The Tuesday Inbox wonders if Sony will try and get the Avengers licence next, as one reader is impressed by the Batman 1989 fan game demo.
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So it looks basically confirmed that Battlefield 6 is going to be set back in the modern day, which even without all the leaks seems like the only idea that makes sense. Rumours say that Call Of Duty 2021 is set in WW2 again and that things are not going well, with COVID messing up development, so I wonder if this could be the year that Battlefield finally beats Call Of Duty?
As far as I’m concerned, the modern setting is the right decision and probably should be the default one for all Battlefield games. Have expansions or spin-offs that are set in the past or future if you want, but Battlefield has always made sense to me as a modern day game, even though I know that’s not where it started.
The obvious problem for EA though is that regardless of how well the paid-for Call Of Duty does the main rival is Warzone, which is amazingly successful now and the way the majority of people play the game nowadays. Rumours (again!) say that EA are trying to create their own equivalent, but I remember what happened last time that Battlefield tried to jump on the battle royale bandwagon.
For me, I think EA should be trying to offer something that Activision don’t: realism, destructibility, and no cheaters. Do that and Battlefield 6 could finally come out on top.
Elden Ring launch title
Wow, that six seconds of footage from Elden Ring really was… six seconds. I don’t think it was even really gameplay, just looked like someone pointing a potato cam at some kind of trailer or behind the scenes video? The other leak was better and that didn’t show anything either, so whoever’s keeping the secrets at FromSoftware should given themselves a pat on the back.
I’m resigned now, to it not coming out till next year, but I’m okay with that if it means it’s been upgraded to next gen only. Which, to be honest, it probably hasn’t been. It’s no one’s fault but the pandemic means that the horrible period between generations, where everything is cross-gen and very few games take full advantage of the new consoles is going on for longer. Even Sony ended up making less next gen only games than they initially said and Microsoft hasn’t properly committed to any.
It’s hard to appreciate the benefits of the new hardware if none of the game are showing it off and it just comes down to Sony making good games and Microsoft having good value for money. Neither of which needs new hardware. Personally, I would’ve been fine with them just delaying the next gen until next year…
Short summer nights
Curious to see how Resident Evil Village is going to do. Since it’s a survival horror set in a snow mountain village (as far as I can see) that’s coming out right at the start of summer. Blame COVID, I know, but there’s no doubting that that sort of game is better suited to long winter nights.
It makes me wonder, though, how much people are going to want to play games in general now the lockdown is over and the restrictions are coming to an end. That and watching TV is basically all we’ve been able to do for the last year+ and now I know it’s no longer the top of my to do list and I’d consider myself quite a hardcore gamer compared to most of my friends.
Best of luck to Capcom and others releasing big games at the moment, just as we don’t need them so much…
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Marvel Gaming Universe
Assuming Square Enix wouldn’t want the Avengers licence renewed even if Disney was going to give it to them I wonder if anyone else would take it? It’s obviously a bit of poisoned chalice now but there’s no reason it has to be an online co-op game so you could just take the good bit of the story campaign and make a game like that.
I remember there used to be some talk that Sony would get an exclusive licence for all Marvel games and I wonder how likely that could be. They’ve obviously got a special relationship with Marvel and although it’d be expensive to make it exclusive that would at least ensure they put their best teams on it, like they did with Spider-Man.
You could make a separate cinematic universe for games, where Spider-Man is the start of it all and (web) spin it off from there. Probably won’t happen but I imagine it’s more likely than Sony buying a big company like Bethesda.
Play the game, watch the show
I’m not sure why Nintendo is saying it’ll make ‘more’ animated movies like Super Mario, when it hasn’t even made Super Mario yet! Seriously, how long has that been talked about and they haven’t even announced it yet!
I’d love a Zelda or Metroid film but to be honest I’d prefer both were Netflix shows or similar. Zelda games are really long and I feel that wouldn’t really be reflected in a two hour movies. Metroid the same really, as while Zelda is a fairly generic fantasy universe Metroid is kind of not very defined as to how much humans have explored the galaxy and how many different alien species are out there.
Some streaming shows would not only look cool but they could give away to expand the lore of these franchises without filling the games with cut scenes and dialogue. I know Nintendo don’t like that, and I generally agree with them, but this could work as a very good companion piece.
So after 14 hours of Returnal, 12 deaths and still not having beaten the first level I’m going to stick my neck out and say that some of the harsher reviews of this game were definitely justified.
It’s a great game, no doubt about that, and Housemarque deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve created, but for the less skilled players out there it’s a game where the fun can quickly turn into tedium. You can’t rush this game, you have to progress slowly through each biome in order to build up your character enough to face the end boss, but this can take an hour or more – so being sent all the way back to the beginning if you’re killed is very deflating. The lack of permanent upgrades or weapon progression leaves you wondering if it’s even worth picking up the controller and trying again?
I understand that this is how roguelike games are supposed to be, but in the end it just means people like me will likely never get to experience the full game.
I’m not ready to give up just yet but I think Jeff Grubb summed this game up perfectly in his review when he said it’s like beating your head against a fun wall.
GC: Lasting an average of over an hour per run is good going, we wouldn’t give up yet. Like Dark Souls, it takes a while to click but you’ll be surprised at how easy it can begin to seem when you’re confident with the systems.
Metal Gear gone
So Konami is ‘promising’ it’s working on new ‘projects’ is it? I want to believe, and I assume they’re not straight up lying but it’s so far for them to go, to try and get back to their old reputation, that I have a hard job imagining them doing it.
I’d love to see a new, big budget Castlevania and Contra but I just hope they don’t try and do Metal Gear without Hideo Kojima. It’s just impossible and while I’m sure Metal Gear Survive put them off a bit I bet their going to be tempted to try it again – and waste a ton of money.
Konami always used to be more than just Metal Gear and if they’re making a comeback this is where they have to realised that.
Even by Sony’s reasoning Returnal is overpriced. In a Bloomberg interview regarding the next gen price increase in general a Sony spokesperson said they would sell launch titles for as little as $50/£50 and the ‘biggest games’ for $70/£70 as that higher price is ‘reflective of the growing development resources needed for these ambitious games’.
Clear quality aside Returnal isn’t a big triple-A game and the only reason it’s £70 is because we are in that launch window of the new consoles where early adopters will pay the high price, desperate for new exclusive games for their new console.
In general though I agree with Sony, about the need to put the price up for the types of games they make, which are mega budget single-player games that have little to no monetisation through DLC or microtransactions. Two of the best, and I expect most expensive, games released last gen are God Of War and The Last Of Us Part 2 and they have yet to receive any DLC. These sort of games are at the core of why I love gaming and given the just mentioned reason and that game prices have been static for so long I accept a price increase for these types of games is needed.
But not for already heavily monetised games. I say game prices have remained static, but they haven’t in a sense as microtransaction and DLC are the ways in which games prices have been put up without increasing the launch RRP for the base game. But for a single-player game designed with no microtransactions and monetisation in mind I’d accept £65 – £70 as the RRP.
That’s not to say I will buy many at that price. It’s less a psychological barrier but a very real financial one. But that barrier has been there my whole life, as it has been for most into gaming. Gaming is and has always been expensive if you want everything day one. Games are a non-essential item and I’ve always had limited funds to divert to it and budgeting has always been needed. For games I want to do well though, like the new God Of War and Elden Ring I’ll support, pony up, and buy day one.
GC: It’s worth pointing out that until now Demon’s Souls has been the only Sony exclusive that costs £70.
So it’s look almost certain Nintendo is going to announce the Switch Pro at E3 this year? I have to agree with the reader the other week, 2021 is looking like being a good year for games after all. In terms of quality over quantity anyway.
I know mods and fan games can do some pretty crazy stuff but this one based on the 1989 Batman game just blows my mind. Especially when you take into account that Warner Bros. are going to shut them down the second they see it.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Tolly, who asks what’s the most obscure game you’ve ever played?
What game have you played that nobody else ever seems to have heard of? Did you like the game and what was its critical consensus, if any? Was the game unusual in any way or was it simply something you’d never heard of before?
How did you find out about it and did the experience encourage you to search for other less well-known games? Do you often try to seek out more obscure games and how do you make your choice of which to play?
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The small print
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