Games Inbox: Have you played Days Gone yet?
The evening Inbox is upset that Sony is putting less emphasis on indie gaming, as one reader is glad Days Gone outsold Mortal Kombat 11.
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Low risk purchase
So Days Gone has been a huge hit despite bad reviews? I know GC always said it would, and I guess it was obvious, but I have to admit I was still surprised. Especially it being the biggest game of the year so far and handily beating Mortal Kombat 11. What interests me is why exactly. There are three major factors I think: trust in Sony exclusives, the appeal of zombies, and the appeal of open world games.
Obviously lots of marketing helps too, but remember this is a brand new franchise that isn’t relying on being a sequel or a movie tie-in or anything else. That is really impressive to beat games like The Division 2 and Resident Evil 2.
My interpretation is that the most important factor is the trust of Sony exclusives. Being zombies and open world means it’s very much a predictable experience, but while reviewers took this as a negative I think this, together with the trust of Sony, is why so many people were willing to take a risk on it.
Whether they’ll be happy they did is another question but I’d be surprised if there was much of a backlash, especially as few people like to admit their mistakes. It’s not a game that interests but as another super successful single-player game I’m still glad it’s sold. Once again it shows how strong Sony’s position is as it enters the next generation. They really are the ones to beat.
Lay off the booze, man
I got Days Gone on Friday and got a good few hours in at the weekend and I have to say… I’m quite enjoying it so far. I’m not going to pretend it’s been mindblowing, but as someone that has enjoyed many open world games I’m certainly into it at the moment and like the motorbike and the zombies and general setting.
Not sure I’m really digging the characters all that much though, especially ‘Boozer’, but I don’t hate them or anything. Overall I’m going to give it a go and look forward to meeting and battling the hordes. How long does it take till you get to that though, GC?
With the sales already I guess a sequel is pretty much guaranteed now, which must have led to a few sighs of relief at Bend Studio after the bad reviews. I’m already getting the feeling I’d prefer different characters next time though.
GC: Technically you can fight the hordes whenever you want but it’s not really practical until you get a heavy machinegun and a special weapon that becomes available in the last five or so hours of the story campaign. It’s only then that destroying the hordes becomes a category of side quest.
A game of chicken
Since I have no interest in either game the only thing I could think of when reading about Days Gone beating Mortal Kombat 11 is why on earth did they release both games in the same week? If there’s nothing else out for the next three weeks then why run the risk of being second best?
This happens again and again and I just cannot fathom the logic behind it. Is it publishers being just too arrogant to admit they might be outgunned? I’m sure marketing campaigns take a long time to organise but I don’t remember Days Gone’s date being announced late so they could’ve easily just picked a different week from the start.
I’m sure nobody will learn anything from this but considering Mortal Kombat’s horrible microtransactions it sounds like the best game won. I’d rather have bland than exploitative.
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There’s so little competition when it comes to Marvel games I can’t really pick anything other than Marvel’s Spider-Man, even though I didn’t like it that much. I don’t really care for fighting games too much for Marvel Vs. Capcom isn’t even 100% Marvel, so I’m not sure that really counts anyway.
I did quite like X-Men Legends back in the day, which became Marvel Ultimate Alliance, but I’ve got a feeling it’s going to seem very simplistic nowadays and barely above the level of a Lego game.
It is a shame because I loved Avengers: Endgame and the whole final battle was just pure video game action. The chance to recreate it, playing a character of your choice or maybe even in multiplayer would be amazing but doesn’t look like that’s ever going to happen. I’m not sure I understand why but that’s just the way it is.
I agree with GC’s assessment of Avengers: Endgame. Had a lot of fun with it, although I worry that first hour is going to be a slog to get through on a rewatch. What made me laugh though was the comment about the end battle looking like an Xbox 360 game, which is true really. Not the quality of the visuals, obviously, but the fact that everything was so brown.
There was absolutely no reason for that (or rather they made up a reason for it, for no reason) and I do wonder whether purposefully or subconsciously they were purposefully making it look like a video game. I’d much prefer it had been daylight like the end of Infinity War, where you could clearly see everything that was going.
The funny thing is though the episode of Game Of Thrones had similar problems. Half of that was because it was at night but the whole thing was trying to look serious and moody in a very contrived way… just like a video game. So while games don’t seem to be copying movies very well maybe the opposite is true?
Come back later
It’s a patchy life, gaming.
A new patch is due to be released that will address this that and the other, but more issues requiring a patch will come to light and so we will then be releasing that one. In the meantime, you players who paid for this game out of your hard-earned cash can put up with the bugs and glitches.
Don’t worry now and again we will release a new feature to try and keep you interested but that will likely need patches as well.
When did gaming become like this? You wouldn’t go to buy a car and then put up with parts being added to it over the next year, would you? Yet we are expected to tolerate that as gamers.
Games that crash on launch day, games that require a day one patch, games that lag and stutter, games with single digit frame rates, and these are games we paid for. The industry needs looking at and made to be more fair
It won’t happen though, the industry is all about money, hype up a game and get what you can for it then let players suffer with it. Great. Can’t wait for next gen.
I never understand whenever there is an Inbox letter asking why developers/publishers aren’t making games on Avengers: Endgame or whatever the latest blockbuster is.
Wouldn’t gamers prefer them to make a game because they have faith in the characters and a story they want to make, rather than making a game to cash-in on related cinematic hype?
GC: There’s nothing to stop a developer having faith in the characters and stories in a licensed game. We imagine there are many that would like to make games based on existing properties.
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One of the big reasons I went with PlayStation 4 this gen was its focus on indie games. Sony really worked hard in getting the best of indies on their platform. Microsoft on the other hand had their stupid and now dropped parity policy. The PlayStation 4 was the easy console choice for indies. Sony have been regarded as pulling back the support and importance of indies games on their platform now it’s a huge success and I have to agree.
There’s been a handful of recent indie games that have either not been released on PlayStation 4 yet or had delayed releases after PC/Switch. Right now there’s Katana Zero, Into The Breach, and Yuppie Psycho I’m keen to play but aren’t yet available on PlayStation 4. Hollow Knight also took a while to arrive on PlayStation 4 after PC and Switch, as did The Messenger.
I see the PlayStation 4 as the third place after the PC and then Switch (don’t own one yet though) as the place I’d go for my indie gaming fix, which is a substantial part of my gaming diet. Sony are starting to lag behind. Also, although I’ve no interest in playing Zelda: Breath Of The Wild on a small screen the portable aspect of the Switch is perfect for many indie games and it could be the tipping point for me picking one up.
I don’t think I’ll be getting Google Stadia as I don’t have the Internet to stream at the graphical level and fidelity I will be able to experience on PlayStation 5/PC. Stadia is targeting 720p/30fps as its lowest option, which I could handle but I’m not going to play games at a standard of the last gen. Apple’s service is intriguing though.
If they focus on bringing and making the best indies games for their service then that’s something I’d sign up to to as indie gaming is pretty great.
GC: The Switch is already the lead format for many indie titles, with many games only being released on Switch and PC – at least at first.
A zombie game with supernatural zombies in a modern setting, eh? There’s only one which springs to mind. The same one I’ve always wanted a sequel of: Lollipop Chainsaw.
Handsome Dan Wolfshead
Couldn’t agree more with the overrated games list at the weekend. Rockstar in particular has always been grossly overrated in my eyes. I’m thinking of writing a Reader’s Feature about my own most overrated, that weren’t mentioned, if that’s okay?
GC: That would be fine. After last weekend we’ve run out of Reader’s Features and currently have none ready for this weekend.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Purple Ranger, who asks what is the best PlayStation exclusive ever?
With Days Gone receiving mixed reviews but strong sales we want to know what you think is the best exclusive released on any PlayStation console, from 1 to 4 and including the portables. Anything is eligible as long as it was a PlayStation console exclusive – it doesn’t matter if Sony 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? (We’ll be running similar Hot Topics on Microsoft and Nintendo games in the future.)
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The small print
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