Games Inbox: Will Halo Infinite be the 2021 game of the year?

The Monday Inbox is looking forward to learning the secrets of Elden Ring, as an older reader asks for Days Gone 2, 3, 4, and 5.

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End of the year hero
As someone who would describe themselves as a casual Halo fan – I’ve played all the numbered ones, not the spin-offs – I was hoping for the best from Halo Infinite but not really expecting it. After all, we all saw the footage last year and it’s probably not possible to give a worse first impression.

However, now I’ve played the multiplayer and I’ve really liked it, plus sites like GameCentral seem to be quite positive about the single-player. It’s not much of an accolade this year, given how little has come out, but could Halo Infinite end up as a game of the year contender? Maybe even the winner itself?

I know it’s not in The Game Awards, because it’s out the same week, but I really think this could be topping some of the top 10s of the year lists over the new year. What a turnaround, eh? It obviously mirrors Xbox itself and how they’re finally start to become a player again. Good for them I say, and not just as an Xbox owner. The more competition everyone is under the better for us gamers.

Never say never again
It’s not often I’d praise Twitter, but in the case of Halo Infinite I’ve got to praise the ones who froze gameplay and zoomed in on Craig on the original footage, which caused Microsoft to delay the game. But on the same note I got to ask what’s going on at 343 and Microsoft where they thought that it was good enough to release a year ago?

That would never happen with a Sony game, there seems to be serious leadership issues at Microsoft and 343. $500 million budget is insane even for Microsoft. If I was in charge Phil Spencer would have a lot of explaining to do.

GC: That $500 million figure has been debunked by several people inside and outside of 343.

Motion Picture Soundtrack: The Game
It is rare that I feel compelled to publicly throw my weight behind a ‘game’ (if you can call it that), but I was able to spend time with Kid A Mnesia Exhibition on PlayStation 5 the other evening after it launched. Radiohead had once planned this as a physical exhibition on these two albums, but circumstances have granted us a ‘game’ instead and we’re better for it.

If you have any appreciation for Radiohead as a band then you absolutely need to check this out; it’s a total triumph in my eyes. As a fan this experience really added another dimension to the songs in a similar way as a live performance might have. Yes, the music is obviously the main selling point here but there were numerous times where I was dumbstruck by the visuals unfolding around me.

Its appeal will be lost on non-fans but as someone who does love this stuff, the center piece performance of How to Disappear Completely and following tracks was transcendental and immersive in a way I’ve never experienced (confession, I may have had a drink). In short, it was a really interesting and unique experience that is a free download and worth highlighting! And wear headphones, obviously.
Adam (Adi255 – PSN ID)

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Talking simulator
Just started Disco Elysium over the weekend and I was not prepared for the sheer amount of dialogue in this game. Each action triggers an interminable dialogue tree that takes 10 to 15 minutes to exhaust. You even talk with different versions of yourself and your own tie! A true talking simulator.

Bit of advice for those starting the game: turn off voice-over narration and internal dialogue. This makes it a little more palatable and faster as well since reading is faster than listening.
Ali K

GC: We always felt it was a bit much too.

Long wait ahead
OK, I’m not a kid, I’m an older retired gent at the age of 61 years old. My wife bought me a PlayStation 4 for Christmas a few years back, when it came out. It sat in the box for over three years before she asked me if I am going to play it. I said OK. I took it out and played the games that came with it. Then I bought Days Gone. Man, I love this game. I have played the easy to the hard level. Waiting for Days Gone 2 to come out. Then I hear they’re not going to release it. Why! Look. I like this game and I’m sure your gamers who are over the age of 40 to 65 love the game too. Many games are too fast to get into and you get killed fast. So why bother?

In this game you can set your path and every now and then you jump out of your seat from a wildcat attacking you or a wild zombie wolf after you. But that’s the fun in this game. The guy who said there is no storyline, there are two storylines from the start. One is brotherhood, as a biker myself I was in a brotherhood of the Night Stalkers in Syracuse, New York back in my early days. The late 70s till ‘85.

It was ever thing to me. Then my wife came and my daughter. Now I’m a grandfather of two special boys. That guy don’t know what he is talking about. Sony, please think about releasing Days Gone 2. It would be great to know what is going on in Deacon’s world. And besides. I love it. Thank you for hearing me out. A older gent that prays to play Days Gone 2 then 3, 4, and 5.

Colourful metaphor
RE: Call Of Duty: Vanguard Zombies. Well, let’s say it the way it is, this game is as interesting as watching varnish dry

As a Zombie fan for over 14 years I’m gutted.

Sell them the title, not the game, put microtransactions in so we can milk the players. Black Ops 3 was an amazing game. Black Ops 4 OK, but I stuck with it to see Chronicles 2 and Season 2.

Vanguard is like waiting to fart but hold it in and it travels to the brain, and you end up with a brain fart.

Treyarch and Sledgehammer did what they could but it falls on Activision.

There is a saying, don’t change what’s not broken.

Time to step back look at what worked and give the players total respect. We made them loads of money because back then we loved the amazing storylines and the challenge. Shame round based maps are the heart of this game mode and all the other bits you find as you go.

Rest in peace Call Of Duty. Remember Black Ops 3 and live on.

GC: You don’t want Zombies to change? We don’t think many people would agree with you on that one.

Peas in a pod
RE: Call Of Duty: Vanguard. The game is really poor, lots of flaws and poor graphics – even had the soldiers’ feet not touching the floor. Short levels, complete rip off for £53. The WW2 Call Of Duty before this one was unreal, pure class. Just like real life.

The ones that put Vanguard together want sacking and give me my money back.

GC: Exactly the same people made both games.

More to come
Watching a few streamers on Twitch and YouTube playing the Elden Ring recently has got me excited but I feel the real impact for this game will be a year or two from now. Working out the lore is the reason, and I am still learning from various YouTube channels more revelations and insights into these very mysterious games by FromSoftware.

I wouldn’t mind exploring Skyrim real life, but the world of Elden Ring looks just as epic but so downright scary and bloodthirsty. The Elden Ring game is everything I was expecting really, from what I saw. It straight away reminds you of the Soulsborne series, with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice elements also added. But it also feels so much more than that with more of an epic feel to it.

This is me not playing it but watching and hearing the streamers describing it and I, being experienced in these games, can definitely feel the game’s unique tension and urgency in battle situations; as well as staying out of areas with enemies way above your current level at present.

Graphically outstanding and dripping with potential lore amongst the atmospheric locations and landscapes! Which is why playing it and enjoying this potential masterpiece is one thing but finding out more story and how deep it can get is another!

With George R. R. Martin also involved, the mind bends as to how far this game can go! Then there’s all the mastering of your character and the huge world to explore, taking out the bosses strategically and other classic Soulsborne mechanics I’m so excited and impressed, but this is just the tip of the iceberg and there is a lot more underneath this potential masterpiece than meets the eyes.

Inbox also-rans
The thing that surprises me most about The Game Awards is Resident Evil Village being one of the game of the year contenders. I don’t remember it getting anything like kind of response from critics at launch? It’s also a point lower than Returnal on Metacritic.

The thing that surprises me about Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is that some people are actually defending. That’s when you know you’re in deep as a fan!

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Focus, who asks what’s the most successful video game franchise you don’t like?

From Pokémon to GTA, Fortnite to League Of Legends, what big name video games do you have no interest in and why? Have you played the games yourself and have you ever gone back to try a new entry, or update, despite not liking one of the previous ones?

What game’s success do you struggle to understand the most and is there anything it could do to change, to get you interested in it?

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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 and content.

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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