The evening Inbox considers the history of WWI video games, as one reader worries that re-releasing retro games is becoming impossible.
To join in with the discussions yourself email firstname.lastname@example.org
Incredible sales figures for GTA V and Red Dead Redemption II, almost unbelievable. Clearly the success of GTA V is because of GTA Online so youve got to wonder if its going to be the same deal with Red Dead Online as well.
Everything up till now has hinted at something a bit smaller scale, more in line with the first game, but I dont see why Rockstar would settle for that. Sure youve got the problem that tech is much less varied but other than that I dont see the problem. Theres plenty of mission variety in the game already, that could translate to multiplayer games, and exploring and maybe setting up your own homestead/farm sounds like a no-brainer.
Add in a Battle Royale mode and some kind of horse breeding feature and I think youd have something could be almost as good as GTA Online. Maybe it wouldnt be quite as long lasting but I think itd come pretty close.
Just amazing to think of how success Grand Theft Auto V has been, and its still going! 5 million sales five years later and in the middle of summer is crazy. The game could easily hit 125 or 150 million before theres even a hint of slowdown. And thats it suffering from all the same problems as Red Dead Redemption II in terms of the gameplay only being okay.
I kind of feel sorry for other open world games that do play better but cant replicate that open world detail and variety that Rockstar are so good at. Thats obviously why people play the games and I dont think anyone can do it nearly as well as them. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild comes the closest but only in terms of quality, in terms of style of design its actually very different.
Nintendo and Rockstar have a lot in common really, especially as theyre about the only ones that realise not releasing a sequel every year is actually a good thing for them. But theyre also so far above their competitors that others have stopped bothering trying to copy them. GTA clones are actually pretty rare nowadays, especially ones with modern settings.
Never to return
I find it interesting that the reason the PlayStation Classic doesnt have a lot of the best PS1 games, like WipEout and Gran Turismo, is because of licensing issues. People often talk, quite rightly, about digital games being something that publishers can withdraw at any time and drop support for, meaning that its almost impossible to play them in the future in the way they were originally released.
But this basically already happened as soon as we got in the CD era and could have real songs in games (Im not sure if Gran Turismos licensing problems are the cars or the songs, but its probably both). With publishers spending a lot of money, which obviously theyre not going to do, we cant ever have these games back.
All you can do is try and buy the original disc and play it on the original console. Thats kind of sad and shows how difficult games are to preserve, and how few companies try to do it properly.
E-mail your comments to: email@example.com
RE: frequent sequels. ROB, my guess is that they do it because they have the comfort of knowing pretty much what theyre going to get. So chucking your £50, or whatever, at it isnt too much of a risk. Say if youve only really played FIFA/PES and Call Of Duty all your life, you know you will more than likely enjoy the next game.
Then imagine a new Persona is released. Youre less likely to spend your hard-earned money on this unknown (to you) quantity as you may hate the game and to you its money wasted. Add to that the online elements of games that either get shut off when the newer game comes out or are not as well populated as they used to be.
We are creatures of comfort. Although I still agree this behaviour is baffling, you miss out on so many good games that could potentially be one of your favourites.
Just finished reading your 11-11: Memories Retold review and it seems like it is a rarity, a genuinely good WW1 set game.
I watched the trailer first and I had no problem with the stylised, sometimes almost Pointillist, art effects in that at all. In fact, I thought it an inspired idea.
But when it came to the demo with actual gameplay I was surprised. The animation, even the camera movement, is, borderline, unpleasantly crude and jerky. That element just makes it looks like a game from the 128-bit era running on an underpowered graphics card or console.
I assume from the review that is how it actually displays and it is not how the Gamecom demo YouTube video appears on my PC. That cant have been accidental with a game of this pedigree. But if it was an intentional artistic decision to animate it like that Id say it was a mistake. The went too far with their living painting idea to the point it detracts rather than enhances and that is a bit of a pity.
GC: Wed say the First World War had a pretty good track record in games. Valiant Hearts was good and so was Battlefield 1, both in terms of the game and its approach to the war itself. As we mentioned in our review though the animation in 11-11 is one of its weakest points, although it does sound like it might be your Internet connection because the way youve described it sounds worse than either the YouTube video or the actual game.
I just want to add to the love for both Astro Bot and Tetris Effect VR that is spreading about lately.
Both plastered a huge grin over my face and Astro Bot in particular I never wanted to end. It was ridiculously inventive and full of sheer joy. I felt really sad to complete it. I want new DLC every month for it please.
thewearehere (PSN ID)
RE: Games not needing good mechanics or traditional gameplay to be worthwhile. To The Moon proved this point for me. No gameplay but an utterly entrancing experience.
But if a game does have a lot of mechanics at its core, like Red Dead Redemption II then it makes for a better game if it does a better a job of them than that game. Its still a great game but itd be a better game if it felt less clunky.
Also, regarding Red Deads photorealistic graphics. I had a much deeper reaction to Zelda: Breath Of The Wilds game world, the way it was framed just instilled a stronger desire to explore than Red Deads. I dont think I care about photorealism much. I care about better graphics in that it allows for more interactive, detailed game worlds. I just much prefer them to be artistic than photorealistic.
The recent Cyberpunk 2077 footage is a good middle ground. Its very detailed whilst still having a very strong artistic style.
GC: We agree on the question of mechanics. As long as theyre competent little damage is done in a game like Red Dead, but its still a shame theyre not better.
All or nothing
Its not just critics, the huge success of the game suggests its compromises are warmly accepted by many gamers too. A video game doesnt need good mechanics, or even much in the way of traditional gameplay, to be worthwhile, as titles like Life Is Strange and todays 11-11: Memories Retold prove.
Could not agree less. For myself, a games mechanics need to be responsive and accurate. Clunky controls make me literally want to put a game down and never touch it again.
It is one reason I found gaming on PC to be a more satisfying experience as a whole as I find 60fps (I know there are also higher refresh rates too) far more responsive. I still have my PlayStation 4 and would not say I cant play games at 30fps, I just find it less fun to play and in games where I cant max out visual settings and hit 60fps. I nearly always turn down settings to play games at 60fps rather than 30fps max settings.
Then there are games on console which drop below 30fps, which start to infuriate me after a bit.
This isnt purely related to clunky controls, but it I feel it makes them clunkier, even if they are pretty good.
Then there are games with clunky controls, regardless of a stable frame rate, and when playing The Last Of Us On PlayStation 3, I gave up after about four to five hours, as the narrative was great, but the controls were just horrible in my opinion. Really didnt enjoy feeling like I was controlling a character who was in quick drying cement or something.
Sorry GC, but youre entitled to your opinion, but making a statement in way you did as if it was fact, doesnt make it fact.
GC: We cant agree with such an absolutist attitude. 30fps is perfectly fine for any game where action is not the primary appeal, which certainly describes most open world games and The Last Of Us. The Witcher 3 also has mediocre combat, worse in fact than any of the other games youve mentioned, and even in Zelda: Breath Of The Wild its pretty far down the list of the most compelling features.
The problem with Mass Effect: Andromeda is that EA cheaped out. You cant do a game like that on a budget and except it to turn out okay. EA either needs to spend the money to do epic sci-fi right or not bother at all. Id rather a quick death than a slow drawn out one.
Sounds like a bad week at Square Enix. I wish Id watch that livestream though. Imagine doing it just to announce everythings been cancelled and you were leaving! Its like the ultimate letter to your boss when you quit!
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader gaz be rotten and asks what do you want from the next generation consoles?
It looks increasingly inevitable that the PlayStation 5 and the successor to the Xbox One will at least be announced next year, so what are you hoping theyll be? How much of an improvement do you want and expect from the graphics and are there any features, such as motion controls, VR, or streaming that you think will – or should – become a new standard?
What kind of games do you want to see on the new consoles and what new features do you hope theyll include? What would a new console have to have for you to consider getting it and do you think the next generation is coming too early or about right?
E-mail your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.