The Thursday letters page asks whether Horizon Forbidden West has the best graphics on PS5, as one reader recommends XCOM 2 on Switch.
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Let it lie
I’m not expecting too much from Gamescom next week, or rather the Geoff Keighley thing beforehand, but seeing as he’s pals with Hideo Kojima I figure we might get the official announcement of his new horror game. That in turn got me thinking about what happened to all the talk of Konami getting back into gaming, with new Silent Hill games and a new Castlevania.
Those rumours have been going for years and we’ve not had so much as a hint, whisper, or datamine. I imagine there’s still a reasonable chance they are coming, even if it’s just a coincidence and nothing to do with the rumours, but it also got me thinking of whether they’d ever dare to make Metal Gear Solid 6 without Kojima.
As much as I’d love to play a new game I think it’s probably best to let it stay dead. Even if they somehow got Kojima to come back (I imagine he likes money, despite it all) I think it’s been too long. Apart from anything I don’t think people are really into stealth games anymore. Although the later games started to get away from that anyway, it doesn’t seem a very firm foundation for an action game anymore.
Curious to know what others think but while Metal Gear Solid 5 wasn’t necessarily the best ending to the series at least it was still a good game. I think I’d prefer that then more games getting progressively worse and worse.
The last race
I would love to see a new Wave Race but I think the problem is that racing games in general just don’t sell like they used to and there’s no longer enough money to be made from it. That’s the bottom line for not only F-Zero as well but also WipEout, Burnout, Split/Second, and whatever favourite you want back.
EA can barely get Need For Speed to sell nowadays, so it’s really only the serious driving games that sell nowadays and, for some reason, Forza Horizon. (I don’t hate it but there are much better arcade racers out there, I guess it’s because Microsoft gives it so much marketing.)
At least F-Zero gets to have a cameo, more than that really, in Mario Kart. Heck, even ExciteBike does. I do wonder why they never thought of doing a mostly underwater course for the game, that could be a homage to Wave Race (they could do the same with gliders for Pilotwings) but maybe they tried it and found it wasn’t any fun. Maybe in Mario Kart 9?
Wave Race 64 is one game I’d love to see a remake of as I’d worry that any sequel would end up adding complications and nonsense. The simplicity and perfect feel of the original is what makes it great, even after all these years.
So the Nintendo Switch is getting on a bit now and the Mario Kart 8 DLC is set to last till the end of the year… that pretty much confirms we’re not getting Mario Kart 9 until the Switch 2, doesn’t it? Considering Mario Kart 8 is technically a Wii U game, and the Switch never got its own unique entry, I would’ve much preferred Mario Kart 9 now instead of the DLC, but I guess there’s never any point trying to tell Nintendo what to do.
It does make me think that it will be either a launch game or out in the first year though. Not only because it’s been so long since the last one but because Nintendo will be doing their best to replicate the success of the first Switch. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe came out only a month after the Switch itself and is still it’s best-selling game ever so I don’t think it takes much of a business genius to think maybe that should try that trick again.
I know Nintendo can be onery, but I don’t think they’re stupid.
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Give and take
I’ve got to say, that Fallout TV movie is suddenly looking very interesting thanks to those leaked set photos. I also agree with GC’s implication that real sets make all the difference, and that these sets are not only going to make the show look better but they’re kind of and indication of how much effort is being put into them. Those jokes comparing Obi-Wan Kenobi to Doctor Who really weren’t far off the mark, which is weird seeing how well the tech looked in The Mandalorian.
I guess the game example would be that if you gave Unreal Engine 5 to someone with not much experience and pressed for time you still wouldn’t get a good looking game, so it’s kind of the same deal with TV and movie. I’m curious to know where they’re going with the story though because I wouldn’t say either Fallout 3 or 4 had particularly memorable plots, so even if this isn’t a 1:1 adaptation there’s still not necessarily a lot to draw on beyond the background lore, which is good.
It could be that the show ends up having a more interesting story than the games, which can then reabsorb those ideas for Fallout 5. That would make the show even more worthwhile.
Cause and effect
I was ready to read that Dr Disrespect story, about Call Of Duty ripping off one of his designs, and see something with only a vague similarly, but that… that really is exactly the same thing. Especially as it’s happened before, I don’t understand what they thought was going to happen?
That nobody would notice? That if they did, they wouldn’t say anything? I mean Dr Disrespect is not an even-tempered guy, he’s got Call Of Duty in his sights as it is, so when they start ripping off his stuff? I mean, he’d be well within his rights to sue them. Especially since, as pointed out, the skin is a completely wrong fit for WW2.
So the release date of Call Of Duty: Warzone 2 is mid-November and God Of War Ragnarök is November 9 and Pokémon Scarlet/Violet November 18, and… that’s it for the month? The busiest month of the year has got three games in it, with very few people likely to be interested in all of them. That is a shockingly bad turnout.
There’s Skull And Bones as well, for both people that are looking forward to that, and Harvestella from Square Enix, which I think is a sort of Harvest Moon, game and then you really are starting to get into the minor releases after that. 2022 has been terrible. I know the start of 2023 is looking very strong but it was the same this year and then it was nothing for months and months.
As others have said though it’s the lack of info and hype that upsets me the most. There is literally nothing to look forward to at the moment and I’m getting sick of thumbing through my backlog, desperately looking for something to get my attention.
Better than you’d think
RE: John’s email about how XCOM 2 runs on the Switch. I bought it in a previous sale and it compares very well with the PlayStation 4 version.
I haven’t played it for a while but remember it doesn’t look as sharp as the PlayStation 4 version, resolution-wise, but the load times are faster and it’s well worth buying in my opinion.
Chevy Malibu (PSN ID)
Starting at the top
I’m one of those people that got a copy of Horizon Forbidden West along with my new PlayStation 5 last month and I’ve just finished the game. It wasn’t free or anything, but there was a bit of a discount, so it wasn’t quite full price but I think it was worth every penny.
I was a bit wary of the game because I hadn’t played the original and I heard a lot of middling comments about it being all graphics and no gameplay. I will agree that the graphics are definitely the best feature, along with the excellent robot dinosaurs, but I wouldn’t say the gameplay was bad at all, far from it.
The combat is fast and enjoyable and I like the platforming and exploration that there is. It’s not that deep, and it’s obviously not as good as Elden Ring and Zelda: Breath Of The Wild but it’s not exactly alone in that. It’s definitely a lot better than any Ubisoft game I’ve played recently and the bit I didn’t really like is the constant swapping over of weapons that are like fractionally better than the last one… maybe, it’s difficult.
I hate it when games do that. It adds nothing but faffing around in menus and I’d much rather have just a handful of weapons that maybe you can upgrade and leave it to that. If I’ve spent more time messing around with one in a menu than actually using it then something’s gone wrong.
Overall though I’d say I liked the game and I am very impressed with the graphics. Would you say they are the best on the PlayStation 5? Is it all downhill from here?
GC: There’s arguments to be made for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, but we’d say Horizon Forbidden West was overall better looking – and a better game.
I think EvilMoomin is on a slippery slope charging their laptop, etc. at work. Soon enough they’ll be leaving with teabags and bog roll stuffed in their pockets. Then it’ll be on to bigger things: lightbulbs, office furniture, floorboards, and the like.
Your release schedule is missing the physical release of these two games: The Ascent: Cyber Edition and Psychonauts 2: Motherlobe Edition. I regularly use your schedule so I know what games I want to buy.
GC: We don’t normally add physical editions, but okay.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston, who asks what’s the most invested you’ve ever been in a console war?
Which generation did you get the most passionate about and which side were you on, between Sega, Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, and others? Do you regret any of the things you said or did at the time and do you think you were ultimately right about the side you picked?
Have you ever regretted a choice of console, and did you reverse it that generation or at the start of the next one? Which part of the modern game industry would you have found the most surprising at the time of your console warring?
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The small print
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