Games Inbox: God Of War Ragnarök as the best PS5 game, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor delay, and DC confusion

God Of War Ragnarök – also available on PS4 (pic: Sony)

The Thursday letters page is worried that more video game delays are inevitable, as readers enjoy going back to GoldenEye 007.

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Between generations
Bit late to the party but I only got God Of War Ragnarök for Christmas and have just beaten it. Long story, short I really enjoyed it and while I can accept the argument that the previous one was better it really didn’t seem that way when I was playing. I thought the combat was a real improvement in terms of variety and loved the various boss battles and set pieces – the whole of the last hour was fantastic and something I very much want to play again.

My first thought was to proclaim it the best PlayStation 5 but, of course, it’s cross-gen so it’s not solely PlayStation 5 at all. I think it’s the best game I’ve played on the PlayStation 5 but that’s not really the same thing. It’s a bit like what you said about Hi-Fi Rush, where it’s meaningless to call it the best Xbox Series X exclusive when there aren’t really any others.

It seems Sony and, I think, Xbox are largely finished with cross-gen releases now but this is one of the frustrations at the lack of information at the moment, where we just don’t know. I want to know not only what is Sony’s next game, but will it be PlayStation 5 only? All I’m really sure of is that I won’t be finding out at E3.

Close to the bone
The thing I don’t understand about video game delays is why do they pick these dates without knowing for sure if they can make them? If it’s something coming out at Christmas I can understand they need a specific date, because people are getting presents and whatever, but what does it matter to anyone whether Star Wars Jedi: Survivor comes out in March or April? Just don’t tell us a specific date until you’re sure.

It’s always such a downer to know a game has been delayed and, me at least, I always worry did they really have enough time to get things how they wanted, if it was that close to the bone?

Anyway, I’m still looking forward to the game, after enjoying the original, and hopefully it’ll be worth it in the end. But, to be honest, I would’ve been happier with a shadow drop than this endless waiting. It’s not as if they’re even doing much advertising for it.
Purple Ranger

Preferred reality
So with Sony seriously downgrading its sales forecasts for its new VR headset, and just generally seeing comments like ‘Who’s it for?’ and ‘VR is just a bit of a gimmick’ I would like to throw out one gaming community and genre that has embraced VR.

In the sim racing community VR is held up as one of the best ways to race. You can see why: the level of immersion it offers, being able to look around to see how close the car you’re racing against is, just like in real life. The fact you have true depth of vision, meaning spotting braking points, etc. is perhaps more true to life, meaning it has definitely found a lot of fans in this community.

It’s not necessarily king of the hill, though, the debate is always between VR and triple monitor set-ups. Some people just don’t get on with VR – motion sickness and the like. Others say they will never race any other way once they’ve tried it.

Personally, I’ve never tried it, but this is really down to budget. My PC isn’t powerful enough to run it properly and a new one is out of the question right now! Also, I like to be able to see the buttons on my wheel. Once I accidentally quit a race when I meant to request a pit stop because I didn’t look at the buttons! I soon changed that button mapping.

Anyway, I assume Sony will incorporate VR into Gran Turismo 7. If they don’t, they will be missing a very big trick!

Enjoy gaming y’all
The Dude Abides

GC: A Gran Turismo 7 VR update is planned for launch day. Also, Sony claims they haven’t downgraded their forecasts.

Stick to it
I see that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has been delayed by six weeks. Sure, it’s not a great period of time and personally it’s not a game I’ll be getting at launch, so I don’t care that much.

However, it does seem to be a common occurrence these days. I don’t know if it’s the pandemic or what. I feel like Nintendo has the right idea. I imagine the sequel to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild was originally intended to be out earlier than this year, given it originally announced in 2019. But correct me if I’m wrong, Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom never had a confirmed release date until recently, when pre-orders went live.

Perhaps I’m naive but I feel like release dates shouldn’t be announced unless publishers are certain they can achieve them. All delays do is lead to frustration and add extra stress and pressure to what I imagine is an already overburdened workforce.
PS: I’ve some ideas for weekend Hot Topics. Personal best value for money in gaming (not necessarily cheapest but most value in terms of hours or other factors). Also, the opposite: biggest waste of money.
Also, critically and commercially acclaimed games that people just don’t get, and the opposite games that were duds but people love.

GC: Tears Of The Kingdom never had an exact date, but it was originally advertised as a 2022 release.

Extra work
I don’t disagree the news about Redfall being online only is annoying, but I think it needs balancing with the likelihood that’s it’s both cheaper and faster to make with that restriction. There needs to be a compromise somewhere, as the public seem to demand highly fidelity graphics, multiplayer, endless content, post launch support, and a bunch of other features but in a market that’s the most competitive it’s ever been.

I’m all for developers lessoning their load to turn their games around faster. A feature such as offline support can be added later once the game has been a commercial success (like Back 4 Blood).

GC: You’ve lost us. In what way does making it online only reduce the workload or budget?

Time machine
I’ve been playing the Nintendo Switch Online version of GoldenEye 007 and, dare I say it, I’ve been enjoying it! Yes, part of this is because the original came out when I was in my early 20s and there is a reminder of what life was like back then, without the commitments you gain later in life. I am likely also helped by having one of the elusive N64 controllers for the Switch, which seems to be a far better way to play (as you would expect) than any of the modern controller options.

But, after having a game of Fortnite with my youngest son, I think I have realised why I am enjoying it so much: auto aim! One of my biggest struggles with first person shooters is actually managing to aim and shoot people/things – essentially, the main crux of the game. With GoldenEye auto aim selected, I don’t have this issue.

To be fair, it took me a while to realise this, and initially I was thinking that GoldenEye had been all I needed to regain some of the gaming prowess I have lost over the years, due to lack of time, etc. But no, I have fully realised it is nothing to do with me, and everything to do with auto aim. And honestly, it doesn’t bother me one bit because it is helping to enjoy the game more!

I will now go back to fully reliving my 20s by watching the WWE Royal Rumble and drinking Diamond White in the park!
Jonathan Foley

Once and future king
Why would they get rid of the QTE sequences in Resident Evil 4? They were amazing! There’s only a handful of games that ever used them well and this was definitely the best. Like you said, the knife fight with Krauser was amazing and it’s never going to as good if you have to do it the old-fashioned.

I’ve got to say though, that is the only fault I can find in the remake so far. Everything else seems to be shaping up to be just spot on and I hope that will be prove to be the case when it’s released. Hopefully Resident Evil 4 can reclaim its position as one of the best games ever!

Bond is back
Like everyone else my age, I have great memories of playing GoldenEye 007 in the N64 days. This last week I’ve really enjoyed getting back on it, and a few days after release I started noticing online complaints about the control scheme.

I didn’t understand at first, except for inverting Y-axis I was up to speed immediately, and it made me realise: GoldenEye taught me how to play console first person shooters. All the other first person shooters I can remember playing, I always have to revert their respective controls to the default GoldenEye scheme.

In single-player, you could use two controllers in GoldenEye, one in each hand, which was my first experience of dual analogue sticks. Add a rumble pack in each controller’s slot, then go for dual wielding DD44s. Now you have individual triggers and force feedback per gun!

It was also perfect, straight out the box. With no internet access at home (or any of my friends), that game just kept delivering the better we got at it, unlocking cheats we’d never known about.

My friend Jeff and I got so good that we ended up using two TVs, back-to-back, in his parent’s dining room, using a TV signal splitter he made at college with cardboard covering either the top of bottom of the other’s TV so we could avoid seeing each other’s screen. He was always Bond, because it was his N64!

It will be hard for the younger generation to understand how significant, exciting, and inspirational this was! The best I can sum it up is that dual wielding controllers, sat up close to the living room TV set was the closest I’ll ever get to being James Bond.

Great times.

Inbox also-rans
The DC Comics plans for their new universe is so confusing I can’t believe it’s even true. Marvel started with just a couple of normal movies and started from there, this is like jumping in halfway through and having it more complicated on top of that. And making all that work with games? It’ll never happen.

For a minute there I was starting to think that the whole problem with games being delayed was over but doesn’t look like it. What’s the odds on Final Fantasy 16 being the next one?

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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