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XCOM 2 - the sales are mostly digital only

XCOM 2 – less popular than Fortnite

The morning Inbox wonders if VR is the answer to improving Lego video games, as one reader suggests making a real Metal Gear VR mission.

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Complex problems

I must say that I find the constant news of games selling poorly rather disturbing. I am now beginning to believe that large scale AAA single-player games will become less and less important to the industry. Speaking to my three nephews and some of their friends they have zero interest in traditional games/genres like beat em-ups/role-playing games, etc.

Instead, as we all know, all that interests them is Fortnite and other online-only style games. As these teenagers/young adults get older all they will want is online competitive games and therefore games companies will stop making single-player a priority. I know the really good single-player games are still selling OK at the moment but I can see a time where we see less and less traditional games being made.

I showed my nephews XCOM 2 and Resident Evil 7 over the weekend and they were bored after half an hour. I have played games since the beginning but todays generation could, as they get older, change the industry to such an extent that single-player could become a relic of the past.

GC: God Of War and Marvels Spider-Man are two of the best-selling games of the year. Red Dead Redemption II will also be solely single-player at launch. Whats going on is complex and difficult to break down, given the incomplete data. Overall game sales are almost certainly up, but some long-standing franchises may be on the wane.

Getting ready

On the (ongoing) subject of digital vs. physical, considering my nephew (through game share) bought the super-spanking version of Red Dead Redemption II (you know, buy the exquisitely expensive version and play a whole week early type of nonsense) on Saturday night and the download currently stands at 56%.

I think for the foreseeable Ill stick with physical, thanks… at this rate I might get to play it by Wednesday.
big boy bent

GC: You cant pay to play Red Dead Redemption II early, only download it – precisely because it would take too long on the day.

Virtual Lego

In response to your correct view on the new Lego yawn fest. I was playing around in Astro Bot with 213 hyperactive bots running around and then, after loading up one of the miniature levels, I had the idea that Lego should pursue the idea of making a VR game. Now before you say it GC, I know that a multi-billion dollar company rarely take unnecessary risks and you could say VR is a niche market, but there seems so much potential for it.

A platformer with multiple worlds based on their numerous sets (imagine levels based on Star Wars), a level creator, endless character combinations, an online mode, etc. To me it seems theyve hit a dead end with their current output and theyd be better going in a completely new direction. It does make me wonder how much profit theyre making out of their gaming sector.

A level creator mode with an online community (much like LittleBigPlanet) in Astro Bot 2 would be rather welcome come to think of it.
Lord Mont du Baton



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Click of a button

I tend to buy my games digitally. Im paralysed from the waist down after being injured in Afghanistan and its so much easier than traipsing down to the shops whenever I fancy purchasing something new.

Obviously before my injury, I used to buy my games physically from GAME or Blockbuster and I enjoyed rifling through the titles and having an explore but you do lose that fun when clicking a button via the Xbox store. Mind you, the convenience is the big plus and I doubt Ill ever go back.

Only Good

Red Dead Redemption II will probably become game of the year, because Rockstar always leave room for improvement and development. I was playing Red Dead Redemption thinking there were so many things great about it but also what they could include on character interactions and authenticity from the Old West period.

Been a big fan of Western movies like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and The Wild Bunch you see how Rockstar have taken points from these movies and research from the Old West in great detail and included in the game. Also, Rockstar have made the game engine RAGE far superior to GTA V, which makes the game feel alive in every way with an AI memory. Thank you Rockstar and seven years hard work.

Solid idea

For those who are fans of the Metal Gear Solid series, they may remember the game Metal Gear Solid VR Missions that came out after the very first title that hit the PlayStation. Recently we have seen the release of the PlayStation VR headsets and the Oculus Rift. Konami could create a new title in the series by implementing a newer VR Missions title similar to the past game but allow it to support and utilise the VR headsets available for consoles.

Konami could also implement some VR missions based on previous areas like Shadow Moses and The Big Shell from past games and create VR missions from those as well as their own custom stages with various challenges for the player that were never in previous games.

There are a lot of cool things that could be done with VR missions in a Metal Gear Solid title with newer hardware and one way to do that could be to allow the player to build their own custom VR missions and stages and allow them to share these online. This would encourage the creation of newer stages. This is one feature that hasnt been tried before with any other Metal Gear Solid game and Konami could do this by making a VR title like this.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)

Not a day earlier

Not only are Rockstar strict on the NDA for the review embargo but on ShopTo, on the order page for Red Dead Redemption II, it says, Due to Publisher shipping restriction orders will be dispatched on Thursday 25th October on time for release.

Normally, ShopTo gets the game to you a day or two before release but that is not going to happen this time.
Andrew J.

GC: Unfortunately Rockstar are very strict about such things. It also illustrates how lax other publishers are about the issue.



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Sorry excuse

A bit of a shame that SoulCalibur VI hasnt sold better. Then again, we dont know the digital sales, do we? Even then, it probably hasnt sold Tekken 7 numbers. It clearly didnt have Tekken 7s budget, either. I very much miss the kind of intro you saw in Soul Blade, SoulCalibur, and SoulCalibur II. That part at the end of the SoulCalibur II intro with Nightmare on some kind of hellish mountain getting powered up by a fragment of Soul Edge really gets the heart pumping.

And, am I wrong, or does it not seem like that much of a step up – visually speaking, that is – from the last one on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3? Its still pretty, Im just not blown away by the graphics, either.

I have now played through a significant portion of both Chronicles of the Sword and Libra of Souls modes. The story is boring. And while there isnt actually that much text, it is very intrusive. Unlike in SoulCaliburs I and II, there was a paragraph explaining the mission, why you were there, which you could skim through in two seconds or pass over entirely. Splitting the text into separate screens gives the very convincing illusion that theres far more of it than there is. Ugh! you keep thinking. Just let me fight some skeletons already!

But hey, the missions are pretty good. The single-player is better than the last three entries, I think, even if its not the best SoulCalibur. That said, Ive had a few bouts with one of my friends and it has that old, fast and fluid SoulCalibur II magic. Like, and Im sorry to bang on about it, the opposite of Dragon Ball FighterZ. And its much better than that, for my money. Whether its got better single-player than NetherRealms latest efforts, I cant say yet.

I just hope that this has sold well enough for us to get a SoulCalibur VII…

GC: It doesnt sound like youre sorry to bang on about Dragon Ball FighterZ.

Inbox also-rans

Hang on. Michael Ironside and Mark Hamill are doing voiceovers in the new Lego DC game?! I would totally put up with a mediocre game for that!

GC: And Kevin Conroy as Batman, Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor, Corey Burton as Brainiac, Gilbert Gottfried as Mr Mxyzptlk, and Michael Dorn as Kalibak. Even Jeffrey Combs is in it, although we dont think Question is. Its the closest thing to a Justice League Unlimited reunion in years, and a terrible waste of a great cast.

Looking forwards to the Fallout 76 beta today, even though Ive got a PlayStation 4 and cant play it yet. Hoping the feedback will be good as we still know so little about the game.

This weeks Hot Topic

The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader stanley71 and asks what was your favourite video games magazine?

With the news that GamesTM and GameMaster are to close next month the era of the games mag is almost over, but what are your fondest memories and which were your favourite titles? How often did you use to read games mags and how important were they to you in terms of entertainment and games advice?

Do you still read games mags now and do you think theres any way they can survive? What do they do better than the Internet and what will you miss most when theyre gone?

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