Games Inbox: Did you try the Predator: Hunting Grounds demo?

The Monday Inbox dreams of more LucasArts graphic adventure remakes, as one reader wishes for a new Phoenix Wright game.

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If it bleeds you can kill it
I don’t know if anyone tried to give it a go at the weekend but the trial demo for Predator: Hunting Grounds was… interesting. I know it’s from the same guys that did Friday The 13th but I wasn’t prepared for this level of jank. The game ran like a dog on PlayStation 4, in terms of both the graphics and the servers.

That said, the idea seemed really good. Basically, one person plays as the Predator and the others are mercenaries like Arnie and the team from the first film. But there are a bunch of enemy grunts running around that they can shoot, so there’s always something to do even if you can’t find the Predator. Surprisingly it seemed fairly well balanced, in terms of the Predator not always winning, so I’m hoping they can sort out the technical issues in time for the final version.

Between this and Resident Evil it seems like there’s a bit of a renaissance going on at the moment for 4 vs. 1 games, after Evolve pretty much killed the idea dead. I’m all for something different though and this definitely felt like that.

Social changes
I’m surprised we haven’t heard much from Bungie recently, considering the game I hear most from people that are looking for something to do during the lockdown is play Destiny 2. It makes me wonder what long-term effect the coronavirus is going to have on gaming.

It could end up changing cinema forever, as companies think about releasing films straight to video, but on the face of it it doesn’t seem as if games are going to be affected by anything other than a bunch more delays. Although obviously a delay for the new consoles is a bit more important than any single game.

But I wonder if it’s going to make games as a service titles even more dominant than they already are. Everyone’s turning to games at the moment as a way to stay social, not just keep themselves entertained, and the quickest way to take advantage for that is to add more stuff to your ongoing games like Destiny 2 and The Division 2.

I’ve love to know what’s happened to those game’s audience figures as I be they’re through the roof. Just as single-player games were creeping back will the death blow come from the coronavirus? Or will companies think to start adding chat options into single-player games, just to keep up? To be honest, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already.

Crossing Souls
Despite being a bit sceptical at first, since I’d never played any of the games before, I’m loving Animal Crossing: New Horizons at the moment. It’s such a… ‘nice’ game. I know that capitalism and materialism is at the heart of it all but since everyone shares everything and giving and receiving gifts is one of the most ‘fun’ things I have hard time seeing it in a bad light.

I’m used to thinking about Dark Souls all day at work and planning out my strategies, now I’m planning my island layout and how I’m going to set out all the flowers near my house! Plus, now that I’m working from home the portable nature of the Switch means I can have a ‘quick’ go when I’m sitting at my desk.

It really is the game at the moment and I’m very amused it’s doing so well. I just wish there was a way to get voice chat out of it without messing around with a smartphone. You might as well just use Discord when you start doing that and while I can see why Nintendo are cautious about that sort of thing it’s still an obvious flaw.

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Early decision
Well, that Nintendo Direct Mini was… underwhelming. At least they added the word ‘Mini’ to temper expectations. I’m still shocked we haven’t had Mario Golf on the Switch to be honest.

It’s painfully obvious to me that Nintendo know the pandemic has delayed some major titles. The fact that their ARMS fighter in Smash Bros. has been slightly delayed for the very reason suggests that entire games are falling behind schedule. I don’t know what they’re working on beside Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2, but I think they’re trying to avoid making any commitments to big games releasing in 2020.

I always thought Nintendo would aim to release Breath Of The Wild 2 close to when Sony and Microsoft launch their next gen consoles, to try to steal the thunder, and if the consoles do indeed see a delay into 2021 then this scenario could still play out. As a Nintendo fan it’s clearly disappointing to not have anything to look forward to for the rest of the year, but the fact is that there are tons of great games already available for the Switch.

Massive thanks to the GC team for continuing to provide a welcome daily distraction from lockdown life.

GC: The pandemic doesn’t seem to have had anything to do with the lack of announcements. Nintendo had already chosen not to announce any new 2020 games long before the coronavirus was a major problem – although it’s clearly not helping to speed anything up now.

Fair weather friend
Not to ask a silly question but if Valve knew that someone was bund to hack in a non-VR version of Half-Life: Alyx why didn’t they do it themselves? I’ll be honest, this whole situation has left a nasty taste in my mouth. I don’t think Valve has any interest in acting like a normal developer or doing any for their fans.

I think they just wanted a killer app for their stupidly expensive VR headset and as soon as they give up on that (like all their previous hardware) they’ll forget about Half-Life and everything else all again.

If they don’t care about making games anymore I wish they’d just licence the franchise to someone that does. I feel that same way about Konami and Castlevania and Silent Hill. I was gutted when it turned out the rumours about Silent Hill turned out to false, as now I don’t think there’s anyway the series will get the justice it deserves.

Resident Evil remake remake
Like many, I’m a little hesitant about getting too excited about the Resident Evil 3 remake, as I don’t remember the original as being particularly good. (Or rather I barely remember it all, despite knowing Resident Evil 2 and 4 like the back of my hand.) I can see why they did it, especially as it’s an excuse to reuse a lot of stuff from the last remake, but even a few days out I’m struggling to get too excited about it.

But it made me wonder what would be next, given Code: Veronica is the obvious choice but much less famous than any of the numbered sequels. It started thinking that maybe another remake of the first Resi was a good idea, but then I thought why not split the difference and remake Resident Evil 0? Half of it is in the original mansion, so it’s halfway to being the same thing.

You wouldn’t have to be too precious about recreating it exactly, since less people care about it, which gives you a bit more leeway to put in more modern features. I’d be up for it. Then when the next gen comes round you can make a new Resident Evil 1 remake with the new tech for me. That makes sense to me anyway.
Bronze Fox

Question and answer
There’s been some speculation as to what Capcom has on their plate after Resident Evil 3 because they, like Nintendo, don’t have anything schedule for the rest of the year, but do you think it could ever be a new Ace Attorney?

That’s a rhetorical question really, because I don’t see anyway that they can continue to make the games on the low budget needed and yet have something that would make sense on the Switch. Complex 3D graphics would just cost too much and I have to admit there’s not the audience there to justify it. I wish there were though, I miss Phoenix and co.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Arts lover
That Nintendo Direct ‘Mini’ was pretty terrible but I think most people missed the announcement for Star Wars Episode I: Racer. I just laughed when I saw them trying to release those old Jedi Knight games (why did they never do Dark Forces as well?) but Racer I absolutely loved. I don’t think it got taken seriously because of the licence, but for me it was right up there with WipEout and F-Zero. I’d even say it was better than the first couple of WipEout games on PlayStation 1.

What makes these remasters extra weird though is that Disney usually has no interest in games and it seems very unlikely that they’re preludes to new sequels, which is what you’d assume if it was any other publisher. So what’s going on?

If LucasArts was suddenly getting nostalgic I’d much rather bring back some of their classic graphic adventures or a new Rogue Squadron game (why isn’t that getting remastered?) or a sequel to Republic Commando. My dream LucasArts comeback though would be a full modern remake of Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis. I don’t think people would play games with hard puzzles in anymore but I loved that game and the story was 100% better than the last film.

Inbox also-rans
If EA were to buy the rights to the annual bike race the Tour de France, do you think the games would become a yearly cycle?

GC: We assume you’re getting your coat as we speak.

I know everyone’s mega excited for the release of Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Cyberpunk 2077 but personally, after seeing the trailer, I’m waiting for the new Shantae game, I absolutely loved Half-Genie Hero.

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?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

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.

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