to continue its dominance of the US sales charts despite its player retention struggles.