Games Inbox: Will Microsoft win E3 2021 with Xbox?

Games Inbox: Will Microsoft win E3 2021 with Xbox?

The Friday Inbox is not a fan of Days Gone or Horizon Zero Dawn’s protagonists, as one reader worries about Battlefield’s new boss.

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Can’t win E3 if you’re not at E3
I have to say it, suddenly Sony is looking surprisingly weak. No E3 event and they’re forced to announce that God Of War has been delayed and it and Gran Turismo 7 are both on PlayStation 4. Not exactly much encouragement to buy a PlayStation 5 is it?

Yes, Horizon Forbidden West looked great, but I’ll forever be wondering how much better it could have looked if it didn’t have to worry about its design also working on the PlayStation 4. What happens if someone wanted to make use of the SSD to do something that was impossible on the last gen? They just couldn’t, not unless they want the PlayStation 4 version to be completely different. Which is why Ratchet & Clank is next gen only.

Horizon Forbidden West (man, I’m tired of typing that out already) may look good but the Xbox Series X is more powerful so it should be relatively easy for them to outdo it and suddenly the reasons to get a PlayStation 5 start to fade away.

The only problem for Microsoft is that Halo Infinite is still likely to disappoint, especially in terms of graphics. They must have something they can show off though, maybe Fable. As far as I’m concerned E3 is theirs to win, although I admit I’m not sure what to make of what Nintendo may or may not have.
Cubby

The last exclusive
So is the new God Of War going to be the last cross-gen game or are Sony going to keep this madness going for another year or two? I bought my PlayStation 5 to play PlayStation 5 games on, not some awkward halfway house between this gen and last. The only two proper, big budget PlayStation 5 exclusives so far are Demon’s Souls and Returnal and while they’re great the second isn’t even that much of a looker – so why that didn’t get a PlayStation 4 version I have no idea.

The only other one we even know about at the moment is Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which I have no interest, in and then it’s probably going to be next year till we actually get a proper PlayStation 5 exclusive again. And what are they going to do when they get to God Of War 3 (I’m assuming it’s a trilogy)? To suddenly make the last part PlayStation 5 only would justifiably upset people so then they’re locked in to not taking advantage of the next gen tech for the whole story.

It will be a sad irony if Microsoft end up having more exclusives simply because it’s taking them so long to make anything at all that they just slide into it sometime next year and don’t look back, whereas Sony carry on just randomly making games next gen or not.
Ratso

Not a sequel
Am I the only one who doesn’t want a Switch Pro to come out? I love my Switch, but I don’t get much time for gaming and have a moderate backlog of games I want to get through.

I can’t really financially justify buying a Switch Pro, but I would hate to not be able to play the new Zelda without shelling out £400. I feel like the Switch tech has plenty of life in it.
JK

GC: The new console is assumed to be backwards compatible, it’s not the Switch 2 but more akin to the PS4 Pro (assuming any of the rumours are true). There may be some exclusives, but it’d be surprising if the new Zelda was one of them.

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Unsaid problem
One thing I hope they fix with the Switch Pro is the drift issue. We’ve had both of our lefts ‘fixed’ three times for free, but they die again soon after.

Currently on holiday with friends and all four of the kids’ Switches have the same issue. Do you think it’s something they will acknowledge?
Bruisemonkey

GC: They might fix it, but they’ll never explicitly acknowledge the problem.

Returnal on investment
What a great game Returnal is! Just beat the final boss and am now completing the endgame stuff. The game is quite a rush and I loved it, loved it, loved it! One of the best, most accomplished games I’ve ever played.

I’m glad there wasn’t a save function or an easy mode, as it really wouldn’t have been as satisfying to complete. The plot was also very intriguing, which I wasn’t expecting. It’s kind of a shame it’s so expensive, as although I think it was worth what I paid for it, a lot of people may be put off from trying it. Does GC know how well it’s doing?
Mud

GC: We agree on all points. Sony declared it a success in its most recent financial report, although it certainly didn’t chart well. It’s a lower budget game than most other Sony first party games though, so hopefully it was profitable.

Honest macrotransactions
I just wanted to share my thoughts on the mobile Disgaea RPG. If I may. It is quite good. Killia remains a dreadful character, of course. I’m a little disappointed there is no English dub, though I can appreciate that’s probably pushing the boat out a bit too far for a mobile game. And the script is a little clumsy, despite being lightyears ahead of Disgaea 5. Still pretty far short of Disgaea 4 or 1, though.

I’m playing it on a tablet and I can imagine it would be a touch too small on a phone. I quite like how you can level up items without a character having to unequip them and should have been a thing since Disgaea 2 and if it’s not in Disgaea 6 will be pretty inexcusable.

Of course, it doesn’t have the usual depth – or breadth – of a typical Disgaea experience; only five party members go into battle, you can’t use healing items and the combat is more akin to Dragon Quest than its usual self, but it’s still good.

What you wouldn’t have time to mention, GC, is that the game will also log achievements and milestones for HOW MUCH MONEY YOU SPEND! I’ve only spent a few quid so far (not much is worth buying), but one such achievement is listed as ‘Nickel and Dime’ if you buy 16,000 Quartz – their premium currency! Which would cost… a lot. I mean, I guess that’s honest, but damn, guys…
DMR

It’s a Knockout
Are you going to review new EA game Knockout City? The game has already been out for more than a week but there are strangely very little reviews.

I am currently playing the trial version and enjoying it so far. It has something of a Splatoon vibe with the urban/futuristic setting and it seems to be just as fun and accessible. The feeling of bonking other players with the ball is very satisfying. My only complaint is that the controls are weirdly mapped. That and all of my matches have been very unbalanced. Not sure about the auto lock as well. It takes a lot of the skill out of the game.
Ali K

GC: There’s usually not much to be gained reviewing free-to-play games at launch, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

Script issues
If Sony Bend do ever get to do a sequel to Days Gone it could be interesting on how it could be improved now John Garvin (the main writer) isn’t working there now!

Their Uncharted game on PS Vita was ruined for me by his sub-par script. Nate and Sully weren’t as well written and as for Marisa Chase!? In a series that has given us Elena, Chloe, Nadine, and Marlowe – all well written, capable female characters – Marisa was nowhere near their class, as she was consistently useless and annoying.

I played a bit of Days Gone (I was given it) but found Deacon St John loathsome and was utterly baffled as to what Sarah saw in him in the first place!

I loved the first Uncharted game but will admit that it has its problems and that the second game blew it out of the water, but its wonderful banter made me fall in love with Nate, Elena, and Sully and want to go on more adventures with them. Maybe with a new writer Sony Bend could give us some better written, more likeable characters if it ever gets a second shot at the series!
LastYearsModel
PS: I totally agree with Vimie about Aloy being boring. I found her too serious and, apart from being snarky, lacking any real personality. I just couldn’t connect with her, which is why Horizon Zero Dawn is still sitting around waiting in my backlog!

GC: We think making a new game that shares similarities with Days Gone is the best move for Sony Bend. As you say, there’s certainly nothing that would be lost in terms of characters.

Inbox also-rans
Looking forward to E3, have a feeling this one is going to be epic.
Anon

EA have always been desperate for Battlefield to be their version of Call Of Duty even though it’s nothing like it and doesn’t really have the same mass appeal. It’s obvious DICE don’t think the same way so I’m not surprised EA has poached someone from Activision to be in charge.
Crows

This week’s Hot Topic
It’s the start of E3 next weekend, so for this week’s Hot Topic we ask the obvious question: what do you hope and expect to be announced?

Hope and expectation are likely two very different things, this year in particular, but what do you think is likely to revealed, or shown in detail for the first time, at E3? What are you most excited about seeing and why?

What big announcements would you predict in terms of new hardware, company team-ups, or new services or price drops?

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.

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