Games Inbox: What video game are you playing most during lockdown?

Dark Souls: Remastered – time to go back? (pic: Bandai Namco)

The Friday Inbox is worried that Microsoft doesn’t have many next gen games ready, as one reader is upset the Quackshot remake isn’t happening.

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Games of the moment
So most people will probably have been in lockdown now for at least two weeks, so I’m curious as to what games everyone’s been playing the most? Not for the first time I wish I had a Switch, because then I could play Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but alas that’s too rich for me, especially given the uncertainty at the moment.

Like many, I’m quite nervous about buying new games at the moment so I’ve decided to skip Resident Evil 3 and will only be sticking with Final Fantasy 7 Remake because, well… it’s Final Fantasy 7. So I haven’t bought anything else this year and have instead found myself going back to Dark Souls to give it another go and also XCOM 2, neither of which I got into the first time.

I bought them originally because of recommendations in the Inbox and I only realised afterwards that they’d probably come back into my head because of again being mentioned here. Although they so seem perfect for the situation at the moment: long games with lots of replayability, that are famously difficult and need a lot of time and attention.

I probably wouldn’t have played them again if not for all this, so I guess there is always a silver lining – assuming I can get into them properly this time.

Infinite launch games
I know Microsoft get a lot of criticism but I’m just going to come out and say it: they deserve a lot of it. So we now have Phil Spencer getting in his excuses early that there’s not going to be any new games except Halo Infinite. They have had the entire generation to get new games ready and they’ve only got one?!

They’ve barely released anything on the Xbox One and I thought the assumption was they were beavering away making sure they hit the ground running with the next gen. Except no, they’re just going to have Halo.

Then he kind of hints that he’d launch the console without it anyway? Why, so everyone can play an upgraded version of Crackdown 3 on the Xbox Series X?! The Xbox One has no games, that’s why it failed and that’s why this new one is going to fail if they don’t get a grip of themselves, sheesh.

No bargain
I remember buying Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for £28 when it was first released. First time I’d bought a Call Of Duty game, as up until then I’d always borrowed them off of friends to play the campaigns.

Can’t honestly recollect a great deal about the campaign itself, but do recall a two or three year love/hate relationship with the multiplayer.

I’m sure I got at least a hundred hours or so out of the online aspect, so definitely got my monies worth, but £20 for just the campaign in 2020, really?! I thought a few years back, before the Call Of Duty 4 remake, that Infinity Ward could do a complete Modern Warfare 2 remake for £20-£25, as Call Of Duty was falling a little out of favour at the time, and this would bring players like me back into it, which it might of at that price.

As for the No Russian level that’s still something that annoys me, and you too seemingly GC, I only ever went through it once to see what it was about but never fired a shot as it was such an atrocious inclusion into the game. As you say: ‘It’s still a disquieting scene but it’s also an outrageously cynical one that was clearly only included in order to create controversy and raise the game’s profile, which worked exactly as planned during the original release.’

Best wishes in these strange times.
Currently playing: Warframe, Destiny 2, watching Final Fantasy 7 Remake download counter slowly tick down.

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Loading now
The developers are not the only ones looking forward to the SSD in the PlayStation 5 console. I have been self-isolating due to the coronavirus and have had lots more time than usual to spend on my game backlog.

Been playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and have now reached the expansion packs. When it comes to the main fights with certain characters, until I figure out how to defeat them I’m dying lots of times which means over a minute and a half loading screen each time.

I’ve lost count how many minutes I’ve sat staring at the loading screen waiting for another attempt at defeating the monster/character.

Hopefully this will be a thing of the past soon but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Horrible capitalists
Of all the horrible, ill-conceived pranks the games industry can pull on April Fool’s Day (a day I would dearly love to see abandoned forever), the cruellest one I personally saw has to have come from FDG Entertainment, the makers of Monster Boy. Their prank was teasing a remake of Mega Drive classic Quackshot, reworked to tie in with the excellent DuckTales reboot. I knew immediately it was a joke, given the date, but I can’t deny a part of me hoped beyond hope that it was real.

The most heartbreaking thing of all is when it was revealed the next day that this was almost an actual game. FDG apparently pitched the idea to Disney last year, with the concept images as part of said pitch. Unfortunately Disney – most likely because they’re a bunch of horrible capitalists whose only concern is the bottom line – didn’t give them the licence. There’s a petition going around hoping to persuade Disney to change their minds, but I doubt anything will come of it.

It’s such a shame because I love Quackshot and I love the new DuckTales series, and I can’t help but think about what might have been.
Andrew Middlemas

Year in, year out
GC, do you really think they’re going to bring out a new Call Of Duty this year? I mean they’re making so much money from Modern Warfare, why not milk the cow for as much as they can? I never liked any of the Black Ops games, why I don’t know but everyone else did. But why spend all that money when for a tenth of the price you can bring out more stuff and take a hundred times more.

In all honesty I’m getting a bit bored of Call Of Duty. To be honest it’s the same thing over and over again, you either get lagging players, modded pad players, or players that go from corner to corner after each kill. And why bring out a classic game like Modern Warfare 2 yet leave out 90% of the game (multiplayer)?

I’ll be honest, they bring out Modern Warfare 3 with multiplayer I’d buy it like a shot, loved that game. No multiplayer, I’ll keep my money for next gen.

GC: There were some earlier rumours that they might skip a new game this year, and it would certainly make sense to us, but at the moment everything points towards Black Ops 5 being released this autumn.

Plot hole
I’m curious if that means Bethesda would’ve cancelled their conference if E3 had been going ahead? Are they implying that three months of developers working from home meant they wouldn’t have had anything in a state close enough to show off? Seems a bit unlikely to me.

There always seemed to be a hole in their release schedule, after Doom Eternal, and now it’s just going to get blamed on the coronavirus when there always was a problem. Not that I care, because I hope they’re taking the time to make a new game engine. If Elder Scrolls 6 isn’t a major leap over Skyrim/Fallout 4 I’m not even going to touch, they’ve had enough time.
Pitt the lesser

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Farting about
Difficulty, like everything else, might be subjective but who’s ever heard of someone playing Dark Souls for the first time and rating it badly because it’s too easy?

I disagree with the common argument that insists the games should have a dedicated easy mode because that isn’t going to affect people who don’t use it. That’s like saying the Mario devs should take time adding a mode where jumping is replaced by farting because some people prefer farts to well defined jump mechanics and it’s up to the people to decide how they want to engage with the games they’ve bought. If elitists want to play the game the way it’s meant to be played they can stick to jump mode and everyone wins.

The point being missed is the Souls games aren’t designed to try and put people off to the extent that progressing through the only mode available becomes some sort of exclusive club. They’re designed so there’s much more meaning instilled in all the levelling systems, every step you take, everything you have equipped, how every square foot of the environment is set out… To deny the opportunity for that meaning to make itself known because some people won’t play the game without a fart… sorry, an easy mode, is to deny the fundamental elements the developers intended to express.

Anyway, I’m off to rewatch my edited cut of The Godfather. I’ve never seen the original because I won’t watch films like that unless all the actors are replaced by Love Island rejects and every second line of the script is replaced by a knock knock joke. Based on what I’ve seen, I regard The Godfather as a pretty average film but thank god for the democratisation of film making.

Inbox also-rans
Can we just agree that video games companies are useless at release dates? I can’t remember the last time a major games did come out when it was originally intended, even Animal Crossing was meant to be out last year!

I’m going to be honest and say that Zelda: A Link To The Past map in Animal Crossing is pretty awesome. I’m always amazed at how creative some gamers can be.

This week’s Hot Topic
The question for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Onibee, who asks what do you think, and hope, Nintendo’s next games will be for the Switch?

It’s now six months since they had a general topic Nintendo Direct and there are currently no major new Switch games scheduled for the whole year, so what do you think is going on? Although the coronavirus is exacerbating the situation Nintendo’s secrecy started last year, so why do you think that is?

What new games do you expect to see come out next and what surprises are you hoping for once they are finally announced? What do you think the secrecy is in aid of and what do you think Nintendo should do in order to try and counter the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X?

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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.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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