Games Inbox: Are you still excited for Gears 5?

The Thursday Inbox is still in love with Wreckfest and Astral Chan, as one reader complains about how hard it is to get rare amiibo.

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Same again

I have to admit that I was expecting higher scores for Gears 5. I thought maybe GC’s was abnormally low but GameSpot and some of the other more reliable sites also gave 7 or lower. There does seem to be an unusual moment of variety to the scores but overall I can only conclude that it’s a good but not great game like the last one. Which I’m sure is not what Microsoft was expecting.

The bit that surprised me with GC’s review was when you said there was no villain. I thought the box art kind of gave that away but I guess not. The story does sound disappointing though and I’m sure that’s been the end of at least one Gears Of War before.

There’s another problem with long-running franchises, other than the ones you pointed out, and that’s their incessant need to keep reminding you of previous entries. I remember them already thanks! That’s why I’m playing this, because I liked the older ones and wanted something new! Not the same thing with better graphics.

You see the problem in movies and just about everything now. We’ve become so addicted to nostalgia it’s like the whole of popular culture is always taking two steps back and only one forward.

As for Gears I don’t know what to say about it now. They’re obviously going for a trilogy now so I don’t even know if there’s any point hoping for major change until it’s over. Would be interested to know how many people are actually interested in the game now given the mixed reception.


Safe bet

So Gears 5 has failed to be the Xbox comeback some were predicting, eh? Why am I not surprised? Gears Of War 4 was a workmanlike sequel and I don’t see why anyone would expect anything different from the follow-up. Obviously, I haven’t played it yet but by the sound of it the open world stuff is just bodged in there with little thought and an eye to try and beat Sony at their own game.

I so regret buying my Xbox One at launch I couldn’t tell you. Microsoft’s first party games have been an utter disaster and apart from the Forza games there’s not a single one that’s worth remembering. Gears 5 looks to be adding to that list, even if it is technically one of the better ones.

I’m not sure how much faith I have that they’re going to be different next gen either and frankly I can’t imagine any situation where I wouldn’t go with Sony as the safe bet. Microsoft has had all the time in the world to turn around their first party games line-up and they’ve done virtually nothing with it.


Nothing but good news

Cyberpunk 2077 is almost seeming like too good to be true at the moment. The closest I’ve seen to anyone having a bad word to say about it is some people can somehow magically tell the gunplay isn’t very good from watching a video. Ignore that unlikely bit of clairvoyance and it’s been pretty much 100% positive since the moment it was announced.

I know nothing’s perfect but I’m generally struggling to imagine what might go wrong. The only thing I can think of is that the open world will probably be relatively small, compared to what we’re used to and maybe it won’t be that long or have quite that many missions? I don’t know, even that seems unlikely given how stacked The Witcher 3 was.

And now we’re getting free DLC, paid-for DLC, and a multiplayer mode. The news just gets better and better. Now I can’t wait for the game to be part of the announcements for the Xbox One and/or PlayStation 4!


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Deserved win

Got to say how much I’m enjoying Astral Chain.

I thought I wouldn’t like it at first, because like someone has already said it’s a button masher for the first few opening levels. But after the tutorials, when you get access to the training room, you soon get the hang of things.

I’m still fairly early on in the game but I’m getting better and better at the combat and I really like the enemies and game world.

I’m glad it’s done so well in the UK and hopefully around the world.

I was really surprised to read in another news story that it was the first Platinum game to get to number one in the UK charts. I would have argued black and blue that it would have been Bayonetta to get that particular accolade.

GC: It just missed out on the Japanese number one this week but overall did pretty well. Platinum games are notorious for not selling that well though, despite critical acclaim. And yet a number one doesn’t really mean much, as even the biggest game can miss out if there happens to be multiple releases that week.


Traffic simulator

I thought I’d also add my name to the list of people singing the praises of Wreckfest, which I downloaded on Tuesday night after a long day out at the zoo with the kids – it was a perfect release for the built up aggression of sitting in traffic while my children fought and argued about who’s window the animals would be out of next!

I downloaded it after reading praise from other readers and taking notice of the positive reviews, but despite that I really wasn’t expecting it to be as fun as it is. I ended up playing until a ridiculous time, finding myself playing just one more race at least 15 times before I finally turned it off and went to bed! I think that it may even be a contender for my game of the year!
Rickandrolla (PSN ID)


Hall of Fame

Really looking forward to the Nintendo Direct, sounds like it’s going to be a great one. Overwatch seems to be shoe-in and that is a huge get. As old as the game is it still has a big following and is yet another evergreen to add to the Switch’s line-up and perhaps Smash Bros.

I love how Smash has become a sort of Hall of Fame for great video game characters, albeit with a heavy bias towards Japanese games/publishers. It makes me wonder whether Nintendo will go for a second wave of DLC characters that are all or mostly based on Western games as a sort of catch-up. Given the popularity they’d be made to stop now and if SNK is the fourth slot that means there’s only one more to go and so many games they could use.

Overwatch and Doom are obvious ones but I’m still surprised there’s no Minecraft. Crash Bandicoot would be amazing too and Geralt now seems entirely possible given The Witcher 3 on Switch. In fact I’m not sure why that hasn’t been suggested already given people jumped to the same conclusions as soon as Overwatch was leaked for the Switch.

You could also have Mortal Kombat and Assassin’s Creed characters in the game, as they’ve already been on Nintendo consoles. Plus Dante from Devil May Cry. I think Lara Croft was in a couple of Game Boy games at least too, and the only one without a direct connection from my wishlist is Gordon Freeman. Although Chell was in that Lego game which was on the Wii U!


Out of stock

Am I the only one frustrated that recent amiibo have been so hard to get? There are some classic third party ones coming up but I’ve no idea if I’ll be able to get them all as not even the Nintendo Store seems to have them in stock most of the time.

Apart from eBay is there some more obvious place you can get them because it’s almost like they don’t exist, and yet Nintendo keep announcing they’re making more!

GC: Tell us about it, we gave up collecting them when we couldn’t get the Bayonetta one.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Cryptic terror

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is Lovecraftian horror elevated in video game form in my opinion. Never have I been filled with such a tremendous degree of trepidation and terror merely through gnawing sounds and insanity-induced visual distortion in a survival horror game!

And don’t get me started on that seemingly omnipresent nightmarish creature that pursues you throughout the game. Magnified by the strident, blood-curdling audio assault which foreshadows its monstrous arrival.

I swear, I have never been so scared being chased by an invisible monster in a game, when the foul creature decides to show itself the fear factor reaches critical levels. If my heartbeat could talk it would implore me to stop punishing myself like this!

Some of the puzzles sure are cryptic/illogical as hell though. I’m supposed to drop a rock on the container containing the explosive concoction to detonate it, you say?! Understood, you terrifying, enigmatic beast you!
Galvanized Gamer


Inbox also-rans

The End Is Nigh and ABZÛ is free on PC on Epic Games Store from today. I played ABZÛ on PlayStation 4 a while ago it is a bit like a underwater Journey.
Andrew J.

RE: Hanzo. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was fun but going back now the controls are terrible and once you’ve played Unity, Origins, etc. there’s no going back.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Korbie, who asks what features immediately put you off a new video game?

It can be anything from what genre the game is to a relatively trivial element like the user interface or a mute main character but what puts you off a game instantly, no matter what the rest of it is like?

Are there specific settings, like sci-fi or zombies, that you always avoid or perhaps features like loot boxes or always-online play? What’s the most minor reason you’ve avoided a game and what’s the quickest you’ve ever given up on one?

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