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Games Inbox: When do you think GTA 6 will be out?

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When do you expect GTA 6? (pic: Rockstar Games)

The Tuesday Inbox worries about XCOM 2 on Switch and its physical edition, as one reader admits to loving The Witcher 3’s combat.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

Rough date
I agree that the Reader’s Feature about GTA 6 and GTA Online 2 made a lot a sense. Rockstar are essentially trapped by the success of GTA 5 and releasing any kind of replacement risks damaging the sales of GTA 5 and turning off repeat customers from GTA Online. The only obvious time for GTA 6 is if GTA 5 sales start falling but they’ve only been going up over the lockdown.

It’s also, I think, a reflection that graphics are so good nowadays that GTA 5 still seems impressive to most people, even though technically it’s a last gen game. So maybe the advent of the next gen will also help to make a replacement seem more necessarily. Although Rockstar could easily just end up remastering it again.

One option that could work though is release GTA 6 as a companion piece rather than a replacement. Having its online mode being basically the same as GTA Online but the story mode completely new and with next gen graphics. So essentially a giant expansion pack of sorts. I dunno, it still feels a bit of a fudge I admit.

The problem is that it’s almost impossible to predict the release date. If we don’t hear about the game this year, at either Sony or Microsoft’s reveal events then there’s basically no way of telling what Rockstar are planning. 2K’s hint that it would be out by 2025 was something, I guess, but sometime in the next five years does not exactly narrow things down.
Boggart

Leaving soon-ish
Maybe I’m being too cynical, but it makes perfect business sense for Microsoft to be so vague with when games leave the Game Pass catalogue, despite licensing deals surely having definitive expiry dates.

They highlight the titles in the leaving soon section, no doubt to trigger the ‘I can’t miss out on this’ mentality from people. If you’re lucky, you finish the game, get the achievements, etc… if not, you can pay to own the game outright, so it’s not left unfinished.
ttfp saylow (gamertag)
Now playing: Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Yakuza 0

Big Ticket
I’ve just seen the trailer for Paper Mario: The Origami King. Compared to the last couple of entries in the series my impression was definitely one of ‘this looks much more like it’.

I think I was a bit meh at the announcement because the franchise has been somewhat in the doldrums for a long time and I’ve probably been sucked in to the clamour for Nintendo to announce something a bit more big ticket, that’s been growing online for a while. I would urge anyone whose initial reaction was similar to check out the trailer though, as it gave me hope that this will be a welcome return to form for the series and a worthy addition to the Switch catalogue (from a first party point of view).
Charlie

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

Feel bad story
Just finished reading the Edge Feel Better issue in the past week and got my latest issue on Thursday. I see some people are selling the Feel Better issue on eBay for a huge mark up over the actual cost, as they are
classing it as a special issue and I think Future Publishing have sold out of that issue.

I will be keeping mine. People are spending £25 for it!
Andrew J.
PS: Currently trying to play Xbox One game Star Wars: Battlefront 2 campaign but it crashed my Xbox One X quite badly the other day and I looked online and other people are having problems with it too.

No response required
Given the fifth anniversary and recent show, there’s been a fair few letters recently praising The Witcher 3. This letter doesn’t buck that trend – it’s probably my favourite game of this generation – but rather it says I really liked the combat!

Shocking, I know, as it seems no Witcher 3 letter, however short, refrains from bringing it up. It’s got to the point where it feels like a legal disclaimer. I actually made a game of guessing on which line the remark will appear!

Another good game is guessing which letters you respond to. I haven’t got stats, but my hunch is those ones where the person is being purposefully provocative or one’s criticising your favourite games!
Dogen’s Brain

GC: Generally it’s only ones which ask a question or which we feel imply something that isn’t true. We’ve never commented when someone criticises The Witcher 3’s combat.

No early warning
On Friday we’re seeing Bioshock, Borderlands, and XCOM 2 all released on the Switch, with Bioshock and Borderlands getting a marketing push from Nintendo themselves with a competition on their official store. But XCOM 2 is nowhere to be seen.

I know that these are physical releases in a pretty loose sense, given the additional downloads required, but I’d quite like to get XCOM physically if possible, but so far I can’t find it. Do you know if it’s actually getting a physical release, if it’s been delayed or what?

Will you be reviewing any of these Switch releases? I assume of Friday’s releases, Xenoblade Chronicles will get priority, but it’d be nice to know how well the ports shape up.
Euclidian Boxes

GC: None of those 2K games are sending out review copies before launch, although we will try and cover at least XCOM 2 and Borderlands. We’ll ask about physical copies when we talk to them next.

Too easy not to care
I was always against downloading my games, as I want a physical copy. Old skool gamer here, for the record. If I completed it or it wasn’t to my satisfaction, I’d trade it and move on. With the fast loading system of the Switch it’s changed my mind about it. Seems hard to cancel and finish a game you’re playing these days and have to physically remove the cartridge in the system, laziness I guess. Yes, I still like my physical copies for the cases and to say I bought that in the series and for my physical collections at home. But they’re making it so easy now for us all to not care.

I know we’re just playing into the hands of the games companies but we as gamers have beliefs left too. We want a choice. The coronavirus isn’t helping, it’s playing into games company’s hands, I feel. It’s also playing into indie studio games hands too. I have to say that after a week of recommendations on the Inbox that Lonely Mountains: Downhill gets an award of some sorts at The Game Awards ceremonies. It’s excellent in all respects and even for the price which I heard someone tut tut about, it’s really excellent value. Once you work out what you need to speed run it or just stay safe on a run and do it twice over it’s really an excellent game. The controls really are excellent in my opinion.

I’m sorry for writing so much and changing topics, but it’s my day off tomorrow and we’re consistently hectic at work behind the scenes as a keyworker. I’m not getting much of a break for all the overtime I’m doing. Stay safe and stay smart as lockdown lifts.
Nick The Greek

GC: Stay safe yourself, we’re sure everyone appreciates your efforts. Lonely Mountains came out last year on all the other formats, so it’s unlikely to qualify for any awards this year.

It gets worse
I have been enjoying playing Scrabble online for many years but now we have to use Scrabble Go – at first I innocently thought it was OK when an opponent wanted to chat but men (scammers) are using it as a chatline, asking personal questions, etc.

I will delete the app, as I don’t feel safe. I am a pensioner and men are using this site either as a dating site or for monetary scams! I’ve heard about this where men use media to ask for money.
Anon

GC: Several people have suggested Words With Friends 2 as an alternative, although we haven’t played it ourselves.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Gimmie a reason
I can’t help think that this game of chicken that Microsoft and Sony are playing with each other could backfire. We’ve known about the consoles for ages now, it seems, but without any tangible information in regards to price or games.

I know that this strategy might have worked in previous generations, but this year is completely unlike any other time in recent history. How many people are going to be fed up with video games by the end of year after lockdown? Also, how many people might have less money than usual?

Myself, I’m still working but don’t have the means to spend without careful consideration first. Before the end of the year I’m interested in Paper Mario: The Origami King, Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2, and Super Mario: All-Stars 2 (if either or both are confirmed) as well as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, Cyberpunk 2077, and Ghost Of Tsushima. I’m also always a sucker for FIFA. Not to mention the fact I’ve already got The Last Of Us Part 2 and Bioshock for Switch on pre-order.

Now, I won’t get all these games but even if I spend, say, £30 on average each month that’s around £200 by Xmas. I’ve got my birthday before then. So realistically I could perhaps afford a new console by the end of the year but at the moment there’s nothing to entice me into saving my cash rather than buying new games. Each month that passes without any concrete news is time I might have spent saving my money rather than buying new games. I’m sure that other people on any other given year might have the money to buy a new console at short notice but given the current situation many people may need more time to save up.

I know that neither Microsoft and Sony don’t want to play their hand first but wait too long and they may lose some of their potential customers.
matc7884

GC: People’s hunger for new consoles, and their ability to pay for them, has already been cited by Microsoft’s boss as a serious issue, and, as you say, the continued secrecy is not helping.

Inbox also-rans
Have you guys had any first-hand experience of Summer In Mara? It looks like a mix of Harvest Moon and Zelda: The Wind Waker on a lovely sunny island with lush graphics and great music. But… how does it play?
Kehaar

GC: We haven’t played it yet, but we will try and review it when we can. It doesn’t have a release date yet though.

After 20 odd years I thought I was over Aeris’ fate in Final Fantasy 7, until I played the remake that is. Why did they have to make her so sweet and innocent?! I’m not sure I can play that part of the remake.
Shane

GC: We’re not sure it will go the same way it did originally. Also, it’s Aerith nowadays.


This week’s Hot Topic

The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Podge, who asks what classic game or franchise have you never played?

With so many formats over the years nobody gets to play every well-received video game that’s released but what’s the most famous one that you’ve somehow avoided? Was it because you didn’t have the right console or PC, because it didn’t appeal at the time, or simply because you didn’t have the money?

Was there any notable game you went for a long time without playing and recently got a chance to try out? What did you think of it in the end and do you have plans to catch up on the other titles you’ve missed?

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

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.

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.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

MORE: Games Inbox: The Elder Scrolls 6 release date, Gran Turismo 7 vs. Forza Horizon, and Pikmin 3 Deluxe

MORE: Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Video games exceeding expectations

MORE: Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Video games exceeding expectations

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk

For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.

Games Inbox

Games Inbox: Is The Last Of Us overrated?

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The Last Of Us – is Ellie overrated? (pic: Sony)

The Thursday Inbox is worried that so many companies have so few games scheduled, as one reader suggests making Capcom vs. Capcom.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

Exclusive worries
I obviously have no idea what kind of reviews it’s going to get but does anyone get the feeling that The Last Of Us Part 2 is going to be less well received than the first one? The response to the leaks seems to be quite negative (I haven’t read the spoilers so I don’t know if it’s justified) and I’ve seen a lot of people say that the footage so far, while graphically good, looks too similar to the original. As if there’s nothing really new except the story.

That’s something I have been worrying about since watching the various clips, although I can well believe they’re holding back from showing us any of the wilder stuff. But I have to admit I’m not looking forward to the game as much as I thought I would. Maybe it’s the leaks taking the air of mystery away but I’m just not sure what the purpose of the game is. If it’s not new gameplay then it’s only story and I’m not really sure what the plot’s about (and those that do know seem to not like it).

This year has been bad enough so far that I can’t deal with the PlayStation 4’s biggest exclusive being a disappointment. Let’s just say I’ll be looking forward to the reviews next month with some trepidation.
Dynomite

Advanced information
So everything points toward a PlayStation 5 reveal in early June, eh? The biggest takeaway from that for me is that Sony is willingly going first, even though they know Microsoft’s biggest event is probably going to be July. Like the guy saying about the review embargo for The Last Of Us Part 2, to me this shows that Sony are very confident about what they have to show and… maybe know what Microsoft has?

I always wonder what level of industrial espionage there must be going on in the games industry. Given how most publishers don’t even seem to know each others release dates you’d think not much but given how many leaks we get on a nearly daily basis companies must find it pretty easy to find out what their competitors are up to. Especially given how many people work on games nowadays and how long they take to make – how could news not filter out, even if it wasn’t asked for?

Not accusing or blaming Sony, or anyone else, but if we can make educated guesses to what companies are up to I’m sure paid employees can too. I now have a mental image of them finding out about the Xbox One reveal early and laughing their heads off.
Scooter

Three times record
When I read that analyst story about GTA 6 coming out in 2023 I immediately thought about the recent Reader’s Feature on the subject and how it seems even more on the money now. I held out that there was a chance the game could be announced this year, since it would be a game-changer if it was part of Sony or Microsoft’s line-up but there now doesn’t seem much chance of that.

I guess maybe Sony or Microsoft could be picking up some of the marketing costs, but all of it? That seems unlikely to me. Not that I know, but the analyst guy seems to think you could tell from the marketing when Red Dead Redemption 2 was coming out so there you go.

All of that makes the second prediction, that GTA 5 is coming PlayStation 5 and Xbox One, more likely to be true too. Think of that, the only game to ever be released across three formats in a row. Not just as a remaster but as a live game that people are still playing. Incredible, no wonder they’re being cautious about how to follow it up.
Danish

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

End of the line
So now that Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is out there isn’t a single other Nintendo release scheduled for… ever? Just 51 Worldwide Classics, a collection of board and card games, and that’s it. Nothing. As far as Joe Public is concerned there are no more Switch games, that’s it. Nintendo has packed up shop and gone home.

What a strange company and what a strange business video games is, because a lot of other publishers are in almost the same boat. Does Capcom have anything scheduled right now? I can’t think of anything. Or Activision or EA (beyond the inevitable FIFA 21).

Whatever it is I bet it turns out to be a remaster anyway, or a yearly sequel. 2020 is like the year that didn’t happen and it’s getting really bizarre.
Brutus

GC: You’re forgetting about Paper Mario: The Origami King, coming out in July. In terms of actual release dates, Capcom has nothing, Activision has the Tony Hawk remake in September, and EA has a Sims 4 expansion and Command & Conquer Remastered Collection in June. So out of four games that’s two remasters and an expansion.

Slow evolution
I’m not really disagreeing with Simundo’s comment or the GC reply but in my time of playing video games I don’t think there has really been a significant shift in gameplay innovation since the move up from 16-bit 2D sprites era to polygons in the 32/64-bit era.

Everything since has been fine tuning and steadily improving controls, graphics sound, etc. rather than a massive jump. I am an old fart though so I’m happy to have my opinion torn to shreds.
John

GC: Almost all gameplay innovation is gradual and what evolutionary leaps there have been are not always remembered and/or are not very good. Nobody cares about Floating Runner, only Super Mario 64.

Real world problems
I really love the Uncharted series but The Last Of Us just never clicked (ha ha!) with me. I’ve completed it twice and while I appreciate it as a work of art with its strong writing, animation, motion capture/voice performances, and tense stealth (especially around the clickers) I just don’t love it.

I’ll admit it’s me, but I just find it so darn depressing, which is why I won’t be playing Part 2, as someone with mental health issues I don’t think it would be wise!

I guess I’m just wondering about Naughty Dog’s direction now. A lot of the big names in the Uncharted team have left (Amy Henning, Richard Lemarchand, and Bruce Straley) and Neil Druckmann (who must be one of the gloomiest people on the planet – he wanted to kill Elena in Uncharted 2 for goodness sake!) is now vice president of the studio.

Uncharted 4 had its fourth anniversary recently (10th May) and sure it’s a bombastic globe-trotting romp but it’s also about family and love.

Fast forward onto The Last Of Us Part 2 and now we have a game about hate! While I’m sure it will sell well, it could end up leaving a bad taste in fan’s mouths – putting Ellie, a character who a lot of people adore, through hell and for what?! A commentary on the cycle of violence? I just don’t get it!
LastYearsModel

GC: A commentary on the cycle of violence sounds like a pretty good idea to us, if it’s handled well. It’s not exactly a lesson that people have ever been very good at heeding.

Terminological inexactitude
I am really hoping that the rumours about a new Silent Hill game are true but it’s going to be very odd if it does get announced, given Konami flat out said the rumours aren’t true. Especially if it does turn out to be a co-production with Sony like they said. If it does turn out to be true will that be the most blatant lie that a publisher has ever told?

There’s a lot of exaggeration and nonsense around a new console launch but I don’t know that there’s anything that’s ever been an easily provable lie. I’m willing to let them off though, if the game is good.
Fester

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Capcom vs. Capcom
Good to know that Street Fighter 5 is still popular enough to be getting more DLC but when trying to think who the new ones could be I’ve come up pretty blank. And then I started to wonder why they’ve never really had any crossover characters before, either from their own games or anyone else’s. Final Fight is kind of the same series but as far as I know nobody else has ever made the jump.

If there is no Marvel Vs. Capcom 4 then wouldn’t DLC characters for Street Fighter 5 be just as good? Turn it into a sort of Super Smash Bros. for Capcom characters? Maybe leave out some of the wackier ones, like Phoenix Wright, but there are plenty of fighting game characters and martial arts characters that could be included, from Dark Stalkers, Rival Shools, Red Earth, Cyberbots, and more.

Maybe it’s just me but I was always more interested in the Capcom side of Marvel Vs. Capcom, seeing them give life to all these obscure characters in a fighting game, and would be more than happy if it was just them. And if they don’t want to do that in Street Fighter than just create a new game.
Liquor

Inbox also-rans
There is a free mystery game on the Epic Games Store from 4pm today, it is rumoured to be Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, which includes Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel game.
Andrew J.

That Fast & Furious game looks awful! Jeez. I thought the announcement one was worrying enough but what are they thinking about with that? It all looks like a lame driving mission from a shooter or something.
Alex

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Podge, who asks what classic game or franchise have you never played?

With so many formats over the years nobody gets to play every well-received video game that’s released but what’s the most famous one that you’ve somehow avoided? Was it because you didn’t have the right console or PC, because it didn’t appeal at the time, or simply because you didn’t have the money?

Was there any notable game you went for a long time without playing and recently got a chance to try out? What did you think of it in the end and do you have plans to catch up on the other titles you’ve missed?

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

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.

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.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

MORE: Games Inbox: Elden Ring release date, The Last Of Us Part 2 review embargo, and Dreams on PS5

MORE: Games Inbox: GTA 6 release date, Paper Mario: The Origami King optimism, and Scrabble Go hate

MORE: Games Inbox: The Elder Scrolls 6 release date, Gran Turismo 7 vs. Forza Horizon, and Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk

For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.

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Games Inbox

Games Inbox: What has happened to Elden Ring?

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Elden Ring – not even any leaks (pic: Bandai Namco)

The Wednesday Inbox asks whether video game quality has improved over the years, as one reader wonders whatever happened to Treasure.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

Total confusion
May seems to have bene pretty dead for real news (not leaks) but it sounds like June is going to be pretty crazy with all the faux E3 events. But the one thing I still haven’t heard anything about – not a rumour, not a leak, nothing – is Elden Ring. Was getting George R. R. Martin to help on the story really a good idea for this, because it seems to have jinxed the whole thing.

Maybe a year of silence was the idea originally but I kind of doubt it. Seems more likely that things got delayed along the way and they’re not sure what’s going on. Maybe they’ve decided to make it next gen-only? Always seemed weird that it wasn’t to be honest, but then I could say the same for Cyberpunk 2077.

This is such a strange year I don’t even know where to begin. So few games, so few announcements, and just total confusion as to what’s going on. I really hope there is an E3 next year, just so we’ll know where we are and when to expect news. At the moment I have zero idea of what the release date will be for Elden Ring or even when to expect news on it!
Statler

Good or classic?
So I see the review embargo for The Last Of Us Part 2 is 12 June, a week before the game. To me that seems like a promising sign as Sony wouldn’t let reviews go out that soon if they were expecting them to be bad. I know GC can’t say anything about the game, so I won’t bother asking, but I’ll be very interested to see if this will be a 9/10 kind of a game (pretty much the minimum requirement at the moment, given the amount of hype) or a 10/10 classic.

I haven’t read the spoilers so I couldn’t really guess. And I kind of doubt you’d be able to tell anyway as I imagine context is pretty important here and you’re not going to get that off some badly written description from 4chan.

I’m one of those that was happy to get a sequel, even though I know some thought it was unnecessary, but now I feel like I don’t really know what I’m getting myself into as if you watch the trailers there’s basically no clue as to what it’s about. The only thing I do know is that I shouldn’t hope for a happy ending.
Casper

Quick release
Assuming that video was pretty much it that Dominic Cummings parody made in Dreams was pretty great. I don’t know where they got the voice track of the little girl but even if that was taken from somewhere it really was a great parody and me laugh out loud – and that hasn’t happened a lot lately!

I don’t have Dreams, and would worry I’m not creative enough to make anything much in it but between this and the Unreal Engine 5 demo it’s obvious that it’s a very powerful and, importantly, very quick tool. The Cummings thing must’ve taken less than a day, given when it went live, and that is very impressive to me.

Sony will obviously be releasing it on PlayStation 5 but I look forward to seeing not just more topical comedy, but game ideas that go from concept to some kind of realism in just a few days. And that is something we definitely need at the moment because the time it takes to make games is only getting longer and if this, and things like it, helps to shorten that then it could end up being very important indeed.
Baker

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

Constant improvement
I read your reply to D Dubya with a sense of surprise and confusion. Could GameCentral, a usual defender of older games be saying that games are just better 10 years on. I guess, on a meta-scale the quality of all games has increased slightly. Better frame rates, graphics, user interface, gameplay and design, in the way that all mediums learn as they mature.

But even to say, ‘the good ones’ are better is only an opinion. Not only are there scores of games that do not have a modern day equivalent (such as Split/Second) but that while there may be more ‘good’ games today the classics of the past still hold up today or could even be considered better;

Halo 3 or Halo 5, Mass Effect 2 or Anthem, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 or… whatever number Battlefield we’re up to now…

What about The Orange Box, Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, Super Mario World… or Game Boy Tetris. Are you saying these games don’t hold up anymore?

You can even make a direct comparison between Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the original, sure the remake looks better and is more fleshed out, but it’s also only a fifth of the game, is that better?

I guess I can agree that the best games of this generation have definitely carried storytelling forward both in narrative and execution, but for me personally a lot of triple-A titles have homogenised and the best games releasing in 2010 or before had far more variety.
DarKerR (gamertag)/DarKerR-UK (PSN ID)/DarKeR_UK (PSN ID)

GC: You’re reading an awful lot into a two-sentence reply, especially as you admit that the overall level of quality has increased through the years. Remember that you, presumably, only play the good stuff, while we have to play everything of note. Suggesting that older games had more variety is a classic case of rose-tinted glasses.

Lost Treasure
God I miss Treasure. They consistently created some of the most creative and memorable boss battles in the business when they were an active developer.

What other game tasks the player with fighting a huge moth in mid-air, in an inverted position, whence forth the polyphyletic pain in the posterior is ensnared by a spider’s web and partially devoured by its architect; where the fight then resumes on its carcass as you do battle with a giant arachnid whilst simultaneously warding off its pesky offspring from causing the dead moth platform to plummet. Talk about intense!

Alien Soldier is gaming at its most concentrated awesomeness. Not even fellow boss rush triumph Cuphead can quite keep up with the balls-to-the-wall action on display here.
Galvanized Gamer
PS: Any news on just what on earth is happening over at Treasure. Didn’t they or publisher Nicalis tease a Radiant Silvergun port for Switch last year?

GC: There was talk of it in 2018, but clearly nothing ever happened. Treasure still exists but there’s no sign that they’re working on anything at the moment.

Same old complaint
I’ve no doubt The Last Of Us Part 2 and Ghosts Of Tsushima will be top quality games I will enjoy a lot. But both do resemble many games I’ve played before be it from Sony, Naughty Dog or Ubisoft.

I think this gen has been really good. There’s been stuff that could only happen this gen as the tech wasn’t there before like PlayStation VR, Nintendo Switch hardware and recording and sharing your gameplay. I also think we reached a level of graphics that really adds to the immersion and enjoyment of game worlds like God Of War and Red Dead Redemption 2. But has gameplay moved on this gen? I think the honest answer is no. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is the most imaginative gameplay wise this gen and it runs on last gen hardware.

There’s genuine hope the next gen consoles could be more progressive than this gen. The SSDs and architecture around them will decrease load times but should also remove barriers that could have a profound effect on game design. Out of the box techniques paired with powerful middleware like the upcoming Unreal Engine 5 should make it easier for both triple-A and indie to implement their ideas. It could also help reduce costs allowing for more risk to try new ideas. The thought of what indies could do with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X is just or more exciting than triple-A.

Both aforementioned games could surprise and I do want to play them. Breath Of The Wild has been mentioned a few times when talking about Tsushima’s world so fingers crossed. It’s a cool idea to use the environmental detail to take you to undiscovered locations rather than an Icon on a map. I just hope when you get there you don’t just clear out a camp or some other generic tick box task and there’s plenty of distraction and surprises in between locations. Out of the two it’s the game that has most potential to feel fresh and surprising.
Simundo

GC: Are you implying that the previous generation was notably better in terms of gameplay innovation? Romanticising the past to complain about the present never does anyone any good, whether you’re talking about games or not.

Unexpected tribute
I just assumed Maneater was by the same people that did Jaws Unleashed, I never even thought to check. Why would anyone rip off such an old game that was never a hit or very well liked? And yes, I realise nobody but the developer can answer that one.

It did give me the excuse to reminisce about Ecco The Dolphin: Defender Of The Future though, so there’s that in its favour. I’d say that Sega should really do a new one but let’s face it, if they couldn’t be bothered to do Streets Of Rage themselves they’re never going to get round to Ecco. Especially if Maneater isn’t a hit.
Casey

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Don’t have a cow
I forgot to contribute towards the Hot Topic just gone for… bleurgh reasons. As in, I always feel deeply bleurgh. It’s a highly technical, medical term. But I would have said Earthworm Jim 2.

Other candidates like Soulcalibur 2 and Dynamite Headdy met my insanely high expectations – as did Resident Evil 4. And the likes of Soulcalibur and Resi 4 were under a lot more media scrutiny than, say, Dynamite Headdy. I say Treasure’s charming platformer only met expectations due to a salivating feature from the official Sega magazine of the time. I bought the issue for a Sonic & Knuckles feature, and incidentally it also featured both a showcase and review of the first Earthworm Jim.

And the first Earthworm Jim certainly had its moments but was probably the weakest blockbuster the Mega Drive had in that golden 1994 Christmas. Probably. I didn’t play everything! The mascot was great fun and so was the bungie jump duel over a lake of snot. Yes. Gross.

But when the sequel came out the following year, to some fanfare, it blew me away. Now, as the PlayStation and Saturn were around the corner – EJ2 (yes, as Earthworm is one word, the initials should be EJ not EWJ!) did not make quite the impact it should have. In my own view.

Apart from a disappointing third level where you float up a narrow chute with a circus backdrop, avoiding getting your balloon head popped by Evil the Cat, everything else was amazing. The second level, Lorenzo’s Soil (ha ha) had you shoot your way through dirt to make the level! That was exceptional! Then you had to save cows from alien flying saucers, for some reason. The wonderfully named and themed Level Ate and ISO 9000 – or Terry Gilliam’s Brazil: The Level. And when you had to trip over a door to get to the next level? Inspired! As close to a Mario game as Mega Drive players were going to get. I’m not knocking Sonic, but it was always driven by spectacle and not necessarily those deviously clever moments that Mario is so good at.

The final level, a race against Psycrow, was also great – and a refreshing change from a boss battle. And a major improvement on the previous game’s final level, which was a hellish experience. Sorry, I’ve rambled for so long. But I really love EJ2! It should have been Jim’s stepping stone for world domination, baby! But alas, it wasn’t to be…

Also, what was with this game’s obsession with cows? I never did get that.
DMR

Inbox also-rans
Ever since I finished The Last Of Us I’ve been waiting for the The Last Of Us Part 2. Now that it’s almost here I’m very excited. Is that okay?
Johnny five stars

GC: Were you expecting it not to be?

As someone who actually lives 20 to 30 minutes from Barnard Castle, I found your story and the concept of the game utterly hilarious! Alas, I don’t own a PlayStation 4 or Dreams, but I would definitely play it.
big boy bent
PS: I do have access to a PlayStation 4 so maybe one day I will make that epic journey to Barnard Castle. Or Barney as it’s known round here!

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Podge, who asks what classic game or franchise have you never played?

With so many formats over the years nobody gets to play every well-received video game that’s released but what’s the most famous one that you’ve somehow avoided? Was it because you didn’t have the right console or PC, because it didn’t appeal at the time, or simply because you didn’t have the money?

Was there any notable game you went for a long time without playing and recently got a chance to try out? What did you think of it in the end and do you have plans to catch up on the other titles you’ve missed?

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

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.

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.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

MORE: Games Inbox: GTA 6 release date, Paper Mario: The Origami King optimism, and Scrabble Go hate

MORE: Games Inbox: The Elder Scrolls 6 release date, Gran Turismo 7 vs. Forza Horizon, and Pikmin 3 Deluxe

MORE: Games Inbox: Next gen console apathy, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath launch trailer, and Mafia 2 love

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk

For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.

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Games Inbox

Games Inbox: Do you not care about the next gen consoles?

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DualSense – do you just not care? (pic: Sony)

The Friday Inbox still hopes that 60fps will become a next gen standard, as another reader meets his video game heroes.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

Insufficient input
I have to say I’m not all exited for the next gen of consoles. I can’t remember the last time I was truly wowed by a game.

Some moments that stick out for me are unboxing my SNES and trying to figure out how to do Ryu’s dragon punch, the sense of speed on F-Zero, and the joy of Mario Kart. And the first time playing Super Mario 64 on the N64, the sense of being in a whole new world in 3D was unreal at the time. Stepping into Hyrule Field for the first time in Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and eventually riding Epona!

Playing GoldenEye 007 multiplayer for days on end. First time playing Halo on Xbox and storming the beach, flying in on the ship: ‘Hit it marines!’ I remember thinking how good the artificial intelligence was and it felt like a real step forward in gaming.

I just don’t see the next step forward to make me go… wow. Yes, the graphics are better but I’m not fussed about that, will artificial intelligence get better, will sandbox games be truly interactive?

I missed out on a PlayStation 4 this gen, I think I’ll pick one up when the new console comes out on the cheap and catch up on all the good games I missed. Maybe by then the next gen will have something worth being excited about?
Bigmac Kenna (gamertag)

GC: There’s nothing to get unexcited about yet either, we still know virtually nothing about any next gen games.

Moving standard
Regardless of whose next gen design choices prove to be the slightly more capable I think everyone’s agreed both Sony and Microsoft have gone pretty Biggus Dickus with the specs for their respective machines. I’ve everything crossed it will prove Microsoft are right and it means 60fps will be the next gen console standard. If Assassin’s Creed Valhalla does launch on the next gen consoles without a 1080p 60fps mode it will be a bit of a red flag for me and it will make me look at PC being the device I game on.

Hopefully the powerful specs of the next gen machines means it will always be possible for developers to provide a 60fps option. As the recent Unreal Engine 5 PlayStation 5 demo running at 30fps maybe foreshadows though, the next gen may see many developers opting to push graphics over performance like usual.

I respect both yays and nays camps view on whether 60fps is important to them, I firmly yay. I hooked up my Xbox One X to my 4K TV the other week to play Deliver Us The Moon. The game had the only two options I require on next gen games: 1080p 60fps and 4K 30fps. Flicking between the two and the 1080p 60fps was the easy choice for me. The game is a kind of walking simulator and comes with the slow, laggy feeling controls a lot of those games have. 60fps made them feel smoother and less sludgy. I want the option to play all games at 60fps because I genuinely do find it makes games feel smoother and more responsive.

The nay camp will roll their eyes when I say it but it is a deal breaker for me in choosing console or PC. In 2020 I feel it’s about time consoles made 60 fps a standard by providing performance/resolution options on games. More than ever the hardware will be capable and it’s up to the developers now, the console manufacturers have done their level best in providing the hardware next gen, as a group to make it a standard. Hope they do.
Simundo

GC: All they’ve said is that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be ‘at least’ 30fps on Xbox Series X. Which doesn’t sound promising.

Good, fella
Just writing into say I enjoyed Mafia 1 and 2 a lot. I bought Mafia 1 on PC in 2002 when it first came out and I enjoyed some of the driving, and I enjoyed the shootouts a lot and the well-acted cut scenes and well written story for me at the time. I didn’t have a state of the art computer at the time but the graphics were very good and I played on a keyboard and mouse.

It was a very difficult game but I enjoyed it, and I was wondering if they might make the remake a bit easier with more checkpoints? There was a lot of driving involved in the game and although it was authentic it took too long to get to each mission because of the driving and then home again after the mission. Unlike GTA you had to stick to the speed limit, drive on the correct side of the road and stop at traffic lights. If you didn’t and the police saw you they would pull you over all the time and fine you, and you were only allowed so many fines.

If you tried to run from the police, unless it was part of a mission it took longer to do things, so best not to run outside of a mission. Also, there was a difficulty spike on one of the missions and I had to download a save file to get past it, as I would really have needed a racing wheel for that one mission. I nearly completed that mission but failed at the last second and I had tried so many times so I downloaded the save file to get past it.

I got Mafia 2 quite late in the day as I had tried the demo which I wasn’t enamoured with and the reviews for it were not amazing, but I got it cheap on PlayStation 3 and really enjoyed it. But it was very short and the DLC included was terrible and ridiculously and unfairly hard compared to the main game.

I haven’t played Mafia 3 yet because I was put off by the fact it wasn’t like Mafia 1 and 2 with a strong story and enjoyable missions and it had a lot of repetition in the tasks you had to do compared to the first two games.
Andrew J.
Just completed: Last Day Of June (on PlayStation 4 and it was free on Epic Games Store a while ago too – if you liked The Sexy Brutale you will like Last Day of June) and Monument Valley 1 (Android)
PS: DayZ is free to play on Steam this weekend.

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

Trailer spoiler
Back again to complain about Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath. The official launch trailer went live today and it looks like they may have given away how it ends. And if they have, then it is the most eye-rolling way they could have chosen to end it.

You’ll know what I mean the moment you see it. Up there with the ‘It was all a dream!’ ending. It is spoilery, but then again it’s a spoiler that NetherRealm have sent out into the world…

Also, Kitana’s friendship with Mileena is genuinely sweet. The best thing they’ve ever done with her character, really.
DMR

Wait it out
I’m not sure I really agree with Keegan saying Microsoft’s speciality is hardware. They started as a software company back in the day and that continues to be their main seller in the real world. They have the word ‘soft’ in their name…

I had PlayStation 4 this generation, and Xbox 360 time before, and can’t really say I have a dog in the next gen fight. Sony make the better games but other than the graphics I found their big holy trinity (Marvel’s Spider-Man, Uncharted 4, and God Of War) underwhelming in terms of providing a new experience.

While the battle over teraflops and ray-tracing rages on I think I’ll stick to my Switch for a year post next gen launch and let the dust settle. Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4 should help with this.

Sony and Microsoft need to earn my money with games worth buying, not with promises. Given that production times have ramped up so much, just look at new Elder Scrolls, this could take some time.
GarionBroke

Old logic
All this anniversary talk on The Witcher 3, I’d actually just finished playing through the game recently thanks to lockdown. I picked it up on Switch late last year (though had played it for a few hours on PlayStation 4 years ago). The game is definitely the pinnacle of that old open world design, full of great storytelling in the layered side quests… but that design has definitely aged in a post Zelda: Breath Of The Wild’ world and kind of feels old next to the open environmental storytelling ushered in by the SoulsBorne games.

The world building and sense of adventure all comes from the story and characters, i.e. watching cut scenes, and not from existing in the world itself. It too often falls into the Skyrim or GTA trap where you follow an arrow halfway across the map just to speak with someone who sends you to an arrow halfway across the map to kill a monster/pick up an item… looking at the map as much as the actual world. Sure, there are plenty of secrets, but they just don’t seem to feel that natural. I guess I’m trying to say the game seems to lack a fun imagination in its moment to moment gameplay.

After all that I’d still say it’s a great game mind… just one of its time.
Marc
PS: In response to Panda, I’m a little concerned about the Take-Two Switch ports coming up too. That they’ve dumped them all out on the same day is pretty suspicious (that and the fact the cartridge releases are just 8GB token gestures with big downloads), they’re not even on the eShop yet and we’re less than a week out. Switch ports have come a long way recently and Metro/Alien Isolation have me hopeful Bioshock will be at least a match for the previous gen versions. XCOM 2 though… even with Civilization 6 being good work I’m not confident, not confident at all.

Brand expectations
Very excited to hear of the upcoming PGA golf game being released in August by 2K. It’s been a long time since we had a good golf game and I have no doubt this will be good. For me they make the best sports games and I remember playing their last golf game many years ago and it was brilliant.

Their basketball games are always very good and I also remember when they made the ice hockey games which were also excellent. With the official license of the PGA Tour this looks like the golf game fans have been waiting for.
Anon

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Hero worship
I was wondering if any of your readers have met any of their gaming heroes. I’ve met a few of mine, although when I say ‘met’, some I only asked a question at a Q&A session. One of these was Mathew Smith, programmer of Manic Miner. I asked him if there was one game that he wished he had programmed, and he said Doom.

Archer Maclean, programmer of Dropzone, IK+, and Jimmy White’s Snooker also restores classic arcade machines. I asked him what his most satisfying restoration was, and he said he once restored a Missile Command for someone, and when it was finished, it looked like it was brand new straight out of the factory.

I was at a Q&A with Mr Biffo and Iain Lee a couple of years back. I said to them both, if they could own any three arcade games, what would they be? Iain said Pac-Man, Defender, and the Mario Kart arcade machine. Mr Biffo said Atari Star Wars, and the huge Ridge Racer set-up where you have to sit in a real car to play it. I can’t remember his third choice!

I met Jeff Minter of Llamasoft at Arcade Club. He was a lovely guy, and I chatted to him about the arcade machines he has owned over the years. He currently has a Tempest. In the ‘80s he owned a M.A.C.H. 3, which was one of the best Laserdisc games. He also owned a cockpit Atari Star Wars, which he ended up giving away to a friend when he moved to the US to work for Atari!

The best though was meeting Eugene Jarvis, creator of shoot ‘em-up classics Defender and Robotron 2084. I didn’t ask him anything, I was too star struck! I did tell him that I was going to buy an original Defender machine though, which I did, and it worked for about an hour before something blew on the PCB!
Tim Keeling

Eugene Jarvis is a genuine gaming hero (pic: Tim Keeling)
Jeff Minter, aka The Hairy Yak (pic: Tim Keeling)

Inbox also-rans
As long as the PlayStation 5 launch game isn’t another Killzone I’ll be happy. When I went pick up my PlayStation 4 at launch they said they only had the Killzone Shadow Fall bundle, so I was kind of strong armed into it. Wasn’t the best start. Luckily all uphill from there.
Ranny2011

For anyone interested with all the talk of The Witcher at the moment, The Witcher 2 is currently only £3.74 for Xbox One backward compatibility, where it’s normally around the £25 mark.
Mr.Saveloy

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Comp, who asks what highly anticipated game has come closest to meeting or exceeding your expectations?

Hype can get out of control sometimes but what game turned out to be as good, or better, than you were expecting? How often does it happen that games live up to your expectations and how upset do you get when they don’t?

If the game was better than you expected how did it manage that? Did you purposefully avoid too much information about it or had you got the wrong idea from the marketing and reviews? Or were some of the details purposefully kept secret?

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

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.

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.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

MORE: Games Inbox: Xbox Series X more powerful than PS5, Call Of Duty: Cold War reveal, and NGPX hype

MORE: Games Inbox: The Witcher 3 best RPG ever, Xbox Series X launch line-up, and Forza Motorsport 8

MORE: Games Inbox: PS5 launch game list, The Last Of Us Part 2 violence, and Shenmue 3 slowness

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk

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