Games Inbox: Is the Anthem video game worth saving?
The Tuesday Inbox celebrates the death of the DualShock 4 light bar, as one reader tries to share the joy of Shenmue III’s launch.
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I see a lot of talk about Anthem at the moment, with it now being almost given away and rumours about a version 2.0. I would say to the reader who wrote in and asked whether it was worth it at £7 it definitely is. The problem with Anthem is that it’s got great gameplay but the structure and missions around it is not so good. The controls and the way you’re controlling what is essentially an Iron Man robot is perfect and really unique. The problem is the missions, enemies, and loot are nowhere near as good.
That seems to be what they’re talking about improving though so if they do manage to fix it I think that’ll be a great thing. I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to Destiny: The Taken King and while Destiny was never in as bad a state as Anthem hopefully the solution will be similar.
I do wonder how much of a plan they have with these games as a service titles though because so many of them seem to run into the problem of having a good premise and gameplay and the running out of things to do within a month. Considering how long these things must take to make you’d think they’d take a couple of weeks out to come up with a proper roadmap. Who am I kidding, most of the time they can’t even pick a release date that isn’t the same as three other games.
But in summary, yes Anthem is worth £7 and more. And yes, I believe it is worth saving and I hope that BioWare manage to do so with whatever they are planning. Then next time make sure they know what they’re doing before they release anything (that goes for Mass Effect too).
Wait and saw
Thanks for your honest review of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, GC. I’ll admit I’ve been struck by the hype train surrounding this game but you’ve managed to temp it down a bit for me. I’ll still be getting the game but this has become my main Xmas game now, I didn’t pre-order but I’ve waited patiently for your review and I won’t be buying it now.
Always look forward to your interviews and previews, keep up the good work. Currently playing and loving The Outer Worlds, right now waiting on the patch to be released so I can complete the last level.
Cheech762 (gamertag/PSN ID)
Sliding into disappointment
It’s not often I’ll write commenting on my disappointment with a game but after finishing it over the weekend I’ll give a special shout out to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. I was looking forward to this game without holding any unrealistic expectations but for me it’s plain awful and I think you were over generous with the score.
There were some highlights, such as the combat being relatively fluid and the boss fights being pretty good, and it does have an authentic Star Wars feel. But… the ropey facial animation where it looks like eyeballs are about to pop out heads, an amazing lack of fast travel – as pointed out – poor script with dull characters and a predictable story. The deal breaker for me however is the trial and error gameplay mechanics.
I mean, how frustrating is it to fly off the edge of an ice/mud slide for the 10th time, fall down holes or miss swinging ropes due to dodgy camera angles. These are things I thought we left behind a decade ago, obviously not!
Somewhere in there is a great game but it looks like that’s going to be the inevitable sequel.
GC: The slides were awful, we’ll grant you. We bet whoever designed them thinks the DualShock 4 light bar is a great idea.
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Ding dong the witch is dead
This must count as a good month for GC. First you get confirmation that people were trying to make a Han Solo simulator at one point, and might do so again, and now the light bar, which I know you hate is being removed for the DualShock 5.
I can’t say I was a fan either. I have no idea why it didn’t just switch on when you start using the PlayStation VR (which obviously most people don’t have anyway) because having it shine straight into your TV is stupid. I know it depends on what angle you sit but for my sofa it was always right in the way.
As trivial as the example is though I do actually take this as a positive sign for the PlayStation 5 and Sony’s attitude. Instead of just digging their heels in and pretending it’s a good idea they’ve admitted it’s stupid and have quietly removed it. Not that they got a lot else wrong with the PlayStation 4 but if that’s the way they’re approaching the next generation I think we could be in for the mother of all console wars.
RE: Hot Topic idea. Write in about a game you initially didn’t connect with but later did.
There’s quite a lot of music I didn’t particularly like on first listen, and while writing about Silent Hill 2 I was wondering about games that didn’t really gel initially but became favourites and why.
GC: We had a similar one a year or so ago, but we could give it a go again.
Game passing the time
For me, Project xCloud could be a real game changer and I’m eager to learn as much as I can about the service.
Like many readers, I’m a time starved family man with a quite ridiculous backlog. The only free time I can definitely bank on is my lunch break at work. This has allowed me to (almost) clear my backlog on Nintendo handheld games dating back to Game Boy Color.
However, as much as I love these games there is no denying I’m hankering after a different gaming experience now and this could be it. I’ve often looked on enviously of Switch owner’s ability to carry on their games anywhere, so for full Xbox functionality on my iPhone would be an excellent dinner time waster.
But herein lies my first obstacle, being an iPhone owner currently cuts me out of the preview program and none of my friends that would be interested in signing up have Android devices either. This minor issue aside I still can’t wait to see how the whole service integrates with Game Pass, if it gives me the opportunity to play more games, then consider me more excited for xCloud than I am the next generation of physical consoles.
Joy by proxy
I’ve never played a Shenmue game and have little interest in changing that if I’m honest. However, you’d have to be a terrible human being not to feel a little joy looking at the pics of all the delighted people who have just received their copies.
I hope it’s as wonderful as you all remember guys. God knows you waited long enough for it
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
I partly agree with Kolin – The Outer Worlds is wonderful and the conversation system is great (if you’re just starting to play or think about it, invest your skill points in those dialogue skills people!)
But best new IP of the year/generation? There is something holding me back from LOVING it. The loading times. They are excruciating. Especially when you get to Monarch.
Travel to Monarch and land at Fallbrook
Exit the town to get to the planet
Fast travel to your objective
Need to get back to your ship – fast travel to town
Walk to your ship and enter
You get the idea. Dreadful. I get that each planet would need a separate load, but using other games generally as a yard stick; loading each town, outer area, and some internal areas is excessive and holds me back from loving it.
Like lots of people life gets in the way, so I can only play late at night, and the loading times are so long I find myself drifting off during them.
Let’s not end on a negative though – it is still excellent and I love it, but best new game of the year for me is, by miles and miles, the wonderful Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
In response to Matc7884, ShopTo.net seem pretty good on price. I’ve bought a couple of download codes from them recently and that worked well.
You never reviewed Everspace, but I would like to know if you ever played it? Do you like it? Would just like your opinion.
GC: We’ve never played it, or the sequel. Have you?
Will you have a review of Shenmue III for Tuesday, GC? Not sure I’ll bite without seeing good reviews.
GC: No, it didn’t arrive soon enough for that, but it shouldn’t be long after.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Xane, who asks whether you have a favourite console manufacturer?
Do you consider yourself loyal to Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo or anyone else and how far would you take that loyalty? Do you only buy their consoles or do you also consider other brands? If you only buy one or two consoles per generation how often do you switch loyalties and did that happen this generation?
Do you already have a preference for next generation, despite there being no concrete information, and are you prepared to give your favourite a certain amount of leeway before considering buying a competitor?
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The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
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