Games Inbox: New games at the PlayStation Showcase

The Wednesday letters page thinks Ubisoft needs to ration its use of open world games, as one reader recommends Red Matter 2.

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Burn out or fade away
So, by the time you see this we’ll be just hours away from the PlayStation Showcase and I really hope it lives up to expectations. I hope all the many, and confusing, events over the next few weeks do, as I feel we really need some major announcement bombs to go off right about now. Most publishers have only one or two games announced at the moment, some not even that, and the release schedules are starting to look kind of bleak.

Personally, my hopes for PlayStation are a new Uncharted, which seems inevitable at some point given the success of the movie. I also hope to see something of the Wolverine game and I’d love to know how Housemarque is going to follow-up Returnal. Add in one or two new IPs and that would be my perfect showcase. I’m sure I won’t be that lucky but at least it feels reasonable to hope for.

For Nintendo, I don’t think it’s even confirmed they’ll have a new Direct, but I hope they do because if the Switch 2 isn’t till next year I would like to think they will have more games coming out before that. Zelda is amazing, I’m not going to argue, but coasting all the way from now till the launch of their console on that is not an exciting way to go out.

GC: Nintendo haven’t confirmed anything, no. There’s a good chance there won’t be one.

Familiar problem
For Ubisoft’s sake I hope their showcase next month is good, because it really sounds like they’re in a bad place right now. I guess a new Assassin’s Creed will do well, since it’s been a long time since the last one, but why is the same studio working on two open world shooters based on a movie? It seems a very odd thing to do and it seems obvious that if one is delayed it’ll have a knock-on effect on the other.

I think it also highlights the major problem with Ubisoft at the moment. All their games are basically the same. That’s something people have been saying for years and rather than try to do something about it they only seem to be making things worse and worse.

Ubisoft really needs to try starting doing something different and I don’t mean Skull And Bones. If I were in charge I’d mandate no more than one open world game in development at any one time and then they might finally get themselves into a good position again.

Limited War
Bit gutted the next Total War is Pharoah, set in old Egypt.

Was really hoping for a sequel to Empire.

That game got so many 10/10s and deserves a sequel as the original, to this day, is a buggy and unfinished mess.

I guess anything colonialism related is very taboo at the moment, politically. Or maybe Creative Assembly have too many bad memories of forcing it out in 2008, because of the Sega buyout?

Hopefully one day us Total War fans of the musket and cannons era will have our dream come true.

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Blood Demon’s Souls Borne
In regards to the endless recycled rumour of a Bloodborne PC release I’m not sure why there isn’t a clamour for the PlayStation 5 Demon’s Souls remake to be ported instead. It would be more probable, certainly considering Sony’s attitude to bringing their games to PC. Even now it still looks absolutely fantastic, has no technical problems like most FromSoftware games and could have numerous upgrades to suit high PC graphic cards. Playing it with full ray-tracing on and at a whopping 120+ fps would be pretty sublime.

Bloodborne is a truly phenomenal game, but this constant rumourmongering feels as if we’re talking about a 25 year old hidden gem rather than a still perfectly playable 2015 game. Is it in such a state that it can’t be enjoyed without a remaster/remake?

GC: Demon’s Souls is almost certainly just a question of time. Bloodborne isn’t broken or anything but it does have some performance issues. More importantly, as one of the best games of the previous generation, it deserves to be put on a pedestal… not forgotten and ignored by Sony.

Blame game
The first QTEs are usually credited to/blamed on Die Hard Arcade in 1996, which is certainly Yu Suzuki adjacent.

Wikipedia cites Laserdisc games like Dragon’s Lair as early examples, but I don’t entirely agree with that because it’s the entire gameplay experience to press specific moves when prompted.

QTEs to me are occasional prompts in more traditionally controlled games that break-up the action a bit.

I would make a case for Yoshi’s Island’s balloon throwing mini-game as an earlier example, but it’s fair to say that Yu Suzuki coined the term and Shenmue popularised its use.

GC: Maybe popularised isn’t quite the right phrase.

Two in the title
I feel it’s a shame not making Spider-Man 2 co-op. I always think it’s odd when a game has two prominent characters like that and you can’t play them both. If Batman and Robin could have a co-op mode a decade ago I don’t see why Spider-Man 2 couldn’t now. Shows you how little technology has really moved on beyond the surface graphics.

Having co-op would have fit the whole fact that this has the number two in its name and it would ensure the game is actually different. We’ve played as both characters in their own games now and I’m not really sure what we’re going to be gaining from playing them again if nothing major has changed about the game.

Personally, I’m beginning to think it might have been better if the game was more radical and let you play as Venom in an anti-hero role. Maybe have him become a better person as the game goes on. He’s one of the main draws to the sequel anyway, it would’ve been better if they’d actually done something interesting and unexpected with him.
Terry Gold

Virtual matters
Just a recommendation to try Red Matter 2 on PlayStation VR2. Probably the best graphics I’ve yet seen. Really crisp and a full 120Hz.

There’s a fantastic score too and whilst it’s not run and gun carnage there’s a nice flow to the puzzles. Plus, you guys are space nerds (like me).

Keep up the good work.

Baby steps
If Persona 6 is a PlayStation 5 exclusive again, even if it’s only timed, then I think it’s a great shame that Xbox didn’t try and nab it for themselves. Exclusivity is only about money so all they had to do was offer more and suddenly the Xbox is stealing important exclusives away from Sony and becoming something Japanese fans can start to take seriously.

Obviously, they didn’t but I don’t know why, especially as they’ve missed dozens of these opportunities over the years. It feels like they keep convincing themselves they don’t need to, it’s proved they do, and then just as they’re going to do things differently they back out and just let the cycle continue.

It isn’t just about making the Xbox successful in Japan, that’s secondary, it’s about getting the Xbox a decent variety of games and finally getting rid of that ShooterBox reputation and the fact that it seems so American-centric.

I’m sure they’ll claim that’s what Persona 3 remake is doing but if the rumours are true it’s a multiformat game and, well… it’s only a remake. Whatever difference Microsoft think it’s going to make it’s not enough.

GC: It’s not just the money it’s whether the game appearing on another format will increase or decrease its visibility and thereby the success of the franchise as a whole. Nobody owns an Xbox in Japan, which is Persona’s primary market.

Inbox also-rans
Samba de Amigo sounds like a bit of a mess from your preview. Sanitised and with not very good motion controls. I guess they days of bundling novelty controllers with a game are long gone, especially for something that niche.

Persona 6 at the Sony event and Persona 3 remake at the Xbox one? I can see that happening. I’m probably setting myself up to look the fool in saying this but sometimes you can just tell when a rumour is true or not and this feels right.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Lamont, who asks where do you usually play your video games?

Do you have a specific room set aside for them or is it just the living room or bedroom? Is your television set-up specially designed for games and what do you in terms of the sound system and storing the consoles and controllers?

If you do have a special room, does it have a lot of games related merchandise and decoration in it? If it doesn’t do you wish it did?

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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