The Thursday Inbox is fed up with bloat in Assassin’s Creed and other open world games, as one reader suggests making Purge: The Video Game.
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Take my money
I saw the story earlier in the week about a big shipment of PlayStation 5 stock this month and so far I’ve still got nothing. Admittedly I didn’t stay up till 3am in the morning but I still spent quite a bit of time refreshing and checking the different sites and Twitter accounts and everything. And still no dice.
I’ve had enough of it to be honest. The stock shortages might not be anyone’s fault but the way Sony has completely failed to help in any way is just disgusting really. They don’t care whether every single one goes to scalpers and Microsoft are barely any better, only vaguely getting round to help six months later. And even then only in America!
I’m not going to pretend I’m going to boycott Sony or something, I’m desperate to play Returnal and I’m sure I’ll feel the same way about Ratchet & Clank once the reviews come in. But it’s all becoming such a chore to give Sony my money. Buying a new console shouldn’t be a full-time job. I’m happy to put my name down and wait my time but at this rate I’m not going to get one this month and if not then I have no idea when.
You know the bit
Just beaten Resident Evil Village and I have to say I enjoyed it. Yes, it’s not the best one in the series but I thought it was a lot of fun and it wasn’t just a rerun of the last one. I guess we can’t really talk about the ending at the moment because it’s too soon but I really does imply something quite different for the next game, even if it doesn’t show anything.
I do hope the next one is scarier though. ‘That bit’ got my skin crawling a bit but that was it really. I also though the last level with all the borg style enemies, that the movie director thought had ripped him off, was kind of boring as it all looks the same and they’re not really scary. So thanks to all the wimps that wrote in to tell Capcom they were too scared of Resident Evil 7!
Overall good job I’d say, and a good 25th anniversary for the series a it had bits and pieces referencing most of the different games, or at least the different styles. I am surprised they haven’t brought co-op back yet though. Given Village already wasn’t scary I would’ve thought that was the perfect moment, but maybe that would’ve been too much for the last gen versions.
No time for gameplay
It was obvious Ubisoft were never going to switch formulas after Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was such a big hit but I can tell you I am not getting whatever the next game is because I am sick of all the bloat. The role-playing stuff is fine in itself but all its used for its to drag out the game to 10 times the length it should be. I don’t care how pretty the scenery is in the next one, it’s boring.
Although after that Red Dead Redemption 2 Reader’s Feature at the weekend I began to think just how many big name games are kind of boring, especially the open world ones. Are games becoming just somewhere to potter around and lose yourself rather than something that’s actually engaging and exciting? I guess a lot of people play something like Call Of Duty for that but even in Fortnite I see people messing around and doing quests just as much as playing it properly.
If they’re happy, they’re happy but it’d be nice if not every game started to go that way, except the better the graphics the more these are just going to turn into weird tourist simulators. Not a walking a sim but a riding sim usually, a horse, a core, a tour bus, whatever…
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Purge Part 6
I’ve thought this for many years but now the trailer has finally been released for the final film it reminded me… why isn’t there a game based on The Purge? I’m a huge fan of the franchise and the fact there are five films and two seasons of a TV show, shows there’s a readymade fanbase there, so could be an easy hit for the right developer.
Plus, the concept is perfect for a video game. Either a GTA/Manhunt sandbox type game or what I’d personally prefer: a more story driven action adventure, where maybe you play two different people. One person pro the Purge and maybe another against it and the stories eventually link together à la Ellie/Abby The Last Of Us Part 2 style? Inbox magic make it happen!
Great news that Zombies and Ghoul Patrol are being rereleased, but it’s still missing Herc’s Adventure. This is another top-down LucasArts game that was much more well received than Ghoul Patrol and would’ve rounded the collection out nicely, so why not I wonder? Licensing? Not fitting the campy horror aesthetic?
This is frustratingly typical of game collections, and the Contra one has nothing outside the 8 and 16-bit eras. Give us a definitive collection!
GC: Herc’s Adventure was similar in style but it wasn’t directly connected to either game. It’s not a licensing issue as it was an original IP, even if it did cheekily come out the same year as the Disney film.
Firstly, I am in agreement with the Red Dead Redemption 2 Reader’s Feature. The game has such a sense of place and is probably the most beautifully realised and richly detailed open world I’ve seen. But I found the dichotomy of the Arthur I could be when exploring and the Arthur the game forced me to be during missions broke all sense of agency.
Furthermore, the story seemed dead set on making it abundantly obvious where the game was going. I gave up at around the 15 hour mark, then watched a summary on YouTube to find out what happened. I consider I saved myself from an unhealthy dose of utter boredom.
At least in GTA you’re a hateful character to begin with and there’s little scope to be pleasant to anyone. That made it fun, and cathartic for me since I cannot help play the good guy when I have the option.
Lastly, thank you for your glowing review of There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension. It is bizarre, weird, and confounding but that’s a compliment. I’m thoroughly enjoying it and bought it for a friend, too.
GC: We always like to hear that; we’re glad you liked it.
What puzzles me about that Gabe Newell report is what the kid was expected when he asked the question of whether Valve was going to port games from Steam to consoles. What games? There’s only Half-Life: Alyx and that’s a special case where the only question that makes sense is will you port it to PlayStation VR?
Do you think the whole thing was staged by Gabe, with him feeding the kid the question beforehand? Like you said, he certainly seemed to gird his loins before answering it? Valve are so weird.
I do not like the sound of this focus on free-to-play games business from EA and Ubisoft. I get it, they’re businesses and they’ve got to follow the money, but why is it always the usual suspects that are dragging things down to just money-making machines? Does nobody at these companies care about or like games? If it doesn’t matter to them what their business does then just go run a bank or a fast food franchise or something.
Only 26% of money coming from game sales is shocking though and I have to agree with the reader the other day that this is basically our fault. These companies are just businesses and they’re just giving people what they want and what they want is… a 0.05% chance of getting Pelé in FIFA? No, I don’t get it either.
I don’t know where we go from here though. If Sony and Nintendo don’t give in and do the same would we really have a two-track games industry where one set of companies were running a microtransaction delivery service and the others were doing things more traditionally? Doesn’t seem very likely to me but who knows.
I am suspicious of Microsoft though as that Forza Motorsport was already rumoured to be a live service game and they had microtransactions in previous games that they had to take out when people turned against them. Wouldn’t surprise me if they use this as a test bed to bring them back, perhaps by making the game itself free.
I really want to play Pilotwings 64 again, partly because I remember it being very good but mostly because I’ve just heard Celebration by Kool & The Gang on the radio and I’m sure one of tunes was a blatant rip-off/homage.
Why do you need to have a pilot scheme for a lottery to buy consoles? I’ve never even heard of Box.co.uk before and they’ve done it a bunch of times, without the advantage of, you know, making the console itself.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Dory, who asks what game do you think is better than its reputation suggests?
It can be a game that’s thought to be terrible that you like (or don’t think is so bad), one that’s considered mediocre, or even one that’s acknowledged to be good but you think is even better.
How often do you tend to agree with reviews and the general consensus about games and does it bother you at all? Are there any games you can think of whose reputation has improved over time, despite being initially disliked?
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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 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.
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