The morning Inbox wonders whether Fallout 76 will become a watershed moment for unfinished games, as one reader asks why so few games are set in India.
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Good feature about game graphics at the weekend, Id probably agree with it all really, in terms of games if no the order of them, if were purely talking on a technical rather than an artistic level (which is a whole different question really). I keep telling myself that graphics have reached a point where Im not impressed any more, but thats really not true. Theyve reached a level where almost all games (except ones made by Bethesda, apparently) can be guaranteed to be of a certain quality. But the really good stuff, thats still rare.
Its no surprise that all the games on the top five list are super expensive first party vanity projects… and a Rockstar game. But its not that EA or Activision couldnt afford it, so I wonder why they dont ever put out such games? Battlefield is very good-looking, Ill grant you, but perhaps because its multiplayer it never seems to make these sort of lists. I dont know many people that buy it for the graphics either, but does that go for everything?
Are graphics really a selling point any more? I mean, obviously theyre a bonus and people are happy when theyre good but as long as they reach that post-Bethesda level does it really matter? Ive got to assume that because so few third party games are breaking through to the top level it means they dont matter that much and companies dont want to spend money on it. Which is good in some ways as it is a bit of an unhealthy obsession. But Id be interested to know how far up the list of priorities it is for people nowadays.
Im still enjoying Hitman 2 but some of its locations have definitely made more of an impact on me than others. I found the Mumbai level to be particularly impressive. I expect the developers visited India for research purposes, which explains the unique sense of environment and atmosphere.
The levels of Hitman 2 are so big and intricate they almost feel like standalone games in themselves. I wonder, has India featured much in other titles? I remember some India levels in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin but I cant immediately think of any other games set in India or Pakistan for that matter.
Isnt India (like China) one of the great emerging markets? Youd think that developers/publishers would want to appeal to the gamers who live there. Im certainly a bit fed up with games set in America.
GC: Arent we all. India is the second most populous country in the world, with almost the same population as China and over a billion more than the USA in third place. And yet we cant remember the last time there was any significant games news related to the country. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy was set in India, but beyond that the only games we can think of are Tomb Raider III, Sly 2, and a couple of Call Of Duties. Street Fighter and various sports games have also featured the country, but its a poor effort all round.
So I see Rocksteady themselves have shot down the rumours of the Superman/Worlds Finest game. It was pretty obvious the sources on it werent up to much and Im glad GC didnt run a story on it. The only facts we know about the game is that its multiplayer-focused and I dont see how that can square with the kind of game the rumour was painting a picture of.
This I going to be some kind of game as a service title and considering how long theyre taking about it I imagine (ironically, like the Avengers game) it was all resdesigned in light of the reaction to Star Wars: Battlefront II.
Rocksteady arent going to be at The Game Awards so I guess we just go back to not knowing. I guess theres a small chance Warners other studio could announce something, but you wouldve thought Rocksteady wouldve hinted at that (mind you, they did seem to really resent Arkham Origins).
Funnily enough the directors of Avengers: Infinity War will apparently be at The Game Awards so maybe Square Enixs game will finally get announced instead. Poor old DC, always second in line…
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For years I have rolled my eyes upwards when people start whinging about some minor change to a weapon in a game, then go on as though its the end of the world.
On that basis I have to concede that it is completely hypocritical that Beat Saber on Oculus Rift caused me to have a trembling bottom lip and a tear in my eye. Theyve updated the lightsabres to a pair of naff looking poles without the option to revert back. It doesnt affect the gameplay but Ive waited 40 blinking years for a decent lightsabre game, damn it.
Please give us a lightsabre option. You cant play Oculus Rift when youre crying as you fog up.
GC: It seems easy to imagine why that might be…
Lessons to learn
There seems to be more bad news for Bethesda almost every day now. So bad that I have trouble believing theyll be able to make a success of Fallout 76 now whatever they do. It makes me wonder whether this might the be unfinished game equivalent to Star Wars: Battlefront II and how it changed the way companies look at loot boxes. Is Fallout 76 a big enough disaster to make others think twice about releasing their games half finished?
Id like to think so. Its not like publishers dont watch each other closely to see what theyre doing and whats a hit and whats not, so the lessons from Fallout 76 seem pretty obvious.
Im not sure when will be the next time to find out though? I dont think its till Anthem in February till we get another game like that. And given how weird its development has been god knows how thats going to turn out. If it works properly from day one though Id put at least some of that down to Bethesda.
So I guess were never probably going to know whether the PlayStation Classic is a big seller or not, since it wont even be in the sales charts, but I hope its not because the whole thing sounds like a disaster and Im very glad I saved myself some money from not getting it.
I couldve give it a pass over the so-so games line-up but the terrible emulation is bizarre. Its not like the PS1 is difficult to emulate, this isnt the Saturn or something. Just lazy and greedy and from a company that is already behind the curve on backwards compatibility. Another games industry own goal.
Everybody wants it
I just read an article on Metro and I totally am all about having the Super Mario Sunshine game on the Nintendo Switch. Everybody is looking forward to this idea, they suggested either a sequel or a remake of the GameCube version.
I prefer the sequel idea or a combo pack for Super Mario Sunshine 1 and 2 for this generation of Nintendo Switch gamers that werent with us when GameCube came out. This is the article that I had read.
A Hyrule Field moment
Im a gamer of 30-plus years, and as a result a little jaded and my interest in games is not what it used to be. Ultimately I enjoy a challenge with a game and I miss the days when myself and several friends would sit in the same room and hotseat games such as Psycho Pinball and Virtua Racer.
Recent consoles have been the best in my lifetime as a gamer. I honestly felt the Switch was the best console ever when I bought one last year. Less powerful than existing consoles but the game world that was presented in Zelda: Breath Of The Wild was sublime, surpassing even The Witcher for immersion. I confess I have traded the Switch to take advantage of the cheap PlayStation VR offers. Hopefully will rebuy a Switch in the future.
The PlayStation VR makes me feel like somebody who is new to gaming. Some of my fondest memories of gaming are first playing the original Tomb Raider and entering that first cavern and being able to look all around it, up down left right. Younger gamers wont realise how much of a revelation that was. I didnt think things could get any better than that and along came Zelda: Ocarina Of Time with its much celebrated Hyrule Field moment. I recall that game as I recall great holidays.
With the PlayStation VR my sense of wonder is renewed, yet once again the graphics arent crisp or sharp.
This jaded gamer is loving the current console generation. PlayStation VR and Switch have offered some of my best and most immersive game experiences in 30 years. I never thought I would have another Hyrule Field but gaming just got like Craggy Island. Theres a whole patchwork of them.
Would also like to thank you guys at GC for putting me onto Divinity: Original Sin II, a Dark Souls of role-playing games and maybe one the best. I think your team play a big part in keeping me gaming.
Tiddleydwarf (PSN ID)
GC: Thats nice to know, thanks.
Dont discontinue the PS Vita, you can the PSP but not Vita, please. I live in Maine, USA. I love my Vita.
GC: Were afraid its already due to be discontinued next year.
Never mind all the talk of Red Dead Redemption II, after seeing your picture of a Commodore 64 for Fridays Inbox I am now yearning for a long-awaited Kane III!
GC: Wow, thats obscure.
This weeks Hot Topic
The subject for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader Preston, who asks what older game would you still like to see get a remake or remaster?
With games even as obscure as Toki now getting full-blown remakes, and following the huge success of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro The Dragon, we want to know what games you think still need to make a comeback and whether you think they could really be a hit again.
It can be any game from any era, even if theyve still got current sequels, but we want to know exactly what you would – and wouldnt – change about the game. How much would the graphics have to change and how outdated will the gameplay seem to modern gamers? And most importantly, do you honestly think itll ever happen?
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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.
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