Games Inbox: What are your Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War first impressions?
The Thursday Inbox thinks Nintendo should be well placed to have a good 2021, as two readers dream of a proper Nintendo Direct this Friday.
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Cold War expansion
I’m almost surprised to hear myself say this but I actually like a lot of what I’m hearing about Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. The trailer was pretty generic but all the stuff about customisable characters, Hitman style levels, and secondary objectives sounded really cool and… completely not like Call Of Duty.
Call Of Duty basically invented the idea of the linear, cinematic first person shooter and it’s very interesting to me that they’re basically rejecting everything in favour of something more open-ended. I’m sure a lot of things will still be the same when it comes to fighting, including the brain-dead opponents, but all the stuff in-between sounds kind of neat.
Considering they didn’t even have a story campaign in the last Black Ops this is a bit of a turnaround, but a welcome one. It kind of makes me wish they’d do a whole game that was single-player, because they’re always pretty short, and just make the multiplayer free. I’m sure they’d make just as much money from it that way and it could give them even more freedom to experiment.
So it looks definite that £65 is going to become the upper limit for new games next gen. Can’t say I’m surprised but in most cases the games that would charge that much, like Call Of Duty, are not something I’d be interested in. What worries me though is that all other games will shuffle up and try to charge £60.
Even when you add in discounts and sales that’s just too much I think. It’s not a question of value of money, just of it being too much in general to spend on something as trivial as a video game, especially in these trying times.
I sense I’ll be sticking more and more to indie games next gens, although I notice they’re already creeping up to £20 or £25 being the new norm. Does that mean that £30 is going to be standard next gen? Gaming is already an expensive business and I’m worrying it’s beginning to price me out.
Amazing news about Turrican, never thought I’d see the day! I’d imagine the game is 2D as well, possibly just a remaster of the original but at least it won’t be long to find out. I always loved the Rogue Squadron games and always felt Factor 5 were very underrated, so glad they never really went away.
Of course, it immediately gets you thinking about what other Amiga classics they could bring back, even though it’s never going to happen. But I’d love to see Cannon Fodder, Speedball, Syndicate, and Chaos Engine come back and be reinterpreted for the modern age.
It’d probably turn out terrible – EA’s Syndicate certainly was, especially as it had nothing in common with the originals – but it’s nice to dream anyway. A shame so many British-made classics are forgotten nowadays, just because they weren’t big in America or on machines Americans were likely to own.
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Boom not bust
RE: High Score on Netflix. What concerns me, regarding this US made programme, is that the UK video game scene of the 1980s was 8-bit home computers, not Atari VCS, NES, and Master Systems.
The UK was on a video game boom in the 80s, not really affected by the crash, with ZX Spectrum, BBC Model A & B, Acorn Electron, Vic 20, C64, Dragon 32, Oric, Amstrad CPC, etc. the mainstay of home gaming. Then later with the Amiga and Atari ST, and PCs, prior to the big surge in the 1990s of the Mega Drive and SNES.
Highstreet stores, WH Smith, Boots, and Woolworths all sold systems and games, together with pocket money titles (£2-£3) that were sold through newsagents. Games were usually £5-£15, compared to £30+ for an Atari/NES/Master System cart.
There’s been a few UK programmes over the years that have covered this, especially big titles like The Hobbit and Elite, from UK development houses and bedroom programmers, and I think it’s important not to get brainwashed by the whole Atari> Sega/Nintendo> Sony> Microsoft timeline.
The documentary From Bedrooms to Billions covers UK video game growth pretty well, and Micro Men was a great take on the (Clive) Sinclair vs Acorn home computer battle.
Steve, South Wales
Interesting take on the Switch Pro and enjoyed the use of language to describe the new games… very ‘business analysis review’ like. I think we’ll definitely see a new dock capable of upgrading to 4K. Nvidia have been working on AI upscaling tech that doesn’t just rely on a faster CPU to get the results, outsourcing it to a separate chip. Sure, it wouldn’t help performance but the blurry resolutions that affect most third party triple-A games when docked on the system could be noticeably improved. Better picture quality you might say… Existing owners could just buy the new dock separately too if they need it.
Agree with the reader on the Switch eShop, it’s a disaster like other app stores. It also can’t be good for Nintendo to have dross like Thief Simulator top of the charts. The only way to navigate it I have thought of is essentially to ignore it. When a game is released that looks good (from reviews or the coming soon page) I add it to my Wishlist, which now has over 100 games on it, and just wait for a sale. If said sale is generous enough, and comes along when I’m looking for a new game to play, I buy it.
Just picked up Iconoclasts and Moonlighter for about eight quid each. I do feel sorry for the indie developers though, unless they’re got a good publisher who can market them it’s now impossible to get coverage on these stores.
It doesn’t surprise me that Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles only gets a 5/10 as it was never that good first time around. What does surprise me is that Square Enix have done it before remastering other beloved games, like Chrono Trigger.
The thing I enjoyed reading though was that the graphics were still looking good, even today. Remembering my GameCube, you realise it really was a little powerhouse, and Nintendo giving their audience the machine they wanted to see in terms of much more spectacular visuals, particularly if you used the progressive scan capability.
It’s a testament to the quality that Capcom has continually released Resident Evil 0, 1 and 4 virtually unchanged from its original incarnation and, I’m certain, that if Nintendo gets around to remastering Super Mario Sunshine it will still look amazing. Needless to say, the technology that powered the little purple cube was still in use right up to the Wii U!
If Nintendo do decide to release a proper Super Mario All-Stars 2, I hope it does encompass the Sunshine and Galaxy games, so they can be enjoyed by an entirely new audience. But they are always aware that their back catalogue is gold and people will pay multiple times for the same game, me included.
GC: Crystal Chronicles certainly is an odd choice, as is the fact that Chrono Trigger is so often ignored. Although we can’t help thinking that’s probably a good thing. We’ve already had one disappointing sequel and since it was a SNES game it’d need a full Final Fantasy 7 style remake, not a remaster, and we’re not sure lightning would strike twice in that case.
This is purely my personal opinion, and I don’t think it’s the way forward for gaming, but if Nintendo announced in the next Direct (whenever that is) that they were chucking a load of new games and a new system on the online service I’d be very pleased.
I’ve seen a lot of YouTube videos in the last few days with YouTubers suggesting this Friday there’s going to maybe a general Nintendo Direct. If there is one on Friday I wonder if Nintendo will say straight after the Direct there will be a game to download. Like they have done in the past and I wonder what it will be. Something possibly Mario related. If there’s a game you heard it here first.
woz_007 (NN ID)
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These Nintendo Directs are just getting bizarre now. I’ll admit I’ve never heard of it before but apparently that Kingdom Hearts game was announced two months ago! What kind of headliner is that for a Nintendo Direct?!
And yet, in trying to think on the bright side of things, I began to wonder if Nintendo’s lack of games this year could end up being an advantage. There’s certainly something to be said for the idea of purposefully skipping anything major this Christmas, because the next gen will be dominating all video game discussion.
You can also assume that Sony and Microsoft will be desperately putting out anything that’s even halfway finished in an attempt to have a good launch line-up, which is likely going to leave them with nothing else major for months afterwards.
Nintendo though should be in the opposite situation where they’ve had nothing all year and will finally have some things ready (hopefully) next year. As the consoles flounder they can clean up with Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 and the like, before leading into the Switch Pro. Just a though, although given it’s Nintendo I don’t know why I’m bothering to predict anything!
Wow, the spiritual successor to Suikoden is heading towards £3 million by the time it closes this Saturday, at 5pm UK time. At time of writing it is the seventh most funded Kickstarter game ever.
PS. Hitman 1 and Shadowrun Collection are free on Epic Games Store today at 4pm.
PS Plus is currently only £37.48 for 12 months (normally £49.99), it’s only till September 1st. Also, Amnesia Collection is currently only £2.39 on the PlayStation Store.
This week’s Hot Topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was inspired by the recent DC Comics announcements and asks what would be your dream superhero or comic book video game?
It can be a sequel to an existing game or something that’s relatively unlikely to get made, but we want to know why you’d pick the particular character or setting and how you’d think it would work as a game.
Would you welcome more superhero games in general and what dangers, if any, do you think there are with making too many? What is your current favourite and how do you think it could be improved in the next gen?
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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