Games Inbox: Dead Space’s classic status, Returnal GOTG, and the death of PS Plus Collection

Dead Space – is it a classic? (pic: EA)

The Friday letters page likes the idea of a first person shooter with an endless mode, as even more readers get nostalgic over GoldenEye 007.

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Second tier
As a survival horror fan I have to admit that I was hoping The Callisto Protocol and Dead Space would take off a bit more than they have, and I’m certainly surprised that Dead Space only sold half as much as its rival at launch. I don’t know what EA were hoping for but perhaps it will do better over time, as word of mouth gets out, as I think it’s a very good remake.

I have seen some people questioning whether it actually deserved a remake and I would say it definitely does. GC has said they don’t consider it to be a classic but while I agree it’s no Resident Evil or Silent Hill, to me it is only a tier below and still one of the most iconic survival horrors there is – and the best sci-fi one.

Does that mean it’s a classic? It depends on your definition I suppose but for me it is definitely one of the first games I think of when talking about the genre. I also think its combat is some of the best of any similar game and that the setting is used well and is very unique, for games at least. I love the remake and would recommend it to any other horror fans, while very much hoping that EA commission Dead Space 4 off the back of it (or just Dead Space 3.1 and pretend the last one didn’t happen).

Experimental years
I actually find the idea of an endless mode for a first person shooter to be quiet interesting. I’d also predict that fans would ensure none of them ever end. Just imagine as they start to get down to the last few people and the call goes out on Twitter for people to pile and make sure it doesn’t stop. I think that would be pretty cool and very good publicity for Activision.

I do agree that first person shooters have become a lot less experimental in recent years. I think in large part because there’s less of them then there used to be, with Fortnite making it seem like a much bigger risk than it used to be to make one.

Just look at Battlefield. It’s an almost dead franchise now and it would benefit a lot more than Call Of Duty from an idea like this. If it or another game wants to make an impact they’ve got to play differently, not just have slightly better graphics than Call Of Duty.

Virtual drive
RE: The Dude Abides. The whole of Gran Turismo 7 is playable on PlayStation VR2.

I couldn’t be more excited as that’s all I ever really wanted from PlayStation VR and didn’t quite get. Driveclub, DiRT Rally, and GT Sport weren’t quite there in VR but were a tantalising glimpse of what was round the corner. Now it seems like we’re finally there. The first previews just dropped and they’re all glowing.

I absolutely cannot wait. Chuck in Resident Evil Village, No Man’s Sky, The Walking Dead, Moss, and Tetris and I’m very happy with my pre-order. Try one as soon as you can!
thewearehere (PSN ID)

The original and the best
Revisited GoldenEye 007 this week on Xbox, after a 21 year hiatus, and I’m addicted again. Help!

Played the solo campaign a lot between ’99 and ’02. It set the benchmark back then, for console first person shooters. I’ve played a fair few since then and, well, it’s still the best, in my opinion. Brilliant then, brilliant now, but with sharper graphics and an improved frame rate – apart from a slight stutter every now and then.

Seen loads of negative comments on t’internet. Dunno what people are complaining about. It’s a straight port of the original as far as I can see; nothing wrong with that. Can’t recall reading that this release was ever going to be the remastered version that was developed by Rare for Xbox Live Arcade circa 2008.

It would be nice, though, if Microsoft, Nintendo, et al. could get their heads together and officially release the remastered version later this year.
Paul C.
Favourite three levels on 00 Agent: Silo, Frigate, and Train
Hardest three levels on 00 Agent: Control, Caverns, and Aztec

Happy nostalgia
Add me to the list of people that are loving the re-release of GoldenEye 007 on the Switch. It’s everything I remember it being, although I’m sure it wasn’t this hard! (My ageing reflexes are perhaps a factor!)

One thing that is really standing out to me is the sound. The menu music is fantastic, the soundtracks to each level are great, it all adds massively to the immersion.

I’ve got one of the N64 controllers, which I’m sure is aiding my enthusiasm. In fact, my Switch has only been used to play N64 games for a few months now – just about to finish Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and then I’ll move onto Majora’s Mask. I’ve also played through Pilotwings, dipped into Wave Race 64, and now am obsessed with GoldenEye 007.

As someone who had an N64 at 10 years old, this is all incredibly nostalgic, and I’m thoroughly enjoying being able to play games that I wasn’t rich enough to buy as a kid.

Neutral observer
So, err… why is Sony shutting down the PS Plus Collection? The one ‘generous’ thing they ever did and now suddenly it’s a limited time thing? None of those games are going to sell for anything much nowadays so the amount of money they’d be losing is absolutely minimal, while instead they get to introduce new PlayStation 5 owners to franchises they might never have seen before, which in turn would encourage them to maybe get the sequels.

I guess Sony feel they’re doing so well they don’t have to try anymore? Or is this something to do with the Activision Blizzard buyout, where they’re going to pretend they can’t afford to have a Games Pass service?

I really don’t understand how people ever become ‘fans’ of console makers. They’re all as bad as each other, trying to squeeze customers as much as possible and making their decisions based purely on its expected profit, no matter how cynical it seems.

Even Nintendo are no better. Some of the ways they treat fans, from not wanting to replace Joy-Cons to their terrible approach to online accounts are just awful. I always try to stay neutral in it all, enjoy the games, and forget the company.

Give it a rest
Does anyone else think that Microsoft should just give Halo and Gears Of War a rest for a while? I really don’t think there’s the demand for them that there used to be and given the last few have been pretty disappointing I feel they’d be a lot better off trying to get some new IPs off the ground.

Gears Of War in particular feels very old-fashioned now – I did not enjoy Gears 5 at all – and just carrying on making them, instead of moving forward with something else seems like they’re just avoiding the inevitable, not to mention wasting their time and money.

fallback-3282374No lies detected
The best PlayStation 5 exclusive is clearly Returnal, which by virtue of the dearth of competition makes it the best platform exclusive game so far this gen.

I do think that Sony’s big marquee signings are not quite at the same level as the stuff they were releasing in the previous gen. Miles Morales was a great Spider-Man and benefited greatly from its brevity but, that aside, I haven’t warmed to the other big stuff Sony has released so far this gen. The big name sequels have all suffered from the same lack of editorial control, feature sprawl, and a really strange tone of self-seriousness.

Sure, these sequels may well have improved graphics and smoother gameplay but they feel a little rigid and overdesigned to me. From the outside it looks like Naughty Dog are the premier first party developer and the other studios have been given instruction to take the same template and iterate and expand upon it, whilst missing the nuance and genuine craft that Naughty Dog are able to inject into their stuff.

This has resulted in a big homogenisation of Sony stuff so far this gen and, whether you take out the robot dinosaurs and replace them with sad angry war dads, the basic template of overwrought cut scenes, upgrade trees, flawed main characters, and bashy bashy fight scenes are now as overfamiliar as Ubitowers.

I think I was willing to overlook the perceived Sony formula through last gen (though I skipped the sad angry motorbike man release) but I could see the signs of what was coming with Ghost Of Tsushima. They clearly all still sell well though and garner smashing reviews, but for me I still don’t feel like the gen has truly got going with regards to must-have system sellers.

Sorry for the long letter – I could’ve gone on even longer though.

GC: That’s what Reader’s Features are for, if you’d like to write one.

Inbox also-rans
Elden Ring is a year old?! Where is the time going? What am I doing with my life? Apart from playing video games that is.

Really holding out for an Advance Wars 1+2 shadow drop next week. Although I fear there’s no chance of a new game after this, given what trouble it’s been for Nintendo. That’s a real shame.

This week’s Hot Topic
This weekend’s Inbox will announce the results of the 2022 Reader’s Top 20 of the Year. As usual, you’ve got all week to get in your votes, before we tally them all up for the final reveal.

There are no restrictions on what you can vote for, other than that they must have been released new in the UK during 2022. Otherwise, just let us know your top three favourites of the year and ideally send us some explanation for why you liked them.

What did you think of 2022 in general and how do you think it compares to other recent years in gaming? Also, which publishers and consoles do you feel had the best 12 months?

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