Games Inbox: Are there too many open world games?
The morning Inbox tries to work out where exactly Days Gone went wrong, as one reader is not pleased by the Persona 5 Scramble annoucement.
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Disappointed but not surprised to read the reviews of Days Gone. As soon as anyone says their game has been in development for more than five years it always seems to signal trouble and this was obviously no exception. I think the main problem though is that there are just too many open world games using the Ubisoft formula.
Being open world makes it sound like a game could be anything and everything but they’re always these really regimented experiences. Like GC said, if you’ve played any of them in the last 10 years you’ve basically played them all that’s the problem. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild showed how different these kind of games could be, and Horizon Zero Dawn to a lesser degree, but having an open world in your game shouldn’t mean it’s going to be identical to all the others.
That’s a problem for a lot of games but then adding post-apocalyptic zombies is just asking for trouble, or rather déjà vu. Also, why is it always post-apocalyptic? Why do we never see the apocalypse happening and the town, or whenever, before or after? Wouldn’t the be more interesting? Wouldn’t anything be more interesting than the same old thing again and again?
After reading a few reviews for Days Gone I kind of feel a bit bad for it considering quite a lot of reviews are very critical of the fact that it’s unoriginal and at least five years past its sell-by-date. However, I’ve noticed that these same publications are more than happy to give the near identical 479th FIFA game top scores. It’s inconsistent nonsense like this that irritates me and it’s a huge red flag when it comes to trusting reviewers.
I’ve only just skimmed GC review of Days Gone and from what I can tell, most of the criticism is aimed towards the game’s mechanics, which is the way it should be!
GC: To be fair, we’re not sure how you’d make a sports game original.
Too much of a good thing
Interesting review on Days Gone GC, I was kind of expecting it though having watched a few gameplay vids where it just looked average and experiencing a major case of déjà vu.
I’m sure I’m not alone in becoming very meh at these Sony third person, massive world marathon games. I’m under no illusion that Horizon Zero Dawn is a great game, but personally I’d had enough after about three to four hours of play and I’ve never gone back to it.
These games really don’t whet my whistle anymore, most likely down to over saturation of them. I own Red Dead Redemption II (as Sony-like as you can get without actually being Sony) and I don’t think I’ve even earnt a Trophy as yet, that’s how little I’ve played. I’m not at all interested in The Last Of Us Part II and I swerved Marvel’s Spider-Man when that was the new flavour of the month.
I’m sure it’ll sell like hot cakes regardless, and I welcome single-player games despite becoming disenchanted with this style of them myself. I just hope with the next generation they find a way to stop them all feeling so samey, stale, and cookie cutter.
It might be a good thing for Sony to deal with one of their major exclusives being mediocre, their run had to end eventually.
I’m sure The Last Of Us Part II will end the generation with a bang, just hopefully they’ll try something new at some point as Uncharted/The Last Of Us Part II/inFamous/Horizon Zero Dawn/God Of War/Days Gone/Marvel’s Spider-Man all tend to amalgamate into one big entity and it’s becoming repetitive, especially when you add non-Sony sameys like Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid V, Batman: Arkham, Just Cause, GTA, Red Dead Redemption, Mafia, Mad Max, etc., etc. into the mix. Nearly all good games, just cut from the same cloth.
What’s really sad is the fact if Days Gone was an Xbox One exclusive it’d possibly be seen as their best in many a year and if you removed the Forzas quite possibly the best on the system.
Do GC think it’d have been received better critically had it been an Xbox title, thus not being squarely compared to the countless Sony games already in the genre?
Lost-Sock- (PSN ID)
GC: If it was the same game it would’ve got the same score, at least from us.
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As someone that has to work long hours to provide for my family I completely sympathise with all these stories about developers being forced to endure ‘crunch’ before a game is finished. It’s got to the point where I’m actually starting to feel guilty about buying games where I know the developers have been abused.
And given the microtransactions were already putting me off I’m definitely not getting Mortal Kombat 11 after the stories about how NetherRealm treat their staff.
I don’t imagine many others will feel this way, if it comes between them and a game they want to play, but I feel I have to make a stand for my own conscience if nothing else. At the end of the day video games aren’t important, but people’s mental health and well-being are.
I know there’s been some interest in the Command & Conquer remakes on the Inbox so I thought I’d write in about an update the developers made on Reddit. It’s nothing really, just a look at the new construction yard, but I like the amount of detail they’re going into. Trying to make them look as much like the originals as possible and using the cut scenes to inspire extra detail where necessary.
I’m not sure how well these are going to sell, but I’ve got a feeling they’ll do pretty well as Command & Conquer was really big back in the day and a lot of people must have nostalgia for them, like me.
Whether it’ll be enough to inspire some new sequels, which is what I’d really like to see, I don’t know but I’d love to see a big budget real-time strategy again. I don’t even know what the last one was. Even if you count Supreme Commander 2 that was ages ago now.
I think those rumours about Microsoft holding hands with Nintendo could hold a lot of weight. If it is indeed rumours then I think both companies could do worse than consider it four real. The Xbox has only ever had minor success in Japan, which might not seem like a big deal but it is the birthplace of both Sony and Nintendo.
As I can’t see Sony and Microsoft hooking up anytime soon, although admittedly stranger things have happened in gaming, Sonic and Mario for example.
Sony are a very big gaming company and Nintendo seem to be able to hold their own against them, particularly in Japan. I think this would be a great opportunity for Microsoft to get their foot well and truly in the Japanese door, especially if they can start turning some heads.
Nintendo could benefit from ideas on how they could improve their online service. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that I can go in the kitchen, make dinner, and not have to worry about what abuse my children are receiving (or indeed giving, behaviour breeds behaviour after all) online.
I do feel Nintendo could learn a lot from Microsoft though and still maintain that family reputation. So I honestly think both companies could benefit from it.
From a business perspective it makes a lot more sense than it doesn’t.
Any word on Mortal Kombat 11 for the Switch? Also, there seems to be a lot of negative feedback regarding the grind needed and microtransactions but I’m not sure you guys focused too much on that. Any thoughts on that too?
Sorry; just wondering whether buying it for Switch is worthwhile and there are currently no reviews on Metacritic!
GC: There are no reviews because Warner has not provided any review copies, so we’ll have to see if we can get our own. Our existing review goes into some detail on the microtransactions and poor balancing of the Towers of Time though.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
RE: Persona 5 Scramble. You have to be joking, surely!? Most disappointing game-related news by far this year for me. It just absolutely makes no sense why Atlus would want to keep Persona 5 a PlayStation 4 exclusive, considering a) that a Switch port would sell like crazy in Japan, and b) that more gamers would more likely double dip on the Switch than buy the game again on PlayStation 4.
It just seems like an inexplicable business decision to me. I’ve done some research and I haven’t come across anything that would indicate Sony had secured exclusive rights to the mainline games anywhere?
As good as this Dynasty Warriors-esque game could turn out (my expectations are very low) it simply can’t fill the void of a scenario where playing Persona 5 in a gamer life style-enriching portable mode is a reality. Vanilla or enhanced edition. A scramble of missed opportunity, contrarian business practices, and dashed hopes and dreams, indeed.
Unless. Atlus are just trolling us and the Switch gets the game eventually. ‘Well, everybody wears a mask deep within their heart’…
GC: The Switch didn’t exist when Persona 5 first came out and so the Sony exclusivity they (presumably) signed up for would’ve seemed a very minor detail at the time.
Am I the only one that thinks Super Mario Maker 2 looks really lazy? I felt sure they’d have at least Super Mario 3D Land’s 2.5D levels, if not proper 3D. Almost seems like just a port.
With all these ‘80s horror icons in Mortal Kombat I wonder if they’d ever do the ultimate sci-fi monster: The Thing? Surely it’s not because it’s too gross?
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Grackle, who asks what old game has aged the worst?
Going back to a much-loved video game can often be a traumatising experience, as something you remember as being amazing is revealed to have aged less than gracefully, but what’s your worst experience with an old title?
Was the problem the old-fashioned graphics, the controls, or gameplay that seems too simplistic or unfair nowadays? What still works about the game and is there a modern equivalent that does the same sort of things but better?
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The small print
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