The Morning Inbox discusses the inherent difficulties of reviewing video games, as one reader is impressed by Fallout 4’s survival mode.
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PLEASE NOTE: The main GameCentral team are currently away at Gamescom in Germany, where we’ll be reporting back on all the week’s news and previews as they happen. That will mean there’ll only be one Inbox per day until we get back on Thursday, but please keep the emails coming (including the Hot Topic and Reader’s Features) and we’ll resume normal service as soon as possible.
20th century cowboy
Although I wouldn’t want to stop anyone who enjoyed the game I’d have to say I was never a big fan of Bully and while I wouldn’t dismiss a sequel if they did I’m not especially interested either. I’m also fairly convinced by theories that GTA V will be ported to the next gen consoles and there won’t be a new game for a long time, if ever.
So that means the next Rockstar game could very well be just Red Dead Redemption III. There was eight years between the first and second one so if that stays the same you’re looking at 2026 before it comes, out right in the middle/end of the next generation.
I think it goes without saying that the graphics would be amazing but would do people want from the gameplay and story? In a sense that’s kind of obvious too, as like most people I thought the shooting was fairly mediocre and needed improving. The horse-riding was good but the hand-to-hand fighting was also not great.
I’d certainly try and cut down on the horse-riding exposition scenes but as to the setting I’m not sure as the second and first one are very closely tied and the next one would probably have to be mostly all-new. Maybe something much further back in time where the West has not been one? The only other option, to me, is something with John Marston’s kid in the early 20th century, but that wouldn’t really be cowboys, would it?
I’m curious how conscious reviewers are of their own time restraints when testing games, and whether the need to ‘get this one done’ might influence their perception or experience – especially of a game that openly excels when players take the time to explore and leisurely immerse themselves in the atmosphere.
Does this weigh on GC’s mind when reviewing such titles? Do some games possibly feel too sedate because of that professional urgency?
PS: I promise this isn’t a passive-aggressive criticism of any previous review, just a general query!
GC: It’s an intrinsic difficulty of the job. Which makes it all the more baffling when publishers insist on sending review copies just a few days before release, thereby increasing the chances people will rush through a game and be subconsciously resentful of it. So while we do try to hit review embargoes where we can it’s not always prudent to do so.
Having watched, and loved, the series Elementary, I was thrilled to see Simon Templeman feature in the final episode. For those who aren’t familiar, he voiced Kain in the Legacy Of Kain games. Just thought I’d mention this as I always felt those games had the best voice acting of any games I’ve played.
Especially him, he has a great, distinct voice. (Also, a villain in Angel for those who care, he tormented Spike In the last series.)
GC: The better Legacy Of Kain games were also written by Amy Hennig, who went on to co-create the Uncharted series – which also explains the good dialogue.
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Life is great
I have just finished reading the Life Is Strange Volume 1 graphic novel, it is very good for anyone that has completed Life Is Strange 1 and Before the Storm. I’ve pre-ordered volume 2, which is out in October
this year, and this Thursday I’m looking forward to Episode 4 of Life Is Strange 2.
Will Game Central be reviewing Episode 4 this week or waiting until all episodes are out in December?
GC: We would normally but Gamescom will make it difficult. We will be interviewing the developer while we’re there though, so we’ll probably combine the two.
Same old broom
RE: DrIJN013 and his TV issues… I have had a very similar experience with a Samsung JU7500 model from about 2015. Mine started doing the same after about a year, however mine was across all HDMI sources. I had the five-year (waste of time) John Lewis warranty. Been back three times under that warranty and still the problem persists now.
The TV has had a new motherboard on the first occasion, new screen the second, and a new One Connect box the third (so just the original plastic casing left!) I gave up in the end, as no one seems to believe the problem could possibly still persist. I’d be interested if you ever found a solution, and good luck.
Mav750 (PSN ID)
In response to DrIJN013 and his screen going black on his PS4 Pro and Samsung TV. Same situation here. When it happens I change to another source (TV/HDMI, etc.) then back to PlayStation 4. If it goes black again repeat the process. You know it has worked when the switch back to the PlayStation 4 takes longer. You only have to do it once but, yes, it is a bit annoying.
Regarding the issue DrIJN013 had with his Samsung TV. I also had this issue and also a common colour separation issue.
Disabling HDCP (I think this is what it’s called) in the PlayStation 4 settings seemed to stop it entirely, unless it was just coincidence.
Craig (CraigMacReady – PSN ID)
A cave for everyone
This is a reply to Hexy and the man cave etiquette letter.
I’m 43 and have always been interested in tech, computers, and games. I moved home in 2010, where we had a spare room, so I decided to label it a ‘man cave’. Over the years the man cave has been used by all the family, even the wife gets in there, watching YouTube or movies! The kids love the games, my son will play Minecraft, Horizon Zero Dawn, etc. on the PlayStation 4 while I use the PC.
After my 9-5 and cooking for the family I retreat for a couple of hours and enjoy some extra time at the weekends. Us oldies enjoy the arcade days of old, only now we can play these beasts at out own leisure. I also use it for work purposes, so obviously I spend more time in the man cave but no more than needed and I always spread my time evenly with the family – that is important!
I must admit there is something about designing and creating the man cave. Keeping up with today’s tech, experimenting and pushing the home owner boundaries and I’m not the only one. There are thousands of enthusiasts like myself out there – young and old.
Hope this is some help.
Oldway oolschay ammargray azinay
Sorry to be a pedant, but while fora is the plural of the Latin word ‘forum’, both fora and forums are equally correct. They are essentially the same word, just being used in two different languages.
An English word derived from a Latin one is just as legitimate as the original even if the spelling and pronunciation is altered. For example, the Latin verb ‘portare’ means ‘to carry’ and its influence can be seen all over the English language – whether via ports, porters, or portable equipment. That we use a different word like ‘carry’ for moving things about doesn’t mean it’s not a correct term (‘carry’ also has a long and complicated history). Language is constantly changing and evolving.
The discussion we are all having here though is in modern UK English, so I would suggest forums is a more appropriate term to use than fora. Unless we are going to refer to London as Londinium from now on?
SuoTempore (PSN ID)
PS: Apologies I can’t actually help with the hardware situation the letter was mainly about.
Now I start this letter by fully appreciating that I may still be the only person playing Fallout 4.
So a while ago Bethesda introduced a survival mode level of difficulty into the game for those requiring more of a challenge.
So what is survival mode I hear you ask? Well, it now places severe restrictions on the player, which are numerous, but here I’ll just highlight some of the more important ones.
The first, and probably one of the most important, if you want to say alive that is, is your health. You must now eat, drink, and rest regularly. Failure to do this will impact severely on your stats and will make your life very difficult very quickly.
Next we have weight. All items in the game world now have a proper weight associated with them, so if you’re thinking of taking six weapons, four mini-nukes and 20 stimpacks with you think again.
When it comes to saving your game progress, this can now only be done by sleeping in a bed. So finding a bed now becomes very important, because death means a restart from the last place you slept which could have been a while ago.
And last, and I guess this could be the biggest kicker, absolutely no fast travel. So if you need to get somewhere then it’s walking I’m afraid.
Now I won’t deny there was some throw-the-TV-out-the-window moments but overall I found the experience on survival mode very realistic and very enjoyable.
So if you have a copy gathering dust in your collection and fancy playing Fallout how it should be played then why not give it a go.
Johnny five stars
Very good Reader’s Features again at the weekend. Not being a fan of racers I had no idea about the licences being only for short term use. Which just happens to provide another excuse to keep making so many sequels.
I don’t know what Bethesda are doing allowing this but the second Doom Annihilation trailer looks even worse than the first! And it’s literally straight to video.
This week’s Hot Topic
With Gamescom taking place at the beginning of this week the subject for this weekend’s Inbox seems obvious: what future game are you most looking forward to at the moment?
It doesn’t have to be at Gamescom, but what game are you currently anticipating the most? As long as it’s been officially announced you can nominate any title, no matter when it’s due out, but we want to know why you’re excited about it and what first got you interested.
How much attention do you generally pay to previews and early trailers and at what point in a game’s lifecycle do you usually start to get interested? Have you already pre-ordered any games and if so how are you feeling about them now?
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