Games Inbox: Was the new State of Play a disappointment?

The Friday Inbox is not particularly sad to see the end of Anthem, as one reader congratulates the Mortal Kombat movie trailer for its success.

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State of State of Play
Just some quick thoughts on the PlayStation State of Play livestream which was… about what I expected? Well, I did think the GTA 5 rumours were probably true, as they’ve got to talk about it at some point, but I guess Rockstar just want to do the absolute minimal amount of marketing, as per usual.

I’m not a huge Final Fantasy fan, and haven’t played remake, but a free PlayStation 5 upgrade with paid-for DLC sounds like a good way to hide the fact that the second chapter is probably a ways off. But even I could tell they’re reusing assets.

Of much greater interest to me was Returnal which looks like a really interesting mix of third person shooter, bullet hell shooter, and survival horror? That was the vibe I got anyway and I hope it works out as I used to love Housemarque’s old 2D games.

Kena: Bridge Of Spirits also looked great. Fantastic graphics for an indie game and it now seems less like Pikmin and more like… Horizon Zero Dawn? Deathloop also seemed cool. Simple graphics but very stylish and I like the whole Groundhog Day concept, even if I don’t quite understand how it works yet. So, given the pandemic, I thought it was pretty good. Especially as all the games are out this year.
Aporia

Black and white issue
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes have got to be a shoe-in for the Pokémon Direct and I’ll be first in line to buy them, even if they are based on Sword/Shield. I really enjoyed the original DS games and have fond memories of playing them with friends.

However, does anyone really want remakes of Black and White, because they’re next in line. I think most people would say them and their sort-of-but-not-really sequels are the worst mainline Pokémon games and I’m definitely up for just pretending they never exist.

I’m also not sure I really understand the point of Pokémon remakes being so spread out. You only ever get one or two per format so you never get all the games at once, which originally seemed to be the point. Personally, I think they should be trying to future proof them so they can be backwards compatible with the Switch 2 or whatever. Although even if they do, how do they handle the three games before them?
Wrangler

Anthem who?
So Anthem ended up exactly as everyone already expected. I’m sure that’ll just cement its place as a laughing stock but I’ll just lament a game that could have been good if it hadn’t been obviously designed during the microtransaction gold rush and then quickly redesigned once Battlefront 2 made them no longer acceptable. That’s my theory anyway and explains why the loot system was such a mess.

But there was also just a general lack of interest in the whole game from the start and you could tell it was never going to be the next Destiny, or whatever EA though. I don’t know anyone that was excited about it, and that was long before the reviews and the loot system were something people knew about.

I’ve been trying to think of why and I can only put it down to one things: a lingering hate for EA and the fact that the art design was so bland. There wasn’t much of a ‘look’ to either the robot suits or the game world or monsters. I’m trying to think off the top of my head and all I’m getting is Iron Man knock-off, Final Fantasy 12 knock-off (of all the weird things, specifically Rabanastre), and I dunno… weren’t the monsters all bugs and things? Not a memorable game and I really doubt it’ll be missed.
Onibee

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Remaking PS Plus
Just read a rumour that Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be on PS Plus next month. My first thought was no chance but then I started thinking maybe it might.

Microsoft and Game Pass, helped by Sony £70 first party exclusives, are seen as very wallet friendly and Sony find themselves in the position where they need to have some high profile statements to counter that. They have PS Now but don’t want to make too much of a fuss about it as it’s not the business model they want to make front and centre like Microsoft do.

Sony clearly want to keep pushing PS Plus and have already used it to offer a riposte to Game Pass by offering the PS Plus Collection to PlayStation 5 owners. A megaton drop on the service like Final Fantasy 7 Remake would provide some very complimentary headlines too. I got my hopes up now.
Simnudo

GC: Well, it wasn’t mentioned in the State of Play, but who knows.

Room for more
So then, Call Of Duty is now to big for a standard PlayStation 4 that has a 500GB hard drive. So what they’re saying is one more good update for Cold War on PlayStation 5 and you can have no other game on your PlayStation 5, that’s if you’re lucky that the update is just small enough to fit on.

What a joke. I understand that updates bring new content but most of it is patches and bugs that should have been fixed before the game came out. I remember the days of PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 Call Of Duty updates where they were 10GB and thought that was a joke. Every new Call Of Duty the updates seem to get bigger and bigger.

Are Activision trying to get out of the console market by making updates bigger then what the console came out with? And, if I’m honest, Cold War has been the worst Call Of Duty in the history of gaming. I’ve played the same maps so many times I even know the stone in the corner that’s lighter on one side then the other.
David

GC: That’s not what they’re saying. Cold War, Warzone, and Modern Warfare are too much. You can fit two of them though, or some combination of all three if you only install parts of them.

Pot luck
In response to the Wednesday Inbox letter about the right stick locking up in intense fights on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, there seem to be many non-game breaking glitches but all are forgivable I have found.

The worst glitch I had so far was in a fight between Brother and Brither in the main story quest line, where I found myself in a fist fight against the two of them in an arena style punch-off.

I somehow ended up stuck on a clay pot in the corner of the room, from which I couldn’t jump off or walk off, so I was just a sitting duck for punishment from the both of them. They retreated and started throwing things at me, which only made my frustrations worse. To add insult to injury, the game was reminding me that I needed to press the D-pad and top up my health bar to stay alive, which would have been almost torture as I couldn’t vacate my clay pot and was panicking.

As all seemed bleak and death seemed nigh, the clay pot broke from something they had launched at me and I was able to finally go beat the both of them to a pulp.

It seems that I didn’t purchase the doors barred edition of the game. I seem to have opted for the, ‘I’ll go make a cup of tea whilst my horse takes me to the next map marker’ edition of the game.

I managed to snag myself an Xbox Series X a month ago and when you see Assassin’s Creed Valhalla running at 4K resolution it can be stunningly beautiful playing the enhanced edition.
Nick The Greek

Hunky nerd
So Henry Cavill is really into Warhammer, PC gaming, and, presumably, comic books. Does that mean those things are now cool and things that I should definitely talk about on a first date? If not can someone explain to me what Henry Cavill has that I don’t? Is it the chin dimple thing?

But seriously, it’s strangely heartwarming to see a big, hunky movie start also be a giant nerd. I’m sure he’ll only be the exception to the rule but it sure beats the current norm.
Mick

Doing it properly
I think we were all surprised that the Mortal Kombat trailer turned out to be good (and not too grimdark) but I’ve just seen it’s become the most viewed red band trailer of all time with over 116 million views. Red band, as far as I understand, is basically 18-rated trailers in the US, since this one had quite a bit of blood in it.

All I can say is… well done. Of all the games to school Hollywood on how to make movie adaptations I don’t know how it ended up being Mortal Kombat, but there you go. It’s done it twice now and the secret of its success has been exactly the same both times, despite the 26 years between both films.

1: Make sure you film looks like the game.
2: Make sure the characters look and act like they do in the game.
3: Make sure the plot is similar to the game or at least doesn’t contradict it/is based on some part of the lore.

And that’s it really. Make sure the tone is the same, but that’s implied by step three. This isn’t rocket scientist and yet Hollywood has been getting it wrong for decades now.

Remember how the Uncharted film was going to be about a family of art experts touring the world to save valuable artefacts? And now it’s about Drake being 15-years-old, like he was in that one bit nobody really liked from one of the games?

Hollywood, do it properly or do not do it at all.
Fangf

Inbox also-rans
There’s been a huge misunderstanding: Henry Cavill simply has a printout of the whole of Wikipedia and has just reached the Mass Effect page.
FoximusPrime81 (gamertag/NNID/Twitter)

Yes, Yuffie is in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Except, she’s a PlayStation 5 exclusive now? Oh well, perhaps at some point between now and June I’ll be able to actually buy one!
Robbie

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox is based on the fact that it was the 35th anniversary of The Legend Of Zelda on Sunday and so we want to hear about your memories of the series and where you’d like it to go in the future.

What’s the first Zelda game you ever played and in what circumstances? What’s your favourite Zelda game and how do you think it might influence future releases in terms or remasters/remakes and inspiring new games? What did you think of Breath Of The Wild and what do you hope for from the sequel?

It also happens to be the 25th anniversary of Pokémon on Saturday, so if you’d like to discuss that as well, or instead of, Zelda feel free.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday mornin, 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, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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