Games Inbox: Will Call Of Duty ever die?

The Morning Inbox is impressed by WayForward’s upcoming River City Girls, as one reader regrets going back to play Turok 2.

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Forever popular

As far as I can work out there has never been a year where FIFA and Call Of Duty have not both been within the top three best-selling games of the year since at least the first Modern Warfare. That is crazy when you think of it. Football will always be popular and FIFA has the official licences so that’s kind of cheating, you could argue, but for Call Of Duty to be on top for so long, even though it seemed to go through a period of a good four or five years (starting with Ghosts, I think) where nobody seemed to like it it’s even more impressive.

People say Activision are stupid for not making more games and only relying on one, which is true, but you can’t fault their track record really considering these games are coming out every single year.

It makes you wonder though what it would take for the games to become less popular. Competition from Fortnite doesn’t seem to have done, general fatigue with the series doesn’t seem to have done it, Infinite Warfare didn’t do it? So what will? Definitely not Battlefield by the sound of it. Are we going to be left with Call Of Duty as a major video game forever? Will people ever get tired of shooting terrorists in the head? No, obviously, so I guess that answers that.


Sell by date

I was trying to think where I’d heard the name IllFonic before in your Friday The 13th review and then I realised they’re the guys making the new Predator game, which apparently is going to be one of the games that’s at the Gamescom opening night thing. I still haven’t got around to getting Friday The 13th but I have been impressed by the attention to detail to the films so I’m expecting something similar from Predator.

Although it did make me think of the reader the other day that asked what happens when Sony and others lose the Marvel licence, or any licensed game, and they just can’t be sold anymore. We’ve seen it happen a lot over the years and it seems to me it would be a lot simpler if the film company, or whatever, that owned the rights just published it themselves. That’s what’s happening with Predator and it would sure make all this random different Marvel games a lot easier to handle In the future.


Mod rule

A reader was asking about Devil May Cry 5 DLC the other day, which it looks like they’re not going to do but what I have come across is a co-op mod for the PC version. I don’t know how they added such a major option but it seems to work pretty well and of course you can’t help but wish that Capcom would add it officially to a future game.

I guess probably they think it would be too hectic for two people at once but it’s nice to have an option, although I can see why they wouldn’t want people who couldn’t handle it complaining.

I hope that mods become a more prominent thing on consoles next gen as that’s one of the last big advantages that PCs have over consoles and as far as I can see it’s only legal red tape that’s stopping them from being accepted. Sometimes you want to have a feature even though you know it doesn’t make much sense and that’s what mods are perfect for.
Tom Meadows


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Sunken costs

Having just beaten Red Dead Redemption II at last I’m trying to take some time to reflect on the whole experience but after all that time I’m not really sure what to think. I certainly agree with the general comments: the graphics are amazing, the gameplay is so-so, and it goes on for too long – especially the completely unnecessary epilogue.

There’s good and bad but obviously I kept playing so there must be something to it. But I really don’t know what to make of the story. It was hampered by the length of the game, so often didn’t seem to have any real point, and the resolution with Dutch was extremely vague and unsatisfying.

I’m not even really sure what to think of Arthur. I played him kind of middle-of-the-road between good and evil but I get the feeling the game wanted you to do him more good. That interfered with how I wanted to play the game though and ended up with a bit of a confused portrayal of exactly what he was like.

In the end I think I regret spending so much time with the game, but I’d put so much in it seemed like it would be silly to give up just before the end. If I had a suggestion for a third game I’d say to just make it much shorter or maybe have stories with multiple characters, each of which is shorter, adding up to the same. The amount Arthur does by the end just isn’t anyway believable and that kind of spoils the point when you’re taking everything seriously.


Bit of a bore

Since Turok has been in the news again recently I thought I’d give Turok 2 a go on the Switch since it just came out and is fairly cheap, so consider this my review I guess. I should say I have very fond memories of that game on the N64 and it’s kind of a shock to see it on the Switch after all these years. But unfortunately I would say that it is mostly… not good.

There’s a lot of imagination that’s gone into the game with the different levels and all the amazing weapons but it all seems very random and not well paced. There’s barely any story and the combat is very basic, with very little artificial intelligence and an overall high difficulty level. I’ve enjoyed it for the nostalgia but not much else, as while the graphics look okay for something that old they are pretty distracting.

I do love the weapons, especially the Cerebral Bore, and it’s a shame that modern games aren’t as imaginative with them but that’s not enough to excuse the rest of the game. Maybe a reboot would work but I imagine it’d be so different there’s no real comparison.


Floating your boat

If it helps I also would’ve thought PC Building Simulator was about building houses or something. I would’ve assumed it was part of that Bus Simulator and Garbage Collection Simulator range, or whatever they are. Games that seem like a joke but must be popular because they keep making them and having sequels.

It seems crazy but if people are having fun that’s all that really matters. But… coming on for a million downloads? That is odd. It makes me realise that some people have a very different idea of what video games are than I do. Which is also fine, but it explains why sometimes games you think are great never seem to sell and other times it’s the opposite. And other times it’s people pretending to make a PC on their console.


Battle of the Doomguys

Is there any chance that the next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC character could be announced at Gamescom next week? I’m still pulling for the Doom Slayer to be in it, although it seems to me that Quakecon having being and gone has lessened the chances of that.

Mind you, I have zero interest in Dragon Quest and I’ve really enjoyed the character being added as his role-playing moves are really clever the way they work, with all the reality and needing to have built up MP before you can use them.

In that sense I don’t really care what the other characters are as long as their inventive and new. I still like the idea of Minecraft being in the game as well, not because I care about Minecraft but because then we get a Master Chief skin. And then he can battle Doom Slayer. Now that’s a crossover!

GC: It seems unlikely given Nintendo weren’t amongst the list of companies taking part in Gamescom Opening Night Live. It’s not impossible they might have a Nintendo Direct that week, but we think it’s probably a bit early to expect anything.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Indie for all

I’ve not heard it mentioned on the Inbox but I know GC are fans of WayForward so I just wanted to highlight their new game River City Girls, which looks really good. It’s a spin-off of the classic River City Ransom, who by way of a complicated history is the precursor to Double Dragon and UK fans might know better as Renegade. It’s a scrolling beat ‘em-up basic, but with some particularly good sprite work and cute graphics.

It’s coming out on all formats on September and I for one am glad this sort of thing is still getting made and coming out on PlayStation 4. A lot of indie games tend to be only PC and Switch nowadays and Sony in particular has got no one but themselves to blame for that as they don’t even pretend to care about them nowadays and indie developers have by and large left for greener fields.

There was a new trailer yesterday and I will definitely be playing through it with my girlfriend in couch co-op. Even if the gameplay sucks the graphics look great and knowing WayForward I’m going to bet both sides of it end up being good.
Mr Collins


Inbox also-rans

Hang on, hang on. The Outer Worlds is out the same day as Call Of Duty? What’s going on there? Are they purposefully trying to make it tank as some kind of tax write-off? As if releasing it that close to Christmas wasn’t dumb enough already!

Is anyone a bit disappointed that Hideo Kojima didn’t go on to make a spiritual successor to Silent Hills/P.T.? I would’ve been much more into that than whatever Death Stranding is.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tolly, who asks what’s your favourite strategy video game?

Although they’re usually quite rare there’s been an unusual number of strategy and strategy role-playing games released this summer but what is your favourite of all time? What is it you like about it and how does it compare to both other strategy games and action titles with a similar setting?

If you don’t play strategy games why not, and is there anything that might convince you to give them a go? Do you think they’ll always be a niche genre or could you see them becoming more popular in the future?

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

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