Games Inbox: Is Ghost Of Tsushima a good game?

The Wednesday Inbox is not convinced by either Sony or Microsoft’s next gen plans, as one reader hopes Splatoon 3 will be out this year.

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As expected
I’m playing Ghost Of Tsushima now and I’m really not sure what to make of it, despite it, ironically, being exactly what I expected. It is a pretty game but coming off the back of The Last Of Us Part 2 it’s not quite as good as that and I can’t help comparing things like the inferior facial animation.

The combat is fun but at the end of the day it’s still a light/heavy attack combat system and I have played so many of those over the years. The speed and the danger is good, I like the crowd control aspect, but I’m not sure how it’s all going to feel in 30 hours’ time.

I’m also not really getting much of a feel for the story. Jin just seems to be a straight good guy and his only issue is that he also dabbles in a bit of ninja style stealth. Is the game setting itself up to be like an origin story for ninjas? I’m not sure if the game is trying to make any kind of big point of it it’s just a straight action adventure with bad guys and good guys and nothing in-between.

I like the wilderness sections the best: exploring, admiring the graphics, taking on roving gangs of Mongols, and basically pretending it’s Zelda: Breath Of The Wild with better graphics. But it’s not and if it was supposed to be Assassin’s Creed but done better I’m not sure I don’t trust Valhalla to end up being better.

Show, don’t tell
I really don’t get people who are painting these performance mode revelations as a good thing. Choice is good they say! Well, I know something that’s even better: no need for a choice because the console can do everything without any compromises. Starting off a console saying that it’s not really that powerful seems like a very funny way to carry on to me and has put me off buying anything in the first year or so.

I’ve still yet to see an example of ray-tracing that is particularly impressive and, more importantly, we’re still yet to see an example of what difference SSD actually makes. It’ll revolutionise the way we design games they say! Okay, sounds exciting. Care to give an example? Oh, you wouldn’t? You’d rather just make wild claims, ask for £500-odd for a new console, and then maybe think about releasing a game that uses it properly in two to three years?

Buying a next gen console at launch has always been a mug’s game but things are getting really silly now. It’s late July now and I still don’t feel I’ve seen anything to make me part with any kind of money yet, from either company. Microsoft better have a good showcase this week but really, who thinks they actually will?

The Ellie and Joel show
Been following all the discussion with The Last Of Us Part 2 with great interest as it’s probably one of the most divisive big name games I’ve ever seen. I liked it myself, even if I agree it was too long, but while I’d welcome a third (and final) game I’m not sure I can really see a point of a TV show.

Apart from anything it’s only going to add more to the idea that Joel and Ellie are heroes and not anti-heroes. There’s no way there’s going to be some 12-episode show, or whatever, where they act like they do in the game. They’re going to be constantly helping and saving people and you’re going to be made to feel Joel did the right thing in the end, and I don’t thinks that’s healthy.

Alternatively they play it straight, like the game, and it’s really bleak and depressing? I dunno, sounds like a can of worms to me. I also don’t see what a series stands to gain over the game? The dialogue and acting was already really good so what is a TV show going to bring to that table beyond that?

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Trust issues
I think Microsoft, for me, are their own worst enemy at times and they are the only ones that shoot themselves in the foot with only themselves to blame? I mean I just don’t understand the Amazon discontinuation saga of the Xbox One X and the All-Digital console news? Firstly, Microsoft deny the claims, saying it’s an Amazon mistake on their official listings, then on the other hand they come out with it stating it’s all true! (It’s not a biggie, we all know the next gen are going to be released sooner rather than later this year, so we all know it’s eventually going to happen.)

I mean, come on Microsoft. You need to get more customers on board, don’t you? To compete in sales this next gen and at least be in the running or even try to beat Sony at their own game, for once? It’s just the little things like this that doesn’t bode well for me, it’s called customer trust.

And why on earth, after only 18 months, release the All-digital console at a ridiculous price point when you can have the disc drive version of the Xbox One S for more or less the very same price? And I’m not saying that Sony or Nintendo are angels here but the bottom line is they can afford to have the odd hiccup now and again as they are not the one’s playing catch up in the sales department.

Ham and cheese
In response to the question, who is playing Destiny still? The answer is me, and a bunch of others. The season to season quality is variable, but I still find enough to entertain me, and the feel of the combat and art design is still great. I do need to mix it in with other games, but there are always lulls where I zip off to play Into The Breach, or whatever else catches my fancy.

Was also pondering the dialogue in Cyberpunk 2077. The Witcher 3’s was excellent but I do wonder if, in keeping with the source material, the dialogue in Cyberpunk will be hard boiled? I don’t mind this overly, but it can come off as cheesy or hammy (other sandwich fillings are available), to those that don’t like this approach. I wonder how much of an issue that will be?
Matt (he_who_runs_away – PSN ID)

Next gen remaster
I really hope these rumours about Mass Effect remasters pan out because it seems like I’ve been hearing about them since before even Andromeda came out. I’m not even sure what it would look like now as the original games were in HD, so a simple resolution increase isn’t going to do much. Are they going to improve all the character models? There’s a lot of characters so that’s a big job? Improve the facial animation? Maybe, but who’s going to synch it with all the hundreds of hours of dialogue?

The whole thing sounds like too much work, so that it’s either not a true rumour or when it does end up happening it disappoints everyone (my guess). I do think we’re at a stage where remasters of anything from the PlayStation 3 era onwards doesn’t make sense. What are they going to do next gen? Remaster PlayStation 4 games?

I think there’s a good reason that Demon’s Souls is a remake and not a remaster and I think that’s going to be the only route forward in the future. But obviously that’s expensive and is only going to happen with big name games or special cases. I don’t see it happening with a three-game series that while popular has never been the biggest thing ever. Even though I’d buy it like a shot.

Party pooper
With all these pre-order pages popping up, as well as apparent demo stalls for the PlayStation 5 appearing in some stores, Its made me think that Sony is going to announce the full release details either just before or just after the Xbox Games Showcase event.

It’s a perfect way to steal the limelight away from Microsoft and a win-win for Sony. If the games shown at the event do blow us all away then Sony could divert attention and if it’s another disappointment then what a great way to capitalise on Microsoft’s mistakes.
Woodfish187 (gamertag)

GC: That does sound like something they would do.

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Xbox proposition
Woof, Microsoft are changing their tune almost every day at the moment, eh? They seemed dead set on getting Xbox Game Pass on Switch a couple of years ago and now they’re pretending they don’t want to after all? Presumably after Nintendo said no (which they obviously always were gonna). It always seemed unlikely but I thought everyone figured the reason they brought it up is because they were actually close to getting an agreement.

So now Xbox Game Pass can only be played on Xbox console, PC, and mobile? Mobile is obviously a big deal but I think Stadia has already proved that you don’t get that mainstream audience without a lot of work – a lot more work than they’ve put in so far.

I have no idea what’s going to happen in the next generation. Nobody does and anyone that pretends otherwise is trying to sell something but I gotta say the Microsoft approach so far is all over the shop. They keep making announcements and yet they still haven’t put forward any kind of proposition. Buy their console is as close as we’ve got. But why should I? What does it do that the other one doesn’t? What games are on it? How much is it?

There’s so many unanswered questions and one of the problems with leaving it so long is that I’m beginning to think I’ll just do the simple thing and stick with Sony. At least their proposition is simple: same as before but better.

Inbox also-rans
Tomb Raider was almost 25 years ago now and yet we still have people saying that female leads in video games don’t sell? These Ubisoft story is bizarre but seems like good riddance to the people that have quit.

So there goes my hope that Splatoon 3 was going to be the surprise Nintendo announce this year… Nintendo fans are really having their patience tested this year, in both senses of the word.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Blitz, who asks what’s your least favourite aspect of modern gaming?

What gets you most upset about video games today and why? Is it unfinished games? The lack of variety and innovation in big budget titles? Maybe it’s performance issues like low frame rates or long load times? Or perhaps microtransactions, subscriptions, loot boxes, and other modern money-making schemes?

How serious do you consider these problems to be and have they ever put you off from buying a particular game or piece of hardware? And do you expect anything to change about them in the next generation?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

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.

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

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