Games Inbox: Sony arrogance and the PS5, Call Of Duty sci-fi, and Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom theory

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Sony seems to be upsetting people again (pic: Sony)

The Tuesday letters page is unconvinced about Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, as one reader feels the video game movie craze will be short lived.

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The worst of everyone
That story about how Sony describes its competitors in its patents is so embarrassing. Like the expert guy says, it’s childish and unprofessional. Why would you even say that? Who’s it going to impress? Is Sony so desperate to try and convince patent clerks to buy a PlayStation that they write things in public documents that everyone can see?

It seems trivial at first, but I think it’s proof that there is something seriously wrong with the culture at Sony, that sees itself above the rest of the industry and, increasingly, its customers. The refusal to communicate with fans over the last year or so has made this much more obvious and it feels like the continual success of the PlayStation 5, without them doing anything, has only fuelled their sense of superiority.

The whole Activision Blizzard business is not a black and white issues, and shows all the companies at their worst, but this had nothing to do with that, and neither do the lack of games at the moment. It seems to me that Sony could do with being taken down a peg or two, for their own good as well as ours.

Future Warfare
I’m surprised to learn that Advanced Warfare has that many fans. Although I quite liked it, it comes from that period where everyone seemed to be ragging on Call Of Duty for being too sci-fi, even though all the robot stuff is clearly coming true already.

I wonder whether Activision will try again with something with a similar setting, even if it doesn’t make a direct sequel. I haven’t heard about anything coming up that isn’t modern day or close to it, as they seem to have given up on both Second World War games and future ones.

I imagine the failure of Battlefield 2042 didn’t help with their confidence but they Call Of Duty used to be pretty inventive and varied with its setting and Vanguard seemed to kill all that. I hope that when they do get bought by Microsoft that they can encourage them to go back to their old way of doing things.

Multiverse of madness
Theory. Had it ages, may as well throw it out there. With everyone loving the multiverse lately my theory is it’s actually tears (torn) of the kingdom. This will try to tie all the Zelda titles together and we’ll meet different variations of Link during the game. We have a fuse and recall ability. Coming together, time?

Hmmm, a recipe for a tear in the kingdom if you ask me and it’ll be that huge amazing thing we all expect from Nintendo, not just the clever mechanics they have shown us so far. Look at Super Mario Odyssey, created for the Switch, unlike Breath Of The Wild. this could be the celebration of Zelda past that Mario Odyssey was. Congratulate me when I’m right. Forget me when I’m not.
Future Phil

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Going for Gold
I’ve noticed a recent change recently on the Xbox store when looking at games on offer. Microsoft seem to have introduced a reduced price for games if you have a Game Pass subscription. To clarify, I’m not referring to the games that are already included in the Game Pass subscription where usually 10% or 20% off is offered if you wanted digital ownership of a title.

This got me thinking about how there were comments doing the rounds about Microsoft of getting rid of the Gold subscription and possibly making online play free. Does mean Gold could be retired finally? Especially considering the games given away each month with this tier have reduced in both quantity and quality over the months.

I know I would like to see the fee for online play come to an end on Xbox consoles. What do GC think?

GC: Those rumours have been around for years and while it sounds plausible there’s still not much evidence to suggest it’s happening. The recent changes may simply be to match PS Plus Extra, which has similar deals.

Short renaissance
So another Star Wars Jedi: Survivor trailer and I still don’t feel I really know anything about it, even though they’ve shown quite a bit of gameplay at this point. I’ll get it because I liked Fallen Order but I feel the graphics are quite disappointing, despite being next gen only, and there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on about what they’ve shown so far. It all seems a bit… empty?

Seeing the Rancor also had me rolling my eyes. Typical Star Wars, constantly showing you things you’ve already seen instead of something new. Maybe they’re just bad trailers but I hope the final game is more interesting to play than it is to watch.

Without peers
After the success of The Last Of Us and Super Mario movies I do fear what a deluge of wannabes we’re going to get now. How far are we now from a Bubsy Bobcat movie? But seriously, I do think that those two games, completely different as they are, are kind of the pinnacle of what video game adaptations can be. There’s no one even remotely as famous as Mario and his crew in the video game world, especially not anyone as family friendly, and you can see that difference in the sales between the Sonic and Mario movies.

Likewise, The Last Of Us is pretty much the pinnacle of storytelling in an action game and I really can’t think of anything else that would come close. Like Sonic, the Uncharted movie was nowhere near as popular, even though it did okay. But what else does Sony or anyone else have that could be as big as The Last Of Us? Things like God Of War are too fantastical I think, with too few characters, and Horizon… the least interesting part of that is the story.

So the video game movie/TV renaissance may have peaked too early, with nowhere else to go but down. Except for sequels to both, of course, which I expect to see as soon as possible.
Taylor Moon

Secret fans
Not to diss someone that likes the game but I have never met or heard from anyone that was a fan of the Mafia games. Heck, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone even mention them. And yet they have three games and a remake, with two more on the way? Is the actual Mafia secretly buying copies or something?

Makes me think of things like F-Zero and Half-Life 3 that fans are desperate for but never happen and yet these games apparently get infinite sequels despite no apparent demand at all.

Honourable end
When those credits roll and you know you’ve completed something truly magnificent, you feel an emotion. Something that stands out and makes you marvel. When the credits rolled on my playthrough of Dishonored it made me introspect and I realised that it was the first true stealth title that made me appreciate what Arkane created 11 years ago.

The stealth genre was more or less fading away, because gone were the days of Sam Fisher and Solid Snake. Until 2012 rolled through, it was mostly transparent that we’d see countless action titles, such as Batman: Arkham Asylum and Uncharted 3. But Dishonored did something different. It took us to a dishevelled and steampunk world, eloquently known as Dunwall. It was a corrupted, dishonourable, and rat infested lair of bribery, lies, and blood.

You played as Corvo Attano and you were usurped as Lord Protector of Jessamine Kaldwin. Framed for her death and your daughter snatched away from you, I began playing as a dishonoured assassin. From when the Outsider, shrouded in a blanket of mystery, emboldened you with his mark the journey began and what a journey it was. From escaping Dunwall Tower and a swift execution, to dispatching the pretender Lord Regent, Hiram Burrows, to finally disposing of your treacherous allies, Havelock, Pendleton, and Martin. From the trek from the Flooded District and a possible duel with the counterpart of Corvo, Daud, to my personal favourite level of the entire game, the House Of Pleasure.

It was a marvellous joyful experience, blinking from building to building and engaging in sword duels, when spotted by guards and slowing time completely to fend off multiple foes. I can’t praise and thank Arkane and Bethesda enough for their work on the franchise, for bringing stealth back to the mainstream. On that note, I’ve played a few minutes of the most acclaimed level in the sequel. Many know it as the Clockwork Mansion. I know it as the pinnacle of level design and the peak of player choice.

I don’t know if Arkane plan on continuing Emily and Corvo’s story, or perhaps revisiting Daud and Meghan Foster, perhaps a third instalment can introduce a new character or maybe shed some light on The Outsider. It’s up to Arkane, to see where their creative direction takes them. But if they are truly done with the franchise and Death Of The Outsider is the final piece of the puzzle what a journey it has been.
Shahzaib Sadiq

GC: Never say never but Arkane has made it clear Dishonored is unlikely to continue.

Inbox also-rans
I think The Super Mario Bros. Movie may be the worst movie I’ve really enjoyed. It’s not so bad it’s good, it’s just non-stop fan service that I can’t help but love.

Fun looking new first person shooter called The Explorator shown at the recent ID@Xbox show. No confirmed release date, just this year I think, but one I’ll definitely keep my eye on.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox asks the obvious question of the moment: following the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie what other video game would you like to see turned into an animated film?

It doesn’t have to be Nintendo related, or family friendly, and it can be either CGI or hand animated (or stop motion). Most video game movie ideas are based on the idea that the film would be live action but what do you think would work better animated?

Do you think animation is better for video game adaptations in general and when is live action still preferable? What actors would you imagine for the parts and do you think they’d actually do it?

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The small print
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MORE : Games Inbox: The Super Mario Bros. Movie fan reviews, Pokémon CGI movie, and the death of VR

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