Concord – what is it, exactly? (Picture: Sony)
The Tuesday letters page wants to know what’s next from the makers of Returnal, as one reader suggests a post-apocalyptic Call Of Duty.
To join in with the discussions yourself email firstname.lastname@example.org
Although there’s every reason to be frustrated with the way Sony acted last year, I am somewhat encouraged by their actions so far this year. It’s not February yet and we’ve had a relatively revealing preview trailer and now we’re getting a State of Play earlier in the year than I think we’ve ever had before.
I don’t think it’s going to be any kind of groundbreaking event but I do think they’ll try and at least match the Xbox Developer_Direct, which they’ll know went down well with people. It doesn’t seem they have a standout title though, like Indiana Jones, so they’re instead going to try and have a bunch of different games, including Stellar Blade, Rise Of The Rōnin, Death Stranding 2, Silent Hill 2, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, and this rumoured Until Dawn remaster.
The wild card is Concord, which, as a multiplayer shooter, doesn’t sound very encouraging and is probably a live service game. Is that something that Sony can make seem exciting to a lot of people? Or is it just going to cause a massive shrug of everyone’s shoulders? There’s not enough info to say for sure but I’m interested to see how things play out and if Sony is finally starting to make an effort again.
With a State of Play just announced, it got me thinking what Housemarque are up to, as I’m currently playing and greatly enjoying Returnal. That said, it’s brutally challenging, with no option to adjust the difficulty level, and its roguelike nature can be a real source of frustration when you have to go back to the start yet again, losing all your weapons and upgrades.
I’d been stuck on Nemesis for a while, the boss of Biome 3, and had to leave the game aside for a few days, each time I failed to defeat it, as I just couldn’t face starting again. On every occasion though, the game eventually called be back, as it’s such great fun to play.
Have now put down Nemesis and I understand that having reached Biome 4 I will respawn there from now on, after each death, so it should hopefully now be much less frustrating.
Can I do an shout out to the old guys still able to progress through difficult games: I’m 52!
ameisa (PSN ID)
A Call Of Duty game I’m surprised they haven’t done is Call Of Duty: Apocalypse. Think The Last Of Us/Mad Max meets Call Of Duty.
Set in the future after a natural disaster, World War 3, or, dare I say, a pandemic. Maybe even an alien invasion (anything but zombies). As long as the technology isn’t farfetched, I think it could succeed where Infinite Warfare failed.
E-mail your comments to: email@example.com
Kudos to PlayStation for confirming what we all already knew: State Of Play is back. It’s the first spoonful of what on earth is Sony working on for 2024. Bad news first. I actually sold my Xbox Series S today and it’s a decision that was long overdue. I never found myself using it as much as I use my PlayStation 5 or Steam Deck. It looks terrible, when resolution matters, the games are few and far between.
Don’t get me started on how Starfield fares on the system. It honestly looked like an Xbox 360 game, every second I played it. It still does and I honestly have never regretted a purchase as heavily as I did Starfield. Bethesda could learn from a company such as Larian Studios. But it is a terrible title and I won’t go on a rant, but you all already know.
I also can say that since I brought my Steam Deck OLED model it became a rarity that I actually would boot up my Xbox Series S. Since every game is available on PC, looks better on PC and isn’t darkened, limited, and a downgrade from playing on a PC, why bother even running it for 5 minutes?
I received £80 for it and if I’m being honest it’s a fair price to never have to lay eyes on Starfield. On a final note, I sense a lot of fathomable hype for Wednesday’s event but I need Konami to come through and show me Silent Hill 2.
After reading all the comments, about Xbox letting go of 1,900 staff, there is only one reason they sacked them and it’s greed. They have just dropped $69 billion and they need to start getting back that money ASAP, so they get rid of staff as soon as possible so they start saving money.
It’s a bit like Kraft when they bought Cadbury’s, they couldn’t lay off the staff as they needed them, so what did they do to save money? Shrink the chocolate bars. Only problem with that in gaming is when you get rid of staff standards drop and some standards had already dropped in Call Of Duty before the layoffs.
I’ve got a feeling Xbox have just wasted $69 billion, because when a game’s standards drop people stop playing it. I’ve got a feeling five years from now Call Of Duty will be over thanks to Xbox and if it isn’t it’s because Xbox are holding it up with more money.
An awful lot of Switch 2 rumours seem to be dropping at the moment. There’s nothing that hadn’t already been speculated on really, the 8-inch LCD screen was rumoured last year and I suppose you’d probably expect it. Even with recent tech advances Nintendo are gonna need a bigger device and bigger battery to hit PlayStation 4+ power in a portable.
I can believe the Switch 2 reveal could be quite underwhelming, just confirming all the rumours we’ve heard about the device so far. When it comes to the hardware interest will probably be in the small print, like how this portable machine is achieving its output with a design much more efficient and pleasing (and cheaper) than the latest batch of brick like handheld PCs.
I enjoyed the speculative piece on Nintendo’s future last week. Something that I don’t think was picked up on is that Nintendo actually do have an outside helper and cutting edge hardware tech partner, and one that has a vested interest in making the Switch 2 a big success… that is Nvidia. With AMD having the other formats locked down there is motivation for Nvidia to bring their latest and greatest to the table to compete, they also arguably have the best streaming platform at the moment with GeForce Now.
I do think we’ll see something like that, with bespoke solutions to DLSS upscaling, ray-tracing, AI processing, fast file transfer, and memory speeds. Pair this with Nintendo’s timeless art direction and its games could end up looking modern and cutting edge without the huge budgets we’ve seen developers struggle with over the last decade.
The next Zelda probably won’t completely bridge the gap to Horizon Forbidden West from a pure presentation standpoint, but Nintendo designing around its own Nvidia spec might get closer than we think for much less than that game’s $250+ million plus budget… though it may create an issue for third party ports build on other hardware.
GC: That’s an interesting point with Nvidia.
The great 360°
I have never owned an Xbox before but the recent reveal of the Indiana Jones game had me giving serious thought to getting an Xbox Series X come its release. My first impressions of the game were highly positive and it could have been the tipping point for me to make the purchase.
The way Microsoft has behaved in the last week with their job cuts, however, has completely tainted the idea in my mind now though.
Pigfish2 (PSN ID/NN ID)
Top 2 of 2022
So, we’re at the point again where we’re talking about our favourite games of the year. It’s easy to pick your top three, I would imagine, for most people, but there were a couple of entries that I considered for my third spot.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time on Super Bomberman R 2 on the Switch recently and recently enjoyed that. But the title I haven’t included in my top 3 games for 2023 that should get a mention here is Sonic Frontiers.
I haven’t played a 3D Sonic game since the original Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast and my memories of that are nothing more than just jaw-dropping arcade visuals of the time. I stayed away from 3D Sonic games because of the bad reputation.
GC gave Sonic Frontiers a healthy 8/10, if I remember correctly, so I had it on my radar for any games sales later in the year. Sure enough I picked it up for £19.99 on the Xbox Series X and I have to say I’ve been largely impressed by it.
An open world Sonic game that’s actually worth playing. It has all ingredients of a good 2D Sonic game and manages to encapsulate that in a 3D world. It’s not perfect but it’s the most improved franchise I’ve played for a long time.
Nick The Greek
GC: It’s far from perfect but it’s the only 3D Sonic we feel is worthwhile, including Sonic Adventure.
I can’t help but agree with GC’s editorial interjection of ‘What?’ regarding the weekend Reader’s Feature criticism of Mario Kart 8 DLC. I’ve never been so far away from the fence. It’s worrying that folk can criticise such an effort. Each to their own I guess.
GC: We wouldn’t have said anything, but it was written as if that was a common opinion, and yet we’ve never known anyone to have a bad word to say about it before.
I agree that Gears Of War needs a reboot if it’s to ever have a chance of being relevant again but I’m still not excited by the prospect and I’m not sure anyone else. Sometimes an idea just has its day and there’s no going back.
This week’s Hot Topic
This weekend’s Inbox will be devoted to the Readers’ Top 20 of 2023, where you get to vote for your favourite games of last year.
You can find our Top 20 of 2023 here but while we place certain restrictions on our list, such as no remasters or DLC, you’re free to vote for anything you like – as long as it was released new in 2023.
All you need to do to vote is send us a list, in order, of your three favourite games of last year and we’ll collate everyone’s votes into a top 20. If you want to be featured in the Hot Topic itself though, make sure you send us an explanation of why you made your choices.
E-mail your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.
To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here.
For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.
Sign up to all the exclusive gaming content, latest releases before they’re seen on the site.