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Games Inbox: What games are you planning to play at Christmas?
NieR: Automata – the perfect Christmas distraction?

The morning Inbox tries to imagine Zelda as a survival horror game, as another reader is frustrated at EA’s handling of Star Wars.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

PLEASE NOTE: We are currently getting content ready for the Christmas and New Year break, and since the calendar makes it a particularly long one this time we need as many Reader’s Features as possible to fill in while we’re away. So if you’ve been meaning to write a feature but not quite got round to it, now would be a great time to send one in – as described at the bottom of the page.

Christmas plans

I don’t know how many other people do this, but I’ve been trying to plan out what games I’m going to play over the Christmas break and I’m getting pretty excited about it. I’ve got more than a week off and because it’s been such a good year for games there’s plenty to choose from. The big one is going to be Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, because I happen to know that Father Christmas is getting me a Switch.

But I’ve also dropped plenty of hints for NieR: Automata and Wolfenstein II, so I’m going to be spoilt for choice. I realise I won’t get them all beat in a week, but I like to have multiple games on the go at once, and having three such great ones to choose from is getting me very excited.

Or maybe I should just concentrate on one and get it done 100%? Decision, decision. All of which are good. What are everyone else’s plans?

New year show

So if we’ve used up all the major game events of the year now when is the next one? I’m a bit worried we don’t really have that many big name games lined up for 2018 and I’d hate to see standards slip. Putting up with loot boxes and everything was easy when all the other games were great, but a poor crop and EA chicanery at the same time? That would be difficult to cope with.

Everyone seems to be fairly convinced that there’ll be a big Nintendo Direct in January, but beyond that I’m not sure there’s really anything else to even guess at – let alone put in the calendar.

I should’ve written in to the weekend Hot Topic because I love game reveals and I loved The Game Awards this year, really good stuff. That Bayonetta 3 and From teaser were just the sort of thing to get my imagination racing. I hope we see more of that sort of stuff early next year.

GC: There’s not a major event until E3 in June, really. GDC is before that but you rarely get one or two announcements there, and often none at all. But a publisher can announce a game at any time if they want, and something from Nintendo in January does seem very likely.

Worth the risk

Just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. I was hesitant about buying it, but I’m so glad I did. It’s a really thrilling game, which is excellent alone but even better with a friend or two.

I’ve met very few bugs or lag, in fact as a preview game it runs very well indeed. I do acknowledge that the graphics are not state of art, but they’re good enough for me. Looking forward to playing it more over the Xmas hols, as well as an expected present of Wolfenstein II.

Merry Xmas!
Manic miner 100 (gamertag)

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Forward momentum

Although I don’t disagree at all with all the complaints about Microsoft’s first party policy I do see some light at the end of the tunnel. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is clearly a hit, no matter what it looks like, and I think the recent new trailer for Sea Of Thieves has convinced me it’s going to be a great game. Maybe even a really successful one, considering the stuff it’s doing with online seems to be quite unique and innovative.

I think Crackdown 3 is probably a lame duck at this point, unless they get that multiplayer cloud stuff working suddenly, but at least it’s something and will be out next spring as well. That’s a decent amount of momentum if they manage to announce a few new games around the same time and release them later in the year.

As we always say, all it takes is one game to turn things around and that may already have happened with PUBG. Add in these two others and hopefully 2018 will be a lot better for Microsoft than this year.

Time for Star Wars

I understand the uncertainty about The Last Jedi but I’m going to come out and say I loved the film, and I think everyone can appreciate that at last it tried to do something different. One of the first things I did the day after seeing it though was pop onto Battlefront II and have a look at the new content and… where was it?

Why can’t you select what map you want to play on? I was there forever waiting for the new ones to roll round and by that point I’d pretty much lost interest. Why is this game so desperate to waste your time? Between the loot non-progression system and the lack of options I wish I’d never pre-ordered the stupid thing.

I am totally for stripping the licence away from EA and getting someone that’s going to actually care to make it. Although that’s kind of pointless now because that’ll just take even longer to get a new game out. I’m willing to bet we don’t see a proper non-Battlefront game until this whole sequel trilogy is finished, which is pathetic really. When is Episode IX out anyway? I assume May 2019?

GC: It’s scheduled for December 20, 2019.

Straight sequel

As a big fan of Far Cries 3 and 4 I’m interested to see how number 5 turns out.

I’m not expecting any radical changes (especially after your interview) but I would hope they draw some inspiration from Zelda: Breath Of The Wild in terms of the feeling of connection in the world. It also sounds like a prime opportunity to use the Nemesis system which I missed out on experiencing.

I also hope they keep the more trippy/stoner sequences as these have been some of my favourites and break up the more straightforward action. But I’m a bit worried that they seem to be playing things a bit straighter this time around.
Matt A

GC: We will never understand why the Nemesis system hasn’t been copied by other developers. The Shadow Of Mordor director said it was simply because it was difficult to do, but surely it can’t be that hard…

Making do

Microsoft got PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds because it was a quick fix to have something semi-exclusive for Xmas, not to launch the Xbox One X with. People seem to be getting confused, it’s all they have got.

Crackdown 3 was supposed to launch the Xbox One X, but that did not go so well.
bigdaddy watt

GC: Crackdown 3 was also just whatever was launching at the time. It is in no way a showcase for the Xbox One X, due to its style of graphics, and was never intended to be. PUBG is being given away free with the Xbox One X, so is technically a bundled game now.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Kame… Hame… Maybe!

I’m a huge Dragon Ball fan and this new game FighterZ looks amazing.

But I have concerns… after playing Darkstalkers Resurrection on PlayStation 3 using the DualShock 3 controller I found it extremely difficult to pull off even basic special moves that required the ‘quarter circle turn’ with the D-pad, and if this game is the same I’m afraid I won’t really be able to play the game in any significant way.

Investing in a fighting controller isn’t an option I would consider. I’m also put off by the season pass, which they’ve already said will have extra DLC characters added. Which just feels like withheld content to me.

I wouldn’t want to pay more than £40 for everything, so I guess I will wait for the game of the year edition.

Strangely I’ve only paid £40 for the very first Assassin’s Creed back in 2007 and the closest I’ve come to that amount since is when I paid £38 for Horizon Zero Dawn this year. Every game I’ve purchased in between was significantly cheaper, and most of those were on release day.

The most notable example was picking up Assassin’s Creed II, Uncharted 2, and Batman: Arkham Asylum for £30 each from Argos in 2009.

Lastly, I too want an open city Batman game where you can save a civilian. I wonder if it was an engine limitation of Arkham Knight that prevented civilians from being in the city or they simply couldn’t figure out how to stop players from running over civilians with the battank and that being an issue with Batman’s no killing policy? It certainly wouldn’t look good in YouTube videos.
Oni-Samurai (PSN ID)

GC: Well, we used a DualShock 4 during the preview and didn’t have any problems. But then we never would have said the DualShock 3 was that bad.

Inbox also-rans

Layers of Fear is currently free on Humble Bundle on PC and Watch Dogs 1 is free on UPlay on PC.
Andrew J.

If anyone’s interested these unused enemies are from that what I think is the same artbook that says Nintendo has already started on the next game. I think they mean Lovecraftian though not ‘Wellsian’, whatever that is. Anyone for a Zelda survival horror?

This week’s Hot Topic

As is tradition for the last week before Christmas, this weekend’s Inbox asks what was your biggest video game-related disappointment of 2017?

In the new year (once everyone’s had a chance to play their Christmas presents) we’ll run our regular reader’s poll for the best games of 2017, but for now we want to know what you think was the worst.

Your pick doesn’t have to be a complete disaster but what game were you at least disappointed with? Or perhaps there was some other news story, trend, or hardware release that you considered to be the low point of 2017 for games?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

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