The morning Inbox wonders how much Red Dead Redemption II took to make, as one reader wishes Naughty Dog would make more games.
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Now that theres basically no hope of decent weather for at least three months I really do feel like a good video game. Although Christmas is obviously the reason for so many games being released at this time of year I think people forget the fact that few people are going to want to play complex games during the summer, especially if you have to take your chances where you can get them in terms of it being a nice day.
When it was raining yesterday I got in from a miserable day of work, put my feet up and dug into Assassins Creed Odyssey. I hadnt played it for a while and Im still nowhere near finished, and it was like putting on a nice pair of comfy slippers. The games fun but not too taxing, I like the main character, and the graphics are fantastic. More important theyre really bright and sunny and remind me of being on holiday in Greece. Which in a funny sort of way I suppose I am.
I think one of the less talked about reasons people like open world games so much is theyre like a holiday from reality. A lot of games can be really miserable-looking, all destroyed cities and that, but most open world games are usually quite pretty. Even Fallout has its fair share of attractive scenery. Sometimes the chance to wander round and explore, and maybe find some secrets, is all you need to have some fun. It might not be gameplay exactly but its definitely interactive entertainment.
Bethesda gonna Bethesda
I wanted Fallout 76. I love the series and was prepared to give Bethesda my money. But then the beta happened. It was blindingly obvious nothing would be fixed so I prepared to wait and see. Oh dear. But still I craved a Fallout fix and as if by magic Xbox had a sale on Fallout 3 DLC.
So having played the game yoinks ago on PlayStation 3 I bought all the DLC in one swoop, before I sobered up, on Xbox. Up to today, no regrets. Until… whilst finishing up the Anchorage DLC bit I encountered a bug that made me have to restart the whole thing again. So it was and so shall it forever be. Bethesda are a bit rubbish at finishing games off.
2B from NieR: Automata is taking ages to be added to SoulCalibur VI, isnt she? When the teaser trailer came along I thought the new DLC was only a week or so away. But there hasnt even been any indication as to a release date yet!
I thought DLC had to strike while the iron was hot or it just doesnt sell? And SoulCalibur VI has been out for a month. In fact, I dont see any more content being added to the game until the new year now.
Or am I being too pessimistic?
GC: We dont think theres any hard and fast rules. For example, the pre-order bonus for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate wont be ready till next year, let alone the rest of the DLC. We suspect 2B was announced in order to keep up interest in the game, after the initial sales disappointed.
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The next Astro Bot
Have the GC team heard of or had any early access to upcoming VR game Trover Saves The Universe? I remember asking you in late summer if youd heard much about Astro Bot to which you said that you hadnt and would look it up, then you brought me the first definite review of it and it turned out to be fantastic.
So hopefully, if you good folk with sound minds havent heard of it, maybe you could sneak out some info on its current state. From what I myself have seen it looks like it has potential. Think it can be played both in VR and standard mode too.
GC: Thats the one by the creator of Rick and Morty? We saw the trailer at E3 but thats all. Now we look at it again though it does seem a little Astro Bot-esque. Theres still no release date though.
To be this good takes ages
GC, if you ever get the chance to interview a top Naughty Dog, could you ask why we have only had one and a half new game from them this generation? Who knows when The Last Of Us Part II is out.
Not counting collections and remasters. They had three Uncharteds and the The Last Of Us out on PlayStation 3, a console that was apparently harder to develop for than the PlayStation 4.
Not a complaint, Im genuinely curious as to what they have been doing with their studio and time.
GC: The more complex games get the longer they take to make. Most major developers have seen their output decrease this generation: Rockstar Games has only made one game, for example, and they have a number of separate studios.
Why not both?
Remasters of old games on new consoles, Zelda and others… why not?
A good game is a good game, this is a as well as situation, not an instead of.
Someone else can do the remaster while the original developers continue with their new work.
I own plenty of 1970s films on Blu-ray, nobody ever said if its been on VHS it shouldnt be on DVD/Blu-ray etc.
Sure its not a direct equivalent, as gaming technology moves faster than film technology, but even so, dont assume that because youve played it before everyone else has.
Just wondering if you are planning to review Subnautica when it releases on December 4?
The game received a very positive reception on Steam but Im particularly interested in the console versions, especially since Panic Button who handled the excellent Doom/Wolfenstein II Switch ports are on board.
GC: Yes, as we were impressed by the PC version too.
Spend money to make money
Playing the first hour or so of Red Dead Online it really is staggering how good it looks – which I guess we all knew already – but also how polished it all is. I know we had this topic before, with people comparing Rockstar and Nintendo to Bethesda, but to me it not so much shows the craft of the developers, because Im sure Bethesdas are very talented too, but just how much money Rockstar must have spent on the game.
Im sure theyve probably recouped it all already but if GTA V was $250 million Im sure this was at least that. But I tell you what, you can see every penny. No wonder the overworked creators have mixed feelings about it all because this game feels next gen right now and because so few people can afford to make games this expensive I doubt well see anything else as good for a long while.
It also shows why so many other publishers are scared of doing anything new. Ignoring the fact that Red Dead is a sequel Rockstar can pretty much guarantee sales with any game they make, just because people are such fans. Would anyone say they were such fans of EA or Activision that theyd do the same. I mean, individual studios, like BioWare, have their fanbase but its tiny compared to Rockstar.
Im not saying any of this is good or bad, but if I was a bean counter at a games publishers Id be pushing for more of the same as well.
Its just unreal how successful Fortnite is. I dont know anyone that hasnt at least given it a go, because who wouldnt when its free and the whole world is playing it. Stuff like the gathering storm are great too, Epic deserve their success.
If Soul Reaver had been on the PlayStation Classic I think it wouldve made my year, because it wouldve proved that, in some way at least, Square Enix still care about it. But it wasnt, so I guess they dont. And now my dreams of a remake or reboot are dashed again!
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader stanley71, who asks what do you think of the current generation of console so far?
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are five years old this month and both are expected to be superseded by next generation models within the next two years. So what do you think of them so far, in terms of their games, their hardware, and the changes theyve brought to the industry?
If you include the Wii U and Switch as well what do you think of the generation as a whole and is it better or worse than previous ones? How do you think it will be looked back on when all is said and done, and which companies have done the best and worst overall?
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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.