Games Inbox: Is Call Of Duty: Vanguard worth getting?

Games Inbox: Is Call Of Duty: Vanguard worth getting?

The Monday Inbox asks why so few Nintendo Switch games use the touchscreen, as a reader tries to predict the Nintendo Switch 2 release date.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Traditional purchase
I’d like to say that Activision’s trick of limiting the amount of reviews for Call Of Duty: Vanguard at launch is going to backfire on them but, let’s face it, it’s not. Maybe it’ll put off a few more discerning gamers but Call Of Duty is aimed primarily at casual gamers and they’re not going to know or care about any of this.

I lost interest in the series a long time ago but even listening to my friend, who’s still into it, complain about Vanguard it seems obvious that he’s just going through the motions and only bought it because he always used to.

I get it. I’m sure we’ve all been in a similar situation where you don’t want to admit something you used to enjoy, especially something that came out on a predictable and enjoyable schedule, is no longer floating your boat. I was never as big into Call Of Duty as my mate but I also felt bad when I realised that was the end of my pre-Christmas ritual.

But nothing about the game, including Activision’s attitude towards promoting it, seems good to me and I’m certainly not getting it with the way the reviews are going (although I’m interested to see GC’s this week). I just hope Battlefield 2042 is good, to compensate, because I haven’t bought one of those in a long while either.

Digital adventure
I just got around to watching the Elden Ring gameplay preview and I’m pretty much blown away.

I admit to having had doubts, hardly anything has been seen up to this and the release delay made me cancel my pre-order and take a wait and see approach.

Obviously I should have had more faith in Hidetaka Miyazaki after Dark Souls and Bloodborne. If anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt its him.

After what I’ve just seen it’s back to being a day one purchase again, but I have a question. At the end of the video it says if we pre-order now we get a digital adventure guide, so is that included if I pre-order from the PlayStation Store or do I have to pre-order it from the Namco Bandai store, like I would the premium collector’s edition?

GC: It’s also available via the PlayStation Store, plus a bonus gesture.

Don’t touch
It’s disappointing how, coming up to five years(!) so few Switch games make use of the touchscreen. Of course, you can’t use it in docked mode, but there should at least be optional controls when playing in handheld mode.

I played Ōkami HD entirely in handheld mode, even when at home with access to a large TV, as the touchscreen offered far superior controls for fighting. Now, I’m playing Two Point Hospital, and I can’t quite believe they don’t make some optional controls for the touchscreen. Things like drag and drop would be far quicker using the touchscreen.

Also, remember that ball counting game on 1-2-Switch, using HD rumble? So much for that groundbreaking Switch feature…
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Two Point Hospital and Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

TV tech
HDR TVs, at least in my experience, are a minor hassle. I have an older Sony model but what I have learnt might help the reader who was having trouble.

To play SDR (i.e. non-HDR) content, including games, the Contrast setting (which is the picture setting that controls the white level) should be set to around 50, as this effectively is neutral. This is where SDR content is correctly displayed. However, with HDR content this same white level Contrast setting should be set to 90, as this is required to make HDR display correctly. This so that the TV is in the correct contrast space so that the bright highlights can actually get as bright as they should be. Always using these two settings will yield similar results on my TV if you toggle HDR on or off at the console level.

The other thing a reader mentioned about the level of nits brightness required to correctly display HDR is incorrect. It’s actually 800 to 1,000, not 8,000 to 10,000! However, while this is generally true, Dolby Vision HDR TVs communicate with the other device and dynamically change parameters based on the TV’s capabilities, greatly lessening the problem of cheaper TVs not being all that bright.

All this being said, many games still require you to calibrate in-game (some being more of hassle than others) but using these two TV settings I have never had a major problem. Hope this helps.

GC: We should point out to other readers that we have no idea if any of this recent tech talk is accurate or not.

Maybe if you squint
RE: Dan. I agree and also disagree with you.

It’s true, the benefits of 4K are dependent on size of screen and how far you sit away from it – and if you are sat too far away, it’s a bit of a waste. Although, I do deny categorically that you can’t tell the difference unless sat miles away from screen, as I sit about 8ft from a 50” 4K screen and you can still differences in image clarity and things like texture resolutions. Higher levels of antiseptic filtering can’t really clear up muddy look in 1080p images a whole lot, as they are still limited by the resolution they are displaying on.

Also, at 1080p you still have limited data in the pixels to work on sub-pixel level noise and thus traditionally MSAA was used to eliminate pixel crawl on straight edges, but this is extremely heavy on hardware, and equivalent to 2x or 4x GPU processing power according to whether 2 or 4x MSAA is used (so effectively 1440p or 4K images anyway). The way around this was less heavy, but less effective forms of image sampling, which again don’t work on sub-pixel levels, such as TLAA, etc.

However, currently developers have a huge array of options and tools to work with that allow things such as dynamic resolutions and temporal anti-aliasing solutions, which helps with upscaling lower quality images and sub-pixel data, etc., etc. And most games for new generation hardware come with options to play at up to 4K in a ‘quality mode’ or a performance modes which can target 60fps or higher at lower resolution, all whilst increasing image quality.

Personally, I feel 60fps has been the biggest win of all this generation, as games play better, which is what we are doing, not watching movies, so anything that improves the way gameplay and controls feels is an absolute win.

Human error
Just got the latest Physical issue of Edge magazine and it includes an Elden Ring 2022 calendar, if anyone is interested. I haven’t looked at this month’s issue yet as I am two issues behind, because a few months ago there was a computer error and they couldn’t send out my current issue for three weeks, even though I phoned up to report the problem early in week one.

I’ve been a subscriber to Edge magazine for 20 years in March and I couldn’t understand how they could mess my subscription up after so long and that a human couldn’t post out my copy as soon as I reported the problem!
Andrew J.

Switch plans
So the Nintendo Switch 2 is going to be out sometime this century, eh? Thanks for the advance warning Nintendo, I’ll start saving now! I wonder though whether they really have a plan in mind or they’re just saying this because they haven’t decided what they’re going to do?

If you take them at their word, that the Switch is halfway through its live then it’ll be officially dead in 2025. But no console is killed off until its replacement is ready so the Switch 2 should really be out in around 2023, which means we could hear official word – or at least hints – about it next year. I just don’t get why they said it’ll be out in 20XX, like they weren’t ruling out its replacement until 2030?!

Never again
Totally agree with Tommy’s Reader’s Feature on Call Of Duty: Vanguard. I played the beta and within five minutes I knew this game would not be getting my money. The first thing was it’s WW2. I’ve got WW2, I bought it four years ago (I know it’s different to that one). The next one was it’s boring, it’s the same thing over and over again.

There are so many other things wrong, the lag on the game is terrible. I’m playing Cold War and there is still lag. The thing that gets my goat the most is jumping and shooting. I’m sorry, they say it’s the most realistic shooter in the world. I’m sorry when I was watching Ross Kemp in Afghanistan I never seen a soldier jump up in the air. spin around and shoot the enemy in the head – unless I blinked and missed it.

And with all this so-called anti-cheat software that never works it’s getting a joke. But the main thing for me is the updates I understand they bring new maps, guns, etc. but most of it is to fix what’s wrong with it, which should be working at launch. They have had three years to do that.

For me I really agree with Tommy, Call Of Duty is done for me. I mean, I’ve bought every Call Of Duty for me and my brother since PlayStation 3 came out and my brother has said if I buy it for him it will go out the window and I’ll follow it. And for that reason this year he’s getting GTA Definitive Edition and I’m getting Jurassic World Evolution 2 and GTA.

GC: The lag is more likely to be your broadband than the game. And no one has ever accused Call Of Duty of being realistic.

Inbox also-rans
Err… surely I’m not the only that thinks the effect for Trevor McDonald in the new GamesMaster looks terrible? Without the cyborg parts he just looks like some weird beachball with a face on it. He seemed such a good choice too!

So there goes all my anticipation for the new GamesMaster show. The effects for Trevor McDonald look embarrassingly bad and I didn’t recognise a single one of the celebrities from the clip. I know they might not have the biggest budget but I’ve seen YouTube channels with higher production values.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Fellows, who asks what is your favourite boss battle of the modern era?

Which game from the PlayStation 3, 4, or 5 era have you enjoyed the most and why? How do they compare to older style boss battles and what do you think of the current standard of boss fights – especially those from Western developers, who traditionally aren’t as good at them?

Are boss battles still an important part of gaming for you and are there any games that don’t have them that you wish did – or games with them that you wish hadn’t included any?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

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, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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