Cyberpunk 2077 – is it still worth getting excited about? (pic: CD Projekt)
The Tuesday Inbox gets nostalgic over old school lightgun games, as another reader looks forward to Mina The Hollower.
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So it looks like CD Projekt are about to unveil Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, which is technically something I’ve been waiting for years for at this point. As you might imagine, my enthusiasm for the game has dimmed somewhat over time. Originally, I held off playing it on PlayStation 4, until I could get a PlayStation 5 and play the native next gen version.
I have that PlayStation 5 now but I’m beginning to think the game is not going to end up as being worth the wait. It’s probably still not going to look as good as the PC version and reading reviews since it came out it seems the story and side missions aren’t necessarily as good as The Witcher 3, which I’d previously taken as a given.
I’d be interested in hearing from anyone that has played the PC version in particular and could still recommend the game, and therefore the PlayStation 5 version – assuming it’s a good port. I realise some new features and content could also be added to it, so I guess I’ll take that into consideration as well once it’s announced.
Since someone mentioned it briefly in Monday’s Inbox, I thought I’d draw some more attention to Mina The Hollower, the recently revealed IP from Shovel Knight developers Yacht Club Games. Firstly, for any fans of classic Zelda, Castlevania, and/or Game Boy Color games, this title is shaping up to be a must have. In terms of gameplay and aesthetics it’s looking like a mix of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and NES/SNES era Castlevanias, being a top-down action-adventure with gothic horror trappings.
What’s got me most enthused about it though is the Kickstarter’s level of developer interaction and frequency of substantial updates. I’ve backed around half a dozen games – including several hits and a few lost in development hell – and none of them had such an organised and communicative campaign. It feels like the devs want to channel as much fan input as possible without going the early access route: for me this goes some way to answering why they decided to crowdfund in the first place.
On a broader note, it seems that action adventure indie devs have begun tending more towards top-down Zelda-likes than side-scrolling Metroidvanias. In the past year we’ve had Chicory, Death’s Door, Eastward, and Garden Story, and we’ve got Tunic and now Mina to look forward to. It’s really starting to seem like a renaissance for the genre, and as someone who grew up on Zelda: A Link To The Past that’s extremely exciting.
I also saw the Uncharted film over the weekend, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun it was.
I agree it only faintly resembles the games but that doesn’t make it a bad film. It most closely resembles the National Treasure films but it’s much better. There’s a hint of Mission: Impossible to it also. The chemistry between Holland and Wahlberg is great and they have some dry, funny exchanges as well as some more sombre moments.
Even the villains are getting a bad press but I found it refreshing to see bad guys being good but outclassed, as opposed to just being incompetent buffoons who couldn’t hit the side of a barn. And the action sequences are ridiculous but in a good way.
I had a great time, certainly more than I was expecting given the history of video game movies and the fact I’m not a massive fan of the games.
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Early impressions of Sifu: I am really, really enjoying it so far! After GC’s 6/10 review I felt slightly worried I wouldn’t like it, but I haven’t found the same frustration with the difficulty yet, and I quite enjoy the roguelite elements too, weirdly. Now that said… I’ve only finished the first two levels so far (at age 34) so I am sure as the difficulty ramps up even further, I will get to the ripping hair out stage and immediately delete the game (and I will long for the days where I had physical discs that I could snap and throw in the bin in a rage)
But even if I get there, the brilliance of the combat has already been worth the entry price. The avoid mechanic, where you plant your feet and slip punches is properly satisfying once you get the timing down, it makes me feel like a proper Kung-Fu legend. I love how when you do it properly the enemies are all like ‘whooaaa’ as you slip around them like Neo and batter them all. And the skill where you can just kick bits of scenery at someone, ah it’s all just so cool. I love it. So far at least!
Regarding your story about a possible remaster of GoldenEye 007 (the second most frequent rumour in gaming, after Half-Life 3?), you state that ‘this year marks James Bond’s 60th anniversary’. Well, not really. Casino Royale was published in 1953, so it will be James Bond’s 70th anniversary next year.
Probably more people have watched a Bond film than have read one of the books, and, yes, it’s now 60 years since the first film. But there are also probably more people who have watched a Resident Evil film than have played one of the games, and I doubt you’d be happy with anyone dating the anniversary of Resi from when the first film was released (or at least you’d laugh at their cultural naivety).
I can’t deny the quality of Destiny 2. I’ve played about 800 hours but left it about six months ago. The Witch Queen is out soon, and in the past when a major expansion comes it would usually be enough to pull me back in. I don’t think I will be picking it up this time though, and this is how I know that something has changed this time, in my thoughts on the game.
Shooting is still genre leading, lots of decent content to explore, grind if you want, crucible, etc., etc. Gun development is incredible and constantly fresh. Gear, specifically armour, had left me feeling empty though. They have made efforts to increase build variety, mods, etc. but it just doesn’t hit the spot.
What I would love to have seen was basically Diablo 3 style build variety, gear sets, etc., combined with the mechanically peerless game they have already created. It’s nowhere near being able to do that, and to be fair I don’t think Bungie have ever suggested doing such a thing, or do I hear the community asking for it.
So I realised six months ago that it was me looking for the wrong thing, rather than Destiny 2 doing much wrong. Which is why I don’t feel the draw this time for The Witch Queen.
A new challenger
I hope Street Fighter 6 is what Capcom is getting ready to announce and that they’ve thought of some unique selling point for it that can really make it a hit. I don’t envy them that task as I really don’t know what any company can do to move the genre forwards nowadays.
The only thing I’ve ever been able to come up with is maybe some kind of new control system, perhaps using VR style motion controls, that makes the moves a lot easier for people to pull off. Except they’ve always been relatively easier in Street Fighter, compared to other fighters, and I think most people see that as part of the nostalgia nowadays.
At the very least the game needs a new look visually, because I’m in the group that thought Street Fighter 5 was pretty ugly. Hopefully I’ll be impressed by what’s to come though.
I visited a retro gaming arcade (R-CADE Glasgow) a few weeks ago and immediately fell in love with lightgun games again, after playing Time Crisis 2 and Point Blank for almost the entire time. While certain genres have fallen out of popularity for various reasons (survival horror, arcade racing games), lightgun games are doubly doomed since the technology just doesn’t work on modern TVs and the alternatives (Wii remotes, PS Move) aren’t quite as accurate or satisfying. It’s a real shame, as I don’t think there’s a more immediately gratifying game genre out there and I’d love for some new modern games.
This visit (and epiphany) spurred me to do two things: fish out the hardware and software I needed to play my old games (luckily I’ve an old CRT telly kicking around) and investigate whether there were any solutions to play on modern screens. I found a project by UK inventor Andy Sinden which seems really promising, but as I don’t know anyone else who has used the technology it’d be a bit of an expensive punt. Is this something GC or any readers have played or purchased?
PS: Just started playing Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Phenomenal fun, can’t believe those slicing mechanics haven’t been nicked by other games.
GC: We’ve never used it, we’re afraid.
It’s cropped up a few times recently, but why is there an embargo on you telling people when the embargo date is for a review?
GC: We really don’t know. There isn’t always one though, it depends on the game and the publisher.
Just wondering if you’ve heard any rumours about the next big Lego game, as I’ve seen something saying (taking with a huge amount of salt) it may be a Doctor Who game… which would be great but in my eyes very unlikely.
GC: We’ve not heard that, and it seems very unlikely given Doctor Who is currently at a low ebb in terms of international popularity.
Just a heads up that the XCOM 2 Complete Collection is only £3.99 on the Switch eShop right now. What an incredible bargain.
PS: those ‘gamers’ on Louis Theroux last night really gave me the #$%+$.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Futterman, who asks what is your favourite indie game of recent years?
From the last two generations, what indie game have you enjoyed the most and why? How often do you play indie games and what do you see as the key differences between them and AAA titles?
How important do you feel indie games are to the games industry as a whole and what do you think bigger publishers could learn from their smaller counterparts?
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The small print
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