The morning Inbox wonders whether Microsoft would ever give up making consoles, as another reader looks forward to Watch Dogs 3’s London.
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I love video games. I always play them on ‘normal’ though, because life is too short to struggle in my opinion. I also have four children, all of whom play games to a greater or lesser extent. My 11-year-old son is different though. He’s been diagnosed with autism and although there are a fair few cons, with him at least there is a great big pro. No matter how many times a game may defeat him he will not give up.
If the game grips him, well, he’s there till the end. Games I lose patience with or struggle on certain levels don’t phase him at all, the game is the thing. We’ve been through various phases of games. He owned Super Mario Odyssey by getting every moon long after I gave up/couldn’t be bothered. From there he’s finished SteamWorld Dig 1 and 2, Guacamelee 1 and 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man platinum.
And he’s currently playing and loving Dead Cells. He’s waaaay more patient than me. It’s great that he loves games and even greater to me that what could be perceived by some as a disability is to him a gaming bonus. Games can bring people together and be a good positive thing, sometimes we forget that.
Still in the race
Have Microsoft actually announced any firm plans for a next gen console?
Because the recent unexpected friendliness with Sony and Nintendo makes me wonder if they’ll simply knock Xbox-as-hardware on the head after this generation.
FoximusPrime81 (gamertag/NN ID/Twitter)
GC: Last E3 they said they had multiple consoles in development (likely referencing the All Digital Xbox One, Xbox Two, and an Xbox Two X). There’s nothing so far to suggest those plans have changed.
Waste of resources
It is sad to see the reduction of games made by Activision. A company who once had many strong teams such as Raven Software, Infinity Ward, Vicarious Visions, Radical Entertainment, and Treyarch.
Now the company uses three developers to make games for one franchise, which I find to be a terrible waste of developer resources. Activision need a resurgence similar to Capcom. I do not tend to buy Ubisoft games, but they at least seem to rotate their franchises and utilise their teams to release multiple games a year.
GC: It is a shame that Radical and Raven (and Beenox and High Moon Studios) have been reduced to just support studios. Vicarious Visions and Toys For Bob still make games like Skylanders though and we assume one or both will announce a new Crash Bandicoot soon. But you’re right, it does all seem like a terrible waste.
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In reply to Gifford’s post yesterday, I am also looking forward to and hoping the rumours around the London setting for Watch Dogs 3 turns out to be true. Although given the abundance of sources for the various leaks it’s hard to believe it won’t turn out that way. Have to give credit to Ubisoft’s Canadian teams, especially Ubisoft Quebec who I felt did a decent job with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and bringing to life a great deal of the more scenic and famous landmarks as you kindly used last year. The obvious difficulty I guess, will be ensuring the capital retains its more unique features and buildings as it will be quite easy to get this wrong with modern London looking more like any other major American city.
Personally, I would enjoy a title from the studio set in one of the more traditional European cities like Budapest or somewhere which has a far greater balance of traditional buildings and modernity. Having just finished Sleeping Dogs (long backlog!) was a great palate cleanser from the usual American locations, a shame the series didn’t come to more.
ATBonfire (Facebook)/around.the.bonfire (Instagram)/ATBonfire (WordPress)
Game of dreams
On the ongoing topic of Game Of Thrones games, I always thought a game built around the way The Witcher 2 (I know only seven people played it) plays would work quite well. So you play as a vile repulsive, but highly redeemable character (The Hound) or one who is charming, witty and a bit of a snake (Bronn). You could find yourself a kind of man in the middle of some of the show’s major battles, meeting characters both loved and hated, picking up quests for both or either side, getting drawn into the shadier side of things by the Red Lady, or Lord Varys, shaping the outcome to your own agenda…
Bearing witness to Robb Stark’s defeat of the Lannister army or picking a side in The Battle of the Blackwater. Who wouldn’t want to be there when Joffrey takes his last gasp? Or to see the Red Wedding up close and personal? In-between these end of chapter acts, you would have smaller open worlds (dirty word) to explore, digging up secrets and opting to help/murder villagers, throw in a stint in The Night’s Watch and an escapade north of the wall and the thing just writes itself… So it’ll never happen, oh well I’m off to watch the final episode and dream the dream.
big boy bent
Long-time reader, first time writer. Inspired by the trip down amnesia lane in your review of Team Sonic Racing, where you referenced the fact that 15-20 years ago there were loads of Mario Kart clones, I remember having a lot of fun with Super Bombad Racing with friends. Although we inevitably spent more time on Mario Kart: Double Dash!! at that time (please Nintendo, make a GameCube Replay collection with this and a few others on one cartridge for the Switch!).
Anyway, the main reason for writing in was to encourage other gamers to consider revisiting another forgotten Star Wars title, specifically 2017’s Battlefront II. I picked this up cheap last year after it had received a bunch of updates and had the loot box system removed. The story was short but fun while it lasted (though I can barely remember what happened, except that I enjoyed it at the time), but a couple of the multiplayer modes have called me back regularly for the best part of a year.
Starfighter Assault is a great experience for fans of the series, as is Heroes Vs. Villains. Blast is probably my next choice after these two. For those of you who see it as a loot box nightmare, it’s not anymore. It’s not a perfect game, but it’s certainly better than it was when it first came out, with a regular online community for the core modes. Worth a second look, thanks to the regular free content since launch. And no, I don’t work for EA. FIFA’s bobbins. Peace!
GC: We agree. We wish Starfighter Assault would be spun-off into its own game.
Never count chickens
As a recent adopter to PlayStation VR I noticed lots of potential bargains in the digital sales this week. Any recommendations? Already have Astro Bot (amazing!), DiRT Rally, WipEout, and Resident Evil 7.
Also, I know its little more than speculation but is everyone confident the PlayStation 5’s backwards compatibility will be both digital and physical? Dunno why, just expect a sting in the tale when properly announced…
carlacticos (PSN ID)
GC: You’re probably right not to assume anything about the details yet. As for VR games, we don’t know what’s on sale at the moment but some of our favourites, listed the other day, include Moss, Ghost Giant, Rez Infinite, Thumper, Firewall: Zero Hour, and Polybius.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
RE: Devil May Cry 5. Well I’ll be damned. I’ve really come to appreciate the nuances and complexities of Nero’s fighting style more on playthrough number two. The range of special moves at the gallant one’s disposal via the Devil Breaker prosthetic tools, and the myriad of opportunities to combine their effects for greater damage, is mechanically marvellous and some of the most fun I’ve had in gaming.
Additionally, the innate powers Nero is granted in New Game+ mode are also compelling, adding a whole new dynamic to the character’s combat arts.
It boogles the mind coming to terms with how truly incredibly advanced and ambitious Devil May Cry 5 is, to accommodate three totally unique and equally technically impressive characters in a roaming beat ’em-up game. The Bayonettas previously represented the apex of fighting systems in the genre in my estimations, but now I think it’s safe to say Devil May Cry 5 is on the same stratosphere of mechanical finesse, ingenuity, and expression of play.
Dante’s dizzying repertoire of moves alone would’ve been a big accomplishment. Honestly, I’m still kind of incredulous the face of the series can weaponise a friggin’ motorbike. That’s just insanely creative and cool. Although Nero’s ability to ride a rocket arm never matches it for sheer showmanship. And V’s just an all-round incomparable and exciting character to play as.
Capcom went above and beyond to imbue the latest entry in its series with a renewed fighting spirit. This is undoubtedly the best the series has ever been, with some particularly stunning boss designs. Devil May Cry 5 is suitably smokin’ sexy stylish!
Any chance of a A Plague Tale: Innocence review from yourselves GC?
GC: We’re trying, we had a bit of trouble with our review copy.
Happy Questmas everyone.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Xane, who asks who is your favourite non-playable video games character?
Whether they’re story-based or not most games are filled with NPCs (non-player characters), so we want to know who your favourite is and why? Do they have a big role in the game and are they a serious, dramatic character or more of a comic relief?
Is it their dialogue or appearance that you like, or perhaps their function within the game? What makes a memorable NPC and are there any that have elevated an otherwise mediocre game, or one so annoying it’s almost ruined a good one?
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
The small print
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