The Tuesday Inbox asks about games that switch genres part way through, as one reader shows off what they got in the PSN sales.
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Phoenix from the flames
Although I did like that Naughty Dog tried to draw a line under the Uncharted franchise, I think it was inevitable that Sony would continue with it. I hadn’t even thought about the movie and how that makes it even more inevitable. And while that story about a new studio revamping old IP could be anything I agree that it’s almost certainly Uncharted. If it’s not that would genuinely shock me.
But if that’s the purpose of this new studio then clearly Uncharted isn’t the only one getting a comeback, so what else does everything think should and will come back? Syphon Filter is one I see get mentioned a lot but I’m not sure it would really stand out nowadays unless they went hard in on the stealth gameplay.
WipEout and Twisted Metal are possibilities but I would have thought they’d need more specialist developers, ideally with a connection to the franchises. Ditto Ape Escape. They could go super obscure with something like Kileak: The Blood or Jumping Flash, which could be turned into just about anything, but I think the most likely after Uncharted is probably going to be SOCOM.
Not the most exciting possibility, I think most would agree, but it was always big in America and I’m surprised it hasn’t come back before. Personally I’d prefer Alundra, which could totally work if they follow Ubisoft in copying a modern Zelda but having a different kind of story attached to it. I won’t even bother asking for Colony Wars or G-Police as I bet there’s zero chance of that.
The best of From
I know I’m a few years late with this, I bought Dark Souls 3 on my Xbox Series S during the digital sale over Xmas/new year for £11.99 and it’s quite possibly the best £11.99 I’ve ever spent!
Now I’ve tried From games before – Dark Souls and Bloodborne – I found Dark Souls just too difficult and Bloodborne was great but I never got round to finishing it…
Dark Souls 3 seems to be the best of both, the combat has the fluidity of Bloodborne with the added assurance of a shield from Dark Souls. It’s fantastic, at times it’s savage, other times it’s like a ballet; the design, the artistry, the combat, atmosphere.
For me it’s up there with Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Resident Evil 4 as amongst the best of the best. It’s still hard, the combat as visceral as ever, they’ve just made it more accessible. I’m currently at around 20 hours in and at level 35.
Where would you rank it GC and which From game would you say is best?
GC: Bloodborne is our favourite, in fact we named it the second best game of the whole generation. Dark Souls 3 is definitely up there though, it’s between it and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
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Switch to Hitman
Whilst I’m currently trying to beat Hades and Golf Story, and still continuing my mission to get gold on everything on GT Sport (before 7 comes out, not that the PlayStation 5 will probably be available even if it’s 2022), I’ve always fancied but never tried a Hitman game.
What I really want to know though is how does the Switch version compare. Is it exactly the same? Could you review/indicate what the differences are? Streaming it isn’t an issue!
GC: Since it’s streaming it’s not really a Switch game per se, the console is just the conduit. We’ve only got the PlayStation 4 and PC versions to test at the moment but apparently the streaming version of Control worked well, if you have good enough broadband.
It’s always great to hear people having a great time with a game like the reader who found that Dirt 5 had got them out of a gaming slump. But just to counter it with my feelings on the game, I found it to be really disappointing for my tastes.
I got it with my Xbox Series X, as I was craving a good arcade racer and remembered being a huge fan of Dirt 2 on Xbox 360, it’s probably my favourite arcade racer ever. What I found disappointing about 5 was the lack of traditional rally events, like what you get in Dirt Rally.
I’m sure people will say we’ll play Dirt Rally, I’ve tried but it’s to sim-like for my tastes, I was wanting an experience like Dirt 2, which had a mix of events including normal rallying. It’s partly my fault as I just assumed it would but even so I found all the event types barring a couple to be largely the same in Dirt 5. I might check out WRC 9 to see how that is, but I get the feeling that it’s also a sim.
Now playing: Doom Eternal (PC) and Gorogoa (Switch)
Can I just add to the glowing praise of Immortals Fenyx Rising? I was lucky enough to get an Xbox Series X and I wanted a new game to test the new console. This really is a mixture of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, God Of War, and Assassin’s Creed. The vivid colours used is excellent.
The story is decent and actually has some laughs. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and I am really pleased that I bought it. Makes a change from super serious open world games! Also learnt some more about Ancient Greece which is nice too. Keep up the great work GC.
It’s quite common in games to go on a character journey where you start as a lowly, unskilled noob and end up a mighty champion. The whole notion of levelling up your character to be faster, stronger, and more skilled as you progress is a cornerstone of role-playing games and other genres.
These generally involve you becoming a better version of that character, rather than changing your role altogether. Are there any games which have a ‘career’ mode that sees you evolve to take on different activities and responsibilities?
For example, the initial part of the game might see you as a basic soldier, fighting in battles in an first person shooter, then as your career progresses you’re eventually a general, deploying whole battalions in a real-time strategy style contest. Or you might begin as an individual footballer, playing games and getting better at shooting and passing, before retiring and graduating on to management and club ownership.
Obviously, these different parts exist in separate games, and the main challenge would seem to be a single game being comprised of potentially significantly different genres. I think the satisfaction of seeing through a story that really evoked a person’s career evolution could be amazing though. Any games that do this well?
GC: Nothing comes to mind in exactly the manner you describe but there are plenty of games that switch genres as they progress. Yoko Taro’s work on Drakengard and NieR might be of interest, as his games are always full of surprise plot twists and gameplay changes. Or there’s Spore, which is a bunch of largely unconnected games masquerading as a single title.
Baby good looks
I agree with Grackle and Alek Kazam about Leon S. Kennedy being the best hero of the Resident Evil series, although I couldn’t warm to ‘baby’ Leon in the Resident Evil 2 remake.
I know he was obviously younger but he just looked so gormless! I’m glad in the Netflix Infinite Darkness series we are returning to a more classic, manly looking Leon!
GC: Surely gormlessness has always been one of Leon’s defining features?
Saving for the sales
I’ve no issue with my back catalogue or adding to it, so I save a big chunk of my gaming budget for the year end PSN sale. It’s an opportunity to buy recently released triple-A games a bit cheaper, indie games I’ve not got around too for very cheap, and to try something I wouldn’t normally go for at a less regretful price if I don’t like it.
On the triple-A front I got Cyberpunk 2077 (got this one on PC for £34.99 at CD Keys, really good on PC even with the bugs); Immortals Fenyx Rising (£36 – happily spent 65 hours in this game); and 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (£33.49 – something a bit different for me).
VR gaming has really enriched my gaming diet and I picked up L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files (£12.49), Ghost Giant (£9.99), and Everybody’s Golf VR (£8.24). For people fed up with bloated triple-A games VR offers many great, immersive shorter games for reasonable prices.
On the indie/something different front I picked up Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy (£13.49), Telling Lies (£7.99), Huntdown (£15.99 – not actually on sale), Steins;Gate 0 (£3.99), and Celeste (£5.27).
All in, with the £30 gift voucher I received for Crimbo and ShopTo’s sale on PSN wallet vouchers, it cost me around £140 for 11 games. Not too bad considering three of the games are recently released full price games and take 57% of the total. It is the same price as a whole year’s worth of Game Pass Ultimate though and does, for me, highlight just what good value that is.
Ultimately for me though having games for all time (until the apocalypse and society completely breaks down anyway. I wonder if really liking post apocalypse games/movies will give me an advantage when it does? It really won’t will it?) to enjoy at a time of my choosing is more important than the clear value Game Pass offers.
Still, aside from some extremely anticipated games like Elden Ring, if it comes out, and Hollow Knight: Silk Song I’ll be concentrating on the games I do have this year. Will still be trying to pick up a PlayStation 5 around March/April though for the performance boons on many of those games.
Having just played through Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time on the SNES I can confirm it’s totally rad and bodacious. I would like to play Hyperstone Heist but don’t hold out much hope of getting hold of it. Bogus.
Just noticed Cyber-Shadow will be coming to GamePass. Will you be reviewing it?
GC: We will, yes.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what do you find the most annoying cliché in gaming?
The cliché can be anything from gameplay mechanics (forced stealth missions) to game design (climbing up a radio tower) to character and story moments (amnesia in Japanese role-playing games) to anything else that annoys you, from marketing to voiceovers.
Is the problem because the concept is overused or that you didn’t think it was very good to begin with? Which cliché do you secretly enjoy and hope never goes away?
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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.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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