Games Inbox: Does Hideo Kojima deserve his genius reputation?
The morning Inbox is not sure what to think of a Modern Warfare reboot, as one reader tries decided between PSVR and an Oculus Quest.
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I saw there’s a new teaser for Death Stranding which, of course, doesn’t make any sense at all and you can’t tell what it is. Which has been par for the course for anything to do with the game or anything to do with Hideo Kojima full stop, really. Which makes me wonder the potentially contentious question, does he deserve to be as well regarded as he is? I see people often call him a genius, but is that really deserved?
That’s not me implying I don’t think he is, because I have enjoyed a lot of his games in the past. I have very fond memories of the original Metal Gear Solid and, to a degree, the next two sequels, but didn’t really enjoy 4 or any of the spin-offs, which I thought were just weird for weird’s sake and didn’t really innovate the gameplay.
I think Kojima is obviously talented but stealth gameplay has gone out of fashion now and I think that’s partially because people associate it with hour long cut scenes and incomprehensible stories. And while it’s not clear exactly how stealthy Death Stranding is I’m going to bet it has a similar mix. So does he deserve his status or I’m doubting him unfairly?
An old hope
As exciting as it is to imagine that there’s going to be a Knights Of The Old Republic game I don’t know if there’s two companies I have any less faith in at the moment than BioWare and EA. EA has gone through the whole sequel trilogy without making a single game based on it, and BioWare’s last two games have both been terrible.
As useful as it can be to follow developers the fact is they can be made up of hundreds of different people and often times the most important ones leave, often without much notice. In BioWare’s case these lost the company’s two founders and a lot of other major stuff, so from that perspective it’s kind of obvious why they aren’t as good as they used to be anymore.
Casey Hudson is now back, and worked on the original Knights Of The Old Republic, so there is hope but I don’t how much. I certainly don’t see the game allowing for the same style of combat, which was actually quite slowly paced when you were able to pause it all the time. Considering what Mass Effect turned into I don’t think there’s the patience (or rather, I don’t think EA thinks there’s the patience) for that kind of thoughtful role-playing game anymore.
So the mew Modern Warfare is a reboot, eh? Not sure I really see the point, as I bet nobody can even remember what happened at the old one, but an excuse to bring back Ghost seems plausible. Although… wasn’t he just a guy with cool looking mask on? I don’t recall him doing anything all that much or even having any dialogue. He was like the Boba Fett of Call Of Duty.
Still be interesting to see what’s going on. I’m pretty surprised that they’re going back to having a story campaign, but obviously it’s because sales weren’t what they hoped on Black Ops 4. I think they’re kind of missing the point though. The story campaign was a relatively minor issue in the grand scheme of things, the problem is that the big audience for Call Of Duty is now playing Fortnite. And buying a new full price game every year is not the sort of thing to tempt them back.
Free-to-play Blackout could work but that doesn’t help with the issue of wanting to buy the main game. If I was Activision I’d do the free-to-play stuff this year and get an idea for how popular it’s going to be as soon as possible, because with their line-up it’s not like they’ve got much of a plan B.
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Thought people might be interested to know (or not, if they don’t want to feel old) that it’s the 10th anniversary of inFamous this month. Sucker Punch has been tweeting some interesting trivia about it, including that it used to be called True Hero and, err… the character used to have a different haircut.
I know they could be a bit generic but I would say I’m a fan of the games, particularly Second Son, and for the longest time kept getting confused thinking Sucker Punch were making Marvel’s Spider-Man, when it was actually Insomniac. I still think Sucker Punch were the most logical choice, given their experience with superheroes and I’m not really sure what to make of Ghost Of Tsushima, as it doesn’t really seem to be continuing any of the same ideas.
Maybe they’ll get around to an inFamous 4 game on the PlayStation 4, although perhaps they’d be better off making a different Marvel game. Maybe that Ant-Man game everyone thinks is a good idea, or Thor or Black Panther. Doesn’t really matter, I just want to see more superhero games and more inFamous, or things that are like it at least.
Remember the price
Great review on the Oculus Quest. I’m pretty sure it won’t sell nearly as many as, say, PlayStation VR but would love to be proved wrong.
There is one thing that on the pricing that confuses me, and it’s a bugbear of mine for tech in general.
Nowadays memory is cheap. If you’re getting memory in bulk for a product you are making then it should be really, really cheap.
The Quest is desperately trying to keep prices as low as possible to get as many people on board as possible. Why then is the 128GB version £100 extra? I know nobody is forcing you to get the higher memory version of this (or any other) product but the memory price premium always annoys me.
I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Two horse race
Great review of the Oculus Quest, GC. I’ve recently been considering getting a VR platform because yourselves and a number of gaming podcasts have brought a lot of great VR experiences to my attention. I’ve also been to a VR arcade in Japan, which was incredible, but I’ve only recently felt that there are enough experiences in the VR library of interest to me (not a fan of horror, so Resident Evil 7 would not be for me!).
My inevitable question is which platform would you recommend? I have an entry level PlayStation 4 (i.e. not a PS4 Pro) and don’t have a gaming PC. The only viable options in my eyes (although I’m happy to be told otherwise!) would be PlayStation VR or Oculus Quest.
I’m sure it’s not a straightforward decision/recommendation but it’d be good to know whether the extra power of the PS4 Pro, which I’m lacking, is needed to enjoy PlayStation VR. And which of the two would you say has the strongest library of games? Although that Vader Immortal game sounds so good it could be the decider itself!
GC: Those are the two most sensible options. We’ll be doing a round-up of the Oculus Quest games later this week, so you might want to wait till then to make your decision.
Odd one out
I had to laugh at your suggestion that Sonic The Hedgehog was the worst managed franchise in gaming, but I have to say it’s probably true. The things that gets me is that Sonic Mania seems to have had zero effect on Sega’s plans and they’re back to churning out mediocre games once again (the only reason Team Sonic Racing is above average is that it didn’t have much to do with Sonic Team, outside the initial idea).
To be fair, I don’t think Sonic Mania was that big a hit. And it’s probably about 20 years too late, but the one bright spot in the franchise in that whole time is having no influence at all. Can’t wait till the next terrible 3D game gets announced and the Sonic cycle starts again.
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
Please don’t read this email if you don’t want to know what is on this month’s cover of Edge.
On the latest issue released today they have the Playdate on the cover with a 20-page feature inside. Quite interesting that the Playdate actually featured in Firewatch in 2016, originally on a desk in the game.
Also, Draugen looks quite good, it is by Red Thread Games who make the Dreamfall games and the recent Kickstarter game Dreamfall Chapters, which I was a backer on. Here is the trailer. The landscapes remind me
of the walking sim The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.
PS: Not really game related but here is the latest trailer for the new The Terminator: Dark Fate film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton and produced by James Cameron. Hope it’s better than the last three films.
GC: Apparently the Playdate has been in development for three years, so that matches up to Firewatch.
An open world game from FromSoftware and George R. R. Martin sounds like some kind of silly fan dream. Crazy to think it could be announced in just a couple of weeks. Here’s hoping!
Will you be reviewing Blood & Truth, GC? Do you know when the review embargo is?
GC: We will, the embargo is up tomorrow.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by reader Purple Ranger, who asks what is the best Nintendo exclusive ever?
Following similar topics for the best PlayStation and Xbox exclusives we want to know what you think is the best exclusive released on any Nintendo console. That includes portable and home formats, such as the NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Switch, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, DS, and 3DS. Anything is eligible as long as it was a Nintendo exclusive at some point – it doesn’t matter if Nintendo 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?
E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
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