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Games Inbox: Has Sony lost the plot with PS5 remakes?

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Horizon Zero Dawn key art

Horizon Zero Dawn – isn’t it good the way it is? (photo: Sony)

The Tuesday letters page doesn’t understand Sony’s emphasis on PSVR2, as one reader Grounded recommends.

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The Sony formula
I realize the dangers of saying this and being accused of fueling the console wars, but I think we seriously need to ask ourselves if Sony has lost its collective mind when it comes to… well, anything it’s the has done in the past 12 months. The lack of communication and the lack of games is one thing, but this new obsession with recreating games that absolutely don’t need it is spiraling out of control.

It now seems likely that The Last Of Us Part 1 is part of a new template: make a game barely more than five years old, make it a live-service multiplayer game, do a VR spin-off if you can, and rinse and repeat for the next sequel. Well, as a fan of both The Last Of Us and Horizon I can say that I absolutely do not want this and think it is all a complete waste of money.

GC was half-joking about whether God Of War was next, but now there seems to be a very good chance that’s the case. It came out just a year later than Horizon Zero Dawn, so if it’s remade next year, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all. Except for the fact that it definitely doesn’t need it and the biggest problem with Ragnarök is that it looks like a PlayStation 4 game, rather than the original not looking like a PlayStation 5 game.

I don’t know how this makes sense to someone at Sony. And if it’s not true, say, other companies deny things all the time, but Sony apparently doesn’t. Although in this case I think that’s because it’s obviously true.

serious work
So just a few days after GC does a feature on what Sony’s 10 live service games are likely to be, we get a rumor that one of them is exactly what they predicted, with the Horizon Zero Dawn news. I have to admit, I haven’t really paid much attention to that feature, but suddenly it’s all starting to look like a pattern.

They’ve already announced The Last Of Us multiplayer, we’re probably getting Horizon now and God Of War and Twisted Metal are probably not far off. I bet they bring back Uncharted and SOCOM for this as well. I’m sure people will come out with the usual “you don’t have to play them” excuse, but let’s not forget that these games don’t grow on trees. They are made with developers and money that can be used to make real games that people really want.

Instead, we’re going to get live service versions and like or lump them together. It’s like that craze from the Xbox 360 era where every single player game had to have a multiplayer mode, whether it made sense or not. But then it was a quick-witted side effect and here it is something that will keep developers from serious work for years on end.

Bad timing
What’s going on with Sony?! A remake of Horizon Zero Dawn and no older than five years? Even if it’s a remaster, don’t tell me they’re going to try and charge just under £40 for it, and probably more. Spider-Man: Miles Morales was £50, so it will probably be that price.

And then there’s that story about them going all-in on VR. I don’t see how that would have made sense in the best of times, let alone now that the PlayStation 5 still has stock issues and the world is going to hell. Unless Sony is going to take a Game Pass-esque bath for the price, the PlayStation VR2 is going to cost the best part of £500, based on specs. Who the hell is going to pay for that right now?

I mean, I think escape to an alternate world has a lot of appeal now, but otherwise it’s madness. And is the reason why Sony hasn’t announced any new games in so long? They can’t be that crazy, can they? Right? Right?!

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An insect life
Grounded seems very good from the four hours I’ve played so far, now it’s out of early access with a full single player campaign. The Honey I Shrunk the Kids aspect is immediately appealing and it is well presented with the game world. The story also gives a compelling reason to explore, and the crafting aspect seems quite extensive and works quite well on the controller. It’s also a surprisingly difficult game, even on medium difficulty. Early game, any bug noise through my headphones is causing my heckles.

I normally stay away from crafting and farming games like Subnautica and Stardew Valley. Not because I don’t like the core mechanics, it’s just a huge pastime. But Grounded is getting under my skin, so I’ve accepted that I probably won’t see the endgame for a while and will start a session around the upcoming mini plethora of single player games I want to play in Scorn, A Plague Tale: Requiem, God Of War Ragnarok and High On Life.

Exclusive period
So how long do we expect it to take for God Of War Ragnarök to appear on PC? Sackboy: A Big Adventure and, probably, Returnal were just under a year, so it probably won’t be more than that, right? The idea is that the gap gets smaller every time until they come out at the same time or close enough, which makes no difference to a sane person?

Maybe it’ll be like movies and streaming where I think it’s up to 40 days now for some movies, up to 90. That seems to be what Sony is going for and while I don’t see how it makes sense for them, as a company that trying to sell a console it certainly makes sense to me as someone who does own a pc and doesn’t want to spend £450 on an extra piece of hardware.

I’ll bet a significant amount of anyone else’s money that Call Of Duty: Warzone 2.0 won’t be any better at stopping cheats than the current one. I know that’s supposed to be half the point, but I really don’t see it making any difference and if you take that out, what’s really the point?

I’m not interested at all, and yet I have to admit that I love Modern Warfare 2 this year. The modern setting is what I prefer from Call Of Duty and despite some people grumbling about the beta, I think everything sounds pretty good so far.

I don’t think I’m alone in that opinion, so what interests me is what if Modern Warfare 2 does a lot better than Warzone 2.0? Will that bring the focus back to the paid game or will Activision just throw resources at Warzone until it’s a hit?

I don’t hate Warzone, but I do prefer the traditional Call Of Duty, so I wouldn’t be mad at all if Battle Royale rested for a while and more effort was put into coming up with new modes and weapons for Modern Warfare .

4 out of 5
The Reader’s Feature of overrated games, I’m not a fan of the others, but I do like Metroid games. I don’t mind if the reader thought it was overrated, because it’s an opinion.

What I’d like to know is, which are the best in the genre and how do they compare to Metroid? I like Metroidvania games in general, so I want alternatives.
Alek Kazam

GC: It’s a genre full of greats, including the excellent Metroid Dread, but some of the best modern ones are Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, the two Ori games, Yoku’s Island Express, Steamworld Dig 2, Owlboy, Guacamelee! 1 and 2, Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night and Axiom Verge (but not really the second).

The recent Reader’s Feature on the cost of living resonated with myself, as have many others. Like the author, my household was firmly rooted in the ‘not poor/not rich’ category; we have always been mindful of our spending and have a 15 year old car that does exactly what we need it to do, allowing us to enjoy social events without generally having to consider the prices involved before committing. For example, after work drinks that are made into a meal, traveling across the country to see family, bachelorette weekends, and so on. But this has now changed.

We bought a house last year that needs renovation, so we have the (high) mortgage costs plus the do-it-yourself costs. Fortunately, the mortgage is fixed for four years, but all our bills have gone up and continue to do so, and the general rise in the cost of living is an official cause for concern.

We’ve cut back on what we buy at the grocery store (less meat), we cut out all alcohol for a while (to be healthier and save money), and I consciously say no to social events that I also find expensive, or where I don’t. really worth the effort – sometimes to the chagrin of my friends. And, like I said, we’re not poor. I honestly don’t see how some people will survive the next six months, especially if we have a cold winter because many people are afraid to turn on their heating.

Until recently, I hadn’t even thought about the energy costs of gaming, partly because I use my gaming PC for work, but I’ll definitely avoid leaving it on while I’m having lunch now. I also have a Switch, but it seems to use considerably less power than the other consoles. I’m subscribed to PC Game Pass, but when I use Microsoft Rewards, I rarely have to pay the monthly fee.

The last game I bought was Elden Ring, after it had been out for a few months and for £30, so there’s no chance I’ll ever pay £70 for a game. But if Nintendo announces a Switch 2 next year, I can’t help but think of buying one at launch.

Inbox is running too
If video game technology had met 2022 standards in the early 1980s, games based on Knight Rider and the A-Team would have been great.
John Atkinson

I want you to check out Hyper Demon. Would like to know what you think.

GC: It’s probably a little late for a review now, but we want to give it a try anyway.

This week’s hot topic
The topic for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Razzledazzle, who asks which game mechanic you’ve never been able to master?

His example was web swinging in Spider-Man, but it can be any element of a game, from a general concept like flying to something more specific like the special moves in a fighting game.

Can’t get the mechanic out of it at all or is it more that you’re just not that good at it? How much effort did you put in to get better and what would you change to make it easier?

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The fine print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes on the weekend. Letters from readers are used on a merit basis and can be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600 word Reader feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which, if used, will be featured on the next available weekend.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to do so follow us on twitter.

MORE: Games Inbox: Calling Red Dead Redemption 2 a Bad Game, Elden Ring vs. God Of War and Switch 2 Name

MORE: Weekend Hot Topic: What do you want from the Switch 2?

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