The morning Inbox wonders if Nintendos made its last 2D Zelda, as one reader has some unexpected video game déjà vu in the Peak District.
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I dont know how Microsoft managed to get two hours out of X018 considering they had no major new game announcements and the biggest news was theyd bought two developers most people have never heard of. But… I did actually enjoy the show.
Maybe it was the crazy Mexican audience (I have never seen anyone get so excited about Winnie the Pooh before) but it all had a lot of energy and seemed to take much less time than many Sony events that were actually shorter.
To me it just goes to show that we do need Microsoft (or at least some kind of rival to Sony that makes the same sort of stuff as them) and this almost felt like a comeback tour. Or maybe a wake-up tour. After basically napping through the whole generation they now seem to be getting ready to give things another try.
I think the fact they had nothing to show basically underlines that the next gen is imminent. I will be shocked if its not unveiled next year, and released then or early 2020. I just hope Microsoft really has learned their lessons because they came dangerously closing to losing it completely this time.
Third time lucky
So Forsaken hasnt done as well as Activision expected, eh? Cant say Im surprised. People were so burned on what Destiny 2 was becoming I dont think it wouldve mattered what Forsaken was, it still wouldnt have done that great. In my opinion what they need to do is just speak with, promote Gambit more, and recognise that the problem at the moment isnt the game but gamers perception of it.
This seems like simple, obvious to me so I expect itll be ignored completely. Especially as Activisions main complaint seemed to be that it wasnt making enough money in microtransactions. I mean… they do realise that microtransactions was half the trouble?
My guess is that Destiny 3 is going to be fast-tracked for next year and, just like we all expected, the whole cycle will begin again. After that though Bungie will be out of their contract for Acitvision though, I think, so itll be interested to see what they do after that. Run for the hills and never look back I should think.
The Legend of 2D
Im excited about a new 3D Zelda game, but what I really love is the traditional Zelda with a top-down view, where the world opens up around you like one huge puzzle.
In the past they would have released an old school Zelda every now and then on whatever the current handheld console was – now it would have to be on the Switch presumably. You can imagine the backlash if Nintendo announced a new Zelda for their main console and it was a top-down game… so have we seen the last of this type of Zelda game?
I know they still make 2D Mario games and everyones fine with that but for some reason I feel like thered be a different reaction to a 2D Zelda.
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Interesting to see that tweet about The Game Awards, I know Im looking forwards to it because it always has good exclusives and last years show was actually pretty good to watch. But the main reason Im excited is because we should finally get some news on Death Stranding.
Theres not been anything concrete for ages, but current rumours are that its actually nearly finished. So Im hoping we might actually get a release date if were lucky. At the very least it should end all the speculation of whether its a next gen game or not, because everything Ive heard says its not.
Ive loved everything Hideo Kojima has done ever since I played the original Metal Gear Solid on PS1 and Im especially excited because this is something completely new that he seems to have full freedom to do whatever he wants. Even if its a failure its going to be a glorious.
In real life
I had a very surreal experience on Friday.
I took a day off work to go walking in the Peak District and had two experiences that really reminded of games, to the point I almost felt I was experiencing the game IRL.
The first was driving on Englands beautiful country roads in the autumn, it just felt like I was experiencing Forza Horizon 4 in autumn (minus the speed, obviously) and made me realise what an incredible job Playground Games have done. It was uncanny! Beautiful autumn colours, leaves billowing around my car, and the lovely twisty B-roads we have in the UK.
The other was walking over Kinder Scout, in bleak fog with low visibility, spotting cairns to tell me I was on the right path just felt like I was experiencing Skyrims bleak. Mountain roads in real life (except there were no dragons and I had modern warm waterproof and windproof clothing on).
Both experiences were amazing and gave me a real sense of joy.
Im not sure Ive ever had this experience before, and Ive been gaming since the 80s!
The Dude Abides
After reading multiple Hitman reviews I finally found out about the always online aspect of Hitman 2 in the comments section. I have to say Im really disappointed that in order to unlock things and do challenges Im required to have a stable connection. I may seem like a cry baby but I live in a country with one of the fastest Internet structures in the world but only to servers inside the country. Anything outside the country is filtered and usually suffers from disconnects.
I bought Hitman the first time round and the connection dropped at least once a game. Which wouldnt be too much of a problem, if it didnt then kick you to the main screen and lose all your progress. Ive had so many perfect runs stricken from my record because of this. And it also means I lose out on the fun of unlocking content I paid for. Because I cant complete a challenge without a connection.
Now before people say it is what it is, Just Cause 3 uses the same online protection and when it disconnects it doesnt force me to lose any progress or equipment or challenges. Im really disappointed. I will buy the game and see if the server is stable (it really is luck of the draw). But I will be getting a refund if it disconnects more than once in the first two hours. Deeply disappointed that nobody seems to have put this in their review (GCs review hasnt come out as of typing this). Wish me luck.
Some interesting comments about the next gen consoles at the weekend, particularly in that most people werent that bothered about the graphics – which I can totally understand. I was surprised at how many people mentioned artificial intelligence though. Not because its not important, and hasnt really changed in a decade or more, but because I always though it was more of a software rather than a hardware issue.
Obviously horsepower helps, but I remember GC interviewing a dev and bringing the issue up and he basically said that if a game developer was that good at AI theyd be working for the government or military. So weve basically got to wait for things to trickle down to games. That always made sense to me, as an explanation for why theres been no major improvement for years.
Between the current gen and last gen we had a minimal increase in CPU power compared to what was happening in the PC hardware space. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 share AMDs Jaguar CPU architecture, which was designed for mobile tech and underpowered even at the time of release.
Its seems pretty much certain that were going to see Ryzen chipsets in the new wave of consoles, which will be a true generational leap. We may not get the same jump in GPU power but the vast increase on a CPU level will help achieve improved framerates, better artificial intelligence, effects, etc.
What is most exciting is that games will no longer need to be designed in a way that accommodates the archaic hardware in the consoles. PC games should see a big improvement in some areas as they dont have to be designed to also work on rubbish CPUs.
At this point in each gen people question if we need a new wave of consoles, and it does baffle me. Check out Red Dead Redemption I and compare to II. The difference is incredible. Compare God Of War III to the latest PlayStation 4 God Of War. If people think these games could have been done on older hardware but with lower frame rates/resolutions or whatever they clearly know very little about game design.
GC: Most people dont, thats not a crime.
Great to know that Tetris Effect is another classic for PlayStation VR. I think its low-key becoming the best hardware out there at the moment, most exciting for me anyway.
I am going to admit I have never heard of inXile or any of their games. What a weird company to buy. Are Platinum or From really that expensive?
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader Gilo, who asks whats your favourite open world game?
With Red Dead Redemption II just out, and games ranging from Zelda: Breath Of The Wild to Assassins Creed Odyssey offering up some of the largest and most interactive worlds ever seen in a video game, we want to know which is your favourite game featuring an open world environment.
What does a good open world add to a game and what do you find are its limitations? How would you like to see this style of game evolve in the future and do you think there are too many at the moment or not enough?
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The small print
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