The evening Inbox suggests some changes for Red Dead Redemption II’s story, as one reader adds up all the money he’s spent on games hardware.
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I think the latest Game Of Thrones episode has shown how a game could be made.
Imagine a multiplayer third person game with loads of you defending a castle from White Walkers, or maybe as part of an army attacking King’s Landing.
It would be great if the people who made Plants Vs. Zombies could give it a bash, it could be similar in approach to Garden Warfare but with loads of bots.
Or EA could do it and let you buy loot boxes or grind for 184,729 hours to play as the hound.
GC: EA own the developer who made Garden Warfare…
Plug ‘n’ play
Something a bit strange happened to myself at the weekend. I completed the rather wonderful Fire Emblem: Awakening and was starting a new game from my rather small backlog. Having never played a Persona game before I decided on Persona 5, which I have owned for a while but never played. I was planning on playing on playing Sunday evening, so in preparation I thought I would get ready Sunday afternoon; as you all know what it’s like when you start a new game with updates, etc.
Now here is the strange part, I inserted the disc and it went straight to the menu (after loading of course) and was ready to play immediately! No updates or anything, just the game it was like the old days!! The game itself I struggled to get into immediately, but I have just completed my first palace and am now really enjoying it.
GC: The game did have the benefit of being released almost a year earlier in Japan, so there was plenty of time to work out any bugs.
Adding it up
RE: Wednesday evening’s Inbox header, regarding how much gamers spend on hardware, made me do a quick calculation on my spending habits and it has made me realise I may have a problem. I currently own a very decent gaming PC which I upgrade constantly and indeed have spent £4,000 on graphics cards alone.
I also own all three consoles, which I have of course updated to the X and Pro models. I buy most games at release (even rubbish like Agents Of Mayhem) and yet I complete hardly any of them before I move onto the next new release. I have also owned various VR units which I hardly use.
I have reached the rather disturbing conclusion that I appear to enjoy spending money on things I absolutely do not need. When I added up what I have spent just to play some video games it was a sobering moment. So thanks GC, for making me realise my frankly absurd spending habits.
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I’m probably one of very few but I actually like the look of the new Sonic movie. I agree with most that Sonic himself looks a bit bizarre, but that aside it looks like it could be a fun Marvel-ish type film, and if Jim Carrey pulls off a vintage Carrey performance it’ll be worth the viewing alone.
I don’t expect it’ll ever trouble my all-time best film list once I’ve watched it, but I’m sure it’ll be a gloriously silly, wacky 90 or so minutes where I can turn my brain off and enjoy it for what it is and look out for some Easter eggs along the way they’ll put in for the oldies like me.
I genuinely think some folk expect way too much and take everything in life a bit too seriously. I mean it’s a film about a talking blue Hedgehog that can run at supersonic speeds, lighten up a bit. It’s gotta be better than Bob Hoskins as Mario and Sid the Sloth as Luigi, right? (And even that film was good fun in parts, especially the hammy Hopper.)
GC: You should expect as much as possible. Why be so willing to settle for mediocrity (or probably worse in Sonic’s case)?
Just seen Avengers: Endgame, and while it is an excellent film I do see what all the comments about the ‘brown filter’ of the end battle were about. I’m not sure what they were thinking really, as it made everything look ugly and difficult to make out. It reminded me a lot of Solo: A Star Was Story, which might as well have been filmed in brown monochrome for the amount of colour it had in it.
It makes me wonder if filmmakers working their way up the ladder today are being influenced by video games they used to play years ago. That may sound like a joke but I think it might be true, at least on a subconscious level. I mean, I can’t think of any other reason to make cheerful comic book movies look like you’re watching them through a pair of muddy googles.
Maybe things will become clear again when the cinematographers are being influenced by 4K modern games?
Regarding the quality of PS Plus and Games for Gold offerings, I’ve always found them to be highly variable in quality. But Sony for me has higher overall quality in their choices. But really their job is just to act as a sweetener for paying to access online play, which I don’t mind paying for but you could argue about the price if you didn’t get the ‘free’ games or additional benefits.
The niggling suspicion with Microsoft now is that they are not interested in Games for Gold, as they are looking to add as many Gold subscribers as possible on to Game Pass; hence why there’s a truly terrible selection for Gold this month. On that front though Game Pass continues to impress me with its additions. Next month see’s Wolfenstein II and WarGroove come to the service.
Saying that, I know Game Pass isn’t for me. Picked up six months for the price of 12 at Christmas and five months in I’ve played exactly 0 hours of games from it. I’ve been busy with Resident Evil 2, Metro Exodus, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice mainly.
Subscription services offer fantastic value if you just consume content from that service. I’ll never do that as no £8-£10 monthly service can hope to have all the games I’m interested in playing. TV and film I’m less interested in, so I’m happy to pay £18 a month for Now TV movies and Netflix and never really look elsewhere.
Not strictly game related, but all this recent talk of zombies in games, films, and Game Of Thrones reminded me of South Korean zombies-on-a-train movie Train To Busan. Any fans of zombie movies and/or Asia cinema should check it out – it’s really rather good!
Currently playing: Divinity: Original Sin II and The Division 2
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As a time poor father of two, I’ve only just managed to finish the story for Red Read Redemption II, but wanted to share some thoughts having enjoyed reading the recent debate in the Inbox.
Red Dead Redemption is one of my favourite games of all time, so I was incredibly looking forward to playing the prequel.
However, strange design choices and an overlong, repetitive story mar the wonderful characterisation of Arthur in what is a visually stunning recreation of the dying days of the Old West. The climax to the main story is magnificent, but it’s a real slog to get there.
I’ve heard people describe the game as having ‘last gen mission structure’ and I absolutely agree.
I still like the game and am glad to have played it, but this recent essay on Polygon does a good job of summing up how I feel. It’s a long read, and I don’t agree with it all – the criticism of the controls is overplayed – but it includes a possible alternative story arc that would have seen the game begin with Arthur, Dutch, and the gang at the height of their powers, thus making the decline and betrayal all the more powerful. I would have liked to have played that.
I wonder whether you, with the benefit of hindsight, would agree that Red Dead Redemption II isn’t the masterpiece we all originally thought and hoped for, and it’s possible that hype for the game and Rockstar’s reputation meant people were too ready to overlook it’s clear flaws.
I suspect the answer is ‘no’, but I also wonder if it will turn out to be one of those games where time and distance see it being critically re-evaluated in the years to come. Perhaps we’ve already started to see that given the game’s lack of recognition at the BAFTA Game Awards.
Keep up the good work.
GC: We think you’re right. It’s a good game, but it has clear flaws. Not being shown why everyone is loyal to Dutch (or why Micah is able to gain such an influence) is a key problem with the narrative.
Bit confused myself as to why Borderlands 3 has taken so long if it’s just the same thing but with higher res graphics. Kinda disappointing.
World of Goo is free on Epic Store on PC from today.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Purple Ranger, who asks what is the best PlayStation exclusive ever?
With Days Gone receiving mixed reviews but strong sales we want to know what you think is the best exclusive released on any PlayStation console, from 1 to 4 and including the portables. Anything is eligible as long as it was a PlayStation console exclusive at some point – it doesn’t matter if Sony themselves published it or not.
Why do you like the game so much and do you feel it was important to the success of the host console? Did it make any special use of the console’s unique features and how did it compare to other exclusives of the same period? (We’ll be running similar Hot Topics on Microsoft and Nintendo games in the future.)
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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