The evening Inbox thinks FromSoftware should be exempt from needing an easy mode, as one reader discovers the first Death Stranding toy.
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A world of possibilities
The thought of Watch Dogs 3 being in London is fine but it really does hammer home how few games, especially open world games, are ever set anywhere other than America or fantasy environments. Not even Japan gets a look in, let alone Europe, Africa, Australia, or South America. Forza Horizon is probably the closest we’ve had to a truly global franchise, which is sad, and the only GTA clone I can think of that’s set in a real non-American city is Sleeping Dogs.
Even London seems like a safe choice, seeing as it’s the one other city in the world that’s most like America. There’s no point asking why this always happens because we all know America’s the biggest games market in the world but I hope that changes someday so that we start to get games, and developers, that aren’t from just the same three or four cities.
As for Watch Dogs 3 itself… I heard the second one was better but the first one was so boring I’d need a lot of convincing to try another. A lot more than just setting it in London too.
I’d be happy with Watch Dogs 3 being set in London, as I imagine most Brits would, but it does amuse me how Ubisoft keep choosing locations and concepts that are highly politically charged and then doing absolutely nothing with them.
As I think GC said in one of their reviews, you don’t have to have politics in a game, nobody’s making you, but if you pretend to, advertise as if you do, and then have nothing then that’s going to upset people. Or at least make you look weak and cowardly.
I don’t know why they do it, as I can’t imagine pretend is an obvious seller, but all they’re doing is repeatedly inventing unnecessary problems for themselves. And if you see a political analogy in that statement I can only say it was entirely unintentional!
Exception to the rule
I am very sympathetic to the idea that all games should have an easy mode. Or at least most games. The FromSoftware games are clearly a very specific exception, where the whole point of the experience is lost if you decrease the difficulty. Play Ninja Gaiden, or whatever, on easy and you can have a fun time and get the gist of it. But Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice where enemies are easily defeated? It would completely miss the point.
The point of most games is not to be difficult but with FromGames it is and if you remove that from it then you’re really not getting the same experience. It’s like saying you want a cocktail and then taking all the booze out of it. You’ll still get something that’s edible but you won’t understand at all what the original point of it was by taking out the most important thing about it.
That’s my view anyway. And seeing as From only make one game ever two years or so I don’t think that exception is going to hurt too many people.
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Infinite check book
I was reading a story about how Microsoft is spending $500 million on making Halo Infinite, making it the most expensive video game ever. I can easily believe it as they have a lot riding on that game and the success of the Xbox Two, as it’s blatantly going to be a launch game/killer app.
With that amount of money I also assume it’s going to be games as a service too. Add in the already rumoured open world and it could be basically a sci-fi GTA Online. That sounds pretty good to me and the sort of thing I’d probably do with the Halo franchise if I was a Microsoft exec with an infinite check book.
Now they’ve just got to make sure it actually works, which was the biggest problem with Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
GC: The rumour is not true. We’re sure Microsoft is putting a lot of money into the game but the source on the story is not reliable.
The more I hear about working conditions in the games industry the more I’m glad I never ended up working in it. It was always a vague dream of mine at university but I got more into the hardware side of things and never ended up there. Now, every job has it’s ups and downs, obviously, but the stories coming out of BioWare at the moment, that seem to be identical to those from Rockstar when Red Dead Redemption II came out are pretty horrifying.
People having mental breakdowns and leaving their job because they’re being made to work ridiculous hours and basically give up their private life for the best part of a year. It’s horrific, and then all you get out of the end of it is a turkey like Mass Effect: Andromeda or Anthem.
I have a lot of sympathy with the idea of video game prices increasing, especially if it can help this sort of thing. Although I suspect the idea of paying for individual games will slowly disappear over the course of the next generation and it’ll be subscriptions and things like Games Pass.
Hello! I have another Zelda: Breath Of The Wild problem. Yes, me. Again. This time it most definitely is me. But I wonder if others have had it as it may make me feel a little better.
I have been playing it now, off and on, for I’d say a good 20 hours now. Yet I’m still struggling with the combat controls. I am always mistaking X for Y, Y for X, and even B for A. This means I’m not dodging with anywhere near reliable frequency. I’ve just never felt that the attack and dodge buttons were in the right place on the Joy-Con controller and always feel discombobulated by the layout.
But I don’t know why this should be – is it that the dodge button is always the lower button? Well, usually? Or that the buttons are quite small? No, really – this is giving me serious trouble and I’m not sure I will ever get used to the control scheme. Should I get one of those larger Pro Controllers for the Switch? It would be a fairly expensive solution…
GC: It’s probably because the X and Y and B and A buttons had their positions switched on the Xbox controllers and you’re more used to that.
I’m sorry this is late, also not sure it counts as it’s an intro not a cut scene? But the opening to Soul Reaver is my favourite, even better than the heart-wrenching Final Fantasy VII Aerith scene.
The intro to Soul Reaver sets up a great story of revenge and betrayal, with an absolute stellar voice cast on top. It looked great in the day, and if there is any Inbox magic left in the slew of all the remakes we are getting right now then Legacy Of Kain has to be in there!
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
It’s got soul but it’s not a Soulsborne
Having spent quite a bit more time exploring Ashina I’ve come to see Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice totally is a Soulsborne game and scratches many of the itches for fans of those games. The combat and levelling might be, not insignificantly, different but it still has an interconnected, beguiling world that the Soulsborne games have, that is full of mystery and rich for exploration.
I still think it’s no less difficult than the Soulsborne games but I do see now that once you’re in tune with the rhythm of the combat it does become far less of a struggle. The main source of pain is the unblockable moves that are alerted with a red sign above your head where you have to choose between three button presses (jump, deflect/counter and dodge) depending upon the type of attack which you have to determine by watching the animation of your opponent. You’ll spend the start of the game getting hit by these relentlessly, but once you know the animations you see you have a good amount of time to counter them.
I was feeling a bit of Soulsborne fatigue at the end of Dark Souls III and wonder if I’d had enough for a while, but no. Sekiro is an absolute treat with a successful and highly enjoyable twist on the Soulsborne formula to make it feel fresh. Miyazaki and his team really are a very talented bunch.
Good review for Dangerous Driving GC, I think I’ll probably pick it up. It made me look up a bit more about Criterion Games and I found out the rumours a while back, about Nintendo asking them to make a F-Zero, are actually false. F-Zero really can’t catch a break!
For anyone looking for every little titbit on Death Stranding here’s the first toy based on the game. I think Figma is just the name of the company that’s making it.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Ishi, who asks what’s the best VR experience you’ve ever had?
With even Nintendo now embracing virtual reality we want to know whether you’ve ever played VR on a modern console or PC and what you thought of it. Were you impressed by the technology and what did you think of the games you played?
What’s your favourite VR game and how much does that have to do with the virtual reality experience alone and how much to do with the gameplay? How close do you think VR is to being mainstream and do you think companies should put more or less emphasis on it than they currently do?
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The small print
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