Games Inbox: What will be the next Star Wars video game?
The Thursday Inbox recalls the greatness of Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis, as one reader prioritises PSVR over PS5.
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Am I the only one that laughed at the fact that Lucasfilm wanted to make an open world game and they first company they thought of going to was Ubisoft? I can’t say I’m a big fan of their work, since they everything they do tends to be so formulaic, and they’re storytelling is so bland, but I’ll give them that they do know how to build a good open world.
They’d hardly be my first choice for a Mandalorian game but I guess we’ll see if that’s what this is. It does seem likely though, even without the hint from Jason Schreier. I really hope Lucasfilm do a strategy game as well though. Empire At War was okay but there’s never really been that grand strategy game that I’ve always wanted. Could they get Paradox Interactive to do something? It’d be good, I’m sure, but perhaps a bit nerdy?
Maybe they could hire Firaxis (Civilization and XCOM) or Creative Assembly (Total War)? That seems much more plausible and no less out other than getting Bethesda and Ubisoft to work for them.
I also hope that they look to get some Japanese developers on board too. I’d love to see an action game by PlatinumGames or even a role-player by Square Enix or Atlus. Everyone wants to make a Star Wars game and Lucasfilm are clearly taking advantage of that. I do hope they do more non-movie tie-in games as well, but hopefully that will come in time and this is a great way to stage a comeback.
Fine leather jackets
To respond to Stroops’s question of the best Lucasfilm game, while I also love the two he selected, for me the best has to be Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis. It wasn’t as funny, but had a lovely dry sense of humour, great dialogue and puzzles, and – very unusually for a point ‘n’ click game – replayability.
The beginning of the game primes you for this, as one of the first things you do is try to get Indy into a theatre, which has three solutions. Shortly afterwards, Indy is looking for an item that can randomly be in one of three locations, each with different puzzles to solve. Finding it concludes the first act and gives you the big choice of the game: which ‘path’ to be on.
Each path, while mostly in the same locations, will have different dialogue, puzzles, and solutions. Due to the way in which you meet certain characters, they may be hostile to you in one path and friendly in another. The three paths then dovetail smoothly much later for the final act.
Even today this kind of branching would be highly unusual for a point ‘n’ click game (though we do see it in interactive fiction games which don’t have the need to create so many extra puzzles) and even in those that do it, I have never seen it done as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed Immortals Fenyx Rising. Enough to get the platinum Trophy which took 65 hours. Even then the game didn’t feel tired to me. The only aspect that wore thin well before the end were the puzzles in the vaults, its version of Breath Of The Wild’s shrines.
The test of strength-like vaults I liked. But the puzzle ones were mostly tedious block pushing, move object A to object B affairs I grew tired of about halfway into my playthrough. The most egregious aspect of them though was when some 3D platforming was needed to avoid death-dealing laser beams. I think Nintendo are the only ones to really nail 3D platforming. Although Astro Bot: Rescue Mission was good too.
But still a very enjoyable game. The combat is very satisfying. The game world is gorgeous with a wonderful sense of scale. Like a lot of these Ubisoft open world games, where the same gameplay loop is copied and pasted across the map, it makes for fairly shallow fun, but fun nonetheless.
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Wii U advantage
With one of the new features of the new generation being faster loading on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series XS/S I thought this YouTube video was interesting, comparing loading on Wii U vs. Switch on New Super Mario Bros U.
If you don’t want to watch the video then the Wii U is quicker at loading the game map and level!
PS: Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is free on Epic Store from today at 4pm.
Less is more
GC: ‘We’d love to see other games follow in its stead, as opposed to more bloated 60+ hour games that would’ve been much better at a third the length.’
I couldn’t agree more, and if priced appropriately, I feel both gamers and developers would benefit greatly. Shorter development cycles all-round makes perfect sense. Long development periods like Cyberpunk 2077 and Halo Infinite (at least they delayed that one!) are doing little to convince otherwise. Plus, as you get older, with work and family commitments, not everyone has the time to invest in these overly long games. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I still had the time, but I always appreciate quality over quantity.
Subscription services like Game Pass are ideally suited to support such titles. It doesn’t mean the quality has to suffer either and GC’s example of Spider-Man: Miles Morales is testament to that. Hopefully such successes pave the way for others to follow. Sometimes less is more. A good example of this is Alien Isolation. A fantastic game, but the filler (mostly backtracking) can lead to a feeling of resentment.
Waste of magic
With the talk of potential anniversaries to celebrate with Nintendo (Mario, Zelda, and Metroid’s 35th) there’s one that hasn’t been mentioned: Pokémon.
It’s Pokémon’s 25th anniversary this year and since Pokémon is the biggest thing ever, even bigger than Jesus (I believe the official measurement is 1.21 GigaJesii) then surely there must be something huge planned, right?
Before Christmas I finished Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Quite an interesting game. Overall, I enjoyed it, but it was interesting that as I got further into the game bugs started to become more prevalent. Opening crates underwater didn’t quite make sense from the animation point of view. It felt like a huge amount of effort went into the beginning and the end, but in the middle corners were cut or things were rushed a bit.
I also found it fascinating how it seemed to be building upon the promise of the sequel trilogy (IMHO The Last Jedi is actually the second best Star Wars film) before The Rise Of Skywalker just threw everything out. Were they trying to imply Snoke was related to the Zeffo? The designs looked similar.
Anyway, great game, and I’m finding it interesting that the best bits of Star Wars are now occurring outside of the main films.
GC: The first 25th anniversary plans were hinted at just hours after you must’ve sent this letter. We hope you like Katy Perry. But please don’t write in with two unconnected topics like this. If everyone did that we’d have half the letters than usual.
Shock and awe
I really hope that VR isn’t abandoned, tech-wise, from the last generation into this one. It is so immersive and intuitive. I’ve only just played the VR Star Wars Battlefront mission tonight and I felt a lot of awe and couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear.
PlayStation 5 can wait another generation. In my opinion, it rarely gets much better than the VR experience. It’s a watershed moment like going from 2D to 3D. Astonishingly good!
Cut the fluff
I’ve been following the discussion regarding game lengths in the Inbox and your highlight of Spider-Man: Miles Morales having a shorter story and being a better game for it. As a teenager with very limited disposable income, game length was a large factor in deciding whether to purchase a game, as a longer game provided value for money in my eyes. 20 years on and it’s now all about the quality of the story for me. I’d rather a shorter but well-told and engaging story rather than something that became stretched beyond belief simply to add further hours of gameplay.
The latest Paper Mario suffers from this, and while it is still a very good game I am convinced it would have been better with five hours cut from its length. I haven’t played them, but the latest Assassin’s Creed games regularly get mentioned in the same vein.
Hopefully, the success of Miles Morales demonstrates that consumers are more than happy to play a shorter, well-made game that is priced fairly. I recently played through A Short Hike in one evening and it was a lovely experience. The developers could easily have dragged out another few hours from players, but they didn’t and I applaud them for it.
I’m not saying all long games are bad; there’s clearly a place for them. It’s the games that are stretched out for the sake of adding to the runtime.
I don’t want to pile on, but can we talk about how terrible the ladders are in Cyberpunk 2077?
V1.5 games of Wii U games? Jeez… I thought we were past such nonsense. Is ‘John’ not aware of the concept of sequels? If Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is v1.5 from the Wii U game then Call Of Duty is version 1.17 of the original.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston and asks what’s your most replayed single-player game of all time?
Not counting multiplayer-focused games without an end, what game have you come back to again and again and why? Is it the gameplay, the story, or because of some special meaning the game has in your life?
Do you replay the game on the format it was originally released on or is part of the reason you’ve replayed it so much the fact that it keeps getting updated and re-released? What could make you stop replaying the game and do you think you ever will?
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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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