The Tuesday letters page is not bothered about Gotham Knights’ lack of 60fps, as one reader considers the strange decline of Valve.
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I know there’s already been whispers of a PS5 Pro and mid-gen Xbox Series X, but now those whispers are getting louder and even without leaks or rumours I’d assume that Sony and Microsoft couldn’t stop themselves from making them. The originals made money, but they were released due to very specific circumstances where the Xbox One was severely underpowered and Sony didn’t want to get caught behind when Microsoft upgraded.
But that’s not the situation now. Both consoles are about the same power, they’re both still not easy to come by, and we’re heading for the worst financial crisis in living memory. Only a madman would think that’s a good point to release new, more expensive versions of the consoles, and yet who would bet against it happening at some point in the next two years?
The worst thing is it’s a slap in the face to those that have already bought those consoles. Now there’ll be stuck with second best and had to endure the last few years with hardly any games coming out (especially the Xbox Series X, I guess, but I have a PlayStation 5). Covid wasn’t anyone’s fault but both companies should realise that it’s made mid-gen updates unfeasible. I still expect them to go ahead anyway but I know I won’t be getting one.
So the Silent Hill rumours are actually true, eh? I guess it was kind of obvious given how many there were, and how often they got repeated, but since this is Konami I wouldn’t have laid any bets on it.
The question now is how disappointing the new game(s) are going to be: very disappointing or just a bit disappointing? I already don’t have much faith in Bloober Team working on the remake of Silent Hill 2. In theory it should be within their powers but their graphics have always been really bad and I’d like to see the game in proper next gen-o-vision.
We’ll see what else they have planned but I think the suggestion that you should expect nothing and not be disappointed have never been more appropriate than to this.
I am genuinely shocked at how little the Bayonetta voice actress got paid for her work. I see some people seeming to think it’s a lot but remember these jobs do not come across often. There was five years between the first two and I’ve seen her saying she was having trouble paying the bills, which is no surprise given how her big pay day turned out to be not good at all.
It’s clear listening to her real voice that she greatly influenced the design of the character and Jennifer Hale is basically just doing an impression of her in the new game. No wonder there’s only half a dozen voice actors that seem to appear in every game, it must be because they can only make enough money by working so constantly.
This is bad for everyone, because it means every performance ends up sounding the same and new people can’t break into the business. Who’d want to with those sort of payment. Shame on everyone involved.
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Nice to see some appreciation in the inbox for the vastly underrated Project CARS 3. It didn’t quite turn out to be the super, ultra, mega realistic sim racer that the PC brigade were expecting when it was released a few years back, and it’s all the better for it. It’s a great game!
Loads of tracks and some great racing coupled with some superb AI (OK, the first lap of a race can be a bit crowded) elevate this game into one of my favourite racers and, trust me, I’ve played lots of them over the last 20-odd years. A much better game than its predecessor.
Wanna level up fairly fast? One way is, Road B class, Road B specials, Daytona Challenge Breakout event, Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Takes a minute to do the event, gets 30,000 to 40,000 XP, repeat.
PS: Looking forward to WRC Generations.
For the love of the game
The only thing stranger than Valve giving up making video games is that everyone seems to have forgotten that they used to make video games, and be considered one of the best in the world at it. I doubt younger gamers have heard of any of the games and even I sometimes forget that Half-Life was a thing. Portal would be the same if GLaDOS hadn’t become a meme.
I get that the reason they stopped is because they got super rich for Steam but surely there must’ve been some people there that were doing the work for love as well as money. But I guess they moved onto other companies?
It’d be like if Steven Spielberg made all his 80s classic movies then stopped to open a video store, and everyone forgot he even was a director. Here’s hoping they’ve decided to do a comeback with this latest rumour?
Show, don’t tell
I finally got time over the weekend to watch The Northman movie. Whilst it’s far more uneven compared to the masterful horror The Witch, especially in the second half, Robert Eggers really does know how to create a primordial soup atmosphere around a simple narrative (The Witch is so thick with dread it’s practically oozing out of the TV).
The first half of the Northman shows how you can inform the audience of simple plot progression by visuals, without the need of endless monologues. Which brings me onto the point. Verily do I dislike video game movies. However, after the weekend I’d like to see Eggers make Bloodborne. A fathomless void of cosmic horror without the groan inducing two hour exposition dump to make sure everyone knows exactly what’s happening. A dash of Eraserhead and Under the Skin.
Where you’re treated as an adult and have to use your brain to interpret events. One where you’re not being spoon fed unnecessary plot beats. Where scenes are allowed to breathe without a cacophony of noise and brain deadening CGI bombarding you. And one where Yharnam’s atmosphere is denser than a neutron star.
As long as Sony don’t give it to Roland Emmerich to make. Lest we forget Moonfall.
GC: You just reminded us of the Silent Hill movie.
Game of the film of the game
The Super Mario Bros. Movie will be very significant for Nintendo, as its success will give them the confidence to create a new TV series. They have an animation studio, if I am not mistaken. The movies wouldn’t be just restricted to Mario, I can see a Luigi’s Mansion movie or a Donkey Kong spin-off. It may be a case of them pushing the boundaries and attempting something with the Metroid series or Zelda or Star Fox.
Along with the release of the movie there will merchandising. We already have clothes and various toys, etc. The power of merchandise may prove more lucrative than the games.
In the frame
I really can’t get upset about this business about Gotham Knights not having a 60fps mode. I’m all for 60fps in action-focused games – shooters, racing games, fighters, and the like – but I really don’t think it’s essential for open world games like this. Desirable sure, but I’d much rather the city and characters be super detailed than they be running at 30fps.
Like anything the whole debate has devolved into extremes, where one set of people say they couldn’t care less and the other demand it or nothing. I mean, if you’re going to cancel a pre-order over not having 60fps I can’t imagine you were really that interested in the game in the first place. Did anyone place that pre-order thinking, ‘I can’t wait to play this game in 60fps because it’s absolutely, definitely guaranteed to have that option?’
It’s just the latest in a long line of unimportant details that a certain section of gamers get obsessed about instead of anything to do with the actual games. At least it makes a bit more sense than 4K and ray-tracing, which make so little difference it’s comical, but it’s still nonsense. Play the game because you like it, not because it has fashionable tech options.
The best thing about your Mario + Rabbids Sparks Of Hope review is not the good score, because it was obvious you liked it during previews but the fact that the first one sold 10 million copies. I never imagined it did that well, good to know!
I can only assume Gotham Knights is terrible given how little we’ve seen of it so far. Either that or this is going to go down as one of the worst marketing campaigns in gaming history…
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Carlos, and asks what video game are you best at?
No matter how old it is or on what format – single-player or multiplayer – what game do you feel you’ve truly mastered? Do you consider yourself good at it compared to other people and did you get anywhere of note on online leaderboards, if the game had any?
How did you get good at the game? Was it something you practiced at a lot or did you just seem to be a bit of a natural? Are you good at other similar games or are your specialities fairly specific?
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The small print
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