Games Inbox: PS5 console disappointment

The Friday letters page is surprised EA keeps announcing new games so late, as one reader wishes there was a GoldenEye 007 sequel.

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Three years early
We’re approaching Christmas now and the busiest part of the year for games. I am interested in a few, namely God Of War Ragnarök and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but I’m kind of concerned that we don’t know anything about PlayStation 5 or Xbox exclusives going into the new year. Not only that but as much as I’m looking forward to seeing the story of Ragnarök the graphics look basically the same as the last one, because this has to be a cross-gen game.

I hate to admit it, but this gen of consoles has been a disappointment. I know there’s a lot of explanations for why, most of which were unavoidable, but at the end of the day I’ve spent all this money on my PlayStation 5 and nothing has been all that exciting. There’s been lots of good Sony games in the last two years but they’ve almost all been cross-gen and the only good one that wasn’t, Returnal, looked like a PlayStation 4 game anyway.

And now the new releases, and announcements, have slowed to a crawl and I’m wondering what I spent my money on. Or at least thinking I should’ve just waited two or three years. I really need to see some excitement injected into the line-up and yet all Sony seem interested in is a VR headset that I’m definitely not going to buy.

PS: The lack of a Bloodborne patch or remaster is also deeply disappointing.

Short cycle
I have noticed something with EA recently and that is the relatively short turnaround between announcing projects and them releasing. I may be forgetting some but recently from EA we have had Wild Hearts announced set for release in February, Need For Speed Unbound announced last week set for release in December, and even the Dead Space remake announced not so long ago officially, which is releasing in January.

Compared to other publishers this is quite a different strategy to how they announce a game sometimes even at a concept stage, with a logo that we don’t see for three to four years. Personally, I much prefer this approach of the short turnaround time, I think it still builds hype regardless, just over a shorter time period.

Personally speaking I know that for those games which get announced well in advance of release, I eventually lose any excitement I had when the marketing just keeps updating the audience with beats to let us know the game is still coming, God of War Ragnarök being a prime example. I’m sure it will be great, but I zoned out of paying any attention to its marketing a long time ago.

Having said all that I have just remembered that EA announced Skate with an alpha so what do I know!
Angry_Kurt (Twitter)
Now playing: Tinykin (Steam Deck)

GC: God Of War Ragnarök has marketing?

Lost legacy
I see the talk of the GoldenEye 007 remasters seems to have disappeared without any sign of a release date but despite being a massive fan of the games I don’t think I’m really that interested. The game has aged like milk and what was the favourite of my childhood has, through no fault of its own, become basically unplayable.

For me, it’s not a remaster or remake that’s needed but a sequel. I doubt that’s what Io Interactive are going to make, they’re just going to do Hitman but with James Bond instead. What’s worse is I have very little hope that the new Perfect Dark will be anything like the old Perfect Dark.

These games were so ahead of their time, with their complicated, multi-use weapons; multiple, often optional, objectives; and stealth elements. There’s nothing out there now like that for an atmospheric, relatively realistic first person game. Even TimeSplitters, once hyped as the spiritual successor, never really managed to replicate the formula and in any case is just as dead as a franchise. The sad truth is that the legacy of GoldenEye 007 has crumbled away to nothing.

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Free go
I was wondering if GC has any plans to review Marvel Snap when it launches next week? Or if any readers have played it in early access on PC and could give their thoughts on the game?

It’s not the sort of game I’d usually take a look at, as I mostly play single-player narrative-driven games, but I’m a Marvel fan (and a sucker for collectathons) so it’s piqued my interest.

Not being experienced with season passes, or card-based strategy games (if that’s what it should be described as), it’d be good to hear how accessible and monetised the game is. As well as if it’s actually any good, of course!

GC: We’ll probably add it to the next smartphone round-up. It is free-to-play though, so it costs nothing to give it a try.

Unmentionable sequel
I enjoyed the interview you did with Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson a little while back. I still have fond memories of their books, and will definitely pick up their new ones. As much as I love video games, there is something intangible in reading a Fighting Fantasy book that gives an experience unlike any other kind of media. I still hope for a Hideki Kamiya and Hidetaka Miyazaki inspired Deathtrap Dungeon one day.

On a separate note, it made me laugh reading about Rockstar trying to censure folks from mentioning GTA 6 on streams, etc. A game which you could argue revels in the excessive elements of capitalism and consumerism, and to call it satirical is a stretch, behaves like a Russian political commissar; breath in the irony.
Mr Verbosity

GC: We’re telling them you said that!

Technology test
Interesting news on the Xbox streaming stick and accompanying debate in the Inbox. I think Moriaty’s letter nailed it in that many gamers will eventually give up ‘functionality in favour of convenience’. My vinyl records and stereo are in the loft currently, whilst my Spotify account is used for hours daily through an Alexa speaker.

If we get to a place where the streamed game is only a slight compromise on the downloaded console version, then it is not difficult to foresee a big shift in the market. I hope that Sony follow with an equivalent PlayStation streaming device soon.

I have had a surprisingly excellent experience using Google Stadia on decent but not outstanding Wi-Fi (25-30Mbps). As a Switch only gamer, I was lured by a cheap deal for a Stadia package with Cyberpunk 2077 as I had no other means to play the game and no plans to buy an Xbox/PlayStation/PC. I genuinely had few issues with streaming quality or lag. In the following two years I have played and completed the Tomb Raider trilogy, Hitman 3, Resident Evil 7, Control, Far Cry 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, amongst others, with very infrequent issue.

No one will mourn Stadia as a service, with its muddled offer and lack of true identity. However, I found the tech and performance to be extremely impressive. The controller connected directly to Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth to the Chromecast, which I assume went some way to reducing input lag and making games feel as responsive as possible. Do we know if the Xbox controller is capable of doing the same?
i.e.mcr (NN ID)

GC: It’s wireless, so it should do.

Switch sequel
It has taken me a while to email, but I just wanted to say the majority of contributors to the recent weekend Hot Topic, about the replacement for the Nintendo Switch, got the requirements spot on.

But I don’t feel there is any need for Nintendo to bring a new console to market any time soon. However, as an owner of both the Wii U and Switch from launch, I do feel that Nintendo owes us a new 2D Mario game.

GC: Any kind of Nintendo-made Mario game would be nice. Super Mario Odyssey turns five at the end of this month.

What many people seem to be focusing on, which Microsoft loves, is Call Of Duty. This is not all about Call Of Duty. Games like BioWare’s reported Dragon’s Age 4 game, which normally would come to all platforms, could possibly become Microsoft owned only and never see a PlayStation 4 or 5. I have played many BioWare games over the years and loved them all, especially the Dragon’s Age series, but I am disabled and we only have my wife’s income.

First off, we can’t even find a PlayStation 5 to buy, but all of our grandsons are diehard PlayStation fanatics for one reason… they cross-play with Xbox players all the time in hardcore games and although my grandsons win awards in the games time and time again, the Xbox gamers are well known for being extremely aggressive and belligerent to the point of actively telling my eight-year-old grandson, who wins Fortnite events like they are nothing, to go kill himself when he beats them.

I used to own an Xbox, heck I am not supposed to admit this, but I used to WORK for Xbox customer support and I remember getting a prank call from a kid that we had to report to police and fire department because he was threatening to burn down his house because he lost a match. Who in their right mind wants to play with these people? I love Diablo. My grandsons love Overwatch and games like that. But forcing us to play on Xbox is literally inhumane.

I will say this one last time. The difference between PlayStation and Xbox is not the games, it’s the communities. PlayStation is for families and fun. Xbox is for aggressive fighters and ragers. Both have been known as such for many, many years. Microsoft knows this. That’s their problem. They have only one slice of the pie. A bunch of ragers.

The reason they don’t have more players is because their own community has forced families to view the Xbox as ‘unplayable’ for families. They see the only way to resolve this as forcibly commandeering games which are family loved by millions of players around the world and making them playable only on Xbox or Microsoft PC (i.e. Windows). They will effectively shut down the Sony PlayStation.
Jeremy Miller

GC: There are toxic players on all formats, we’ve never heard anyone else suggest there are more on Xbox. Also, BioWare is owned by EA, so Dragon’s Age isn’t going anywhere.

Inbox also-rans
I honestly forgot there was a gameplay video for Starfield already. This really is shaping up to being another stealth release, which is a strange approach for a new IP. I want to be excited about it but I feel I don’t know anything about it really, and there’s so little hype.

So if Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom turns out to be better than Breath Of The Wild does that automatically make it the best game ever made? I can’t wait for that argument to dominate the internet!

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Chevy Malibu (PSN ID) and asks what is your most replayed video game?

You can count multiplayer games if you want but ideally we want to know what game you come back to every few years to play through again. What is it about the game that you enjoy revisiting so often and how much of it is due to nostalgia and other external factors?

What makes a game replayable and do you consider it an important feature? Are there any games you don’t have the time or skill to replay again or perhaps there’s some for which once was enough, even though you enjoyed it the first time.

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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