The morning Inbox is confused about FromSoftwares upcoming games, as one reader speculates about Rocksteadys next Batman game.
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I can see why some people thought Microsoft had the best E3 conference, especially if you accept they were all disappointing to some degree or another, but the one thing I havent heard much discussion of is Halo Infinite. I realise Microsoft essentially said nothing about it but what does everything think it is? Is it Halo 6 with a different name or is it something else?
It says itll take Halo in new and unexpected directions on the trailer description but that could mean anything. Most people seem to think its a game as a service game, which makes sense considering where Microsoft is at the moment but does that mean it cant also be Halo 6? Im not so sure. I think theyll try and get the Halo 4 and 5 story over as quick as possible and move onto something else.
The trailer obviously had quite an old school feel to it though, and I imagine theres going to be lots about a back to basics Call Of Duty: WWII style approach to multiplayer – which Im mostly in favour. The only thing that worries me is that Im sick of the halos as a setting and the Covenant as enemies. Ive been hoping theyd get away from all that for ages and now I fear any old school approach is going to mean they never go away. Okay, the Forerunners didnt work out, but thats no reason to just keep doing the same old thing. What do others think?
Perception is everything
Looking back at E3 I think one of the big losers were EA. Their conference was terrible, again, and the reveals for things like the new Star Wars game were not only a big pile of nothing but done in the most embarrassing and cringy way possible. Anthem seemed to land with a wet thud and it doesnt seem like anyone is really interested in Battlefield V already (or is it because of all the sexist nonsense about women characters?).
Id be surprised if anyone really describes themselves as an EA fan but I do like DICE and BioWare (and Respawn) and dont want to see them go the way of so many other EA studios. But Ive got a feeling that this is not going be any of their best work and thats not something thats probably going to go unpunished.
Or maybe its a marketing/presentation thing. Its weird how bad these companies can be at these things even with all the practice theyve had. I mean who wouldve thought Sony couldve made such a mess of E3 despite having four great games to show off?
So Im still a bit confused about whats going on with From Software, because I remember this story from a couple of years back they said they were working on three games: a Dark Souls spiritual sequel, a reboot of something, and a new IP thats a bit weird. They also said they were making a VR game, which is obviously Déraciné, but that could also be the weird game.
But I dont see where Sekiro fits into that because its not a role-player like Dark Souls and its not a reboot. So is it an extra game or was that information just wrong? And if none of these are the next Dark Souls then wheres that and what publisher is doing it? Is it still going to be Bandai Namco or what? And what about the Sony remake of Demons Souls, I was really hoping for that at E3.
At the end of the day it looks like we could be getting more From games than expected here, which is obviously good, but it seems like a long time before we get anything thats actually anything like Dark Souls. Which is bad.
GC: It is confusing, the only thing we can think of is maybe Sekiro started off as a Tenchu reboot? Nothing is known about the Dark Souls spiritual sequel, including whos publishing it.
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A lot of people have been asking about what Rocksteady are doing at the moment and when theyll be more DC/Batman games and thats perfectly understandable. But I saw them tweet out this message celebrating the third anniversary of Batman: Arkham Knight. Its obviously still on their minds and their witter border is still Batman as well. I dont know if thats any clue but I think theres a good chance that their new game is still going to Batman-related, even if it is also multiplayer.
The obvious way to do this is to involve the whole Bat family who were pretty underused in the Arkham games (the whole thing with the Arkham Knight wouldve had a lot more impact if Robin has been in it properly all along). But youve got regular side kicks like Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl – all with multiple variations – plus associated characters like Batwoman, Huntress, and Azrael.
Thats more than enough to make a team-based game without even having to involve any of the wider DC universe. Whether itd be open world still and youd essentially be playing an Arkham game but in co-op I dont know but youve got to assume its something pretty special and original considering how long it is till weve heard anything from them.
Im really confused as to who exactly Kingdom Hearts III is aimed at. When the original came out I got that it was mostly teenagers, but that was 16 years ago now and those teenagers are going to be well into their thirties by now. So are they still the same people that are making it the second most talked about game of E3? Or is this a new generation of teenagers who are somehow also into Final Fantasy/Disney crossovers with really bad dialogue?
I guess Im feeling a little left out here, because even if the combat is a bit better this time round I just cannot see the appeal of the games. I guess the crossover aspect has a certain appeal just by how weird it can get, but why does Hercules keep popping up in these games? Is that really everyones favourite Disney film and I didnt know?
I dont want to begrudge anyone a game, I know its been a long wait for this one, but if there are any fans reading this Id love if you could write in and explain it.
Eyes wide open
I wonder how big Octopath Traveler is going to be when it comes out? Two demos on Switch is pretty unprecedented nowadays so theyre obviously putting quite a bit of effort into the marketing. Not to mention theres not exactly much else coming out on the Switch at the moment.
But are people really going to be into such an old school game that is apparently really hard? To me the graphics look beautiful but as clever as they are theyre really only going to be properly appreciate by people who remember old school SNES Japanese role-players. Or are they? Its always surprising to see what games do well and what dont.
I know Im looking forward to it and already have the collectors edition pre-order. People always say how can you pre-order something you dont even know if youll like but with a demo youre not going in blind! Crazy that Nintendo are the ones most likely to do demos nowadays.
Off the shelf
RE: Earlier inbox letter about the Mini NES. My wife pre-ordered from Smyths toy stores and I picked mine up at the weekend. It was £49.99 and they had them on the shelves for sale too. It was going to be a late Fathers Day present from my kids as it wasnt due out until the end of the month. I think its great.
Currently playing Pac-Man (on Mini NES) and frustrating my teenage son at having the highest score!
Sick of it
Another interesting discussion from the GC community, this time on when VR might become more mainstream.
I personally havent taken the leap into getting PlayStation VR for a couple of reasons. One is that it doesnt, for me, have enough must have games, which is important because Im struggling to get through my backlog of PlayStation 4 and Switch titles as it is, so I cant really justify the purchase.
The second is my concern about the nausea. Im lucky my girlfriend understands my passion for gaming and suggested we go to a VR arcade while on holiday in Japan last year. The level of immersion in each experience was amazing – playing as Vegeta in a Dragon Ball Z training sim and Mario Kart in VR was just something else. However, my final game was a mech suit Gundam Wings type of thing (I cant remember the name of it) and I really enjoyed it but did feel quite nauseas afterwards, which I wasnt really expecting because I mustve only been playing it for 5-10 minutes.
My understanding is that some games cause nausea more than others – those with greater levels of player movement? But, in the GC communitys experience, how prevalent is this feeling of nausea when playing different games? Is it a case of initial nauseousness while getting used to playing games in VR, and then it goes? Or does it reoccur when you buy new games with different playing mechanics?
GC: It really does depend on the game and the person. And while its true that games with fast movement are the most likely to induce nausea some games youd think would be bad manage to get around it without any problems. Its both a software and a hardware issue, but its the inconsistency which is perhaps the biggest problem.
I know GC said they probably wouldnt have time to review the Switch version but I just want to recommend Hollow Knight to everyone. Its the best Metroidvania Ive played in years and the graphics are really great too. Heres GCs original PC review for reference.
I think people are being a bit harsh on this E3, I thought it was pretty good. You get a new From game, a new Platinum game, and Resident Evil 2 looked great. Those are three things I never expected and theyre all going near the top of my most wanted list.
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader Dominic, who asks whats your favourite game that seems to have been unfairly forgotten over time?
Did the game used to be famous but has fallen out of favour? And if so why do you think it happened? Was it superseded by a sequel or similar game, or did the style of gameplay fall out of fashion? Do you think theres any chance of an official update and if not is there another game that can take its place?
Or perhaps theres a game you feel has never got the critical or commercial attention it deserved? If so, why do you like it and do you think itll ever have a chance to be popular?
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The small print
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