The Wednesday Inbox hopes that 2020 could be the comeback year for the Tokyo Game Show, as one reader is highly sceptical about Elite Squad.
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So it’s September now and you’d expect things to be getting pretty busy now with new releases, but of course this is 2020 and everything’s awful, including the release schedules. As far as I can see the only really big release this month is Marvel’s Avengers, which I can’t say I was too impressed by with the beta. I like the Marvel films as much as the next guy but I’m really not convinced I need to spend money on this game.
Has GC played the full game yet, when can we expect your review? I don’t know if it’s me but I’d be much more interested in this game if it was just a single-player game, like Spider-Man, and not with all this online game as a service junk tacked on. I don’t need to be bribed or tricked into playing games, I play them because I like them, and this live service stuff just winds me up the wrong way.
But the combat was good in the beta, you can tell the God Of War guy was behind it, so there is potential. Here’s hoping it turns out better than I, and I think a lot of people, expect.
GC: There is no embargo, oddly. Although we’ve not had the game long enough to beat the campaign yet and obviously the online won’t be very busy until Friday. We’ll try and do a review in progress this week and then a full review early next week, but our first impressions are that the beta undersold it.
New console, old games
I’m sure that Ubisoft site saying there’d only be backwards compatibility with PlayStation 4 games is true, I’m not sure anyone really expected anything any different did they? I mean, were people really expecting to stick in their old PlayStation 1 disc into their new PlayStation 5 and have it work? I guess that would be kind of cool but I can think of about a million things I’d rather Sony were using their time and resources for than that.
The only reason Microsoft made backwards compatibility a big thing is because it’s all they had. There were no games so they had the time to go all in and make a good job of it. That’s good and all but while I do think all consoles should be backwards compatible with their direct predecessor that’s all. I don’t buy a new console to play old games on it, end of story.
Saying that I think Sony are walking into a trap here, as they don’t want to be seen to copy Microsoft and that’s going to make them look bad to most people. Fair play to Microsoft, this could be the gift that keeps on giving for them. Personally though I just don’t care though.
Maybe next week
Trying to predict what Nintendo will do next is a dodgy business at the best of times but I’m going to throw out my thoughts based largely on unsubstantiated rumours I’ve read on the internet and my own guessing.
I think there is a good chance a Nintendo Direct will be next week (probably Thursday, as that’s when they’ve usually been), prior to the 35th anniversary of the Japanese release of Super Mario Bros., the management briefing due to take place on the 16th, and the second anniversary of Switch online on the 19th.
I’m not necessarily expecting any earth-shattering news, but I do hope we at least get an announcement about the Super Mario remasters and additions to Nintendo Switch Online (hopefully including either a Game Boy Advance or N64 app).
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I thought the original trailer for Elite Squad was pretty cool. I even looked forward to giving it a go until Ubisoft tried to brush a whole load of horrendous behaviour under the carpet.
Allowing sexual predators to resign instead of being held to account, and then avoiding the subject since, is gross. For years they’ve suggested their games are made by diverse teams but in reality, a group of diverse people has been forced to work without a voice whilst women were abused.
I’ve boycotted their games as a result but when I thought about it, I haven’t bought a Ubisoft game for years. I shall just continue, then.
Anyway, I hope to see Elite Squad in your monthly mobile gaming round-up. I expect it to be garbage which would be fitting, given they treat their staff with such contempt.
I would love it if the one good thing to come out of the pandemic, as far as gaming is concerned, is if the Tokyo Game Show became relevant again. I imagine Microsoft are using it simply because it’s the last major event left this year (they probably would’ve preferred Gamescom) but even so, it sounds like it could be the big one where they announce the price and release date.
I’m sure there’s already theories that they’re going to announce buying Square Enix or something equally unlikely but we certainly could do with some indication that they have Japan on board, because Yakuza alone is nowhere close to being enough.
We’ll see if Japan takes to xCloud though, playing next gen console games on your phone sounds like it’s the sort of thing that could go down very well there.
All the ray-tracing
So, the Nvidia event for the release of their next generation video cards just finished and I have to say I’m pretty bloomin’ impressed. An RTX 3070 for $499 (most likely £499 here in Blighty) which apparently blows an RTX 2080TI out of the water. A $499 part beating a £1,300 part from the last generation is mind-boggling.
The holy grail of course was the RTX 3090, and while they didn’t show videos of actual games being played, they got some streamers in and got their reactions, 8K gaming at 60fps with ALL the ray-tracing shinies turned on.
The next gen consoles admittedly look very good but I’m pretty confident that I’ll still be a PC gamer at the end of the next gen.
PS: Will you fine folks at GC be getting a 3xxx card?
GC: We imagine so, although you’re much better at getting excited about such things than we are. Can’t they at least give them names instead of a stream of numbers?
Gotta agree with the complaints about the PlayStation Move controllers, they are a real liability now. But to keep things positive I’ll point out that, adding to the Star Wars VR pile is the fact that Star Wars Squadrons lets you play it in VR for the entire game! Plus I assume it only uses the DualShock gamepad as it’d be pretty impossible without it.
I’m so looking forward to that game, I hope it’s not a disappointment.
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I find myself at quite the loss with the next generation, so far. Activision and 2K in particular have really got my goat.
They made profit of just under $1.5 billion in 2019. Yet they have insisted that we must pay more for Call Of Duty in order to get the upgrade.
CD Projekt made $42 million profit in the same year. The next gen upgrade for Cyberpunk 2077 is free.
In what world is this okay? I accept that Activision’s operating costs are higher at over $5 billion. CD Projekt have operating costs proportionate to their size, and yet they can do this.
It doesn’t affect me, because I’ve boycotted Activision for years, but I find this practice abhorrent. On a wider scale, there will be players in their millions buying into this lie that it’s a necessary cost. It will become the norm and then only the publishers win.
Given the scalability of game engines now, and how titles are already produced to take advantage of enhanced consoles I see this as nothing more than a cash grab.
GC: £60 hasn’t become the norm this gen, despite big-name games using that price, so there’s no reason to imagine £65 will become the norm next gen.
Add me to the list of people who have no idea why Sony are bringing their exclusives to the PC. They spend all this time saying exclusives are their big advantage over Microsoft and then they announce they’re not going to be exclusive anymore?!
Ubisoft really haven’t had a good few weeks have they? Maybe PR departments are like developers and they really need to be in the office!
This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Talon, who asks what is the best open world environment in a game?
Especially since the release of Ghost Of Tsushima, there’s been a lot of debate over whether open world games are becoming too predictable and too bloated with filler content, is that something you agree with and what do you think have been the best and worst open world games of recent years?
How do you hope the concept will evolve in the next generation and what do you feel needs to change? How big a fan are you of open world games and how often do you complete them 100% – or thereabouts?
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.
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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