The evening Inbox sees readers add their backlogs thanks to Black Friday, as one reader upgrades from a PS3 to a PS4.
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Major Rant and General Disappointment
Well, this is going to sound like a major rant but I’d like to talk about Call Of Duty: WWII.
I am a fan of the Call Of Duty games and buy them each year, but this year’s game is a complete mess. It is probably the worst Call Of Duty I have ever played.
Let’s start with the maps. Only nine maps on release? Ok granted there is three War maps, but to have only nine main multiplayer maps is not good enough. My friends are already getting bored. Not to mention the map design is not great. If they ain’t full of hradglitching barrels and lines of sight in every single direction then they are like USS Texas. A map which feels like a remake of Hijacked from Black Ops II but without the underbelly flank route. Which makes the map one huge bottleneck where teams will just sit at their spawn.
The spawns? They have to be broken. The game will not switch the spawn unless the entire enemy team is in your spawn.
Aim assist is another thing that feels flat out broken. Wanna aim at someone moving? Good luck, the aim assist will put the aim to the right or left of the guy and the ADS (aim down sights) rotation is sooo slow it will never catch up.
The lag issues. Now I know it’s a new game and Call Of Duty always has issues at launch but there is still constant disconnects, error messages, and the HQ is still unpopulated. Nearly a month from launch. COD Points implemented fine of course though.
Supply drop filler. Deary me, this feels like an outright con. 50 grips in the loot pool. Something that you can only equip to a pistol and will never see because your hand covers it. And what determines what is epic and what is common? Nothing. It’s just there to try to give you that dopamine excitement when you get an ‘epic’.
Emotes. I really hope this is a bug because there are a ton of ‘different’ emotes but countless of them are the same animation. I have six different emotes that are the exact same hand wave. If it’s not a bug then it’s the most cynical loot box filler I’ve ever seen.
What with the lack of maps, broken features, lack of guns, and rushed filler it really doesn’t feel like the game has been in development for the last three years.
Stumped for reviews
I am not sure if GC reviewed Ashes Cricket or I missed it but I think it’s a very good game. It’s from the developers who made the Don Bradman cricket games. I bought Don Bradman 14 and despite a few flaws I thought it was a good game. I passed on Don Bradman 17 as it was a step back from the previous game and had a lot of problems, especially early on after release.
So for any fans of cricket I would say check out Ashes Cricket.
Currently playing: Ashes Cricket, Assassin’s Creed Origins, PES 2018 and shadow of war and loving them all.
GC: We’ve never reviewed anything cricket-related, and wouldn’t know where to start.
Crivens, what a deal!
I finally bought a Switch last week. I got a bit too impatient waiting for Black Friday, but with an old iPhone to trade in I got a good deal at GAME for the console, Super Mario Odyssey, and Mario + Rabbids. That’s a deal on GAME’s website though, not in-store. I wanted to get it from the shop, and traded the phone in there for ease and convenience, but the website’s bundle deal was £30 more in-store than online. I really don’t understand why they don’t have price parity with their own website. Fortunately, the trade-in voucher was put onto a gift card which works on the website and two days later, I’ve got a brand-new Switch.
Anyway, as well as joining the chorus on singing the praises of Super Mario Odyssey (which is brilliant, though I worry I’m going through it too quickly), I want to echo the letter last week about Octopath Traveler. I made time amongst all the Mario goodness to play both paths of its demo and it was a lot of fun. I love the art style (I’d say pixel art, but I guess it’s technically voxel art?), especially the use of lighting effects.
The story’s quite good, the combat’s fun and I really like the path actions and their results. Olberic’s defeated duel opponents lying around dazed is a great touch. I think the only thing I would want changed for the full game is that kid in Olberic’s path that goes around saying ‘Crivens!’ and the like. Any idea, GC, if the full game will let you switch between the eight paths and play them concurrently, like Treasure Of The Rudras did?
GC: To be honest we haven’t heard anything more on the game since the demo. It still seems quite a way out.
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Enough for now
I managed to pick myself up a few bargains in the Black Friday sales. I made the jump and bought GT Sport for £18.99 after being spurred on by a comment I saw in the Inbox saying that a substantial single-player update was due in the coming weeks (when exactly is it due GC?).
I also picked up Forza Motorsport 7 for £24 for comparative purposes, and also got Ghost Recon: Wildlands for £19.99. I wanted to buy a Nintendo Switch, but I was pretty much forbidden from doing so by the other half! Nonetheless the games I did pick, and the unopened copy of the Bioshock Collection sitting in my backlog, should keep me going for a while.
At least until the new year when Christmas is out of the way, which might make her a bit more open to me buying another console!
Rickie Ratpack (gamertag)/Rickandrolla (PSN ID)
GC: We believe the offline single-player is out now, although we haven’t played it ourselves.
Well, unusually for me I kind of got swept up in the Black Friday sale shenanigans. Managed to grow my backlog by four as I bought Wolfenstein II for £19.99 in-store from GAME, Resident Evil and Battlefield 1 for £27 in-store from Tesco, and lastly I got GT Sport for £17.85 from ShopTo.
Everybody seems to think Wolfenstein was the only mega-reduced new release but GT Sport wasn’t released that long ago and also benefits from desperate-for-games VR users buying it, so it must have disappointed Sony big time. The comments section has a lot of moaners but Monday mornings was a new low as they were moaning about Christmas jumpers! Bah humbug!
I like Saturday’s Reader’s Features, however after reading simjhpy’s feature I can say from my point of view it’s down to a couple of reasons. Back in the 16-bit era employment wasn’t really that easy to come by (we at least now have agencies when trying to find employment between full-time contracted jobs) and the the only way to buy a discounted game was to go to your local pre-owned games store. Or better still, look at the classified adverts in your local newspaper. Today games are discounted and become affordable, and during Black Friday we even have to buy discounts for newer games.
Back in the 16-bit era (unless you had rich parents or were employed) some only had one game and played it to the finish. Or if they didn’t like it enough to complete you got rid of it and then you would look for a new game. Now we are spoilt for choice with affordable games to buy. Unless you’re strong willed (not me) a bargain is hard to resist. That’s why I believe many gamers have such a backlog. This is, as I have, said, my point of view.
Interesting Reader’s Feature at the weekend: Why do so few people beat the games they play? My question, GC, is where exactly is all the Trophy/Achievement data sourced from – is it sourced from your region’s server or servers, or is the data the worldwide totality?
Regarding something like the low completion rate of Resident Evil 4, or especially Resident Evil remake, there’s a possibility that many players have already completed those games years ago when first released, and have downloaded them when free or in sales simply to casually view these graphically upgraded HD versions out of curiosity.
I’m not surprised about the low completion rate for The Last Guardian. The double whammy of awkward camera and controls probably defeated them more than any endgame boss could!
GC: We don’t know whether it’s just Europe or not, but we don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be worldwide.
While I mostly game on PC these days (save for the occasional play on a Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or retro console), I picked up a PlayStation 4 during the recent Black Friday sale as there’s a dozen or so exclusive games for it which interest me.
Found the PlayStation 3 Uncharted games decent enough, though definitely overrated. In spite of this I decided to start with Uncharted 4 and it’s easily the best in the series for me. The shooting has always annoyed me in previous games, but not only has it much improved over past games, but is actually fun this time around. Stealth sections were less frustrating and platforming is better too with less obvious signposting. Overall, I’m really enjoying it so far and this will probably be the game I finish first.
The controller made an obvious difference. While I still prefer the Xbox controller when playing on the PC, the DualShock 4 is much, much better than the PlayStation 3’s controller and the analogue sticks feel much tighter and precise. I’m tempted to pick up The Nathan Drake Collection to give the original three games another chance under better conditions.
After a few hours with Uncharted 4 I gave The Last Of Us Remastered a go. There’s something incredibly reassuring about seeing the Bluepoint logo, I love their remasters of ICO/Shadow Of The Colossus and Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, and they didn’t disappoint with this. The much better controls and 60fps have made the original release pointless to go back to. I realise the original game didn’t exactly look terrible but the graphics have held up incredibly well, there were moments I couldn’t even tell it was a port of a PlayStation 3 game. I kind of wish this was the graphical level PlayStation 4 games aimed for so they could focus on 60fps gameplay, or at least have that option.
The console itself is a little more disappointing however. The interface seems a little clunky and slow and the download speeds for updates are atrocious (though I’m told this a common issue whenever PlayStation 4s go on sale or there’s a big system update, and usually this isn’t a problem). It’s an improvement over the PlayStation 3 at least.
Between the Black Friday offer and trading in the bundled games which had no interest to me, I managed to get a PlayStation 4, the above games and Gravity Rush 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, and inFamous: Second Sun for £230, so I’m pretty happy. Can’t see it replacing the PC as my main gaming machine, but I’m looking forward to seeing how some of the upcoming exclusive games like Spider-Man turn out.
I’m not sure if this is Black Friday deal or not but I was shopping in Asda at 17.45 on Saturday night and saw Titanfall 2 on Xbox one for £5… I felt bad for buying it so cheap but I couldn’t resist! Keep up the excellent work GC!
With all the praise for VR recently I thought I would join in the fun and ask my dad to get me a headset. Not the gaming revolution I was led to believe.
Shellsie age 9
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by the recent Reader’s Feature – about how few people ever beat the games they play – and asks how often do you usually finish a game to the very end?
What percentage of your games have you gotten to the end of, and how many of those have you beaten 100% – or thereabouts? For those games you haven’t beaten, why is that? Is it because they were too hard, you lost interest, or something else? When do you decide to give up on a game that doesn’t have an ending, like Destiny or other multiplayer games, and do you ever come back anyway?
Without giving away any spoilers, which game do you think had the best and most worthwhile ending, and which has been the most disappointing?
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